Dateline: Week Of September 8, 2010 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
The leader of a small Florida church that espouses anti-Islam philosophy said Wednesday (September 8) he was determined to go through with his plan to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11, despite pressure from the White House, religious leaders and others to call it off. "As of right now, we are not backing down," said the Rev. Terry Jones, though he may reconsider his decision. "If God told us to do it, then I guess he could tell us to do something different," Jones said.
President Barack Obama strongly defended his opposition to extending Bush-era tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans on Wednesday and delivered a searing attack on Republicans and their House leader for advocating "the same philosophy that led to this mess in the first place." Obama said the struggling U.S. economy can't afford to spend $700 billion to keep lower tax rates in place for the nation's highest earners despite a call by House Minority Leader John Boehner and other GOP leaders to do just that. Speaking in the same city where Boehner, an Ohio Republican, recently ridiculed Obama's economic stewardship, Obama said Boehner's policies amount to no more than "cut more taxes for millionaires and cut more rules for corporations."
In an internal report released Wednesday, BP blames itself, other companies' workers and a complex series of failures for the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the drilling rig explosion that preceded it. The 193-page report was posted on the company's website even though investigators have not yet begun to fully analyze a key piece of equipment, the blowout preventer, that should have cut off the flow of oil from the ruptured well but did not. That means BP's report is far from the definitive ruling on the blowout's causes, but it may provide some hint of the company's legal strategy — spreading the blame among itself, rig owner Transocean, and cement contractor Halliburton — as it faces hundreds of lawsuits and possible criminal charges over the spill. Government investigators and congressional panels are looking into the cause as well.
The economy lost strength in late summer as factory production weakened in areas of the East Coast and Midwest. A survey the Federal Reserve released Wednesday found the slower growth spreading to more regions of the country. Of the 12 regions tracked by the Fed, economic activity was mixed or slowed in five — New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Atlanta and Chicago. Activity elsewhere was described as modest or pointed to positive developments.
Passing - John Kluge (pronounced Kloog-ee), once listed as the wealthiest man in America, who built an investment in a radio station into a broadcasting empire that was the forerunner to Fox Television He was 95. In 1983, Kluge took Metromedia Co. private in a leveraged buyout and then sold off properties piecemeal for $4.65 billion, including the 1985 sale of seven big-city television stations to Rupert Murdoch for $2 billion. The stations, including ones in New York, Los Angeles, Los Angeles and Houston, served as the basis for Murdoch's Fox television network.
New claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week to a two-month low, while the trade deficit narrowed sharply in July, hopeful signs for the stuttering economic recovery. Analysts said the reports on Thursday helped to calm fears growth was slowing sharply and implied the economy could soon pull out of a recent soft patch.
Colorado - Authorities say that a wildfire burning in the foothills near Boulder has destroyed at least 169 houses. Sheriff's Cmdr. Rick Brough said Thursday that the latest damage toll is based on a survey of 80 percent of the nearly 10 square miles that were burned.
The imam proposing to build an Islamic center near the World Trade Center denied a Florida pastor's claim that a deal had been struck to move the project. "I am glad that Pastor Jones has decided not to burn any Qurans," Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said in a statement. "However, I have not spoken to Pastor Jones or Imam Musri (of Florida). I am surprised by their announcement. We are not going to toy with our religion or any other. Nor are we going to barter. We are here to extend our hands to build peace and harmony." At a press conference earlier, the Rev. Terry Jones had said a deal was made, and as a result called off his plan to burn Qurans on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks this Saturday.
At least four are dead - Fire crews flooded the ruins of burning homes with water early Friday after a massive explosion apparently triggered by a broken gas line sent flames roaring through a neighborhood near San Francisco.San Mateo Senior Deputy Coroner Michelle Rippy said Friday that officials at the scene confirmed at least four deaths.
A federal judge in Riverside, CA has declared the U.S. military ban on openly gay service members unconstitutional because "don't ask, don't tell" violates the First and Fifth Amendment rights of gays and lesbians. U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips granted a request for an injunction halting the government's policy for gays in the military. She heard a two-week nonjury trial in July over the 1993 law. The lawsuit was the biggest legal test of the law in recent years and came amid promises by President Obama that he would work to repeal the policy. The federal government says at least 13,000 military personnel have lost their jobs due to the act.
In a White House news conference focused largely on the sour economy and upcoming election, President Barack Obama also spoke passionately about the mosque and Quran controversies that are threatening to politicize this year's commemoration of the 9/11 terror attacks. Obama appealed to the American people to stand by the nation's belief in religious tolerance. His comments come as a Florida pastor threatened to burn the Muslim holy book on Saturday. A debate is also raging over whether an Islamic center should be built near ground zero in New York City.
Thousands of people protested in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday against a small American church's earlier plan to burn the Muslim holy book, chanting "Death to America" and setting shops and police checkpoints on fire, officials said.
Mexican marines captured Sergio Villarreal Barragan, a presumed leader of the embattled Beltran Leyva cartel and one of the country's most-wanted fugitives, in a raid Sunday in the central state of Puebla, the government said. The alleged capo known as "El Grande" did not put up any resistance when he was arrested along with two accomplices as they left a residence in Puebla city, according to government security spokesman Alejandro Poire. The raid involved 30 Navy marines, five vehicles and a helicopter.
Hundreds of people evacuated during one of Colorado's most destructive wildfires returned to their scorched homes Sunday, just as residents about 35 miles to the northeast fled houses threatened by another fast-moving blaze. By sundown, the second fire had destroyed at least one Loveland-area home while threatening other structures. It burned about 600 acres, or just under a square mile, forcing authorities to pull some resources from the Boulder fire.
A commercial plane carrying at least 47 people crashed shortly after takeoff Monday in eastern Venezuela, and an official said at least 23 people survived. The turboprop from the government-run airline Conviasa crashed near Puerto Ordaz and about 6 miles after take-off from Ciudad Guayana, Transportation Minister Francisco Garces told reporters. The plane went down on the property of the government-run Sidor steel foundry.
American hiker Sarah Shourd was released from an Iranian prison on Tuesday after being held for more than a year under suspicion of spying, NBC News reported. Shourd, 32, was among one of three Americans apprehended by Iranian security forces near the border with northern Iraq in July 2009. Her release came a day after Shourd's family countered a $500,000 bail request with a plea for Iran to drop or lower the sum because they were struggling to raise the cash.
Sales at U.S. retailers posted their largest gain in five months in August on strong receipts at gasoline stations and clothing outlets, further assuaging fears of a double-dip recession. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday total retail sales rose 0.4 percent following a revised 0.3 percent rise in July. It was the second straight month of gains in retail sales, which are a measure of consumer health. July sales had been previously reported to have increased 0.4 percent.
Under pressure to compromise, Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Tuesday (Sept 14) dug into the central issues blocking a peace deal but ended the latest round of talks without visible progress on the divisive issue of Jewish settlements. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held an extra, unscheduled session with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, but there was no word on signs of a breakthrough. After the leaders' first meeting at this Red Sea resort, U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell offered reporters a mildly positive assessment.
Tea Party Upset – Tea party-backed candidate Christine O'Donnell beat moderate and longtime front-runner Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware's GOP Senate primary Tuesday (September 14). The stunning outcome was the culmination of a growing anti-establishment, anti-Washington sentiment among Republicans. The trend began in May, when Utah Sen. Robert Bennett was unable to win his party's nomination. Then, in Kentucky, Rand Paul upset Trey Grayson, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's hand-picked candidate. It carried over to Nevada, where Sharron Angle won the GOP primary to challenge Harry Reid. Then, in Alaska, virtually unknown Joe Miller upset Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Propelled by tea party activists into a November showdown with Democrat Chris Coons, O'Donnell pulled off a stunning upset over nine-term Castle.
Sports News - September 8, 2010 -
New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is involved in a car accident Thursday morning in downtown Boston. The quarterback was just "shaken," according to all reports, and did not go to the hospital. He went to team facilities at Gillette Stadium after the crash.
Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been freed from a jail in Las Vegas after posting bail on a felony theft charge stemming from a domestic violence complaint by his ex-girlfriend.
The cost of signing Iiya Kovalchuk got even more expensive for the New Jersey Devils. The NHL fined the Devils $3 million on Monday and took away two high draft picks over the next four years for signing Kovalchuk to a 17-year, $102 million contract in July that circumvented the league's salary cap.
Entertainment News September 8, 2010 -
A judge has granted Leonardo DiCaprio a three-year restraining order from a woman who he said claims to be his wife and carrying his baby. During a brief hearing Friday, a Los Angeles judge ordered that Livia Bistriceanu stay 100 yards away from the actor. Court filings state Bistriceanu traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles and acted aggressively when she showed up at DiCaprio's home and business offices recently.
Passing - Actor Kevin McCarthy, who played the frantic doctor trying to save his friends and neighbors in the science-fiction movie classic "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" has died at age 96. McCarthy died Saturday, said Cape Cod Hospital spokesman Dave Riley, who wouldn't reveal the cause of death or any other details
Steve Harvey says he's bringing change to "Family Fued" and viewers better get ready to laugh. Harvey, who debuts as the game show's new host Monday, is calling on his decades in comedy to take the program in a new direction. He's already taped 100 episodes.
Oprah tops herself again - On the premiere of the 25th — and final — season of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” " airing Monday of this week, Winfrey surprised the 300 people in her studio audience that she was taking them all on a trip to Australia. The audience shrieked when Winfrey made the announcement and actor John Travolta joined Winfrey on stage. The show included a few surprise visitors, including actor Don Johnson and singer Paul Simon, who sang a song he wrote for the talk show host.
Music News - September 8, 2010 -
A former bodyguard sues Britney Spears, claiming the singer repeatedly subjected him to "repeated unwanted sexual advances" and harassment.
Fernando Flores filed the sexual harassment lawsuit in suburban Los Angeles, alleging the singer intentionally inflicted emotional distress. He is seeking unspecified damages from the Grammy Award winner and his former employer, Advanced Security Concepts Corp.
MTV Music Awards - MTV says rapper Eminem, who’s nominated for eight trophies and continues to sit atop sales charts with "Recovery," will open Sunday's ceremony at the Nokia Theatre, which has been transformed with a sprawling white set reminiscent of the out-of-this-world Theme Building at the Los Angeles International Airport.
Taylor Swift sang her new single "Mine" to kick off the new NFL season Thursday night with a pre-game performance from New Orleans. This for the game between Super Bowl champs New Orleans Saints the Minnesota Vikings.
Passing – LFO lead singer Rich Cronin has lost his battle with leukemia. The boy band star died two weeks after his 35th birthday. Cronin, who wrote LFO's 1999 hit "Summer Girls," suffered a stroke and died in the hospital.
Passing - Irwin Silber, who as founding editor of the small but influential magazine Sing Out became a towering figure in the 1960s American folk music renaissance that brought Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie and numerous others to prominence, has died at age 84.
2010 Video Music Awards stuff - first raised eyebrows with her meat bikini on the cover of Japanese Vogue and Sunday at The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, Lady Gaga caused a commotion when she wore her meat dress - now the innovative artist is finally explaining her designer beef. The Good Lady explained her dress, “…It has many interpretations but for me this evening if we don't stand up for what we believe in and if we don't fight for our rights pretty soon we're going to have as much rights as the meat on our bones. And, I am not a piece of meat." PETA didn’t like the dress – at all.
Lady Gaga crowned queen of the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, winning eight prizes including video of the year. Most of her Moonman statuettes were for her video "Bad Romance," a futuristic clip featuring plenty of skin-baring scenes and bizarre costumes. Here are some winners:
Video of the year – Lady Gaga “Bad Romance”
New Artist: Justin Bieber (Baby)
Rock Video – 30 Sec to Mars “Kings & Queens”
Hip-Hop Video – Eminem “Not Afraid”
Pop Video – Lady Gaga “Bad Romance”
Female Video – Lady Gaga “Bad Romance”
Male Video – Eminem “Not Afraid”
Collaboration – Lady Gaga & Beyonce “Telephone”
A British judge has sentenced George Michael to eight weeks in jail for driving while under the influence of drugs after the singer crashed his car into a London photo shop. The singer pleaded guilty last month to driving under the influence and possession of cannabis following a July 4 collision between his Range Rover and a Snappy Snaps store.
John Mayor Gives Up Twitter. He frequently used the social networking website to apologize for offensive statements he's made and fight with Perez Hilton, among other things — has discontinued his account, his rep announced Monday. He’s back in the recording studio thought and will release news through his blog.
In Concert – Jay-Z and Eminem at Yankee Stadium! The joint billing by two rap icons was the first musical concert at Yankee Stadium, which made its debut last year.
Television News - September 8, 2010 -
CNN says Piers Morgan of "America's Got Talent" will replace Larry King on the network's prime-time lineup in January. Morgan, a veteran journalist who hosts a popular interview program in Britain, will do a similar show for CNN. His selection as King's replacement had been widely expected for the past few months.
Nicole Polizzi, better known to the world as Snooki from the MTV show "Jersey Shore," faces charges of being criminally annoying. She faces disorderly conduct charges of being a public nuisance and annoying others on the Seaside Heights in NJ. (Later, she was fined $500).
NBC says “Saturday Night Live” " will launch its 36th season on Sept. 25 with host Amy Poehler and musical guest Katy Perry. Poehler is a former "SNL" cast member and will return to make her hosting debut. Perry's No. 1 smash "California Gurls" has become the song of the summer. NBC says "SNL" will welcome four new cast members this season. They include Vanessa Bayer, Paul Brittain, Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah.
Mary Hart is leaving Entertainment Tonight after 29 years!
Film critic Roger Ebert is reviving the classic half-hour movie review program, At the Movies, on PBS, Ebert announced Friday. The new show, titled Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies, will be hosted by Christy Lemire, film critic of The Associated Press, and NPR's Elvis Mitchell, a former film critic for The New York Times. It is scheduled to debut in January.
Top Pop Music Albums September 8, 2010 –
Asylum – Disturbed
Recovery – Eminem
Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
Back To Me – Fantasia
I Still Believe – Lyfe Jennings
My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber
Something For The Rest Of Us – Goo Goo Dolls
Red Velvet Car – Heart
Intimacy: Album III – Kem
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
Verus – Usher
God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise – Ray Lamontagne And the Pariah Dogs
Feeding The Wolves - 10 Years
The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
Nightmare – Avenged Sevenfold
The Fame – Lady Gaga
Junky Star – Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses
The Foundation – Zac Brown Band
Kidz Bop 18
Teflon Don – Rick Ross
Time For Annihilation – Papa Roach
The Big Reason Why – Little Big Town
Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons
Top Movies - September 8, 2010 –
Resident Evil: Afterlife (1st week – $27.7 million)
Going The Distance
The Other Guys
The Last Exorcism
Eat Pray Love
TV listings/TV Guide - September 8, 2010 -
Friday Night TV – A special night because …
‘Stand Up To Cancer’ runs from 8:00 to 9:00 on the following networks: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Bio, Current, Discovery Health, E!, G4, HBO, HBO Latino, MLB Network, Showtime, Style, TVOne and VH1.
8:00 to 9:00
MNT: 'WWE Friday Night SmackDown!'
PBS: 'Washington Week With Gwen Ifill' and 'Need to Know'
Disney: 'Suite Life on Deck' and 'Wizards of Waverly Place'
DIY: 'Man Caves'
NFL Network: 'Top 10 Things We Loved About the 2000s'
9:00 to 10:00
NBC: 'Dateline' -- Two hours
Animal Planet: 'Blood Dolphins'
Cooking Channel: 'My Life in Food'* -- 9:30 start
Discovery: 'Man, Woman, Wild'
Disney: 'Pair of Kings'
TLC: 'Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta'
Travel: 'Ghost Adventures'
10:00 to 11:00
Discovery: 'Beyond Survival With Les Stroud'
E!: 'The Soup' and 'Fashion Police'*
HGTV: 'House Hunters' and 'House Hunters International'
IFC: 'Kids in the Hall Present: Death Comes to Town'** -- Two episodes
Nick: 'Glen Martin, DDS' -- 10:30 start (IN PHOTO)
Science Channel: 'How Do They Do It?'
Sundance: 'The Day Before'
TLC: 'Four Weddings'*
Travel: 'Ghost Adventures: Scariest Moments'
truTV: 'Forensic Files'
And now the late night talk shows. Scheduled guests can change without notice.
'Charlie Rose' (PBS): George Osborne, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer
'The Mo'Nique Show' (BET): Rappers Lil Wayne and Young Money (repeat)
'Chelsea Lately' (E!): Mel B. (repeat)
'Late Show With David Letterman' (CBS): Robin Williams; performance by Usher (repeat)
'The Tonight Show' (NBC): Hugh Laurie; Emma Stone; performance by Sarah McLachlan
'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (ABC): Terry Bradshaw; Jessica Stroup; performance by Shontelle
'Tavis Smiley' (PBS): Donal Logue
'The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson' (CBS): Donald Glover; Katey Sagal; performance by Blake Shelton
'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' (NBC): Nathan Lane; Kourtney and Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner; Comic Chris Gethard
'Last Call With Carson Daly' (NBC): Nick Offerman; musical group Chiddy Bang; performance by Daniel Merriweather (repeat)