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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

    A shipwreck in South Korea leaves nearly 300 missing; a large al Qaeda meeting video surfaces and unsettles United States intelligence; a cold case has been solved after over 40 years; and two backpacks wreak havoc at the Boston Marathon Commemorative Ceremonies. Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus lands in the hospital; Paul Walker’s brothers will help finish filming Fast & Furious 7; and Pharrell shares a “Happy” moment with Oprah despite some tears.

    - Veronica + Maura

     CRUCIAL

    Rescuers search dark, cold sea for survivors of shipwreck off South Korea: http://rtvote.com/1t9Riha
    300 people are still missing after a ferry, charged with taking passengers to a South Korean resort, capsized and sank Wednesday. Rescue teams are still searching the Yellow Sea for potential survivors. Out of the 459 people on board, four people (three men and one woman) are known to be dead and 164 have been rescued. Most of the passengers were students and teachers from a high school in Seoul, who were on a four-day field trip to an island resort nearby. A loud bang was heard before the ship began to rapidly take on water. The crew told the passengers to put on lifejackets and jump into the ocean. Some survivors said they tried to help people get out, but were not able to in time. The cause of the accident remains a mystery.

    Unsettling video shows large al Qaeda meeting in Yemen: http://rtvote.com/1qJdDjo
    A video deemed authentic by the US government shows what has been considered the largest gathering of al Qaeda militants in years. What’s more, either the CIA or the Pentagon did not know the gathering was occurring or they could not get a drone there in time. US officials have yet to comment on their lack of action, but the video is being heavily analyzed by US intelligence. Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the group’s second in command leader worldwide, is depicted to be standing in the open greeting followers, completely unconcerned that he could be hit by a drone strike. He said in his speech: “We must eliminate the cross…. The bearer of the cross is America.” Experts say there is cause for worry, stating that the recent video means that a new round of plotting is at hand. The al Qaeda group in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is the most dangerous sect of the terrorist organization.

    Case of missing South Dakota girls solved after 40 years: http://rtvote.com/1mcP4th
    Pamela Jackson and Cheryl Miller were on their way to a party in 1971 when they mysteriously disappeared without a trace. Authorities originally believed it was homicide, but were forced to drop the charges against the accused man due to false evidence. Since then, the case was considered a cold case. Last September, a car was found in a creek near the girls’ destinations. Inside were skeletal remains found in the cab of the car and Miller’s driver’s license, as well as personal items like notes and photographs. DNA analysis of the remains confirmed the identities of Jackson and Miller. There was no sign of alcohol, the keys were in the car’s ignition, the car was in gear, and a tire was damaged. 40 years later, the police are finally able to provide the families with a definitive answer: the girls’ deaths were an accident.

    Man with ‘hoax device’ frays nerves at Boston Marathon site: http://rtvote.com/1gANfSa
    Commemorative ceremonies for the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing had just ended when police found two backpacks and a suspicious person, forcing them to evacuate the area. The man was lurking with a backpack near the Boylston Street finish line and was “acting peculiarly”. The Boston Police Department called in the bomb squad and blew up both backpacks as a precaution. Police also arrested the man, the owner of only one of the bags, who said the bag contained a rice cooker. The contents of the other bag are unknown. The man was arrested and charged with possession of a hoax device, disturbing the peace, and disorderly conduct.

    Casual marijuana use linked to brain changes: http://rtvote.com/Qpuue1
    A study published in a neuroscience journal found that recreation marijuana use (as in, using a few times a week) is “enough to physically alter crucial brain structures”. Since there is little research on the effects of casual marijuana smoking, this study shed some light on the subject. Hans Breiter, the leader of the study, analyzed the brains of 20 light marijuana users and 20 nonsmokers. The brains of the smokers began to change in two major areas- the areas linked with emotion, motivation, and mental illnesses. The study parallels with the study of Staci Gruber, who focused on a batch of heavier marijuana smokers but found similar results. She said that the studies show that marijuana “is not quite the benign substance people thought it was.”

    CULTURAL

    Miley Cyrus lands in the hospital: http://rtvote.com/P5h4TE

    Paul Walker’s brothers to complete Fast & Furious 7 scenes: http://rtvote.com/1qJx0sP

    After a terminal brain cancer diagnosis, Valerie Harper says she is cancer-free! http://rtvote.com/1qJy3Ji

    Pharrell sheds tears with Oprah: watch the video! http://rtvote.com/1gGITfR

    Get the inside scoop on how Mila stays fit and healthy during her pregnancy: http://rtvote.com/1qJF0tD

    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, August 1, 2013

    Thursday, August 1st, 2013

    US set to resume negotiations with Pakistan; Snowden finds a new home; fast-food workers demand higher pay; and Uruguay in line to becoming first country to regulate the Marijuana market. Meanwhile, is Michelle Obama is no longer best dressed?; Simon Cowell to become a dad; and Jimmy McMillan endorses Weiner for NYC mayor.

    - Ally + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Ariel Castro apologizes to victims at sentencing hearing, http://rtvote.com/19zGukq
    Castro entered the courtroom Thursday morning, beginning with an apology to his victims. Until today, Castro had justified his actions, recalling mental illness, and personal history as a sexual assault victim, but had never expressed feelings of remorse.

    US, Pakistan To Resume High-Level Negotiations, http://rtvote.com/19zwacq
    US and Pakistani Secretaries of State will resume negotiations over security issues, including border control and counterterrorism. Negotiations between the two countries were hindered by the U.S. raid to kill Osama bin Laden, and by the accidental shooting of two Pakistanis by a CIA worker. The resumption indicates that the relationship between the countries is improving.

    Uruguay MPs back marijuana legalization, http://rtvote.com/13pBZW4
    Uruguay’s House of Representatives passed a bill to legalize marijuana, backed by the country’s President. If the Senate also passes the bill, marijuana sales would be conducted solely by the government, making it the first country to regulate sales of the substance.  Supporters are hopeful that the measure will reduce the tens of thousands of deaths caused by drug trafficking in the country.

    Edward Snowden receives temporary asylum in Russia, leaves Moscow airport, http://rtvote.com/19zxxaQ
    After over a month in the airport’s transit zone, and nearly a week after false reports of asylum in the country, Edward Snowden has been granted a 1 year asylum in Russia. His destination and plans in the country are unknown.

    A Day’s Strike Seeks to Raise Fast-Food Pay, http://rtvote.com/13pBo6G
    Fast–food employees nationwide are conducting one-day strikes to demand higher pay. The strikers are demanding a $15 hourly wage. Meanwhile, restaurant officials say this demand is unreasonable, and would drive restaurant owners to higher fewer workers or turn to automation. The events are part of a larger movement to increase the federal minimum wage.

    House passes student loan rate fix, http://rtvote.com/19zyPTi
    Since loan rates were doubled on July 1, the Senate, and now the House have passed a new bill to tie interest rates on federal student loans to the 10-year Treasury note.  Once President Obama signs the bill, which is expected, rates will be set at 3.86 percent for undergraduates. The rates, however, can fluctuate with the market, but are capped at 8.25 percent.

     

    CULTURAL

    MLB prepared to ban A-Rod for life, suspend eight others, http://rtvote.com/13pClMq

    Michelle Obama Snubbed From Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed List, http://rtvote.com/16aCGBd

    Simon Cowell Expecting a Baby With Friend’s Wife Lauren Silverman, http://rtvote.com/16aGPFl

    Jimmy McMillan: Anthony Weiner for mayor, http://rtvote.com/16aGfar

    Try Out Facebook’s Fun ‘On This Day’ Feature—But You May Not Like What You See, http://rtvote.com/16aI4UW

    Ally.f@rockthevote.com
    Bio: My name is Ally Filler and I am a Field Intern at RTV this summer! I recently graduated from McGill University where I studied Linguistics. In addition to marveling at the linguistic hotspot that is Montreal and eating many croissants, I assisted hundreds of American students in their quest to vote from abroad. I'm excited to be a part of such an amazing team here at Rock the Vote!

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



    News Round Up: Monday, July 1, 2013

    Monday, July 1st, 2013
    Edward Snowden asks 15 countries for asylum; Arizona wildfire claims the lives of 19; protesters storm Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters in Egypt; transit workers in San Francisco go on strike; Texas lawmakers resume debate on abortion bill; Gay married man in Florida is approved for green card; and Serena Williams loses at Wimbledon. Meanwhile, Jamie Foxx wears another Trayvon Martin shirt, Jennifer Lopez performs for the leader of Turkmenistan, Demi Lovato criticizes music about drugs, Jay-Z talks about fatherhood, and Carrie Underwood enjoys blocking Twitter trolls.
    Maura + Meron
    CRUCIAL
    Edward Snowden asking 15 countries for asylum, Russian official says, http://rtvote.com/11UsDRm
    Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked U.S. security secrets and is now a fugitive, met Monday morning with Russian diplomatic officials and handed them an appeal to 15 countries for political asylum. The official did not disclose the countries that were on the list, but Kirill Kabanov, a member of the Presidential Council on Human Rights, said he believes Russia may be one of those countries.
    ‘Perfect storm’ wildfire raging in Arizona claims 19 men in elite unit, http://rtvote.com/11UvOZn
    A wildfire in Arizona took out all but one member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team known for its extensive training and
    demanding fitness regimen. 19 men were killed about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix, near the town of Yarnell. Though they are still
    investigating, Mary Rasmussen, a spokeswoman for Prescott National Forest, said it appeared the 19 were engaged in a “direct attack” — getting close to the fire and trying to create a break to starve it of fuel.
    Egypt protesters storm Muslim Brotherhood headquarters, http://rtvote.com/14IGs3Y
    Anti-government protesters in Egypt have stormed the national headquarters of President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in the capital, Cairo. Officials say eight people have been killed in clashes outside since Sunday, while eight others have died elsewhere.
    Protesters across Egypt accuse the president of failing to tackle economic and security problems since being elected a year ago.
    BART workers on strike – no service Monday,  http://rtvote.com/14IHhJX
    Members of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) union are going on their first strike since 1997. There will be no service on Monday, with the transit system’s workers and management agreeing only on the fact that the two sides remain far apart in contract negotiations. Frustrated by a lack of progress, union bargaining teams had previously walked away from negotiations in the Kaiser Center, which houses BART headquarters, on Saturday afternoon, saying a strike was all but inevitable.
    Texas lawmakers resume debate Monday on abortion bill derailed by Wendy Davis filibuster, http://rtvote.com/18r1U2N
    Texas lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday to resume debate on proposed abortion restrictions. Less than a week after a Democratic filibuster killed a far-reaching abortion bill on the Senate floor, the Legislature will answer Gov. Rick Perry’s call to try again to pass the GOP-backed measure over vigorous objections from Democrats and abortion rights groups. The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, require abortion clinics to meet high standards of surgical centers, impose new requirements on use of abortion-inducing pills and require that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic.
    Gay married man in Florida is approved for green card,  http://rtvote.com/11UBEKf
    An American man in Florida and his husband, who is from Bulgaria, have become the first same-sex married couple to be approved for a permanent resident visa, an immigration milestone that comes after the Supreme Court struck down a federal law against same-sex marriage. The notice of approval of a permanent visa, known as a green card, was issued by e-mail late Friday to Traian Popov, a Bulgarian immigrant who lives with his American spouse, Julian Marsh, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
    Sabine Lisicki upsets Serena, http://rtvote.com/18r1idr
    Sabine LIsicki ended Serena Williams’ career-best 34-match winning streak, eliminating her from Wimbledon.It was the latest in a string of upsets that has jolted the tournament, with defending champion Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal knocked out in the first three days — along with Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka’s withdrawal on the women’s side. Williams gave credit to Lisicki’s dominant serve, which she said consistently reached 120 mph.
    CULTURAL
    Jamie Foxx Rocks Another Trayvon Martin T-Shirt, http://rtvote.com/14IMK3w
    Jennifer Lopez & Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow: Singer Performs For Turkmenistan Leader, http://rtvote.com/11UFeUw
    Demi Lovato: People Who Party Or Rap About Drugs Are ‘Giant P—ies’, http://rtvote.com/14IN0iW
     ’Jay-Z Blue’ Commercial Sees Rapper Talking Fatherhood, ‘Magna Carter Holy Grail’, http://rtvote.com/14IN5TU
    Carrie Underwood’s Twitter: Politics, Ag Gag And Supporting Soldiers, http://rtvote.com/11UFtz0
    meron.w@rockthevote.com
    Bio: My name is Meron Werkneh and I am a rising senior at Duke University. I study English and Political Science, and plan to go into entertainment law as my career. I'm from Washington D.C. and love books, oldies soul music, and getting closer to God every day! I'm excited to become a part of the Rock the Vote team.

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