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    News Round-Up: Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

    Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

    The race for the marriage equality in Virginia continues; Web companies release secret government data requests; a new winter storm is looming; and a restaurant’s customer leaves a $15,000 tip. Meanwhile, Olivia Newton John will be headlining a Vegas show; and Taylor Swift talks love.

    -Gianna + Maura


    Race on same-sex marriage cases runs through Virginia,http://rtvote.com/1ev4K8A
    The race for marriage equality is beginning to take a sharp turn in the commonwealth of Virginia. As lawsuits are filed on both sides on the issue, many are beginning to wonder if the Virginia fight for equal rights will land in the hands of the Supreme Court. Virginia’s new Attorney General, Mark R. Herring said recently that Virginia’s ban on gay marriage, which was voted on and approved by voters in 2006, is unconstitutional and cannot be defended. Although, many marriage equality cases in Virginia are moving quickly, none of the cases will reach a federal court during the current term and the cases have yet to reach an appellate court.

    Web companies give first look at secret government data requests,http://rtvote.com/1jbG7RW
    As of Monday, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google have all released reports publishing details of government requested data. Microsoft’s General Counsel Brad Smith said on Monday that the information requested by the government is not as vast as many citizens have feared. “We have not received the type of bulk data requests that are commonly discussed publicly regarding telephone records,” Smith said. Smith goes on to cite media reports in regards to Snowden’s leaked documents and finishes his remarks by saying, “Despite the President’s reform efforts and our ability to publish more information, there has not yet been any public commitment by either the U.S. or other governments to renounce the attempted hacking of Internet companies; We believe the Constitution requires that our government seek information from American companies within the rule of law.”

    Restaurant customer leaves $15K for three waitresses, http://rtvote.com/1ipw60F
    Three waitresses were discussing student loans and dreams of completing school when one of their customers walked over and asked for their names. The customer was a God send: she gave each young woman $5,000 dollars. The unnamed customer told the waitresses,“I want you girls to take these to help with school and everything else in life.You put that in your pocket. God sent me here to help you.” What an amazing story and act of kindness!

    Bundle Up: Another Blast of Snow, Nasty Weather Moves In,  http://rtvote.com/1ipOmHd
    Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog was not kidding: there really will be more winter! Another storm is heading in this week after cold weather already caused a few issues on Monday. More than 100 million people in 24 states could be impacted by this week’s looming winter storm. The forecast is said to stretch from the Great Plains to southern New England blanketing parts of the Midwest with up to a foot of snow on Wednesday. Stay warm everyone! 



    Olivia Newton-John headlining Vegas show, http://rtvote.com/1aZlPbM

    William ‘Bunny Rugs’ Clarke Dead: Lead Singer Of Third World Dies At Age 65, http://rtvote.com/1jbTr8V

    Barbara Walters Defends Woody Allen, Fights With Sherri Shepherd on The View, http://rtvote.com/MXpYlR

    Taylor Swift Talks Love: “Never Give Anyone An Excuse to Say You’re Crazy, http://rtvote.com/1bnwwQ0

    Outkast, Soundgarden to play Sasquatch! Music Festival,http://rtvote.com/1jbVfPh

    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: December 9, 2013

    Monday, December 9th, 2013

    Merrill Newman, the 85-year-old Korean War vet, has been released from North Korea after six weeks; Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and Yahoo have joined forces to fight the NSA; and local police agencies have started copying the NSA’s spying habits. Meanwhile, Selena Gomez throws a hissy fit on stage, and the mystery surrounding Kendall Jenner and Harry Styles’ relationship remains ongoing.

    -Sandy + Maura



    Merrill Newman has been deported from North Korea: reporthttp://rtvote.com/1gSBDfd
    The 85-year-old Korean War veteran, Merrill Newman, has finally been released after being detained in North Korea for six weeks. Newman had been held on charges of “hostile acts” against the state for his role in the war. North Korea released him because Newman apologized and also because of his age and medical condition. VP Joe Biden met Newman in Beijing to welcome him on his way home.

    Tech giants band together in anti-snooping coalitionhttp://rtvote.com/19c6WA0
    Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo have come together to form what is essentially an anti-NSA coalition. Dubbed the Reform Government Surveillance Coalition, these popular tech companies are determined to limit the federal government’s authority to collect user information. The CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, and Google have written an open letter to the federal government.

    Meet Mort Crim: The inspiration for Will Ferrell’s ‘Anchorman’http://rtvote.com/19wbw8G
    As theaters prepare for ‘Anchorman 2’, Ron Burgundy has been popping up on talk shows and sports events around the country. Even though the hilarious news anchor is a fictional character, he is based on someone very real. Meet the man who inspired Will Ferrell’s perfectly mustached character.

    Cellphone data spying: It’s not just the NSAhttp://rtvote.com/1dhAdbx
    The NSA is not the only one spying on people. Local police are now using new technologies to secretly collect data from people’s cellphones. About 1 in 4 law enforcement agencies have used a tactic known as a “tower dump”, and at least 25 police departments own a Stingray, a device that acts as a fake cell tower. 36 other police agencies refuse to say whether they’ve used either tactic.

    ‘127 Hours’ author arrested in Denverhttp://rtvote.com/1gSNw4F
    The man who James Franco portrayed in ‘127 Hours’ was arrested for assault and wrongs to minors in Denver on Saturday night. Aron Lee Ralston, 38, is due in court this afternoon. Ralston is best known for amputating his own arm with a dull blade after being trapped by a boulder for five days in a Utah canyon.



    Selena Gomez Curses During Performance, Walks Off Stage After Technical Difficulties, http://rtvote.com/1jEeZJQ

    Kendall Jenner and Harry Styles Leave NYC Hotel Together, http://rtvote.com/J7kByw

    One Direction Joins Paul Rudd and His Anchorman 2 Costars on SNL, Debut “Through the Dark,”http://rtvote.com/IXIWGn

    Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis Attend Her Brother’s Wedding, http://rtvote.com/1cwnaVd


    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    News Round-Up: Monday, May 20, 2013

    Monday, May 20th, 2013

    A fatal tornado in Oklahoma leaves one dead; Iraq endures multiple car bomb attacks; Obama’s Counsel was informed of IRS Audit findings in April; the Syrian army pushes farther into Qusayr; Yahoo buys Tumblr; and China asks North Korea to return a seized boat and its 16-man crew. Meanwhile, Drake and Kanye West will guest star in ‘Anchorman 2,’ and Justin Bieber is booed at the Billboard Music Awards.

    Caitlin + Alexis


    Tornadoes hit Plains, Midwest; 1 dead in Okla., http://usat.ly/12FRcQP
    A 79-year-old man was killed Sunday night when a tornado hit his mobile home in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The tornado was part of a larger severe weather system made up of many different tornadoes. At least twenty more people in Oklahoma were injured. Storms are expected to continue today.

    Car bomb attacks kill dozens in Iraqi cities, http://bbc.in/12FYtQG
    A string of car bomb attacks in central and southern Iraq has left at least 54 dead and many more injured. Baghdad experienced the worst of the attacks, enduring nine explosions in many Shia Muslim districts of the city.

    Obama’s Counsel Was Told of IRS Audit Findings Weeks Ago, http://on.wsj.com/17RmAQR
    During the week of April 22, the Treasury Department attorneys informed the Office of the White House Counsel and its head, Kathryn Ruemmler, that an inspector general’s report was nearing completion. Ms. Ruemmler had been told that a few IRS employees had targeted conservative groups labeling them with terms such as ‘tea party’ and ‘patriot.’ Many have argued that the president should have been notified of the scandal as soon as it surfaced.

    Syrian offensive on Qusayr deepens, http://aje.me/14EWQ5Y
    In Syria, 13 Hezbollah fighters and more than 52 opposition activists have died as the Syrian Army continues to push deeper into Qusayr near the Lebanese border. Amidst rumors that President Bashar al-Assad has recruited soldiers from outside of the Syrian borders, he claims that the Syrian military “needs no support form any Arab or foreign state.”

    China asks North Korea to free seized boat, http://bbc.in/Z6JT6r
    On May 5th, North Korea captured a Chinese fishing boat and its 16-man crew, which it has since been holding captive. China has asked North Korea to free the boat and crew. The North Korean captors has called the boat owner, Mr. Yu, eight times demanding a 600,000 yuan ransom. Chinese diplomats in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, have been working on the issue since May 10th.

    Gay marriage: Downing Street pleads with Labour to save bill, http://bit.ly/12MJ9jU
    Prime Minister of Britain David Cameron faces opposition in his own party around the issue of gay marriage. On Monday, up to 150 Conservative M.P.s threatened to vote against legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the country. The bill is being tabled by former Tory minister, Tim Loughton, who does not not support gay marriage. He has proposed a bill to allow for civil unions for same-sex couples, instead. Loughton has waged an argument with an unsupported claim that same-sex marriage would cost taxpayers £4 billion in ‘new “survivors” pensions.’ If Labor leader Ed Milibrand can turn the tables and pass the bill legalizing same-sex marriage, he is on his way to gaining serious political capital.

    Yahoo Deal Shows Power Shift, http://on.wsj.com/18VzXP1
    It was announced Monday that Yahoo Inc. has agreed to buy Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Yahoo brings staying power and money to the table, while Tumblr offers Yahoo a fast-growing community of users. CEO and founder of Tumblr, David Karp, will remain chief executive throughout the shift in ownership, and Tumblr will continue to be operated as an independent business.


    ‘Anchorman 2’: New trailer released as Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate spotted filming sequel in New York City, http://nydn.us/15WjsU9

    Justin Bieber booed at 2013 Billboard Music Awards, http://cbsn.ws/13Bvknm

    A Parking Lot With a Beat, http://nyti.ms/17RIV0w

    Decisions, Decisions: Taking Over for Vonnegut, http://nyti.ms/1151Gej

    An English actress, transformed by Washington, http://wapo.st/10Dr1Gh

    Bio: My name is Alexis Macdermott and I will be starting my third year at Duke University this fall. I am currently pursuing a major in psychology and a minor in economics. I am a native of Southwest Florida and am an avid runner and film enthusiast. I look forward to joining the Marketing and Communications team for the summer here at RTV!

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    News Round-Up: Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

    Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

    SCOTUS will hear historic marriage equality cases today and tomorrow; Amanda Knox must return to Italy for a new trial; North Korea is putting its military in “combat ready” mode; Yahoo buys a 17-year-old’s app for $30 million; and a state in India is installing armed guards and drones to protect rhinos from poachers. Meanwhile, a NFL player may come out soon; a “Breaking Bad” script is stolen from Bryan Cranston’s car; and Dionne Warwick tells TMZ that she owes $10 million in taxes.



    Amanda Knox’s Acquittal Overturned: What’s Next?, http://rtvote.com/16VIwrV
    Italy’s high court has overturned Amanda Knox’s acquittal, forcing her to once again stand trial for murdering her ex-roommate with whom she studied abroad in Italy. Knox’s lawyer says that she’s upset about having to face trial again but is willing to fight to prove her innocence. It’s not yet clear whether Knox will voluntarily return to Italy or whether she’ll be extradited. She may even face trial in absentia. Knox was acquitted for her roommate’s murder in an appeals court in Perugia in October 2011. She is currently studying creative-writing at the University of Washington.

    North Korea issues new threat to U.S. bases, http://rtvote.com/16VKW9Z
    North Korean officials have said that they are putting the country’s military in “combat ready” mode. The country is allegedly preparing to strike U.S. bases that it views as “aggressors,” meaning Hawaii and Guam and other places in the Pacific could be at risk. Meanwhile, the U.S. has responded that it can handle any attacks from Kim Jong-un

    Cyprus banks remain closed to avert run on deposits, http://rtvote.com/16VLD37
    Cyprus’ central bank announced Monday that its banks will not open until Thursday. The announcement came after the government negotiated a bailout deal from the EU in order to avoid bankruptcy. President Nicos Anastasiades said that Cyprus’ second-largest bank, Cyprus Popular, will close and wealthy depositors will lose a great deal of money.

    Boris Berezovsky post-mortem finds hanging is cause of death, http://rtvote.com/11HxQ01
    British police have said that Boris Berezovsky, one of Russia’s first post-Communist oligarchs and a critic of Vladimir Putin, died from causes consistent with a hanging and that there did not seem to be a violent struggle. His death has cast some suspicions on Putin and is seen as more corruption related to his regime.

    Armed Guards, Drones to Protect India’s Rhinos, http://rtvote.com/11Hysmn
    The government of India’s state of Assam has installed armed guards and drones to protect rhinos from poachers in its Kaziranga state park. The new laws even protect the guards if they kill a poacher.

    A historic moment as same-sex marriage arrives before Supreme Court, http://rtvote.com/16VO85x
    The Supreme Court will hear historic cases on marriage equality on Tuesday and Wednesday, including the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. Gay marriage activists will arge that the Constitution allows for same-sex marriage and that states should not be able to decide on the issue. Today SCOTUS will hear arguments against Proposition 8, which portends that California has the right to decide if marriage is legal only between a man and woman.

    SCOTUSBLOG, Reuters: ‘Prop 8 Unlikely to Be Upheld’, ‘Roberts Raises Doubts About California Case,’http://rtvote.com/16VJFQl
    The SCOTUS blog is reporting that Proposition 8, an amendment introduced in California that does not legally recognize gay marriage in the state, will most likely not be upheld by the Supreme Court. Today is the first day of oral arguments for the case. While the SCOTUS blog has predicted the striking down of Prop 8, as of 11am, it reported that the court did not have the five votes needed to overturn it. Chief Justice Roberts noted that the case does not address the core issue of same-sex marriage rights, while Justice Kennedy said that he was uncomfortable striking down the measure and would prefer to dismiss the case.

    Summly and its teen founder snapped up by Yahoo, http://rtvote.com/16VMQHD
    British 17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio has sold his smartphone app Summly to Yahoo for $30 million. D’Aloisio began working on the app, which shortens content to make it easier to scroll, when he was 15-years-old and released it for iPhone four months ago. He will now be Yahoo’s youngest employee and will work from their London office. In regards to the sale, D’Aloisio has said “If you have a good idea, or you think there’s a gap in the market, just go out and launch it.”


    Pedro’s 2 beers — & $338M ticket, http://rtvote.com/11HxfLW

    Some believe atmosphere is safe for gay NFL player to come out, http://rtvote.com/ZUkeun


    DIONNE WARWICK: I’M BANKRUPT, Owes $10 Mil in Taxes, http://rtvote.com/11HCvzb

    NBC’s ‘Today’ show exposed: Article shares ugly details of NBC’s ratings struggle, http://rtvote.com/11HCECy

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


    Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

    Yahoo will layoff 14 percent of the company; Romney sweeps yesterday’s primaries; 30 people are pepper-sprayed at a Santa Monica College protest; a string of tornadoes hits Texas; a blast at a theater in Somalia kills several Somali sports officials; and the violence in Syria continues despite upcoming cease-fire demands. Meanwhile, Dumb and Dumber 2 is set to film with the original leading cast; Baylor wins the NCAA Women’s National Championship; and Ryan Gosling saves a woman from a potential taxi accident.

    Kelly H. + Caitlin


    30 people pepper-sprayed at Santa Monica College course fees protest, http://on.msnbc.com/HgyIvs
    Police pepper-sprayed 30 people as students tried to overtake a Santa Monica College trustee board meeting in protest over proposed course fee increases. So far only minor injuries have been reported, with five people seeking further treatment from the spraying. Amid chants of “let us in, let us in,” and “no cuts, no fee, education should be free,” police were said to have released the spray within arm’s length of their targets. The board meeting was scheduled to discuss a highly contested tiered payment program. Students and faculty complain that the program would make basic courses during in-demand summer terms almost four times as expensive.

    Tornado-Wrecked Dallas Begins Assessing Damage, http://n.pr/HTN0ng
    Videos of violently soaring tractor trailers 100 feet in the air are now flooding local weather channels, but residents of Dallas, Texas are relieved that there have been no reported deaths after devastating tornadoes made their way to Fort Worth yesterday. The National Weather Service reports that almost a dozen twisters touched down in the area. Though there is no death toll, and only a few reports of injury, thousands have been left without power and about 650 homes have been seriously damaged. The Weather Channel has issued warnings for most of the Southeast, highlighting parts of Texas, northern Florida, Kansas, and Virginia.

    Somalia sports officials killed in theatre bombing, http://bbc.in/HZ7Mym
    A blast struck a newly re-opened national theatre in Mogadishu, Somalia, killing seven members of Somalia’s Olympic committee and football heads. The militant al-Shabab group has claimed responsibility for the bombing. Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali was also subject to the blast, but he has not reported injuries. The president of the Somali Olympic Committee and Somali Football Federation chief were both killed. The group had gathered at the theatre to celebrate the first anniversary of Somalia’s national television station.

    Violence as Syrian gov’t claims troop pullout, http://cbsn.ws/HTmmMm
    Even though the Syrian government announced it would withdraw troops from some cities in accordance with an international demand for cease-fire, explosions still continued across Homs as more clashes were reported. Syrian troops have been spotted carrying out raids and arrests in the suburbs of the Damascus capital. A Syrian government official stated Tuesday evening that Syrian troops had started pulling out from “calm” cities and were headed back to their bases. The announcement of the pull-out started a week ahead of a deadline given by the U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan. Annan’s plan requires regime forces to withdraw from towns and cities and observe a cease-fire by April 10, with rebel fighters immediately following the same action.

    Romney Adds 3 Victories and Clashes With Obama, http://nyti.ms/HmvXWI
    Mitt Romney swept the primary contest yesterday, winning Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia. However, news experts were more intrigued by the words exchanged between Romney’s campaign and President Obama. At a meeting in Washington, President Obama mocked Romney for using the word “marvelous” to describe a proposed budget, and Romney ripped into Obama, saying “President Obama thinks he’s doing a good job — I’m not kidding.” Among Romney’s wins, Wisconsin seemed the most notable since Romney was able to garner the more conservative voters that align with candidate Rick Santorum, namely evangelical Christians. Santorum said he would continue campaigning in the upcoming primaries, looking ahead to his home state of Pennsylvania on April 24.

    (via Yahoo News) Santorum says GOP contest only at halftime: Republican Rick Santorum said Tuesday night his presidential campaign would continue despite triple losses to rival Mitt Romney in primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia.”There are no marching bands. We’re hitting the field. The clock starts tonight,” Santorum told a sparsely attended election night party outside Pittsburgh. Santorum said the GOP contest had only reached halftime, with half of the 1,144 delegates needed for the nomination having been selected. However, The Associated Press count of delegates showed Romney leading the race for delegates with at least 646 delegates. Santorum had just 272. Santorum’s defiance did little to mask his poor showing Tuesday, particularly in Wisconsin, where he campaigned heavily for several days and where an allied independent group spent nearly $900,000 on television ads. Exit polls taken for the AP and the television networks found Romney winning blue-collar and very conservative voters in Wisconsin, http://yhoo.it/HnFYCs

    Yahoo Announces Layoffs: 2,000 Jobs Cut, http://huff.to/Hq1LcS
    As new CEO Scott Thompson settles in, Yahoo is laying off 2,000 employees, which is about 14 percent of the company. The layoff is the sixth of its kind in the past four years. The last largest Yahoo layoff was only comprised of 1,500 workers in 2008. This layoff is projected to save Yahoo $375 million per year. Before coming to Yahoo, CEO Thompson ran online payment service PayPal.


    ‘Dumb and Dumber 2′: Director says sequel filming this year, with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, http://bit.ly/HbEzFl

    Olbermann: ‘I Screwed Up,’ But Current TV Had Problems, http://n.pr/HpWjXl

    Baylor Wins NCAA Women’s National Championship: Notre Dame Comes Up Short Again, http://huff.to/HLLnc3

    Brittney Griner taunts upset Baylor coach, http://bit.ly/Hg8cX1

    Mattel to Create Bald Barbie for Kids Dealing with Hair Loss, http://bit.ly/HXRLbN

    Breaking: Ryan Gosling Saves British Woman From Taxi Collision on 6th Ave, http://bit.ly/Hf1b4M

    Ryan Seacrest to Join NBC for Summer Olympics Coverage, http://eonli.ne/Hg2AHV

    Kutcher offends country stars at ACMA’s, http://thedc.com/HUrNaz

    Kelly Holleran

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com