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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

    A shipwreck in South Korea leaves nearly 300 missing; a large al Qaeda meeting video surfaces and unsettles United States intelligence; a cold case has been solved after over 40 years; and two backpacks wreak havoc at the Boston Marathon Commemorative Ceremonies. Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus lands in the hospital; Paul Walker’s brothers will help finish filming Fast & Furious 7; and Pharrell shares a “Happy” moment with Oprah despite some tears.

    - Veronica + Maura


    Rescuers search dark, cold sea for survivors of shipwreck off South Korea: http://rtvote.com/1t9Riha
    300 people are still missing after a ferry, charged with taking passengers to a South Korean resort, capsized and sank Wednesday. Rescue teams are still searching the Yellow Sea for potential survivors. Out of the 459 people on board, four people (three men and one woman) are known to be dead and 164 have been rescued. Most of the passengers were students and teachers from a high school in Seoul, who were on a four-day field trip to an island resort nearby. A loud bang was heard before the ship began to rapidly take on water. The crew told the passengers to put on lifejackets and jump into the ocean. Some survivors said they tried to help people get out, but were not able to in time. The cause of the accident remains a mystery.

    Unsettling video shows large al Qaeda meeting in Yemen: http://rtvote.com/1qJdDjo
    A video deemed authentic by the US government shows what has been considered the largest gathering of al Qaeda militants in years. What’s more, either the CIA or the Pentagon did not know the gathering was occurring or they could not get a drone there in time. US officials have yet to comment on their lack of action, but the video is being heavily analyzed by US intelligence. Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the group’s second in command leader worldwide, is depicted to be standing in the open greeting followers, completely unconcerned that he could be hit by a drone strike. He said in his speech: “We must eliminate the cross…. The bearer of the cross is America.” Experts say there is cause for worry, stating that the recent video means that a new round of plotting is at hand. The al Qaeda group in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is the most dangerous sect of the terrorist organization.

    Case of missing South Dakota girls solved after 40 years: http://rtvote.com/1mcP4th
    Pamela Jackson and Cheryl Miller were on their way to a party in 1971 when they mysteriously disappeared without a trace. Authorities originally believed it was homicide, but were forced to drop the charges against the accused man due to false evidence. Since then, the case was considered a cold case. Last September, a car was found in a creek near the girls’ destinations. Inside were skeletal remains found in the cab of the car and Miller’s driver’s license, as well as personal items like notes and photographs. DNA analysis of the remains confirmed the identities of Jackson and Miller. There was no sign of alcohol, the keys were in the car’s ignition, the car was in gear, and a tire was damaged. 40 years later, the police are finally able to provide the families with a definitive answer: the girls’ deaths were an accident.

    Man with ‘hoax device’ frays nerves at Boston Marathon site: http://rtvote.com/1gANfSa
    Commemorative ceremonies for the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing had just ended when police found two backpacks and a suspicious person, forcing them to evacuate the area. The man was lurking with a backpack near the Boylston Street finish line and was “acting peculiarly”. The Boston Police Department called in the bomb squad and blew up both backpacks as a precaution. Police also arrested the man, the owner of only one of the bags, who said the bag contained a rice cooker. The contents of the other bag are unknown. The man was arrested and charged with possession of a hoax device, disturbing the peace, and disorderly conduct.

    Casual marijuana use linked to brain changes: http://rtvote.com/Qpuue1
    A study published in a neuroscience journal found that recreation marijuana use (as in, using a few times a week) is “enough to physically alter crucial brain structures”. Since there is little research on the effects of casual marijuana smoking, this study shed some light on the subject. Hans Breiter, the leader of the study, analyzed the brains of 20 light marijuana users and 20 nonsmokers. The brains of the smokers began to change in two major areas- the areas linked with emotion, motivation, and mental illnesses. The study parallels with the study of Staci Gruber, who focused on a batch of heavier marijuana smokers but found similar results. She said that the studies show that marijuana “is not quite the benign substance people thought it was.”


    Miley Cyrus lands in the hospital: http://rtvote.com/P5h4TE

    Paul Walker’s brothers to complete Fast & Furious 7 scenes: http://rtvote.com/1qJx0sP

    After a terminal brain cancer diagnosis, Valerie Harper says she is cancer-free! http://rtvote.com/1qJy3Ji

    Pharrell sheds tears with Oprah: watch the video! http://rtvote.com/1gGITfR

    Get the inside scoop on how Mila stays fit and healthy during her pregnancy: http://rtvote.com/1qJF0tD

    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: Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

    Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

    President Obama is expected to nominate Jack Lew as Treasury Secretary; Syrian rebels release Iranian hostages in exchange for prisoners; 57 are injured in an NYC ferry crash; the U.S. may remove all troops from Afghanistan come 2014; the National Cathedral will host same-sex weddings; and Joe Biden will meet with the NRA today. Meanwhile, “Lincoln” leads the BAFTA nominations; Kate Middleton turns 31; and Glenn Beck will relaunch his media company.



    Iranians held by Syria rebels released, http://bbc.in/UAbHbH
    The Free Syrian Army will release 48 Iranian hostages in exchange for 2,130 rebel prisoners being held by the Syrian government. Syrian rebels say the hostages were carrying out a mission for the Syrian government, which is closely allied with Iran. Iranian authorities admit that some of the hostages were former members of the armed forces, but claim that they were only in Syria to visit a shrine. The deal was brokered by Turkey and Qatar, which have both supported the Free Syrian Army.

    Obama Said to Name Jack Lew to Replace Geithner at Treasury, http://bloom.bg/13iqM7s
    President Obama is expected to nominate his chief of staff, Jack Lew, to replace Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary. Geithner recently announced that he plans to leave the position at the end of the month. Lew will have to hit the ground running as his next task is working with congress on the debt ceiling.

    More than 50 injured after Seastreak ferry crashes into Pier 11, http://bit.ly/WteCTq
    At least 57 people are reportedly injured after a ferry crashed into a pier near Wall Street early Wednesday morning. The Coast Guard, NYPD, and FDNY rushed to the scene. The extent of the injuries is not yet known.

    U.S. does not rule out removing all troops from Afghanistan, http://reut.rs/XKyV5f
    The White House announced Tuesday that it would consider removing all troops from Afghanistan instead of keeping the recommended 15,000 in the country. The “zero-option” is one “we would consider,” said Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes. There are currently 66,000 troops in Afghanistan with this number being gradually reduced through 2014 when the NATO combat mission ends. The amount of troops removed from the country will depend on whether or not Afghanistan becomes a place to house al Qaeda and if Afghan troops can be successfully trained for defense measures.

    Amid protests, China’s communist censors say their control over media is ‘unshakable’, http://wapo.st/13e1Ajp
    Anti-censorship protests in China’s region of Guangzhou have caused the government to issue an “urgent memo” stating that the Communist Party’s control over the media is “unshakable.” “The party has absolute control over the media,” the Propaganda Department insisted in the memo. The protests in Guangzhou resulted in clashes between “new leftists,” or government supporters who carried photos of Mao Zedong, and anti-censorship demonstrators. The memo also ordered that all media publications and websites “prominently republish” an editorial that reinforces the government’s censorship policies.

    The National Cathedral will become one of the first Episcopal congregations to host same-sex marriages. Same-sex marriage is legal in both Washington, DC and Maryland. “I read the Bible as seriously as fundamentalists do,” the cathedral’s dean Rev. Gary Hall said. “And my reading of the Bible leads me to want me to do this because I think it’s being faithful to the kind of community Jesus would have us be.”

    Biden, NRA to meet on guns, http://bit.ly/11chICE
    As leader of the White House’s newly created gun violence task force, Joe Biden will meet with the NRA Wednesday to discuss stricter gun laws. Biden’s task force has been working on significant changes to current gun laws and will send them to President Obama at the end of the month. The NRA has consistently rejected creating stricter gun laws, but said it would send a representative to the task force’s meeting “to hear what they have to say.”


    Armstrong Set to Appear on Oprah Next Week, as New Allegation Surfaces, http://nyti.ms/10dyQIV

    Singer Amy Winehouse died watching YouTube videos of herself after vodka binge, inquest hears, http://bit.ly/VQeE8n

    Kate Middleton Turns 31: How She’s Celebrating Her Birthday, http://usm.ag/RG18XC

    EE British Academy Film Awards Nominations in 2013, http://bit.ly/ZpeTJ6

    Glenn Beck Relaunching The Blaze As Global Libertarian News Network, http://bit.ly/REGdnJ

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

    News Round-Up: Friday, June 15, 2012

    Friday, June 15th, 2012

    The Obama administration announces a new policy that will cut down on deportation of immigrants; Egyptian activists protest the presidential runoff; and President Obama visits 1 World Trade Center. In other news, Vizio launches an affordable line of high-end computers, and Oprah Winfrey grills the Kardashians.

    Maureen + Caitlin


    Activists call for protests on eve of Egypt’s presidential runoff, http://bit.ly/OQSbGq
    Egyptian voters are protesting after yesterday’s ruling by the Supreme Constitutional Court that the Islamist-led Parliament is invalid and that Ahmed Shafik, the last prime minister to serve under former dictator Hosni Mubarak, may run in a presidential-runoff election. The election between the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi and Shafik will take place this weekend.

    Obama at WTC: President visits World Trade Center to review rebuilding, sign steel, http://nydn.us/OQPzs4
    The President and First Lady visited 1 World Trade Center yesterday. They viewed the National September 11 Memorial from 22 floors above, marveling at its beauty. President Obama and Mrs. Obama also signed one of the final steel beams that will be added to the tower, which will rise to a symbolic 1,776 feet once completed. President Obama wrote, “We remember. We rebuild. We come back stronger!”

    Immunity offered to certain immigrantshttp://bit.ly/KH1OF8
    Under a new policy from the Obama administration, illegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they meet specific requirements. These requirements are similar to the DREAM Act of 2011, which passed in the House but failed in the Senate.In order to avoid deportation, immigrants must have been brought to the United States before they turned 16; they also have to be younger than 30, have to have lived in country for at least five continuous years, and they cannot have a criminal history. Requirements also include that they have graduated from a U.S. high school, earned a GED, or served in the military. The policy will allow 16-year-olds to apply for a work permit.

    Vizio launches line of drool-worthy bargain-price PCshttp://fxn.ws/MWFrP9
    Vizio, one of the top television sellers in the U.S., just announced a line of high-end, low-price computers. The new PCs announced yesterday begin at $898 for a 14-inch “think-and-light” laptop, comparable to Apple’s 11-inch MacBook Air at $999. The high end of Vizio’s line is the 27-inch all-in-one desktop, which starts at $1098.


    ‘That’s My Boy’: The Reviews Are In! http://on.mtv.com/Kzc0nJ

    Comic-Con: Take a look at TV lineup so far, http://bit.ly/L0X8OY

    Oprah Winfrey Grills Kardashians on Kim’s Brief Marriage, http://bit.ly/L0XhSF

    Jury Dismisses Baldwin’s Lawsuit Against Costner, http://bit.ly/LLbIHc

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

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

    News Round-up: Friday, November 18, 2011

    Friday, November 18th, 2011

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Myanmar; the man who attempted to assassinate President Obama calls himself a modern-day Jesus; a Syracuse assistant basketball coach has been accused of molestation; and the LAPD will take a second look at Natalie Wood’s death. In entertainment news, Ashton and @MrsKutcher will divorce, and Regis Philbin says goodbye to Live!.

    Coral + Caitlin


    Clinton Set to Visit Myanmar as Obama Cites Progress, http://goo.gl/95RgQ
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Myanmar next month. She will be the first U.S. diplomat to do so in 50 years. The visit comes on the heels of a proclamation President Obama made while visiting Indonesia, “For decades Americans have been deeply concerned about the denial of basic human rights for the Burmese people,” said Obama. “But after years of darkness, we’ve seen flickers of progress in these last several weeks.” The president was referring to Myanmar’s new civilian system headed by previous general Thein Sein. Obama also personally called Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Laureate who was released from government imposed house arrest last year, and asked her to support Clinton’s visit. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won elections in 1990, but the results were censored by the military government, which has been power ever since.

    Accused White House shooter says he’s Jesus, http://goo.gl/yNq8F
    Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, the 21-year-old man charged with attempting to assassinate President Obama, claimed to be a modern-day Jesus in a video he filmed as a pitch to Oprah. In the 45 minute video, the Idaho man rants against the U.S. government, compliments Madonna’s fashion sense, and shares his dislike of beer pong. Ortega’s mother says he has no history of mental illness.

    Syracuse Putting Coach on Leave, http://goo.gl/RhnN9
    Bernie Fine, an assistant basketball coach at Syracuse University, has been placed on leave after local police announced they were investigating him for child molestation. A spokesman for the school said Syracuse investigated Fine in 2005 after an adult male claimed he had molested him in the 1980s. The school also said the police were not involved in the investigation as the statute of limitations had expired. The investigation has now been reignited due to new claims.

    Boat captain alleges actor Robert Wagner responsible for Natalie Wood’s death, http://goo.gl/kiC9h
    Dennis Davern, the former captain of the boat actress Natalie Wood drowned on, has come forward saying that her husband, actor Robert Wagner, is responsible for her death. Davern told the Today show that “we didn’t take any steps to see if we could locate her,” and that Wagner tried to keep the investigation under wraps. Wagner, Wood, and Christopher Walken were boating off of Santa Catalina island when Wood drowned in what was deemed an accident despite reports that a verbal argument occurred before her death. In light of new information, the LAPD has re-opened the case.

    Gingrich think tank collected millions from health-care industry, http://goo.gl/SZ5FW
    Center for Health Action, a think tank founded and run by Newt Gingrich, was paid $37 million over 8 years by healthcare companies and industry groups. Center for Health Action recommended a mandate saying that people who earn over $50,000 a year must buy health insurance or post a bond, a similar decree to the one found in Obama’s health care policy. Gingrich resigned from the think tank this year so he could run for president.

    Supercommittee appears unlikely to reach agreement, http://goo.gl/MnLWx
    With speculation increasing that the supercommittee will not reach a deficit deal, many are wondering what will happen. The Washington Post says nothing will result from it. The drastic cuts put in place to motivate a deal before the November 23 deadline will not be implemented until January 2013, leaving Congress a year to work out alternative plans. Some lawmakers are already planning for a post-election budget fight with Democrats hoping to gain leverage from the expiration of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts. Meanwhile, Republicans like John McCain are promising to prevent the $54 billion cuts to the Pentagon.

    Group in U.S. Hoped for Big Payday in Offer to Help Qaddafi, http://goo.gl/id2EV
    The New York Times is reporting that a Washington terrorism expert, a former CIA officer, a Republican operative, a Kansas City lawyer, and others promised Muammar Gaddafi they would lobby for him and arrange his exit from Libya in exchange for  $10 million. A Belgian member of the group also offered to help Gaddafi win the support of the United States. Gaddafi was killed before the Treasury approved the license the consultants needed in order to take payment from Libya.


    Regis Philbin Signs Off After 28 Years of Live!http://goo.gl/17oHV

    Finally! Beyonce Reveals Her Wedding Dress from 2008 Nuptials, http://goo.gl/MdxYS

    Ashton Kutcher Gets Back to Work Right After Divorce Announcement, http://goo.gl/yLIgR

    Dodgers Accuse FOX Of Illegally Interfering With Sale Of Team, http://goo.gl/NKeqm

    ‘Breaking Dawn’ Fans Travel Cross-Country For Midnight Premiere, http://goo.gl/4oLsN


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

    News Round-Up: Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

    LA City Councilwoman Janice Hahn wins a House seat, Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry receives a Medal of Honor, Senator Mitch McConnell proposes a controversial debt plan, France says Gadhafi will most likely step down, and Pakistan threatens to withdraw troops from its border. Also, Obama’s re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee have raised a combined $86 million since April, Mitt Romney has rejected the Family Leader’s ‘Marriage Vow’ Pledge, the youth unemployment rate is more than 17%, and Netflix is raising its prices.

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry


    (via POLITICO Breaking News)
    Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, a Democrat, has won the special election to represent a Southern California House seat, the Associated Press reported. Hahn beat Republican Craig Huey 54.56 percent to 45.44 percent, according to the Los Angeles County clerk’s office.

    Army Ranger receives Medal of Honor for Afghanistan heroics,
    Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry is the second living soldier from the Iraq and Afghan wars to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Petry was shot in both legs and lost a hand after throwing an enemy grenade away from his fellow soldiers. “To be singled out is very humbling. I consider every one of our men and women in uniform to be our heroes,” he said.

    Debt Talk Mired, Leader for G.O.P. Proposes Option,
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has angered Conservatives with his new debt proposal. McConnell wants Congress to allow President Obama to raise the debt ceiling without its prior approval of spending cuts. While some Conservatives think this plan will place any potential blame on Obama and benefit the GOP, others find it a panicked retreat.

    France Says Gadhafi Aides Hinted at His Exit,
    Negotiations to end Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s 41-year regime in Libya have not yet began; however, emissaries suggest that the leader is “ready to go.” France and other NATO allies are currently conducting airstrikes against his forces. US State Dept. officials are less optimistic about the development, calling the messages “contradictory.”

    Pakistan might withdraw border troops, defense minister says,
    The US announced earlier this week that it would suspend US military aid to Pakistan. In response, Pakistan’s Defense Minister has threatened to withdraw thousands of troops from the country’s border, which would “undermine Washington interests” in the area.

    (via POLITICO Breaking News)
    President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign and the Democratic National Committee raised a combined $86 million between April and June, blowing past the combined $60 million goal set by both groups at the start of the fundraising quarter. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina announced the total in a video released before dawn Wednesday, touting the 552,462 donors who contributed as “more grassroots support at this point in the process than any campaign in political history.” Of the $86 million raised, Messina said over $47 million went into the coffers of Obama for America and more than $38 million went to the DNC.

    Mitt Romney Rejects The Family Leader’s ‘Marriage Vow’ Pledge,
    After rival presidential candidates, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum signed a controversial Conservative pledge, Romney has decided to reject it. The pledge denounces gay marriage, pornography, gays in the military, and Islamic law.

    The Glum and the Restless,
    More than 17 percent of 16-to-24-year-olds looking for work cannot find a job. Youth unemployment is not only a big issue for the economy, but also for the President as he looks for youth support in 2012

    Netflix raises DVD, streaming plan price by 60 percent,
    Netflix might be best known for its DVD mail service, but the company sees video streaming as its future. New subscribers will have to pay extra for a DVD-only plan, and the streaming plans are now sold separately. Many Netflix users are outraged at the 60% price increases.


    Breaking: Ted Danson takes over ‘CSI,’ http://bit.ly/o2oVMQ

    Struggling Oprah Network to Name New CEO: Oprah, http://on.wsj.com/q6AZ9U

    Terrafugia Transition: Flying Car Approved For Road Use By NHTSA, http://huff.to/pNmwI5

    ‘X Factor’ Preview Signals Return Of Simon And Paula, http://on.mtv.com/pJqAsx

    Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to finally marry? http://bit.ly/n1pQVN

    Katie Scholick
    Bio: Duke University, Class of 2013 Majoring in Psychology, Certificate in Markets and Management.

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