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Dateline: Week Of February 15, 2005 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment  & Fascinating Facts 

 

In The News

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is killed by massive car bombs as his motorcade drove through a seaside Beirut neighborhood.

A German shorthaired pointer called Carlee becomes America’s top dog at an exhibition in New York.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s initiative to uproot the Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip wins final parliamentary approval after two days of debate.

The U.S. ambassador to Syria is called back to Washington as anger swells against Damascus after the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minster Rafik Hariri.

Iraq’s Shiite Muslims mark their holiest day with violence as attackers kill 54.

President Bush asks Congress for an additional $81.9 billion that would go mainly to fund the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, boosting the cost of U.S military operations stemming from the 2001 terrorist attacks to about $280 billion.

Three bombs planted by Islamic militants explode in southern Philippines – killing seven and wounding more than 100.

Defrocked priest Paul Shanley, one of the most notorious figures in the Boston clerical abuse scandal, is sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison for repeatedly raping a young boy during the 1980’s.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urges American allies to join the U.S. in pressuring Syria to end its presence in Lebanon and what she said was its support of terrorism. 

President Bush nominates the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte, to sere as the nation’s first director of national intelligence.

U.S. and Japanese officials urge North Korea to resume negotiations aimed at eliminating its nuclear weapons program, while a top Chinese diplomat visited Pyongyang to push the same message.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan embraces President Bush’s vision of an “ownership society”, saying private Social Security accounts could foster feelings of wealth among poor Americans. Earlier, President Bush said he is open to raising taxes on wealthy Americans to cover the costs of transforming Social Security.

President Bush steps up U.S. pressure on Syria – declaring it “out of step” with advances toward democracy in the Middle East.

The Kyoto Protocol to curtail greenhouse gases goes into effect without the participation of the United States.

In a videotape broadcast, Al Qaeda’s deputy leader, Ayman Zawahiri -  denounced U.S. calls for political reform in the idle East and urged the West to respect the Islamic World.

Gasoline dropped slightly the past week – to an average retail price of $1.93.

Kills self of a gunshot wound – Hunter Thompson – the counterculture literary figure. He was 67.

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel votes to let doctors prescribe Cox-2 painkillers including Celebrex and Vioxx, but recommends stronger warnings abut the risk of heart attacks. 

Passing – Dick Weber – bowling champ (75).

 

Business/Economy News – February 15, 2005

 

Stocks rose and the Dow pushes to a new high of 10,838.32.

 

Technology News – February 15, 2005

Microsoft Corp chairman Bill Gates outlines for the first time, plans to use recent purchases to beef up security of its Windows operating system.

Nokia, the world’s largest mobile phone maker and Microsoft, strike a deal to make it easier for consumers to buy digital music online and play it on their handsets.

The world’s first mobile phone virus in the wild has spread to the U>S. from the Philippines eight months ago. The virus, called Cabir, has spread into 12 countries and it mostly drains mobile phone batteries.

Website the Smoking Gun releases much of the transcript from the Michael Jackson child-molestation case.

 

Sports News – February 15, 2005

It’s official- The NHL cancels its season due to a player’s strike.

Jeff Gordon wins the first Daytona 507 ½ as a couple of late accidents forced him to work overtime. Gordon was followed by Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Scott Riggs, Jimmie Johnson.

 

Music news – February 15, 2005

Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) wins substantial damages from two British newspapers that alleged he supported terrorism.

Bruce Springsten’s 19th album, “Devils & Dust” will be released April 26 and followed by a tour.

 

Entertainment/Celebrity News – February 15, 2005

 Passing – Sandra Dee (62) actress, singer and teen idol of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.  The actress had been hospitalized for the last two weeks for treatment of kidney disease and had developed pneumonia.

 

Television news – February 15, 2005

Jon Stewart signs a production deal with Comedy Central, which has agreed to finance Stewart’s Busboy Productions and its development of television projects. Stewart just celebrated his sixth anniversary with “The Daily Show.”

 On “Saturday Night Live “ – Hilary Swank and musical guest 50 Cent.

Passing – Actor Brian Kelly (73) – who starred as Porter Ricks in the 1960’s “Flipper” TV series.

Top TV Shows/Ratings/TV Guide – February 15, 2005

American Idol (Tue.) – 28.77 million viewers

CSI – 27.85

American Idol (Wed.) – 26.08

Desperate Housewives – 22.30

Without a Trace – 19.63

Lost – 19.48

CSI: Miami – 18.82

Grammy Awards – 18.80

Everybody Loves Raymond – 17.49

ER – 17.07

Two and a Half Men – 16.75

CSI (9pm) – 16.67

Extreme Makeover – 16.55

Apprentice 3 – 15.13

House – 14.97

Law & Order: SVU – 14.18

Medium – 13.97

Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Sunday) – 13.53

Law &: Order – 13.16

CSI: NY – 13.08

Boston Legal – 12.89

60 Minutes – 12.76

NCIS – 12.74

Amazing Racing: 6 – 12.61

Crossing Jordan – 12.20

 

Top Pop Music Hits – February 15, 2005

Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson

Boulevard Of Broken Dreams – Green Day

1, 2 Step - Ciara Featuring Missy Elliott

Candy Shop - 50 Cent Featuring Olivia

Get Right – Jennifer Lopez

Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson

Across The Universe (Live) - Alicia Keys, Alison Krauss, Billie Joe Armstrong, Bono, Brian Wilson, Norah Jones, Steven Tyler, Stevie Wonder, Tim McGraw & Velvet Revolver

Wasted – Goldfinger

Over & Over – Nelly Feat. Tim McGraw

 

Top movies February 15, 2005

Hitch

Constantine

Because of Winn Dixie

Son of the Mask

Million Dollar Baby

Are We There Yet?

Boogeyman

Poh’s Heffalump Movie

The Aviator

Sideways

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