Dateline: Week Of January 1, 2011 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
The police investigation into a New Year's church bombing that killed 21 people is focusing on a local group of Islamic hard-liners inspired by al-Qaida, Egyptian security officials said Sunday. The suicide attack in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria struck Coptic Christian worshippers as they were leaving midnight Mass Saturday about 30 minutes into the new year and also wounded about 100. Dozens returned to pray Sunday in the blood-spattered Saints Church, many of them sobbing, screaming in anger and slapping themselves in grief.
After a holiday season of relentless rain in Southern California, the 122nd Rose Parade was bathed Saturday in abundant sunshine. Clear blue skies and chilly temperatures greeted hundreds of thousands of spectators who lined Colorado Boulevard to gawk at the New Year's Day showcase of flowery floats, marching bands and equestrians.
First, New Year's Eve fireworks were blamed in central Arkansas for making thousands of blackbirds confused, crashing into homes, cars and each other. Then 300 miles to the south in Louisiana, power lines likely killed about 450 birds, littering a highway near Baton Rouge. It's almost certainly a coincidence the events happened within days of each other, Louisiana's state wildlife veterinarian Jim LaCour said Tuesday. "I haven't found anything to link the two at this point."
Videos just coming to light show the crew of a Navy aircraft carrier got an eyeful on shipboard TV: Gay slurs, suggestive shower scenes and mimicked masturbation in clips made not by some sailor run amok but by the ship's second-most powerful officer. The Navy said Sunday it will investigate the "clearly inappropriate" videos shown through the nuclear-powered ship's closed-circuit television system as part of an onboard movie night. The star of the videos, made in 2006 and 2007, is Capt. Owen Honors, who now commands the USS Enterprise but was its executive officer — the second in command — when the videos were made.
Democrat Jerry Brown was sworn in Monday as California's 39th governor, returning to the office he left 28 years ago but inheriting a much different and more troubled state than the one he led then.
A Rasmussen survey finds says that only 21% of Likely U.S. Voters want the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the Internet as it does radio and television. Fifty-four percent (54%) are opposed to such regulation, and 25% are not sure. The survey was conducted shortly after the FCC decided on a party line vote to impose so-called “net neutrality” regulations on the Internet world. Republicans and unaffiliated voters overwhelmingly oppose FCC regulation of the Internet, while Democrats are more evenly divided. Those who use the Internet most are most opposed to FCC regulations.
Ending a two-week vacation, President Barack Obama is appealing to newly-empowered Republicans to resist jockeying for the White House in 2012 and work with him to get the economy growing and the jobless back to work. Facing anything but a political soft landing after his holiday stay in Hawaii, Obama told reporters en route to the capital Tuesday that he understands Republicans, who recaptured the House in last fall's elections, "are going to play to their base for a certain period of time."
Sales of General Motors cars and trucks rose 6.3 percent last year as a strong lineup of new models helped the company make a comeback from its 2009 bankruptcy. GM sold 2.2 million cars and trucks in 2010, nearly 131,000 more than the prior year, even though it got rid of four brands to focus on Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC.
A Texas man had his conviction overturned Tuesday for a rape and robbery he didn't commit after serving 30 years in prison, more time than any other inmate subsequently exonerated by DNA evidence in his state. Cornelius Dupree Jr., 51, was formally cleared of the aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon conviction that had kept him behind bars from December 1979 until July of 2010. He served 30 years of his 75-year sentence before making parole in July. About a week later, DNA test results came back proving his innocence.
It's official: Robert Gibbs is leaving his post as White House press secretary. Gibbs, one of President Obama's most seasoned and trusted advisers, says that he will leave the podium in early February to lend outside assistance to the president's re-election campaign. He broke the news to this staff at a meeting earlier this morning.
A new Congress convenes in Washington with prayer events, real and ceremonial swearing-in ceremonies and a formal transfer of the speaker's gavel from Nancy Pelosi to John Boehner, reflecting the change in party control over the House. The day will be a stream of pomp and pageantry along with hopeful, optimistic speeches about the future of the country and the decency and diligence of the American people
North Korea called Wednesday for "unconditional and early" talks with rival South Korea to put an end to months of tensions. Seoul quickly dismissed the offer as insincere and said it's waiting for an apology for two deadly attacks blamed on Pyongyang.
After a nationwide frenzy for a life-changing chance to win a $380 million Mega Millions jackpot, the two winning tickets were sold in small Pacific Northwest towns just 125 miles apart. Shoppers at a Safeway supermarket in Ephrata spent Wednesday wondering who bought one of the winners at the store 130 miles east of Seattle, in the middle of Washington's potato country. A stream of people were checking their tickets at the video department where lottery tickets are sold, then turning away disappointed.
Amazing – All done on the Internet - In Ohio - homeless out of work announcer Ted Williams – get’s spotted on a street corner. He has a golden voice and demonstrates that on the video. A day later – he’s a guest over WNCI-FM Columbus and gets job offers – one from the Cleveland Cavaliers!
The nation's economy added 103,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent last month, its lowest level in 19 months. But the job growth fell short of expectations based on a strengthening economy. And the drop in unemployment was partly because people stopped looking for work.
The United States plans to send 1,400 additional combat Marines to Afghanistan to try to hold on to recent but fragile security gains, only months before a planned U.S. drawdown, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Violence is at its worst in Afghanistan with record casualties on all sides of the conflict and with the insurgency spreading out of traditional strongholds in the south and east into once-peaceful areas in the north and west.
Sports News January 1, 2011 -
Orange Bowl administrators, determined to make this week’s matchup between No. 5 Stanford and No. 12 Virginia Tech less entertaining, have decided to bar Stanford's irreverent band from performing at halftime. The move comes after the band announced its show was entitled: "Recent Events in the Pro Sports World in Miami." Apparently bowl officials were concerned that the band might mock LeBron James and hurt his feelings.
Technology News - January 1, 2011 -
The first portable devices announced for Verizon Wireless' new, high-speed wireless data network are a smart phone and a tablet from Motorola, both designed to take advantage of network's speed with cameras for videoconferencing. More devices for Verizon's "4G" network, which went live for laptop modems in December, are expected to be announced Thursday by the CEO of Verizon Communications Inc. at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
For the moment, Verizon has the fastest wireless network in the country, and it's hoping to capitalize on it by selling data-hungry tablets and smart phones. There are unconfirmed reports that Verizon will also get to sell version of the iPhone, breaking AT&T Inc.'s.
Last year, Electronic Arts made the golfing great share the cover of his bestselling game with Northern Irish rookie Rory McIlroy for the first time ever. This year, following the controversy away from the green and lackluster play on it, Woods has been dropped from the cover of the March 29th release of "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters" on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii.
Entertainment News - January 1, 2011 -
Passing - Oscar-nominated British actor Pete Postlethwaite, described by director Steven Spielberg as "the best actor in the world," has died at age 64 after a long battle with cancer. A gritty and powerful actor, Postlethwaite was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the 1993 film "In The Name Of The Father."
Country singer Shania Twain and businessman Frederic Thiebaud tied the knot Saturday in a New Year's Day wedding in Puerto Rico. A message on Twain's website says the couple were wed in Rincon with 40 close family and friends in attendance. Twain and Thiebaud announced their engagement last month.
An hour into a rapidly-deteriorating concert at the Congress Theater Saturday night, Chuck Berry slumped over an accompanist's keyboard before being helped offstage.
The 84-year-old rock and roll legend and a backing band of three Chicago musicians attempted to resume the show for a packed house about 15 minutes later, but Berry almost immediately was taken off again to be checked by paramedics who had been called to the scene.
Passing – 1970’s hitmaker Gerry Rafferty. He is best known for the 1978 song Baker Street but also had a huge hit in 1972 with Stuck in the Middle With You with his band Stealers Wheel.
Britney Spears reveals her album's first single, "Hold It Against Me," would officially be released next Tuesday, January 11.
Television News - January 1, 2011 -
Bill O’Reilly will interview President Obama in a special set to air before the NFL championship. Black Eyed Peas will perform on the half-time show! The Fox News Channel host will interview Obama for sister network, Fox, as part of the network's pregame coverage. This will be O'Reilly's first time interviewing Obama since he was elected. Super Bowl XLV will air Sunday, Feb. 6 on Fox.
Oprah Winfrey says she's "grateful that we weren't embarrassed" during the much-anticipated first weekend that her new OWN network was on the air. For a network started from scratch, OWN delivered some impressive sampling on its Jan. 1 debut. At one point Saturday night, OWN was the third-ranked cable network behind ESPN and USA in the ratings. The challenge will be turning the curious into regular viewers. "I am grateful that the first phase of what we wanted to happen actually happened," Winfrey told reporters on Thursday. "I'm grateful that we weren't embarrassed. I'm grateful that people came." Winfrey called her network's programming "mind food" and said the intention is to bring positive energy into the homes of people who watch it.
Piers Morgan says he's spoiling for a prime-time fight with CNN's rivals — and he'll throw the first punch with Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey, who is promoting her new OWN cable network, will be the first interview subject when "Piers Morgan Tonight" launches on Jan. 17. The former British tabloid editor said Thursday he interviewed Winfrey for that debut this week in California. Morgan replaces Larry King, whose interview show ended after 25 years last month. He joins CNN at a low ebb, after a year in which Fox News Channel and MSNBC beat the original cable news network in the prime-time ratings.
MTV’s biggest premiere as a whopping 8.4 million people tuned in to the Season 3 premiere of “Jersey Shore,” which followed the gang back to Seaside Heights, N.J. Season 2, which was filmed in Miami, debuted in July to 5.3 million viewers.
Ted Williams, the 53-year-old homeless man with a "voice of gold," has had an overwhelming week: After being plucked off the streets, he reunited with his mom after 10 years and has been fielding numerous job offers. A panhandler from Ohio, Williams became an Internet sensation earlier this week after the Columbus Dispatch posted a video of him. He has since appeared on NBC's Today Wednesday and then again Thursday after he was reunited with his mom, Julia Williams. In the last week, the Brooklyn-born man has recorded a commercial for Kraft, voiced an MSNBC promo and is even being pursued by the Cleveland Cavaliers to do announcing work.
Top Pop Hits January 1, 2011 –
Firework – Katy Perry
We R Who We R – Ke$ha
What’s My Name? – Rihanna fea. Drake
Raise Your Glass – P!nk
The Time (Dirty Bit) – The Black Eyed Peas
Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You) – Enrique Iglesias fea. Ludacris $ DJ Frank E
Black and Yellow – Wiz Khalifa
Just A Dream – Nelly
Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars
Only Girl (In The World) – Rihanna
Bottoms Up – Trey Songz fea. Nicki Minaj
Like a G6 – Far’ East Movement fea. Cataracs & Dev
Dynamite – Taio Cruz
DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love – Usher fea. Pitbull
No Hands – Waka Flocka Flame fea. Roscoe Dash & Wal
6 Foot 7 Foot Lil Wayne fea. Cory Gunz
Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
Please Don’t Go – Mike Posner
Yeah 3X – Chris Brown
Stereo Love – Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina
F**k You (Forget You) – Ce Lo Green
Animal – Neon Trees
Coming Home – Diddy – Dirty Money fea. Skylar Grey
Tv listings/Tv Guide - January 1, 2011
Hip Monday Night TV
8:00 to 9:00
ABC: 'The Bachelor'* -- (120 minutes)
CBS: 'How I Met Your Mother' and 'Rules of Engagement'
PBS: 'Antiques Road Show'* -- 15th season premiere
ABC Family: 'Pretty Little Liars'*
Cartoon Network: 'Adventure Time,' 'Regular Show' and 'Robotomy'
ESPN: 'Orange Bowl' -- 8:30 start for Stanford and Virginia Tech
OWN: 'Enough Already! With Peter Walsh'
truTV: 'Bait Car' -- 8:30 start
9:00 to 10:00
CBS: 'Two and a Half Men' and 'Mike & Molly'
PBS: 'American Experience'* -- (90 minutes)
ABC Family: 'Greek'*
Discovery: 'American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior: A Crew Divided'
Food Network: 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives'*
Lifetime: 'The Craiglist Killer' -- (120 minutes)
Oxygen: 'The Bad Girls Club'
TLC: 'Cake Boss: Next Great Baker'
TNT: 'The Closer'**
Travel: 'Dining With Death'
USA: 'WWE Monday Night RAW' -- (120 minutes)
VH1: 'My Big Friggin' Wedding'
10:00 to 11:00
CBS: 'Hawaii Five-O'
Bravo: 'Tabatha's Salon Takeover'
Food Network: 'The Best Thing I Ever Ate'
HGTV: 'Cash and Cari'
MTV: 'True Life'
NatGeo WILD: 'Swamp Men'
OWN: 'In the Bedroom With Dr. Laura Berman'*
Science Channel: 'How the Universe Works'
TLC: 'The Opener'*
TNT: 'Men of a Certain Age'
truTV: 'All Worked Up' -- Two episodes
VH1: 'Mario Lopez: Saved by the Baby'
11:00 to Midnight
Lifetime: 'Craiglist Killer: The Phillip Markoff Story'
MTV: 'Vice Guide to Everything' -- Two episodes
Unless otherwise noted, everyone is back with new episodes. But, if you're not interested in live chat, IFC is airing reruns of 'The Larry Sanders Show' Monday to Thrusday nights at 11PM.
'Charlie Rose' (PBS): TBA
'The Mo'Nique Show' (BET): TBA
'The Daily Show' (Comedy Central): TBA
'Chelsea Lately' (E!): TBA
'Conan' (TBS): Zach Levi; performance by Christina Aguilera (repeat)
'Late Show With David Letterman' (CBS): Paul Abdul
'The Tonight Show' (NBC): Ron Howard; Nicole ''Snooki'' Polizzi
'The Colbert Report' (Comedy Central): TBA
'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (ABC): Patricia Heaton; reality-TV personality Brad Womack; performance by Josh Groban
'Tavis Smiley' (PBS): Robert Duvall
'Lopez Tonight' (TBS): Janet Jackson; performance by Rooney (repeat)
'The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson' (CBS): Lisa Kudrow; actor Matt Braunger
'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' (NBC): Gwyneth Paltrow; animal handler Jeff Musial; performance by Best Coast
'Last Call With Carson Daly' (NBC): Johnny Knoxville; composer Nathan Barr; performance by OFF! (repeat)
Top Movies - January 1, 2011 -
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Deawn Treader
The King’s Speech
How Do You Know.