Dateline: Week Of July 22, 2010 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Six people are dead and many others are injured after a Greyhound passenger bus crashed on a state highway in California's Central Valley early Thursday morning. The bus swerved to avoid an overturned minivan and slammed into a concrete center divider before hitting another car and a tree at about 2:14 a.m. PT (5:14 a.m. EST) just outside Fresno, California Highway Patrol Officer Michelle Sigmond said. The bus was carrying 47 passengers in addition to the driver at the time.
Some 30 protesters stood in a circle and prayed outside the federal courthouse in Phoenix before a hearing to determine if Arizona’s should take effect next week. A federal judge will hear arguments from lawyers for Arizona's governor, the federal government and civil rights groups over whether the state's new immigration law ought to be put on hold. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton will consider a request by the U.S. Justice Department to block enforcement of the law. She also will hear arguments in a challenge by civil rights groups.
Kosovo won a major victory on the world stage Thursday (July 22) as the United Nations' highest court said its 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia was legal. The nonbinding opinion by the International Court of Justice sets the stage for Kosovo to renew its appeals for further international recognition. The tiny Balkan country has been recognized by 69 countries, including the United States and most European Union nations. It needs 100 for full statehood.
President Barack Obama made an election-season appeal to disgruntled liberal activists and bloggers, assuring them his administration is committed to their causes and urging them to help elect Democrats in November. "Change hasn't come fast enough for too many Americans. I know that," Obama said in a surprise video appearance at the annual Netroots Nation convention. "I know it hasn't come fast for many of you who fought so hard during the election."
BP will start drilling off the Libyan coast in a few weeks, it said, despite lingering questions over the deal which led to the exploration and the oil firm's role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. "We expect to begin the first well in the next few weeks," spokesman David Nicholas told AFP, adding that the 2007 deal signed with Libya to explore the Gulf of Sirte included commitments to drill five wells. Although he could not give a detailed timeframe, he said: "These wells can take six months or more to drill."
The release of some 91,000 secret U.S. military documents on the Afghanistan war is just the beginning, WikiLeaks' founder promised Monday, adding that he still has thousands more Afghan files to post online. The White House, Britain and Pakistan have all condemned the online whistle-blowing group's release Sunday of the classified documents, one of the largest unauthorized disclosures in military history. The Afghan government in Kabul said it was "shocked" at the release but insisted most of the information was not new. The documents cover some known aspects of the troubled nine-year conflict: U.S. special operations forces have targeted militants without trial, Afghans have been killed by accident, and U.S. officials have been infuriated by alleged Pakistani intelligence cooperation with the very insurgent groups bent on killing Americans.
The monumental leak of classified Afghan war documents threatened Monday to create new conflict with Pakistan, whose spy agency was a focus of much of the material, and raised questions about Washington's own ability to protect military secrets. The White House called the disclosures "alarming" and scrambled to assess the damage. The documents are described as battlefield compiled by various military units that provide an unvarnished look at combat in the past six years, including U.S. frustration over reports Pakistan secretly aided insurgents and civilian casualties at the hand of U.S. troops.
A passenger jet that officials suspect veered off course in monsoon rains and thick clouds crashed into hills overlooking Pakistan's capital Wednesday, killing all 152 people on board and scattering body parts and twisted metal far and wide. The Airblue jet's crash was the deadliest ever in Pakistan, and just the latest tragedy to jolt a country that has suffered numerous deaths in recent years due to al-Qaida and Taliban attacks. At least two U.S. citizens were on the plane, which carried mostly Pakistanis.
More News - July 22, 2010 -
Bedbugs are spreading at an unprecedented rate in New York City, and officials on Wednesday announced the start of a plan to battle the infestation, including a public awareness campaign and a top entomologist to head the fight. The bloodsucking pests, which do not spread disease but are known to cause great mental anguish with their persistent and fast-growing infestations, have rapidly multiplied throughout New York and many other U.S. cities in recent years.
A federal judge dealt a serious blow to Arizona's immigration law on Wednesday when she put most of the crackdown on hold just hours before it was to take effect. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton sets up a lengthy legal battle as Arizona fights to enact the nation's toughest-in-the-nation law. Republican Gov. Jan Brewer said the state will likely appeal the ruling and seek to get the judge's order overturned. But for now, opponents of the law have prevailed: The provisions that angered opponents will not take effect, including sections that required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws. The judge also delayed parts of the law that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times, and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places. In addition, the judge blocked officers from making warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants.
New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly more than expected last week, offering a ray of hope for the anemic labor market recovery. Initial claims for state unemployment aid dropped 11,000 to 457,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday (July 29). Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast claims slipping to 459,000 from the previously reported 464,000 the prior week, which was revised slightly up to 468,000 in Thursday's report.
Arizona is preparing to ask an appeals court to lift a judge's ruling that put most of the state’s immigration law on hold in a key first-round victory for the federal government in a fight that may go to the U.S. Supreme Court. Three people were arrested Thursday morning at the federal courthouse in Phoenix, where police had riot gear ready in case the protest got out of hand. It was not immediately clear why the people were detained.
Ousted Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod said Thursday she will sue a conservative blogger (Breitbart) who posted a video edited in a way that made her appear racist. Sherrod was forced to resign as director of rural development in Georgia after Andrew Breitbart posted the edited video online. In the full video, who is black, spoke to a local NAACP group about racial reconciliation and lessons she learned after initially hesitating to help a white farmer save his home.
The showdown over Arizona's immigration law played out in court and on Phoenix's sun-splashed streets on Thursday, as the state sought to reinstate key parts of the measure and angry protesters chanted that they refused to "live in fear." Dozens were arrested. A federal judge's decision a day earlier to block the strict law's most controversial elements didn't dampen the raging immigration debate. The judge has been threatened. Protesters rallied in cities from Los Angeles to New York. The sheriff of the state's most populous county vowed to continue targeting illegal immigrants. Lawmakers or candidates in as many as 18 states say they still want to push similar measures.
The recovery lost momentum in the spring as growth slowed to a 2.4 percent pace, its most sluggish showing in nearly a year and too weak to drive down unemployment. Consumers spent less, companies slowed their restocking of shelves and the nation's trade deficit dragged more on the economy in the April-to-June quarter. In a separate report, the Commerce Department said the recession was deeper than previously estimated. Together, the reports raise doubts about whether employers will hire enough and consumers will spend enough to invigorate the economy. As unemployment remains near double digits, Congress could feel pressure to pass more stimulus measures to speed the recovery. So far, Republicans and some Democrats have blocked additional spending because of their concerns about the size of the deficit.
Two Florida residents have died from Eastern equine encephalitis, a mosquito-borne disease that is rare among humans but has infected a rising number of horses in the state, health officials said on Friday. Both deaths were in the Tampa area, where a woman died on July 1 and an infant died on Wednesday, the Hillsborough County Health Department said. The disease known as EEE causes brain inflammation. There is no vaccine for humans. "It's a fairly rare disease," said Steve Huard, spokesman for the Hillsborough health department.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says a giant hailstone that fell in central South Dakota has broken U.S. records, even though the man who found it says it melted somewhat while waiting to be evaluated. The NOAA's National Climate Extremes Committee says the hailstone found in the town of Vivian on July 23 measures 8 inches in diameter and weighs 1 pound, 15 ounces. The committee says the South Dakota ice chunk breaks records set by hailstones discovered in Nebraska and Kansas.
Calls for Rep. Charlie Rangel's resignation rained down on Capitol Hill late Friday from House Democrats who said more than a dozen ethics charges against the 20-term lawmaker showed a disregard for the rules and undermined the public's confidence in Congress. The calls came as Democrats headed home for their monthlong recess wrestling with how to handle the tax and disclosure charges against Rangel back in their districts as election season loomed. Republicans, meanwhile, raced ahead with plans to make Rangel the face of corrupt Washington under the rule of Democrats who had vowed.
The death toll in the massive flooding in Pakistan rose to 1,100 people as floodwaters receded in the hard-hit northwest, an official said. Disaster management official Adnan Khan said that the death toll could rise even higher since there are areas in Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province that rescue workers have not been able to get to. Authorities are struggling to save more than 27,000 people still trapped by the flooding that has plagued the northwest in recent days following heavy monsoon rains. Khan said more than 20,000 people have been rescued so far.
Oil Spill News Update - July 22, 2010 -
A tropical depression racing toward the Gulf of Mexico Thursday increased pressure on BP and the U.S. government to decide whether to evacuate dozens of ships at the site of the ruptured oil well. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said a cluster of thunderstorms in the Bahamas formed into a tropical depression Thursday morning. It could reach the spill site within two and a half days, said Lexion Avila, a senior hurricane specialist.
Tropical Storm Bonnie raced toward a strike on southern Florida on Friday, following a course that would take it across the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, prompting a pause in efforts to clean up the disaster. Rain and lightning raked the low-lying T urks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas on Friday, and forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm was likely to reach the Gulf of Mexico by Saturday. Bonnie had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was centered about 80 miles southeast of Miami around dawn Friday.
The government's point man for the Gulf spill plans to meet with coastal parish officials Thursday to talk about what's next now that the oil has stopped flowing. Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said crews are having trouble finding patches of the crude that had been washing up on beaches and coating delicate coastal wetlands since the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig exploded April 20, killing 11 people. Though no one knows for sure how much oil might be lurking below the surface, most of what was coming ashore has broken up or been sucked up by skimming boats or burned. "The oil that we do see is weathered, it is sheen," Allen said. Barring a calamity, the oil won't start flowing again before BP PLC can permanently kill the well, which could happen as soon as mid-August. Allen said the Coast Guard expects oil to keep showing up on beaches four to six weeks after that happens. A tally of beaches hurt by the oil from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle found they've been closed or slapped with health warnings more than 2,200 times through this week since the spill started. Many beaches were spared, but the environmental group National Resources Defense Council said there was no clear downward trend yet since the oil was capped July 15.
Technology News - July 22, 2010 -
Google's second quarter didn't do much to help get the company's stock out of its current rut. The world's online search leader reported a quarterly profit on Thursday that rose from its year-ago results but missed Wall Street's forecasts. Though quarterly earnings rose 24% from a year earlier -- healthy by any standards -- it's far from the nearly 40% average growth rate that Google posted over the past five years.
Under fire for iPhone 4 problems, Apple has distributed an iPhone/iPad operating system update designed to display more accurate signal bars indicating wireless network strength.
In a move that could bring Mickey Mouse into the online gaming world, Walt Disney Co. said it is buying social game developer Playdom Inc. in a deal worth up to $763 million. Mountain View, Calif.-based Playdom is among the leading makers of online social games, including Social City and Sorority Life, and engages an estimated 42 million active players each month, Disney said in a statement released late Tuesday.
Entertainment News July 22, 2010 -
Prince Albert of Monaco, son of late Hollywood star Grace Kelly, will marry South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock next July, in what will be a star-studded event likely to boost the principality's image. Albert, 52, has been linked to a string of beautiful women and has acknowledged fathering two illegitimate children, but he sought to shed his playboy image after succeeding his father, Prince Rainier, in 2005. He has dated Wittstock since 2006.
About 125,000 are expected to attend the San Diego International Comic-Con, running from Thursday (July 22) through Sunday (July 25). This historic four-day comic book convention may be infamous for long lines and crowded spaces – but it always seems to create good times for those attending.
'Pirates of the Caribbean' star Orlando Bloom and his supermodel fiancée Miranda Kerr get married this week. Bloom and Kerr announced their engagement last June and have been dating since 2007.
Comic-Con – Comes to an end – and a coming out of it all - A new take on "Tron," the latest "Harry Potter" film, HBO's "True Blood" and Marvel's "The Avengers" were among the highlights of the 41st annual festival. Samuel L. Jackson made an unexpected appearance at the event Saturday to present the cast of the Marvel superhero movie, which includes Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr., along with newly announced Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye. Other highlights included a surprise screening of "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" followed by a concert by rock band Metric and appearances by Harrison Ford and Angelina Jolie.
Television News July 22, 2010 -
CBS announces that the hosts of the as-yet untitled daytime show include Sharon Osbourne; Sara Gilbert of “Roseanne; Holly Robinson Peete from “Celebrity Apprentice”; Broadway actress Marissa Jaret Winokur; Leah Remini of "The King of Queens;” and CBS’ Julie Chen. Gilbert developed the program, which will be the network's only daytime talk show, and is its executive producer. It's set for a fall debut, but a specific date was not announced.
MTV screened the first act of its upcoming series adaptation of Teen Wolf Friday at Comic-Con. Unlike the 1985 movie which was a campy teen comedy starring Michael J. Fox as a high school basketball player who becomes a werewolf while going through puberty – this one is dark.
The New Hawaii Five-O theme to be – close to the same! After originally bringing in a famous rock star to freshen the tune, the producers instead opted to bring back all the original musicians who recorded the song way back when. "It only affirmed for us that you cannot change it," executive producer Alex Kurtzman said at a Comic-Con panel. "Not everything should be remake or rebooted. Sometimes you have to know what to change and what to leave the same."
Leaving “Idol.” Ellen DeGeneres is leaving as a judge of the hit talent competition after one season. "A couple months ago, I let Fox and the 'American Idol' producers know that this didn't feel like the right fit for me," DeGeneres said. "I told them I wouldn't leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next. She said it was a difficult decision, and blamed the heavy work scheduled, but also admitted: "While I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings."
Sara Gilbert quietly came out of the closet during a press conference at the Television Critics Association in Los Angeles, according to Entertainment Weekly. Now 35, the former Roseanne actress and executive producer/co-host of upcoming talk show "The Talk" has two children with TV producer Allison Adler, but has declined to discuss her private life in the past.
Butch Patrick – kid actor of the 1960’s series “The Munsters” is set to marry. The former child star, who played the son of the monster family in the 1960s TV show, originally began corresponding with Donna McCall when "The Munsters" became a big hit in the U.S. and she would send fan mail to him. The pair lost touch for decades but McCall reconnected with Patrick a few years ago and they agreed to meet for the first time at DraculaCon II in Pennsylvania earlier this year. They embarked on a whirlwind romance and McCall, a former cheerleader for American football team the Philadelphia Eagles, recently accepted Patrick's marriage proposal.
Leonardo DiCaprio has reportedly pulled out of Mel Gibson's latest movie project in a bid to distance himself from the scandal-prone actor. According to entertainment website RadarOnline.com, DiCaprio told sources there was "not a chance" that he would still take part in Gibson's upcoming film, believed to be about the Vikings. While DiCaprio is riding the wave of recent successes, including his box office smash hits Inception and Shutter Island, Gibson has been embroiled in a bitter custody battle with the mother of his child and ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.
Music News - July 22, 2010 -
Police say rapper Foxy Brown has been arrested in New York City for allegedly violating an order of protection. A police spokesman said he had no details on the arrest Wednesday in Brooklyn. A report said Brown got into an altercation with her neighbor Arlene Raymond, during which curses and name-calling allegedly ensued. Brown was later booked at New York's 77th precinct and released on bail.
Katy Perry - hot on the summer charts with "California Gurls" - has a new and nude album coming out August 24. Look for a lot of Katy on the cover of "Teenage Dream" on August 24.
Justin Bieber will guest star in the upcoming season of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” CBS said in a statement Thursday that Bieber will play "a troubled teen who is faced with a terrible decision regarding his only brother." He'll make his "CSI" debut on the season premiere scheduled for Sept. 23. The network didn't say how many episodes will include the 16-year-old teen pop sensation, but called his character's plot line "an emotional story that will conclude later in the season."
Taylor Swift has revealed her third album, "Speak Now," will be a "conceptual" album with each song being "a different confession to a different person." Speaking to her fans via a live web chat Tuesday, the singer said the album's title "pertains to the album concept, and as an entire theme of the record, more than I can ever tell you."
Singer Al Jarreau was in intensive care in a French hospital Friday (July 23) after running into breathing problems in the Alps that forced him to cancel at least four concerts. However, a note on his official Web site said the 70-year-old Jarreau was in "good spirits" and "looking forward to getting back out on the road." The note said he would perform in Nuremburg, Germany, next Thursday as scheduled.
The Kings of Leon were forced to abandon a concert in St. Louis on Friday night after they became targets for pooping pigeons. The "Sex on Fire" group attempted to play on as the birds let the bandmates know what they though of their music, but when bassist Jared Followill was hit in the face three songs into the set, the act left the stage at the Verizon Amphitheater. A spokesman for the band's management says, "It was disgusting and it's a toxic health hazard. They (band) really tried to hang in there."
Elton John disparages those music acts that have boycotted Arizona - Acts including Rage Against the Machine, Kanye West and Maroon 5 are all refusing to perform in the state until officials reverse the legislation, which gives Arizona police the power to arrest anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant. But John has refused to join the protest - and he reportedly slammed the campaigners during a concert at the Tucson Arena in Arizona on Thursday.According to the Arizona Daily Star, John told the crowd of 8,800: "We are all very pleased to be playing in Arizona. I have read that some of the artists won't come here. They are f**kwits! Let's face it: I still play in California, and as a gay man I have no legal rights whatsoever. So what the (expletive is) with these people?"
Paris Hilton is preparing to release her as-yet-untitled album, a follow up to her 2006 debut, "Paris." And the star insists she has taken inspiration from "Spinning Around" hitmaker Minogue in the hope her second release will be a bigger hit with fans. She tells Britain's Heat magazine, "My record is in production now. I recently finished recording it. It's very like dance, club music.
Imprisoned Phil Spector’s wife, an aspiring singer who just turned 30, is dividing her time between prison visits and promoting her new album, for which he is listed as the producer. For Rachelle, there has been a whirl of clubs, red-carpet openings, travel, interviews and recording sessions, all happily reported on her Facebook page. For Phil, there is life in a tiny cell at a prison in Corcoran, Calif., where he lives on hope that his appeal will be granted and he will get a new trial. He was sentenced to 19-years-to-life behind bars. Spector is 70.
Top Movies - July 22, 2010 -
Salt (1st week - $36 million)
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Toy Story 3
Ramona and Beezus (1st week $7.8 million)
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
The Last Airbender
Top Music Albums July 22, 2010 –
Recovery – Eminem
100 Miles From Memphis – Sheryl Crow
Teflon Don – Rick Ross
Kidz Bop 18
Thank Me Later – Drake
My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber
Jonas L.A. – Jonas Brothers
The Fame – Lady Gaga
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
Raymond V. Raymond – Usher
Korn III – Korn
The Foundation – Zac Brown Band
To The Sea – Jack Johnson
Euphoria – Enrique Igleseias
Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty – Big Boi
Euphoria – Enrique Iglesias
Judge Jerrod & The Hung Jury – Jerrod Niemann
Live At the Troubadour – Carole King & James Taylor
The E.N.D. – The Black Eyed Peas
Can’t Be Tamed – Miley Cyrus
Symphonicities – Sting
Mojo – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
The Fame Monster – Lady Gag
Scream – Ozzy Osbourne
Revolution – Miranda Lambert
Listening Boot: 1970 – Marc Cohn
TV listings/TV Guide - July 22, 2010 -
Friday Night TV
8:00 to 9:00
MNT: 'WWE Friday Night SmackDown!'
NBC: 'Friday Night Lights'
PBS: 'Washington Week with Gwen Ifill' and 'Need to Know'
CMT: 'The Singing Bee'
Discovery Health: 'The Science of Sex Appeal' -- Two hours
Disney: 'The Suite Life on Deck' and 'The Wizards of Waverly Place'
DIY: 'Man Caves'
Green TV: 'Coastwatch'
HGTV: 'The Outdoor Room With Jamie Durie'
9:00 to 10:00
NBC: 'Dateline' -- Two hours
Animal Planet: 'Whale Wars'
CMT: 'Your Chance to Dance'
History: 'Modern Marvels Essentials'* -- A spin-off of 'Modern Marvels' featuring essential technology.
Discovery: 'Man, Woman, Wild'
Disney: 'Phineas and Ferb'
NatGeo: 'Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr'
TLC: 'Say Yes to the Dress'** and 'Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta'*
10:00 to 11:00
Discovery: 'Dual Survival'
Discovery Health: 'Cybersex Addiction'
DIY: 'DIY Dominator'* and 'Indoors Out'
E!: 'The Soup'
IFC: 'The Whitest Kids U'Know'
NatGeo: 'The Truth Behind the Devil's Bible'
NatGeo WILD: 'Croc Ganglands'
Nick: 'Glen Martin, DDS' -- 10:30 start
Science Channel: 'How Do They Do It?'
Starz: 'The Pillars of the Earth'
TLC: 'DC Cupacakes' -- Two episodes
truTV: 'Forensic Files'
'Charlie Rose' (PBS): David Rubenstein; Richard Stengel & Joe Klein
'The Mo'Nique Show' (BET): Damien Marley; Nas (repeat)
'Chelsea Lately' (E!): Arsenio Hall
'Late Show With David Letterman' (CBS): Madonna; performance by Harry Connick Jr.
'The Tonight Show' (NBC): Actress Gabourey Sidib
'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (ABC): Adam Carolla; 5-year-old baseball player Ariel Antigua; performance by Raheem DeVaughn (repeat)
'Tavis Smiley' (PBS): Richard Dreyfuss (repeat)
'The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson' (CBS): Mary Lynn Rajskub; actor Christopher Gorham
'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' (NBC): Paul Rudd; actress Jordana Spiro; performance by Green Day
'Last Call With Carson Daly' (NBC): Author Paul Rieckhoff; musical group Bad Religion; performance by The Raveonettes (repeat)