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

In The News -

Destructive storms that tore across the country's midsection left at least 17 people dead after smashing uprooted trees into homes in Arkansas and ripping apart the only school in one tiny Oklahoma town, officials said Friday. A tornado swept through Tushka in southeast Oklahoma town late Thursday, killing two sisters in their 70s, Salvation Army Capt. Ric Swartz said.

Syria's president said Saturday(April16) he expects the government to lift a state of emergency that has been in effect for nearly 50 years, a key demand by a monthlong protest movement that has posed the most serious challenge to the country's authoritarian regime. In his second public appearance since the protests began, President Bashar Assad warned there will no longer be "an excuse" for organizing protests after Syria lifts the emergency laws and implements reforms.

President Barack Obama is promoting his new deficit-reduction plan by drawing sharp contrasts with a House Republican budget that he says offers a vision that "is wrong for America." In his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, Obama contended that Republicans want to dismantle venerable safety net programs and cut taxes for the wealthy at the expense of students paying for college and older adults relying on Medicare. "To restore fiscal responsibility, we all need to share in the sacrifice - but we don't have to sacrifice the America we believe in," Obama said

Los Angeles County health officials say the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease was found in a hot tub at the Playboy Mansion where scores of people became ill after attending a fundraiser in February. The Los Angeles Times says health officials presented their findings Friday at an annual conference at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. The legionella bacteria also causes a milder illness called Pontiac fever. Symptoms include fever and headache.

A furious storm system that kicked up tornadoes, flash floods and hail as big as softballs has left at least 40 people dead on a rampage that stretched for days as it barreled from Oklahoma to North Carolina and Virginia. Emergency crews searched for victims in hard-hit swaths of North Carolina, where 62 tornadoes were reported from the worst spring storm in two decades to hit the state. Eleven people were confirmed dead in Bertie County, county manager Zee Lamb said, bringing the state's death toll to at least 18 people on Sunday.

Gambling online just got significantly less convenient Friday when the U.S. Government shut down the three largest Internet gambling sites operating in the United States. Now it's time for a precedent-setting showdown, where courts will determine if this kind of gambling is legal or not. Federal prosecutors accused the three founders of the gambling sites and eight others with illegal gambling, bank fraud and money laundering, according to the Financial Times.

NATO military commanders conceded Tuesday they are unable to stop Moammar Gadhafi's shelling of the rebel-held city of Misrata, where hospitals are overwhelmed with casualties, while Britain said it will dispatch senior military officers to advise the opposition.

Raul Castro was named first secretary of Cuba's Communist Party on Tuesday, and his aging brother Fidel was formally removed from the leadership for the first time since the party's creation 46 years ago. Despite raising hopes during the gathering that a new generation of leaders was poised to take up important positions, the island's president announced that Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, an 80-year-old longtime confidant, would be his No. 2.

A federal agency approved a construction and operations plan for the Cape Wind project off the Massachusetts coast, clearing the way for work to begin on America's first offshore wind farm as early as this fall, U.S. Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar announced Tuesday. Approval by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement was required before construction of the proposed 130-turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound could get under way.

Syria's government approved lifting the country's nearly 50-year-old state of emergency Tuesday to meet a key demand of anti-government protesters, but opposition leaders dismissed it as an attempt by President Bashar Assad to claim reforms but maintain his hard-line rule.

A jury on Tuesday convicted the majority owner of what had been one of the nation's largest mortgage companies on all 14 counts in a $2.9 billion fraud trial that officials have said is one of the most significant prosecutions to arise from the nation's financial crisis. Prosecutors said Lee Farkas led a fraud scheme of staggering proportions for roughly eight years as chairman of Florida-based Taylor Bean & Whitaker. The fraud not only caused the company's 2009 collapse and put its 2,000 employees out of work, but also contributed to the collapse of Alabama-based Colonial Bank, the sixth-largest bank failure in U.S. history.

Stepping away from Washington's contentious fiscal debates, President Barack Obama is making a West Coast trip aimed at building support for his deficit-reduction plans and raising money for his re-election campaign. In town hall meetings in California and Nevada, including one hosted Wednesday by Facebook, Obama will pitch his prescription for reducing the deficit by $4 trillion over 12 years through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases for the rich. The president's three-day trip is his most extensive travel since he announced his 2012 bid earlier this month.

mommar gadhafi news april 2011France vowed Wednesday to step up airstrikes on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces and acknowledged that it has military officers already working with Libyan rebels on the ground. Italy joined Britain in announcing their commitment of military instructors to train the rebels, who have failed to rout Moammar Gadhafi's forces despite weeks of NATO-led airstrikes.

Hatia - Michel Martelly, a popular singer known by the stage name "Sweet Micky," was officially declared the next president of this earthquake-devastated country, election officials said. Martelly won the presidency with 67.6 percent of the vote, defeating rival candidate and former first lady Mirlande Manigat, Haitian electoral commission spokesman Pierre Thibault said Wednesday.

Libyan rebels said Thursday they had control of a post on the Tunisian border, forcing government soldiers to flee over the frontier and possibly opening a new channel for opposition forces in Moammar Gadhafi's bastion in western Libya.

Japan sealed off a wide area around a radiation-spewing nuclear power plant on Friday to prevent tens of thousands of residents from sneaking back to the homes they quickly evacuated, some with little more than a credit card and the clothes on their backs. Fearing they might not see their homes again for months, evacuees raced into the deserted towns Thursday before the ban took effect to grab whatever belongings they could cram into their cars.

Gold prices hit record highs for a fifth session on Thursday and silver rallied to its strongest since 1980 as the dollar slid to a three-year low against a basket of major currencies. The action in the currency markets added fuel to a rally sparked by concerns over the U.S. economic outlook, rising inflation, worries over euro zone debt and historically low interest rates in the United States, analysts said. Spot gold was bid at $1,502.10 an ounce at 1322 GMT, against $1,498.15 late in New York on Wednesday, having earlier peaked at $1,508.75 an ounce. U.S. gold futures for June delivery rose $3.90 an ounce to $1,502.80.

Tech News April 15, 2011 -

The publishing tide is shifting fast: E-book sales in February topped all other formats, including paperbacks and hardcovers, according to an industry report released this week. E-book sales totaled $90.3 million in February, up 202% compared to the same month a year earlier, according to a study from the Association of American Publishers. That put e-books at No. 1 "among all categories of trade publishing" that month -- the first time e-books have beaten out traditional publishing formats.

An Australian firm has created what it's calling the World’s Biggest Pac-Man game. And it's letting users make it even bigger.

Soap Creative, which designed the official Pac-Man website, rolled out the online game last week. Since then, players have gobbled up nearly 270 million dots and sacrificed the life of video-game history's hungriest golden orb more than 1.4 million times.

Verizon announced Thursday that it activated 2.2 million verizon connects 2milion iphonesiPhones during the quarter, helping the company more than triple its profit from a year ago. The wireless division of telecom giant began selling the iPhone on Feb. 10. Verizon only sold the iPhone 4 for 50 days during the quarter, compared to the full 90 days of the quarter that Apple's smartphone sold on rival AT&T's network.

Scores of websites and Internet services like Foursquare and Reddit crashed or had limited availability Thursday because of problems at a data center run by Amazon.com. The problems revealed widespread reliance on Amazon Web Services, which rents out computers and data storage on a self-service basis over the Internet. AWS is generally considered reliable because it uses vast numbers of computers, spread out in different data centers, making Thursday's failure unusual.

Sports News April 15, 2011 -

Onetime World Series hero Lenny Dykstra has been charged with fraud for allegedly selling or destroying some $400,000 in property that was subject to his bankruptcy case, federal prosecutors said on Friday. The 48-year-old former ballplayer also faces apparently unrelated state charges after his arrest by Los Angeles police on Thursday night on suspicion of grand theft. He was being held on $500,000 bail. Dykstra, who filed for bankruptcy in July of 2009, was charged in a federal criminal complaint with one count of embezzling from a bankruptcy estate, said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.

Music News - April 15, 2011 -

kanye west at indio april 2011Kayne West and many others perform at California’s annual Coachella Music Festival.

Passing - Gerard Smith, a bassist for the indie rock band TV on the Radio, died Wednesday after a battle with lung cancer.He was 34.

MTV is taking its inaugural O Music Awards to Las Vegas. The network announced Tuesday that its planned show honoring digital music and fandom will take place at a "mystery location" in Las Vegas on April 28. The hourlong live show will stream online and on mobile. The show includes categories like "must-follow artist on Twitter" and "best fan cover." Fan voting will decide the awards. MTV says 1.9 million votes have been cast.

At the Vegas event, rapper Chidera "Chiddy" Anamege of the hip-hop group Chiddy Bang will try to enter the Guinness World Records for longest freestyle rap. Other scheduled performers will include Lupe Fiasco, Lil B, Matt & Kim and Mumford & Sons.

Entertainment News - April 15, 2011 -

Police have arrested and charged a man for stealing $100,000 in jewelry from Jon Bon Jovi's home home. Nicholas Tracy, 21, broke into the rocker's New Jersey home, as well as three of his neighbor's homes over the past month. He was caught on Wednesday hiding in the bathroom of a Middletown Township house after tripping the burglar alarm that alerted the police.

prince harry promoted to captain april 2011Prince Harry has been promoted to Captain within the Army Air Corps in recognition of time service in the Armed Forces.The 26-year-old royal -- now known as Captain Harry Wales in the military -- was also awarded his Apache Badge from the Officer in Command of his squadron on Thursday, marking the completion of his eight-month Apache Conversion to Type course.

Graffiti and drug charges filed against the daughter of Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards will be dismissed if she performs two days of public community service, a Manhattan Criminal Court judge said on Thursday.Prosecutors agreed to the deal because Richards, 25, has no prior criminal record and is currently in a drug treatment program. She is due back in court on June 24 to confirm for the judge that she has completed her community service. Richards was arrested on March 1 after plainclothes officers spotted her using an acrylic paint marker to spray the letters "T" and "A," with a heart symbol between them, on the side of a building in New York's trendy Soho neighborhood, police said.

New Orleans - Actor Nicolas Cage was arrested after he got drunk in the city's French Quarter and argued in the street with his wife over whether a house they were in front of was theirs, police said Saturday. The couple was in front of a home that Cage insisted they were renting, police said. When she said it wasn't theirs, Cage grabbed her arm, according to a police news release.

Passing - Michael Sarrazin, best known for starring opposite Jane Fonda in 1969's "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?," has died in Montreal after a brief battle with cancer. He was 70.

Michael Jackson’s estate reached a settlement Tuesday that ended its lengthy fight with a nonprofit that claimed it was the successor to the singer's Heal the World charity. The deal came just as a trial was set to begin to decide ownership of lucrative trademarks. The singer's estate battled the Heal the World Foundation in federal court for more than 18 months, alleging it was misusing trademarks and likeness rights to create an association with Jackson's defunct charity.

The Happy Days cast is decidedly unhappy about not winning the jackpot on merchandise using their likenesses on slot machines, comic books, lunch boxes and other collectibles. Erin Moran, Donny Most, Marion Ross, Anson Williams and the estate of the late Tom Bosley claim that CBS, which owns the show, hasn't paid them money they're owed under their contracts.

Musician Mary Robbins, the mother of actor Tim Robbins, has died She was 78. Robbins died Sunday at her home in Esteban Cantu, Mexico, of a heart arrhythmia just 12 days after her husband, Gil Robbins, died of prostate cancer at 80. The couple had been married for 59 years.

justin timberlake saturday night live Justin Timberlake will be back to host “Saturday Night Live” – May 21.

Top Movies April 15, 2011 -

Rio (1st week $39.2 million)

Scream 4 (1st week $18.2 million)



Soul Surfer



Source Code

Your Highness



Top Pop Hits - April 15, 2011 -

S&M – Rihanna

E.T – Katy Perry fea. Kanye West

Just Can’t Get Enough – The Black Eyed Peas

F**k You (Forget You) – Cee Lo Green

Born This Way – Lady Gaga

Till The World Ends – Britney Spears

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

On the Floor – Jennifer Lopez fea. Pitbull

Rolling In The Deep – Adele

Down On Me – Jeremih fea. 50 Cent

F&&kin’ Perfect – P1nk

Kesha news facts trends april 2011Blow – Ke$ha

Honey Bee – Blake Shelton

Written In the Stars – Tinie Tempah fea. Eric Turner

Moment 4 Life – Nicki Minaj fea. Drake

Honey Bee – Blake Shelton

The Show Goes On – Lupe Fiasco

Firework – Katy Perry

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

Genade – Bruno Mars

All of the Lights – Kanye West

Hey Baby (Drop It To Floor) – Pittbull fea. T-Pain

I Need A Doctor – Dr. Dre fea. Eminem & Skylar Grey

The Lazy Song – Bruno Mars

Coming Home – Diddy – Dirty Money fea. Skylar Grey

Top TV Shows/listings/tv guide- April 15, 2011


American Idol" (Wednesday)



American Idol" (Thursday)



Dancing With the Stars






Dancing With the Stars Results



NCIS: Los Angeles



Criminal Minds









Survivor: Redemption Island


Body of Proof



The Good Wife



60 Minutes



The Mentalist



CSI: Miami



Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior



Modern Family



Hawaii Five-0



Desperate Housewives



Undercover Boss


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