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Dateline: Week Of April 8, 2010 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts

In The News -

START treaty signed by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev… The new nuclear arms treaty that the U.S. and Russia signed Thursday in Prague may mark a historic return to arms control efforts for the world's nuclear superpowers, but the pact is more a modest step than a major leap along the road to reductions in the world's deadliest weaponry.

Justice John Paul Stevens the, the Supreme Court's oldest member and leader of its liberal bloc, is retiring. President Barack Obama now has his second high court opening to fill. Stevens said Friday he will step down when the court finishes its work for the summer in late June or early July. He said he hopes his successor is confirmed "well in advance of the commencement of the court's next term."

North Korea denounced President Barack Obama's new nuclear stance as "hostile" and vowed to continue expanding its atomic arsenal Friday as the country's rubber-stamp parliament held an annual session focused on rescuing and revitalizing the tattered economy. Obama pledged to resist using nuclear weapons against nations that comply with international nonproliferation standards — exempting North Korea and Iran from the new policy.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski and some of the country's highest military and civilian leaders died on Saturday when the presidential plane crashed as it came in for a landing in thick fog in western Russia, killing 97, officials said.

Russian and Polish officials said there were no survivors on the 26-year-old Tupolev, which was taking the president, his wife and staff to events marking the 70th anniversary of the massacre in Katyn forest of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police. The crash devastated the upper echelons of Poland's political and military establishments. On board were the army chief of staff, national bank president, deputy foreign minister, army chaplain, head of the National Security Office, deputy parliament speaker, civil rights commissioner and at least two presidential aides and three lawmakers, the Polish foreign ministry said.

W.Va. - Searchers found four bodies deep in a West Virginia coal mine shattered by an explosion, raising the death toll to 29 and ending an excruciating week for families holding onto faint hopes that their missing miners had somehow survived.

Greece Bailout Approved - Euro zone finance ministers approved a giant 30-billion-euro ($40 billion) emergency aid mechanism for debt-plagued Greece on Sunday but stressed Athens had not requested the plan be activated yet. Together with at least 10 billion euros expected from the International Monetary Fund in the first year, it could add up to the biggest multilateral financial rescue ever attempted.

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, ousted in an uprising last week, told Reuters on Sunday he would not resign and that any attempt to kill him would "drown Kyrgyzstan in blood." The leader of the new interim government, meanwhile, said Bakiyev could be put on trial for responsibility for the killings of at least 81 people during the rebellion against him. The April 7 revolt in the Central Asian nation, where the United States operates an important military base, forced Bakiyev to flee to his southern home region, locking him in a standoff with the self-proclaimed government in Bishkek.

President Barack Obama opened a 47-nation summit dedicated to keeping nuclear arms from terrorists on Monday and planned to seek momentum with China in his push for a new round of sanctions on Iran. Obama began the two-day gathering with a series of meetings with some of the world leaders gathered for the summit, one of the largest international groupings ever staged by the United States. Obama will hold talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao that should go some way toward determining whether China is prepared to join the United States, Britain, France, Russia and Germany in a fourth round of U.N. sanctions against Iran. Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful and it does not intend to build a weapon.

The body of Poland's first lady was greeted with tears and tulips after being flown home from Russia on Tuesday, and Parliament held a special observance in memory of the president and lawmakers who killed in the plane crash. Maria Kaczynska's body, in a wooden casket draped with Poland's white-and-red flag, arrived in a military CASA plane shortly after 10:30 a.m. at Warsaw's Okecie airport.

Consumer Reports has given the Lexus GX 460 SUV a rare "Don't Buy" warning, saying a problem that occurred during routine handling tests could lead to a rollover accident in real-world driving. In the latest blow to Toyota's reputation, the magazine said that during a test of the vehicle's performance during unusual turns, the rear of the vehicle slid until it was nearly sideways before the electronic stability control system kicked in.

michelle obama in haiti April 2010First Lady Michelle arrives in Haiti and reviews the area’s devastation.

China Earthquakes - A series of strong earthquakes struck a far western Tibetan area of China on Wednesday, killing at least 550 people and injuring thousands as houses made of mud and wood collapsed, trapping many more, officials said. State television channel, CCTV, quoted an emergency official, Pubucairen, as saying that the number of injured was believed to be more than 10,000. The main temblor of magnitude-6.9 struck in southern Qinghai province, near Tibet.

A cyclone packing winds of more than 100 mph (160 kph) demolished ten of thousands of mud huts in northeastern India, killing at least 85 people, officials said Wednesday.The cyclone struck Tuesday night in northeastern parts of West Bengal and Bihar states, uprooting trees and snapping telephone and electricity lines, West Bengal Civil Defense Minister Srikumar Mukherjee said. Hundreds of people were injured.

President Barack Obama's national standing has slipped to a new low after his victory on the historic health care overhaul, even in the face of growing signs of economic revival, according to the latest Associated Press-GfK poll. Just 49 percent of people now approve of the job Obama's doing overall, and less than that — 44 percent — like the way he's handled health care and the economy. Last September, Obama hit a low of 50 percent in job approval before ticking a bit higher. His high-water mark.

More News - April 8, 2010 –

McDonalds is planning to spend as much as $5 billion to remodel thousands of its restaurants during the next few years, Crain’s Chicago Business reports. These fixes will go beyond sprucing up the bathrooms or renaming menu items. “In the next five years, McDonalds’s plans to spend billions of dollars to remodel thousands of U.S. restaurants with new features such as plasma TVs, lounge chairs and electric fireplaces,” according to Crain’s. The company will also add free Wi-fi and “stone facades” to stores, and make practical improvements like widening drive-ins to two lanes. The plan is to “rebrand” McDonald’s and give it more of a coffee house feel to complement the new coffee.

Sports News - April 8, 2010 -

The brother of figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was charged with manslaughter in the death of their 70-year-old father in what prosecutors called a violent attack during a "trivial" argument over use of the family telephone, the district attorney's office said Thursday. Mark Kerrigan, 45, was indicted by a Middlesex Superior Court grand jury in the Jan. 24 death of Daniel Kerrigan. He had already been charged with assault. Since being released on bail, he has been living with his mother in the family's Stoneham home, where the alleged assault took place.

NASCAR - Kyle Busch lost his lead on a disputed restart that led to a red flag. There was the penalty on the ensuing restart that put him 20 seconds back, and a pit-road collision with his teammate on the last crucial stop. Yet, Busch still managed to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday night.

Wins the Masters at Augusta - Phil Mickelson ended a trying year by shooting a 5-under 67 for a three-stroke win over England’s Lee Westwoodand an emotional third Masters title Sunday. Tiger Woods was tied for fourth place.

Music Passing - The British agent for former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren says the music impresario has died in New York. He was 64. Les Molloy says McLaren had been suffering from cancer for some time and died Thursday. The multitalented McLaren rose to fame as the colorful manager of seminal punk band The Sex Pistols. The art college dropout is also known for his famous "Let It Rock" clothes shop he opened on London's Kings Road with Vivienne Westwood.

Technology News - April 8, 2010 - .

Apple is acknowledging complaints that its new iPad computer has trouble connecting to the Internet. And it's offering some possible solutions.

"Under certain conditions, iPad may not automatically rejoin a known Wi-Fi network after restart or waking from sleep," Apple said on its technical support site.

Apple has unveiled details of its next-generation iPhone operating system in a press event at the company's headquarters. The new operating system, iPhone OS 4, will be released to developers this week and to consumers this summer. It will give developers access to calendar, photo library, still image and video data, and includes features aimed at helping apps run faster. As expected, the new OS will support multitasking of apps.

Sweet Tweet - Every 140-character snippet of info you've ever shared publicly on Twitter will soon have a home next to the Declaration of Independence.

Twitter and the Library of Congress announced Wednesday that every public tweet posted since Twitter started in 2006 will be archived digitally by the federal library. The purpose, according to a blog post by Library of Congress communications director Matt Raymond, is to document "important tweets" as well as gather information about the way we live through the sheer masses of tweets on the site.

Entertainment News - April 8, 2010 -

Actor Christopher Casenove has died at the age of 64 after losing a battle with septicaemia, his family said on Wednesday, the second "Dynasty" star to die in the past week. Cazenove, who attended the upmarket school Eton College, made his name playing aristocratic roles in a string of British TV shows but was best known for playing the role of Ben Carrington in the glitzy U.S. soap opera "Dynasty."

Pop star Rihanna confirmed that she's indeed dating slugger Matt Kemp, on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show. "He's my boyfriend!" she said. "It's new and it's fun. It's nothing too serious, I don't want anything that's going to take up so much of my energy and time right now in a bad way. I just want to have fun, that's what it's about

Kate Gosselin is launching a series that will profile everyday women facing personal challenges. "Twist of Kate" will follow the reality star and supermom as she visits the homes and workplaces of her subjects, where she will exchange insights for living. The 12-episode season will premiere in late summer, the TLC network said Thursday.

oprah moving to nights april 2010Oprah Winfrey will be moving to nighttime to host a show on her new cable channel. The hourlong show, “Oprah’s Next Chapter” will release her from the studio and her longtime talk-show format for conversations and travel around the world. The show is expected to be a key ingredient of the Oprah Winfrey Network, and guarantees Winfrey will regularly appear on the 24-hour network she'll be largely programming from behind the scenes. A joint venture of Winfrey's Harpo Inc. and Discovery, the network signs on Jan. 1 in approximately 80 million homes. Winfrey will end her weekday syndicated talk show at the close of its 25th season in late 2011.

Survivor" producer Bruce Beresford-Redman is a suspect in his wife's death days after reporting her missing in the resort city of Cancun, a Mexican official said Thursday.The body of Monica Beresford-Redman was found Thursday in a sewer at the swanky Moon Palace resort where the family was on vacation, according to the official at the office of the attorney general for Quintana Roo state, where Cancun is located.A witness at the hotel saw the couple arguing Sunday, and Bruce Beresford-Redman has been detained as a suspect.

MTV says July 29 begins a new season for “Jersey Shore.” Look out!

Charlie Sheen is saying goodbye – as he 44-year-old star's current contract ends after season seven, and the final show is being taped this week. "If tonight's show is the end for me as Charlie Harper, so be it. Another journey has begun. I take from the experience 161 shows filled with a kaleidoscope of amazing experiences, memories, friendships and gratitude," he said.

MSNBC has suspended correspondent David Shuster indefinitely following a report that surfaced saying he has appeared in a pilot for rival CNN reportedly shot a pilot for a new news show featuring MSNBC anchor David Shuster.

More Technology News - April 8, 2010 -

Trend - A New Arbitron (radio ratings company) study shows for the first time more people would rather surf the Internet than watch TV.

Another Trend - A market study says some 800,000 households have left – or shut of their cable TV. This, from a study by Tech Crunch. There’s plenty to watch online or with devices such as xBox. Still, there are still about 100 million subscribers to cable, satellite and similar systems according to the Tech Crunch report.

It's already easy to find relevant Twitter updates in Google real-time search results. Now, thanks to a new Google feature, you can see what people were tweeting about a topic last week or last month.

This week - Google introduces a “replay” feature that allows users to search tweets posted at any given point in time - down to the minute. Let’s say you're curious to see what people were tweeting about Kathryn Bigelow the night of the Academy Awards on March 7. After you type her name into Google's search field, select “Show Options” on the results page and then click “Updates.” A timeline will appear above the results, allowing you to zero in on tweets by the hour or minute. They spiked late in the Oscars telecast, when excited viewers began tweeting about Bigelow becoming the first woman to win Best Director.

More Entertainment News - April 8, 2010 -

Passing – From TV – “Designing Women" star Dixie Carter, whose Southern charm and natural beauty won her a host of television roles, has died at age 70. Carter died Saturday morning, according to publicist Steve Rohr, who represents Carter and her husband, actor Hal Holbrook. He declined to disclose the cause of death or where she died. Carter lived with Holbrook in the Los Angeles area.

Passing - Meinhardt Raabe, who played the Munchkin coroner in "The Wizard of Oz" and proclaimed in the movie that the Wicked Witch of the East was "really most sincerely dead," has died. He was 94. He was one of the few surviving Munchkins from the 1939 film.

Miley Cyrus says - her pop music side is finished – for now. She says she’s disillusioned with the "contrived" business of music. Since shooting to fame as schoolgirl pop star Hannah Montana on the hit Disney show, Cyrus has released three studio albums to date, and is planning for her fourth, out later this year, to be her last. The 17 year old has moved on to serious acting with her first grown-up role in “Last Song,” and has confirmed that she wants to concentrate on her movie career.

hannah montana news april 2010The co-creators of “Hannah Montana” sue Disney for $5 million in profits. In addition to alleging the media giant failed to pay them percentage-based bonuses from the hit children's program, Correll says in a suit filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court that the studio "blackballed" him from directing episodes of other series. The Emmy nominee has directed 179 television episodes for Disney on such shows as “That’s So Raven"" and “The Sutie Life of Zack and Cody”." Yet Correll claims that his contract with the Miley Cyrus series was wrongfully terminated and he was barred from future employment after he and O'Brien testified in a Writers Guild of America arbitration hearing against Disney.

Conan O’Brien, former “Tonight” host, barred from appearing on TV until September by terms of his exit deal from NBC, kicks off a nationwide tour in Eugene, Ore., that could highlight his popularity amid negotiations for a new talk show. Dubbed "The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour," the two-month venture will take O'Brien, his former "Tonight" band and sidekick Andy Richter to about 30 U.S. and Canadian cities.

conan o'brien moves to tbsTBS Gets Conan - Late-night mainstay Conan O'Brien is headed to TBS to resume his comedic duties with a talk show expected to debut in November, the network says.The program will air Mondays through Thursdays at 11 p.m. Eastern, shifting TBS' "Lopez Tonight," starring George Lopez, to midnight. The surprise announcement hit the same day O'Brien starts a two-month, nationwide comedy tour in Eugene, Ore., amid persistent reports that he was likely to claim Fox as his new late-night home.

Reality TV star Jesse James’' alleged cheating scandal has cost him his hit U.S. show. “Jesse James Is A Dead Man” will not return for a second season on cable channel Spike TV. A spokesman reveals the decision was made shortly after news of James' infidelities first broke, and his wife Sandra Bullock walked out on him.

Movie actor Steven Seagal is accused of hiring young women as personal attendants whose real job was to serve his strange and sometimes violent sexual desires, according to a civil lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles by a 23-year-old former model who describes her experience in harrowing detail. The plaintiff, Kayden Nguyen, said she met the action star in February through an ad on Craigslist seeking an executive assistant and, after three interviews, was told to pack for a trip to New Orleans, where his A&E show “Steven Seagal Lawman" has been taping.

Kevin Eubanks is leaving as Jay Leno’s sideman in May after 18 years with the late-night host. He told Leno during Monday's taping of Tonight in Burbank, Calif., that he was ready for a career change of pace, but he didn't announce specific plans. Eubanks called the NBC late-night show his "home" and said it had been "a wonderful experience" working there.

elvis presley night on idolIt’s Elvis Presley night on “American Idol.”

Motown – Pop History’s largest pop music label – turns 50 this week.

TV Listings/Ratings - April 8, 2010 -

Sunday TV (TV Squad)

7:00 to 8:00
ABC: 'America's Funniest Home Videos'
CBS: '60 Minutes' -- Interview with John Gotti Jr.
FOX: 'Til Death'
NBC: 'Dateline NBC'
Animal Planet: 'Wild Kingdom'

8:00 to 9:00
ABC: 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition'
CBS: 'Amazing Race'
FOX: 'The Simpsons' and 'The Cleveland Show'
Discovery: 'Life'
Disney: 'Sonny With a Chance' and 'Good Luck Charlie'
Food Network: 'Food Network Challenge'
Nick: 'Victorious'
Style: 'Ruby'

9:00 to 10:00
ABC: 'Brothers & Sisters' -- Two-hour edition
CBS: 'Undercover Boss'
FOX: 'Family Guy' and 'American Dad'
NBC: 'The Celebrity Apprentice'
A&E: 'Gene Simmons Family Jewels' -- 9:30 start time
Discovery: 'Life'
Food Network: 'Ultimate Recipe Showdown'
HBO: 'The Pacific'
Showtime: 'The Tudors' -- Season premiere
Style: 'Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane'

10:00 to 11:00
CBS: 'Cold Case'
A&E: 'Kristie Alley's Big Life'
AMC: 'Breaking Bad'
Discovery: 'The Deadliest Catch: Best of Season 5'
Food Network: 'Iron Chef America'
HBO: 'Treme' -- Series premiere
History: 'Ax Men'
Lifetime: 'Army Wives' -- Season premiere
Style: 'Jerseylicious'
TLC: 'Hoarding: Buried Alive'

11:00 and beyond
Cartoon Network (Adult Swim): 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force' at midnight and 'Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, Great Job' at 12:30.

Top Movies - April 8, 2010 -

Date Night (1st week - $27 million)

Clash of the Titans

How To Train Your Dragon

Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too?

The Last Song

Alice in Wonderland

Hot Tub Time

The Bounty Hunter

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Letters To God

Top Music Albums April 8, 2010 -

My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber

Now 33

Raymond V Raymond – Usher

Freight Train – Alan Jackson

Still Standing – Monica

New Amerykah: Part Two – Erykah Badu

The Fame – Lady Gaga

Battle of the Sexes – Ludacris

Wu-Massacre – Meth/Ghost/Rae

The E.N.D. – The Black Eyed Peas

Here I Am – Marvin Sapp

Alvin and the Chipmunks soundtrack

Animal – Ke$ha

The Fame Monster EP – Lady Gaga

Soldier of Love – Sadie

Valleys of Neptune – Jimi Hendrix

Kiss and Tell – Selena Gomez & The Scene

The Foundation – Zac Brown Band

Rebirth – Lil Wayne

All In Good Time – Barenaked Ladies

Crazy Love – Michael Buble

Radio Disney James 12

Rated R – Rihanna

Play On – Carrie Underwood

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