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    News Round-Up: Friday, February 14, 2014

    Friday, February 14th, 2014

    Tens of thousands evacuate Indonesia after volcanic eruption; Facebook adds up to 10 gender pronoun choices; snow hits hard on the East Coast; and President Obama announces a $1 billion climate fund proposal. Meanwhile, the day you’ve been LONG waiting for has arrived—House of Cards Season 2 is on Netflix!; an Olympic skier saves some adorable puppies in Sochi; and in celebration of Valentine’s Day, we have a list of 21 awkward greeting cards that will make your sides hurt with laughter.

    Happy Valentine’s Day Rockers!




    D.C. Region Begins Digging Out After Major Snowstorm Finally Moves On, http://rtvote.com/MRS1m3 Grab your snow boots and watch out for the ice! Another snowstorm swept through the region yesterday, blanketing major parts of the East Coast. The wintry onslaught left at least 21 people dead, including a pregnant woman who was struck by a snowplow in New York City. On Wednesday and Thursday, the snowstorm moved up from the South and left 1.2 million utility customers without power. And, as for snow coverage, the Northeast region near Pennsylvania got more than 22 inches and parts of upstate New York got 27!

    Indonesia Volcano Erupts; 76,000 Evacuated, Most of Java’s Airport Shut, http://rtvote.com/1dsISL8
    The Mount Kelud volcano, located in the province of East Java in Indonesia, erupted Thursday night sending 10 miles of ash into the air. Over 76,000 people have now fled their homes and flights across most of Java, Indonesia’s densely populated island, were grounded. Mount Kelud is one of 130 active volcanoes in the world’s fourth most populous country, which sits along the “Ring of Fire” volcanic belt around the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

    Vladimir Putin Visits Team USA in Sochi, http://rtvote.com/1nyRPUd
    Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to the USA House, which is a meeting place for the athletes and their families. The visit had been kept low key, and visitors at the U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters were stunned when he appeared. Mr. Putin has been making his rounds sporadically at national organizing committee spotlights.

    Facebook Opens Up LBGTQ-Friendly Gender Identity And Pronoun Options, http://rtvote.com/1bRXkIm Facebook recently updated gender options for their users.  Aside from the usual “male” and “female” options, users can choose up to 10 different gender definitions to describe themselves out of more than 50 options.  Some of those options include, “cisgender”, “transgender”, and “intersex.” Not only will the gender choice show up on the user’s About page, but it will show up in all other pronouns on the site that refer to that user.

    Obama to propose $1 billion climate fund, http://rtvote.com/1kHD0Se
    In an effort to bring climate change to the forefront, President Obama is preparing to ask Congress to set up a $1 billion “Climate Resilience Fund” in his proposed budget next month. According to the White House, the fund would go to research on the projected impacts of climate change, help communities prepare for climate change’s effects, and fund “breakthrough technologies and resilient infrastructure.” On Friday, the President will travel to Fresno, California to discuss the impact of drought in the Western U.S. and to announce his climate fund proposal.


    Skier Gus Kenworthy Proves His Heart of Gold By Saving Puppies in Sochi, http://rtvote.com/MPtvlE

    The Coolest Teachers Ever Announce Snow Day With Hilarious Rap,http://rtvote.com/1btlluR

    21 Awkward Valentine’s Day Cards For Your Confusing Modern Relationship, http://rtvote.com/1c3KhHg

    Bethenny Frankel’s Daytime Talk Show Cancelled, Not Renewed for Second Season, http://rtvote.com/1dPCppi

    President Obama’s Twitter Account: No ‘House of Cards’ Spoilers,http://rtvote.com/1gAmTly

    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: Monday, June 24, 2013

    Monday, June 24th, 2013

    A Pakistani actress suffers an acid attack; Nelson Mandela is now in critical condition; Edward Snowden goes missing; Twinkies are set to make a comeback July 15; a transgender first-grader from Colorado wins a civil rights case allowing him to use the girls’ bathroom at school; Nik Wallenda successfully crosses the Grand Canyon on a tight rope; and the Texas House tentatively passes an abortion bill. Meanwhile, Earth, Wind and Fire are set to release a new album in September, and Monsters University tops the box office at $82 million.

    Maura + Alexis


    Pakistani actress burned in acid attack, http://aje.me/17v5zx2
    An 18-year-old Pakistani actress was attacked Saturday while sleeping in her home. The actress, who goes by the name Bushra, is popular in the northwest for her film, television, and theatre appearances. Bushra was immediately taken to Lady Reading Hospital after the incident. Bushra’s brother claims the man who threw the acid on his sister is a local TV drama producer who was upset over Bushra’s decision not to marry him.

    Nelson Mandela in Critical Condition, http://on.wsj.com/12bHNB6
    Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former leader and hero, is in critical condition after spending over two weeks in the hospital treating a lung infection. The 94-year-old transitioned from serious but stable to critical condition within the past 24 hours.

    Edward Snowden missing after failing to fly to Cuba, http://bit.ly/12Z4tXo
    Edward Snowden was expected to be on a flight from Moscow to Havana today, but was nowhere to be seen. Although the US has been trying to keep other nations from providing him asylum, everyone has the right to seek political asylum by UN rules.

    ‘Sweetest comeback’: Twinkies to hit shelves July 15, http://nbcnews.to/14RG9FX
    Hostess has decided to restock store shelves with the American favorite – Twinkies – July 15. Although the company went bankrupt last year as a result of a fight with its unionized workers, new owners have taken the reins and its sweets are set to be back on shelves by mid-July.

    Colorado transgender first-grader Coy Mathis wins civil rights case, http://bit.ly/16sJr1L
    The Colorado Civil Rights Division has ruled in favor of a 6-year-old transgender boy who was once barred from using the girls’ bathroom at school. Coy Mathis, born a boy, had been using the girls’ bathroom at school every day until holiday break. At that time, her parents received a notice from the school saying that Coy would not be able to return to using the girls’ bathroom following the holiday break. Her very supportive parents were furious, and filed a civil rights complaint in February. Finally, four months later, the Mathis family can rest at ease.

    Daredevil Nik Wallenda completes high-wire walk across Grand Canyon, http://reut.rs/15wUwwb
    U.S. daredevil Nik Wallenda completed his second historic high-wire walk yesterday over the Grand Canyon. He walked 1,400 feet over the Colorado River in 22 minutes and 54 seconds. He is the first person to ever cross teh canyon on a 2-inch steel cable with neither a tether nor a safety net. Last year Wallenda, a seventh-generation member of a family of acrobats, completed a similar high-wire walk over the Niagara Falls with the same cable.

    Texas House tentatively passes abortion bill, 97-33, http://bit.ly/17xlPNT
    With a vote of 97-33, the Texas House of Representatives tentatively passed the Senate’s catch-all abortion bill. While some cheered as the legislation was passed, others shouted “Shame” claiming the war on women had begun. Of the 19 not present for the vote, 18 of them were Democrats, which could have had a large impact on the vote.


    Earth, Wind & Fire Album, ‘Now, Then & Forever,’ Set For Sept. 10, http://huff.to/144SMfH

    Adrian Grenier, ‘How To Make Money Selling Drugs’ Producer, On Obama: ‘I’d Like To See Him Be A Little Bolder’, http://huff.to/19ku4xB

    ‘Mad Men’ Finale: Shocking Revelations And Oh My, That Dress!, http://huff.to/19vFpqZ

    Elton John’s ‘The Diving Board’ Album To Arrive In September, http://huff.to/10NGpGR

    ‘MONSTERS UNIVERSITY’: Pixar stays perfect as ‘Monsters’ prequel ($82M) tops box office, http://wapo.st/14rd5D7

    Bio: My name is Alexis Macdermott and I will be starting my third year at Duke University this fall. I am currently pursuing a major in psychology and a minor in economics. I am a native of Southwest Florida and am an avid runner and film enthusiast. I look forward to joining the Marketing and Communications team for the summer here at RTV!

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