Dateline: Week Of March 15, 2009 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
America's recession "probably" will end this year if the government succeeds in bolstering the banking system, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a rare television interview. In carefully hedged remarks in a taped interview with CBS' "60 Minutes," Bernanke seemed to express a bit more optimism that this could be done.
Federal prosecutors have notified a New York court that they also want the assets of Bernard Madoff’s wife. In a court filing, the government said it will seek the $7 million Manhattan penthouse as well as another $62 million that Ruth Madoff had sought to keep.
President Obama declared that insurance giant American International Group is in financial straits because of "recklessness and greed" and said he intends to stop it from paying out millions in executive bonuses. “How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat," the president said.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she will begin chemotherapy later this month, following her surgery in February for pancreatic cancer. The 76-year-old Ginsburg says she does not expect to miss any court sessions because of the treatment, which she is calling precautionary.
Acting swiftly, the Democratic-led House approved a bill Thursday to slap punishing taxes on big employee bonuses at firms bailed out by taxpayers. The bill would impose a 90 percent tax on bonuses given to employees with family incomes above $250,000 at American International Group and other companies that have received at least $5 billion in government bailout money.
President Barack Obama is defending his appearance on Jay Leno’s late-night talk show. He said his Thursday appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” is not keeping him from pressing matters. Some critics have questioned whether the television stint distracts from his work to fix the economy. Obama said he can do more than one thing at a time and is working on a host of issues, including climate change and health care reform.
Two U.S. Navy vessels — a nuclear-powered submarine and an amphibious ship — collided before dawn in the mouth of the Persian Gulf, one of the world's most important sea passages for oil supplies. There was no damage to the sub's nuclear propulsion system and no disruption to shipping in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world's oil passes, said Navy spokesman Lt. Nate Christensen, with the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet.
In Los Angeles - President Barack Obama guaranteed Americans on Thursday that the nation's economy will recover, though he asked them for patience. “We will come out on the other side stronger and a more prosperous nation," he said, acknowledging the nation's economic crisis. "That I can guarantee you. I can't tell you how long it will take, what obstacles we'll face along the way, but I promise you this: There will be brighter days ahead."
With states eager to spend, President Barack Obama announced guidelines Friday aimed at preventing waste and fraud and limiting the influence lobbyists will have in carrying out the $787 billion economic stimulus program. "This plan cannot and will not be an excuse for waste and abuse," Obama declared. The rules, he said, "will help ensure that we are proving ourselves worthy of the great trust the American people have placed in us." Obama also told state legislators gathered at the White House that decisions about how money will be spent will be based on the merits of creating the most jobs and helping reverse the recession.
Sports News – March 15, 2009
President Barack Obama has apologized to the chairman of the Special Olympics for his late-night talk show quip equating his bowling skills to those of athletes with disabilities. Appearing on NBC’s “Tonight” show, the president told host Jay Leno he'd been practicing at the White House's bowling alley but wasn't happy with his score of 129. Then he remarked: "It was like the Special Olympics or something."
The State Department used fingerprints to determine that the victim of Saturday's crash was William "Jeff" Komlo, according to Jim Vito, Chester County's acting chief detective. Vito said he was initially skeptical, concerned because of Komlo's history that he might have faked his own death. The former NFL quarterback who failed to show for sentencing on drunken driving charges nearly four years ago was killed in a car crash in Greece, authorities said, leaving behind an unsolved mystery involving two suspicious fires and years spent on the lam.
Entertainment/Celebrity News – March 15, 2009
Passing - Actor Ron Silver, who won a Tony Award as a take-no-prisoners Hollywood producer in David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow" and did a political about-face from loyal Democrat to Republican activist after the Sept. 11 attacks, died Sunday at the age of 62.
Saturday Night Live cast member Andy Samberg will host the MTV Movie awards show, scheduled to be held at Los Angeles' Gibson Amphitheater. The show is set to air on Sunday, May 31. Andy and Justin Timberlake starred in the "SNL" digital short and viral sensation "D--- in a Box" that won a Creative Arts Emmy in 2006.
Actress Natasha Richardson, the wife of actor Liam Neeson, has been critically injured in a skiing accident in Canada. Richardson, 45, had suffered a "traumatic head injury" at the ski resort of Mont Tremblant, about 75 miles from Montreal. Richardson is the daughter of actress Vanessa Redgrave. A few days later, the actress died of her injuries.
Singer Amy Winehouse turned a court appearance into a spring fashion show Tuesday as she pleaded innocent to assaulting a fan at a party last year.
Kayne West was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport days after performing at the MTV Video Music Awards in September. The celebrity gossip site TMZ shot video that showed West breaking the flash of a photographer's camera inside a terminal, and his manager breaking the camera itself and accosting TMZ's videographer.
The brother of "Dark Knight " director Christopher Nolan, Matthew Francis Nolan, has been arrested in connection with an alleged 2005 murder in Central America, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times. Nolan, 40, had been under investigation by Chicago Police in an alleged $700,000 bank-fraud scheme, when FBI agents arrested him last month in connection with the alleged 2005 killing of Florida businessman Robert C. Cohen in Costa Rica.
Top Movies – March 15, 2009
Race to Witch Mountain
The Last House on the Left
Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes To Jail
Paul Bart: Mall Cop
He’s Just Not That Into You
Confessions of a Shopaholic