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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

    Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

    Another massive snowstorm hammers the East; a package bomb kills a former lawyer; Tom Brokaw reveals some shocking news; and a sinkhole opens up at a museum. Meanwhile, Eva Mendes talks Ryan Gosling; Taylor Swift goes through some major hair changes; Shia LaBeouf makes headlines; and a special dinner was held at the White House last night: see the pics! 

    -Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Ice hits South, Northeast is next: http://rtvote.com/1bMy1ro
    Thousands of people are without power as a massive ice and snow storm moves up the East Coast. States including Georgia and Alabama have been pelted by ice. The storm is supposed to drop 4 to 8 inches of snow on Washington, DC and 6 to 10 inches expected in New York City. Transportation has been greatly affected; Amtrak suspended some rail services on Wednesday and more than 2,600 flights have been cancelled. Five people have reportedly been killed due to weather-related accidents.

    Package bomb kills lawyer: http://rtvote.com/1ntYVcO
    John Setzer of Lebanon, Tennessee was killed on Monday after a package exploded in his face. His wife was seriously injured. Setzer was a retired lawyer and pastor, according to his law partner. Neighbors were shocked and are now terrified to look in their mailboxes, even though police officers checked everyone’s during the investigation of the Setzer case. An $8,000 reward will be given to anyone with information about this attack.

    Tom Brokaw says he has cancer: http://rtvote.com/1cwdd7x
    Tom Brokhaw, the former NBC Nightly News anchor is being treated for cancer. Brokhaw, 74, has been diagnosed with “multiple myeloma, a cancer affecting blood cells in the bone marrow” back in August. Doctors are optimistic due to the progress he is making, even though the cancer is serious.

    November trial date set in Boston bombing: http://rtvote.com/1cwf3oO
    The trial date for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the only living suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, has been set for November 3rd. Prosecutors have proposed that Tsarnaev face the death penalty if he is found guilty. The trial is expected to last twelve weeks, and is being done a year earlier than what defense lawyers wanted. Tsarnaev, 20, has been accused (along with his now-deceased older brother) of setting up the bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon that killed three and injured more than 260 others.

    Sinkhole swallows 8 cars at museum: http://rtvote.com/1eQe4pt
    The National Corvette Museum in Kentucky lost eight of its vintage cars to a sinkhole Wednesday morning. When the police arrived, they found a sinkhole measuring 40 feet wide and 25-30 feet deep. Employees are trying to document which cars fell into the hole to assess the cost of damage. The museum will be open Wednesday, but the Sky Dome (the site of the sinkhole) will be off-limits to visitors.

    CULTURAL

    Sorry everyone: Ryan Gosling is still off the market: http://rtvote.com/ML8Zm2

    Taylor Swift chops off her hair: http://rtvote.com/1kBXDiE

    Julia Roberts’ half-sister found dead: http://rtvote.com/1nu42JK

    What is up with Shia LaBeouf? http://rtvote.com/1eU9STU 

    See the best pics from last night’s State Dinner: http://rtvote.com/1bMGeeU

    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: Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

    Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

    The race for the marriage equality in Virginia continues; Web companies release secret government data requests; a new winter storm is looming; and a restaurant’s customer leaves a $15,000 tip. Meanwhile, Olivia Newton John will be headlining a Vegas show; and Taylor Swift talks love.

    -Gianna + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Race on same-sex marriage cases runs through Virginia,http://rtvote.com/1ev4K8A
    The race for marriage equality is beginning to take a sharp turn in the commonwealth of Virginia. As lawsuits are filed on both sides on the issue, many are beginning to wonder if the Virginia fight for equal rights will land in the hands of the Supreme Court. Virginia’s new Attorney General, Mark R. Herring said recently that Virginia’s ban on gay marriage, which was voted on and approved by voters in 2006, is unconstitutional and cannot be defended. Although, many marriage equality cases in Virginia are moving quickly, none of the cases will reach a federal court during the current term and the cases have yet to reach an appellate court.

    Web companies give first look at secret government data requests,http://rtvote.com/1jbG7RW
    As of Monday, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google have all released reports publishing details of government requested data. Microsoft’s General Counsel Brad Smith said on Monday that the information requested by the government is not as vast as many citizens have feared. “We have not received the type of bulk data requests that are commonly discussed publicly regarding telephone records,” Smith said. Smith goes on to cite media reports in regards to Snowden’s leaked documents and finishes his remarks by saying, “Despite the President’s reform efforts and our ability to publish more information, there has not yet been any public commitment by either the U.S. or other governments to renounce the attempted hacking of Internet companies; We believe the Constitution requires that our government seek information from American companies within the rule of law.”

    Restaurant customer leaves $15K for three waitresses, http://rtvote.com/1ipw60F
    Three waitresses were discussing student loans and dreams of completing school when one of their customers walked over and asked for their names. The customer was a God send: she gave each young woman $5,000 dollars. The unnamed customer told the waitresses,“I want you girls to take these to help with school and everything else in life.You put that in your pocket. God sent me here to help you.” What an amazing story and act of kindness!

    Bundle Up: Another Blast of Snow, Nasty Weather Moves In,  http://rtvote.com/1ipOmHd
    Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog was not kidding: there really will be more winter! Another storm is heading in this week after cold weather already caused a few issues on Monday. More than 100 million people in 24 states could be impacted by this week’s looming winter storm. The forecast is said to stretch from the Great Plains to southern New England blanketing parts of the Midwest with up to a foot of snow on Wednesday. Stay warm everyone! 

     

    CULTURAL

    Olivia Newton-John headlining Vegas show, http://rtvote.com/1aZlPbM

    William ‘Bunny Rugs’ Clarke Dead: Lead Singer Of Third World Dies At Age 65, http://rtvote.com/1jbTr8V

    Barbara Walters Defends Woody Allen, Fights With Sherri Shepherd on The View, http://rtvote.com/MXpYlR

    Taylor Swift Talks Love: “Never Give Anyone An Excuse to Say You’re Crazy, http://rtvote.com/1bnwwQ0

    Outkast, Soundgarden to play Sasquatch! Music Festival,http://rtvote.com/1jbVfPh

    Gianna Judkins
    Bio: My name is Gianna Judkins& I'm a proud Angeleno. I'm also a Political Science Major at Howard University. I pride myself in being Michelle Obama's biggest fan and always being "FLOTUS Inspired”! As a Political Science major, my ultimate goal is to one day call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue my office. I'm a very determined young woman who understands the power of education and value of hard work while striving to achieve my goal of being one of the nation's next great leaders. I'm not that serious all the time though, for fun I enjoying singing in the choir and hanging out with friends.

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



    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 2, 2013

    Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

    Obamacare’s online market experiences setbacks; the government shutdown continues as Republican hardliners and Senate avoid compromise; and Treasury discusses taking ‘final extraordinary measures’. Meanwhile, famed author Tom Clancy passes away; Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting are engaged; and Jodie Foster dates Ellen DeGeneres’ ex-girlfriend.

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Internal Server Error: Scenes from Obamacare’s Glitchy Rollouthttp://rtvote.com/1dUH8Zj Almost as soon as Obamacare’s online marketplace opened, shoppers started encountering technical errors. Glitches within the system were predicted, but nobody thought they would be so widespread. Federal and state governments are working to improve the newly launched system, so patience and understanding from shoppers are much appreciated.

    Jacksonville airport evacuated for ‘suspicious packages’http://rtvote.com/1dW7NF8 Zeljko Causevic, 39, was arrested early Wednesday morning after forcing the shutdown of Jacksonville International Airport for several hours Tuesday morning. Causevic refused to be screened by airport security, and he falsely claimed he had a bomb in his backpack. Two mysterious packages were also found in the airport’s terminal and parking garage. The terminal closed as the bomb squad investigated.

    Collision Course: CR and Debt Ceilinghttp://rtvote.com/1eZR6LS As the October 17th deadline to raise the $16.7 trillion national debt ceiling approaches, the two policy disputes of keeping the government funded and raising the debt ceiling become increasingly connected. If House Republicans don’t accept a Senate plan of reopening the government until mid-November, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is unlikely to accept any budget deal that does not raise the debt ceiling. Obama and Reid remain firm on rejecting any Republican budget bill that will defund or delay Obamacare.

    Treasury Begins ‘Final Extraordinary Measures’ As Debt Ceiling Deadline Loomshttp://rtvote.com/18t8PWS In anticipation of the October 17 deadline, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew wrote House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday, informing him that the Treasury Department has begun using final extraordinary measures. Lew’s letter emphasized the urgency surrounding the proposed increase of the debt ceiling, but he also stated that the government shutdown will probably have little effect when the government hits the debt ceiling. The measures Lew cites are fairly technical.

    Staunch Group of Republicans Outflanks House Leadershttp://rtvote.com/1eZSFcH The government shutdown does not seem like it will be ending anytime soon. The Republican hardliners in the House believe they can end Obamacare, and they have no intention of compromising until they can defund or delay the Affordable Care Act. This group of two dozen or so far right Republicans are angering their fellow moderate and institutional party members. The latter group is pressuring Speaker John Boehner to stand up to hardliners so they can reopen the government and reach bipartisan accommodations.

     

    PUNDITS

    Senators Chris Murphy and Brian Schatz talk about bold reform of federal higher education policy in “Making College Affordable”, http://rtvote.com/1fJagXS

    Cecile Richards discusses House Republicans’ stance against Obamacare and women’s preventive healthcare in “The House’s War on Women”, http://rtvote.com/1fJaTk9

    Thomas Friedman voices concern over the government shutdown and the power of a small minority in Congress in “Our Democracy is at Stake”, http://rtvote.com/1f043Wb

     

    CULTURAL

    Tom Clancy Dies at 66 – Author Remembered for Best-Selling Jack Ryan Novels, Thrillers, http://rtvote.com/1f04Syg

    Jodie Foster Dating Ellen DeGeneres’ Ex-Girlfriend Alexandra Hedison, http://rtvote.com/1dWklwc

    Katie Holmes: “Excited” to Shoot The Giver with Meryl Streep, Taylor Swift, and More, http://rtvote.com/1f05Ydj

    Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting Step Out Separately After Announcing Engagement, http://rtvote.com/1f07b4m

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, July 30, 2013

    Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

    President Obama negotiates on job creation; NC Governor signs abortion bill into law; Israeli-Palestinian peace talks commence; and Zimbabwe youth set to take to the polls. Meanwhile, Lea Michelle reacts to Monteith’s passing; Taylor Swift sings with Carly Simon; and preview for season 3 of Homeland is released.

    - Ally + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    With deficit negotiations at an impasse, Obama offers Republicans a ‘grand bargain’ on jobs, http://rtvote.com/1632bnU
    President Obama’s Tuesday trip to an Amazon.com distribution center prompts a proposal to invest in middle-class jobs. In order to see progress, the President will drop his former insistence on an individual tax overhaul. He will offer corporate tax cuts while demanding job creation.

    More than 100 teens rescued in weekend sex-trafficking raids, FBI says, http://rtvote.com/162Z92V
    Victims as young as age 13 were rescued in a nationwide sex-trafficking crackdown across over 70 cities. More than 100 teenagers were rescued, and 159 “pimps” were arrested. This was “the FBI’s largest action to date focusing on the recovery of sexually exploited children.”

    Pat McCrory Signs Controversial Abortion Bill Into Law, http://rtvote.com/13jIOIM
    After passing the state Senate and House earlier in July, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed an anti-abortion bill into law on Monday. The bill eliminates abortion coverage for those covered by State or Federal health plans, imposes regulations on abortion clinics, and bans sex-selective abortions. During his campaign for Governor last year, McCrory said he would not pass additional restrictions on abortion.

    A guide to the 2013 Israeli-Palestinian peace talkshttp://rtvote.com/1630gQ4
    Peace talks began in Washington last night between Israeli and Palestinian officials. They are expected to last nine months. This article outlines what to expect of the process and outcomes.

    Swiss train crash: Driver’s body recovered after head-on train collision leaves 26 injuredhttp://rtvote.com/162Zt1A
    After two trains collided in Switzerland on Monday, 26 people were injured and one driver was killed. Switzerland is thought to have one of the safest rail systems in the world, but the event is striking, especially following last week’s deadly train crash in Spain.

    Youth, rural voters may hold key to Zimbabwe electionhttp://rtvote.com/19uSsvQ
    The influence of young voters is expected to be significant in tomorrow’s presidential election in Zimbabwe. In the first round of elections, neither candidate won a large enough margin of votes, thus leading to a second vote. Leading up to this second round, nearly 750,000 new voters have been registered (the country’s population is approximately 13 million). A representative of the Election Resource Centre says that “the winner will be whoever captures the new youth voters.”

    CULTURAL

    Lea Michele Breaks Her Silence: “Cory Monteith Will Forever Be in My Heart,” http://rtvote.com/13jJXQs

    Lindsay Lohan to Guest Host Chelsea Lately August 5!, http://rtvote.com/1630maG

    Taylor Swift Brings Carly Simon On Stage To Sing ‘You’re So Vain,’ http://rtvote.com/1630w1N

    1990 Things From The 90s To End The Nostalgia Once And For All, http://rtvote.com/1631jzG

    Homeland Season 3: First Trailer Teases Brody Trying to “Survive,” http://rtvote.com/1631Wcn

    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