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    News Round-Up: Thursday, March 20th, 2014

    Thursday, March 20th, 2014

    Searchers have yet to find the debris captured on a satellite image that could reveal Flight 370’s fate; Obama announces new sanctions against Russia as they move into Crimea; Police find over 100 illegal immigrants in a one-story house in Houston; and the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church has died. Meanwhile, Emilia Clarke talks about an embarrassing audition and Kim Kardashian gets a unique makeover.

    -Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    No sign of mystery objects as Australia suspends search for the day: http://rtvote.com/1nGw8XV
    A satellite captured images of what people believed to be debris in the Indian Ocean, prompting a search Thursday by Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Norway. The satellite captured objects 14 miles apart in a remote part of the Indian Ocean, about 1,500 miles from Australia. Unfortunately, no one was able to find the debris before nightfall. Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia’s interim Transportation Secretary said “[The debris] gives us hope. As long as there’s hope, we will continue.” Searches will resume Friday.

    Russian parliament moves to ratify Crimea takeover; Obama announces new sanctions: http://rtvote.com/1jbHywh
    President Obama said Thursday that the United States would be imposing more sanctions against Russia to respond to, in his words, “Crimea’s ‘illegal’ secession referendum and Russia’s ‘illegitimate move’ to annex Crimea.” Obama said that top Russian officials, other individuals, and a bank with ties to Russia will be sanctioned. Despite this, Ukraine’s power in Crimea is waning, with upcoming Ukrainian troop withdrawal, the closure of Ukrainian banks in the region, and the takeover of Ukrainian military bases. The Russian government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta began printing in the Crimea region and issued passports to Crimea residents.

    Disgraced Army general, Jeffrey A. Sinclair, gets $20,000 fine, no jail time: http://rtvote.com/1dfYnbo
    General Jeffery Sinclair, who admitted to having inappropriate relations with three women (including an affair with one, a military crime), was fined $20,000 by a military judge and will not serve jail time. Sinclair had been charged with sexually assaulting and threatening the woman he had an affair with. The Army ended up dropping the sexual assault charge and agreed to a plea bargain. The monetary outcome could become worse for Sinclair; he will drop down to a lower rank when it comes time for him to retire, which would lower his benefits.

    NJ teen arrested after reaching top of World Trade Center: http://rtvote.com/1eq5rjO
    Weehawken, NJ teen Justin Casquejo managed to bypass security at the World Trade Center in New York City and get all the way to the top. The 16-year-old climbed through a hole in a fence at around 4:10am, climbed the scaffolding, and got into the building. He also managed to steer clear of a guard on the 104th floor, who has been fired. He was arrested inside the WTC at 6am and his cell phone and camera were seized and searched.

    Police find more than 100 immigrants in stash house: http://rtvote.com/1d40sab
    Houston Police found over 100 illegal immigrants living in a one-story stash house in horrendous conditions.  The house had only one toilet (that only half-worked), no hot water, and deadbolts on the doors, preventing the immigrants from leaving until the person responsible for getting them across the boarder was paid more money. The immigrants were made up of 94 adult men, 14 women (including one pregnant woman), and two elementary school-aged children. Police turned the immigrants over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and arrested 5 smugglers.

    Fred Phelps, fierce campaigner against homosexuality, dies: http://rtvote.com/1g4Yupt
    The leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps, has died at the age of 84. Phelps and his church followers gained notoriety for picketing military funerals and protesting against gays and Jews, prompting both President Obama and President Bush to sign laws creating a buffer zone for funerals. Phelps also occasionally ran for political office; in 1992, he ran for the US Senate in Kansas but lost in the primary round.

    CULTURAL

    Emilia Clarke talks about her embarrassing audition for her best-known role: http://rtvote.com/1jbZEOR

    Watch the latest Maleficent trailer! http://rtvote.com/1jc03AU

    Kim Kardashian gets a make…under? http://rtvote.com/1pfmKpm

    Leighton Meester takes a turn at Broadway: http://rtvote.com/1r0cgOs

    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: Thursday, February 27, 2014

    Thursday, February 27th, 2014

    Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona vetoes SB 1062; Michelle Obama supports the FDA’s new rules for food labels; President Obama unveils “My Brother’s Keeper”; and NASA discovers 715 new planets. Meanwhile, Seth Rogan goes to Washington; Fast & Furious 7 resumes production soon; and it’s almost Oscar Night: see the nominees one more time!

    - Veronica + Maura

     CRUCIAL

    Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoes anti-gay bill: http://rtvote.com/1hshIoc
    Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062, the highly controversial Arizona bill that would have allowed businesses to deny service to or turn away members of the LGBT community based on religious beliefs. Brewer said in a statement: “I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve.” Opponents to the bill praised Brewer, while supporters of the bill believed the veto was a shot to religious freedom.

    Obama to detail program to help minority youth: http://rtvote.com/1fLN6xW
    President Obama will announce details on his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative on Thursday. The initiative is a partnership between businesses, organizations, and the government that will hopefully help “high risk” minority men stay out of jail through skills training. Several philanthropic groups have already pledged to funnel $200 million over the next five years into the program. The Obama administration and the organizations involved will analyze the effectiveness of existing programs that have similar aims as “My Brother’s Keeper” does and figure out how they can be reformed or maintained to improve effectiveness.

    Nutrition labels getting a makeover: http://rtvote.com/1ccfA5d
    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed changing the nutrition labels found on every packaged food and drink. New labels would put a heavier focus on calories per serving and percent daily value, and the serving sizes will be changed to reflect the average amount of the product people consume. First Lady Michelle Obama is vehemently supporting the changes, saying in a press release that the new labels will “make a big difference for families all across the country.”

    Seoul: N. Korea fired short-range missiles into sea: http://rtvote.com/1ftGjum
    South Korean officials report that North Korea fired four short-range missiles into the sea on Thursday in an apparent protest of military exercises occurring between the United States and South Korea. Pyongyang believes that these exercises are a “rehearsal for invasion”. The launch could also be a plea for international attention in order to obtain more aid negotiations from foreign countries.

    NASA discovers 715 new planets: http://rtvote.com/1gEUNE6
    NASA announced Wednesday that they have found 715 new planets, making it the largest planetary discovery in history. To put this in perspective, before the announcement, there had been 1,000 planets discovered in the Milky Way galaxy. Four of these planets, scientists believe, have the potential to support life. The four are each about twice the size of Earth, and one orbits a star half the size of the sun every 30 days. The planets were discovered using the Kepler space observatory’s telescope. Launched in 2009, these 715 planets are only from Kepler’s first two years in space, meaning there could be more to come.

    CULTURAL

    Watch Seth Rogan in Congress! http://rtvote.com/1jDz3v7

    More Bieber drama after police release footage: http://rtvote.com/1jDzrKf

    Are Matthew Bellamy and Kate Hudson breaking up? http://rtvote.com/1cq4nZk 

    Fast & Furious 7 scheduled to resume production in April: http://rtvote.com/1eqa9OS

    Quick refresher before Oscars Sunday: see the nominees! http://rtvote.com/1mIZq7C

    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 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: Wednesday, November 27, 2013

    Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

    In today’s news, the U.S. blatantly defies China’s authority over their new air zone; Healthcare.gov is making clear progress (but it’ll still crash if everyone goes on at once…hey, they’re working on it); and three girls are rescued from being imprisoned in their own home for the past two years. Meanwhile, Zac Efron and Seth Rogen make a “Bound 4” video (LOL), and Frankie Muniz suffers another “mini stroke” at age 27 (our hearts go out to you, Frankie).

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL 

    China says it monitored U.S. B-52s that flew through its new air zone,http://rtvote.com/IsOZSE
    After China declared a new air defense zone over a large part of the East China Sea, tensions have been running high between Japan and China. And now the U.S. too. To test how assertive China’s new foreign policy is, the U.S. flew two unarmed B-52 bombers through the air zone and ignored China’s demands to identify themselves and submit flight plans to the Chinese authorities. If we were going forsubtle defiance, well then…that didn’t happen.

    A Plea to Avoid Crush of Users at Health Sitehttp://rtvote.com/18HsOmA
    Healthcare.gov is back and better than ever (which actually doesn’t say much). Officials say the website is now able to handle 50,000 users at a time, and they’re continuing to improve the system. The White House is confident users will have a different experience by the end of the month, but they don’t want everyone to rush to the still-fragile site all at once.

    Three girls say they were imprisoned in Tucson home,http://rtvote.com/1hixgwA
    Three sisters, aged 12, 13, and 17, were imprisoned in their home for up to two years by their mother and stepfather. The couple was charged with three counts each of child abuse/emotional abuse; three counts each of child abuse/physical abuse; and three counts each of kidnapping. The stepfather is also being held on suspicion of sexual abuse of a child under 15 years of age. The two youngest girls, who eventually escaped and called for help, had not seen the third sister for almost two years. They were malnourished and living in extremely filthy conditions when police found them.

    Police: Nurse fatally stabbed while protecting patients,http://rtvote.com/1aVgfEA
    Nurse Gail Sandidge, 57, died Tuesday after being stabbed by a man who was at the hospital to visit his mother. A hospital employee and three hospital visitors were also injured in the attack by Kyron Rayshawn Templeton, 22. Templeton has been arrested and claimed that “they” were trying to kill his mother. Templeton’s mother was scheduled for a procedure that morning.

    Wind could ground Macy’s parade balloons in NYChttp://rtvote.com/1aVlQuz
    You know it’s the holiday season when the Macy’s parade is on! However, the storm that’s causing holiday mayhem and flight delays on the East Coast might cause some setbacks for the parade’s floats. If sustained winds exceed 23 mph and gusts exceed 34 mph, the gigantic balloons won’t be taking off Thursday morning (nooooo!).
    CULTURAL 

    Alec Baldwin Blames “Fundamentalist Wing of Gay Advocacy” (and Himself, a Bit) For Killing His Talk Show, http://rtvote.com/1c8TdKT

    Shirtless Zac Efron Joins “Bound 2” Parody Fun: He and Seth Rogen Costar in “Bound 4”!, http://rtvote.com/1c8TjlB

    Lorde Backtracks After Dissing Drake and Nicki Minaj, http://rtvote.com/1cvNSvo

    Frankie Muniz Suffers Second “Mini Stroke” at the Age of 27, Tweets That He’s “Miserable”, http://rtvote.com/1er8ndV

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: October 16, 2013

    Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

    An L.A. airport employee is arrested for the dry ice blasts at LAX; two minors are arrested for bullying a 14-year-old into suicide; and Senate resumes control of negotiations with one day to go before the debt deadline hits. Meanwhile, Ke$ha confesses that ghosts haunted her body, and Rihanna’s tweets get a string of people arrested in Thailand.

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    L.A. airport employee arrested in dry ice blastshttp://rtvote.com/1er3DFr
    Dicarlo Bennett, a 28-year-old employee for the ground handling company Servisair, has been taken into custody for allegedly planting plastic bottles of dry ice on a tarmac and in one of the airport’s employee restrooms last week. Nobody was hurt in either incidents, but the blasts could have seriously injured anyone who was in close proximity. Bennett’s motives are unknown.

    Police chief: 64 Cleveland officers broke rules in shootinghttp://rtvote.com/1gklnGU
    More than 60 police officers will be disciplined for a 23-minute police chase that happened November 29, 2012. Police pursued a speeding car and opened fire after they thought they heard a gunshot and saw a gun in the car, although no weapon was ever found. Two unarmed people were shot and killed in the officers’ hailstorm of 137 bullets.

    Thefts from nursing home trust funds target the elderlyhttp://rtvote.com/1gknkmK
    The problem of resident trust funds being stolen or mismanaged is a growing problem. Employees or administrators at U.S. nursing homes or other long-term care institutions have taken large sums of money from trust funds. However, these crimes of trust fund theft are not easy to detect, and they are relatively easy to carry out because of the lack of safeguards in the system.

    Shutdown, Day 16: Can nation avert default?http://rtvote.com/1fCAslM
    Just ONE day away from the debt deadline! So, what’s going on in DC right now? Here are some top highlights: the Senate has resumed control of negotiations after the House GOP pulled their bill yesterday; Fitch Ratings, one of the largest debt-rating companies, has threatened to possibly downgrade the U.S.’s AAA bond rating; the Pew Research Center has released a new poll that says 51% of Americans think that raising the debt limit by tomorrow is essential to avoid economic crisis. Will Congress reach an agreement before it’s too late? Guess we’ll have to wait and see…

    Sheriff: Taunting post leads to arrests in Rebecca Sedwick bullying deathhttp://rtvote.com/1erd0oI
    12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick committed suicide last month by jumping off the top of an abandoned concrete plant. The bullying Sedwick endured by a 14-year-old girl and another 12-year-old girl allegedly prompted her to end her life. The girls were charged with stalking for allegedly harassing Sedwick at school and online. The 14-year-old posted a taunting Facebook message after Sedwick’s death, prompting police to arrest her.

    PUNDITS

    Bruce Schneier discusses privacy in an information age being fostered by the government and private companies in “Your life, under constant surveillance,” http://rtvote.com/1gktGTb

    LZ Granderson reminds us that before we call the men and women of Congress “idiots”, we should remember we put them there in “We Created – and Deserve – the Idiots in Washington,” http://rtvote.com/1fCPpEB

    CULTURAL

    Ke$ha Reveals Ghosts Haunted Her Body, http://rtvote.com/1erhg7A

    Was Britney Spears’ Body Airbrushed in the “Work Bitch” Music Video? See the Before and After,http://rtvote.com/197kL13

    Ivanka Trump Gives Birth to a Baby Boy, http://rtvote.com/1fCQLis

    Rihanna’s Tweets Leave Trail of Arrests After Thailand Visit, http://rtvote.com/1gkwtMb

    sandywu
    Bio:

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