Dateline: Week Of September 15, In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Swiss banking giant UBS said Thursday that a rogue trader has caused it an estimated loss of $2 billion, stunning a beleaguered banking industry that has proven vulnerable to unauthorized trades. Police in London said they arrested a 31-year-old UBS trader, Kweku Adoboli, in the alleged fraud. UBS declined to confirm his name. Switzerland's largest bank warned that it could report a loss for the entire third quarter as a result of the rogue trade, while shares in UBS AG plummeted 8.7 percent to 9.98 francs ($11.41) on the Zurich exchange by mid afternoon. The case immediately evoked memories of Jerome Kerviel, the trader at French bank Societe Generale who secretly gambled away €4.9 billion ($6.7 billion). The scale of that fraud rocked the global financial industry and prompted banks to tighten oversight rules to ensure such large sums couldn't be traded unnoticed.
The number of people applying for unemployment benefits jumped last week to the highest level in three months. It's a sign that the job market remains depressed. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications rose by 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 428,000. The week included the Labor Day holiday. Applications typically drop during short work weeks. In this case, applications didn't drop as much as the department expected, so the seasonally adjusted value rose. A Labor spokesman said the total wasn't affected by Hurricane Irene.
Pitching his jobs plan and his re-election, President Barack Obama attended two intimate $35,800-per-couple fundraisers Thursday, assuring donors that he will push Congress to pass his economic initiative and expressing confidence in his ability to win a second term. "The odds of me being re-elected are much higher than the odds of me being elected in the first place," he joked, seeking to tamp down Democratic anxiety over the impact of a bad economy on his political prospects.
Economics this week –Consumer prices: Up 0.4% in August, higher than the highest guess among dozens of economists polled by Bloomberg. Nearly every category of goods is higher in price. The year-over-year increase comes to 3.8%. Weekly unemployment claims: Up sharply to 428,000. The previous week’s figures were, as has become custom at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, revised higher Industrial production: Up 0.2% in August. This figure, incorporating factories, mines and utilities, is still positive — but slowing significantly.
The death toll in the terrifying crash of a World War II-era plane during a Reno air race has risen to at least nine people, including the pilot and eight spectators, authorities said Saturday. The deaths include seven who were killed on the tarmac and two others who died at hospitals.
A federal judge on Friday sentenced a Miami man who had owned the nation's largest community mental health center chain to 50 years in prison for his role in a $205 million Medicare fraud scam. The sentence is the longest ever for a case brought under a Medicare fraud strike force. Federal authorities said Lawrence Duran, 49, preyed on patients with Alzheimer's disease and severe dementia, orchestrating an elaborate scam where staff forged patient charts to bill Medicare for therapy sessions and other services it never delivered.
Former Sen. Charles H. Percy, a former Foreign Relations Committee chairman whose moderate Republican views put him at odds with party conservatives, died Saturday in Washington. He was 91. Percy's daughter, Sharon Rockefeller, announced in March 2009 that he had Alzheimer's disease. His death was announced by the office of his son-in-law, West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller.
Passing - Eleanor Mondale, the vivacious daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale who carved out her own reputation as an entertainment reporter, radio show host and gossip magnet, has died at her home in Minnesota. She was 51.
President Barack Obama set up another clash with Republicans on Monday by proposing $1.5 trillion in new taxes aimed primarily at the wealthy as part of a $3 trillion package to shrink the U.S. national debt. Obama's plan has little chance of passing Congress, where Republicans control the House of Representatives. Republicans staunchly oppose tax increases and want greater spending cuts to reduce America's debt.
Police have identified the five people found dead inside their rented camper at a Tennessee biker festival that raises money for sick children. Police are investigating but don't suspect foul play. The victims appeared to have been overcome when fumes from a generator leaked into their vehicle. They were found Sunday at Clarksville Speedway. Clarksville police spokesman Jim Knoll identified the dead as 38-year-old James Franklin Wall II; 39-year-old Timothy Bryan Stone; 32-year-old Allison Elizabeth Bagwell-Wyatt; and a married couple, Jonathan Michael Over and Kathryn Elizabeth Over, both 27. All were from Clarksville.
More than a million people in central Japan were urged to evacuate Tuesday as a powerful typhoon approached, triggering floods that left two people missing. Public broadcaster NHK said about 1.3 million people have been ordered or advised to leave their homes, including 80,000 people in Nagoya.
President Barack Obama promised the Libyan people that the world will stand with them as they reshape their country following the fall of Moammar Gadhafi's regime. Speaking at a high-level United Nations meeting Tuesday, the president warned that there would still be difficult days ahead in Libya, as Gadhafi loyalists make a final stand and the country's provisional leadership grapples with the complex task of setting up a new government. But Obama said it was clear that Libya was now in the hands of the people.
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he was "thrilled" that Iran had released two U.S. men jailed for spying. "I welcome the release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal from detention in Iran and am very pleased that they are being reunited with their loved ones," he said in a statement. The two U.S. citizens sentenced in Iran to eight years' in prison for spying flew out of the country to Muscat after Oman paid their bail of $1 million. They had denied the charges.
Three of the nation's top banks are likely to start paying more to borrow money. Moody's Investors Service on Wednesday lowered its debt ratings for Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup. The ratings agency said it has become less likely that the U.S. government would step in and prevent the three lenders from failing in a crisis. "The probability of government support for the banks is less now than during the financial crisis," said David Fanger, senior vice president at Moody's.
President Barack Obama declared Wednesday that there could be no shortcut to peace between Israel and the Palestinians, as he sought to head off a United Nations showdown over Palestinian statehood that's becoming a thorny diplomatic problem for his administration. "Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations — if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now," the president told the U.N. General Assembly. "Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians who must live side by side.
Kara Kennedy, the eldest daughter of the late senator Ted Kennedy, has passed away. The television producer suffered a heart attack on Friday immediately following a workout at a Washington D.C.-area gym. She was just 51 years old
Passing - Dolores Hope, the sultry-voiced songstress who was married to Bob Hope for 69 years and sometimes sang on his shows for U.S. troops and on his television specials, has died at age 102. Hope family spokesman Harlan Boll said Hope died Monday of natural causes at home in Los Angeles. He did not elaborate. "Both the entertainment world and the church have lost a woman of profound faith, gifted musical talent and dedication," said Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez. "The death of Dolores Hope leaves a huge void in Southern California."
Technology News - September 15, 2011 -
Netflix subscribers threatened to flee in droves when the company whacked them with a surprise price hike, which kicked in this month.
Now they're making good on that threat. Netflix on Thursday cut its subscriber forecast for the current quarter, saying it now expects to end the period with 24 million customers -- down from the 25 million the company forecast just a few weeks ago.That's also down from the 25.6 million global subscribers Netflix had on June 30, the end of its second quarter.
Customers of Dish Network's satellite television service were unable to access many channels on Tuesday. The nationwide outage was caused by a "satellite anomaly," a Dish spokesman told CNN. Affected service was limited in many cases to high-definition service, he said. Technicians worked overnight to resolve the problem and expect service to be restored by tomorrow morning, the spokesman said. Another spokesman said Wednesday that the issues had been resolved on schedule and that the outage wasn't major. Dish has 14 million subscribers.
Google's answer to Facebook went public on Tuesday afternoon. For the past three months, Google+, the company's social network, was available only to users who had been invited by the company or by friends who already had access to the site. "For the past 12 weeks we've been in field trial, and during that time we've listened and learned a great deal," Google's Vic Gundotra, a senior vice president for engineering, said in a blog post. "We're nowhere near done, but with the improvements we've made so far we're ready to move from field trial to beta, and introduce our 100th feature: open sign-ups.
Bing, Microsoft's two-year old search engine, is losing nearly a $1 billion a quarter, with no sign of letting up.Microsoft) has lost $5.5 billion on Bing since the, but the company's search losses actually pre-date that. In fact, the software giant has never made money in its online services division. Since Microsoft began breaking out that unit's finances in 2007, the company has lost a total of $9 billion. Bing has 14.7% of the search market – taking much of it from Yahoo.
Entertainment News September 15, 2011
Miss Angola Leila Lopes, a business student from the town of Benguela in her home country, was crowned Miss Universe on Monday after dazzling a panel of judges with her beauty and impressing them with her brain.
Passing - British artist Richard Hamilton, regarded by many as the father of pop art, died on Tuesday. He was 89. Hamilton's best known work was his 1956 collage "Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?," considered by some historians to mark the birth of the pop art movement. Hamilton is also credited with coining the phrase "pop art" itself, in a note to some architects who were considering putting on an exhibition with him along similar lines to the 1956 "This Is Tomorrow" show.
Meredith Vieira has joined Brian Williams’' upcoming newsmagazine, Rock Center, NBC News announced Tuesday. The former Today anchor will act as a special correspondent for the primetime news show, and will also contribute to Today, NBC Nightly News and the network's other news programs. Vieira will also cover the 2012 London Olympic Games
Actor Tyler Perry, who has his own film and TV studio in Atlanta, ranks atop the list of Hollywood's highest paid men, in a new ranking from Forbes.com that includes director Steven Spielberg and singer Elton John. Perry topped the list by making $130 million from May 2010 to May 2011, financial website Forbes.com reported on Monday.
Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. wins “America’s Got Talent” season 6.
Henry Winkler, the actor best known for his work on the sitcom "Happy Days," has been made an honorary member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his work helping children with dyslexia. British Ambassador Nigel Sheinwald presented the award to Winkler at the Washington Embassy on Wednesday.
X-Factor Is Coming! - A year after walking away from his job as a judge on "American Idol" -- the most watched show on U.S. TV -- the brash Briton has lost none of his self-confidence. His new venture, in which he is both creator and executive producer as well as a judge, is promoted with the simple tagline "He's Back." "I am feeling excited now. There is always nerves before a launch but it is good nerves...I have always wanted to have, not a film premiere, but a TV premiere in the cinema. I think it is brilliant", Cowell said of Wednesday's splashy event at one of Hollywood's top cinemas. Americans get their first look at "The X Factor" on September 21. But a pumped-up audience of hundreds of Twitter fans and competition winners from across the United States, were invited to the premiere to see just what the fuss was all about. "X Factor," already a huge hit in the U.K. offers an unprecedented $5 million prize for the winner. Judges compete with each other as mentors to singers and to groups of performers aged 12 and up who audition in arenas packed with thousands of people
Country superstar Brad Paisley is set to release his first book on Nov. 1. It's called "Diary of a Player" and shows how the guitar gods of country, blues and rock 'n' roll have shaped his life. Paisley tells The Associated Press he can't imagine his life if he never learned to play the guitar. His grandfather gave him his first six-string at age 8.
Paul McCartney is set to tie the knot at the venue where he first married more than 40 years ago. Officials said Friday that the former Beatle and fiancee Nancy Shevell have posted a notice of intention to marry at London's Marylebone Town Hall. Westminster Council, which oversees the venue, said the notice was posted Wednesday, meaning the couple could marry anytime after September 30. They have a year to hold the ceremony.
R.E.M. shocked the rock world today by announcing a wholly unexpected breakup. “As lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band,” read the not-terribly-explanatory statement on their website. “We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening."
63rd Emmy Awards Held This Week –
— Drama Series: "Mad Men," AMC.
— Actress, Drama Series: Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife," CBS.
— Actor, Drama Series: Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights," DirecTV/NBC.
— Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones," HBO.
— Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Margo Martindale, "Justified," FX.
— Writing, Drama Series: Jason Katims, "Friday Night Lights," NBC.
— Directing, Drama Series: Martin Scorsese, "Boardwalk Empire," HBO.
— Comedy Series: "Modern Family," ABC.
— Actor, Comedy Series: Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory," CBS.
— Actress, Comedy Series: Melissa McCarthy, "Mike & Molly," CBS.
— Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Julie Bowen, "Modern Family," ABC.
— Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Ty Burrell, "Modern Family," ABC
Top Music Albums - September 15, 2011
Tha Carter IV – Lil Wayne
1 – The Beatles
21 – Adele
Here for A Good Time – George Strait
I’m With You – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Watch The Throne – Jay Z Kanye West
Hands All Over - Maroon 5
4 – Beyonce
My Kinda Party – Jason Aldean
Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
Barefoot Blue Jean Night – Jake Owen
What Matters Most – Barbra Streisand
Tailgates & Tanines – Luke Bryan
Let Them Talk – Hugh Laurie
Nothing But the Beat – David Guetta
The R.E.D. Album – Game
19 – Adele
Born this Way – Lady Gaga
Hell: The Sequel – Bad meets Evil
Chief – Eric Church
Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons
Storm – Celtic Thunder
Entre Dios & El Diablo –Gerardo Ortiz
Top Movies September 15, 2011 -
The Lion King (1st week $29.3 million)
Drive (1st week $14.4 million)
I Don’t Know How She Does It
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Shark Night 3D.