Dateline: Week Of June 1, 2010 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Flooding and landslides from the season's first tropical storm have killed at least 150 people and made thousands homeless in Central America, officials said.Dozens of people were missing and emergency crews struggled to reach isolated communities cut off by washed-out roads and collapsed bridges caused by Tropical Storm Agatha.
Al-Qaida’s third in command - a co-founder of the terror network — has been killed in Pakistan's border area with Afghanistan, according to a statement attributed to the group that was posted on Islamist websites Monday. The statement did not say how Egyptian-born Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, who was also known as Sheik Sa'id al-Masri, was killed nor did it identify a successor. Al-Yazid was al-Qaida's financial director and ran its operations in Afghanistan.
The U.N. Security Council called early Tuesday for an "impartial" investigation of Israel's deadly commando raid on ships taking humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and condemned the "acts" that resulted in the loss of at least nine lives. After an emergency meeting and marathon negotiations that lasted nearly 12 hours, the 15 council members finally agreed on a presidential statement. It was weaker than what was initially demanded by the Palestinians, Arabs and Turkey because of objections by the United States, Israel's closest ally.
Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, are separating after 40 years of marriage. According to an e-mailed statement obtained by The Associated Press , the Gores said it was "a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration."
Embattled Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama resigned Wednesday to improve his party's chances in an election next month, after his popularity plunged over his broken campaign promise to move a U.S. Marine base.
Taliban militants launched a suicide attack on Afghanistan's national peace conference Wednesday as President Hamid Karzai interrupted his opening remarks to reassure nervous delegates hearing the thump of rockets and rattle of gunfire outside. No delegates were harmed but at least two attackers were killed in fighting with Afghan security forces near the giant tent erected for the three-day gathering, officials said.
A taxi driver described as "friends with everybody" went on a shooting spree across the scenc Lake District of northwestern England on Wednesday, police said, killing 12 people and wounding 25 others before shooting himself. The rampage in Cumbria was the deadliest mass shooting since 1996 in Britain, where gun ownership is tightly restricted and handguns are banned.
A gunman shot and killed four women at a South Florida restaurant and wounded three others before killing himself, police said Monday. Sunday night's rampage began in a parking lot outside the Yoyito Restaurant in Hialeah, where the man was seen arguing with a woman.
Veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas is retiring in the wake of controversial comments she made about Israel. Hearst News Service, for which Thomas is a columnist, reported her retirement announcement Monday. Thomas has apologized for the comments, which were captured on video by an interviewer for the website “RabbiLIVE” On the May 27 video, Thomas says Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine," suggesting they go to Germany, Poland or the U.S.
Chrysler is recalling almost 600,000 minivans and Jeep Wranglers in the United States and another 100,000 elsewhere because of brake or wiring problems that could create safety issues, the company and federal regulators said Monday. Chrysler said it is recalling 288,968 Jeep Wranglers from the 2006 through 2010 model years due to a potential brake fluid leak.
Bank of America will pay $108 million to settle federal charges that Countrywide Financial Corp., which it acquired nearly two years ago, collected outsized fees from borrowers facing foreclosure. It's the latest evidence of misconduct at Countrywide, once an industry giant that has since fallen. Last year, three top executives, including former CEO Angelo Mozilo, were charged with civil fraud and insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The settlement, which seeks to refund money to about 200,000 borrowers, was announced Monday by the Federal Trade Commission. It is the largest mortgage industry settlement for the agency.
A self-described hit man who once told police "I kill people for money" pleaded guilty Monday to eight murders, including the contract killing of a Detroit police officer’s wife. Vincent Smothers pleaded guilty to eight counts of second-degree murder and a gun charge in exchange for a minimum sentence of 52 years in prison. With credit for time served since his arrest, he could be freed when he's about 80 years old. Smothers, 29, shocked police two years ago when he confessed to the eight Detroit slayings during around-the-clock interrogations. He told investigators his hits were all related to the drug trade except for the final one, the killing of Rose Cobb on the day after Christmas in 2007.
Gulf Oil Spill News Update -
BP sliced off a pipe with giant shears Thursday in the latest bid to curtail the worst spill in U.S. history, but the cut was jagged and placing a cap over the gusher will now be more challenging, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said. BP turned to the shears after a diamond-tipped saw became stuck in the pipe halfway through the job, yet another frustrating delay in six weeks of the Gulf of Mexico spill. The cap will be lowered and sealed over the next couple of hours, Allen said. It won't be known how much oil BP can siphon to a tanker on the surface until the cap is fitted, but the irregular cut means it won't fit as snug as officials had hoped.
The federal government slapped BP with a $69 million bill Thursday to cover initial costs of responding to the largest oil spill in U.S. history. An angry President Barack Obama said he was convinced that BP has not moved quickly enough to stop the flow of oil and clean up the mess. Obama, who on Friday planned to make his second visit in a week to the battered Gulf Coast, used his strongest language to date in assailing BP.
Waves of gooey tar balls crashed into the white sands of the Florida Panhandle on Friday as BP engineers adjusted a sophisticated cap over the Gulf oil gusher, trying to collect the crude now fouling four states. Even though the inverted funnel-like device was set over the leak late Thursday, crude continued to spew into the sea in the nation's worst oil spill. Engineers hoped to close several open vents on the cap throughout the day in the latest attempt to contain the oil.
The cap on the blown-out well in the Gulf is capturing a half-million gallons a day, or anywhere from one-third to three-quarters of the oil spewing oil spewing from the bottom of the sea, officials said Monday. But the hopeful report was offset by a warning that the farflung slick has broken up into hundreds and even thousands of patches of oil that may inflict damage that could persist for years. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the government's pointman for the crisis, said the breakup has complicated the cleanup. "Dealing with the oil spill on the surface is going to go on for a couple of months," he said at a briefing in Washington. But "long-term issues of restoring the environment and the habitats and stuff will be years off.
More News - June 1, 2010 -
A Dutch man long suspected in the disappearance of an Alabama teen in Aruba was detained Thursday in Chile in the murder of a young woman in Peru, and U.S. authorities accused him of extortion. Stephany Flores, 21, was killed in a Lima hotel on Sunday, five years to the day after Natalee Holloway disappeared.The suspect, Joran van der Sloot, was taken into custody in neighboring Chile, where he traveled the day after Flores died.
Investors went back to selling stocks sharply lower Friday after the Labor Department's disappointing news that hiring remains weak. Interest rates fell sharply as investors moved their money into the safety of Treasury bonds and notes. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped nearly 240 points and briefly fell below 10,000. All the major indexes were down more than 2 percent. Losses were exacerbated by new concerns about Europe's debt problems.
Trend - Discontent with incumbents and anti-Washington anger are adding up to a potentially record-breaking crowd of congressional challengers this election year. More than 2,300 people are running for 471 House and Senate seats in the midterms. It's the highest number of candidates in at least 35 years, according to data provided to The Associated Press by the Federal Election Commission, which began tracking candidates in 1975. Frustration, particularly on the right, with President Barack Obama and his Democratic agenda appears to have contributed to the surge.
Sports News - June 1, 2010 -
Pitcher Robbed Of Perfect Game… Detroit pitcher Armando Galarraga was pitching a perfect game. That means he retired (in order) every batter he faced. No hits, no walks, nothing. 27 up and 27 down. How rare is this feat? There have been only 20 perfect games in the 100+ year history of major league baseball. (Amazingly, we’ve had two in a month). Galarraga was one out away. The batter hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield. The first baseman tossed the ball to Galarraga who was covering and on a bang-bang play the runner was out. But the umpire, Jim Joyce ruled that he was safe. Instant replay showed indisputably that the runner was out. Galarraga was robbed of the moment. Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball, was asked to reverse the call. He has that authority. He chose to let the call the stand, even though he acknowledged it was the wrong call. (Ken Levine)
Passing - John Wooden, college basketball's gentlemanly Wizard of Westwood who built one of the greatest dynasties in all of sports at UCLA and became one of the most revered coaches ever, has died. He was 99.
Technology – Monday was Quit Facebook Day, and for all intents and purposes, it was a bust. According to the group's homepage, only 34,000 users vowed to "quit Facebook" -- and remember, committing to quit and actually quitting aren't the same thing. While the debate over Facebook and privacy is far from over, those concerns are trumped by the utility of the actual service. At least for now. (thanks CNN).
A Los Angeles woman sues Google over Blackberry map directions. The woman claims that the directions obtained from Google Maps led her onto a dangerous roadway. Lauren Rosenberg alleges that the Google directions on her Blackberry mobile put her life in jeopardy as she walked into the dangerous area.
What Is Skype? (update) - The latest version of Skype for the iPhone will at last let you make Skype calls over AT&T's 3G network — meaning free voice calls for everyone, right? Not so fast, say Skype execs. Charges for free-for-now Skype-to-Skype calls are coming, and don't forget that AT&T is ditching its unlimited data plans. Version 2.0 of the Skype iPhone app came out this week, supporting the long-awaited ability to place Skype calls over AT&T's 3G data network. Under pressure from federal regulators, AT&T had actually given the green light to Skype calls last year, but the Skype app itself only worked over Wi-Fi until just now. What's so special about Skype calls over 3G? Theoretically, it means you can bypass AT&T's voice network altogether — even when you're out of Wi-Fi range — letting you place unlimited voice calls with fellow Skype users for the low price of nothing. You can also call landlines and non-Skype users worldwide (about 30 countries are included) for about 2 cents a minute. (thanks Gadget Hound).
Apple unveiled the iPhone 4, its fourth-generation cell phone, which CEO Steve Jobs introduced by joking: "Stop me if you've already seen this" — a reference to a prototype of the phone that was seen worldwide two months ago when a gadgets website obtained it. The new phone is the "biggest leap since the original iPhone," released in 2007, Jobs told the crowd at the Worldwide Development Conference in San Francisco, as he showed off the device that has video calling called "FaceTime," HD video recording and a thinner profile than previous iPhones. The iPhone 4, available June 24 in the United States, will cost $199 for a 16-gigabyte version, and $299 for a 32 GB model, with a two-year contract with AT&T, the exclusive U.S. provider.
Television News - June 1, 2010 -
The 40-year-old son of former ABC News anchor Ted Koppel was found dead in an apartment in upper Manhattan after a day of bar hopping with a man he met at a watering hole, a law enforcement official said Tuesday. Andrew Koppel was declared dead around 1:30 a.m. Monday in the apartment in the Washington Heights neighborhood, Detective John Sweeney said. The cause of death has not been determined. Koppel had been drinking heavily for hours with a man he met at a bar, according to a law enforcement official. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation into the death was not completed.
Television Passing - Rue McClanahan, the Emmy-winning actress who brought the sexually liberated Southern belle Blanche Devereaux to life on the hit TV series "The Golden Girls," has died. She was 76.
Patrick Stewart has been upgraded from captain to knight. The actor famous for playing Capt.Jean-Luc Picard on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" officially became Sir Patrick Stewart when he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday. While "Star Trek" introduced him to a different group of fans, Stewart is also a widely respected stage actor. The 69-year-old actor discovered the theater as a child, and said "my heroes were Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud, Sir Alec Guinness."Being in that company is the grandest thing that has professionally happened to me."
The Twilight Saga (New Moon) - topped the MTV Movie Awards Sunday, taking home four trophies including best movie. Robert Pattinson got three awards. The Twilight heartthrob won best male performance, global superstar and best kiss for the second year in a row with Kristen Stewart. Stewart also repeated in best female performance.
Radio News June 1, 2010 -
Rush Limbaugh marries for the fourth time. She’s Kathryn “Kate” Rogers. Elton John performed at the reception.
Music News - June 1, 2010 -
Sales figures are in for newly crowned season 9 champ Lee DeWyze’s debut single, a cover of U2’s "Beautiful Day" -- and they're way down compared to the numbers posted by past "Idol" winners. DeWyze's single sold 95,000 copies in its first week out. That's a decline of nearly 30 percent from the 134,000 sales of season 8 winner Kris Allen’s debut single "No Boundaries." And DeWyze had less than half the sales of season 7 winner David Cook’s debut, which sold 236,000 copies.
Lady Gaga “reprimanded" security guards at her concert in Britain on Wednesday night after fans were banned from dressing up as their idol.
The star was "outraged" when she heard concert-goers in costume were being refused entry to the MEN Arena in Manchester, England prior to her gig. Gaga reveals security teams were targeting fans who had pinned soda cans into their hair -- in reference to the singer's recent public appearance with Coca Cola tins wrapped into her curls.
Music passing - Marvin Isley, member of funk legends the Isley Brothers and a Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame inductee, has passed away at age 56 in Chicago. The cause of death was not immediately publicized, but Marvin Isley suffered from diabetes, which caused him to retire in 1997, after having had both legs amputated.
Canadian-born rock singer Alanis Morissette has secretly married her boyfriend, a rapper she started dating last year, she announced on Monday. The Grammy-winning musician and MC Souleye, 30, (a.k.a. Mario Treadway) tied the knot during a small ceremony at their Los Angeles home on May 22.
Top Video Games June 1, 2010
Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
UFC Undisputed 1010 (X360) (PS3)
Red Dead Redemption (X360) (PS3)
New Super Mario Bros. (Wii)
Will Sports Resort
Will Fit Plus
ModNation Racers (PS3)
Just Dance Wii
Alan Wake (X360)
Halo 3: ODST (x360)
Hot Pop Hits - June 1, 2010 -
OMG – Usher fea. will.i.am
C alifornia Girls – Katy Perry fea. Snoop Dogg
Billionaire - Travie McCoy fea. Bruno Mars
Your Love Is My Drug – Ke$ha
Airplanes – B.o.B. fea. Hayley Williams
Break Your Heart – Taio Cruz fea. Ludacris
Alejandro – Lady Gaga
Bulletproof – La Roux
Nothin’ On You – B.o.B. fea. Bruno Mars
Not Afraid – Eminem
Hey, Soul Sister – Train
Young Forever – Jay-Z + Mr. Hudson
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
Rude Boy – Rihanna
Find Your Love – Drake
Rock that Body – The Black Eyed Peas
Can’t Be Tamed – Miley Cyrus
In My Head – Jason Derulo
Poker Face – Glee Cast
My Chick Bad – Ludacris fea. Nicki Minaj
Breakeven – The Script
Telephone – Lady Gaga fea. Beyonce
Over – Drake
Undo It – Carrie Underwood
Beautiful Day – Lee DeWyze
Eenie Meenie – Sean Kingston & Justin Bieber
Impossible – Shontelle
Haven’t Met You Yet – Michael Buble
Top Movies - June 1, 2010
Shrek Forever After
Get Him to the Greek (1st week - $17.423 million)
Killers (1st week - $16.1 million)
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Sex and the City 2
Iron Man 2
Splice (1st week - $7.45 million)
Letters to Juliet