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    News Round-Up: November 5, 2013

    Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

    NJ mall shooter is found dead; nine skydivers survive a crazy plane collision midair; and Election Day 2013 has arrived with major elections in New Jersey, Virginia, NYC as well as other cities & states across the country. Meanwhile, Drew Barrymore is pregnant again (yippee!) and Lea Michele dedicates a song to her late love, Cory Monteith, on her new album.

    -Sandy + Maura
     

    CRUCIAL

    New Jersey Mall Shooter Found Dead With Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound, Police Say,http://rtvote.com/1hK7rEn
    Richard Shoop, 20, opened fire in New Jersey’s Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall ten minutes before closing time last night. Shoop fired at least six shots, none of which were aimed at people; witnesses described Shoop’s demeanor as extraordinarily calm. His body was found in a back area of the mall at 3:20 AM this morning. There have been no other reported injuries at this time. Stay tuned as this story continues to develop.

    Watch nine skydivers survive fiery two-plane collision in midairhttp://rtvote.com/HEmNNg
    As if skydiving weren’t terrifying enough. Skydivers in Wisconsin pulled off the stunt of their lives last weekend as they found themselves in the middle of something that looks straight from a James Bond movie. Two planes collided 12,000 feet in the air on Saturday, and a group of skydivers, along with the pilot, jumped from the exploding wreckage. The second plane was landed safely by another pilot, despite damage to the wing and the propeller.

    Obama: ENDA vote in Senate an ‘opportunity’http://rtvote.com/1hKcfcW
    At a dinner for top Organizing for Action donors, President Obama praised Senate’s 61-30 vote to advance the Employment Non-Discrimination Act on Monday. The bill forbids employers from firing employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. However, it is still too soon to celebrate since the bill has yet to pass in the House.

    Takoma Park 16-year-old savors his history-making moment at the pollshttp://rtvote.com/1aCoAyi
    Ben Miller, 16, will step into a voting booth today and cast his ballot, along with 350 other 16- and 17-year-olds, who were granted the right to vote in municipal elections by the Takoma City Council in May. Montgomery County, Maryland, is the nation’s first community to lower the voting age from 18 to 16 in municipal elections; council member Tim Male said this was intended as a way to boost voter turnout. It seems to be working, as young Ben Miller proudly exercises his newfound civic duty.
     

    ELECTION DAY 2013

    Election Day 2013: Five things to watch todayhttp://rtvote.com/HEmxhb
    Today, voters in Virginia and New Jersey will elect their new governors, while new mayors are chosen in New York, Boston, Detroit, and a heck of a lot of other cities. Important issues are at stake on many of these ballots. Here are five things to keep an eye out for.
     

    PUNDITS

    The New York Times Editorial Board discusses the ENA decision in “Toward Ending Workplace Discrimination”, http://rtvote.com/1aCD1m7

    Rocker Austin Estes tells us why young voters are a force to be reckoned with in “Young Americans Will Help Change History This Election Day – If They Vote,” http://rtvote.com/1a5stsW

    Writers respond to the increased incidents in gun violence in “LAX shooting heats up gun debate: Opinionline,”http://rtvote.com/177qaYc

    CULTURAL

    Teen Mom’s Amber Portwood Released From Jail, http://rtvote.com/1hgnV9B

    Drew Barrymore Is Pregnant, Expecting Second Child With Husband Will Kopelman, http://rtvote.com/1hKirlf

    Lea Michele Recorded a Song About Cory Monteith For Her Debut Album, http://rtvote.com/1bVBzrt

    Chris Pratt Was an Amateur Stripper at Age 18, http://rtvote.com/1a5vk5b

    sandywu
    Bio:

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: October 1, 2013

    Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

    The U.S. government shuts down; Obamacare’s online market officially opens; and Wall Street worries about the U.S. defaulting on debt. Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus’s album reviews are in, and Bruce Jenner talks about his skin cancer surgery.

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    U.S. Government Shuts Down in Budget Impassehttp://rtvote.com/18oN0aU After Congress failed to compromise on a new budget Monday night, the U.S. government has shut down. Federal workers will be furloughed or forced to work without pay. National parks and monuments have also been closed for the time being. The Senate rejected the House’s proposal to begin conference committee negotiations, and Congress’s next steps remain uncertain.

    White House shows off Web site to buy health insurance under Obamacarehttp://rtvote.com/18oSXF1 As of today, Americans are able to buy coverage under the Affordable Care Act on the federal website,www.Healthcare.gov. Those looking to purchase health insurance can log on and see if they qualify for government assistance; search and compare plans by price and coverage level; view each plan’s network doctors; and purchase directly from the insurance company. The plans will take effect January 1, when every American is required to have health insurance or be fined.

    Wall Street Firm Despite U.S. Shutdownhttp://rtvote.com/1fFX4CR Despite the government shutdown, Wall Street carried on calmly and opened its stocks slightly higher today. However, investors and analysts are concerned that the government shutdown will lead to the U.S. defaulting on its debt when it reaches its borrowing limit in about two weeks. If the Treasury Department does not get authorization from Congress on October 17, it will no longer be able to issue new bonds.

    Senate Cancels First Hearing on Navy Yard Shootinghttp://rtvote.com/18p5RTl Because of the government shutdown, the first Congressional hearing related to the Washington Navy Yard shooting on September 16 has been postponed indefinitely. During the hearing, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs was supposed to evaluate how the government grants clearance and conducts background checks.

    PUNDITS 

    The New York Times’ Editorial Board discusses the unfair difficulties voter ID laws impose on eligible voters in “The Dishonesty of Voter ID Laws”, http://rtvote.com/1eX6dpz

    Daniel Alpert talks about the economic policy mistakes the U.S. has made in “The Rut We Can’t Get Out Of”,http://rtvote.com/1dUid8i

    CULTURAL

    Miley Cyrus’ First Bangerz Reviews Are In… And They’re Not Great, http://rtvote.com/1dUoalz

    Bruce Jenner on Skin Cancer Scare, http://rtvote.com/1fGhJH6

    Ariana Grande and Nathan Sykes Confirm their Coupledom, http://rtvote.com/1dUqhWt

    Whitney Houston’s Death: Detective Accused of Inappropriate Treatment of Singer’s Corpse,http://rtvote.com/1fGiUGr

    sandywu
    Bio:

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Thursday, September 12, 2013

    Thursday, September 12th, 2013

    Vladimir Putin writes NY Times Op-ed; CIA delivers weapons to Syrian rebels; Colorado flash floods kill 2 people; and a secret Koch brother’s group is revealed to the public. Meanwhile, Tom Hanks has jury duty issues; Lady Gaga talks Miley; JT and Jessica Biel caught smooching; and Prince William leaves the military to be full-time royal.

    -Maura

    CRUCIAL

    U.S weapons reaching Syrian rebels, http://rtvote.com/17Z1gG3
    A flow of materials from the U.S. to Syrian rebels now marks what is being viewed as a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war. The CIA began delivering weapons to rebels ending months of delay in lethal aid promised by the Obama Administration. Other types of aid that includes vehicles, communications equipment, and advanced combat medical kits are also being delivered.

    Vladimir Putin’s comments on American exceptionalism, Syria cause fusshttp://rtvote.com/17Z2jpq
    Vladimir Putin has caught the attention of Americans by writing an opinion piece in today’s New York Times op-ed column, causing a flurry of reactions. Putin says he wrote the article to “speak directly to American people and their political leaders.”

    Flash floods wash away homes, kill at least 2 near Boulder Colorado, http://rtvote.com/17Z3Fk3
    Torrential rains caused at least 2 deaths Thursday in Boulder, Colorado. The National Weather Service described the conditions as “life threatening” in an emergency message issued just after midnight local time for areas around Boulder where 6.5 inches of rain fell in the last 24 hours.

    Exclusive: The Koch brothers’ secret bank, http://rtvote.com/17Z4p8R
    An Arlington, Virginia based conservative group called Freedom Partners, that raised and spent $250 million in 2012 to shape the political and policy debate nationwide, has been revealed. The group served as an outlet for the ideas and funds of the mysterious Koch brothers, cutting checks as large as $63 million to groups promoting conservative causes, according to an IRS document to be filed shortly.

    CULTURAL

    Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel Share Rare PDA at U.S. Open, http://rtvote.com/15mUaMX

    Lady Gaga Talks Miley Cyrus at the VMAs On ‘WWHL’: ‘Lighten Up and Leave Her Alone’, http://rtvote.com/15mS3Jh

    ‘Breaking Bad’ Spinoff: ‘Better Call Saul’ Prequel Happening at AMC, http://rtvote.com/15mT1VU

    Prince William to Leave the Military and Become Full-Time Royal, http://rtvote.com/17YWSH5

    Tom Hanks’ jury duty service leads to misconduct allegation, http://rtvote.com/17Z0Tv6

    Maura
    Bio: Maura graduated from the University of Dayton in 2011 with a BA in International Studies and French. During the course of her studies she was elected Student Body Vice President where she worked to make student activity funding more affordable & fair to the campus community. Following graduation, Maura joined the 2012 Obama Campaign as grassroots Field Organizer in Ohio (the battleground of all battleground states). She now continues her passion of engaging and building political power for young people with Rock the Vote.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    GOP Gunning for Youth Vote

    Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

    President Obama won the 2008 presidential election with the help of 66 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 29. Obama would have lost key states like Indiana and Florida without these votes, and likely many others without the influx of young enthusiastic campaign volunteers. Recent articles from The Huffington Post and The New York Times, however, show that the enthusiasm for President Obama may be waning.

    Many who voted for Obama in 2008 have now graduated from college and cannot find the “hope and change” they voted for. Those aged 20-24 face an unemployment rate of 12.9, well over the 8.2 rate for the rest of the country. As November looms ever closer, the Republican Party looks to capitalize on this demographic.

    Since campaign finance laws restrict the spending of traditional party campaign organizations, conservatives have turned to other outlets to garner support from youth voters. PACs, Super PACs, and non-profit advocacy groups all hope to marginalize the difference in support between President Obama and presumed Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

    The Young Guns Action Fund—a super PAC who may not make contributions to candidate campaigns or parties, but can raise unlimited funds from corporations and individuals—has recently teamed up with Maverick PAC to find and financially the next generation of Republican political talent. Maverick PAC, co-founded by George P. Bush, nephew of former President George W. Bush and son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, is a regular political action committee that may support a candidate but may not receive funds from corporations. While promoting conservative policies is the short-term goal for this election cycle, leaders of the PACs hope to see a greater portion of young Americans supporting the Republican party for years to come.

    They aren’t alone: Crossroads Generation, created earlier this year, is another super PAC aimed at bringing more young voters to the Republican side. Conservative operatives launched Generation Opportunity in 2010, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that provides education on youth-related issues and organizes registration drives.

    As YG Action Fund spokesman Brad Dayspring said, “There’s an opportunity to capture the imagination of those voters.” And Republicans are planning to do just that.

    See the original article from ABC News here.

    Maureen Dolan
    Bio: Maureen is the Marketing & Communications intern for Rock the Vote.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Monday, May 14th, 2012

    Monday, May 14th, 2012

    A plane crash in Nepal leaves 15 dead; JPMorgan’s CIO resigns after $2 billion in losses; Cyprus’ president will not run for re-election; a new poll shows that most americans support same-sex unions; and the Obama campaign launches a Bain Capital attack ad. Meanwhile, the most popular baby names of 2011 are revealed; Jay-Z will announce a two-day music festival in Philadelphia; and ‘Modern Family’ start Sarah Hyland discusses her recent kidney transplant.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Plane crash in northern Nepal kills 15 people, http://bbc.in/IRf3lR
    Fifteen are dead after a small aircraft carrying 21 people crashed into a Nepalese hillside Monday. A majority of the passengers were traveling to Muktinath temple, a religious site in a mountainous region of Nepal. The plane was attempting to land as it crashed into a muddy slope. Plane crashes involving small aircraft carriers are all too common in the mountainous terrain of Nepal. Among those who survived were two Danish passengers and two Indian infants.

    JPMorgan CIO chief Drew quits after trading loss, http://reut.rs/JOZ5rN
    Ina Drew, JPMorgan’s Chief Investment Officer, resigned Monday after it became clear that she approved trades that led the company to $2 billion in losses. Two of Drew’s subordinates are also expected to resign. JPMorgan’s CEO said in a statement that Drew’s “vast contributions to our company should not be overshadowed by these events.”

    (via Bloomberg) Cypriot President Christofias Says He Won’t Seek Re-election, http://bloom.bg/IRuJpb
    Cypriot president Demetris Christofias said he won’t seek reelection when Cypriots hold presidential elections in February, saying his main task of uniting the divided island hadn’t been accomplished. “The Cyprus issue hasn’t been resolved and I don’t see any definitive progress in coming months,” Christofias told reporters in Nicosia today. “I won’t seek to be re-elected as president. The government will continue according to the constitution with its tasks until it handovers to the new government.” Cyprus has remained divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded its northern part in response to a Greek inspired coup. The two communities failed to make any progress toward reunification in talks which resumed in 2008, four years after Greek Cypriots rejected a United Nations sponsored settlement plan which Turkish Cypriots accepted.

    Poll: Most Americans support same-sex unions, http://cbsn.ws/JASuDk
    One week after President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage, a CBS News/New York Times poll shows that 38% of Americans believe in same-sex marriage while 24% believe in same-sex civil unions. 33% of Americans believe that there should be no legal recognition of gay couples. The poll results are evidence that support for gay marriage rights has increased over time and is strongest amongst young people. 53% of 18 to 44-year-olds said same-sex couples should be allowed to get married.

    Obama campaign airing first ad critical of Romney’s role in private equity firm, http://wapo.st/J4uf2q
    In an ad released today, President Obama’s campaign takes a negative look at Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital. The ad shows GST Steel, which was acquired and then closed down by Bain Capital while Romney was there. “They made as much money off it as they could and they closed it down, they filed for bankruptcy, without any concern for the families or the communities,” says former GST employee Joe Soptic in the ad. “It was like a vampire. They came in and sucked the life out of us.” The ad will run in battleground states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Colorado.

    (via The Associated Press) Greek parties try to form government, stocks tank, http://bit.ly/Jqs6zm
    Fierce political rivalries kept Greece from resolving its leadership crisis as an anti-bailout party refused Monday to return to power-sharing talks.
    For the ninth straight day, Greek party leaders were struggling to form a coalition government, riven by differences over the harsh austerity measures demanded by international creditors in return for rescue loans. The impasse means the debt-stricken country is facing the prospect of another national election next month after holding an inconclusive ballot May 6. Talks led by President Karolos Papoulias failed Sunday to break the impasse, and he invited party leaders back Monday evening to try again. The turmoil in the eurozone nation took a toll on markets across Europe, with shares on the Athens Stock Exchange down 4.4 percent at 584.29 in afternoon trading.

    Panama fisherman adrift at sea sues Florida cruise line for not helping, http://on.msnbc.com/JdzZla
    Eighteen-year-old Panamanian fisherman Adrian Vazquez is suing Princess Cruises after one of its cruise ships did not pick him and two others up while they were stranded at sea for 16 days. Vazquez and his two companions were stranded for two more weeks after the liner passed them by. During these two weeks, Vazquez was the only one to survive. He was eventually found near the Galapagos Islands. According to Princess, passengers did not notify the captain about the stranded fishermen.

    CULTURAL:

    Jay-Z set to announce 2-day Philly music festival, http://on.wsj.com/KmuSVy

    Jacob, Sophia top 2011′s list of most popular baby names from United States, http://cbsn.ws/JPKLzg

    ‘Modern Family’ Star Sarah Hyland Reveals Kidney Transplant, http://bit.ly/Jw2n5F

    ‘Avengers’ Star Chris Hemsworth Welcomes Daughter India, http://on.mtv.com/JPLVen

    Memphis soul bassist ‘Duck’ Dunn dies, http://bit.ly/JA2Pik

     

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    @caitlinmagu
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com