Dateline: Week Of June 8, 2009 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Brazilian searchers found a large tail section from an Air France jet Monday, one of the biggest pieces yet recovered from wreckage that could help narrow the search for Flight 447's black boxes. A U.S. Navy team is bringing in high-tech underwater listening devices to detect pings from the data and voice recorders.
Brazilian and French military ships that have so far recovered 16 bodies and large amounts of plane wreckage searched amid a sea of floating debris, finding the tail section with Air France's trademark red and blue stripes. All the wreckage has been found bobbing in the Atlantic Ocean; the Brazilians don't have the means of locating underwater debris.
North Korea convicted two American journalists and sentenced them Monday to 12 years of hard labor for crossing into its territory, intensifying the reclusive nation's confrontation with the United States. The Obama administration said it would pursue "all possible channels" to win the release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters for former Vice President Al Gore's San Francisco-based Current TV media venture.
The Treasury Department has approved 10 of the nation's largest banks to repay $68 billion in government bailout money. The department on Tuesday said the banks, which were not named, will be allowed to repay the money they received from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program created by Congress last October at the height of the financial crisis. The banks have been eager to get out of the program to escape government restrictions such as caps on executive compensation.
Italy's Fiat is the new owner of the bulk of Chrysler's assets, closing a deal Wednesday that saves the troubled U.S. automaker from liquidation and places a new company in the hands of Fiat's CEO. The deal clears the way for a new, leaner Chrysler Group LLC to emerge from bankruptcy protection minus billions in debt, 789 underperforming dealerships and burdensome labor costs that nearly sank the storied automaker.
An 88-year-old gunman with a violent and virulently anti-Semitic past opened fire with a rifle inside the crowded U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday, fatally wounding a security guard before being shot himself by other officers, authorities said. The assailant was hospitalized in critical condition, leaving behind a sprawling investigation by federal and local law enforcement and expressions of shock from the Israeli government and a prominent Muslim organization.
Iran declared President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner of an election that pitted the conservative establishment against candidate with broad backing from the country's youth. Riot police attacked opposition supporters, beating them with clubs and smashing cars.
A statement from Mousavi posted on his Web site condemned what he described as the "manipulation" of election results. Demonstrators wearing the trademark green color of Mir Hossein Mousavi chanted slogans condemning the results that gave 62.6 percent of the vote to Ahmadinejad. Protesters set fire to tires outside the Interior Ministry in the most serious unrest in Tehran in a decade.
North Korea vowed to step up its atomic bomb-making program and threatened war if its ships are stopped as part of new U.N. sanctions aimed at punishing the nation for its latest nuclear test. North Korea's Foreign Ministry also acknowledged for the first time that the country has a uranium enrichment program, and insisted it will never abandon its nuclear ambitions. Uranium and plutonium can be used to make atomic bombs.
The number of newly laid-off Americans filing jobless claims fell more than expected last week and retail sales grew in May for the first time in three months, fresh evidence that the worst of the recession may have passed.
The Labor Department said Thursday that initial claims for unemployment benefits fell last week by 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 601,000. That's below analysts' estimates of 615,000.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Friday that “Late Night” host David Letterman “crossed the line” when he joked about her daughters. “I would like to see him apologize to young women across the country” for contributing to a culture “that says it’s OK to talk about statutory rape,” Palin told Matt Lauer on TODAY. “It's not cool; it's not funny.” During his opening monologue on CBS’ “Late Night” Monday, Letterman poked fun at Palin’s visit with her family to a New York Yankees game this past weekend. “There was one awkward moment during the seventh inning stretch,” Letterman said. “Her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.” Letterman also said the hardest part about the Palins’ trip to New York was “keeping [former New York Gov.] Eliot Spitzer away from her daughter.”
Sports News – June 8, 2009
U.S. basketball's Los Angeles Lakers beat rivals Orlando Magic, 99-86, to win the NBA Finals Sunday. The victory secured Los Angeles their 15th title.
Mike Tyson - former heavyweight boxing champion married girlfriend Lakiha Spicer in a ceremony at La Bella Wedding Chapel at the Las Vegas Hilton hotel on Saturday night, according to a spokesperson for the chapel. It’s his third marriage.
The Los Angeles Lakers secured their 15th National Basketball Association (NBA) title at the Amway Arena on Sunday after a 99-86 win over Orlando Magic in Game Five gave a 4-1 victory in the best-of-seven finals.
The Los Angeles Lakers secured their 15th National Basketball Association (NBA) title at the Amway Arena on Sunday after a 99-86 win over Orlando Magic in Game Five gave a 4-1 victory in the best-of-seven finalsThe Los Angeles Lakers secured their 15th National Basketball Association (NBA) title at the Amway Arena on Sunday after a 99-86 win over Orlando Magic in Game Five gave a 4-1 victory in the best-of-seven finals.
Technology News – June 8, 2009
Television stations across the United States planned to cut their analog signals Friday, ending a six-decade era for the technology and likely stranding more than 1 million unprepared homes without TV service. Stations will make the switch at different hours. The Federal Communications Commission put 4,000 operators on standby for calls from confused viewers, and set up demonstration centers in several cities. Volunteer groups and local government agencies were helping elderly viewers set up digital converter boxes that keep older TVs functioning.
An Apple Update:
New iPhone 3GS (faster performance, new features) available on June 19th in the U.S. and seven other countries. Pricing: iPhone 3GS 16GB for $199, and 32GB for $299.
Price cut for iPhone 3G: $99 for 8GB model
New iPhone 3.0 software available June 17th, with new features. Free for current iPhone customers (both original iPhone and iPhone 3G models). Cost is $9.95 for iPod touch customers (both 1G and 2G models).
New "Snow Leopard" operating system will be available for all Intel Macs, past and present (no PowerPC support). Retainl price is $129, but only $29 for current Leopard users. Family pack at $49. Available in September.
Music News – June 8, 2009
“American Idol” runner-up Adam Lambert tells Rolling Stone magazine he’s gay – the first time he’s said it in public. "I'm proud of my sexuality," continues the rocker, who was photographed holding hands with interior designer Drake LaBry earlier this month. "I embrace it. It's just another part of me."
Kris Allen, winner of U.S. TV's top-rated singing contest "American Idol," has signed a record deal with producer 19 Recordings, and his debut album is expected to be released this coming fall through Jive Records. "Everyone's been asking me what it's going to sound like. It will be very similar to what you heard from me on the show -- definitely in the pop/rock genre," Allen said in a statement announcing the deal on Monday. Simon Fuller, executive producer of "American Idol" and chief executive of 19 Entertainment, said Allen won fans with his soulful voice, good looks and gracious demeanor, but his passion for music performing will make him a star. Before his debut album is released in the fall, Allen, 23, will perform in the 50-city "American Idol" 2009 Summer Tour, which kicks off in July.
After less than a year of dating, Miley Cyrus and Justin Gaston have called it quits. "They have been having trouble for a while," says an insider. "It's been hard for a long time since Miley has been working so much and traveling a lot."
Passing - Kenny Rankin, pop vocalist and highly regarded musician-songwriter whose stylings ranged from jazz to pop to the world music influences he picked up as a child in New York, has died of complications related to lung cancer, his record company announced Monday. He was 69.
Arista Records says Whitney Houston’s long-awaited album will be released Sept. 1. Houston hasn't released a CD in seven years.
So far, there's no word on a title for the album. The 45-year-old superstar is one of the best-selling artists of all-time, but in recent years, she's been defined more by drug problems, marital woes and erratic behavior than by her Grammy-winning voice.
Mariah Carey’s next album will be called Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel and this week, she talks about the the album's first single. "The 1st single from my new album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel is called 'Obsessed' and will be at radio next Tuesday," she Tweeted. "I'm a lil' exc" (the post cuts off before she continues in another Tweet). "Seriously, this is one of my favorite songs ever. I love the whole album. I'm completely immersed in it. I can't wait for you to hear it."
Malawi's highest court ruled that Madanna can adopt a second child -- 3-year-old Chifundo "Mercy" James -- from the African country."It's the wee hours of morning in New York, but she is excited at the news," Madonna’s lawyer Alan Chinula told the Associated Press. "As her lawyer, I am happy that this has settled this contentious issue."
Entertainment/Celebrity News – June 8, 2009
Miss California USA Carrie Prejean, who stirred up trouble for herself when she said gays shouldn't be allowed to marry, got the word from pageant poobah Donald Trump on Wednesday: "You're fired." Trump and other pageant leaders said Prejean was being sacked not because of the remarks but because she hadn't been holding up her end of the agreement she signed when she entered the pageant. "This was a decision based solely on contract violations, including Ms. Prejean's unwillingness to make appearances on behalf of the Miss California USA organization," the California pageant's executive director, Keith Lewis, said in a statement.
Chastity Bono is having a sex change to become a man. A spokesman for Bono, born a girl to Sonny and Cher, says he "has made the courageous decision to honor his true identity" and began the sex-change process earlier this year.Publicist Howard Bragman said Bono is proud of his decision and hopes "that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue." The 40-year-old writer, activist and reality-TV star came out as gay 20 years ago, Bragman said.
Teen pop sensation Miley Cyrus has announced dates for her first UK tour which will start in December, as she continues to build a pop music career in her own right rather than as her alter-ego Hannah Montana. Cyrus, 16, who plays a schoolgirl with a secret identity as rock star Hannah Montana in the hit Disney series and movie, will perform two nights at London's O2 Arena on December 13 and 14. She will then travel to Dublin, Birmingham and Manchester for a further six dates. Cyrus, the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, will be supported by Metro Station, the band of her older brother Chase..