Dateline: Week Of July 8, 2012 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
President Barack Obama called Monday for a one-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts on annual income up to $250,000, while letting those that chiefly benefit the very wealthy expire on schedule at year's end. The proposal reignited an election-year fight designed to polish his credentials as a champion for middle-class Americans.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has vowed not to implement state programs required under President Barack Obama's federal health care law. He joins several other Republican governors who remain opposed to the state mandates after the Supreme Court upheld the law's constitutionality.
Amy Senser, the wife of former Minnesota Vikings player Joe Senser, claimed to be deeply remorseful after receiving her 41-month prison sentence for killing Anousone Phanthavong in a hit-and-run accident last year. "I'm sorry...I hope you can believe me. I never saw your son that night, and if I had, I would have stopped to help him," Senser, 45, told Phanthavong's family at her sentencing Monday.
A fire official says a freight train carrying agricultural products has derailed and some cars burst into flames Columbus, Ohio, causing an explosion and injuring at least two people. Lt. Terry Bush says the accident happened at about 2 a.m. Wednesday in a mixed-use part of the city, and people living in one-mile radius of the blast have been evacuated.
At least 92 people including women and children were killed on Thursday after a gasoline tanker crashed on the east-west road in Nigeria's oil-producing Niger Delta and caught fire as people tried to scoop up “free” fuel.
The United States Department of Agriculture has declared natural disaster areas in more than 1,000 counties and 26 drought-stricken states, making it the largest natural disaster in America ever. The declaration—which covers roughly half of the country—gives farmers and ranchers devastated by drought access to federal aid, including low-interest emergency loans.
About 220 Syrians, mostly civilians, were killed in a village in the rebellious Hama region when it was bombarded by helicopter gunships and tanks then stormed by militiamen who slaughtered some families, opposition sources said on Friday. UN special envoy Kofi Annan said he was "shocked and appalled" by news of "intense fighting, significant casualties, and the confirmed use of heavy weaponry such as artillery, tanks and helicopters" in the village of Tremseh.
Sports – July 8, 2012 -
All-Star Game – The National League clobbered the American League 8-0.
Technology - July 8, 2012 -
A French game collector nets one million Euros (or about $1.23 million) on eBay for what appears to be the most epic game collection ever. The collection includes full sets for 22 game consoles, or roughly 7,000 games. Every single game for every Sega console, every game released for Nintendo systems spanning the Famicom to the Gamecube, and even every single game ever released for the lesser-known NEC systems.
Viacom is ramping up its war with DirecTV over how much it is paid for shows including "The Daily Show" and "SpongeBob SquarePants." Unfortunately, its latest tactic is causing some collateral damage. Viacom on Wednesday shut off access to full-length episodes on its own websites such as MTV.com and ComedyCentral.com to all visitors, even those who have no stake in the dispute. The move was apparently in response to DirecTV telling its 20 million U.S. subscribers where on the Internet they could find programs they could no longer watch on TV. DirecTV Group Inc. stopped carrying channels owned by Viacom Inc. late Tuesday because of a contract dispute. They include MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and Comedy Central.
An Iraqi draft law that would jail web users for life for a variety of ill-defined crimes has been condemned by rights groups and activists who have slammed its vague language and hefty penalties. Little more than a year after revolutions, in part sparked by Internet-based campaigns, rocked the Middle East and ousted several dictators, Human Rights Watch has warned the bill would "constitute serious curtailments" of Iraqis' freedoms, while activists have questioned many of the bill's provisions.
Yahoo confirmed on Thursday the hack of Yahoo Voices, part of its news service, saying "approximately 400,000" usernames and passwords were stolen. But in a written statement, the company said that less than 5% of the breached Yahoo accounts had valid passwords.
Entertainment - July 8, 2012 -
Natalie Wood's drowning 30-plus years ago has been changed from "accidental" to "undetermined" on her death certificate, members of her family say.
Passing - The news of Oscar-winning actor Ernest Borgnine's death has caused an outpouring of love and support from celebrities on Twitter. The actor died on Sunday of renal failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 95.
Paul McCartney has announced he's presently working with game developer Bungie on an unannounced project, which is widely expected to be the company's new game (currently codenamed Destiny). "'I'm really excited to be working on writing music with @bungie, the studio that made Halo.' — Paul."
Peter O'Toole, the dashing, singularly voiced British actor whose career launched 50 years ago with "Lawrence of Arabia," announced his retirement , at 79.
Wealthy socialite and Grammy-nominated songwriter Denise Rich has renounced her U.S. citizenship and resides in London, her spokeswoman Judy Smith said Tuesday.
Rich's maiden name, Eisenberg, appeared on April 30 in the Federal Registrar's Quarterly Publication of Individuals Who Have Chosen To Expatriate, though she left in November 2011.
San Diego Comic-Con Death - A "Twilight" fan was struck and killed by a car in front of a horrified crowd of fellow Twi-hards camping out two days ahead of the opening of San Diego Comic-Con. The 53-year-old woman was running across a busy crosswalk against the light at 9:20 a.m. She was racing to return to her group on a line organizers were moving, when she was hit, the San Diego Union Tribune reported. A police spokesman told the newspaper that the woman - identified as Gisela Gagliardi of Kingston, N.Y. - had tried to stop herself before she stumbled and fell into the side of a Suburu Outback. Gagliardi was unconscious and bleeding from the head when an ambulance arrived. She was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.
Another Comic-Con – At The Same Time - New York geeks are gunning to snatch Comic Con dominance out from under your nerdy noses. The New York Comic Con confab kicks off its sixth installment Thursday, and its growing popularity is starting to rival that of the more established Comic Con franchise in San Diego. The West Coast version of Comic Con - sort of a Comic Book-apalooza for fans, costume-clad super-fans and industry insiders - began about 40 years ago and draws some 250,000 people and A-list celebs like Harrison Ford and Angelina Jolie. But the upstart New York event is expected to draw more than 100,000 so-called "fanboys" and girls to the Javits Center through Sunday - up from just 33,000 in 2006.
It was 50 years ago that a group of London musicians first performed as The Rolling Stones. The band members are celebrating Thursday by attending a photo exhibition chronicling their career at London's Somerset House — and rehearsing for new gigs. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Charlie Watts are getting together 50 years to the day after the young R&B band played London's Marquee Club. The Stones say they're amazed the group is still going strong.
Both Jenifer Lopez and Steven Tyler won’t be returning as judges on “American Idol.” Jennifer Lopez called in to "On Air With Ryan Seacrest" today to tearfully confirm that she is leaving "American Idol." After two years as a judge on the reality TV show, she said, "The time has come."The announcement comes just one day after Steven Tyler said that he will not return next season. There have been reports that Randy Jackson is stepping down as a judge, too, and that Mariah Carey is in talks to join as a judge.
J. Lo was conflicted about her decision, telling Seacrest (who hosts "Idol"), "It's been a long thought process. I really have been torn... but even last year, it was super tough to decide. Something has to give. That's where I am right now."
Passing - Hollywood movie producer Richard D. Zanuck, whose films include Oscar winner "Driving Miss Daisy," died on Friday of a heart attack, his spokesman said in a statement. He was 77.
Sylvester Stallone’s Son Dies - There were no signs of foul play or trauma in the death of Sage Stallone, whose sudden passing at the age of 36 left his father Sylvester Stallone devastated, a publicist and investigators said.Sage Stallone was found unresponsive in his Los Angeles home Friday by an employee and a relative, and police arrived and confirmed Sage Stallone was dead, Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said.
At the movies – July 8, 2012 -
The Amazing Spiderman
Tyler Perry’s madea’s Witness Protection
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Katy Perry: Part of Me
To Rome With Love
Top Music Albums July 8, 2012 -
Fortune – Chris Brown
Teenage Dream- Katy Perry
Overexposed – Maroon 5
Believe – Justin Bieber
Making Mirrors – Gotye
Some Nights - .fun
Living Things – Linkin Park
21 – Adele
Welcome To The Fishbowl – Kenny Chesney
Up All Night – One Direction
Mayback Music Group Presents…
El Camino – Black Keys
Wild Ones – Flo Rida
Love Is A Four Letter Word – Jason Mraz
My Head Is An Animal – Of Monsters And Men
The Lumineers – The Lumineers
Looking 4 Myself – Usher
Rock of Ages – Soundtrack
Ceremonials – Florecne + The Machine
Write Me Back – R. Kelly
Tuskegee – Lionel Richie
Lights – Ellie Goulding
What We Saw From The Cheap Seats – Regina Spektor
Tailgates & Tanlines – Luke Bryan
Top Video Games - July 8, 2012 -
LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Wii)
Pokemon + Nobunaga no Yabou (DS)
LEGO Batman 2: Dc Super Heroes (X360)
Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy (3DS
Anarchy Reigns (X360)
Diablo III (PC)
Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
The Amazing Spider-Man (X360)
LEGO Batman 2: Dc Super Heroes (PS3)
Top Television Show - July 8, 2012 - 1."America's Got Talent" (Monday)NBC2."America's Got Talent" (Tuesday)NBC3."The Big Bang Theory" (Thursday, 8:30 p.m.)CBS4."The Big Bang Theory" (Thursday, 8 p.m.)CBS5."NCIS"CBS6."Person of Interest"CBS7."Macy's 4th of July Fireworks"NBC8."The Bachelorette"ABC9."60 Minutes"CBS10."U.S. Olympic Trials" (Monday, 8 p.m.)NBC11."The Mentalist"CBS12."48 Hours Mystery" (Tuesday)CBS13."20/20"ABC14."DatelineNBC"15."NCIS: Los Angeles"CBS16."Hell's Kitchen" (Monday)Fox17."Secret MillionaireABC18."60 Minutes" (Sunday, 8 p.m.)CBS19."Wipeout (Thursday)ABC20."Master Chef" (Monday)Fox