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    ‘South Carolina’

    News Round-Up: Thursday, April 24, 2014

    Thursday, April 24th, 2014

    Almost 1,600 veterans are forced to wait for care from a doctor; a new Georgia law allows guns in school districts, bars; and lawmakers threaten to pull funding from public universities. Meanwhile, Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis welcome their new son; a teen with terminal cancer raises over $1,000,000 for charity; and a runway model criticizes thin-shaming.

    -Veronica + Maura


    A fatal wait: Veterans languish and die on a VA hospital’s secret list: http://rtvote.com/ROzEle
    Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix, Arizona created a scheme to hide the fact that between 1,400 and 1,600 sick veterans had no choice but to wait for months for doctoral care. At least 40 of those veterans suffered and died because they could not get care. What’s worse? The management at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix knew about and defended the waiting list. A former doctor at the hospital said there were two lists the hospital used: one that was shown to Washington that proves that people were getting care (the “sham” list) and the other that showed how veterans had to wait for up to a year: the “real” list. The hospital also did not preserve records and could make it seem as though a person never came in for an appointment. After the allegations came to a head, Congress has ordered all records to be preserved.

    Georgia law allows guns in some schools, bars, churches: http://rtvote.com/1k9l9lb
    Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill Wednesday that would allow guns to be carried into previously gun-free zones: like bars, churches, school zones, airports, and government buildings. The Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014 (or the “guns everywhere bill” as dubbed by opponents) was lobbied for by GeorgiaCarry, a pro-gun rights organization and will go into effect on July 1st of this year. 5% of Georgia’s population has passed background checks necessary to own a gun, and Deal says that this legislation “gives added protection to those who have played by the rules.” Some people, like members of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, refuse to allow guns in their sanctuary. Others regard the law as ridiculous because the state has refused to expand healthcare and accept Obamacare but allows its citizens to own guns. However, the Safe Carry Protection Act has garnered wide support from members of the NRA and other supporters of the right to carry.

    Lawmakers pressure universities with threat to pull funds: http://rtvote.com/1f7AGTC
    States are threatening to pull funding from universities based on the information they teach, the things professors say, and the organizations partnered with the schools. For example, in South Carolina, funding is threatened at two different universities because students were asked to read a book discussing homosexuality. In Kansas, lawmakers threatened to “withhold appropriations” after a professor tweeted anti-NRA rhetoric. Some states have also banned universities from sending money to organizations that support things like unionization and boycotts that the state did not support. Colleges and lawmakers are trying to work together to find common ground.

    Ukraine tense as Russia launches military drills, activists die in clashes: http://rtvote.com/ROW3yJ
    After Russian forces practiced military drills near the Russian-Ukraine border, Ukrainian officials claim that they killed five pro-Russian militant activists. The deaths occurred as the Ukrainian military attempted to remove barricades from around Slavyansk, a Ukrainian city occupied by pro-Russian activists. Russian Vladimir Putin was quick to respond, saying: “If the Kiev regime has started to use the army against the population inside the country, it, beyond any doubt, is a very serious crime.” He also threatened “consequences” to the Ukrainians. Foreign nations, like the United States and countries represented in NATO, have expressed worry at the 40,000 Russian troops that have gathered at the border and have asked Russian forces to back down.


    Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis welcome baby Otis! http://rtvote.com/1k9D1MJ

    The Bachelorette contestant Eric Hill tragically dies in freak accident: http://rtvote.com/1gUsLnK

    Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, loses her brother in accident: http://rtvote.com/1hq099r

    Jodie Foster is married! Congrats! http://rtvote.com/1nscIF1

    Terminally ill teen raises over $1,000,000 for charity: http://rtvote.com/1ptSRXQ

    Runway model: “If you can feel beautiful for being big, I can feel beautiful about being small”: http://rtvote.com/1lJpkbh

    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, March 5th, 2014

    Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

    Tensions between Ukraine, Russia, and Western powers continue to escalate; a NJ student suing her parents loses first court battle; Pope Francis says that he could potentially accept civil unions; and a 10-year-old boy is suspended after pointing his fingers in the shape of a gun. Meanwhile, John Travolta speaks out about his Idina Menzel flub on Oscar Night; an emoji version of “Drunk in Love” is taking over the web; and you can see the Oscar selfie that broke Twitter and has the Twitter record for the most retweets ever! 

    - Veronica + Maura


    Ukraine crisis: Western leaders pile pressure on Russia: http://rtvote.com/1ga99e8
    Western governmental powers have begun to threaten Russia with sanctions if their military presence in Ukraine does not decrease. In retaliation, Russia has begun drafting a law that “would allow Russia to confiscate assets belonging to the U.S. and European companies if sanctions are slapped on Moscow.” The European Union will meet Thursday in Brussels, and US Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with Sergey Lavrov, the Russian equivalent to Kerry’s position, in Paris. This conflict stems from the removal of the Russian-allied government and the increase in tension in the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine, where a heavy Russian population resides.

    Student’s lawsuit against parents for support loses first round in court: http://rtvote.com/1lyMnEg
    18-year-old New Jersey resident Rachel Canning made news this week for suing her own parents to make them pay for varying expenses: her final semester at her private high school, her living expenses, her legal fees, and her college tuition. Canning says her parents forced her out of her home and made her live on her own and was subject to mental and physical abuse, while her parents say she left of her own accord because she “didn’t want to obey their rules.” A judge refused to hear the request of payment for both the high school and living expenses, but in April, another hearing will be held for other issues presented in the lawsuit.

    Ohio student points finger like gun, is suspended: http://rtvote.com/1fHONbj
    A 10-year-old boy who pointed his finger like a gun and pointed it at another student’s head was suspended by his principal. The other student didn’t see it, but a teacher did and reported it to the school’s administration. The boy, who said he was “just playing around,” had been warned before by the school, Devonshire Alternative Elementary, about pretending to play with guns, as have all the other students; they were also told of potential consequences if they were caught participating in this behavior. 

    Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions: http://rtvote.com/1hMh1X0
    On Wednesday, Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s stance on gay marriage (“marriage is between a man and a woman”), but also hinted at the possible acceptance of civil unions. Pope Francis is the first Pope to even hint at an acceptance of civil unions and is one of the most “gay-friendly” popes in history. Possible changes to the church regarding the women’s role and the contraception ban could also be in the works as the Pope’s first year comes to a close.

    Three children pulled to safety after woman drives van into ocean: http://rtvote.com/1kyfwiB
    A pregnant South Carolina woman, driving a minivan with three children inside, drove into the ocean in Florida. Rescuers said that they heard the children screaming that their mother was trying to kill them. People worked frantically to remove the children and the mother from the waterlogged vehicle. The children, aged 3, 9, and 10, were carried to shore and examined at a hospital before being declared “okay”. The mother walked to shore, dazed, and has refused to talk about the incident.


    See the now-infamous selfie that broke Twitter on Oscar Night! http://rtvote.com/1hLqDBZ

    John Travolta’s response to his Idina Menzel flub: http://rtvote.com/1cuhUoa

    The best and worst moments from the Oscars are in! http://rtvote.com/1gakNpt

    An emoji version of Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love”? http://rtvote.com/1e1MWP0

    Dancing with the Stars just announced its latest cast: http://rtvote.com/1l14Y8T

    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


    Thursday, September 29th, 2011

    In today’s news, Bahrain sentences 20 medics for treating protesters; the Saudi Arabian King pardons a woman arrested for driving; a Massachusetts man is arrested for planning to attack the Pentagon and Capitol with drones; and presidential hopeful Herman Cain jumps to third place in the primary race. In entertainment news, MTV reports on the leading fall albums, and Lil Wayne looks to Jimi Hendrix for inspiration.

    Coral + Caitlin


    German parliament approves expanded bailout fund, http://wapo.st/ooHK71
    On Thursday, German lawmakers voted to approve expanded powers for a European bailout fund that Chancellor Angela Merkel has said is critical to ensuring economic stability in Europe. With an approval vote of 523 to 85, the euro-zone took the first step in righting its economic crisis. The move also helped boost European stocks Thursday, and Wall Street appeared to head for gains at its opening.

    Bahrain sentences medics who treated protesters, http://bbc.in/qC8GOM
    A court in Bahrain has sentenced 20 medics between 5 to 15 years in jail for alleged incitement to overthrow the government. The medics treated people injured during a protest movement that called for more rights for the country’s Shia majority in the Sunni-ruled kingdom. The medics were also accused of refusing to give police officers medical attention; however, relatives of some of the medics claim they were tortured into giving false confessions.

    Saudi Woman Spared Lashing, http://bit.ly/rn2Zit
    Saudi Arabian King Abdullah pardoned a woman sentenced to receive at least 10 lashes for driving. The woman was sentenced just one day after the King granted women the right to participate in the next election. “Belatedly allowing women to vote in council elections is all well and good, but if they are still going to face being flogged for trying to exercise their right to freedom of movement, then the King’s much-trumpeted ‘reforms’ actually amount to very little,” said Amnesty International Deputy Director Philip Luther.

    Mass. man accused of plotting to hit Pentagon and Capitol with drone aircraft, http://wapo.st/oZ20Zy
    A 26-year-old physics graduate and model hobbyist from Massachusetts was arrested Wednesday in an FBI undercover operation. He has been accused of planning to build small, explosive-laden drones to attack the Pentagon and the Capitol, according to an FBI affidavit and law enforcement officials. Rezwan Ferdaus, a U.S.born citizen of South Asian background, traveled to Washington last May to conduct surveillance and intended to launch three small GPS-guided aircraft from East Potomac Park — two against the Pentagon and one against the Capitol, according to a detailed plan he gave to the FBI.

    Occupy Wall Street: inquiries launched as new pepper-spray video emerges, http://bit.ly/oQN0jR
    Senior New York Police Officer, Anthony Bologna, is under investigation after another video has emerged from the Occupy Wall Street protests. This video captures the officer, not only pepper spraying a group of women protesters who were trapped in an orange net, but also pepper spraying one of the women while she was recovering from the first attack. In both incidents, the policer officer appeared to have violated the NYPD’s guidance on how pepper spray should be used.

    25 voters to get free photo ID ride to DMV, only 4 in Tri-County area, http://bit.ly/oFhsE9
    The Department of Motor Vehicles says 25 people in South Carolina are getting a free ride to receive a photo identification card to comply with the state’s new voter law. DMV spokeswoman Beth Parks said the agency spoke to 675 people who wanted information on the law and about 48 people requested a ride for Wednesday; however, when the agency called back, people had obtained rides or state IDs in some other way.

    UW to create new ID cards, http://bit.ly/qjz2FS
    To accommodate for new voting laws, Associated Students of Madison Legislative Affairs Chair Hannah Somers said University of Wisconsin will be instituting new student IDs to include a signature and a valid expiration date. “This is really good news,” Somers said. “This means we don’t have to lobby the university to change our IDs.”

    Romney Reclaims Top Spot While Perry Falls and Cain Rises, http://abcn.ws/r6FVLN
    In a poll released today, Herman Cain has tripled his support base and jumped to third place in the race for the Republican primary. Also, Mitt Romney has reclaimed his front-runner status, and Rick Perry has dropped ten points since the last poll taken in August. This marks the first time Perry has taken second place in the polls; he has been on top since entering the presidential race six-weeks ago. Herman Cain reached the third-place slot after claiming 17 percent, an 11-point jump since August.

    Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos Would Not Necessarily Prove Einstein Wrong, http://bit.ly/qWACEu
    Last week, the physics community was shaken when the OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion tracking Apparatus) team working in central Italy announced that preliminary findings seemed to have found subatomic particles, neutrinos, traveling faster than the speed of light. According to the team, the neutrinos were observed to have traveled the distance of about 450 miles in less time than it would take a light beam – disproving, some have said, Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity.

    Nokia to cut another 3,500 jobs, http://cnet.co/nDQLGi
    Nokia will cut another 3,500 jobs to lower its operating costs to run more efficiently. “We must take painful, yet necessary, steps to align our workforce and operations with our path forward,” Chief Executive Stephen Elop said in a statement today. Nokia will close a manufacturing facility in Cluj, Romania, and reduce workers in its supply chain operations. This will cause a loss of 2,200 employees. Also, they will cut 1,300 workers in its commerce and location business.


    Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse backs “Fighting for Pell Grants,” http://huff.to/pfPpdL

    McKay Coppins asks, “Donald Trump GOP Kingmaker?,” http://bit.ly/nal2k7

    ‘Dancing With the Stars’ studio receives letter containing white powder, http://bit.ly/qqQkzz

    Red Sox Lose to Orioles 4-3, http://abcn.ws/nEuIWC

    Coldplay, Rihanna, Evanescence Lead Fall Albums, http://on.mtv.com/qPu0yk

    Susan Powell’s Parents Granted Custody of Boys, http://bit.ly/pWGo88

    Lil Wayne Channels Jimi Hendrix For New Vibe Cover, http://on.mtv.com/nYwzwc

    Bio: Coral is the Marketing Intern at Rock the Vote

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

    Partisan Spat Over Rides to SC DMV

    Friday, July 29th, 2011

    We noticed a bit of a partisan spat in South Carolina over the implementation of the photo ID legislation. Here’s the story.

    Recently, when discussing the new photo ID legislation with the FOX affiliate in Greenville, Governor Nikki Haley dismissed concerns that voting rights would be affected and offered a unique solution: “Find me those people who think that this is invading their rights. Find and I will go take them to the DMV myself and help them get that picture ID.”

    Taking the Governor’s words at face value, the family of Robert Tucker, a 76 year-old veteran without a photo ID or birth certificate, contacted her office to ask for a ride to the DMV. According to news reports, Tucker’s cousin said: “They told me the best that they can do is tell me to go to legal aid. I told the Democratic Party about it because I find it so odd Republicans and Governor Haley put so much credit into the bill. They talked about how it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, but they couldn’t do anything for the person who is disenfranchised.”

    The Democrats made a video – which you can see here – and Republicans responded. State GOP Executive Director Matt Moore said the video is “just Democratic Party tricks” and reporters got a new response when they called into the Governor’s office:

    “Yes, we will assist Mr. Tucker, as we’ll work to assist anyone who is having trouble getting state services,” said Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey. “Anyone who feels they cannot get a picture ID should call the governor’s office. Governor Haley was entirely sincere when she said she would help people get the ID they needed to secure the integrity of their vote.”

    If you need help getting an ID or to the DMV, the Governor’s office number is 803-734-2100. Make sure to tip your shuttle driver.

    Fun side note: ThinkProgress determined driving the 178,000 currently registered voters disenfranchised voters would take the Governor just over 7 years, 4 months, 3 weeks and 5 days. If there’s no traffic.

    Becca Ward
    Bio: Duke University, Class of 2012 Majoring in Public Policy, Certificate in Energy and the Environment From Portland, Oregon.  Aquarius
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    News Round-Up: Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

    The House has passed a conservative deficit reduction plan, Cameron tells Parliament he would have never hired Andy Coulson, Obama endorses the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, a great white shark is released after jumping onto a boat, Republican candidates will debate on Facebook, and Apple launches Mac OS X Lion.

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry


    (via POLITICO Breaking News)
    On a largely party line vote, the House has passed a conservative deficit reduction plan known as “Cut, Cap and Balance” on a 234-190 vote. The bill includes caps on spending and a balanced budget amendment, but it has little chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate and faces a veto threat from President Barack Obama.

    Phone hacking: Cameron’s ‘regret’ over hiring Coulson,
    Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs that in hindsight, “I would not have offered [Andy Coulson] the [Head of Communications] job and I expect that he wouldn’t have taken it.” Cameron added that “If it turns out I have been lied to that would be a moment for a profound apology, and in that event I can tell you I will not fall short.”

    Obama Endorses Feinstein’s Bill To Repeal The Defense Of Marriage Act,
    President Obama still has not come out in support of same-sex marriage; however, his administration continues to fight anti-gay legislation, most recently DOMA. Specifically, Obama has endorsed a bill that would give federal protections and benefits, like joint-income tax filing and spousal Social Security benefits, to same-sex couples.

    Young Democrats will register voters despite strict new rules by Republicans,
    The Florida legislature has tightened the rules of third party voter registration drives, but young Democrats say they will not be discouraged. The state has a new requirement that volunteers turn voter registrations into elections offices within 48 hours, or else they will face fines. The law also shortens early voting from 14 days to eight, and voters who have moved from one county to another since registering to vote can no longer cast a regular ballot.

    NAACP opposes new voter ID law,
    The NAACP says that the new voter ID law in South Carolina, signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley, discriminates against voter turnout. Reverend Nelson Rivers stated that “In America, we should be trying to include people in the voting process. This law excludes people.”

    Reporter Accosted After Bachmann Comments on Migraines,
    ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross ran into some trouble at a Bachmann rally in South Carolina. When Bachmann left without taking questions, Ross ran after her, asking if she had ever missed a vote due to a migraine. Bachmann’s bodyguards “pounced on him, grabbing and pushing him multiple times.”

    Facebook and Republican party team for debates. Do you ‘like’ this?
    The Republican Party announced that it will be holding its first-ever Facebook debate sometime next year before the New Hampshire primary. It will be moderated by Meet the Press’ David Gregory and streamed live on Facebook so that users will be able to give instant feedback.

    Apple launches Mac OS X Lion in Mac App Store,
    It’s been a good week for Apple. Yesterday the company announced a record $7.31 billion in profit (a 183% increase in profit from last year). And today the company unleashes Lion, the newest version of its OS X operating system with over 250 new features.


    Comic-Con kicks off with fans, flicks, costumes, http://bit.ly/oN0oLL

    Kim K Suing Old Navy — You Can’t COPY Me!!!!! http://bit.ly/ovKF7G

    It’s A Boy For Maya Rudolph, http://bit.ly/rtskpQ

    ‘Harry Potter’ Author Scores Multi-Million $$ Thank You, http://bit.ly/qypzQO

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

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