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    News Round-Up: Monday, April 14th, 2014

    Monday, April 14th, 2014

    The man responsible for yesterday’s shooting in Kansas has been arrested; a Utah mom has been arrested after authorities found seven dead babies in her garage; a bus blast in Nigeria kills over 70 people; and President Obama gives his opinion on voter ID laws. Meanwhile, Leonardo DiCaprio busts a move at Coachella; the top 5 moments from the MTV Movie Awards have been selected; and a college student’s mispronunciation costs him big time!

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Police arrest ‘raging anti-Semite’ in Kansas Jewish center shootings: http://rtvote.com/Rikm7U
    Three people were shot and killed yesterday at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement community in Kansas. The shooter, Frazier Glenn Miller (or Frazier Glenn Cross) is in custody. Miller is a life-long anti-Semitist and both the founder and former leader of the Ku Klux Klan party called the Carolina Knights and the White Patriot Party. He also had an online presence and advocated for the killing of Jews. The 73-year-old perpetrator is being charged with premeditated first degree murder. The victims were an elderly woman at the retirement community and a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather. The boy, Reat Griffin Underwood, was going to the community center to audition for a singing competition. His grandfather, Dr. William Lewis Corporon, was driving him there.

    7 dead babies found in Utah mom’s garage: http://rtvote.com/1eqe14n
    The estranged husband of 39-year-old Megan Huntsman was cleaning out his garage when he found the remains of a baby. The police investigated and found the remains of six more, deposited in cardboard boxes. The children had been born between 1996 and 2006. However, no one knew Huntsman was pregnant, despite living with three daughters. The husband also appeared to not know anything about the killings and is not a person of interest. Neighbors never suspected anything, allowing Huntsman to babysit their children and describing her and her family as an average family. One neighbor said “We enjoyed having them as a neighbor. This has just blown us away.” Huntsman is being charged with six counts of murder.

    Nigeria violence: More than 70 killed in Abuja bus blast: http://rtvote.com/1iNlIgW
    A massive explosion occurred at a bus station on the outskirts of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, as passengers began to board busses and taxis to get to their jobs in the city. Authorities believe that the attack was carried out by the Boko Haram Islamist militant group. It has staged attacks in Abuja before, but most of its attacks have been in the northeastern part of the country, where poverty is rampant. The Abuja Emergency Relief Agency has confirmed that 71 people are dead and 124 are injured. More than 30 vehicles were destroyed and a 4-foot crater was left in the ground. The bomb is suspected to have been located in a vehicle. The police are on “red alert” and are increasing surveillance at possible targets. Boko Haram has not yet claimed responsibility for the attack; if they do, the Nigerian government worries that it means that the militants are expanding their areas of operation.

    Obama says voter rights threatened from ID laws: http://rtvote.com/1gwdxIQ
    On Friday, President Obama addressed voting rights in a speech to a rights group founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton called the National Action Network. The president said that the right to vote is threatened by increased legislation making it difficult for people to vote, particularly through the voter ID requirement states are passing. The Justice Department has sued both Texas and North Carolina for their voter ID laws, saying that they are discriminatory towards people who don’t have ID’s, particularly minorities. The increase in voting laws are a direct consequence of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Currently, a bipartisan measure is being passed through the House and Senate that would require states who want to change their voting laws to have their new laws approved by the federal government.

    CULTURAL

    Celeb Coachella sightings! http://rtvote.com/1iND11p

    Watch Leonardo DiCaprio bust a move at Coachella: http://rtvote.com/1hO29nI

    The biggest televised epic fail ever…Wheel of Fortune-style: http://rtvote.com/1iOkFyH

    The top 5 moments from the MTV Movie Awards: http://rtvote.com/1t0OxP8

    The Red Carpet arrivals from the MTV Movie Awards: http://rtvote.com/P0zRPK

    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, March 28, 2014

    Friday, March 28th, 2014

    A new CDC study underscores major increases in cases of Autism; appeals court upholds challenged parts of major TX abortion law; Microsoft releases Office products for iPad…finally; and voting rights activists are noticing some positive changes in 2014. Meanwhile, Selena Gomez is allegedly served legal papers in regards to Bieber’s recent troubles; The Colbert Report is under fire on Twitter with a #CancelColbert hashtag; and James Van Der Beek admits to doing something illegal for Justin Timberlake.

    Shameless Plug Alert: Congratulations to the Dayton Flyers (my alma mater) on making it to the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament! First time in 30 years. Way to go Flyers!

    -Maura 

    CRUCIAL 

    Autism rates soar, now affects 1 in 68 children, http://rtvote.com/1myqmpv
    Between 2008 and 2010, Autism rates have climbed nearly 30 percent and have more than doubles since the turn of the century according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s new study. The study also points out that Autism is now believed to affect 1 of every 68 eight-year-olds—a dramatic increase. What is driving this increase still remains unknown. Some believe it’s a rise in awareness of the disease while other speculate on environmental reasons.

    Appeals court upholds challenged parts of Texas abortion law, http://rtvote.com/1gJFJtd
    On Thursday, a federal appeals court upheld parts of a Texas abortion law which requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital less than 30 miles away. Planned Parenthood, which led the lawsuit against the bill, claims the law will cause clinics to shut down because hospitals would refuse doctors admitting privileges. This particular legislation, House Bill No.2, first garnered national attention when Senator Wendy Davis (now gubernatorial candidate), led a 13 hour filibuster to try and prevent the bill’s passage. The ruling of this appeal is considered a victory for anti-abortion activists.

    Obama looks to win back Saudi confidence, http://rtvote.com/1pBw6vO
    Continuing on with his diplomatic duties, President Obama is visiting Saudi Arabia to reassure Arab allies that despite troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan and greater energy independence, the United States is not abandoning the Arab world. On his overnight trip there are only two items on his public schedule: a meeting and dinner with King Abdullah at his desert camp.

    Microsoft to Offer Office for iPad, Maybe a Bit Late, http://rtvote.com/QnF8CJ
    It’s finally here! Microsoft introduced the long-awaited suite of applications to the iPad which includes Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. The company’s new chief executive, Satya Nadella, announced a commitment to make the software work on all major computing devices, including those made by its competitors. Microsoft’s decision to bring Office to the Apple device comes after years of development and debate inside the company over implications that could occur against their own technology developments.

    VOTING RIGHTS

    Voting Rights Fight Takes New Direction, http://rtvote.com/P1u5hq
    The primary election season is just around the corner, and voting rights activists are identifying some notable changes in relation to laws and restrictions around voting.  Although there have been a flurry of new rules, like the party-line vote for the elimination of a week of early voting in Ohio last month, some activists are noticing fewer restrictions and even some bipartisanship progress. Myrna Perez of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University remarked that there has been “a lot of real momentum in 2014, thus far, towards improving our elections both at the states and nationally.” On that note, don’t forget to register to vote ! 

    CULTURAL

    Selena Gomez Served With Legal Papers, http://rtvote.com/1rKLNVD

    The Colbert Report Tweets Racist Joke, Twitter Users Rally to #CancelColbert, http://rtvote.com/1jYCXy1

    Beyoncé Breaks Down in Tears During Final Carter Show Concert: “I’m Giving Y’all an Ugly Cry!”, http://rtvote.com/1maROGX

    Lady Gaga Celebrates 28th Birthday With Macabre “27 Club” Joke, http://rtvote.com/1pijgVc

    James Van Der Beek Let Underage Justin Timberlake Use His ID in the 90’s, http://rtvote.com/1fsBKfb

    Seth Meyers: 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me, http://rtvote.com/P1jwLm

    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 20, 2014

    Thursday, February 20th, 2014

    Ukrainian protest deaths climb to 100; DC to push voting rights for congressional representatives; and the death penalty could be the end result for a child kidnapper and murderer. Meanwhile, Leonardo DiCaprio talks about marriage; celebrities duke it out by playing charades; and Lorde talks about her fashion icons.

    - Veronica + Maura


    CRUCIAL

    Truce crumbles amid gunfire in Ukraine; protesters claim 100 dead: http://rtvote.com/1glfTaw
    The truce reached between Ukrainian protesters and their government has fallen apart after another 100 protesters were killed on Thursday. Another 500 were injured. The government has not released its casualty figures, but reports state that 25 police officers have been injured. A doctor who had volunteered to help the wounded protesters believes that the government has been using snipers to target protesters. Ukrainian athletes at the Sochi Olympics wore black bands and held a moment of silence to mourn the fallen.

    DC to push voting rights support in New Hampshire: http://rtvote.com/1eaLppd
    Washington DC councilmember David Catania will travel to New Hampshire to plead his case before a committee from the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Catania plans to get New Hampshire congressmen and women to support voting rights for DC congressional representatives. This would give full congressional representation to the district. The executive director of DC Vote will also testify.

    Homeland Security alerts airlines to possible shoe-bomb threat: http://rtvote.com/MeFqsA
    Homeland Security officials believe that there is a credible threat to passenger jet attacks through use of shoe-bombs. Airlines will now pay even closer attention to shoes of passengers, including “explosive trace detection swabs” to check for explosive material, particularly on flights headed to the United States. Although there is no specific attack planned, nor are the threats particular to any country or airline, Homeland Security believes that there is enough of a threat that travelers should be warned of extra screenings.

    Suspect in killing of MO girl could face death penalty: http://rtvote.com/1oWnpPp
    45-year-old middle school employee Craig Michael Wood has been accused with kidnapping, armed criminal action, and murdering 10-year-old Hailey Owens. Wood was tracked by the help of witnesses and brought to police for questioning. After obtaining a search warrant, authorities found Owens’s body at Wood’s home. Wood may face the death penalty at his trial.

    2 Americans found dead on “Captain Phillips” ship: http://rtvote.com/OeDIt4
    American security officers Mark Kennedy and Jeffrey Reynolds have been found dead on the Maersk Alabama container ship. Both men worked for a Virginia-based security firm. The cause of death for both men is unknown at this time, and a police investigation is ongoing. The Maersk Alabama gained notoriety after being targeted by Somali pirates in 2009; the movie Captain Phillips is named after it.

    CULTURAL 

    That 70s Show star is a dad! http://rtvote.com/OeFMBj

    Celebrity charades showdown on The Tonight Show: http://rtvote.com/1fCrws9

    It’s here! See the Bonnaroo 2014 music festival lineup: http://rtvote.com/1gloSsm

    Leonardo DiCaprio talks marriage: http://rtvote.com/1glpmOZ

    Who are Lorde’s fashion icons? http://rtvote.com/1mehym2

    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, January 22, 2014

    Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

    The biggest snowstorm of the winter season covers the Northeast; two shootings occur on two college campuses; countries receive Olympic terror threats; and President Obama’s Commission on Election Administration releases a report offering solutions to shorten voter lines & modernize the registration process. Meanwhile, TV is taking over the entertainment headlines today as a Seattle Seahawks player goes on a postgame rant and The Bachelor’s ratings remain steady regardless of Juan Pablo’s controversial remarks.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Northeast buried under heavy snow: http://rtvote.com/1msuR0A
    The heaviest snowfall of the season pummeled the Northeastern United States and was accompanied by plunging temperatures. Cities like Philadelphia, Washington, and New York will see temperatures in the single digits and have wind chill numbers in the negatives. Meanwhile, states like New Jersey, Delaware, and New York are declaring states of emergency based on weather conditions. Thousands of flights have been canceled as travelers try to change their travel plans. The kicker? It’s currently warmer in Alaska!

    Two universities rocked by shootings: http://rtvote.com/1ezw7gN
    Two colleges were affected by shootings this weekend. At Purdue University, a student shot and killed another student before surrendering to police on Tuesday. The shooter has been identified as 23-year-old Cody Cousins. The victim, 21-year-old Andrew Boldt, was a teaching assistant at the school. This shooting followed up reports of another school shooting at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania (a city outside of Philadelphia) where the victim is in critical condition, and the shooter is still at large.

    Countries receive terrorist threats for Olympics: http://rtvote.com/1hLAaYS
    Hungary is the latest country to receive terroristic threats towards their Olympic athletes. The message, formatted as an email, is threatening the Hungarian athletes with violence if they attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia next month. The nation’s security forces have been informed, as have Sochi organizers. However, officials believe that the message is random and contains no threat, something that is common before every Olympics.

    N.Y. 8-year-old saved 6 in fire, died trying to save 7th: http://rtvote.com/1ins77l
    An 8-year-old boy saved six of his family members after the trailer they were sleeping in caught on fire. The boy, identified as 8-year-old Tyler Doohan, then ran back into the home to rescue a disabled relative. The two of them were found dead in a back bedroom, and a third relative was found in a front room. Doohan warned his family about the fire and died trying to help everyone else escape.

    Cuccinelli: Chris Christie should step down from RGA post: http://rtvote.com/1in6vrP
    Virginia Republican Ken Cuccinelli said Tuesday that New Jersey governor Chris Christie should step down from chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Cuccinelli believes that the investigations and scandals surrounding Christie are preventing the Republican Party from focusing on their election year goals. The scandals include the now-infamous “Bridgegate” incident and the latest from Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who claims Christie’s administration threatened to not provide Hurricane Sandy relief money to Hoboken unless she agreed to a real estate deal.

    Presidential Commission Offers Ways to Shorten Voting Lines: http://rtvote.com/19NYHMK
    After long lines continued at the polls during the 2012 election, President Obama announced the launch of a bi-partsian panel of election and management experts following his State of the Union speech last year. The Presidential Commission on Election Administration released their report & findings to President Obama and Vice President Biden today with recommendations on how to shorten voting lines and modernize the voter registration system. Rock the Vote is proud to announce their support of the Commission’s recommendations & their role in providing testimony and technology highlighted in the report. This is a big win for American voters!

    CULTURAL

    Seattle Seahawks corner Richard Sherman loses his cool in a pre-Super Bowl interview: http://rtvote.com/1kXQb2q

    Juan Pablo Galavis’s remarks don’t dent The Bachelor‘s ratings: http://rtvote.com/1kXQDh6

    Murder, She Wrote reboot scrapped by NBC: http://rtvote.com/19NNCeB

    Jersey Shore‘s former cast member Jenni “JWoww” Farley is having a girl: http://rtvote.com/1msKDIW

    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, January 17, 2014

    Friday, January 17th, 2014

    President Obama addresses the nation on NSA spying programs; the $1.1T spending bill will head to the White House; and a harsh Pennsylvania voter ID law is struck down by a state court judge. Meanwhile, FLOTUS turns 50 and fabulous!; Kim K flashes new photos of baby North; and the 2014 Sundance Film Festival commences.

    - Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Obama calls for significant changes in collection of phone records of U.S. citizens, http://rtvote.com/1adj0Ug 
    Addressing the nation Friday morning from the Department of Justice, President Obama called for new reforms to NSA spying programs on U.S. citizens. After a six-month controversy, the president has ordered significant changes to the way the NSA collects & uses telephone records of U.S. citizens. He also advocated to end eavesdropping on many foreign leaders and allies of our country in order to rebuild their trust in the U.S. intelligence community.

    With Senate’s OK, $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill Heads to Obama,http://rtvote.com/1hywNEt
    The massive $1.1 trillion spending bill will now head to President Obama’s desk for a signature. The bill will prevent any gaps in government funding and provide a less harsh effect on automatic spending cuts. The Senate voted 72-26 to pass the spending legislation and reduce the likelihood of a government shutdown, at least for the upcoming election season.

    Putin: Gay people will be safe at Olympics if they ‘leave kids alone’http://rtvote.com/KnCoRK
    During a question and answer session Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, offered a statement that was apparently meant to be a reassuring answer for visitors to the Games. After being asked about Russia’s attitude toward gays, a controversial subject surround the upcoming events, Putin said that “one can feel calm and at ease. Just leave the kids alone.” Unfortunately Mr. Putin, I don’t think that’s the reassuring answer that most people were hoping for…

    Members of Congress Introduce New Fix For Voting Rights Act,http://rtvote.com/1m9ngUq
    Last summer the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, when they released their ruling to the Shelby County v. Holder case. This ruling made it much easier for states with a history of discriminatory voting laws to enact new restrictive laws without federal supervision. Yesterday, the first bi-partisan solution was offered when legislation was introduced to help strengthen the Voting Rights Act.

    Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Struck Down, http://rtvote.com/19zLsPB
    Judge Bernard L. McGinley, a state court judge, struck down a controversial voter ID law in Pennsylvania Friday morning. After a twelve-day trial last summer debating the law, Judge McGinley ruled that the law placed an unreasonable burden on people trying to exercise their fundamental right to vote. 

    CULTURAL

    Kim Kardashian Shares New Pics of Baby North West, Talks Summer Wedding With Kanye West, http://rtvote.com/1avSIqX

    Michelle Obama Proudly Shows Off Her AARP Card on 50th Birthday,http://rtvote.com/1fFFqzJ

    Drake, Nina Dobrev, and More Degrassi Alums: Where are they now?,http://rtvote.com/1adbmcs

    Melissa McCarthy Returning to Host Saturday Night Live on February 1,http://rtvote.com/1jbj4GI

    Sundance 2014: Miles Teller Talks Divergent, Getting Naked in That Awkward Moment and His Rock Band Past, http://rtvote.com/KnzLzi

    Michelle Obama Turns 50! Let’s Look Back at FLOTUS’ Best Fashions So Far, http://rtvote.com/1jbjKvL

    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