Dateline: Week Of August 22, 2010 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday (August 22) inaugurated the country's first domestically built unmanned bomber aircraft, calling it an "ambassador of death" to Iran's enemies. The 4-meter-long drone aircraft can carry up to four cruise missiles and will have a range of 620 miles (1,000 kilometers), according to a state TV report — not far enough to reach archenemy Israel. "The jet, as well as being an ambassador of death for the enemies of humanity, has a main message of peace and friendship," said Ahmadinejad at the inauguration ceremony, which fell on the country's national day for its defense industries.
Supporters and opponents of a proposed Muslim cultural center and mosque near the World Trade Center staged competing rallies in downtown Manhattan on Sunday, kept apart by police and barricades. The emotionally charged debate, which has gained national political significance, centers on plans to build the center two blocks from the site of the September 11, 2001 attacks by al Qaeda, which killed nearly 3,000 people. Republicans against the project are using it to attack Democratic President Barack Obama ahead of midterm elections, where his party is fighting to retain control of Congress.
A bear that mauled to death a caretaker was euthanized at the request of the family of the victim, whose father said he had told his son to leave the job.
The bear attacked Brent Kandra, 24, when he opened its cage Thursday (August 19) for a routine feeding at the home of a man who kept a menagerie of wolves, tigers and bears on the property southwest of Cleveland.
In Chile - 33 men are found alive after 17 days trapped deep in a copper and gold mine and the challenge now may be preserving their sanity during the months it may take to carve a tunnel big enough for them to get out. For their families above ground on Monday (August 23), euphoria and more anxiety meant for a sleepless night at the realization that the miners may be stuck until Christmas. The plan is to carve a wider tunnel, just big enough for the men to be pulled out one by one. That equipment works much more slowly than the bore that drilled the 15-centimeter-wide shaft used to make first contact.
Spain - Two Spanish aid workers kidnapped almost nine months ago by an al-Qaida affiliate have been set free, Spain's prime minister said Monday, ending a hostage drama that involved several nations. Roque Pascual and Albert Vilalta were kidnapped when their convoy of SUVs was attacked in Mauritania on Nov. 29 while they were delivering supplies to poor villagers. They were taken to northern Mali, a remote desert area which has become one of the operating bases for al-Qaida of the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, and were among the longest-held hostages in the Sahara.
A 12-hour hostage stand-off on a hijacked Philippine bus ended in bloodshed Monday (August 23), with officials saying at least seven Chinese tourists were dead along with the disgruntled ex-policeman who seized their vehicle in a bid to get his job back. At least six captives survived, four of whom were seen crawling out the back door of the bus after Philippine police stormed it.
Approximately 380,000 pounds of deli meat products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes have been recalled by Zemco Industries in Buffalo, N.Y., the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced late Monday (August 23). The sandwich meats were sold at Walmart stores nationwide. There are no reported illnesses associated with the recall.
Levi Johnston, the former fiance of Sarah Palin's teenage daughter Bristol, has filed official papers saying he intends to run for political office in Palin's Wasilla, Alaska hometown. Johnston, 20, has been embroiled in a nasty feud with the former Republican vice-presidential candidate since fathering Bristol's baby out of wedlock two years ago. He filed a "letter of intent" with Alaska authorities on Friday, stating that he plans to run for elected office in Wasilla in 2011 elections.
The wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs in New York's Hudson Valley, police said. The arrest comes one month after Mary Kennedy's license was suspended following her guilty plea to driving while impaired by alcohol. However, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported that she was allowed to drive under certain circumstances. Kennedy told police she was headed to a yoga class, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported. The paper said that she allegedly had been driving 82 mph.
Sales of previously occupied homes plunged last month to the lowest level in 15 years, despite the lowest mortgage rates in decades and bargain prices in many areas. July's sales fell by more than 27 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.83 million, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. It was the largest monthly drop on records dating back to 1968, and sharp declines were recorded in all regions of the country. The plunge in home sales also magnified fears about the broader economy.
More News - August 22, 2010 -
A Chinese passenger jet overshot a fog-shrouded runway in the northeast and burst into flames Tuesday, killing 42 people and injuring 49 others, state media said. The Henan Airlines plane with 91 passengers and crew crashed in Heilongjiang province's Yichun city, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter arrived in North Korea Wednesday to try to win the release of an American jailed for illegally entering the reclusive state, according to media reports. A U.S. official said on Tuesday that Carter would travel to the North on a private humanitarian mission to secure the release of Aijalon Mahli Gomes, who has been sentenced by the North to eight years hard labor.
Mexican marines found 72 bodies at a remote ranch near the U.S. border, the navy said on Wednesday, the biggest single haul of bodies in an increasingly violent drug war. Marines found the 58 men and 14 women on Tuesday at the ranch outside a town near the Gulf of Mexico in Tamaulipas state, some 90 miles from the Texas border, after a firefight with drug hitmen in which three gunmen and a marine died, a spokesman for the navy said.
President Hamid Karzai said that U.S. plans to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan next year had boosted the Taliban's spirits, while an insurgent attack killed eight Afghan police in the country's increasingly volatile north Thursday (August 26). Speaking to a visiting U.S. congressional delegation, President Hamid Karzai said the July withdrawal date had provided "morale value" to the insurgency, the presidential office said.
A college student accused of slashing a taxi driver because he is a Muslim was moved from jail to a psychiatric ward, corrections officials said. Michael Enright, 21, of Brewster, N.Y., was accused of using a folding knife to slash the face and neck of the driver, Ahmed H. Shariff, an immigrant from Bangladesh, on Tuesday night (August 24) after asking whether he's a Muslim. Enright was moved from the Rikers Island jail to Bellevue Hospital.
Law officers combed a remote desert area in northern Arizona early Friday for a gunman who allegedly shot and killed a Utah sheriff's deputy with a high-powered rifle. Arizona authorities say Kane County, Utah, Deputy Sheriff Brian Harris was shot about three miles east of Fredonia, a small town just south of the Utah border.
An American held captive for seven months in North Korea stepped off a plane in his hometown Friday, looking thin but joyful as he hugged the former president who had helped win his release and family and friends surrounded him in a group embrace. Aijalon Gomes was accompanied by former President Jimmy Carter, who had flown to Pyongyang to negotiate his freedom. Gomes, who had been teaching English in South Korea, was imprisoned and sentenced to eight years' hard labor for crossing into the North from China on Jan. 25 for unknown reasons.
Bedbug City - New York has more unwanted nocturnal guests than other urban areas and has been named the most bedbug infested city in the United States. It surpassed Philadelphia, Detroit, Cincinnati and Chicago, which rounded out the top five cities, according to extermination company Terminix, which compiled the list based on call volume to its offices around the country so far this year.
Cuba is phasing out its longstanding monthly allotments of subsidized cigarettes as President Raul Castro works to jump-start the island's sputtering economy. Beginning next month, some 2.5 million Cubans over the age of 54 no longer will get their four packs of cigarettes as part of the country's ration program, the government announced on Wednesday.
President Obama said on Saturday (August 28) Iraq could "chart its own course" and told Americans the drawdown of U.S. troops helped fulfill a promise he made during the 2008 presidential campaign.Obama, who is vacationing on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, declared in his weekly radio and Internet address that "the war is ending" and pledged to take care of troops who are returning home.
U.S. and Afghan troops repelled attackers wearing American uniforms and suicide vests in a pair of simultaneous assaults before dawn Saturday on NATO bases near the Pakistani border, including one where seven CIA employees died in a suicide attack last year. The raids appear part of an insurgent strategy to step up attacks in widely scattered parts of the country as the U.S. focuses its resources on the battle around the Taliban's southern birthplace of Kandahar.
Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Iraq on Monday as U.S. troops prepared to end combat operations on Tuesday (August 31). Biden was expected to hold talks with Iraqi leaders during a period of political deadlock, almost six months after an inconclusive election in March, over forming the country's next government.
Mexico - A Texas-born fugitive known as "the Barbie" who allegedly led a violent smuggling network grinned as he was paraded in handcuffs before reporters on Tuesday (August 31)— the third suspected drug lord to fall in Mexico in the past 10 months in a coup for President Felipe Calderon's war on cartels.
As President Obama prepares to officially end the lengthy and divisive U.S. combat operation in Iraq, he'll personally thank some of the soldiers who fought there for their service to a mission he forcefully opposed from the start. Many of those soldiers deployed from Fort Bliss, the sprawling Army base in El Paso, Texas, that Obama will visit Tuesday (August 31). After speaking with the troops, Obama will return to Washington to address the nation and formally end the combat mission in Iraq that lasted more than seven years, leaving more than 4,400 U.S. troops dead and thousands more wounded.
Radio talk show host Glenn Beck said he misspoke last year when he characterized President Obama as a racist. "I have a big fat mouth sometimes and I say things," Beck said during an interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace. Beck last year accused the president of possessing a "deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture," during an appearance on Fox News, adding, "this guy is, I believe, a racist."
Seven U.S. troops have died in weekend attacks in Afghanistan's embattled southern and eastern regions, while officials found the bodies Sunday of five kidnapped campaign aides working for a female candidate in the western province of Herat.Two servicemen died in bombings Sunday in southern Afghanistan, while two others were killed in a bomb attack in the south on Saturday, and three in fighting in the east the same day, NATO said. Their identities and other details were being withheld until relatives could be notified.
A volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumatra has erupted for the first time in 400 years, firing a plume of smoke and ash nearly a mile into the sky and sending more than 10,000 locals fleeing from their homes.
Addresses the Nation - Opposed to the war from the start, President Barack Obama on Tuesday (August 31) formally ended the U.S. combat role in Iraq as promised, declaring: "It is time to turn the page." He said the nation's most urgent priority must be fixing its own economy. In advance excerpts of his prime-time speech to the nation, Obama said the United States "has paid a huge price" to give Iraqis the chance to shape their future. That toll has included more than 4,400 dead, tens of thousands of troops wounded and hundreds of billions of dollars spent since March 2003.
Gulf Oil Spill News Update - August 22, 2010 –
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has revealed a previously unknown type of oil-eating bacteria, which is suddenly flourishing. Scientists discovered the new microbe while studying the underwater dispersion of millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf following the explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. And the microbe works without significantly depleting oxygen in the water, researchers led by Terry Hazen at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reported Tuesday in the online journal Science Express.
Technology News - August 22, 2010 -
25.94 seconds. That's how much time it took Melissa Thompson of Salford, England, to type a complex sentence on a Samsung Galaxy S, which makes her the new Guinness World Record holder for fastest typing on a phone. The sentence for this record, as determined by Guinness, reads as follows: "The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human." Before Thompson, Franklin Page of Seattle held the record, having typed the above sentence in 35.54 seconds earlier this year.
Gmail isn't just about e-mail anymore: it's also a phone. Google launched the ability to make voice calls to any traditional phone number from a Gmail account Wednesday. It's a blend of Gmail and Google Voice technology that allows users to dial numbers from their computers as well as receive incoming calls through one's Google Voice number. Gmail users can link their Google Voice accounts with their Gmail accounts to have their in-boxes treated like just another line that will ring when people call their Google Voice numbers, and their Google Voice number will appear on the incoming call screen of those they are calling. A Google Voice account isn't required to use the service, but international calls will be funded through Google Voice accounts.
Two Los Angeles County teenagers are suing Facebook, claiming the social network effectively sold their names and images to advertisers without parental per ission. The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles challenges a Facebook feature that allows members to note that they like an advertised service or product. Facebook broadcasts those endorsements to the user's friends. The lawsuit also claims minors unwittingly endorse Facebook when people typing their names in a search engine are steered to a Facebook sign-up page. The plaintiffs say Palo Alto-based Facebook is violating a California law that requires parental consent for children to make commercial endorsements. The teens seek unspecified damages. Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes says the lawsuit is meritless. He notes Facebook doesn't allow users under 18 to let their profiles appear on public search engines.
Microsoft is raising subscription prices for its popular Xbox Live Gold online gaming service in the U.S. and three other countries. Beginning Nov. 1, an annual Gold membership will cost $60, up from $50. A three-month subscription will cost $25, up from $20. And a one-month subscription will be $10, up from $8. Xbox owners mainly use the service to play multiplayer games such as "Call of Duty" online.
It's been in print for over a century, but in future the Oxford English Dictonary — the authoritative guide to the English language — may only be available online. Oxford University Press, the publisher, said Sunday that burgeoning demand for the dictionary's online version has far outpaced demand for the printed versions. By the time the lexicographers behind the dictionary finish revising and updating the latest edition — a gargantuan task that will take many more years — publishers are doubtful there will still be a market for the printed form.
Sports News August 22, 2010 -
Tiger Woods’ marriage was officially over Monday morning. Elin Nordegren and Woods, who have been living apart, were both present at Bay County Circuit Court in Florida as their lawyers filed the paperwork dissolving their six-year marriage. The terms of the divorce were not disclosed.
82-year-old Vin Scully will return next season to do play by play of Dodgers home games and west coast away games. Scully said "it was a profound love of the game, one that hasn't begun to wane in 61 seasons in the broadcast booth” which led to his decision to return for at least one more year in 2011.
Nick Mangold of the NY Jets, signs for a seven-year, $55 million deal. Mangold will receive $22.5 million guaranteed. ''To be able to say, 'the highest-paid center' is very nice to hear,'' Mangold said. ''It worked out well for both sides.''
Passing - Former World Wrestling Entertainment star Gertrude "Luna" Vachon at age 48.
It’s official. Hitter Manny Ramirez is moving from the LA Dodgers to the Chicago White Sox.
Seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of lying to Congress about whether he used steroids or human growth hormone.
Brand-new bachelor Tiger Woods moved into a new apartment in downtown Manhattan over the weekend. A witness saw Woods, 34, "introducing himself as the new neighbor," the source adds.
Television News August 22, 2010 -
For the first time in the history of the Primetime Emmy Awards, viewers will be able to see exclusive behind-the-scenes content when NBC.com and Emmys.com partner with Ustream.com to provide a live unique perspective of The 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, airing live coast-to-coast on NBC (5 - 8 PM PT, 8 - 11 PM ET), on Sunday, August 29.
Martin Short's wife, Nancy Dolman, has died. She was 58. Short's manager, Marc Gurvitz, said that Short's wife of 30 years had died but provided no cause of death or any additional details. Short, best known for his comedic roles on "Saturday Night Live" and in the "Father of the Bride" franchise, married Dolman in 1980 after the pair met while working together in a production of "Godspell."
Woody Allen says he began shooting movies in European cities because he couldn't afford to do it any more in New York. However, the American film director told reporters Tuesday in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo, that he finds Manhattan poses fewer limitations than European cities, where more tailoring of the story is required to fit the location.
Nice trend - Between books, film, and TV shows, vampires have brought in about $7 billion since the Twilight films began less than two years ago.
The Wall Street Journal says preliminary research shows that people who buy e-readers — an estimated 11 million Americans by the end of September — tend to spend more time than ever reading.
Us reports that Angelina Jolie will soon make her debut as both a director and screenwriter for a romantic drama that’s set during the Bosnian war.
Lindsey Lohan is released from rehab after 22 days.
Socialite Paris Hilton called police on Tuesday after seeing a man wielding two large knives and banging on her windows, apparently trying to break into her Los Angeles home. "So Scary, just got woken up to a guy trying to break into my house holding 2 big knifes. Cops are here arresting him," Hilton said in a Twitter message.
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth are no longer a couple. Miley, 17, and Liam, 20, dated for more than a year after meeting on the set of "The Last Song," the movie based on the Nicholas Sparks novel.
Good news - John Travolta and Kelly Preston are expecting a boy.
More Paris Hillton - The socialite was arrested on the Las Vegas Strip late Friday after police saw a cloud of what they suspected was marijuana smoke wafting from the windows of a black Cadillac Escalade driven by her boyfriend, then found a small amount of cocaine in her possession. Lt. Wayne Holman said. The 29-year-old socialite and Las Vegas nightclub mogul Cy Waits were booked into the Clark County jail, police said. Hilton was released early Saturday morning without bail.
Now on to Paris, France – Passing - Alain Corneau, the French filmmaker who leapt to international notice with the 1991 hit "Tous les Matins du Monde," a period drama about 17th-century musicians, has died, his talent agency said. He was 67.
Radio news – Syndicated radio host and Fox news’ Glenn Beck - in what may be his boldest move yet: Saturday's “Restoring Hour” rally (August 28) in Washington, D.C., which drew over 400,000 conservatives. Not only has Beck courted controversy by scheduling this ostensibly "non-political" rally on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 "I Have A Dream" speech, he's booked the same location: The Lincoln Memorial.
Music News August 22, 2010 -
Rolling Stone magazine has for the first time rated the greatest 100 Beatles' songs, with the 1967 track "A Day in the Life" written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney topping the list that was released on Wednesday. Coming in second was top-selling 1963 single "I Want to Hold Your Hand" followed by “Strawberry Fields Forever," which recalled Lennon's nostalgia for his childhood growing up in Liverpool in Britain. The list was released as part of a special collector's edition issue titled "The Beatles: 100 Greatest Songs" to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Fab Four's 12th and final studio album, "Let It Be," released in 1970.
Spanish singer Julio Iglesias has married Dutch model Miranda Rijnsburger, his partner for the past 20 years. The 66-year-old singer announced the marriage in a statement to Spanish newspapers. The wedding took place at the Virgen del Carmen church in the southern jet-set resort of Marbella.
Television News - August 22, 2010 -
62nd Annual Emmy Awards Were Held This Week. Here’s A Partial Winner’s List:
Drama Series: "Mad Men," AMC.
Comedy Series: "Modern Family," ABC.
Actor, Drama Series: Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad," AMC.
Actress, Drama Series: Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer," TNT.
Actor, Comedy Series: Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory," CBS.
Actress, Comedy Series: Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie," Showtime.
Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad," AMC.
Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Archie Panjabi, "The Good Wife," CBS.
Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Eric Stonestreet, "Modern Family," ABC.
Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Jane Lynch, "Glee," Fox.
Miniseries: "The Pacific," HBO
TV listings/TV Guide - August 22, 2010 -
Monday Night TV
MONDAY, AUGUST 30
Bachelor Pad (8PM, ABC)
We start the night, the spin-off series' fourth episode, with 13 contestants remaining, but by the end of the two-hour installment -- and after a fantasy date, a date in which a couple "takes flight" (literally, as the photo suggestions) and what is described as an "emotionally-bruising" competition -- we'll be down to eight contenders, with four women and four men still vying for the $250,000 prize next week. Also by the end of the episode: We'll know, officially, the cast members for the new season of 'Dancing With the Stars,' the show's 10th season, which premieres on Sept. 20. Are The Situation, The Hoff and The Palin (as in Bristol) really among this season's celeb hoofers? And what about rumored contestants Brandy, Michael Bolton, Rick Fox, Margaret Cho, Jennifer Grey, Audrina Patridge and Florence "Mama Brady" Henderson? We'll soon know ...
The Closer – Brenda butts heads with a military officer (awesome guest star Gary Cole) when she investigates the deaths of three soldiers who've just returned from Afghanistan (9PM, TNT)
Huge – Will wows everyone with a song, an unexpected couple, um, couples and it all happens in the middle of Parents Weekend (9PM, ABC Family) season 1 summer finale
Dance You’re A*** Off – And the winner -- i.e. the person who has danced the most of his or her booty off -- is announced ... will it be Adamme or LaToya? (10PM, Oxygen) season 2 finale
Quints by Surprise – TLC adds another family with a multiple birth to its family with the Joneses, who have a five-year-old daughter ... and a set of infant quintuplets (10PM, TLC) series premiere
Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion Part 1 – It gets heated and crazy from the get go, as Teresa and Danielle embark on round 34 of their drama, and when host Andy Cohen tries to get in the middle and calm them down, he gets knocked down -- literally -- by Teresa (10PM, Bravo)
Warren the Ape – Warren ends the season by writing, producing and directing a rock opera about his life (10PM, MTV) season 1 finale
Weeds - Linda Hamilton guest stars as a weed supplier who may be Nancy's key to getting back into the pot biz (10PM, Showtime)
The Big C – Cathy hosts a dinner party for her bro and his girlfriend, while Andrea also attends and bonds with Adam. Meanwhile, Marlene finds out about Cathy's illness in a surprising way (10:30PM, Showtime)
Top Movies August 22 and August 29, 2010 -
Takers (1st week Aug 29 - $20.512 million)
The Last Exorcism (1st week Aug 29 - $20.366 million)
Vampires Suck (1st week Aug 22 - $18.564 million)
Eat Pray Love
Lottery Ticket – (1st week Aug 22 – $11,125 million)
The Other Guys
Piranha 3D (1st week Aug 22 - $10,035 million)
Nanny McPhee Returns (1st week Aug 22 - $8,310 million)
The Switch (1st week Aug 22 - $8.1 million)
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Top Music Albums - August 22, 2010 –
Recovery – Eminem
God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise – Ray Lamontagne and the Pariah Dogs
Intimacy: Album III – Kem
The Final Frontier – Iron Maiden
Cowboy’s Back In Town – Trace Adkins
The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
No Better Than This – John Mellencamp
My World – 2.0 - Justin Bieber
Teflon Don – Rick Ross
Foundling – David Gray
Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam
Thank Me Later – Drake
Nightmare – Avenged Sevenfold
The Fame – Lady Gaga
Kidz Bop 18
ITunes Session – Lady Antebellum
All About Tonight – Blake Shelton
The Foundation – Zac Brown Band
Revolution – Miranda Lambert
Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons
Animal – Ke$ha
Scott Pilgrm Vs. The World soundtrack
Beneath It All – Hey Monday
Live At the Troubadou – Carole King & James Taylor
Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin
The E.N.D. – The Black Eyed Peas
Eat Pray Love soundtrack
Raymond V Raymond – Usher
Brothers – The Black Keys.