Dateline: Week Of July 15, 2012 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
An American Navy ship fired on a boat in the Persian Gulf today, killing one person and injuring three others aboard the craft, a U.S. naval official told ABC News.A spokesperson for the Navy's 5th Fleet, which is based in nearby Bahrain, said that a security team aboard the oil supply ship U.S.N.S. Rappahannock fired a .50 caliber machine gun at a "small motor vessel after it disregarded warnings and rapidly approached the U.S. ship" off the coast of Jebel Ali, a city approximately 30 miles from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
A JetBlue pilot suffered an eye injury when a green laser was pointed directly into the cockpit as the plane was en route to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport. The FAA says the incident took place Sunday when the green laser was shone through the windshield of JetBlue Flight 657 from Syracuse, hitting the first officer in the eye. The pilot immediately notified the control tower after the incident. "JetBlue 657, that was about 5,000 feet, right?" the control tower asked. "Yes sir, 5,000 feet. Two green flashes, and it caught the first officer in his eye," the pilot said.
A gunman opened fire in a bar in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, early on Tuesday, wounding at least 16 people, four of them critically, the Tuscaloosa News reported, citing police sources. The gunman remained at large, and police asked the public for help finding the suspect in a message sent by the city's Twitter feed.
Syria's defense minister and President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law were killed in a Damascus suicide bomb attack carried out by a bodyguard on Wednesday, the most serious blow to Assad's high command in the country's 16-month-old rebellion. The bomber, said by a security source to be a bodyguard assigned to Assad's inner circle, struck a meeting attended by ministers and senior security officials as battles raged within sight of the presidential palace.
Hungarian police arrested Nazi war crimes suspect Laszlo Csatary, 97, top of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's wanted list, at dawn Wednesday, Budapest prosecutors said, but he maintained his innocence. Csatary, accused by the Wiesenthal Center of having helped organise the deportation of some 15,700 Jews to the Auschwitz death camp during World War II, "has been taken into custody," the public prosecutors office said in a statement.
Mitt Romney accused President Barack Obama of running a campaign based on "falsehood and dishonesty" and brushed aside suggestions—including from some Republicans—that he should release more years of tax returns.
Investigators for an Arizona sheriff's volunteer posse say President Barack Obama's birth certificate is definitely fraudulent. Members of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's posse said in March that there was probable cause that Obama's long-form birth certificate released by the White House in April 2011 was a computer-generated forgery. Now, Arpaio says investigators are positive it's fraudulent. So-called "birthers" maintain Obama is ineligible to be president because, they contend, he was born in Kenya. However, Hawaii officials have repeatedly verified Obama's citizenship, and courts have rebuffed lawsuits over the issue.
A bus carrying Israeli youth in a Bulgarian resort area exploded Wednesday, killing at least three people and wounding at least 27 others, police and hospital officials said. Witnesses told Israeli media that the huge blast occurred soon after someone boarded the vehicle.
Some of the nation's top innovators were hosted at the White House today; winners of the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards. The annual honors are bestowed by the Smithsonian to creative thinkers in disciplines the organization believes are critical in shaping humanistic achievements. This year's 11 winners range in fields from biology to fashion design, and everything in between. They include names such as Scott Wilson, whose firm collaborated on the design for Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming platform and the iPod Nano. Also on the list: Tim Prestero, whose organization Design that Matters focuses on solutions for developing countries. One innovation they sprung: A neonatal care unit created out of spare car parts. Richard Saul Wurman received a lifetime achievement award during the event. Wurman is the creator of the popular " TED Talks" conferences, yearly non-profit events where the world's top thinkers and doers share their ideas.
Passing - Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, revered by Jews worldwide as the top rabbinic authority of this generation for his scholarship and rulings on complex elements of Jewish law, died Wednesday, hospital officials said. He was 102.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., expressed worry this morning about broadcasting outlets that use taxpayer money to stay on the air. But Rubio made his comments on NPR, a broadcasting outlet that uses taxpayer money to stay on the air. "I do have concerns about spending money on public broadcasting," Rubio told Diane Rehm during an hourlong Q&A on NPR.
Ford Motor Co. is telling owners of one version of the brand-new Ford Escape not to drive the SUVs until dealers can fix fuel lines that can crack and spill gasoline, causing engine fires. The company issued the unusual warning on Thursday and said it is recalling 2013 Escapes equipped with 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines. Dealers will pick up the Escapes and drop off a loaner car that customers can use until the repairs are finished. The company is hoping to ship parts and get all the SUVs repaired in the next two weeks. Ford says it has three reports of fires: two at the factory and one while a customer was driving an Escape. No one has been injured.
A Pennsylvania mom faces six felony charges for allegedly hacking into her children's school computer to change their grades and read school officials' emails. Catherine Venusto, 45, of New Tripoli, worked for the Northwestern Lehigh School District from 2008 through April 2011 and has at least two children in the district, according to the District Attorney's office. She has been accused of changing her daughter's failing grade from an F to an M for "medical" in June 2010, and then changing her son's 98 to a 99 in February 2012, nearly a year after she quit her job as an administrative office secretary to work at another school district.
A lone gunman burst into a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., at a midnight showing of the latest Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises," and opened fire, killing at least 12 people and injuring at least 50, police said. James Holmes, 24, of North Aurora, was apprehended at the scene clad in a bullet-proof vest and riot helmet. Witnesses said Holmes crashed into the movie theater from an emergency exit door at the front of the auditorium, setting off a smoke bomb and then shooting off dozens of rounds from multiple firearms. Holmes was caught by police in the parking lot of the Century 16 Movie Theaters, nine miles outside of Denver, after police began receiving dozens of 911 calls at 12:39 a.m. MT. He was carrying a gas mask, rifle, and handgun, and police believe at least one other gun was left in the movie theater.
More James Holmes - Aurora police and FBI officials say that the suspect in the early Friday morning movie theater mass shooting has "booby-trapped" his apartment with a sophisticated set up of flammable devices that could take authorities days to disarm."It's pretty sophisticated the way it's booby trapped," Aurora's police chief Dan Oates said. "We could be here for hours, we could be here for days." Five buildings around the apartment of suspect James Holmes, 24, have been evacuated while authorities try to enter. The fire department is standing by. Holmes was a Phd student in neuroscience at the University of Colorado at Denver, according to university spokesman Dan Meyers
The number of U.S. whooping cough cases has risen to around 18,000 in an outbreak that is on track to become the most severe in over a half century and could in part stem from possible waning vaccine protection, health officials said on Thursday. Washington state, which declared an epidemic in April, and Wisconsin were particularly hard hit, with each reporting more than 3,000 cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nine people have died overall and the number of cases was already more than double than at the same time last year.
Fire officials in California say at least 21 people were treated for burns after attendees of an event for motivational speaker Tony Robbins tried to walk on hot coals. At least three people went to a hospital and most suffered second- or third-degree burns. Robbins was hosting a 4-day gathering called "Unleash the Power Within" at the San Jose Convention Center. Witnesses say on Thursday, a crowd went to a park where 12 lanes of hot coals were on the grass. Robbins' website promotes "The Firewalk Experience" in which people walk on super-heated coals.
News Corp's Rupert Murdoch has stepped down as a director from a string of boards overseeing the Sun, Times and Sunday Times newspapers in Britain, the company said in an internal memo on Saturday. The resignations follow the announcement in June that News Corp would be split into two separate companies: a smaller publishing division and a much larger entertainment and TV group.
Technology News July 15, 2012 -
Yahoo is hiring longtime Google executive Marissa Mayer to be its next CEO, the fifth in five years as the company struggles to rebound from financial malaise and internal turmoil. Mayer, who starts at Yahoo Inc. on Tuesday, was one of Google's earliest employees and was most recently responsible for its mapping, local and location services. Mayer, 37, began her career at Google in 1999 after getting her master's degree in computer science from Stanford, the school Google's co-founders attended.
Microsoft is pulling out of the joint venture that owned MSNBC.com, freeing the world's largest software maker to build its own online news service. The breakup announced late Sunday dissolves the final shreds of a 16-year marriage between Microsoft Corp. and NBC News, which is now owned by Comcast Corp. The relationship began to unwind in 2005 when Microsoft sold its stake in MSNBC's cable TV channel to NBC.NBC is buying Microsoft's 50 percent interest in the MSNBC website for an undisclosed amount. MSNBC.com will be rebranded asNBCNews.com, and readers who logged into MSNBC.com late Sunday were automatically redirected to NBCNews.com. The website will move its headquarters from Microsoft's corporate campus in Redmond, Wash., to NBC News' longtime home in New York.
Amazon shoppers: Be prepared to pay more when you purchase goods, depending on where you live. The online retail giant will start charging sales tax in eight additional states in coming years, starting with California and Pennsylvania in September, as it puts down physical roots in more places. Amazon already collects sales tax in six states.
Microsoft Corp reported its first quarterly loss as a public company on Thursday as it took a previously announced hit for writing down the value of its ailing online unit, but held up better than expected in the face of stagnant computer sales. Excluding the multibillion-dollar write-down, which was signaled earlier this month, and factoring in some deferred Windows revenue, the world's largest software company actually exceeded Wall Street's expectations, boosting its shares in after-market trading.
A botnet, named "Grum," has just suffered a very serious setback thanks to the work of internet security experts from around the world. Grum's servers — the machines that control the network and manipulate users' PCs without their knowledge — were based in the Netherlands and Panama, making them difficult to locate. Once they were shut down on Wednesday, Grum's architects quickly revived the spam networking using new machines in both Russia and the Ukraine. But almost as quickly as those new servers sprung to life, they were again shut down by authorities. Experts estimate that Grum's spam production may have accounted for as much as 50% of the web's total. So, will you notice an immediate difference in the amount of junk mail or scam-ridden chat messages? Perhaps, but with botnets such as this, as soon as one is taken down there are typically several more lined up to take its place. Still, lowing the hammer on Grum is definitely a big step towards a safer internet.
Entertainment news July 15, 2012 -
Passing – Legendary actress Celeste Holm (95).
Passing - Jon Lord, the keyboardist and co-founder of Deep Purple, has died. He was 71 years old, and had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer since last year.
Passing – Country + Western Singer Kitty Wells at 92.
France's far-right National Front said Sunday that it plans to sue Madonna after the singer showed a video at a Paris concert that contained an image of the party's leader with a swastika on her forehead. The video has been shown at other concerts on the singer's tour, and the party has expressed its outrage before, warning that it would take action if the video were shown in France. On Saturday night, Madonna played it at the Stade de France.
Comic-Con finished up on Sunday, capping four days of pop culture indulgence for fans of TV shows, movies, books and comics. Lines stretched around the San Diego Convention Center this year as fans camped out overnight to attend the most popular panels, including an appearance Saturday by the cast of HBO's vampire drama, "True Blood." Panels for "The Walking Dead," "Game of Thrones," and "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" also drew overnight lineups. One "Twilight" fan who had been camped out days in advance as she dashed across a street in front of the main convention hall. A book signing by E.L. James, the author of the erotic romance sensation "Fifty Shades of Grey," also attracted overnight waits. Other popular events included previews of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," Guillermo del Toro's massive-monsters-versus-robots adventure "Pacific Rim," Marvel's "Iron Man 3" (which featured an appearance from star Robert Downey Jr.) and a new "Godzilla" film in the works.
Miami rap star Pitbull is about to bring his act to a nonetheless far-flung site — Kodiak, Alaska.
The unlikely tour stop announced Tuesday will mark the first time the chart-topper will visit the state known as The Last Frontier, and it comes as a result of a marketing deal and perhaps a little mischief. Pitbull, aka Armando Christian Perez, in a promotion with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Sheets Energy Strips, agreed to visit whichever Walmart got the most "likes" on its Facebook page.
An epic Bruce Springsteen concert in London's Hyde Park ended on Saturday with organisers pulling the plug with the singer and ex-Beatle Paul McCartney still on stage and playing at full throttle after more than three hours of music. Springsteen had danced and worked the crowd with the energy of a man of half his 62 years, running through most of his classics before being joined by McCartney to rip through the Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There" and "". The pair were still singing for 65,000 rained-soaked but rapturous fans when the organisers turned off the microphones in line with an agreed 10.30 p.m. curfew. The Hard Rock Calling festival was the New Jersey native's 45th show in a 67-date tour of North America and Europe tied to "Wrecking Ball", a new album full of angry songs about corporate greed and the plight of ordinary working men and women.
Country Music Hall of Fame performer Glen Campbell is canceling his tour of Australia and New Zealand with Kenny Rogers next month for health reasons. A spokeswoman says Campbell is not up for "the very long flight that it would require." The 76-year-old is battling Alzheimer's disease. It would have been Campbell's last international stop on his "Goodbye Tour." Rogers is continuing the monthlong tour, kicking off Aug. 10 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Australian country artists will fill in as special guests. Campbell was also scheduled to do a solo show in Brisbane, Australia.
Actor and comedian Fred Willard was arrested on suspicion of engaging in a lewd act at an adult theater in Hollywood, police said Thursday. The 72-year-old actor was arrested about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday by uniformed vice officers doing a routine inspection at the Tiki Theater in the 5400 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, said Los Angeles police Sgt. Chuck Slater. Slater said officers observed Willard "engaged in a lewd act" but did not elaborate.
Top Movies - July 15, 2012 -
Ice Age: Continental Drift (1st week $46.6 million)
The Amazing Spider Man
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protecton
Katy Perry: Part of Me
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Top Pop Hits - July 15, 2012 -
Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
Wide Awake – Katy Perry
Payphone – Maroon 5 fea. Wiz Khalifa
Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye fea. Kimbra
Where Have You Been – Rihanna
Lights – Ellie Goulding
Whistle – Flo Rida
Blow (One Last Kiss) – P!nk
Scream – Usher
Tatanium – David Guetta fea. Sia
We Are Young – fun. Fea. Janelle Monae
Wild Ones – Flo Rida – fea. Sia
Starships – Nicki Minaj
Mercy – Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chaniz
What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction
Want U Back – Cher Lloyd
Give Your Heart A Break – Demi Lovato
Glad You Came – The Wanted
Some Nights – fun.
Everybody Talks – Neon Trees
Let’s Go – Calvin Harris fea. Ne-Yo
Good Time – Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen
Come Over – Kenny Chesney
Top TV Shows/listings/TV Guide - July 15, 2012 -
1.Major League Baseball All-Star GameFox2."America's Got Talent" (Tuesday)NBC3."The Big Bang Theory" (Thursday)CBS4."NCIS"CBS5."The Bachelorette"ABC6."America's Got Talent" (Wednesday)NBC7."The Big Bang Theory" (Wednesday)CBS8."60 Minutes"CBS9."Big Brother" (Thursday)CBS10."NCIS: Los Angeles"CBS11."Big Brother" (Sunday)CBS12."Hell's Kitchen" (Monday)Fox13."Master Chef" (Monday)Fox14."So You Think You Can Dance"Fox15."Wipeout (Thursday)ABC16."Hawaii Five-O"CBS17."Secret Millionaire"ABC18."Person of Interest"CBS19."NY Med"ABC20."CSI"CBS