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    News Round-Up: Friday, March 1, 2013

    Friday, March 1st, 2013

    Cuts from the sequester could be implemented in a matter of hours; the Vatican is currently without a pope; and a Florida man is swallowed up by a massive sinkhole. Meanwhile, Michelle Obama defends her controversial Oscars appearance, Justin Bieber celebrates his birthday by partying until 6 A.M., and Daniel Radcliffe might star in the next “Frankenstein” movie.

    Caitlin + Liza

    CRUCIAL: 

    Countdown to spending cuts: a matter of hours, http://bit.ly/ZOiDcB
    Expectations are low that Washington will reach a deal that will prevent $85 million in spending cuts, known as the sequester, from going into effect later Friday. With just hours left, many Congressmen left the House for the weekend, signaling they have given up on negotiations. Though the president is set to meet with congressional leaders throughout the day, experts say the two sides are not likely to come to an agreement. If the sequester goes into effect, spending cuts will slash funding for government agencies across the board.

    Vatican takes first steps running Pope-less Church, http://apne.ws/Y3WMqV
    The Vatican began its “sede vacante” with Pope Benedict’s official resignation on Thursday night, taking the first steps of its transition period without a pope. Several key Vatican officials who will temporarily take charge of running the church will meet on Monday to set a date for the conclave, the election of the next pope. The College of Cardinals will likely elect Benedict’s successor within the next 20 days, and will also discuss challenges currently facing the Catholic church.

    Florida Sinkhole: Rescue Crews Try to Reach Man Swallowed by Massive Chasm, http://huff.to/XH628f
    A Florida man was swallowed up by a sinkhole that opened up beneath his bedroom on Friday, requiring rescue crews to help extract him from the huge chasm. Officials estimate the sinkhole was 30 feet wide at the surface and reached 100 feet across below the surface. Though the outside of the house was left completely intact, the entire bedroom was swallowed up. The man’s brother was also in the house at the time of the collapse, and was unsuccessful in his rescue attempt. “He was screaming my name. I could swear I heard him hollering my name to help him,” the brother said. The man is still missing and may be dead.

    Death Toll From Bangladesh Unrest Reaches 44, http://nyti.ms/XL7Fys
    At least 44 were killed in a clash between protesters and security forces in Bangladesh on Thursday, when violence erupted after a special war crimes tribunal sentenced an Islamic leader to death. Protestors took to the streets to celebrate the sentencing of Delawar Hossain Sayedee, who committed crimes against humanity during the country’s 1971 war for independence from Pakistan, and demanded further justice for leaders of Sayedee’s Islamic party, Jamaat. Furious Jamaat members have called for a nationwide strike, with bloodshed erupting and party members fighting police officers. Jamaat holds that the government is manipulating the war crimes justice system to attack political rivals.

    Chinese TV Special on Executions Stirs Debate, http://nyti.ms/Z6C6Aw
    The Chinese government aired a two-hour television broadcast on Friday during which four foreign drug traffickers were sent to their deaths by lethal injection. The program ended just before the execution of the men, who were accused of killing 13 Chinese sailors two years ago, and included graphic images of triumphant police officers and of the accused men in shackles. Heated debate ensued over whether the broadcast was a long-awaited show of justice or a tasteless display of violence. “Rather than showcasing rule of law, the program displayed state control over human life in a manner designed to attract gawkers,” criminal law professor Han Youyi said.

    President Obama calls for U.S. Supreme Court to strike down California’s gay marriage ban, http://bit.ly/YLsflR
    President Obama urged the Supreme Court to strike down California’s Proposition 8 on Thursday, saying the voter-approved gay marriage ban violates equal rights for same-sex couples. Though President Obama has expressed his support for gay marriage, his comments on Thursday mark the first time the administration has targeted a state’s right to outlaw same-sex marriage. The federal government had previously refrained from taking a stance in the last three major gay rights cases. The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments challenging Proposition 8 on March 26.

    CULTURAL: 

    Michelle Obama Defends Controversial Oscars Appearance, http://bit.ly/XL1wT2

    Justin Bieber Celebrates His Birthday Shirtless, Parties Until 6 A.M., http://usm.ag/Z2ls3D

    Daniel Radcliffe in Final Talks to Star in Fox’s “Frankenstein”, http://bit.ly/Z2INlW

    Jennifer Lawrence Says She Sets Up Bradley Cooper, http://bit.ly/13tenjv

     

    Liza Dee
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up, Monday, February 4, 2013

    Monday, February 4th, 2013

    The Baltimore Ravens topple the San Francisco 49ers in the most watched Super Bowl in history; an investigation finds 680 international soccer matches were rigged; and Tagg Romney eyes a run for the Senate. Meanwhile, Beyonce stuns at the Super Bowl halftime show and goes on to announce an upcoming world tour; and Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are spotted back together.

    Caitlin + Liza

    CRUCIAL: 

    Baltimore Ravens Win Super Bowl 46 Over San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, http://huff.to/XSajRV
    The Baltimore Ravens toppled the San Francisco 49ers Sunday night 34 to 31 in what was the longest Super Bowl in history at 4 hours and 14 minutes. A power outage in the third quarter brought the game to a standstill with the Ravens up by 22, and allowed the 49ers to catch their breath and stage a comeback. Yet the Ravens, led by MVP Joe Flacco and veteran Ray Lewis, who was playing in his last game ever, managed to hold off the 49ers. The win marked a sibling rivalry victory for Baltimore coach John Harbaugh, who defeated brother Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the 49ers, and was the most watched Super Bowl in history.

    Investigation Finds Suspected Fixing in 680 Soccer Matches, http://nyti.ms/XaE2r1
    680 international soccer matches are suspected of being fixed according to global law enforcement officials, who announced the results of a 19-month investigation earlier today. Asian criminal organizations that made millions by betting on game results are behind the conspiracies, which included more than 425 people spanning at least 15 countries. Organizations strategically rigged the soccer matches by bribing players and referees in an effort to predetermine game results. Fixed matches included high-profile games such as qualifying games for the World Cup and European Cup as well as two Champions League matches. “This is a sad day for European football, and more evidence of the corrupting influence of organized crime,” said Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, which helped coordinate the investigation. An international arrest warrant was issued for the leader of an Asian criminal group behind most of the fixed matches.

    Ex-Navy sniper, another military vet killed at Texas gun range, http://bit.ly/WHeKCI
    Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, a record holder for the number of sniper killings in Iraq and author of the best-selling “American Sniper”, was gunned down in Glen Rose Texas Saturday along with fellow military veteran Chad Littlefield. Kyle and Littlefield were visiting a shooting range at the Rough Creek Lodge when they were murdered by suspect Eddie Ray Routh. Routh is also a former Marine and is now in the process of seeking a court-appointed attorney. Kyle, a married father of two, had also founded a nonprofit to help veterans battle post-traumatic stress disorder. A spokesperson for the group remembered him as “an American hero” in a statement.

    Report: Tagg Romney eying Senate, http://politi.co/VKXRpk
    Tagg Romney, son of former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, is considering a run for a Massachusetts Senate seat, according to a Boston Herald report. Tagg, 42, is Mitt Romney’s oldest son and was a frequent face throughout the 2012 campaign. He is founder of Solamere Capital, a venture capital firm in Boston. The Herald also reported that some had called on Mitt Romney’s wife Ann to make a Senate run. A Massachusetts Senate seat opened up when former Democratic Senator John Kerry resigned to accept a post as Secretary of State, and the state’s former GOP Senator Scott Brown announced he will not run to replace Kerry.

    Obama: Drop Gay Ban, Boy Scouts, http://politi.co/11F3ndB
    President Obama pushed the Boy Scouts to drop their ban on gay members in an interview on Sunday as the Boy Scouts of America prepares for this week’s vote on whether to end a national ban on gay members and scout masters. The possible change, which would allow local groups to make decisions as to whether or not to allow gay members, has stirred debate, with former scouts including Texas Governor Rick Perry insisting the ban should stay in place. “My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life,” President Obama said.

    Eight killed, more than 30 hurt as bus flips, http://lat.ms/VK3dkN
    At least eight were killed and more than 30 were injured Sunday night when a tour bus collided with a truck and sedan on a narrow mountain road in California. All fatalities came from the bus, which lost control while heading down the mountain and rolled over the truck at least once. The bus was carrying 38 passengers, including children. 27 were taken to the hospital after police spent more than two hours trying to free the injured. “It happened so fast, I don’t know how it all happened,” one passenger said. “This was supposed to be a good day with my companions and then this happened.”

    CULTURAL: 

    Beyonce Super Bowl Halftime Show: Singer Stuns With An All-Out Display, http://huff.to/VzfaYG

    Beyonce Announces New World Tour After Super Bowl Extravaganza, http://bit.ly/UQTOZp

    People’s TV Critic Reviews the Super Bowl Ads, http://bit.ly/WpEJiA

    Selena Gomez Back with Justin Bieber…Again?, http://tmz.me/Uin2mk

    Frank Ocean Will NOT Be Pressing Charges Against Chris Brown, http://bit.ly/Uoa3Q3

    Liza Dee
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, October 4th, 2012

    Thursday, October 4th, 2012

    Pundits and voters are abuzz as Romney is named the victor of last night’s debate; Turkish parliament launches an attack on Syria; sensitive documents may have been left behind in Benghazi; 18 schoolchildren are buried by a landslide in China; two suspects are arrested in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent; and Facebook registers its one billionth user. Meanwhile, Miguel Cabrera wins the Triple Crown; Chris Brown and Rihanna are spotted together at the Jay-Z concert; and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame reveals its latest nominees.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Turkish Parliament authorizes military operations in Syria, http://wapo.st/QJ94pc
    Turkey’s parliament has approved an emergency bill that allows the country to attack Syria for what is now the second day in a row. The military action is in response to a shell fired in Syria that toppled a house in a Turkish village, causing the death of two women and three children. Turkey immediately responded after the attack, firing artillery deep into Syria. The country’s retaliation is not an official declaration of war; however, the Turkish parliament has shown no sign of withdrawing their offense. NATO has since condemned Syria’s attack calling it a “flagrant violation of international law.”

    Sensitive documents left behind at U.S. diplomatic post in Libya, http://wapo.st/QK8m8e
    U.S. personnel fled Benghazi, leaving behind what seems to be some sensitive documents after the September 11th attacks that killed four Americans. A Washington Post reporter has since found the documents that detail the consulate’s security plans amongst the rubble at the bombing site. The U.S. consulate building was locked up a few days after the attack; however, during the days prior, anyone was able to access the site. As a result, it seems some of the sensitive documents have gone missing.

    Bodies found after landslide buries 18 schoolchildren in China, http://bit.ly/OEE3o1
    18 schoolchildren, who were attending a make-up class on a public holiday, have been buried in a landslide brought on by recent earthquakes in China. One villager was also killed in the disaster while a family of three managed to escape. Four bodies have since been recovered. The earthquakes struck the area on September 7th, killing 80 people.

    Mexican troops arrest two in killing of U.S. border agent: officials, http://reut.rs/QH46cK
    A Mexican Army officer says that two suspects in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent have been arrested and are now in a Mexican military facility. Three Border Patrol agents responded to an alert from a ground sensor when they were believed the be ambushed, leaving one dead, one injured, and the other to have escaped.

    Poll: Uncommitted voters say Romney wins debate, http://cbsn.ws/SyXsFW
    According to a CBS flash poll, 46% of 500 uncommitted voters surveyed immediately after last night’s presidential debate said that Romney was the winner; 32% said that the two candidates tied while 22% said that President Obama won. 56% of those polled said that the debate caused them to have a more favorable view of Romney while 11% claimed to have a less favorable opinion; 32% said their impression of the former governor remains unchanged.

    Obama and Romney, in First Debate, Spar Over Fixing the Economy, http://wapo.st/QJ94pc
    During last night’s debate, President Obama and Mitt Romney went head-to-head over the economy. Romney called Obama’s economic plan from the past four years “trickle-down government” while Obama said Romney had “top-down economic policies.” Romney has widely been named as the winner of the debate, speaking clearly and aggressively about Obama’s economic plans. Obama, instead, looked down at his lectern seemingly taking notes and responded with hesitancy at some points during the discussion.

    Facebook’s ‘Next Billion’: A Q&A With Mark Zuckerberg, http://buswk.co/SH855O
    In an interview with Mark Zuckerberg, published today, the Facebook founder said that the social media platform registered its one billionth user on September 14th. The news was not immediately made public as it took some time to pinpoint this milestone user.  “It’s really humbling to get a billion people to do anything,” Zuckerberg told Businessweek, going on to say that the Facebook team watched the countdown together in their office. He also noted that Facebook has only 1,000 engineers, meaning each engineer is responsible for one million users.

    CULTURAL:

    Miguel Cabrera wins Triple Crown, http://es.pn/Re1row

    Chris Brown and Rihanna Hit Up Jay-Z Concert Together a Day After Club Hookup, http://eonli.ne/Uhg0h1

    ‘American Idol’ Feud: Keith Urban Weighs in on Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey’s Fight, http://bit.ly/QTpzQ4

    Julianne Moore, Victim in Jewelry Heist?, http://tmz.me/PcwRPI

    N.W.A, Rush, Donna Summer among new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees, http://bit.ly/PAjHqv

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    @caitlinmagu
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

    Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

    The Free Syrian Army attacks a loyalist military base; Iranian President Ahmadinejad speaks at the U.N., and anti-austerity protests and strikes flare up in Greece. Meanwhile, crooner Andy Williams passes away; and J.K. Rowling reveals her struggles with OCD.

    Caitlin + David

    CRITICAL

    Syria unrest: Damascus attack ‘was suicide bomb’, http://bbc.in/SQyJch
    A military headquarters in the Syrian capitol of Damascus has been attacked by vehicle bombs driven by suicide bombers. Four military guards were killed and 14 injured, according to Syrian state television, contradicting an earlier official account which reported no casualties. The blasts ignited a swath of the compound including the building that houses the General Staff, although state media insist no senior military officials were harmed. The Free Syrian Army, which represents the rebel opposition to President Assad’s rule, claimed responsibility for the attack, but did not mention suicide bombing specifically.

    Iranian president accuses West of intimidation in U.N address, http://bit.ly/OV1wkz
    The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, spoke at the second day of the United Nations General Debate, saying that Western “hegemonic powers” are threatening Iran. He told delegates that Iran “welcomes any effort intended to provide and promote peace, stability and tranquility,” but that “a state of mistrust has cast its shadow on the international relations, whilst there is no trusted or just authority to help resolve world conflicts.” Ahmadinejad also railed against “uncivilized Zionists” and Israel. The chair reserved for the United States delegate was conspicuously empty during the speech as the U.S. has “decided not to attend” according to an American spokesman, who said that Ahmadinejad was not addressing the “legitimate aspirations of the Iranian people” but simply “spout[ing] paranoid theories and repulsive slurs against Israel.”

    Thousands protest austerity measures in Greece, http://bit.ly/RXYWLC
    Protesters have thrown fire bombs and riot police have deployed tear gas in Syntagma Square in Athens, as thousands of Greeks protested against new austerity measures for the debt-crippled European state. The protests corresponded to a 24-hour general strike organized by two major Greek unions, and more than 25,000 peaceful protesters took place in Athens. The government of Greece must commit to cutting $11.5 billion from its budget in order to receive the next installment of bailout money.

    CULTURAL

    J.K. Rowling’s Personal Struggle With OCD Informed New Novel, The Casual Vacancy, http://abcn.ws/Qx97UZ

    Andy Williams, ‘Moon River’ Singer, Dies at 84, http://bit.ly/PFEACR

    BET Promotional Stunt Prompts Bomb Scare, http://bit.ly/RgAiDe

    Sean Lowe Is the New Bachelor, http://bit.ly/UDYJgW

    David Heckman
    Bio: David is a senior English major at UMBC and Communications Intern with Rock the Vote.

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



    Young People Undecided about 2012 Elections

    Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

    In 2008, President Obama won the youth vote overwhelmingly. However, many recent news articles and polls are claiming that support and enthusiasm for Obama’s re-election has fallen precipitously. While he is still far ahead amongst young voters, it seems a good deal of young people are undecided and focused on the economy over any other issue.

    This New York Times piece indicates that very young voters (18-19) are slightly more conservative than the rest of their Millennial brethren. It also points out that enthusiasm has fallen because of the poor economic situation, particularly among young people. A Huffington Post piece highlights the people who put their lives on hold in order to work on the Obama campaign in 2008, but are now disillusioned with the allegedly slow progress he has made on the issues that were important to them.

    Current polls show that a majority of young voters support Obama in his reelection. While this may be the case, it still remains to be seen if youth vote turnout will be the same that it was in 2008. Both the Obama and Romney campaigns needs a relatively large majority of young voters to turn their way in order to win. As a result of this, Mitt Romney has begun to do some youth outreach focusing on the economy. If he offers young voters a compelling vision for economic recovery, they may go against the grain and vote for him. The economy is so poor it has made many young people one-issue voters. Romney also has several advantages that John McCain did not have in 2008 – he is younger, attractive, and has strong economic credentials. He is also facing an incumbent president of the opposite party with unemployment still over 8%. Check out our comparison of Mitt Romney’s and President Obama’s economic plans.

    You can see Heather Smith, President of Rock the Vote, speak more on the current climate of the youth vote at 11:25am today with Thomas Roberts on MSNBC.

    David Winegar
    Bio: David Winegar is the Digital Media intern for Rock the Vote. He is a sophomore at Duke University.
    @davidswinegar
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com