Dateline: Week Of March 22, 2009 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Oakland California - A man wanted for violating his parole killed three veteran police officers and gravely wounded another in two shootings, the first after a routine traffic stop and the second after a massive manhunt ended in gunfire, authorities said. The gunman was also killed. The slain officers were identified as Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, who was killed at the first shooting. The officers killed at the second location were Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, and Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35. Officer John Hege, 41, was in grave condition.
The Obama administration, striving to ease lending in the struggling economy, moved Monday with private investors to sop up bad bank assets. The administration said the program could grow to $1 trillion in purchases eventually, if it proves successful in attacking the bad-books problem that has been at the heart of the banking crisis. In a lengthy fact sheet, the administration said it plans to use $75 billion to $100 billion from the government's existing $700 billion bailout program for this purpose, and it predicted participation from a broad array of investors ranging from pension funds and insurance companies to hedge funds.
A small passenger plane with several children aboard crashed just short of a runway in Butte, Mont., killing 14 people, aviation officials said. The number of those dead was confirmed by Karen Byrd, an FAA operations officer in Renton, Wash. Byrd said the death toll included seven adults and seven children. Earlier reports cited the death toll as high as 17 people.
More than $1 billion in assets from Bernard Madoff's businesses have been found, a lawyer for the trustee trying to recover money for jilted investors. $75 million in an account in Gibraltar raises the amount of assets located past the $1 billion mark.
North Korea warned the United States, Japan and their allies not to interfere with its plan to launch a satellite into space next month, saying Tuesday any intervention could doom already stalled talks on ending its nuclear weapons program. North Korea has declared its intention to send a communications satellite into space between April 4 and 8, and a defense analyst said recent images of the launch pad indicated preparations were continuing. Regional powers suspect the North will use the launch to test its long-range missile technology, and has warned Pyongyang the launch would trigger international sanctions.
President Obama conducts his second press conference. One moment came about 35 minutes into the press conference when Ed Henry of CNN asked the President why he didn't spew outrage as soon as he learned about the AIG bonuses. Why, Mr. Henry asked, did the president wait several days before speaking out? The president, with an icy stare, responded that he "likes to know what he's talking about" before he speaks.
President Barack Obama took questions from the White House press corps on Tuesday in a prime-time, East Room session that represented the most formal and time-honored of president-and-reporter interactions. On Thursday, he is taking to that same room for another public grilling — this time by regular folks armed with questions submitted via the Internet and in person, as part of a political strategy to engage Americans directly."It's a way for the president to do what he enjoys doing out on the road, but saves on gas," said press secretary Robert Gibbs.
U.S. military spokesman in Iraq says attacks have dropped to their lowest levels since August 2003. Maj. Gen. David Perkins told reporters Wednesday in Baghdad that the decrease in attacks comes as the U.S. downsizes its operation and Iraqi security forces increase their presence. President Barack Obama has announced the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq by the end of August 2010, leaving up to 50,000 U.S. soldiers to train Iraqi forces. Currently there are more than 135,000 American troops in Iraq.
Flooding in Fargo N. Dakota - As the Red River rises into "uncharted territory," officials plead for thousands of volunteer sandbaggers, readied their evacuation plans, and vowed to build the dikes a foot higher than planned in an effort to hold back the water. To the west, officials in Bismarck said the Missouri River had lowered 2 feet, easing the flood threat to that city.
President Obama’s Internet Town Hall Meeting - President Barack Obama fielded questions on jobs, the auto industry, universal health care, mortgages, education, veterans' care and legalization of marijuana as he kicked off a first-of-its-kind Internet era Town Hall at the White House. Obama said job creation in America is difficult in a time of economic hardship and that the work of the future should be in more high-paying, high-skill areas like clean energy technology. It was the fist such meeting utilized by a President.
President Obama ordered 4,000 more military troops into Afghanistan, vowing to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat" the Taliban and al-Qaida.
The new troop build up he announced is aimed principally at bolstering the Afghan army and turning up the heat on terrorists that Obama said are plotting new attacks against Americans. He called the situation in the region "increasingly perilous" more than seven years after the Taliban was removed from power in Afghanistan.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama will sign a declaration next week committing them to talks on reducing their countries' nuclear arsenals, a Kremlin aide said..The two leaders will also sign a document on U.S.-Russian relations in general at a meeting in London, Sergei Prikhodko, an aide to President Dmitry Medvedev, told reporters.
Radio News – March 22, 2009
Former WABC Radio (NY) newsman George Weber was found murdered in his Brooklyn apartment after failing to report to work for two days, sources told The Post. Weber, who would have turned 48 today, was discovered half-naked in his bed shortly before 10 a.m. inside his apartment with his throat slashed and more than a dozen stab wounds to his neck. His hands and feet were bound with duct tape, sources said. There were no signs of forced entry at Weber's apartment on Henry Street in Carroll Gardens, sources said. The bathtub spigot was running and the place had been ransacked, said one source, who described the home as "a bloody mess.” A few days later - A 16-year-old Queens youth confessed early this morning to the grisly slaying of radio newsman George Weber.
Entertainment/Celebrity News – March 22, 2009
Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin has left the Smashing Pumpkins. Chamberlin's departure is posted on the Smashing Pumpkins' Web site. The announcement didn't say why the 44-year-old Chamberlin left the group.
David Letterman told his “Late Show” audience on Monday that he and longtime girlfriend Regina Lasko got married on March 19. Letterman said, “Regina and I began dating in February of 1986, and I said, ‘Well, things are going pretty good, let’s just see what happens in about 10 years….’
Michael Jackson’s crystal-encrusted gloves will be on display in Times Square this week in a preview of a planned auction of the pop legend's possessions. Some 2,000 items taken from Jackson's Neverland Ranch are scheduled to be sold during a televised auction in April. It is still unclear whether the auction will take place. Jackson sued to stop the sale earlier this month. The auction house says Jackson's managers authorized the sale. A small sampling of items will be on display at the Hard Rock Cafe.
Lindsay Lohan’s new movie, Labor Pains, is headed straight to cable.The film's production company, Nu Image/Millennium Films, has confirmed that the comedy will premiere on ABC Family in July 2009. It will be released on DVD a month later.
Bruce Willis and model/actress Emma Heming were officially married in a private civil ceremony today at a friend's home in Beverly Hills.
Out in Los Angeles - Ryan Seacrest announces the performance line-up for Wango Tango set for Saturday, May 9: Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Flo Rida, Lady Gaga, All American Rejects, Soulja Boy Tellum, Kevin Rudolf, Pitbull and Jamie Foxx. Ryan will host the show which is in association with KIIS-FM Los Angeles..