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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, March 6, 2014

    Thursday, March 6th, 2014

    Crimean lawmakers have voted to join Russia; a news anchor quits on her live show; Staples plans to close nearly 10 percent of its stores in and around the United States; and parents commit fraud for football. Meanwhile, kids recreate the 2014 Oscar’s best fashion looks; Katy Perry tries her hand at meteorology in Australia; Aaron Carter reveals lingering feelings for a Hollywood star; and see what Oscar winning actors actually do with the statue!

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Breaking News: Crimea lawmakers vote to join Russia: http://rtvote.com/1dvBwGw
    Crimean lawmakers voted to leave Ukraine for Russia earlier, forcing citizens to choose if they want to remain in Ukraine or join Russia. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, however, says that the referendum proposed by the Crimean lawmakers who voted for the separation has “no legal grounds at all” and is an “illegitimate decision.” Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko says that the referendum is indeed invalid because in Ukraine, referendums can only be passed by the national government. However, Crimea’s government is staunchly pro-Russia, and they do not recognize the interim, pro-West national government in Kiev.

    Anchor quits: I can’t be part of network ‘that whitewashes’ Putin’s actions: http://rtvote.com/1f1C2gy
    Russia Today news anchor Liz Wahl quit her job on-air at the end of her show on Wednesday. She said that due to her past (being a member of a family who fled Hungary to escape the Soviet Union in the 1950s), she “cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin.” The network responded, calling Wahl’s actions a “self-promotional stunt.” This action follows the similar outburst from Russia Today personality Abby Martin, who split from the pro-Russian repertoire and denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Crimea.

    Parents, students cheat to attend Atlanta school: http://rtvote.com/1f1GmMQ
    An Atlanta school is under fire from new cheating allegations coming to light. Parents of football players at Grady High School faked their children’s addresses solely so their children could play football at that school. Out of the 58 players on Grady High School’s football team, fourteen have faked papers. Currently, some students connected with the fraud have withdrawn from the school, and others had tuition bills sent to them. The school’s superintendent, Erroll Davis, is debating whether to press criminal or civil charges on the parents accused of fraud.

    Barbie, remove that Girl Scout tie, ad group says: http://rtvote.com/1cF9PHO
    A new ad featuring Barbie tied in with Girl Scouts has sparked controversy from consumer advocacy groups. The “Be Anything, Do Anything” patch allows Girl Scouts in kindergarten through third grade to look at different careers in a booklet with a Barbie theme. The groups believe that using Barbie as a role model for Girl Scouts “undermines the Girl Scouts vital mission.” Susan Linn, director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, is bringing the issue to light now because the Girl Scouts of America did not agree to remove the partnership in private talks. Kelly Parisi, a spokesperson for the Girl Scouts, says that using Barbie enables them to tell girls that “they can do anything.”

    Staples to close 225 stores as sales move online: http://rtvote.com/1idGUOj
    Staples plans on closing 10 percent of its North American stores by the end of 2015. The store chain says nearly 50 percent of its sales are online, and that it wants to be more monetarily efficient. A majority of their 1,846 stores are in the United States, and Staples has yet to comment on how many jobs are being cut due to store closures. However, Staples CEO Ron Sargent says that the chain will not give up on actual stores due to the service customers can receive there, and the overall convenience of stores.

    CULTURAL

    What celebrities do with their Oscars: http://rtvote.com/NXNWgP

    Kids recreating Oscar looks: http://rtvote.com/1gUZOc3

    Here’s the host of the 2014 MTV Movie Awards! http://rtvote.com/1dvUsVM

    Katy Perry’s new day job: meteorologist? http://rtvote.com/1oulQ8d

    Aaron Carter can’t get over a romance that happened over 10 years ago! http://rtvote.com/1qbNqe3

    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, January 29, 2014

    Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

    The State of the Union Address was delivered last night; southern states are caught completely unprepared for snowfall; Congressman threatens reporter; and reading gap due to wealth increases. Meanwhile, Bieber returns to the States; Miley and Madonna sing a duet on MTV; a possible real-life love triangle surfaces in Hollywood; and a famous rock and roll band calls it quits.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    State of the Union: Obama calls for action, with or without Congress: http://rtvote.com/1fwyC2L
    Last night marked the delivery of President Obama’s fifth State of the Union Address. The address called for changes to the tax code, investment in alternative energy, and equal pay for women. President Obama received a standing ovation when he encouraged Congress to work alongside him instead of against him, and brought tears to the eyes of many Americans when telling the story of Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg, an injured war veteran. Overall, a majority of viewers believed that the policies listed in the address will help the economy, and the address was generally well-received.

    Stranded, cold motorists spend nights on freeways after rare snow in South: http://rtvote.com/1k7ijfI
    Travelers in Alabama and Georgia were left in traffic, stranded on the roads- sometimes 16 hours after leaving work or school. Light snow, sleet, and freezing rain are wreaking havoc on Southern states unaccustomed to dealing with this type of weather. At the first sign of snow, people left their jobs, thinking they could deal with the weather. They couldn’t, resulting in spin-outs, accidents, and traffic jams miles long. Currently, people are trying to help stranded travelers while the government is telling its citizens to stay home.

    Rep. Grimm on why he threatened reporter: http://rtvote.com/1jJcxTW
    Representative Michael Grimm (R-NY), threatened a NY1 reporter, Michael Scotto, after last night’s State of the Union Address. Scotto tried to ask Grimm about a federal investigation pertaining to his campaign finances. This question sparked the threat. Grimm said in an email to NY1 and other news stations that Scotto took a “disrespectful and cheap shot” at the interview’s end, discussing a topic that was unrelated to the State of the Union Address, which was what Grimm was being interviewed about. Bob Hardt, NY1’s political director, was appalled by Grimm’s actions and wants a full apology.

    Reading gap between wealthy, poor students widens: http://rtvote.com/1jJfEv1
    A new report shows that 80% of fourth graders from low-income families do not read at their grade level, compared to 49% of their wealthier counterparts. Overall, 66% of all fourth graders do not read at their grade level, a figure regarded as shocking. Researchers believe that 8-year-olds, especially those living in low-income families, are not developed enough to be successful. To keep kids from falling behind, fewer children have to start kindergarten with undetected and untreated learning disabilities.

    CULTURAL

    Famous rock band Mӧtley Crüe to dissolve: http://rtvote.com/1aHIjOC

    Justin Bieber leaves Panama for LA: http://rtvote.com/1mXGEnZ

    Miley and Madonna finally duet! http://rtvote.com/1cuEE5p

    A real-life love triangle? http://rtvote.com/1fn3AMC

     

     

    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



    Worst Bill Ever? North Carolina’s Voting Bill Works to Suppress Voters

    Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

    Written By: Rock the Vote Intern, Sarah Bok

    Get it together, North Carolina. Let people vote. North Carolina is set on a new voter suppression bill that works to reject the values of our democratic election system. While the State legislature was set to pass an already-strict bill (which would disenfranchise 318,000 registered voters who don’t have state-issued IDs, 155,000 voters who have registered at the polls on Election Day, and an overwhelmingly majority of voters who vote early), 50 pages worth of amendments have been additionally tacked on by the Senate – taking voter suppression to a whole new level!
    A number of controversial amendments are featured on the new bill:

    • deems college IDs (and local government IDs) as unacceptable forms of voter ID (now public assistance identification cards of some of the poorest voters don’t even count!)
    • cuts a full week off the Early Voting period
    • prohibits counties from extending poll hours regardless of “extraordinary circumstances” (people may not get to vote if there are UFO sightings or, God forbid, long lines)
    • eliminates same-day voter registration during Early Voting
    • repeals pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds
    • repeals mandate for election officials to conduct high-school registration drives
    • gives vigilante poll observers (lots of them!) expanded range of interference
    • expands the scope of who may examine registration records and challenge voters
    • repeals out-of-precinct voting
    • makes it more difficult to add satellite polling sites for the elderly or voters with disabilities
    • limits who can assist a voter adjudicated to be incompetent by court

    Finally, the bill also works to loosen a few election-related rules, including those that benefit largely those with money. It includes increasing the maximum campaign contribution per election from 4K to 5K dollars, and repealing disclosure requirements of outside money under Candidate Specific Communications.

    This is trash.  Help us spread the word: http://on.fb.me/14J3Mm3.

     

     

    Guest
    Bio: This is a guest blog account. Have a blog you want to share with the RTV community? E-mail us at streetteam@rockthevote.com and we'll go from there!

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