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    ‘Pope Francis’



    News Round-Up: Thursday, March 27, 2014

    Thursday, March 27th, 2014

    President Obama holds his first meeting with Pope Francis; at least 90 people are missing as a result of the Washington mudslide; POTUS says that the government should stop holding phone data; and Northwestern University athletes are legally allowed to unionize. Meanwhile, Psych ended its 8-season run last night; the trailer for Jupiter Ascending has been released; and Joan Rivers has some harsh criticism for Lena Dunham.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Obama has first audience with Pope Francis: http://rtvote.com/1jyS19L
    President Obama and Pope Francis had their first meeting with one another on Thursday in Italy. The meeting was cordial and people hoped that the meeting would bring attention to important issues both leaders support. Much of the meeting was about the church’s role in current issues in the United States, international conflict, and human rights protection according to a statement from the Vatican. President Obama extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit the United States in 2015.

    Ukraine military dolphins to switch nationalities, join Russian navy: http://rtvote.com/1j9eoQt
    Russia is planning on taking control of Ukraine’s military dolphins. These dolphins are highly trained and specialize in detecting hazards to Ukraine like sea mines or enemy scuba divers trying to enter the country’s waters. Dolphins can detect noises and objects in the ocean that humans can’t, making them effective for security. A Russian news agency reported Thursday that “the combat dolphin program in the Crimean city of Sevastopol will be preserved and redirected toward the interests of the Russian navy.”

    Obama says government should stop collecting, holding bulk phone data: http://rtvote.com/1pcb9JM
    The United States expressed outrage when former contractor to the National Security Agency (NSA) Edward Snowden revealed that the federal government collected data from people’s telephones. President Obama said Thursday that the government is trying to stop collecting phone records and wants to leave that up to phone carriers, who would then provide suspicious activity to counterterrorism agencies. Other changes include the requirement that a federal judge give its approval before the government can collect phone data.

    Mudslide recovery brings tears to searchers: http://rtvote.com/OY2H42
    Firefighters and volunteer rescuers in Washington are coming to the grim reality that some people missing in the mudslide might never be found. In the beginning, there was a list of people thought to be missing after the massive mudslide leveled Oso, Washington six days ago. 140 people have since been eliminated from that list, leaving 90 people missing and 35 others who were not confirmed to be in the area when the mudslide occurred. 25 bodies have been discovered, but searchers expect that number to increase. However, due to dangerous conditions like quicksand-like mud 30-40 feet deep, ice, rain, fallen trees, and other hazards, many bodies may never be found.

    Northwestern University football players can unionize: http://rtvote.com/1g4cxai
    Athletes at Northwestern University won the right to unionize after the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago recognized the athletes as employees of the university. Northwestern plans to appeal the decision, saying that the athletes are students, not employees. However, the board saw enough evidence to believe that the students were employees; they work between 20 and 50 hours a week, get paid through scholarships, and bring millions of dollars in revenue to the university. The students filed the petition to “get a seat at the bargaining table in college sports,” receive better medical coverage and concussion tests, be offered full four-year scholarships, and potentially get paid.

    CULTURAL

     Get the scoop on the Psych series finale: http://rtvote.com/1g4fs2O

    Zac Efron punched in the face during a fight: http://rtvote.com/1pA3pPY

    Joan Rivers attacks Lena Dunham’s weight: is a celebrity feud brewing? http://rtvote.com/1rFLueK

    The reviews for Noah are in! See what the critics are saying: http://rtvote.com/1o4x5cI 

    Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum steal the show in their Jupiter Ascending trailer: http://rtvote.com/1jRq3BL

    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 5th, 2014

    Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

    Tensions between Ukraine, Russia, and Western powers continue to escalate; a NJ student suing her parents loses first court battle; Pope Francis says that he could potentially accept civil unions; and a 10-year-old boy is suspended after pointing his fingers in the shape of a gun. Meanwhile, John Travolta speaks out about his Idina Menzel flub on Oscar Night; an emoji version of “Drunk in Love” is taking over the web; and you can see the Oscar selfie that broke Twitter and has the Twitter record for the most retweets ever! 

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Ukraine crisis: Western leaders pile pressure on Russia: http://rtvote.com/1ga99e8
    Western governmental powers have begun to threaten Russia with sanctions if their military presence in Ukraine does not decrease. In retaliation, Russia has begun drafting a law that “would allow Russia to confiscate assets belonging to the U.S. and European companies if sanctions are slapped on Moscow.” The European Union will meet Thursday in Brussels, and US Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with Sergey Lavrov, the Russian equivalent to Kerry’s position, in Paris. This conflict stems from the removal of the Russian-allied government and the increase in tension in the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine, where a heavy Russian population resides.

    Student’s lawsuit against parents for support loses first round in court: http://rtvote.com/1lyMnEg
    18-year-old New Jersey resident Rachel Canning made news this week for suing her own parents to make them pay for varying expenses: her final semester at her private high school, her living expenses, her legal fees, and her college tuition. Canning says her parents forced her out of her home and made her live on her own and was subject to mental and physical abuse, while her parents say she left of her own accord because she “didn’t want to obey their rules.” A judge refused to hear the request of payment for both the high school and living expenses, but in April, another hearing will be held for other issues presented in the lawsuit.

    Ohio student points finger like gun, is suspended: http://rtvote.com/1fHONbj
    A 10-year-old boy who pointed his finger like a gun and pointed it at another student’s head was suspended by his principal. The other student didn’t see it, but a teacher did and reported it to the school’s administration. The boy, who said he was “just playing around,” had been warned before by the school, Devonshire Alternative Elementary, about pretending to play with guns, as have all the other students; they were also told of potential consequences if they were caught participating in this behavior. 

    Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions: http://rtvote.com/1hMh1X0
    On Wednesday, Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s stance on gay marriage (“marriage is between a man and a woman”), but also hinted at the possible acceptance of civil unions. Pope Francis is the first Pope to even hint at an acceptance of civil unions and is one of the most “gay-friendly” popes in history. Possible changes to the church regarding the women’s role and the contraception ban could also be in the works as the Pope’s first year comes to a close.

    Three children pulled to safety after woman drives van into ocean: http://rtvote.com/1kyfwiB
    A pregnant South Carolina woman, driving a minivan with three children inside, drove into the ocean in Florida. Rescuers said that they heard the children screaming that their mother was trying to kill them. People worked frantically to remove the children and the mother from the waterlogged vehicle. The children, aged 3, 9, and 10, were carried to shore and examined at a hospital before being declared “okay”. The mother walked to shore, dazed, and has refused to talk about the incident.

    CULTURAL

    See the now-infamous selfie that broke Twitter on Oscar Night! http://rtvote.com/1hLqDBZ

    John Travolta’s response to his Idina Menzel flub: http://rtvote.com/1cuhUoa

    The best and worst moments from the Oscars are in! http://rtvote.com/1gakNpt

    An emoji version of Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love”? http://rtvote.com/1e1MWP0

    Dancing with the Stars just announced its latest cast: http://rtvote.com/1l14Y8T

    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: Monday, July 29, 2013

    Monday, July 29th, 2013

    Obama set to back student loan deal; Israel-Palestine peace talks to resume; 51 are dead in Iraqi car bombings; and Pope Francis says he will not judge gay priests. Meanwhile, Diane Lane to play Hillary Clinton in new miniseries; and Johnny Depp discusses ending acting career.

    -Ally + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    At least 51 dead in Iraq car bombingshttp://rtvote.com/15ZvrvV

    Monday morning rush hour saw a series of car bombings in central and southern Iraq. The attacks were reportedly led by “insurgents determined to undermine the government.” Since April of this year, similar events have killed over 3,000, reviving fear from the violence of the last decade.

    Thief Gets Away With Estimated $50 Million in Jewelry at a French Riviera Hotel, http://rtvote.com/15Zw5JQ

    An armed thief stirred the Carlton InterContinental Hotel in Cannes on Sunday, following the escape of an imprisoned member of the Pink Panther gang of jewel thieves in Switzerland. The jewels were exhibited in the hotel by the Leviev diamond house.

    Israeli-Palestinian peace talks set to resume Monday, http://rtvote.com/15ZwewB

    The U.S. State Department has announced that peace talks will resume this evening, with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho representing Israel, and Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat and Mohammad Shtayyeh for Palestine. In anticipation of the talks, Israel released 104 Palestinian prisoners. These actions suggest hope for fruitful negotiations.

    Pope Francis says he won’t ‘judge’ gay priests, http://rtvote.com/13gRu2z

    Following a visit to Brazil’s World Youth Day, his first foreign trip as Pope, Francis says he will not judge gay priests. “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” This view is in stark contrast to his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

    White House Muted in Response to New Mass Killing of Egyptian Protesters, http://rtvote.com/19sN24y 

    Sunday marked the second mass killing of Egyptians in three weeks. The Obama administration remains quiet on the event, while Western diplomats work to calm tensions. The event revives the question as to whether Congress should suspend its aid to Egypt.

    Obama backs student loan bill, http://rtvote.com/13gUZpE

    After the Senate passed a bipartisan agreement to reverse the immediate doubling of student loan rates, linking rates to the interest rates, the bill will be brought to vote today in the House. The House is also expected to pass the bill, and President Obama signaled he would follow suit.

    CULTURAL

    Diane Lane to Play Hillary Clinton in NBC Miniseries, http://rtvote.com/13gYiNJ

    Johnny Depp to Quit Acting? “It’s Probably Not Too Far Away,” http://rtvote.com/13gXR5S

    Box office report: ‘The Wolverine’ earns $55 million; Plus ‘Despicable Me 2’ crosses $300 million mark, http://rtvote.com/19sO9Ba

    Lady Gaga Unveils ‘Applause’ Single Name, Artwork, http://rtvote.com/13gXaJR

    Michael Jackson & Freddie Mercury Duets To Reportedly See Release This Fall, http://rtvote.com/15ZEcWM

    Ally.f@rockthevote.com
    Bio: My name is Ally Filler and I am a Field Intern at RTV this summer! I recently graduated from McGill University where I studied Linguistics. In addition to marveling at the linguistic hotspot that is Montreal and eating many croissants, I assisted hundreds of American students in their quest to vote from abroad. I'm excited to be a part of such an amazing team here at Rock the Vote!

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



    News Round-Up: July 11, 2013

    Thursday, July 11th, 2013

    Judge in the Zimmerman case holds hearing to decide if jurors should consider lesser charges; Mohamed Morsi is still in an unknown location; Pope Francis responds to UN on child abuse; Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleads not guilty in Boston Marathon bombings; missing people presumed dead in Canada train crash; and House Republicans are resistant to immigrating reform legislation. Meanwhile, the media is already setting up for Kate Middleton to give birth; Randy Travis is out of surgery; Adam Lambert does Glee; and John Mayer buys guitar for a fan.

    -Maura

    CRUCIAL
    Judge Considers lesser charges in Zimmerman case
    , http://rtvote.com/12oNnB7
    This Thursday morning, state prosecutors are asking the judge in the Trayvon Martin murder case to instruct jurors to consider lesser charges, like aggravated assault or manslaughter, when they begin deliberations. Zimmerman is currently being tried for second-degree murder.  Zimmerman’s attorneys have objected and the judge is holding a hearing to decide.

    A week after the coup, Egyptians ask: ‘Where is Morsi?’, http://rtvote.com/18PImp4
    It has been one week and nobody knows where former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is located. Authorities promise he is in a “safe place” and have also issued warrants for hundreds of other Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters. The warrants target Senior Islamist officials accused of provoking the violence that led to the fatal shooting of more than 50 pro-Morsi demonstrators on Monday.
    Pope Expands Sex Abuse Laws in Response to U.N. Criticisms, http://rtvote.com/155qgKd
    Pope Francis is finally complying with the United Nation’s Commission for the Rights of the Child about the Vatican’s poor record on child abuse.  The Holy See was given until January to submit a detailed report to the United Nations that answers specific questions and hands over confidential files about the movement of “predatory priests” between dioceses.

    Boston bomb suspect pleads not guilty, http://rtvote.com/12oYzxB
    Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faced more than 2 dozen survivors of that attack Wednesday as he pleaded not guilty to killing four people and wounding more than 200. He is charged with 30 federal counts stemming from the April 15 attack.

    Body count rises in Canada train crash, http://rtvote.com/155um53

    The official death toll from Saturday’s train crash in Quebec has reached 50. On Wednesday evening officials said that 20 bodies were found in the area following a crash of a runway oil train in Canada’s deadliest railway tragedy in almost 150 years. Authorities informed grieving families that the dozens of people still missing are now presumed dead.

    ISSUES
    Immigration

    Republicans in House Resist Overhaul for Immigration, http://rtvote.com/18PIrc6

    On Wednesday, House Republicans came down overwhelmingly against a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, putting in jeopardy the future of sweeping legislation that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.  Speaker Boehner warned about the consequences if they do nothing to answer the immigration measure passed by the Senate last month.
    CULTURAL

    Cameras Line Up Weeks Early at Kate Middleton’s Hospital, http://rtvote.com/155wiKV

    Randy Travis Out of Surgery, Remains in Critical Condition, http://rtvote.com/12p0zpx

    ‘Glee’: Adam Lambert to Appear in Season 5, http://rtvote.com/12p0O3S

    John Mayer Buys Guitar for Girl, Makes Her Biggest Fan Ever, http://rtvote.com/155xfmo

    Maura
    Bio: Maura graduated from the University of Dayton in 2011 with a BA in International Studies and French. During the course of her studies she was elected Student Body Vice President where she worked to make student activity funding more affordable & fair to the campus community. Following graduation, Maura joined the 2012 Obama Campaign as grassroots Field Organizer in Ohio (the battleground of all battleground states). She now continues her passion of engaging and building political power for young people with Rock the Vote.

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