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    News Round-Up: Thursday, April 3, 2014

    Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

    Another shooting hits Fort Hood Military Base; a major aftershock in Chile causes massive evacuations; the US allegedly tried to undermine the Cuban government through the creation of a fake social media account; and a woman in Australia goes missing after being “taken” by a shark. Meanwhile, James Franco allegedly tried to meet up with a teenager via Instagram; a man arrested for trespassing on Selena Gomez’s property is sentenced; and Sarah Palin and “Vladimir Putin” have a phone conversation.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Fort Hood shooting spree: ‘Texans’ hearts are once again very heavy’: http://rtvote.com/1otWpcb
    Specialist Ivan Lopez went on a shooting spree Wednesday at Fort Hood Military Base in Killeen, Texas, wounding 16 and killing four others (including himself). All were army personnel. Lopez had had a history of depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders. After his 4-month tour in Iraq, Lopez began to undergo treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Lopez used his own gun in the shooting; it was not registered to the base, making it against the rules to have it on the base. In contrast to the 2010 Fort Hood shooting, authorities do not suspect that terrorism was the driving force behind Lopez’s actions.

    New evacuations in Chile after major aftershock: http://rtvote.com/PmTToC
    A 7.2 magnitude aftershock rocked the northern coast of Chile Wednesday night, just days after an 8.2 magnitude earthquake caused tsunamis and six deaths. After the 7.2 aftershock, the Chilean Emergency Office issued new tsunami warnings and subsequent evacuations of the entire Chilean coast, driving 900,000 people from their homes. Fortunately, no damage, deaths, or injuries have been reported after the aftershock, which is one of over a dozen that have hit Chile over the past few days. The aftershock was felt in Peru as well, once again leaving no damage or injuries in its wake.

    Crowd beats driver who stopped after hitting boy, 11: http://rtvote.com/1lqM7Fd
    On the East Side of Detroit, Michigan, a crowd beat a driver who hit an 11-year-old boy. The child was struck by the driver of a truck while trying to cross an intersection. The driver then got out of the car to check on the boy, at which point a crowd of approximately 30 people came to assist the child. Some members of the crowd then beat the driver, who sustained serious head injuries that could be life-threatening. The boy’s condition has not been released. Both the driver and the child were taken to the hospital.

    US secretly created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest: http://rtvote.com/1k3eXhG
    US government official Joe McSpedon, a team of technology contractors, and the Agency for International Development had been planning to undermine the communist government in Cuba by creating a fake social media website. The “Cuban Twitter,” or ZunZuneo, would have breached the information restrictions and bans put in place by the Cuban government. At its peak, the account reached thousands of Cuban citizens, giving many access to information that had previously been denied to them. Due to the financing being linked to a Cayman Islands account, the United State’s name was never connected with the project’s development. Whether the program is legal or not is unclear.

    Woman ‘taken’ by large shark in Australia: http://rtvote.com/1mDUf57
    63-year-old lifeguard Christine Armstrong was swimming in Tathra, Australia with her husband and fellow lifeguards when she disappeared. She headed off to shore alone, leaving her friends in the water, but appeared to never make it. A witness told police that he saw an 11-foot shark attacking something in the water that looked like a swimmer. After an investigation, neither Armstrong nor the shark could be found. Armstrong’s husband and friends who were with her that day are being given counseling to cope.

    CULTURAL

    British Olympic diver Tom Daley discusses his sexuality: http://rtvote.com/1fOPOzE

    It’s Amanda Bynes’ birthday! Take a look back through her career: http://rtvote.com/1scN1cd 

    James Franco tried to pick up a teenage girl on Instagram: http://rtvote.com/1gqOpyG

    Get the latest details about the guy arrested for trespassing at Selena Gomez’s house: http://rtvote.com/1hkyi5W

    Sarah Palin and “Vladimir Putin” talk: see the video! http://rtvote.com/QIBT8Z

    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: Friday, March 28, 2014

    Friday, March 28th, 2014

    A new CDC study underscores major increases in cases of Autism; appeals court upholds challenged parts of major TX abortion law; Microsoft releases Office products for iPad…finally; and voting rights activists are noticing some positive changes in 2014. Meanwhile, Selena Gomez is allegedly served legal papers in regards to Bieber’s recent troubles; The Colbert Report is under fire on Twitter with a #CancelColbert hashtag; and James Van Der Beek admits to doing something illegal for Justin Timberlake.

    Shameless Plug Alert: Congratulations to the Dayton Flyers (my alma mater) on making it to the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament! First time in 30 years. Way to go Flyers!

    -Maura 

    CRUCIAL 

    Autism rates soar, now affects 1 in 68 children, http://rtvote.com/1myqmpv
    Between 2008 and 2010, Autism rates have climbed nearly 30 percent and have more than doubles since the turn of the century according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s new study. The study also points out that Autism is now believed to affect 1 of every 68 eight-year-olds—a dramatic increase. What is driving this increase still remains unknown. Some believe it’s a rise in awareness of the disease while other speculate on environmental reasons.

    Appeals court upholds challenged parts of Texas abortion law, http://rtvote.com/1gJFJtd
    On Thursday, a federal appeals court upheld parts of a Texas abortion law which requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital less than 30 miles away. Planned Parenthood, which led the lawsuit against the bill, claims the law will cause clinics to shut down because hospitals would refuse doctors admitting privileges. This particular legislation, House Bill No.2, first garnered national attention when Senator Wendy Davis (now gubernatorial candidate), led a 13 hour filibuster to try and prevent the bill’s passage. The ruling of this appeal is considered a victory for anti-abortion activists.

    Obama looks to win back Saudi confidence, http://rtvote.com/1pBw6vO
    Continuing on with his diplomatic duties, President Obama is visiting Saudi Arabia to reassure Arab allies that despite troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan and greater energy independence, the United States is not abandoning the Arab world. On his overnight trip there are only two items on his public schedule: a meeting and dinner with King Abdullah at his desert camp.

    Microsoft to Offer Office for iPad, Maybe a Bit Late, http://rtvote.com/QnF8CJ
    It’s finally here! Microsoft introduced the long-awaited suite of applications to the iPad which includes Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. The company’s new chief executive, Satya Nadella, announced a commitment to make the software work on all major computing devices, including those made by its competitors. Microsoft’s decision to bring Office to the Apple device comes after years of development and debate inside the company over implications that could occur against their own technology developments.

    VOTING RIGHTS

    Voting Rights Fight Takes New Direction, http://rtvote.com/P1u5hq
    The primary election season is just around the corner, and voting rights activists are identifying some notable changes in relation to laws and restrictions around voting.  Although there have been a flurry of new rules, like the party-line vote for the elimination of a week of early voting in Ohio last month, some activists are noticing fewer restrictions and even some bipartisanship progress. Myrna Perez of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University remarked that there has been “a lot of real momentum in 2014, thus far, towards improving our elections both at the states and nationally.” On that note, don’t forget to register to vote ! 

    CULTURAL

    Selena Gomez Served With Legal Papers, http://rtvote.com/1rKLNVD

    The Colbert Report Tweets Racist Joke, Twitter Users Rally to #CancelColbert, http://rtvote.com/1jYCXy1

    Beyoncé Breaks Down in Tears During Final Carter Show Concert: “I’m Giving Y’all an Ugly Cry!”, http://rtvote.com/1maROGX

    Lady Gaga Celebrates 28th Birthday With Macabre “27 Club” Joke, http://rtvote.com/1pijgVc

    James Van Der Beek Let Underage Justin Timberlake Use His ID in the 90’s, http://rtvote.com/1fsBKfb

    Seth Meyers: 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me, http://rtvote.com/P1jwLm

    Maura
    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: Wednesday, February 5, 2014

    Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

    Four people were arrested after being connected to the drugs found at Philip Seymour Hoffman’s apartment; Sochi hotels are nowhere near ready for people; CVS is ending their sale of tobacco; and Shaun White withdraws from an Olympic event. Meanwhile, the future of Paul Walker’s estate is revealed; Kylie Jenner is in the hospital; shocking news about Selena Gomez is released to the public; and controversy surrounds The Biggest Loser winner.

    -Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    4 arrested in connection with Hoffman drugs: http://rtvote.com/1kTwYvy
    Three men and one woman were arrested in a drug raid last night. Police believed those people were responsible for selling the heroin found in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s apartment after his death. The raid uncovered 350 bags of heroin. Law enforcement officials have been gathering information on Hoffman’s last days to determine where he got the drugs. Hoffman had been a drug addict in the past, but was clean for over twenty years before relapsing last year.

    You can’t flush toilet paper in Sochi: http://rtvote.com/1eU7KYD
    Although the Winter Olympics start Friday, many people are saying that Sochi isn’t ready for the crowds. People have posted on Twitter and Facebook about a slew of problems, including how the bedrooms are tight and bare, the toilets don’t flush, some rooms don’t have heat, and others don’t have water. The government is dealing with stray dogs to prevent them from bothering visitors, and they are still on the lookout for potential terrorist threats.

    CVS ending tobacco sales: http://rtvote.com/1eqpQGO
    The popular drug store CVS announced that it will stop selling tobacco products.  Tobacco sales make up 3% of total sales and accounts for $2 billion in revenue. CVS president says that stopping the sale of tobacco products will ultimately protect the health of their customers and improves CVS’s reputation as a “health company”.

    Shaun White withdraws from slopestyle: http://rtvote.com/1dqBc7q
    The infamous US snowboarder Shaun White has decided to withdrawal from slopestyle snowboarding– 24 hours before he was due to compete. He was not favored in slopestyle, further adding to his decision to leave that competition. Instead, White wants to focus on bringing home his third gold medal in halfpipe snowboarding, which would make him the only American man to ever win an event in three consecutive Winter Olympics.

    CULTURAL

    Selena Gomez went to rehab?! Since when? http://rtvote.com/1iqyrId

    Paul Walker’s daughter inherits fortune: http://rtvote.com/1jfZKs5

    Kylie Jenner’s in the hospital because of a trampoline: http://rtvote.com/1brhedb

    Did The Biggest Loser winner lose too much? http://rtvote.com/1jg0NZd

    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: December 9, 2013

    Monday, December 9th, 2013

    Merrill Newman, the 85-year-old Korean War vet, has been released from North Korea after six weeks; Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and Yahoo have joined forces to fight the NSA; and local police agencies have started copying the NSA’s spying habits. Meanwhile, Selena Gomez throws a hissy fit on stage, and the mystery surrounding Kendall Jenner and Harry Styles’ relationship remains ongoing.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Merrill Newman has been deported from North Korea: reporthttp://rtvote.com/1gSBDfd
    The 85-year-old Korean War veteran, Merrill Newman, has finally been released after being detained in North Korea for six weeks. Newman had been held on charges of “hostile acts” against the state for his role in the war. North Korea released him because Newman apologized and also because of his age and medical condition. VP Joe Biden met Newman in Beijing to welcome him on his way home.

    Tech giants band together in anti-snooping coalitionhttp://rtvote.com/19c6WA0
    Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo have come together to form what is essentially an anti-NSA coalition. Dubbed the Reform Government Surveillance Coalition, these popular tech companies are determined to limit the federal government’s authority to collect user information. The CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, and Google have written an open letter to the federal government.

    Meet Mort Crim: The inspiration for Will Ferrell’s ‘Anchorman’http://rtvote.com/19wbw8G
    As theaters prepare for ‘Anchorman 2’, Ron Burgundy has been popping up on talk shows and sports events around the country. Even though the hilarious news anchor is a fictional character, he is based on someone very real. Meet the man who inspired Will Ferrell’s perfectly mustached character.

    Cellphone data spying: It’s not just the NSAhttp://rtvote.com/1dhAdbx
    The NSA is not the only one spying on people. Local police are now using new technologies to secretly collect data from people’s cellphones. About 1 in 4 law enforcement agencies have used a tactic known as a “tower dump”, and at least 25 police departments own a Stingray, a device that acts as a fake cell tower. 36 other police agencies refuse to say whether they’ve used either tactic.

    ‘127 Hours’ author arrested in Denverhttp://rtvote.com/1gSNw4F
    The man who James Franco portrayed in ‘127 Hours’ was arrested for assault and wrongs to minors in Denver on Saturday night. Aron Lee Ralston, 38, is due in court this afternoon. Ralston is best known for amputating his own arm with a dull blade after being trapped by a boulder for five days in a Utah canyon.

     

    CULTURAL

    Selena Gomez Curses During Performance, Walks Off Stage After Technical Difficulties, http://rtvote.com/1jEeZJQ

    Kendall Jenner and Harry Styles Leave NYC Hotel Together, http://rtvote.com/J7kByw

    One Direction Joins Paul Rudd and His Anchorman 2 Costars on SNL, Debut “Through the Dark,”http://rtvote.com/IXIWGn

    Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis Attend Her Brother’s Wedding, http://rtvote.com/1cwnaVd

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: November 8, 2013

    Friday, November 8th, 2013

    October tells a surprisingly positive story of job growth; the strongest tropical cyclone in history hits the Philippines; and Toronto mayor Rob Ford keeps finding himself in trouble. Meanwhile, Johnny Galecki finally spills on the secret relationship he shared with Kaley Cuoco, and Renee Zellweger shoots down anorexic rumors like a boss.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    U.S. added surprisingly strong 204,000 jobs in October, http://rtvote.com/1bieyPr
    Despite the 16-day government shutdown, the U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs in October. The Labor Department said the unemployment rate rose from 7.2% to 7.3% in September, but that was most likely due to the temporarily furloughed federal workers. October’s surprising job growth was an encouraging sign that many companies just shrugged off the shutdown and continued to accelerate their activity.

    Obama says he is sorry for ‘You can keep it’ declaration, http://rtvote.com/HD0GWV
    In a NBC interview Thursday, President Obama apologized that some Americans were forced to lose their current healthcare plan as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Previously, the president assured Americans that they could keep their current plans if they did not change since the passing of the ACA. After receiving heavy criticism for that statement, Obama reminded us that those whose plans would be cancelled will be receiving much better healthcare policies at the same or cheaper rates.

    Super Typhoon Haiyan, perhaps strongest ever, plows across Philippineshttp://rtvote.com/1cIzKTT
    Super Typhoon Haiyan is a Category 5 hurricane that first hit Samar, Philippines, at 4:30 AM Friday. It may be the strongest tropical cyclone to hit land anywhere in recorded history. Officials are trying to determine the extent of the damage Haiyan has done thus far, but what they do know for sure is that Haiyan poses a very real danger. Three people have been reported dead, and seven are injured. Among the most vulnerable are people living in tents on the island of Bohol, where a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit last month. As Haiyan continues on its path, Rock the Vote sends its warmest wishes to those being affected by the storm. Stay safe, everyone.

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in video murder ranthttp://rtvote.com/18diPkJ
    And it just keeps getting worse. A video has been leaked, showing infamous mayor Rob Ford making threats to murder an unknown person. Ford has apologized, but this latest incident comes after he admitted to smoking crack cocaine earlier this week. On Sunday, he acknowledged on his radio show that he has a drinking problem. Nonetheless, he will not step down from office; councilors are increasing their calls for Ford to resign.

    Satellite falling to Earthhttp://rtvote.com/17jsT0T
    Watch where you’re going! A European satellite has run out of fuel, and fragments of the disintegrating, 2000-pound spacecraft will strike Earth’s surface within the next few days. The only problem? Nobody really knows where or when they will hit. The European Space Agency said the parts are likely to hit the ocean or unpopulated areas. In case they’re wrong, I would advise you to keep an eye out for any objects hurdling through the sky this weekend (and get out of the way).

     

    CULTURAL

    Johnny Galecki Talks About Secret Romance With Kaley Cuoco: “She’s Part of My Life,”http://rtvote.com/1fp4sz0

    Renee Zellweger Is Not Anorexic, Goes to the Gym to Keep Her “Sanity,” http://rtvote.com/16N2aHC

    Selena Gomez Says She’s Single and Having the “Best Year” Ever, http://rtvote.com/16N2hTB

    Justin Bieber Filmed Sleeping in Bed by Brazilian Girl, http://rtvote.com/1acCULt

    sandywu
    Bio:

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