Dateline: Week Of March 1, 2011 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Republicans controlling the House are moving quickly to pass stopgap legislation to avoid a partial shutdown of the government when temporary funding runs out Friday. Tuesday's measure would keep the government running for two weeks to buy time for the Republican House, the Democratic Senate and the Obama White House to try to reach agreement on longer-term legislation to fund the government through the end of the budget year. It's a relatively mild volley in a party-defining spending battle that promises to go on for months or years.
The central Arkansas town of Greenbrier has been plagued for months by hundreds of small earthquakes, and after being woken up by the largest quake to hit the state in 35 years, residents said Monday they're unsettled by the increasing severity and lack of warning. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the 4.7 magnitude quake at 11 p.m. Sunday, centered just northeast of Greenbrier, about 40 miles north of Little Rock. It was the largest of more than 800 quakes to strike the area since September in what is now being called the Guy-Greenbrier earthquake swarm.
TRIPOLI, Libya – Residents of the rebel-held city closest to Libya's capital passed out sweets and cold drinks to fighters Tuesday and celebrated with a victory march after they managed to repel an overnight attack by forces loyal to longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi. Pro-Gadhafi forces also were repelled as they tried to retake two other opposition-held cities: Misrata, Libya's third-largest city 125 miles (200 kilometers) east of Tripoli, and Zintan, 75 miles (120 kilometers) south of the Libyan capital.
French fashion house Dior said on Tuesday (March1) it is firing John Galliano after complaints were lodged with police that their star designer made offensive and anti-Semitic comments. Dior said it decided to start procedures to fire Galliano after seeing a video clip that purportedly shows the designer shouting abuse at people in a Paris bar.
A Government Accountability report finds that the federal government wastes billions of federal dollars on duplicative spending in its byzantine bureaucracy. The Wall Street Journal explains: The agency found 82 federal programs to improve teacher quality; 80 to help disadvantaged people with transportation; 47 for job training and employment; and 56 to help people understand finances, according to a draft of the report reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.Other findings: There are 15 agencies enforcing food safety laws, 80 programs to boost the economy and 20 programs to help the homeless.
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount anti-gay protests outside military funerals, despite the pain they cause grieving families. The court voted 8-1 in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. The decision upheld an appeals court ruling that threw out a $5 million judgment to the father of a dead Marine who sued church members after they picketed his son's funeral. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for the court. Justice Samuel Alito dissented. Roberts said free speech rights in the First Amendment shield the funeral protesters, noting that they obeyed police directions and were 1,000 feet from the church.
Opponents of Moammar Gadhafi repelled an attack by the Libyan leader's forces trying to retake a key coastal oil installation in a topsy-turvy battle Wednesday in which shells splashed in the Mediterranean and a warplane bombed a beach where rebel fighters were charging over the dunes. At least six people were killed in the fighting. The assault on the Brega oil port was the first major regime counteroffensive against the opposition-held eastern half of Libya, where the population backed by mutinous army units rose up and drove out Gadhafi's rule over the past two weeks.
The suspect in the slaying of two U.S. airmen at Frankfurt airport has confessed to targeting American military members, a German security official said Thursday as investigators probed what they considered a possible act of Islamic terrorism. Hesse state Interior Minister Boris Rhein told reporters in Wiesbaden that the suspect, identified as a 21-year-old ethnic Albanian from Kosovo, was apparently radicalized over the last few weeks. Relatives in northern Kosovo identified him as Arid Uka, whose family has been living in Germany for 40 years. The suspect opened fire on a U.S. Air Force bus carrying 15 airmen based in the Lakenheath airfield in eastern England from Frankfurt to Ramstein Air Base, the Air Force said. From there, the airmen were to deploy to Afghanistan.
Employers hired in February at the fastest pace in almost a year, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.9 percent — a nearly two-year low. The economy added a net 192,000 jobs. Factories, professional and business services, education and health care were among the sectors that hired. Retailers, though, trimmed jobs. State and local governments, squeezed by budget gaps, slashed 30,000 jobs, the most since November. Federal government was flat.
Moammar Gadhafi loyalists swept into the opposition-held city closest to Tripoli on Saturday, tightening security around the regime-held capital. To the east, rebel forces captured a key oil port as the country veered toward civil war.The contrasting fortunes of the two warring sides suggest that the conflict in Libya could last for weeks and maybe months, with neither side mustering enough military power to decisively defeat the other. The government is fighting fiercely to maintain its hold in Tripoli and surrounding areas and the rebels are pushing their front westward from their eastern stronghold.
DNA confirmed that a man arrested Friday in Connecticut is the East Coast Rapist suspected of terrorizing women with sexual assaults from Virginia to Rhode Island over 12 years, police said Saturday. Lt. Julie Johnson said DNA was collected and subsequently matched by the state police forensic lab confirming 39-year-old Aaron Thomas was the East Coast Rapist.
President Obama said Saturday he has already met Republicans halfway in the on-going budget dispute and is "prepared to do more" in an effort to responsibly cut spending and avoid a government shutdown later this month.
A temporary two-budget that kept the trains running expires on March 18 as Republicans and Democrats wrangle over how much to trim from a longer-term plan that would fund government operations through Sept. 30, the close of the 2011 fiscal year. "We've got to step up our game," Obama said in his weekly address. "We can't do business two weeks at a time... We've got to keep that momentum going."
Repeated airstrikes by Libyan warplanes on Monday (March7) illustrated the edge Moammar Gadhafi holds in his fight against rebel forces marching toward the capital: He controls the air. After pleading from the uprising's leaders, Britain and France began drafting a U.N. resolution for a no-fly zone in Libya that could balance the scales. President Barack Obama warned that the U.S. and its NATO allies are still considering military options to stop what he called "unacceptable" violence by Gadhafi's regime. NATO decided to boost flights of AWACs surveillance planes over Libya from 10 to 24 hours a day, the U.S. Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder said.
Libyan helicopter gunships strafed opposition fighters as forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi pounded them with artillery and rockets Sunday, dramatically escalating a counteroffensive to halt the rapid advance of rebels toward the capital, Tripoli.
Another scene of heavy fighting was the city of Misrata, 120 miles (200 kilometers) east of Tripoli, where a doctor told The Associated Press 20 people were killed and 100 wounded. Residents said pro-Gadhafi troops punched into the city with mortars and tanks but were pushed out five hours later by rebel forces. The rebel commanders intentionally opened the way for government tanks to enter the city, then surrounded them and attacked with anti-aircraft guns and mortars, said Abdel Fatah al-Misrati, one of the rebels.
President Barack Obama reversed course Monday and ordered a resumption of military trials for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, making his once ironclad promise to close the isolated prison look even more distant. Guantanamo has been a major political and national security headache for the president since he took office promising to close the prison within a year, a deadline that came and went without him ever setting a new one. Obama made the change with clear reluctance, bowing to the reality that Congress' vehement opposition to trying detainees on U.S. soil leaves them nowhere else to go. The president emphasized his preference for trials in federal civilian courts, and his administration blamed congressional meddling for closing off that avenue.
Oil prices continued to set new post-recession highs Monday as forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi pounded rebels near a key oil port in Libya. It's unclear how long the country's oil exports will be cut off, and traders prepared for a worst-case scenario in which world supplies would be under pressure for months. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery gained $1.02 to settle at $105.44 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price almost hit $107 per barrel earlier in electronic trading, the highest level since Sept. 26, 2008.
Southwest Airlines Co. has joined a sweeping increase of $10 in the price of many domestic round-trip airfares, citing the need to offset high fuel prices. Southwest's action over the weekend may have ensured success for a price hike by major airlines that seemed to be faltering. Southwest carries more U.S. passengers than any airline and wields great influence over prices.
Fascinating Facts March 1, 2011 -
Lite News - The daughter of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has signed with William Morrow to publish "Not Afraid of Life," to come out this summer. Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, announced Tuesday that the memoir would provide "an inside look at her life." "Bristol gives readers an intimate behind-the-scenes look at her life for the first time, from growing up in Alaska to coming of age amid the media and political frenzy surrounding her mother's political rise; from becoming a single mother while still a teenager to coping as her relationship with her baby's father crumbled publicly — not once, but twice," according to Morrow.
Technology News March 1, 2011 -
Right now, the three leading types of smartphones are running nearly neck-and-neck in the U.S., although Google's Android models may be inching ahead. Data from Nielsen shows that slightly more U.S. consumers are buying Android phones than any other type of smartphone. Currently Android holds 29% of the US smartphone market; while the iPhone and BlackBerry hold 27% each. But wait: Android is an operating system, and there's considerable diversity among the manufacturers, models, features, and general user experience available in that category. Under the "Android" label you'll find everything from the high-end Motorola Droid Pro and the HTC Evo 4G to the lower-tech Samsung Intercept. Also, Android sytem updates get rolled out unevenly to various Android devices.
Sports News - March 1, 2011 -
Danica Patrick finished fourth in Saturday's Nationwide race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, becoming the highest finishing woman in any of NASCAR's to three series."We just had a good car, that's all I can say. That's what makes a difference in these things," said Patrick. "I know I haven't had the best results, especially in NASCAR, but we’re getting them now." Patrick had a pretty fast car throughout the entire race and only went a lap down because of the way that green-flag pit stops had cycled. She was able to get that lap back because of a cluster of cautions in the last half of the race. (Previously, Patrick had gone laps down because of a lack of speed, not bad luck).
Entertainment News March 1, 2011 -
Best Supporting Actress winner Melissa Leo may have made jaws drop at last Sunday's Academy Awards when she let the F-bomb fly during her acceptance speech, but The Fighter star says it was never her intention to shock and awe. "I really don't mean to offend, and [the Oscars were] probably a very inappropriate place to use that particular word," Leo, 50, told reporters backstage after accepting her trophy.
Passing - Filmmaker Gary Winick, who directed flicks like the Jennifer Garnervehicle 13 Going on 30, died Sunday at age 49. "He was suffering from brain cancer for quite some time, and it ultimately metastasized throughout his body," his manager Rosalie Swedlin, said.
Passing - "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" movie star Jane Russell, who became a controversial Hollywood sex symbol, died on Monday at the age of 89, her family said. Russell, best known as the buxom star of 1940s and 1950s movie, died of respiratory failure at her home in Santa Maria, central California, her family said.
Christina Aguilera was arrested early Tuesday morning in West Hollywood -- along with her boyfriend, Matthew Rutler. The "Not Myself Tonight" singer was arrested at 2:45 a.m. and booked on a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication. Aguilera is in the process of being released on $250 bail.
On the heels of his client's week of media rants bashing everyone from AA to CBS, Charlie Sheen’s long-term publicist Stan Rosenfield says he's no longer working for the troubled actor."I have worked with Charlie Sheen for a long time and I care about him very much," said Rosenfield. "However, at this time, I’m unable to work effectively as his publicist and have respectfully resigned."
While his professional life is in turmoil, Charlie Sheen says life at home with his "goddesses" is "perfect." "It's perfect. It's awesome. Every day is just filled with just wins. All we do is put wins in the record books," Sheen told ABC News. "We win so radically in our underwear before our first cup of coffee, it's scary. People say it's lonely at the top, but I sure like the view. ... These are the women that I love that have completed the three parts of my heart." Sheen lives with his two 24-year-old girlfriends — or as he calls them "goddesses" — Natalie Kenly, a nanny and graphic designer, and Rachel Oberlin, a porn star. Nicknaming himself the "Wedge," Sheen called Hugh Hefner an "amateur."
Christina Aguilera has signed on to be a coach on NBC's upcoming singing reality competition, "The Voice." The news comes just a day after Aguilera was arrested for public intoxication, but not charged.
Just one day after launching his Twitter account, Charlie has already crossed the 1 million followers mark.
Justin Bieber apologized on Wednesday for angrily hoisting his middle finger at paparazzi who buzzed the squeaky-clean pop star and his girlfriend after his birthday dinner in Los Angeles. The fracas occurred on Tuesday evening when Bieber and Disney starlet Selena Gomez left an Italian restaurant where they had celebrated his 17th birthday. A grim Bieber made the spontaneous gesture after he took the wheel of their vehicle and Gomez shielded her face. It was a rare outburst by the pop sensation.
Justin Bieber's hair is officially the stuff of legend: His hair clippings have sold for more than $40,000 on eBay. After the 17-year-old pop sensation chopped off some of his famous locks, he brought the clippings to the "Ellen" show. Host Ellen DeGeneres put them on eBay. When the bidding ended, the clippings went for $40,668. The proceeds are being donated to The Gentle Barn, which rescues neglected and abused animals and uses them to help disadvantaged kids. Bieber's magic touch continues. He's got two albums in the top five on the U.S. album chart this week, and his movie, "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (3-D)," has grossed almost $70 million at the box office since its release last month.
Don't hold it against her! Britney Spears gave an interview in the current issue of V Magazine talking about her new album "Femme Fatale," life in the spotlight and what's been on her iPod lately. "I think 'Femme Fatale' speaks for itself," Britney said, noting that she spent almost two years recording it. "I think it's the best album I have ever made." According to Britney, "Femme Fatale" is a "fierce dance record" to play while getting ready for a night on the town. "It's definitely my edgiest and most mature sound yet," she said.
He can't stop... he won't stop... and he's taking the Diddy train all the way to "American Idol." Sean "Diddy" Combs is heading to the hit FOX reality singing competition, where he'll perform his latest single, "Coming Home," as well as mentor the contestants in the ways of "swagger," courtesy of his signature clothing line, Sean John.
Miley Cyrus said she misses her hit Disney show. The teen star stopped by "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" on Thursday and dished about her upcoming hosting gig on "Saturday Night Live." "I'm super stoked, we've been rehearsing all day, It's been fun," Miley told Jimmy. "I love seeing you do funny stuff. I miss the 'Hannah Montana' days," Jimmy told the actress.
Lady Gaga made YouTube sensation Maria Aragon the happiest Little Monster in the world last night! The singer made good on her promise to duet with the 10-year-old and brought her onstage during her show on Thursday night in Toronto.
Its reveled that Mike Myers secretly wed his girlfriend, Kelly Tisdale, last fall. The couple was "married in a private ceremony and celebrated with family and friends," his rep told the magazine. Myers, 47, and Tisdale have been dating since he split from his wife of 12 years, Robin Ruzan, in 2006.
Passing - Frank Alesia, a character actor in the beach party movies of the 1960s and a director of "Captain Kangaroo," died February 27 of natural causes at his home in Carlsbad, California. He was 65.Alesia came to Hollywood from Chicago in 1964 and was one of the last character actors to work under the studio system. His film appearances included "Riot on the Sunset Strip" (1967) and some of the beach films that starred Frankie Avalon and/or Annette Funicello, including "Bikini Beach" (1964), "Pajama Party" (1964) and "Beach Blanket Bingo" (1965).
More Entertainment News - March 1, 2011 -
Scream" actor David Arquette was involved in a car crash on Friday and taken to a hospital, but was "okay and is getting treatment," his spokeswoman said. Arquette, 39, the estranged husband of former "Friends" star Courteney Cox, was driving in the West Hollywood community of Los Angeles when his car smashed into another automobile. Arquette and Cox announced a trial separation in October after 11 years of marriage. In January Arquette spent a month in rehab, reportedly for alcohol issues and depression.
Her new romance with Glee's Chord Overstreet isn't the only thing giving Taylor Swift reason to celebrate. Swift, 21, just nabbed her 7th No. 1 record with the hit "Back to December." On top of that, her album Speak Now got certified platinum for the third time. Currently in the midst of a World Tour, Swift leaves Asia and heads to Brussels to kick of a slew of European dates on Sunday.
Tyler Perry 's For Colored Girls topped the 42nd NAACP Image Awards with three trophies, including Best Picture.The film also took home the director and supporting actress awards Friday for Perry and Kimberly Elise, respectively. Perry had a great night overall: His TV series, Tyler Perry's House of Payne won Best Comedy Series, while his other show, Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns earned Best Actor in a Comedy Series honors for star David Mann. Halley Berry snagged Best Actress for her work in the drama Frankie & Alice, which also won Best Independent Film. Denzel Washington (The Book of Eli) and Samuel L Jackson (Mother and Child) won the lead and supporting actor prizes, respectively.
Courtney Love's settlement of a case sparked by online attacks on a fashion designer show that while Twitter posts may be short, they can also be costly.The singer has agreed to pay Dawn Simorangkir $430,000, plus interest, to settle a lawsuit the designer filed in March 2009 over comments Love made on Twitter and her MySpace blog. While the case didn't go to a jury, First Amendment experts say it highlights the need for celebrities and average people to watch what they say online.
Sean Penn thanked Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Saturday for supporting the actor's relief organization in Haiti, saying the aid has helped its humanitarian work in distributing medicines. Chavez met with Penn at the presidential palace and praised the actor's efforts with his J/P Haitian Relief Organization, which was founded in response to the catastrophic 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Neither provided details about how much financial assistance Venezuela has provided to the group.
Television News - March 1, 2011 -
Turns out it really does take a rocket scientist to beat Watson, the "Jeopardy"-winning computer. U.S. Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey — a five-time champion during the trivia show's original run 35 years ago — topped the IBM computer Monday night in a "Jeopardy"-style match of congressmen vs. machine held at a Washington hotel. Though Holt isn't the first human to beat Watson, the victory adds to the 62-year-old Democrat's already-impressive resume: a former State Department arms control expert and ex-leader of the federal Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.
Miley Cyrus has met her "Saturday Night Live" impression while lampooning a fellow teen pop star herself. Cyrus hosted "SNL" on Saturday night, leading to an inevitable face-off between the 18-year-old singer and cast member Vanessa Bayer's parody. But Cyrus appeared on Bayer's "The Miley Cyrus Show" not as herself, but 17-year-old Justin Bieber. Cyrus played Bieber as too hip to use Bayer's enthusiastic "pretty cool" catch phrase. In other sketches, Cyrus also played Fergie and Lindsay Lohan. Her Lohan impression occurred during a sketch with cast members portraying Charlie Sheen as the host of a TV show called "Duh! Winning!" with Lohan, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and fashion designer John Galliano as guests.
Monday (March7) – Charlie Sheen has been fired from “Two and a Half Men.” “After careful consideration, Warner Bros. Television has terminated Charlie Sheen’s services on ‘Two and a Half Men’ effective immediately,” Warner Bros. states.“No decision’s been made on the future of the show,” a rep for Warner Bros. tells the press. Charlie Sheen responded: “This is very good news. They continue to be in breach, like so many whales. It is a big day of gladness at the Sober Valley Lodge because now I can take all of the bazillions, never have to look at whatshiscock again and I never have to put on those silly shirts for as long as this warlock exists in the terrestrial dimension,” the actor says in a statement to the press.
Top Pop Hits March 1, 2011 –
Grenade – Bruno Mars
Born This Way – Lady Gaga
F**K You (Forget You) – Cee Lo Green
S&M – Rihanna
F**kin’ Perfect – P!nk
Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You) – Enrique Iglesias fea. Ludacris & DJ Frank E
Firework – Katy Perry
On The Floor – Jennifer Lopez fea. pitbll
E.T. – Katy Perry fea. Kanye West
I Need a Doctor – Dr. Dre. Fea. Eminem & Skylar Grey
Hold It Against Me- Britney Spears
Blow – Ke$ha
Rolling In The Deep – Adele
Moment 4 Life –Nicki Minaj fea. Drake
Hey Baby (Drop It To The Floor) – Pitbull fea. T-Pain
More – Usher
Rocketeer – Far East Movement fea. Ryan Tedder
Black and Yellow – Wiz Khalifia
Coming Home – Diddy – Dirty Money fea. Skylar Grey
Down on Me – Jeremih fea. 50 Cent
What The Hell – Avril Lavigne
Jar of Hearts – Christina Perri
Look At Me Now – Chris Brown fea. Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes
Never Say Never – Justin Bieber fea. Jaden Smith
Top Movies - March 1, 2011 -
Rango (1st week $38 million)
The Adjustment Bureau (1st week $20.9 million)
Beastly – (1st week $10.1 million)
Gnomeo & Juliet
The King’s Speech
Just Go With IT
I Am Number Four
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never: The Director’s Fan Cut
Take Me Home Tonight (1st week $3.5 million)
TV listings/TV Guide - March 1, 2011 -
Hip Tuesday night TV (TV Squad)
ABC: 'No Ordinary Family'
NBC: 'The Biggest Loser'
FOX: 'American Idol'
The CW: 'One Tree Hill'
MyNetwork TV: 'Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?' (two episodes)
Comedy Central: 'Onion SportsDome'
OWN: 'What Would You Do?'
After the jump, the rest of the schedule and the late-night talk shows.
CBS: 'NCIS: Los Angeles'
The CW: 'Hellcats'
Discovery: 'Dirty Jobs'
TLC: 'What Not to Wear'
Food Network: 'Cupcake Wars'
Travel Channel: 'Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern'
History Channel: 'Only in America With Larry the Cable Guy' (two episodes)
FOX: 'Raising Hope'
Cooking Channel: 'United Tastes of America'
ABC: '20/20': Charlie Sheen
CBS: 'The Good Wife'
USA: 'White Collar'
FX: 'Lights Out'
Bravo: 'Real Housewives of Miami'
Comedy Central: 'Tosh.0'
BBC America: 'Louis Theroux: Behind Bars'
Discovery: 'American Treasures'
BET: 'The Game'
BET: 'Let's Stay Together'
Late-Night Talk Shows
PBS: 'Charlie Rose': Amy Chua
TBS: 'Conan': Piers Morgan, Emmy Rossum and Nick Griffin
Comedy Central: 'The Daily Show': Ayman Safadi
E!: 'Chelsea Lately': Lil Jon
BET: 'The Mo'Nique Show': Chris Spencer, Camille Winbush and Bun B
Comedy Central: 'The Colbert Report': Evan Osnos
ABC: 'Nightline': TBA
CBS: 'The Late Show With David Letterman': Amanda Seyfried, B.J. Novak and the cast of 'Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark'
NBC: 'The Tonight Show': Matt Damon, Betty White and Cake
ABC: 'Jimmy Kimmel Live: Emily Blunt, Max Irons and Aaron Lewis
PBS: 'Tavis Smiley': Smokey Robinson
TBS: 'Lopez Tonight': Cheryl Burke
CBS: 'The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson': Carla Gugino and Tom Lennon
NBC: 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon': Isla Fisher, Josh Radnor and Dan St. Germain
NBC: 'Last Call With Carson Daly': Jason Sudekis, Elgin James and Freddie Gibbs