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    ‘Sochi Olympics’



    News Round-Up: Monday, February 24th, 2014

    Monday, February 24th, 2014

    The Department of Defense proposes some extreme military cuts; Deval Patrick may be considering running for president; and a strange polio-like disease strikes five kids. Meanwhile, view the top 15 moments at the Sochi Olympics; Alec Baldwin has harsh words for some celebrities; and Pharrell’s “Smoky the Bear” Grammy’s hat is up for auction.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Defense Department to cut Army to pre-WWII size:http://rtvote.com/1pjsT6W
    The Department of Defense will present a new defense budget Monday that will decrease defense spending. The budget outlines a plan intent on reducing the Army to the size it was before World War Two (between 440,000 and 450,000 troops) and plans on removing a class of Air Force attack jets. The bill, supported by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, protects funding for cyberwarfare and security as well as special operations programs. Congressional leaders with large military populations in the area they represent may provide a strong opposition to the budget.

    Mass. Gov Patrick: ‘Maybe’ I’ll run for president:http://rtvote.com/1k4j7lg
    Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told Politico that he might consider a run for president in the future. He originally dismissed rumors of a 2016 presidential bid because he was afraid of the impact the election would have on his family. Patrick said that he and his wife would have to agree on running if he ever considered it. Patrick is not running for a third gubernatorial term this year.

    Longest-serving Congressman to retire:http://rtvote.com/1cHUd9x
    Michigan Representative John Dingell, 87, will retire from the House of Representatives when his 29th term ends later this year. A champion of healthcare reform, environmental protection, gun control, worker’s rights, and gun rights, Dingell has an impressive congressional accomplishments sheet. Serving in Congress has taken a toll on his physical health, and he continually expressed frustration with the increasingly partisan Congressional gridlock. Dingell’s retirement is now one of many, as more congressmen and senators call for retirement. Although his Michigan district is considered a safety district for Democrats, the Congressman or woman who takes his place will have a tough act to follow.

    Polio-like illness found in five California children:http://rtvote.com/1epOTnD
    Between August 2012 and July 2013, five California children have become paralyzed in one or more of their limbs. Doctors ruled out polio because all of the affected children had been vaccinated against the disease, despite their ailment having polio-like qualities. Instead, two of the five children have been diagnosed with enterovirus 68, an incredibly rare disease that is from the same family as polio. Since 2000, there have been 47 cases of enterovirus 68 in the United States. Health officials are not concerned about the possibility of an outbreak, stressing the rarity of the illness.

    Students, say goodbye to snow days:http://rtvote.com/OtTD74
    Teachers are beginning to utilize technology to teach at home. Because this winter has been difficult for many areas of the country, some schools have run out of snow days. Teachers in some school districts have begun to teach online during snow days, requiring students to log in to a program online to keep track of attendance and grades. This prevents students from missing too many school days, which would require school officials to take days away from spring break.

    CULTURAL

    See the most memorable moments from the Sochi Olympics:http://rtvote.com/1fnoTj4

    Brooke-Burke Charvet ousted from her DWTS hosting job:http://rtvote.com/1eb5gt5

    Alec Baldwin’s harsh New York essay:http://rtvote.com/1gwSMKa

    You can buy Pharrell’s infamous Grammy hat:http://rtvote.com/1mD9Ju3

    Liam Neeson discusses Natasha Richardson’s death:http://rtvote.com/1pjQ9ll

    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: Thursday, February 6th, 2014

    Thursday, February 6th, 2014

    An All-Star pitcher is diagnosed with cancer; NYC schools undergo some holiday changes; outrage erupts after a trial’s conclusion; another murder trial begins; and Sochi officials fire back at critics. Meanwhile, Justin Bieber makes headlines yet again; Kevin Jonas posts an adorable picture of his daughter; Jon Gosselin has some serious things to say; and Emma Watson’s Wonderland interview is out!

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Curt Schilling diagnosed with cancer: http://rtvote.com/1fKY2vI
    47-year-old pitching legend Curt Schilling shocked the sports community yesterday when he revealed he had been diagnosed with cancer. He had pitched for the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Boston Red Sox, winning three World Series Championships. Schilling was due to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team this MLB season.

    NYC Schools to Get Islamic, Lunar Holidays Off: http://rtvote.com/1jiuyIO
    New York City’s Mayor Bill De Blasio has begun instigating some new schooling policies. Soon, NYC public schools will close for various Muslim holidays (including Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, two Islamic holy days) and the Chinese New Year. De Blasio says he wants to take time to adjust school calendars to make these new changes.

    No jail for ‘affluenza’ teen in fatal car crash draws outrage: http://rtvote.com/1byx3SA
    The Texas boy responsible for hitting a group of people (killing four and injuring nine) due to driving under the influence will not receive jail time. Instead, 17-year-old Ethan Couch will be on probation for ten years and will attend rehab for an unspecified amount of time. His defense team used the ‘affluenza’ defense; this stated that Couch had been spoiled by his wealthy family and felt entitled and lacked good judgment. Psychologists believe that the future use of the affluenza defense could almost reinforce recklessness and bad judgment.

    ‘Loud music’ murder trial begins: http://rtvote.com/1eBp5t2
    The trial for the Florida man accused of shooting and killing a 17-year-old in late 2012 is being put on trial. The man, Michael Dunn, noticed an SUV was playing loud music at a gas station and asked the people inside to turn it down. Allegedly, one occupant withdrew a shotgun, prompting Dunn to grab his own gun and shoot eight times into the car, killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis. Dunn waited before calling police, who did not find a weapon in the SUV. He has pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. The trial should not last until February 14th.

    Russian Officials Fire Back at Olympic Critics: http://rtvote.com/1ndDX1C
    Dmitry Kozak, the top person responsible for the Sochi Olympic preparations, has been firing back at critics, saying they have surveillance video of people purposely trying to sabotage their hotel rooms. Kozak also said they’ve only received 103 complaints after housing over 100,000 guests. Olympic athletes like American speed skater Sugar Todd say that their hotel rooms do not have any problems. President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson says that Sochi’s organizers are almost definitely working to solve the problems.

    CULTURAL

    The truth behind Justin Bieber’s “Pot Plane” scandal: http://rtvote.com/1fWnDRK

    Cute pic of Kevin Jonas’s daughter! http://rtvote.com/1fL6dYS 

    Jon Gosselin spouts off some serious stuff about Kate: http://rtvote.com/1khikAc

    See parts of Emma Watson’s Wonderland interview: http://rtvote.com/N8WRfD    

    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, 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