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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

    CRUCIAL

    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.

    CULTURAL

    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: Monday, April 7, 2014

    Monday, April 7th, 2014

    The latest lead for missing flight might be the most credible one yet; more major Ukrainian cities fall to Russian protesters; the Ebola virus in Africa has some concern for a worldwide outbreak; and diseases previously eradicated in the United States are making a deadly comeback. Meanwhile, legendary actor Mickey Rooney dies at age 93; the royal family lands “down under”; and Hillary Clinton’s photo with Pussy Riot dominates the web.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Malaysia Flight 370: New signal sounds ‘just like’ one from a plane’s beacon: http://rtvote.com/1hTMVls
    The Ocean Shield, an Australian naval vessel containing a United States pinger locator, found signals in the Indian Ocean that appear to be from an airplane on Sunday. The signals are ones specially designed to be picked up by recorders and are not natural sounds. They were located in a part of the Indian Ocean that’s 14,800 feet deep. Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said that investigators also have a “visual locator on a screen” as well as the sound data. However, he says searching in deep marine waters could take days, but that “we are encouraged that we are very close to where we need to be.” As of Monday, the search for Flight 370 has lasted 31 days.

    Russia trying to ‘dismember’ Ukraine through protests, Kiev says: http://rtvote.com/1jnRfcq
    Pro-Russian protesters have broken into and seized several important government buildings in Ukrainian cities this weekend, prompting Kiev to accuse Russia of attempting to ‘dismember’ Ukraine and replicate its actions in Crimea. Police said that some of the protesters had seized weapons while invading the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. The Donetsk People’s Republic, a new self-proclaimed legislative branch, said it would vote May 11th to join Russia. Current Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said that Russia was starting a “second wave of a special operation against Ukraine intended to overthrow the Kiev government.” Moscow has yet to offer its opinion or rebuttal.

    Anti-vaccine movement is giving diseases a 2nd life: http://rtvote.com/1lFPpoa
    As vaccination rates drop in the United States, diseases once deemed eradicated by the United States government-like whooping cough and measles-are now making a comeback. Measles outbreaks have recently been reported in New York, California, and Texas. Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world and has a reputation for being a ruthless killer. Although vaccination rates hold at 90%, some states-like Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Oregon, and Vermont-have noted that almost 5% of kindergartners have gone completely unvaccinated. The anti-vaccine movement has gained popularity as some celebrities have publicly denounced vaccinating their children. Some people still believe the now-debunked idea that vaccines cause autism, while others feel as though the government and pharmaceutical companies are not “trustworthy.”

    As Ebola spreads in Africa, how worried should West be? http://rtvote.com/1gDy9L1
    The Ebola virus, a deadly, easily contracted virus resulting in widespread outbreaks, has begun to spread throughout Africa. Ebola is almost always fatal, killing about 90% of people infected, and there are no vaccines or treatments. This current outbreak of the virus began in Guinea’s rainforests, moved to its capital city, and has now crossed over into Liberia. Workers in the area, however, have been able to answer definitely that, due to the extreme close contact needed to contract the disease, the likelihood of a worldwide epidemic is slim-to-none. Most people infected are health workers caring for the sick. Ebola is spread through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids like blood, sweat, or saliva, and can incubate in people for up to 21 days before symptoms are revealed.

    Bus hits student near High Point High School: http://rtvote.com/1h8nX1R
    A bus drifted across a road, hit an 8-year-old boy, and landed in a ditch. The boy was waiting for the bus to come when he was hit. Witnesses reacted quickly and were able to pull the boy out from underneath the bus. For an unknown reason, the bus driver left the bus with nine children on board and apparently did not set the emergency brake. He stayed at the scene of the accident as investigators attempted to determine the reason he left the bus, and is expected to face reckless endangerment charges. Five of the 9 students on the bus, along with the boy who was hit, were transported to the hospital. All children are in stable condition and will recover fully.

    CULTURAL

    Acting legend Mickey Rooney dies at 93: http://rtvote.com/1ikFbFq

    Hillary Clinton’s picture with Pussy Riot takes over the web: http://rtvote.com/OrXosE

    The Royals rock New Zealand and Australia: http://rtvote.com/1kjvv56

    The ACM’s were last night: see the arrival pictures! http://rtvote.com/PG7NlG

    Game of Thrones Season 4 premiere crashed HBO’s online stream: http://rtvote.com/QXynrC

    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: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

    Jimmy Fallon rocked The Tonight Show stage; Saudi Arabia appointed its first female editor-in-chief of a national newspaper; and Venezuela expels three U.S. diplomats. Meanwhile, Jimmy Fallon and Will Smith walk us through the evolution of hip hop dancing; new godmother, Kate Middleton, and Prince George attend a christening; and the U.S.A. wins the first ever gold medal in ice dancing.

    - Gianna + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    First night a hit for ‘Tonight’ host Jimmy Fallon: http://rtvote.com/1e3Kp6b
    Last night, Jimmy Fallon transitioned from his hit show “Late Night” to NBC’s “The Tonight Show” and made a splash with viewers. Mr. Fallon proved once again that he’s a natural host and he excited the audience with his witty humor on topics like Sochi & hip hop. The “Tonight Show” made its first return to New York City in almost 40 years and that was the most exciting part of the evening. In the theme of celebration, Mr. Fallon introduced his parents to viewers and ended the show with a performance by U2.

    School’s Arab Mascot Draws Fire in California Valley That Prizes Dates: http://rtvote.com/1h0ulW4
    This past Friday, Riverside county in California held its National Date Festival, an annual tribute to a local industry that began in the Middle East. Riverside County has held the festival intermittently since 1921 and since the 1940s the county has decided to honor the history of the date and the culture of its Arabian origin. Unfortunately the festival sparked backlash from Coachella Valley High School’s Arab mascot. Although the mascot has been in existence since the 1930s, the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee has deemed the mascot a “gross stereotype” and the high school is currently seeking other mascot options as a result of the Committee’s petition.

    Saudi Arabia’s first female editor of national newspaper appointed:http://rtvote.com/1bhDJqj
    For the first time ever in Saudi history, a female journalist, Somayya Jabarti, was named editor-in-chief of a national newspaper. When reporters asked about her views on this historic appointment, Jabarti said, “There’s a crack that has been made in the glass ceiling. And I’m hoping it will be made into a door”. She continued by saying, “Being the first Saudi woman [editor-in-chief] is going to be double the responsibility … One’s actions will reflect upon my fellow Saudi women.”

    Oklahoma pharmacy won’t provide drug for Missouri execution:http://rtvote.com/1cljrdA
    The Apothecary Shoppe of Tulsa, according to court documents, will not provide drugs for use in the execution of Michael Taylor that is scheduled for this month. Michael Taylor currently sits on death row for the brutal rape, murder, and kidnapping of a southeast Kansas girl. In this court case, Taylor argued that in several recent executions in which the compounded pentobarbital was used, showed it would likely cause him “severe, unnecessary, lingering, and ultimately inhumane pain.” 

    Venezuela raids opposition party office, expels three U.S. diplomats:http://rtvote.com/1c0Ltrw
    Late last evening, Venezuelan Security Forces raided the headquarters of an opposition party accused of being the driving force behind recent violent protests. While raiding the headquarters, the Venezuelan national government also expelled three U.S. diplomats on charges of conspiring with demonstrators. The U.S. State Department has called the charges against the U.S. diplomats, false and baseless.

    CULTURAL

    Kate Middleton Is a Godmother, Attends Friend’s Baby Christening with Prince George, http://rtvote.com/1jO6zRW

    Pete Wentz Expecting Baby With Girlfriend Meagan Camper, http://rtvote.com/1jCbzGj

    Jimmy Fallon and Will Smith Perform “Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing” on The Tonight Show—Watch Now!: http://rtvote.com/1f9kSi1

    BAFTA Party Sightings: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o, Oprah Winfrey and More!: http://rtvote.com/1fduWVI

    Winter Olympics 2014: Meryl Davis and Charlie White Win First Ever U.S. Gold in Ice Dance: http://rtvote.com/1kRJo9I

    Gianna Judkins
    Bio: My name is Gianna Judkins& I'm a proud Angeleno. I'm also a Political Science Major at Howard University. I pride myself in being Michelle Obama's biggest fan and always being "FLOTUS Inspired”! As a Political Science major, my ultimate goal is to one day call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue my office. I'm a very determined young woman who understands the power of education and value of hard work while striving to achieve my goal of being one of the nation's next great leaders. I'm not that serious all the time though, for fun I enjoying singing in the choir and hanging out with friends.

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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, August 22, 2013

    Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

    President Obama discusses college costs; an apparent chemical attack strikes Syria; and Bradley Manning reveals his plan to become a woman. Meanwhile, James Franco set to star in his own show; Prince George turns 1…month; and Law and Order SVU tackles the Paula Deen scandal.

    -Maura + Ally

    CRUCIAL

    Images of Death in Syria, but No Proof of Chemical Attack, http://rtvote.com/1aviwY8
    Many Syrian men, women, and children were killed yesterday in a likely chemical weapon attack. Though cause of death is not confirmed, the victims have no signs of visible injury, and puffs of smoke were spotted above the affected areas. The scale of this attack could change the global attitude on chemical weapons and be the tipping point for increased Western involvement on the issue.

    ‘I am Chelsea’: Read Manning’s full statement, http://rtvote.com/175VC4q
    Bradley Manning announced on the TODAY show today that he will begin hormone therapy to live the rest of his life as a woman, ‘Chelsea Manning.’ This comes shortly after his indictment for leaking classified military information.

    San Diego Mayor Bob Filner reaches mediation deal, city attorney says, http://rtvote.com/175VLVs
    Weeks after Mayor Filner admitted to inappropriate relations with 18 women and underwent 2 weeks of rehab, an agreement has been reached between the Mayor and the city. The content of the mediation will not be released until Friday, but the result could be as extreme as resignation.

    Maria Sharapova withdraws from the U.S. Openhttp://rtvote.com/175Wkid
    Due to a shoulder injury sustained from the French Open in May, Sharapova withdrew her spot in the U.S. Open to give herself time to heal. She is simultaneously working to promote her new line of gummy candies, called “Sugarpova.

    Obama’s Plan Aims to Lower Cost of Collegehttp://rtvote.com/175XTwG
    President Obama spoke to students in Buffalo Thursday morning, addressing the rising cost of college. He proposed a ranking system of a colleges’ affordability, state funding tied to success of students, and ensuring students receiving federal aid actually complete school. The President will continue to discuss this topic as he continues a bus tour throughout New York and Pennsylvania today and tomorrow.

    CULTURAL

    James Franco Gets TV Show Starring James Franco Called James Franco Presents About James Franco’s Life, http://rtvote.com/175JIHG

    Prince George Is 1 Month Old Already: Here’s What the Royal Baby Has Been Up To, http://rtvote.com/1av0LIC

    Wentworth Miller Comes Out: ‘Prison Break’ Star Reveals He’s Gay, http://rtvote.com/1av2eP8

    ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Tackling Paula Deen Controversy With Cybill Shepherd, http://rtvote.com/1av2ltZ

    Brandy Performs to Empty Stadium in South Africa, http://rtvote.com/1av34LN

    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



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, August 20, 2013

    Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

    A new pup graces the White House lawns; US cuts military aid to Egypt; Al Jazeera gets ready to launch American channel; and Musharraf is charged in murder of Benazir Bhutto. Meanwhile, NSYNC to reunite at 2013 VMAs; Britney Spears may release new album in September; and new photos of Prince George are revealed.

    - Maura + Ally

    CRUCIAL

    Senator: Obama Administration Secretly Suspended Military Aid to Egypt, http://rtvote.com/14gbGSy
    According to a leading US Senator, the US government has secretly treated Egypt’s military takeover as a coup, without publicly announcing it as such. With this private ruling, the Obama administration decided to temporarily suspend most military aid to the country. This action comes weeks after conflict began. The US government has considered cutting aid as a last straw in an effort to retain ties with one of few allies in the Middle East.

    Pakitan ex-leader Musharraf charged over Bhutto murderhttp://rtvote.com/16ZHEB9
    Ex-President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, has been charged in connection to former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. Bhutto was a leader of the opposition. This is also the first time a current or ex-army chief has been charged with a crime in Pakistan.

    Al Jazeera America readies for launce with bold ‘real news’ formulahttp://rtvote.com/16ZIvlm
    The Qatar based network will launch an American division Tuesday, which will reach 50% of all US cable TV subscribers. The network strives for “less opinion, less yelling and fewer celebrity sightings.” The channel, and its popular online site, is a rare resource that provides live, extensive coverage of events in the Middle East.

    Obama Family Welcomes New Dog Sunnyhttp://rtvote.com/14ggJCy
    Sunny, a Portuguese Water Dog, joins the rest of the Obama clan in the White House. Bo is very excited to have a little sister!

    Colleges Costs Increase While More Students Rely On Federal Aid, http://rtvote.com/1ao4JCH
    With rising costs of college, more and more students are turning to federal aid, while state and institutional aid remains stagnant.

    CULTURAL

    Kanye West stops by Kris Jenner’s talk show for interview, http://rtvote.com/14gd1st

    *NSYNC Reunion May Be Planned For MTV’s 2013 Video Music Awards, http://rtvote.com/16ZN8f4

    Britney Spears’ Countdown Clock Promises ‘All Eyes On Me’ On Sept. 17, http://rtvote.com/16ZNylD

    Prince George Photos Released! See Prince William and Kate Middleton With Their Son in New Family Pics, http://rtvote.com/1ao6HDc

    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