TIME

Rock the Vote Wants Young Voters to ‘Care Like Crazy’ About the Midterms

New $250,000 ad buy in key states features snarky ads targeting the young voters they want to hit the polls

Rock the Vote launched a $250,000 ad buy Thursday in five states where tight battles for statewide and national offices are playing out, including North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

The ad grab is part of the organization’s efforts to get young voters to the polls this election season—part of its trademark mission to make doing one’s civic duty look cool. The organization has also been working to register over 1 million millennials to vote–often soliciting the help of celebrities including Miley Cyrus.

Though the ads are running in states with tight races, non-partisan organization says its less interested in the politics of the races and more keen on getting as many young people as possible to head to the polls. “We are looking at states with large populations of college students and making sure we’re getting as many young people out to vote as possible,” says Ashley Spillane, president of Rock the Vote.

The ads’ target audience is among the groups deemed least likely to vote this election cycle, but Spillane is hoping the snarky tone of the 30-second spots, scheduled to air online and on stations like Comedy Central until Election Day, captures the attention of those 18 to 25. Each ad feels a bit like a dare—challenging young people to vote by presenting characters that would make a Birkenstock-clad millennial flip their wig.

“These are not your typical political ads,” says Spillane. “Young people have tuned traditional political ads out. We’re trying to meet young people where they are and speak about the issues that they care about.”

The ads highlight issues young people care most about—including war, reproductive rights, and the environment—but do so in a way that might not resonate with a typical Midterm voter. (One ad features a reference to rapper Riff Raff—“Laws making it harder for Riff Raff to vote? Absolutely,” a polo-clad woman in a golf shop says.)

The ads are a part of a larger Rock the Vote campaign called “Care Like Crazy” set to encourage young voters to share the issues that make their blood boil and hopefully, push them to the polls come November.

TIME celebrities

Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis Welcome Baby Girl

PEOPLE has confirmed the birth of the former That '70s Show co-stars' first child

Congratulations are in order for actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis. PEOPLE confirmed Wednesday the two have welcomed a baby girl, the couple’s first child together.

The birth of their daughter is the latest big news for the former That ’70s Show co-stars, who in February announced their engagement, just one month before Kunis’ pregnancy was confirmed.

The baby is said to be “here and healthy” according to PEOPLE.

Read more at PEOPLE.com

TIME History

Archaeologists Believe They Found Dracula’s Dungeon

Circa 1450, Portrait of Vlad Tepes 'Vlad the Impaler'(c 1431-1476), from a painting in Castle Ambras in the Tyrol.
Stock Montage/Getty Images Circa 1450, portrait of Vlad Tepes or Vlad the Impaler, from a painting in Castle Ambras in the Tyrol

The dungeon believed to have held Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for the blood-thirsty character, was recently discovered in Turkey

Archeologists in Turkey have reportedly made a spooky discovery, just in time for the start of Halloween season: the dungeon where the real-life basis for Count Dracula was held.

The cell where history’s Dracula, the Romanian prince Vlad III (nicknamed Vlad the Impaler for his gruesome tendency to impale his foes), was recently discovered during a restoration project, the Turkey-based Hurriyet Daily News reports.

Researchers are reportedly restoring the ancient Tokat Castle, where the Ottomans imprisoned the infamously cruel figure, in the mid 1400s. The team there evidently discovered a tunnel leading to two dungeons — one of which is likely to have housed Bad Old Vlad.

TIME

Sen. Gillibrand Speaks Out on Secret Service Director

Kirsten Gillibrand and Nancy Gibbs speak at the TIME and Real Simple's Women & Success event at the Park Hyatt on Oct. 1, 2014 in New York City.
Larry Busacca—Getty Images for Time Inc. Kirsten Gillibrand and Nancy Gibbs speak at the TIME and Real Simple's Women & Success event at the Park Hyatt on Oct. 1, 2014 in New York City.

'If someone resigns, it's always the woman'

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said she wasn’t surprised by the resignation of Julia Pierson, the first woman to head the Secret Service, who stepped down Wednesday after the public learned of a number of potential threats that slipped past the President’s security detail.

“Obviously there was a massive failure that needed to be taken responsibility for,” Gillibrand said Wednesday during an interview with TIME managing editor Nancy Gibbs at the Women and Success event hosted by TIME and Real Simple. “But I do find that women are often eager to take responsibility for things… inevitably, if someone resigns, it’s always the woman.”

The junior Senator from New York has been speaking candidly about issues women face in the workplace and beyond since the release of her book, Off the Sidelines.

“I think for a lot of us, we feel deeply responsible for how our teams are run, how our businesses are run,” Gillibrand said.

Additional reporting by Eliana Dockterman and Charlotte Alter.

TIME Theater

Doctor Zhivago Is Heading to Broadway This Spring

Cast memaCast members perform during a media call for the Doctor Zhivago musical romance in Sydney on Feb. 17, 2011.
Greg Wood—AFP/Getty Images Cast members perform during a media call for the Doctor Zhivago musical romance in Sydney on Feb. 17, 2011.

Yuri not even gonna believe this new musical

A musical version of the romantic epic Doctor Zhivago is heading to Broadway in March, the Hollywood Reporter says. Preview performances of the show based on Russian author Boris Pasternak’s 1957 novel, which spawned the 1965 Oscar-winning film adaptation starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie, will begin on March 27, with the show set to open on April 21 at the Broadway Theatre.

The musical is being directed by Des McAnuff, a two-time Tony Award winner who has headed up productions including Jersey Boys, Jesus Christ Superstar, and The Who’s Tommy.

[THR]

TIME Crime

Michael Phelps Had Blood Alcohol Nearly Double Legal Limit

SWIM-PANPACS-AUS-USA
Patrick Hamilton—AFP/Getty Images American swimmer Michael Phelps competes during the men's 4 x 100m individual medley final in Gold Coast, Australia, on Aug. 24, 2014

Phelps reportedly told an officer "that's not happening" when the Olympian was asked to stand on one leg

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps reportedly had a blood alcohol level nearly double the legal limit when he was pulled over by Maryland police on Tuesday. Phelps had a blood alcohol level of .14, the Baltimore Sun reports based on documents that paper obtained Wednesday. He was later arrested and charged with driving under the influence.

Phelps reportedly failed two roadside sobriety tests before completely giving up on the third. “That’s not happening,” the 29-year-old is said to have told an officer who asked him to try standing on one leg.

Tuesday’s incident was the 22-time Olympic medalist’s second DUI. In 2004, Phelps pleaded guilty to driving drunk and served 18 months probation. Phelps released an apology in a series of tweets on Tuesday, saying in part “I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down.”

[Baltimore Sun]

TIME Crime

Florida Man Guilty of Murdering Teen in Fight Over Loud Music

Defendant Michael Dunn walks back into the courtroom after a short afternoon break during his trial in the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Fla. on Sept. 27, 2014.
Bob Mack—AP Defendant Michael Dunn walks back into the courtroom after a short afternoon break during his trial in the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Fla. on Sept. 27, 2014.

Dunn was already likely to spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of attempted murder, but could now be sentenced to life without parole

A Florida man was convicted of first-degree murder Wednesday in the 2012 death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, who the man shot and killed following an argument over loud music.

Michael Dunn, 47, had previously been found guilty on four counts in Davis’ murder, including attempted second-degree murder, during his trial this past February. His original jury, however, was unable to come to a decision on the first-degree-murder charge. The Florida jury finally reached a verdict of guilty after several hours of deliberations Wednesday following a retrial.

Dunn, who could now face life in prison, showed no emotion when his verdict was read, according to local news reports.

During his trials, Dunn argued he shot Davis out of self-defense, claiming he saw the teen flash a weapon before opening fire. CNN reports detectives did not find a weapon matching Dunn’s description on Davis’ body or in his car.

[CNN]

TIME

This Six-Acre Portrait on D.C.’s National Mall Can Be Seen From Space

US-ART-MALL-JORGE RODRIGUEZ-GERADA
Saul Loeb—AFP/Getty Images The landscape portrait, "Out of Many, One" by Cuban American artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, appears on the National Mall, viewed from the Washington Monument, in Washington on Oc.t 1, 2014.

It's by Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada

 

There’s a new face on the National Mall, but this latest installment in Washington can’t be seen from the ground. Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, who was commissioned by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and the National Park Service, designed a six-acre piece titled “Out of Many, One.” It’s a massive portrait made of sand and soil, its size rivaling the nearby Reflecting Pool. National Mall visitors may not be able to make out the face of the young boy from the ground, but the piece will be visible from the top of the Washington Monument–or perhaps, when they’re flying above the District.

New Interactive Portrait Creates Walk-Through Experience Among DC Memorials
Chip Somodevilla—Getty ImagesCuban-American artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada demonstrates how a ‘rover,’ or high-precision GPS marker, was used to create his six-acre sand and soil ‘facescape’ on the National Mall in Washington, Oct. 1, 2014.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Rodriguez-Gerada described it as having “a Zen garden feeling as people walk through it and think, ‘Am I by the eye?’ ‘Is this the nostril? It’s a different way of trying to find where you are.”

TIME 2014 Election

Court Blocks Parts of North Carolina Voting Law

North Carolina's law has been fiercely criticized by voting rights advocates

Updated at 10:05 a.m., Oct. 2

A federal appeals court on Wednesday blocked parts of a sweeping North Carolina voting law from taking hold ahead of this year’s midterm elections.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s decision to allow provisions of the law that eliminate same-day-registration and the casting of out-of-precinct ballots. The appeals court on Wednesday still allowed other portions of the law to stand, including the cut of seven early voting days. But in a 69-page opinion Wednesday, the appeals court said an August decision by the lower district court to allow the full law was flawed.

The decision comes just weeks before the early voting period is set to begin in the Tar Heel State on Oct. 23. “The right to vote is fundamental,” Judge James Wynn wrote in the majority opinion. “And a tight timeframe before an election does not diminish that right.”

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory issued a statement Wednesday saying though he was pleased most of the law will apply in November, the state plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. North Carolina’s law has been one of the most criticized by voting rights advocates since the Supreme Court ruled that parts of the landmark Voting Rights Act are unconstitutional, which opened the door for states to enact more voting restrictions.

TIME White House

White House Touts Growth of Initiative to Aid Young Minorities

The new call to action brings local leaders into the Obama Administration's effort to reach young men and boys of color

More than 100 cities have accepted the White House’s latest call to action for the My Brother’s Keeper initiative and have pledged to adopt strategies to ensure minority boys and young men have access to greater economic opportunity, officials said Tuesday.

The call, known as the “Community Challenge” was first announced by President Barack Obama on Saturday during a speech before the Congressional Black Caucus, where he said communities and outside groups are continuing their efforts to “bring folks together to examine how can we ensure that our young men have the tools they need to achieve their full potential.”

Since the initiative’s launch last February, the Obama Administration has announced several efforts to close achievement and opportunity gaps between young men of color and their white peers. Most recently, the Justice Department launched a partnership with local law enforcement agencies to improve relationships between officers and members of the community. The announcement came just weeks after protests broke out in Ferguson, Mo., in response to the police’s handling of the shooting death of an unarmed black teen by an white police officer.

As a part of the community challenge—which Ferguson has accepted—communities will work to keep young people safe from crime, get all children reading at grade level by third grade and improve opportunities for employment and education after high school.

“We’re taking MBK local,” Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro said Tuesday on a call with reporters. “We’re putting important local leaders right at the helm of this effort.”

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