Dateline: Week Of April 8, 2009 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Aftershocks from the earthquake that has killed at least 260 people in central Italy sent new fears through the tent camps that shelter thousands of survivors, and Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday that he would visit the shocked and injured people of the area as soon as possible. As rescue teams pressed ahead with their searches in the crumbled buildings, some of the almost 28,000 left homeless emerged from tents after spending a second night in chilly mountain temperatures.
The crew of a U.S.-flag ship seized by pirates off Somalia is believed to have retaken the vessel, the Pentagon said Wednesday, even as a shaken national security establishment confronted troubling questions about the hostage-taking at high sea. Capt. Joseph Murphy, an instructor at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, said his son Shane, the second in command on the ship, had called him to say the crew had regained control. It was reported that Somali pirates had hijacked the U.S.-flagged cargo ship with 20 American crew members onboard, hundreds of miles from the nearest American military vessel in some of the most dangerous waters in the world.
New jobless claims fell more than expected last week but are stuck at elevated levels, while the number of people continuing to receive unemployment insurance approached 6 million, setting a record for the 11th straight week.
While acknowledging that the recession makes the political battle more difficult, President Obama plans to begin addressing the country’s immigration system this year, including looking for a path for illegal immigrants to become legal, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.
A suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden truck into a wall around a police headquarters in northern Iraq on Friday, killing five American soldiers and two Iraqi policemen in the single deadliest attack against U.S. forces this year, the U.S. military and Iraqi police said.
U.S. Navy snipers opened fire and killed three pirates holding an American captain at gunpoint, delivering the skipper unharmed and ending a five-day high-seas hostage drama on Easter Sunday. The pirates were pointing AK-47s at Capt. Richard Phillips and he was in "imminent danger" of being killed when the commander of the nearby USS Bainbridge made the split-second decision to order his men to shoot, Vice Adm. Bill Gortney said.
Pope Benedict XVI sought to give a message of hope on Easter Sunday to victims of wars, poverty and financial turmoil, saying it was urgently needed to overcome the miseries that are plaguing Africa, the Middle East and other parts of the globe.
China released its first human rights action plan Monday, pledging to improve the treatment of minorities and do more to prevent the torture of detainees but said that raising living standards would remain a central goal.
China has been criticized by other governments, the United Nations and activists for aggressively promoting economic reform over the past few decades while falling short on basic human rights such as freedom of speech, religion and the right to a fair trial.
Despite recent defeats against the U.S. and French navies, Somali pirates hijacked three more vessels in the Gulf of Aden. The latest seizures include a Greek-managed bulk carrier and two Egyptian fishing boats. In Washington, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will work with other nations to fight these bandits. Options currently under consideration include adding Navy gunships along the Somali coastline and launching a campaign to disable pirate "mother ships."
After a magnitude-6.3 quake rocked the Abruzzo region of Italy on Monday, the mayor of the hamlet of Pacentro asked the world to send help – and Madonna answered his call. According to, the pop singer - whose paternal grandparents lived in Pacentro until 1919 - has made a "substantial donation" to help with the relief effort. I am happy to lend a helping hand to the town that my ancestors are from," Madonna said in a statement. "My heart goes out to the families that have lost loved ones or their homes."
Bo? No jest. The first family has settled on a first pet — a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog that the Obama girls are naming Bo. The selection was one of the White House's most tightly kept secrets. President Barack Obama's daughters, 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha, picked a black and white pup, a White House official speaking on the condition of anonymity told The Associated Press Saturday night. The dog is a gift from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., who owns several Portuguese water dogs himself.
Sports News – April 8, 2009
Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart was among three people killed in a crash at an intersection, just hours after the 22-year-old rookie made his first start of the season. The pitcher, a 20-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man were killed, according to police. The deceased and a fourth person, who was critically injured, were in a silver Mitsubishi Eclipse that was struck by a van, whose driver tried to flee, but was caught 30 minutes later. Just hours before at the ballpark Wednesday night, Adenhart did his job. He scattered seven hits over six scoreless innings and escaped twice after loading the bases in just his fourth major league start. "I battled early and it felt good to get out of some jams," he said. Adenhart left with a 4-0 lead before the bullpen gave away what would have been his second major league win. Police say the man in custody, Andrew Gallo, had a suspended license because of a drunken driving conviction.
Entertainment/Celebrity News – April 8, 2009
Mr. Pop Gossip - Looks like Jessica Simpson’s 's country crooning days are over. The singer, 28, is no longer with the Sony Nashville label. Earlier today, blogs were abuzz that Simpson was dropped from the label after her name was noticeably missing from both the Columbia Nashville and Sony Music Nashville websites. Simpson also skipped Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards, even though she announced the nominees earlier this year. A spokesman said - "She was on loan to Sony Nashville for her country album."
Hugh Jackman says he is heartbroken" his new film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was leaked on the web a month before its official release. It's a serious crime and there's no doubt it's very disappointing," he said this week while promoting the film in Sydney, Australia. "Obviously, people are seeing an unfinished film. It's like a Ferrari without a paint job."
Mel Gibson’s wife Robyn has filed for divorce after 28 years of marriage. In the papers -- signed Apr. 9 -- she cites "irreconcilable differences." "Throughout our marriage and separation we have always strived to maintain the privacy and integrity of our family and will continue to do so," a rep for Gibson, 53, tells Usmagazine.com in a statement.
Music News – April 8, 2009
Rock music producer Phil Spector was convicted Monday of second-degree murder in the shooting death of a film actress at his mansion six years ago, a verdict that will send him to prison for at least 18 years barring a successful appeal. A Superior Court jury returned the verdict after about 30 hours of deliberations. The jury had the option of choosing involuntary manslaughter, but did not do so.
Top Rock Tracks – April 8, 2009
Lifeline – Papa Roach
Cyanide – Metallica
Dead Memories – Slip Knot
Hate My Life – Theory of a Dead Man
Brother – Pearl Jam
The Night – Disturbed
37 Stitches – Drowning Pool
Do What You Do – Mudvayne
Two Weeks – All That Remains
Second Chance – Shinedown
Something In Your Mouth – Nickelback
Careless Whisper – Seether
100 in a 55 – Pop Evil
Death of Me – Red
Up All Night – Hinder
Rescue Me – Buckcherry
Top Hip Hop/Rhythmic – April 8, 2009
Blame It - JAMIE FOXX FEAT. T-PAIN
Kiss Me Thru The Phone - SOULJA BOY TELL'EM FEAT. SAMMIE
Dead And Gone - T.I. FEAT. JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE
Right Round – Flo Rida
Day ‘N’ Nite – Kid Cudi
Poker Face – Lady GaGa
Turning Me On - KERI HILSON FEAT. LIL WAYNE
Boom Boom Pow – Black Eye Peas
Mad – Ne-Yo
More Music News – Retro - Hip Hop of Yesterday
Story And Timeline Of Hip Hop Rap And Music
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, led by the Barbados-born, Bronx-raised Joseph Saddler, have the distinction of being the first hip-hop act to gain Rock Hall honors. Besides being known for their biggest hit, 'The Message,' they're credited with coining the term 'hip-hop.' The group split up in the early '80s.
The Sugarhill Gang (Michael "Wonder Mike" Wright, Guy "Master Gee" O'Brian and Henry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson) hailed from Englewood, N.J., and rose to fame with their infectious hit "Rapper's Delight" in 1980. The song is arguably hip-hop's first-ever hit, peaking at #36 on the U.S. pop charts.
Doug E. Fresh helped pioneer the art of beat boxing, earning him the nickname 'the Human Beat Box'. He collaborated with another former member of the Get Fresh Crew, MC Ricky D (who later became known as Slick Rick) on one of hip-hop's most famous records, 'The Show' (which famously samples the 'Inspector Gadget' theme song) and its B-side, 'La Di Da Di.'
New York’s Kool Moe Dee got his start in the group The Treacherous Three in the late '70s. As a young rapper he participated in one of the most famous rap battles ever against fellow New York MC Busy Bee, trouncing him with a nearly five-minute freestyle dis that set the tone for many hip-hop feuds to come.
Just a short time ago, Run-D.M.C. became the second hip-hop group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And it's about time, according to many fans of the legendary rap crew from Hollis, Queens. Joseph 'DJ Run' Simmons, Darryl 'D.M.C.' McDaniels and Jason 'Jam-Master Jay' Mizell helped form the shape of hip-hop today - along with many of its other early stars.
One of the first high-profile female rappers, MC Lyte (a.k.a. Lana Michelle Moorer of Brooklyn) burst onto the scene in the mid-'80s and released her first album, 'Lyte as a Rock,' in 1988. From admonishing drug-addicted boyfriends to calling out rival female MCs, Lyte's catchy tunes helped prove hip-hop wasn't just for the boys.
The Beastie Boys - Brooklyn-born Mike D, MCA and Ad-Rock - have their roots in the New York hardcore scene of the early '80s, but took a new direction with the release of a rap single, 'Cooky Puss,' in 1983 (based on a prank call they made to a local Carvel shop). They established themselves based on two subsequent albums, the irreverent 'Ill Communication' (which spawned their first big hit, 'Fight For Your Right') and the more sophisticated 'Paul's Boutique.'"
Television News – April 8, 2009
20 years ago, in November of 1988, that women were allowed into the New York Friars Club before 4 PM, when the Club would host its roasts. Now Comedy Central has taken over the roasting business, or at least theirs are the most high-profile regular comedy roasts. And they announced this week that they will be roasting one of the first seven women admitted to the Friars in 1988 - Joan Rivers. The Roast will take place July 26 and air Sunday, August 9 at 10 PM (TVS).
American Idol Update - Adam Lambert - the frontrunner in the competition, performed last on the show. And though the now hour-long show ran into overtime and the judges' comments were shortened, Simon managed to express the impact Adam made with his version of the 1982 song, "Mad World." "Words are unnecessary, but I want to give you a standing ovation," Simon said as the entire judging panel stood up to pay the 26-year-old Californian his dues.
Next show - After much clamoring from the judges, the competition is over for Scott MacIntyre on "American Idol." The 23-year-old piano player from Scottsdale, Ariz., who crooned Survivor's "The Search is Over" in hopes of being saved by the judges, received the fewest number of viewer votes Wednesday on the popular Fox singing competition. "This is really tough," judge Simon Cowell said after MacIntyre reprised his performance sans electric guitar. "I really, really like you, Scott. I'm looking over there, and I think there's a bunch of talented singers. This decision isn't just based on you. It's whether I think — or we think — someone is more talented over there. This is the problem."
Television Shows/listings/TV Guide – week of April 8, 2009
At 8, ABC has a new Dancing with the Stars, followed by new episodes of Surviving Suburbia and Castle.
CBS has a new Big Bang Theory at 8, then new episodes of How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, Rules of Engagement, and CSI: Miami.
NBC has a new Chuck at 8, followed by new episodes of Heroes and Medium.
FOX has new episodes of House and 24.
PBS has a new Antiques Roadshow at 8, then a new American Experience.
There's a new Greek on ABC Family at 8, followed by a new Roommates.
USA has a new Monday Night RAW at 8.
TLC has two new episodes of Little People, Big World at 8.
At 8:30, Food Network has a new Will Work For Food, then a new Unwrapped.
At 9, HBO has three new episodes of In Treatment.
At 10, TNT has a new Saving Grace.
Food Network has a new Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives at 10.
History Channel has a new Ax Men at 10.
MTV has a new episode of The Hills at 10.
Also at 10: A&E has a new Paranormal State
Top Movies – April 8, 2009
Hannah Montana The Movie (debuts) - $34 million
Fast & Furious
Monsters and Aliens
Observe and Report
I Love You, Man
The Haunting In Connecticut
Race to Wich Mountain