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    News Round-Up: December 11, 2013

    Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

    The Nevada family that never returned from playing in the snow has been found and rescued; Senator Ted Cruz walks out on Cuban President Raul Castro’s speech at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service; and a family struggles to get people to help those with mental illnesses. Meanwhile, Demi Lovato talks about her struggles with cocaine addiction, and Kate Winslet gives birth to her first child!

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Meteor explodes over Arizona; big meteor shower begins,http://rtvote.com/IPLo1k
    A tremendous boom rattled the houses of residents in Tucson, Arizona. The largest meteor shower of the year, Geminid, seemed to be giving them a sneak preview. A dash cam caught the spectacular meteor on video. The Geminid meter shower officially starts Thursday.

    Senator’s chief of staff under investigation involving child porn allegations,http://rtvote.com/1jOt0od
    Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said Tuesday that law enforcement officials were searching the home of his chief of staff, Ryan Loskarn, regarding allegations involving child pornography. The Senator has placed Mr. Loskarn on administrative leave without pay. His office is fully cooperating with the investigation.

    Lost Nevada family warmed rocks by fire to survive snow for 2 days,http://rtvote.com/18C9iV8
    The Nevada family that went out to play in the snow and never returned has finally been found and rescued. James Glanton, 34, and his girlfriend, Christina McIntee, remained calm after their jeep overturned and slid down an embankment, trapping them in the cold weather. Glanton and McIntee cleverly warmed rocks to start a fire to keep the children, 3 to 10, warm at night. The hospital says they are stable with no frostbite, just some exposure issues.

    Sen. Cruz walks out on Castro speech at Mandela memorial,http://rtvote.com/18mkKcz
    Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, part of a Congressional delegation at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, walked out of the service when Cuban President Raul Castro took to the stage and delivered his speech. A spokesperson for Cruz stated they he hopes that Castro can learn from the lessons of Mandela by releasing his political prisoners and holding free elections for the Cuban people. Before eulogizing Mandela, President Obama shook Raul Castro’s hand – a remarkable gesture between the leaders of two nations that have not shared diplomacy in over half a century.

    ‘My Son is Mentally Ill’ So Listen Uphttp://rtvote.com/1iXk16p
    Stephanie Escamilla and her 14-year-old son tell their powerful story of having a family member who has a mental illness. They urge this nation and its people to stop neglecting those who are mentally ill. 1 in 4 American adults suffer from mental illness; 1 in 5 children have a mental disorder. Something has to be done for those who are oftentimes bullied, ignored, and marginalized in society for their condition.

     

    CULTURAL

    LeAnn Rimes Breaks Down in Tears Singing at American Country Awards,http://rtvote.com/1iXmKwx

    Demi Lovato Talks Past Drug Use: “I Couldn’t Go 30 Minutes to an Hour Without Cocaine,” http://rtvote.com/1gpHuev

    Kate Winslet Gives Birth to a Baby Boy, Her First child With Husband Ned Rocknroll, http://rtvote.com/1h0kjot

    Katy Perry: Russell Brand Wanted Me to Have Children as a Way of Control,http://rtvote.com/18mnd6H

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Friday, May 11th, 2012

    Friday, May 11th, 2012

    An egregious mistake creates huge losses for JPMorgan; Russia’s Foreign Minister says outside countries are responsible for yesterday’s blasts in Damascus; a shoe-thrower interrupts Anders Breivik’s trial; more details are revealed about the double-agent who foiled the Yemeni bomb plot; Mitt Romney tries to side-step gay rights and shift the nation’s focus back to the economy; and President Obama raises $15 million at George Clooney’s fundraiser. Meanwhile, NBC makes some big changes to its line-up; Russell Brand will host the MTV Movie Awards; and Serena Williams has a new rap song.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    JP Morgan sends Wall Street lower, http://reut.rs/Kf9DF6
    Stock index futures are down today after JPMorgan called an emergency conference call with investors to reveal a trading loss of $2 billion due to “egregious mistakes” on a hedging strategy. As a result, the biggest U.S. bank by assets will most likely post a loss of $800 million this quarter; before this error, it was due to post a $200 million profit. The mistake was from a trader called the “London Whale,” who amassed a outsized position that hedge funds bet against.

    Opposition: Syrian regime orchestrated bombings, http://bit.ly/JIB32d
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Beijing on Friday that “outside forces” executed the twin blasts that killed at least 40 in Damascus yesterday. “Some countries are inciting outside forces to interfere into the Syrian situation, which is unacceptable,” Lavrov said, although he would not specify the countries he believed responsible. The Syrian government has blamed “terrorists” for the attacks, while the opposition says the government is responsible.

    (via USA Today) Shoe-thrower interrupts Norway killing trial, http://usat.ly/KMIGJS
    The trial of Anders Behring Breivik was interrupted briefly Friday when the brother of one of his 77 victims hurled a shoe at the confessed mass killer and yelled, “Go to hell,” before being escorted from the court room, police and witnesses said. It was the first outburst from the normally subdued crowd watching the terror trial in Oslo’s district court since the proceedings began in mid-April. Breivik — a self-styled, anti-Muslim militant — has been charged with terrorism, admitting he carried out a bomb-and-shooting rampage that stunned Norway on July 22

    Saudi agent in bomb plot held UK passport, source says, http://bit.ly/Jj705T
    More details have been revealed about the CIA double-agent who foiled the Yemeni underwear bomb plot. The agent is Arabic with a British passport and has lived in the UK for many years. He was recruited by Saudi antiterrorist agencies after he had become involved with a group of jihadists and had the ability to pass for a terrorist.

    (via The Seattle Times) NAACP launches voter registration push in Georgia, http://bit.ly/JjajXZ 
    Saying it won’t let recently enacted voter ID laws suppress turnout, the NAACP on Wednesday launched a nationwide drive to register thousands of mostly minority, student and elderly voters before the Nov. 6 elections. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People says these groups could be the ones most affected by laws requiring them to show identification before they can exercise their right to vote.

    Los Angeles event brings $15 million to Obama campaign, http://lat.ms/K6igR4
    In what may be the largest campaign haul to come from one night, George Clooney’s soiree at his Hollywood home garnered the Obama campaign $15 million. For $40,000 a plate, the likes of Diane Von Furstenberg, Robert Downey Jr, and James Brolin were able to rub shoulders with the president and listen to him speak.  ”Obviously yesterday we made some news,” Obama told the crowd.  ”But the truth is it was a logical extension of what America is supposed to be.”

    Romney to shift focus from gay rights to economy, http://apne.ws/INV8CV 
    Mitt Romney is trying to shift the nation’s focus back to the economy after President Obama historically endorsed same-sex marriage. Romney has his work cut out for him as his next campaign stop is in North Carolina, where voters recently decided to ban gay marriage in their state’s constitution. He also will be delivering the commencement address at Liberty University, which was founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell, a strong opposer of gay rights.

    CULTURAL:

    NBC Announces Renewal of Parenthood, 30 Rock, http://bit.ly/JpeT6r

    “Milk” screenwriter warms to Obama after gay marriage announcement, http://trib.in/J5hdMY

    Russell Brand To Host 2012 MTV Movie Awards, http://on.mtv.com/K6wMrR

    Reese Witherspoon’s mom sues her father for bigamy, http://on.msnbc.com/IQMusj

    Serena Williams Make Her Rap Debut With New Song, http://on.mtv.com/KQpQMr

    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: Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

    Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

    A relentless North Korea will run nuclear tests for a third time; Wal-Mart faces a criminal investigation; clothing companies design gun-concealing apparel; a measure that would outlaw the death penalty makes the California ballot; Social Security will run out by 2033; and Gingrich hints at dropping out of the GOP race. Meanwhile, Kim and Kanye step out as a couple, as do Mila and Ashton; and Justin Bieber has a “Billie Jean” moment.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Exclusive: North Korea’s nuclear test ready “soon,” http://reut.rs/JnCoLw
    North Korea is at it again. The reclusive country is testing its nuclear capabilities for a third time despite an embarrassing failed rocket launch last week. North Korea’s insistence on proving it’s a nuclear contender has caused hostility between it and the United States, as well as South Korea and China. Previous nuclear tests took place in 2006 and 2009.

    Wal-Mart faces federal criminal probe tied to allegations of bribery in Mexico, http://wapo.st/J75dKb
    The Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into Wal-Mart after it was revealed that the store’s Mexican arm paid at least $24 million in bribes. Mexico provides a booming market for the retail chain, and Wal-Mart heads were paying bribes in return for quick building permits there. In December, Wal Mart voluntarily told the Justice Department that they believed its Mexican branch was taking part in bribery; however, that was long after the company had found out it was happening. In 2005, a whistleblower told Wal-Mart that bribes were taking place, but the company shut down the inquiry and did not inform law enforcement.

    New Fashion Wrinkle: Stylishly Hiding the Gun, http://nyti.ms/JvjE0u
    As more states pass concealed carry laws, clothing companies like Woolrich and Under Armour are designing clothing that will allow gun owners to discreetly carry and access their handguns. The apparel will look like everyday clothing and will not require a gun holster. “What we’ve tried to do is create a collection of garments that allows the end user to have stylish lifestyle apparel but have features in the garment that enable them to carry a weapon and draw the weapon quickly,” said the vice president of clothing company 5.11. Last year, 7 million Americans had a concealed-weapons permit, up 2 million people from 2008.

    Measure that would end death penalty in California qualifies for ballot, http://lat.ms/IOFPuJ
    A measure that would replace the death penalty with life in prison without parole has qualified for the ballot in California this November. If the measure passes, more than 700 people on death row would have their sentences commuted. California has one of the largest death rows in the United States. One of the reasons the measure has come up is that it would save the state a great deal of money. The legal process for those sentenced takes so long that most inmates die of old age before facing lethal injection. Not to mention, in the past 23 years, the 13 inmates that California executed cost taxpayers $4 billion.

    Social Security moving toward insolvency even faster; officials say, as boomers start retiring, http://wapo.st/IBHrZE
    The federal government revealed yesterday that Social Security may run out by 2033, three years earlier than previously predicted. The weak economy paired with a large number of aging baby boomers has contributed to the quickly dwindling funds, which lawmakers have not made moves to fix. Medicare will also be insolvent as early as 2024. Government officials have said that Congress must act quickly and drastically to save both Social Security and Medicare.

    Gingrich hints he may drop from race this week, http://on.msnbc.com/IeQX35
    Newt Gingrich told a crowd in Delaware yesterday that if he does not do well in the state’s primary he will “reassess” his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination. Delaware is a winner-take-all state, but if Gingrich does not receive many votes in the primary he will “need to take a deep look at what [he is] doing.” Gingrich also noted that while Mitt Romney is the frontrunner “that doesn’t mean he is inevitable.”

    Katrina vanden Heuvel wants to combat new voting laws in a “Vote for Universal Registration,” http://wapo.st/I6Z5r9

    CULTURAL:

    Russell Brand Testifies on Drug Addiction, Calls It a Health Matter, http://eonli.ne/ImqzXx

    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Step Out Holding Hands: Now Is It Official?, http://eonli.ne/I2X1Lz

    Ashton Kutcher and Mila Spend Weekend Together, http://bit.ly/I6ZIRu

    Demi Lovato says promoters gave her drugs and alcohol, http://cbsn.ws/JnHabW

    Justin Bieber pens song about baby-claim fan Mariah Yeater, http://usat.ly/Iq2S18

    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: TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 2012

    Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

    Skirmishes between the FDA and White House become more public; the US puts a bounty on the man responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks; the head of the General Services Administration has stepped down, and the new World Trade Center has risen to 100 floors. Also, Sarah Palin competes with Katie Couric for morning show viewers, and Levi Johnston will be a dad again.

    CRUCIAL:

    White House and the F.D.A. Often at Odds http://nyti.ms/HcDzxb
    During President Obama’s time in office, the White House and FDA have not always agreed. The White House is most concerned with the president’s portrayal during his reelection campaign while the FDA has prioritized with what they feel is sound science and smart policy. Examples of issues on which they have disagreed are the selling of over the counter contraceptives to minors and putting calorie totals on movie theater food. In both situations, the White House overruled the FDA.

    U.S. Offers $10 Million Reward for Pakistani Militant http://nyti.ms/HciLtF
    As a part of the Rewards for Justice program, the US State Department has handed out over $700 million since the 1980s to those who have helped them catch international criminals. Hafiz Saeed, the Pakistani who allegedly orchestrated the Mumbai attacks in 2008, is the most recent man to have an American bounty on his head. Anyone who helps capture Saeed stands to make $10 million, while catching his brother in law would garner $2 million. While the bounties will help US relations with India, they may increase tension with Pakistan.

    GSA chief resigns amid reports of excessive spending http://wapo.st/HQIRgn
    The General Services Administration is in a whole lot of hot water after financial reports from their Las Vegas convention were released. The GSA spent nearly $1 million of taxpayers’ dollars on a conference to help train 300 employees. The White House has been moving swiftly to fire and punish those involved in order to stay ahead of critics. While many Americans are struggling, the GSA spent freely on items like $7,000 sushi.

    New World Trade Center reaches 100 floors http://usat.ly/H9RIhY
    The New World Trade Center, which will be completed next year, has reached its100th floor. Right now, it is a mere feet away from surpassing the Empire State Building as the tallest building in New York City. Before 9/11, The Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in NYC. The memorial at the base of the building is already open, and Conde Nast and the China Center are both signed on to work in the building.

    ENTERTAINMENT:

    Palin-Couric morning-show showdown a draw http://usat.ly/HNEYwa

    LEVI JOHNSTON: Gets Another Chick Pregnant http://bit.ly/HdwrkF

    Scotty McCreery Is Picking a College for Fall http://bit.ly/Hetdup

    RUSSELL BRAND TO KATY PERRY: You Can Have the House http://bit.ly/HFsPLF

    Kentucky Holds Off Kansas to Win Eighth National Title http://es.pn/HGTvqE
    Aaron Ghitelman
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Monday, April 4, 2011

    Monday, April 4th, 2011

    President Obama announced his reelection campaign via digital media, while perhaps his most charismatic and moderate GOP challenger, Jon Huntsman, scores an amusing profile in Politico that details his years as a keyboardist in a rock band. Politico also outlines the Dem plot to take back the house in 2012, and New York mag considers whether Eric Cantor is positioning himself at the helm of a Tea Party House takeover that could undermine John Boehner. Jeffery Toobin weighs in on Supreme Court rulings over campaign finance laws http://nyr.kr/i27ozB that will shape this election.

    Qaddafi’s sons want to take over in Libya, a large hacking job this weekend left enormous number of customers email addresses exposed, a CBS exec confirmed Katie Couric’s farewell, the Daily Beast has all the details you need about the people’s princess, Kate, and country bumpkin Taylor Swift won entertainer of the year at the ACM Awards last night.

    CRUCIAL:

    Obama Launches Reelection Campaign With Videohttp://politi.co/esmMCb

    Obama launched his campaign for 2012 today, and is scheduled to begin fundraising in Chicago on April 14th. Obama is currently focused on using grassroots support to start up his campaign and he launched a video featuring supporters who give their reasons for backing the president. Obama does not appear in the initial video.

    Jon Huntsman, The Rock and Roll Yearshttp://politi.co/geImZv

    Jon Huntsman’s unconventional past consists of dropping out of high school and playing in a band, which makes him a unique potential candidate for either the 2012 or 2016 race. His brother and the Horizon PAC are laying the groundwork for a run while he fulfills his time as Ambassador to China.

    Dems Plot House 2012 Comebackhttp://bit.ly/eaMmFs

    In districts that usually vote Democratic during election years, Democrats are hoping to take back many of the 14 seats currently occupied by Republicans.

    2 Qaddafi Sons Are Said to Offer Plan to Push Father Outhttp://nyti.ms/h0SmV7

    In a plan proposed by two of Qaddafi’s sons, one son Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, would take over the country and help its transformation to a constitutional democracy. It seems as if Qaddafi may be ready to end the fighting in Libya, and agree to transitioning power to his son, although he has not agreed to step down.

    More Customers Exposed as Big Data Breach Grows,  http://reut.rs/gLHh3Y

    A variety of companies using Epsilon, which is an “online marketing unit of Alliance Data Systems” were hacked, and email addresses of tons of people were exposed. No other information, such as social security numbers or credit card information seems to have been taken.

    Report: Katie Couric Leaving Anchor Chair According to Anonymous CBS Executivehttp://bit.ly/fswdAU

    With many recent hints that Couric might be leaving CBS, an executive has confirmed that Couric plans to move on, although no official word has been given. It is rumored that Couric will be hosting her own talk show.

    James Surowiecki on how to handle internet distractions at work: http://nyr.kr/dPdfb9

    John Heilemann on Boehner’s Tea Party troubles: http://bit.ly/h94ttM

    CULTURAL:

    Behind the scenes of Kate and William’s relationship: http://bit.ly/fRB1Ww

    The Kennedy’s series considered a snooze: http://bit.ly/fkIwbB

    Witherspoon’s wedding photos: http://bit.ly/eWcHL1

    Charlie Sheen gets standing ovation in Chicago post-Detroit flop: http://huff.to/eoAtme

    American Country Music Awards gets a new face this year by incorporating rock and pop: http://on.mtv.com/eoaNBk

    Kids Choice Awards slimes Heidi Klum, Snoop Dogg, Josh Duhamel, Russell Brand, and Johnny Depp: http://bit.ly/gP8aeS

    Most Americans will be rooting for Butler tonight: http://ti.me/gVSYaq

    Kristin Andrews
    Bio: Kristin is Rock the Vote's Communications Intern

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