Dateline: Week Of March 8, 2012 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
Pakistan's interior minister says Osama bin Laden's three widows have been charged with illegally entering and living in the country. The three have been in detention in Pakistan since May last year, when U.S. commandos raided the house where they, bin Laden and several children were staying. The commandos killed bin Laden. Malik said Thursday the three had been charged in court, but he did not say when they were charged. It was not immediately clear what kind of punishment they could expect if found guilty. The three, along with several children, were living in Pakistan without a visa.
Two people were killed and seven people were wounded in a shooting on Thursday at a psychiatric institute at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and one of the dead was the gunman who walked into the clinic's lobby armed with two semi-automatic handguns, authorities said.
Israel has asked the United States for advanced "bunker-buster" bombs and refueling planes that could improve its ability to attack Iran's underground nuclear sites, an Israeli official said on Thursday. "Such a request was made" around the time of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington this week, the official said, confirming media reports.
Moody's declared Greece in default on its debt Friday after Athens carved out a deal with private creditors for a bond exchange that will write off 107 billion euros ($140 billion) of its debt. Moody's pointed out that even as 85.8 percent of the holders of Greek-law bonds had signed onto the deal, the exercise of collective action clauses that Athens is applying to its bonds will force the remaining bondholders to participate.
Israeli warplanes killed five militants in Gaza in a second day of cross-border violence in which gunmen have fired dozens of rockets against Israel and an Israeli missile strike killed a prominent militant, both sides said on Saturday.
Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney claimed victory in Saturday caucuses in Guam and Northern Mariana Islands, saying he secured support of all 18 delegates at stake in the US Pacific territories. "The people of Guam have always stood bravely for America and the values we hold dear," Romney said in a statement. "I am honored to have won the Guam caucuses, an important milestone in my quest to restore America to the principles and practices that made us great.
President Barack Obama is hitting back at Republican criticism of his energy policies and his role in controlling gasoline prices. Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday to underscore his administration's work to develop alternative energy sources and increase fuel efficiency. "I'm going to keep doing everything I can to help you save money on gas, both right now and in the future," Obama said. "I hope politicians from both sides of the aisle join me." He accused Republicans of a "bumper sticker" approach to solving the nation's energy problems.
Rick Santorum has won the Republican presidential caucuses in Kansas. Santorum captured an overwhelming 51 percent--although that constituted only about 15,300 people-- of the vote. Mitt Romney took second with 21 percent, followed by Newt Gingrich with 14 percent and Ron Paul with 12.5 percent. Those results mean Santorum stands to gain a substantial number of Kansas' 40 delegates.
President Hamid Karzai said a U.S. service member killed 16 people — nine of them children and three women — in a shooting spree Sunday that he condemned as "an assassination." Karzai demanded an explanation from the United States, adding new tensions to a relationship already severely strained over Americans burning Muslim holy books on a base in Afghanistan. The burnings sparked violent protests and attacks that left some 30 people dead. Six U.S. service members have been killed in attacks by their Afghan colleagues since the Quran burnings came to light, but the violence has just started to calm down.
Ten people were killed when the soil caved in on them as they were illegally digging for ancient treasures under a house in a centralEgyptian village, police officials told AFP on Monday. The 10, including four brothers, were buried alive when the walls of the dig collapsed in the village of Arab al-Manasra, north of the historic city of Luxor. Rescue services were working to recover the bodies, the official said, adding that two people were also injured in the incident.
International ratings agency Moody's downgraded euro member Cyprus into junk status Tuesday on heightened concerns over the exposure of its large banking sector to Greece.The agency reduced its rating on Cyprus by one notch to Ba1 and assigned a negative outlook, meaning that further downgrades are possible. Moody's is the second agency to push the island nation's credit rating to junk after Standard & Poor's in January, mainly because of the banking system's Greek exposure. Fitch rates Cyprus a notch above junk.
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1 hit east of Tokyo on Wednesday but no tsunami warning was issued and there were no initial reports of damage or troubles at area nuclear plants, the Japan Meteorological Agency and local media said. High-speed bullet trains serving northern Japan were halted and the two runways at Tokyo's Narita International Airport were closed after the quake but quickly resumed operations, local media reported.
Police say a man stabbed four people in an attack that began near an Ohio technical school that's housed in a downtown office building. He was then shot by a police officer as he left the building. Columbus police spokesman Sgt. Rich Weiner says the suspect confronted one victim inside the building near Miami-Jacobs Career College. He said other people inside intervened and took away one knife the suspect was using.
A shooting at a courthouse in Beaumont, Texas, on Wednesday wounded up to three people, and a judge interviewed outside the courtroom after the shooting said one person may have died. Beaumont Fire Captain Earl White said the condition of the three people who were shot and wounded was not immediately known. White said authorities were still clearing the scene of the shooting.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has arrived in southern Afghanistan on an unannounced visit, amid continuing efforts to try to limit the fallout from the shooting rampage Sunday by a U.S. staff sergeant who killed 16 Afghans.
Fascinating Facts March 8, 2012 -
The biggest solar storm in five years is battering our planet, and may cause disruptions to satellites, power grids and communications networks over the next 24 hours, space weather experts say. Two strong solar flares erupted from the surface of the sun late Tuesday (March 6), blasting a wave of plasma and charged particles toward Earth. After speeding through space at 4 million mph, this eruption of material — called a coronal mass ejection (CME) — should be hitting Earth. The storm is expected to create strong disruptions due to an odd combination of intense magnetic, radio and radiation emissions, making it the strongest overall solar storm since December 2006, even though the flare that triggered it was not the largest, space weather officials said.
The New Republic, the 98-year-old liberal magazine, has been sold. The buyer: Chris Hughes, 28-year-old co-founder of Facebook, and now TNR's editor in chief and publisher. Richard Just, the magazine's editor since 2010, will remain in that position, while Martin Peretz, who helmed the magazine for 35 years before giving way to Just, will remain on the magazine's advisory board.
Technology News March 8, 2012 -
Apple releases its third-generation iPad this week. No, it doesn’t have a name. The company says it has sold 55 million iPads since the device debuted two years ago. When it comes to tablets, Apple's competitors are scrambling to catch up.
Yahoo filed a lawsuit against Facebook Monday, alleging that the social media giant infringed on 10 of its patents related to advertising, privacy, customization, messaging and social networking. The launch of the full-on patent battle follows last month's media reports of for 10-20 patents.
Instagram, the iPhone photo-sharing app that turns almost anyone into an artful photographer, is growing at an astonishing rate. The app now has 27 million registered users -- up from 15 million in December, its co-founders announced Sunday. And a long-awaited version of Instagram for the Android platform is coming soon.
The latest generation of Apple’s iPad is slated to hit U.S. stores on March 16, but that date is no longer mentioned on Apple’s site — at least for online pre-orders. Soon after the device’s launch, the date shifted from March 16 to March 19. Alas, now even that date is gone from Apple’s site. Regardless of which iPad model you choose, the estimated shipping time is now “2-3 weeks.”
PayPal reversed a ban on the use of the online payments service for sales of electronic books portraying rape, incest and bestiality. Anuj Nayar, director of communications for PayPal, which is owned by online auction giant eBay, announced the change of policy in a blog post on the PayPal website.
Sports News March 8, 2012 –
Canadian racer Nick Zoricic died from head injuries after crashing in a World Cup skicross event on Saturday, the International Ski Federation said. The 29-year-old Zoricic died as a result of "severe neurotrauma," the federation said in a statement.
Denver Broncos players, linebacker D.J. Williams, defensive tackle Ryan McBean and tight end Virgil Green, have been suspended for violating the NFL's anti-doping policy, the league said. McBean and Williams have been suspended without pay for the first six games of the 2012 regular season while Green will miss the team's first four matches, also without pay.
The 49ers sign Randy Moss to a one-year deal after a tryout. Moss arrived in the Bay Area on Sunday night and spent Monday running the route tree with head coach Jim Harbaugh throwing him passes for about 15 minutes at the team's practice facility.
March Madness Begins - The first 2 games - Western Kentucky comes back from a 14 point deficit with less than 5 minutes to play to beat Mississippi Valley State and BYU was down by 25 POINTS and surges back to defeat Iona.
Radio News –
As the fallout surrounding Rush Limbaugh's comments about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke continues unabated—with as many as 48 local and national advertisers pulling out of his radio show according to the Atlantic Wire—the controversial "dating" website AshleyMadison.com, which encourages affairs, has offered to buy all excess inventory from the marketers who've abandoned Limbaugh. Noel Biderman, Ashley Madison's chief executive, said that the company—which he says spends more than $22 million on advertising per year—had tried to buy air time from Limbaugh in 2009, but was rejected.
Rush told his audience that he has some 18,000 sponsors – and that includes mostly local stations. That the number of drop-outs really doesn’t mean much. He’s here to stay. They do not endorse or accept any kind of sponsorship from Ashley-Madison.
Entertainment News March 8, 2012 –
Miley Cyrus - The 19-year-old singer, who abandoned the social media site for 17 months until April 2011, received major backlash when she quoted physicist Lawrence Krauss last week. "'You are all stardust. You couldn't be here if stars hadn't exploded, because the elements (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, all the things that matter for evolution) weren't created at the beginning of time,'" Cyrus quoted. "'They were created in stars. So forget Jesus. Stars died so you can live.'" Some fans didn’t like the “forget Jesus” line.
Passing - Jimmy Ellis passed away at the age of 74 in South Carolina. Ellis was one of the original longstanding members of The Trammps, one of the first disco groups that rose to fame in the 1970s.
Dick Van Dyke - The veteran actor and perfomer, 86, wed 40-year-old girlfriend, makeup artist Arlene Silver.
Kimberly Quaid, wife of actor Dennis Quaid, has filed for divorce after nearly eight years of marriage. According to the documents filed by Kimberly, "The marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities... that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation." Although the date is unconfirmed, E! Online reports that the documents were filed on March 2. This is the third marriage for Quaid, who was previously wed to Meg Ryan and P.J. Soles.
Rapper Coolio was arrested on a warrant charging him with failure to appear in court on a traffic ticket almost two years ago. Coolio, 48, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr., was a passenger in a vehicle officers stopped about 2:20 a.m. several blocks east of the Las Vegas Strip, Officer Laura Meltzer said.
Springsteen At The Apollo - The power and the glory were unleashed in the heart of Harlem on Friday night as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band took to the stage of the storied Apollo Theater. Springsteen, self-introduced in a deadpan delivery as "the hardest-working white man in show business," was intent on proving it with music and physical antics that whipped the packed house into a frenzy. In a nod to Apollo legend James Brown, the "hardest-working man in show business," Springsteen milked his own Godfather of Soul routine, staggering dramatically around the stage wearing a black towel "cape" that was ceremoniously draped onto his shoulders by guitarist Steven Van Zandt. The show aired live on SiriusXM Radio's E Street Channel as part of the satellite company's 10th anniversary celebration. It was a prelude to a world tour that launches March 18 in Atlanta in support of the "Wrecking Ball" album, whose liner notes include a touching homage to E Street saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who died in June. With six new members of the E Street Band and a new album to support, it's clear that this tour will likely be very different than previous outings.
Music Passing - Michael Hossack, longtime drummer for the classic rock band the Doobie Brothers, has died of cancer at age 65 in his home in Dubois, Wyo. According to the band's manager, Bruce Cohn, his family was by his side when he passed away on Monday. "Big Mike," as he was affectionately known to fans, is remembered fondly by band co-founder Tom Johnston. "Mike has always been a part of my musical life and the life of the Doobie Brothers," Johnston wrote in a statement. "He was an incredible musician, a studio quality drummer. The last few years, he was brave and determined to keep on playing in the face of ill health, and I will always admire him for that."
American Idol - A couple weeks ago, Jermaine Jones, the "gentle giant" of "American Idol," was brought back to the show as a 25th surprise bonus contestant, after the judges supposedly had a last-minute change of heart. Jermaine managed to survive the semifinals and even make the top 12 via public vote, but now, he will be disqualified this week, for allegedly concealing his violent criminal past.
Top Movies March 8, 2012 –
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
John Carter (1st week $30.1 million)
Act of Valor
This Means War
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island 3D
A Thousand Words
Tyler Perry’s Good Dees
Top Music Albums March 8, 2012 –
21 – Adele
Whitney: The Greatest Hits
The Bodyguard – Whitney Houston
Careless World: Rise Of The Last King – Tyga
Take Care – Drake
Talk That Talk – Rihanna
19 – Adele
A Different Kind Of Truth – Van Halen
Some Nights – fun.
I Look To You – Whitney Houston
Black Radio – Robert Glasper Experiment
Sorry For Party Rocking – LMFAO
The Wall – Pink Floyd
Own the Night – Lady Antebellum
Tailgates &Tanlines – Luke Bryan
Making Mirrors – Gotye
The Best Of The Monkees
Triple Feature – Whitney Houston
Project X – Soundtrack
2012 – Grammy Nominees
Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
My Kinda Party – Jason Aldean
Top TV shows March 8, 2012 - 1.American Idol" (Wednesday)FOX2.American Idol" (Thursday)FOX3.The VoiceNBC4.Person of InterestCBS5.The Big Bang TheoryCBS6.NCISCBS7.The MentalistCBS8.The Big Bang Theory" (ThursdayCBS9.NCIS: Los AngelesCBS10.The Mentalist" (Friday)CBS