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 Dateline: Week Of February 8, 2009 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment  & Fascinating Facts 


In The News -

Towering flames razed entire towns in destroyed in Saturday's inferno when searing temperatures and wind blasts produced a firestorm that swept across a swath of the country's Victoria state, where all the deaths occurred.

obama first press conference february 2009 mrpopcultureFirst press conference - President Obama took his case for more than $800 billion in economic stimulus directly to the American people, accusing Republicans of playing politics with a plan that's "exactly what this country needs." Fresh from a visit to Elkhart, Ind., where the unemployment rate has soared above 15%, Obama used his news conference to press Congress to pass southeastern Australia and burned fleeing residents in their cars as the death toll rose to 130, making it the country's deadliest fire disaster. At least 700 homes were his package of new spending and tax cuts. "I can't afford to see Congress play the usual political games," Obama said. "What we have to do right now is deliver for the American people." The president touched on other topics — from the war in Afghanistan to Iran — but the nearly hour-long news conference was dominated by the economic issues that have confronted his administration in its 3-week-old infancy.

Emergency teams planned to resume searching early Wednesday for survivors of a rare February tornado in southern Oklahoma, with at least eight deaths and dozens of injuries confirmed from the estimated half-mile-wide twister. Severe weather also caused damage and power outages in Oklahoma City and western Texas. Lone Grove, a town of 5,000 about 100 miles south of Oklahoma City, appeared to have been the hardest-hit by what the National Weather Service described as a large and violent tornado.

Taliban gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed the Justice Ministry and another government building in Afghanistan's capital on Wednesday, killing 19 people ahead of a planned visit by President Barack Obama's special envoy to the region. Eight attackers also died in the assaults, including an attacker outside a third government building, Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said. The coordinated attacks on the Justice Ministry and a corrections building struck in the heart of Kabul, underscoring the reach of the Taliban beyond their strongholds in the south and east. Azimi said all eight attackers had suicide vests, but only three assailants detonated them.

The number of people requesting first-time unemployment benefits dropped slightly last week, but remained near a 26-year high as companies lay off thousands of workers amid a deepening recession. The Commerce Department said Thursday that the number of initial jobless benefit claims dropped to a seasonally-adjusted 623,000, from an upwardly revised figure of 631,000 the previous week. The latest tally still was above analysts' expectations of 610,00 claims. The 631,000 figure was the highest number of new jobless claims since October 1982, when the economy was emerging from a steep recession, though the labor force has grown by about half since then.

A Continental commuter plane coming in for a landing nose-dived into a house in suburban Buffalo, sparking a fiery explosion that killed all 49 people aboard and a person in the home. It was the nation's first fatal crash of a commercial airliner in 2 1/2 years. Witnesses heard the twin turboprop aircraft sputtering before it went down in light snow and fog around 10:20 p.m. Thursday about five miles from Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Continental Connection Flight 3407 from Newark, N.J., came in squarely through the roof of the house, its tail section visible through flames shooting at least 50 feet high. Two others in the house escaped with minor injuries. The plane was carrying a four-member crew and an off-duty pilot. Among the 44 passengers killed was a woman whose husband died in the World Trade Center attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Irag - A female suicide bomber blew herself up in a crowd of Shi'ite pilgrims on Friday, killing 32 people and wounding 84 others south of Baghdad during one of the holiest events of the Shi'ite calendar, police said. The attack on the pilgrimage route in Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of the capital, came a day after a bomb killed eight in the Shi'ite holy city of Kerbala, to which hundreds of thousands if not millions were headed to mark Arbain.

President Barack Obama, winning a $787-billion stimulus for an ailing economy within his first month in office, today called the measure "a major milestone on our road to recovery.'' The president plans to swiftly sign the measure approved late Friday night by the Senate, following its passage by the House earlier in the day – clearing Congress party lines largely along. “This historic step won't be the end of what we do to turn our economy around, but rather the beginning. The problems that led us into this crisis are deep and widespread, and our response must be equal to the task." The bill passed Congress on Friday on party-line votes, allowing Democratic leaders to deliver on their promise of clearing the legislation by mid-February.


 Entertainment /Celebrity News – February 8, 2009

miley cyrus eye slant controversy february 2009 trivia timeline mrpopcultureMiley Cyrus issues a heartfelt apology for the racially offensive photograph she took with her friends.In the picture, Miley is seen using her fingers to make her eyes slant, which is considered degrading to Asian people. It is the 16 year olds second apology following the advocate group OCA, a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans, releasing a statement saying the teen set "a terrible example for her many young fans" by "mocking and denigrating individuals of Asian descent."

NAACP Awards -  Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson both glided away with trophies and wowed the audience with individual performances during the 40th annual NAACP Image Awards. Beyonce won the female artist category while Husdon picked up the new artist award. They costarred in the 2006 film "Dreamgirls."

"This is where we come from," Hudson said, accepting the trophy. "So it's always an honor to come home and feel welcome and to feel the love. I really cherish this and appreciate it." Along with Beyonce and Hudson, will.i.am and Seal performed on stage at the Shrine Auditorium ceremony, which was hosted by actress Halle Berry and actor-screenwriter Tyler Perry. The show coincides with the 100th anniversary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and kicks off a yearlong centennial celebration.

"The Secret Life of Bees" won for motion picture. "Grey's Anatomy" won for TV drama. Several of the winners were awarded before the live ceremony, including Chandra Wilson from "Grey's Anatomy" for actress in a drama series, Columbus Short from "Cadillac Records" for supporting actor in a motion picture and singer-actor Jamie Foxx for male artist.


More Music News – February 8, 2009  

 whitney return to the stage feb 2009 timeline trivia mrpopcultureWhitney Houston made a triumphant return to the stage at a pre-Grammy party honoring her mentor, music mogul Clive Davis. "I've got it, I've got it!" Houston, looking glamorous in a skintight leopard dress, sang as she belted a line from one of her classic hits, "I'm Every Woman." But more than a lyric, it summarized to the crowd of A-list superstars and top industry execs that the superstar — whose drug use and erratic behavior had caused a shocking fall from grace just a few years ago — was back in top form. "We all crossed our fingers that her beautiful story would end (happily)," said Jamie Foxx, who stood at the front of the stage and took video of Houston like he was just another fan in the crowd. "This is a new beginning."

Usher canceled his performance at Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party due to a family emergency. His wife, Tameka, is in Brazil and has experienced complications from plastic surgery. A neurosurgeon is on the way to South America.

 A tearful Jennifer Hudson won her first Grammy, thanking her family "in heaven and those who are with me today" to kick off an evening already stoked with drama when police said they were investigating double nominee Chris Brown for an alleged assault on an unidentified woman. Brown and longtime girlfriend Rihanna, each nominated and slated to perform, separately dropped out of the Grammys at the last minute and their whereabouts were not immediately known Sunday night. (Later – it was revealed that Rihanna did file an assault complaint and Brown was arrested and later released after putting up $50,000 in bail).

Follow-up – Rihanna - who has been left with bruises and a scratch on her face from her early Sunday morning altercation with beau Chris Brown - has postponed a concert in Malaysia this week, organizers said.

Limp Bizkit reuniting - The original band members of Limp Bizkit which consists of Fred Durst, Wes Borland, Sam Rivers, John Otto, and DJ Lethal have reunited after an 8 year hiatus. "We decided we were more disgusted and bored with the state of heavy popular music than we were with each other," said Fred Durst and Wes Borland. "Regardless of where our separate paths have taken us, we recognize there is a powerful and unique energy with this particular group of people we have not found anywhere else. This is why Limp Bizkit is back."

 Passing - Estelle Bennett, one of the Ronettes, the singing trio whose 1963 hit "Be My Baby" epitomized the famed "wall of sound" technique of its producer, Phil Spector, has died at her home in Englewood, N.J. She was 67. Bennett's brother-in-law, Jonathan Greenfield, said police found her dead in her apartment on Wednesday after relatives had been unable to contact her. The time and cause of death have not yet been determined. Greenfield is the manager and husband of Bennett's sister, Ronettes lead singer Ronnie Spector.

51st Grammy Awards – some winners:

Album of the year
Robert Plant and Allison Krauss, Raising Sand

Rap album
Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III

Pop male vocal performance
John Mayer, Say

Record of the year
Robert Plant and Allison Krauss, Please Read the Letter

New artist
adele - grammy new artist feb 2009 trivia timeline mrpopcultureAdele

Rock album
Coldplay, Viva La Vida

Pop collaboration with vocals
Robert Plant and Allison Krauss, Rich Woman

Song of the year
Coldplay, Viva La Vida

Country performance by duo/group
Sugarland, Stay

R&B album
Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Hudson

Male country vocal
Brad Paisley, Letter to Me

Country collaboration with vocals
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Killing the Blues

Country song
Jennifer Nettles, Stay

Traditional pop vocal album
Natalie Cole, Still Unforgettable

Female R&B vocal performance
Alicia Keys, Superwoman

Male R&B vocal performance 
Ne-Yo, Miss Independent

R&B duo/group
Al Green featuring John Legend, Stay with Me (By the Sea)

Traditional R&B vocal performance
Al Green featuring Anthony Hamilton, You've Got the Love I Need

R&B song
Ne-Yo, Miss Independent

Contemporary R&B album
Mary J. Blige, Growing Pains


Television News - February 8, 2009

Nadya Suleman, who gave birth to octuplets last month, is getting public assistance. The 33 year-old Whittier, Calif., resident will receive $490 a month in food stamps. Three of her first six children are also disabled and receiving federal assistance. (Her publicist Michael Furtney declined to reveal the children's disabilities.) Suleman recently told the Today show's Ann Curry that she was not on welfare.


Top TV Shows/Listings/TV Guide – February 8, 2009



American Idol" (Tuesday)



American Idol" (Wednesday)



Grammy Awards



60 Minutes



Two and a Half Men



CSI: Miami



Grey's Anatomy






The Mentalist






Desperate Housewives



Lie to Me



Private Practice






Without a Trace



CSI: Crime Scene Investigation



Ghost Whisperer






The Bachelor





































Top Movies - February 8, 2009

He’s Just Not That Into You



Pink Panther 2

Paul Blart: Mall Cop


Slumdog Millionaire

Grand Torino

The Uninvited

Hotel For Dogs

Underworld: Rise of the Lycons

New In Town

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