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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, April 9, 2014

    Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

    A stabbing at a Pennsylvania high school leaves 20 students injured; Rep. Vance McAllister’s staffer resigns after kissing incident; Police search for a possible serial sniper in Kansas City; and a new breakthrough in paralysis research has occurred. Meanwhile, Jimmy Fallon and Anne Hathaway put a cabaret spin on some top hip hop songs; Prince George has a play date down under; and Miley discusses her freedom without Disney or Liam Hemsworth.

    Shameless Plug Alert: Congratulations to the Philadelphia Flyers, my (Veronica’s) hometown hockey team, on clinching a NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs spot last night. Let’s go Flyers!

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    DEVELOPING STORY: 20 injured in Pittsburgh-area high school stabbing: http://rtvote.com/1qqQ250
    At least 20 students have been injured at Franklin Regional Senior High School near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. An adult is also being treated for an unspecified medical condition. Four students have been taken to the hospital via helicopter and some students’ injuries are life-threatening. A hallway and a classroom were the setting for the potentially deadly stabbing. All schools are now secure, but the district’s elementary schools are closed for the day. The suspect, a sophomore boy, is now in custody.

    Spinal cord work is unexpected shocker: ‘This is a breakthrough’: http://rtvote.com/1qiwa5T
    Neuroscientist Susan Harkema had been running a study to try to learn more about “nerve pathways” by stimulating the spinal cords of paralyzed people through electricity. However, she managed to enable her patients to move their legs. All of her patients have been able to move their toes, move their legs around, sit up on their own, and even do sit ups! Harkema says this is the first time electrical stimulation to the spine and show results. Co-founder of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis Dr. Barth Green says that “This is a breakthrough. It shows you can have a living spinal cord under the layer of their injury.” Scientists hope this will open the door to the possibility of new breakthroughs.

    Staffer caught kissing Rep. McAllister resigns, while Congressman keeps his job: http://rtvote.com/1k3Q4Qr
    Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) was caught on tape Monday kissing a staff member. The Congressman and the staffer, Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock, are both married. Peacock has since resigned her post as district scheduler to McAllister. McAllister, conversely, says he has “no plans to resign” and insists that he will campaign for reelection this year. On Monday, the Ouachita Citizen posted a surveillance video showing the two kissing. McAllister admitted the affair and apologized to his constituents: “I’m asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve.” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he was “pleased” with the apology, but he has not yet commented on whether McAllister should keep his job.

    Kansas City authorities seek perpetrator after some shootings linked: http://rtvote.com/1kKJBby
    The FBI has joined the hunt for a shooter in Kansas City, Missouri area. So far, thirteen shootings have been reported along parts of Interstate 435 and Interstate 470, most of which are near exit and interchange ramps. No one has been killed, but three people have been wounded; one was shot in the arm, the others were shot in the leg. Law enforcement believes that at least a part of the thirteen shootings are linked. The FBI and ATF have put out a $7000 reward for anyone who might know anything about the shootings or the possible shooter(s).

    UConn Women’s Basketball completes 40-0 season: http://rtvote.com/1k3Y9ED
    UConn’s women’s basketball team has completed their 40-0 season with a 79-58 win over Notre Dame. They are now repeat champions and it is the fifth time the team has gone undefeated under the head coach, Geno Auriemma. Auriemma has won nine National Titles in nine tries after the win. Notre Dame finished 37-1 after the loss.

    CULTURAL

    Paul Rudd joins Billy on the Street’s Billy Eichner for some Funny or Die fun: http://rtvote.com/R2X9GB

    Jimmy Fallon and Anne Hathaway sing Broadway versions of…rap songs? http://rtvote.com/1lKl5J3

    Prince George’s royal play date: http://rtvote.com/ODqMfM

    Miley Cyrus talks “being free”: http://rtvote.com/1eks0sJ

    Samantha Harris diagnosed with breast cancer, due to receive double mastectomy: http://rtvote.com/1hsHbR3

    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: Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

    The SCOTUS comes to a decision in the McCutcheon v. FEC case; a powerful earthquake strikes off the coast of Chile; Muriel Bowser defeats incumbent in DC mayoral primary; and bombings hit Cairo University in Egypt. Meanwhile, the Broadway cast of The Lion King does an epic rendition of the “Circle of Life” in an unexpected place; Michael Strahan shares some big news with the TV world; and Anna Kendrick preps for her SNL appearance.

    -Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    DEVELOPING STORY: Justices strike down political donor limits: http://rtvote.com/1dN6htc
    The Supreme Court of the United States has determined the outcome of the McCutcheon v. FEC case.  With a vote of 5-4, individuals are no longer faced with a limit on how much they can donate to political campaigns. The winning argument determined that individual donor limits and regulations violated the First Amendment rights of the donor.

    Powerful earthquake strikes off Chile, triggers tsunami: http://rtvote.com/1pL0c20
    A massive, 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck directly off the coast of Chile on Tuesday. Fortunately, damage was minimal; landslides wiped out roads in some places and phone and power lines were also knocked out. Tsunami warnings were also in effect as tsunamis hit at various beaches, generating 6 to 7 foot waves. Five people died: two had heart attacks while the others were crushed by debris. People fled to higher ground as soon as the quake was felt, creating some traffic jams. Some are still without any source of power or phones, not knowing if they are able to return to their homes. There is no danger for the United States coastline.

    Muriel Bowser defeats Gray in DC mayoral primary: http://rtvote.com/1hhuFO7
    DC Councilmember Muriel Bowser defeated incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray in yesterday’s mayoral primary. Gray had been hit with scandals and a federal investigation relating to potential monetary felonies that helped him get elected in 2010. The Democratic primary winner has won every official election in Washington because 75% of registered voters in the district are Democrats; however, the Republican challenger, David Catania, is a definite contender. Despite Bowser’s win, many voters were discouraged with the candidates running and the election experienced a low voter turnout.

    Regulators did not properly track complaints on GM switches, inspector general says: http://rtvote.com/1oqcDTM
    According to the Department of Transportation’s inspector general Calvin L. Scovel III, “federal auto safety regulators lacked effective procedures for tracking consumer complaints” about the flaw in the ignition: the issue that has spurred the recall and resulted in thirteen deaths. General Motors’ Chief Executive, Mary T. Barra, says she was unaware of the issue until this year and did not answer questions relating to GM’s failure to fix the flaw. GM has recalled 2.6 million Chevy Cobalts deemed at risk for the ignition switch flaw. According to lawmakers, the ignition switch problem could have been solved by GM for a cost of .57 cents per vehicle.

    Bombings rock area near Cairo University: http://rtvote.com/1mKyRhw
    Two bombs planted outside of Cairo University in Egypt exploded, killing an Egyptian police officer and wounding five other security officers. Violence like this has been prevalent since the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi last year, and is expected to escalate as Election Day grows closer. The current Egyptian leader, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is expected to win with almost no contest, as the Muslim Brotherhood, the political party behind Morsi, and Egypt’s most organized party, have been banned. No one has claimed responsibility for this attack, although people speculate that Islamic militants are responsible. 

    CULTURAL

    The Lion King Broadway cast gives an impromptu performance: watch the awesome video! http://rtvote.com/1ft6eRL

    Anna Kendrick’s SNL promos are a thing of beauty & hilarity: http://rtvote.com/1mKFekZ  

    Michael Strahan has some big news: http://rtvote.com/1pQYSc5

    Miley Cyrus grieving over dog’s death: http://rtvote.com/1go46Xp

    Two people debate the How I Met Your Mother finale: http://rtvote.com/1oqkwbV

    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 4, 2013

    Monday, November 4th, 2013

    The U.S. rejects clemency for Edward Snowden; Texans coach Gary Kubiak collapsed on the field last night; and new details emerge on the LAX shooter. Meanwhile, Beebz gets pelted by a water bottle, and Harry Styles dresses up as Miley Cyrus… foam finger and all (yes, it is a bit disturbing).

    -Sandy + Maura
     

    CRUCIAL

    Edward Snowden: Congress and White House reject clemencyhttp://rtvote.com/1azQXxi
    Edward Snowden has asked for international help to persuade the U.S. to drop the espionage charges that are currently set against him. The White House has rejected clemency for the fugitive intelligence analyst. Snowden, 30, is still in Russia, where he was granted temporary asylum until July 2014 after he leaked confidential U.S. intelligence. German Green MP has revealed Snowden’s readiness to brief the German government on NSA’s spying.

    Texans coach Gary Kubiak left on stretcher, taken to hospital for ‘precautionary’ reasons,http://rtvote.com/1cHtdVw
    Coach Kubiak, 52, collapsed at halftime last night during the Texans-Colts game. Reports claim the Texans coach did not suffer a stroke or a heart attack; he is undergoing further evaluation. Before leaving the stadium, the coach was conscious and had a strong heart rate. Hope you’re feeling better, Coach.

    New details emerge in LAX shootinghttp://rtvote.com/1czVIs9
    Paul Ciancia, 23, allegedly killed a TSA agent and wounded three others at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday. In a note written by Ciancia, he mentions the NWO, which many believe refers to the New World Order. The NWO is a conspiracy theory that the world powers are trying to create a one-world government, which would in turn destroy American freedoms.

    Navy secrets bought with prostitutes, bribeshttp://rtvote.com/173ExwP
    Malaysian businessman Leonard Francis, nicknamed “Fat Leonard”, has arranged prostitutes, Lady Gaga tickets, and other bribes for a U.S. commander in exchange for military secrets. The scandal continues to unfold in a federal court case, and senior Navy officials suspect more people may have been involved. However, they are still unsure of how many or how high up the ranks this has gone.  The case signifies serious national security breaches and corruption.
     

    ELECTION DAY 2013

    Terry McAuliffe uses Obama, ‘Scandal’ star Kerry Washington, to win youth, black womenhttp://rtvote.com/1cAg70o
    With a highly publicized statewide election going on in Virginia, a fight for the state’s youth vote continues as we head into Election Day 2013. McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate in Virginia’s governor’s race, has recently used big names like Kerry Washington and Bill Clinton to grab the attention of young voters. Rock the Vote’s president, Heather Smith, adds that it would be a mistake to ignore the ever-growing power of young voters: “Expect [them] to set the bar for the ‘new normal’ in transforming the politics of our democracy.”
     

    PUNDITS

    Journalists weigh in on the state-level elections in New York, Virginia, and New Jersey in “Winners and losers in upcoming elections: Opinionline,” http://rtvote.com/184KJ2w

    John McCain and Robert Menendez fight for disability rights in “Menendez and McCain: Ratify disabilities treaty,”http://rtvote.com/1a38riG

    CULTURAL

    Justin Bieber Storms Off Stage After Being Hit by a Bottle in Brazil, Releases New Song “Bad Day,”http://rtvote.com/1aA2aOj

    Michelle Pfeiffer Reveals She Was Once in a Cult: “They Were Very Controlling,” http://rtvote.com/HrjvfG

    Harry Styles Dresses Up as Miley Cyrus at the MTV VMAs for Halloween, http://rtvote.com/HFuzp6

    Dolly Parton Defends Goddaughter Miley Cyrus: “She’s Just Trying to Find Her Own Place,”http://rtvote.com/1aA2MDI

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Friday, September 28th, 2012

    Friday, September 28th, 2012

    The alleged producer of the controversial “Innocence of Muslims” film is arrested; China’s Bo Xilai faces criminal charges; and Bank of America will pay a massive settlement in a class-action suit. Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake prepares for marriage, and Apple apologizes for its flawed map app.

    Caitlin + David

    CRITICAL:

    Producer of anti-Islam film arrested, ordered held without bail, http://bit.ly/PKOJxW
    Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the alleged producer of the inflammatory anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims,” has been ordered to be held without bail following his arrest in his home in Cerritos, California. Nakoula, who also identified himself as Mark Basseley and is known to have used at least 17 false names, has been on probation since his conviction in 2010 of bank fraud. Nakoula’s lawyer has argued for a $10,000 bail, and says that his client would be in danger if put in prison due to anger over the film. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale says Nakoula engaged in a “pattern of deception” and is “a person who cannot be trusted.” Nakoula faces up to 24 months in prison for defying the terms of his probation period, which forbade him from using aliases or accessing the Internet.

    China’s Bo Xilai expelled and faces criminal charges, http://bbc.in/S5rClJ
    One of China’s most influential politicians, Bo Xilai, the former leader of the Communist Party in the city of Chongqing, has been expelled from the party and will face justice, Chinese state media has said. His wife, Gu Kailai, was given a suspended death sentence for her involvement in the poisoning of British national Neil Haywood, and Mr. Bo faces charges of abuse of power and corruption in a series of incidents related to the scandal. The news comes with the Communist Party of China set to elect its new leadership on November 8th. A statement made by state news outlet Xinhua says Bo “took advantage of his office to seek profits for others and received huge bribes personally and through his family” as well as having had “affairs and…improper sexual relationships with a number of women,” and urged party officials to take heed of the “negative example” set by him. Respondents on Chinese social media responded positively to the verdict, saying that “justice will prevail” on Bo, who was once on the short-list for the most important positions in the Chinese government.

    Bank of America to pay $2.43B to settle shareholder suit related to Merrill Lynch acquisition, http://wapo.st/V59GXy
    In order to settle a class-action lawsuit related to its acquisition of the investment firm Merrill Lynch during the height of the financial crisis, Bank of America has agreed to pay $2.43 billion to a group of shareholders. In September 2008, the bank purchased Merrill Lynch for $20 billion, shortly afterward disclosing that Merill Lynch was set to post $27.6 billion in losses that year. The move necessitated a $20 billion government bailout on top of the $25 billion Bank of America had already received. In their announcement of the settlement proposal, Bank of America denied the shareholders’ allegations, saying it agreed to the settlement to end the costs and uncertainty of the lawsuit.

    CULTURAL:

    Joey Fatone: Marriage Will ‘Bring Out the Best’ in Justin Timberlake, http://bit.ly/OtLgXW

    Apple CEO Apologizes For Flawed Maps App, http://bit.ly/Qv73x1

    Rappers Snoop Dogg, DMX, A$ap Rocky, Mystikal and More Taking Part In BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher, http://bit.ly/RnYbc5

    PCP, Scientology & Dead Cats! More Details Emerge In Johnny Lewis’ Murder Case, http://bit.ly/QAwjSm

    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