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    ‘Syria’



    News Round-Up: November 18, 2013

    Monday, November 18th, 2013

    Serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin awaits his execution; the Cheney sisters bicker over Facebook; and a father stands trial for leaving his gun loaded and unsecured, which led to his 4-year-old killing their next-door-neighbor. Meanwhile, Jennifer Lawrence talks about her social anxiety, and a VS Angel takes back her slam on Taylor Swift.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Top Syrian rebel commander Abdul Qadir al-Saleh dieshttp://rtvote.com/17Eh9AV
    A top Syrian rebel commander has died of wounds sustained in an air strike on a rebel-held air base in Aleppo province on Thursday. Abdul Qadir al-Saleh was the leader of Liwa al-Tawhid, one of the main rebel forces in Aleppo. BBC Reporter James Reynolds says this is a “big symbolic victory” for Mr. Assad’s forces.

    Serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin prepares to diehttp://rtvote.com/HVf39c
    Joseph Paul Franklin, the man who murdered 22 people between 1977 to 1980, is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday in Missouri. His victims included Jewish people, African-Americans, and interracial couples. His mission was “to get a race war started.”

    D.C. insurance commissioner fired a day after questioning Obamacare fixhttp://rtvote.com/I1kJ2b
    A day after he questioned President Obama’s decision to dismantle a major part of the Affordable Care Act, D.C. insurance commissioner William P. White was fired. White had expressed his opposition to President Obama’s Thursday announcement that those whose plans would be canceled could keep their policies for another year.

    Dispute Over Gay Marriage Erupts in Cheney Familyhttp://rtvote.com/1amp9ea
    Mary and Liz Cheney are no longer the adorably close sisters who tagged along on their father’s campaigns. A feud has erupted between them, and they’ve taken it to social media. Things started yesterday when Liz appeared on “Fox News Sunday” and said she opposed same-sex marriage. Her sister, who is homosexual, fired back at her on Facebook.

    Father of boy, 4, who killed playmate rejects plea dealhttp://rtvote.com/1aBJn2w
    Anthony Senatore’s 4-year-old son got a hold of his father’s loaded rifle on April 8th and shot and killed his 6-year-old neighbor. The gun was unsecured in Senatore’s bedroom, and he now faces five charges of child endangerment. The parents of the six-year-old victim, Brandon Holt, are also filing a lawsuit against Robert and Melissa Senatore, seeking more than $1 million in damages.

     

    CULTURAL

    Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield Make First Red Carpet Appearance in Six Months, http://rtvote.com/17hemAH

    Ireland Baldwin Defends Alec Baldwin on Twitter: “Let My Dad Be,” http://rtvote.com/HVpUjy

    Jennifer Lawrence Reveals She Suffered From Social Anxiety, Used Acting to Cope, http://rtvote.com/1gYFkCx

    Victoria’s Secret Angel Jessica Hart Backtracks After Taylor Swift Criticism, http://rtvote.com/1amBHCh

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: October 29, 2013

    Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

    Hawaii is up next to legalize gay marriage; an official review on NSA programs is underway; and social media sites criticize tasteless blackface and Trayvon Martin costumes. Meanwhile, the Jonas Brothers break up, and Julianne Hough receives some intense criticism for her offensive Halloween costume.

    -Sandy + Maura
     

    CRUCIAL

    Hawaii governor expects gay marriage bill to pass ‘within week’,http://rtvote.com/1f1FWUw
    Hawaii’s legislature is expected to pass a bill legalizing gay marriage “within a week or so.” The state’s House of Representatives will pass the bill on Thursday if it passes Senate; both chambers have Democratic majorities. Governor Neil Abercrombie stated that he hopes the bill will pass before January, at the very latest.

    White House: Review will address global NSA concernshttp://rtvote.com/1gXYp8Q
    As more nations become enraged by NSA’s spying programs, the White House has assured the public that the collection of data on allies will not continue. A review of these programs is currently in the works, and a report on the review will be due by the end of the year. Spain is the latest country that has joined in on protests against the U.S.’s surveillance tactics; others include Germany, France, Brazil, and Mexico.

    Trick-or-treating takes a tasteless turnhttp://rtvote.com/1g9uU2E
    Halloween is right around the corner, and so are some of the most offensive costumes in Halloween history. Some of the more tasteless trick-or-treaters are donning Ariel Castro costumes, blackface costumes, and even Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman costumes. There has been a backlash on social media sites (rightfully so) against such getups, and the Utah Jazz and Julianne Hough have received such criticism.

    5 killed in Dallas-area shootings; suspect arrestedhttp://rtvote.com/1f1LVZx
    Police have arrested Charles Everett Brownlow, Jr., 36, for killing five people in a shooting spree in the small town of Terrell, Texas. The murders started at 5 PM Monday, and Brownlow was captured and arrested early Tuesday. The victims have not been officially identified.

    Report: White House knew plans would be canceled under ACA,http://rtvote.com/1gY57eY
    About 50%-75% of 14 million consumers who buy health insurance individually will have their plans cancelled in the next year because their current policies fail to meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act. Initially, the White House said that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010, could be kept even if they did not meet the requirements of the new healthcare law. The Department of Health and Human Services later narrowed that provision. NBC News reports that the Obama administration has known for three years that people’s insurance would be canceled. The White House has responded that those whose policies are voided will be automatically shifted to plans with better protections. Additionally, they claim that nothing in the Affordable Care Act forces people out of their plans, but the failure of some plans to meet the new minimum standards should be expected.
     

    PUNDITS

    George Clooney and John Prendergast discuss what should be done to stop the chaos in Sudan in “Sudan could become a second Syria,” http://rtvote.com/1f1Puij

    Errol Louis talks about Banksy’s insensitive slam against New Yorkers and Americans in “Banksy’s insult shows he’s clueless about New York,” http://rtvote.com/19PKcV9

    CULTURAL

    Julianne Hough Goes Blackface as Orange is the New Black Character for Halloween Costume, http://rtvote.com/1gY8ouS

    Jonas Brothers Break Up: “It was a Unanimous Decision,” http://rtvote.com/1gY8H8U

    Dax Shepard Doesn’t Have a Wedding Ring, Says It Cost Him $142 to Marry Kristen Bell,http://rtvote.com/1gY9t63

    Adam Levine Says Fiancée Behati Prinsloo Made Him Believe in Marriage,http://rtvote.com/1gY9R4i

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: October 11, 2013

    Friday, October 11th, 2013

    The beginnings of a deal to end the shutdown may be coming together (finally…); the former corrupt mayor of Detroit is sentenced to 28 years in jail; and a cold case is brought back to life as the father of deceased ‘Baby Hope’ is identified. Meanwhile, Glee bids farewell to the late and beloved Cory Monteith and Miley Cyrus dishes on her breakup with former fiancé Liam Hemsworth. 

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Sergeant: Officers involved in bike/SUV incident a ‘blemish’http://rtvote.com/1edyJ3l
    Seven arrests have now been made in the bike/SUV melee from September 29. One of them includes an undercover NYPD police officer, Wojciech Braszczok; he was one of at least three officers who participated in the altercation. Prosecutors claim Braszczok took an active role in the brawl that left SUV driver Alexian Lien with lacerations on his face and a motorcyclist paralyzed. Police Sergeant Ed Mullins expressed severe disapproval over these undercover officer’s actions.

    Progress, but still no deal, as shutdown enters Day 11http://rtvote.com/1edEn5q
    The shutdown continues! The White House met with House Republicans, but there is still no deal. However, a spark of hope did come through during a brief moment between Rep. Paul Ryan and Obama. Republicans said they are willing to extend the debt ceiling for up to six weeks while negotiating other issues under a continued government shutdown. The president said he would negotiate with the Republicans only after they reopened the government and raised the debt ceiling. He is willing to accept a short-term debt deal, but he refuses to give concessions to reopen the government.

    ‘Corruption no more’: Judge sends a message with 28-year sentence for Kilpatrickhttp://rtvote.com/18UZCqG
    The former mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, 43, has been sentenced to 28 years in jail, but can be out in 23 years with good behavior. Among the slew of scandals behind Kilpatrick, a few include his affair with his top aide, running a secret “money-making racket” in city hall, and using funds that were intended for needy citizens to pay for his yoga classes. Judge Nancy Edmunds chastised him for his actions; Kilpatrick apologized to the people of Detroit but denied stealing from them.

    Father of deceased ‘Baby Hope’ identifiedhttp://rtvote.com/18V5JuZ
    On July 23, 1991, police found the body of a young girl in a picnic cooler, hidden in the woods. The unidentified girl was named ‘Baby Hope’ by the police. After a 22-year investigation, the NYPD Cold Case Apprehension Squad is now closer to finding the person responsible than ever before. Thanks to a tip and DNA testing, the mother has been found; she is cooperating with police. The identity and location of the father has also been revealed, and authorities intend to speak with him very soon as a person of interest.

    The United States is still getting rid of its chemical weaponshttp://rtvote.com/18V7FUp
    The global taboo on chemical weapons is growing stronger, especially after today’s ceremony awarding the 2013 Noble Peace Prize to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The Nobel committee thanked the OPCW for risking their lives to eliminate the stockpiles of poison gas in Syria. The committee also made mention of the U.S. and Russia as two countries that have yet to honor their commitments. Washington and Moscow signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in the 1990s, which prohibitied the use, production, and stockpiling of chemical weapons. Both countries are still in the process of ridding their stockpiles; Syria has until mid-2014 to get rid of theirs.

    PUNDITS

    Julia Fine talks about the inspiring story of Malala Yousafzai and her beliefs in “Why Malala’s bravery inspires us”,http://rtvote.com/1fpnrMk

    Robert Mnookin discusses how Boehner and Obama can end the shutdown in “How Boehner and Obama can get to ‘yes’,”http://rtvote.com/18Vbl8A

    CULTURAL

    ‘Glee’s’ awkward but moving farewell to Cory Monteith, the sensitive, singing quarterback, http://rtvote.com/1fpq2WI

    Bruce and Kris Jenner Divorcing? Kendall and Kylie Taking Sides? Here’s the Real Story on Their Separation,http://rtvote.com/1fpqGna

    JWoww Takes on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: It’s Time to Support Gay Marriage!, http://rtvote.com/18VcJbx

    Miley Cyrus Breaks Her Silence on Liam Hemsworth Split: “I’m Obsessed With Being Alone,” http://rtvote.com/1g6gyRt

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: September 30, 2013

    Monday, September 30th, 2013

    A government shutdown is looming; the U.N. votes to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons; and President Hassan Rouhani of Iran is greeted by angry protests, following his positive meeting with President Obama. Meanwhile, Rihanna has a new reality show, and Heather Morris gives birth to a baby boy.

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    House GOP votes to delay Obamacare for one yearhttp://rtvote.com/1dS3N8u House Republicans voted on a stopgap spending measure to delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act for one year. The bill will be sent back to the Senate, but it faces certain defeat, as the Senate and President Obama have both stated that they will not accept any bill that will delay or defund Obamacare. If Congress cannot overcome this impasse, a government shutdown will be announced tomorrow.

    NSA Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizenshttp://rtvote.com/18klFXE In November 2010, the National Security Agency (NSA) lifted restrictions on examining Americans’ social network activity for foreign intelligence purposes. NSA policy had previously prohibited this practice because of concerns about American citizens’ privacy. The spy agency can now collect information ranging from a citizen’s record of phone calls and emails to his or her Facebook profile, bank codes, and GPS locations.

    House GOP moves to protect military pay in a shutdownhttp://rtvote.com/18koGad In the event of a government shutdown, many federal workers will be staying at home without pay. On Saturday, however, House Republicans proposed a bill that would ensure military service members continued to be paid if Congress is unable to avoid a government shutdown come end of business today. Although the House passed the bill on military pay unanimously, Democrats complained that this overlooked the value of many other federal workers, who would be forced to go without pay during this time.

    UN votes to eliminate Syria’s chemical weaponshttp://rtvote.com/1eU7WvF The U.N. Security Council unanimously passed a resolution to secure and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons. All 15 council members signed on as co-sponsors to the resolution. This marks the first breakthrough decision that the council has agreed upon since the Syrian civil war began. It also sends a zero-tolerance message to all countries on the use of chemical weapons.

    Hassan Rouhani’s return to Iran marked by ‘death to America’ chantshttp://rtvote.com/1fCVhOW After what seemed like a constructive visit to the U.N. general assembly to discuss Iran’s nuclear program, many American politicians and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani left in high spirits. Obama and Rouhani even had a 15-minute telephone call afterwards, marking the first interaction between an American and Iranian president in more than three decades. However, Rouhani’s return to Iran was greeted with angry protests, as hardliners opposed the president’s pro-American meeting.

    PUNDITS

    Julian Zelizer discusses the implications of a looming government shutdown in “Government shutdown threat is getting very old, very fast”, http://rtvote.com/1dSbdsn

    Peter Bergen talks about social media and terrorism in “Are mass murderers using Twitter as a tool?”, http://rtvote.com/1dSbwU 

    CULTURAL

    Rihanna’s New Reality Show: First Look Trailer for Styled to Rockhttp://rtvote.com/18kvxAs

    Khloe Kardashian Odom and Lamar Odom “Are Staying Strong,” LaLa Anthony Says, http://rtvote.com/1dSa97U

    Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf Has “Mixed Emotions” About Sextortion Photos Scandal, http://rtvote.com/1dSaojo

    Heather Morris Gives Birth to Baby Boy Elijah, http://rtvote.com/18kxgWx

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: September 27, 2013

    Friday, September 27th, 2013

    The U.N. Security Council passes a resolution on Syria; U.S.-Iran relations reach highest point since 1979 during nuclear program talks; Senate passes spending bill; and Obama explains the new online health insurance market, which opens on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Joseph Gordon-Levitt nails a lip-sync battle with Jimmy Fallon; Miley graces the cover of Rolling Stone magazine; and Jimmy Kimmel addresses Kanye West twitter rant on his show.

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    U.N. Deal on Syrian Arms is Milestone after Years of Inertia, http://rtvote.com/1fv3kxr The U.N. makes the most significant move thus far on the Syrian civil war. As a compromise between the U.S. and Russia, the permanent five members of the Security Council have passed a resolution, forcing Syria to eliminate their chemical arms program. Failure to do so would allow the Security Council to take measures under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which could mean imposing economic sanctions or using military action against Syria.

    $300 Million in Detroit Aid, but No Bailout, http://rtvote.com/1avJBr9 The Obama administration offers Detroit $300 million in federal and private aid. The financial package, which has been a divisive topic between the GOP and Democrats, will go toward Detroit’s transportation systems, the police force, and property redevelopment. However, the aid money from Obama’s administration is far from being enough to bail Detroit out of bankruptcy, and Congress is unlikely to pass such legislation due to Republican opposition to Obama’s spending initiatives.

    Suddenly, Great Expectations for U.S.-Iran Relations, http://rtvote.com/1avLV16 Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as well as the foreign ministers of Great Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China to discuss Iran’s nuclear program. Although the U.S. has doubted Iran’s assertion that their nuclear program stood for peaceful purposes, this meeting marks the highest-level talks between the U.S. and Iran since the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

    Senate votes to move ahead on spending bill that House Republics vow to reject, http://rtvote.com/1avS9hN To avoid a federal government shutdown, the Senate passes a short-term spending bill to restore funding for Obamacare. However, House Republicans refuse to support further funding Obama’s healthcare law, as evidenced by their determination to block Speaker John A. Boehner’s attempts at holding a series of deadlines to prevent the nation’s first default. Tensions remain high as the spending bill passes with 54 Democrats voting in favor and 44 Republicans voting against.

    Years after signing it into law, Obama explains Obamacare to the public , http://rtvote.com/1fvoYl8 Obama explains how uninsured Americans can find, compare, and purchase affordable healthcare plans online once the six-month enrollment period opens Tuesday. Although there are still a few glitches in the online system, like small businesses’ inability to apply online until November, the administration is determined to fix these issues as they come. Despite House Republicans’ criticisms and Americans’ weariness of the new system, Obama hopes the wide selection of plans with subsidies and lower premiums will garner support.

    CULTURAL

    The First ‘Glee’ without Cory Monteith Was Blissfully Joyous, http://rtvote.com/1eMQCc2

    This Week in Photos: September 27, 2013, http://rtvote.com/1fv1VH4

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s lip-syncing will put yours to shame, http://rtvote.com/1fv2ctD

    Miley Cyrus Doesn’t Like Cocaine, Thinks “Weed Is the Best Drug On Earth”, http://rtvote.com/1fv2II1

    Jimmy Kimmel Talks Kanye West Twitter Rant: “Finally, I’m in a Rap Feud”, http://rtvote.com/1fv3bd7

    Rock the Vote
    Bio: Rock the Vote was founded in 1990 to organize artists and fight against censorship of musicians. Since then we've evolved to focus on empowering young people to get involved in the political process. We use pop culture, peer-to-peer organizing, and the latest technology to raise visibility of politics and demystify the process of registering to vote.
    @rockthevote
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com