Dateline: Week Of August 1, 2010 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
It was high society inside and high security outside as Chelsea Clinton wed her longtime boyfriend at an elegant estate in a Hudson River village where several prominent guests were spotted beforehand, but the husband-and-wife-to-be stayed out of sight. The wedding site, a Beaux Arts riverside estate called Astor Courts, was sealed off from the general public. Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton issued a statement announcing that their daughter exchanged vows Saturday evening with investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, and a few photographs were later released to media outlets. "Today, we watched with great pride and overwhelming emotion as Chelsea and Marc wed in a beautiful ceremony at Astor Courts, surrounded by family and their close friends," the Clintons said. "We could not have asked for a more perfect day to celebrate the beginning of their life together, and we are so happy to welcome Marc into our family. On behalf of the newlyweds, we want to give special thanks to the people of Rhinebeck for welcoming us and to everyone for their well-wishes on this special day."
President Barack Obama is giving himself a grade of "incomplete" for his presidency even though he says he has a "pretty good track record." Obama tells CBS' "Sunday Morning" that his grade is incomplete because the economy has yet to fully rebound.Still, Obama cites accomplishments — preventing a complete collapse of the economy, saving the financial markets and the auto industry, and passing the health care law. The president says he feels sometimes that his administration isn't getting the credit it deserves, but he says that's because Americans remain scared, angry and frustrated.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney is still in the hospital after heart surgery in early July. Daughter Liz Cheney says her 69-year-old dad is out of intensive care and hopes to return home this week. She tells "Fox News Sunday" that he's already planning trips for fly fishing and hunting later this year. Dick Cheney has had five heart attacks since he was 37. In his recent surgery at a northern Virginia hospital, Cheney had a small pump installed to help his heart work.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggests the country faces a long road ahead to get back to good economic health. Bernanke says the worst of the financial crisis is behind the nation. He says the economy is growing and that is an improvement after the deepest recession since the 1930s. "But we have a considerable way to go to achieve a full recovery in our economy, and many Americans are still grappling with unemployment, foreclosure and lost savings," the Fed Chief says in remarks prepared for delivery Monday in South Carolina.
President Barack Obama sets for the nation's changing mission in Iraq as the military prepares to end its combat operations there. A transitional force of 50,000 troops will remain to train Iraqi security forces, conduct counterterrorism operations and provide security for ongoing U.S. civilian efforts. "Make no mistake: Our commitment in Iraq is changing, from a military effort led by our troops to a civilian effort led by our diplomats," Obama said in excerpts released ahead of a speech he’ll make this week in Atlanta.
Astronauts in orbit and on the ground practiced Monday (August 2) for a major repair job later this week at the International Space Station, struck by a massive cooling system failure. The weekend malfunction knocked out half of the space station's cooling system, forcing the crew of six to turn off unnecessary equipment and halt scientific work to avoid any overheating.
Six teenagers from at least two families drowned in the Red River in northwest Louisiana after they stepped off a ledge from shallow water into a 18-foot sinkhole Monday, fire officials said. Shreveport Fire Chief Brian Crawford told the Shreveport Times that the victims, aged 13 to 18, had drowned while trying to save each other. Only one, a 14-year-old, was rescued.
Four people were killed in cross-border shelling on the Israel-Lebanon border on Tuesday, the most serious clash since the two countries went to war in 2006. Three Lebanese soldiers and a Lebanese journalist died after the Israeli and Lebanese armies exchanged fire in the border area, the source told Reuters.
Gunmen killed at least 45 people in Pakistan's largest city after the assassination of a prominent lawmaker set off a cycle of revenge attacks, officials said Tuesday. Dozens of vehicles and shops were set ablaze as security forces struggled to regain control of Karachi.
General Motors Co. said Tuesday U.S. sales of its cars and trucks rose slightly last month from a slower-than-normal June, a sign that consumers are still willing to spend on big-ticket items. Ford said its sales gained 3 percent. The gains could be short-lived because shoppers are still anxious about slow economic growth and hiring, however. GM's sales rose 2.6 percent over June and 5 percent from July of last year, helped by promotions to make room for 2011. Ford brand sales rose 8 percent as its new Fiesta subcompact hit the market. But its sales were dragged down by a 31 percent drop in Mercury sales. Ford announced in June that it will end production of Mercury at the end of this year.
Murder rampage in Connecticut - Omar Thornton, 34, walked into a room early Tuesday (August 3) at the beverage distributorship where he worked in Manchester, Connecticut. Company and union officials played a video. He calmly watched images that purportedly showed him stealing from a truck. An employee of Hartford Distributors for two years and a driver for one, Thornton was given a choice of resigning or being fired, union and company officials said. He signed a resignation paper, was escorted out of the room and toward the door. He asked for a drink of water. That's when all hell broke loose. Thornton pulled out a handgun and began firing, officials said. Within minutes, the gunman and eight other people were dead, and two others were wounded, according to Manchester police and a union official. Police swarmed to the scene, but never had a chance to talk with Thornton, who apparently shot himself to death in an office.
Toyota reported a quarterly profit of $2.2 billion, reversing from red ink a year earlier as the world's top automaker benefited from a global sales recovery that offset lingering doubts about the safety of its cars. The company, which makes the Camry sedan and Prius hybrid, raised its full year earnings forecast Wednesday, and said it now expects to sell 7.38 million vehicles worldwide for the year through March 2011, up from 7.24 million the previous year. Previously it forecast sales of 7.29 million vehicles.
An industry trade group says growth in the U.S. service sector picked up in July, a good sign for the job market. The Institute for Supply Management says its service-sector index rose to 54.3 last month, up from 53.8 in June. Economists had expected a reading of 53 for July. Levels above 50 signal growth. The index shows service companies have been expanding every month this year, but at a less robust pace than the manufacturing sector.
In a major victory for gay rights advocates, a federal judge on Wednesday struck down a California ban on same-sex marriage. In a landmark case that could eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that the voter-approved ban, known as Proposition 8, violates due process and equal-protection rights under the U.S. Constitution. "Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples," Walker wrote. The judge added in the conclusion of the 136-page opinion: "Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license."
The Postal Service was $3.5 billion in the red for the third quarter and may not be able to make a required payment for future retiree health benefits, the agency said Thursday. Losses for the April through June quarter were $1.1 billion more than the post office lost in the same period a year ago. The post office has been rocked by declining mail volume as people and businesses continue switching to the Internet in place of letters and paper bills. "Given current trends, we will not be able to pay all 2011 obligations," Joseph R. Corbett, the Postal Service's chief financial officer, said in a statement.
Two people were killed and 53 hurt when two school buses collided with a pickup truck and a semi on a Missouri highway Thursday. The buses were full of eighth grade students belonging to a school band who on their way to the Six Flags amusement park, a spokesman for the Missouri Highway Patrol told AFP.
More News - August 1, 2010 -
The Senate confirmed Elena Kagan Thursday as the Supreme Court's 112th justice and the fourth woman in its history, granting a lifetime term to a lawyer and academic with a reputation for brilliance, a dry sense of humor and a liberal bent. The vote was 63-37 for President Barack Obama's nominee to succeed retired Justice John Paul Stevens.
Companies showed a lack of confidence about hiring for a third straight month in July, making it likely the economy will grow more slowly the rest of the year. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.5 percent.
A suspected al-Qaida operative who lived for more than 15 years in the U.S. has become chief of the terror network's global operations, the FBI says, marking the first time a leader so intimately familiar with American society has been placed in charge of planning attacks.Adnan Shukrijumah, 35, has taken over a position once held by 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was captured in 2003, Miami-based FBI counterterrorism agent Brian LeBlanc told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview. That puts him in regular contact with al-Qaida's senior leadership, including Osama bin Laden, LeBlanc said.
The United States handed over control of all combat duties to Iraqi security forces on Saturday in a further sign that its withdrawal is on track despite a political impasse in Iraq and a recent rise in violence. President Barack Obama said last Monday he would stick to his promise to end U.S. combat operations in Iraq by August 31, with security being left in the hands of Iraq's own U.S.-trained army and police.
Ten members of a medical team, including six Americans, were shot and killed by militants as they were returning from providing eye treatment and other health care in remote villages in northern Afghanistan, a spokesman for the team said Saturday. Dirk Frans, director of the International Assistance Mission, said one German, one Briton and two Afghans also were part of the team that made the three-week trip to Nuristan province. They drove to the province, left their vehicles and hiked for hours with pack horses over mountainous terrain to reach the Parun valley in the province's northwest.
A lively and healthy-looking Fidel Castro appealed to President Barack Obama to prevent a global nuclear war in an emphatic speech Saturday (August 7) that marked his first official government appearance since emergency surgery four years ago. Castro's speech before the Cuban parliament, along with other numerous recent public appearances, raised questions about how much he will resume a leadership role. Castro, who turns 84 in a week, arrived on the arm of a subordinate, waving and smiling as the crowd applauded loudly in unison.
Oil Spill Update - August 1, 2010 -
As BP inched closer to permanently sealing the blown-out oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, congressional investigators railed against the company and Coast Guard for part of the cleanup effort, saying too much toxic chemical dispersant was used. The Coast Guard routinely approved BP requests to use thousands of gallons of the chemical per day to break up the oil in the Gulf, despite a federal directive to use the dispersant rarely, the investigators said. The Coast Guard approved 74 waivers over a 48-day period after the Environmental Protection Agency order, according to documents reviewed by the investigators. Only in a few cases did the government scale back BP's request. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., released a letter that said instead of complying with the EPA restriction, "BP often carpet bombed the ocean with these chemicals and the Coast Guard allowed them to do it."
Federal scientists say about one-quarter of the BP oil that spilled out of its broken well remains. A new government report says nearly three-quarters of the oil — more than 152 million gallons — has either been collected at the well by BP's cap, burned, skimmed, chemically dispersed, naturally deteriorated, evaporated or dissolved. That leaves about 53.5 million gallons in the gulf. The amount remaining — or washed up on the shore — still is more than four times the size of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.
BP starts pumping cement into its blown-out Gulf of Mexico well as it moved to permanently kill the source of the world's worst marine oil spill. Engineers were piping cement down into the deep-sea Macondo well after earlier injections of heavy drilling mud this week had subdued the upward pressure of its oil and gas. The well was provisionally capped in mid-July. "The aim of the procedure is to assist with the strategy to kill and isolate the well ... This procedure will complement the upcoming relief well operation," BP said in a statement.
Technology News - August 1, 2010 -
The UAE said it will block key features on BlackBerry smart phones, citing national security concerns because the devices operate beyond the government's ability to monitor their use. Officials in neighboring Saudi Arabia indicated it planned to follow suit. The decision could prevent hundreds of thousands of users in the Mideast country from accessing e-mail and the Web on the handsets starting in October, putting the federation's reputation as a business-friendly commercial and tourism hub at risk. BlackBerry data is encrypted and routed overseas, and the measure could be motivated in part by government fears that the messaging system might be exploited by terrorists or other criminals who cannot be monitored by the local authorities. But wait… (see below)
Intel has agreed to change some of its practices to settle a federal antitrust lawsuit alleging a decade of abuse. Intel Corp. is calling a truce in one of its last major antitrust battles over its behavior in the market for computer chips. Intel has been slapped with a $1.45 billion antitrust fine in Europe and separate cases in South Korea and New York state, all of which it is fighting.
Facebook Story - Lynn France typed two words into the search box on Facebook: the name of the woman with whom she believed her husband was having an affair. Click. And there it was, the stuff of nightmares for any spouse, cuckolded or not. Wedding photos from Walt Disney World, featuring her husband literally dressed as Prince Charming. His new wife, a pretty blonde, was a glowing Sleeping Beauty, surrounded by footmen. "I was numb with shock, to tell you the truth," says France, an occupational therapist from Westlake, a Cleveland suburb. "There was like an album of 200 pictures on there. Their whole wedding.
Saudi Arabia and the makers of the BlackBerry have reached a preliminary deal on granting access to users' data that will avert a ban on the phone's messenger service in the kingdom, Saudi officials said Saturday. The agreement would likely involve placing a BlackBerry server inside Saudi Arabia to allow the government to monitor messages and allay official fears the service could be used for criminal purposes, the telecom regulatory officials said.
Google announces that it has agreed to purchase social networking app maker Slide for an undisclosed amount. The deal marks the latest try for the search giant to make some headway into the world of social networking. So far, Google has mostly failed in its attempts, including the poorly received Orkut and Google Buzz. Though the terms weren't disclosed, various new reports have put the value at between $180 million and $230 million.
Apple's just opened up a new section of the App Store. Called "Try Before You Buy," it lets users test drive a limited selection of apps before purchasing them. Unfortunately, this trial period doesn't apply to all the paid apps in the store -- not yet, at least. For now, the section only contains the freemium, "lite" or ad-supported versions of apps whose full versions are in the pay-to-play section of the store. If the app doesn't have a free version already in the App Store, it won't appear in Try Before You Buy.
Sports News - August 1, 2010 -
Alex Rodriquez (A-Rod) of the NY Yankees hits his 600th career homerun. At the age of 35, that makes him the youngest to achieve that feat in the world of baseball.
Shaquille O’Neal signs a two-year contract with the Boston Celtics.
Entertainment News - August 1, 2010 -
After nearly 3,000 airings of "The View," the series pulls its biggest ratings for its July 29 visit from President Barack Obama. The first ever daytime talk appearance of sitting president averaged 6.6 million viewers during its one-hour broadcast. President Obama's appearance wasn't the only big news for "The View" that day either. It also marked host Barbara Walters’ first interview since undergoing heart surgery in May.
Lindsay Lohan gets released from jail after serving 14 days of a 90-day sentence for violating her probation in a 2007 drug case. The Mean Girls star must now start a three-month rehabilitation programme, as stipulated by her sentence.Lohan, 24, was sentenced last month after she missed a string of alcohol education classes she was ordered to attend under the terms of her probation on a 2007 drink-driving charge.
Charlie Sheen pleaded guilty Monday to assault in a Christmas Day argument with his wife in exchange for the withdrawal of more serious charges. Sheen, star of "Two and a Half Men" on CBS, was sentenced to 30 days in a rehabilitation center, 30 days of probation and 36 hours of anger management. He has 30 days to report to the Promises Treatment Center in California.
Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston have called off their second engagement after he told her he may have fathered a baby with another girl. The other girl was not identified, but a pregnant ex-girlfriend of Johnston has publicly denied he is the father.
Nicolas Cage has pulled out of Joel Schumacher’s new thriller "Trespass," just two weeks before filming was scheduled to start. The actor was supposed to play one of two thieves who take a couple hostage. Nicole Kidman was set to play the wife. The husband role, which initially was going to Cage before he chose to play the bad guy, still has not been cast, according to EW.
Music News - August 1, 2010 -
Alicia Keys marries wed Swizz Beatz. The singer, 29, who is pregnant, and the producer, 31, exchanged vows in front of close family and friends in a private home on the Mediterranean Sea. Dr. Deepak Chopra presided over the intimate ceremony, and Queen Latifah and Bono were reportedly among the guests in attendance.
Music Passing - Mitch Miller the goateed orchestra leader who asked Americans to "Sing Along With Mitch" on television and records and produced hits for Tony Bennett, Patti Page and other performers, has died at age 99. His daughter, Margaret Miller Reuther, said Monday that Miller died Saturday in Lenox Hill Hospital after a short illness. Miller was a key record executive at Columbia Records in the pre-rock 'n' roll era, making hits with singers Bennett, Page, Rosemary Clooney and Johnny Mathis. As a producer and arranger, Miller had misses, too, famously striking out on projects with Frank Sinatra and a young Aretha Franklin and in general scorning the rise of rock.
Aretha Franklin says she's recovering from a fall and will miss two free concerts in New York. Franklin's office says the Queen of Soul broke ribs and has abdominal pain from Sunday's fall. Franklin says her doctors advised her to undergo tests. She says efforts are under way to reschedule the canceled concerts for late August.
Taylor Swift has been forced to rush the release of her new single after the track leaked online. The country star was due to release Mine, the first song from her upcoming third album Speak Now, on Aug. 16, but an unauthorized version of the tune emerged on the internet this week. Executives at the singer's Big Machine Records label have moved swiftly to counteract the leak -- moving the track's release date forward by 12 days and handing it to radio stations early.
Wyclef Jean announced his candidacy for president of Haiti on Larry King Thursday. His priorities include improving education and rebuilding the earthquake-ravaged country's infrastructure, as well as focusing on security, jobs and health care, he told Wolf Blitzer, who was filling in for the vacationing King on CNN.
Singer/songwriter Sting has opened up a farm shop. Sting will sell organic food from a 900 acre estate and will be selling specialty salami, olive oil, wine, acacia honey, and various fruits and vegetables. The name of his shop is called the "Tenuta il Palagio." The farm is in the region of Tuscany. The locals nicknamed Sting, 'Chiantishire'
U2 frontman Bono burst back onto rock's center stage on Friday after a two-month absence for a back injury, as the Irish band resumed what its manager predicts will be the most lucrative concert tour in history. U2 shook a packed Olympic stadium in the northern Italian city of Turin as Bono strutted, pranced, jogged and danced with little sign of being a 50-year-old rock star just 10 weeks off spinal surgery.
Lollapalooza kicks off in Chicago’s Grant Park and the first performing artist is B.o.B. Also performing the next several days – Soundgarden, Lady Gaga, Green Day, Devo, The Cribs and many others. The event is Aug. 6-8.
TV listings/TV Guide - August 1, 2010 -
Saturday Night TV
8:00 to 9:00
NBC: 'Persons Unknown'
Univision: 'Sabado Gigante' -- Three hours
Animal Planet: 'Last Chance Highway'
DIY: 'Dream House' -- 8:30 start
Nick: 'True Jackson, VP'
Style: 'How Do I Look?'
9:00 to 10:00
CBS: '48 Hours Mystery' -- Two hours
FOX: 'America's Most Wanted'
NBC: 'WWE WrestleMania XXVI'
BBC America: 'Being Human'
Bio: 'Celebrity Ghost Stories'
CNBC: 'The Suze Orman Show'
Discovery: 'Croc Attack'
HGTV: 'Curb Appeal: The Block' -- 9:30 start
Style: 'Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?'
SyFy: 'Frost Giant' -- A frost monster terrorizes the inhabitants of an arctic outpost. Of course it does!
10:00 to 11:00
Animal Planet: 'Pit Boss'
Bio: 'My Ghost Story'
Discovery: 'When Fish Attack'
Style: 'The Dish'
Top Pop Hits - August 1, 2010 -
Love The Way You Lie – Eminem & Rihanna
Dyanamite – Taio Cruz
California Gurls – Katy Perry fea. Snoop Dogg
I Like It – Enrique Iglesias fea. Pitbull
Airplanes – B.o.B. fea. Hayley Williams
Cooler Than Me- Mike Posner
Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
Billionaire – Travie McCoy fea. Bruno Mars
OMG – Usher fea. will.i.am
DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love – Usher fea. Pitbull
Ridin’ Solo – Jason Derulo
Find Your Love – Drake
Not Afraid – Eminem
Bulletproof – La Roux
Your Love – Nicki Minaj
Impossible – Shontelle
Hey, Soul Sister – Train
Break Your Heart – Taio Cruz fea. Ludacris
Misery – Maroon 5
Stuck Like Glue – Sugarland
Magic – B.o.B fea. Rivers Cuomo
Alejandro – Lady Gaga
Your Love Is My Drug – Ke$ha
Undo It – Carrie Underwood
My First Kiss – 3Oh!3 fea. Ke$ha
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
The Only Exception – paramore
There Goes My Baby – Usher
Lover, Lover – Jerrod Niemann
Top Video Games August 1, 2010 -
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty (PC)
Wii Sports Resort
NCAA Football 11 (X360)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
Read Dead Redemption (X360)
New Super Mario Bros (Wii)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (X360)
Just Dance – Wii
Wii Fit Plus