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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

    The U.S. Senate sheds new light on the attack in Benghazi; new details are released in the New Mexico middle school shooting; and Governor Chris Christie of NJ addresses “Bridgegate” in his State of the State address. Meanwhile, 2014 gets off to a rocky start for Justin Bieber and Kanye West after two high-profile incidents.

    Veronica + Maura


    Senate report: Attack on U.S. compound in Benghazi could have been prevented: http://rtvote.com/1j7nle7
    The bipartisan report on the 2012 attack on the United States compound in Benghazi, Libya shows that the State Department was warned about the potential for attack but did not increase security around the compound. The report also blames intelligence agencies for not discussing CIA outpost locations within the U.S. military. However, the report does not discuss in depth whether the Obama administration downplayed the attacks, saying that no one knew when the attacks were to occur.

    Shooter may have warned some students: http://rtvote.com/1b39JIV
    The 12-year-old suspect accused of opening fire in a New Mexico middle school’s gymnasium yesterday morning may have warned certain students against coming to school early. This discovery is currently being investigated by police, along with other claims. So far, police have not been able to determine a motive for the shooting; however, the shooter is in custody. Two students were injured in the attack.

    Can Christie change the subject? http://rtvote.com/Kj1Nfm
    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered his State of the State address yesterday. He acknowledged the mistakes his administration has made recently in regards to the closing of bridge lanes on the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee (dubbed “Bridgegate”). After apologizing, Christie tried to change the subject to focus on more pressing policy issues in the state. However, many people believe that Christie’s reputation is now too tarnished to allow a potential presidential bid in 2016.

    CBS airs video of chaotic scene at Asiana crash site: http://rtvote.com/1hqMYnc
    CBS has recently released video footage of firefighters and emergency personnel tending to survivors and the wreckage of the Asiana plane crash. The crash occurred last summer at San Francisco airport. The story received national attention not only due to the crash, but also because of the death of 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan, who survived the crash but was struck and killed by a fire truck at the scene.

    Va. Democrat Jim Moran to retire from Congress: http://rtvote.com/1eDrVLC
    After serving twelve Congressional terms, Representative Jim Moran will not run for re-election.  Moran, an occasionally combative and passionate member of Congress, represents Virginia’s 8th District. His retirement could potentially create a heated primary election because of the 8th District’s reputation as being a Democratic stronghold.


    Police raid Justin Bieber’s house after incident: http://rtvote.com/1m7g7nA 

    Are Johnny Depp and girlfriend Amber Heard engaged? http://rtvote.com/K2E17V

    How Harry Connick Jr. can save American Idol: http://rtvote.com/1m7gs9M

    Kanye West allegedly assaults a young man: http://rtvote.com/1aoR914 

    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: Tuesday, July 9 2013

    Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

    The U.S. considers speeding up the removal of Afghan forces; victims stuck in limbo after Asiana Airlines crash-landing on Saturday; Egypt’s interim president names a new prime minister and vice president; confusion over Edward Snowden’s asylum offers increase after a tweet; Ohio kidnapping victims speak out for the first time; New Yorkers ponder forgiveness for Eliot Spitzer; and the ACLU challenges PA same-sex marriage ban. Meanwhile, Amanda Bynes wears a blue wig in court; Elton John gets appendicitis; leaked Selena Gomez track includes Bieber voicemail; and Pink receives a twitter threat.

    - Maura

    U.S. Considers Faster Pullout in Afghanistanhttp://rtvote.com/150hU6z
    President Obama is considering speeding up the removal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan after becoming increasingly frustrated in his dealings with President Hamid Karzai.  The Obama Administration has been negotiating with Afghan officials about leaving a “residual force” behind. The relationship between the Administration and Karzai began to unravel last month after an effort by the U.S. to begin peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar.

    Stuck in Limbo After San Francisco Crashhttp://rtvote.com/150j3Ln
    Tao Liu was one of 5 Chinese teachers who accompanied 29 students from Zhejiang, an affluent coastal province of China, on the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 that crash-landed on July 6. Two of her students were killed in the crash.  Many of the surviving students are in limbo having lost their passports and other important belongings in the crash.

    Egypt’s interim president names new prime minister, vice president,http://rtvote.com/12jlpGX
    One day after security forces gunned down more than 50 of ousted president Mhamed Morsi’s supporters, the interim President Adly Mansour has named a new prime minister and vice president of Egypt. On Tuesday, Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, chief of Egypt’s armed forces, told the nation that the new president’s constitutional declaration & road map for elections and a new charter provided “more than enough assurance” that the country was moving in the right direction.

    Confusion over Edward Snowden acceptance of Venezuela offer,http://rtvote.com/150suKQ
    Rumors and uncertainties over NSA leaker Edward Snowden increased on Tuesday when a Russian lawmaker tweeted that Snowden accepted an offer to Venezuela for asylum.  The tweet was removed and then replaced with a message that said the claim was based on a report from the state all-news television channel Vesti.

    ‘Thank you:’ Cleveland kidnapping victims speak out for the first time,http://rtvote.com/150uxyz
    For the first time since their rescue two months ago, the three women rescued from Cleveland, Ohio talk about being held captive for over a decade.  Amanda Berry (abducted in 2003 and now has 6 year old daughter who was born during her captivity), Gina DeJesus (kidnapped in 2004), and Michelle Knight  (abducted in 2002) released a YouTube video thanking everyone who has supported them since they were freed.

    Spitzer again makes New Yorkers ponder forgivenesshttp://rtvote.com/150vCGE
    Eliot Spitzer who resigned from New York’s top job in 2008 after it was revealed he patronized prostitutes, announced Sunday he would run for comptroller (the city’s top financial officer). This announcement is only two months after Anthony Weiner, a former NY Congressman who resigned after texting lewd photos of himself to women, joined the race for mayor.  Spitzer said Monday that the public will have to ask itself “Can we forgive him?…I hope the public says yes.”

    Pennsylvania Gay Marriage Ban Faces ACLU Challengehttp://rtvote.com/150xteC 
    Two weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that a federal ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is bringing that decision to the state level.  The group is filing a lawsuit against PA’s same-sex marriage ban. Twenty-three plaintiffs will be part of the lawsuit challenging the Pennsylvania Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. 

    Amanda Bynes Criminal Case For Bong Incident Delayed To Later Date,http://rtvote.com/150yUd5

    Selena Gomez’s ‘Love Will Remember’ Track Leaks With Supposed Justin Bieber Voicemail, http://rtvote.com/150yS4X

    Elton John Postpones Tour Due to Appendicitis, http://rtvote.com/150zhV2

    Pink Bomb Scare: Australian Teen Arrested After Tweeting Alleged Threat at Singer’s Melbourne Concert, http://rtvote.com/18KXVhI

    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: Monday, July 1, 2013

    Monday, July 1st, 2013
    Edward Snowden asks 15 countries for asylum; Arizona wildfire claims the lives of 19; protesters storm Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters in Egypt; transit workers in San Francisco go on strike; Texas lawmakers resume debate on abortion bill; Gay married man in Florida is approved for green card; and Serena Williams loses at Wimbledon. Meanwhile, Jamie Foxx wears another Trayvon Martin shirt, Jennifer Lopez performs for the leader of Turkmenistan, Demi Lovato criticizes music about drugs, Jay-Z talks about fatherhood, and Carrie Underwood enjoys blocking Twitter trolls.
    Maura + Meron
    Edward Snowden asking 15 countries for asylum, Russian official says, http://rtvote.com/11UsDRm
    Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked U.S. security secrets and is now a fugitive, met Monday morning with Russian diplomatic officials and handed them an appeal to 15 countries for political asylum. The official did not disclose the countries that were on the list, but Kirill Kabanov, a member of the Presidential Council on Human Rights, said he believes Russia may be one of those countries.
    ‘Perfect storm’ wildfire raging in Arizona claims 19 men in elite unit, http://rtvote.com/11UvOZn
    A wildfire in Arizona took out all but one member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team known for its extensive training and
    demanding fitness regimen. 19 men were killed about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix, near the town of Yarnell. Though they are still
    investigating, Mary Rasmussen, a spokeswoman for Prescott National Forest, said it appeared the 19 were engaged in a “direct attack” — getting close to the fire and trying to create a break to starve it of fuel.
    Egypt protesters storm Muslim Brotherhood headquarters, http://rtvote.com/14IGs3Y
    Anti-government protesters in Egypt have stormed the national headquarters of President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in the capital, Cairo. Officials say eight people have been killed in clashes outside since Sunday, while eight others have died elsewhere.
    Protesters across Egypt accuse the president of failing to tackle economic and security problems since being elected a year ago.
    BART workers on strike – no service Monday,  http://rtvote.com/14IHhJX
    Members of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) union are going on their first strike since 1997. There will be no service on Monday, with the transit system’s workers and management agreeing only on the fact that the two sides remain far apart in contract negotiations. Frustrated by a lack of progress, union bargaining teams had previously walked away from negotiations in the Kaiser Center, which houses BART headquarters, on Saturday afternoon, saying a strike was all but inevitable.
    Texas lawmakers resume debate Monday on abortion bill derailed by Wendy Davis filibuster, http://rtvote.com/18r1U2N
    Texas lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday to resume debate on proposed abortion restrictions. Less than a week after a Democratic filibuster killed a far-reaching abortion bill on the Senate floor, the Legislature will answer Gov. Rick Perry’s call to try again to pass the GOP-backed measure over vigorous objections from Democrats and abortion rights groups. The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, require abortion clinics to meet high standards of surgical centers, impose new requirements on use of abortion-inducing pills and require that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic.
    Gay married man in Florida is approved for green card,  http://rtvote.com/11UBEKf
    An American man in Florida and his husband, who is from Bulgaria, have become the first same-sex married couple to be approved for a permanent resident visa, an immigration milestone that comes after the Supreme Court struck down a federal law against same-sex marriage. The notice of approval of a permanent visa, known as a green card, was issued by e-mail late Friday to Traian Popov, a Bulgarian immigrant who lives with his American spouse, Julian Marsh, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
    Sabine Lisicki upsets Serena, http://rtvote.com/18r1idr
    Sabine LIsicki ended Serena Williams’ career-best 34-match winning streak, eliminating her from Wimbledon.It was the latest in a string of upsets that has jolted the tournament, with defending champion Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal knocked out in the first three days — along with Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka’s withdrawal on the women’s side. Williams gave credit to Lisicki’s dominant serve, which she said consistently reached 120 mph.
    Jamie Foxx Rocks Another Trayvon Martin T-Shirt, http://rtvote.com/14IMK3w
    Jennifer Lopez & Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow: Singer Performs For Turkmenistan Leader, http://rtvote.com/11UFeUw
    Demi Lovato: People Who Party Or Rap About Drugs Are ‘Giant P—ies’, http://rtvote.com/14IN0iW
     ’Jay-Z Blue’ Commercial Sees Rapper Talking Fatherhood, ‘Magna Carter Holy Grail’, http://rtvote.com/14IN5TU
    Carrie Underwood’s Twitter: Politics, Ag Gag And Supporting Soldiers, http://rtvote.com/11UFtz0
    Bio: My name is Meron Werkneh and I am a rising senior at Duke University. I study English and Political Science, and plan to go into entertainment law as my career. I'm from Washington D.C. and love books, oldies soul music, and getting closer to God every day! I'm excited to become a part of the Rock the Vote team.

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


    Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

    Mitt Romney comes out victorious on Super Tuesday, but Republican commentators are still conflicted; voter ID laws are tested; the United Nations is sending humanitarian chief Valerie Amos to negotiate aid with Syria; and five Anonymous hackers have been charged with cyber assault. Meanwhile, Apple will unveil the new iPad today; celebrity chefs are caught up in court; and Peyton Manning will leave The Colts.

    Kelly + Caitlin


    Mitt Romney Wins 6 of 10 States on Super Tuesday, http://bit.ly/zPVeTx
    Alaska and Ohio, the final Super Tuesday states to report their numbers, were called this morning in favor of Mitt Romney. Romney now has won six out of ten states. Rick Santorum snagged three states: Oklahoma, Tennessee and North Dakota. Newt Gingrich won in his home state of Georgia. With Romney winning Alaska, Ohio, Idaho, Massachusetts, Vermont and Virginia, he has now won significantly more delegates than any other candidate. While Romney holds a nice lead, making it difficult for other candidates to catch up to him, he still did not win enough delegates to end the primary fight. Strategists are now pointing out Romney’s trouble in the South and mid-America.  The primary may continue for another month. Kansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Hawaii, Illinois, Missouri and Louisiana still need to vote.

    Syria crisis: UN humanitarian chief arrives in Damascus, http://bbc.in/ykAnIY
    United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos has arrived in Syria in order convince the government to allow aid to reach damaged cities. According to the Syria officials, the International Committee of the Red Cross has not been allowed to enter Baba Amr due to security concerns. More envoys, including the United Nations Arab League, will also try to enter Syria this week. More than 7,500 people have died during the violence that has erupted in Syria over the past year.

    5 alleged members of Anonymous hacking group charged, http://wapo.st/w9TKaT
    Five members associated with the infamous cyber hacking firm Anonymous have been charged in connection with a string of cyber-assaults on U.S. companies and government web sites. A member of the Anonymous network was “turned” by the FBI and has revealed confidential information on the five members’ activities.  In one of the most recent assaults, involved hackers obtained emails from Stratfor and sent them to Wikileaks.

    Dover mortuary pressed to avoid dumping of 9/11 remains at landfill, official says, http://wapo.st/wNaWKy
    Officials at the U.S. Dover Air Force Base wanted to have the cremated remains of unidentified 9/11 victims buried at sea. But military officials  dumped the ashes in landfills instead. Official William Zwicharowski, in an in-depth interview, regrets not pushing to have the remains placed elsewhere. Lawmakers, victims’ families, and most military officials believed that the unidentified 9/11 remains had been cremated and buried  at Arlington National Cemetery.

    HuffPo Report: “Voter ID Laws May Still Be Discriminatory Despite High Voter Turnout In Super Tuesday Primaries,” http://huff.to/A1jQoE

    (via Wisconsin State Journal) Judge grants temporary injunction barring enforcement of voter ID law in April election: A Dane County judge on Tuesday barred the enforcement of the state photo ID law at polling places during the general election on April 3, calling it an “extremely broad and largely needless” impairment of the right to vote. Circuit Judge David Flanagan said the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP and Voces de la Frontera had demonstrated that their lawsuit against Gov. Scott Walker and the state Government Accountability Board would probably succeed on its merits and had demonstrated the likelihood of irreparable harm if the photo ID law is allowed to stand. Flanagan granted a temporary injunction ordering Walker and the GAB to “cease immediately any effort to enforce or implement the photo identification requirements” of the law, pending a trial on a permanent injunction scheduled before him on April 16, http://bit.ly/x312KP

    (via Hot Air) WW2 vet fails voter ID test in Ohio: A Portage County World War II veteran was turned away because his driver’s license had expired in January and his new Veterans Affairs ID did not include his home address. “My beef is that I had to pay a driver to take me up there because I don’t walk so well and have to use this cane and now I can’t even vote,” said Paul Carroll, 86, who has lived in Aurora nearly 40 years, running his own business, Carroll Tire, until 1975. “I had to stop driving, but I got the photo ID from the Veterans Affairs instead, just a month or so ago. You would think that would count for something. I went to war for this country, but now I can’t vote in this country,” http://bit.ly/yuOGVv

    Apple Expected To Unveil New iPad, http://n.pr/AulOtX
    Apple will unveil the new iPad this afternoon in San Francisco. Apple has kept the details mum, only showing a picture of an iPad and saying “We have something you really have to see. And touch.” Tech experts suspect the new iPad will have a very sharp resolution screen and faster network speeds. Other rumors cite that Apple also may announce their exploration into TV. Since the iPad’s 2010 debut, Apple has sold 55 million iPads.


    Paula Deen’s Attorneys: Sexual Harassment Charges Are Baseless, Inflammatory, http://huff.to/xyGdbf

    Mario Batali Settles Tip Lawsuit For $5.25 Million, http://huff.to/zRxKFD

    Uma Thurman Expecting A Baby Girl, http://huff.to/wACHmX

    Source: Colts to release Peyton Manning, http://es.pn/AnikFn

    Justin Bieber’s mom to write a memoir, http://thedc.com/x9l1oW

    He’s back! You may not like it, but Maria Shriver is giving Ahhnold a second chance, http://trib.in/znNNs8

    Kelly Holleran

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