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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, April 9, 2014

    Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

    A stabbing at a Pennsylvania high school leaves 20 students injured; Rep. Vance McAllister’s staffer resigns after kissing incident; Police search for a possible serial sniper in Kansas City; and a new breakthrough in paralysis research has occurred. Meanwhile, Jimmy Fallon and Anne Hathaway put a cabaret spin on some top hip hop songs; Prince George has a play date down under; and Miley discusses her freedom without Disney or Liam Hemsworth.

    Shameless Plug Alert: Congratulations to the Philadelphia Flyers, my (Veronica’s) hometown hockey team, on clinching a NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs spot last night. Let’s go Flyers!

    - Veronica + Maura


    DEVELOPING STORY: 20 injured in Pittsburgh-area high school stabbing: http://rtvote.com/1qqQ250
    At least 20 students have been injured at Franklin Regional Senior High School near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. An adult is also being treated for an unspecified medical condition. Four students have been taken to the hospital via helicopter and some students’ injuries are life-threatening. A hallway and a classroom were the setting for the potentially deadly stabbing. All schools are now secure, but the district’s elementary schools are closed for the day. The suspect, a sophomore boy, is now in custody.

    Spinal cord work is unexpected shocker: ‘This is a breakthrough’: http://rtvote.com/1qiwa5T
    Neuroscientist Susan Harkema had been running a study to try to learn more about “nerve pathways” by stimulating the spinal cords of paralyzed people through electricity. However, she managed to enable her patients to move their legs. All of her patients have been able to move their toes, move their legs around, sit up on their own, and even do sit ups! Harkema says this is the first time electrical stimulation to the spine and show results. Co-founder of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis Dr. Barth Green says that “This is a breakthrough. It shows you can have a living spinal cord under the layer of their injury.” Scientists hope this will open the door to the possibility of new breakthroughs.

    Staffer caught kissing Rep. McAllister resigns, while Congressman keeps his job: http://rtvote.com/1k3Q4Qr
    Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) was caught on tape Monday kissing a staff member. The Congressman and the staffer, Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock, are both married. Peacock has since resigned her post as district scheduler to McAllister. McAllister, conversely, says he has “no plans to resign” and insists that he will campaign for reelection this year. On Monday, the Ouachita Citizen posted a surveillance video showing the two kissing. McAllister admitted the affair and apologized to his constituents: “I’m asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve.” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he was “pleased” with the apology, but he has not yet commented on whether McAllister should keep his job.

    Kansas City authorities seek perpetrator after some shootings linked: http://rtvote.com/1kKJBby
    The FBI has joined the hunt for a shooter in Kansas City, Missouri area. So far, thirteen shootings have been reported along parts of Interstate 435 and Interstate 470, most of which are near exit and interchange ramps. No one has been killed, but three people have been wounded; one was shot in the arm, the others were shot in the leg. Law enforcement believes that at least a part of the thirteen shootings are linked. The FBI and ATF have put out a $7000 reward for anyone who might know anything about the shootings or the possible shooter(s).

    UConn Women’s Basketball completes 40-0 season: http://rtvote.com/1k3Y9ED
    UConn’s women’s basketball team has completed their 40-0 season with a 79-58 win over Notre Dame. They are now repeat champions and it is the fifth time the team has gone undefeated under the head coach, Geno Auriemma. Auriemma has won nine National Titles in nine tries after the win. Notre Dame finished 37-1 after the loss.


    Paul Rudd joins Billy on the Street’s Billy Eichner for some Funny or Die fun: http://rtvote.com/R2X9GB

    Jimmy Fallon and Anne Hathaway sing Broadway versions of…rap songs? http://rtvote.com/1lKl5J3

    Prince George’s royal play date: http://rtvote.com/ODqMfM

    Miley Cyrus talks “being free”: http://rtvote.com/1eks0sJ

    Samantha Harris diagnosed with breast cancer, due to receive double mastectomy: http://rtvote.com/1hsHbR3

    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, May 24, 20013

    Friday, May 24th, 2013

    A bridge collapses in Washington; North Korea expresses its desire for peace; the C.I.A. shifts focus back to spying; an earthquake shakes eastern Russia; IRS director Lois Lerner placed on administrative leave; a photograph of the skyline of Pittsburgh was posted on Anthony Weiner’s campaign site; four tourists were rescued from an iceberg in Iceland, and the Boy Scouts of America vote to allow gay members. Meanwhile, A&E series ‘Intervention’ is cancelled, and Amanda Bynes is arrested.

    Maura + Alexis


    Wash. I-5 Bridge Collapse Caused by Oversize Load, http://apne.ws/1afkcQS
    At 7 p.m. on Thursday a bridge between Seattle and Canada unexpectedly collapsed. The blame was placed on a tractor-trailer carrying a tall load that must have hit a section of the top of the bridge sending it crashing down into the Skagit River. Two vehicles were sent into the water as a result of the collapse, but the three occupants incurred only minor injuries.

    North Korea says will take ‘positive steps’ for peace, http://reut.rs/18mTmXK
    A North Korean envoy told China’s president on Friday that his country desired to ensure peace and stability on the Korean peninsula. The United States has intervened, insisting that North Korea begin denuclearization before the dialogue between North Korea and China continues. China also encourages North Korea to return to the six party talks process, which is aimed at denuclearization.

    C.I.A. to Focus More on Spying, a Difficult Shift, http://nyti.ms/10pjkYY
    President Obama spoke at the National Defense University in Washington Thursday discussing changes in the nation’s counterterrorism strategy. Obama outlined a new plan to take back some of the power the C.I.A. used to have in deciding whom to go after and ultimately whom to kill via drone strikes. While some drone activity will continue, director of the C.I.A, John O. Brennan, is now trying to shift the C.I.A.’s focus back to traditional spying and strategic analysis.

    Powerful earthquake strikes eastern Russia, http://usat.ly/12RzY37
    An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 shook the ground in Russia’s Far East and even so far as Moscow in Russia Friday. The earthquake was reported by the U.S. Geological Survey as having a magnitude of 8.2. A tsunami warning was issued for Sakhalin and the Kuril islands but was lifted after a short period. The epicenter of the earthquake was traced back to the Sea of Okhotsk, just north of Japan.

    IRS Source: Lerner Placed On Administrative Leave, http://bit.ly/16Wu7ye
    The Internal Revenue Service’s Director of Exempt Organizations, Lois Lerner, has been placed on administrative leave. Lerner used her Fifth Amendment right and refused to answer questions at a House oversight-committee hearing Thursday stating only that she “did nothing wrong.”

    Anthony Weiner’s mayoral campaign website contains Pittsburgh skyline, http://nydn.us/1223hDf
    Just after announcing he will be running for mayor of New York, a photograph of Pittsburgh was posted on his campaign site, anthonyweiner.com. While some people missed the message, a host of Pittsburgh natives did not. After several bloggers and tweeters pointed out the mistake, the backdrop was quickly changed to a skyline including the empire state building.

    Tourists Rescued after Dining Out on Iceberg, http://bit.ly/YUANau
    Four tourists had to be rescued from an Iceberg in East Iceland Thursday afternoon after the piece of ice they were dining on broke away from the larger ice sheet and began to float away. One of the tourists managed to jump to shore before the iceberg drifted too far away and called 112, the emergency help number to send rescue teams for the others.

    Boy Scouts vote to allow gay members, http://usat.ly/197bsyu
    The Boy Scouts of America voted Thursday to allow gay members. More than 1,400 members of the organization’s national council voted on the issue. With 61% in favor of allowing homosexual members into the organization, the vote has revoked a 22-year-old ban on openly gay boy scouts.


    ‘Intervention’ Canceled: A And E Series Ending After 243 Episodes, http://huff.to/12AZUhD

    Nicola Benedetti, The Violin Prodigy Who Outsold Bieber, Tells Us Why Popularity Matters, http://huff.to/14Z5xIl

    Summer Festival Guide: Outside Lands, Warped Tour, EDC And More, http://huff.to/13NQn6o

    Rolling Stone Gathers Library Fines, http://nyti.ms/10t2epK

    Amanda Bynes: The Troubling Events Leading Up to Her NYC Arrest, http://eonli.ne/19a5tss

    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

    Netroots Nation

    Monday, August 3rd, 2009

    If you’re going to be near the Pittsburgh area next weekend you won’t want to miss the Netroots Nation Convention.  This four day gathering of progressive political bloggers and organizers is one of the largest gatherings of it’s kind – and I’ll be there so you know it’s a good time.  You’ll learn skills, meet some amazing people and perhaps eat a sandwich from Primanti Brothers.

    Our friends over at Netroots Nation have just a few more cut rate student tickets available that we wanted to let you know about.  Below is all the information.  Hope to see you there!

    ~Mary, Rock the Vote


    Time magazine calls 2008 “the year of the youth vote.” At Netroots Nation, we hope to make every year about successful youth organizing.

    Because we aim to continually bring new voices into the progressive movement, for the first time ever, we are offering a special student rate for those enrolled at least half-time at a high school, community
    college, trade school or university.

    For just $50, you can participate in four days of insightful panels, training sessions and networking opportunities at the grassroots event of the year–the annual Netroots Nation convention to be held in Pittsburgh August 13–16.

    Click here to get your $50 registration: regonline.com/nn09.

    From local campaigns to the past presidential race, youth activists like you have been a vital part of bottom-up organizing efforts. Now that the election’s over, it’s more important than ever that you remain an active part of the political process.

    Like always, this year’s convention will feature tons of panels, training sessions, workshops and keynotes to help teach you how to be more effective in using technology to influence the public debate. Past gatherings have included a Presidential Leadership Forum that drew seven Democratic candidates, a surprise visit from Al Gore and an interactive Ask the Speaker session with Nancy Pelosi, so what are you waiting for?

    There are a limited number of student registrations. Click here register now: regonline.com/nn09.

    Note: You must provide documentation proving you are at least a half-time student at a high school, community college, trade school or university to qualify for this special student rate. Otherwise, standard conference rates will apply.

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