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Dateline: Week Of April 1, 2011 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts

In The News -

The unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8 percent in March, capping the strongest two months of hiring since before the recession began. The economy added 216,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday. Factories, retailers, the education and health care sectors and professional and financial services all expanded payrolls. Those job gains offset layoffs by local governments.

Libya's rebels will agree to a cease-fire if Moammar Gadhafi pulls his military forces out of cities and allows peaceful protests against his regime, an opposition leader said Friday as rebels showed signs that their front-line organization is improving. Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, head of the opposition's interim governing council based in Benghazi, spoke during a joint press conference with U.N. envoy Abdelilah Al-Khatib. After meeting government officials in Thursday, Al-Khatib was visiting the rebels' de facto stronghold of Benghazi in hopes of reaching a political solution to the crisis embroiling the North African nation.

Anger over the burning of the Muslim holy book at a Florida church fueled a second day of deadly violence half a world away in Afghanistan, where demonstrators set cars and shops ablaze Saturday in a riot that killed nine protesters, officials said. The church's desecration of the Quran nearly two weeks ago has outraged millions of Muslims and others worldwide, fueling anti-American sentiment that is further straining ties between the Afghan government and the West.

An airstrike intended to thwart Moammar Gadhafi's forces killed 13 rebel fighters in eastern Libya instead, the opposition said Saturday, but they described it as an "unfortunate accident" and stressed it did not diminish their support for the international air campaign. Opposition spokesman Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga said the slain fighters were hit Friday night as they moved forward, attempting to take back the oil city of Brega, while airstrikes were in progress. Seven fighters were injured. Ghoga said it was an example of the lack of coordination in the ranks that has proven a key obstacle to victory over the more organized Libyan military.

Japanese officials grappling on Sunday to end the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl were focusing on a crack in a concrete pit that was leaking radiation into the ocean from a crippled reactor. Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said it had found a crack in the pit at its No.2 reactor in Fukushima, generating readings 1,000 millisieverts of radiation per hour in the air inside the pit. "With radiation levels rising in the seawater near the plant, we have been trying to confirm the reason why, and in that context, this could be one source," said Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), said on Saturday.

Workers used a milky bathwater dye Monday as they frantically tried to trace the path of radioactive water seeping into the ocean from Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear plant. The crack in a maintenance pit discovered over the weekend was the latest confirmation that radioactivity continues to spill into the environment. The leak is a symptom of the primary difficulty at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex: Radioactive water is pooling around the plant and preventing workers from powering up cooling systems needed to stabilize dangerously vulnerable fuel rods.

Demonstrators battled police in southern Afghanistan's main city on Sunday and took to the streets in the turbulent east for the first time as Western pleas failed to halt a third day of rage over a Florida pastor's burning of the Quran.

An officer was shot dead in a second day of clashes in the city of Kandahar, said provincial health director Qayum Pokhla. Two officers and 18 civilians were wounded, he said.

Protests in response to a US pastor burning the Koran spread across Afghanistan for a second day on Saturday, killing at least nine people and injuring more than 70 in the southern city of Kandahar. On Friday, a demonstration in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif turned violent when an angry mob stormed a United Nations compound killing seven members of the foreign staff and five Afghans. The sustained unrest over Quran burning in Afghanistan stands in sharp contrast to the virtual shrugging off of another shocking incident involving US forces. A day after Terry Jones, the pastor of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., a church of about 30 congregants, burned the Quran on March 20, the German magazine Der Spiegel published photographs of US soldiers posing with dead Afghan civilians they’d killed for sport. Yet there was little, if any, popular reaction.

The United Nations mission in Ivory Coast began moving some 200 employees out of the main city Sunday after repeated attacks on its headquarters, as fighters loyal to the internationally recognized president prepared for a battle to oust the incumbent leader.

Sporadic gunfire rang out in central Abidjan on Sunday, and residents for the most part kept in their homes. Residents of the commercial capital have been restricted to their homes since forces supporting internationally recognized president Alassane Ouattara began their assault of Abidjan on Thursday. Electricity has been cut intermittently and the water was shut off citywide Sunday morning, though a few women could be seen on the street filling basins with water from the lagoon.

President Barack Obama formally launched his re-election campaign Monday(April4), urging grass-roots supporters central to his first White House run to mobilize again to protect the change he's brought over the past two years. The official start of his second White House bid, in the midst of three wars, a budget fight with Congress, and sluggish economic recovery, comes 20 months before the November 2012 election.

Southwest Airlines Co canceled 70 flights on Monday(April4) as it continued to inspect Boeing 737 planes following the emergency landing on Friday of a jet with a hole in its fuselage.Spokeswoman Whitney Eichinger said 70 flights systemwide were canceled for Monday out of about 3,400 daily flights. Of 79 Boeing older 737-300 model planes that were designated for additional inspections after the April 1 incident, 33 had been returned to service, she said.

House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday that private talks with President Barack Obama failed to produce a deal to avoid a government shutdown and warned that the House Republicans "will not be put in a box" of accepting options they refuse to endorse. Short of an agreement to cover the rest of the budget year, Boehner said House Republicans want a stopgap bill that would keep the government running for one more week and slash another $12 billion in spending.

Just when companies have finally stepped up hiring, rising oil prices are threatening to halt the U.S. economy's gains. Some economists are scaling back their estimates for growth this year, in part because flat wages have left households struggling to pay higher gasoline prices. Oil has topped $108 a barrel, the highest price since 2008. Regular unleaded gasoline now goes for an average $3.69 a gallon, according to AAA's daily fuel gauge survey, up 86 cents from a year ago.

A magnitude-7.4 aftershock rattled Japan on Thursday night, knocking out power across a large swath of the northern part of the country nearly a month after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that flattened the northeastern coast. Japan's meteorological agency issued a tsunami warning but canceled it about 90 minutes later. Officials said power was out in all of three northern prefectures (states) and in parts of two others.

House Republicans advanced legislation Thursday to avoid a government shutdown for one more week, cut spending and fully fund the Pentagon, but the White House labeled the measure a distraction and said President Barack Obama would veto it. Obama said in a statement he believes "we need to put politics aside and work out our differences" on a spending plan that covers the government through September, when the current budget year ends.

A gunman roamed the halls of an elementary school in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday and killed 12 children, lining them up against a wall and shooting them in the head at point-blank range as he shouted, "I'm going to kill you all!" It was the worst school shooting in Brazil — and would have been deadlier if the gunman had not been shot in the legs by a police officer, who said the man then fell down some stairs and shot himself in the head.

Those yearly statements that Social Security mails out — here's what you'd get if you retired at 62, at 66, at 70 — will soon stop arriving in workers' mailboxes. It's an effort to save money and steer more people to the agency's website. The government is working to provide the statements online by the end of the year, if it can resolve security issues, Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue said. If that fails, the agency will resume the paper statements, which cost $70 million a year to mail, he said.

Technology News - April 1, 2011 -

More than one million website pages have been hit by a sophisticated hacking attack that injects code into sites that redirect users to a fraudulent software sales operation.The so-called "mass-injection" attack, which experts say is the largest of its kind ever seen, has managed to insert malicious code into websites by gaining access to the servers running the databases behind the Internet, according to the technology security company that discovered it. Websense, which first found evidence of the attack earlier this week, has called it 'LizaMoon,' after the site to which the malicious code first directed its researchers. Users can see that they are being redirected when they attempt to visit an infected address, and can close the window with no ill effects, said Patrik Runald, a senior manager of security research at Websense. The attack has largely affected small websites so far, he said, with no evidence that popular corporate or government websites have been compromised.

A new, ultra-fast wireless Internet network is threatening to overpower GPS signals across the U.S. and interfere with everything from airplanes to police cars to consumer navigation devices. The problem stems from a recent government decision to let a Virginia company called LightSquared build a nationwide broadband network using airwaves next to those used for GPS. Manufacturers of GPS equipment warn that strong signals from the planned network could jam existing navigation systems.

Television News - April 1, 2011 -

Supermodel Elle Macpherson will host "Fashion Star," a new reality series for NBC.The show - which will search for the next big fashion brand -- gives 12 unknown designers the chance to win a multi-million dollar contract to launch their line in America's largest retail stores. Each week, the designers will be put through a variety of challenges that will push them to further develop and expand their brands. According to NBC, famous designers and buyers from America's largest retailers will serve as the judges, making on-the-spot decisions as they bid against each other, dipping into their own wallets to purchase the work of these up-and-coming designers.

paris hilton gets new reality seriesParis Hilton is returning to reality TV in her new Oxygen series, "The World According to Paris," and she promises to show her fans a side of herself that has never appeared on camera. "I'm so excited for 'The World According to Paris' to be on Oxygen, it's such a perfect network for the show," she told Access Hollywood at the Oxygen upfront presentation in New York City on Monday. "It's about living out loud, being a woman being empowered and just living life to the fullest and that's what the show's all about."

Wendy Williams is booted off “Dancing With the Stars.”

Fox News Channel on Wednesday said it was dropping Glenn Beck's afternoon talk show, which has sunk in the ratings and suffered financially due to an advertiser boycott.Fox and Beck said the show will end later this year. Fox News and Beck's company, Mercury Radio Arts, said they will work together to create other projects for Fox television and digital.

christian slater breaking in ratings april 2011Breaking In” The new Fox comedy starring Christian Slater broke out of the gate with 9.88 million people tuning in after American Idol Wednesday. Idol averaged 22.53 million viewers during Wednesday's 90-minute show, which featured contestants covering artists who've been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

American Idol Update - Just like Casey Abrams a few weeks before, "American Idol" delivered its second major shocking elimination on Thursday night, but this time there was no judges' save to keep one contender in the competition. Pia Toscano, the ballad-loving beauty, was told she received the lowest amount of votes out of a bottom 3, which also included Jacob Lusk and Stefano Langone, forcing her to exit from the competition.

Music News April 1, 2011 -

sherylcrow news april 2011Kid Rock is taking Sheryl Crow -- his duet partner on the 2002 hit "Picture" -- on the road this summer as a special tour guest, with a potential live album to follow. The duo will play 27 shows together starting July 2 in Cincinnati and finishing September 3 in Houston.

Jay-Z launched Life+Times a new lifestyle website showcasing the rapper's taste in high-end cars, clothes and gadgets – yesterday. It's not far off from his friend Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP newsletter, but with an aesthetic more keyed into the interests of ambitious and upwardly mobile young men – fashion and design posts are mixed in with items about sports and music.

Following the monster success of the title track off Lady Gaga's second full-length album, "Born This Way," the singer has announced the release date of her new single, "Judas" – as April 19.

Entertainment News - April 1, 2011 -

The patriarch of the sibling piano group 5 Browns was sentenced to 10 years to life in prison by a judge in Provo, Utah for sexually abusing his daughters when they were children, a report said on Thursday.Keith Brown, 55, was ordered to serve concurrent terms of 10 years to life in prison on a single count of sodomy on a child, and one to 15 years on two counts of sexual abuse of a child, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.Brown pleaded guilty to the felony charges in February after nearly six months of negotiations with prosecutors. His three adult daughters publicly confirmed that they had been victimized by him during the 1990s.

American Idol Update - There are just nine contestants left vying for the title of the "American Idol." Two contestants were cut on Thursday night, but neither of them were Casey Abrams. The bearded, soulful crooner, who the judges quickly used their save on last week, proved to be a hit with the viewers following his rendition of Elton John's "Your Song" on Wednesday night, a version good enough to help him easily sail through to the Top 9. While Casey found redemption after the judges' save, the two who were given the boot were Naima Adedapo and Thia Megia.

Prince William is giving up his bachelor status to take a bride, but a palace official said Thursday that he will not be wearing a wedding ring. His fiancee, Kate Middleton, plans to wear a wedding ring made of rare Welsh gold, a long-standing royal family tradition dating back nearly 90 years, after the couple marry on April 29 at Westminster Abbey. A spokeswoman for Prince William who spoke on condition of anonymity because of palace policy said these decisions represent the royal couple's personal wishes.

CBS Tweet Week - For eight days, CBS will have actors, musicians and sports analysts live-tweeting during network programming. The fun kicks off Sunday, April 3 during the Academy f Country Music Awards and will also include the NCAA Men's Division Basketball Championshiop and episodes of NCIS and THe Big Bang Theory before wrapping up on Monday, April 11. Tweeting celebs include NCIS' Pauley Perrette, Hawaii Five-O's Daniel Dae Kim and Survivor host Jeff Probst.

johnny deppJohnny Depp and Miley Cyrus are among the winners in this year's Kid's Choice Awards.

Charlie Sheen's kept an awfully high profile over the past month, yakking to TV interviewers, ranting on YouTube and tweeting on an hourly basis.

Now, he's coming to a city near you with, “My Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not an Option” stage show. The show starts in Detroit this week. (That show bombed but later this week – he’ll do better shows in Columbus and Chicago).

Saturday Night Live - As if the star power of host and musical guest Elton John wasn't enough for SNL, the 64-year-old superstar welcomed several celebrity guests including Tom Hanks, Jake Gyllenhaal, New York Knick Carmelo Anthony and former SNL vet Will Forte for John's first time hosting. For his monologue, John took a jab at his own storied alcohol and drug abuse when referencing his first and only other appearance on the late-night show, back in 1982. "Of all the things I tried once early in the 1980s, this seemed like the safest one to try again," John joked before proclaiming "the b---- is back."

miley back on twitterNearly 17 months after deactivating her Twitter account, Miley Cyrus has returned to the social networking site. "I am taking over the Gypsy Heart Twitter! Gotta keep ya posted on tour," the former Hannah Montana star explained on Sunday. "Come see me!"

Charlie Sheen has moved to trademark 22 of his catchphrases, including "Duh, Winning," "Vatican Assassin," "Tiger Blood" and "Rock Star From Mars.Records show that Hyro-gliff, a California-based company, filed trademark applications between March 19 and 22, seeking protection for everything from gambling machines, drinks, electronic games and bras. Yes, bras. The company also applied to trademark Sheen's name and signature, his nicknames for his home ("Sober Valley Lodge") and his girlfriends ("Sheen's Goddesses"), and the dual title of his current tour, "Violent Torpedo of Truth" and "Defeat Is Not an Option."

Reality TV guru Ryan Seacrest has replaced his former "American Idol" colleague, Simon Cowell, on the top of The Hollywood Reporter's fourth annual Reality Power List. Ryan's work on "Idol," “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution" (which he produces), and four different Kardashian shows, which catapulted him to the top of the mag's list and knocked Simon down to the sixth spot. The "The X Factor" creator held the coveted No. 1 spot in 2009 and 2010. The entertainment trade mag determined the rankings based on "quality and innovation," "the indelible mark" the person's programming makes, "impact on pop culture" and the ability to create "the watercooler factor."Other notable celebrities making the list include "Hell's Kitchen" head honcho Gordan Ramsay (No. 20), "Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe (No. 27), "Celebrity Rehab" host Dr. Drew Pinksky (No. 34), "Project Runway" host and executive producer Heidi Klum (No. 44) and Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner (No. 50).

In his Wednesday night performance of "My Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not an Option" live stage show at the Palace Theater in Columbus, Ohio, Charlie Sheen revealed he'd like to add a brunette to his harem of goddesses - and not just any old brunette - Charlie wants none other than a certain "Black Swan" beauty. “Mila Kunis. I mean, debate me, right?" he told the adoring crowd regarding which female he'd like to add to his existing goddess duo of Bree Olson and Natalie Kenly. "And here's the good news: My goddesses have already f***ing approved [Mila]... she's pre-approved."

Paris Hilton is holding $60,000 of jewelry that does not belong to her and should give it back, a new lawsuit contends. A German insurer, Allianz SE, has sued the celebrity socialite and heiress to the Hilton Hotels fortune, saying she has ignored several attempts to recover the borrowed jewels. According to an April 6 complaint filed in a New York state court, Hilton borrowed the jewelry in 2007 from the Manhattan jeweler Damiani, promising to store it in a safe or vault when she was not using it.

MTV announced it had ordered not one, but two Jersey spin-offs: one is a buddy comedy starring Snooki and JWoww as housemates and the other will follow Pauly D’s career as a DJ. Both as-yet untitled shows will premiere in 2012 and focus on the cast members' lives away from the Shore.

carrie underwood acting news april 2011Carrie Underwood says she's happy with her first acting performance on the big screen.The country music star plays a small but pivotal role in the film "Soul Surfer," the inspirational tale of shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton."I'm happy with myself for the role and for the movie," Underwood said Monday night in Las Vegas where she had just wrapped up taping "ACM Presents Girls' Night Out: Superstar Women of Country." "Am I going to win an Oscar? No. It was so much fun and the important thing is getting the story out there."

Top Movies April 1, 2011 -

Hop (1st week $37.5 million)

Source Code (1st week $14.8 million)

Insidious (1st week $13.2 million)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules


The Lincoln Lawyer

Sucker Punch



Battle: Los Angeles

The Adjustment Bureau

Red Ridding Hood

Jane Eyre

Top Pop Hits - April 1, 2011 –

S&M – Rihanna

E.T. – Katy Perry fea. Kanye West

F**k You (Forget You) – Cee Loo Green

Born This Way – Lady Gaga

Just Can’t Get Enough – The Black Eyed Peas

F**kin’ Perfect – P!nk

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

Down On Me – Jeremih fea. 50 Cent

On the Floor – Jennifer Lopez fea. Pitbull

Grenade – Bruno Mars

Blow – K$ha

katy perry news hits april 2011Firework – Katy Perry

Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You) – Enrique Iglesias fea. Ludacris &DJ Frank E.

Firework – Katy Perry

Moment 4 Life – Nicki Minaj fea. Drake

Hey Baby (Drop it To the Floor) – Pitbull fea. T-Pain

Coming Home – Diddy – Dirty Money fea. Skylar Grey

Rolling In the Deep – Adele

I Need a Doctor – Dr. Dre Fea. Eminem & Skylar Grey

More – Usher

Till The World Ends – Britney Spears

Jar of Hearts – Christina Perri

What The Hell – Avril Lavigne

Prety Girl Rock – Keri Hilson

All the The Lights – Kanye West

TV Guide/Listings - April 1, 2011

Hip Saturday Night TV


Nickelodeon: '2011 Kids Choice Awards'
TV Land: 'The Best of the American Comedy Awards'
The Hub: 'Dan Vs.'


CBS: 'NCAA Basketball'
The Hub: 'R.L. Stine's The Haunting'
HGTV: 'Curb Appeal: The Block'


FOX: 'America's Most Wanted'
CNBC: 'The Suze Orman Show'
HGTV: 'Secrets from a Stylist'


BBC America: 'Being Human'
Nickelodeon: 'Victorious'
HGTV: 'Antonio Treatment'


CNBC: 'Til Debt Do Us Part' (two episodes)
Biography: 'My Ghost Story'


NBC: 'Saturday Night Live': Elton John


Cartoon Network: 'Bleach'


Cartoon Network: 'Kekkaishi'


Cartoon Network: 'Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood'

Top TV


American Idol" (Wednesday)



Dancing With the Stars



American Idol" (Thursday)






NCIS: Los Angeles



60 Minutes






Undercover Boss



The Good Wife



CSI: Miami



Survivor: Redemption Island



Amazing Race 18



Modern Family



NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Connecticut vs. Arizona



NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Kentucky vs. Ohio State



Secret Millionaire



Grey's Anatomy



Hawaii Five-0



Mike & Molly





Hip Sunday Night TV (TV Squad)

ABC: 'America's Funniest Home Videos'
CBS: '60 Minutes'
NBC: 'Dateline'
Animal Planet: 'Wild Kingdom'


FOX: 'American Dad'


IFC: 'Life After Film School'


ABC: 'Secret Millionaire'
CBS: 'The Academy of Country Music Awards'
NBC: 'America's Next Great Restaurant'
Food Network: 'Chopped All-Stars' (two episodes)
Disney: 'Good Luck Charlie' (two episodes)
Travel Channel: 'Bert the Conqueror' (two episodes)
TCM: 'Fragments'
Style: 'Ruby'
OWN: 'Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes'
REELZ: 'The Kennedys' (series premiere - two episodes)


ABC: 'Desperate Housewives'
NBC: 'Celebrity Apprentice'
Lifetime: 'Army Wives'
AMC: 'The Killing'
Retro: 'Mike Hammer' (two episodes)
History Channel: 'Ax Men'
TLC: 'Sister Wives'
MTV: 'Britney Spears: I Am The Femme Fatale'
Cooking Channel: 'Food(ography)'
Oxygen: 'Snapped'
OWN: 'Oprah Presents Master Class'
HBO: 'Game of Thrones' preview
Showtime: 'The Borgias' (series premiere)


HBO: 'Mildred Pierce'


FOX: 'The Cleveland Show'


ABC: 'Body of Proof'
A&E: 'Breakout Kings'
Bravo: 'The Real Housewives of Orange County'
Food Network: 'Challenge'
E!: 'Kourtney and Kim Take New York'
TCM: 'Unseen Cinema'
TLC: 'Strange Sex' (two episodes)
Cooking Channel: 'Unique Eats'
WE: 'Amazing Wedding Cakes'
STARZ: 'Camelot'


HGTV: 'House Hunters International'


E!: 'After Lately'


Cartoon Network: 'Superjail'

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