Dateline: Week Of November 22, 2009 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Economists expect the joblessness that has weighed down the nation's economic recovery will start to slowly abate in 2010, but they predict consumers will continue to keep a tight rein on spending, according to a new survey. While signs have pointed to the end of the recession, joblessness remains rampant. The national unemployment rate jumped to 10.2 percent in October, the highest in 26 years. About 9 million people currently receive unemployment benefits.
Bomb attacks and a firefight killed four U.S. troops in 24 hours in Afghanistan, the military said Monday, adding to the growing toll as NATO and the U.S. consider whether to send more forces to the war. Three of the Americans died in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, NATO said in a statement. Two of them were killed in a bomb attack and the third in a separate firefight.
The Philippine president placed two southern provinces under emergency rule as security forces unearthed more bodies, pushing the death toll to 46 in some of the deadliest election violence in the nation's history. Police and soldiers found 22 bodies in a hillside mass grave Tuesday, adding to the 24 bullet-riddled bodies recovered near the scene of Monday's massacre in Maguindanao province, said Chief Superintendent Josefino Cataluna of the Central Mindanao region.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh - President Barack Obama welcomes the Indian leader to the White House, opening an elaborate state visit that will include talks designed to overcome differences on climate change and U.S. ties with Indian rivals China and Pakistan. Chilly, damp weather caused the White House to move the ceremony indoors, where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (MAHN'-moh-hahn SING) and Obama stood before photographers and television cameras in the East Room as a Marine band played the national anthems of both countries.
The economy grew at a 2.8 percent pace last quarter, as the recovery got off to a slower start than first thought. The Commerce Department's new reading on gross domestic product wasn't as energetic as the 3.5 percent growth rate for the July-September period estimated just a month ago.
Sales of new homes rose last month to the highest level in more than a year as strong activity in the South made up for weakness in the rest of the country.The Commerce Department said sales rose 6.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 430,000 from an upwardly revised 405,000 in September. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected a pace of 410,000.
Retailers ushered in the traditional start of the U.S. holiday shopping season with expanded hours and deep discounts on everything from toys to TVs to lure shoppers worried about high unemployment and tight credit.
A number of stores, including Wal-Mart and many Old Navy locations, opened on the Thanksgiving day holiday Thursday, hoping to make the most of the extra hours. Toys R Us opened most of its stores just after midnight.
The space shuttle Atlantis and its seven astronauts returned to Earth with a smooth touchdown Friday to end an 11-day flight that resupplied the International Space Station. With bright sunlight glinting off it, the shuttle swooped through a clear sky and landed on the runway right on time. Mission Control said no one could remember such welcoming conditions; there were no clouds in sight for Atlantis’ midmorning arrival, and the temperature was in the 50s.
In a sign for retailers, data released on Saturday showed that sales rose a scant 0.5 percent on the traditional kickoff to the holiday shopping season despite early signs of a strong showing. A focus on bargains pulled shoppers into stores and onto websites over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, but many said they would stick to their budgets and avoid purchases if they could not find a good deal.
A gunman burst into a Washington state coffeehouse Sunday and opened fire on four police officers as they sat working on their laptops, killing the three men and one woman in what an official described as a targeted ambush. Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said officers were looking for one male suspect who fled on foot, but haven't ruled out an accomplice. Troyer said the four officers killed — all from the Lakewood Police Department — were catching up on paperwork at the beginning of their shifts when they were attacked at 8:15 a.m. Sunday (Nov. 29).
A suspect in the slaying of four police officers who were gunned down in a suburban coffee shop was surrounded by police at a Seattle house early Monday, wounded and possibly dead, police said. Negotiators were trying to communicate with Maurice Clemmons, 37, using loudspeakers, explosions and even a robot to try to prod him from hiding. At one point, gunshots rang through the neighborhood, about 30 miles from the original crime scene.
Somali pirates seized a tanker carrying more than $20 million of crude oil from Saudi Arabia to the United States in the increasingly dangerous waters off East Africa, an official said Monday, an attack that could pose a huge environmental or security threat.The Greece-flagged Maran Centaurus was hijacked about 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) off the coast of Somalia, said Cmdr. John Harbour, a spokesman for the EU Naval Force. Harbour said it originated from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and was destined for the United States. The ship has 28 crew members on board, he said.
Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton has become engaged to her longtime boyfriend, and the couple will be married next summer. Matt McKenna, a spokesman for former President Bill Clinton, confirmed that 29-year old Chelsea and investment banker Marc Mezvinsky got engaged on Thanksgiving and announced it in an e-mail to friends.
Sports News – November 22, 2009 -
Tiger Woods did not suffer facial lacerations from a his SUV accident as reported.. They were inflicted by his wife, Elin Nordegren-- according to a conversation Woods had after the accident. He said his wife had confronted him about reports that he was seeing another woman. The argument got heated and, according to our source, she scratched his face up. We're told it was then Woods beat a hasty retreat for his SUV -- but Woods says his wife followed behind with a golf club. As Tiger drove away, she struck the vehicle several times with the club.
Serena Williams was fined a record $82,500 for her U.S. Open tirade and could be suspended from that tournament if she has another "major offense" at any Grand Slam in the next two years. Grand Slam administrator Bill Babcock's ruling was released , and he said Williams faces a "probationary period" at tennis' four major championships in 2010 and 2011. If she has another "major offense" at a Grand Slam tournament in that time, the fine would increase to $175,000 and she would be barred from the following U.S. Open.
Entertainment News – November 22, 2009 –
This week - The fake Seinfeld reunion proved to be a real ratings grabber for HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm's Season 7 season finale, helping it become the series' most-watched episode in more than five years. All four main characters were part of the episodes.
American Music Awards – Michael Jackson won four American Music Awards. Taylor Swift took home five awards, including artist of the year. Jackson’s awards for favorite male artist in the soul/R&B and pop/rock categories, and favorite album (2003’s Number Ones) in each category. Jackson’s brother Jermiane accepted two of Michael’s awards, thanking “Allah for blessing my entire family.” Other award winners included the Black Eyed Peas who took home top pop/rock band honors. Green Day took home top alternative group honors.
ABC television said it had received about 1,500 complaints about the sexually-charged performance by "American Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert at the American Music Awards this week. Millions of viewers saw Lambert simulate oral sex with a back-up dancer, plant a passionate kiss on the mouth of a male keyboard player and gesture to the audience with his middle finger during the closing act of the live music awards show. Lambert, 27, said his goal was "not to piss people off, it was to promote freedom of expression and artistic freedom".
Miley Cyrus turns 17 this week (Nov. 23), but the teen star got a jump star on her big day with an '80s themed surprise birthday bash in New York City last week. Miley celebrated with family and friends - including rumored boyfriend and "The Last Song" co-star Liam Hemsworth - at New York City's Canal Room.
Donny Osmond (along with Kym Johnson) was declared the new champion of "Dancing With Stars" on Tuesday night, taking home the show's mirror ball trophy in the season finale of the ABC contest reality program. Osmond, the former teen pop star of the singing Osmond family, said the show has been a highlight in a career of ups and downs. "I did it!" Osmond exclaimed. He promptly rushed to the audience and plucked out his wife, Debbie, whom he carried across the stage.
On “Saturday Night Live (Nov 21) – the Dave Matthews Band.
Regis Philbin will be out of commission – four to six weeks for hip replacement surgery. “I'm allowed to announce I'm going into hip surgery. I'm going to have my hip replaced. I've been limping around here. It's really painful," he said.
TV listings/TV Guide – November 22, 2009 -
Sunday night television
At 7, CBS has a new 60 Minutes, then new episodes of The Amazing Race, Cold Case, and Three Rivers.
NBC has a new Football Night in America at 7, followed by the Eagles vs. the Bears.
FOX has a new Brothers at 7.
Lifetime has the movie Unstable at 7.
Syfy has the movie Lightning Strikes at 7, followed by the movie Fire From Below.
At 8, ABC has the American Music Awards.
FOX has a new episode of The Simpsons at 8, then new episodes of The Cleveland Show, Family Guy, and American Dad.
At 9, PBS has a new Masterpiece Contemporary.
HBO has the season finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm at 9.
Showtime has a new Dexter at 9, followed by a new Californication.
Food Network has the season finale of Next Iron Chef at 9.
History Channel has two new episodes of Cowboys & Outlaws at 9.
A t 11:30, Cartoon Network has a new Titan Maximum.
At midnight, Cartoon Network has a new episode of The Venture Brothers, then a new Metalocalypse.
Top Albums – November 22, 2009 –
My Christmas – Andrea Bocelli
The Circle – Bon Jovi
Michael Jackson’s This Is It
Play On – Carrie Underwood
Crazy Love – Michael Buble
Now 32 – various
The Twlight Saga: New Moon – soundtrack
Glee: Season One – The Music
Memento Mori – Flyleaf
Lady Antebellum – Lady Antebellum
Hello Hurricane – Swithfoot
If On A Winter’s Night – Sting
The Foundation – Zac Brown Band
The Blueprint-3 – Jay-Z
After the Ending – Dashboard Confessional
Ocean Eyes – Owl City
The Time of Our Lives – Miley Cyrus
The E.N.D. – Black Eyed Peas
Attention: Deficit – Wale
Soulbook – Rod Stewart
The Singles Collection – Britney Spears
Top movies – November 22, 2009
Disney’s A Christmas Carol
The Men Who Stare At Goats
Michael Jackson’s This is it
The Fourth Kind
Law Abiding Citizen