Dateline: Week Of November 1, 2009 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Afghanistan's election commission proclaimed President Hamid Karzai the victor of the country's tumultuous ballot Monday, canceling a planned runoff and ending a political crisis two and a half months after a fraud-marred first round. The Obama administration — which has been waiting for a government deemed legitimate to emerge in Kabul before announcing whether to deploy tens of thousands more troops — quickly commended the ruling.
Ford, the only Detroit automaker to dodge direct government aid and bankruptcy court, surprised investors with net income of nearly $1 billion in the third quarter and forecast a "solidly profitable" 2011. The automaker said Monday earnings were fueled by U.S. market share gains, cost cuts and the Cash for Clunkers program, which drew flocks of buyers to showrooms this summer. Ford's shares rose 68 cents, or 9.8 percent, to $7.68 in morning trading.
The new Navy assault ship USS New York, built with World Trade Center steel, arrived in its namesake city Monday with a 21-gun salute near the site of the 2001 terrorist attack. First responders, families of Sept. 11 victims and the public gathered Monday at a waterfront viewing area, where they could see the crew standing at attention along the deck of the battleship gray vessel. The big ship paused. Then the shots were fired, with a cracking sound, in three bursts.
Nearly a week of frustration ended for commuters when the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge reopened Monday following emergency repairs. Traffic began moving across the span after two rods and a crossbar were replaced and passed vibration and other tests, said Bart Ney, a spokesman for the state transportation department. The span was closed for nearly six days after 5,000 pounds of metal came crashing down into rush-hour traffic Tuesday evening when the two rods and crossbar failed. The parts had been installed over the Labor Day weekend to repair a crack.
Bernie Madoff said he thought it was "over" several times over the years when SEC investigators came to question him. It was "amazing to me" that I wasn't caught, Madoff said. And Madoff said passing SEC questioning had later given him credibility with clients. Madoff said he thought 2003 was the first real time he came close to getting caught. Madoff was interviewed on June 17 by the Inspector General while he was being held inside the Metropolitan Detention Center.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. agreed to buy Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., making a $34 billion bet on the future of the U.S. economy. Burlington Northern, the nation's second-largest railroad, is the biggest hauler of food products like corn and coal for electricity, making it an indicator of the country's economic health. The railroad also ships a large amount of goods from Western ports including everyday items such as refrigerators, clothing and TVs.
Elections – Republicans win Governor seats in Virginia and New Jersey. Michael Bloomberg wins a third term as mayor of NYC. Robert F. McDonnel won in Virginia and Christopher J. Christie in New Jersey.
U.S. business productivity in the third quarter grew at the fastest pace in six years and new claims for jobless aid fell to a 10-month low last week, indicating the decline in labor market may be hitting bottom. Productivity surged at a 9.5 percent annual rate, the quickest pace since the third quarter of 2003, as companies squeezed more output from a smaller pool of labor to cut costs. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast productivity, which measures the hourly output per worker, rising at a 6.4 percent rate in the third quarter. Productivity grew at a 6.9 percent pace in the April-June period.
Federal prosecutors say criminal charges have been filed against 14 people, including attorneys and Wall Street professionals, in a widening $25 million insider trading case that has already snared one of the richest men in America. According to court papers filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Zvi Goffer operated an insider trading network in 2007 and 2008 that included a lawyer who fed tips gleaned from his firm's work on acquisition deals. Goffer worked at Shottenfeld Group LLC in Manhattan in 2007 and at Galleon Group for the first nine months of 2008 before he started his own trading firm, the papers said.
A U.S. soldier opened fire Thursday at Fort Hood, Texas, killing at least 11 people and wounding 31 others, military officials said. The gunman was shot to death, and two other soldiers were in custody. NBC News’ Pete Williams reported that U.S. officials identified the gunman as Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who had been promoted to major in May. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas, said military officials told her that the gunman, who was 39 or 40, was about to be deployed to Iraq and was “upset about it.”
The unemployment rate has hit double digits for the first time since 1983 — and is likely to go higher. The 10.2 percent jobless rate for October shows how weak the economy remains even though it is growing. Rising unemployment also could threaten the recovery if it saps consumers' confidence and makes them more cautious about spending as the holiday season approaches.
A suspect was in custody Friday afternoon after a man opened fire in the offices of an Orlando architecture company that fired him 2½ years ago, killing one person and wounding five others, police and the company said. Orlando police Chief Val Demings identified the suspect as Jason Rodriguez, 40. Police said he was arrested peacefully at his mother’s home. Asked by a reporter outside the police station why he did it, Rodriguez replied: “Because they left me to rot.”
Not only did Michael Jackson’s “This Is It”take the No. 1 domestic box-office spot over the Halloween weekend with $21.3 million, the film also managed to take in a total of $101 million worldwide over its first five days.
Sports News - November 1, 2009 -
The New York Yankees defeat the Philadelphia Phillies in game 6 to win the World Series. Final was 7-3.
Entertainment News – November 1, 2009 -
Elton John has been hospitalized after suffering from a case of E. coli bacterial infection and the flu. The pop star hopes to be released soon but has been forced to cancel concerts in England, Ireland and the United States. John intends to rejoin the "Face2Face" tour later in the month when he and Billy Joel play concerts in northern California.
Taylor Swift is headlining KIIS’ annual Holiday Concert event, “Jingle Ball,” happening December 5 at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE. In addition to Swift, the live performances include: Keri Hilson, Fabolous, Ting Tings, 3OH!3, LMFAO, Jay Sean and Jason DeRulo. Ryan Seacrest and other KIIS-FM (Los Angeles) air personalities will appear live at the event.
Britney Spears releases the full music video for her new single, "3," on Friday morning, posting it on her website. Also last Friday, The American Idol runner-up, 27, debuted his first single, "For Your Entertainment," on Ryan Secrest’s KIIS radio show.
Rihanna says Chris Brown had "no soul in his eyes" after he attacked her following a pre-Grammy Awards party. The singer tells ABC's "Good Morning America" that after being hit and bitten by Brown, "There was no person when I looked at him.”
Mary J. Blige, Green Day, Keith Urban and Shakira have joined the already star-filled list of performers set to take the stage at the "2009 American Music Awards." These artists join other previously announced acts including Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Eminem, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Lopez, The Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry and Adam Lambert.
The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty will premiere Sunday, Dec. 13, at 9/8c on A&E. The series kicks off with two back-to-back episodes before moving to it's regular time at 10/9c on Dec. 20. The reality show will follow Jackson brothers Jackie, Jermaine, Tito and Marlon as they prepare a Jackson Five reunion tour and album and deal with brother Michael’s death.
No Jay-Z for Mile-ee - Miley Cyrus - whose hit song, "Party in the U.S.A." includes a line about her nodding her head to one of the rapper's tracks -- says she doesn't know which of his songs inspired the lyrics. I've never heard a Jay-Z song," the singer, 16, "I don't listen to pop music."
Top Pop Hits – November 1, 2009 -
Fireflies – Owl City
Whatcha Say – Jason DeRulo
Down – Jay Sean fea. Lil Wayne
Run This Town – Jay-Z, Rhianna, Kanye West
Party in The U.S.A – Miley Cyrus
Paparazzi – Lady Gaga
Meet Me Halfway – Black Eyed Peas
3 – Britney Spears
Sweet Dreams – Beyonce
I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
You Belong to Me – Taylor Swift
Replay – Lyaz
Empire State of Mind Jay-Z and Alicia Keys
Forever – Drake fea. Kanye West, Eminem, Lil Wayne
Already Gone – Kelly Clarkson
Use Somebody – Kings of Leon
Sexy Chick – Dave Guetta fea. Akon
Obsessed – Mariah Carey
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
One Time – Justin Bieber
Tik Tok – Ke$ha
Toes – Zac Brown Band
Break Up – Mario fea. Gucci Mane and Sean Garrett
I Can Transform Ya – Chris Brown fea. Lil Wayne and Swizz Beatz
Fallin For You – Colbie Caillat
Top Movies – November 1, 2009 -
Michael Jackson’s This is It
Law Abiding Citizen
Where The Wild Things Are
Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
A Serious Man.