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    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: 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