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Dateline: Week Of April 22, 2011 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts

In The News –

Amnesty International says at least 75 people have been killed during the deadliest day of pro-democracy protests in Syria. The human rights group cited local activists. Syrian security forces fired live bullets and tear gas Friday on rallies across the country. The demonstrations are a sign that President Bashar Assad's attempts to quell the monthlong protests with a deadly crackdown and promises of reform have all but failed.

U.S. Sen. John McCain called for increased military support for Libya's rebels Friday, including weapons, training and stepped-up airstrikes, in a full-throated endorsement of the opposition in its fight to oust Moammar Gadhafi. A day after the U.S. began flying armed drones to bolster NATO firepower, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee said the United States and other nations should recognize the opposition's political leadership as the "legitimate voice of the Libyan people." The White House disagreed, saying it was for the Libyan people to decide who their leaders are.

Passing - Former Sony president and chairman Norio Ohga, credited with expanding the company from electronics hardware to software and entertainment and developing the compact disc, died Saturday at age 81. Ohga, who led the company from 1982 to 1995, died of multiple organ failure in Tokyo, Sony said. Some decisions made during Ohga's presidency, such as the $3.4 billion purchase of Hollywood studios Columbia Pictures, were criticized as unwise and costly at the time. But Ohga's focus on music, films and video games as a way to enrich the electronics business helped create Sony's success in his era. "We are always chasing after things that other companies won't touch," Ohga said in a 1998 interview with The Associated Press. "That is a big secret to our success." The flamboyant music connoisseur steered his work through his love of music. A former opera singer, Ohga insisted the CD be designed at 12 centimeters (4.8 inches) in diameter -- or 75 minutes worth of music -- to store Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in its entirety.

The U.S. military says two American soldiers have been killed while conducting operations in southern Iraq. In a statement, released on Saturday, the military says the deaths occurred Friday. No further details about how they died were released. The names of the deceased are being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense.

St. Louis' main airport was closed for business Saturday while crews cleaned up after a tornado tore through a terminal, causing several injuries and sending people scurrying for shelter as plated glass shattered around them. Friday evening's storm at Lambert Airport ripped away a large section of the main terminal's roof, forcing the airport to close indefinitely and diverting incoming flights to other cities. National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Truett confirmed Saturday it was a tornado that struck the airport.

During the long Afghan winter, Taliban insurgents were apparently busy underground. The militants say they spent more than five months building a 1,050-foot tunnel to the main prison in southern Afghanistan, bypassing government checkpoints, watch towers and concrete barriers topped with razor wire. The diggers finally poked through Sunday and spent 4 1/2 hours ferrying away more than 480 inmates without a shot being fired, according to the Taliban and Afghan officials. Most of the prisoners were Taliban militants.

In a sharp escalation of Syria's crackdown on dissent, thousands of soldiers backed by tanks poured Monday into the city where the five-week-old uprising began, opening fire indiscriminately on civilians before dawn and killing at least 11 people, witnesses said. Bodies were scattered in the streets and activists said the death toll could rise.

The Supreme Court rejected a call Monday from Virginia's attorney general to depart from its usual practice and put review of the health care law on a fast track. Instead, judicial review of President Barack Obama's signature legislation will continue in federal appeals courts. The justices turned down a request by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a leading opponent of the law, to resolve questions about its constitutionality quickly. The Obama administration opposed Cuccinelli's plea.

Pope Benedict XVI contrasted war and hunger with the joy of Easter Sunday and issued a ringing call for diplomacy to prevail over fighting in Libya, for nations to welcome refugees from conflict and for Middle East leaders to respect their citizens.

Syrian security forces detained dozens of opposition activists and others in raids Sunday launched less than a week after President Bashar Assad's regime abolished emergency laws used for decades to crush dissent, a human rights activist said.

More News - April 22, 2011 -

Flights are departing the St. Louis airport for the first time since a tornado struck two days ago.Departures began Sunday morning at Lambert Airport, even as cleanup continued. The C concourse remains closed, but airport and city officials hope to have the airport operating at about 70 percent capacity. However, dozens of departing flights remain canceled.

Seven Dead In Arkansas - The National Weather Service says first light has revealed the track of a deadly tornado that flattened trees and power lines, tore the roofs from homes and left a debris-strewn path through a small central Arkansas town. The tornado that swiped Vilonia late Monday killed at least four residents, while the severe storms sweeping much of the Midwest left at least three people dead elsewhere in the state.

Ford posted its best first-quarter profit in 13 years, as its new, more fuel-efficient vehicles reached showrooms during a surge in gasoline prices. New arrivals such as the Ford Explorer and Fiesta small car are selling well. Company profits are growing around the world. And Ford is charging more for its cars, helping offset higher commodity costs.

A wave of thunderstorms with winds blowing near hurricane force strafed the South on Wednesday, killing at least 16 people from Arkansas to Alabama, including a father struck by a tree while protecting his daughter at a Mississippi campsite. The death toll appeared likely to rise, with Alabama's governor saying there could be a half-dozen more deaths.

obama - news april 22 2011President Barack Obama plans to name CIA Director Leon Panetta as the next secretary of defense and move Gen. David Petraeus, now running the war in Afghanistan, into the CIA chief's job in a major shuffle of the U.S. national security leadership, senior administration officials and other sources said Wednesday. Defense Secretary Robert Gates will retire on June 30 with Panetta taking over in July. Gates told senior staff that he recommended Panetta as his replacement six months ago.

President Obama has put any doubt about his birthplace to rest by releasing the long-form version of his birth certificate. In a press conference Wednesday morning, Obama said that the question of whether he was really born in Honolulu, Hawaii, has been going on for two and a half years. "Over that time, I've watched with amusement, I've been puzzled at how this thing has kept on going," he said. "Normally, I would not comment on something like this. ... But two weeks ago, when the Republican House had put forward a budget that had huge consequences for the country ... the dominant news story wasn't about these huge choices, but about my birth certificate."

Indian spiritual guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba, revered by millions of followers as a living god, died Sunday in a hospital in southern India. He was 86. Sai Baba, who was admitted to hospital in his hometown of Puttaparti a month ago, died of multiple organ failure, media said. His followers, estimated to number six million, included top Indian politicians, business tycoons and Bollywoods stars.

kate and prince william marry april 22 2011Royal Wedding – Kate Middleton married Prince William in a union that promised to revitalize the British monarchy. A million people roared their approval as the royal couple then paraded through London in an open carriage. Even knowing that an immense television audience was turning in to watch, the couple managed, at times, to appear in their own private world Friday, both at Westminster Abbey and on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. William whispered to Kate, who radiated contentment and joy, as they pledged their lives to one another at the church with the simple words "I will."

British police arrested 55 people in London on Friday for a range of mostly minor offences as the force mounted one of the biggest security operations ever seen in the capital around the royal wedding. Around 5,000 officers were on duty to control the huge flag-waving crowds, alongside around 1,000 soldiers lining the route from Westminster Abbey to Queen Elizabeth's London residence, Buckingham Palace. One million people lined the route between the church and Buckingham Palace and 500,000 watched the couple appear on the palace balcony after the service, police estimated.

A divided federal appeals court has ruled that opponents of taxpayer-funded stem cell research are not likely to succeed in a lawsuit to stop it. In a 2-1 decision Friday, the panel of the U.S. court of appeals in Washington overturned a judge's order that would have blocked taxpayer funding for stem cell research. The 1996 law prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars in work that harms an embryo, so private money has been used to cull batches of the cells. Those batches can reproduce in lab dishes indefinitely, and the Obama administration issued rules permitting taxpayer dollars to be used in work on them.

Americans earned and spent more in March, but much of the extra money went to pay for gas.Personal incomes rose 0.5 percent last month and consumer spending increased 0.6 percent, the Commerce Department reported Friday. But after adjusting for inflation, spending rose only 0.2 percent and after-tax incomes were essentially flat.

NATO powers rejected Moammar Gadhafi's call for a cease-fire and negotiations on Saturday, saying they need "actions not words," and aid ships were prevented from docking in a besieged coastal city while the alliance swept the port for mines. Human Rights Watch said two mines had been destroyed by NATO forces combing the Misrata port while a third was being closely monitored. The alliance did not give details but said the process would take time.

The Taliban announced the beginning of their spring military offensive against the U.S.-led coalition Saturday(April30), a day after a new Pentagon report claimed that the militants' fighting spirit was low after sustaining heavy losses on the battlefield. In a two-page statement, the Taliban said that beginning Sunday they would launch attacks on military bases, convoys and Afghan officials, including members of the government's peace council, who are working to reconcile with top insurgent leaders.

Technology News April 22, 2011 -

steve jobs - apple phones tracking april 2011Apple Tracking Of Phone Users? No Says Steve Jobs. It's been a week since the iPhone location-tracking scandal began and still no official statement from Apple. But according to an email exchange obtained by MacRumors, CEO Steve Jobs remains unapologetic and says Google's Android phones are the real culprits. "We don't track anyone. The info circulating around is false," reads an email from Jobs to a customer complaining about reports that the iPhone transmits users longitude-latitude coordinates to Apple.

Facebook on Monday began letting members of cozy cliques formed at the social networking service share website links or photo albums without all their friends knowing about it. A "Send" button that lets people share website links with selected cadres instead of all Facebook friends was among enhancements being rolled out to a "Groups" feature launched in October of last year. More than 50 million groups have been created at Facebook since the option became available. "A year ago, we launched the 'Like' button, which gives you a quick way to share the things you find on the Web with all your friends," Groups team engineer Elliot Lynde said in a blog post.

Sony warned that hackers stole password, birthday and other data about users of its PlayStation Network that connected PlayStation 3 (PS3) consoles to online games, films and more. PlayStation Network and Qriocity streaming music service were turned off April 20 in the wake of an "external intrusion," according to Sony spokesman Patrick Seybold.

The white iPhone 4 can really, truly, finally be yours this week. A full 309 days after it was supposed to be launched, Apple) said it has discovered the secret sauce to manufacturing its smartphone in a white casing, and it is ready to put the device on sale at Apple, Verizon) and AT&T stores across the country.

In the wake of a giant brouhaha over the news that Apple's iPhones record and store users' locations, Verizon Wireless says it will start slapping 'we can track you!' warning stickers on its products.

Entertainment News - April 22, 2011 -

Marry - CSI actor Eddie Cibrian and LeAnn Rimes. It's the second marriage for both.

Lindsay Lohan was briefly jailed again on Friday after a rollercoaster day in which a judge downgraded her jewelry theft charge, but sentenced the actress to four months behind bars for violating her probation. Looking confused and distressed, Lohan -- who was locked up for two weeks last summer -- was taken immediately to jail from court after a day-long preliminary hearing on charges that she stole a $2,500 gold necklace from a store in January.

Stefeano Langone is voted off "American Idol."

trump seinfeld feud april 2011Donald Trump Not Happy With Jerry Seinfeld - Trump fired off a letter Wednesday after Seinfeld canceled his planned appearance at a Sept. 13 event benefiting the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for the Eric Trump Foundation.The comedian reportedly backed out in response to Trump's questioning of Obama's citizenship."I just learned you canceled a show for my son's charity," Trump wrote, "because of the fact that I am being very aggressive with respect to President Obama, who is doing an absolutely terrible job as our leader. We don't care that you broke your commitment even though the children of St. Jude are very disappointed, and despite the fact that your manager clearly stated you are 'truly a man of his word.'" The Donald then began taking jabs at The Marriage Ref, Seinfeld's NBC relationship comedy show that premiered last year.

Passing - "I Love Lucy" writer Madelyn Pugh Davis. She was 90.

Country TIm McGraw is getting his own channel on Sirius/XM - "Tim McGraw Radio."

Time magazine has revealed the Time 100 for 2011, the magazine's eighth annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, which includes Canada's biggest pop star, one of America's biggest TV stars... and a "Gossip Girl"-turned-big screen leading lady.Many Hollywood notables made the coveted list this year, including Justin Bieber, Chris Colfer, Blake Lively, Oprah Winfrey, Amy Poehler, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, Colin Firth, "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner, Prince William and Kate Middleton, Bruno Mars, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg and designer Tom Ford.

NBC has pulled "The Paul Reiser Show" off the air after just two episodes. The comedy premiered last week to 3.3 million viewers in the coveted 18-49 year old demographic, ranking as the network's lowest-rated in-season comedy beginning ever. Its second episode didn't fare any better, collecting 2.5 million viewers in 18-49 demographic.

Kevin Antoine Dodson, star of a viral Internet song warning neighbors to watch out for a sexual predator, was arrested and charged with marijuana possession after being stopped for speeding, police said on Saturday. Dodson was charged with second degree marijuana possession, speeding, failure to have liability insurance and other minor charges after police stopped him early Saturday in Huntsville, Huntsville Police spokesman Dr. Harry Hobbs told Reuters.

lindsay lohan jailed april 22 2011Lindsay Lohan is sentenced to 120 days in jail. The 24-year-old actress -- who was sentenced to 120 days in jail and 480 hours of community service by Judge Stephanie Sautner on Friday -- will be spending her time working in the morgue.

Passing – Singer Phoebe Snow – best known for her 1970’s, “Poetry Man.” of complications from a brain hemorrhage she suffered last year..She was 60.

He's at it again! Tyler Perry has signed a deal to bring dramedy series For Better or Worse to TBS. The show will be based on his Why Did I Get Married? film franchise and feature Married's Michael Jai White and Tasha Smith are reprising their roles. TBS has ordered 10 episodes of the series, which is expected to debut in the fall. Worse follows Tyler's successful TBS series, “Meet the Browns” and “House of Payne,” the latter of which will wrap its 222-episode run as Worse is launching.

Katy Couric said on Tuesday(April 26) she is stepping down, as expected, as anchor of the "CBS Evening News," five years after her much-hyped appointment as the first woman to single-handedly host a nightly newscast on a major U.S. television network. Couric, 54, who moved to CBS News in 2006 after 15 years as co-host of NBC's top-rated morning show, "Today," did not make clear whether she was leaving CBS altogether or when her departure would become effective.

Rapper-actor Ice-T’s's family life is going under the microscope with "Ice Loves Coco," a new reality series at E!The eight-episode half-hour series will revolve around the "Law & Order: SVU" co-star's marriage to his model wife of 10 years, Coco. It premieres June 12 at 10:30 p.m. Ice T, 53, whose real name is Tracy Morrow, rose to fame as a pioneering gangsta rapper and branched out into hard rock with his band Body Count. Their song "Cop Killer" raised the establishment's ire in 1992.

Things turned ugly when Paris Hilton and Cy Waits showed up to an L.A. courtroom to testify against an alleged home intruder on Wednesday.After an overzealous fan broke through a group of photographers, he threw water in Waits' face and grabbed the nightclub owner by the neck; Hilton's security team quickly intervened and subdued the attacker.

ann curry replacing meredith today showAnn Curry will replace Meredith Vierira on Today. Vieira is set to leave the NBC morning show in June, three months before the end of her contract.Curry, who was passed over for the job when Vieira replaced Katie Couric in 2006, will then step up to co-host Today with Matt Lauer.

Casey Abrams gets booted from “American Idol.” A lot of fans are going to be disappointed with tonight's result," host Ryan Seacrest said at the top of the show. Later, Abrams, Jacob Lusk and Scotty McCreery faced the axe, though Seacrest confirmed the contestants were not in the traditional bottom three, but selected at random. Abrams -- who sang Carole King’s "Hi De Ho" for his final performance -- was in high spirits despite having to say goodbye.

Steve Carrell’s last episode as a series regular on The Office aired Thursday night(April 28). For seven seasons, the 48-year-old actor has played Dunder Mifflin paper company's lovable but inept branch manager, Michael Scott.

Top Movies - April 22, 2011 –


tyler perry news movie april 22 2011Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family

Water For Elephants


Scream 4

African Cats

Soul Surfer



Source Code


Top Music Albums April 22, 2011 –

Wasting Light – Foo Fighters

21 Adele

So Beautiful Or So What – Paul Simon

Dram y Luz – Mana

Paper Airplane – AlisonKraus + Union Station

Rolling Papers – Wiz Khalifa

Songs for Japan

Femme Fatale – Britney Spears

Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons

Who Are You – Jessie J

Nine Types of Light – TV on the Radio

Hello Fear – Kirk Franklin

The Family Sign – Atmosphere

American Tragedy – Hollywood Undead

Loud – Rihanna

My Kina Party – Jason Aldean

Lemonade Mouth – soundtrack

I Remember Me – Jennifer Hudson

Teenage Dream – Katy Pery

Never Say Never: The Remixes – Justin Bieber

My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber

The King of Limbs – Radiohead

NOW 37

Greatest Hits… So Far!!! – P!nk

Country Strong - soundtrack

Top TV Shows/listings/TV Guide - April 22 - 2011 -


American Idol" (Wednesday)



American Idol" (Thursday)



Dancing With the Stars



Dancing With the Stars Results






Hawaii Five-0



Body of Proof



NCIS: Los Angeles



The Mentalist



Survivor: Redemption Island






60 Minutes



Desperate Housewives



Mike & Molly



Modern Family






Amazing Race 18



NCIS: Los Angeles" (Tuesday






Criminal Minds


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