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    News Round-Up: October 30, 2013

    Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

    HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius apologizes at a hearing; retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor officiates a gay marriage ceremony; and a wine shortage hits the world (oh, say it ain’t so). Meanwhile, Chris Brown returns to rehab, and Ashton Kutcher expands his ever-growing resumé with Lenovo.

    -Sandy + Maura
     

    CRUCIAL

    Health chief Sebelius apologizes for botched websitehttp://rtvote.com/1gciabr
    At today’s hearing with the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Kathleen Sebelius, the Health and Human Services Secretary, formally apologized for the technical problems Healthcare.gov has been experiencing. More Republicans are calling for her resignation, and the panel intensely scrutinized Sebelius and the sub par performance of the healthcare website. The Obama administration has vowed to fix these issues by the end of November.

    After Retired Justice O’Connor Performs Their Wedding, Gay Couple Celebrates “Wonderful Day”,http://rtvote.com/1gcl146
    Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor officiated the wedding of Jeff Trammell and Stuart Serkin. She is the second official of the High Court to have officiated a gay marriage ceremony; the first was current Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Once considered a conservative justice, O’Connor was nominated to the bench by President Reagan and retired in 2006.

    Thirsty? There’s a global wine shortagehttp://rtvote.com/1h0vXmS
    Brace yourselves. There’s a wine shortage in the world. Global production fell by more than 5% last year, the lowest it’s been since the 1960s, while demand continues to increase. The main cause for the decrease in production was bad weather in France and Argentina. The French consume the most wine, followed by Americans and then the Chinese. Although the U.S. wine making industry is growing, don’t expect global wine production to improve anytime soon.

    Brazilian Footballer’s Decapitated Head Reportedly Sent to Wife by Drug Lordshttp://rtvote.com/1gcpnZ6
    Former pro Brazilian soccer player Joao Rodrigo Silva Santos was kidnapped and decapitated by suspected drug traffickers in Rio de Janeiro. His head was sent to his wife’s residence on the morning of October 29. Police are unsure why Santos was targeted. Brazilian soccer is often linked to gang activity.

    Baylor students seek to remove gay ban from student codehttp://rtvote.com/1h0AMfN
    The student senate of Baylor University, a private Baptist school, voted to propose that university officials remove “homosexual acts” from the school’s sexual misconduct code. The proposal will go on to the Baylor University Board of Regents for review. Seems like a win for progress and equality? Not quite. One Baylor student says this rewording does not mean they are advocating homosexuality; they are simply not pinpointing homosexuals anymore: “It is saying homosexual acts are wrong but heterosexual acts committed outside of marriage are also wrong.”
     

    PUNDITS

    Joanne Bamberger discusses how certain voting models are compromising the rights of married or divorced women in “Voter ID laws threaten women’s rights,” http://rtvote.com/1gcv2hO

    Sally Kohn explains why losing your current healthcare plan under Obamacare is not something to cry over in “A canceled health plan is a good thing,” http://rtvote.com/1f482P4

     
    CULTURAL

    Chris Brown Kisses Karrueche Tran Before Heading to Rehab, http://rtvote.com/1f48cWG

    Kristin Cavallari Pregnant with Baby No. 2, http://rtvote.com/1h0PUtI

    Former Full House Child Star Blake McIver Now a Sexy Go-Go Dancer, http://rtvote.com/1h0Qec0

    Ashton Kutcher Hired as a Product Engineer to Help Design Tablets for Lenovo, http://rtvote.com/1f48Lj7

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up, Monday, February 4, 2013

    Monday, February 4th, 2013

    The Baltimore Ravens topple the San Francisco 49ers in the most watched Super Bowl in history; an investigation finds 680 international soccer matches were rigged; and Tagg Romney eyes a run for the Senate. Meanwhile, Beyonce stuns at the Super Bowl halftime show and goes on to announce an upcoming world tour; and Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are spotted back together.

    Caitlin + Liza

    CRUCIAL: 

    Baltimore Ravens Win Super Bowl 46 Over San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, http://huff.to/XSajRV
    The Baltimore Ravens toppled the San Francisco 49ers Sunday night 34 to 31 in what was the longest Super Bowl in history at 4 hours and 14 minutes. A power outage in the third quarter brought the game to a standstill with the Ravens up by 22, and allowed the 49ers to catch their breath and stage a comeback. Yet the Ravens, led by MVP Joe Flacco and veteran Ray Lewis, who was playing in his last game ever, managed to hold off the 49ers. The win marked a sibling rivalry victory for Baltimore coach John Harbaugh, who defeated brother Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the 49ers, and was the most watched Super Bowl in history.

    Investigation Finds Suspected Fixing in 680 Soccer Matches, http://nyti.ms/XaE2r1
    680 international soccer matches are suspected of being fixed according to global law enforcement officials, who announced the results of a 19-month investigation earlier today. Asian criminal organizations that made millions by betting on game results are behind the conspiracies, which included more than 425 people spanning at least 15 countries. Organizations strategically rigged the soccer matches by bribing players and referees in an effort to predetermine game results. Fixed matches included high-profile games such as qualifying games for the World Cup and European Cup as well as two Champions League matches. “This is a sad day for European football, and more evidence of the corrupting influence of organized crime,” said Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, which helped coordinate the investigation. An international arrest warrant was issued for the leader of an Asian criminal group behind most of the fixed matches.

    Ex-Navy sniper, another military vet killed at Texas gun range, http://bit.ly/WHeKCI
    Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, a record holder for the number of sniper killings in Iraq and author of the best-selling “American Sniper”, was gunned down in Glen Rose Texas Saturday along with fellow military veteran Chad Littlefield. Kyle and Littlefield were visiting a shooting range at the Rough Creek Lodge when they were murdered by suspect Eddie Ray Routh. Routh is also a former Marine and is now in the process of seeking a court-appointed attorney. Kyle, a married father of two, had also founded a nonprofit to help veterans battle post-traumatic stress disorder. A spokesperson for the group remembered him as “an American hero” in a statement.

    Report: Tagg Romney eying Senate, http://politi.co/VKXRpk
    Tagg Romney, son of former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, is considering a run for a Massachusetts Senate seat, according to a Boston Herald report. Tagg, 42, is Mitt Romney’s oldest son and was a frequent face throughout the 2012 campaign. He is founder of Solamere Capital, a venture capital firm in Boston. The Herald also reported that some had called on Mitt Romney’s wife Ann to make a Senate run. A Massachusetts Senate seat opened up when former Democratic Senator John Kerry resigned to accept a post as Secretary of State, and the state’s former GOP Senator Scott Brown announced he will not run to replace Kerry.

    Obama: Drop Gay Ban, Boy Scouts, http://politi.co/11F3ndB
    President Obama pushed the Boy Scouts to drop their ban on gay members in an interview on Sunday as the Boy Scouts of America prepares for this week’s vote on whether to end a national ban on gay members and scout masters. The possible change, which would allow local groups to make decisions as to whether or not to allow gay members, has stirred debate, with former scouts including Texas Governor Rick Perry insisting the ban should stay in place. “My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life,” President Obama said.

    Eight killed, more than 30 hurt as bus flips, http://lat.ms/VK3dkN
    At least eight were killed and more than 30 were injured Sunday night when a tour bus collided with a truck and sedan on a narrow mountain road in California. All fatalities came from the bus, which lost control while heading down the mountain and rolled over the truck at least once. The bus was carrying 38 passengers, including children. 27 were taken to the hospital after police spent more than two hours trying to free the injured. “It happened so fast, I don’t know how it all happened,” one passenger said. “This was supposed to be a good day with my companions and then this happened.”

    CULTURAL: 

    Beyonce Super Bowl Halftime Show: Singer Stuns With An All-Out Display, http://huff.to/VzfaYG

    Beyonce Announces New World Tour After Super Bowl Extravaganza, http://bit.ly/UQTOZp

    People’s TV Critic Reviews the Super Bowl Ads, http://bit.ly/WpEJiA

    Selena Gomez Back with Justin Bieber…Again?, http://tmz.me/Uin2mk

    Frank Ocean Will NOT Be Pressing Charges Against Chris Brown, http://bit.ly/Uoa3Q3

    Liza Dee
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

    In today’s news, gun sales are up in Colorado; women’s soccer begins its Olypmic Games; and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is married. Meanwhile, Batman star Christian Bale visits the victims of the Aurora shooting, and Kristen Stewart allegedly cheats on Robert Pattinson.

    Maureen + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Aurora theater shooting: Gun sales up since tragedy, http://bit.ly/MHT3we
    The weekend after the horrific shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation approved background checks for 2,887 people who wanted to buy a firearm. These numbers reflect a 43 percent increase from the previous weekend and a 39 percent increase from the first weekend in July. There were 1,216 sales alone on the Friday following Thursday night’s shooting. These background checks do not necessarily reflect the actual number of guns sold, as purchasers may have bought more than one gun or decided not to purchase any at all.

    U.S. women’s soccer opens Olympic Games today, http://on.freep.com/OZDttK
    Women’s soccer Olympic Games open today in Glasgow, Scotland, nearly 400 miles away from the London center stage and two days before the opening ceremonies. Both soccer and archery are the two events that begin early because extra days are needed to play a sufficient slate of games that won’t wear out the players. The United States will play France today after its own version of an opening ceremony: head coach Pia Sundhage sang “Have a little faith in me,” at the historic Hampden Park. The U.S. team, two-time defending champs, are only guaranteed to play in London if they make the gold-medal game. They will not be attending Friday’s Opening Ceremony because they have an afternoon game against Colombia in Glasgow the next day.

    Kim Jong-un Is A Now Married Man, http://read.bi/Qj8y2Z
    North Korean TV just announced that supreme leader Kim Jong-un has married the mystery woman he has been seen with in public. The woman, a singer, has now been identified as “comrade Ri Sol Ju.” This marriage comes as another sign of Kim’s desire to differentiate his regime from his father. It also coincides with a power struggle amongst top officials.

    CULTURAL:

    ‘Dark Knight’ Star Christian Bale Visits Colorado Shooting Victims, http://bit.ly/M8slAx

    Kristen Stewart Reportedly Cheats on Robert Pattinson with Rupert Sanders, http://bit.ly/Mm1HzL

    ‘Modern Family’ Cast WE WANT OUT, http://bit.ly/NuPJbo

    Sherman Hemsley: A tribute to the great George Jefferson, and more, http://bit.ly/NJERDC

    Maureen Dolan
    Bio: Maureen is the Marketing & Communications intern for Rock the Vote.

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



    News Round-Up: Monday, July 11, 2011

    Monday, July 11th, 2011

    The U.S. women’s soccer team celebrates a victory over Brazil, President Obama continues budget negotiations with congressional leaders, the U.S. suspends $800 million in military aid for Pakistan, and Google+ invitations are no longer scarce. In voting rights news: coalitions are fighting to maintain same day voter registration in Maine, Wisconsin’s Sen. Coggs is proposing free birth certificates for voters without IDs, and some in Wisconsin think recently instituted voting laws should be advertised on television.

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry

    CRITICAL:

    U.S. shows no quit in victory, http://bit.ly/qxYVwj

    Just when the US women’s soccer team was about to be eliminated from the World Cup, Abby Wambach evened the score with a header. After a dramatic penalty shootout, the team gained victory over Brazil.

    Debt reduction talks in limbo as clock ticks toward Aug. 2 deadline,
    http://wapo.st/pnaLWP

    Republicans and Democrats continue to butt heads over cutting the federal deficit. While President Obama wants a large package of $4 trillion over 10 years, the Republicans would rather a plan of $2 trillion over 10 years that would not include $1 trillion in tax increases. President Obama will meet today with congressional leaders.

    Pakistan: US suspends $800m of military aid, http://bbc.in/qFi72W

    The US is withholding $800 million in military aid from Pakistan. US-Pakistan relations have been tense with the US distrustful of Pakistan’s military motives. The $800 million is just one third of the total military aid America gives to Pakistan.

    Coalition embarks on effort to restore same-day voter registration, http://bit.ly/mOY0gv

    With same day registration being threatened in Maine, a coalition of progressive groups are fighting to maintain the 38 year old law. The new bill would allow people to register 48 hours before Election Day.

    Sen. Coggs proposes free birth certificates for voting, http://bit.ly/pIdTUA

    The strict photo ID requirements in Wisconsin mean many citizens will have to obtain ID cards. The ID cards are supposed to be free, yet they require a birth certificate copy that costs money. Senator Coggs of Milwaukee notes that many people cannot afford this expense. In turn, he is introducing a bill that would make birth certificate copies free.

    TIR Poll: Bachmann Overtakes Romney in Iowa, http://bit.ly/qtvgus

    According to a poll conducted by The Iowa Republican, Mitt Romney is no longer the GOP frontrunner in Iowa. 25% of likely Iowa caucus voters picked Michele Bachmann while 21% chose Romney. Herman Cain and Tim Pawlenty tied for third place.

    Google+ invitations no longer so scarce, http://cnet.co/mTmJ3M

    Ever since Google released its new Google+ social network, invitations to the service have been hard to come by. Google has recently allowed users to invite more friends. Almost 5 million people are already on Google+.

    CULTURAL:

    Bow Wow Confirms That He’s The Baby Daddy And Admits To Thinking About Suicide! http://bit.ly/nwaS7E

    Rebecca Black: ‘My Moment,’ New Single, Tells Star’s Story, http://huff.to/oXzuSM

    Delighted Victoria and David name their little girl Harper Seven Beckham, http://bit.ly/nGFCPE

    Kate Hudson’s Baby Boy: New Details! http://bit.ly/oiP1hk

    Katie Scholick
    Bio: Duke University, Class of 2013 Majoring in Psychology, Certificate in Markets and Management.

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