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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

     CRUCIAL

    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.”

    CULTURAL

    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, March 26, 2014

    Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

    POTUS’s Secret Service agents are sent home after a night of heavy drinking; the Copenhagen Zoo euthanizes more animals; a school board allows the girl who shaved her head to return to school; and a 19-year-old Naval Academy football player dies after collapsing in practice. Meanwhile, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin split up; David Archuleta returns to the United States; and the cause of Paul Walker’s car crash is revealed.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Secret Service agents on Obama detail sent home from Netherlands after night of drinking: http://rtvote.com/1l40NtD
    Three Secret Service agents who were supposed to be protecting President Obama this week on his trip to Amsterdam went out drinking and were sent home and put on administrative leave. One agent was found passed out drunk in the hallway of a hotel. The hotel contacted the US Embassy in the Netherlands after the passed out agent was found. They then alerted Secret Service leaders who were with the president. An investigation is pending.

    Copenhagen Zoo kills 4 lions, weeks after shooting giraffe: http://rtvote.com/1gXSuua
    The same zoo in Denmark responsible for euthanizing a healthy giraffe in February is under fire again for euthanizing four lions to make way for a new one. The lions killed were two young lions that were dubbed “too young” to live on their own and their parents. Tobias Stenbaek Bro, spokesman for the Copenhagen Zoo, said that they tried to send the four lions to another home, but no one was interested. The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria stated that the Copenhagen Zoo had not broken any laws or violated any conduct codes.

    Mississippi moves to execute its 1st female prisoner since 1944: http://rtvote.com/1j3uKtG
    A Mississippi woman accused of hiring someone to murder her husband in 1999 is set to be executed by lethal injection, becoming the first woman in 70 years to be executed in Mississippi. Michelle Byrom had been convicted of plotting to kill her abusive husband with her son and another man. However, some people believe that she deserves to live, especially because her son has confessed to murdering his father four different times. The execution is set to occur on Thursday.

    Board allows girl who shaved head for friend to return: http://rtvote.com/1p61TGQ
    Kamryn Renfro was told on Monday that she would not be allowed to go to school because her shaved head violated the school’s dress code. Renfro shaved her head to support her best friend Delaney Clemets, who is undergoing chemotherapy for neuroblastoma and lost her hair. The original story sparked tremendous outrage earlier this week, but Renfro’s mother is now asking all the negativity to stop. The board held a special meeting on Tuesday, voting 3-1 in favor of letting Renfro return to school with a shaved head.

    19-year-old Navy RB Will McKamey dies while in coma: http://rtvote.com/1gXWoTL
    Will McKamey passed away while in a coma Tuesday night after collapsing during a Naval Academy football practice on Saturday. He was taken to Baltimore Shock Trauma and underwent surgery on Sunday to relieve pressure from the brain. McKamey’s mother said that he had collapsed before in high school and had been seen by various neurosurgeons to be scanned and cleared for contact sports. McKamey passed away with his family present, and funeral arrangements are pending.

    CULTURAL

    Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin split: http://rtvote.com/1dNuSbC

    Police investigation reveals the cause of Paul Walker’s car crash: http://rtvote.com/1h9RxU1

    David Archuleta returns from a 2-year mission trip: http://rtvote.com/1iApm0s

    The white tiger that almost killed Siegfried & Roy’s Roy dies: http://rtvote.com/1rA4H1j

    Pharrell says Hillary Clinton will be the next President: http://rtvote.com/1juRfue

    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, February 5, 2014

    Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

    Four people were arrested after being connected to the drugs found at Philip Seymour Hoffman’s apartment; Sochi hotels are nowhere near ready for people; CVS is ending their sale of tobacco; and Shaun White withdraws from an Olympic event. Meanwhile, the future of Paul Walker’s estate is revealed; Kylie Jenner is in the hospital; shocking news about Selena Gomez is released to the public; and controversy surrounds The Biggest Loser winner.

    -Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    4 arrested in connection with Hoffman drugs: http://rtvote.com/1kTwYvy
    Three men and one woman were arrested in a drug raid last night. Police believed those people were responsible for selling the heroin found in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s apartment after his death. The raid uncovered 350 bags of heroin. Law enforcement officials have been gathering information on Hoffman’s last days to determine where he got the drugs. Hoffman had been a drug addict in the past, but was clean for over twenty years before relapsing last year.

    You can’t flush toilet paper in Sochi: http://rtvote.com/1eU7KYD
    Although the Winter Olympics start Friday, many people are saying that Sochi isn’t ready for the crowds. People have posted on Twitter and Facebook about a slew of problems, including how the bedrooms are tight and bare, the toilets don’t flush, some rooms don’t have heat, and others don’t have water. The government is dealing with stray dogs to prevent them from bothering visitors, and they are still on the lookout for potential terrorist threats.

    CVS ending tobacco sales: http://rtvote.com/1eqpQGO
    The popular drug store CVS announced that it will stop selling tobacco products.  Tobacco sales make up 3% of total sales and accounts for $2 billion in revenue. CVS president says that stopping the sale of tobacco products will ultimately protect the health of their customers and improves CVS’s reputation as a “health company”.

    Shaun White withdraws from slopestyle: http://rtvote.com/1dqBc7q
    The infamous US snowboarder Shaun White has decided to withdrawal from slopestyle snowboarding– 24 hours before he was due to compete. He was not favored in slopestyle, further adding to his decision to leave that competition. Instead, White wants to focus on bringing home his third gold medal in halfpipe snowboarding, which would make him the only American man to ever win an event in three consecutive Winter Olympics.

    CULTURAL

    Selena Gomez went to rehab?! Since when? http://rtvote.com/1iqyrId

    Paul Walker’s daughter inherits fortune: http://rtvote.com/1jfZKs5

    Kylie Jenner’s in the hospital because of a trampoline: http://rtvote.com/1brhedb

    Did The Biggest Loser winner lose too much? http://rtvote.com/1jg0NZd

    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: December 4, 2013

    Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

    A Hezbollah commander is gunned down; a truck carrying dangerous radioactive substances is stolen in Mexico; and a man survives at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean for 3 days. Meanwhile, Kris Jenner and Ben Flajnik enjoy a date night, and Olympian Tom Daley reveals the identity of his 39-year-old, Oscar-winning boyfriend.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Hezbollah commander ‘assassinated’ outside Beirut homehttp://rtvote.com/1izefrb
    Gunmen shot and killed a senior Hezbollah commander on Wednesday, and the Iranian-backed group is blaming Israel for the attack. The commander, Hassan al-Laqis, held some of Hezbollah’s most sensitive portfolios and was close to leader Nasrallah. Israeli officials are denying any involvement. 

    Bill Beckwith, host of HGTV’s ‘Curb Appeal,’ killed in crashhttp://rtvote.com/1jlm4yK
    Just days after Paul Walker died in a tragic auto accident, we lose yet another celebrity in a similar situation. Bill Beckwith, host of HGTV’s ‘Curb Appeal’, passed away Monday night in a motorcycle accident, where his bike collided with another vehicle in San Francisco.  Beckwith was only 38 years old. Rest in peace, Bill. You will be missed.

    Mexican truck with radioactive load stolenhttp://rtvote.com/18CvQe2
    The International Atomic Energy Agency says a truck carrying an extremely dangerous radioactive substance has been stolen in Tepojaco, Mexico. The truck was carrying cobalt-60, which is used for radiotherapy treatment to combat cancer. The U.N. nuclear agency warns that the load will be “extremely dangerous” if damaged or removed from its protective shielding.

    Police: Teacher flees U.S. after sex abuse allegationshttp://rtvote.com/1azdhBj
    Yee Tak Sharon Kui, 25, taught at The Frost School, a private education school for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disabilities. Police began investigating sex abuse allegations against Kui, and they believe she was texting a 15-year-old autistic boy and had sex with him twice. Kui, facing charges, has fled to China to avoid prosecution; Montgomery County police are requesting Kui’s extradition by Chinese authorities.

    Nigerian man survives 3 days at bottom of Atlantichttp://rtvote.com/189IOPK
    At the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, divers were pulling corpses out of a sunken tugboat – and then a hand suddenly grabbed one of the divers. Harrison Odjegba Okene, the boat’s Nigerian cook, survived for three days by breathing the oxygen in a small air pocket. The temperature dropped to freezing, and Okene was dressed only in boxer shorts. None of the other 11 crewmembers survived.

     

    CULTURAL

    Kris Jenner and Ben Flajnik Have “Date Night” at Nobu, Beyonce Concert, http://rtvote.com/18lXlmj

    Olympian Tom Daley’s Oscar-Winning Boyfriend Revealed: Find Out Who He Is, http://rtvote.com/18lXEgR

    Keira Knightley Wears Her Chanel Haute Couture Wedding Dress on the Red Carpet for the Second Time,http://rtvote.com/1kaTRIv

    Jason Biggs: Paul Walker-Inspired Tip Jars at Coffee Bean Seem “Exploitive” and “in Poor Taste,”http://rtvote.com/190Ubbi

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: December 3, 2013

    Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

    A former medical technician is sentenced to 39 years for causing a multistate outbreak of hepatitis C; an American, who has been imprisoned in Cuba for the past four years, pleads for rescue; and Seattle Seahawks fans cause (another) earthquake. Meanwhile, Paul Walker’s private vigil was a beautiful show of love and support, and Dylan Sprouse makes some pretty awesome (and wise) statements to counter Joe Jonas’ whining over Disney and fame.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Ex-hospital worker gets 39 years for causing hepatitis C outbreak,http://rtvote.com/1c9aGiI
    A former New Hampshire medical technician was convicted for causing a multistate outbreak of hepatitis C last year. David Kwiatkowski began working at the Exeter Hospital ten months after he was diagnosed with hepatitis C. He injected himself with stolen syringes of the painkiller fentanyl from patients scheduled for surgery, tainting them with his blood, and then he filled them with saline and replaced the syringes for use in medical procedures. Thirty people were diagnosed with the potentially fatal virus because of Kwiatkowski.

    Obama to launch new health care law campaignhttp://rtvote.com/1jh0cVh
    The Affordable Care Act has come under a lot of political pressure since its rollout in October. In the coming weeks, the Obama administration will highlight what they call successful aspects of the law. They plan on educating the public on Obamacare by emphasizing a different benefit each day until the December 23rdenrollment deadline for January 1st coverage.

    Prisoner in Cuba appeals to Obamahttp://rtvote.com/1cjmQJj
    Alan Gross, 64, is an American who has been imprisoned in Cuba for the past four years. He was a subcontractor within the U.S. Agency for International Development, who was arrested for trying to set up Internet access, which would have bypassed local restrictions, for Cuba’s small Jewish community. The Associated Press reported that Cuba considers USAID’s programs illegal attempts by the U.S. to undermine their government. Gross, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison, feels like the U.S. government has forgotten and abandoned him.

    Couple fined for negative online reviewhttp://rtvote.com/187UthU
    In 2008, John Palmer bought Christmas gifts for his wife off of a site called KlearGear.com. When the purchases never arrived, his wife, Jen Palmer, posted a negative review of the site on ripoffreport.com. More than three years later, KlearGear.com fined the couple $3,500 for allegedly violating its terms of use contract, which prohibits the customer from taking any negative action against KlearGear.com. The site reported the couple’s unpaid fine to a collections agency, and their credit score took a huge hit. The Palmers are fighting back and seeking justice. Legal experts warn that more companies are using this type of language in the fine print as protection.

    Seattle Seahawks fans caused an ‘earthquake’ on Monday night,http://rtvote.com/18eMxtd
    Fans inside CenturyLink Field got so excited over Michael Bennett’s 22-yard fumble return for a touchdown Monday night that their jumping registered a magnitude 1 or 2 earthquake. And this isn’t the first time. The first seismic outburst caused by fans in CenturyLink Field was in 2011 when Marshawn Lynch made a legendary touchdown run that clinched a playoff win for the Seahawks over the Saints.

     

    CULTURAL

    Natalie Portman: Chris Hemsworth’s Wife Elsa Pataky Grabbed a Wig and Stood in for Me in Thor: The Dark World Love Scene, http://rtvote.com/1jhaTac

    Paul Walker’s Private Vigil: Vin Diesel Addresses Fans, Family Members Pay Respects at Crash Site, http://rtvote.com/IJK9lk

    Dylan Sprouse Calls Joe Jonas’ Disney Grievances B.S.: He “Fell for the Allure of Fame,” http://rtvote.com/1cjuT8V

    Elan Gale Hoax: Bachelor Producer Admits He Faked Thanksgiving Airplane Travel Feud, http://rtvote.com/IEwrzo

    sandywu
    Bio:

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