Dateline: Week Of May 22, 2009 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Embattled former President Roh Moo-hyun — a reformist shamed by a corruption scandal that tarnished his image as a "clean" politician — jumped to his death while hiking in the mountains behind his rural home in South Korea, his lawyer said. He was 62. Roh was hiking in Bongha village when he threw himself off a steep cliff around 6:40 a.m. Saturday, lawyer Moon Jae-in told reporters in the southern city of Busan. He said Roh left a suicide note.
President Barack Obama saluted veterans and urged his countrymen to do the same this Memorial Day weekend, saying the nation has not always paid them proper respect.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, President Obama said people can honor veterans by sending a letter or care package to troops overseas, volunteering at health clinics or taking supplies to a homeless veterans center. He said it could also mean something as simple as saying "thank you" to a veteran walking by on the street.
Republicans got the edge in the dispute over President Barack Obama's planned closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison. And it put former Vice President Dick Cheney on a separate but almost equal platform with the president of the United States, which is a plus any time the party out of power can manage it. Their back-to-back speeches on Thursday gave Cheney "a lot of credibility" and put Obama on the defensive, said Republican pollster David Winston.
North Korea defied world powers and carried out an underground test Monday of a nuclear bomb Russian officials said was comparable to those that obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The incident drew condemnation from Washington to Beijing and set the communist regime up for a showdown with the United Nations.
An explosion shattered the windows of a Starbucks coffee shop in New York City, but no injuries were reported. Police were trying to determine what type of device caused the blast early Monday morning at the intersection of 92nd Street and Third Avenue on Manhattan's Upper East Side, New York Police Department Lt. Mike Wyosokowski said. The explosion occurred at around 3:30 a.m., when the coffee shop was closed.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday rejected a Western proposal for it to "freeze" its nuclear work in return for no new sanctions and ruled out any talks with major powers on the issue. The comments by the conservative president, who is seeking a second term in a June 12 election, are likely to further disappoint the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama, which is seeking to engage Iran diplomatically.
Nearly 120 people have been killed by a cyclone that ripped through Bangladesh and eastern India, officials and local media said on Tuesday, while millions remained marooned by floodwaters or living in shelters. The death toll in Bangladesh rose to at least 89 following recovery of more bodies on Tuesday, the Daily Star newspaper said in its online edition, while Indian officials said at least 29 people had died in West Bengal state.
First Hispanic on the court? - President Barack Obama chose federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor as the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice on Tuesday, praising her as "an inspiring woman" with both the intellect and compassion to interpret the Constitution wisely.
Swine Flu/Medical News – May 22, 2009
The world's swine flu death toll reached 100 as two more New Yorkers died while infected with a virus that has sickened more than 12,000 people.
The deaths of 83 people in Mexico, 14 in the United States, two in Canada and one in Costa Rica have now been linked to swine flu. But WHO's flu chief said the virus hadn't yet reached the level of pandemic and said a global outbreak designation would change little about how governments are already responding.
Sports News – May 22, 2009
The 4-year-old daughter of boxer Mike Tyson dies, a day after her neck apparently got caught in a treadmill cord at her Phoenix home, police said. Exodus Tyson had been on life support and police have said their investigation showed her injury on Monday was a "tragic accident." "There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Exodus," the family said in a statement. "We ask you now to please respect our need at this very difficult time for privacy to grieve and try to help each other heal."
Technology News – May 22, 2009
Facebook announced on Tuesday a $200 million investment from Digital Sky Technologies, whose social networks are market leaders in Europe. Presuming Facebook is valued at $10 billion, DST's $200 million comes out to about a 1.96 percent stake, the companies said in a statement. DST would not have a seat on the board or hold special observer rights, the companies said.
Entertainment/Celebrity/Television News – May 22, 2009
A couple sued a writer for the CBS show "CSI," claiming two shady characters on the show were named after them in revenge for a real estate deal gone bad. Real estate agents Melinda and Scott Tamkin on Friday sued writer and producer Sarah Goldfinger for defamation and invasion-of-privacy. They are seeking $6 million in damages, alleging the show hurt their real estate business.
"American Idol" champion Kris Allen said on Friday he just wants respect in the music industry -- but runner-up Adam Lambert has stars in his eyes. Allen, 23, an unassuming college student from Arkansas, was this week named the winner of the TV singing contest, defeating the more showy Lambert, who was the presumed front-runner. "The only thing that I really want to do is just be respected in the music industry," Allen told reporters in a conference call. "And whether that means selling albums or winning Grammys or people just liking your music, that's what I really want to do."
John Fogerty says he can "take a deep breath" now that he's finished his next album, "John Fogerty: The Return of the Blue Ridge Rangers," a sequel to the 1973 solo debut that followed the demise of Creedence Clearwater Revival. As to when the new set will be released, the rock 'n' roll singer-songwriter said he doesn't yet know. "We're in talks. Stuff can change," Fogerty told Billboard.com. "I'm just glad that it's done. I stuck with it quite awhile there, to get it right. I wasn't going to let it go until it was what I wanted it to be."Like its predecessors, "The Return" is a collection of vintage country and American roots music covers -- along with a new version of one of Fogerty's own songs (he wouldn't specify which one). He recorded and produced the album with T-Bone Burnett and Lenny Waronker at Village Recorders in Santa Monica, California.
Grammy-winning rapper T.I. told fans he would stay optimistic when he heads to prison on a federal weapons conviction. The 28-year-old rapper, whose real name is Clifford J. Harris Jr., performed for a packed audience Sunday night in Atlanta's Philips Arena less than two days before he is to begin serving the sentence of a year and a day. "I'm going to stand up tall, head up high," he said. "Thank you for all of your support. He must report by noon Tuesday to the Federal Correction Institution at Forrest City, Ark. He was arrested after prosecutors said he tried to buy unregistered machine guns and silencers from undercover federal agents in 2007. T.I., who won a Grammy for "Swagga Like Us," also performed all his hits from "What You Know" to "Bring 'Em Out" to his recent chart-topping singles "What Ever You Like" and "Live Your Life." Teenage rapper Soulja Boy also joined him on stage.
Susan Boyle, the frumpy Scottish spinster whose amazing voice has become a global YouTube sensation, stunned audiences again on Sunday as she was voted through to the final of "Britain's Got Talent." Singing "Memory" from the musical "Cats," the 48-year-old overcame initial nerves to produce another command performance, her soaring rendition winning the telephone vote on the talent show.
George Strait is saluted as the Academy of Country Music's artist of the decade in an all-star concert on CBS-TV this week.The show was taped last month in Las Vegas and features performances by Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Tony Keith, Keith urban, Taylor Swift, Jamie Foxx, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, Brooks & Dunn, and more.Garth Brooks, named artist of the decade for the 1990s, presented Strait his award. Strait joins only four other artists who have received this distinction: Marty Robbins, Loretta Lynn, Alabama and Brooks.
New book by rapper Kayne West. The Grammy Award winner, known for his No. 1 albums and outspoken statements on everything from racism in America to the banality of Twitter, is the co-author of "Thank You And You're Welcome." His book is 52 pages -- some blank, others with just a few words -- and offers his optimistic philosophy on life. One two-page section reads, "Life is 5% what happens and 95% how you react!" Another page reads "I hate the word hate!" "This is a collection of thoughts and theories," West, 31, said in an interview about his spiral-bound volume, which was written with J. Sakiya Sandifer.
George Takei and his longtime love, Brad Altman, are still legally wed. So are Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi. Both couples tied the knot during the five-month window when same-sex marriage was legal in California. But the state Supreme Court's decision this week to uphold Proposition 8, the gay-marriage ban approved by voters in November, made legal nuptials impossible going forward.
Mel Gibson and his girlfriend, Russian musician Oksana Grigorieva, are expecting a baby, only six weeks after his wife filed for divorce. Gibson confirmed that 39-year-old Grigorieva is pregnant on Monday night's airing of NBC's "Tonight" show with Jay Leno. "This is true, we're having a child," Gibson said. The baby will be his eighth.
TV Schedule/listing/TV Guide – week of May 22, 2009
FOX has the Sprint Cup: Coca-Cola 600 race all night.
At 7, CBS has a new 60 Minutes.
NBC has a new, two-hour Dateline at 7.
At 8, TNT has the Magic/Cavaliers game.
At 9, ABC has the miniseries Diamonds.
GSN has a new High Stakes Poker at 9.
Sci-Fi has the movie Polar Storm at 9.
HBO has two new episodes of In Treatment at 9.
Also at 9: Showtime has the season finale of The Tudors at 9, followed by a new Tracey Ullman's State of the Union.
At 10, AMC has a new Breaking Bad.
At 11:45, Cartoon Network has a new Aqua Teen Hunger Force
New TV on DVD releases
The Closer - Season 4
Designing Women - Season 1
Gangland - Season 3
Gunsmoke - Season 3, Vol. 2
Jeeves & Wooster - Complete Series
Top Movies – May 22, 2009
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (debut $70 million)
Angels and Demons
X Men Origins: Wolverine
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
Monsters vs. Aliens
Next Day Air.