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Dateline: Week Of July 15, 2009 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment  & Fascinating Facts 


In The News -

A Russian-made Iranian passenger plane carrying nearly 170 people crashed shortly after takeoff Wednesday, smashing into a field northwest of the capital and shattering to pieces. State television said all on board were killed.

The plane's tail burst into flames in the air and the aircraft circled as if looking for a place to land before it crashed, an unidentified witness told the semi-official ISNA news agency.

The Senate health committee cast a milestone vote Wednesday to approve legislation expanding insurance coverage to nearly all Americans, becoming the first congressional panel to act on President Barack Obama's top domestic priority. The 13-10 party line vote advanced a $600 billion measure that would require individuals to get health insurance and employers to contribute to the cost. Democratic leaders are driving for floor votes in the House and Senate before Congress goes on its August break.

Bank of America joined the nation's other big banks in reporting better than expected earnings, posting a $2.42 billion second-quarter profit even as losses from failed loans continued to rise. Bank of America said Friday its earnings after payment of preferred dividends were down at 33 cents per share compared with a profit of $3.22 billion, or 72 cents per share, a year earlier. The earnings beat the forecasts of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who forecast Bank of America would earn 28 cents per share. Revenue rose to $32.77 billion, slightly below analysts' forecast of $33.1 billion. Also Friday, Citigroup Inc. said it earned $3 billion after paying preferred dividends, or 49 cents per share. Analysts had predicted the New York-based bank would post a quarterly loss.

Indonesia – Suicide bombers who checked in as guests smuggled explosives into American luxury hotels in Indonesia's capital and set off a pair of heavy blasts Friday that killed eight people and wounded more than 50, investigators said. The near-simultaneous bombings ended a four-year lull in terror attacks on civilian, Western targets in the world's most populous Muslim nation. At least 18 foreigners were among the dead and wounded..

The world's oldest man, 113-year-old World War I veteran Henry Allingham, died Saturday after spending his final years reminding Britain about the 9 million soldiers killed during the conflict. Allingham was the last surviving original member of the Royal Air Force, which was formed in 1918. He made it a personal crusade to talk about a conflict that wiped out much of a generation.

 Astronauts working inside and out installed a porch for experiments on Japan's enormous space station lab Saturday, accomplishing the major objective despite microphone static that often drowned out the spacewalkers' voices.

Veteran spaceman David Wolf and rookie Timothy Kopra could barely make themselves understood at times because of the loud static emanating from Kopra's helmet microphones.

A Russian-owned civilian helicopter crashed and burst into flames shortly after takeoff at southern Afghanistan's largest NATO base Sunday, killing 16 civilians in the latest in a string of deadly aircraft crashes in the country.

A U.S. military helicopter also made an emergency landing in the country's east, causing several injuries. A military spokeswoman said there was no insurgent fire involved.

arnold schwarzenegger closes budget shortfall headline july 2009 mrpopculture Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and California's legislative leaders agreed Monday on a plan to close the state's $26 billion budget shortfall, potentially getting the state back on firm financial ground so it can stop issuing IOUs.The governor and leaders from both parties announced the compromise after more than five hours of closed-door talks. If the agreement survives its run through both houses of the Legislature, it would provide temporary relief to an epic fiscal crisis that has captured national attention, sunk the state's credit rating and forced deep cuts in education and social services.


Technology News - July 15, 2009


In what could be a positive sign for online advertising, Google said on Thursday that its second-quarter revenue rose from a year ago as ad spending in certain areas recovered and the company did well at managing expenses. In what it termed "a very good quarter," Google posted revenue of $4.07 billion for the second quarter, excluding commissions paid to advertisers, up from a year ago and a smidge higher than analyst estimates.


Entertainment/Celebrity/Television/Movie News – July 15, 2009

walter cronkite dies/passes july 2012 headline trivia timeline mrpopculturePassing – Veteran CBS newsman Walter Cronkite (92) – considered by many as the greatest TV news anchor of all time.

Robert Redford marries - The 71-year-old actor wed artist Sibylle Szaggars  51, last Saturday at the luxury Louis C. Jacob Hotel in Hamburg, Germany.

British prankster Russell Brand will host the MTV Video Music Awards again this year, MTV said on Tuesday. The flamboyant 34-year-old comedian, actor, radio and television presenter will return as the host of the awards that will air live from stages set up around New York, including Radio City Music Hall, on September 13, the cable channel said in a news release. Brand hosted the MTV Video Music Awards last year, raising eyebrows by describing then U.S. President George W. Bush as a "retarded country fella" and ridiculing oaths of virginity undertaken by teen idols the Jonas Brothers.

seinfeld tops comedians earnings july 2009 trivia headline timeline mrpopcultureComedians earnings – Jerry Seinfeld tops the list. He earned $85 million during the 12-month period. Syndication deals for his eponymous sitcom, which he produced, wrote, and starred in, made up the bulk of his income. Off the air for more than a decade, the "show about nothing" continues to mint money. The funnyman was able to bolster his TV earnings with a pricey Microsoft campaign and lucrative stand-up gigs. Seinfeld's next project is a reality show titled "The Marriage Ref," which he'll produce for his former network, NBC. The premise: Opinionated stars will comment, judge, and offer differing strategies to real-life couples in the midst of marital disputes. Despite heavy fan interest, the General Electric-owned network's onetime golden boy will reportedly remain behind the scenes.

Chris Rock lands at No. 2 on the list with $42 million. Over the course of the year, he added a slew of big-screen flicks to his resume ("Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," the upcoming "Death at a Funeral," and "Grown Ups"), released a new top-rated HBO comedy special ("Kill the Messenger"), and snagged another book deal with Grand Central Publishing. Come fall, his TV show, "Everybody Hates Chris," which he created and narrates for the CW, will kick off its syndication run.

 Forty-five years after the Beatles' American TV debut at the Ed Sullivan Theater, Paul McCartney got back — with a concert on top of the marquee.

McCartney put on an outdoor show atop the theater's marquee Wednesday for a crowd estimated at between 3,500 to 4,000 people. The performance was shown during the former Beatle's first appearance on CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman." On the show, McCartney performed the Beatles hit "Get Back" and the song "Sing the Changes" from his most recent album. McCartney opens a U.S. tour Friday at Citi Field, which is the New York Mets stadium that opened this year. Their previous home, Shea Stadium, was also where the Beatles performed for a sold-out crowd of screaming fans in 1965.

 As Paula Abdul's American Idol counterparts continue to ink deals to return to the series for its upcoming ninth season, the judge's manager says his client will ditch the FOX show unless producers change their tune. "Very sadly, it does not appear that she's going to be back on Idol," Abdul's manager, David Sonenberg, who has yet to receive a proposal for her return. "I find it under these circumstances particularly unusual; I think unnecessarily hurtful," he added of the holdup. "I find it kind of unconscionable and certainly rude and disrespectful that [Idol production companies Fremantle and 19 Entertainment] haven't stepped up and said what they want to do."


Television sked/listing/TV Guide – week of July 15, 2009

Saturday Night 

Nickelodeon has a SpongeBob SquarePants marathon all night.

At 8, NBC has a new Kings.

ESPN has World Cup Softball at 8, the U.S. vs. Japan at 8.

Versus has Tour de France coverage at 8.

HGTV has a new Divine Design at 8.

At 8:30, FOX has a new Cops, then a new America's Most Wanted.

At 9, CNBC has a new Suze Orman Show.

BBC America has a new Primeval at 9.

VH-1 has the movie The Jacksons: An American Dream at 9.

TBS bill engvall show july 2009 tv trivia timeline mrpopcultureTBS has the season premiere of The Bill Engvall Show at 9 (two episodes).

At 10, ABC has a new Dirty Sexy Money.

At midnight, Cartoon Network has two new episodes of Bleach.

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