Dateline: Week Of September 15, 2010 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Militants launched mortar shells into Israel and Israeli jets bombed targets in Gaza on Wednesday, just as Israeli and Palestinian leaders held peace talks in Jerusalem with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Gaza militants opposed to peace with Israel have threatened to derail the fledgling negotiations, and the Israeli military said eight mortars and one rocket hit Israel by mid-afternoon on the day of the talks — the highest daily total since March 2009. There were no injuries.
A strong Tropical Storm Karl made landfall on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday, hitting a sparsely populated stretch of Caribbean coast, while two Category 4 hurricanes roared further out in the Atlantic. Karl made landfall about 30 miles (50 kilometers) up the coast from the Quintana Roo state capital of Chetumal, with winds of about 63 to 65 mph (100 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Tilted toward the GOP from the start of the year, the political environment has grown even more favorable for Republicans and rockier for President Barack Obama and his Democrats over the long primary season that just ended with a bang. With November's matchups set and the general election campaign beginning in earnest Wednesday, an Associated Press-GfK poll found that more Americans say the country is headed in the wrong direction than did before the nomination contests got under way in February. Also, more now disapprove of the job Obama is doing. And more now want to see Republicans in control of Congress rather than the Democrats who now run the House and Senate.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told NBC News on that his country was justified in barring further visits by U.N. atomic inspectors and challenged other nations to fully disclose their nuclear activities. He also rebuffed the threat of new sanctions: “Our nation does not need the United States whatsoever," he told NBC's Andrea Mitchell in Tehran. "Even if the U.S. administration increases the sanctions and — 100 times more, and even the Europeans join the United States to impose heavier sanctions, we in Iran are in a position to meet our own requirements.”
The number of people living in poverty in America rose by nearly 4 million to 43.6 million in 2009 —the largest figure in the 51 years for which poverty estimates are available — the Census Bureau said Thursday. The bureau said that the official poverty rate was 14.3 percent, or 1 in 7 of Americans, the highest level since 1994. The number of people in poverty in 2008 was 39.8 million, or 13.2 percent. It was the third consecutive annual increase. The bureau added that there were 8.8 million families living in poverty in 2009.
Evidence is building that the Obama administration's surge strategy is working in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday, citing recent assessments from the new top U.S. and NATO commander and Gates' personal impressions from a recent trip to Afghan battlefields.
A man who became distraught as he was being briefed on his mother’s condition by a surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital pulled a gun and shot the doctor Thursday, then killed his mother and himself in her room at the world-famous medical center, police said. The doctor, who was wounded in the abdomen, was expected to survive. The gunman, 50-year-old Paul Warren Pardus, had been listening to the surgeon around midday when he "became emotionally distraught and reacted ... and was overwhelmed by the news of his mother's condition," Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said.
An alleged threat to Pope Benedict XVI led to the pre-dawn arrests of five men in London on Friday on the second day of the pontiff's trip to Britain, police said. The Vatican said the pope was calm and so far planned no changes to his schedule. The men, between the ages of 26 and 50, were detained under the Terrorism Act at a business in central London. They are being questioned at a London police station and have not been charged. Police said an initial search of the business and other properties did not uncover any hazardous items.
Hurricane Karl smashed into Mexico's Gulf Coast on Friday, killing at least two people and forcing the country to shut down its only nuclear power plant and its central Gulf Coast oil platforms.
Toyota Motor Corp. has settled a lawsuit brought by relatives of four family members killed in a high-speed crash near San Diego that galvanized attention around safety flaws of Toyotas and led to the recalls of millions of cars. A Toyota spokesman confirmed the settlement Saturday in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. It was first reported on the Los Angeles Times' Web site Friday night. The company would not specify the settlement's terms.
A permanent cement plug sealed BP's well nearly 2.5 miles below the sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico, five agonizing months after an explosion sank a drilling rig and led to the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the federal government's point man on the disaster, said Sunday BP's well "is effectively dead" and posed no further threat to the Gulf. Allen said a pressure test to ensure the cement plug would hold was completed at 5:54 a.m. CDT.
Dutch police on Sunday arrested a British man of Somali ancestry at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport for possible links to a terrorist group, a spokesman for the Dutch prosecutors said.The man was arrested after flying in from Liverpool, England, and before he flew out to Uganda, prosecutors' spokesman Evert Boerstra said, without specifying what terror group was involved. His name and age have not been released.
Hurricane Igor lashed Bermuda with more high winds and driving rain on Monday, following an overnight pounding of the British island territory, as it moved away north over the Atlantic toward maritime eastern Canada. The Canadian Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm watch for the coast of Newfoundland. North Atlantic Refining, operator of a 115,000 barrel-per-day oil refinery in Come-by-Chance, Newfoundland, said it was keeping a close eye on Igor.
Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrives in NY and he talked about the two American hikers still in prision in Iran. On Sunday, Sarah Shourd underscored her gratitude at being released but said she felt only "one-third free."
President Obama said Monday he doesn't care that the Great Recession has been declared over by a group of economists. For the millions of people who are out of work or otherwise struggling, he said, "it's still very real for them." Obama denied that he was anti-business or anti-Wall Street in his economic proposals, commenting under close questioning during a townhall-style broadcast live on CNBC. He offered a mixed verdict on the growing tea party, calling its skepticism of government "healthy...That's in our DNA, right?"
The U.S. recession ended in June 2009, making it the longest downturn since World War Two, the National Bureau of Economic Research said on Monday of this week. The NBER, considered the arbiter of U.S. recessions, said it chose that month based on examination of data including gross domestic product, employment and personal income.
In NY - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said "the future belongs to Iran" and challenged the United States to accept that his country has a major role in the world. The comments came in an hourlong interview Sunday with The Associated Press on the first day of his visit to the United States to attend the annual General Assembly of the United Nations this week.
A helicopter crash killed nine American troops in Afghanistan on Tuesday. The incident made 2010 the war's deadliest year for foreign troops.The deaths take the toll so far this year to at least 529. Last year, 521 foreign troops were killed
Senate Republicans on Tuesday (September 21) blocked an effort by Democrats and the White House to lift the ban on gays from serving openly in the military, voting unanimously against advancing a major defense policy bill that included the provision. The mostly partisan vote dealt a major blow to gay rights groups who saw the legislation as their best hope, at least in the short term, for repeal of the 17-year-old law known as "don't ask, don't tell.”
White House economic adviser Larry Summers said on Tuesday he will leave his job, marking a major staff shake-up for President Barack Obama as he faces growing pressure to revive the sluggish economy.
The mayor, former city manager and most of the city council in a Los Angeles suburb were arrested on Tuesday and charged with misappropriating $5.5 million in public funds in what a prosecutor said amounted to treating the city's coffers like "their own piggy bank." Eight current and former Bell officials were arrested, including former City Manager Robert Rizzo, 56, whose nearly $800,000 salary ignited a furor over public pay and pensions across California. Rizzo who was cast by law enforcement as the "unofficial czar" of a city government gone bad.
Sports News September 15, 2010 -
Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley was found dead Monday. He was 23 years old. McKinley died from an apparent suicide. A second-year pro, McKinley started the season on the injured reserve list. He played in eight games last year.
Technology News September 15, 2010 -
Internet search and advertising giant Google Inc fired an engineer in July for violating user’s privacy, the company said on Wednesday. The engineer, David Barksdale, was accused of accessing information about teenagers he had met in a Washington state technology group, according to gossip website Gawker, which first reported the incident on Tuesday. Google would not confirm details of the firing. The breach comes at a time when Google is being scrutinized by various government agencies for its collection of unsecured personal data on Wi-Fi nets. The data was collected by Google's "Street View" cars, which take panoramic pictures.
Microsoft unveils Explorer 9 this week.
Entertainment News September 15, 2010 -
“Borat" star Sacha Baron Cohen is set to play flamboyant rocker Freddie Mercury in a dramatic feature focusing on his glory days as the frontman of Queen, its producers said on Thursday. The untitled film is being written by Peter Morgan, the British scribe behind "The Queen" and "The Last King of Scotland." No director is attached yet.
Russell Brand has been released from police custody for a misdemeanor charge of simple battery, after having been arrested at LAX on Friday afternoon. The British comic, 35, and his fiancee, Katy Perry, were going through airport security when Brand reportedly began pushing and striking photographers snapping pictures of the famous pair. One of those paparazzos then placed Brand under citizen's arrest.
Actor Randy Quaid and his wife were arrested after being found apparently squatting at a California home they owned years ago. In the couple's second brush with the law in the past year, the Quaids were stopped by police in the upscale community of Montecito -- home to celebrities like Oprah Winfrey -- on Saturday, police said. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department said that Quaid and his wife Evi insisted they owned the house, but a representative for the home owner produced documents proving the house now belonged to his client.
A Beverly Hills, Calif., judge issued an arrest warrant for Lindsay Lohan on Monday, three days after the 24-year-old actress admitted to failing a drug test. Despite the warrant, Lohan will remain free pending a Friday court hearing.
Japanese officials delayed Paris Hilton at Narita Airport while they decide whether she will be admitted to the country after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor drug charge in Las Vegas. Hilton was scheduled to appear at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday to promote her fashion line, but that appearance was apparently canceled.
Michael Douglas walks the red carpet at the New York City premiere of his latest film, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps." The Academy Award-winning actor recently announced he's being treated for throat cancer. He posed for photos Monday night with co-stars including Shia LaBeouf (SHY'-uh luh-BUF'), Carey Mulligan and director Oliver Stone. He didn't give interviews.
TV Passing - Edwin Newman, who brought literacy, wit and energy to NBC newscasts for more than three decades, and battled linguistic pretense and clutter in his best sellers "Strictly Speaking" and "A Civil Tongue," has died. He was 91. NBC News did not immediately say where or when Newman had died, or the cause of death.
Hulk Hogan - the celebrity wrestler will serve as a judge in the kids live-action game show, The series will resolve everyday sibling disputes, such as "Is a sister spending too much time in the bathroom?" Name of the show – “Hogan’s Court.”
Season 5 America’s Got Talent Winner – Is… blues singer Michael Grimm - The 30-year-old Mississippi native beat 10-year-old soprano singer Jackie Evancho of Pittsburgh, taking home the $1 million prize. "I'm not going to be a millionaire for long!" "A lot of the money is going to go to the community and charities and my grandparents and family that need this. You know, I don't need that much."
With less than 24 hours to go before "American Idol" announces who will be on the judges panel for the show's ninth season, judge Randy Jackson has made a formal agreement to return to the show.
Music News September 15, 2010 -
Wynnona Judd showed up with her mom, Naomi, on the Oprah Winfrey Show Tuesday--not only with her head held high, but a triumphant 60 pounds lighter.
Katherine Jackson has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against AEG, the promoter behind Michael Jackson's This Is It tour. In a 16-page lawsuit filed at Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, Jackson claims that "AEG actions and inactions led to Michael Jackson's death on June 25, 2009." The lawsuit says that because AEG hired Dr. Conrad Murray, the company is responsible for his actions.
Fullfilling a Dream - Always wanting to sing for the Pope - Susan Boyle performed three songs as part of a special Mass to celebrate Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Scotland. Besides her signature hit "I Dreamed a Dream," she sang the hymns "How Great Thou Art" and "Make Me a Channel of Your Peace" for the crowd of 65,000 at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow.
Accused of Battery – According to a police report, Victor Eras, who was taking pictures of the 28-year-old singer Thursday, alleges that Adam Lambert ran toward him "in an aggressive manner," grabbed his backpack and wrestled him to the ground.
Pop star Lady Gaga visited Maine Monday (September 20) on the eve of a key Senate vote to urge its two U.S. senators to help repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays. More than 2,000 people attended a rally at Deering Oaks Park, where the Grammy Award-winning singer stood alongside Air Force, Army and Marine veterans who were discharged because of the policy, which prohibits service members from revealing if they're gay and recruiters from asking about people's sexual orientations.Lady Gaga railed against what she called the injustice of having goodhearted gay soldiers booted from military service while straight soldiers who harbor hatred toward gays are allowed to fight for their country. She suggested a new policy should target straight soldiers who are "uncomfortable" with gay soldiers in their midst.
Hip-hop star Wyclef Jean said on Tuesday he was abandoning his attempt to run in Haiti's November presidential election, one month after his candidacy was formally rejected by Haitian authorities. "After weeks of quiet but painstaking reflection with my wife and daughter, I have chosen to end my bid for the presidency of Haiti," the singer-songwriter said in a statement. "This was not an easy conclusion to reach; but it is one that was thoughtfully made," Jean added.
Cher’s final curtain on her headline show on the Las Vegas Strip is set for Feb. 5 after about 200 shows. Officials at the Caesars Palace hotel-casino said Tuesday that tickets for Cher’s final run of shows starting Jan. 11 will go on sale Saturday.
Passing - Leonard Skinner, a high-school gym teacher who became a rock 'n' roll footnote by inspiring a group of pupils to name their band Lynyrd Skynyrd, died on Monday in Jacksonville, Fla., after a battle with Alzheimer's disease, the Florida Times-Union reported. He was 77. Skinner earned the disdain of long-haired students at Robert E. Lee High School during the 1960s by sending them to the principal's office, where they were handed suspension notices. One of them -- he later believed it was guitarist Gary Rossington -- returned with his father who protested that his son needed to have long hair so that he could support the family with his earnings from a band that he played with.
Top Pop Hits - September 15, 2010 –
Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars
Love The Way You Lie – Eminem fea. Rihanna
Dynamite – Taio Cruz
DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love – Usher fea. Pitbull
I Like It – Enrique Iglesias fea. Pitbull
Take It Off – Ke$ha
Just A Dream – Nelly
Club Can’t Hanle Me – Flo Rida fea. David Guetta
Mine – Taylor Swift
California Gurls – Katy Perry fea Snoop Dogg
Magic – B.o.B fea. Rivers Cuomo
Airplanes – B.o.B. fea Hayley Williams
Cooler Than Me – Mike Posner
Not Afraid –Eminem
Bottoms Up – Trey Songz fea. Nicki Minaj
Like A G6 – Far East Movement fea. Cataracs & Dev
Misery – Maroon 5
Deuces – Chris Brown fea. Tyga & Kevin McCall
Stuck Like Glue – Sugarland
OMG – User fea. will.i.am
Animal – Neon Trees
Billionaire – Travie McCoy fea. Bruno Mars
Find Your Love – Drake
Top Video Games - September 15, 2010 –
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (PSP)
NHL 11 (X360) (PS3)
Wii Sports (Wii)
Metroid: Other M (Wii)
Wii Sports Resort
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (X360) (PS3)
Madden NFL 11 (X360) (PS3)
Mafia II (X360)
Pokemon Heart Gold (DS)
TV listings/TV Guide - September 15, 2010 -
Saturday night TV
Syndication Premieres (Check your local listings)
'Brothers & Sisters'
8:00 to 9:00
ABC: Saturday Night College Football -- Three hours
Univision: 'Sabado Gigante' -- Three hours
Animal Planet: 'Cats 101'
ESPN2: College Football -- Either Notre Dame and Michigan State or Texas and Texas Tech
DIY: 'Sarah's House' -- 8:30 start
LOGO: 'Logo Docs'*
Military Channel: 'Horse Sense and Soldiers'
NatGeo: 'Collapse: Based on the Book by Jared Diamond' -- In 2210, scientists investigate the collapse of the most-powerful civilization in history; two hours
Style: 'How Do I Look?'
TLC: '48 Hours: Hard Evidence'
The Weather Channel: 'Storm Riders'
9:00 to 10:00
FOX: 'America's Most Wanted'
BBC America: 'Being Human'
Bio: 'Celebrity Ghost Stories'
CNBC: 'The Suze Orman Show'
DIY: 'Curb Appeal: The Block' -- 9;30 start
Style: 'Whose Wedding is it Anyway?'**
TLC: '48 Hours: Hard Evidence'
We: 'The Cupcake Girls' -- Two episodes
10:00 to 11:00
Animal Planet: 'Pit Boss'
Bio: 'Celebrity Nightmares Decoded'
CNBC: 'Til Debt Do Us Part' -- Two episodes
Style: 'The Dish'
TLC: '48 Hours: Hard Evidence'