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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

    Protests in Ukraine reach a new peak; Confederate flag-bearing license plates cause controversy; bald Barbie dolls cheer cancer patients; soldiers posing around an empty casket spark outrage; and an Arkansas teen is dead after a simple prank goes wrong. Meanwhile, a Gossip Girl star has a secret wedding; a pop music diva might be engaged; one of the hosts of The Voice calls it quits; and Harry Styles makes a “guest appearance” on The Tonight Show. 

    - Veronica + Maura


    After 25 die, Ukrainian protesters dig in: http://rtvote.com/1fgElvD
    25 people died Tuesday after political protests turned violent in Kiev, Ukraine. Today, the protesters are willing to continue to fight against their government. Protests began in November 2013 when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych declined to trade with the European Union and chose Russia instead. The situation became more grave when the Ukrainian government passed a law prohibiting protesting, driving more people to protest violently. Western leaders are prepared to impose sanctions on the Ukrainian government until the violence ceases.

    Confederate flag to appear on new Ga. car plates: http://rtvote.com/1fyTPrt
    Officials in Georgia have allowed a specialty license plate that includes the Confederate flag, causing conflict between those who view the flag as a symbol of racial oppression and by those who view the flag as a symbol of their Southern heritage. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said he was surprised by the new plates and said, “I had no information in advance about it.” North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi are the only three states that joined the Confederacy that have specialty plates containing the Confederate flag.

    Bald Barbie cheers up cancer patients, families: http://rtvote.com/1fdAOzI
    Valerie Paul’s best friend’s cancer inspired her to make bald Barbie dolls for girls and women fighting cancer. She gained national attention when 13 year-old Talia Joy Castellano, a young girl with terminal cancer who became a viral sensation, received one of the bald Barbie dolls and was on Ellen. So far, she and her business partner Wanda Shultz have handed out over 300 Barbie’s and 75 baby dolls and send them to whoever requests one.

    Soldiers posing around empty casket spark rage: http://rtvote.com/1cZUYrf
    A group photo showing around twelve soldiers making non-serious faces and motions around an empty, flag-draped casket has sparked outrage amongst the public. The Wisconsin National Guard has suspended the woman responsible for posting the photo on Instagram and captioning it with this: “We put the FUN in funeral—your fearless honor guard from various states.” People across the country have found the photo incredibly disrespectful, especially those who lost loved ones in war.

    Prank turns deadly for Arkansas teen: http://rtvote.com/1blH1J0
    15-year-old Adrian Broadway from Little Rock, Arkansas, was shot in the head and killed on Saturday after a prank went horribly wrong. Broadway and a few friends went to a house to pull a “retaliation prank” on another teen who had pulled a prank on them previously. After peppering a vehicle parked at the house with toilet paper, eggs, and mayonnaise, a man came out of the house and opened fire, killing Broadway and injuring another. The shooter, 48-year-old Willie Noble, has been charged with first-degree murder, committing a terroristic act, and aggravated assault. 


    Secret wedding bells for this Gossip Girl star: http://rtvote.com/1ghC8y4

    See Simon Cowell’s newborn: http://rtvote.com/1gFZwH

    Harry Styles on The Tonight Show… kind of: http://rtvote.com/Oa45QP

    CeeLo Green quits The Voice: http://rtvote.com/1c2P2h4

    Is Katy Perry engaged? http://rtvote.com/1gVDmRB


    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, December 18, 2013

    Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

    Hundreds are announced dead in South Sudan violence; two people have won the Mega Millions jackpot; and a retired Microsoft executive is set to oversee healthcare.gov. Meanwhile, Christina and Gaga perform together as The Voice crowns a new champion (spoiler alert!); Pippa Middleton is engaged (sorry guys!); and Jonah Hill talks about working with DiCaprio inThe Wolf of Wall Street.



    Jackpot grows: Two winners to split $648Mhttp://rtvote.com/1bQc2l7
    Well it looks like the hope of winning the big bucks are over for most of us. Two winners have been identified: one in San Jose, California and one in Atlanta, Georgia. The winners will be splitting the second-largest jackpot of all time with the odds of winning at 1 in 259 million. The Virginia Lottery Executive Director said that this 22-drawing run generated more than $300 million in profits for programs in the states that participate. In case you missed the numbers, here they are: 8, 20, 14, 17, 39 and 7 (Mega Ball).

    Kurt DelBene, former Microsoft executive, will take over HealthCare.gov,http://rtvote.com/1fENQ6S
    President Obama continues to seek advice from high-tech executives in response to the rocky roll-out of healthcare.gov. The administration announced Tuesday that Kurt DelBene who recently retired from Microsoft, will serve as an unpaid senior advisor on the website. This is a response to the concerns of several lawmakers that the administration needed outside experts in order to overcome the difficulties of the launch. Many people have given a positive endorsement of DelBene, including Microsoft founder, Bill Gates.

    UN Told up to 500 killed in South Sudan clashes: diplomats, http://rtvote.com/1eowHkI
    For the second day in a row, violence has rippled through South Sudan. Local sources and diplomats reported an estimate of 800 wounded and 400-500 killed, though the numbers have not been officially confirmed. The government in the capitol of Juba announced that they captured 10 major political figures and are searching for its former vice president who they believe led this failed coup. Despite its rich oil reserves, South Sudan remains one of the poorest & least developed countries in Africa. The U.S. is urging its citizens to leave the country and will proceed to suspend normal operations at the embassy.

    Senate Asks C.I.A. to Share Its Report on Interrogationshttp://rtvote.com/19SRe9i
    The Senate Intelligence Committee has requested one of the C.I.A.’s internal studies regarding U.S. interrogations. Last year, the C.I.A. completed a report about the interrogation program that was one of the most controversial policies of the post-Septemer 11th era. The Senate report totaled more than 6,000 pages and has yet to be declassified. Those who have read the study disclose that the report does not hold back on criticism of the now-defunct interrogation program whose brutal methods led to little valuable intelligence.

    Obama, Biden, Top U.S. Officials To Stay Away From Sochi Olympics,http://rtvote.com/18RsvlI
    The 2014 Winter Olympics games will be held in Sochi, Russia, but with no representation from top United States officials. Instead, a former federal official, Janet Napolitano will be leading the U.S. delegation, along with two LGBT athletes—Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow. This announcement comes just two months before the opening ceremony and is a signal of U.S. disagreement with Russia’s anti-LGBT laws among other human rights concerns.


    Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco Welcomes a Baby Boy, http://rtvote.com/1cbn4nK

    Pippa Middleton Engaged to Boyfriend Nico Jackson, http://rtvote.com/19SDHPl

    Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga Perform on The Voice, Effectively Putting Feud Rumors to Rest,http://rtvote.com/1fmOsgw

    Jonah Hill Talks Making Leonardo DiCaprio Throw Up and Why Loving Leo Made The Wolf of Wall Street Better, http://rtvote.com/1i1u8ph

    The 9 Brand New Members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, http://rtvote.com/1i1uCvy

    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: Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

    Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

    A Russian plane has disappeared in Indonesia; North Carolina voters pass Amendment One; Senate Republicans block the Democratic student loan bill; a prison inmate captures 40% of the West Virginia Democratic primary vote; Senator Lugar is defeated in Indiana’s GOP primary; and a doctor in Houston live tweets brain surgery. Meanwhile, Pippa Middleton will be moving to NYC; Tom Gabel of Against Me! comes out as transgender; two male masseurs have accused John Travolta of sexual assault; and Delta pulls its ads from “The Daily Show.”



    Qaeda bomber adept at breaching aviation security, http://reut.rs/KLZfQL
    Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, formerly one of the most dangerous militants in al Qaeda, has been arrested after making a non-metallic underwear bomb that could pass through airport security undetected. Asiri, who survived a drone attack last year, created the bomb for an attack that was supposed to take place on the one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death. The plot was foiled after Asiri handed the bomb over to a CIA double-agent posing as the would-be bomber.

    Syriza’s Tsipras to meet Greece’s pro-bailout parties, http://bbc.in/Km7YM5
    Alex Tspiras, Greece’s far-left leader who is responsible for forming the country’s government, has said that although he finds the EU’s bailout terms “barbaric,” he will still meet with pro-bailout parties Wednesday. If the two sides cannot negotiate terms then Greece may have new elections in a few weeks. Tspiras has said that he would consider refusing the EU’s bailout in order to avoid its austerity regulations. In response, Germany stated that if Greece refuses the bailout then it will receive absolutely no aid. Tspiras has received support from Greece’s small left-wing party, the Democratic Left, as well as the country’s center-right party.

    (via CNN) Russian plane disappears in demonstration flight in Indonesia, http://bit.ly/Jx2Dj7 
    Russia’s newest civilian airliner disappeared Wednesday from radar screens during a half-hour demonstration flight in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, state-run RIA Novosti news service reported. There were 44 passengers on board. The plane went missing at about 2 p.m. in the area of Bogor, West Java, Indonesian Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan told Metro TV. The pilots requested permission to descend from 10,000 feet to 6,000 feet, air traffic controllers said. After that, all radio contact was lost. The plane began making its descent but vanished from radar screens at 6,200 feet in a mountainous area. By the time the plane was due to return it should have burned up its fuel, RIA Novosti said.

    Obama ‘disappointed’ over N.C. marriage ban, http://politi.co/KaD6zV
    President Obama issued a statement saying that he was “disappointed” in North Carolina voters’ decision to pass an amendment to their state’s constitution that would only legally recognize a marriage between a man and a woman. Amendment One passed 61% to 39% after a heavy outpouring of religious voters and support from Billy Graham. The vote saw North Carolina’s largest primary turnout in years. Gay-rights groups will protest the law starting today, and same-sex couples will seek marriage licenses in Wilson and Durham before the law goes into effect in January 2013. Two protestors were arrested in Asheville last night.

    (via Reuters) US Senate Republicans block Democratic student loan bill, http://reut.rs/JeqHrX
    U.S. Senate Republicans blocked on Tuesday a White House-backed bill that would end a tax break for the wealthy in order to pay for an extension of low-interest loan rates for federal student loans. On a mostly party-line vote of 52-45, Democratic backers of the measure fell eight votes short of the 60 needed to clear a Republican procedural roadblock. Regardless, both sides are expected to reach a compromise to prevent a doubling on July 1 of the 3.4 percent interest rate on undergraduate Stafford loans for more than 7 million students.

    A Texas prison inmate gets votes in Democratic primary in West Virginia, http://wapo.st/JZkFwQ
    President Obama lost about 40% of the vote in West Virginia’s Democratic Primary yesterday. The votes went to a prison inmate, Keith Judd, who is incarcerated for making threats at the University of New Mexico over a decade ago. Judd paid $2,500 and filled out a form to get on the state’s ballot, although a Democratic Party spokeswoman says he does not a have a delegate for the Democratic National Convention. Meanwhile, Obama lost 18% of the vote in Oklahoma to Randall Terry, an anti-abortion activist.

    (via The New York Times) Before Primary Win, Mourdock Sought to Block Chrysler’s Bailout, http://nyti.ms/IIEC7m
    Richard Mourdock set the political world abuzz late on Tuesday when he defeated the incumbent Senator Richard G. Lugar in Indiana’s Republican primary, reflecting the power of his conservative and Tea Party backers by ousting a fixture of the Senate…. Mr. Mourdock [is known] for his most notable endeavor in his tenure as Indiana state treasurer: unsuccessfully trying to block Chrysler‘s government-sponsored bankruptcy in the summer of 2009. Such was the fervor of his case that he took his fight all the way to the steps of the Supreme Court.

    Houston Hospital to Live Tweet Brain Surgery, http://bit.ly/Jf67Hz
    Houston neurosurgeon Dr. Dong Kim is live tweeting a brain surgery today starting at 8:30 am. A colleague of Kim’s will live tweet from the operating room, a video camera will  take overview shots, and a photographer will be taking pictures. Kim is removing a tumor from a 21-year-old patient who experiences seizures. He is live tweeting as part of a teaching experience. The photos and information can be found on Twitter, YouTube, TwitPic, CoverItLive, and Pinterest.


    Delta pulls ‘Daily Show’ ads over ‘vagina manger’ skit, http://bit.ly/KaGL0G

    Tom Gabel of Against Me! Comes Out as Transgender, http://bit.ly/Lcx1AF

    Pippa Planning New York Move, http://bit.ly/JfDhW2

    Lawyer for John Travolta Accusers — More Masseurs Will Sue, http://bit.ly/IQeOd9

    Brad Pitt Is the New Face of Chanel No. 5, http://bit.ly/IQf5gg

    ‘The Voice’ champion checks in the morning after winning, http://usat.ly/IY31fa

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    Rock the Vote’s Charitybuzz Auction Launches!

    Friday, December 2nd, 2011

    In 2011, Rock the Vote turned 21. Like most 21-year-olds, we are always down to have a little fun. However, with the 2012 presidential election less than a year away, it’s time to get down to business with your help. Our plans for 2012 include running our largest youth voter registration drive ever and mobilizing millions of young Americans to the polls. To celebrate our 21st birthday and achieve our goal, we’re hosting an online celebrity auction at charitybuzz.com from December 2 – December 21, 2011 (just in time for the holidays!).

    We have a chock full list of exciting items to bid on. All you Gleeks will go crazy for our one-on-one lunch with GLEE star Darren Criss. If you’re more Team Xtina, then we have an opportunity to meet Christina Aguilera and attend a taping of The Voice. You can also get your groove on with two VIP tickets to The Ellen Show, or bring out your inner DJ with the opportunity to guest-host a Sirius XM show with DJ Skee. Aspiring writers will have the chance to draft a blog post with Perez Hilton and have it posted on Perezhilton.com. And memorabilia collectors will fawn over our signed Fender bass autographed by Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz. That’s not even all of it. We have so many other awesome items donated by Rock the Vote’s celebrity supporters. Check out the full list here.

    Our charitybuzz celebrity auction is fitting; for more than two decades Rock the Vote has worked with artists, celebrities and athletes to make politics relevant to young people, registering, educating, and turning them out to voice their opinions, have a say, and participate in the political process. In 2008, more young people voted than in any previous US election- and Rock the Vote ran the largest nonpartisan voter registration drive in the history of the United States, bringing more than 2.6 million voters into the process. Currently, with 13,000 people turning 18 every day, we certainly have our work cut out for us.

    That’s why we need your help! Check out our charitybuzz auction here and help us and millions more to rock the vote in 2012. Not only will you be supporting your favorite non-profit organization (wink, wink), you (or a surprised loved one) will also get the chance to rendezvous with a favorite celebrity. What could be better?

    Don’t forget to share the auction with your other celeb-lovin’ friends. Use the hashtag #21stBIRTHDAY to keep track of the auction on Twitter!

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com