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    News Round-Up: Thursday, March 27, 2014

    Thursday, March 27th, 2014

    President Obama holds his first meeting with Pope Francis; at least 90 people are missing as a result of the Washington mudslide; POTUS says that the government should stop holding phone data; and Northwestern University athletes are legally allowed to unionize. Meanwhile, Psych ended its 8-season run last night; the trailer for Jupiter Ascending has been released; and Joan Rivers has some harsh criticism for Lena Dunham.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Obama has first audience with Pope Francis: http://rtvote.com/1jyS19L
    President Obama and Pope Francis had their first meeting with one another on Thursday in Italy. The meeting was cordial and people hoped that the meeting would bring attention to important issues both leaders support. Much of the meeting was about the church’s role in current issues in the United States, international conflict, and human rights protection according to a statement from the Vatican. President Obama extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit the United States in 2015.

    Ukraine military dolphins to switch nationalities, join Russian navy: http://rtvote.com/1j9eoQt
    Russia is planning on taking control of Ukraine’s military dolphins. These dolphins are highly trained and specialize in detecting hazards to Ukraine like sea mines or enemy scuba divers trying to enter the country’s waters. Dolphins can detect noises and objects in the ocean that humans can’t, making them effective for security. A Russian news agency reported Thursday that “the combat dolphin program in the Crimean city of Sevastopol will be preserved and redirected toward the interests of the Russian navy.”

    Obama says government should stop collecting, holding bulk phone data: http://rtvote.com/1pcb9JM
    The United States expressed outrage when former contractor to the National Security Agency (NSA) Edward Snowden revealed that the federal government collected data from people’s telephones. President Obama said Thursday that the government is trying to stop collecting phone records and wants to leave that up to phone carriers, who would then provide suspicious activity to counterterrorism agencies. Other changes include the requirement that a federal judge give its approval before the government can collect phone data.

    Mudslide recovery brings tears to searchers: http://rtvote.com/OY2H42
    Firefighters and volunteer rescuers in Washington are coming to the grim reality that some people missing in the mudslide might never be found. In the beginning, there was a list of people thought to be missing after the massive mudslide leveled Oso, Washington six days ago. 140 people have since been eliminated from that list, leaving 90 people missing and 35 others who were not confirmed to be in the area when the mudslide occurred. 25 bodies have been discovered, but searchers expect that number to increase. However, due to dangerous conditions like quicksand-like mud 30-40 feet deep, ice, rain, fallen trees, and other hazards, many bodies may never be found.

    Northwestern University football players can unionize: http://rtvote.com/1g4cxai
    Athletes at Northwestern University won the right to unionize after the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago recognized the athletes as employees of the university. Northwestern plans to appeal the decision, saying that the athletes are students, not employees. However, the board saw enough evidence to believe that the students were employees; they work between 20 and 50 hours a week, get paid through scholarships, and bring millions of dollars in revenue to the university. The students filed the petition to “get a seat at the bargaining table in college sports,” receive better medical coverage and concussion tests, be offered full four-year scholarships, and potentially get paid.

    CULTURAL

     Get the scoop on the Psych series finale: http://rtvote.com/1g4fs2O

    Zac Efron punched in the face during a fight: http://rtvote.com/1pA3pPY

    Joan Rivers attacks Lena Dunham’s weight: is a celebrity feud brewing? http://rtvote.com/1rFLueK

    The reviews for Noah are in! See what the critics are saying: http://rtvote.com/1o4x5cI 

    Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum steal the show in their Jupiter Ascending trailer: http://rtvote.com/1jRq3BL

    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: Thursday, March 20th, 2014

    Thursday, March 20th, 2014

    Searchers have yet to find the debris captured on a satellite image that could reveal Flight 370’s fate; Obama announces new sanctions against Russia as they move into Crimea; Police find over 100 illegal immigrants in a one-story house in Houston; and the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church has died. Meanwhile, Emilia Clarke talks about an embarrassing audition and Kim Kardashian gets a unique makeover.

    -Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    No sign of mystery objects as Australia suspends search for the day: http://rtvote.com/1nGw8XV
    A satellite captured images of what people believed to be debris in the Indian Ocean, prompting a search Thursday by Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Norway. The satellite captured objects 14 miles apart in a remote part of the Indian Ocean, about 1,500 miles from Australia. Unfortunately, no one was able to find the debris before nightfall. Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia’s interim Transportation Secretary said “[The debris] gives us hope. As long as there’s hope, we will continue.” Searches will resume Friday.

    Russian parliament moves to ratify Crimea takeover; Obama announces new sanctions: http://rtvote.com/1jbHywh
    President Obama said Thursday that the United States would be imposing more sanctions against Russia to respond to, in his words, “Crimea’s ‘illegal’ secession referendum and Russia’s ‘illegitimate move’ to annex Crimea.” Obama said that top Russian officials, other individuals, and a bank with ties to Russia will be sanctioned. Despite this, Ukraine’s power in Crimea is waning, with upcoming Ukrainian troop withdrawal, the closure of Ukrainian banks in the region, and the takeover of Ukrainian military bases. The Russian government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta began printing in the Crimea region and issued passports to Crimea residents.

    Disgraced Army general, Jeffrey A. Sinclair, gets $20,000 fine, no jail time: http://rtvote.com/1dfYnbo
    General Jeffery Sinclair, who admitted to having inappropriate relations with three women (including an affair with one, a military crime), was fined $20,000 by a military judge and will not serve jail time. Sinclair had been charged with sexually assaulting and threatening the woman he had an affair with. The Army ended up dropping the sexual assault charge and agreed to a plea bargain. The monetary outcome could become worse for Sinclair; he will drop down to a lower rank when it comes time for him to retire, which would lower his benefits.

    NJ teen arrested after reaching top of World Trade Center: http://rtvote.com/1eq5rjO
    Weehawken, NJ teen Justin Casquejo managed to bypass security at the World Trade Center in New York City and get all the way to the top. The 16-year-old climbed through a hole in a fence at around 4:10am, climbed the scaffolding, and got into the building. He also managed to steer clear of a guard on the 104th floor, who has been fired. He was arrested inside the WTC at 6am and his cell phone and camera were seized and searched.

    Police find more than 100 immigrants in stash house: http://rtvote.com/1d40sab
    Houston Police found over 100 illegal immigrants living in a one-story stash house in horrendous conditions.  The house had only one toilet (that only half-worked), no hot water, and deadbolts on the doors, preventing the immigrants from leaving until the person responsible for getting them across the boarder was paid more money. The immigrants were made up of 94 adult men, 14 women (including one pregnant woman), and two elementary school-aged children. Police turned the immigrants over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and arrested 5 smugglers.

    Fred Phelps, fierce campaigner against homosexuality, dies: http://rtvote.com/1g4Yupt
    The leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps, has died at the age of 84. Phelps and his church followers gained notoriety for picketing military funerals and protesting against gays and Jews, prompting both President Obama and President Bush to sign laws creating a buffer zone for funerals. Phelps also occasionally ran for political office; in 1992, he ran for the US Senate in Kansas but lost in the primary round.

    CULTURAL

    Emilia Clarke talks about her embarrassing audition for her best-known role: http://rtvote.com/1jbZEOR

    Watch the latest Maleficent trailer! http://rtvote.com/1jc03AU

    Kim Kardashian gets a make…under? http://rtvote.com/1pfmKpm

    Leighton Meester takes a turn at Broadway: http://rtvote.com/1r0cgOs

    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, March 19th, 2014

    Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

    A Ukrainian naval base is taken over in Crimea; data has been deleted from the pilot of the missing Flight 370’s flight simulator; the results of the Illinois primary election are in; and an Icelandic volcano might be close to erupting. Meanwhile, it was a big night for TV on Tuesday: get the scoop on the season finale of Pretty Little Liars and some inside information on Glee’s final season; plus, Mick Jagger talks about the suicide of L’Wren Scott; and celebrities react to L.A.’s earthquake on Twitter- see what they had to say!

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Data deleted from pilot’s simulator, official says: http://rtvote.com/1qUkx6B
    Hishammuddin Hussein, an official looking into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, noticed that some of the data from the pilot of the flight’s (Captain Zahaire Ahmad Shah) flight simulator had been deleted. This has raised suspicions because the files saved from the flight simulator are not that large and do not take up a lot of room once saved and stored. Also, pilots use the data to track their progress, so to delete parts of it would be unusual. Flight 370 is nearing the 13th day of its disappearance, and the search area spans nearly 3 million square miles. United States officials believe, however, that the plane is probably in the southern part of the search area or at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

    Pro-Russians storm Ukrainian navy base in Crimea: http://rtvote.com/1mhaeso
    Tensions between Russians and Ukrainians in Crimea are readily increasing. On Wednesday, 300 pro-Russian supporters took over the Ukrainian naval post in Sevastopol, Crimea, just a day after Crimea voted to become part of Russia. No shots were fired between the pro-Russian supporters and the Ukrainian naval personnel, but the Ukrainian flags on the naval headquarters were replaced with Russian ones. This occurred one day after a Ukrainian military member was killed, another was injured, and others were captured when gunmen attacked the base in Simferopol, Crimea.

    Bruce Rauner wins close GOP primary in Illinois: http://rtvote.com/1eRGfj2
    Bruce Rauner, the 57-year-old billionaire businessman who set a state campaign finance record by funneling $6 million of his own money into his campaign, defeated state Senator Kirk Dillard in the GOP primary by a pretty close margin. He will contest incumbent governor Pat Quinn in November, who is regarded as one of the most vulnerable Democratic governors in the United States. For Senate, the GOP nominee is Jim Oberweis; however, his chance of winning against Democratic Senator Dick Durbin in November is slim. For election result numbers, click here.

    Iceland’s Hekla volcano could blow soon, claims scientist: http://rtvote.com/1j3DSRF
    A geoscientist from the University of Iceland claims that one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes, dubbed “Hekla,” could erupt in the near future. A sign of a coming eruption is bulging rock and ground on the volcano’s northern side; this means the amount of magma under the volcano is increasing. Apparently, there is more magma under Hekla today than there was in 2000, when it last erupted. Hekla has a reputation for erupting with little or short notice, so geoscientists are keeping a close watch on the volcano for signs of eruption.

    CULTURAL

    Rock legend Mick Jagger talks about the suicide of L’Wren Scotthttp://rtvote.com/1l3TnZT

    The Giver Trailer Premiers: Watch Katie Holmes, Jeff Bridges, and Meryl Streep in Action: http://rtvote.com/Nu7Xe8 

    Read celebrity reactions to the L.A. earthquake: http://rtvote.com/1p472xm

    Pretty Little Liars season 4 episode recap- talk about intense! http://rtvote.com/OwVqI5

    Which beloved characters will remain for Glee’s final season? http://rtvote.com/1fF5Hb3

    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, June 17, 2011

    Friday, June 17th, 2011

    Saudi women fight the ban on female drivers, Weiner’s successor will likely have lame-duck status, and a man is arrested for suspicious activity near the Pentagon.  Also, Conservatives may be able to harness the youth vote, and Idaho is ranked in the top third of the Rock the Vote scorecard.

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry

    CRITICAL:

    ‘Saudi women, start your engines:’ Campaign against driving ban hits the road, http://wapo.st/j4eipm

    Several women in Saudi Arabia defied the country’s ban on female drivers by taking to the country’s capital’s streets on Friday. One supporter said that some Saudi men even drove around in women’s clothes to confuse the police. In addition to driving, Saudi women cannot vote, and must get permission from a male guardian to work or travel.

    For Weiner’s Successor, Perhaps, Lame-Duck Status, http://nyti.ms/jtB6zD

    Weiner is out, but who’s in? Whoever wins the special election to replace Anthony Weiner in New York will likely see his or her new district eliminated in 2012, meaning the candidate will have to run against another incumbent for reelection.

    Al Qaeda-related statements, backpack found in suspicious vehicle stopped near Pentagon, http://nyp.st/k1gCIE

    The FBI, the Pentagon Police, and the US Park Police rushed to the Pentagon and nearby Arlington National Cemetery this morning to arrest a man due to alleged terrorist activity. The man, a naturalized US citizen from Ethiopia, is suspected of planting “suspicious devices” in the area. His car reportedly contained ammonium nitrate, notebooks with al Qaeda references, and 9mm shells.

    B.C. Premier promises to expose rioters to public gaze, http://bit.ly/jimhAW

    Canada’s two national stereotypes, politeness and hockey-obsession, clashed when the Vancouver Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals. Vancouver fans rioted violently in the streets, looting, turning over cars and setting fires. 100 people have already been arrested. Police have vowed to use photos and videos taken by spectators to track track down more.

    Rock the Vote: Idaho in Top Third for Young Voters, http://bit.ly/jKxVz3

    Rock the Vote ranks Idaho 18th in the Voting System Scorecard. The state does have same-day registration, but it also requires voters show a photo ID at the polls.

    Conservatives may be able to harness youth disillusionment in 2012, http://bit.ly/lHJ3xD

    With young people currently worried about their futures, unemployment, and student loan debt, Conservatives may be able to harness the youth vote.  In a recent poll, only 31% of respondents age 18-29 approve of how Obama has handled youth unemployment, while 44% of respondents do not approve.

    Memory Implant Gives Rats Sharper Recollection, http://nyti.ms/lyxzpG

    By testing a device that imitates the firing patterns of neurons, scientists have proven that cognitive function of the brain can be improved. The implant restored lost memory function and strengthened recall of new information. This discovery could lead to the development of devices for humans who suffer from dementia, stroke, or other brain injuries.

    CULTURAL:

    ‘Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2′ Trailer: 5 Key Scenes, http://bit.ly/lUpoKv

    ‘Green Lantern’ Opens To $3.35M Midnights, http://bit.ly/jgsR02

    Britney Spears Kicks Off ‘Flashiest’ Tour Yet, http://on.mtv.com/iGROuK

    Is J.K. Rowling Working On More Harry Potter? http://bit.ly/jBOl67

    Rick Ross Praises Tupac At 40th Celebration, Mike Epps Gives $10k, http://bit.ly/iPIHvB

    Katie Scholick
    Bio: Duke University, Class of 2013 Majoring in Psychology, Certificate in Markets and Management.

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