Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of March 22, 2013 In News, Pop Culture History, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts
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Syrian President Bashar Assad vowed to avenge the death of a senior pro-government cleric who was killed along with dozens of people in a suicide bombing at a Damascus mosque, saying he would "purge our country" of the militants behind the attack in the heart of the capital. Both Assad and the rebels seeking to topple him blamed each other for the March 21 bombing at the mosque. At least 49 people were killed, including the 84-year-old preacher and his grandson, the government said, in one of the most brazen assassinations of the Syrian civil war.
The Federal Aviation Administration said on Friday it will close 149 air traffic control towers at small airports across the country beginning on April 7 as it copes with automatic federal spending cuts. The White House and transportation leaders have warned for weeks that the $85 billion in federal cuts known as "sequestration" would force smaller airports across the country to curtail operations. The across-the-board cuts started kicking in on March 1 because Congress was not able to reach an alternative budget deal to replace them. The FAA must absorb $637 million in cuts by September 30.
Markets Positive - Cyprus clinched a last-ditch deal with international lenders on Monday for a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout that will shut down its second largest bank and inflict heavy losses on uninsured depositors, including wealthy Russians. The agreement emerged after fraught negotiations between President Nicos Anastasiades and heads of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - hours before a deadline to avert a collapse of the banking system.
A law that bans most abortions after six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat can be first detected -- was signed into law on Tuesday by North Dakota's governor. The law sets the stage for an almost guaranteed legal showdown, with proponents saying the law is intended to test the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made abortion legal.
The Pentagon on Tuesday condemned North Korea's threats to target U.S. military bases, saying the United States was ready to respond to "any contingency." "We're concerned about any threat raised by the North Koreans," Pentagon spokesman George Littletold reporters. "They need to stop threatening peace on the peninsula, that doesn't help anyone ... and we stand ready to respond to any contingency."
President Obama signed a short-term funding measure – to keep government funding going after March 27 – but in it – something called the, “Monsanto Protection Act. According to the Austin Chronicle, the provision "essentially deregulates genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by allowing the US Department of Agriculture to override judicial rulings and grant temporary permits for conventional farmers to plant and grow genetically modified crops while pending review."
President Obama names a high-ranking career employee of the U.S. Secret Service to become its first female director.Julia A. Pierson, a veteran of the agency’s Miami and Orlando, Fla., field offices, serves as chief of staff of the law enforcement agency that is best known for protecting the U.S. president.
Hundreds of armed vigilantes have taken control of a town on a major highway in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero, arresting local police officers and searching homes after a vigilante leader was killed. Several opened fire on a car of Mexican tourists headed to the beach for Easter week.
A massive landslide engulfed a gold mining area in mountainous Tibet, burying 83 workers believed to have been asleep early Friday morning, Chinese state media said.About 2 million cubic meters (2.6 million cubic yards) of mud, rock and debris swept through the area as the workers were resting and covered an area measuring around 4 square kilometers (1.5 square miles), China Central Television said.
North Korea's threatening rhetoric has reached a fever pitch, but the Pentagon and the South Korean government have said it's nothing new. "We have no indications at this point that it's anything more than warmongering rhetoric," a senior Washington Defense official said late Friday.
President Obama dedicated his weekly address to the celebration of two religious holidays this week -Easter and Passover - and urged Americans to engage in prayer and reflection over the weekend.
"For millions of Americans, this is a special and sacred time of year," President Obama said. "This week, Jewish families gathered around the Seder table commemorating the Exodus from Egypt and the triumph of faith over oppression. And this weekend, Michelle, Malia, Sasha and I will join Christians around the world to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the hopeful promise of Easter. "In the midst of all of our busy and noisy lives, these holy days afford us the precious opportunity to slow down and spend some quiet moments in prayer and reflection," he added
Dallas DA Killings - District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were shot to death, nearly two months after one of his assistants died in a brazen daytime shooting outside the north Texas county's courthouse. Rifle casings littered the scene, according to a law enforcement source. The killings followed warnings that a white supremacist group might be preparing to take revenge on law enforcement officials who targeted them in 2012.
Heat Hot - Lebron James finished with 32 points on 11 for 14 shooting, 10 assists and eight rebounds, Bosh scored 15 points and the Miami Heat won their 26th straight game, topping the Charlotte Bobcats 109-77 on Sunday night… The Heat’s winning streak ends at 27 with a loss to the Chicago Bulls – but good enough for an NBA record!
March Madness - Florida Gulf Coast University did what no other No. 15 seed has ever done in the history of the NCAA tournament by reaching the Sweet 16 on Sunday night. After scoring an incredible 78-68 victory over Georgetown in their second-round game, the Eagles created history by rather comfortably defeating No. 7 seed San Diego State, 81-71, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
The Today Show" aired a jailhouse interview of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted last year on 45 counts of sexually abusing boys.
In the interview with documentary filmmaker John Zieglar, Sandusky said that witness Mike McQueary's testimony was not accurate. NBC ran part of the three-hour interview. Zieglar's film aims to clear former Penn State coach Joe Paterno of any wrong doing. Paterno was implicated in the scandal for not doing enough when told about Sandusky's abuse.
Lakers On Hot Streak - Kobe Bryant has beaten the Minnesota Timberwolves 22 straight times, and he may have gotten away with one in his latest victory. Ricky Rubio insists Bryant fouled him on a 3-pointer on the last play of the game. Bryant said no way.
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby lost several teeth and needed oral surgery after he was hit in the mouth with a puck during a 2-0 victory against the New York Islanders on Saturday. Coach Dan Bylsma wasn't sure if the injury affected Crosby's jaw and didn't know if he would miss any more time. The Penguins, who have won a league-high 15 straight games, host Buffalo on Tuesday.
Supporters of same-sex marriage (and their friends) are seeing a lot of red Tuesday of this week. Thousands of people on social networks -- particularly Facebook and Twitter -- changed their profile pictures to an image of a red equal sign, indicating support for same-sex marriage. This image is one being spread by the Human Rights Campaign in response to The HRC's profile image in response to two cases the Supreme Court is hearing this week in relation to state and federal laws restricting same-sex marriage. On Tuesday, an appeal of California's ban on same-sex marriage (known as Proposition 8) will be heard. On Wednesday, an appeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act is on the agenda. The image, replacing profile pictures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and elsewhere, is a makeover of the advocacy group's logo, usually a blue background with bright yellow lines. The HRC made it available in red — for the color of love — on Monday and estimated tens of millions of shares by Wednesday.
The Federal Reserve has ordered Citigroup Inc to better police for the risk of money laundering, part of a broad U.S. regulatory crackdown on the potential for illicit money flows.
The Fed told Citigroup's board to submit a plan within 60 days to improve its oversight of companywide anti-money laundering compliance, according to a consent order dated March 21, but only made public on Tuesday.
Big depositors at Cyprus' largest bank may be forced to accept losses of up to 60 percent, far more than initially estimated under the European rescue package to save the country from bankruptcy, officials said Saturday.Deposits of more than 100,000 euros ($128,000) at the Bank of Cyprus will lose 37.5 percent in money that will be converted into bank shares, according to a central bank statement. In a second raid on these accounts, depositors also could lose up to 22.5 percent more, depending on what experts determine is needed to prop up the bank's reserves. The experts will have 90 days to figure that out.
Facebook announced it is rolling out a new feature so users can reply directly to comments left on their page. Finally. Followings months of testing, the social network aims to make navigating through conversation threads easier with the new Replies feature. This means that, instead of having to leave a response to a friend's comment way after new ones have been added, you will be able to address each individual comment. Responses will be posted under the original comment too.
Interesting Pew Research On Teens And Smartphones:
· 78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of them own smartphones. That translates into 37% of all teens who have smartphones, up from just 23% in 2011.
· 23% of teens have a tablet computer, a level comparable to the general adult population.
· 95% of teens use the internet.
· 93% of teens have a computer or have access to one at home. Seven in ten (71%) teens with home computer access say the laptop or desktop they use most often is one they share with other family members.
Cyber Attack Trumps All Others - Security experts claim that the largest cyberattack in Internet history is happening now, slowing services like Netflix to a crawl and making other global websites completely unreachable. The traffic jam is all due to a very public spat between a Dutch webhosting company and a quiet spam-fighting organization. Spamhaus is a non-profit that — you guessed it — helps organizations fight spam and other unwanted stuff by providing them with content filters. The company keeps tabs of malicious servers on exhaustive blacklists. The trouble began when Spamhaus added a Dutch company called Cyberbunker to its blacklist, a service that offers hosting to any kind of website "except child porn and anything related to terrorism." A Cyberbunker spokesman said that Spamhaus was abusing its power, and should not be allowed to decide "what goes and does not go on the Internet." Spamhaus says Cyberbunker has been retaliating with a powerful denial of service, or DDoS, attack. The attacks, which Spamhaus claims started on March 19, are reaching "previously unknown magnitudes, growing to a data stream of 300 billion bits per second," says the New York Times.
Internet search leader Google is taking another step beyond information retrieval into grocery delivery. The new service, called Google Shopping Express, will initially provide same-day delivery of food and other products bought online by a small group of consumers in San Francisco and suburbs located south of the city. The company, based in Mountain View, Calif., didn't say how many people will be part of the test. If the pilot program goes well, Google Inc. plans to expand delivery service to other markets.
Radio - Sirius XM has struck a deal to carry a new channel produced by Glenn Beck's media company 'theBlaze', featuring conservative talk shows and news programming that begins airing on Monday. The new channel is the latest effort by Beck, a former Fox News talk show host, to expand his media company which has its roots on the Internet. The channel, dubbed "theBlaze Radio Network", will be available to Sirius XM's nearly 24 million subscribers.
Jim Carrey alleging that Fox news channel had “viciously” slandered him via its coverage of the Funny or Die video he released earlier this week, titled “Cold Dead Hand,” that pokes fun at the late former NRA president Charlton Heston and gun enthusiasts.
Cedrick the Entertainer is named host of the syndicated, “Who wants to host "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire"? The comedian and actor will join the show for its 12th season in national syndication this fall.
Mary Tyler Moore Cast Reunion - “Hot in Cleveland" is hoping its new casting gimmick will turn the world on with a smile. The TV Land hit, which was recently renewed for a fifth season, is staging a reunion of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" cast for an upcoming episode, with Mary Tyler Moore, Cloris Leachman and the ailing Valerie Harper joining forces with "MTM" alum and "Hot in Cleveland" star Betty White and recurring cast member Georgia Engel.
Slipping - American Idol" dipped to an all-time low Thursday, as CBS and ABC tied for first in ratings and "Grey's Anatomy" took the night's best ratings in the key demographic, according to preliminary numbers. "Idol" at 8 p.m. posted a 2.7 rating/9 share in the advertiser-preferred 18-49 demographic. That was down 4 percent from last Thursday -- a seemingly small dip but enough to bring "Idol" to a series low. (That number will likely go up a bit when the ratings are adjusted.) "Idol" was, however, still the night's most-watched program with 11 million total viewers, helping give Fox first place in total viewers.
Taylor Swift will guest star on the May 14 season finale of the Fox comedy, “The New Girl.”
Breaking Up - "My Chemical Romance” calls it quits after a dozen years.
Lil Wayne is ready to hit the road again. Five years after the first America's Most Wanted Music Festival, Weezy has put together another all-star roster for this summer's sequel. Joining him this time around are T.I. and Future, who will be on board for the 40-date amphitheater and arena trek that kicks off on July 9 with a show in Birmingham, Alabama.
Ooh Yoko - Yoko Ono is being sued by a Brooklyn fashion designer who claims Ono ripped ideas for a fetish-inspired line straight from the designer’s sketchbook.
Haleh Nematzadeh, 36, who has her own Brunswick company called Smashing Starlets, accused Ono’s design team of taking her designs — that include hand prints over crotches and breast areas — slightly changing them, and issuing them through the Open Ceremony retailer.
Justin Bieber's neighbor accused the singer of "battery and threats" after a confrontation outside his Calabasas, California, home on Tuesday morning, a law enforcement spokesman said. Bieber, 19, moved into a $6.5 million mansion in The Oaks of Calabasas -- an exclusive community that is also home to Michael Jackson's mother and Jackson's three children -- a year ago.
Don’t miss Ke$ha’s new reality show/ docu-series, "My Crazy Beautiful Life," coming to MTV.
Crystal Bowersox, the "American Idol" Season 9 runner-up, will take on Patsy Cline in the Broadway premiere of a new musical based on the country legend's life. Annette O'Toole, of "Smallville" and "Superman III" fame, will co-star in Ted Swindley's "Always… Patsy Cline." The musical will being previews in July and will officially open in August.
Lil Wayne says he's an epileptic and has had seizures for years.In an interview with Los Angeles-based radio station Power 106 on Thursday, the 30-year-old rapper said epilepsy caused his most recent health scare earlier this month when he was rushed to a hospital. Wayne said he had three back-to-back seizures.
Taylor Swift Concert - Taylor Swift's New Jersey fans were treated to a surprise cameo at the superstar's Newark concert on Friday night! The "22" singer was joined by Train frontman Pat Monahan for a special performance and the pair sang the band's hit "Drive By" together.
Passing - Phil Ramone, the instinctive music producer whose mixing mastery for Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Paul Simon and Billy Joel helped fashion some of the most sumptuous and top-selling albums of his era, has died. He was 72. Ramone was a The 14-time Grammy winner and 33-time nominee.
20/20 Experience – Justin Timberlake
Unorthodox Jukebox – Bruno Mars
Same Trailer Different Park – Kacey Musgraves
The Truth About Love – P!nk
Spring Break… Here To Party – Luke Bryan
What About Now – Bon Jovi
Night Visions – Imagine Dragains
Babel – Mumford & Sons
Les Miserables – soundtrack
The Next Day – David Bowie
Unapologetic – Rihanna
Some Nights – fun.
Earth Rocker – Clutch
The Heist – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
The World From The Side Of The Moon – Phillip Phillips
Here’s To The Good Times – Florida Georgia Line
Red – Taylor Swift
People Hell And Angels – Jimi Hendrix
Thrift Shope Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
When I Was Your Man – Bruno Mars
Started From The Bottom – Drake
Suit & Tie – Justin Timberlake fea. Jay Z
Bad Girls Club – Wale fea. J. Cole
Girl On Fire – Alicia Keys fea. Nicki Mina
1. "NCIS," CBS, 19.79 million.
2. "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 17.06 million.
3. "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 16.84 million.
4. "American Idol" (Wednesday), Fox, 12.94 million.
5. "American Idol" (Thursday), Fox, 11.93 million.
6. "Criminal Minds," CBS, 11.58 million.
7. "Castle," ABC, 11.26 million.
8. "The Walking Dead," AMC, 10.99 million.
9. "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 10.53 million.
10. "60 Minutes," CBS, 10.5 million.
11. "The Bible," History, 10.27 million.
12. "Survivor: Caramoan," CBS, 9.79 million.
13. "Dancing With the Stars: Exclusive First Look," ABC, 9.76 million.
14. "The Good Wife," CBS, 9.59 million.
15. "Grey's Anatomy," ABC, 9.39 million.
16. "The Amazing Race 22," CBS, 9.33 million.
17. "Golden Boy," CBS, 9.26 million.
18. "Splash," ABC, 9.02 million.
19. "Hawaii Five-0," CBS, 8.99 million.
G.I Joe: Retaliation (1st week $51.7 million)
Tyler Perry’s Tempation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor (1st week $22.3 million)
Olympus Has Fallen
Oz: The Great and Powerful
The Host (1st week - $11 million)
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone