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    News Round-Up: Thursday, April 24, 2014

    Thursday, April 24th, 2014

    Almost 1,600 veterans are forced to wait for care from a doctor; a new Georgia law allows guns in school districts, bars; and lawmakers threaten to pull funding from public universities. Meanwhile, Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis welcome their new son; a teen with terminal cancer raises over $1,000,000 for charity; and a runway model criticizes thin-shaming.

    -Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    A fatal wait: Veterans languish and die on a VA hospital’s secret list: http://rtvote.com/ROzEle
    Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix, Arizona created a scheme to hide the fact that between 1,400 and 1,600 sick veterans had no choice but to wait for months for doctoral care. At least 40 of those veterans suffered and died because they could not get care. What’s worse? The management at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix knew about and defended the waiting list. A former doctor at the hospital said there were two lists the hospital used: one that was shown to Washington that proves that people were getting care (the “sham” list) and the other that showed how veterans had to wait for up to a year: the “real” list. The hospital also did not preserve records and could make it seem as though a person never came in for an appointment. After the allegations came to a head, Congress has ordered all records to be preserved.

    Georgia law allows guns in some schools, bars, churches: http://rtvote.com/1k9l9lb
    Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill Wednesday that would allow guns to be carried into previously gun-free zones: like bars, churches, school zones, airports, and government buildings. The Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014 (or the “guns everywhere bill” as dubbed by opponents) was lobbied for by GeorgiaCarry, a pro-gun rights organization and will go into effect on July 1st of this year. 5% of Georgia’s population has passed background checks necessary to own a gun, and Deal says that this legislation “gives added protection to those who have played by the rules.” Some people, like members of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, refuse to allow guns in their sanctuary. Others regard the law as ridiculous because the state has refused to expand healthcare and accept Obamacare but allows its citizens to own guns. However, the Safe Carry Protection Act has garnered wide support from members of the NRA and other supporters of the right to carry.

    Lawmakers pressure universities with threat to pull funds: http://rtvote.com/1f7AGTC
    States are threatening to pull funding from universities based on the information they teach, the things professors say, and the organizations partnered with the schools. For example, in South Carolina, funding is threatened at two different universities because students were asked to read a book discussing homosexuality. In Kansas, lawmakers threatened to “withhold appropriations” after a professor tweeted anti-NRA rhetoric. Some states have also banned universities from sending money to organizations that support things like unionization and boycotts that the state did not support. Colleges and lawmakers are trying to work together to find common ground.

    Ukraine tense as Russia launches military drills, activists die in clashes: http://rtvote.com/ROW3yJ
    After Russian forces practiced military drills near the Russian-Ukraine border, Ukrainian officials claim that they killed five pro-Russian militant activists. The deaths occurred as the Ukrainian military attempted to remove barricades from around Slavyansk, a Ukrainian city occupied by pro-Russian activists. Russian Vladimir Putin was quick to respond, saying: “If the Kiev regime has started to use the army against the population inside the country, it, beyond any doubt, is a very serious crime.” He also threatened “consequences” to the Ukrainians. Foreign nations, like the United States and countries represented in NATO, have expressed worry at the 40,000 Russian troops that have gathered at the border and have asked Russian forces to back down.

    CULTURAL

    Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis welcome baby Otis! http://rtvote.com/1k9D1MJ

    The Bachelorette contestant Eric Hill tragically dies in freak accident: http://rtvote.com/1gUsLnK

    Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, loses her brother in accident: http://rtvote.com/1hq099r

    Jodie Foster is married! Congrats! http://rtvote.com/1nscIF1

    Terminally ill teen raises over $1,000,000 for charity: http://rtvote.com/1ptSRXQ

    Runway model: “If you can feel beautiful for being big, I can feel beautiful about being small”: http://rtvote.com/1lJpkbh

    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: Monday, April 21, 2014

    Monday, April 21st, 2014

    Repercussions for the captain and crew of the sunken Sewol ferry continue; a massive drone strike allegedly takes out 30 al Qaeda militants in Yemen; and a teen survives a flight to Hawaii in an airplane’s wheel well. Meanwhile, the White House responds to the petition to deport Justin Bieber; Lindsay Lohan reveals shocking news; and the White House Easter Egg Roll is under way!

    -Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Breaking News: Boston Marathon Updates: Kenyan Rita Jeptoo is the Women’s Champion; American Meb Keflezighi is the Men’s Champion.

    South Korean President: Actions of sunken ferry captain ‘akin to murder’: http://rtvote.com/1lvRxSM
    President Park Geun-hye of South Korea, said that some of the actions of the captain and crew of the sinking ferry Sewol to murder. Four arrests of crew members have already been made, although the captain of the ship, Lee Joon-seok, is defending his actions. He delayed the order to evacuate because he felt that people would drift too far away from the wreck to be rescued and might perish due to the frigid water temperature. Lee is being charged with the following: “abandoning his boat, negligence, causing bodily injury, not seeking rescue form other ships, and violating ‘seaman’s law’”. The death toll has climbed to 87, and 215 others are still missing. Most of the passengers were students and staff from a nearby high school on a field trip; they make up a majority of the dead and missing.

    Source: ‘Massive and unprecedented’ attack targets al Qaeda in Yemen: http://rtvote.com/1mrZQvX
    At least 30 members of the highly dangerous al-Qaeda sect in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, have been killed in drone strikes in Yemen. A few of the dead are believed to be high-value targets and “foreign nationals”. The massive strikes that began on Saturday are a direct response to the video of the unnerving AQAP gathering in Yemen that surfaced last week. An official has said that the drone strikes were part of a joint operation between the United States and the Yemeni government. DNA analysis of the dead will confirm their identities, which will then help the Yemeni government determine if any of the dead are civilians or if the strikes managed to kill a top AQAP official.

    ‘Incredible’ – teen apparently survives flight to Hawaii in landing gear: http://rtvote.com/1jqYDkp
    A 16-year-old boy hopped a fence at the Mineta San Jose International Airport and stowed away in a Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767 landing gear chamber. The FBI has been called in to investigate the seemingly unbelievable story. The boy, who had no form of identification on him, allegedly survived a 5 hour flight in the cramped compartment at a 38,000 foot altitude with limited oxygen and temperatures reaching -80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the story has not just created awe. People are now seeing that there could be major security breaches at airports. Although footage of the boy was caught on a security camera, he still managed to get past all security personnel. There was also risk for the people on board: the wheel well is filled with cables and wires and other technology, and the stowaway could have easily damaged something inside the plane, putting those aboard the flight at risk.

    Biden in Ukraine to show support as tensions rise: http://rtvote.com/PnthmK
    On Monday, Vice President Joe Biden began a visit to Ukraine to show the United State’s continued support of Ukrainian independence. He will meet with the government leaders that took over after pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was removed from office in February. Biden plans to announce new technological and economic reforms that could be implemented in the country. He will also discuss other means of United States support.

    CULTURAL

    Lindsay Lohan reveals shocking news: http://rtvote.com/1rfwOja

    The petition calling for Justin Bieber’s deportation gets a response: http://rtvote.com/1r9f0Ix

    Country singer Kevin Sharp passes away at 43: http://rtvote.com/1rfAJN6

    Mindy Kaling and Kate Middleton have similar tastes! http://rtvote.com/1gNAIuI

    Get the scoop on the 2014 White House Easter Egg Roll: http://rtvote.com/1msgDiw

    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, APRIL 18th, 2014

    Friday, April 18th, 2014

    In today’s news, prosecutors seek justice against captain of capsized South Korean ferry; the White House announces 8 million healthcare registrations; a Mount Everest avalanche kills 12; and Chelsea Clinton officially announces that she is expecting her first child. Meanwhile, Lindsay Lohan opens up on Watch What Happens Live; Victoria Beckham posts a cozy 40th birthday photo with her hubby; and Idris Elba welcomes a baby boy.

    - Austin + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Chelsea Clinton Announces Child on the Way http://rtvote.com/1f2a4xQ
    Yup, it’s true! Chelsea Clinton, only daughter to former President Bill Clinton and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, is expecting a child with husband Marc Mazvinsky. She said “I certainly feel all the better, whether it’s a girl or a boy, that she or he will grow up in a world full of so many strong female leaders.” Both Bill and Hillary Clinton expressed their excitement via twitter.

    Prosecutors Seek Arrest for Captain of Capsized Ferry http://rtvote.com/1jd91xk
    After a South Korean ferry transporting high school students capsized on Tuesday, prosecutors are seeking criminal charges against Captain Lee Jun-seok. Jun-seok has been accused of abandoning the ship prematurely. In what is fast becoming one of South Korea’s worst tragedies in decades, 28 deaths were confirmed and 268 were unaccounted for as of Friday, April 18th.

    Obama Announces 8M Enrollments Through Health Exchange http://rtvote.com/1f2aHaL
    The Obama administration is now claiming the open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act a success. In a press conference yesterday, President Obama announced that more than 8 million people have registered for health insurance through the exchange. Of those, 35% are in the critical 18-35 age group needed for the law’s success. Republican leaders responded to yesterday’s announcement by challenging the President to release numbers of the newly insured (the report includes individuals who were previously insured and switched policies through the exchange).

    12 Killed in Mt. Everest Avalanche http://rtvote.com/1jd9saX
    An unexpected avalanche early Friday morning killed at least 12 Nepalese guides and left 3 missing. The guides were stationed at “Camp 2,” located at 17,380 feet, and had left early in the morning to fasten ropes for hundreds of climbers. Agence France-Presse is calling it one of the deadliest avalanches to strike the mountain in recent history.

    Deal Reached to Ease Tension in Ukraine http://rtvote.com/1lfRV3b
    After weeks of tension, Eastern Ukraine is moving to scale down tensions in the region. The Geneva agreement, the result of a six-hour meeting between officials from Ukraine, the U.S., the European Union, and Russia, calls for illegal armed groups to disarm themselves and vacate occupied buildings in Eastern Ukraine. The agreement, however, is noteworthy for what it does not include. The agreement fails to require Russia to remove its troops from the region and does not address the recent Russian annexation of Crimea, which many in the West have yet to acknowledge as legitimate.

    CULTURAL

    Victoria Beckham Gets Cozy With Shirtless David Beckham on Her 40th Birthday, http://rtvote.com/RuW4rl

    Lindsay Lohan Defends Her Mom Dina, Explains Coachella Partying and More on Watch What Happens Live, http://rtvote.com/1hThvfJ

    Casting the Magic Mike Sequel: Ryan Gosling, Zac Efron, Taye Diggs and More!, http://rtvote.com/1lgd8Ks

    Idris Elba Welcomes Baby Winston, http://rtvote.com/RuWFtl

    austin@rockthevote.com
    Bio:
    @austin_estes
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

    Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

    UConn wins a victory in the NCAA Tourney; Russia threatens civil war; and a recent study revealed a gender gap in wages at the White House. Meanwhile, Simon Cowell is not proud of his extramarital affair; Blake Shelton dissed Brittany Spears; and Erin Andrews responds to rumors of “diva” behavior.

    -Gianna & Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Shabazz Napier, UConn too much for Kentucky, seize national title: http://rtvote.com/1ipKJOX
    Last night, UConn took home an NCAA win. Senior guard Shabazz Napier’s performance of 22 points, six rebounds, and three assists, ultimately led the UConn Huskies to a 60-54 victory over the University of Kentucky. One key aspect of the 6 point victory was Kentucky’s 11 missed free throws. When UConn’s coach, Kevin Ollie, was asked about his team’s victory he said: “Somebody told me we were Cinderellas, and I was like, no, we’re UConn, This is what we do.”

    As Obama Spotlights Gender Gap in Wages, His Own Payroll Draws Scrutiny: http://rtvote.com/PMe1Rd
    Today, President Obama will call attention to the fact that women make on average only 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns. However, a recent January study has shown that women in the White House only fare slightly better, making 88 cents for every dollar that a man earns. As midterm elections are swiftly approaching, this study reveals yet another political sensitivity to a complicated set of gender related issues and gender related policy.

    Russia warns of civil war if Ukraine uses force to quell eastern revolts: http://rtvote.com/1g2x5Ew
    On Tuesday, as Kiev seeks to regain control after pro-Moscow uprisings in three cities, Russia warned that any use of force in Ukraine’s eastern region could lead to civil war.The Russian government released a statement on their website saying: “We are calling for the immediate cessation of any military preparations, which could lead to civil war.”As this situation progresses, US Navy warship, USS Donald Cook, is due to enter the Black Sea no later than Thursday to demonstrate support for Eastern European allies.

    Katie Couric: LBJ’s Daughters On Civil Rights Act At 50: http://rtvote.com/1eoFcan
    In a recent interview with Katie Couric, former President Lyndon B. Johnson’s daughters, Luci Baines Johnson and Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, discussed the Civil Rights Act in light of the Civil Rights summit to be held at their father’s library this week, which will include civil rights leaders and four living U.S. Presidents. The duo also discussed gay rights and marriage equality as being the civil rights issue of today.

    CULTURAL

    “Simon Cowell “Not Proud” of Lauren Silverman Extramarital Affair”: http://rtvote.com/1lNXERw

    “Blake Shelton Disses Britney Spears at the ACM Awards”: http://rtvote.com/1mZr38L

    “Erin Andrews Responds to Rumors of “Diva” Behavior on Dancing With the Stars”: http://rtvote.com/1kH3JLC

    “16 Things Drake Looked Like When Kentucky Lost The National Championship”: http://rtvote.com/PMBamm

    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: Monday, April 7, 2014

    Monday, April 7th, 2014

    The latest lead for missing flight might be the most credible one yet; more major Ukrainian cities fall to Russian protesters; the Ebola virus in Africa has some concern for a worldwide outbreak; and diseases previously eradicated in the United States are making a deadly comeback. Meanwhile, legendary actor Mickey Rooney dies at age 93; the royal family lands “down under”; and Hillary Clinton’s photo with Pussy Riot dominates the web.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Malaysia Flight 370: New signal sounds ‘just like’ one from a plane’s beacon: http://rtvote.com/1hTMVls
    The Ocean Shield, an Australian naval vessel containing a United States pinger locator, found signals in the Indian Ocean that appear to be from an airplane on Sunday. The signals are ones specially designed to be picked up by recorders and are not natural sounds. They were located in a part of the Indian Ocean that’s 14,800 feet deep. Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said that investigators also have a “visual locator on a screen” as well as the sound data. However, he says searching in deep marine waters could take days, but that “we are encouraged that we are very close to where we need to be.” As of Monday, the search for Flight 370 has lasted 31 days.

    Russia trying to ‘dismember’ Ukraine through protests, Kiev says: http://rtvote.com/1jnRfcq
    Pro-Russian protesters have broken into and seized several important government buildings in Ukrainian cities this weekend, prompting Kiev to accuse Russia of attempting to ‘dismember’ Ukraine and replicate its actions in Crimea. Police said that some of the protesters had seized weapons while invading the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. The Donetsk People’s Republic, a new self-proclaimed legislative branch, said it would vote May 11th to join Russia. Current Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said that Russia was starting a “second wave of a special operation against Ukraine intended to overthrow the Kiev government.” Moscow has yet to offer its opinion or rebuttal.

    Anti-vaccine movement is giving diseases a 2nd life: http://rtvote.com/1lFPpoa
    As vaccination rates drop in the United States, diseases once deemed eradicated by the United States government-like whooping cough and measles-are now making a comeback. Measles outbreaks have recently been reported in New York, California, and Texas. Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world and has a reputation for being a ruthless killer. Although vaccination rates hold at 90%, some states-like Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Oregon, and Vermont-have noted that almost 5% of kindergartners have gone completely unvaccinated. The anti-vaccine movement has gained popularity as some celebrities have publicly denounced vaccinating their children. Some people still believe the now-debunked idea that vaccines cause autism, while others feel as though the government and pharmaceutical companies are not “trustworthy.”

    As Ebola spreads in Africa, how worried should West be? http://rtvote.com/1gDy9L1
    The Ebola virus, a deadly, easily contracted virus resulting in widespread outbreaks, has begun to spread throughout Africa. Ebola is almost always fatal, killing about 90% of people infected, and there are no vaccines or treatments. This current outbreak of the virus began in Guinea’s rainforests, moved to its capital city, and has now crossed over into Liberia. Workers in the area, however, have been able to answer definitely that, due to the extreme close contact needed to contract the disease, the likelihood of a worldwide epidemic is slim-to-none. Most people infected are health workers caring for the sick. Ebola is spread through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids like blood, sweat, or saliva, and can incubate in people for up to 21 days before symptoms are revealed.

    Bus hits student near High Point High School: http://rtvote.com/1h8nX1R
    A bus drifted across a road, hit an 8-year-old boy, and landed in a ditch. The boy was waiting for the bus to come when he was hit. Witnesses reacted quickly and were able to pull the boy out from underneath the bus. For an unknown reason, the bus driver left the bus with nine children on board and apparently did not set the emergency brake. He stayed at the scene of the accident as investigators attempted to determine the reason he left the bus, and is expected to face reckless endangerment charges. Five of the 9 students on the bus, along with the boy who was hit, were transported to the hospital. All children are in stable condition and will recover fully.

    CULTURAL

    Acting legend Mickey Rooney dies at 93: http://rtvote.com/1ikFbFq

    Hillary Clinton’s picture with Pussy Riot takes over the web: http://rtvote.com/OrXosE

    The Royals rock New Zealand and Australia: http://rtvote.com/1kjvv56

    The ACM’s were last night: see the arrival pictures! http://rtvote.com/PG7NlG

    Game of Thrones Season 4 premiere crashed HBO’s online stream: http://rtvote.com/QXynrC

    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