Dateline: Week Of October 15, 2009 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Bank of America Corp. said Friday it lost more than $2.2 billion in the third quarter as loan losses kept rising, providing further evidence that consumers are still struggling to pay their bills. The nation's second-largest bank said it wrote down loans on its books by almost $10 billion during the July-September period, up almost $1 billion from the second quarter. The bank also added $2.1 billion to its reserves to cover bad loans, bringing its provision for credit losses to $11.7 billion. The bank's total allowance for loan and lease losses now totals $35.83 billion.
A white Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have. Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long. "I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. "I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else." Bardwell said he asks everyone who calls about marriage if they are a mixed race couple. If they are, he does not marry them, he said.
The father of a 6-year-old boy who was thought to be in a helium balloon that floated away said Friday accusations that the ordeal was a publicity stunt are "extremely pathetic." The sheriff said he would be asking more questions.
Richard Heene and his family made the rounds on all three television networks on Friday, and the boy at the center of the saga got sick twice when he and his father were asked during separate interviews what he meant when he said that "we did this for a show." Falcon Heene vanished around the time his family's homemade helium balloon floated away from their home on Thursday, setting off a national uproar as authorities scoured the plains of northern Colorado for the youngster. Turns out, he was hiding in the rafters of the family's garage.
The Maldives' government held an underwater cabinet meeting on Saturday in a bid to focus global attention on rising sea levels that threaten to submerge the low-lying atoll nation. President Mohamed Nasheed plunged first into the Indian Ocean followed by his ministers, all clad in scuba gear, for the nationally televised meeting in this archipelago known as an idyllic holiday getaway for the rich. Nasheed and his deputy, Mohamed Waheed, and a dozen ministers sat behind tables arranged in a horseshoe at a depth of six metres (20 feet) and approved a resolution urging global action to cut carbon emissions.
President Barack Obama pushed back against critics of his health care plan on Saturday with a stern warning that absent reform, costs will continue to rise and eventually devastate the U.S. economy. The administration is trying to build momentum for the effort following a 14-9 vote this week by the Senate Finance Committee for legislation that would extend health care to millions of people.
Swine flu is causing unprecedented illness for so early in the fall — including a worrisome count of child deaths — and the government warned Friday that vaccine supplies will be even more scarce than expected through this month. Federal health officials said 11 more children have died in the past week because of the virus.
A 16-year-old Australian steered her bright pink yacht out of Sydney Harbor on Sunday to start her bid to become the youngest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world. Jessica Watson's plan to make a 23,600-mile journey through some of the world's most treacherous waters sparked a debate in Australia about whether someone so young should be allowed to try such a potentially dangerous feat.
Astronomers have found 32 new planets outside our solar system, adding evidence to the theory that the universe has many places where life could develop. Scientists using European Southern Observatory telescopes didn't find any planets quite the size of Earth or any that seemed habitable or even unusual. But their announcement increased the number of planets discovered outside the solar system to more than 400. Six of the newly found planets are several times bigger than Earth, increasing the population of so-called SuperEarths by more than 30 percent. Most planets discovered so far are far bigger, Jupiter-sized or even larger.
The chief of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard accused the United States, Britain and Pakistan on Monday of having links with Sunni militants responsible for a suicide bombing that killed five senior Guard commanders and 37 others. Iran's president said those behind Sunday's bombing are hiding across the border in Pakistan, and in a phone call with his Pakistani counterpart on Monday he demanded their arrest.
Pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers should not be targeted for federal prosecution in states that allow medical marijuana, prosecutors were told Monday in a new policy memo issued by the Justice Department. Under the policy spelled out in a three-page legal memo, federal prosecutors are being told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state law.
Afghanistan's election commission Tuesday ordered a Nov. 7 runoff in the disputed presidential poll after a fraud investigation dropped incumbent Hamid Karzai's votes below 50 percent of the total. Karzai accepted the finding and agreed to a second round vote. The announcement came two months to the day after the first round vote and follows weeks of political uncertainty at a time when Taliban strength is growing. President Barack Obama welcomed Karzai's willingness to run in a new election against his main rival Abdullah Abdullah, saying his decision "established an important precedent for Afghanistan's new democracy."
Entertainment News – October 15, 2009 -
Garth Brooks is coming out of retirement and will appear in Las Vegas. The country superstar and casino owner Steve Wynn announced that Brooks will be taking over the Encore theater at Wynn Las Vegas about 15 weeks a year, perhaps for the next five years.
Lindsey Lohan is ordered to appear in a Beverly Hills, Calif., courtroom Friday morning. The 23-year-old actress was placed on three years of probation in 2007 after she pleaded guilty to two counts of being under the influence of cocaine, and no contest to two counts of drunken driving and one count of reckless driving. She spent 84 minutes in jail.
Two weeks after the cancellation of her "Fame Kills" tour with Kanye West, Lady Gaga has announced the details of a solo tour. Described by Gaga as "the first-ever 'pop electro opera,'" "The Monster Ball" tour kicks off November 27 in Montreal, Canada, and will hit 16 North American cities before ending with a two-night stand January 20-21 at New York's Radio City Music Hall. The pop singer also revealed that "The Fame Monster," an enhanced re-release of her debut album, will be released November 23. It will feature a second disc with eight new songs, including "Bad Romance," which Gaga premiered at the Alexander McQueen show during Paris Fashion Week.
Bon Jovi has a new album and a new gig -- artist in residence with U.S. television network NBC, its affiliated cable TV networks, and all its news, information and digital brands. In a deal unveiled by NBC Universal on Thursday, the veteran rock band will perform on NBC's "Today" show on four Wednesdays in November, and lead singer Jon Bon Jovi will be a guest on cable channel Bravo's "Inside the Actor's Studio," as well as the subject of a character showcase on the company's USA network. The band's music, and its new studio album "The Circle" which launches on Nov 12, will also be featured heavily throughout NBC Universal's network and cable programming.
Taylor Swift will host “Saturday Night Live” on November 7.
Fox and Burger King have apologized to Jessica Simpson for their "poor attempt at humor" in an NFL animated skit that mocked her weight. The spoof, which aired during Fox NFL Sunday and was sponsored by Burger King, featured cartoon versions of Dallas Cowboys players poking fun at the singer's physique, which has been under scrutiny for the past year.
Former boxing rivals Mike Tyson and Evander Hollyfield appear on Oprah Winfrey. Tyson once bit part of Hollyfield’s ear off – so lets see if it grew back.
Britney Spears on top again, with the U.S. pop singer cementing her comeback with a new single, "3," rocketing to No. 1 in its debut week. Proving her popularity has not waned despite a personal and career meltdown in 2007 and 2008, "3" entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart at the top, making her the first artist with a debut No. 1 in more than three years, Billboard said on Wednesday. The single, from her new album, "The Singles Collection," due out on November 10, is the first No. 1 debut since Taylor Hicks’ 2006 hit "Do I Make You Proud" and the first non-"American Idol" song to enter the chart at No. 1 in almost 11 years. Spears has sold more than 63 million albums worldwide since her debut as a teen pop phenomenon with the single "... Baby One More Time" in 1998.
Conan O'Brien and Newark Mayor Cory Booker turned their frivolous feud about the gritty city into comedy on NBC's "Tonight Show" on Friday.The chatty 40-somethings worked off one another like a comic duo. But the jokes eventually gave way to a plug for Booker's efforts to fashion a national blueprint for urban transformation in Newark, long an icon for urban decay, and a $100,000 donation to his Newark Now charity from O'Brien and NBC. Booker's appearance on O'Brien's show culminated a facetious feud that began Sept. 23 with O'Brien joking that Booker's new health care program consisted of a bus ticket out of Newark, which is just west of New York City and is often scarred by violence. The mayor responded with a humorous video on YouTube in which he banned O'Brien from Newark Liberty International Airport.
Passing - Vic Mizzy, a songwriter who composed the catchy themes for the 1960s sit-coms ”The Addams Family” and "Green Acres," has died. He was 93. He wrote songs that were recorded by Dean Martin, Doris Day, Perry Como and Billie Holiday in the '40s and '50s. His hits included "Pretty Kitty Blue Eyes," "My Dreams are Getting Better All the Time," and "With a Hey and a Hi and a Ho-Ho-Ho." But his most famous work was the theme to "The Addams Family," a tune accented by finger snaps and opening with the cleverly quirky lyrics: "They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're altogether ooky: the Addams family."
Donny Osmond makes his debut atop the "Dancing With the Stars" leaderboard with his professional partner Kym Johnson, after steaming up the ballroom with an Argentine tango. Although he is one of the oldest celebrities left in the competition, Donny, just 51, spiced up the dance floor with Kym to the delight of the three judges.
Elizabeth Hasselbeck returned to her usual seat at "The View" table after taking several months off due to maternity leave. A judge will allow former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to join the cast of The Celebrity Apprentice, but has requested that his attorneys meet with prosecutors to discuss how his participation in the reality show will affect his upcoming trial, according to the Chicago Tribune.
TV listings/TV Guide – October 15, 2009 –
Sunday night TV
At 7, ABC has a new America's Funniest Home Videos, followed by new episodes of Extreme Makeover, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters.
CBS has a new 60 Minutes at 7, then new episodes of The Amazing Race, Three Rivers, and Cold Case.
NBC has a new Football Night in America at 7, followed by the Bears vs. the Falcons.
FOX has a new Brothers at 7.
At 8, FOX has a new episode of The Simpsons, then a new Cleveland Show.
TBS has Baseball Playoffs at 8, the Dodgers vs. the Phillies.
Nickelodeon has a new Nick News Special Edition at 8.
At 9, PBS has a new Masterpiece Mystery!
Food Network has a new Next Iron Chef at 9, then a new Iron Chef America.
IFC has Monty Python: Almost The Truth (The Lawyer's Cut) at 9.
HBO has a new Curb Your Enthusiasm at 9, followed by a new Bored To Death.
Also at 9: Showtime has a new Dexter, then a new Californication.
At 9:30, FOX has a new American Dad.
At 10, AMC has a new Mad Men.
At 11:30, Cartoon Network has a new Titan Maximum.
At midnight , Cartoon Network has a new Venture Brothers
Top Pop Hits – October 15, 2009 –
3 – Britney Spears (debuts at #1)
Party in the U.S.A. – Miley Cyrus
Down – Jay Sean fea. Lil Wayne
Watcha Say – Jason DeRulo
Run This Town – Jay-Z, Rihanna, Kanye West
I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
Paparazzi – Lady Gaga
Fireflies – Owl City
You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift
Use Somebody – Kings of Leon
Top Music Albums – October 15, 2009 –
Crazy Love – Michael Buble
American Ride – Toby Keith
Sonic Boom – Kiss
The Blueprint-3 – Jay-Z
Love is the Answer – Barbra Streisand
Doin’ My Thing – Luke Bryan
Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel – Mariah Carey
The Time Of Our Lives – Miley Cyrus
Dear Agony – Breaking Benjamin
This Is It – Backstreet Boys
Brand New Eyes – Paramore
Black Gives Way to Blue – Alice in Chains
Still – BeBe and CeCe Winans
I Look to You – Whitney Houston
Backspace – Pearl Jam
Fearless – Taylor Swift
Your Songs – Harry Connick Jr.
Revolution – Miranda Lambert
Celebration - Madonna
Top Movies – October 15, 2009 –
Where The Wild Things Are
Law Abiding Citizen
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
The Invention of Lying
Capitalism: A Love Story.