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    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: Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

    Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

    Uganda’s Anti-Gay christian mafia has American ties; a Virginia Senator called pregnant women “hosts” to unborn children; and Governor Bobby Jindal was rather rude at a recent White House Press Conference. Meanwhile, Paula Patton and Robin Thicke are separating; Lena Dunham will host SNL for the first time; and Ellen Pompeo killed her Charlie Sheen impression.

    -Gianna & Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Hillary, ‘The Family,’ and Uganda’s Anti-Gay Christian Mafia: http://rtvote.com/1et5x5
    The President of Uganda recently signed into law anti-gay legislation that establishes a crime of “aggravated homosexuality” which includes acts where one person is infected with HIV, “serial offenders,” and sex with minors. The maximum sentence for “Aggravated Homosexuality” is life in prison. The legislation was crafted by David Bahati, a member of the Ugandan Parliament and core member of the American Evangelical Christians called “The Family”. “The Family” proudly calls itself the “Christian Mafia” and for over 75 years “The Family”s main goal has been to consecrate America to God.

    Virginia senator under fire after calling pregnant women ‘hosts’ to unborn babies: http://rtvote.com/1mvWXty
    Virginia Senator Steve Martin is under fire after his Facebook response to a letter from a pro-choice coalition. The letter from the coalition reportedly stated, “All women deserve access to their full range of reproductive health options — including preventing unintentional pregnancies, raising healthy children, and choosing safe, legal abortion.” Senator Martin responded to the letter by saying, “Once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it.” Needless to say, Senator Martin received various hate mail, nasty grams, vile comments and death threats after his very controversial Facebook post.

    Bobby Jindal rips Obama at bipartisan White House event: http://rtvote.com/1cLJ8nU
    After the National Governors Association’s annual meeting, the governors held a press conference and many spoke on the need to emphasize areas of common agreement, the concern about the recent defense spending cuts, increasing transportation and their shared contempt of Washington. Governor Pete Shumlin of Vermont said it best, “We governors actually have to get things done. It’s not like Congress down here.” But, despite positive remarks, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana stirred controversy with comments about President Obama’s leadership in the White House. He remarked that “The Obama economy is now the minimum wage economy” and also accused President Obama of “ waving the white flag of surrender job growth.”

    Amid the coverage of Ukraine, is a crisis in Venezuela being ignored?: http://rtvote.com/1fQMwLJ
    Unless you’ve been completely absent from TV, Social Media or The Internet, then there’s a 99 percent chance that you’ve heard about the crisis in Ukraine. However, as the crisis in Venezuela continues to grow, many are wondering why it hasn’t received equal media attention in comparison to the extensive coverage on Ukraine. A Venezuelan-born journalist, Mariana Atencio, made a remark that shed light on the situation for the media: “The domestic media blackout imposed by President Nicolas Maduro makes coverage by international outlets all the more crucial.” We’ll have to keep an eye out as this story develops, but the Venezuelan crisis is crucial and definitely should be a big news story.

    CULTURAL 

    Ellen Pompeo Does a Killer Charlie Sheen Impression: http://rtvote.com/OyP8YK

    Lena Dunham Set to Host Saturday Night Live For the First Time: http://rtvote.com/1fnifU0

    Reese Witherspon and Usher Play Catch Phrase on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon—Watch Now!: http://rtvote.com/1fnirm1

    Late Night With Seth Meyers Premiere: 10 Things to Know About Amy Poehler, Joe Biden and the Big Night: http://rtvote.com/1jxlGMZ

    Robin Thicke and Paula Patton Split: Inside Their Roller Coaster Past Year Together: http://rtvote.com/1etlvgv

    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: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2014

    Friday, February 21st, 2014
    A new deal is presented to end bloodshed in Ukraine; the Dalai Lama’s visit to The White House causes reaction from China; and evidence of climate change continues as the Earth experiences its fourth-warmest January on record (despite the snow and chilly temps!). Meanwhile, Christina Aguilera makes a major announcement; U.S. women’s figure skaters talk about returning for 2018 Olympic games; and Kanye West is listed as a headline for Bonaroo for a second time.

    - Austin + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    New deal is signed in Ukraine to end bloodshed http://rtvote.com/1bsPNVM
    After yesterday’s short-lived truce, it seems that violence in Ukraine might finally be settling down. Opposition leaders have signed a deal with government officials that calls for early elections and reductions of presidential power. The deal is thought to be promising because of involvement from high-level European and Russian mediators. Since anti-government protests escalated earlier this week, hundreds of Ukrainian protesters and security officers have been killed.

    China calls Dalai Lama “political exile;” criticizes White House meeting http://rtvote.com/1fFf22L
    The Dalai Lama is known around the world as a spiritual leader. But it turns out he isn’t exactly revered by all. China today posted a statement (on its website of all places!) criticizing the U.S. for meeting with the Dalai Lama. China has considered the Tibetan monk a “political exile” since 1959 because of his advocacy for autonomous rule in Tibet.

    New York reconsiders solitary confinement http://rtvote.com/1dae3XH
    Corrections officials in New York this week indicated a move to reconsider solitary confinement policies. New York has been one of the worst offenders for overusing solitary confinement, a form of punishment that isolates prisoners for as much as 23 hours a day. What’s worse, the average length of stay in solitary confinement for New York prisons is five months. Clearly, the state is in need of reform and this is widely seen as a progressive move towards more humane treatment of prison populations. Kudos to New York.

    Earth has fourth-warmest January on record http://rtvote.com/1l5p2tu
    It’s been pretty cold on the East Coast this year, but this is by no means an indication of global averages. The Earth as a whole experienced its fourth-warmest January on record, marking the 38th straight year that January temperatures have been higher than 20th century averages. This definitely makes you think twice about the existence of climate change!

    German athlete tests positive for doping at Sochi games http://rtvote.com/1jQP28z
    For shame! Germany’s Olympic committee announced that one of Germany’s Olympic athletes has tested positive for illegal performance-enhancing drugs, although they declined to release the athlete’s name. USA Today reports that this is the first positive test of the Sochi games. Germany has won 16 Olympic medals in Sochi so far, including 8 gold.

    CULTURAL

    Lena Dunham: Jezebel’s $10,000 Vogue Retouching Expose “Was Messed Up”, “Felt Gross”, http://rtvote.com/1h5sCQG

    Grace Gold , Ashley Wagner and Polina Edmunds Talk About Figure Skating Results, Eyeing Return for 2018 Olympic Games, http://rtvote.com/1fhw5Ny

    Christina Aguilera Is Pregnant! Newly-Engaged Expecting Second Child, http://rtvote.com/MIEEVz

    Kanye West Headlines Bonaroo, take 2. How’s this going to play out?, http://rtvote.com/1fhwDmw

    SPOILER ALERT: Kate Mara’s Done Lying about House of Cards and That Huge Twist, http://rtvote.com/1jV7PD1

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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

    Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

    Another massive snowstorm hammers the East; a package bomb kills a former lawyer; Tom Brokaw reveals some shocking news; and a sinkhole opens up at a museum. Meanwhile, Eva Mendes talks Ryan Gosling; Taylor Swift goes through some major hair changes; Shia LaBeouf makes headlines; and a special dinner was held at the White House last night: see the pics! 

    -Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Ice hits South, Northeast is next: http://rtvote.com/1bMy1ro
    Thousands of people are without power as a massive ice and snow storm moves up the East Coast. States including Georgia and Alabama have been pelted by ice. The storm is supposed to drop 4 to 8 inches of snow on Washington, DC and 6 to 10 inches expected in New York City. Transportation has been greatly affected; Amtrak suspended some rail services on Wednesday and more than 2,600 flights have been cancelled. Five people have reportedly been killed due to weather-related accidents.

    Package bomb kills lawyer: http://rtvote.com/1ntYVcO
    John Setzer of Lebanon, Tennessee was killed on Monday after a package exploded in his face. His wife was seriously injured. Setzer was a retired lawyer and pastor, according to his law partner. Neighbors were shocked and are now terrified to look in their mailboxes, even though police officers checked everyone’s during the investigation of the Setzer case. An $8,000 reward will be given to anyone with information about this attack.

    Tom Brokaw says he has cancer: http://rtvote.com/1cwdd7x
    Tom Brokhaw, the former NBC Nightly News anchor is being treated for cancer. Brokhaw, 74, has been diagnosed with “multiple myeloma, a cancer affecting blood cells in the bone marrow” back in August. Doctors are optimistic due to the progress he is making, even though the cancer is serious.

    November trial date set in Boston bombing: http://rtvote.com/1cwf3oO
    The trial date for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the only living suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, has been set for November 3rd. Prosecutors have proposed that Tsarnaev face the death penalty if he is found guilty. The trial is expected to last twelve weeks, and is being done a year earlier than what defense lawyers wanted. Tsarnaev, 20, has been accused (along with his now-deceased older brother) of setting up the bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon that killed three and injured more than 260 others.

    Sinkhole swallows 8 cars at museum: http://rtvote.com/1eQe4pt
    The National Corvette Museum in Kentucky lost eight of its vintage cars to a sinkhole Wednesday morning. When the police arrived, they found a sinkhole measuring 40 feet wide and 25-30 feet deep. Employees are trying to document which cars fell into the hole to assess the cost of damage. The museum will be open Wednesday, but the Sky Dome (the site of the sinkhole) will be off-limits to visitors.

    CULTURAL

    Sorry everyone: Ryan Gosling is still off the market: http://rtvote.com/ML8Zm2

    Taylor Swift chops off her hair: http://rtvote.com/1kBXDiE

    Julia Roberts’ half-sister found dead: http://rtvote.com/1nu42JK

    What is up with Shia LaBeouf? http://rtvote.com/1eU9STU 

    See the best pics from last night’s State Dinner: http://rtvote.com/1bMGeeU

    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