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    News Round-Up: Monday, January 28, 2013

    Monday, January 28th, 2013

    Senators reach a bipartisan agreement on immigration reform; a nightclub fire in Brazil takes the lives of over 230 people; and Obama praises Hillary Clinton in a “60 Minutes” interview marking her departure as Secretary of State. Meanwhile, SAG Awards winners celebrate; Jennifer Lawrence gets over a major wardrobe malfunction; and Barbara Walters comes down with chicken pox.

    Caitlin + Liza


    Senators reach agreement on immigration reform, http://bit.ly/UwahSS
    A bipartisan group of senators has reached an agreement on the structure for an overhaul of America’s immigration system. The deal includes a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants in the nation and also addresses border security, non-citizen “guest” workers, and employee verification. The plan may have trouble receiving backing from the Republican-controlled House, but nonetheless marks the start of the the largest effort in years to seriously reform America’s immigration system. President Obama will offer his own vision for immigration reform in a speech on Tuesday, which officials expect to overlap significantly with the Senate plan. “What’s changed, honestly, is that there is a new appreciation on both sides of the aisle- including maybe more importantly on the Republican side of the aisle- that we have to enact a comprehensive immigration reform bill,” said Senator John McCain, who played a central role in shaping the agreement.

    Missteps hiked Brazil night club blaze death toll, http://cbsn.ws/VhQF21
    Over 230 Brazilians were killed on Sunday in a Santa Maria nightclub fire that officials believe started when a band’s pyrotechnic show ignited soundproofing in the ceiling. Many young victims were among the dead, including 101 students of the Federal University of Santa Maria. Bouncers initially assumed partygoers were skipping on paying their bar tabs and tried to prevent them from leaving. There was also only one exit through which people could leave. Police have arrested the nightclub owner, a band member, and a person in charge of stage safety in connection with the fire so far.

    Egypt’s leader declares emergency after clashes, http://reut.rs/X1hrgg
    Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi issued a 30-day state of emergency and curfew for three Suez Canal provinces where violent protests have killed 49 since Thursday. Hundreds more were injured in Port Said on Sunday during the funerals for 33 Egyptian protesters killed when locals lashed out in response to an unpopular court decision. Anti-government protestors claim that Morsi has failed to defend the revolution that toppled Mubarek and is not representing all Egyptians. Morsi warned of further punishment if protests continue.

    Obama praises Hillary Clinton in joint interview on ’60 minutes’, http://lat.ms/X5qpZQ
    In a ’60 Minutes’ interview to mark Hillary Clinton’s departure as Secretary of State, Clinton and the president recounted their joint foreign policy accomplishments and expressed gratitude for being able to transform their 2008 political rivalry into friendship. “You know, if the roles had been reversed, I would have desperately have wanted him to be in my cabinet,” said Clinton, who was initially reluctant to accept the high-ranking post offered to her by the president. “By the time Hillary joined the administration, I felt very confident in our working relationship. What did evolve was a friendship,” Obama added. In the interview, the two cited winding down the war in Afghanistan, ousting Qaddafi in Libya, and getting rid of core Al Qaeda leaders as a few of their greatest successes.

    Gun control advocates march as nation reels from school shootings, http://bit.ly/TMIpMh
    Thousands demonstrated in Washington on Saturday as part of a “March on Washington for Gun Control,” calling for tougher gun laws. The marchers rallied for a reinstatement of the federal ban on the sale of military-style semi-automatic rifles, like that used in the Newtown shooting, as well as universal background checks and a ban on sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines. Many demonstrators held up the names of victims killed at Newtown and in other school shootings as they took part in the first major demonstration since the Newtown shooting in December. “Only an outraged public can end the gun violence that has enveloped our country,” said U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-District of Columbia). “We the people who did not act before, we the people this time will step forward.”

    Iranian state TV says country has successfully sent monkey into space, http://bit.ly/X3oWSk
    Iran announced today that it successfully launched a monkey into space, bringing the nation one step closer toward its ultimate goal of sending an astronaut into space. According to Iran state TV, the monkey was sent on a rocket 72 miles into space and returned safely. Iran has long hoped to send a man into space as part of its ambitious aerospace program, which also includes plans for a new space center. The U.S. remains skeptical of Iran’s intentions, worrying that space program technology could also be used to develop long-range missiles armed with nuclear warheads.


    SAG Awards 2013: Complete List of Winners, http://bit.ly/WjmIlg

    Jennifer Lawrence dress rips at SAG Awards 2013, http://bit.ly/110frpq

    Best Dressed at the SAG Awards, http://bit.ly/111ySUH

    Barbara Walters- I’ve Got CHICKEN POX!, http://tmz.me/WsGRWc

    Hugh Hefner’s Long-time Secretary Mary O’Connor Dies, http://bit.ly/T0stV1


    Liza Dee

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

    News Round-Up: Monday, January 30, 2012

    Monday, January 30th, 2012

    Middle East relations remain contentious as U.S. drones provoke Iraqi government officials, and more violence erupts in Damascus; Occupy Oakland uprising damages city buildings and causes clashing with police; and U.S. officials are set to testify against Cuban offshore drilling. Meanwhile, the original writers and cast of ‘Arrested Development’ will return for the Netflix series, and Madonna will release an exclusive video teaser on ‘American Idol’ this week.

    Kelly + Caitlin


    U.S. Drones Patrolling Its Skies Provoke Outrage in Iraq, http://nyti.ms/wDu5th
    The State Department is operating a small fleet of surveillance drones to protect the United States Embassy and other U.S. buildings. Iraqi officials are outraged at the program, calling the aircraft an affront to Iraqi independence. The drones are meant to take over functions that the U.S. military used to perform as U.S. troops have been out of Iraq for over a month now. American contractors have been told that drones might soon be needed for other potentially “high-threat” countries such as Indonesia and Pakistan. The drones do not carry weapons and are meant to provide data and images of possible hazards.

    Syria Targets Rebels Based in Suburbs of Damascus, http://nyti.ms/zCetD9
    On Sunday, Syria sent soldiers, tanks, and armored vehicles to seek out pockets of rebel fighters as the country’s war escalated over the weekend. Blasts have continued, with Syrian authorities reporting a blown up gas pipeline near the border of northern Lebanon. In Damascus, black smoke hangs over buildings and electricity and water have been cut off to the area. Arab League nations have been pushing the U.N. Security Council to endorse their plan for political transition in Syria, calling for President Bashar al-Assad to hand over power to his deputy.

    Occupy Oakland arrests reach 400; City Hall vandalized, http://lat.ms/xtGn3W
    The Occupy Oakland movement turned ugly when protesters set to take over the city’s vacant Convention Center. As the takeover met police, protesters spread out to museums and eventually Oakland’s city hall. Demonstrators threw bottles, rocks, burning flares, and other objects at police officers. Over 400 arrests have been made. The downturn at Occupy Oakland comes as Occupy D.C. demonstrators are expected to be evicted today.

    Cuban Offshore Drilling Plans To Be Probed By Congressional Subcommittee Hearing, http://huff.to/y8lPsI
    At the satellite congressional subcommittee hearing today, just north of Miami Beach, members of the U.S. Coast Guard, experts and U.S. officials will testify on the risk of oil drilling off the coast of Cuba. As Cuba seeks to begin deep-water oil drilling, Congressional members and ecology experts will gauge if the U.S. is prepared for potential oil spills in this area.

    Newt: Mitt Can Have Florida But This Is Going All The Way To The Convention, http://bit.ly/zGb3A2
    Newt Gingrich says it isn’t over as Mitt Romney anticipates a win in tomorrow’s Florida primary. In the latest NBC poll, Romney is up by 15 percentage points in the state. However, Newt won’t be far behind if Romney wins Florida. Speaking on behalf of Gingrich’s campaign, former Sen. Fred Thompson says it boils down to the delegate count. Florida holds 50 winner-take-all delegates, comprising about 5 percent of the 1,144 needed at the time of the convention.

    Tech companies team up to combat email scams, http://bit.ly/w3xcy0
    Google and Microsoft, among many other technology companies, are combining efforts to stop email phishing scams. The goal in mind is to design a system which will authenticate emails from legitimate senders and weed out the scammers. The new system will be called DMARC, Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance. A combination of email providers and email senders are on the team, including Yahoo, Bank of America, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

    No Thanks, Facebook: Poll Suggests Users Don’t Want Timeline, http://ti.me/zrJ0WV
    In a poll conducted with more than 4,000 Facebook users, most are reporting that they hate the new Timeline format. As Facebook aims to make Timeline mandatory, only 8 percent of polled users said they liked it. A large majority, 83 percent of poll users, had a negative take on the stalking gadget. Most of the negative responses were based on being “put-off” by the amount of personal information that surfaces when using Timeline.


    Guns N’ Roses Announce February Concerts, http://bit.ly/xdV6x0

    ‘The Help’ nabs three kudos at SAG Awards, http://bit.ly/xp3pF5

    Tyler Perry Sets Cast for New ‘Madea’ Movie, http://bit.ly/yiIOR0

    ‘Arrested Development’ revival: entire cast confirmed for Netflix series with original writers, http://thedc.com/wbXFns

    Madonna Goes Cheerleader Chic In New Video: ‘Give Me All Your Luvin’ tease will air on ‘American Idol,’ http://on.mtv.com/yNSjPv

    Kelly Holleran

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