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    News Round-Up: September 9, 2013

    Monday, September 9th, 2013

    Tensions remain high in the U.S. over Syria crisis; YouTube confession case close to indictment; a new Van Gogh painting is discovered; and the owner of POLITICO buys Capital New York.  Meanwhile, One Direction star vomits on camera; Kate Winslet shows off her baby bump; and Wentworth Miller opens up about his thoughts of suicide.


    Bashar al-Assad: US will pay price for Syria strikehttp://rtvote.com/1e90D3X
    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned that the U.S. would “pay the price” for any strike against Syria. He told a U.S. broadcaster that strikes would increase instability and lead to the spread of terrorism in the region & that there is “no evidence” that government forces used chemical weapons again its own people.

    YouTube confession case going to grand juryhttp://rtvote.com/17Rw3EP
    Twenty-two year old Ohioan, Matthew Cordie will be indicted as early as today on charges of vehicular homicide after his YouTube confession that drew in 1.2 million views. In the video, Cordie admits to driving drunk, crashing into a jeep and killing its driver.

    Trail Life USA, The ‘Other’ Boy Scouts of Americahttp://rtvote.com/1e98j6e
    Three months after the Boy Scouts of America changed its policy to welcome openly gay scouts, a new faith-based organization has emerged as an alternative for young boys. The organization calls itself Trail Life USA, and aims to be the ” premier national character development organization for young men.” Although gay scouts will be allowed to participate, the organization bars youth who are open about their homosexuality.

    POLITICO publisher Buys Capital New York,http://rtvote.com/17REZtM
    POLITICO publisher Robert Allbritton purchased the online news site Capital New York in what he says is an attempt to “do in New York what we did in Washington with POLITICO.” His vision is to use this acquisition to build a space as an essential news source for and about the most powerful people in New York– much like POLITICO does in Washington, D.C.

    Museum Identifies New Van Gogh Painting in Amsterdamhttp://rtvote.com/1e98JcF
    The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam announced today that it has identified a major new painting by Vincent Van Gogh. The work is entitled “Sunset at Montmajour” and was painted in Arles in 1888. This is the first time in the history of the museum (40 years) that a completely unknown work by the artist has been discovered.


    Hemsworth Brothers Hit the Red Carpet for Rush Premiere in Toronto, http://rtvote.com/17RuKpm

    One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson Vomits After Being Tackled in Charity Soccer Game, http://rtvote.com/1e8Zfhw

    Wentworth Miller Tried to Commit Suicide Before Coming Out: “The First Time I Tried to Kill Myself I was 15”, http://rtvote.com/17Rvbjt

    Carrie Underwood Debuts Sunday Night Football Theme Song, http://rtvote.com/1e8ZUj5

    Kate Winslet Dresses Baby Bump in Curve-Hugging Gown at Toronto Film Festival, http://rtvote.com/17RvudT

    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: Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

    Chinese hackers hack into U.S. weapons systems; fire burns 1,000 acres in Santa Barbara; three Lebanese soldiers are killed at an army checkpoint; News Corp claims no record of subpoena from the U.S. government; Royal Caribbean cruise cancels trip due to fire onboard; a baby is rescued from a sewer pipe in China; South Korea suspends two nuclear reactors due to unauthorized parts; a gay activist in New York is punched in the face; and BuzzFeed collaborates with CNN and YouTube. Meanwhile, police crack down on Justin Bieber’s reckless driving, and Daniel Radcliffe talks about returning to film as Harry’s dad.

    Maura + Alexis


    Confidential report lists U.S. weapons system designs compromised by Chinese cyberspies, http://wapo.st/ZaMji4
    Chinese hackers have compromised more than two dozen advanced weapons systems, programs critical to U.S. missile defenses and combat aircraft and ships. Experts on the subject of espionage warn that this access to our defense plans provides China with all that it needs to advance its own weapons system and weaken the U.S. military advantage that we once had.

    Campers, residents flee fire near Santa Barbara, http://lat.ms/11toN2k
    A fire in Santa Barbara has burned about 1,000 acres and sent thousands of residents and campers running. Over 5,000 people were ordered to evacuate, but it looked like most were able to return home Monday night. The white fire started at a campsite and soon covered over 1,000 acres.

    Lebanese soldiers killed at checkpoint, http://aje.me/ZbdjxX
    Three Lebanese soldiers were killed at an army checkpoint in the Bekaa Valley Tuesday. The armed men who shot the three soldiers fled towards the Syrian border. In February, four Lebanese soldiers and two fighters were also killed in the same region near Arsal. Lebanon continues its effort to keep sectarian tensions at bay.

    News Corp says has no record of Fox News subpoena, http://reut.rs/14ZwHj1
    News Corp claims Monday it is still investigating whether or not it has received any form of notification from the U.S. government regarding a subpoena for a Fox News reporter’s phone records. The Justice Department maintains that it informed News Corp of the seizure of phone records for Fox News reporter James Rosen in August of 2010. News Corp spokesman Nathaniel Brown claims, “While we don’t take issue with the DOJ’s account that they sent a notice to News Corp, we do not have a record of ever having received it.” Fox News, owned by News Corp, also says it has not received a notification of a subpoena either.

    Cruise passengers expected back in US after fire on Royal Caribbean ship cancels trip, http://wapo.st/ZaSym0
    Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas was headed for CocoCay, Bahamas for a seven-night cruise when it had to stop in Freeport due to a fire that broke out onboard the ship Monday afternoon. The fire was completely extinguished within two hours of when it began, and all 2,224 passengers will received a full refund in addition to a certificate for a future cruise.

    Baby in China saved from sewer pipe, http://bit.ly/12KD3QZ
    A newborn baby boy was rescued from a sewer pipe in eastern China on Saturday afternoon after allegedly being flushed down a toilet. A resident in an apartment building in the wealthy province of Zhejiang reported the sound of a baby crying to which firefighters responded by checking all around the building until finding the baby in a sewage pipe directly underneath a toilet. Reports of abandoned babies in China are far too common. Due to the one-child rule as well as poor health care for new mothers, many women cannot legally keep their children and some of them are not even aware they are pregnant until right before giving birth.

    South Korea suspends more nuclear reactors over unapproved parts, http://bbc.in/14158mm
    South Korea, a country whose 23 nuclear reactors supply close to a third of its electric energy needs, has decided to suspend operations at two more nuclear reactors due to unauthorized parts. Knowledge Economy MInister Hong Suk-woo has shared that the two reactors will not continue to operate until the unauthorized parts are replaced. Six nuclear power engineers and suppliers were sentenced to jail time for supplying components with forged safety certificates to nuclear plants.

    Gay Activist Punched in Latest Homophobic Attack in Midtown, http://bit.ly/12JF1RE
    Eugene Lovendusky, a gay activist who has spent the past few weeks talking to the public about the recent slew of homophobic attacks in New York, became a target Saturday morning. Lovendusky was punched in the face early Saturday by a group of boys shouting anti-gay comments at him and his boyfriend. The couple was leaving a nightclub around 42nd Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues around 3 a.m.when the slurs grew clearer and then the group became visible. Police have arrested 19-year Manuel Riquelme and have charged him with felony assault as a hate crime and misdemeanor aggravated harassment. Lovendusky has declined medical treatment.

    BuzzFeed, CNN and YouTube Plan Online-Video Channel, http://on.wsj.com/140Kpz2
    BuzzFeed announced Tuesday that it will join with CNN and YouTube to create a new online-video channel, “CNN BuzzFeed.” Jon Steinberg, COO of BuzzFeed says he intends to create three videos a week for the channel. The plan is a part of a larger initiative to establish the company as a news source targeted at 18-34 year olds. Kenneth Estenson, senior vice president for CNN Digital explains that the new alliance “will enable both organizations to engage new audiences.”


    Justin Bieber: Police Visit Singer’s Home Following Complaints of Reckless Driving, http://eonli.ne/19iRYH0

    Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn Go Jet-Skiing With Golfer’s Kids—See the Pic, http://eonli.ne/19jf28C

    Amanda Bynes Backtracks (Kinda) on Rihanna Diss, Claims She’s Completely Sober and a “Model Citizen”, http://eonli.ne/19j6vT4

    Daniel Radcliffe: ‘Harry Potter’ Return As Harry’s Dad Could Work, http://huff.to/10EIKhR

    Jesse Eisenberg On ‘Now You See Me’ Role: ‘This Allowed Me To Feel Not Only Good, But Arrogant’, http://huff.to/115IdWh

    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: Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

    Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

    President Obama is expected to nominate Jack Lew as Treasury Secretary; Syrian rebels release Iranian hostages in exchange for prisoners; 57 are injured in an NYC ferry crash; the U.S. may remove all troops from Afghanistan come 2014; the National Cathedral will host same-sex weddings; and Joe Biden will meet with the NRA today. Meanwhile, “Lincoln” leads the BAFTA nominations; Kate Middleton turns 31; and Glenn Beck will relaunch his media company.



    Iranians held by Syria rebels released, http://bbc.in/UAbHbH
    The Free Syrian Army will release 48 Iranian hostages in exchange for 2,130 rebel prisoners being held by the Syrian government. Syrian rebels say the hostages were carrying out a mission for the Syrian government, which is closely allied with Iran. Iranian authorities admit that some of the hostages were former members of the armed forces, but claim that they were only in Syria to visit a shrine. The deal was brokered by Turkey and Qatar, which have both supported the Free Syrian Army.

    Obama Said to Name Jack Lew to Replace Geithner at Treasury, http://bloom.bg/13iqM7s
    President Obama is expected to nominate his chief of staff, Jack Lew, to replace Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary. Geithner recently announced that he plans to leave the position at the end of the month. Lew will have to hit the ground running as his next task is working with congress on the debt ceiling.

    More than 50 injured after Seastreak ferry crashes into Pier 11, http://bit.ly/WteCTq
    At least 57 people are reportedly injured after a ferry crashed into a pier near Wall Street early Wednesday morning. The Coast Guard, NYPD, and FDNY rushed to the scene. The extent of the injuries is not yet known.

    U.S. does not rule out removing all troops from Afghanistan, http://reut.rs/XKyV5f
    The White House announced Tuesday that it would consider removing all troops from Afghanistan instead of keeping the recommended 15,000 in the country. The “zero-option” is one “we would consider,” said Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes. There are currently 66,000 troops in Afghanistan with this number being gradually reduced through 2014 when the NATO combat mission ends. The amount of troops removed from the country will depend on whether or not Afghanistan becomes a place to house al Qaeda and if Afghan troops can be successfully trained for defense measures.

    Amid protests, China’s communist censors say their control over media is ‘unshakable’, http://wapo.st/13e1Ajp
    Anti-censorship protests in China’s region of Guangzhou have caused the government to issue an “urgent memo” stating that the Communist Party’s control over the media is “unshakable.” “The party has absolute control over the media,” the Propaganda Department insisted in the memo. The protests in Guangzhou resulted in clashes between “new leftists,” or government supporters who carried photos of Mao Zedong, and anti-censorship demonstrators. The memo also ordered that all media publications and websites “prominently republish” an editorial that reinforces the government’s censorship policies.

    The National Cathedral will become one of the first Episcopal congregations to host same-sex marriages. Same-sex marriage is legal in both Washington, DC and Maryland. “I read the Bible as seriously as fundamentalists do,” the cathedral’s dean Rev. Gary Hall said. “And my reading of the Bible leads me to want me to do this because I think it’s being faithful to the kind of community Jesus would have us be.”

    Biden, NRA to meet on guns, http://bit.ly/11chICE
    As leader of the White House’s newly created gun violence task force, Joe Biden will meet with the NRA Wednesday to discuss stricter gun laws. Biden’s task force has been working on significant changes to current gun laws and will send them to President Obama at the end of the month. The NRA has consistently rejected creating stricter gun laws, but said it would send a representative to the task force’s meeting “to hear what they have to say.”


    Armstrong Set to Appear on Oprah Next Week, as New Allegation Surfaces, http://nyti.ms/10dyQIV

    Singer Amy Winehouse died watching YouTube videos of herself after vodka binge, inquest hears, http://bit.ly/VQeE8n

    Kate Middleton Turns 31: How She’s Celebrating Her Birthday, http://usm.ag/RG18XC

    EE British Academy Film Awards Nominations in 2013, http://bit.ly/ZpeTJ6

    Glenn Beck Relaunching The Blaze As Global Libertarian News Network, http://bit.ly/REGdnJ

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

    News Round-Up: Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

    In today’s news, a group of Iranians may be responsible for bombings in Bangkok; Republicans agree to payroll tax extensions; and a silver mine threatens a Mexican community’s way of life. Additionally, the trailer for “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” has been released, and a Catholic group criticizes Nicki Minaj’s Grammy’s performance.


    Explosions in Bangkok Injure Suspected Iranian National, http://nyti.ms/AeOTSc
    There were several explosions today in Bangkok, Thailand. Witnesses say three men, who did not appear ethnically Thai, fled a house following the explosions. Two of the men escaped, but a third was unable to. When a cab refused to pick him up, he threw a grenade at it and then threw a grenade at police officers. The man checked into a hotel as an Iranian and had Iranian currency. Israel had previously warned Thailand of possible terrorist attacks which led to the arrest of a Lebanese man in January.

    House Republican leaders agree to payroll tax holiday extension without offsets, http://wapo.st/zdNooR
    Republican leaders have backed down from their demands that the payroll tax extension be offset by spending cuts. Over Christmas, the Republicans almost did not vote for the extension which would have amounted to a tax increase on most Americans. The average American will have $80 more in their pocket each month thanks to this tax holiday. In addition to this, Congress is hammering out agreements for the $50 billion needed for unemployment benefits and Medicare reimbursements for doctors.

    Huichol ‘cosmic portal’ peyote ceremonies threatened by silver mine, http://wapo.st/yGS00l
    The Huichol people of Mexico fear an existential threat from a Canadian group seeking to mine a mountain for silver. The group eats peyote as part of a religious experience to heighten introspection and insight. To them, the silver and gold under the mountain contribute to the energies of the peyote and their lifestyle. Other local Mexicans are in favor of the mine as a way to gain jobs.

    Santorum, Taking On Michigan, Wants to Talk Jobs, Not Social Issues, http://nyti.ms/xNuqoC
    After winning many primaries with the help of evangelicals and Tea Party enthusiasts, Santorum is trying to win over those concerned with the economy just as much as morality. While campaigning in Michigan, a state rife with economic issues, Santorum has tried to convince voters that he is just as capable as Mitt Romney when it comes to revitalizing the economy.

    Model Struts Path to Stardom Not on Runway, but on YouTube, http://nyti.ms/yTe8cA
    Kate Upton has followed a unique path to make the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Instead of finding success on international runways, she has become an internet sensation on YouTube. Upton was first noticed when a video of her doing “The Dougie” at an NBA game went viral. Since then, the video has garnered 3 millions views, and Upton has over 100,000 followers on Twitter.

    Backers of Iran Sanctions Make an Appeal to China, http://nyti.ms/zR8c4M
    American groups that have worked hard to isolate and impoverish Iran have reached out to China. These groups are trying to use sanctions to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. As Xi Jinping visits the United States prior to his ascension to power in China, American groups are reaching out to him. China purchases much of Iran’s petroleum and it has the unique ability to sanction Iran in meaningful ways.

    Lottery jackpots may get bigger, http://usat.ly/yfXs8q
    A resident of Rhode Island recently won a powerball lottery sum of over $300 million. Lottery officials estimate that there will soon be a total prize of over $500 Million. The new changes that have increased totals include doubling ticket costs and raising the minimum total prize to $40 million. Officials say that under the current model, there will be a prize of $1 billion every 10 years.


    Haute Event: Perez Hilton Brings the Broken Heart Ball to the Bank, http://bit.ly/yPFNMG
    Grammy Parties: Photos From the Recording Academy, Clive Davis, Cash Money, Belvedere, Pepsi, and More, http://bit.ly/y4b0Kx
    Whitney Houston to be laid to rest Saturday in N.J., http://trib.in/zP98uN
    Las Vegas’ newest museum puts the Mafia on exhibit, http://bit.ly/wXDZSV
    “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” trailer released, http://bit.ly/xdCMaF
    Catholic League President Denounces Nicki Minaj’s “Roman Zolanski” Exorcism/Performance At Grammys, http://bit.ly/zzJ9mi
    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    News Round-Up: Monday, February 6, 2012

    Monday, February 6th, 2012

    The U.S. closes its embassy in Syria due to security concerns; Egypt criminally charges 19 Americans despite U.S. warnings; Obama is ahead of Romney in a hypothetical election poll; a 6.9-magnitude quake hits in the Philippines; and internet censorship expands to India. Meanwhile, Netflix now faces competition after a Red Box and Verizon merger; Giants claim victory in the Super Bowl, and Gisele Bundchen has choice words for Patriot receivers. Also, ‘Will & Grace’ is rumored to return.

    Kelly + Caitlin


    Rescuers dig to reach trapped in Philippines quake, http://apne.ws/ApBjzx
    A 6.9-magnitude quake hit off the Negros Island in the Philippines, killing at least 13 people with 40 believed missing. As many as 30 houses were buried with rescuers furiously digging to save people trapped in their homes. Philippine seismologists have issued a tsunami alert for the central islands as huge waves washed over a beach resort in La Libertad. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered 44 miles north of Dumaguete city on Negros and hit at a depth of 29 miles. The area is about 400 miles southeast of the capital, Manila.

    Egypt Defies U.S. by Setting Trial for 19 Americans on Criminal Charges, http://nyti.ms/wLMs55
    19 Americans and two dozen others are being put on trial by Egypt’s government in a criminal investigation into the foreign financing and licensing of their nonprofit groups. The prosecutions come as Egypt has received staunch warnings from Washington military officials on continuing the criminal investigation. The tension could jeopardize the $1.55 billion Egypt expects in aid from the United States. While there is a broader Egyptian investigation into as many as nine nonprofit groups, the primary targets are American-financed groups, specifically, the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute. Of the 43 people facing charges, 19 are American, 16 are Egyptian, and 8 are of other nationalities. All 43 people have been banned by the Egyptian government to travel, though no arrests have been reported yet.

    U.S. closes embassy in Syria, senior State Department officials say, http://bit.ly/AmEPfd
    After the Syrian government refused to address security concerns, the U.S. State Department has pulled remaining staff out of the U.S. embassy, which is located off of a busy street in Damascus. All 17 employees have left the country after Syrian authorities refused to restrict traffic and secure barriers around the embassies. Officials cite that the turmoil and violent situation in the country made it impossible for operations to continue and for staff to remain. Concerns rose about security last month after deadly car bombings at the offices of two Syrian security branches in Damascus. During the intermission, Poland will serve as the U.S. protecting power in Syria.

    Obama holds edge over Romney in general election matchup, poll finds, http://wapo.st/Ac1kCN
    In a hypothetical general-election matchup poll, Obama comes out on top of GOP frontrunner Romney, 52 to 43 percent amongst all Americans, and 51 to 45 percent amongst registered American voters. Romney is coming off a second consecutive victory in the Nevada caucuses. The poll was conducted in between Obama’s State of the Union address and as Republicans were in the middle of campaigning for primaries. 55 percent of those who closely followed the Republican races say they disapprove of GOP candidates’ negative campaigning. By 2 to 1, Americans say the more they learn about Romney, the less they like him.

    Verizon, Redbox combine to start streaming video service, http://usat.ly/ydCu5U
    Redbox and Verizon Communications are teaming up to start a video streaming service later this year that will directly challenge Netflix. The online service will further bolster Verizon’s presence in home entertainment as it continues the expansion of its FiOS cable services. So far, no prices or details of the service have been announced. The merger looks to capitalize not only on the gravitation to online streaming, but also Netflix’s alienation when it started charging separately for DVDs-by-mail service. Redbox is arguably one of the biggest DVD rental services in the country, with more than 28,000 kiosks in drugstores and supermarkets.

    Google, Facebook remove content on India’s order, http://apne.ws/sz7wS9
    Indian political and religious leaders acted on weeks of government pressure for 22 Internet giants to remove photographs, videos, or text considered “anti-religious” or “anti-social.” Google India removed several web pages today when a New Delhi court announced that Facebook, Google, Youtube and Blogspot, among many other sites, had two weeks to present further plans for regulating their networks. India is Facebook’s third-fastest growing market, after the U.S. and Indonesia. The censorship in India follows as Twitter adopted a new policy that would allow tweets to be deleted in countries where the content breaks local law.


    Giants Edge Out Patriots For Super Bowl Win, http://n.pr/xXOFVb

    Gisele Consoles Brady, Rips Bleepin’ Patriots Receivers After Loss, http://cbsloc.al/zLzEng

    The Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials of 2012, http://ti.me/x0lnZO

    Keck’s Exclusives: Will & Grace Reunited! http://bit.ly/zsBUOy

    Kelly Holleran

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