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    News Round-Up: Thursday, April 3, 2014

    Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

    Another shooting hits Fort Hood Military Base; a major aftershock in Chile causes massive evacuations; the US allegedly tried to undermine the Cuban government through the creation of a fake social media account; and a woman in Australia goes missing after being “taken” by a shark. Meanwhile, James Franco allegedly tried to meet up with a teenager via Instagram; a man arrested for trespassing on Selena Gomez’s property is sentenced; and Sarah Palin and “Vladimir Putin” have a phone conversation.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Fort Hood shooting spree: ‘Texans’ hearts are once again very heavy’: http://rtvote.com/1otWpcb
    Specialist Ivan Lopez went on a shooting spree Wednesday at Fort Hood Military Base in Killeen, Texas, wounding 16 and killing four others (including himself). All were army personnel. Lopez had had a history of depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders. After his 4-month tour in Iraq, Lopez began to undergo treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Lopez used his own gun in the shooting; it was not registered to the base, making it against the rules to have it on the base. In contrast to the 2010 Fort Hood shooting, authorities do not suspect that terrorism was the driving force behind Lopez’s actions.

    New evacuations in Chile after major aftershock: http://rtvote.com/PmTToC
    A 7.2 magnitude aftershock rocked the northern coast of Chile Wednesday night, just days after an 8.2 magnitude earthquake caused tsunamis and six deaths. After the 7.2 aftershock, the Chilean Emergency Office issued new tsunami warnings and subsequent evacuations of the entire Chilean coast, driving 900,000 people from their homes. Fortunately, no damage, deaths, or injuries have been reported after the aftershock, which is one of over a dozen that have hit Chile over the past few days. The aftershock was felt in Peru as well, once again leaving no damage or injuries in its wake.

    Crowd beats driver who stopped after hitting boy, 11: http://rtvote.com/1lqM7Fd
    On the East Side of Detroit, Michigan, a crowd beat a driver who hit an 11-year-old boy. The child was struck by the driver of a truck while trying to cross an intersection. The driver then got out of the car to check on the boy, at which point a crowd of approximately 30 people came to assist the child. Some members of the crowd then beat the driver, who sustained serious head injuries that could be life-threatening. The boy’s condition has not been released. Both the driver and the child were taken to the hospital.

    US secretly created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest: http://rtvote.com/1k3eXhG
    US government official Joe McSpedon, a team of technology contractors, and the Agency for International Development had been planning to undermine the communist government in Cuba by creating a fake social media website. The “Cuban Twitter,” or ZunZuneo, would have breached the information restrictions and bans put in place by the Cuban government. At its peak, the account reached thousands of Cuban citizens, giving many access to information that had previously been denied to them. Due to the financing being linked to a Cayman Islands account, the United State’s name was never connected with the project’s development. Whether the program is legal or not is unclear.

    Woman ‘taken’ by large shark in Australia: http://rtvote.com/1mDUf57
    63-year-old lifeguard Christine Armstrong was swimming in Tathra, Australia with her husband and fellow lifeguards when she disappeared. She headed off to shore alone, leaving her friends in the water, but appeared to never make it. A witness told police that he saw an 11-foot shark attacking something in the water that looked like a swimmer. After an investigation, neither Armstrong nor the shark could be found. Armstrong’s husband and friends who were with her that day are being given counseling to cope.

    CULTURAL

    British Olympic diver Tom Daley discusses his sexuality: http://rtvote.com/1fOPOzE

    It’s Amanda Bynes’ birthday! Take a look back through her career: http://rtvote.com/1scN1cd 

    James Franco tried to pick up a teenage girl on Instagram: http://rtvote.com/1gqOpyG

    Get the latest details about the guy arrested for trespassing at Selena Gomez’s house: http://rtvote.com/1hkyi5W

    Sarah Palin and “Vladimir Putin” talk: see the video! http://rtvote.com/QIBT8Z

    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: Friday, March 28, 2014

    Friday, March 28th, 2014

    A new CDC study underscores major increases in cases of Autism; appeals court upholds challenged parts of major TX abortion law; Microsoft releases Office products for iPad…finally; and voting rights activists are noticing some positive changes in 2014. Meanwhile, Selena Gomez is allegedly served legal papers in regards to Bieber’s recent troubles; The Colbert Report is under fire on Twitter with a #CancelColbert hashtag; and James Van Der Beek admits to doing something illegal for Justin Timberlake.

    Shameless Plug Alert: Congratulations to the Dayton Flyers (my alma mater) on making it to the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament! First time in 30 years. Way to go Flyers!

    -Maura 

    CRUCIAL 

    Autism rates soar, now affects 1 in 68 children, http://rtvote.com/1myqmpv
    Between 2008 and 2010, Autism rates have climbed nearly 30 percent and have more than doubles since the turn of the century according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s new study. The study also points out that Autism is now believed to affect 1 of every 68 eight-year-olds—a dramatic increase. What is driving this increase still remains unknown. Some believe it’s a rise in awareness of the disease while other speculate on environmental reasons.

    Appeals court upholds challenged parts of Texas abortion law, http://rtvote.com/1gJFJtd
    On Thursday, a federal appeals court upheld parts of a Texas abortion law which requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital less than 30 miles away. Planned Parenthood, which led the lawsuit against the bill, claims the law will cause clinics to shut down because hospitals would refuse doctors admitting privileges. This particular legislation, House Bill No.2, first garnered national attention when Senator Wendy Davis (now gubernatorial candidate), led a 13 hour filibuster to try and prevent the bill’s passage. The ruling of this appeal is considered a victory for anti-abortion activists.

    Obama looks to win back Saudi confidence, http://rtvote.com/1pBw6vO
    Continuing on with his diplomatic duties, President Obama is visiting Saudi Arabia to reassure Arab allies that despite troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan and greater energy independence, the United States is not abandoning the Arab world. On his overnight trip there are only two items on his public schedule: a meeting and dinner with King Abdullah at his desert camp.

    Microsoft to Offer Office for iPad, Maybe a Bit Late, http://rtvote.com/QnF8CJ
    It’s finally here! Microsoft introduced the long-awaited suite of applications to the iPad which includes Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. The company’s new chief executive, Satya Nadella, announced a commitment to make the software work on all major computing devices, including those made by its competitors. Microsoft’s decision to bring Office to the Apple device comes after years of development and debate inside the company over implications that could occur against their own technology developments.

    VOTING RIGHTS

    Voting Rights Fight Takes New Direction, http://rtvote.com/P1u5hq
    The primary election season is just around the corner, and voting rights activists are identifying some notable changes in relation to laws and restrictions around voting.  Although there have been a flurry of new rules, like the party-line vote for the elimination of a week of early voting in Ohio last month, some activists are noticing fewer restrictions and even some bipartisanship progress. Myrna Perez of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University remarked that there has been “a lot of real momentum in 2014, thus far, towards improving our elections both at the states and nationally.” On that note, don’t forget to register to vote ! 

    CULTURAL

    Selena Gomez Served With Legal Papers, http://rtvote.com/1rKLNVD

    The Colbert Report Tweets Racist Joke, Twitter Users Rally to #CancelColbert, http://rtvote.com/1jYCXy1

    Beyoncé Breaks Down in Tears During Final Carter Show Concert: “I’m Giving Y’all an Ugly Cry!”, http://rtvote.com/1maROGX

    Lady Gaga Celebrates 28th Birthday With Macabre “27 Club” Joke, http://rtvote.com/1pijgVc

    James Van Der Beek Let Underage Justin Timberlake Use His ID in the 90’s, http://rtvote.com/1fsBKfb

    Seth Meyers: 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me, http://rtvote.com/P1jwLm

    Maura
    Bio: Maura graduated from the University of Dayton in 2011 with a BA in International Studies and French. During the course of her studies she was elected Student Body Vice President where she worked to make student activity funding more affordable & fair to the campus community. Following graduation, Maura joined the 2012 Obama Campaign as grassroots Field Organizer in Ohio (the battleground of all battleground states). She now continues her passion of engaging and building political power for young people with Rock the Vote.

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



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, March 18, 2014

    Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

    Wendy Davis might turn Texas purple; Hillary Clinton has an Iowa army; and President Obama keeps moving with his Ukraine Strategy. Meanwhile, Brittany Murphy’s final movie has been released four years after her death;Dancing With the Stars has its opening night; and yesterday’s Los Angeles Earthquake resulted in a pretty hilarious reaction from newscasters.

    Also, today is the Primary Election in Illinois! Visit Rock the Vote’s Election Center to find all the info you need: http://rtvote.com/TdeABy. But don’t forget: polls close at 7:00pm!

    -Gianna & Maura

    CRUCIAL 

    As Barack Obama’s Ukraine strategy rolls on, so does Vladimir Putin’s,http://rtvote.com/1d9ZIRe
    President Barack Obama and President Vladimir Putin of Russia, both moved forward on Monday with their strategy on the Ukraine crisis seemingly unphased by the other. President Obama revealed on Monday that he is issuing sanctions against Russia in an attempt to the get the White House proclaimed Russian “cronies” in line and perhaps reach President Putin. The sanctions put in place by President Obama are the most aggressive sanctions taken against Russia by a US President since the end of the Cold War.

    Wendy Davis Is One Step Closer To Turning Texas Purple, http://rtvote.com/1fW8wZY
    A recent poll in Texas shows that State Senate Democrat Wendy Davis is within single digits of her Republican opponent Attorney General Greg Abbott for the 2014 Gubernatorial election. This poll is just another indicator that Texas voters are no longer reliably red. The single digit margin is impressive for Wendy Davis, when comparing the 2002 gubernatorial election where Republican candidate Rick Perry won by almost 18 points over his Democratic opponent.  Wendy Davis has a serious shot at becoming governor when looking at the recent poll and her ability to sway women voters.

    Ohio State University Has a Case of the Mumps: http://rtvote.com/1izSIwo
    If you go to Ohio State University, be cautious when sharing drinks. A recent outbreak of the Mumps has infected 23 students and faculty over the past month. Although there is currently no cure for the disease, lasting effects are rare and recovery usually takes no more than two weeks. All the same, public health officials are warning students to take precautions to avoid infection.

    Illinois Gets Ready to Rock the Vote: http://rtvote.com/1gL3Hik
    Voters in Illinois today head to the polls to cast their ballots in the 2014 primary election. Republicans will choose among primary candidates for U.S. Senate, Governor, and state treasurer, while Democrats face little competition to replace incumbent Governor Pat Quinn.The Chicago Tribune also reports that voters will now experience a new electronic voter verification system that matches the voter’s signature with the precinct’s records. Pretty nifty! Happy voting, Illinois!

    Joe Scarborough: ‘No Plans’ to Run for President, http://rtvote.com/1nATSfU
    The host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, a former four-term congressman who has been actively flirting with the idea of running for the 2016 Republican nomination, spent the weekend in New Hampshire wow-ing and possibly wooing the party faithful. But, you can all stop speculating… Joe Scarborough announced today to the Daily Beast that he has no plans to run for office. 

    Hillary Deploys Iowa Army, http://rtvote.com/1gK4PCW
    The Ready For Hillary super PAC lived up to it’s name this past weekend by organizing in 84 of Iowa’s 99 counties for Hillary. Although, Iowa Caucuses are two years away, The Ready for Hillary super PAC is showing that they are a force to be reckoned with. Ready for Hillary managed to gather 250 volunteers in those 84 counties and they are currently the only super PAC with boots on the ground for a potential Democratic 2016 hopeful.

     

    CULTURAL

    Dancing With the Stars Season 18 Premiere Recap: Who Dazzled?Who Fell Flat? (Spoilers!):http://rtvote.com/1oos5w1

    Kate Winslet Explains Son Bear’s Middle Name Blaze: Ned Rocknroll and I Met During Fire on Richard Branson’s Island:http://rtvote.com/NqPMWN

    Brittany Murphy’s Final Film Something Wicked Released Four Years After Star’s Death:http://rtvote.com/1nAWo5Z

    Glee Roll Call! Who’s In and Who’s Out for the Final Season:http://rtvote.com/1fF5Hb3

    Los Angeles Earthquake Makes News Anchors Slightly Overreact on Live TV—Watch Now!:http://rtvote.com/1g6FnMF

    Maura
    Bio: Maura graduated from the University of Dayton in 2011 with a BA in International Studies and French. During the course of her studies she was elected Student Body Vice President where she worked to make student activity funding more affordable & fair to the campus community. Following graduation, Maura joined the 2012 Obama Campaign as grassroots Field Organizer in Ohio (the battleground of all battleground states). She now continues her passion of engaging and building political power for young people with Rock the Vote.

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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, March 13, 2014

    Thursday, March 13th, 2014

    More people are pronounced dead after East Harlem building explosion; G.M. reveals new information about a safety defect linked to 12 deaths; and a hit and run driver kills 2 people at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Meanwhile, Shailene Woodley makes Jimmy Fallon blush; Emma Watson graces the cover of Elle magazine; and Harry Styles gets rescued by AAA.

    - Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Malaysia Disputes report that missing plane flew on for hours,http://rtvote.com/1ihA8sK
    Sadly, little progress has been made in the search for the missing Malaysian passenger jet that went off the grid nearly a week ago over the Gulf of Thailand. In response to speculation about the fate the of the plane carrying 239 passengers and crew, Malaysia’s defense minister held a press conference dismissing a series of leads. Officials are describing this incidence as an unprecedented aviation mystery, and it is still unknown whether the plane is on land or in water, east or west of the country, or far beyond.

    Building collapse kills at least 7 in Manhattan,http://rtvote.com/1nn7mvN
    Updates are emerging after a massive explosion yesterday in East Harlem, that leveled two five-story apartment buildings. At least 7 people were killed and firefighters are still searching through the rubble for survivors. More than 40 people were reported with injuries. Authorities believe a gas leak caused the explosion but are still waiting to announce the official cause. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the site, commenting that this was a “tragedy of the worst kind.”

    Hit and run driver kills 2, injures 23 at SXSW,http://rtvote.com/1m0m222
    Tragedy struck last night at one of the most anticipated festivals of the year: South by Southwest. A drunk driver, said to be fleeing from police who tried pulling him over, went the wrong way down a one-way street and drove into a crowd of people waiting outside of a popular bar and music venue. Two people were killed in the accident and 23 others are injured.

    G.M reveals that it was told of ignition defect in 01’,http://rtvote.com/1i89q5d
    In an expanded chronology of events filed with federal safety regulators about the recall of 1.6 million cars, General Motors reveals it had reports of a safety defect in its cars as early as 2001. This particular safety defect has been linked to 12 deaths and at least 31 accidents over the past decade. According to GM, in 2001 a study found that the ignition switch in the Saturn Ion could turn off easily, but the company said a design change “had resolved the problem.”

    CULTURAL

    28 Modern Proverbs for 20 Somethings, http://rtvote.com/1ftr0MB  

    Harry Styles Rescued by AAA Tow Truck After Motorcycle Breaks Down,http://rtvote.com/1m0gmoP

    Emma Watson Covers Elle Magazine, Explains Why She’s “So Jealous” of Certain Actresses, http://rtvote.com/1cV2Ikg

    Shailene Woodley Gives Jimmy Fallon a Phallic Herb—And it Makes The Tonight Show Host Blush, http://rtvote.com/1nn5GlY 

    Pharell Williams Up With Comme Des Garcons to Release New Fragrance,http://rtvote.com/1nn5WRU

    Maura
    Bio: Maura graduated from the University of Dayton in 2011 with a BA in International Studies and French. During the course of her studies she was elected Student Body Vice President where she worked to make student activity funding more affordable & fair to the campus community. Following graduation, Maura joined the 2012 Obama Campaign as grassroots Field Organizer in Ohio (the battleground of all battleground states). She now continues her passion of engaging and building political power for young people with Rock the Vote.

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



    News Round-Up: December 11, 2013

    Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

    The Nevada family that never returned from playing in the snow has been found and rescued; Senator Ted Cruz walks out on Cuban President Raul Castro’s speech at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service; and a family struggles to get people to help those with mental illnesses. Meanwhile, Demi Lovato talks about her struggles with cocaine addiction, and Kate Winslet gives birth to her first child!

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Meteor explodes over Arizona; big meteor shower begins,http://rtvote.com/IPLo1k
    A tremendous boom rattled the houses of residents in Tucson, Arizona. The largest meteor shower of the year, Geminid, seemed to be giving them a sneak preview. A dash cam caught the spectacular meteor on video. The Geminid meter shower officially starts Thursday.

    Senator’s chief of staff under investigation involving child porn allegations,http://rtvote.com/1jOt0od
    Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said Tuesday that law enforcement officials were searching the home of his chief of staff, Ryan Loskarn, regarding allegations involving child pornography. The Senator has placed Mr. Loskarn on administrative leave without pay. His office is fully cooperating with the investigation.

    Lost Nevada family warmed rocks by fire to survive snow for 2 days,http://rtvote.com/18C9iV8
    The Nevada family that went out to play in the snow and never returned has finally been found and rescued. James Glanton, 34, and his girlfriend, Christina McIntee, remained calm after their jeep overturned and slid down an embankment, trapping them in the cold weather. Glanton and McIntee cleverly warmed rocks to start a fire to keep the children, 3 to 10, warm at night. The hospital says they are stable with no frostbite, just some exposure issues.

    Sen. Cruz walks out on Castro speech at Mandela memorial,http://rtvote.com/18mkKcz
    Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, part of a Congressional delegation at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, walked out of the service when Cuban President Raul Castro took to the stage and delivered his speech. A spokesperson for Cruz stated they he hopes that Castro can learn from the lessons of Mandela by releasing his political prisoners and holding free elections for the Cuban people. Before eulogizing Mandela, President Obama shook Raul Castro’s hand – a remarkable gesture between the leaders of two nations that have not shared diplomacy in over half a century.

    ‘My Son is Mentally Ill’ So Listen Uphttp://rtvote.com/1iXk16p
    Stephanie Escamilla and her 14-year-old son tell their powerful story of having a family member who has a mental illness. They urge this nation and its people to stop neglecting those who are mentally ill. 1 in 4 American adults suffer from mental illness; 1 in 5 children have a mental disorder. Something has to be done for those who are oftentimes bullied, ignored, and marginalized in society for their condition.

     

    CULTURAL

    LeAnn Rimes Breaks Down in Tears Singing at American Country Awards,http://rtvote.com/1iXmKwx

    Demi Lovato Talks Past Drug Use: “I Couldn’t Go 30 Minutes to an Hour Without Cocaine,” http://rtvote.com/1gpHuev

    Kate Winslet Gives Birth to a Baby Boy, Her First child With Husband Ned Rocknroll, http://rtvote.com/1h0kjot

    Katy Perry: Russell Brand Wanted Me to Have Children as a Way of Control,http://rtvote.com/18mnd6H

    sandywu
    Bio:

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