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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 5, 2014

    Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

    Four people were arrested after being connected to the drugs found at Philip Seymour Hoffman’s apartment; Sochi hotels are nowhere near ready for people; CVS is ending their sale of tobacco; and Shaun White withdraws from an Olympic event. Meanwhile, the future of Paul Walker’s estate is revealed; Kylie Jenner is in the hospital; shocking news about Selena Gomez is released to the public; and controversy surrounds The Biggest Loser winner.

    -Veronica + Maura


    4 arrested in connection with Hoffman drugs: http://rtvote.com/1kTwYvy
    Three men and one woman were arrested in a drug raid last night. Police believed those people were responsible for selling the heroin found in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s apartment after his death. The raid uncovered 350 bags of heroin. Law enforcement officials have been gathering information on Hoffman’s last days to determine where he got the drugs. Hoffman had been a drug addict in the past, but was clean for over twenty years before relapsing last year.

    You can’t flush toilet paper in Sochi: http://rtvote.com/1eU7KYD
    Although the Winter Olympics start Friday, many people are saying that Sochi isn’t ready for the crowds. People have posted on Twitter and Facebook about a slew of problems, including how the bedrooms are tight and bare, the toilets don’t flush, some rooms don’t have heat, and others don’t have water. The government is dealing with stray dogs to prevent them from bothering visitors, and they are still on the lookout for potential terrorist threats.

    CVS ending tobacco sales: http://rtvote.com/1eqpQGO
    The popular drug store CVS announced that it will stop selling tobacco products.  Tobacco sales make up 3% of total sales and accounts for $2 billion in revenue. CVS president says that stopping the sale of tobacco products will ultimately protect the health of their customers and improves CVS’s reputation as a “health company”.

    Shaun White withdraws from slopestyle: http://rtvote.com/1dqBc7q
    The infamous US snowboarder Shaun White has decided to withdrawal from slopestyle snowboarding– 24 hours before he was due to compete. He was not favored in slopestyle, further adding to his decision to leave that competition. Instead, White wants to focus on bringing home his third gold medal in halfpipe snowboarding, which would make him the only American man to ever win an event in three consecutive Winter Olympics.


    Selena Gomez went to rehab?! Since when? http://rtvote.com/1iqyrId

    Paul Walker’s daughter inherits fortune: http://rtvote.com/1jfZKs5

    Kylie Jenner’s in the hospital because of a trampoline: http://rtvote.com/1brhedb

    Did The Biggest Loser winner lose too much? http://rtvote.com/1jg0NZd

    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 15, 2013

    Friday, November 15th, 2013

    San Francisco turns into Gotham City for a day; Toronto’s city council strips notorious mayor, Rob Ford, of some power after another public embarrassment; and one of the largest child pornography schemes has been busted. Meanwhile, Chris Breezy is out of rehab, and RiRi and Drake drop $17,000 at a strip club together.

    -Sandy + Maura



    San Francisco transforms into Gotham to make 5-year-old’s wish to be Batkid come true,http://rtvote.com/HXc0ht
    San Francisco is no more. The City by the Bay is officially Gotham City… at least for today. The city-wide transformation is all for Miles, a five-year-old who has successfully battled leukemia since he was only a year old. Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the power of social media, Miles’s dreams will come true as he fights villains alongside Batman as “Batkid”. Thanks for keeping Gotham City safe, Batkid!

    Toronto’s City Council votes to strip embattled mayor of some powerhttp://rtvote.com/1bAbMHq
    Toronto mayor Rob Ford just can’t help himself. After adding to his list of missteps with some very vulgar comments about oral sex on live Canadian television, Toronto’s city council decided Friday to strip Ford of his ability to appoint and dismiss his senior staff. Even though his power on the political stage is shrinking, don’t expect to see any less of him. Mayor Ford and his brother, Doug, will begin their new “Ford Nation” television show on Monday (No, I’m not kidding. I wish I was.).

    Woman sells wedding ring for tickets to Chiefs-Broncos gamehttp://rtvote.com/1dyLTqX
    A woman found a buyer on Craigslist who traded his football game tickets for her wedding ring. Don’t stress – she claims the ring was from a previous marriage. The buyer will be using his new ring to propose to his girlfriend this Sunday. Smart trade, guys. The ex-wife gets to see some men with tight butts play a good game of football, and Mr. Buyer gets a happy fiancée. What could be better?

    Canada Says 386 Kids Rescued in Child Porn Busthttp://rtvote.com/HQpZor
    Canadian police have released the details on one of the largest child porn busts they’ve seen to date. The investigation, dubbed the Project Spade operation, has led to the rescue of 386 children around the world and the arrest of 348 people. 108 of those arrests were made in Canada, and 76 in the United States. The remaining arrests were made in other countries. Amongst the perpetrators were school teachers, doctors, and actors.

    China easing 1-child policy amid elderly bloomhttp://rtvote.com/1j9xH99
    The ruling Communist Party of China has said they will loosen its decades-old one-child policy. Labor camps, which are currently used by local officials to deal with people who challenge their authority on issues including land rights and corruption, will also be abolished.



    R&B singer Chris Brown out of rehab, working on community service requirement,http://rtvote.com/HULoNE

    Adam Levine Plays Coy About People’s Sexiest Man Alive Rumor, Reveals Wedding Details onTodayhttp://rtvote.com/17yAvwH

    Rihanna and Drake Drop More Than $17,000 Together at Strip Club in Houston: Exclusive Details,http://rtvote.com/1aXNHfa

    Pregnant Megan Fox Covers Baby Bump During Lunch Outing With Hubby Brian Austin Green,http://rtvote.com/18ACSdl


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

    News Round-Up: October 30, 2013

    Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

    HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius apologizes at a hearing; retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor officiates a gay marriage ceremony; and a wine shortage hits the world (oh, say it ain’t so). Meanwhile, Chris Brown returns to rehab, and Ashton Kutcher expands his ever-growing resumé with Lenovo.

    -Sandy + Maura


    Health chief Sebelius apologizes for botched websitehttp://rtvote.com/1gciabr
    At today’s hearing with the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Kathleen Sebelius, the Health and Human Services Secretary, formally apologized for the technical problems Healthcare.gov has been experiencing. More Republicans are calling for her resignation, and the panel intensely scrutinized Sebelius and the sub par performance of the healthcare website. The Obama administration has vowed to fix these issues by the end of November.

    After Retired Justice O’Connor Performs Their Wedding, Gay Couple Celebrates “Wonderful Day”,http://rtvote.com/1gcl146
    Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor officiated the wedding of Jeff Trammell and Stuart Serkin. She is the second official of the High Court to have officiated a gay marriage ceremony; the first was current Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Once considered a conservative justice, O’Connor was nominated to the bench by President Reagan and retired in 2006.

    Thirsty? There’s a global wine shortagehttp://rtvote.com/1h0vXmS
    Brace yourselves. There’s a wine shortage in the world. Global production fell by more than 5% last year, the lowest it’s been since the 1960s, while demand continues to increase. The main cause for the decrease in production was bad weather in France and Argentina. The French consume the most wine, followed by Americans and then the Chinese. Although the U.S. wine making industry is growing, don’t expect global wine production to improve anytime soon.

    Brazilian Footballer’s Decapitated Head Reportedly Sent to Wife by Drug Lordshttp://rtvote.com/1gcpnZ6
    Former pro Brazilian soccer player Joao Rodrigo Silva Santos was kidnapped and decapitated by suspected drug traffickers in Rio de Janeiro. His head was sent to his wife’s residence on the morning of October 29. Police are unsure why Santos was targeted. Brazilian soccer is often linked to gang activity.

    Baylor students seek to remove gay ban from student codehttp://rtvote.com/1h0AMfN
    The student senate of Baylor University, a private Baptist school, voted to propose that university officials remove “homosexual acts” from the school’s sexual misconduct code. The proposal will go on to the Baylor University Board of Regents for review. Seems like a win for progress and equality? Not quite. One Baylor student says this rewording does not mean they are advocating homosexuality; they are simply not pinpointing homosexuals anymore: “It is saying homosexual acts are wrong but heterosexual acts committed outside of marriage are also wrong.”


    Joanne Bamberger discusses how certain voting models are compromising the rights of married or divorced women in “Voter ID laws threaten women’s rights,” http://rtvote.com/1gcv2hO

    Sally Kohn explains why losing your current healthcare plan under Obamacare is not something to cry over in “A canceled health plan is a good thing,” http://rtvote.com/1f482P4


    Chris Brown Kisses Karrueche Tran Before Heading to Rehab, http://rtvote.com/1f48cWG

    Kristin Cavallari Pregnant with Baby No. 2, http://rtvote.com/1h0PUtI

    Former Full House Child Star Blake McIver Now a Sexy Go-Go Dancer, http://rtvote.com/1h0Qec0

    Ashton Kutcher Hired as a Product Engineer to Help Design Tablets for Lenovo, http://rtvote.com/1f48Lj7


    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


    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.


    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

    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: Friday, May 31, 2013

    Friday, May 31st, 2013

    A U.S. woman is freed from Mexican jail; a Texas man becomes person of interest in ricin-letter investigation; Arvind Mahankali wins the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee; Defense Secretary Hagal talks cyber-security; video shows Boston bombings suspects at a gym three days before attacks; more storms hit the midwest; a woolly mammoth carcass is found in Russia; a Michigan woman is reported dead in Syria; and Obama pushed Congress to do something about student loan interest rates by July 1. Meanwhile, a park employee pleads not guilty to a dry ice blast at Disneyland, and Philip Seymour Hoffman enters rehab for narcotic abuse.

    Maura + Alexis


    U.S. woman held in Mexico on drug smuggling charge freed, http://cbsn.ws/Zi9V4y
    An Arizona woman was freed from a Mexico jail after spending a week there on a suspected drug smuggling charge. Thanks to security footage from the bus, she was proven not guilty and was let go. Yanira Maldonado was arrested by the Mexican military last week after they found 12 pounds of pot under her bus seat at a security checkpoint. Maldonado was released from prison late Thursday night.

    Ricin-letter investigation identifies Texas man as person of interest, http://cbsn.ws/13oXaEW
    A Texas man was identified as a suspect Thursday in the case of ricin-laced threat letters sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and to President Obama. Police have not yet arrested him. The man is merely being questioned by the FBI at this point.

    Arvind Mahankali Wins The 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee, http://huff.to/ZhV1v6
    Arvind Mahankali, a 13-year-oldl from Queens, N.Y., wins the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee. He won the spelling bee with the word “knaidel,” a German derived Yiddish word that means a small mass of dough, like a dumpling. Mahankali had tied for ninth in 2010, tied for third in 2011, finished third in 2012 and finally won in 2013.

    Cyber threats pose ‘stealthy, insidious’ danger: defense chief, http://reut.rs/18CPAtm
    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke today about cyber threats and their ability to pose a “quiet, stealthy, insidious” danger to the US and other nations. Hagel said that he would address the topic in his speech on Saturday to the Shangri-La Security Dialogue in Singapore. He also expressed that the issue would likely become a talking point in a brief meeting with Chinese delegates on the margins of the conference. He finished with a call to action that included creating “rules of the road” between the US and every other nation with regard to cyber conflict.

    Video shows Boston bombing suspects at gym days before attack, http://bit.ly/116PDrc
    A video shows that just three days before the Boston Marathon bombings, suspects Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev were working out at local gym. The footage shows the brothers arriving at the Wai Kru mixed marital arts center just before 2:45 p.m. April 12. The manager of the gym noticed a distinct change in Tamerlan’s appearance – no more bushy beard. Looking back, the manager wonders if the shaving of his beard may have been part of an Islamic purification ritual that takes place before death.

    More Heavy Storms on Tap for the Midwest; 3 Dead, http://abcn.ws/13q7z39
    Up to a dozen tornados hit Arkansas on Thursday as well as one in Illinois and three in Oklahoma. Nine people were injured, and at least three were killed as a result of the storms in the region. Forecasters warn that large hail and more tornados are possible today.

    Russians Find Mammoth Carcass With Liquid Blood, http://bit.ly/10D2QN5
    Russian scientists uncovered a perfectly preserved woolly mammoth carcass with liquid blood on Thursday. The animal carcass was found on a remote Arctic island. Scientists are excited at the prospects of cloning the Ice Age animal. The blood found was very dark but still in its liquid form. The blood of woolly mammoths apparently did not freeze in even extremely cold temperatures in order to keep the animals warm. The animal’s muscle tissue was also found in perfect condition.

    US State Department Probes Report of Michigan Woman Killed in Syria, http://abcn.ws/15oPEuZ
    The US State Department is currently investigating reports that a US woman has been killed in Syria. Syrian state television has reported that an American woman from Michigan had been killed by government forces while fighting alongside the opposition in Idlib province. The State Department told ABC News that it is aware of what is going on and it is seeking more information through Czech protecting power. Monday, Sen. John McCain crossed the Syrian border to meet with rebel forces.

    Obama pushes Congress on student loans, http://wapo.st/11sMVMA
    President Obama urged Congress on Friday to pass a student-loan bill by July 1. Obama said “If Congress doesn’t act by July 1, federal student loan rates are set to double.” He equated this increase in loan rates to an average of $1,000 per student of additional debt. Obama was also quoted saying, “The House bill isn’t smart, and it’s not fair, so I’m asking young people [...] to make their voices heard once again.” The rates will rise automatically to 6.8% if Congress does not pass a bill by the end of the month to extend lower rates.


    Disneyland Explosion: Park Employee Pleads Not Guilty to Dry Ice Blast, http://eonli.ne/19t6axo

    Billy Joel Gives Surprise Master Class for NYC High School Students, http://eonli.ne/19tfcKE

    Philip Seymour Hoffman Entered Detox for Narcotic Abuse, http://tmz.me/1169Mh7

    Boston Strong: Donnie Wahlberg, Jason Aldean, Jimmy Buffett and More Stars Come Together for Concert, http://eonli.ne/15otEjQ

    Lincoln Bell Shepard: See Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard’s 2-Month-Old Baby Girl!, http://eonli.ne/15mkx3j

    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