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    ‘State Department’

    News Round-Up: Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

    The U.S. Senate sheds new light on the attack in Benghazi; new details are released in the New Mexico middle school shooting; and Governor Chris Christie of NJ addresses “Bridgegate” in his State of the State address. Meanwhile, 2014 gets off to a rocky start for Justin Bieber and Kanye West after two high-profile incidents.

    Veronica + Maura


    Senate report: Attack on U.S. compound in Benghazi could have been prevented: http://rtvote.com/1j7nle7
    The bipartisan report on the 2012 attack on the United States compound in Benghazi, Libya shows that the State Department was warned about the potential for attack but did not increase security around the compound. The report also blames intelligence agencies for not discussing CIA outpost locations within the U.S. military. However, the report does not discuss in depth whether the Obama administration downplayed the attacks, saying that no one knew when the attacks were to occur.

    Shooter may have warned some students: http://rtvote.com/1b39JIV
    The 12-year-old suspect accused of opening fire in a New Mexico middle school’s gymnasium yesterday morning may have warned certain students against coming to school early. This discovery is currently being investigated by police, along with other claims. So far, police have not been able to determine a motive for the shooting; however, the shooter is in custody. Two students were injured in the attack.

    Can Christie change the subject? http://rtvote.com/Kj1Nfm
    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered his State of the State address yesterday. He acknowledged the mistakes his administration has made recently in regards to the closing of bridge lanes on the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee (dubbed “Bridgegate”). After apologizing, Christie tried to change the subject to focus on more pressing policy issues in the state. However, many people believe that Christie’s reputation is now too tarnished to allow a potential presidential bid in 2016.

    CBS airs video of chaotic scene at Asiana crash site: http://rtvote.com/1hqMYnc
    CBS has recently released video footage of firefighters and emergency personnel tending to survivors and the wreckage of the Asiana plane crash. The crash occurred last summer at San Francisco airport. The story received national attention not only due to the crash, but also because of the death of 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan, who survived the crash but was struck and killed by a fire truck at the scene.

    Va. Democrat Jim Moran to retire from Congress: http://rtvote.com/1eDrVLC
    After serving twelve Congressional terms, Representative Jim Moran will not run for re-election.  Moran, an occasionally combative and passionate member of Congress, represents Virginia’s 8th District. His retirement could potentially create a heated primary election because of the 8th District’s reputation as being a Democratic stronghold.


    Police raid Justin Bieber’s house after incident: http://rtvote.com/1m7g7nA 

    Are Johnny Depp and girlfriend Amber Heard engaged? http://rtvote.com/K2E17V

    How Harry Connick Jr. can save American Idol: http://rtvote.com/1m7gs9M

    Kanye West allegedly assaults a young man: http://rtvote.com/1aoR914 

    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, January 3rd, 2013

    Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

    President Obama signs legislation to avert the fiscal cliff; Hillary Clinton is discharged from the hospital; Sandy Hook students return to class; and the 113th congress will be sworn in tonight. Meanwhile, a Senate panel will investigate CIA communications with “Zero Dark Thirty” filmmakers; a script on Hillary Clinton’s life is creating buzz in Hollywood; and Al Jazeera buys Current TV.



    Father of Indian gang rape victim calls for hanging of guilty, http://bit.ly/VxeZ0f
    The father of a woman who was gang raped and fatally beaten on a bus in New Dehli is demanding his daughter’s attackers be hanged. Five adult males and a teenager have been arrested in connection with the 23-year-old woman’s rape and death. The victim was a medical student whose boyfriend also sustained injuries in the attack. The young woman died in a Singapore hospital last week.

    Obama signs bill to avert fiscal cliff, via autopen, http://politi.co/W4Qrdh
    President Obama signed legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff Wednesday. The deal, which was approved by the Senate and the House, will increase taxes on households that make $450,000 or more a year. Obama signed the legislation via autopen as he has since rejoined his family on vacation in Hawaii.

    Clinton Out of Hospital After Treatment for Clot, http://nyti.ms/136eCyj
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was discharged from New York-Presbyterian/Columbia hospital Wednesday night after being admitted for a blood clot in her head Sunday. Clinton sustained the blood clot after fainting and suffering a concussion. The State Department has said that Clinton’s “medical team advised her that she is making good progress on all fronts, and they are confident she will make a full recovery.” Chelsea Clinton also tweeted about her mom’s recovery: “Grateful my Mom discharged from the hospital & is heading home. Even more grateful her medical team confident she’ll make a full recovery.”

    Pakistan militant Mullah Nazir ‘killed in drone attack’, http://bbc.in/1304Fn4
    Pakistani officials said Thursday that Pakistani militant Mullah Nazir was killed in a U.S. drone strike. Nazir was the leader of one of four major militant groups in Pakistan and was integral in sending fighters to help the Taliban in Afghanistan. Pakistan considered Nazir an important figure for keeping peace in the country. As a result, his death could strain relations even more between the U.S. and Pakistan.

    A Desire for Normalcy as Sandy Hook Students Return to Class, http://nyti.ms/UIyJzQ
    Elementary school classes in Newtown, CT will resume for the first time today since Adam Lanza, 20, killed 20 students and 7 adults in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Students will be attending class in Newtown’s former Chalk Hill middle school, which has been converted into an elementary school. Parents were able to tour the new school Wednesday. While classes will try to resume as normally as possible, there will still be police cars parked at Newtown schools. Retired principal Donna Page will replace Dawn Hopsprung, who died trying to protect students from Lanza.

    New Congress takes office Thursday, will tackle old Congress’ leftovers, http://bit.ly/130qrXO
    The 113th congress will be sworn in on Thursday. Once they are confirmed, they will vote on $9 billion in immediate aid to Hurricane Sandy victims. The vote was delayed until the new congress was sworn in; the congress will vote on a remaining $51 billion in aid by January 15th. It will also face votes on the sequester, which are huge spending cuts coming up in February.

    100 billion alien planets fill our galaxy: study, http://nbcnews.to/Uq7ngB
    NASA released a new study Thursday that suggests our Milky Way galaxy holds at least 100 billion alien planets or one planet per star. Researchers came to the conclusion after studying a five-planet system called Kepler-32. “I usually try not call things ‘Rosetta stones,’ but this is as close to a Rosetta stone as anything I’ve seen,” says John Johnson, one of the study’s authors. “It’s like unlocking a language that we’re trying to understand—the language of planet formation.”


    Senate panel to examine CIA contacts with “Zero Dark Thirty” filmmakers, http://yhoo.it/W3HLns

    Hillary Clinton script has Hollywood buzzing, http://politi.co/TIS9n8

    Justin Bieber calls for paparazzi crackdown, http://lat.ms/YVnPps

    Julianne Hough: I was abused ‘mentally, physically’ as a child while training in England, http://nydn.us/Vl19hJ

    Al Jazeera Buys Al Gore’s Current TV, http://aol.it/Vl6hT5

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

    News Round-Up: Monday, January 30, 2012

    Monday, January 30th, 2012

    Middle East relations remain contentious as U.S. drones provoke Iraqi government officials, and more violence erupts in Damascus; Occupy Oakland uprising damages city buildings and causes clashing with police; and U.S. officials are set to testify against Cuban offshore drilling. Meanwhile, the original writers and cast of ‘Arrested Development’ will return for the Netflix series, and Madonna will release an exclusive video teaser on ‘American Idol’ this week.

    Kelly + Caitlin


    U.S. Drones Patrolling Its Skies Provoke Outrage in Iraq, http://nyti.ms/wDu5th
    The State Department is operating a small fleet of surveillance drones to protect the United States Embassy and other U.S. buildings. Iraqi officials are outraged at the program, calling the aircraft an affront to Iraqi independence. The drones are meant to take over functions that the U.S. military used to perform as U.S. troops have been out of Iraq for over a month now. American contractors have been told that drones might soon be needed for other potentially “high-threat” countries such as Indonesia and Pakistan. The drones do not carry weapons and are meant to provide data and images of possible hazards.

    Syria Targets Rebels Based in Suburbs of Damascus, http://nyti.ms/zCetD9
    On Sunday, Syria sent soldiers, tanks, and armored vehicles to seek out pockets of rebel fighters as the country’s war escalated over the weekend. Blasts have continued, with Syrian authorities reporting a blown up gas pipeline near the border of northern Lebanon. In Damascus, black smoke hangs over buildings and electricity and water have been cut off to the area. Arab League nations have been pushing the U.N. Security Council to endorse their plan for political transition in Syria, calling for President Bashar al-Assad to hand over power to his deputy.

    Occupy Oakland arrests reach 400; City Hall vandalized, http://lat.ms/xtGn3W
    The Occupy Oakland movement turned ugly when protesters set to take over the city’s vacant Convention Center. As the takeover met police, protesters spread out to museums and eventually Oakland’s city hall. Demonstrators threw bottles, rocks, burning flares, and other objects at police officers. Over 400 arrests have been made. The downturn at Occupy Oakland comes as Occupy D.C. demonstrators are expected to be evicted today.

    Cuban Offshore Drilling Plans To Be Probed By Congressional Subcommittee Hearing, http://huff.to/y8lPsI
    At the satellite congressional subcommittee hearing today, just north of Miami Beach, members of the U.S. Coast Guard, experts and U.S. officials will testify on the risk of oil drilling off the coast of Cuba. As Cuba seeks to begin deep-water oil drilling, Congressional members and ecology experts will gauge if the U.S. is prepared for potential oil spills in this area.

    Newt: Mitt Can Have Florida But This Is Going All The Way To The Convention, http://bit.ly/zGb3A2
    Newt Gingrich says it isn’t over as Mitt Romney anticipates a win in tomorrow’s Florida primary. In the latest NBC poll, Romney is up by 15 percentage points in the state. However, Newt won’t be far behind if Romney wins Florida. Speaking on behalf of Gingrich’s campaign, former Sen. Fred Thompson says it boils down to the delegate count. Florida holds 50 winner-take-all delegates, comprising about 5 percent of the 1,144 needed at the time of the convention.

    Tech companies team up to combat email scams, http://bit.ly/w3xcy0
    Google and Microsoft, among many other technology companies, are combining efforts to stop email phishing scams. The goal in mind is to design a system which will authenticate emails from legitimate senders and weed out the scammers. The new system will be called DMARC, Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance. A combination of email providers and email senders are on the team, including Yahoo, Bank of America, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

    No Thanks, Facebook: Poll Suggests Users Don’t Want Timeline, http://ti.me/zrJ0WV
    In a poll conducted with more than 4,000 Facebook users, most are reporting that they hate the new Timeline format. As Facebook aims to make Timeline mandatory, only 8 percent of polled users said they liked it. A large majority, 83 percent of poll users, had a negative take on the stalking gadget. Most of the negative responses were based on being “put-off” by the amount of personal information that surfaces when using Timeline.


    Guns N’ Roses Announce February Concerts, http://bit.ly/xdV6x0

    ‘The Help’ nabs three kudos at SAG Awards, http://bit.ly/xp3pF5

    Tyler Perry Sets Cast for New ‘Madea’ Movie, http://bit.ly/yiIOR0

    ‘Arrested Development’ revival: entire cast confirmed for Netflix series with original writers, http://thedc.com/wbXFns

    Madonna Goes Cheerleader Chic In New Video: ‘Give Me All Your Luvin’ tease will air on ‘American Idol,’ http://on.mtv.com/yNSjPv

    Kelly Holleran

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

    News Round-Up: Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

    400 have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the uprising, and the conflict is far from over, the tech world is buzzing with Facebook creating a deals program to rival Groupon and launching a new “send” button, the State Department is trying to implement new paperwork that would make obtaining a passport difficult, and Barbour’s decision not to run shakes up the GOP field. Meanwhile, Alex Eichler predicts the disappearance of law schools, Lollapalooza announces its summer lineup (http://bit.ly/fYEvEu), and a ‘Twilight’ spinoff might be in the works.


    NFL Players Can go Back to Work– for Now, http://yhoo.it/hXCOo2

    A US District Judge has allowed NFL players to begin working out again, saying that their careers are too short and monetary compensation would not cover the effects. NFL owners are not pleased with the decision and will appeal to a higher court.

    State Dept. Wants to Make it Harder to Get a Passport, http://bit.ly/e4bPFK

    The State Department has created a new form for some applicants hoping to obtain a passport that would require very detailed information from a lifetime of employment history including supervisors names, phone and addresses down to details about your siblings. It is unclear who will be required to fill out the form.

    Grim Numbers from Syria: 400 Civilians Killed in Uprising, http:/bit.ly/hGneZ1

    An estimated 400 have been killed since the beginning of the uprisings in Syria, along with the arrest of 500 democracy supporters. Syrian troops and tanks have been rolled out, the reasons for which remain unclear.

    Facebook’s New Deals Product Coming to Five Cities Tuesday, http://on.mash.to/hw5PRb

    Facebook launched a competitor to Groupon today in five cities across the US. The deals come as people check in to different locations using the Places feature on Facebook, even allowing users to purchase deals with Facebook credits.

    Facebook Launches Send Button, Replaces Email to a Friend, http://on.mash.to/hXpMpi

    The new send button Facebook created has replaced the email button and allows users to share content on other sites more easily. Additionally, when a page is shared using the feature it gets counted in the total likes.

    How Haley Barbour’s Move Shakes up 2012, http://politi.co/fAjY0w

    When the Mississippi governor announced that he will not run for president in 2012, he left many donors and lobbyists open to other GOP presidential hopefuls. Mitch Daniels, the Governor of Indiana, and a close friend of Barbour would have infinitely more resources should he choose to enter the race.

    Alex Eichler on the disappearance of law schools: http://bit.ly/eA7MNk


    Stephanie Meyer considering writing a ‘Twilight’ spinoff: http://bit.ly/e4D2CP

    ‘Law & Order’ making a Gabrielle Giffords episode: http://bit.ly/dF5QWd

    Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler engaged over the weekend: http://bit.ly/egfQBo

    Orlando Bloom likely to return to ‘The Hobbit’: http://on.mtv.com/fGOE8x

    A peek inside celeb homes: http://aol.it/hZD8i8

    A royal wedding overdose?: http://bit.ly/ghnDjh

    Kristin Andrews
    Bio: Kristin is Rock the Vote's Communications Intern

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