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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!

    -Maura

     

    CRUCIAL 

    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.

    CULTURAL

    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

    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, February 14th, 2013

    Thursday, February 14th, 2013

    American Airlines and US Airways announce an $11 billion merger; Oscar Pistorius is arrested after allegedly shooting his girlfriend; a Clinton donor says Hillary will run in 2016; the Carnival Triumph finally docks in Mobile, AL; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Republicans plan to block Chuck Hagel’s nomination; and Gen. John Allen may retire. Meanwhile, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, love letters between LBJ and Ladybird are released; a new report says the ‘The Bachelor’ is celibate; and celebrities and environmentalists are arrested protesting the Keystone pipeline.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    AMERICAN, US AIRWAYS ANNOUNCE $11 BILLION MERGER, http://rtvote.com/15feZsB
    US Airways and AMR, the owner of American Airlines, will take part in an $11 billion merger that will combine the two companies into the largest airline in the world. The company will keep the American Airlines name and be headed up US Airways CEO Doug Parker. In a statement Thursday Parker said, “The combined airline will have the scale, breadth, and capabilities to compete more effectively and profitably in the global marketplace.” 72% of ownership will go to AMR creditors with the rest going to US Airways shareholders.

    PISTORIUS ARRESTED AFTER WOMAN SHOT AT HIS HOME, http://rtvote.com/XOV525
    South African Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius was arrested Thursday after allegedly shooting his girlfriend in his home. Pistorius, who is a double-amputee, had reportedly mistaken Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder when he shot her with a 9 mm. The athlete, known as Blade Runner, will appear in court later today.

    Big donor claims Bill Clinton told him Hillary’s running for prez in 2016, http://rtvote.com/XOWvKf
    Angelo Tsakopoulos, a Greek-American real-estate mogul, said Thursday that Bill Clinton had revealed to him in a private conversation that Hillary would run for president in 2016. Tsakopoulos alleges a close relationship with the couple and has been one of the biggest donors to Clinton’s political campaigns.

    Passengers count hours on ‘floating petri dish’ of a cruise ship as it limps to port, http://rtvote.com/15fjrax
    The Carnival Triumph will dock in Mobile, AL today after an engine fire caused its systems to go down five days ago. The ship became a “floating petri dish” after electricity failure caused sanitary systems to go down and sewage to seep down the walls. Passengers were forced to defecate in bags and urinate in showers, as well as wait close to four hours for food. Carnival will refund passengers for the trip and compensate them an extra $500. The ship will no longer be in service moving forward.

    (via POLITICO Breaking News) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that Republicans are planning to block the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be secretary of Defense, and aides said Democrats don’t yet have the 60 votes to break a GOP filibuster on the nomination. That would leave the nomination in limbo as the Senate heads into a week-long recess.

    Source: Gen. Allen may retire, http://rtvote.com/15flgEq
    Rumors are circulating that Marine Gen. John Allen may retire as he feels he’s “being pushed out for a variety of reasons,” primarily the e-mail scandal between him and Tampa socialite Jill Kelley. Although Allen was cleared of wrongdoing in the situation that entwined him with General David Petraeus’ own scandal, he fears that it will taint his new post as NATO’s supreme allied commander in Brussels.

    5.8M women have used ‘morning after’ pill, http://rtvote.com/Ygstib
    The National Center for Health Statistics has conducted a survey of 12,279 women between 2006 and 2010 that shows 11% or 5.8 million American women ages 15 to 44 have used emergency contraception or “the morning after pill.” Half of the women used the pill because they feared their method of birth-control had failed, while the rest of the women surveyed had unprotected sex. 23% of women ages 20 to 24 said they had used the pill, while only 5% of women ages 30 to 44 fell into the same category.

    CULTURAL:

    LBJ AND LADY BIRD COURTSHIP LOVE LETTERS RELEASED, http://rtvote.com/15fk5Vw

    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West touch off security breach at JFK Airport, http://rtvote.com/15fkcAv

    ‘The Bachelor’ star Sean Lowe is celibate, report says, http://rtvote.com/XP49nC

    ‘Die Hard’ lives on in fifth installment released Valentine’s Day, http://rtvote.com/11IIuUE

    Celebs, enviros arrested at WH pipeline protest, http://rtvote.com/11IIyDO

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