Dateline: Week Of October 8, 2009 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
A suicide car bomber detonated his vehicle outside the Indian Embassy in the bustling center of the Afghan capital Thursday, killing 17 people in the second major attack in the city in less than a month. The Afghan Foreign Ministry hinted at Pakistani involvement — a charge Pakistan denied. The blast occurred a day after the war entered its ninth year and as President Barack Obama was deliberating a request by the top commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal for up to 40,000 more troops. Opponents of a troop increase want to shift focus to missile strikes and special operations against al-Qaida-linked groups in Pakistan.
The number of newly laid-off workers filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell to the lowest level since early January, as layoffs eased a bit amid a fledgling economic recovery. The fourth drop in new claims in five weeks is a sign the labor market is slowly healing. But employers are reluctant to hire new workers and the unemployment rate is expected to keep climbing well into next year.
Hummer, the off-road vehicle that once was a symbol of America's love for hulking trucks, is now in the hands of a Chinese heavy equipment maker.
General Motors Co. and Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp. finally signed the much-anticipated deal to sell the brand on Friday, according to a joint statement issued by both companies.
President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a stunning decision designed to build momentum behind his initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim world and stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism. Obama said he was surprised and deeply humbled by the honor, and planned to travel to Oslo to accept the prize. "I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many transformative figures that have been honored by this prize," he said. "I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the challenges of the 21st century."
NASA smacked two spacecraft into the lunar south pole Friday morning in a search for hidden ice. Instruments confirm that a large empty rocket hull barreled into the moon at 7:31 a.m., followed four minutes later by a probe with cameras taking pictures of the first crash. But initial photos show that the moon didn't give the reaction to the double jabs that NASA expected.
A suicide car bombing targeting Pakistani troops killed 41 people Monday, the fourth grisly militant attack in just over a week, as the Taliban pledged to mobilize fighters across the country for more strikes. The Taliban also claimed responsibility for the 22-hour weekend attack on the nation's heavily fortified army headquarters, saying a cell from Pakistan's most populous province carried out the raid. The claim that a Punjabi faction of the Pakistani Taliban was behind that strike is a sign the insurgents have forged links with militants outside their main strongholds in Pashtun areas close to the Afghan border, increasing their potency.
Britain is ready to raise troop numbers in Afghanistan by 500 to 9,500, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Wednesday, providing certain conditions are met.
Worsening violence in the eight-year, U.S.-led war against the Taliban has led to calls for a change of strategy including the option of sending more troops to bolster security. More than 100,000 Western troops are serving in Afghanistan, of whom 65,000 are American. The number of U.S. troops is already due to increase to 68,000 later this year.
Fascinating Facts – October 8, 2009 –
Industry observers said the surprisingly strong figure was bolstered by sales in non-traditional outlets like coffee retailer Starbucks Corp, Liberty Media Corp's QVC home-shopping network and Streisand's own website.The crown had been expected to go to pop-rock band Paramore, which settled for a close No. 2 with sales of 175,000 for "Brand New Eyes."Pop singer's Mariah Carey’s new album "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel" was considered a disappointment, starting at No. 3 with 168,000 copies. Streisand, who is 67 - extended her lead as the female act with the most No. 1 releases on the Billboard 200. She also became the first artist to top the chart in five consecutive decades.
The hotel industry is reexamining guest privacy safeguards in light of the case of an ESPN reporter who was videotaped nude through the peephole of her hotel room door, allegedly by a man who reserved an adjacent room. "This is a wakeup call for the hotel industry," said Peter Greenberg, author of "Hotel Secrets from the Travel Detective" and CBS travel editor. Court papers say Michael D. Barrett requested and received a hotel room adjacent to ESPN reporter Erin Andrews at the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University. Barrett then allegedly jimmied the peephole of Andrews' hotel door, shot the videos and uploaded them to the Internet.
Sports News - October 8 2009 -
Former NHL star Theo Fleury says he was sexually abused by a junior hockey coach. Fleury's account is detailed in an autobiography called "Playing With Fire." The book is to be released next week. Excerpts appeared online. The former Calgary Flames forward accuses Graham James of abuse. James was jailed in 1997 after admitting to sexually abusing two players on his junior hockey team — one being ex-NHL player Sheldon Kennedy.
Entertainment News – October 8, 2009 -
Barry Manilow set to end a five-year run at the Las Vegas Hilton on December 30, Sony Music said the 66-year-old singer has re-signed his recording deal with its Arista Records label and will be releasing two new albums in the coming months. He will be releasing his third Christmas album, "In The Swing of Christmas" on October 13 featuring contemporary and traditional yuletide songs including "Silver Bells," "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." He will record his second new album, "The Greatest Love Songs Of All Time," in collaboration with Arista founder Clive Davis, who is now chief creative officer at Sony Music. This is set for release in January in time for Valentine's Day.
Passing - Al Martino, a crooner who had several pop hits spanning more than 20 years and played Johnny Fontane in the 1970s "Godfather" movies, died Tuesday at his childhood home in Springfield, Pa. He was 82.
Brace yourselves, ladies, because Levi Johnston is taking it all off for your viewing pleasure.Levi Johnston - The 19-year-old father of Sarah Palin’s grandson will pose nude for playgirlmagazine.
Barbra Streisand scored her ninth No. 1 album on the U.S. pop chart on Wednesday with a jazz release that overshadowed high-profile releases by some much-younger artists.Streisand's "Love Is the Answer," her first studio recording in four years, sold 180,000 copies during the week ending October 4, according to her Columbia Records label, a unit of Sony Corp.
Actor Leonard Nimoy returns to U.S. television this week in his new guise as a mysterious mastermind on the show "Fringe," but doubts that his Mr. Spock will head back to space, the final frontier. Nimoy, 78, reprised his role as Spock, playing an older version of the character in director J.J. Abrams new movie take on "Star Trek" this year. But he told reporters he does not think there will be a role for him in the sequel, slated for release in 2011. "I think I was useful in this last film to help bridge between the original actors and this new cast," Nimoy said. "They have a wonderful new cast in place... and I don't see why they would need me in this next film. But if they called me, I would be happy to have a conversation about it," Nimoy said.
Aerosmith has survived drugs, departures, divorces and discord since the rock 'n' roll bad boys formed 40 years ago. But guitarist Joe Perry does not know if the band will overcome its latest troubles, and is forging ahead with his own ambitious touring and recording plans. Aerosmith has been on a wobbly footing for the past few years, beset by various medical ailments that have prevented it from recording its first album of new material since 2001. Things came to a head two months ago when the band canceled a stop-start U.S. tour after singer Steven Tyler fell off the stage and broke his shoulder.
Kim Raver will join the cast of "Grey's Anatomy" in a recurring role, an ABC rep confirmed to Access Hollywood. The former "Lipstick Jungle" star will play a new surgeon at Seattle Grace.
Monday's episode of the Late Show played to 5.7 million viewers and earned a 1.4 rating in the 18-49 adults demographic. The show marked Letterman's first since he revealed a blackmail plot against him based on his affairs with female employees. Letterman apologized to his wife, Regina Lasko, at the beginning of the show.
The Miss America Organization says Rush Limbaugh will be a judge for the 2010 pageant in Las Vegas. It will be held at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on Jan. 30, broadcast live on TLC. Limbaugh will be on the panel of seven judges that will help decide who will be crowned Miss America 2010.
Michael Jackson’s highly anticipated new single, "This Is It" debuts online nearly four months after the singer died of a prescription drug overdose at the age of 50. The soulful RandB song includes backing vocals by Jackson's brothers, will play during the closing sequence of Sony's forthcoming film, Michael Jackson’s This Is It.
Miley Cyrus isn't the only singer to call it quits with Twitter. Courtney Love’s Twitter page, @courtneylover79, where the former Hole frontwoman had offered streams of difficult-to-interpret rants that landed her in legal trouble recently, had been closed as of Sunday. A second account, @clcobain, was also closed. Courtney was sued earlier this month by a fashion designer after the star lashed out with a string of allegedly defamatory Tweets. Meanwhile, Miley, who previously released a rap video to explain why she'd quit the micro-blogging site, offered a more serious take on her exit on her private fan Web site, Mileyworld.
Lady GaGa took a break from "The Fame" to "Imagine" a different tomorrow. "I'm not going to play one of my songs tonight. Tonight is not about me. It's about you," she said in a video available on YouTube before launching into John Lennon's classic song at the Human Rights Campaign's dinner the night before the National Equality March in Washington, D.C.
Moses Levi, the rapper known as Shyne, saw his career cut short when he was jailed on a 10-year-sentence on charges related to a 1999 incident also involving Sean "Diddy" Combs and Jennifer Lopez. Diddy - then known as "Puff Daddy" - was acquitted, and with Shyne's sentence now finished, the rapper has denied that his former mentor spoke with him recently to clear the air.
Singer Carly Simon is suing Starbucks Corp., saying the coffee company's now-defunct music venture didn't adequately promote her 2008 album, dooming the record before it was even released. The singer, whose biggest success came during the 1970s and '80s with hits like "You're So Vain" and "Anticipation," is seeking unspecified damages related to the release of the 14-track "This Kind of Love" in April 2008. In a lawsuit filed Friday with California's Los Angeles County Superior Court, Simon and her attorneys said the album wasn't available in "a substantial number" of Starbucks stores during the key early months following its release. Later, when the disc was stocked in Starbucks locations, the Seattle-based company slashed the price.
Jon and Kate Gosselin’s TLC reality show bites - according to the audience at the Fox Reality Channel's Reality Awards in Los Angeles Tuesday. The June 23 episode - which featured the couple announcing they were separating after 10 years of marriage - was up for Best Reality OMG Moment. When it was announced, the crowd booed. The future of the TLC show - which was recently renamed Kate Plus 8remains up in the air.
"Dancing With the Stars" will honor the late Michael Jackson with a ballroom dance tribute on next Tuesday's show. The Jackson "Dancing" tribute will star all the professional dancers strutting their stuff across the ballroom. Cheryl Burke has been tapped as one of the choreographers.
The Jacksons are at odds over the inclusion of Michael Jackson’s three children in an upcoming AandE reality show about the famous family, A source says the buzzed-about program will include Michael's kids -- Prince,12, Paris, 11, and Blanket, 7. While Janet, 43, is on board, mom "is just going along with things," the source continues. Still, one of the creators of the program -- which will be either five one-hour episodes or 10 half-hour episodes -- says the family shines on the series.
American wrestler and entertainer Captain Lou Albano, known for his outrageous declarations and unruly hair, has died. He was 76. The pro wrestler, who was part of the 1980s World Wrestling Federation sensation Wrestlemania, was at home under hospice care in New York before his death.
Top Movies – October 8, 2009 -
Cloudy with a Chance of Meaballs
The Invention of Lying
Capitalism: A Love Story
Tyler Perry’s: I Can Do Bad All By Myself
Top Country Albums – October 8, 2009 –
Revolution – Miranda Lambert
The Foundation – Zac Brown Brand
Fearless – Taylor Swift
Wide Open – Jason Aldean
#1’s… And Them Some – Brooks and Dunn
Hannah Montana The Movie soundtrack
Twang – George Strait
Lady Antebellum – Lady Antebellum
Keep On Loving You – Reba (McEntire).
#1 Country Hit – October 8, 2009
American Ride – Toby Keith
Top Alternative Rock Hits – October 8, 2009 -
Check My Brain – Alice in Chains
Uprising - Muse
(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) – Weezer
Savior – Rise Against
Wheels – Foo Fighters
Jars – Chevelle
Medicate – AFI
Notion – Kings of Leon
I Will Not Bow – Breaking Benjamin
Ignornace – by Paramore