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    ‘Sochi’



    NEWS ROUND-UP: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2014

    Friday, February 21st, 2014
    A new deal is presented to end bloodshed in Ukraine; the Dalai Lama’s visit to The White House causes reaction from China; and evidence of climate change continues as the Earth experiences its fourth-warmest January on record (despite the snow and chilly temps!). Meanwhile, Christina Aguilera makes a major announcement; U.S. women’s figure skaters talk about returning for 2018 Olympic games; and Kanye West is listed as a headline for Bonaroo for a second time.

    - Austin + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    New deal is signed in Ukraine to end bloodshed http://rtvote.com/1bsPNVM
    After yesterday’s short-lived truce, it seems that violence in Ukraine might finally be settling down. Opposition leaders have signed a deal with government officials that calls for early elections and reductions of presidential power. The deal is thought to be promising because of involvement from high-level European and Russian mediators. Since anti-government protests escalated earlier this week, hundreds of Ukrainian protesters and security officers have been killed.

    China calls Dalai Lama “political exile;” criticizes White House meeting http://rtvote.com/1fFf22L
    The Dalai Lama is known around the world as a spiritual leader. But it turns out he isn’t exactly revered by all. China today posted a statement (on its website of all places!) criticizing the U.S. for meeting with the Dalai Lama. China has considered the Tibetan monk a “political exile” since 1959 because of his advocacy for autonomous rule in Tibet.

    New York reconsiders solitary confinement http://rtvote.com/1dae3XH
    Corrections officials in New York this week indicated a move to reconsider solitary confinement policies. New York has been one of the worst offenders for overusing solitary confinement, a form of punishment that isolates prisoners for as much as 23 hours a day. What’s worse, the average length of stay in solitary confinement for New York prisons is five months. Clearly, the state is in need of reform and this is widely seen as a progressive move towards more humane treatment of prison populations. Kudos to New York.

    Earth has fourth-warmest January on record http://rtvote.com/1l5p2tu
    It’s been pretty cold on the East Coast this year, but this is by no means an indication of global averages. The Earth as a whole experienced its fourth-warmest January on record, marking the 38th straight year that January temperatures have been higher than 20th century averages. This definitely makes you think twice about the existence of climate change!

    German athlete tests positive for doping at Sochi games http://rtvote.com/1jQP28z
    For shame! Germany’s Olympic committee announced that one of Germany’s Olympic athletes has tested positive for illegal performance-enhancing drugs, although they declined to release the athlete’s name. USA Today reports that this is the first positive test of the Sochi games. Germany has won 16 Olympic medals in Sochi so far, including 8 gold.

    CULTURAL

    Lena Dunham: Jezebel’s $10,000 Vogue Retouching Expose “Was Messed Up”, “Felt Gross”, http://rtvote.com/1h5sCQG

    Grace Gold , Ashley Wagner and Polina Edmunds Talk About Figure Skating Results, Eyeing Return for 2018 Olympic Games, http://rtvote.com/1fhw5Ny

    Christina Aguilera Is Pregnant! Newly-Engaged Expecting Second Child, http://rtvote.com/MIEEVz

    Kanye West Headlines Bonaroo, take 2. How’s this going to play out?, http://rtvote.com/1fhwDmw

    SPOILER ALERT: Kate Mara’s Done Lying about House of Cards and That Huge Twist, http://rtvote.com/1jV7PD1

    austin@rockthevote.com
    Bio:
    @austin_estes
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Friday, February 14, 2014

    Friday, February 14th, 2014

    Tens of thousands evacuate Indonesia after volcanic eruption; Facebook adds up to 10 gender pronoun choices; snow hits hard on the East Coast; and President Obama announces a $1 billion climate fund proposal. Meanwhile, the day you’ve been LONG waiting for has arrived—House of Cards Season 2 is on Netflix!; an Olympic skier saves some adorable puppies in Sochi; and in celebration of Valentine’s Day, we have a list of 21 awkward greeting cards that will make your sides hurt with laughter.

    Happy Valentine’s Day Rockers!

    -Maura

     

    CRUCIAL 

    D.C. Region Begins Digging Out After Major Snowstorm Finally Moves On, http://rtvote.com/MRS1m3 Grab your snow boots and watch out for the ice! Another snowstorm swept through the region yesterday, blanketing major parts of the East Coast. The wintry onslaught left at least 21 people dead, including a pregnant woman who was struck by a snowplow in New York City. On Wednesday and Thursday, the snowstorm moved up from the South and left 1.2 million utility customers without power. And, as for snow coverage, the Northeast region near Pennsylvania got more than 22 inches and parts of upstate New York got 27!

    Indonesia Volcano Erupts; 76,000 Evacuated, Most of Java’s Airport Shut, http://rtvote.com/1dsISL8
    The Mount Kelud volcano, located in the province of East Java in Indonesia, erupted Thursday night sending 10 miles of ash into the air. Over 76,000 people have now fled their homes and flights across most of Java, Indonesia’s densely populated island, were grounded. Mount Kelud is one of 130 active volcanoes in the world’s fourth most populous country, which sits along the “Ring of Fire” volcanic belt around the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

    Vladimir Putin Visits Team USA in Sochi, http://rtvote.com/1nyRPUd
    Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to the USA House, which is a meeting place for the athletes and their families. The visit had been kept low key, and visitors at the U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters were stunned when he appeared. Mr. Putin has been making his rounds sporadically at national organizing committee spotlights.

    Facebook Opens Up LBGTQ-Friendly Gender Identity And Pronoun Options, http://rtvote.com/1bRXkIm Facebook recently updated gender options for their users.  Aside from the usual “male” and “female” options, users can choose up to 10 different gender definitions to describe themselves out of more than 50 options.  Some of those options include, “cisgender”, “transgender”, and “intersex.” Not only will the gender choice show up on the user’s About page, but it will show up in all other pronouns on the site that refer to that user.

    Obama to propose $1 billion climate fund, http://rtvote.com/1kHD0Se
    In an effort to bring climate change to the forefront, President Obama is preparing to ask Congress to set up a $1 billion “Climate Resilience Fund” in his proposed budget next month. According to the White House, the fund would go to research on the projected impacts of climate change, help communities prepare for climate change’s effects, and fund “breakthrough technologies and resilient infrastructure.” On Friday, the President will travel to Fresno, California to discuss the impact of drought in the Western U.S. and to announce his climate fund proposal.

    CULTURAL

    Skier Gus Kenworthy Proves His Heart of Gold By Saving Puppies in Sochi, http://rtvote.com/MPtvlE

    The Coolest Teachers Ever Announce Snow Day With Hilarious Rap,http://rtvote.com/1btlluR

    21 Awkward Valentine’s Day Cards For Your Confusing Modern Relationship, http://rtvote.com/1c3KhHg

    Bethenny Frankel’s Daytime Talk Show Cancelled, Not Renewed for Second Season, http://rtvote.com/1dPCppi

    President Obama’s Twitter Account: No ‘House of Cards’ Spoilers,http://rtvote.com/1gAmTly

    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, January 22, 2014

    Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

    The biggest snowstorm of the winter season covers the Northeast; two shootings occur on two college campuses; countries receive Olympic terror threats; and President Obama’s Commission on Election Administration releases a report offering solutions to shorten voter lines & modernize the registration process. Meanwhile, TV is taking over the entertainment headlines today as a Seattle Seahawks player goes on a postgame rant and The Bachelor’s ratings remain steady regardless of Juan Pablo’s controversial remarks.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Northeast buried under heavy snow: http://rtvote.com/1msuR0A
    The heaviest snowfall of the season pummeled the Northeastern United States and was accompanied by plunging temperatures. Cities like Philadelphia, Washington, and New York will see temperatures in the single digits and have wind chill numbers in the negatives. Meanwhile, states like New Jersey, Delaware, and New York are declaring states of emergency based on weather conditions. Thousands of flights have been canceled as travelers try to change their travel plans. The kicker? It’s currently warmer in Alaska!

    Two universities rocked by shootings: http://rtvote.com/1ezw7gN
    Two colleges were affected by shootings this weekend. At Purdue University, a student shot and killed another student before surrendering to police on Tuesday. The shooter has been identified as 23-year-old Cody Cousins. The victim, 21-year-old Andrew Boldt, was a teaching assistant at the school. This shooting followed up reports of another school shooting at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania (a city outside of Philadelphia) where the victim is in critical condition, and the shooter is still at large.

    Countries receive terrorist threats for Olympics: http://rtvote.com/1hLAaYS
    Hungary is the latest country to receive terroristic threats towards their Olympic athletes. The message, formatted as an email, is threatening the Hungarian athletes with violence if they attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia next month. The nation’s security forces have been informed, as have Sochi organizers. However, officials believe that the message is random and contains no threat, something that is common before every Olympics.

    N.Y. 8-year-old saved 6 in fire, died trying to save 7th: http://rtvote.com/1ins77l
    An 8-year-old boy saved six of his family members after the trailer they were sleeping in caught on fire. The boy, identified as 8-year-old Tyler Doohan, then ran back into the home to rescue a disabled relative. The two of them were found dead in a back bedroom, and a third relative was found in a front room. Doohan warned his family about the fire and died trying to help everyone else escape.

    Cuccinelli: Chris Christie should step down from RGA post: http://rtvote.com/1in6vrP
    Virginia Republican Ken Cuccinelli said Tuesday that New Jersey governor Chris Christie should step down from chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Cuccinelli believes that the investigations and scandals surrounding Christie are preventing the Republican Party from focusing on their election year goals. The scandals include the now-infamous “Bridgegate” incident and the latest from Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who claims Christie’s administration threatened to not provide Hurricane Sandy relief money to Hoboken unless she agreed to a real estate deal.

    Presidential Commission Offers Ways to Shorten Voting Lines: http://rtvote.com/19NYHMK
    After long lines continued at the polls during the 2012 election, President Obama announced the launch of a bi-partsian panel of election and management experts following his State of the Union speech last year. The Presidential Commission on Election Administration released their report & findings to President Obama and Vice President Biden today with recommendations on how to shorten voting lines and modernize the voter registration system. Rock the Vote is proud to announce their support of the Commission’s recommendations & their role in providing testimony and technology highlighted in the report. This is a big win for American voters!

    CULTURAL

    Seattle Seahawks corner Richard Sherman loses his cool in a pre-Super Bowl interview: http://rtvote.com/1kXQb2q

    Juan Pablo Galavis’s remarks don’t dent The Bachelor‘s ratings: http://rtvote.com/1kXQDh6

    Murder, She Wrote reboot scrapped by NBC: http://rtvote.com/19NNCeB

    Jersey Shore‘s former cast member Jenni “JWoww” Farley is having a girl: http://rtvote.com/1msKDIW

    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