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Dateline: Week Of June 15, 2011 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts

In The News -

The White House delivers a report to Congress explaining its involvement in Libya, as a bipartisan group of lawmakers filed suit charging US military action in the war-torn nation is unconstitutional. The report will include legal analysis arguing that President Barack Obama did not overstep his powers in the conflict in the north African nation. "The president has acted in a manner that is consistent with the War Powers Resolution," White House spokesman Jay Carney said, arguing the 30-page report would show the "success" of the mission to protect Libyan civilians.

A sharply divided Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday (June14) ruled that a controversial measure that curbs the collective bargaining rights of public workers in the state can go into effect. In what was essentially a 4-3 decision, the high court overturned a lower court, which had ruled Republican lawmakers violated the state's open meetings law when they passed the measure in March.

Thousands of Syrians fled the historic town of Maarat al-Numaan on Wednesday to escape troops and tanks pushing into the north in a widening military campaign to crush protests against President Bashar al-Assad. In the tribal east, where Syria's 380,000 barrels per day of oil is produced, tanks and armored vehicles deployed in the city of Deir al-Zor and around Albu Kamal on the border with Iraq, a week after tens of thousands of people took to the streets there demanding an end to Assad's autocratic rule.

Stocks fell sharply Wednesday as investors became increasingly concerned about the worsening debt crisis in Greece. The dollar rose against the euro and U.S. government bond prices climbed as investors sought out safer assets. In morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 84 points, or 0.7 percent, to 11,991, giving up much of its 123-point gain the day before.

The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for U.S. economic growth on Friday and warned Washington and debt-ridden European countries that they are "playing with fire" unless they take immediate steps to reduce their budget deficits. The IMF, in its regular assessment of global economic prospects, said bigger threats to growth had emerged since its previous report in April, citing the euro zone debt crisis and signs of overheating in emerging market economies.

Coast Guard helicopters intercepted a small aircraft that entered restricted air space near the US capital on Saturday, military officials said.The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said it ordered the action after the "small general aviation aircraft" approached the capital region without authorization at about 11:50 am (1550 GMT). "Upon being intercepted, the civilian aircraft was diverted to Annapolis (in Maryland) where the pilot was to meet with local law enforcement," NORAD said in a statement.

President Hamid Karzai acknowledged Saturday that the U.S. and Afghan governments have held talks with Taliban emissaries in a bid to end the nation's nearly 10-year war, even as suicide attackers launched a bold assault in the heart of the county's capital, killing nine people. The attack, which occurred just blocks from Karzai's office, shows the parties have a long way to go to reach a political settlement as the Obama administration weighs a major withdrawal of its forces. The White House neither directly confirmed or denied Karzai's statement.

Prime Minister George Papandreou besieged by public protests and dissent in his own party, appealed to Greeks on Sunday to support deeply unpopular austerity reforms and avoid a catastrophic bankruptcy.He addressed parliament at the start of a confidence debate on his new crisis cabinet, ahead of a euro zone finance ministers' meeting in Luxembourg which is expected to release a new aid tranche to keep Greece solvent.

Euro zone finance ministers applied intense pressure on Greece on Monday, saying it had to approve stricter austerity measures before a final decision is made on a further 12 billion euros in loans.

Before launching a second day of meetings on Greece, ministers indicated that the next tranche of EU/IMF aid would be paid by mid-July, allowing Athens to avoid default, but said the country had to show progress first on plans to cut spending, raise taxes and generate other revenue streams.

New Cigarette Label Warning - Dead bodies, diseased lungs and a man on a ventilator were among the graphic images for revamped U.S. tobacco labels, unveiled on Tuesday by health officials who hope the warnings will help smokers quit. Proposed in November under a law that put the multibillion-dollar tobacco industry under the control of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the new labels must be on cigarette packages and in advertisements no later than September 2012. They represent the first change in cigarette warnings in 25 years. They show images that may disturb some, including one titled "WARNING: Cigarettes are addictive," illustrated with a photograph of a man smoking a cigarette through a hole in his throat.

An aging Russian airliner went down in heavy fog and burst into flames just short of a runway in northwestern Russia, killing 44 people in a crash that officials blamed on pilot. Eight people survived, dragged from the burning wreckage by locals. The RusAir Tu-134 plane had taken off from Moscow and was moments from landing at the Petrozavodsk airport when it slammed into a nearby highway just before midnight Monday.

British police working with the FBI arrested a 19-year-old man over attacks by a hacker group on businesses and government agencies including the CIA, US Senate and Sony, Scotland Yard said Tuesday. The man, named in reports as Ryan Cleary, was detained on Monday at a house in the suburban town of Wickford in Essex, southeast England, in connection with a month-long global rampage by the Lulz Security group.

Sports News June 15, 2011 -

Boston Bruins Win The Stanley Cup And Not Is Well In Vancouver. Cars were set on fire and shops were looted following the ice hockey team's 4-0 defeat to the Boston Bruins. Mobs of angry fans roamed central Vancouver after the game, as thick acrid smoke rose over the city centre. Similar riots broke out in the Canadian city after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup in 1994. Record crowds of supporters gathered in the heart of the city on Wednesday in the hope of seeing their team - the favourites - secure the Stanley Cup and be crowned winners of the National Hockey League (NHL).

But hope quickly turned to gloom after the Boston Bruins scored first and then went on to secure an emphatic victory.

Jamie and Frank McCourt agreed Friday to have a one-day trial to determine if title to the Los Angeles Dodgers is in Frank McCourt's name or if the team should be considered community property in their divorce and then sold, the former couple and their attorneys announced. The agreement anticipates Major League Baseball's approval of a 17-year TV contract between the Dodgers and Fox, Frank McCourt said outside court. That deal has been reported to be worth $3 billion and Frank McCourt would receive $385 million upfront.

Technology News June 15, 2011 -

Nook rated better than Kindle – says Consumer Reports, marking the first time the esteemed product-review group has given Barnes & Noble's e-reader higher marks than its competitor from Amazon. Apparently, more is less for Consumer Reports. The Nook Simple Touch Reader, released last month, scored one point higher than the latest Kindle and a few points higher than other models. That's more than the Nook Color, released about a half-year ago, could muster. (Amazon does not offer a color Kindle -- at least not yet). The new Nook, which we've called the anti-iPad strips away bells and whistles from the first model, including a second navigation screen, an MP3 player and web browser.

Facebook's facial-recognition feature for automatically tagging uploaded photos with the names of those pictured sparked a backlash from privacy advocates. Now it's coming under scrutiny from Connecticut's attorney general, who sent a letter to company officials this week requesting a meeting. Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said he has "deep concerns" about Facebook's choice to make the tagging feature opt-out, not opt-in.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion believes its white knight is coming. But while it waits, the company is drastically lowering its financial outlook and handing out pink slips. Very disappointing sales of BlackBerry smartphones and tablets during the last quarter led RIM to cut its full-year profit expectations by 30% Thursday. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company also announced that it will begin a program to "streamline operations," which will include layoffs.

Google announced a revamp of its mobile search interface, allowing easy access to restaurants, bars and coffee shops in the vicinity of your phone — in effect, cutting further into Yelp’s local search business. At an event called “Inside Search” at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the search giant launched a slew of new features for its mobile and desktop search products. The mobile version of Google search gets those icons, instantly accessible at the bottom of the search screen. It also gets a new translate feature for Google Goggles, allowing you to point your phone at text in Russian and getting an instant text translation. Both features are launching today.

The Internet body that oversees domain names voted on Monday to end restricting them to suffixes like .com or .gov and will receive applications for new names from January 12 next year with the first approvals likely by the end of 2012. For instance, while the new steep charges of $185,000 to apply for a domain name could deter cyber-squatters, companies with well known trademarks worry that they may have to contend with series of copycat names like coke.paris or google.zambia. The move is seen as a big opportunity for brands to gain more control over their online presence and send visitors more directly to parts of their sites -- and a danger for those who fail to take advantage.

Japanese electronics giant Canon, for instance, has already said it plans to apply for rights to use domain names ending with .canon.


Entertainment News - June 15, 2011 -

Rebecca Black's official "Friday"music video has been taken off You Tube.The page where the video starring the 13-year-old singer once played now says it "is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Rebecca Black."Black's spokesman says her team sent a takedown notice to YouTube because of a dispute over the video with Ark Music Factory, the company Black's parents paid $4,000 to produce the song and video. The video had amassed more than 160 million views and more than 3 million "dislikes."

j.k. rowling new website   june 2011J.K. Rowling has a new website - Pottermore.com, a new project for the "Harry Potter" author, spokeswoman Rebecca Salt said Thursday. The site is "not a new book" and "not directly related" to the final Potter movie, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," which comes out next month, she said. "We aren't saying any more than that!" Salt said."Pottermore" was trademarked in 2009 by Warner Bros., which distributes the Potter movies. The trademark description of Pottermore suggests an interactive site "providing on-line chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards" and "on-line facilities for real-time interaction with other computer users concerning topics of general interest."

A 21-year-old "history geek" representing California was named Miss USA at the annual beauty pageant in Las Vegas on Sunday. Alyssa Campanella, who was born and raised in New Jersey which she represented at the Miss Teen USA contest in 2007, was considered among the favorites by pageant experts. She will represent the United States at the Miss Universe pageant to be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on September 12. Campanella was crowned by incumbent Miss USA, Rima Fakih, a Lebanese-born Muslim who was the first Arab-American to hold the title.

Ryan Dunn, one of the stars of MTV's "Jackass," has died in a car crash. He was 34. NBC Philadelphia said that Dunn and another passenger in a 3 a.m crash at Route 322 and New Street in West Goshen Township, Pennsylvania. Dunn posted to Twitter a photo of himself drinking with friends just hours before the crash. A police report indicated that Dunn was most likely speeding in his 2007 Porsche 911 GT3, which was destroyed in the wreck. "Upon arrival, police located one vehicle in the road and in the woods that was fully engulfed in flames," the report said.

Tracy Morgan returned to Nashville on Tuesday, where he apologized personally to audience members from his June 3 show, where he unleashed a slew of homophobic remarks. "The first thing I want to say is that I apologize to Kevin [Rodgers], the people who were at the show for bumming them out, I want to apologize to my friends and my family and my fans and everyone in every community, who is offended with this," Morgan said at a press conference organized by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) at the Nashville Convention Center.

george clooney dumps girlfriend   june 2011George Clooney has split from his girlfriend, Elizabetta Canalis, after nearly two years of dating. "We are not together anymore," the former couple said. "It's very difficult and very personal, and we hope everyone can respect our privacy."

Music News June 15, 2011 -

Passing - The Coasters lead singer and founding member Carl Gardner has died aged 83, the band's website announced. He passed away at a hospice in Florida on Sunday after suffering from congestive heart failure and vascular dementia "for some time." The Coasters were a U.S. R&B vocal group with a string of hits in the 1950s that included "Young Blood," "Searchin,'" "Poison Ivy" and chart topper "Yakety Yak." Gardner was lead vocalist for Los Angeles-based The Robins before he and bandmate Bobby Nunn teamed up with Billy Guy, Leon Hughes and guitarist Adolph Jacobs to form the Coasters in 1955.

Stevie Wonder gets honored during Apollo Theater’s spring gala with induction into the Legends Hall of Fame, which includes Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald and James Brown. Though Wonder was the main attraction, the audience was also wowed as he collaborated with a cast of friends and admirers including Tony Bennett, Chick Corea, Paul Shaffer and Doug E. Fresh.

Kicks-Off - Britney Spears’ “Femme Fatale” concert tour opens in Sacramento. She Tweeted, “It's opening night, bitch!" And according to multiple reviews, the pop star didn't disappoint. Performing a mix of her greatest hits ("Toxic" and "I'm a Slave 4 U") and new songs ("Big Fat Bass" and "I Wanna Go"), Spears, 29, dazzled in a series of skimpy stage costumes during the sold-out show.Describing it as "her flashiest, fastest moving, and most entertaining production yet," Rolling Stone said that while tour-opener Nicki Minaj, 26, brought her A-game, "the night belonged to Britney: She managed to prove that she's still progressing as a showgirl. Not only that, she's doing it better than even die-hard defenders would've predicted."

amy winehouse cancels concerts   june 2011British singer Amy Winehouse, whose career has been blighted by alcohol and drug abuse, has canceled all her scheduled concerts after she was jeered by fans in Serbia recently for a shambolic performance. Winehouse, 27, sporting her trademark bouffant hairdo and figure-hugging dress, struggled to perform her songs and keep her balance at the gig in the Serbian capital Belgrade, and on some tunes the audience did most of the singing.

Rock guitarist Leslie West, who rose to fame in the '70s power trio Mountain, has had his lower right leg amputated in a life-saving operation related to his diabetes, his wife said on Monday. West, 65, underwent the emergency surgery after being admitted to a hospital in Biloxi, Mississippi, on Saturday when his leg started to swell and his foot went septic. "The doctors tried for two days to save it to no avail. The decision to amputate was one that was necessary to save his life as the infection was spreading throughout his body," his wife, Jenni West, said in an email. "The nursing staff and doctors have taken excellent care of him and should be called angels for their efforts and tenderness they showed us in this time of crisis." West is expected to recover but faces extensive rehabilitation, a spokesman said.

clarence clemons dies   june 2011Passing – Renowned saxophonist and Bruce Springsteen side man for over 40 years, Clarence Clemons, affectionately known as The Big Man, passed away Saturday night, June 18, at his Florida home. Clemons died of complications from a massive stroke he suffered on June 12, after years of failing health. Even with his health concerns, he remained active until the end, including performing with Lady Gaga last month on the season finale of “American Idol.”

Top Pop Hits June 15, 2011 -

Rolling In The Deep – Adele

Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO fea. Lauren Bennett & GoodRock

Give Me Everything – Pitbull fea. Ne-Yo, AfroJack & Nayer

E.T. – Katy Perry fea. Kanye West

The Lazy Song – Bruno Mars

On The Floor – Jennifer Lopez fea. Pitbull

The Edge Of Glory – Lady Gaga

Just Can’t Get Enough – The Black Eyed Peas

Dirt Road Anthem – Jason Aldean

nicki minaj news photo   june 2011Super Bass – Nicki Minaj

Till The World Ends – Britney Spears

The Show Goes On- Lupe Fiasco

How to Love – Lil Wayne

Look At Me Now – Chris Brown fea. Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes

Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall… - Coldplay

Roll Up – Wiz Khalifa

Don’t Wanna Go Home – Jason Derulo

Blow – Ke$ha

Good Life – OneRepublic

I’m On One – DJ Khaled fea. Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne

Honey Bee – Blake Shelton

Tonight Tonight – Hot Chelle Rae

Motivation - Kelly Rowland fea. Lil Wayne

Just A Kiss – Lady Antebellum

Down On Me – Jeremih fea. 50 Cent

Top Movies - June 15, 2011 -

Green Lantern (1st week $53 million)

Super 8

Mr. Popper’s Penguins (1st week $18.4 million)

X-Men: First Class

The Hangover Part II

Kung Fu Panda 2

Bridesmaids

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger tides

Midnight In Paris

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer

The Tree of Life

Thor

Top TV Show/listings/tv guide - June 15, 2011 -

1.

NBA Finals: Dallas vs. Miami

ABC

2.

NBA Trophy Presentation

ABC

3.

NBA Finals: Miami vs. Dallas

ABC

4.

NBA Finals: Miami vs. Dallas

ABC

5.

America's Got Talent" (Tuesday)

NBC

6.

America's Got Talent" (Wednesday)

NBC

7.

The Voice

NBC

8.

60 Minutes

CBS

9.

NCIS

CBS

10.

NCIS: Los Angeles

CBS

11.

The Bachelorette

ABC

12.

The Mentalist

CBS

13.

The Big Bang Theory

CBS

14.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

CBS

15.

So You Think You Can Dance" (Wednesday)

FOX

16.

So You Think You Can Dance" (Thursday)

FOX

17.

Tony Awards

CBS

18.

Blue Bloods

CBS

19.

Hawaii Five-0

CBS

20.

CSI: NY

CBS

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