Dateline: Week Of July 1, 2009 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
The prescription painkillers Percocet and Vicodin should be banned, and Tylenol, sold over the counter, should be taken in reduced doses, because one of the three medications' ingredients, acetaminophen, is linked to liver damage, federal advisers said. Outside advisers to the Food and Drug Administration voted 20 to 17 yesterday for a ban on the pain drugs. The panel agreed earlier that Johnson & Johnson's Tylenol should be given in lower doses than recommended and that the extra-strength version should be sold by prescription only.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a fiscal emergency to address California's deficit and has ordered state offices closed three days a month to save cash. The Legislature will have 45 days to send him a plan to balance the state's budget, which ended the fiscal year with a $24.3 billion deficit. The shortfall is expected to grow by $7 billion because the Legislature did not enact several stopgap measures Tuesday.
Insurgents have captured an American soldier in eastern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Thursday. Spokeswoman Capt. Elizabeth Mathias said the soldier went missing on Tuesday. "We are using all of our resources to find him and provide for his safe return," Mathias said.
Employers cut a larger-than-expected 467,000 jobs in June, driving the unemployment rate up to a 26-year high of 9.5 percent, suggesting that the economy's road to recovery will be bumpy. The Labor Department report, released Thursday, showed that even as the recession flashes signs of easing, companies likely will want to keep a lid on costs and be wary of hiring until they feel certain the economy is on solid ground.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Republican John McCain's vice presidential running mate in 2008, said on Friday she will resign this month and will not run for re-election as governor. Palin took no questions after a brief news conference in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, with Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell and much of her state cabinet at her side. She gave no indication of her future plans. "I'm not seeking re-election" in 2010, Palin said, adding she would transfer authority to Parnell on July 26.
The circumstances surrounding Michael Jackson's death have become a federal issue, with the Drug Enforcement Administration asking to help police take a look at the pop star's doctors and possible drug use. Following Jackson's death, allegations emerged that the 50-year-old King of Pop had been consuming painkillers, sedatives and antidepressants.
A roadside bomb in northern Afghanistan killed four American soldiers Monday, while a suicide attack in the south killed two civilians, officials said.
The bombing in the northern Kunduz province targeted an American military convoy, said Kunduz Gov. Mohammad Omar.
President Barack Obama opened his first Moscow summit with confidence on Monday, predicting "extraordinary progress" out of meetings set to test his diplomatic skills on important priorities such as nuclear arsenal reductions and the fight in Afghanistan. "The United States and Russia have more in common than they have differences," Obama said he sat down in an ornate Kremlin room with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Iran's supreme leader warned Western governments on Monday of a "negative impact" on relations over what he called their meddling in Iran's post-election riots, state television reported. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments reflect continued efforts by the regime to blame Western powers such as the U.S. and Britain — not internal anger — for unrest following the country's disputed presidential election. They also come one day after the American vice president said the U.S. is still open to negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program.
Riots and street battles killed at least 140 people in China's western Xinjiang province and injured 828 others in the deadliest ethnic unrest to hit the region in decades. Officials said Monday the death toll was expected to rise.
Police sealed off streets in parts of the provincial capital, Urumqi, after discord between ethnic Muslim Uighur people and China's Han majority erupted into violence. Witnesses reported a new, smaller protest Monday in a second city, Kashgar.
Sports News - July 1, 2009
Former NFL quarterback Steve McNair’s shooting death was a homicide, police said Sunday, but authorities stopped short of saying it was a murder-suicide committed by the 20-year-old girlfriend found dead by his side. McNair, 36, was shot four times, twice in the head, by a semiautomatic pistol, Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said. The woman, Sahel Kazemi, was killed by a single gunshot wound and the pistol was found under her body, Aaron said.
Entertainment/Celebrity News – July 1, 2009
Passing - Karl Malden, the Academy Award-winning actor whose intelligent characterizations on stage and screen made him a star despite his plain looks, died Wednesday, his family said. He was 97. Malden died of natural causes surrounded by his family at his Brentwood home, they told the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. He served as the academy's president from 1989-92.
Hilary Duff is The CW's newest "Gossip Girl." The network confirmed to Access Hollywood on Wednesday that the singer-actress is joining the show's cast for its upcoming third season. She's set to debut in the fourth episode on October 5.
Vibe magazine – a hip hop and rap staple since 1993 – folds.
Officials continued to investigate the first fatal accident in the 38-year history of Walt Disney World's monorail, a one-time symbol of founder Walt Disney's vision for future transportation. Austin Wuennenberg, the operator of one of the monorail trains, was pronounced dead at the scene after two monorails collided at about 2 a.m. Sunday at the Ticket and Transportation Center near Magic Kingdom.
Michael Jackson News – Week Of July 1, 2009
Michael Jackson's 7-year-old will was filed in a Los Angeles court, giving his entire estate to a family trust and cutting out his former wife Debbie Rowe. The will, dated July 7, 2002, estimated his estate at that time at more than $500 million. It names his mother, Katherine Jackson, as a beneficiary of the trust and the guardian of Jackson's children, who are named in the will. It also names entertainer Diana Ross as a successor guardian for the children and their estates if something happens to Katherine Jackson.
Fans will get a chance to say goodbye to Michael Jackson at a public memorial service to be held at L.A.'s Staples Center on Tuesday, a spokesman for the singer's family confirmed. "The memorial has to do with accommodating as many fans as possible," spokesman Ken Sunshine said at a press conference announcing plans for the service in Los Angeles Friday. Madonna is set to pay tribute to her late friend, Michael Jackson, at her concert in London on Saturday. Madonna will debut a special song and dance in tribute to the late singer, her rep, Liz Rosenberg, told the Associated Press.
Michael Jackson's concerts always were difficult to get tickets to, but that's nothing compared to the pop star's memorial service. On eBay, bids for tickets for Tuesday's event were reaching as high as $1,000 and $3,000, though it was impossible to verify the seriousness of those bids. Others on Monday were submitting offers more in the $100-$200 range.
Michael Jackson fans came from near and far Tuesday to say last goodbyes to their pop music hero, some traveling from across the U.S. and Europe for his public memorial in Los Angeles. Near the service site in downtown's Staples Center, vendors sold Jackson memorabilia such as T-shirts, collages, buttons and bouquets of snapdragons and dahlias. "His music will live forever. That's why I'm here today. It's like closure. I'm a person who believes in miracles, and I'm witnessing one today," said Jenee Huitt of Los Angeles, referring to her gold wristband allowing her to be among the lucky fans to attend the memorial service.
More Michael Jackson News
Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder and Usher sang emotional farewells Tuesday to Michael Jackson, who was hailed as "the greatest entertainer that ever lived" and described by his tearful 11-year-old daughter Paris as "the best father you could ever imagine." Some 18,000 fans, family members and friends took part in a public memorial for Jackson in the Los Angeles sports arena where the singer had rehearsed the day before his death for a highly anticipated series of comeback concerts.
Jackson's brothers, each wearing a single sequined glove in homage to his signature look, carried the singer's golden casket into the downtown Staples Center. Carey performed Jackson's 1970 ballad "I'll Be There," Usher’s voice cracked as he sang "Gone Too Soon" and the King of Pop's three children made a rare public appearance without veils used for years by Jackson to shield them from the media.
Top Movies – July 1, 2009
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
My Sister’s Keeper
The Taking Of Pelham 1-2-3.