Dateline: Week Of June 22, 2010 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Sales of previously occupied homes dipped 2.2 percent in May, signaling that a boost from home-buying tax credits is fading sooner than expected. Last month's sales fell from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.66 million, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. Analysts who had expected sales to rise expressed concern that the real estate market could tumble once the benefit of the federal incentives is gone entirely, starting next month. Sales have climbed 25 percent from the 4.5 million annual rate hit in January 2009 — the lowest level of the recession. But they're still down 22 percent from the peak rate of 7.25 million in September 2005.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who publicly apologized Tuesday for using "poor judgment" in an interview in Rolling Stone magazine, has been ordered to attend the monthly White House meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan in person Wednesday rather than over a secure video teleconference, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. He'll be expected to explain his comments to Obama and top Pentagon officials, these officials said.
President Barack Obama sacked his loose-lipped Afghanistan commander Wednesday, a seismic shift for the military order in wartime, and chose the familiar, admired — and tightly disciplined — Gen. David Patraeus to replace him. Petraeus, architect of the Iraq war turnaround, was once again to take hands-on leadership of a troubled war effort. Obama said bluntly that Gen. Stanley McChrystal's scornful remarks about administration officials represent conduct that "undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system.
A woman who detonated explosives hidden under her burqa in Afghanistan — killing two U.S. soldiers Monday and injuring more than a dozen bystanders — was the first female suicide bomber in Afghanistan. Suicide attacks were taboo in Afghanistan until fairly recently.
A magnitude-5.0 earthquake struck at the Ontario-Quebec border region of Canada on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, and homes and businesses were shaken from Canada's capital in Ottawa on south to an arc of U.S. states. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. The midday quake was felt in Canada and in a number of U.S. states, including Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York.
Five American students were on Thursday sentenced to 10 years in jail for contacting militants online and plotting attacks by a court in Pakistan, fighting its own battle with Islamist radicals. The students, in their 20s, were detained in December in Pakistan's central city of Sargodha, 190 km (120 miles) southeast of Islamabad. Deputy Prosecutor Rana Bakhtiar said the men were convicted on two counts each, with one carrying a 10-year sentence and the other carrying five years, to be served concurrently. They were also fined a total of 70,000 rupees ($820).
President Barack Obama declared victory Friday after congressional negotiators reached a dawn agreement on a sweeping overhaul of rules overseeing Wall Street. Lawmakers shook hands on the compromise legislation at 5:39 a.m. after Obama administration officials helped broker a deal that cracked the last impediment to the bill -- a proposal to force banks to spin off their lucrative derivatives trading business. The legislation touches on an exhaustive range of financial transactions, from a debit card swipe at a supermarket to the most complex securities deals cut in downtown Manhattan.
Businesses and governments are likely to reduce spending in the second half of the year. Consumers, who drive most economic growth, aren't expected to take up the slack. The Commerce Department said Friday that the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.7 percent in the first quarter, offering its third and final estimate for the period. It was slower than initially thought because consumers spent less and imports rose faster that previously calculated.
Kellogg Co. is voluntarily recalling about 28 million boxes of Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, Froot Loops and Honey Smacks cereals, saying a "waxy" smell and flavor coming from the package liners could make people sick, the company said Friday. Kellogg spokeswoman J. Adaire Putnam said about 20 people complained about the smell, including five who reported nausea and vomiting. The company said the potential for serious health problems associated with the cereal is low.
More News - June 22, 2010 -
Former Vice-President Dick Cheney, who has had five heart attacks in 32 years, was admitted to a Washington hospital for tests on Friday after he felt ill, according to a statement issued by his office. Cheney, 69, who was vice-president under President George W. Bush, did not feel well and went to his doctors’ offices, the statement said. "On the advice of his physicians, he was admitted to the (George Washington University) hospital for further testing. He is expected to remain in the hospital over the weekend," according to the statement. Cheney, who has a long history of heart problems, suffered his fifth heart attack in 32 years in February. He also suffered heart attacks in 1978, 1984, 1988 and 2000.
Police made more than 400 arrests after black-clad demonstrators broke off from a crowd of peaceful protesters at the global economic summit and went on a rampage in downtown Toronto that lasted into the early morning hours, authorities said today. The roving band of protesters torched four police cruisers and shattered shop windows with baseball bats and hammers for blocks, including at police headquarters, then shed some of their black clothes, revealing other garments, and continued their rampage.
Passing - Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, a fiery orator versed in the classics and a hard-charging power broker who steered billions of federal dollars to the state of his Depression-era upbringing, died Monday. He was 92. A spokesman for the family, Jesse Jacobs, said Byrd died peacefully at about 3 a.m. at Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Va. He had been in the hospital since late last week.
The Supreme Court held this week that Americans have the right to own a gun for self-defense anywhere they live, expanding the conservative court's embrace of gun rights since John Roberts became chief justice. By a 5-4 vote, the justices cast doubt on handgun bans in the Chicago area, but signaled that some limitations on the Constitution's "right to keep and bear arms" could survive legal challenges.
The FBI has arrested 10 people for allegedly serving for years as secret agents of Russia's intelligence organ, the SVR, with the goal of penetrating U.S. government policymaking circles. According to court papers unsealed Monday, the FBI intercepted a message from SVR headquarters, Moscow Center, to two of the defendants describing their main mission as "to search and develop ties in policymaking circles in US." Intercepted messages showed they were asked to learn about a broad swath of topics including nuclear weapons, U.S. arms control positions, Iran, White House rumors, CIA leadership turnover, the last presidential election, the Congress and political parties.
Federal officials told Arizona’s attorney general and a congresswoman Monday that 524 of the 1,200 National Guard troops headed to the U.S.-Mexico border will be deployed in the state by August or September. U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and Attorney General Terry Goddard, both Democrats, met with Obama administration officials in Tucson along with dozens of law enforcement officials and community leaders. The federal officials included John Brennan, deputy national security adviser for homeland security.
Americans, worried about jobs and the sluggish economic recovery, are having a relapse in confidence, causing a widely watched index to tumble in June and raising concerns about consumer spending in the critical months ahead.
The Conference Board, a private research group based in New York, said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index dropped almost 10 points to 52.9, down from the revised 62.7 in May. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had been expecting the reading to dip slightly to 62.8.
Gulf Oil Spill Update - June 22, 2010 -
The man in charge of a $20 billion fund to compensate people whose livelihoods have been ruined by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill headed back to the coast Tuesday to talk with officials about the claims process. Kenneth Feinberg, tapped by the White House to run the fund, has pledged to speed payments to fishermen, business owners and others who have lost money. He was set to meet with Alabama Gov. Bob Riley in Mobile on Tuesday afternoon. "We want to get these claims out quicker," he said a day earlier. "We want to get these claims out with more transparency."
The huge slick in the Gulf of Mexico dominated a meeting for oil companies on Tuesday, with the owner of the spewing rig criticizing President Barack Obama's ban on deepwater drilling and protesters interrupting a BP executive's speech. Transocean Ltd. president and CEO Steven Newman said he was concerned about the moratorium imposed by Obama, which is currently being reviewed by a U.S. federal judge. "There are things the administration could implement today that would allow the industry to go back to work tomorrow without an arbitrary six-month time limit," Newman told reporters on the sidelines of the World National Oil Companies Congress gathering in London.
A federal judge in New Orleans has blocked a six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling projects that was imposed in response to the massive Gulf oil spill. U.S. District Judte Martin Feldman in New Orleans was asked by several companies that ferry people and supplies and provide other services to offshore drilling rigs to overturn the moratorium. Feldman said in his ruling that the Interior Department failed to provide adequate reasoning for the moratorium. He says it seems to assume that because one rig failed, all companies and rigs doing deepwater drilling pose an imminent danger.
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill piled pressure on Barack Obama on Thursday as the hurricane season closed in and voters angry at his crisis management hammered the U.S. president in a poll rating. BP was able to restart one of its containment on Wednesday after a delay caused by an undersea collision of equipment, and coastal fishermen, cut off for weeks from the rich Gulf fishing grounds, were allowed back in some waters.
BP, after trial runs with the device, is ordering 32 more of Kevin Costner’s centrifuges to aid the Gulf cleanup. The actor has invested some $20 million and spent the past 15 years in developing the centrifuges. He helped found a manufacturing company, Ocean Therapy Solutions, to advance his brother's research in spill cleanup technology. In testimony before Congress this month, Costner walked through the device's operation—explaining how it spins oil-contaminated water at a rapid speed, so as to separate out the oil and capture it in a containment tank.
Susan Spicer, one of New Orleans' most prominent and highly regarded chefs, has sued BP Plc for damages to restaurants that have lost normal seafood supplies because of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Spicer, who runs the restaurant Bayona in New Orleans' French Quarter, is seeking class-action status on behalf of restaurants and others in the seafood industry that have suffered damage since the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.
BP and the Coast Guard sent oil-scooping skimming ships in the Gulf of Mexico back to shore Tuesday because nasty weather from Tropical Storm Alex churned up rough seas and powerful winds. U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Dave French said all efforts had been halted for now off the Louisiana coast. Efforts also had been halted off the coasts of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. French said workers were using the time off the water to replenish supplies and perform maintenance work on equipment
Technology News - June 22, 2011 -
The Droid X phone is here from Verizon. Chief among the features it promotes is a 4.3-inch screen, considerably bigger than the new iPhone's 3.5-inch display. It also highlights the phone's video and audio capabilities -- particularly the ability to capture and show high-definition video and play digital audio. All this – one day before Apple rolls out its iPhone 4.
Talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw tackled the subject of cyberbullying on Capitol Hill this week. "It is so out of control," said McGraw. McGraw spoke during a House Education subcommittee hearing examining safety concerns for children and teens using the internet, social networking and other technology. McGraw told the subcommittee that kids who are cyberbullied are 1.9 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. "I get tens of thousands of letters at 'The Dr. Phil Show' of kids asking for help about this," said McGraw. "It is a serious crisis -- 42 percent of kids say they have been bullied on the internet, 35 percent of kids say they have been threatened."
Seen on the Net - Ron Wayne sold his 10 percent stake in Apple for $800 just days after he helped found it. It's now worth $22 billion.
Online video site Hulu, under pressure from its media company parents to generate a profit, has launched a subscription service with access to older episodes of popular television shows. More recent episodes of the shows will remain free on Hulu's ad-supported website. But for $9.99 a month, subscribers can get the entire current season of "Glee," "The Office," "House" and other shows from broadcasters ABC, Fox and NBC, as well as all the past seasons of several series. The new site is initially available by invitation only on computers, Apple Inc.'s iPad and iPhones and certain Samsung Blu-ray players and TVs. It's coming soon to Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 and some of its TVs and Blu-ray players, and there are plans to launch on Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox early next year.
Sports News - June 22, 2010 -
Pro football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor was indicted Wednesday by a suburban New York grand jury on charges of third-degree rape and patronizing a prostitute. The indictment follows his May 6 arrest at a Holiday Inn in Ramapo, N.Y., where prosecutors say he paid a 16-year-old girl $300 to have sex with him.
Henrick Sedin, The Vancouver star, who had a league-best 83 assists, captured the Hart Trophy on Wednesday night during the NHL's awards ceremony in Las Vegas. Ovechkin, the captain of the Washington Capitals, had to settle for runner-up status after taking home the prize each of the last two years. ``It's a strange feeling.''
Five-time champion Venus Williams is ousted in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, losing 6-2, 6-3 to 82nd-ranked Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria. Sister Serena, meanwhile, stayed on course to keep the title in family hands.
Entertainment News - June 22, 2010 -
From the Hollywood Reporter –
Movie fans downloading free pirated films are no longer Hollywood's worst nightmare, but that's only because of a newer menace: cheap, and equally illegal, subscription services. Foreign, often mob-run, businesses aggregate illegally obtained movies into "cyberlockers" similar to Internet storage sites used by individual consumers to squirrel away pirated video. But the for-profit version of this phenomenon has spawned an array of sophisticated and seemingly reputable sites selling unlimited digital movie files for as little as $5 a month. "Cyberlockers now represent the preferred method by which consumers are enjoying pirated content," Paramount Pictures chief operating officer Fred Huntsberry said Monday. Huntsberry detailed the evolution of professional piracy methods for hundreds of European movie theater operators attending an opening-day seminar here at the four-day Cinema Expo. Commonly, Hollywood movies are made available via illegal for-profit sites within days of theatrical release, while the advent of global releasing now allows the proliferation of individual titles into an array of language dubs within the first month of a theatrical debut, he noted. When movies are released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, the sites upgrade the quality of video offered from camcorded images to pristine digital copies.
Lady Gaga Is A… “This woman is a jerk! I hate her," said Jerry Sienfeld during a WFAN (NY) radio interview Monday. Seinfeld took aim at Gaga, 24, after she was famously placed in his luxury box at a recent Mets game and flipped off photographers. "I can't believe they put her in my box, which I paid for!" griped Seinfeld. "You give people the finger and you get upgraded? Is that the world we're living in now?" "You take one 'A' off that and you've got 'Gag,'" he dissed, adding: "She is talented, though. I don't know why she's doing this stuff."
In A Rolling Stone Magazine article – Lady Gaga says - "If I were to ever, God forbid, get hurt onstage and my fans were screaming outside of the hospital, waiting for me to come out, I'd come out as Gaga," the blonde told the music mag, which is currently featuring her on its cover. "Michael got burned, and he lifted that glittered glove so damn high so his fans could see him, because he was in the art of show business. That's what we do." Gaga explained that she, in fact, goes so far in her quest to be a perfect pop star, that she avoids quenching her thirst while performing."I don't even drink water onstage in front of anybody, because I want them to focus on the fantasy of the music," she added. She said she just completed her latest album. "I think I'm gonna get the album title tattooed on me and put out the photo," she told the publication
Seen more and more together – Ryan Seacrest with 'Dancing With The Stars' champ Julianne Hough. He’s 35 and she’s 21.
Twilight fans have been camping out for days in Los Angeles waiting for Thursday night’s “Elipse” premiere. This chick flick is in motion!
Dr. Dre and Timbaland - rapper-producers shocked students when they appeared at a high school graduation party in Culver City, Calif. Dr. Dre introduced Timbaland, who performed the tunes "The Way I Are," "Promiscuous Girl," "Carry Out" and "Say Something" on a stage inside the school's gymnasium. Students invited had no idea the hip-hop masterminds were the guests of honor.
A free concert in New York featuring Ke$ha has been canceled amid fears the show could descend into chaos like Drake’s's recently scrapped gig in the city. The rapper was due to play a free show in conjunction with Paper magazine at Manhattan's South Street Seaport on June 15, but police officials pulled the plug on the event after overcrowding led to violent outbursts. Six people suffered minor injuries and two were arrested.
Michael Jackson's Swarovski crystal glove worn on his Victory tour sold for $190,000, while his Victory tour jacket sold for $66,000 and his Victory tour shirt sold for $56,250 at Julien's Auctions Music Icons auction at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art will display Ringo Starr's gold-plated snare drum in a special exhibition honoring his 70th birthday.The museum said Tuesday the drum will be shown from July 7 — Starr's birthday — through December. The instrument was presented to the drummer by the Ludwig Drum Company in Chicago during the Beatles' 1964 U.S. tour. It was given to him in appreciation for popularizing the Ludwig name. Starr played on a Ludwig oyster black pearl drum set during the Fab Fours' 1964 appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
PREMIERE RADIO NETWORKS and FOX NEWS CHANNEL's GLENN BECK has another #1 bestseller with the debut of his novel "The Overton Window," at the top of the NEW YORK TIMES adult fiction bestseller list with the JULY 4th issue. That gives BECK six consecutive #1 bestsellers on the TIMES lists. BECK said, "I am extremely grateful to my audience and thriller fans for responding so well to 'The Overton Window.'" BECK's publisher SIMON & SCHUSTER says that BECK is the only author in history to ever top all of the NEW YORK TIMES hardcover fiction, hardcover nonfiction, nonfiction paperback and children's picture book lists.
Television News - June 22, 2010 -
CNN is pairing former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and conservative columnist Kathleen Parker for a combative new prime-time program it insists won't be the second coming of "Crossfire." The network is hoping for twin comebacks: for its own struggling nightly lineup and for the former Democratic governor who resigned in disgrace following a prostitution scandal. The new show will replace one hosted by Campbell Brown at 8 p.m. EDT, going against Bill O'Reilly at Fox News Channel and Keith Olbermann at MSNBC, the top personalities at CNN's competitors.
FOX News Channel’s Jane Skinner announces that she would be stepping down from her position as co-anchor of the top rated daytime news program. In making the announcement at the conclusion of today’s show, Skinner said, "It's been a thrill to have been a part of FNC's success over the past 12 years…”
Daytime Emmy Awards solutes to Dick Clark. In paying tribute Sunday night to Bandstand, Tony Orlando, Chubby Checker and Marie Osmond preformed hits once played on the variety show, which Clark hosted from 1957 until 1989. "Without Bandstand, without Dick, there would be no “American Idol” said Simon Cowell, who recently ended his Idol judgeship.
Former "Melrose Place" original cast member Amy Locane has been charged with second-degree vehicular homicide for allegedly causing a fatal crash before being arrested for suspicion of DWI Sunday night in Montgomery, N.J.
Oprah Winfrey, the Queen of all Media takes back her crown on Forbes' annual ranking of the world's ultra-famous. Winfrey earned $315 million over the past 12 months.
Larry King, the longtime host of “Larry King Live” announced he's ending his primetime show after 25 years on air. An individual at CNN told TheWrap that King will continue doing his show until November. King signed a new contract with the network to produce quarterly specials once “Larry King Live" ends its run. One CNN insider said that turmoil in Larry King's personal life led to the decision. "What brought this to a head was his messy personal life, and he's old -- it's too much."
Police say Motley Crue singer Vince Neil was arrested in Las Vegas on a drunken driving charge. The 49-year-old rocker was being held at the Clark County jail pending a court appearance after his arrest early Monday. It wasn't immediately clear if Neil had an attorney.
Katy Perry has broken radio records in the U.S. -- stations can't get enough of her "California Gurls." The summer pop anthem currently holds the top spot in charts around the globe, including the U.S. and U.K. According to Billboard.com, the summer pop anthem, which has been topping charts internationally, logged 11,816 plays among the survey's 132 panelists for the week ending on June 27. That's an average of 90 plays per station. That passes Ke$ha's 11,224 plays of "TiK ToK" in February. Lady Gaga is third on the radio-play record list with 10,859 weekly plays for Bad Romance earlier this year.
Just after two months, actress Sandra Bullock after filing papers and adopting a son, a judge legally ended her marriage to Jesse James. The documents were signed in Austin's Travis County Court, citing a “conflict of personalities” for the decision.
The top-10 video games of the past decade 2001-2010
The Sims from 2000
BioShock from 2007
Grand Theft Auto III from 2001
Halo from 2001
Resident Evil 4 from 2005
God of War from 2005
Guitar Hero from 2005
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion from 2006
Shadow of Colossus from 2005
World of Warcraft from 2004
Top Music Albums - June 22, 2010 -
Mojo – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Thank Me Later – Drake
Laws of Illusion – Sarah McLachlan
To The Sea – Jack Johnson
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
My World 2.0 – Justin Biever
Bionic – Christina Aguilera
Glee: The Music, Journey To Regionals
Live at the Troubadour – Carole King & James Taylor
The Foundation – Zac Brown Band
Glee: The Music Volume 3
Raymond V Raymond – Usher
American Slang – The Gaslight Anthem
The Fame – Lady Gaga
B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray
The E.N.D. – The Black Eyed Peas
Good Affiliated – Plies
Up on the Ridge – Dierks Bentley
Revolution – Miranda Lambert
Play On – Carrie Underwood
Animal – Ke$ha
Exile Main Street – The Rolling Stones
The Oracle – Godsmack
Sweet and Wild – Jewel
The Fame Monster – Lady Gaga
Something For Everybody – Devo
Iron Man 2 soundtrack
Brothers – Black Keys
Top Movies - June 22, 2010 -
Toy Story 3
Grown Ups (1st week - $41 million)
Knight and Day (1st week - $20.5 million)
The Karate Kid
Get Him to the Greek
Shrek Forever After
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
TV listings/TV Guide - June 22, 2010
Tuesday Night Television
8:00 to 9:00
FOX: 'Hell's Kitchen' -- Two hours
NBC: 'Losing It With Jillian'
ABC Family: 'Pretty Little Liars'
CURRENT: 'Cinema's Deadliest Sins'
E!: 'A Twilight Destiny' -- Preview of the latest movie
History: '10 Ways to Kill Bin Laden' -- Two hours
The rest of the schedule, and the late night talk shows, after the jump.
9:00 to 10:00
NBC: 'America's Got Talent'
Discovery: 'Deadliest Catch'
Food Network: 'Cupcake Wars'
G4: 'It's Effin' Science'
HGTV: 'Real Estate Intervention' -- 9:30 start
truTV: 'Bait Car'
10:00 to 11:00
ABC: 'Primetime: Mind Games'
NBC: 'Last Comic Standing'
BBC America: 'Ashes to Ashes'**
BET: 'Trey Songz: My Moment'
Bravo: 'Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List'
Discovery: 'After the Catch'
DIY: 'Indoors Out'
Food Network: 'Chopped'
FX: 'Rescue Me'*
HGTV: 'House Hunters International' -- 10:30 start
IFC: 'Food Party' and 'Dinner With the Band'
MTV: 'The Hills' and 'The City'
Oxygen: 'Jersey Couture'
Spike: 'Deadliest Warrior'
SyFy: 'WWE NXT'
TNT: 'Memphis Beat'
TLC: 'The Little Couple'
USA: 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'
We: 'Women Behind Bars'
Bravo: 'Double Exposure'
FX: 'Louie'* -- Two episodes
MTV: 'Downtown Girls'
And now, the late night talk shows. Scheduled guests can change without notice.
NOTE: All NBC shows will start 20 minutes later than their scheduled time due to Wimbledon coverage.
'The Mo'Nique Show' (BET): Rappers Xzibit, Soulja Boy Tell 'Em and Roscoe Dash (repeat)
'The Daily Show' (Comedy Central): Helen Mirren
'Charlie Rose' (PBS): This week's congressional confirmation hearings is discussed
'Chelsea Lately' (E!): Bryce Dallas Howard
'Lopez Tonight' (TBS): Salma Hayek; Comic Charlie Bewley and Boobo Stewart
'Late Show With David Letterman' (CBS): Dolly Parton; journalist Jonathan Alter
'The Colbert Report' (Comedy): Mayor of San Antonio John Castro
'The Tonight Show' (NBC): Betty White; animal handler Jarod Miller; performance by Macy Gray (repeat)
'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (ABC): Kevin James; actress Nikki Reed; performance by The Dream
'Tavis Smiley' (PBS): Author Bret Easton Ellis; musician Mindi Abair
'The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson' (CBS): Carl Reiner; actress Rebecca Mader; performance by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' (NBC): Matthew Fox; Jane Lynch; performance by Ray Wylie Hubbard (repeat)
'Last Call With Carson Daly' (NBC): Erika Christensen; performance by The Raveonettes (repeat)