Dateline: Week Of March 22, 2010 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
President Obama finally achieved victory, bringing an end to a yearlong partisan struggle. "This legislation will not fix everything that ails our health care system, but it moves us decisively in the right direction," Obama said shortly after the historic vote. "This is what change looks like." With Democrats chanting the signature line of the Obama presidential campaign - "Yes we can!" - the House voted 219-212 to send a sweeping overhaul of the nation's health care system to be signed into law. "We tonight will make history for our country and progress for the American people," Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared shortly before the vote. "Today we have the opportunity to complete the great unfinished business of our country."
Sen. John McCain said Monday morning that Democrats have not heard the last of the health care debate, and said he was repulsed by "all this euphoria going on." Appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America," McCain, who was President Barack Obama's GOP rival in the 2008 presidential campaign, said that "outside the Beltway, the American people are very angry. They don't like it, and we're going to repeal this." McCain, who is in a tough Republican primary fight in his home state, said the GOP "will challenge it every place we can," and said there will be reprisals at the polls, in Congress and in the courts.
Less than 24 hours after the House of Representatives gave final approval to a sweeping overhaul of healthcare, attorneys general from several states on Monday said they will sue to block the plan on constitutional grounds. Republican attorneys general in 11 states warned that lawsuits will be filed to stop the federal government overstepping its constitutional powers and usurping states' sovereignty. States are concerned the burden of providing healthcare will fall on them without enough federal support. Ten of the attorneys general plan to band together in a collective lawsuit on behalf of Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.
North Korea said that it will put an American on trial for entering the communist country illegally. State-run media identified him as Aijalon Mahli Gomes, 30, of Boston, and said "his crime has been confirmed." The brief dispatch from the Korean Central News Agency did not say when he would stand trial.
Blasts of lava and ash shot out of a volcano in southern Iceland on Monday and small tremors rocked the ground, a surge in activity that raised fears of a larger explosion at the nearby Katla volcano. Scientists say history has proven that when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupts, Katla follows — the only question is how soon. And Katla, located under the massive Myrdalsjokull icecap, threatens disastrous flooding and explosive blasts when it blows. Saturday's eruption at Eyjafjallajokull (AYA-feeyapla-yurkul) — dormant for nearly 200 years — forced at least 500 people to evacuate. Most have returned to their homes.
President Barack Obama capped a yearlong political drama Tuesday, signing into law a landmark health care reform bill that had been seen as impossible just two months ago. The president said the law "will set into motion what a generation of Americans have fought for." He said he was confident the Senate would make fixes to the legislation "swiftly."
Attorneys general from 13 states sued the federal government Tuesday, claiming the landmark health care overhaul is unconstitutional just seven minutes after President Barack Obama signed it into law. The lawsuit was filed in Pensacola after the Democratic president signed the 10-year, $938 billion bill the House passed Sunday night. "The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage," the lawsuit says. Legal experts say it has little chance of succeeding because, under the Constitution, federal laws trump state laws.
Toyota owners who are dissatisfied with the repairs to their vehicles covered by a massive recall to address sticky gas pedals can have replacement accelerator pedals installed, according to a memo the company sent to dealers. The Japanese automaker said in a memo obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press that if a customer is unhappy with the feel of the accelerator after the car is repaired, dealers can provide a replacement pedal at no charge. Dealers have been inserting a piece of metal into the gas pedal mechanism to eliminate friction that was causing the pedal problem on 2.3 million vehicles involved in a January recall.
The U.S. and Russia reached a breakthrough agreement Wednesday for a historic treaty to reduce the nuclear arsenals of the former Cold War rivals, the most significant pact in a generation and an important milestone in the decades-long quest to lower the risk of global nuclear war. After long and trying negotiations, President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are to sign the treaty in two weeks in Prague, once final technical details are worked out, officials in Washington and Moscow said. The accord is expected to cut the number of long-range nuclear weapons held by each side to about 1,500, and it raises hopes for further disarmament in the years ahead.
Osama bin Laden threatened al-Qaida would kill any Americans it takes prisoner if accused September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is put to death, according to an audiotape aired on the al-Jazeera news channel Thursday. Senior U.S. officials may recommend that Mohammed, who was being held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, be prosecuted in a military trial, officials said in March.
A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck west of Manila on Thursday, the seismology institute reported, causing buildings in the Philippine capital to shake and sending frightened workers out of their offices. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, and no tsunami alert was issued. Buildings in Manila shook for about 30 seconds.
At least 11 people were killed in a crash involving a tractor-trailer and a church van in Kentucky Friday, NBC reported. The accident happened on I-65 near Cave City, north of Bowling Green, at about 5:17 a.m. central time on the northbound lane. A department of transportation official said a southbound semi-truck crossed the median and crashed head-on into an 18-passenger van, NBC said. At least one of the vehicles was said to have burst into flames.
The Obama administration is announcing a plan to reduce the amount some troubled borrowers owe on their home loans. The multifaceted effort will let people who owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth get new loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, a government agency that insures home loans against default. That would be funded by $14 billion from the administration's existing $75 billion foreclosure-prevention program. But it could spark criticism that the government is shouldering too much risk by taking on bad loans made during the housing boom. In addition, their existing mortgage companies will be able to receive incentives to lower their principal balances.
President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed on Friday to sharp cuts in the nuclear arsenals of both nations in the most comprehensive arms control treaty in two decades. "We have turned words into action," Obama declared. Obama said the pact, to be signed April 8 in Prague, was part of his effort to "reset" relations with Russia and a step on a path toward "the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons."
The number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan has roughly doubled in the first three months of 2010 compared to the same period last year as Washington has added tens of thousands of additional soldiers to reverse the Taliban's momentum. Also up is the number of wounded.
President Obama makes a secret trip to Afghanistan. He met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in the presidential palace in Kabul then spoke before 2,500 cheering American troops at Bagram Air Field about 50 miles away. The President spent about six hours in the Afghanistan before heading back.
Misc - PepsiCo, largely known for junk-food brands such as Doritos and Pepsi, is setting out to triple its sales of healthier products in the next decade. PepsiCo Inc. unveiled the new goal for brands such as Tropicana, Dole, Quaker and Tazo teas on Monday at an investor event. The company also backed its forecast for long-term earnings growth. Governments around the world are exerting pressure on food makers to improve nutrition. But Pepsi is also making the case that it's just as much consumer demand that's driving the changes.
Sports News March 22, 2010 -
Tiger Woods conducts his first TV interview since his fallout. He didn’t have much to say – and it was mainly about damage control.
NJ - Former Major League Baseball player Dwight Gooden has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs after a car accident early on Tuesday, police said. Police in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey said on Wednesday it was too early to tell what the controlled substance was.
Technology News - March 22, 2010 -
A group of engineers and enthusiasts say they have managed to make new Polaroid instant film and will start selling it this week. The company, called The Impossible Project, leased an old Polaroid film factory in the Netherlands to try to recreate the film, two years after Polaroid stopped making it.. The Impossible Project will sell film for SX-70 cameras as well as more recent cameras that take 600-series film.
It Just Didn’t Make Sense - Google announces it has stopped censoring search results in China. The announcement came amid speculation that the search giant would pull out of China entirely and sets up a showdown with the Communist leadership there. Google said it stopped running the censored Google.cn service on Monday and was routing its Chinese users to an uncensored version of Google based in Hong Kong.
Technology – 3D is the word - Nintendo announces it will introduce a handheld console that plays games in 3-D without the use of special glasses. The handheld device will be called the 3DS, succeeding Nintendo's DS series of portable gaming consoles. A brief press release issued by Nintendo did not specifically state how the 3-D effect would work on the device.
Google Inc., owner of YouTube, said an outage of the popular video-sharing site Thursday was technical and not caused by outside tampering. "YouTube is up again following a technical issue which has now been resolved," a spokeswoman for Google said in a written statement. "We know how important You Tube is for people and apologize for any inconvenience the downtime may have caused."
Entertainment News - March 22, 2010 -
They Were Expendable - Miley Cyrus’ boyfriend Liam Hemsworth is now dumped – from Sylvester Stallone’s new action movie “The Expendables” after writers decided they had too many characters. Also gone – the late Brittnay Murphy . Hemsworth told London's Sunday Herald Sun newspaper that at least he got the chance to speak to Stallone over the role: "I was at my friend's house and I got a phone call from my Australian agent who had sent my tape in a few days before and he said, 'Stallone is going to call you in a few days,'; and I went back into my buddy's house and said, 'Rocky's gonna give me a call, no big deal.'
But – better news for Miley as she is now set to appear as a guest mentor on "American Idol" and help the Top 11 finalists prepare for their performances on a Billboard No.1 Hits-themed show airing Tuesday, March 23 on FOX. The Wednesday, March 24 results show will feature Cyrus performing her new hit "When I Look at You," along with Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato singing their song "Make a Wave."
British rocker Pete Doherty has been arrested on suspicion of supplying the drugs which allegedly killed his filmmaker friend Robyn Whitehead in January. Whitehead, a member of the Goldsmith dynasty, was discovered dead at an east London apartment by Doherty's musician friend Peter Wolfe, who lives at the property. The Babyshambles frontman was reportedly arrested after attending a police station by appointment.
The Berlin, Germany premiere of "The Blind Side" has been scrapped because Its Oscar-winning star, Sandra Bullock, has canceled her planned appearance. It's the second time in less than a week that Bullock, 45, has bailed on an international red carpet event for her hit film. Last week, she pulled out of this week's "Blind Side" screening in London amid tabloid reports of husband Jesse James' 11-month affair with model Michelle McGee.
NY - Scott "Scooter" Braun, manager for pop sensation Justin Bieber, awaits arraignment on charges of reckless endangerment and criminal nuisance. His lawyer said he will plead not guilty. His arrest stems from a planned appearance in November by the 16-year-old Bieber at Roosevelt Field Mall. When the crowd of 3,000 became unruly, Nassau County police canceled the event. But some fans refused to leave, crowding the narrow area outside the clothing store where Bieber was scheduled to sign autographs. Five people were taken to hospitals with minor injuries.
June 18 is the day The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the much-anticipated new attraction inside Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure park in Orlando.
Gloria Allred is representing a woman she claims conducted a "3 year relationship" with Sandra Bullock’s's husband, Jesse James, the attorney said in a release. "I represent a beautiful model and business woman. She had an intimate 3 year relationship with Jesse James." "He pursued her and he had strong feelings for her. She is in the process of trying to decide if she will come forward."
A Dublin judge ordered U.S. pop singer Prince to pay $2.95 million to Irish concert promoters Friday for canceling a 2008 concert at the last minute. High Court Justice Peter Kelly said he was making the total damages public because Prince has yet to pay anything to Dublin promoters MCD Productions Ltd. in their confidential settlement reached Feb. 26. Kelly ruled that Prince had committed to perform in Dublin's 82,300-seat Croke Park in June 2008, but withdrew without explanation just days beforehand, after 55,000 tickets were sold. The 51-year-old Prince did not testify at last month's hearing.
Music passing – Johnny Maestro – lead singer of “The Crests” and later, “The Brooklyn Bridge.” Johnny died from liver cancer at the age of 70.
Dennis Hopper took what may be his final bow Friday as his star was dedicated on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. His lawyer and doctor told the judge overseeing his divorce this week that Hopper is dying of prostate cancer, but the 73-year-old actor was smiling broadly during the ceremony. "I just want to thank you," Hopper told the crowd surrounding him. "That's all I can do." "Easy Rider" co-star Jack Nicholson stood behind Hopper as Hollywood star number 2,403 was revealed with Hopper's name in front of the Egyptian Theater. Other stars on hand included director David Lynch and singers Johnny Mathis and Dwight Yoakam.
Top Pop Hits - March 22, 2010 –
Rude Boy – Rihanna
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
Nothin’ On You – B.o.B. fea. Bruno Mars
Break Your Heart – Taio Cruz fea. Ludacris
Imma Be – The Black Eyed Peas
Telephone – Lady Gaga fea. Beyonce
BedRock – Young Money fea. Lloyd
Hey, Soul Sister - Train
Baby – Justin Biever fea. Ludacris
TiK ToK – Ke$ha
In My Head – Jason Derulo
Carry Out – Timbaland fea. Justin Timberlake
Blah Blah Blah – Ke$ha fea. 3OH!3
Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
Say Aah – Trey Songz fea. Fabolous
Over – Drake
How Low – Ludacris
All the Right Moves - OneRepublic
According To You – Orianthi
Breakeven – The Script
Live Like We’re Dying – Kris Allen
Whataya Want From Me – Adam Lambert
My Chick Bad – Ludacris fea. Nicki Manaj
Tie Me Down – New Boyz fea. Ray J.
Say Something – Timbaland fea. Drake
Sexy Chick – David Guetta fea. Akon
Television News - March 22, 2010 -
“Dancing With the Stars” begins a new season. Appearing – Buz Aldrin, Pamela Anderson, Erin Andrews, Kate Gosselin and Nicole Scherzinger.
“Nurse Jackie” is back for season 2!
Jerry Springer signs to conduct a new gameshow – this one on GSN called “Baggage.” It's described as "an non-dating dating show for non-single singles.” (TVS)
"American Idol" producer 19 Entertainment, approached Conan O’Brien to participate in its "Idol Gives Back" special on Wednesday, April 21. Unfortunately, O'Brien won't be able to participate because his agreement with NBC keeps him from making TV appearances until May 1, says The Hollywood Reporter. Word has it that O’Brien is talking to Fox about post May 1 opportunities.
At Nickelodeon's 23rd Annual Kids' Choice Awards this Saturday, First Lady Michelle will also be honored for her "Let's Move" campaign to help cut down on childhood obesity, Nickelodeon announced first thing Thursday. Also appearing - Robert Downey Jr., Katy Perry and Tina Fey.
American Idol update – Simon Cowell no doubt – likes contender Crystal Bowersox. The singer, who has thus far had a penchant for performing barefoot on a rug with her guitar, tackled a Janis Joplin standard - "Me & Bobby McGee" (written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster) -- for a week made up of Billboard #1 hits, mentored by teen pop star Miley Cyrus. Cowell quipped, “You're doing your own thing, you're not sliding all over the stage, jumping into the crowd like we've seen before, gimmicky," Simon said, referencing Tim Urban's performance earlier in the night. "You've just took a song, nailed it and you're only gimmick is a carpet."
Passing – TV actor Robert Culp who teamed with Robert Culp in the racially groundbreaking TV series I Spy and was Bob in the critically acclaimed sex comedy Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, died Wednesday after collapsing outside his Hollywood home, his agent said. Culp was 79.
Pioneering sports broadcaster Chester R. Simmons, who served as president of ESPN during the company's launch in 1979, has died. He was 81. Simmons began in broadcasting in 1957 with Sports Programs, Inc., which became ABC Sports. Simmons was involved in developing "Wide World of Sports" before becoming president of NBC Sports and later ESPN. He was also founding commissioner of the USFL.
Fox confirmed today that after eight seasons, 24 will air its series finale on May 24. Star Kiefer Sutherland told EW.com that producing a ninth season for another network like NBC was not an option because he and executive producer Howard Gordon were ready to call it quits.
TV listings/TV Guide - March 22, 2010 -
At 8, NBC has a new, two-hour 'Biggest Loser,' followed by a new 'Parenthood.'
FOX has a new, two-hour 'American Idol' at 8.
The CW has new episodes of '90210' and 'Melrose Place.'
At 9, ABC has a new 'Lost,' then a new recap episode of 'V.'
BBC America has the season premiere of 'Survivors' at 9.
At 10, TNT has a new 'Southland.'
FX has a new 'Justified' at 10.
Syfy has a new 'WWE NXT' at 10.
Spike has a new 'Blue Mountain State' at 10.
Travel Channel has a new 'Food Wars' at 10.
Also at 10: Oxygen has a new episode of 'The Bad Girls Club.'
Top Movies - March 22, 2010 -
How To Train Your Dragon (1st week – $43 million)
Alice in Wonderland (4 weeks - $293 million gross)
Hot Tub Time Machine (1st week - $13.65 million)
The Bounty Hunter
Diary Of a Wimpy Kid
She’s Out Of My League
Our Family Wedding.