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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: November 12, 2013

    Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

    Typhoon Haiyan wreaks total havoc on the Philippines; North Korea publicly executes 80 people; and a bionic suit gives the gift of walking back to a paralyzed veteran. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Olsen joins the cast of Avengers, and Kelly Clarkson may be pregnant!!

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL 

    Typhoon Haiyan: Ships head to Philippines amid devastation,http://rtvote.com/1eHTU0x
    It has been five days since Haiyan struck the Philippines, and the super typhoon’s victims need help now more than ever. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said 1,774 people have been reported dead, 2,487 reported injured, and 82 are missing. More than 580,000 people have been displaced, and 41,000 houses have been damaged. However, there are still many areas that cannot be reached; people fear the death toll has reached at least 10,000 people, and that number is expected to increase within the next few days. Survivors have lost family, friends, and now struggle to find food and clean water. International aid and relief efforts are being organized.

    North Korea executes 80, some for minor offenses, newspaper says,http://rtvote.com/1hCVxi8
    The daily JoongAng Ilbo, one of South Korea’s largest newspapers, has reported on the gruesome public executions of 80 people in North Korea. Authorities in Wonsan, North Korea, gathered more than 10,000 residents in a stadium and forced them to watch officials brutally execute the “condemned” with sprays of machine-gun fire. The 80 people were hooded and tied to poles as they awaited their impending deaths on stage. The minor offenses that led to these fatal punishments included watching South Korean entertainment videos, possessing a Bible, or disseminating pornography.

    A wounded warrior, walking tallhttp://rtvote.com/1cRwCFu
    Former Army special ops officer Gary Linfoot has been paralyzed below the waist since 2008 and has been in a wheelchair ever since. On Veterans Day, Linfoot stood tall and took a walk around the Statue of Liberty, thanks to a bionic suit created by Ekso Bionics. Linfoot is the first vetertan to receive the suit, which acts like a wearable robot, for personal use.

    Toronto Mayor Says ‘I’m Not Going Anywhere’http://rtvote.com/1j20i02
    Despite mounting pressure from Toronto’s City Council, Mayor Rob Ford refuses to step down from office. A City Council member, Denzil Minnan-Wong, has filed a motion that asks the province of Ontario to pass legislation to remove the mayor if he doesn’t agree to take a leave of absence. If the motion fails, which seems likely, then Ford will continue to govern so long as he is not convicted of a crime.

    Details emerge in shooting death of woman seeking help,http://rtvote.com/1fz1nfX
    Renisha McBride, 19, was seen speeding down a street before she struck a parked vehicle, got out of her car, and fled the scene. More than two hours later, she was shot in the face by a man, 54, who told police he thought someone was breaking into his Dearborn Heights home. He claims his 12-gauge shotgun discharged accidentally. McBride’s family believes she was seeking help and was racially profiled. Dearborn Heights police said last week that there is no indication that race has anything to do with the shooting. The investigation is ongoing.

     

    CULTURAL 

    Justin Bieber walks off stage – again, http://rtvote.com/1bmIUz1

    Kate Upton Up for Entourage Movie Role: Report, http://rtvote.com/1ank7gn

    Elizabeth Olsen Joins Cast of Avengers Sequel, Age of Ultron,http://rtvote.com/1hDaf8A

    Kelly Clarkson Hints She May Be Pregnant on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,http://rtvote.com/1dm9c7d

    sandywu
    Bio:

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