Dateline: Week Of January 15, 2009 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Cold – A new record was set this week when Chicago had its ninth consecutive day of measurable snowfall, according to the National Weather Service. The previous record was eight consecutive days set from Dec. 13 to 20, 1973. Snowfall records in Chicago date back to 1884. A wind chill warning has been issued as temperatures as tsmperartures will not reach single digits until a few days. Records were broken everywhere – even in the South as Atlanta recorded an 11-degree wind chill factor.
A US Airways jetliner crashed into the frigid Hudson River after a flock of birds apparently disabled both its engines, but rescuers pulled the more than 150 passengers and crew members into boats before the plane sank.
After boats rushed to the rescue, the Federal Aviation Administration said that all passengers on US Airways Flight 1549 were off the plane and safe.
FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said the flight had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport en route to Charlotte, N.C., when the crash occurred in the river near 48th Street in New York City. The plane, an Airbus 320, took off at 3:26 p.m. and went down minutes later, Brown said.
President Bush Farewell address - Bush told the country that while his policies have been unpopular, there can be little debate about the results: "America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil." "As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before 9/11," Bush said in a prime-time address from the East Room of the White House. "But I never did." Leaving office with the highest disapproval rating since Richard Nixon, Bush said, "You may not agree with some of the tough decisions I have made, but I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions." The nation's 43rd president remained defiant about his own record. He claimed foreign policy successes in Iraq and Afghanistan while crediting his administration for improving public schools, creating a new Medicare prescription drug benefit and finding more money for veterans. With the United States facing the worst financial crisis in generations - under his watch - Bush said his White House took "decisive measures" to safeguard the economy.
Inauguration Preview - Time Magazine places Obama Barrack on the cover – for the 13th time.
Tracking Abraham Lincoln's historic path to Washington, President-elect Barack Obama launches a four-day inaugural celebration beginning Saturday before thousands of cheering onlookers from Philadelphia to the nation's capital. He promised to bring the country "a new Declaration of Independence" - free from small thinking, prejudice and bigotry. He took note of the enormous challenges that lie ahead and promised to act with "fierce urgency," a phrase often used by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Vice President-elect Joe Biden joined the journey en route, from his home in Delaware, and spoke for many when he said he was excited and ready for Tuesday.
Cease fire in Gaza - Militants in Hamas-ruled Gaza agreed Sunday to a week-long cease-fire with Israel, after three weeks of violence that Palestinian medics say has killed more than 1,000 people and turned Gaza's streets into battlegrounds. The announcement came about 12 hours after Israel declared its own unilateral cease-fire.
The airliner that was piloted to a safe emergency landing in the Hudson River was hoisted from the ice-laden current and placed on a barge, and its two "black box" data recorders were sent to investigators in Washington. Workers swarmed around the barge and its battered cargo — moored next to a seawall just a couple of blocks from the World Trade Center site — on Sunday morning as federal aviation investigators met. The US Airways plane was slowly lifted from the frigid water at the southern tip of Manhattan late Saturday, exposing its shredded underbelly that dropped pieces of metal as a crane maneuvered it in the darkness.
Of the airliner ditching in the Hudson - "They did everything right," said Mike Flores, who heads the wing of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) union, which represents the three. "Had they made one mistake, we would be talking about a completely different outcome than we saw on Thursday." Including the co-pilot, all five members of the crew were invited to attend the presidential inauguration. Pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger has garnered most of the headlines for safely piloting a crippled jet onto the Hudson River, but investigators and aviation workers say there is an unsung group that also deserves praise: the three flight attendants on board. Sheila Dail, 57, Doreen Welsh, 58, and Donna Dent, 51 — with a combined 92 years of experience on the job — were the ones who opened emergency exits, ordered passengers to don life jackets and directed them out of the plane. All 150 passengers escaped.
Authorities arrest a U.S. man on suspicion of threatening to kill President-elect Barack Obama based on statements he posted on a website about UFOs and aliens, the Justice Department said. Steven Joseph Christopher, in three postings to www.alien-earth.org, said he planned to assassinate Obama in Washington "as a sacrificial lamb," the department said in a statement. "It's really nothing personal about the man. He speaks well ... . But I know it's for the country's own good that I do this," Christopher reportedly wrote. "It's not because I'm racist that I will kill Barack, it's because I can no longer allow the Jewish parasites to bully their way into making the American people submit to their evil ways."
Countdown to new President - As massive crowds swarmed the National Mall on Tuesday to witness Barack Obama's inauguration as president, the man at the center of the maelstrom began the day quietly and reverently, at a church service across the street from the White House. Obama and his family attended a private service at St. John's Episcopal Church, a tradition for those about to become president. The family of Vice President-elect Joe Biden also attended. The Obamas and Joe and Jill Biden were scheduled to have coffee at the White House with President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney and their wives. Then they would travel the short distance to the Capitol for Obama's history-making moment.
At 12:05pm January 20 – Barack Hussein Obama is sworn-in as the nation’s 44th president by Chief Justice John Roberts. He told millions in the audience - “Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred,” he said. “Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. “Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered,” Obama said. “Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet…”
On his first full day in office, President Barack Obama summoned economic advisers and top military officials to the White House on Wednesday in quick steps toward delivering the change he promised as a candidate. A prayer breakfast and open house at the presidential mansion were also on the schedule of the 44th president, taking office on a promise to fix the battered economy and withdraw U.S. troops from the unpopular war in Iraq on a 16-month timetable.
The Senate confirmed Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state Wednesday as President Barack Obama moved to make his imprint on U.S. foreign policy, mobilizing a fresh team of veteran advisers and reaching out to world leaders.
The Senate voted 94-2, with Republican Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana and Jim DeMint of South Carolina opposing. Republicans and Democrats alike said her swift confirmation was necessary so that Obama could begin tackling the major foreign policy issues at hand, including two wars, increased violence in the Middle East and the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.
Technology News – January 15, 2009
Apple Inc. co-founder and Chief Executive Steve Jobs (53) says he is taking a medical leave of absence until the end of June—just a week after the cancer survivor tried to assure investors and employees his recent weight loss was simply caused by a treatable hormone deficiency. Jobs, said in a letter last week that he would remain at Apple's helm despite the hormone deficiency, and said he had already begun the "relatively simple and straightforward" treatment for the problem. But in an e-mail to employees Wednesday, Jobs backtracked. "During the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought," he wrote.
Sports News – January 15, 2009
It’ll be the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers in SuperBowl XLIII. The Cardinals' 32-25 victory against the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC championship sends the franchise that was the perennial joke from the penultimate game to the edge of glory. It’s the first time the Cardinals, first in Chicago, then St. Louis – and now Arizona, have ever been in the SuperBowl. Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl. “I like the way that sounds," said Arizona QB Kurt Warner.The Steelers defeated the Baltimore Ravens 23-14 for the AFC title.
Television News – January 15, 2009
The chief programmer at CBS, the No. 1 U.S. network in prime-time ratings, believes that its success proves broadcast television remains a viable business model despite a tough economy and challenges posed by the Internet. "The CBS audience was up in the first half of the season. It is certainly not an easy time. It is a time when viewers have many options, but it can be done," Nina Tassler, president of entertainment at CBS, said at the network's midseason presentation for TV critics. CBS had nine of the top 20 top prime-time shows last week, including detective series "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," the sitcom "Two and a Half Men" and the most popular new drama, "The Mentalist," according to Nielsen Media Research.
Last week’s season premiere of "American Idol" drew 30.1 million viewers, down 10 percent from its 2008 opener but still enough to crush competing programs.
Another Oprah Interviewee Stretches The Truth - Oprah Winfrey breaks her silence about former guest Herman Rosenblat, saying she's "very disappointed" in his now discredited story about meeting his future wife in a Nazi concentration camp. "That's what happens with lies," Winfrey said on an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show that aired last Friday. "They get bigger and bigger and bigger." Rosenblat, a 79-year-old resident of North Miami Beach, and his wife Roma have appeared twice on Winfrey's show. Winfrey said he had planned to appear again to "explain himself," but the man's lawyers scuttled that. Rosenblat's tale of a little girl throwing apples over a barbed-wire fence to him every day at a sub-camp of Buchenwald in the 1940s was endearing, Winfrey said. "And he told that story and I was crying, everybody was crying," Winfrey said. True, the couple has been married for 50 years and he was in a concentration camp. So was she. Berkley Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), had planned to release Rosenblat's memoir Angel at the Fence in February. But after scholars, friends and family members challenged him, Rosenblat acknowledged the story was untrue and Berkley pulled the book.
Mr. And Mrs. Biden on Oprah this week - Joe Biden's wife told the audience that he had his pick of being Barack Obama's running mate or the secretary of state nomination that eventually went to Hillary Rodham Clinton, a slip that the vice president-elect immediately tried to shush. After the exchange aired on television three hours later, Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander denied Jill Biden's account in a statement e-mailed to reporters.
More Entertainment/Celebrity News – January 15, 2009
Boy George sentenced to 15 months in jail - The former Culture Club singer imprisoned male prostitute Audun Carlsen during a drug-fuelled naked photoshoot at his flat in east London. Sentencing the musician - real name George O'Dowd - the judge at Snaresbrook Crown Court said he was guilty of "gratuitous violence". The judge also condemned his "premeditated", "callous", and "degrading" actions which "traumatised" his victim. George, 47, was convicted of detaining Norweigan escort Carlsen against his will last month. Carlsen, 29, told the trial jury he was hit with a metal chain as he tried to escape from the flat.
Obama Ball The Pop Hot Spot as Beyonce provided the vocal styling for Barack and Michelle Obama's first dance on inauguration night, but will she perform one of her chart topping hits? Beyonce has expressed her desire to be a part of the inauguration since Obama was elected and she told a reporter in November: "Whatever they want -- if they need me to volunteer, they need me to sing, I'm there, and I'm ready." She sang the standard, “At Last.” The singer and actress performed at the Neighborhood Ball on ABC along with Jay-Z, Will.i.am, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Shakira, Sting, Faith Hill, Mary J. Blige, Stevie Wonder and Maroon 5. Jessica Alba, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Kate Walsh were presenters at the ball.
Jay-Z, celebrating the impending inauguration of Barack Obama and sharing the moment, and the stage, with Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Young Jeezy and Memphis Bleek.
The sold-out Warner Theatre audience, which included Samuel L. Jackson, Usher, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Eric Benet, Bun-B., record executive Lyor Cohen and D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, often rhymed along as Jay-Z delved deep into his catalog, spanning Reasonable Doubt to American Gangster. Several times, he urged the crowd to "make some noise for the 44th president" or worked Obama's name into a song or made up a new verse about him. After the show-closing encore, he declared: "This is a time in our life for great hope. A lot of people bled to give us this opportunity. … We look forward to a better tomorrow, a better four years, a better eight years." He opened his Concert on the Eve of Change with his latest hit, Brooklyn Go Hard, with a video backdrop of the 1963 March on Washington at the Lincoln Memorial. He and Jeezy performed a new version of the Atlanta rapper's My President while an Obama montage rolled on the screen.
Patrick Swayze has been released from the hospital one week after checking himself in with pneumonia. Publicist Annett Wolf would not elaborate on the actor's condition but said he "is well enough to have been released." He is now resting at his Los Angeles home, Wolf said. Swayze, who has battled pancreatic cancer for the last year, checked himself into a hospital Jan. 9 for observation after contracting pneumonia.
Bob May, who donned The Robot's suit in the hit 1960s television show “Lost In Space,” has died. He was 69. May died of congestive heart failure, said his daughter, Deborah May. He was a veteran actor and stuntman who had appeared in movies, TV shows and on the vaudeville stage when he was tapped by "Lost in Space" creator Irwin Allen to play the Robinson family's loyal metal sidekick in the series that debuted in 1965.
Pop sensations the Jonas Brothers went to the most famous U.S. residence to surprise two of their biggest fans -- Malia and Sasha Obama, ABC News reports. The visit came after Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, joined some school friends to see two movies -- 'High School Musical 3: Senior Year' and 'Bolt' -- and participated in a scavenger hunt to learn about the history of their new home. At the end of the scavenger hunt, they were surprised when they opened a door and out popped their favorite musical performers: Kevin, Joe, and Nick Jonas.
Top Movies – January 15, 2009
Paul Blart: Mall Cop
My Blood Valentine 3D
Hotel For Dogs
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Last Chance Harvey.