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    News Round-Up: Thursday, March 27, 2014

    Thursday, March 27th, 2014

    President Obama holds his first meeting with Pope Francis; at least 90 people are missing as a result of the Washington mudslide; POTUS says that the government should stop holding phone data; and Northwestern University athletes are legally allowed to unionize. Meanwhile, Psych ended its 8-season run last night; the trailer for Jupiter Ascending has been released; and Joan Rivers has some harsh criticism for Lena Dunham.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Obama has first audience with Pope Francis: http://rtvote.com/1jyS19L
    President Obama and Pope Francis had their first meeting with one another on Thursday in Italy. The meeting was cordial and people hoped that the meeting would bring attention to important issues both leaders support. Much of the meeting was about the church’s role in current issues in the United States, international conflict, and human rights protection according to a statement from the Vatican. President Obama extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit the United States in 2015.

    Ukraine military dolphins to switch nationalities, join Russian navy: http://rtvote.com/1j9eoQt
    Russia is planning on taking control of Ukraine’s military dolphins. These dolphins are highly trained and specialize in detecting hazards to Ukraine like sea mines or enemy scuba divers trying to enter the country’s waters. Dolphins can detect noises and objects in the ocean that humans can’t, making them effective for security. A Russian news agency reported Thursday that “the combat dolphin program in the Crimean city of Sevastopol will be preserved and redirected toward the interests of the Russian navy.”

    Obama says government should stop collecting, holding bulk phone data: http://rtvote.com/1pcb9JM
    The United States expressed outrage when former contractor to the National Security Agency (NSA) Edward Snowden revealed that the federal government collected data from people’s telephones. President Obama said Thursday that the government is trying to stop collecting phone records and wants to leave that up to phone carriers, who would then provide suspicious activity to counterterrorism agencies. Other changes include the requirement that a federal judge give its approval before the government can collect phone data.

    Mudslide recovery brings tears to searchers: http://rtvote.com/OY2H42
    Firefighters and volunteer rescuers in Washington are coming to the grim reality that some people missing in the mudslide might never be found. In the beginning, there was a list of people thought to be missing after the massive mudslide leveled Oso, Washington six days ago. 140 people have since been eliminated from that list, leaving 90 people missing and 35 others who were not confirmed to be in the area when the mudslide occurred. 25 bodies have been discovered, but searchers expect that number to increase. However, due to dangerous conditions like quicksand-like mud 30-40 feet deep, ice, rain, fallen trees, and other hazards, many bodies may never be found.

    Northwestern University football players can unionize: http://rtvote.com/1g4cxai
    Athletes at Northwestern University won the right to unionize after the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago recognized the athletes as employees of the university. Northwestern plans to appeal the decision, saying that the athletes are students, not employees. However, the board saw enough evidence to believe that the students were employees; they work between 20 and 50 hours a week, get paid through scholarships, and bring millions of dollars in revenue to the university. The students filed the petition to “get a seat at the bargaining table in college sports,” receive better medical coverage and concussion tests, be offered full four-year scholarships, and potentially get paid.

    CULTURAL

     Get the scoop on the Psych series finale: http://rtvote.com/1g4fs2O

    Zac Efron punched in the face during a fight: http://rtvote.com/1pA3pPY

    Joan Rivers attacks Lena Dunham’s weight: is a celebrity feud brewing? http://rtvote.com/1rFLueK

    The reviews for Noah are in! See what the critics are saying: http://rtvote.com/1o4x5cI 

    Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum steal the show in their Jupiter Ascending trailer: http://rtvote.com/1jRq3BL

    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 31, 2014

    Friday, January 31st, 2014

    Amanda Knox is convicted of murder in an Italian court…again; U.S. is seeking the death penalty against the Boston Marathon Bombings suspect; and Ukraine’s president signs an amnesty agreement after protests become extremely violent and deadly. Meanwhile, one of the NYC Real Housewives gets a divorce; The Amazing Spider-Man 2 teaser trailer is released; and Miley gives some advice to Bieber on getting in trouble.

    - Maura 

    CRUCIAL 

    Amanda Knox: ‘I Will Never Willingly Go Back’, http://rtvote.com/1dSsHCb
    After 11 hours of deliberation, Italian jurors came down with a guilty verdict for American Amanda Knox (26 years old) and Italian born Raffaele Sollecito (29 years old), for the murder of Meredith Kercher in 2007. This is the fourth ruling in the case and the second time that the court has decided to convict them of murder. In an emotional interview Friday, Knox said that she did not expect the verdict and vowed that she would never “willingly go back” to Italy.

    U.S. Is Seeking Death Penalty in Boston Case, http://rtvote.com/1hXDNdD
    On Thursday The Justice Department announced that it would seek the death penalty against Dzhokhar Tzarnaev, the man accused of killing and maiming participants and spectators at the Boston Marathon last April. Citing that Tsarnaev showed no remorse for the attacks and that the youngest victim was 8 years-old, prosecutors argued that the death penalty was warranted.

    Dow Tumbles: Stock Roller Coaster in Dive Mode, http://rtvote.com/1iTViPx
    New worries about the economy emerge as stocks fall sharply on Wall Street wrapping up the month of January. For the first time since 2010 the S&P 500’s might close in the negatives—a poor start that history says could be a bad omen for the rest of the year. When the first month of the year is negative the chances of finishing the full year in the plus column drop to 50-50 according to the Stock Trader’s Almanac. I guess only time will tell!

    Ukraine Activist Says He was Abducted and Tortured, http://rtvote.com/LhRbhj
    After Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovych abandoned a trade deal in November with the EU in favor of closer economic ties with Russia, protests against the president spilled into the streets. But, since January 22, protests have turned violent with at least 3 protesters and 3 police officers dead and a leading Ukraine activist who says he was abducted, tortured, and left to die in the cold. Today, President Yanukovych has signed an amnesty for protestors and the repeal of harsh anti-protest-laws.
     

    CULTURAL

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Super Bowl Teaser Trailer, http://rtvote.com/1bdTVqc

    Zac Efron Was on a Six-Week Liquid Food Diet After Breaking His Jaw, http://rtvote.com/1edNlTp

    Ramona Singer Slams Jill Zarin: She’s Using My Divorce to “Try to Make Herself Relevant”, http://rtvote.com/1aMSkKi

    Miley Cyrus Gives Justin Bieber Advice: “Pay People to Make Sure You Don’t Get In Trouble”, http://rtvote.com/1kkXtd5

    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: December 2, 2013

    Monday, December 2nd, 2013

    Amazon leads the way in the ultimate futuristic shopping experience; friends, family, and fans mourn the tragic deaths of Paul Walker and Roger Rodas; and a train flies off the tracks in the Bronx. Meanwhile, Tom Daley and Maria Bello both proudly come out about their homosexuality.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Amazon testing delivery by drone, CEO Bezos sayshttp://rtvote.com/1htdgaD
    Awesome, futuristic tech AND the perfect online shopping experience? If Amazon can pull this off, then “bravo!”. The commerce company’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, said they are testing the delivery of packages using drones. The idea is to have small, unmanned aircrafts, dubbed octocopters, pick up packages at Amazon’s fulfillment centers and then deliver them to customers 30 minutes or less after they hit the “Buy” button. The service will be called Prime Air, and Bezos estimates it will take off in as little as three or four years.

    LA coroner can’t ID Paul Walker’s bodyhttp://rtvote.com/1fZuVXa
    Rest in peace, Paul and Roger. Our hearts and condolences go out to their friends and family. Paul Walker, 40, and Roger Rodas, 38, passed away Saturday in a tragic car accident. The friends took a Porsche out for a test-run after Rodas’s employees said there was something wrong with the stalling vehicle. While troubleshooting the car, it crashed and was so badly engulfed in flames that the coroner cannot ID Paul’s body without his dental records.

    New York train derails; “gravel came flying up,” survivor says,http://rtvote.com/IoLRIi
    A train derailed in the Bronx Sunday morning, killing four and injuring at least 67. About 150 people were on board, and many are traumatized from the violent incident. The train came off the tracks, twisted, and turned rubble and smoke into the passenger cars.

    Walmart’s Black Friday Going About As Badly As You’d Expect,http://rtvote.com/1fZDeC4
    People need to chill. It’s always sad to hear about people assaulting one another… but when they’re doing so over a discounted television, that’s when you know there’s something wrong. The Instagram videos in this article display some of the aggression that played out in Walmart stores during BlackFriday. And, believe it or not, they weren’t limited to just one Walmart!

    Obama’s solution helps bring peace to military conflict,http://rtvote.com/18VcyhK
    A new White House policy, which went into effect on November 15, allows the undocumented spouses, children, and parents of military personnel to be “paroled” into the United States. Once paroled, these relatives will be able to apply for green cards without having to first return to their home countries. Military officials approve the policy because they say it lessens the stress that combat personnel may experience when trying to balance serving their country and helping their relatives navigate the immigration system.

     

    CULTURAL

    Paul Walker’s Daughter Meadow “Still in Shock” Over Actor’s Death: How the 15-Year-Old Is Coping, http://rtvote.com/IFXwTj

    Tom Daley Comes Out in Video Revealing He Is in Gay Relationship,http://rtvote.com/1k2fKtq

    Maria Bello is Gay: Actress Reveals Longtime Relationship With a Woman, Writes That She Considers Herself a “Whatever,” http://rtvote.com/1c79SuD

    Zac Efron Skateboards in L.A. – See the First Pic Since Actor Broke His Jaw,http://rtvote.com/1jcztsO

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, November 27, 2013

    Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

    In today’s news, the U.S. blatantly defies China’s authority over their new air zone; Healthcare.gov is making clear progress (but it’ll still crash if everyone goes on at once…hey, they’re working on it); and three girls are rescued from being imprisoned in their own home for the past two years. Meanwhile, Zac Efron and Seth Rogen make a “Bound 4” video (LOL), and Frankie Muniz suffers another “mini stroke” at age 27 (our hearts go out to you, Frankie).

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL 

    China says it monitored U.S. B-52s that flew through its new air zone,http://rtvote.com/IsOZSE
    After China declared a new air defense zone over a large part of the East China Sea, tensions have been running high between Japan and China. And now the U.S. too. To test how assertive China’s new foreign policy is, the U.S. flew two unarmed B-52 bombers through the air zone and ignored China’s demands to identify themselves and submit flight plans to the Chinese authorities. If we were going forsubtle defiance, well then…that didn’t happen.

    A Plea to Avoid Crush of Users at Health Sitehttp://rtvote.com/18HsOmA
    Healthcare.gov is back and better than ever (which actually doesn’t say much). Officials say the website is now able to handle 50,000 users at a time, and they’re continuing to improve the system. The White House is confident users will have a different experience by the end of the month, but they don’t want everyone to rush to the still-fragile site all at once.

    Three girls say they were imprisoned in Tucson home,http://rtvote.com/1hixgwA
    Three sisters, aged 12, 13, and 17, were imprisoned in their home for up to two years by their mother and stepfather. The couple was charged with three counts each of child abuse/emotional abuse; three counts each of child abuse/physical abuse; and three counts each of kidnapping. The stepfather is also being held on suspicion of sexual abuse of a child under 15 years of age. The two youngest girls, who eventually escaped and called for help, had not seen the third sister for almost two years. They were malnourished and living in extremely filthy conditions when police found them.

    Police: Nurse fatally stabbed while protecting patients,http://rtvote.com/1aVgfEA
    Nurse Gail Sandidge, 57, died Tuesday after being stabbed by a man who was at the hospital to visit his mother. A hospital employee and three hospital visitors were also injured in the attack by Kyron Rayshawn Templeton, 22. Templeton has been arrested and claimed that “they” were trying to kill his mother. Templeton’s mother was scheduled for a procedure that morning.

    Wind could ground Macy’s parade balloons in NYChttp://rtvote.com/1aVlQuz
    You know it’s the holiday season when the Macy’s parade is on! However, the storm that’s causing holiday mayhem and flight delays on the East Coast might cause some setbacks for the parade’s floats. If sustained winds exceed 23 mph and gusts exceed 34 mph, the gigantic balloons won’t be taking off Thursday morning (nooooo!).
    CULTURAL 

    Alec Baldwin Blames “Fundamentalist Wing of Gay Advocacy” (and Himself, a Bit) For Killing His Talk Show, http://rtvote.com/1c8TdKT

    Shirtless Zac Efron Joins “Bound 2” Parody Fun: He and Seth Rogen Costar in “Bound 4”!, http://rtvote.com/1c8TjlB

    Lorde Backtracks After Dissing Drake and Nicki Minaj, http://rtvote.com/1cvNSvo

    Frankie Muniz Suffers Second “Mini Stroke” at the Age of 27, Tweets That He’s “Miserable”, http://rtvote.com/1er8ndV

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: November 13, 2013

    Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

    A popular Washington Post columnist and India’s top policeman find themselves in boiling hot water after making some controversial remarks (on separate topics); Haiyan’s survivors are struggling to get food and water, despite international aid; and Healthcare.gov will probably not reach its November 30th deadline. Meanwhile, Zac Efron broke his jaw (ouch), and a Beyonce fan dishes on trying out one of Queen Bey’s scary-intense diets.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL 

    India’s Top Policeman Draws Fire With Rape Remarkhttp://rtvote.com/HTOr97
    Someone please nominate this man for the Stupidest Comment of the Year award. At a conference about illegal sports betting and gambling, India’s Central Bureau of Investigation chief Ranjit Sinha said that if the state could not stop gambling, then it could at least make some revenue by legalizing it. He then proceeded to say, ‘If you cannot enforce the ban on betting, it is like saying, “If you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it.” Activists are outraged, seeing as this man is in charge of several rape investigations and that protests in India have grown rapidly since the fatal gang rape of a student this past year.

    Controversy over Richard Cohen’s comments on the de Blasio family,http://rtvote.com/HY7r5z
    Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, 72, has been under intense scrutiny for his Tuesday column, which sounds a lot like Cohen has something against interracial marriages and homosexuals. Cohen insists that he was not expressing his personal views, but those of Tea Party conservatives. As news outlets continue to condemn him, Cohen’s boss at the Post defends one of his most popular columnists.

    Lawlessness, damage leave Filipinos strugglinghttp://rtvote.com/19kpb1l
    Food and water are still struggling to reach the typhoon’s survivors as roads and ports are destroyed, and trucks have no fuel to run on. Mobs of people have begun looting warehouses for food. Even though massive amounts of supplies have arrived on nearby islands and parts of Leyte, they cannot be moved into the city in large amounts. Most Filipinos have been left homeless, and the city of Tacloban will be without power for three months.

    Troubled HeathCare.gov unlikely to work fully by end of November,http://rtvote.com/1buISII
    It doesn’t look like HeathCare.gov will be ready by the end of November, like the Obama administration has promised. Software problems seem to be more difficult to resolve than expected. Government workers and technical contractors have advised people to use other means to enroll in healthcare plans so the website is not overburdened.

    Ryan Ferguson Update: Mo. man jailed for nearly 10 years released,http://rtvote.com/HRksyj
    Ryan Ferguson, 29, was released from custody after being jailed for almost ten years for a crime he claims he did not commit. Originally convicted in 2005 for the murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt, an appeals court threw out the conviction last week because Boone County prosecutors violated federal law by failing to share several pieces of evidence that pointed to Ferguson’s innocence in 2005.

     

    CULTURAL

    Zac Efron’s Broken Jaw: “He’s Going to Be OK,” Says Pal Michael B. Jordan,http://rtvote.com/1hG0t5U

    Demi Lovato: People Would Be “Shocked” to Hear My Drug and Alcohol Abuse Stories, http://rtvote.com/1dqhDhQ

    Beyonce Fan Tries Singer’s Diet, Loses 10 Pounds in 10 Days,http://rtvote.com/1bDQAP0

    Alec Baldwin’s Alleged Stalker Genevieve Sabourin Gets 30 Days in Jail for Courtroom Interruptions, http://rtvote.com/1aTEYe2

    sandywu
    Bio:

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