Dateline: Week Of August 15, 2010 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
A former medical student accused of killing a masseuse he met through Craigslist apparently killed himself inside a Boston jail, where he was awaiting trial, authorities said Sunday. Philip Markoff's body was found Sunday morning in the Nashua Street Jail after an apparent suicide, said Ed Geary, a spokesman for the Suffolk County sheriff's office. Geary said no additional information was immediately available, and an investigation had begun. Saturday would have been Markoff's first wedding anniversary, but his nuptials were canceled after his arrest.
Tea party activists gather along a remote stretch of the Arizona-Mexico border about 70 miles west of Nogales. They rallied Sunday (August 15) on a private ranch in support of Arizona's controversial immigration law. A judge has put much of the law on hold. The rally is being held near a stretch of the wall made of 15-foot steel posts set closely together to prevent people from crossing the border. People have attached flags with messages about curbing illegal immigration to the posts.
A Boeing 737jetliner with 131 passengers aboard crashed on landing and broke into three pieces at a Colombian island in the Caribbean early Monday. The region's governor said it was a miracle that only one person died. Colombian Air Force Col. David Barrero said officials were investigating reports the plane, operated by the local airline Aires, had been hit by lightning before crashing at 1:49 a.m. (3:49 a.m. EDT) while landing at San Andres Island, a resort island of 78,000 people about 120 miles east of the Nicaraguan coast.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was forced to retire in July after an embarrassing Rolling Stone article quoted him and his staff making disparaging remarks about top White House officials, is taking a job at Yale. McChrystal will teach grad students a course in leadership at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs in New Haven, which is opening this fall. He’ll be in good company: McChrystal will join John Negroponte, the former U.S. ambassador and former deputy secretary of state, as well as former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo at the institute.
After three decades of spectacular growth, China passed Japan in the second quarter to become the world’s second-largest economy behind the United States, according to government figures released early Monday. The milestone, though anticipated for some time, is the most striking evidence yet that China’s ascendance is for real and that the rest of the world will have to reckon with a new economic superpower.
No Same-Sex Marriage Yet - A federal appeals court put same-sex weddings in California on hold indefinitely Monday (August 16) while it considers the constitutionality of the state's gay marriage ban. The decision, issued by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, trumps a lower court judge's order that would have allowed county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Wednesday.
A suicide bomber sat for hours Tuesday among hundreds of army recruits before detonating nail-packed explosives strapped to his body, killing 61 people and casting new doubt on the ability of Iraqi forces as U.S. troops head home. Bodies of bloodied young men, some still clutching job applications in their hands, were scattered on the ground outside the military headquarters in central Baghdad. Some of the estimated 1,000 men who had gathered there before dawn for a good spot in line were so desperate for work they returned hours after being treated at hospitals for injuries in the attack.
General Motors Co will recall more than 243,000 model year 2009-2010 crossover sport utilities, mainly in the United States, to inspect safety belts for possible damage, the automaker said on Tuesday. The automaker and regulators said most of the Chevy Traverse, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook vehicles were shipped within the United States. Several thousands others were exported to Canada, Mexico, China, Saudi Arabia and other countries. GM said potential damage to the second-row safety belts could make it appear as if the latch were properly secured when it was not.
The federal jury that found former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich guilty of just one count of lying to federal agents was deadlocked 11-1 in favor of convicting him of a more serious count involving an alleged attempt to sell a Senate seat, a juror said Tuesday. Juror Erik Sarnello of Itasca, Ill., said one woman on the jury "just didn't see what we all saw." The 21-year-old Sarnello said the counts involving the Senate seat were "the most obvious."
The last U.S. combat troops were crossing the border into Kuwait on Thursday morning, bringing to a close the active combat phase of a 7½-year war that overthrew the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein, forever defined the presidency of George W. Bush and left more than 4,400 American service members and tens of thousands of Iraqis dead. The final convoy of the Army’s 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Lewis, Wash., began entering Kuwait about 1:30 a.m. (6:30 p.m. Wednesday ET), carrying the last of the 14,000 U.S. combat forces in Iraq, said NBC’s Richard Engel, who has been traveling with the brigade as it moved out this week. The departure marks the official end of Operation Iraqi Freedom, P.J. Crowley, a spokesman for the State Department, told msnbc TV. But while it is “an historic moment,” he said, it is not the end of the U.S. mission in Iraq.
Hundreds of people have been sickened in a salmonella outbreak linked to eggs in four states and possibly more, health officials said Wednesday as a company dramatically expanded a recall to 380 million eggs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with state health departments to investigate the illnesses. No deaths have been reported, said Dr. Christopher Braden, a CDC epidemiologist involved in the investigation.
U.S. employers appear to be laying off workers again as applications for unemployment insurance reached the half-million mark last week for the first time since November. Initial claims for jobless benefits rose by 12,000 last week to 500,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the fourth increase in the past five weeks and evidence that the economic recovery has weakened.
Biden Talks Tough - In a pep talk for the party's rank and file, the vice president challenged the widespread notion that significant losses in House races, and perhaps the Senate, could cost the party its comfortable majorities — a possibility White House press secretary Robert Gibbs suggested last month before saying Democrats will hang onto the House. "On Nov. 3 ... there will be in Washington, D.C., a Democratic majority in the House and a Democratic majority in the Senate. That will be the case," Biden said in a speech to the DNC. And, he said, Democrats will do better than expected in gubernatorial races, too. "If it weren't illegal, I'd make book on it," Biden quipped.
Iranian and Russian engineers began loading fuel Saturday (August 21) into Iran's first nuclear power plant, which Moscow has pledged to safeguard to prevent material at the site from being used in any potential weapons production. After years of delays, the fueling of the Bushehr plant in southern Iran marks the startup of a facility for energy production that the U.S. once hoped to block as a way to pressure the country to stop separate nuclear activities of far greater concern.
A small majority of Americans believe the Iraq war, now in its eighth year, will be judged a failure in the light of history, rather than a success. A new Gallup poll shows a wide partisan divide on the public's view of Iraq, but the overall findings vary little from previous surveys. The telephone sampling of 1,013 adults was taken between Aug. 5 and Aug. 8, before the last U.S. combat brigades rolled out of Iraq on Wednesday. About 50,000 American troops are staying on to provide logistical support to the Iraqis in the on-going struggle with insurgents. While 53 percent say the war will be seen as a failure (compared to 42 percent who see it as a success), most Americans think Iraq is much better off, or at least somewhat better off today than it was before the U.S.-led invasion topped the dictator, Saddam Hussein. Sixty-four percent say things are better in Iraq, even with an unstable government and continued terrorist attacks.
Technology News - August 15, 2010 -
In a move signaling the growing importance of online security, Intel Corp. said Thursday it is buying computer-security software maker McAfee Inc. for $7.68 billion as the chip maker adds to its arsenal of tools to serve an increasing array of Internet-connected devices, including mobile phones. The $48-per-share price represents a 60 percent premium over McAfee's Wednesday close of $29.93. McAfee shares surged 58 percent after the deal was announced Thursday to hit $47.42 in premarket trading. Intel shares slipped 2.5 percent to $19.11.
Facebook rolls out its long-awaited location feature, Facebook Places, an application that lets users "check in" on their mobile phones so friends know where they're hanging out and what they're doing. It's a function similar to what apps such as Foursquare and Gowalla are already doing. But Facebook's 500 million-user base dwarfs the 2 million-plus on Foursquare, meaning the "check-in" concept is probably new to a lot of folks. The app is perfect for thieves knowing you’re not at home.
Sports News - August 15, 2011
Passing - Bobby Thomson, the Scottish-born man immortalized with his championship-winning "Shot Heard 'Round the World" in 195. He was 86 and had been in failing health for several years. He hit perhaps the sport's most famous home run, connecting off Ralph Branca for a three-run drive in the bottom of the ninth inning that sent the New York Giants over the Brooklyn Dodgers in the decisive Game 3 of their National League playoff. The drive into the left-field stands at the Polo Grounds and broadcaster Russ Hodges' ecstatic declaration -- four times shouting "the Giants win the pennant!" -- remain one of the signature moments in major league history.
A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens for allegedly lying to Congress about using steroids. Clemens faces charges of obstruction of Congress, making false statements and perjury
Entertainment News - August 15, 2010 -
A tumor in Michael Douglas' throat has reportedly been discovered by doctors. The "Wall Street" actor, 65, will endure eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. Douglas' doctors expect him to have a full recovery, a spokesperson for the actor told the website. Douglas said in a statement, "I am very optimistic."
Early '90s one-hit rap wonder Vanilla Ice is making his latest reality television comeback with a home renovation show on the DIY Network. "The Vanilla Ice Project" will focus on his "passion for home renovation" and document the room-by-room overhaul of his 7,000-square-foot mansion in Palm Beach, Fla. DIY has ordered 10 half-hour episodes of the series. Ice burst onto the scene in 1989 with the album "Hooked." One year later, his single, "Ice Ice Baby" became the first hip-hop track to top the Billboard charts. For a brief period, Ice rode an A-list roller coaster, releasing a live concert album, dating Madonna, and starring in his own feature film.
Jay-Z pulled in $63 million over the past 12 months, earning him his second-straight hip-hop cash crown. His income level places him in the 35 percent tax bracket, which means he'll pay Uncle Sam about $22 million this year -- a sum greater than the total earnings of any other rap star besides second-ranked Diddy. "Jay-Z is in a league of his own right now," says Ryan Schinman, chief of Platinum Rye, the country's largest buyer of music and talent for corporations. "There are very few artists of any genre, not just hip-hop, who've created such brands for themselves." The top 20 earners on this year's Cash Kings list racked up about $300 million in earnings, an average of $15 million per artist. Remarkably, the total is roughly the same as last year, despite a troubled economy and a music industry thrown into flux by new technology. "There aren't many artists selling 250,000 albums in the opening week, and that used to happen all the time," says entertainment attorney Donald David. "The rise of iTunes means people don't have to buy whole album ... and that has changed the business dramatically."
Lindsay Lohan has been offered $1 million from OK! magazine for her first interview after her recent jail and rehab stints. Lets see!
Martha Stewart and Michelle Obama are getting space in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington for the first time. A new exhibit, "Americans Now," opened Friday (August 20), featuring famous names from science, business, government and the arts. President Barack Obama and the first lady are among those portrayed. It's the first time Michelle Obama's individual portrait has been shown at the gallery. Familiar names in the collection also include actor Tom Hanks and music artists Willie Nelson and LL Cool J. Video portraits in the exhibit feature late-night comedians Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and David Letterman, as well as actor George Clooney and NBA star LeBron James.
Cameron Diaz, 37, is top of the list of the most dangerous celebrities to search for online, above second-placed Julia Roberts, according to computer security company McAfee, Inc. Last year's most dangerous Web celebrity, Jessica Biel, fell to third. One in ten websites featuring the "Knight and Day" star contain malicious software intended to infect computers and steal data from users, according to research released on Thursday by McAfee.
Music news - American music legend Bob Dylan, who has turned to painting in his later years, will unveil a new set of works in Copenhagen next month, the National Gallery of Denmark announced Monday. Some 40 acrylic paintings and eight drawings from Dylan's "Brazil Series" created especially for Denmark's largest museum, also known as the Statens Museum for Kunst, will go on display from September 4 to January 30. "It was an honor to be asked and a thrilling challenge," said the 68-year-old folk music icon better known for his songs such as "Mr Tambourine Man" and "Blowin' in the Wind."
A week after an overdose, Fantasia is back to promoting her new album. In a statement released Monday, Fantasia says she "can't thank my fans enough for their prayers and support during such a challenging time." The singer overdosed on aspirin and other pills at her home in Charlotte, N.C., last week.
The village of Cridersville, Ohio, describes itself as "small town America at its very best." On Aug. 21, the town will honor the frontman for the 1980s heavy metal band Twisted Sister by changing its name to Snidersville after Dee Snider. Snider himself, will embark on a motorcycle ride from Lima, Ohio, to the newly-named Snidersville to raise money for the March of Dimes. The town of 1,500 residents agreed to change the name for one day after Snider jokingly requested it do so on his nationally syndicated “House of Hair” radio show.
Madonna has been hit with a lawsuit over her new “Material Girl” " fashion line for teenagers by a California clothing company that says it has been using the name since 1997. L.A Triumph filed a lawsuit against the pop superstar in the California Central District court on Thursday, just two weeks after the Madonna line went on sale in Macy's. The company said in its suit that it has been "continually selling similar clothes in similar retail outlets at similar price points under their Material Girl brand since at least 1997, and Madonna and her newfound company do not have the right to trade in the same space under this brand."
Police say the lead singer of a British pop trio climbed a telecommunications mast behind the main stage at a Belgian rock festival and leaped to his death in the parking lot below. Police say 22-year-old Charles Haddon of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool died late Friday during the Pukkelpop festival in Hasselt, a town in eastern Belgium. Police say they are treating it as a suicide. On Thursday, Michael Bean, frontman for the U.S. group The Call, died of an apparent heart attack at the same festival.
DJ Marc Mysterio who claims he's huge in Scandinavia - is suing Brandy (Norwood) for allegedly backing out of a deal to write and sing 32 bars worth of music ... after she accepted a check for $10,000. Hed did a remix of “One More Time.” The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles, claims Brandy took the payment back in July ... but never came through with the music. Now, Mysterio claims he's lost more than $25,000 as a result of Brandy's non-actions.
Singer Wyclef Jean's high-profile bid for Haiti's presidency ended after election officials on the earthquake-ravaged Caribbean nation disqualified his candidacy. The commission did not say why it had disqualified Jean, but the singer had faced a challenge to his candidacy because he has not lived in Haiti for the past five years as required.
Gaga Tops On Twitter - Nearly three-months after Britney usurped the most-followed Twitter user crown from Ashton Kutcher, the pop singer lost the title to Lady Gaga. On Saturday, Gaga surged into the lead, netting 5,694,147 followers to Brit's 5,685,390 -- a difference of nearly 9,000 users.
Television News - August 15, 2010 -
Passing - James J. Kilpatrick, who rose from cub reporter to become one of the South's most prominent newspaper editors and the nation's most widely syndicated political columnist, has died. He was 89. He was being treated for congestive heart failure. TV watchers in the 1970s knew Kilpatrick as the conservative half of the "Point-Counterpoint" segment of the CBS "60 Minutes." His sparring with liberal commentator Shana Alexander was famously parodied on "Saturday Night Live."
'Back to the Future' star Michael J. Fox is heading back for TV. According to reports, Fox will be guest-starring in the show "The Good Wife" on CBS. Fox's role will be the role of Simon Canning, a shrew and cynical lawyer. The role will allegedly use Fox's Parkinson’s disease to gain favor for his clients in court.
Top Pop Hits - August 15, 2010 -
Love The Way You Lie – Eminem fea. Rihanna
California Gurls – Katy Perry fea. Snoop Dogg
Dynamite – Taio Cruz
Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
I Like It – Enrique Iglesias fea. Pitbull
DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love – Usher fea. Pitbull
Cooler Than Me – Mike Posner
Mine – Taylor Swift
Airplanes- B.o.B. fea. Hayley Williams
Magic – B.o.B. fea. Rivers Cuomo
Find Your Love - Drake
Ridin’ Solo – Jason Derulo
Not Afraid – Eminem
Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars
OMG – Usher fea. will.i.am
Your Love – Nicki Minaj
Misery – Maroon 5
Take Off – Ke$ha
Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Rida fea. David Guetta
Bottoms Up – Trey Songz fea. Nicki Minaj
Hey, Soul Sister – Train
Break Your Heart – Taio Cruz fea. Ludacris
The Only Exception – Paramore
Stuck Like Glue – Sugarland
Bulletproof – La Roux
Alejandro – Lady Gaga
The Boys of Fall Kenny Chesney
Top Video Games - August 15, 2010 -
Madden NFL 11 (X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP)
Starcraft II: Wings (PC)
Wii Sports Resort
Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
New Super Mario Bros. (Wii)
Top Movies - August 15, 2010 -
The Expendables – (1st week $35 million)
Eat Pray Love (1st week - $23.7 million)
The Other Guys–
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (1st week $10.5 million)
Step Up 3D
Dinner for Schmucks
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
TV listings/TV Guide - August 15, 2010
Sunday Night Television
7:00 to 8:00
CBS: '60 Minutes'
8:00 to 9:00
CBS: 'Big Brother'
Disney: 'Good Luck Charlie' -- 8:30 start
Nick: 'Dora the Explorer' -- It's Dora's big birthday adventure as she turns 10-years-old
TLC: 'Hoarding: Buried Alive'
9:00 to 10:00
Bio: 'I Survived'
Cooking Channel: 'Food(ography)
Disney: 'Jonas L.A.'
Food Network: 'Next Food Network Star'**
Green TV: 'Oceans Blue'
HBO: 'True Blood'
HGTV: 'House Hunters' and 'House Hunters International'
History: 'Ice Road Truckers'
Lifetime: 'Drop Dead Diva'
Nick: 'Dora: The Girl Heard 'Round the World' -- Special focusing on the football-headed girl's social and educational impact
TLC: 'Hoarding: Buried Alive'
10:00 to 11:00
ABC: 'The Gates'
A&E: 'The Glades'
AMC: 'Mad Men'
BBC America: 'Baby Birthday Bashes'
Comedy Central: 'The Comedy Central Roast' -- Roasting David Hasselhoff; two hours
Cooking Channel: 'NFNS After Party' and 'Drink Up'
E!: 'Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami'**
Food Network: 'The Great Food Truck Race'*
Green TV: 'Oceans Blue'
HBO: 'Hung' and 'Entourage'
HGTV: 'Design Star'
History: 'Top Shot'
Lifetime: 'Army Wives'
Showtime: 'The Real L Word'
TLC: 'Lottery Changed My Life'*
TruTV: 'Las Vegas Jailhouse'
We: 'My Fair Wedding With David Tutera'
11:00 to Midnight
Adult Swim: 'The Boondocks' -- 11:30 start