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    News Round-Up: Thursday, January 24, 2014

    Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

    A strange new agency is being formed in Florida; a young Illinois girl murders her younger sister; a supernova provides a spectacle for astronomers both amateur and professional; and polls about the United States’ beliefs on income inequality are released. Meanwhile, the story everyone is talking about: Justin Bieber’s arrest; a new celebrity couple become engaged; and some of the biggest ‘90’s stars are returning to TV for the Super Bowl.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Good with people? Willing to capture crocodile, if needed? Apply now! http://rtvote.com/KNOPr5
    Advertisements for “crocodile response agents” have been circulating around Florida due to the increasing number of crocodiles being born. To be considered, a person must be “flexible, mature, a good listener, and non-confrontational,” although experience is optional. Crocodiles have been moving back into residential areas along the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean and in the Florida Keys. The program currently consists of nine agents who make $25 an hour.

    Girl, 14, stabs sister 40 times because she felt unappreciated: http://rtvote.com/1dyGJst
    An 11-year-old Illinois girl is dead after being stabbed nearly 40 times by her older sister. The sister initially called the police using an intruder as a cover story, but later confessed to the crime when questioned. The 14-year-old sister was angry at her sister for not appreciating all that she did for her. She has been arrested and charged with murder.

    Supernova! Exploding star lights up nearby Cigar Galaxy: http://rtvote.com/1iqKrMZ
    A supernova, also known as an exploding star, has just become visible in the night sky. It is located between the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper and is so bright that it is easily visible for people to see through a telescope (or even a pair of binoculars) in the Northern Hemisphere. The phenomenon is approximately 12 million light-years away from Earth. Although exciting to behold, astronomers may be able to use the supernova to help study dark energy.

    Poll: United we stand on wealth gap: http://rtvote.com/1f9qlna
    A new poll shows that 65% of Americans surveyed believe that the gap between the wealthiest people and the rest has increased. People also believe that the system “unfairly favors the wealthy.” Interestingly enough, nearly the same percentage of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents also believe that inequality is growing, and a majority of those surveyed believes that the government must take action to curb inequality. 

    CULTURAL

    Justin Bieber arrested for DUI and drag racing: http://rtvote.com/1hOxIRb 

    A Full House reunion commercial during the Super Bowl: is an even bigger reunion in the works? http://rtvote.com/1mx973E

    Megan Park and Tyler Hilton are engaged! http://rtvote.com/1f9hxh5

    Ralph Lauren returns to design the 2014 United States Olympic uniforms. See the pictures here: http://rtvote.com/1f9i8i

    He’s back! Bill Cosby returns to NBC to star in a new family comedy: http://rtvote.com/1egECdY

    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 22, 2014

    Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

    The biggest snowstorm of the winter season covers the Northeast; two shootings occur on two college campuses; countries receive Olympic terror threats; and President Obama’s Commission on Election Administration releases a report offering solutions to shorten voter lines & modernize the registration process. Meanwhile, TV is taking over the entertainment headlines today as a Seattle Seahawks player goes on a postgame rant and The Bachelor’s ratings remain steady regardless of Juan Pablo’s controversial remarks.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Northeast buried under heavy snow: http://rtvote.com/1msuR0A
    The heaviest snowfall of the season pummeled the Northeastern United States and was accompanied by plunging temperatures. Cities like Philadelphia, Washington, and New York will see temperatures in the single digits and have wind chill numbers in the negatives. Meanwhile, states like New Jersey, Delaware, and New York are declaring states of emergency based on weather conditions. Thousands of flights have been canceled as travelers try to change their travel plans. The kicker? It’s currently warmer in Alaska!

    Two universities rocked by shootings: http://rtvote.com/1ezw7gN
    Two colleges were affected by shootings this weekend. At Purdue University, a student shot and killed another student before surrendering to police on Tuesday. The shooter has been identified as 23-year-old Cody Cousins. The victim, 21-year-old Andrew Boldt, was a teaching assistant at the school. This shooting followed up reports of another school shooting at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania (a city outside of Philadelphia) where the victim is in critical condition, and the shooter is still at large.

    Countries receive terrorist threats for Olympics: http://rtvote.com/1hLAaYS
    Hungary is the latest country to receive terroristic threats towards their Olympic athletes. The message, formatted as an email, is threatening the Hungarian athletes with violence if they attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia next month. The nation’s security forces have been informed, as have Sochi organizers. However, officials believe that the message is random and contains no threat, something that is common before every Olympics.

    N.Y. 8-year-old saved 6 in fire, died trying to save 7th: http://rtvote.com/1ins77l
    An 8-year-old boy saved six of his family members after the trailer they were sleeping in caught on fire. The boy, identified as 8-year-old Tyler Doohan, then ran back into the home to rescue a disabled relative. The two of them were found dead in a back bedroom, and a third relative was found in a front room. Doohan warned his family about the fire and died trying to help everyone else escape.

    Cuccinelli: Chris Christie should step down from RGA post: http://rtvote.com/1in6vrP
    Virginia Republican Ken Cuccinelli said Tuesday that New Jersey governor Chris Christie should step down from chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Cuccinelli believes that the investigations and scandals surrounding Christie are preventing the Republican Party from focusing on their election year goals. The scandals include the now-infamous “Bridgegate” incident and the latest from Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who claims Christie’s administration threatened to not provide Hurricane Sandy relief money to Hoboken unless she agreed to a real estate deal.

    Presidential Commission Offers Ways to Shorten Voting Lines: http://rtvote.com/19NYHMK
    After long lines continued at the polls during the 2012 election, President Obama announced the launch of a bi-partsian panel of election and management experts following his State of the Union speech last year. The Presidential Commission on Election Administration released their report & findings to President Obama and Vice President Biden today with recommendations on how to shorten voting lines and modernize the voter registration system. Rock the Vote is proud to announce their support of the Commission’s recommendations & their role in providing testimony and technology highlighted in the report. This is a big win for American voters!

    CULTURAL

    Seattle Seahawks corner Richard Sherman loses his cool in a pre-Super Bowl interview: http://rtvote.com/1kXQb2q

    Juan Pablo Galavis’s remarks don’t dent The Bachelor‘s ratings: http://rtvote.com/1kXQDh6

    Murder, She Wrote reboot scrapped by NBC: http://rtvote.com/19NNCeB

    Jersey Shore‘s former cast member Jenni “JWoww” Farley is having a girl: http://rtvote.com/1msKDIW

    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, Monday, February 4, 2013

    Monday, February 4th, 2013

    The Baltimore Ravens topple the San Francisco 49ers in the most watched Super Bowl in history; an investigation finds 680 international soccer matches were rigged; and Tagg Romney eyes a run for the Senate. Meanwhile, Beyonce stuns at the Super Bowl halftime show and goes on to announce an upcoming world tour; and Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are spotted back together.

    Caitlin + Liza

    CRUCIAL: 

    Baltimore Ravens Win Super Bowl 46 Over San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, http://huff.to/XSajRV
    The Baltimore Ravens toppled the San Francisco 49ers Sunday night 34 to 31 in what was the longest Super Bowl in history at 4 hours and 14 minutes. A power outage in the third quarter brought the game to a standstill with the Ravens up by 22, and allowed the 49ers to catch their breath and stage a comeback. Yet the Ravens, led by MVP Joe Flacco and veteran Ray Lewis, who was playing in his last game ever, managed to hold off the 49ers. The win marked a sibling rivalry victory for Baltimore coach John Harbaugh, who defeated brother Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the 49ers, and was the most watched Super Bowl in history.

    Investigation Finds Suspected Fixing in 680 Soccer Matches, http://nyti.ms/XaE2r1
    680 international soccer matches are suspected of being fixed according to global law enforcement officials, who announced the results of a 19-month investigation earlier today. Asian criminal organizations that made millions by betting on game results are behind the conspiracies, which included more than 425 people spanning at least 15 countries. Organizations strategically rigged the soccer matches by bribing players and referees in an effort to predetermine game results. Fixed matches included high-profile games such as qualifying games for the World Cup and European Cup as well as two Champions League matches. “This is a sad day for European football, and more evidence of the corrupting influence of organized crime,” said Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, which helped coordinate the investigation. An international arrest warrant was issued for the leader of an Asian criminal group behind most of the fixed matches.

    Ex-Navy sniper, another military vet killed at Texas gun range, http://bit.ly/WHeKCI
    Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, a record holder for the number of sniper killings in Iraq and author of the best-selling “American Sniper”, was gunned down in Glen Rose Texas Saturday along with fellow military veteran Chad Littlefield. Kyle and Littlefield were visiting a shooting range at the Rough Creek Lodge when they were murdered by suspect Eddie Ray Routh. Routh is also a former Marine and is now in the process of seeking a court-appointed attorney. Kyle, a married father of two, had also founded a nonprofit to help veterans battle post-traumatic stress disorder. A spokesperson for the group remembered him as “an American hero” in a statement.

    Report: Tagg Romney eying Senate, http://politi.co/VKXRpk
    Tagg Romney, son of former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, is considering a run for a Massachusetts Senate seat, according to a Boston Herald report. Tagg, 42, is Mitt Romney’s oldest son and was a frequent face throughout the 2012 campaign. He is founder of Solamere Capital, a venture capital firm in Boston. The Herald also reported that some had called on Mitt Romney’s wife Ann to make a Senate run. A Massachusetts Senate seat opened up when former Democratic Senator John Kerry resigned to accept a post as Secretary of State, and the state’s former GOP Senator Scott Brown announced he will not run to replace Kerry.

    Obama: Drop Gay Ban, Boy Scouts, http://politi.co/11F3ndB
    President Obama pushed the Boy Scouts to drop their ban on gay members in an interview on Sunday as the Boy Scouts of America prepares for this week’s vote on whether to end a national ban on gay members and scout masters. The possible change, which would allow local groups to make decisions as to whether or not to allow gay members, has stirred debate, with former scouts including Texas Governor Rick Perry insisting the ban should stay in place. “My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life,” President Obama said.

    Eight killed, more than 30 hurt as bus flips, http://lat.ms/VK3dkN
    At least eight were killed and more than 30 were injured Sunday night when a tour bus collided with a truck and sedan on a narrow mountain road in California. All fatalities came from the bus, which lost control while heading down the mountain and rolled over the truck at least once. The bus was carrying 38 passengers, including children. 27 were taken to the hospital after police spent more than two hours trying to free the injured. “It happened so fast, I don’t know how it all happened,” one passenger said. “This was supposed to be a good day with my companions and then this happened.”

    CULTURAL: 

    Beyonce Super Bowl Halftime Show: Singer Stuns With An All-Out Display, http://huff.to/VzfaYG

    Beyonce Announces New World Tour After Super Bowl Extravaganza, http://bit.ly/UQTOZp

    People’s TV Critic Reviews the Super Bowl Ads, http://bit.ly/WpEJiA

    Selena Gomez Back with Justin Bieber…Again?, http://tmz.me/Uin2mk

    Frank Ocean Will NOT Be Pressing Charges Against Chris Brown, http://bit.ly/Uoa3Q3

    Liza Dee
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

    Rick Santorum makes an unexpected comeback in three state contests; Proposition 8 has been overturned by U.S. Circuit Court; and Obama shows gains over Romney in Virginia. Meanwhile, violence in Syria continues; Russian scientists have reached an Antarctic subglacial lake the size of New Jersey; and Daniel Radcliffe admits to groupie one night stands.

    Kelly + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Syria: Homs under ‘heaviest’ shelling yet, http://bbc.in/AhOpGA
    After President Bashar al-Assad promised yesterday that he would end violence in Syria, 40 people have since died in Homs from heavy shelling. Civilians are hiding inside buildings, running low on food, and unable to travel because of sniper fire in the streets. The continued shelling comes after Russia and China blocked a UN Security Council resolution last week that backed a new Arab League plan for Syria. The plan involved Assad handing power to a deputy who would oversee a transition of power. Syria has become increasingly violent and isolated since the resolution was blocked.

    Russians Claim To Have Punched Through To Antarctic ‘Subglacial Lake,’ http://n.pr/xuaLJX
    Russian scientists announced today that they have successfully drilled through two miles of ice to reach Lake Vostok in Antarctica. The “lake” is roughly the size of New Jersey. Scientists have been drilling to Lake Vostok for about 50 years. The initial spurt of water from the lake, released when scientists finally broke through, has risen up and frozen in the drill hole. Likely contaminated from drilling chemicals, the scientists’ plan is to return next December to draw clean water.

    Prop 8, California’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Declared Unconstitutional, http://huff.to/zABLfQ
    Yesterday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled California’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional, noting that the ban serves no other purpose than to “lessen the status and human dignity” of gay people. Proposition 8 was approved by California voters in 2008 with 52 percent of the vote. The circuit court opinion cited that the law has no other purpose than to single out gay couples exclusively from marriage, since California already grants them all the rights and benefits of marriage if they register as domestic partners. The one dissenting judge wrote that the ban would help ensure that children are raised by married, opposite-sex couples. Gay rights activists were very pleased because the decision allows the controversy over Proposition 8 to move to the Supreme Court, where it is expected that the justices will affirm the trend of the appeals courts’ reversal of the ban.

    White House hinting compromise on birth control, http://bit.ly/AqStxy
    Amid outcry from conservative leaders and the Catholic Church, the Obama Administration is rumored to discuss a compromise on contraception coverage. A White House spokesman confirmed the belief that women working for church-affiliated employers should have access to birth control, but that the White House will also seek to accommodate ways to allay Catholic employer concerns. An option for compromise could include allowing a church-affiliated employer to not cover birth control and instead, refer employees to an insurer who would provide the coverage.  Another would expand the definition of “religious employer” to be affiliated with houses of worship and institutions, which would allow them to be exempt from the healthcare mandate.

    Rick Santorum wins Republican votes in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado, http://trib.in/z8GU07
    Despite less money and less visibility, Rick Santorum won three states yesterday: the Missouri primary and the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses. Santorum, in total, has won four states, the other being Iowa. The votes in Missouri will not affect awarding delegates at the convention later in the year, but more Republicans participated in the Missouri primary than in Nevada, resulting in a major symbolic victory over Mitt Romney. Ron Paul also edged out Romney in Minnesota, coming in second place.

    Obama leads Romney in Virginia poll, http://bit.ly/zdv2zN
    Virginia, now a famous swing state in presidential elections, is showing that in a hypothetical poll, Obama leads Romney 47 percent to 43 percent. The poll results has Obama at a 5 point increase from December. The poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University, interviewed 1,544 registered Virginia voters. The poll findings also mention that, despite this encouraging state lead, Obama’s overall approval rating is still below 50 percent. Obama won Virginia in 2008, making him the first Democrat to win it in more than 40 years.

    Sprint sells 1.8 million iPhones but posts huge loss, http://cnnmon.ie/zOlkBB
    Joining AT&T and Verizon as the third national carrier to sell Apple’s iPhone last quarter, Sprint announced that while it sold 1.8 million iPhones, it is posting its biggest quarterly loss in three years. For the quarter, Sprint posted a $1.3 billion loss, 40 percent larger than the $929 million loss it recorded a year earlier. Sprint spokespeople remain hopeful, citing the company’s biggest customer growth in six years and average revenue per user rising by the highest rate in Sprint’s history. Apple sold 40 percent of iPhone products to Sprint customers, much above Verizon and AT&T.

    CULTURAL:

    ‘It has happened!’ Squeaky clean Daniel Radcliffe implies he’s had one-night stands with groupies, http://bit.ly/waKhZh

    Adele’s Health Crisis and Comeback, http://bit.ly/xQPhjx

    Justice Sotomayor Appears On Sesame Street, http://bit.ly/AfQt7e

    2.1 million viewers live stream Super Bowl online, http://bit.ly/ws8T3m

    Ellen Degeneres addresses Prop 8 and J.C. Penney controversy, http://bit.ly/AjFHrs 

    Kelly Holleran
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Monday, February 6, 2012

    Monday, February 6th, 2012

    The U.S. closes its embassy in Syria due to security concerns; Egypt criminally charges 19 Americans despite U.S. warnings; Obama is ahead of Romney in a hypothetical election poll; a 6.9-magnitude quake hits in the Philippines; and internet censorship expands to India. Meanwhile, Netflix now faces competition after a Red Box and Verizon merger; Giants claim victory in the Super Bowl, and Gisele Bundchen has choice words for Patriot receivers. Also, ‘Will & Grace’ is rumored to return.

    Kelly + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Rescuers dig to reach trapped in Philippines quake, http://apne.ws/ApBjzx
    A 6.9-magnitude quake hit off the Negros Island in the Philippines, killing at least 13 people with 40 believed missing. As many as 30 houses were buried with rescuers furiously digging to save people trapped in their homes. Philippine seismologists have issued a tsunami alert for the central islands as huge waves washed over a beach resort in La Libertad. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered 44 miles north of Dumaguete city on Negros and hit at a depth of 29 miles. The area is about 400 miles southeast of the capital, Manila.

    Egypt Defies U.S. by Setting Trial for 19 Americans on Criminal Charges, http://nyti.ms/wLMs55
    19 Americans and two dozen others are being put on trial by Egypt’s government in a criminal investigation into the foreign financing and licensing of their nonprofit groups. The prosecutions come as Egypt has received staunch warnings from Washington military officials on continuing the criminal investigation. The tension could jeopardize the $1.55 billion Egypt expects in aid from the United States. While there is a broader Egyptian investigation into as many as nine nonprofit groups, the primary targets are American-financed groups, specifically, the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute. Of the 43 people facing charges, 19 are American, 16 are Egyptian, and 8 are of other nationalities. All 43 people have been banned by the Egyptian government to travel, though no arrests have been reported yet.

    U.S. closes embassy in Syria, senior State Department officials say, http://bit.ly/AmEPfd
    After the Syrian government refused to address security concerns, the U.S. State Department has pulled remaining staff out of the U.S. embassy, which is located off of a busy street in Damascus. All 17 employees have left the country after Syrian authorities refused to restrict traffic and secure barriers around the embassies. Officials cite that the turmoil and violent situation in the country made it impossible for operations to continue and for staff to remain. Concerns rose about security last month after deadly car bombings at the offices of two Syrian security branches in Damascus. During the intermission, Poland will serve as the U.S. protecting power in Syria.

    Obama holds edge over Romney in general election matchup, poll finds, http://wapo.st/Ac1kCN
    In a hypothetical general-election matchup poll, Obama comes out on top of GOP frontrunner Romney, 52 to 43 percent amongst all Americans, and 51 to 45 percent amongst registered American voters. Romney is coming off a second consecutive victory in the Nevada caucuses. The poll was conducted in between Obama’s State of the Union address and as Republicans were in the middle of campaigning for primaries. 55 percent of those who closely followed the Republican races say they disapprove of GOP candidates’ negative campaigning. By 2 to 1, Americans say the more they learn about Romney, the less they like him.

    Verizon, Redbox combine to start streaming video service, http://usat.ly/ydCu5U
    Redbox and Verizon Communications are teaming up to start a video streaming service later this year that will directly challenge Netflix. The online service will further bolster Verizon’s presence in home entertainment as it continues the expansion of its FiOS cable services. So far, no prices or details of the service have been announced. The merger looks to capitalize not only on the gravitation to online streaming, but also Netflix’s alienation when it started charging separately for DVDs-by-mail service. Redbox is arguably one of the biggest DVD rental services in the country, with more than 28,000 kiosks in drugstores and supermarkets.

    Google, Facebook remove content on India’s order, http://apne.ws/sz7wS9
    Indian political and religious leaders acted on weeks of government pressure for 22 Internet giants to remove photographs, videos, or text considered “anti-religious” or “anti-social.” Google India removed several web pages today when a New Delhi court announced that Facebook, Google, Youtube and Blogspot, among many other sites, had two weeks to present further plans for regulating their networks. India is Facebook’s third-fastest growing market, after the U.S. and Indonesia. The censorship in India follows as Twitter adopted a new policy that would allow tweets to be deleted in countries where the content breaks local law.

    CULTURAL:

    Giants Edge Out Patriots For Super Bowl Win, http://n.pr/xXOFVb

    Gisele Consoles Brady, Rips Bleepin’ Patriots Receivers After Loss, http://cbsloc.al/zLzEng

    The Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials of 2012, http://ti.me/x0lnZO

    Keck’s Exclusives: Will & Grace Reunited! http://bit.ly/zsBUOy

    Kelly Holleran
    Bio:

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