Dateline: Week Of May 15, 2009 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
President Barack Obama restarted a Bush-era military trial system for a small number of Guantanamo detainees, reviving a method of prosecution he once assailed as flawed but with new legal protections for terror suspects.
In a three-paragraph White House statement, Obama announced the decision that already has drawn criticism from liberal groups, arguing that it will ensure a legitimate forum to prosecute alleged terrorists being held at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
General Motors told about 1,100 of its dealers — one in five — that they would be dropped by late next year, adding to the economic pain radiating from the beleaguered Detroit automakers to cities and towns across the country, including Chrysler's decision a day earlier to eliminate a quarter of its own, about 1,900 dealerships — many pillars of their communities and heavy advertisers for local media — learned in a matter of 48 hours that they would be forced either to sell fewer brands or close altogether.
A makeshift memorial has been erected outside a New York City school for the assistant principal who was the city's first swine flu death. Matthew Wiener (WEE'-ner) died Sunday after being hospitalized since Wednesday. He had been on a ventilator. Candles and flowers were placed outside Intermediate School 238 in Queens in his memory. Wiener's death is the country's sixth.
Members of Congress have been told in confidential briefings that Pakistan is rapidly adding to its nuclear arsenal even while racked by insurgency, raising questions on Capitol Hill about whether billions of dollars in proposed military aid might be diverted to Pakistan’s nuclear program.
Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka's president declared his country "liberated from separatist terror" Tuesday as the military said it recovered the body of Tamil Tiger rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran from the battlefield on which he was slain. A few hours ago, the body of terrorist leader Prabhakaran, who ruined this country, was found on the battleground," army chief Gen. Sarath Fonseka told state television.
The shuttle Atlantis' astronauts said goodbye to the Hubble Space Telescope for the last time Tuesday. The seven astronauts aboard Atlantis took the 19-year-old telescope from its perch in the shuttle cargo bay Tuesday morning and released it back into space. The shuttle then fired its engines to leave Hubble's 350-mile-high (560-kilometer-high) neighborhood for a lower orbit. The move capped nearly a week of intense Hubble repairs and five amazing spacewalks by Atlantis astronauts to add $220 million worth of new instruments and upgrades, as well as to make unprecedented repairs.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that construction of new homes and apartments fell 12.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 458,000 units, the lowest pace on records going back a half-century.
Joined by an uncommon alliance of auto executives, union leaders and environmental activists, President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced a national program to cut new vehicle carbon emissions and raise mileage by 30 percent, while also reducing oil needs. "The status quo is no longer acceptable," Obama said at a White House ceremony. "We have done little to increase fuel efficiency of America's cars and trucks for decades." "As a result of this agreement, we will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in the next five years," Obama added. "And at a time of historic crisis in our auto industry, this rule provides the clear certainty that will allow these companies to plan for a future in which they are building the cars of the 21st century."
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran test-fired a new advanced missile Wednesday with a range of about 1,200 miles, far enough to strike Israel, southeastern Europe and U.S. bases in the Middle East.The announcement will not reassure the U.S. government, coming just two days after President Barack Obama declared a readiness to seek deeper international sanctions against Iran if it shunned U.S. attempts to open negotiations on its nuclear program. Obama said he expected a positive response to his outreach for opening a dialogue with Iran by the end of the year.
New York - Four men arrested after planting what they thought were explosives near a synagogue and community center and plotting to shoot down a military plane were bent on carrying out a jihad against America, authorities said. The suspects were arrested shortly after planting a mock explosive device in the trunk of a car outside the Riverdale Temple and two mock bombs in the backseat of a car outside the Jewish Center, authorities said.
Technology News – May 15, 2009
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission filed lawsuits against two telemarketing firms in Florida and a company claiming to sell extended automobile warranties for violating the Do Not Call registry and fraud for selling bogus warranties for between $2,000 and $3,000 a pop. Since 2007, the companies supposedly made 1 billion calls and generated more than $10 billion.
What is vishing? The term "vishing" is a socially engineered technique for stealing information or money from consumers using the telephone network. The term comes from combining "voice" with "phishing," which are online scams that get people to give up personal information. How does it work? Typically attackers use a technique called caller ID spoofing to make it look like calls are coming from a legitimate or known phone number. It's a very similar technique to email spoofing, which makes e-mail addresses look like they are coming from a trusted source. But because people typically trust the phone service and caller ID, spoofing phone numbers can be particularly damaging.
Sports News - May 15, 2009
Lakers Win - With Pau Gasol dominating on both ends of the court, the Lakers emphatically silenced the doubters and the Houston Rockets, winning the decisive final game of the Western Conference semifinals 89-70 on Sunday.
Playing with emotion, Gasol scored 21 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. The Lakers looked like the conference's top-seeded team, not the maddeningly inconsistent one that was pushed to the limit by the undermanned, smaller Rockets.
Former Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden is replacing Tony Kornheiser on ESPN's Monday Night Football broadcast team. Kornheiser cited a fear of flying in his decision to leave after three years.
Entertainment News – May 15, 2009
Barbara Mandrell, Roy Clark and Charlie McCoy were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday in an at times emotional ceremony that saluted them for their music as well as their contributions to bringing the genre to a mass audience through television. "All three of tonight's inductees looked at the way country music was presented on television and said: 'We can make this even better. We can present country music to a mainstream audience with respect, love and humor," said Tammy Genovese, the Country Music Association's chief executive officer.
Rapper Kayne West has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from a scuffle with a paparazzo last year. Los Angeles City Attorney's spokesman Nick Velasquez says West entered the plea through his attorney on Friday. The 31-year-old was not in court.
An Atlanta man was charged with murdering a promising rapper at an upscale Los Angeles shopping mall earlier this week.
Aubrey Berry, 23, is accused of shooting 21-year-old Roderick Burton, a.k.a. Dolla, in the head on Monday. Dolla was standing in the parking garage at the Beverly Center, a mall near Beverly Hills. Dolla's song "Feelin' Myself" was featured in the 2006 dance movie "Step Up." The Atlanta-based singer had flown to Los Angeles earlier in the day to finish work on his debut album, stopping to do some shopping before heading to the studio.
CANNES – Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie kicked off their time in Cannes in a big way - a dinner for 60.The super screen couple dined at the Michelangelo in Cap D'Antibes on Tuesday night to celebrate Brad's movie "Inglourious Basterds," which debuts at the 62nd annual film festival on Wednesday.
Just under 100 million votes -- a new world record according to "Idol" -- were cast on Tuesday night, but in the end, it was 23-year-old Kris Allen, from Conway, Arkansas who walked home with the title of the Season 8 "American Idol."
Lucy Gordon – who played a reporter in Spider-Man 3 is found dead in her London apartment. The actress -- named one of Britain's most promising young stars by the Times -- apparently committed suicide by hanging herself. One French newspaper reported her boyfriend was sleeping in the apartment at the time.
Television News – May 15, 2009
A documentary that shows Farrah Fawcett’s battle against cancer in wrenching detail drew an estimated 8.9 million viewers, NBC said. "Farrah's Story" details the former "Charlie's Angels" star's treatment and hopes for recovery, following her through chemotherapy and other grueling treatment. Fawcett, 62, was diagnosed in 2006 with anal cancer that has spread to her liver. The film was NBC's most-watched television program in its Friday night time slot in more than a year, excluding the Olympics, according to preliminary ratings released Saturday.
MTV has bought the rights to “ Paris, Not France" (Hilton) which reportedly portrays the heiress as "more thoughtful and self-aware" rather than a "ditzy party girl," according to the trade magazine. It was directed by music-video director Adria Petty, who had "enormous access" and reportedly interviewed many of Paris' family and friends for the feature.
Cynthia Nixon announced her engagement to girlfriend Christine Marinoni on Sunday at a rally for gay marriage. Cynthia began dating Christine in 2003 after splitting with husband Danny Mozes, with whom she has two children, Samantha and Charles. The "Sex and The City" star told the crowd at the Love, Peace and Marriage Equality rally in New York City that she became engaged last month.
TV makers worldwide saw their revenues slide 12 percent in the last year, according to a report set to be released Tuesday by DisplaySearch.
A total of 43.3 million TVs were sold worldwide in the first quarter of this year, a 6 percent drop compared to the same quarter a year ago, and prices dropped 6 percent, too, according to the Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report.
TV schedule/listing/TV Guide - May 15 2009
At 7, ABC has two new episodes of Extreme Makeover, then the two-hour season finale of Desperate Housewives.
CBS has a new 60 Minutes at 7, followed by the season finale of Survivor.
NBC has a new, two-hour Dateline at 7, then Saturday Night Live Just Shorts.
At 8, FOX has the season finale of The Simpsons, then the season finales of King of the Hill, Family Guy, and American Dad.
PBS has a new Nature at 8, followed by a new Masterpiece Mystery!
Food Network has a new Challenge at 8.
Disney has a new Jonas at 8, followed by a new Sonny with a Chance.
Also at 8: TNT has the Celtics/Magic game.
At 9, USA has a new Law and Order: CI, then a new In Plain Sight.
HBO has two new episodes of In Treatment at 9, followed by a new Russell Simmons Presents Brave New Voices.
There's a new episode of The Tudors on Showtime at 9, then a new Tracey Ullman's State of the Union.
GSN has a new High Stakes Poker at 9.
At 10, AMC has a new Breaking Bad.
At 11:45, Cartoon Network has a new Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
Hot hits this week in 2009
Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas
Poker Face – Lady Ga Ga
Second Chance – Shinedown
Blame it – Jaimie Fox fea. T-Pain
Halo – Beyonce
Gives You Hell – All-American Rejects
If U Seek Amy – Britney Spears
How Do You Sleep? - JESSE MCCARTNEY FEAT. LUDACRIS
Kiss Me Through The Phone – Soulja Boy fea. Sammie
Don’t Trust Me – 3Oh!3
I Don Not Hook Up – Kelly Clarkson
My Life Would Suck Without You – Kelly Clarkson
The Climb – Miley Cyrus
You Found Me – Fray
Top Country Hits - May 15, 2009
It Happens – Sugarland
Kiss a Girl – Keith Urban
Then – Brad Paisley
She’s Country – Jason Aldean
Out Last Night – Kenny Chesney
Sideways – Dierks Bentley
Whatever it Is – Zack Brown Band
I Told You So – Carrie Underwood Feat. Randy Travis
I Run To You – Lady Antebellum
Always the Love Songs – Eli Young Band
Top Alternative Rock - May 15, 2009
Know Your Enemy – Green Day
Hey You – 311
Use Somebody – Kings of Leon
Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked – Cage the Elephant
Feel Good Drag – Amberlin
Audience of One – Rise Against
Careless Whisper - Seether
Top Urban - May 15, 2009
Boyfriend #2 – Pleasure B
Day N Nite – Kid Cudi
Top Movies – May 15, 2009
Angels and Demons
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Ghosts of Girfriends Past
Monsters vs. Aliens
Next Day Air
Hannah Montana The Movie.