Dateline: Week Of June 8, 2010 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Joran van der Sloot confessed to the slaying of a 21-year-old woman in a Lima hotel room, a high-ranking Peruvian government official told NBC News on Monday. According to La Republica newspaper, van der Sloot said he broke Stephany Flores' neck after she grabbed his laptop without his permission and found out that he was involved in the disappearance of an American woman. The paper quoted van der Sloot as saying, "I did not want to do it. The girl intruded into my private life... she didn't have any right.
Elections - The message from voters Tuesday night: “establishment and special interests beware” and “we demand to be heard.” Wins for outsiders Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman, centrist Blanche Lincoln, and Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle—plus a runoff for Nikki Haley—are a clear sign of voter desire to shake up the good old boy network.
Afghanistan's former intelligence chief is warning that President Hamid Karzai's strategy of seeking reconciliation with the Taliban is dangerous for the country. Amrullah Saleh said that despite the president's conciliatory approach, insurgents were showing no sign of compromise and only responding with "violence, destruction and intimidation."
Regulators on Thursday put in place new rules aimed at preventing a repeat of last month's harrowing "flash crash" in the stock market. Members of the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the rules, which call for U.S. stock exchanges to briefly halt trading of some stocks that make large swings. The exchanges will start putting the trading breaks into effect as early as Friday for six months.
Battling The Enemy - US special operations forces have nearly tripled in Afghanistan in the past year and have captured or killed 121 Taliban leaders, the commander of NATO forces in the Afghan war said this week. The special forces -- elite, highly-trained units -- increasingly work in cooperation with Afghan troops and government authorities are briefed in advance of operations, General Stanley McChrystal told reporters in Brussels.
Law enforcement agencies have arrested more than 2,000 people in a 22-month investigation targeting Mexican drug trafficking organizations in the United States. The probe, called Project Deliverance, focused on the transportation of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and marijuana along the Southwest border. Over 400 of the 2,000 arrests were made Wednesday. Attorney General Eric Holder has scheduled a news conference on the operation Thursday.
Mobs of armed men torched Uzbek neighborhoods in southern Kyrgyzstan on Friday in ethnic clashes that officials said left at least 37 people dead and over 500 wounded. A state of emergency was declared in the Central Asian nation that hosts U.S. and Russian military bases.
Deadly flash floods triggered by up to a half-foot of rain swamped campgrounds in southwestern Arkansas, drowning at least 19 people that may have included children, officials said. Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said he did not know if those killed early Friday were campers or area residents. He said officials were moving in a refrigerated truck to set up as a temporary morgue.
Not Lost Afterall - Abby Sunderland – the 16-year-old sailor on a round-the-world journey was adrift in the frigid southern Indian Ocean on Friday as rescue boats headed toward her yacht, damaged by 30-foot waves that knocked out her communications and prompted her to set off a distress signal. After 20 hours of silence, a search plane launched from Australia's west coast made radio contact with Abby Sunderland on Friday.
Gulf Oil Spill News Update - June 8, 2010 -
Oil spill update – The oil spill plaguing the Gulf of Mexico is washing ashore with little pattern, slathering some areas in a tarry mess while leaving others unscathed, and officials confirmed Tuesday that plumes of oil are also lurking in the deep. Test have confirmed underwater plumes dozens of miles from the broken wellhead off Louisiana that's been gushing oil since late April, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco said in Washington. A University of South Florida research vessel confirmed oil as far as 3,300 feet below the surface 42 miles northeast of the site and 142 miles southeast, Lubchenco said at a briefing, joined by Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who's monitoring the spill response for the government.
BP considering burning excess oil - Equipment collecting the oil and bringing it to the surface is believed to be nearing its daily processing capacity. A floating platform could be the solution to process most of the flow, BP said. To burn it, the BP is preparing to use a device called an EverGreen Burner, officials said. It turns a flow of oil and gas into a vapor that is pushed out its 12 nozzles and burned without creating visible smoke.
The Obama administration says BP has agreed to expedite the payment of claims to businesses and individuals whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Tracy Wareing (WEHR'-ing), who is with the National Incident Command office, told reporters in Washington that the understanding on payment of claims came in a meeting Wednesday with BP executives, including CEO Tony Hayward.
BP Trying PR Ploy - buys top rankings in Google search - Now, the latest media misstep, according to media watchdogs and industry experts: the company has been buying up the top Internet search terms such as “oil spill” or “BP” – a move that places its corporate website at the top of search results pages. “At minimum, this is in extremely poor taste in the midst of such a disaster,” says Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy. But more important, she says, “it’s highly likely” that the average Internet user doing a search on any of the key terms associated with this spill would mistake the paid link for a genuine source of real information. “Most people assume when you do a search that the things that appear front and center are in some sense the most important,” says Fordham University media maven Paul Levinson. “The average person searching online isn’t aware of the fact that there are ways to manipulate the way things come up in searches,” he adds. The author of “New New Media” says he has never been comfortable with the idea that information placement was for sale on the Internet, adding, “Google ought to rethink its policy.”
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has brought out thousands of people who just want to help — though there isn't much for them to do unless they own a Hazmat suit. Directors of charities and BP PLC — the company responsible for cleaning up the spill unleashed after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded April 20 — say the outpouring has been huge among people with vivid memories of Hurricane Katrina five years ago. However, cleaning oiled birds and tar-stained beaches isn't as straightforward as clearing rubble. In many cases, it's been difficult to find enough work for all the volunteers.
Passing - Jack Harrison, who survived the Great Escape plot by Allied prisoners in a German prison in World War II, has died at age 97, his family said. Harrison died Friday at Erskine veterans' home in Bishopton, Scotland. As one of the camp's gardeners, Harrison helped dispose of the dirt excavated from three escape tunnels. He was 98th on the list of some 200 inmates designated to make the escape on March 24, 1944, but only 76 got away before guards detected the breakout and raised the alarm.
Sports News - June 8, 2010 -
The Stanley Cup Is In Chicago - The Blackhawks, beat the Philadelphia Flyers – and bring the Stanley Cup back to Chicago after 49 years. Fans were gearing up for Friday's ticker-tape parade, snapping up championship T-shirts, flags, pins and hats as the city prepared for an onslaught of happy supporters expected downtown to greet the triumphant team.
NBA Playoffs – Boston Celtics lose this one - The Los Angeles Lakers come out of Game 3 on Tuesday night with a 91-84 victory to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Game 4 is a different story as the Celtics win – 96-89. Series is tied 2-2.
Game 5 – The Boson Celtics beat the Lakers – 92-86. Game 6 goes back to Los Angeles.
NASCAR – Danny Hamlin wins again – this time in Michigan.
Disney Is Shutting Down… most of its ESPN Zone restaurants. The only outlets that will stay open are the ones that are directly tied to a Disney property, like the one in the Downtown Disney shopping district in Anaheim.
Technology News - June 8, 2010 -
At the annual video game extravaganza Electronic Entertainment Expo, Microsoft officially introduced the world to a device that lets game players control their video games using only their bodies. Microsoft has been calling the motion control system — which works with the Xbox 360 — by the code name Project Natal. But on Sunday night, a troupe of Cirque du Soleil performers put on a glitzy show that not only revealed the new device’s official name — Kinect — but also showed off some of the games consumers will be able to play after it launches later this year.
A smaller, lighter and thinner Xbox was unveiled Monday by Microsoft. The game console has a 250-gigabyte hard drive as well as built in Wi-Fi, and will sell for the same price as the current Xbox 360 Elite model — $299. The new model should be in stores by the end of this week. (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)
Interesting stat - A recent study has revealed that gay guys tend to be thinner than the straight men whereas lesbian women tend to be heavier than the heterosexuals. According to a report issued in the American Journal of public health, Boston researchers concluded that gay men are 50% less likely to be obese than the straight men while lesbian women are twice as likely to get fat.
DVD rental service Netflix jumped on the iPhone wagon by announcing it would release a free application this summer for the popular Apple Inc handset. Netflix shares rose 2.5 pct before paring gains to trade at $110.14, up 0.33 percent, after announcing the application at an Apple conference where the technology company was widely expected to introduce its latest iPhone.
Fast food giant Mc Donald’s is recalling 12 million of its new “Shrek Forever After” glass collection because dangerous levels of cadmium were detected in the paint. Cadium can damage vital organs including the brain and nervous system. The 16-ounce glasses sold for about $2 apiece and came in four designs, which featured the movie's main characters. McDonald’s will pay you back $3 per glass – a nice bonus.
Fascinating Facts - June 8, 2010 -
The eldest daughter of Al and Tipper Gore, Karenna, has been separated from her husband, Andrew Schiff, for a couple months. Two friends of the family who spoke on condition of anonymity say the couple is seeking counseling. The former vice president and Tipper Gore announced just last week that they were separating amicably after 40 years of marriage.
World’s oldest shoe - A 5,500 year old shoe, the oldest leather shoe in the world, was discovered by a team of international archaeologists and their findings will publish on June 9th in the online scientific journal PLoS ONE. The cow-hide shoe dates back to ~ 3,500 BC (the Chalcolithic period) and is in perfect condition. It was made of a single piece of leather and was shaped to fit the wearer's foot. It contained grass, although the archaeologists were uncertain as to whether this was to keep the foot warm or to maintain the shape of the shoe.
Goodguy - Simon Cowell made one 5-year-old's singing dream come true - just days before she died. According to London’s Daily Mail, Bethany Fenton, 5, was able to sing for the former "Idol" judge on Saturday at the "Britain's Got Talent" finals, where he is also is a judge. "Simon let me sing 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' to him. He's so nice and I love him," Bethany told the Daily Mail following her performance. Only four days after her dream performance came true, Bethany reportedly died following complications from a brain tumor. She was previously diagnosed with an anaplastic astrocytoma brain tumor - which was inoperable. She reportedly died in the arms of her mother, Jemma, and father, Sean.
The fourth installment of the Twilight series – “Twilight: Breaking Dawn” will be presented in two parts. The 900 page book by Stephenie Meyer has enough meat and both parts will be shot back to back this fall. And both will be directed by Bill Condon who has “Dreamgirls” and “Kinsey” to his movie credits. The third Twilight feature, “Twilight: Eclipse” will be hitting theaters on June 30. With the phenomenal success of the last two movies, one can prepare for yet another grand opening.
Burger King launched campaign this summer with its barbecue pork ribs. With a price tag north of $7 - demand is strong as BK has just sold its 10 millionth rib and says its supply could run out by the end of June.. We have no doubt that somehow, Burger King will fix the problem.
Jenny McCarthy is set to follow in the footsteps of talk show queen Oprah Winfrey after signing a deal to develop her own TV series with the media mogul. The Playboy model-turned-actress has landed a development deal with Winfrey's Harpo Productions. It could be another talk show – let’s see.
Music News - June 8, 2010 -
The latest album from Eminem, "Recovery," was leaked to the Internet late Monday and includes collaborations with Rihanna, Pink and Lil Wayne. The The album's first music video, for the single "Not Afraid," was released on June5. The controversial rapper's follow-up to his 2009 comeback album, "Relapse," is not due out until June 22.
Shania Twain's divorce from Robert "Mutt" Lange is official -- and she's reportedly getting serious with a new guy.
CMT Awards – Carrie Underwood gets multiple awards - The former "American Idol" champ won the night's top honor, video of the year for "Cowboy Casanova," and CMT performance of the year for "Temporary Home" two months after making history by winning her second Academy of Country Music Awards entertainer of the year. Lady Antebellum got group video of the year for the trio's crossover hit "Need You Now" and Miranda Lambert taking female video of the year for "White Liar," her first No.1 song. Keith Urban won male video of the year for "'Til Summer Comes Around."
The Roman Catholic Church in Scotland says singing sensation Susan Boyle will likely perform for Pope Benedict XVI on his tour of Britain later this year.A spokesman said that negotiations are still taking place, but Boyle is expected to sing at an open-air papal Mass in Glasgow's Bellahouston Park on Sept. 16. Benedict's four-day trip will be the first papal visit to Britain since Pope John Paul II in 1982.
Dr. Dre Doesn’t Dig The New Version of Death Row Records – Now called, WIDEawake Death Row Records, they released a new version of his "The Chronic," as well as a greatest hits collection, without the good doctor’s permission – so he sued. A California district court tossed his claims that Death Row's release of "The Chronic Re-Lit" violated his rights of trademark and publicity. But, the good judge allowed another claim -- that he hasn't been paid royalties since splitting from Death Row in 1996 -- to be heard. Dre argued that Death Row suggested he endorsed the new albums, particularly in the way it placed his name and likeness on the cover. Death Row countered that it didn't substantially modify the substance of "The Chronic" in any way other than giving it sonic clarity and a slightly louder volume. Dr. Dre is Andre Young.
Passing - Jimmy Dean, a country music legend for his smash hit about a workingman hero, "Big Bad John," and an entrepreneur known for his sausage brand, died on Sunday. He was 81. His wife, Donna Meade Dean, said her husband died at their Henrico County, Va., home.
Tony Awards This Week – And The Winners:
Best play: "Red."
• Best musical: "Memphis."
• Best book of a musical: "Memphis."
• Best original score (music and/or lyrics) written for the theater: "Memphis."
• Best revival of a play: "Fences."
• Best revival of a musical: "La Cage aux Folles."
• Best performance by a leading actor in a play: Denzel Washington, "Fences."
• Best performance by a leading actress in a play: Viola Davis, "Fences."
• Best performance by a leading actor in a musical: Douglas Hodge, "La Cage aux Folles."
• Best performance by a leading actress in a musical: Catherine Zeta-Jones, "A Little Night Music."
• Best performance by a featured actor in a play: Eddie Redmayne, "Red."
Best performance by a featured actress in a play: Scarlett Johansson, "A View From the Bridge."
• Best performance by a featured actor in a musical: Levi Kreis, "Million Dollar Quartet."
• Best performance by a featured actress in a musical: Katie Finneran, "Promises, Promises."
• Best direction of a play: Michael Grandage, "Red."
• Best direction of a musical: Terry Johnson, "La Cage aux Folles."
• Best choreography: Bill T. Jones, "Fela!"
• Best orchestrations: Daryl Waters and David Bryan, "Memphis."
• Best scenic design of a play: Christopher Oram, "Red."
Top Music Albums - June 8, 2010 -
To The Sea – Jack Johnson… Glee: The Music, Volume 3… My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber… Raymond V Raymond – Usher… Need You Now – Lady Antebellum…The Fame – Lady Gaga…Tried and True – Clay Aiken
Live at the Troubadour – Carole King & James Taylor…
Rokstarr – Taio CruzThe Oracle – Godsmack… Animal – Ke$ha… Now 33 – Various artists… The Foundation –Zac Brown Band… B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray… Stone Temple Pilots… Brothers – The Black Keys… The E.N.D. – The Black Eyed Peas… The Fame Monster – Lady Gaga…Distant Relatives – Nas & Damian Marley… Iron Man 2 – soundtrack… My World – Justin Bieber…Exile on Main St. – The Rolling Stones… Revolution – Miranda Lambert…Play On – Carrie Underwood…Fearless – Taylor Swift ... Iconos – Marc Anthony…The Element of Freedom – Alicia Keys…Crazy Love – Michael Bubple…Battle of the Sexes – Ludacris
TV listings/TV Guide - June 8, 2010 -
Sunday Night TV -
7:00 to 8:00
ABC: 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' and 'NBA Countdown'
CBS: '60 Minutes'
FOX: 'Til Death' and 'Sons of Tucson'
NBC: 'Dateline NBC'
DIY: 'Cool Tools' -- Highlights from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas
8:00 to 9:00
ABC: NBA Finals -- Game 5
CBS: 'The 64th Annual Tony Awards' -- Three hours
BET: 'Sunday Best'
Cartoon Network: 'Unnatural History'*
Disney: 'Sonny With a Chance' and 'Good Luck Charlie'
Food Network: 'Food Network Challenge'
HGTV: 'House Hunters' and 'House Hunters International'
9:00 to 10:00
Discovery: 'Wonders of the World'
Cooking Channel: 'Food(ography)
Food Network: 'The Next Food Network Star'
Green TV: The Hottest Place on Earth'
HBO: 'True Blood'*
History: 'Ice Road Truckers'
Lifetime: 'Drop Dead Diva'
Showtime: 'The Tudors'
TLC: 'Extreme Poodles'
VH1: 'Behind the Music' -- Profile on Christina Aguilera
10:00 to 11:00
AMC: 'Breaking Bad'** -- Two hours
Cooking Channel: 'Drink Up' -- 10:30 start
Discovery: 'Atlas 4D'
E!: 'Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami'* and 'Holly's World'*
Food Network: 'Cupcake Wars'*
History: 'Top Shot'
Lifetime: 'Army Wives'
MTV: 'Storytellers' -- Performance by Christina Aguilera. Wha? Music on MTV? Also airs on VH1 at the same time.
NatGeo: 'Expedition Great White'
We: 'My Fair Wedding With David Tutera'
AMC: 'Rubicon' -- Special preview
HGTV: 'Color Splash: Miami'*
At the movies this week in 2010 –
The Karate Kid - (1st week - $56 million)
The A-Team (1st week - $26 million)
Shrek Forever After
Get Him to the Greek
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Sex and the City 2
Iron Man 2