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    News Round-Up: Monday, February 24th, 2014

    Monday, February 24th, 2014

    The Department of Defense proposes some extreme military cuts; Deval Patrick may be considering running for president; and a strange polio-like disease strikes five kids. Meanwhile, view the top 15 moments at the Sochi Olympics; Alec Baldwin has harsh words for some celebrities; and Pharrell’s “Smoky the Bear” Grammy’s hat is up for auction.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Defense Department to cut Army to pre-WWII size:http://rtvote.com/1pjsT6W
    The Department of Defense will present a new defense budget Monday that will decrease defense spending. The budget outlines a plan intent on reducing the Army to the size it was before World War Two (between 440,000 and 450,000 troops) and plans on removing a class of Air Force attack jets. The bill, supported by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, protects funding for cyberwarfare and security as well as special operations programs. Congressional leaders with large military populations in the area they represent may provide a strong opposition to the budget.

    Mass. Gov Patrick: ‘Maybe’ I’ll run for president:http://rtvote.com/1k4j7lg
    Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told Politico that he might consider a run for president in the future. He originally dismissed rumors of a 2016 presidential bid because he was afraid of the impact the election would have on his family. Patrick said that he and his wife would have to agree on running if he ever considered it. Patrick is not running for a third gubernatorial term this year.

    Longest-serving Congressman to retire:http://rtvote.com/1cHUd9x
    Michigan Representative John Dingell, 87, will retire from the House of Representatives when his 29th term ends later this year. A champion of healthcare reform, environmental protection, gun control, worker’s rights, and gun rights, Dingell has an impressive congressional accomplishments sheet. Serving in Congress has taken a toll on his physical health, and he continually expressed frustration with the increasingly partisan Congressional gridlock. Dingell’s retirement is now one of many, as more congressmen and senators call for retirement. Although his Michigan district is considered a safety district for Democrats, the Congressman or woman who takes his place will have a tough act to follow.

    Polio-like illness found in five California children:http://rtvote.com/1epOTnD
    Between August 2012 and July 2013, five California children have become paralyzed in one or more of their limbs. Doctors ruled out polio because all of the affected children had been vaccinated against the disease, despite their ailment having polio-like qualities. Instead, two of the five children have been diagnosed with enterovirus 68, an incredibly rare disease that is from the same family as polio. Since 2000, there have been 47 cases of enterovirus 68 in the United States. Health officials are not concerned about the possibility of an outbreak, stressing the rarity of the illness.

    Students, say goodbye to snow days:http://rtvote.com/OtTD74
    Teachers are beginning to utilize technology to teach at home. Because this winter has been difficult for many areas of the country, some schools have run out of snow days. Teachers in some school districts have begun to teach online during snow days, requiring students to log in to a program online to keep track of attendance and grades. This prevents students from missing too many school days, which would require school officials to take days away from spring break.

    CULTURAL

    See the most memorable moments from the Sochi Olympics:http://rtvote.com/1fnoTj4

    Brooke-Burke Charvet ousted from her DWTS hosting job:http://rtvote.com/1eb5gt5

    Alec Baldwin’s harsh New York essay:http://rtvote.com/1gwSMKa

    You can buy Pharrell’s infamous Grammy hat:http://rtvote.com/1mD9Ju3

    Liam Neeson discusses Natasha Richardson’s death:http://rtvote.com/1pjQ9ll

    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, January 30, 2014

    Thursday, January 30th, 2014
    A 3-year-old boy falls victim to a Mafia hit in Italy; another congressman is set to retire; Amanda Knox is back on trial and awaiting a verdict; and the 8-year-old boy who saved six of his family members in a fire was laid to rest yesterday. Meanwhile, the Academy Awards committee revokes a nomination; Jerry Seinfeld might have hinted at a Seinfeld reunion; the men of Full House sing Jimmy Fallon a classic lullaby; and Justin Bieber is back in the news.

    Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Boy, 3, executed in alleged mob hit: http://rtvote.com/1loaari
    A 3-year-old boy was shot along with his grandfather and another person in an apparent Mafia hit. The grandfather, Giuseppe Innaicelli, was believed to be the intended target. One of the most powerful Mafia syndicates in the world – ‘Ndrangheta – is believed to be responsible for the crime. The killing shocked Italy and even drew the attention of the Pope, who asked people Sunday to pray for the boy (known as Coco) and call on the members responsible to ask forgiveness.

    Democratic Representative Henry Waxman to retire at end of term: http://rtvote.com/1eiWR69
    Representative Henry Waxman of California announced today that he will not seek reelection for a 21st Congressional term this election year. He is now one of the 7 House Democrats who have announced their refusal to run for reelection; 10 Republican House members have also announced their retirement. Although Waxman has vehemently chastised Tea Party Republicans in Congress, he has denied this as the reason for his departure. “After 40 years in Congress, it’s time for someone else to have the chance to make his or her mark…” Waxman said. 

    Verdict due in third murder trial of Amanda Knox: http://rtvote.com/1hRPcM7
    A verdict is due in the ongoing trial of Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. The two were charged in the gruesome 2007 murder of student Meredith Kercher. Knox and Sollecito have been to court twice and were found guilty in one trial and innocent in the other. The Italian Supreme Court revoked the ‘innocent’ ruling, saying that key evidence had been left out of the trial. Prosecutors want Knox and Sollecito to serve 26 years in prison. 

    Doctors try to wake Schumacher from coma: http://rtvote.com/1n1mR6R
    Michael Schumacher, the German former Formula One champion, has been in a coma since December 29th, when he sustained serious head injuries at a ski resort in France. His condition has stabilized enough that doctors are trying to wake him out of his induced coma. The family has requested privacy throughout his ordeal, but Schumacher’s manager has spoken out to clear media leaks.

    Boy who saved 6 declared honorary firefighter at funeral: http://rtvote.com/Lt29RZ
    Tyler Doohan, the 8-year-old boy who saved six of his family members in a house fire before perishing, was buried yesterday. To honor his bravery, Penfield Fire Chief Chris Ebemeyer presented a fire helmet at the funeral and made Tyler an honorary firefighter. People from all over the country came to Fariport, New York to be at Tyler’s funeral to honor his heroism. 

    CULTURAL

    Oscar nomination for Best Original Song revoked: http://rtvote.com/1batGxU

    Full House cast sings a lullaby to Jimmy Fallon: http://rtvote.com/1aKtMl3

    Did Jerry Seinfeld kind of confirm a Seinfeld reunion? http://rtvote.com/1a467vr

    Justin Bieber’s horrendous 2014 start: http://rtvote.com/1hSakBN

    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