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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

    The U.S. Senate sheds new light on the attack in Benghazi; new details are released in the New Mexico middle school shooting; and Governor Chris Christie of NJ addresses “Bridgegate” in his State of the State address. Meanwhile, 2014 gets off to a rocky start for Justin Bieber and Kanye West after two high-profile incidents.

    Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Senate report: Attack on U.S. compound in Benghazi could have been prevented: http://rtvote.com/1j7nle7
    The bipartisan report on the 2012 attack on the United States compound in Benghazi, Libya shows that the State Department was warned about the potential for attack but did not increase security around the compound. The report also blames intelligence agencies for not discussing CIA outpost locations within the U.S. military. However, the report does not discuss in depth whether the Obama administration downplayed the attacks, saying that no one knew when the attacks were to occur.

    Shooter may have warned some students: http://rtvote.com/1b39JIV
    The 12-year-old suspect accused of opening fire in a New Mexico middle school’s gymnasium yesterday morning may have warned certain students against coming to school early. This discovery is currently being investigated by police, along with other claims. So far, police have not been able to determine a motive for the shooting; however, the shooter is in custody. Two students were injured in the attack.

    Can Christie change the subject? http://rtvote.com/Kj1Nfm
    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered his State of the State address yesterday. He acknowledged the mistakes his administration has made recently in regards to the closing of bridge lanes on the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee (dubbed “Bridgegate”). After apologizing, Christie tried to change the subject to focus on more pressing policy issues in the state. However, many people believe that Christie’s reputation is now too tarnished to allow a potential presidential bid in 2016.

    CBS airs video of chaotic scene at Asiana crash site: http://rtvote.com/1hqMYnc
    CBS has recently released video footage of firefighters and emergency personnel tending to survivors and the wreckage of the Asiana plane crash. The crash occurred last summer at San Francisco airport. The story received national attention not only due to the crash, but also because of the death of 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan, who survived the crash but was struck and killed by a fire truck at the scene.

    Va. Democrat Jim Moran to retire from Congress: http://rtvote.com/1eDrVLC
    After serving twelve Congressional terms, Representative Jim Moran will not run for re-election.  Moran, an occasionally combative and passionate member of Congress, represents Virginia’s 8th District. His retirement could potentially create a heated primary election because of the 8th District’s reputation as being a Democratic stronghold.

    CULTURAL 

    Police raid Justin Bieber’s house after incident: http://rtvote.com/1m7g7nA 

    Are Johnny Depp and girlfriend Amber Heard engaged? http://rtvote.com/K2E17V

    How Harry Connick Jr. can save American Idol: http://rtvote.com/1m7gs9M

    Kanye West allegedly assaults a young man: http://rtvote.com/1aoR914 

    Veronica Barger
    Bio: Veronica is currently studying communications, law, economics, and government at American University in Washington, DC. Originally from New Jersey, she has held an interest in politics since the 2008 presidential election. Being a newly registered voter, she understands how important it is for young people to register to vote and have their voices heard. She looks to spread that message with Rock the Vote.

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



    News Round-Up: November 25, 2013

    Monday, November 25th, 2013

    A nasty storm is headed East, just in time for Thanksgiving; the US deal with Iran still remains in a delicate balance; and Amazon is under fire for their working conditions. Meanwhile, Miley mocks Gaga, and Catching Fire is actually on fire at the box office!

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Nasty winter storm could snarl holiday traffic in East,http://rtvote.com/17MOsov
    A strong blast of Arctic air, blamed for eight deaths in the West, will reach the East coast in time for Thanksgiving. The storm has already closed hundreds of flights out of Dallas, and it is expected to reach the mid-Atlantic and New England regions by Tuesday. Heavy rain is to be expected, and snow is likely in Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Syracuse.

    Most of Amtrak train jumps tracks in S.C.http://rtvote.com/1c4PLkl
    Seven cars of a nine-car Amtrak train derailed near Spartanburg County, South Carolina, early this morning. 207 passengers and 11 crew members were on board the train going from New Orleans to New York; no serious injuries were reported, although two people were hospitalized. The seven derailed cars remained upright, and heat and light were quickly restored.

    Pitfall of working for Amazon: Mental illness?http://rtvote.com/17U5oM7
    Who doesn’t love Amazon?! Apparently, some of their workers. BBC launched an investigation into Amazon employees’ working conditions, wherein one of their undercover reporters worked the night shift in a U.K. Amazon warehouse. The reporter said he walked 11 miles in one shift, and an expert claims that such working conditions increase the risk of mental illness.

    After Iran nuclear deal, tough challenges aheadhttp://rtvote.com/182tY8g
    A historic nuclear agreement with Iran has been signed, but don’t celebrate just yet! The situation is still as fragile as ever, as evidenced by the parties’ clash on Sunday over a key element of the deal and congressional skeptics’ threat to strike down the deal. The accord’s conditions include a six-month freeze on Iran’s nuclear program, daily monitoring by international inspectors, and a promise to not finish construction of a heavy-water reactor that could provide Iran with a source of plutonium for a nuclear bomb.

    Rajesh and Nupur Talwar guilty of Aarushi and Hemraj murders,http://rtvote.com/18jsLPD
    In 2008, Aarushi Talwar, 14, and Hemraj, a domestic servant for the Talwar family, were found dead. Aarushi’s throat was slit, and she had also suffered a fatal head injury; Hemraj’s dead body was found on the roof of the Talwar house. After a five-and-a-half-year investigation, the parents of Aarushi have been convicted of the murders. Although Rajesh and Nupur Talwar are still denying guilt, prosecutors claimed the parents killed their child when they found her in a “compromising situation” with Hemraj.

     

    CULTURAL 

    Miley Cyrus Mocks Lady Gaga’s White Horse Entrance at American Music Awards, http://rtvote.com/1c4YLpA

    2013 American Music Awards: 5 Things You Didn’t See on TV,http://rtvote.com/1i8Zrzn

    Macklemore References Trayvon Martin, Racial Profiling in American Music Awards Acceptance Speech, http://rtvote.com/18jzrxs

    Catching Fire Box Office: Hunger Games Sequel Opens to Hot $25.3 Million,http://rtvote.com/19WwFb8

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: November 13, 2013

    Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

    A popular Washington Post columnist and India’s top policeman find themselves in boiling hot water after making some controversial remarks (on separate topics); Haiyan’s survivors are struggling to get food and water, despite international aid; and Healthcare.gov will probably not reach its November 30th deadline. Meanwhile, Zac Efron broke his jaw (ouch), and a Beyonce fan dishes on trying out one of Queen Bey’s scary-intense diets.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL 

    India’s Top Policeman Draws Fire With Rape Remarkhttp://rtvote.com/HTOr97
    Someone please nominate this man for the Stupidest Comment of the Year award. At a conference about illegal sports betting and gambling, India’s Central Bureau of Investigation chief Ranjit Sinha said that if the state could not stop gambling, then it could at least make some revenue by legalizing it. He then proceeded to say, ‘If you cannot enforce the ban on betting, it is like saying, “If you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it.” Activists are outraged, seeing as this man is in charge of several rape investigations and that protests in India have grown rapidly since the fatal gang rape of a student this past year.

    Controversy over Richard Cohen’s comments on the de Blasio family,http://rtvote.com/HY7r5z
    Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, 72, has been under intense scrutiny for his Tuesday column, which sounds a lot like Cohen has something against interracial marriages and homosexuals. Cohen insists that he was not expressing his personal views, but those of Tea Party conservatives. As news outlets continue to condemn him, Cohen’s boss at the Post defends one of his most popular columnists.

    Lawlessness, damage leave Filipinos strugglinghttp://rtvote.com/19kpb1l
    Food and water are still struggling to reach the typhoon’s survivors as roads and ports are destroyed, and trucks have no fuel to run on. Mobs of people have begun looting warehouses for food. Even though massive amounts of supplies have arrived on nearby islands and parts of Leyte, they cannot be moved into the city in large amounts. Most Filipinos have been left homeless, and the city of Tacloban will be without power for three months.

    Troubled HeathCare.gov unlikely to work fully by end of November,http://rtvote.com/1buISII
    It doesn’t look like HeathCare.gov will be ready by the end of November, like the Obama administration has promised. Software problems seem to be more difficult to resolve than expected. Government workers and technical contractors have advised people to use other means to enroll in healthcare plans so the website is not overburdened.

    Ryan Ferguson Update: Mo. man jailed for nearly 10 years released,http://rtvote.com/HRksyj
    Ryan Ferguson, 29, was released from custody after being jailed for almost ten years for a crime he claims he did not commit. Originally convicted in 2005 for the murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt, an appeals court threw out the conviction last week because Boone County prosecutors violated federal law by failing to share several pieces of evidence that pointed to Ferguson’s innocence in 2005.

     

    CULTURAL

    Zac Efron’s Broken Jaw: “He’s Going to Be OK,” Says Pal Michael B. Jordan,http://rtvote.com/1hG0t5U

    Demi Lovato: People Would Be “Shocked” to Hear My Drug and Alcohol Abuse Stories, http://rtvote.com/1dqhDhQ

    Beyonce Fan Tries Singer’s Diet, Loses 10 Pounds in 10 Days,http://rtvote.com/1bDQAP0

    Alec Baldwin’s Alleged Stalker Genevieve Sabourin Gets 30 Days in Jail for Courtroom Interruptions, http://rtvote.com/1aTEYe2

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, June 6, 2013

    Thursday, June 6th, 2013

    The Obama Administration defends NSA’s collection of phone records; Tropical Storm Andrea brings rain to Florida’s west cost; search ends for Philly building collapse; Allen West deems Eric Holder a greater threat than Al-Qaeda; the U.S. condemns Syria’s siege of Qusair; Massachusetts residents sue the New York Post for false accusations; North and South Korea agree to talk about reopening a shared industrial zone; 10-year-old gets the ok to receive adult lung transplant; and the U.S. Senate is set to vote on student loan interest rates today. Meanwhile, Jefferson Airplane Drummer Joey Covington dies, and George R.R. Martin makes no apologies for GoT ‘Red Wedding.’

    Maura + Alexis

    CRUCIAL:

    US Government Collecting Huge Number of Phone Records, http://bit.ly/185X6QJ
    The Obama Administration defended the National Security Agency’s need to collect telephone records of U.S. citizens on Thursday, but the move is heavily criticized. No immediate on-the-record comment has been issued. According to Britain’s Guardian newspaper, the order was granted by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on April 25 and will stand until July 19. The Associated Press cannot authenticate the order because of the classified status of the court documents.

    Tropical Storm Andrea drenches Florida’s west coast, http://bit.ly/15DWflf
    Hurricane season is here, and our first storm has touched down on land – Tropical Storm Andrea. This morning, heavy rains and 60 mph winds reached the west coast of south Florida from the Keys to Tampa. According to forecasters, the system does not look like it will have enough time to reach hurricane strength before it reaches the coast north of Tampa. A tornado watch was in effect for central and south Florida until 11 a.m. but is no longer in effect.

    Search halts after 14th survivor found in Philly building collapse, http://cbsn.ws/19KDzDZ
    Rescue workers have ended their search in a Philly building collapse. Fourteen survivors have now been confirmed while 6 have been confirmed dead as a result of the collapse. While under demolition, the building collapsed onto a thrift store next-door Wednesday morning. It is still unsure how many people had been in the thrift store or walking on the sidewalk when the accident occurred.

    Allen West compares Eric Holder to Al Qaeda, http://politi.co/11im8Tq
    Former Representative Allen West has deemed Eric Holder a greater threat to the U.S. than Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al-Qaeda. In an email, West wrote that he trusts the U.S. military to protect us from Al-Qaeda but that he does not trust that we will be protected against President Obama and his Justice Department. West outright accused Holder of abusing his power as attorney general and trying to radically transform America. He cited scandals involving the IRS, AP, Fox News, and Benghazi as evidence.

    Syria conflict: US condemns siege of Qusair, http://bbc.in/17pxcXb
    The U.S. has condemned Syria’s siege of Qusair. The U.S. has also called upon allies Iran and Hezbollah to take out their fighters who have been assisting government troops. In the meantime, Golan Heights has been taken over by rebels from Syrian forces, and Israeli officials are scared that the civil war that was once confined to Syria’s borders may spill over into Israel.

    Mass. pair sues New York Post over Marathon bombing portrayal, http://b.globe.com/13bCekh
    A 16-year-old and a 24-year-old from Massachusetts have filed a defamation lawsuit against the New York Post Wednesday in Boston. They have accused the tabloid of falsely depicting them as the suspects of the Boston Marathon bombings. The newspaper produced a giant headline “Bag Men” with their picture behind it in an effort to bring attention to yet another story, but as these boys say, one that is not farther from the truth. They are accusing the New York Post of “libel negligent infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy.

    North and South Korea tentatively agree to talks on shuttered industrial zone, http://bit.ly/13mWi4P
    North and South Korea tentatively agreed Thursday to discuss reopening the shared manufacturing zone where Pyongyang stopped activity in April. The Kaesong Industrial Zone is a major symbol of cooperation and teamwork between the two rival countries. The venue and date for the talk will be set by the convenience of the south side.

    Sarah Murnaghan’s mother on adult lung transplant for her 10-year-old daughter: “Now we have hope. We have a lot of hope.”http://bit.ly/Zu7dc9
    A Federal judge in Philadelphia decided today to allow 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan to receive an adult lung transplant. Usually, children under the age of 12 must wait for a pediatric lung, but due to the serious circumstances, a special exception was made for Sarah.

    Student loan fight set in Senate, http://politi.co/11iruxS
    The Senate is set to vote Thursday on two different bills to keep student loan interest rates low. If Congress does not take any action, interest rates on subsidized federal Stafford loans will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. With immigration on the agenda for next week, action needs to be taken soon with regard to student debt or nothing will get done.

    CULTURAL:

    Jefferson Airplane Drummer Joey Covington Dies in Car Crash, http://eonli.ne/15EbMSi

    Today Show: Man With Knife Cuts Himself on Program’s Rockefeller Plaza Set, http://eonli.ne/19LA0NP

    Justin Bieber Books Trip to Space on Virgin Galactic, Says Richard Branson, http://eonli.ne/19Loli0

    Paris Jackson’s Alleged Suicide Attempt: Teen Felt “Bullied” at School, Says Source, http://eonli.ne/15DMBz7

    George R.R. Martin Makes No Apologies For The ‘Red Wedding’ Massacre On ‘Game Of Thrones’ (VIDEO), http://huff.to/185IqRG

    alexis.m@rockthevote.com
    Bio: My name is Alexis Macdermott and I will be starting my third year at Duke University this fall. I am currently pursuing a major in psychology and a minor in economics. I am a native of Southwest Florida and am an avid runner and film enthusiast. I look forward to joining the Marketing and Communications team for the summer here at RTV!

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



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

    Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

    Documents reveal Osama bin Laden plotted the assassination of President Obama; British Parliament says Rupert Murdoch is unfit to run News Corp; protestors around the globe take to the streets on May Day; and Hillary Clinton heads to China to meet with Chen Guangcheng. Meanwhile, Khloe Kardashian does not want audiences “keeping up” with her anymore; The trailer for ‘Dark Knight Rises’ is released; and Buzzfeed tells us why May is going to the best month ever.

    CRUCIAL:

    Protesters Prepare, Police Brace for May Day Protestshttp://bit.ly/JzuCAR
    In honor of May Day, workers across the globe are planning to protest for better pay. Thousands of employees in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Taiwan are demonstrating for wages that are on par with global consumer prices. In Greece, workers have planned rallies protesting the government’s austerity cuts. Meanwhile, the Occupy Movement has launched its spring awakening movement, calling for  “no work, no school, no shopping, no banking” throughout the United States. Occupy spokesman Mark Bray says that the call to action will show that  “99 percenters make things run in this country.”

    Osama bin Laden ‘considered changing name of al-Qaeda before death,’ http://bit.ly/IEnmmg
    John Brennan, the Obama administration’s top counterterrorism official, has revealed that documents found in Osama bin Laden’s compound show he was plotting the assassinations of President Obama, General Petraeus, and other U.S. officials. The documents also reveal that Bin Laden was thinking about changing the name of al Qaeda. Due to “disaster after disaster,” it seemed he believed the terrorism network was a “shadow” of its former self and that its leadership would “no longer be relevant.” Meanwhile, Mitt Romney has criticized Obama for touting his assassination of Bin Laden, saying “even Jimmy Carter” would have done it. In response, Obama quoted a 2007 speech where Romney stated, “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.”

    British Lawmakers: Rupert Murdoch Unfit to Run News Corp., http://bit.ly/Itz5Xz
    Members of the British Parliament’s House of Commons, Culture, Media, and Sport investigating News Corp’s phone hacking scandal said yesterday that Rupert Murdoch is “not a fit person” and as a result, should not be head of News Corp. The report also noted that Murdoch “turned a blind eye and exhibited willful blindness,” in regards to the company’s scandals. The 11-member House argued that if he had been “entirely open” to News Corp’s shareholders and lawmakers then the illegal phone hacking would have been discovered and dealt with much sooner. The report also said that James Murdoch and three News International executives, Les Hinton, Colin Myler, and Tom Crone, should be held responsible for the scandals.

    (via CNN) 5 arrested in alleged plot to blow up Cleveland-area bridge, http://bit.ly/ICYDBY
    Five suspects, some of whom describe themselves as anarchists, were arrested after allegedly conspiring to blow up a bridge near Cleveland, the FBI said Tuesday. “The public was never in danger from the explosive devices” because an undercover FBI agent was involved and the explosives were inert, the bureau said in a news release.

    Clinton heads to China and into dissident drama, http://reut.rs/InAqf3
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to China yesterday to meet with blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng at the US Embassy in Beijing. While officials from both China and the U.S. have not made any comments about Guangcheng’s house arrest escape, some are speculating that he will demand to stay in China and pursue his activism. On Monday, President Obama said that China has to improve its rights for citizens but did not mention Guangcheng. Chen’s supporters have said that Chinese police admitted that Guangcheng’s escape does not break any laws.

    How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes, http://nyti.ms/JzsVTO
    The New York Times has revealed that Apple’s subsidiaries in low-tax areas have allowed it to save $2.4 billion in taxes. Instead of keeping its profits in California where its based, Apple has been sending its funds to Reno, NV where the corporate tax rate is zero. The company also has tax-saving subsidiaries in places like Ireland and the British Virgin Islands. Last year, Apple paid $3.3 billion on its $34.2 billion profits worldwide. Apple’s studied accounting tactics have been deemed legal.

    CULTURAL:

    Ann Romney on Mitt: ‘There’s a wild and crazy man inside there,’ http://bit.ly/KsnzGZ

    Tony Nominations: Andrew Garfield, Cynthia Nixon Score Nods—but Did Spider-Man Snag Anything in Its Web?,http://eonli.ne/IOXqC7

    Dark Knight Rises’ New Trailer Released, http://eonli.ne/JPQ2Lw

    Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom: Why We’re Taking “Time Off” From E! Reality Show, http://bit.ly/IDzEgT

    23 Reasons Why May Is Going To Be The Best Month Ever, http://bit.ly/KDtAFk

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