Dateline: Week Of October 1, 2010 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Torrential downpours from a faded tropical storm marched into the Northeast on Friday (October 1), a day after claiming five lives, washing out roads, knocking out power and dousing some East Coast cities with more rain in hours than they normally get in months. Four people, including two children, were killed when their sport utility vehicle skidded off a rain-slicked highway about 145 miles east of Raleigh and plunged into a water-filled ditch, North Carolina troopers said. A fifth victim likely drowned when his pickup veered off the road and into a river that was raging because of the rain.
Ecuador was under a state of siege Friday, the streets quiet with the military in charge of public order, after soldiers rescued President Rafael Correa (In Picture) from a hospital where he'd been surrounded by police who roughed him up and tear-gassed him earlier. Correa and his ministers called Thursday's revolt — in which insurgents also paralyzed the nation with airport shutdowns and highway blockades — an attempt to overthrow him and not just a simple insurrection by angry security force members over a new law that would cut benefits for public servants.
Assailants in Pakistan launched two separate attacks Friday on vehicles carrying fuel for NATO and American forces in Afghanistan, highlighting the vulnerability of the U.S.-led mission a day after Pakistan closed a major border crossing. A truck driver and his assistant were burned alive in the second attack on a single tanker in the parking lot of a restaurant in southeastern Baluchistan province, said police officer Mohammad Azam. He said "anti-state elements" were behind the attack.
President Barack Obama has made official the news that's been known for days: Rahm Emanuel, his hard-charging chief of staff, is resigning. In a East Room news conference Friday, the president said goodbye to Emanuel and wished him well as his pursues a bid for Chicago mayor. His replacement, at least for the interim, is Obama senior adviser Pete Rouse.
Tapping into the same anger that fuels the tea party movement, a coalition of progressive and civil rights groups marched Saturday on the Lincoln Memorial and pledged to support Democrats struggling to keep power on Capitol Hill. "We are together. This march is about the power to the people," said MSNBC host Ed Schultz. "It is about the people standing up to the corporations. Are you ready to fight back?"
Amid growing public anger over home seizures, Bank of America Corp has suspended some of its foreclosures and JPMorgan Chase & Co has come under investigation in California and Connecticut.
Bank of America said on Friday it is delaying foreclosures in 23 states to review whether it has been conducting them properly. Two other big lenders -- JPMorgan and Ally Financial Inc's GMAC Mortgage -- have already suspended foreclosures. Also, a Maine state court judge reprimanded GMAC Mortgage for how it repossesses homes. The judge concluded that GMAC submitted a company official's affidavit to support a foreclosure "in bad faith."
The Obama administration on Sunday warned Americans of potential terrorist threats in Europe and urged them to be vigilant in public places, including tourist spots and transportation hubs. A State Department travel alert advises U.S. citizens living or traveling in Europe to take more precautions about their personal security. The alert is one step below a formal travel warning advising Americans not to visit Europe.
California - GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and Democratic rival Jerry Brown traded barbs over immigration policy and Whitman's illegal immigrant housekeeper during a heated debate that was aimed at California's growing Latino population. Both candidates hoped to score points with the crucial voting bloc during Saturday's face-off, the first to air statewide on Spanish-language television. Whitman acknowledged early on that she cannot win the governor's race without Latino votes. Whitman had planned to use the debate at California State University, Fresno to move on from a controversy that has dominated headlines this week after it was revealed she had an illegal immigrant housekeeper for nine years.
Japan and Sweden joined the U.S. and Britain on Monday in warning citizens about traveling in Europe because of concerns about a terror attack. Pakistani intelligence officials said five German militants were believed killed in an American missile strike close to the Afghan border. Two officials said the victims were believed to be German citizens in the region for terrorist training. A third said they were believed to be foreigners, but gave no details.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility Monday (October 4) for a pre-dawn attack on tankers carrying fuel to Afghanistan for U.S. and other NATO forces, left vulnerable on the side of the road after Pakistan shut down a key border crossing. About a dozen militants peppered the vehicles parked at a truck stop on the outskirts of the capital Islamabad with automatic gunfire. Some 20 trucks went up in flames and four people were killed and seven injured, authorities said.
The Justice Department unveiled an indictment accusing the owners of two of Alabama's largest casinos, four state senators and several lobbyists of a scheme to buy and sell votes in the Legislature. One defendant has pleaded guilty to offering a senator $2 million to vote for a bill to keep the bingo machines operating.
Former Societe Generale SA trader Jerome Kerviel was convicted on all counts Tuesday in one of history's biggest trading frauds, sentenced to three years in jail and ordered to pay the bank a mind-numbing euro4.9 billion ($6.7 billion) in damages. The ruling marked a huge victory for Societe Generale, one of France's most blue-blooded banks, which has worked to clean up its image and put in place tougher risk controls since the scandal broke in 2008.
The U.S. Justice Department sued American Express Co, Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc on Monday, accusing them of violating antitrust laws and citing rules that prevented merchants from encouraging consumers to use cheaper credit cards. Simultaneously, the Justice Department settled with Visa and MasterCard, which agreed to allow merchants to offer discounts to consumers who use less expensive types of credit or debit cards. The companies said the settlement, subject to court approval, did not involve any payment.
Steven Hayes, 47, was convicted of capital felony, murder, sexual assault and other counts by a jury that heard eight days of gruesome testimony about the July 2007 attacks on Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela. Hayes and an accomplice, into the Petit house in the New Haven suburb of Cheshire, beat William Petit with a baseball bat and forced Hawke-Petit to withdraw money from a bank before raping and strangling her, according to testimony. The men, both paroled burglars who met at a halfway house, tied the girls to their beds, put pillow cases over their heads and poured gas on or around them before setting the house on fire, authorities say. They died of smoke inhalation.
A defiant Faisal Shahzad smirked as he was given a mandatory life term that, under federal sentencing rules, will keep him behind bars until he dies. "If I'm given 1,000 lives I will sacrifice them all for the life of Allah," he said at the start of a statement that lasted several minutes. "How can I be judged by a court that does not understand the suffering of my people?" He’s the Muslim who tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square.
President Barack Obama said Tuesday he wants to see community colleges produce an additional 5 million graduates by 2020, arguing the schools are crucial to America's future competitiveness.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie kills plans for a new train tunnel to connect his state with New York's Manhattan island Thursday, saying billions of dollars in possible cost overruns made the project "completely unthinkable." The $8.7 billion tunnel beneath the Hudson River was the largest public works project in the United States, but Christie said it was likely to cost up to $5 billion more than estimated. In a statement announcing his plan to withdraw from the project, he said the tunnel "costs far more than New Jersey taxpayers can afford, and the only prudent move is to end this project.
More News October 1, 2010 -
President Obama won't sign a bill that could have made it easier for courts to clear foreclosures, the White House said Thursday.The bill would have required federal and state courts to recognize documents that were notarized in other states.
Frito-Lay hopes to quiet complaints about its noisy SunChips bags by switching out the biodegradable bags for the old packaging on most flavors. The snack maker says it will switch back to original packaging made of a type of plastic for five of the six varieties of the chips. It will keep the biodegradable and recyclable bags for its sixth variety, its original plain flavor. That's its second best-selling, after Harvest Cheddar. The bags are louder than traditional bags because the material used for them is made from plants and has a different molecular structure.
Have you ever worked on your laptop computer with it sitting on your lap, heating up your legs? Doing it a lot can lead to "toasted skin syndrome," an unusual-looking mottled skin condition caused by long-term heat exposure, according to medical reports. In one recent case, a 12-year-old boy developed a sponge-patterned skin discoloration on his left thigh after playing computer games a few hours every day for several months.
Robert Edwards of Britain won the 2010 Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for developing in vitro fertization, a breakthrough that has helped millions of infertile couples have children but also ignited an enduring controversy with religious groups.
American Airlines is recalling about 800 furloughed employees, about 1 percent of its work force, as it adds flights on international routes. CEO Gerard Arpey announced the jobs as American launched a new trans-Atlantic business with British Airways and Spanish airline Iberia. American is working on a similar alliance with Japan Airlines across the Pacific.
Twitter is introducing a redesigned interface on the web ("New Twitter") and rolling out its features to users over the next few weeks.
Verizon Wireless in a statement Sunday said it will pay up to $90 million in refunds to 15 million cell phone customers who were erroneously charged for data sessions or Internet use. Verizon said 15 million customers either will receive credits of $2 to $6 on their October or November bills, while former customers will get refund checks.
HBO, Netflix, Pandora and the NBA are just a few of the big-name brands teaming up with Google for the rollout of Google TV. The web giant's “multimillion-channel TV” system is expected to launch some time this fall. Run by Google's Android operating system, it will let users view all kinds of Web content on their televisions.
Talbots, the women’s apparel retailer will close 100 stores and expects third-quarter revenue to decrease by a low-single-digit percentage because of inconsistent customer traffic.
Entertainment News October 1, 2010 -
Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are both approaching a major milestone of the new music industry: one billion all-time YouTube views. Gaga should pass one billion views around October 20 if she continues on her current pace, according to David Birch, communications director at TubeMogul. During September, she averaged almost 1.8 million views per day. Birch says Bieber will surpass the 1 billion views milestone around November 1 if he keeps up his current pace. During September, Bieber's videos were viewed about 3.7 million times per day. After the good Lady and boy Bieber, the next closest artist is Michael Jackson at around 600 million views, says Birch.
“Die Hard" director John McTiernan was sentenced to one year in prison on Monday for perjury and lying to officials in a wiretapping case involving a former private investigator who represented many Hollywood stars. McTiernan, 59, was also fined $100,000 at the conclusion of the long-running case which stemmed from him hiring convicted sleuth Anthony Pellicano to wiretap a film producer after they both worked on the 2002 movie "Rollerball."
Passing - British comic actor Norman Wisdom, who played bumbling characters in slapstick films of the 1950s and 60s, has died at the age of 95, his agent said on Monday. Wisdom, whose fame spread as far as Stalinist Albania, usually played the underdog who eventually triumphs over adversity to win success and the girl. Charlie Chaplin is said to have called Wisdom his favorite clown.
Michael Douglas 66, will complete his cancer treatment this week, according to his publicist.
Police confirmed Wednesday that actor Gary Coleman’s death has been ruled an accident. Santaquin Police Chief Dennis Howard said an autopsy found Coleman died of natural causes after an accidental fall.
Television News - October 1, 2010 -
Paris Hilton is headed back to television -- this time in what is billed as a behind the scenes look at the life and friends of the jet-setting socialite and model. The Oxygen television network, which is aimed at young women, has given the go-ahead to a reality series that brings "an all-encompassing look at her life, friends, family, and relationships, all that's not represented every day," original programming chief Amy Introcaso-Davis said in a statement on Thursday. The show will also feature Hilton's friends Brooke Mueller -- the estranged wife of "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen -- and former Playboy model turned photographer Jennifer Rovero, along with her mother Kathy Hilton.
Passing – Stephen J. Cannell - the prolific television writer and producer who co-created "The Rockford Files" and “The A-Team” and later became a bestselling novelist, has died. He was 69. Cannell died Thursday evening of complications associated with melanoma at his home in Pasadena, his family said. In a career that began in the late 1960s when he sold his first TV script and took off as he soon became the hottest young writer on the Universal lot, Cannell created or co-created more than 40 TV shows, including "Baa Baa Black Sheep," "Baretta," "The Greatest American Hero" and "21 Jump Street."
ABC has pulled My Generation from its schedule after just two episodes have aired. The Thursday night drama dropped more than 30 percent in its second week to just 3.8 million viewers. The series, starring Jaime King, followed a group of high school seniors ten years after their high school graduation.
Music News October 1, 2010 -
Don’t miss a new HBO documentary on his Bruce Springsteen’s 1978 album "Darkness on the Edge of Town." October 7.
Kanye West is the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” this week. One thing was missing: A verse in his first song, "Power" dissing the entire show.
The original version of the song includes the line, "F--- SNL and the whole cast/ tell them Yeezy said they can kiss my whole a--." The line, a twist on a rhyme from Jay-Z’s "99 Problems," was his response to the show's mockery of his Taylor Swift run-in at last year's MTV VMAs.
The Gibson Guitar factory in Montana is finishing a project to honor what would have been the 70th birthday of Beatles singer and guitarist John Lennon. Gibson Acoustic's director of sales and marketing, Robi Johns, tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that Yoko Ono asked the company to release a limited number of J-160Es — the model of guitar her husband played. Johns says the company is releasing three models with suggested retail prices of between $4,700 and $15,000.
Lil Wayne has reportedly been moved to solitary confinement after guards found he was hiding a pair of headphones and an MP3 player charger. As punishment for possessing music-related equipment, Weezy now spends 23 hours a day without social contact in a punitive segregation cell called The Bing, where he's expected to remain until his scheduled Nov. 4 release.
Rocker Courtney Love has quit Twitter after accidentally publishing a nearly-nude photo of herself on the website. The Hole front woman logged on to the social networking site last week and shocked thousands of followers by posting a link to a topless picture of herself writhing in a chair.
The “Glee” cast has surpassed the Beatles for the most appearances on the Billboard Hot 100 chart by a non-solo act. The cast of the Fox television musical series about a high school glee club has six debuts on the chart this week. That gives it 75 (total) songs to chart the Billboard 100, to the Beatles' 71 hot 100 chart singles. The show's soundtrack got a boost after this week's episode featuring the music of Britney Spears. Elvis Presley still leads overall with 108 songs to chart on the Hot 100. He's followed by James Brown with 91, then "Glee."
Top Pop Hits - October 1, 2010 -
Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars
DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love – Usher fea. Pitbull
Love the Way You Lie – Eminem fea. Rihanna
Dynamite – Taio Cruz
Like a G6 – Far East Movement fea. Cataracs & Dev
Just a Dream – Nelly
I Like It – Enrique Inglesias fea. Pitbull
Only Girl (In the World) – Rihanna
Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Rida fea. Dave Gueatta
Take It Off – Ke$ha
Mine – Taylor Swift
Bottoms Up – Trey Songz fea. Nicki Minaj
Deuces – Chris Brown fea. Tyga & Kevin McCall
Misery – Maroon 5
Cooler Than Me – Mike Posner
Airplanes – B.o.B. fea. Hayley Williams
California Gurls – Katy Perry fea. Snoop Dogg
Magic – B.o.B. fea. Rivers Cuomo
Not Afraid – Eminem
Animal – Neon Trees
Empire of the State – Glee Cast
Secrets – OneRepublic
Hot Tottie – Usher fea. Jay-Z
Top Video Games - October 1, 2010
Halo: Reach (X360)
Final Fantasy XIV Online (PC)
Sid Meier’s Civilzation V (PC)
Wii Sports Resort
Sports Champions (PS3)
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (PSP)
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Polkemon Heart Gold
Wii Fit Plus
Top Movies October 1, 2010 -
The Social Network (1st week - $23 million)
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Case 39 (1st week $5.35 million)
Let Me In (1st week $5.3 million)
Alpha and Omega
TV listings/TV Guide - October 1, 2010
Monday night TV
8:00 to 9:00
ABC: 'Dancing With the Stars' -- (120 minutes)
CBS: 'How I Met Your Mother' and 'Rules of Engagement'
Cartoon Network: 'Regular Show' -- 8:15 start
CNN: 'Parker Spitzer'* -- Ellot Spitzer's first nightly talk show (Picture)
ESPN: 'Monday Night Football' -- New England Patriots at the Miami Dolphins
Food Network: 'Unwrapped' -- 8:30 start
Style: 'Too Fat for 15: Fighting Back'
TLC: 'Little People, Big World'
9:00 to 10:00
CBS: 'Two and a Half Men' and 'Mike & Molly'
CW: 'Gossip Girl'
FOX: 'Lie to Me'* -- Season 3
NBC: 'The Event'
PBS: 'American Masters' -- (90 minutes) Martin Scorsese pays tribute to filmmaker Elia Kazan
BBC America: 'Top Gear'
Bravo: 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta'* -- Season 3
Cartoon Network: 'Total Drama World Tour'
Current: 'Illegal to be Gay?'
DIY: 'Bath Crashers'
Discovery Health: 'Dr. G.: Medical Examiner'
Food Network: 'The Best Thing I Ever Ate'
HGTV: 'Designed to Sell' -- 9:30 start
History: 'American Pickers'
MTV: 'Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory' -- 9:30 start
NatGeo WILD: 'Expedition Wild'
Style: 'Life After Death'
SyFy: 'Scare Tactics'* -- Season 4
TLC: 'Quints by Surprise'**
truTV: 'Operation Repo' -- 9:30 start
USA: 'WWE Monday Night RAW!' -- (120 minutes)
VH1: 'Money Hungry'** -- (90 minutes)
10:00 to 11:00
CBS: 'Hawaii Five-O'
Bravo: 'Thintervention With Jackie Warner'
Discovery Health: 'Mystery Diagnosis'
DIY: 'Yard Crashers'*
Food Network: 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives'
ID: 'Disappeared'* -- Season 2
MTV: 'The World of Jenks' and 'The Buried Life'
Logo: 'The A-List New York'* -- Reality show about a group of alternate lifestyle friends in New York City
Showtime: 'Weeds' and 'The Big C'
truTV: 'Southern Fried Stings'*
'Charlie Rose' (PBS): TBA
'The Mo'Nique Show'* (BET): Season 2 premieres with Nelly and the St. Lunatics
'The Daily Show' (Comedy Central): Author Sam Harris
'Chelsea Lately' (E!): Duane "Dog" Chapman and wife Beth
'Lopez Tonight' (TBS): Drew Barrymore; performance by Fantasia
'Late Show With David Letterman' (CBS): Bruce Willis; performance by will.i.am performs with Nicki Minaj.
'The Tonight Show' (NBC): Will Arnett; actress Dot Marie Jones; a performance from Broadway's 'Rock of Ages'
'The Colbert Report' (Comedy Central): Journalist Eugene Robinson
'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (ABC): Dr. Phil; Nathan Fillion; performance by Trace Adkins (repeat)
'Tavis Smiley' (PBS): ABC News reporter Amy Walker; Sam Rockwell
'The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson' (CBS): Lauren Graham; performance by Rosanne Cash
'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' (NBC): Morgan Freeman; Josh Lucas; performance by Gayngs
'Last Call With Carson Daly' (NBC): Ron Perlman; special effects artist Robert Hall; performance by Janelle Monáe (repeat)