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    News Round-Up: November 1, 2013

    Friday, November 1st, 2013

    Food stamp cuts set in; a super-sophisticated secret underground tunnel used for smuggling drugs from Mexico to the U.S. is discovered; and the iPad Air makes its debut. Meanwhile, Heidi Klum officially wins the Most Awesome Celebrity award for her Halloween costume, and Kristin Stewart reunites with Robert Pattinson.

    -Sandy + Maura


    Families brace as billions in food stamp cuts set inhttp://rtvote.com/1ahKIba
    Benefit cuts to food stamp recipients begin today. This comes from Congress’s decision to cut $5 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in exchange for increased education funding and school nutrition programs. An increased number of needy Americans will turn to organizations that already provide meals to hungry citizens, like food pantries and the Campaign Against Hunger.

    US discovers huge hi-tech Mexican drug-smuggling tunnelhttp://rtvote.com/1hzxE8o
    Authorities have discovered one of the most sophisticated drug smuggling passages, running from warehouses in Tijuana to San Diego. The secret underground tunnel is the length of almost six football fields and is equipped with lighting, ventilation, and an electric rail system. Upon discovery, authorities found 8.5 tons of marijuana and 327 pounds of cocaine.

    Trick or treat? Canada seizes three cocaine-filled pumpkins at airporthttp://rtvote.com/1f8kcX6
    Canadian officials seized three pumpkins at the Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport. Cocaine-filled pumpkins, that is. Authorities found them while searching through a female traveler’s luggage. An investigation is currently underway.

    Internal notes show paltry initial enrollment in Obamacarehttp://rtvote.com/16SO7x0
    Notes from a “war room” meeting at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance revealed that only six Americans successfully enrolled in the federal health care exchange on the first day of the rollout. This number has been gradually increasing, and Joanne Peters, a Health and Human Services spokeswoman, is confident that the pace of enrollment will pick up.

    Best Deals for iPad Airhttp://rtvote.com/HsZRQG
    The new iPad Air debuts today – but before you whip out your wallet, make sure you read through this. Find out where and how to get the best deals on Apple’s latest gimmick.


    Senator Bernie Sanders discusses how our healthcare system could be more cost-effective without sacrificing programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in “Don’t cut the big benefit programs,”http://rtvote.com/1h614NS

    Facebook users and USA Today readers weigh in on HHS Secretary Sebelius’s apology at Wednesday’s congressional hearing in “Should Sebelius step down for Obamacare woes?” http://rtvote.com/17xwg4F


    Heidi Klum goes geriatric for Halloween, http://rtvote.com/1hzs7Pq

    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Sue YouTube Cofounder Over Leaked Proposal Footage,http://rtvote.com/1bJBE1x

    Kristen Stewart Spends Time With Robert Pattinson at His House: All the Details and New Photos,http://rtvote.com/17BSr7D

    Pamela Anderson Chops Off Hair, Is Unrecognizable With New Pixie Cut, http://rtvote.com/16SVUuS


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

    News Round-Up: Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

    Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

    A relentless North Korea will run nuclear tests for a third time; Wal-Mart faces a criminal investigation; clothing companies design gun-concealing apparel; a measure that would outlaw the death penalty makes the California ballot; Social Security will run out by 2033; and Gingrich hints at dropping out of the GOP race. Meanwhile, Kim and Kanye step out as a couple, as do Mila and Ashton; and Justin Bieber has a “Billie Jean” moment.



    Exclusive: North Korea’s nuclear test ready “soon,” http://reut.rs/JnCoLw
    North Korea is at it again. The reclusive country is testing its nuclear capabilities for a third time despite an embarrassing failed rocket launch last week. North Korea’s insistence on proving it’s a nuclear contender has caused hostility between it and the United States, as well as South Korea and China. Previous nuclear tests took place in 2006 and 2009.

    Wal-Mart faces federal criminal probe tied to allegations of bribery in Mexico, http://wapo.st/J75dKb
    The Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into Wal-Mart after it was revealed that the store’s Mexican arm paid at least $24 million in bribes. Mexico provides a booming market for the retail chain, and Wal-Mart heads were paying bribes in return for quick building permits there. In December, Wal Mart voluntarily told the Justice Department that they believed its Mexican branch was taking part in bribery; however, that was long after the company had found out it was happening. In 2005, a whistleblower told Wal-Mart that bribes were taking place, but the company shut down the inquiry and did not inform law enforcement.

    New Fashion Wrinkle: Stylishly Hiding the Gun, http://nyti.ms/JvjE0u
    As more states pass concealed carry laws, clothing companies like Woolrich and Under Armour are designing clothing that will allow gun owners to discreetly carry and access their handguns. The apparel will look like everyday clothing and will not require a gun holster. “What we’ve tried to do is create a collection of garments that allows the end user to have stylish lifestyle apparel but have features in the garment that enable them to carry a weapon and draw the weapon quickly,” said the vice president of clothing company 5.11. Last year, 7 million Americans had a concealed-weapons permit, up 2 million people from 2008.

    Measure that would end death penalty in California qualifies for ballot, http://lat.ms/IOFPuJ
    A measure that would replace the death penalty with life in prison without parole has qualified for the ballot in California this November. If the measure passes, more than 700 people on death row would have their sentences commuted. California has one of the largest death rows in the United States. One of the reasons the measure has come up is that it would save the state a great deal of money. The legal process for those sentenced takes so long that most inmates die of old age before facing lethal injection. Not to mention, in the past 23 years, the 13 inmates that California executed cost taxpayers $4 billion.

    Social Security moving toward insolvency even faster; officials say, as boomers start retiring, http://wapo.st/IBHrZE
    The federal government revealed yesterday that Social Security may run out by 2033, three years earlier than previously predicted. The weak economy paired with a large number of aging baby boomers has contributed to the quickly dwindling funds, which lawmakers have not made moves to fix. Medicare will also be insolvent as early as 2024. Government officials have said that Congress must act quickly and drastically to save both Social Security and Medicare.

    Gingrich hints he may drop from race this week, http://on.msnbc.com/IeQX35
    Newt Gingrich told a crowd in Delaware yesterday that if he does not do well in the state’s primary he will “reassess” his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination. Delaware is a winner-take-all state, but if Gingrich does not receive many votes in the primary he will “need to take a deep look at what [he is] doing.” Gingrich also noted that while Mitt Romney is the frontrunner “that doesn’t mean he is inevitable.”

    Katrina vanden Heuvel wants to combat new voting laws in a “Vote for Universal Registration,” http://wapo.st/I6Z5r9


    Russell Brand Testifies on Drug Addiction, Calls It a Health Matter, http://eonli.ne/ImqzXx

    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Step Out Holding Hands: Now Is It Official?, http://eonli.ne/I2X1Lz

    Ashton Kutcher and Mila Spend Weekend Together, http://bit.ly/I6ZIRu

    Demi Lovato says promoters gave her drugs and alcohol, http://cbsn.ws/JnHabW

    Justin Bieber pens song about baby-claim fan Mariah Yeater, http://usat.ly/Iq2S18

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    News Round-Up: Friday, November 4, 2011

    Friday, November 4th, 2011

    Unemployment dropped to 9% in October; Corzine resigns from MF Global; Boehner says the supercommittee’s deal will include tax increases; Pakistan has been hiding its nuclear weapons to avoid US raids; Cain may sue Politico; and Groupon has successfully gone public. Meanwhile, the mother of Justin Bieber’s alleged child may face rape charges, and GTL no longer? Snooki claims The Situation is broke.

    Coral + Caitlin


    Unemployment rate drops to 9 percent, http://goo.gl/sb2oJ
    Unemployment decreased to 9% in October; despite this, only 80,000 jobs were added in comparison to the 100,000 that were expected. The private sector added 104,000 jobs, which was in line with estimates. The number of jobs added in September was also upped from 103,000 to 158,000.

    As Regulators Pressed Changes, Corzine Pushed Back, and Won, http://goo.gl/VS3Nj
    Jon Corzine has resigned from MF Global, his brokerage firm which has now gone bankrupt. As CEO, Corzine persuaded regulators to allow MF Global to conduct risky trades that ultimately led to the company’s demise. He also pressed regulators to allow a transaction that essentially would allow MF Global to borrow money from its customers. Now officials are looking over the company’s books in order to find the $630 million missing from customers.

    Boehner: Debt deal will include new tax revenues, http://goo.gl/AD2bN
    John Boehner announced yesterday that any bi-partisan debt deal reached by the “supercommittee” will include tax hikes. The Speaker went on to say that the tax increases will only be added if serious reforms to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are included.

    The Ally From Hell, http://goo.gl/0xGXG
    According to The Atlantic, Pakistan has been continuously shuffling its nuclear weapons between the 15 facilities that hold them in order to make it harder for India or the US to carry out a raid. The moving of the weapons has been done in normal, low-security vehicles in everyday traffic. “The Pakistani government is willing to make its nuclear weapons more vulnerable to theft by jihadists simply to hide them from the United States, the country that funds much of its military budget,” Jeffrey Goldberg and Marc Ambinder write.

    Cain camp considering legal action against Politico, http://goo.gl/Rl1Y2
    An aide to Herman Cain said yesterday that the candidate is considering legal action against Politico for reporting on his past sexual harassment claims. This is likely not over with Politico from a legal perspective,” the campaign official told The Washington Post. Despite this, Politico is still reporting on the allegations, revealing new details where one of the two women claims Cain made a sexual overture to her at a group event. The woman felt her job would be at risk if she did not comply with Cain in the situation. Meanwhile, Cain’s wife, who was supposed to do her first interview today with Fox News, has since cancelled.

    Groupon shares surge 46 percent in early trading, http://goo.gl/VjUXi
    Groupon has raised $700 million since it went public today. It has sold 35 million shares at $20 each, which is above the original price of $16-$18. This is the largest IPO for an Internet company since Google went public in 2004. Groupon will begin trading on NASDAQ today under the ticket symbol GRPN.

    Judge won’t face charges in videotaped beating, http://goo.gl/rwr4F
    William Adams, the Texas family-court judge who was videotaped beating his 16-year-old daughter with a belt, will not face charges because the statute of limitations has expired. Adams’ daughter, now 23, posted the video to YouTube where it caused an uproar. In a statement, Judge Adams said that his daughter posted the video because she was angry he reduced her financial allowance and took away her Mercedes. He did not apologize for the abuse and noted that the video “looks worse than it is.”


    Police: Bieber sexual tryst may be investigated, http://goo.gl/DodFs

    Jury to get Michael Jackson doctor manslaughter case Friday, http://goo.gl/6IX5L

    ‘Jersey Shore’ star Snooki: ‘The Situation is broke,’ http://goo.gl/eTQiT

    Drew Barrymore, Eddie Murphy Top Forbes Overpaid Actors List, http://goo.gl/uHwox

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    News Round-Up: Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

    The U.S. may be able to pay its bills until Aug. 10, the mayor of Kandahar has been killed in a Taliban suicide attack, Norwegian intelligence thinks the Norway killer acted alone, Piers Morgan may have taken part in phone hacking, the White House and car manufacturers near a deal on fuel standards, a new surge of generic drugs are expected to lower prescription prices, and Google is updating Chrome for Lion multitouch.

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry


    U.S. May Have Way to Cover Bills After Deadline, for Week,
    Due to tax payments and maneuvering by the Treasury Department, the U.S. can probably pay all of its bills until August 10th. However starting August 10th, the government will no longer be able to make out Social Security checks without borrowing. President Obama maintains that August 2nd is Congress’s “hard deadline” to increase the debt ceiling.

    Afghan war: Mayor of Kandahar killed in suicide attack,
    An attacker, who detonated explosives hidden in his turban, has killed Ghulam Haidar Hameedi. This comes as more bad news in Afghanistan; President Karzai’s brother and other high-profile politicians have been killed just as the US is transferring security responsibility to local troops. The Taliban has admitted to carrying out the attack.

    Norway attacks: ‘Breivik acted alone,’
    Janne Kristiansen, the Norwegian Domestic Intelligence Chief, thinks that Anders Behring Breivik carried out his killing spree alone. Kristiansen also doubts that he is insane, describing him as calculating and someone who sought the limelight.

    Morgan Admits Dodgy Practices,
    In the past week, Piers Morgan has been denying that he published stories obtained through phone hacking and other questionable methods. However, an interview with him on June 7, 2009 has him saying this: “Not a lot of that went on…A lot of it was done by third parties, rather than the staff themselves…That’s not to defend it, because obviously you were running the results of their work.”

    White House, carmakers near deal on fuel standards,
    54.5 miles per gallon by 2025; that’s the deal the Obama administration has reportedly made with auto manufacturers. Ford and GM support the new standards, while Chrysler has been more reluctant to do so. The administration has the authority to increase the standards without the companies’ agreement, but has chosen to compromise anyway.

    New surge of generic drugs expected to lower prescription prices,
    The patents for Lipitor, Plavix, and five other best-selling prescription drugs will expire in the next 14 months. An “unprecedented wave” of generic drugs will lower many drug prices by around 70%.

    Google updating Chrome for Lion multitouch,
    Apple users who updated to Lion may have experienced a few bugs. Specifically, Google’s popular Chrome browser could not handle the new iPhone-like touch gestures. Today, Google has released a beta version that fixes many of the issues.

    Google+ and the Norway Tragedy,
    It’s no secret that Twitter has changed the way we experience live breaking news; however, the attacks in Norway were the first big event to test Google+’s reaction. NPR first reported the attack after Google+ user, “Raymond K” broke the news. Raymond K now has thousands of followers.


    Alexander McQueen Leaves $82,000 to His Three Dogs, http://bit.ly/pUshln

    Alexander Skarsgård Sinks His Teeth Into New Anti-Bullying PSA, http://eonli.ne/mSmjZm

    Amy Winehouse’s Family Reveals Plans for Charity Foundation, http://bit.ly/ndaxDF

    ‘Breaking Dawn’ Soundtrack Could Feature A Castmember, http://on.mtv.com/nwPLzv

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

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

    News Round-Up: Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

    A debt deal still seems out of reach after President Obama and Speaker Boehner clash, the Norway gunman thinks he is a “warrior,” Rep. David Wu will not seek re-election, Maine GOP Chairman, Charlie Webster, claims college students are behind voter fraud, and 78 people have died in a Morocco military plane crash.  Also, Romney targets young voters with a new video and Wal-Mart will offer video streaming.

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry


    Debt ceiling speeches: Obama reasserts himself; Boehner pushes back,
    Last night, President Obama and Speaker Boehner spoke about the debt ceiling debate. Despite the speeches to the American public, it still remains unclear how and when a deal will pass. President Obama asked citizens to call or email their representatives to end what he called the “most dangerous game,” saying that “If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know.”

    Norway Gunman Used Drugs, Thought He Was ‘Warrior,’ His Lawyer Says,
    Anders Behring Breivik, the anti-Muslim extremist who massacred 76 people in Norway, may plead insanity. His laywer, Geir Lippestad, said that Breivik believes that he is in a war, has been taking drugs, and believes that in 60 years the rest of the world will understand what he did.

    Democrat David Wu Won’t Seek Re-Election to House, http://abcn.ws/rhu56i
    Oregon Congressman David Wu is facing an Ethics Committee investigation over an “unwanted sexual encounter” with an 18-year-old girl. Wu will not seek re-election. In January, many of his staffers quit due to unusual behavior; specifically, the congressman sent a photo of himself in a tiger costume to a staff member.

    GOP chairman says university students behind voter fraud,
    Maine GOP Chairman, Charlie Webster, has accused 206 out-of-state college students of voter fraud. Webster has admitted that he is accusing the students based solely on the fact that they are from other states, and that he has no evidence that they have voted twice. Maine’s supreme court has upheld college students’ right to name their dorm as their primary residence and subsequently vote in Maine elections.

    Report: 78 dead in Morocco military plane crash,
    Bad weather has taken down a C-130 military transport plane in the southern mountainous region of Morocco. Three people survived while 78 are estimated to be dead.

    Romney Goes after Young Voters with New Video,
    GOP presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney is hoping to woo young voters with a new video that attacks the President’s record on youth unemployment. The DNC has responded by criticizing Romney’s experience as a businessman and governor.

    Back to the Future: Young Voters Support Social Security, But Fear for Its Preservation,
    Young people sometimes view Social Security as a program that they don’t need, or one that will not be available by the time they retire. However, young voters still have surprisingly strong, positive feelings about Social Security and are opposed to raising the retirement age.

    (via POLITICO Playbook)
    TOP TALKER – Chicago Tribune p. 1, “Happy Meal to tilt at obesity: McDonald’s to add fruit or veggies, downsize the fries,” by Emily Bryson York, Tribune reporter: “McDonald’s plans to announce Tuesday that it will begin serving a fruit or vegetable with every Happy Meal sold in the U.S. The … chain will … shrink the portion of french fries, beginning in September in some markets, with all 14,000 restaurants getting the revamped offering by next April. McDonald’s said it first experimented with using fruit – typically an apple – or a vegetable as a replacement for fries in Happy Meals. But both children and parents rebelled, so the fries will stay. … 88 percent of customers know about the meal’s [current] fruit option, according to the company. But only 11 percent of kids meals are ordered with apples instead of fries. http://trib.in/oIzmqZ

    (via POLITICO Playbook)
    TECHWATCH – “Wal-Mart offers video streaming on website” – AP/New York: “Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is now renting and streaming movies online, many the same day they come out on DVD, in a second bid for a share of popular movie rental and streaming website Netflix Inc.’s business. The world’s largest retailer bought video-streaming service Vudu.com 18 months ago and Tuesday started offering 20,000 titles that can be viewed on almost any device with Internet access, from PCs to televisions to Sony’s PlayStation3 and other Blu-Ray disc players. Movies are available at Walmart.com to rent for $1 to $5.99 or to purchase for $4.99 and up. Wal-Mart … previously offered a DVD-by-mail service but it stopped that service in February 2010.”


    Amy Winehouse Cremated After ‘Moving Yet Humorous’ Memorial Service, http://bit.ly/qY8fZw

    Michael Jackson Family Announces Tribute Concert, http://on.mtv.com/nfrq2f

    Franco returns (again) to ‘General Hospital’! http://bit.ly/oLDt2u

    Autopsy not conclusive on Amy Winehouse death, http://bit.ly/oKqwBF

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

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