Dateline: Week Of August 15, 2012 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts
In The News
A bomb exploded in central Damascus(Aug15) on near several military buildings and a hotel housing U.N. observers, wounding three people and sending a pillar of black smoke into the sky above the Syrian capital. No U.N. staff were hurt in the blast, which occurred exactly four weeks after a bomb killed four of President Bashar al-Assad's top security officials, including his brother-in-law.
President Obama Home Brew - President Barack Obama has become one of the first modern day U.S. presidents known for enjoying a cold beer that is brewed and tapped right at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.Obama aides have confirmed the small brewery. An official admitted the Obamas have their own alcoholic beverage made and kept in stock at the White House.
Japan marked the 67th anniversary of its World War II surrender with a sombre ceremony in the capital Wednesday, while renewed tension over territorial disputes and animosity over its wartime actions heated up in neighboring countries. Renewing Japan's pledge to maintain its war-renouncing policy, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda mourned for the war dead and apologized to victims of Japanese wartime atrocities.
Firefighters battled wildfires across the West on Tuesday, including a massive out-of-control blaze that has destroyed at least 60 homes and burned more than 28,000 acres between two national forests in Washington state. Another 400 homes were evacuated in the rolling hills between the northwest Washington towns of Cle Elum and Ellensburg, at the eastern edge of the Cascade Mountains, prompting Governor Christine Gregoire to declare a state of emergency in two counties.
A newly recruited Afghan village policeman opened fire on his American allies on Friday, killing two U.S. service members minutes after they gave him a new weapon as a present. It was the latest in a disturbing string of attacks by Afghan security forces on the international troops training them.
Mitt Romney's campaign released two years of vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's tax returns Friday, which show that he and his wife paid a 15.9 percent effective tax rate on an adjusted gross income of $215,417 in 2010 and a 20 percent rate on $323,416 in 2011--a weighted average of just over 18 percent for both years.
President Barack Obama said the United States needed to do more to safeguard U.S. troops after a spate of Afghan "insider" attacks that have left 10 American troops killed in the past two weeks. His comments came during a visit by the top U.S. military officer, General Martin Dempsey, to Afghanistan, where the killings of American forces by Afghans have topped the agenda. Obama, who spoke to Dempsey earlier in the day, said he would reach out to Afghan President Hamid Karzai about the killings.
The plane of the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen.Martin Dempsey, was damaged after Taliban militants fired rockets at Bagram Air Field. A military official said the attack occurred just after midnight local time at Bagram Air Field outside Kabul when Dempsey's C-17 plane was hit by fragments of indirect fire from two rockets. Dempsey was safely back in his room when the attack occurred and was not hurt in the blast. Two maintenance people working nearby sustained minor injuries.
Rep Akin Facing Firestorm After Comment - Facing a firestorm of criticism over his comments about "legitimate rape," Missouri Rep. Todd Akin canceled a scheduled interview with CNN's Piers Morgan. In an interview on Mike Huckabee's radio show, Akin apologized for comments he made on Sunday, when he said that victims of "legitimate rape" do not need access to legal abortions because they cannot biologically become pregnant.
Fascinating Facts – August 15, 2012
Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist, wants to talk poop. Literally. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is hosting a "Reinvent the Toilet Fair" on August 14 and 15, is on a mission to build a better crapper. Why? Poop is a worldwide problem. Foundation co-chair Bill Gates, who announced cash prizes at the fair today for the best toilet designs, said, "Innovative solutions change people's lives for the better. If we apply creative thinking to everyday challenges, such as dealing with human waste, we can fix some of the world's toughest problems.
Viewership for NBC's second full week of prime-time Summer Olympics coverage was 11.85 percent larger than the ratings for the second full week of the 2008 Beijing Games as the London Games concluded as the most-watched event in U.S. television history.
NBC averaged 26.06 million viewers for its all-Olympics prime-time programming Aug. 6-12, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen. The second full week of the 2008 Games averaged 23.3 million viewers. A total of 219.4 million viewers watched the Olympics on NBC or the NBCUniversal cable networks, the most for any event, erasing the previous record of 215 million for the 2008 Games.
Business News – August 15, 2012
The New York Times Co has tapped BBC's Mark Thompson as its next president and chief executive, capping an eight-month search for an executive to lead the company as more people get their news through digital products. Thompson, 55, will report to the New York Times board of directors and to its chairman, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., starting in November, the company said on Tuesday.
Technology News – August 15, 2012
Pretty soon it's going to be a lot harder to find pirated material using Google. The search giant says it's cracking down on piracy by instituting a new policy that lowers the search rankings of websites hosting illegal content, meaning many peoples' beloved torrent sites — where you can download all matter of pirated content — will be buried many pages in Google results. There is a slight hitch, however: Google owns Youtube, one of the internet's largest receptacles of illegal content, and the video site seems to be exempt from the search company's crackdown. What gives? Here, a brief guide to the controversial new policy:On its search results pages, Google will bump down sites from which it receives a lot of "valid copyright removal notices." People can flag offending websites by visiting a page labeled "Removing Content From Google"
Priceline is bringing back popular pitchman William Shatner in a new television ad, seven months after "killing" his character in a bus crash spot. The online travel site has seen its own high-flying stock plunge in the past week on bad news out of its European unit, although shares were up 1.5% in midday trading Wednesday on the news.
Sprint has slashed the price of its iPhones by $50 in what a company spokeswoman called a “back to school promotion.” It has also waived its $36 activation fee on the device.It’s noteworthy anytime a carrier cuts the price of the iPhone, since Apple is typically rigid about its pricing. Yet when a price cut comes in the late summer, it generally means one thing: A new iPhone is coming soon.
Google Inc failed to comply with a court order to disclose the bloggers and other commentators on a patent and copyright case who might have been influenced by payments from the Web company, a judge said on Monday. U.S. District Judge William Alsup gave Google until noon on Friday, August 24, to provide an amended list of public commentators on the high-profile case between Google and Oracle Corp who have received payments as consultants, contractors, vendors or employees. "Just as a treatise on the law may influence the courts, public commentary that purports to be independent may have an influence on the courts and/or their staff if only in subtle ways," wrote Alsup.
Google Getting Back At Apple. Bloomberg reports that Google’s Motorola unit has filed a complaint against Apple with the International Trade Commission over several alleged infringements of Motorola Mobility patents that include patents for “location reminders, e-mail notification and phone/video players.” Motorola is asking the ITC to implement an import ban in the United States against all of Apple’s major products, including the iPhone and the iPad.
Entertainment News – August 15, 2012
Pussy Riot Update - A Moscow judge sentenced three members of the provocative punk band Pussy Riot to two years in prison on hooliganism charges on Friday following a trial seen around the world as an emblem of Russia's intolerance of dissent.
The trial inspired a wave of small but raucous protests across Europe and North America in support of the feminist rockers, who have been dubbed prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International. The entire oeuvre of the women's punk band is made up of six songs and five videos.
The book is extremely popular – now a movie is in the works. The "50 Shades of Grey" movie has sparked a ton of talk about which actor and actress are going to get cast in it, so it's definitely seems destined to become the next "Twilight" or "The Hunger Games."-- There are a lot of uncomfortable sex scenes in "50 Shades of Grey" – so, let’s see.
Jonas Brothers Performing Back Together - Nick, 19, Kevin, 24, and Joe Jonas, 23, are back in action after a three year hiatus, and the band of brothers have announced plans to take the stage for a special concert event in New York City. It’ll be October 11 at Radio City Music Hall and a new album is exected.
Ron Howard, executive producer/narrator of the fan-favorite TV comedy, will make his return to acting (after a lengthy award-winning break as a director/producer) in the show's upcoming fourth season.
NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno has laid off about 20 employees. The direct cause of the shakeup at NBC's late-night staple is not yet clear, nor are the exact areas of the program that were hit by the downsizing. While the Jay Leno-hosted talker regularly tops the late night ratings, its core audience has aged as competition from such younger-skewing shows asJimmy Kimmel Live!, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report has siphoned away viewers.
Suicide - Tony Scott, director of such Hollywood hits as "Top Gun," ''Days of Thunder" and "Beverly Hills Cop II," died Sunday after jumping from a Los Angeles County bridge, authorities said. He was 68.
Passing - US singer Scott McKenzie, who sang "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)," the unofficial anthem of the counterculture movement of the 1960s, has died at the age of 73.
Passing- William Windom, who won an Emmy Award for his turn in the 1969 TV comedy series "My World And Welcome To It" and went on to score guest appearances on several popular shows, has died. He was 88.
Passing – Comedian Phyllis Diller (95).
Dick Van Dyke To Be Honored. He has five Emmys, a Tony, a Grammy – and he's won the hearts of millions. Now, Dick Van Dyke is to receive his acting union's highest honor: the Screen Actors Guild's Life Achievement Award. The tireless actor, 86, who's as comfortable with doing slapstick as he is with being suave, will be honored in January for his 60-year-plus career and his lifelong humanitarian accomplishments.
Top Pop Hits Week Of August 15, 2012
Whistle – Flo Rida
Call Me Maybe- Carly Rae Jepsen
Lights – Ellie Goulding
Payphone – Maroon 5 fea. Wiz Khalifa
Wide Awake – Katy Perry
Titanium – David Guetta fea Sia
Somebody that I Used To Know – Gotye fe. Kimbra
Some Nights – fun.
Home – Phillip Phillips
Where Have You Been – Rihanna
Good Time – Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen
Blow Me (One Last Kiss) – P!nk
As Long As You Love Me – Justin Bieber fea. Big Sean
One More Night – Maroon 5
Want U Back – Cher Lloyd
Give Your Heart A Break – Demi Lovato
Scream – Usher
Let’s Go – Calvin Harris fea. Ne-Yo
Everybody Talks – Neon Trees
Mercy – Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz
Pontoon – Little Big Town
Too Close – Alex Clare
Top Movies – August 15, 2012
The Expendables 2 (1st week $28.8 million)
The Bourne Legacy
ParaNorman (1st week $14 million)
Sparkle (1st week $12 million)
The Dark Knight Rises
The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Top TV Shows/TV Guide – Week Of April 15, 2012
1."America's Got Talent" (Tuesday)NBC2.NFL Exhibition Football: Indianapolis vs. PittsburghNBC3."America's Got Talent" (Wednesday)NBC4."The Big Bang Theory"CBS5."60 Minutes"CBS6."NCIS"CBS7."Two and a Half Men" (Thursday)CBS8."Hell's Kitchen" (Monday)Fox9."Big Brother 14" (Sunday)CBS10."NCIS: Los Angeles"CBS11."Big Brother 14" (Thursday)CBS12."The Mentalist" (Tuesday)CBS13."Big Brother 14" (Wednesday)CBS14."Master Chef" (Tuesday)Fox15."Grimm"NBC16."America's Got Talent," (Wednesday, 8 p.m.)NBC17."CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"CBS18."Criminal Minds"CBS19."Stars Earn Stripes"NBC20."Wipeout" (Thursday, 8 p.m.)ABC.