Dateline: Week Of October 8, 2010 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
A mushrooming crisis over potential flaws in foreclosure documents is threatening to throw the real estate industry into chaos, as Bank of America on Friday became the first bank to stop taking back tens of thousands of foreclosed homes in all 50 states. The move, along with another decision on foreclosures by PNC Financial Services Inc., adds to growing concerns that mortgage lenders have been evicting homeowners using flawed court papers, without verifying the information in them.
In another White House shake up, President Barack Obama on Friday announced that his national security adviser, Gen. James Jones, was stepping down after helping to shape the foreign policy for nearly two years Tom Donilon, Jones' deputy, will take over as the top security adviser.
China has long wanted a Nobel prize. Now that it has one, its leaders are furious. The Nobel committee awarded its peace prize to imprisoned democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo on Friday, lending encouragement to China's dissident community and sending a rebuke to the authoritarian government, which sharply condemned the award
Abbott Laboratories says it is withdrawing its diet pill Meridia in the U.S. and Canada, almost a year after studies showed the drug increases the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with a history of heart disease. Meridia has been available in both countries for more than a decade. Abbott says it made the decision at the request of the Food and Drug Administration. Earlier in the day, Health Canada, the nation's health department, announced the drug would come off the market there.
Pakistan said Saturday (October 9) it will reopen a key border crossing and allow convoys to resume delivering supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan, ending a 10-day blockade during which trucks were stranded on their way to the border and almost 150 were destroyed by attackers. Pakistan closed the northwest crossing at Torkham on Sept. 30 in an apparent protest over a NATO helicopter incursion that killed two of its soldiers on the border.
Chile - Sixty-six days after their gold and copper mine collapsed above them, 33 miners were offered a way out Saturday as a drill broke through to their underground purgatory. They should be out in a matter of days. More later.
The Republican candidate for governor, Carl P. Paladino, told a gathering in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Sunday that children should not be “brainwashed” into thinking that homosexuality was acceptable, and criticized his opponent, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, for marching in a gay pride parade earlier this year. Addressing Orthodox Jewish leaders, Mr. Paladino described his opposition to same-sex marriage.
Two Americans and a British-Cypriot economist won the 2010 Nobel economics prize Monday for developing a theory that helps explain why many people can remain unemployed despite a large number of job vacancies. Federal Reserve board nominee Peter Diamond was honored along with Dale Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides with the 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.5 million) prize for their analysis of the obstacles that prevent buyers and sellers from efficiently pairing up in markets.
A train locomotive rammed through a stalled passenger bus on a railroad crossing in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, killing 43 people and injuring eight others as the bus was pushed 300 meters (yards) down the tracks. Investigators said the bus driver ignored the siren of the oncoming train, and the bus stalled on the tracks as the driver tried to shift gears. Witnesses said the driver also ignored a red light.
A federal judge Tuesday (October 12) ordered the government to stop banning openly gay men and women from serving in the military under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy". U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips found the policy unconstitutional in September. On Tuesday, she rejected an Obama administration request to delay an injunction and ordered enforcement of the 17-year-old policy permanently stopped. The Justice Department has 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say the government is under no legal obligation to do so and they could let Phillips' ruling stand.
More News - October 8, 2010 -
The Obama administration on Tuesday lifted the moratorium on deepwater exploratory oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico — provided companies follow new safety rules. "Operators who play by the rules and clear the higher bar can be allowed to resume" drilling, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said at a news conference.
Officials in 50 states and the District of Columbia have launched a joint investigation into allegations that mortgage companies mishandled documents and broke laws in foreclosing on hundreds of thousands of homeowners. The states' attorneys general and bank regulators will examine whether mortgage company employees made false statements or prepared documents improperly.
Chile's trapped miners were shuttled up a narrow escape shaft to freedom and joyous reunions on Wednesday in a meticulously planned rescue operation that ended the longest underground entrapment in human history. One after another, the miners climbed into a missile-like steel capsule barely wider than a man's shoulders and took a 15-minute journey through 2,000 feet of rock to the surface. All of the miners were freed Wednesday night in a rescue operation that advanced rapidly without hitches. Scenes of jubilation erupted each time a miner arrived to a hero's welcome above the San Jose gold and copper mine in Chile's northern Atacama desert. The last miner out was Luis Alberto Urzua, 54, the shift foreman credited with helping the trapped miners endure 17 days in isolation before Chileans discovered the men had survived the mine collapse.
More people applied for unemployment benefits last week, the first rise in three weeks and evidence that companies are reluctant to hire in a slow economy. Initial claims for unemployment rose by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 462,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was only the second rise in two months.
For the Senate - Trailing by double-digits in most polls, Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell went on the offensive Wednesday, attacking Democrat Chris Coons as a career politician with Marxist views who would raise taxes and rubber-stamp Democratic policies. Coons, meanwhile, during a nationally televised debate portrayed O'Donnell as an extremist more interested in clever sound bites than offering solutions to the problems confronting the nation.
Sudan – A former militia leader arrived in Southern Sudan's capital Thursday to hold peace talks with the president and army leadership, part of an effort by the southern government to project unity ahead of a looming vote on self-determination. The oil-rich, mainly Christian south is due to hold a referendum on independence from the mainly Muslim north in January as part of a peace deal that ended a two-decades-long war between the regions. During that time, more than 2 million people were killed, often the result of the north arming southern groups and encouraging them to fight each other.
Obama’s Health Care Plan Will Have Its Day In Court - Crucial pieces of a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration's health care overhaul can go to trial, with a judge ruling Thursday he wants to hear more arguments over whether it's constitutional to force citizens to buy health insurance. In a written ruling, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson said it also needs to be decided whether it's constitutional to penalize people who do not buy insurance with taxes and to require states to expand their Medicaid programs. Another federal judge in Michigan threw out a similar lawsuit last week. Vinson set a hearing for Dec. 16. The lawsuits will likely wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
After two days of silence, the Obama administration urged a federal judge on Thursday to let the military press on with its "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays serving openly in the military. Still, President Barack Obama insisted the policy that has divided the nation for two decades "will end on my watch." The Pentagon said the military "will of course obey the law" and halt enforcement while the case is still in question. But gay rights advocates cautioned gay service members to avoid revealing their sexuality in the meantime.
For more than a year, CVS Pharmacy Inc. was more than a neighborhood drug store in Southern California and at least four other states. Federal authorities say it was the place of choice for would-be criminals known as "smurfers" to buy a key ingredient used to cook batches of the highly addictive drug methamphetamine. On Thursday, the nation's largest operator of retail pharmacies announced it had agreed to pay $75 million in fines for allowing repeated purchases of pseudoephedrine that led to a spike in Southern California drug trafficking.
Gap is back to blue. The casualwear chain will keep its decades-old white-on-navy blue logo after all. The move comes just one week after the company swapped it online for a new logo without saying a word. The new logo irritated fans, spurring them to complain about it online. Gap North America president Marka Hansen said in a statement late Monday that the San Francisco-based company realized how much people liked the old logo after they put up the new one, a white background with black letters and a little blue box. She also says Gap didn't handle the change correctly and missed a chance to have shoppers offer input until it was too late.
American Airlines is recalling about 800 furloughed employees, about 1 percent of its work force, as it adds flights on international routes.
Technology News - October 8, 2010
Microsoft Phones - With the unveiling of nine Windows Phone 7 phones to be rolled out on four continents this holiday season, Microsoft's re-entry into the smart phone business is nearly underway. Of the nine, five are coming to America — three from HTC, LG and Samsung go to AT&T, while T-Mobile will sell an additional two, from Dell and HTC. Though the big reveal is this week, the first of the phones won't be available until November 8. T-Mobile's main Windows Phone 7 model, the HTC HD7, will have a 4.3-inch screen, one of the largest around. As for the two other major U.S. wireless carriers, Microsoft promises that Verizon and Sprint will have phones in 2011, and that "select models" would be sold at Microsoft Stores and on Amazon. AT&T's phones include the HTC Surround, LG Quantum and Samsung Focus, all pictured up top. They all have 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, capacitive touch screens and 5-megapixel cameras. They will each sell for $199.99 with a two-year contract.
New technology to pick up audio during busy sporting events…
It’s from a company called Squarehead and the device is called Audioscope, and contains over 300 microphones. Picture this – the device is mounted above a stadium and a wide-angle camera looks down on the scene from the center of a disk containing the microphones. All the operator has to do is pinpoint a spot on the court or field using the screen, and the Audioscope works out how far that spot is from each of the mics, corrects for delay and then synchronizes the audio from all 315 of them. The result is a microphone that can pick out the pop of a bubblegum bubble in the middle of a basketball game..."
Microsoft issued its biggest-ever security fix Tuesday, including repairs to its ubiquitous Windows operating system and Internet browser for flaws that could let hackers take control of a PC. The new patches aim to fix a number of vulnerabilities including the notorious Stuxnet virus that attacked an Iranian nuclear power plant and other industrial control systems around the world. Microsoft said four of the new patches — software updates that write over glitches — were of the highest priority and should be deployed immediately to protect users from potential criminal attacks on the Windows operating systems.
Entertainment News - October 8, 2010 -
Ryan Seacrest is in talks with AEG, which is mostly in the live-event business, and talent agency CAA about teaming up to create a new cable network. The discussions are in the early stages, according to The Live Feed, but the partners are discussing programming that would be "music, pop culture and lifestyle oriented." Seacrest would continue working with E!, where he hosts and executive produces the daily "E! News" show and produces “Keeping Up With the Kardashians" and other shows.
A Michigan couple convicted of trying to extort $680,000 out of "Glee" actor John Stamos were each sentenced Friday to four years in prison. Allison Coss and Scott Sippola were hoping to receive sentences of less than two years in prison, but U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar ordered a stiffer punishment.
The Cigar Guy is actually a Cigar Guy's secret identity has been revealed, and in the end, the truth was right in front of our faces all along. He’s the mysterious grinning stranger in the corner of the now famous Daily Mail Tiger Woods photo from the Ryder Cup last week. Wearing what appeared to be a turban and smoking a cigar the size of a small tree, the absurdly out-of-place Cigar Guy kicked off a worldwide Internet game of Photoshop one-upsmanship. Within moments, Cigar Guy began showing up all throughout history. He’s a mild-mannered, mildly embarrassed young man! (Isn't that always the way with our heroes?) Cigar Guy is Rupesh Shingadia, a 30-year-old investment analyst who -- no kidding -- still lives with his parents in South London.
Television News - October 8, 2010 -
Caitlin Sanchez the voice of Dora the Explorer, has filed a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against Nickelodeon that claims that she didn't receive her promised cut of Dora revenue. "Caitlin traveled around the U.S., promoting the Dora Brand, and making over one hundred interview personal appearances... Defendants have never compensated her for her promotional work," the 35-page lawsuit states. Sanchez was recently fired as the star of the animated program. "Caitlin's voice changed and she was no longer able to portray the Dora character, as happened with the actress who originated the role," the network said in a statement.
“Two and a Half Men.” Angus T. Jones, 16, who plays Charlie Sheen's nephew, has inked a $300,000-per-episode contract.
PBS station KCET said Friday it's dropping out of the public TV system and going independent because of a dispute over fees and programming. Starting in January, the Los Angeles-based station's schedule will include some current shows along with new fare that reflect Southern California's "diverse" voices, KCET President Al Jerome said in a statement. "After four decades as the West Coast flagship PBS station, this is not a decision we made lightly," Jerome said.
Fired CNN correspondent Rick Sanchez said Friday morning that he would "absolutely" return to CNN if offered the opportunity, acknowledged he had "a chip on his shoulder," apologized for his "offensive comments" and called Jon Stewart "the classiest guy." In his first TV interview since being fired for his comments last week about Stewart and Jewish people in the media industry, Sanchez appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" in a chat with George Stephanopoulos to once again apologize. Talking about his comments, he said: "Not only were they wrong, they were offensive."
Tina Fey will return to "Saturday Night Live" in a primetime special, a representative for the NBC sketch comedy series confirmed. Fey, Rachel Dratch and Amy Poehler and will be among the former cast members who appear in "The Women of SNL," which will air Monday, November 1 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET. Also participating: Nora Dunn, Ana Gasteyer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Laraine Newman, Cheri Oteri, Maya Rudolph, Molly Shannon and current cast member Kristen Wiig.
Larry Wilcox, best known for his role as Officer Jon Baker on CHiPs, was charged Thursday with securities fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Prosecutors said the former TV star was part of an "illicit kickback scheme to manipulate the volume and price of microcap stocks and illegally generate stock sales." According to the complaint filed by the SEC, the 63-year-old actor created a phony company, the UC HUB Group, through which he received kickbacks from Anthony Mellone, the CEO of Tri-Star Holdings Inc.
TV journalist Laura Ling, who was held in North Korean captivity last year, will host a one-hour news show on E!. Set to premiere Dec. 8 and a departure from the network's gossip-heavy fare, E! Investigates will explore more serious issues. The first two episodes will focus on teen suicide and the lives of military wives.
After 11 years of marriage, Courteney Cox and David Arquette have separated, the couple announced in a joint statement on Monday afternoon. Courteney and David initially met on the set of "Scream" in 1995. Three years later, in October of 1998, they announced their engagement. They tied the knot on June 12, 1999.
Chelsea Handler is getting another show on E! and signs on to star in a half-hour comedy titled After Lately.. It will be semi-improvised and focus on behind-the-scenes of Handler's talk show. No premiere date has been set, but eight episodes have been ordered. Handler, 35, most recently hosted MTV's Video Music Awards.
Fox is turning Napolean Dynamiteinto a cartoon. The network has ordered six episodes of an animated version of the 2004 indie comedy. The original cast, including Jon Heder, will return to voice the awkward high schoolers.
"The View" co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar stormed off the set Thursday during a contentious interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. As the cast debated whether there should be a community center and mosque built in Lower Manhattan, O'Reilly declared that "Muslims killed us on 9/11" to back up his position that it's "inappropriate." "Oh my God!" Goldberg responded, before uttering a few words bleeped out. "Muslims didn't kill us on 9/11?" O'Reilly responded. "Is that what you're saying?"Goldberg called O'Reilly an "extremist" as several of the co-hosts responded to O'Reilly's statement that "Muslims" -- and not Muslim radicals, extremists or terrorists -- killed "us" on 9/11.
Music News - October 8, 2010 -
Though he has a pending cocaine felony charge, newcomer Bruno Mars is aiming to reach the stars by writing hits for others and doing the same on his debut CD, 'Doo-Wops and Holligans.'
Taylor Swift’s former manager is suing her for millions of dollars in commissions. Dan Dymtrow says he discovered Swift, signed her in April 2004, and helped build her career. He was axed a year later, right before Swift signed a deal with Big Machine Records and became a superstar. Dymtrow claims that his deal with Swift and her parents allowed him to be paid between 5 and 10 percent commission from Taylor's music career, and that he was fired so the Swifts could avoid compensating him. "They delayed and delayed [the deal] and got rid of my client and subsequently signed the deal and kept his commissions for themselves," Fernando Pinguelo, Dymtrow's attorney, told the Reporter. Dymtrow also said he introduced Swift to the agents that ended up in charge of booking her concert gigs so he's entitle to profit from forming that relationship.
Passing- Solomon Burke – Blues & Rhythm artist. He was 70.
Has Miley Cyrus finally gone so far with her increasingly sensual image that she's been condemned by her own father? Well, no, not exactly. But her racy new music video, "Who Owns My Heart?," has been slammed by the Parents Television Council. Funnily enough, when you check the list of folks sitting on the advisory board for this conservative watchdog group, the biggest-name celebrity listed there is—you guessed it—none other than Billy Ray Cyrus!
Appearing on CBS’ “60 Minutes - Rapper Eminem reveals that… he does not cuss at home. "Profanity around my house? No," said the rapper when asked if his real life vocabulary mimics that of his records. "I'm not saying there's not glimpses of me in the music, [that] there's not truth in...things that I say, but this is music, this is my art."
George Michael is out of jail. The singer, 47, was released after serving almost four weeks of an eight week jail term for driving under the influence and possession of marijuana. Thrown in the slammer Sept. 14 after driving his Range Rover through the storefront of a photo shop in London July 4, the Wham! singer admitted he had smoked marijuana and had taken a sedative. He pleaded guilty to the charge soon after the accident.
Justin Bieber, the 16-year-old R&B singer has teamed with Nicole for OPI to start a line of fingernail polishes based on his songs. The "One Less Lonely Girl" collection comes out in December with six shades, including "Give Me The First Dance" (silver), "Prized Possession Purple" (grape), and "Me + Blue" (dark blue). Eight additional shades will hit stores in January. The polishes will be available exclusively at Wal-Mart.
Christina Aguilera and her husband, Jordan Bratman have split. They’ve been separated for a few months actually.
Passing - General Norman Johnson, lead singer of The Chairmen Of The Board at the age of 67. Their big hit was “Gimmie Just A Little More Time” and earlier – with the Showmen – a hit called “It Will Stand.”
Top Albums - October 8, 2010 -
Hemingway’s Whiskey – Kenny Chesney
I Am Not A Human Being – Lil Wayne
You Get What You Give – Zac Brown Band
The Appeal: Georgia’s Most Wanted – Gucci Mane
Clapton – Eric Clapton
Passion, Pain & Pleasure – Trey Songz
Recovery - Eminem
A Thousand Sunds – Linkin Park
Hands All Over – Maroon 5
Invented – Jimmy Eat World
A Year Without Rain – Selena Gomez & The Scene
Le Noise – Neil Young
WAKE UP! – John Legend & The Roots
Incarcerated - Lil’ Boosie
Rehab – LeCrae
My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber
Guitar Heaven – Santana
Enjoy Yourself – Billy Currington
The Social Network Soundtrack – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
The Guitar Song – Jamey Johnson
I Am The West – Ice Cube
Telephantasm – Soundgarden
Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons
Top Movies - October 8, 2010 –
The Social Network
Life as We Know It (1st week - $14.635 million)
Secretariat – (1st week - $12.6 million)
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga”Hoole
My Soul to Take (1st week - $6.9 million)
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
TV listings/TV Guide - October 8, 2010 -
Thursday night TV
8:00 to 9:00
CBS: 'The Big Bang Theory' and 'S--! My Dad Says'
NBC: 'Community' and '30 Rock' -- 30 Rock goes live tonight
PBS: 'This Old House Hour'
Food Network: 'Good Eats' -- 8:30 start
HGTV: 'Property Virgins' and 'My First Place'
9:00 to 10:00
ABC: 'Grey's Anatomy'
NBC: 'The Office' and 'Outsourced'
A&E: 'The First 48'
Bio: 'Creating the World of Harry Potter: The Magic Begins'
Bravo: 'The Real Housewives of Washington D.C.' -- The reunion episode
Discovery: 'Storm Chasers' -- (120 minutes)
DIY: 'The Vanilla Ice Project'* -- Two episodes
Lifetime: 'Project Runway' -- (90 minutes)
Spike: 'TNA Wrestling Impact!' -- (120 minutes)
SyFy: 'Destination Truth'
TLC: 'Lottery Changed My Life'
truTV: 'Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest Criminals'
10:00 to 11:00
ABC: 'Private Practice'
CBS: 'The Mentalist'
NBC: 'The Apprentice'
A&E: 'The First 48'
Bio: 'Creating the World of Harry Potter: Characters'
Bravo: 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills'*
Cooking Channel: 'Cook Like an Iron Chef'
DIY: 'Rehab Addict'* -- Two episodes
Food Network: 'Food Feuds'
FX: 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' and 'The League'
HGTV: 'House Hunters' and 'House Hunters International'
ID: 'Wicked Attraction'
Lifetime: 'On the Road With Austin & Santino' -- 10:30 start
MTV: 'Jersey Shore'
NatGeo WILD: 'Morays: The Alien Eels'
Science Channel: 'Blowdown'
'Charlie Rose' (PBS): Chinese TV host Yang Lan; Klaus Schaub, Chairman, World Economic Forum
'The Mo'Nique Show' (BET): Ron Artest; Michael Clark Duncan and Omarosa
'Watch What Happens: Live' (Bravo): Cast members from 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills'
'The Daily Show' (Comedy Central): Author David Rakoff
'Chelsea Lately' (E!): Amy Brenneman
'Lopez Tonight' (TBS): Mark Wahlberg; Bill Bellamy; performance by David Otunga
'Late Show With David Letterman' (CBS): Rapper Diddy; Emma Stone; performance by Diddy-Dirty Money
'The Tonight Show' (NBC): Wanda Sykes; Kevin McHale
'The Colbert Report' (Comedy Central): Author Bill Bryson
'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (ABC): Josh Duhamel; Julia Stiles; performance by Nas and Damian Marley
'Tavis Smiley' (PBS): Tony Danza
'The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson' (CBS): Drew Carey; Jenny Wade
'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' (NBC): Pee-wee Herman; author Nick Hornby; performance by Ben Folds
'Last Call With Carson Daly' (NBC): Filmmakers Amir Bar-Lev and Seth Gordon; performance by City and Colour