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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: November 14, 2013

    Thursday, November 14th, 2013

    President Obama is addressing the nation (AGAIN) on Obamacare; Snapchat (a start-up run by millennials!) turns down billions from Facebook; a notorious Boston mobster gets more than 2 life terms for his crimes; and survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan struggle to find necessary resources. Meanwhile, Adam Levine gives a standing-O at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and Alec Baldwin’s crazy stalker is getting jail time.
    -Maura + Veronica

    CRUCIAL

    Source: President Obama’s fix will continue current plans, http://rtvote.com/I0VWu5 Aiming to calm the rippling waters among both the Democratic and Republican parties, the president will announce and administrative fix to Obamacare this morning. This will be an attempt to fix the Affordable Care Act to allow Americans to keep their current plans into next year if they want to. This will be in contrast to some Democratic House leaders who have proposed legislative solutions to the problem. Keep your eyes pealed for more details on this story as it develops!

    Mobster ‘Whitey’ Bulger gets 2 life terms plus 5 years, http://rtvote.com/17VI695 The notorious mobster from Boston, James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, was sentenced to two life terms plus 5 years for his crimes during a reign of terror in South Boston in the 1970s and ‘80s. The convictions included murder, money laundering, racketeering, extortion, narcotics distribution, and obstruction of justice. The 84-year-old mobster had been on the run for 16 years before being arrested by the FBI in 2011.

    How it happened: Tracing Typhoon Haiyan’s havoc in the Philippines, http://rtvote.com/1bH78Wb Just a few days ago a bustling city, now, the city of Tacloban is a place of tragedy and despair as thousands try to restore their lives after Super Typhoon Haiyan’s devastation on Friday morning. To give context, the storm was 3.5 times more ferocious than Hurricane Katrina and big enough to stretch from Spain to Sweden. The current number of deaths is measured close to 1800, but the final death toll remains unknown. Survivors are now facing life-threating barriers such as access to clean water, food and medical services.

    Snapchat turned down more than $3B from Facebook, http://rtvote.com/HVJixn

    There are no limits when it comes to new technology, and Snapchat seems to know what their worth! The company reportedly turned down a $3 billion dollar deal with Facebook recently (up from their previous offer of $1 billion last year), because they are being courted by a series of other investors. Facebook’s bid for the company comes from their acknowledgement that teens are spending less time on the social media platform and more time using photographs to communicate with their peers. Snapchat is only 2 years old and was founded by 23-year old CEO Evan Spiegel.  Yay Millennials!

    CULTURAL

    Alec Baldwin stalker found guilty: Genevieve Sabourin sentenced to 210 days in jail,  http://rtvote.com/1aVJJnu

    Jennifer Lawrence leaves red carpet to comfort fan in wheelchair, http://rtvote.com/1bH78Wa

    Angelina Jolie shows evil side in ‘Maleficent’ poster, http://rtvote.com/1gO9E2B

    Mark Wahlberg lashes out at actors who compare their jobs to being a soldier, http://rtvote.com/18wp3wm
    Adam Levine Gives Behati Prinsloo a Standing Ovation at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, http://rtvote.com/1e5VtSY

    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