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    News Round-Up: Thursday, April 3, 2014

    Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

    Another shooting hits Fort Hood Military Base; a major aftershock in Chile causes massive evacuations; the US allegedly tried to undermine the Cuban government through the creation of a fake social media account; and a woman in Australia goes missing after being “taken” by a shark. Meanwhile, James Franco allegedly tried to meet up with a teenager via Instagram; a man arrested for trespassing on Selena Gomez’s property is sentenced; and Sarah Palin and “Vladimir Putin” have a phone conversation.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Fort Hood shooting spree: ‘Texans’ hearts are once again very heavy’: http://rtvote.com/1otWpcb
    Specialist Ivan Lopez went on a shooting spree Wednesday at Fort Hood Military Base in Killeen, Texas, wounding 16 and killing four others (including himself). All were army personnel. Lopez had had a history of depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders. After his 4-month tour in Iraq, Lopez began to undergo treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Lopez used his own gun in the shooting; it was not registered to the base, making it against the rules to have it on the base. In contrast to the 2010 Fort Hood shooting, authorities do not suspect that terrorism was the driving force behind Lopez’s actions.

    New evacuations in Chile after major aftershock: http://rtvote.com/PmTToC
    A 7.2 magnitude aftershock rocked the northern coast of Chile Wednesday night, just days after an 8.2 magnitude earthquake caused tsunamis and six deaths. After the 7.2 aftershock, the Chilean Emergency Office issued new tsunami warnings and subsequent evacuations of the entire Chilean coast, driving 900,000 people from their homes. Fortunately, no damage, deaths, or injuries have been reported after the aftershock, which is one of over a dozen that have hit Chile over the past few days. The aftershock was felt in Peru as well, once again leaving no damage or injuries in its wake.

    Crowd beats driver who stopped after hitting boy, 11: http://rtvote.com/1lqM7Fd
    On the East Side of Detroit, Michigan, a crowd beat a driver who hit an 11-year-old boy. The child was struck by the driver of a truck while trying to cross an intersection. The driver then got out of the car to check on the boy, at which point a crowd of approximately 30 people came to assist the child. Some members of the crowd then beat the driver, who sustained serious head injuries that could be life-threatening. The boy’s condition has not been released. Both the driver and the child were taken to the hospital.

    US secretly created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest: http://rtvote.com/1k3eXhG
    US government official Joe McSpedon, a team of technology contractors, and the Agency for International Development had been planning to undermine the communist government in Cuba by creating a fake social media website. The “Cuban Twitter,” or ZunZuneo, would have breached the information restrictions and bans put in place by the Cuban government. At its peak, the account reached thousands of Cuban citizens, giving many access to information that had previously been denied to them. Due to the financing being linked to a Cayman Islands account, the United State’s name was never connected with the project’s development. Whether the program is legal or not is unclear.

    Woman ‘taken’ by large shark in Australia: http://rtvote.com/1mDUf57
    63-year-old lifeguard Christine Armstrong was swimming in Tathra, Australia with her husband and fellow lifeguards when she disappeared. She headed off to shore alone, leaving her friends in the water, but appeared to never make it. A witness told police that he saw an 11-foot shark attacking something in the water that looked like a swimmer. After an investigation, neither Armstrong nor the shark could be found. Armstrong’s husband and friends who were with her that day are being given counseling to cope.

    CULTURAL

    British Olympic diver Tom Daley discusses his sexuality: http://rtvote.com/1fOPOzE

    It’s Amanda Bynes’ birthday! Take a look back through her career: http://rtvote.com/1scN1cd 

    James Franco tried to pick up a teenage girl on Instagram: http://rtvote.com/1gqOpyG

    Get the latest details about the guy arrested for trespassing at Selena Gomez’s house: http://rtvote.com/1hkyi5W

    Sarah Palin and “Vladimir Putin” talk: see the video! http://rtvote.com/QIBT8Z

    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: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2014

    Friday, February 21st, 2014
    A new deal is presented to end bloodshed in Ukraine; the Dalai Lama’s visit to The White House causes reaction from China; and evidence of climate change continues as the Earth experiences its fourth-warmest January on record (despite the snow and chilly temps!). Meanwhile, Christina Aguilera makes a major announcement; U.S. women’s figure skaters talk about returning for 2018 Olympic games; and Kanye West is listed as a headline for Bonaroo for a second time.

    - Austin + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    New deal is signed in Ukraine to end bloodshed http://rtvote.com/1bsPNVM
    After yesterday’s short-lived truce, it seems that violence in Ukraine might finally be settling down. Opposition leaders have signed a deal with government officials that calls for early elections and reductions of presidential power. The deal is thought to be promising because of involvement from high-level European and Russian mediators. Since anti-government protests escalated earlier this week, hundreds of Ukrainian protesters and security officers have been killed.

    China calls Dalai Lama “political exile;” criticizes White House meeting http://rtvote.com/1fFf22L
    The Dalai Lama is known around the world as a spiritual leader. But it turns out he isn’t exactly revered by all. China today posted a statement (on its website of all places!) criticizing the U.S. for meeting with the Dalai Lama. China has considered the Tibetan monk a “political exile” since 1959 because of his advocacy for autonomous rule in Tibet.

    New York reconsiders solitary confinement http://rtvote.com/1dae3XH
    Corrections officials in New York this week indicated a move to reconsider solitary confinement policies. New York has been one of the worst offenders for overusing solitary confinement, a form of punishment that isolates prisoners for as much as 23 hours a day. What’s worse, the average length of stay in solitary confinement for New York prisons is five months. Clearly, the state is in need of reform and this is widely seen as a progressive move towards more humane treatment of prison populations. Kudos to New York.

    Earth has fourth-warmest January on record http://rtvote.com/1l5p2tu
    It’s been pretty cold on the East Coast this year, but this is by no means an indication of global averages. The Earth as a whole experienced its fourth-warmest January on record, marking the 38th straight year that January temperatures have been higher than 20th century averages. This definitely makes you think twice about the existence of climate change!

    German athlete tests positive for doping at Sochi games http://rtvote.com/1jQP28z
    For shame! Germany’s Olympic committee announced that one of Germany’s Olympic athletes has tested positive for illegal performance-enhancing drugs, although they declined to release the athlete’s name. USA Today reports that this is the first positive test of the Sochi games. Germany has won 16 Olympic medals in Sochi so far, including 8 gold.

    CULTURAL

    Lena Dunham: Jezebel’s $10,000 Vogue Retouching Expose “Was Messed Up”, “Felt Gross”, http://rtvote.com/1h5sCQG

    Grace Gold , Ashley Wagner and Polina Edmunds Talk About Figure Skating Results, Eyeing Return for 2018 Olympic Games, http://rtvote.com/1fhw5Ny

    Christina Aguilera Is Pregnant! Newly-Engaged Expecting Second Child, http://rtvote.com/MIEEVz

    Kanye West Headlines Bonaroo, take 2. How’s this going to play out?, http://rtvote.com/1fhwDmw

    SPOILER ALERT: Kate Mara’s Done Lying about House of Cards and That Huge Twist, http://rtvote.com/1jV7PD1

    austin@rockthevote.com
    Bio:
    @austin_estes
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Friday, July 13, 2012

    Friday, July 13th, 2012

    The Penn State board meets in the wake of a scathing FBI report; two US-Mexico border “drug tunnels” are discovered; and the worst drought in 25 years spreads to 26 states. Meanwhile, Bonnie and Clyde’s guns are up for auction, and NBA’s Blake Griffin will miss the Olympics due to injury.

    Maureen + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Penn State board to meet after scathing report, http://bit.ly/PVhnQq
    The Penn State University Board of Trustees will meet today for their bi-monthly meeting, where they are likely to discuss the scathing FBI report released yesterday. The 267-page report found that university leaders are very much to blame for the continuation of Jerry Sandusky’s sexual assaults. Top university officials forged an agreement to conceal Sandusky’s sexual attacks over ten years ago. The investigation also holds that the Board of Trustees failed to perform oversight duties.

    Sophisticated US-Mexico ‘drugs tunnels’ discovered, http://bbc.in/Si6fuf
    Two tunnels, likely created for smuggling drugs, have been found under the United States and Mexico border. Both appear to be relatively new, but stand apart from the other 150 tunnels found since 1990. Specifically, they are not crude passageways and have lighting and ventilation. The first unfinished tunnel started underneath a bathroom sink in a warehouse in Tijuana. The second began in an ice plant and led to a “nondescript building” in Arizona.

    Drought stretches across America, threatens crops, http://bit.ly/MpSSE1
    Over 1000 counties have been declared natural disaster areas as the worst drought in 25 years spreads across the United States this summer. 26 states, spreading from Nevada to South Carolina, are experiencing drought conditions. Not only are these areas suffering from record-setting heatwaves, dangerous storms, and devastating wildfires, but farmers are also worried about poor yields. According to some corn farmers, the plants are half as tall as they should be. The past 12 months have been the warmest that the US has experienced since records began in 1895.

    CULTURAL:

    Taylor Swift, Rihanna Top Forbes List Of Top-Earning Celebs Under 30, http://on.mtv.com/LOoetr

    Blake Griffin to miss Olympics, http://es.pn/NuNcYP

    Guns of Outlaws Bonnie and Clyde to Be Auctioned, http://abcn.ws/NH2GMP

    Joe Paterno Nike Changing Name of Child Care Center, http://bit.ly/M6VFW5

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

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



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

    The Egyptian Parliament meets despite military orders; North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has a mystery woman; and an Indiana abortion law is ruled illegal. Meanwhile, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are officially divorced, and Michael Phelps opens up about his final Olympics.

    Maureen + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Egyptian Parliamentary Deputies Defy Court and Military, http://nyti.ms/MXN2xW
    Despite Egyptian judges and military dissolving the country’s legislature last month, Parliament still held a brief session today. The session only lasted long enough to approve a proposal by the speaker, Saad el-Katatni of the Muslim Brotherhood, to refer the matter of Parliament’s dissolution by the military to the Court of Cassation, a high appeals court. The Parliament is supported by President Mohamed Morsi, also of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was elected last month in the country’s first free elections. This is the latest chapter in the power struggle by the dueling claims to Egypt’s emerging politics.

    What Kim’s ‘mystery woman’ says about North Korea, http://bit.ly/LcYsNU
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has a mystery woman. Given the deadly secrecy surrounding the leader, no one knows whether the woman is his sister, wife, lover, or friend. The woman has been seen accompanying the leader to the Pyongyang Theatre, the Kumsusan Palace, and was next to him at the anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s death. One expert believes that this woman is his wife and that her presence is intended to make Kim Jong Un seem more personable.

    Indiana abortion law ruled illegal, http://bit.ly/OtY4al
    Federal Hearing Officer Benjamin Cohen ruled an Indiana law illegal that would have kept low-income women from using Medicaid funding for any preventative health care from Planned Parenthood. Cohen deemed that the law would deny women the freedom to choose health care providers. Federal law already makes it illegal to use Medicaid funds to pay for abortions, but this more-restrictive law would have restricted “access to basic, lifesaving services such as Pap tests, breast exams, STD testing and treatment, and birth control,” according to Planned Parenthood of Indiana President Betty Cockrum.

    CULTURAL:

    Suri Cruise Triggered Divorce Settlement, http://bit.ly/LcXjpB

    Michael Phelps Opens Up About Final Olympics – and That Infamous Pot Photo, http://bit.ly/Miw2zH

    “Fifty Shades of Grey” Movie — The “Social Network” Connection, http://bit.ly/LF3K6

    Kourtney Kardashian, Scott Disick Welcome a Baby Girl! And Her Name Is… http://eonli.ne/NZX7Wh

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

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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, June 28, 2012

    Thursday, June 28th, 2012

    SCOTUS upholds the Affordable Care Act; The Washington Post refuses to retract its article on Romney and Bain; and SCOTUS strikes down the Stolen Valor Act. Meanwhile, Google showcases its Nexus 7, and Anthony Davis trademarks his brow.

    Maureen + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare, http://bre.ad/1bs9md
    The Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act’s individual health-care mandate earlier this morning, giving support to President Obama. The law had been challenged in several states due to a provision of the law that requires all Americans to buy health insurance. This morning, SCOTUS upheld this mandate as a tax. Four justices dissented, but Chief Justice John Roberts joined the majority opinion to rule that the mandate is constitutional.

    High court tosses law making it a crime to lie about military medals, http://bit.ly/LwtWte
    The Affordable Care Act ruling wasn’t the only decision the Supreme Court made today. The Chief Justices also ruled 6-3 that the Stolen Valor Act violates freedom of speech. The court struck down the controversial law, which made it a crime to lie about winning military honors. In its decision, the court added that the act did have “substantial justification,” and could be rewritten by Congress in a narrower fashion that wouldn’t violate the First Amendment.

    Washington Post declines Romney request to retract article on Bain Capital, http://bit.ly/MsFKlD
    Despite a request from the Mitt Romeny campaign, a spokesperson for The Washington Post confirms that the newspaper will not retract a controversial report about Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital. Published earlier this month, the article found that the venture capital firm Romney helmed invested in firms that specialized in outsourcing American jobs.

    CULTURAL:

    Google showcase Nexus 7 tablet at I/O 2012 launch event, http://bit.ly/MVDWQy
    Apple’s iPad has some new competition. Google unveiled its first tablet computer, Nexus 7, at its annual developer conference yesterday. The 7-inch device, built and co-branded in partnership with hardware maker Asus, costs only $199. It features the new version of Google Android, a front-facing camera, a 1280×800 resolution screen, and an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor.

    ‘Vampire Diaries’ star Kat Graham rocks the vote at Pure, http://bit.ly/NRFiwF

    NBA Draft Stud Anthony Davis BROW Down To My Trademark, http://bit.ly/MsuYM8

    Teary Ann Curry says farewell to ‘Today,’ http://bit.ly/Qs4BoU

    Matt Damon could join Jeremy Renner in ‘Bourne 5,’ producer says,“ http://bre.ad/1c7efb

    David Beckham Fails to Make British Olympic Team, http://bit.ly/Ozllfy

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

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