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Dateline: Week Of October 1, 2009 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts

In The News -

Samoans searched flattened homes and debris-filled swamps, while dazed survivors told of being trapped underwater or flung inland by a tsunami that ravaged towns and killed at least 150 people in the South Pacific.The day after the disaster struck, officials were expecting the death toll to rise as more areas were searched.

First-time claims for jobless benefits increased more than expected last week, a sign employers are reluctant to hire and the job market remains weak.

And while consumer spending jumped by the most in nearly eight years in August due partly to the government's Cash for Clunkers program, economists worry whether that rebound can be sustained with U.S. households facing rising unemployment, tight credit conditions and other obstacles.

Consumer spending, propelled by the wildly popular Cash for Clunkers auto sales program, shot up in August by the largest amount in nearly eight years even though personal incomes continued to lag. The Commerce Department said Thursday that consumer spending rose 1.3 percent in August, even better than the 1.1 percent gain that had been expected. Incomes, the fuel for future spending gains, continued to lag, edging up 0.2 percent in August, the same as the July increase.

The unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in September, the highest since June 1983, as employers cut far more jobs than expected. The report is evidence that the worst recession since the 1930s is still inflicting widespread pain and underscores one of the biggest threats to the nascent economic recovery: that consumers, worried about job losses and stagnant wages, will restrain spending. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the nation's economy.

No Summer Olympics for the U.S. - President Barack Obama's high-profile failure to win the games for Chicago could feed negative narratives already nipping at his heels — that he is a better talker than deal closer, more celebrity than statesman. And this could hamper his efforts on weightier issues like health care, climate change, war. Despite Obama's fabled charm and powers of persuasion, his in-person plea for Chicago to host the 2016 Summer Games fell flat. It was a hugely embarrassing defeat. His adopted hometown — considered the front-runner heading into Friday's voting — did not just lose, it took last place, shocking nearly all by getting knocked out in the first round while the remaining three contenders duked it out. The games will be down in Rio.

Powerful winds toppled power poles and trees Saturday in the northern Philippines as the second typhoon in eight days bore down on the country. Farther north, Taiwan began evacuating villages also in the path of the storm.

The Philippines is still reeling from a Sept. 26 typhoon that caused the worst flooding in 40 years and killed 288 people. Officials said Typhoon Parma, was no longer headed for the same heavily populated regions devastated by the earlier storm.

ahmadinejad news october 1 2009Iran's president says President Barack Obama made a big mistake when he accused the country of hiding a newly revealed nuclear site that Iran claims it reported to the U.N. nuclear watchdog within the necessary timeframe. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments Saturday come just before the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, is scheduled to arrive in Iran to discuss the uranium enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom.

ElBaradei recently said Tehran was "on the wrong side of the law" over its new plant. He said Iran should have revealed its plans as soon as it decided to build the facility — a position backed by the U.S. Ahmadinejad said Iran revealed the facility to the IAEA on Sept. 21, four days before Obama denounced Tehran.

Hundreds of insurgents armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades stormed a pair of remote outposts near the Pakistan border, killing eight U.S. soldiers and capturing more than 20 Afghan security troops in the deadliest assault against U.S. forces in more than a year, military officials said Sunday.

Americans Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider and Jack Szostak were named winners of the 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for research that has implications for cancer and aging research. The trio solved a big problem in biology: how chromosomes can be "copied in a complete way during cell divisions and how they are protected against degradation," the citation said. It said the laureates have shown that the solution is to be found in the ends of the chromosomes — the telomeres — and in an enzyme that forms them. Telomeres are often compared to the plastic tips at the end of shoe laces that keep those laces from unraveling.

As a suspected al-Qaida operative pleaded not guilty Tuesday to plotting a bomb attack in New York, the city's police commissioner pronounced the threat neutralized and said there is nothing to fear from the defendant's three alleged accomplices. The terror scheme "has been broken up," said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. "I see no danger emanating ... from the people involved in this investigation." He would not elaborate, and police and federal investigators have repeatedly refused to discuss the whereabouts of the three people who are alleged to have helped Afghan immigrant Najibullah Zazi buy beauty supplies for use in brewing up explosives.

Reporters swarmed Sunday's Emanuel Ungaro ready-to-wear show in Paris, hoping to catch up with the label's new artistic advisor, Lindsay Lohan. Conveniently, the recent announcement about Lohan's new post with Ungaro coincides with the launch of her leggings line, 6126.

Sports News – October 1, 2009 -

tiger woods first in history octo 2009Tiger Woods is the first athlete to reach a billion dollars in career earnings, according to Forbes.com, cementing his status as the top pitchman/athlete in sports historyThe $10 million prize he claimed for winning the FedEx Cup title on Sunday pushed him over the top, according to Forbes' estimates. Woods had earned $895 million coming into the season and took home $10.5 million in winnings to go with his championship bonus and endorsement money, appearance fees and earnings from his course design business.

Technology News – October 1, 2009 -

New Microsoft data center in Chicago. The company allowed a group of reporters, customers, and partners to tour the 700,000 square foot facility. The data center, along with another just-opened facility in Dublin, Ireland and existing centers in San Antonio and Quincy, Wash., serve as the guts behind Microsoft's online ambitions, from Bing to Hotmail to Windows Azure.

Entertainment /Celebrity News – October 1, 2009 -

mariah carey new fragrance octo 2009Lot’s going on with Mariah Carey. In a press juncket, she showcases her new fragrance, "Forever," at Macy's Herald Square in New York where she talks to Access about her new movie, "Precious," her new album, "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel," and the launch of her new fragrance.

A CBS News employee is accused of trying to extort $2 million from David Letterman, forcing the late-night host to admit in an extraordinary monologue before millions of viewers that he had sexual relationships with female employees. Letterman said that "this whole thing has been quite scary." But he mixed in jokes while outlining what had happened to him, seeming to confuse a laughing audience at Thursday's taping about whether the story was true. The network said the person who was arrested works on the true-crime show "48 Hours" and has been suspended. A person with knowledge of the investigation said the suspect is Robert J. Halderman. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because authorities have not released the suspect's name. A "48 Hours" producer named Joe Halderman was part of a team nominated for an Emmy for outstanding continuing coverage of a news story in a news magazine in 2008. Two numbers listed for Halderman were disconnected, and a message left at a third number was not immediately returned Thursday.

jay leno letterman comment oct 1 2009Next night - Jay Leno - Letterman's longtime late-night rival didn't waste a moment in addressing the situation. He kicked off his monologue on NBC's "The Jay Leno Show" with several jokes about Letterman. He opened: "If you came here tonight for sex with a talk show host, you've got the wrong studio." Leno continued: "What is going on? First Conan hit his head, and then somebody tries to extort money from Letterman. I'm so glad I'm out of late night," he said, also referencing an incident last week when Conan O'Brien, the new host of the "Tonight Show," suffered a mild concussion during a skit on the program. When Leno claimed to never have had a sexual relationship with one of his employees, the drummer of his house band, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, threw a mock fit.

Top Pop Hits – October 1, 2009 -

I Gotta Feeling- Black Eyed Peas

Down – Jay Sean Fea. Lil Wayne

Party in the City – Miley Cyrus

Run This Town – Jay-z, Rihanna, Kayne West

Watcha Say – Jason DeRulo

You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift

Paparazzi – Lady GaGa

Obsessed – Mariah Carey

Use Somebody – Kings of Leon

Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z, Alicia Keys

Cowboy Casanova – Carrie Underwood

Forever – Drake fea. Kayne West, Lil Wayne, Eminem

Hotel Room Service – Pitbull

shakira music oct 1 2009Shewolf – Shakira

Best I Ever Have – Drake

Sweat Dreams – Beyonce

Good Girls Go Bad – Cobra Starship fea. Leighton Meester

Throw It In the Bag – Fabolous fea. The Dream

Knock You Down – Keri Hilson fea. Kayne West and Ne-Yo

Break Up – Mario fea. Mane and Sean Garrett

TV listings/TV Guide – October 1, 2009 -

Friday night TV

At 8, CBS has a new Ghost Whisperer, followed by new episodes of Medium and Numb3rs.

NBC has a new Law and Order at 8, then new episodes of Dateline and The Jay Leno Show.

FOX has a new Brothers at 8, followed by the season premiere of 'Til Death and a new Dollhouse.

The CW has a new Smallville at 8.

There's a new installment of The National Parks on PBS at 8.

MyNetwork TV has a new Smackdown! at 8.

Nickelodeon has a new episode of The Troop at 8.

ESPN2 has College Football at 8, Pittsburgh vs. Louisville.

Cartoon Network has the season premiere of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

At 9, Syfy has the series premiere of Stargate Universe.

Lifetime has the season premiere of DietTribe.

BBC America has a new Friday Night with Jonathan Ross at 9.

TCM has Rear Window at 9.

Also at 9: National Geographic has a new Dog Whisperer.

At 10, HBO has a new Real Time with Bill Maher.

E! has a new episode of The Soup at 10.

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