Week Of September 22, 2011 In Pop Culture, News & More.
Compiled By Gary West @ mrpopculture.com
In The News –
Strapped to a gurney in Georgia’s death chamber, Troy Davis ( lifted his head and declared one last time that he did not kill police officer Mark MacPhail. Just a few feet away behind a glass window, MacPhail’s son and brother watched in silence. Outside the prison, a crowd of more than 500 demonstrators cried, hugged, prayed and held candles. They represented hundreds of thousands of supporters worldwide who took up the anti-death penalty cause as Davis’ final days ticked away. “I am innocent,” Davis said moments before he was executed Wednesday night.(Sept21) “All I can ask … is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth. I ask my family and friends to continue to fight this fight.”
A white supremacist gang member was executed Wednesday (Sept21) evening for the infamous dragging death slaying of a black man. James Byrd Jr., 49, was chained to the back of a pickup truck and pulled whip-like to his death along a bumpy asphalt road in one of the most grisly hate crime murders in recent Texas history. Lawrence Russell Brewer, 44, was asked if he had any final words, to which he replied: “No. I have no final statement.” A single tear hung on the edge of his right eye.
A U.S. man is suing Starbucks Coffee Co after his 5-year-old daughter allegedly found a video camera pointed at the toilet in a bathroom in one of their cafes. William Yockey, of Virginia, is asking for $1 million in the civil suit on four counts, including breach of privacy, his lawyer, Hank Schlosberg, told Reuters on Tuesday. Yockey and his daughter went into a Starbucks in downtown Washington to use the restroom during an April sightseeing trip, he said. After using the unisex toilet, the girl discovered a digital video camera hidden in the U-shaped drain pipe under the sink. The camera was aimed at the toilet and recording, Schlosberg said.
The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell last week, though the decline isn’t enough to signal improvement in the job market. Weekly applications dropped by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 423,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, a less volatile figure, rose slightly for the fifth straight week to 421,000.
Hewlett-Packard Co.’s decision to fire CEO Leo Apotheker after just 11 months and replace him with former eBay chief Meg Whitman is another dizzying turn of the executive merry-go-round at a company whose leadership issues are straining a sprawling technology empire.
Swapping Apotheker, who has now been ousted from two high-profile CEO jobs in two years, for Whitman is a decision designed to stem investor fury over a series of questionable strategy moves
U.S. Stocks are falling as recession fears and global selling take them to new yearly lows. Shares were on track for their fifth straight day of declines and their worst weekly losses since 2008. Finance ministers from of the world’s leading economies pledged early Friday to take whatever steps are necessary to calm the markets. The statement did little to stem the selling.
Another Republican slug fest – this one in Orlando on Thursday. As usual – Mitt Romney and Rick Perry went at it – with their smug smiles and all.
Vladimir Putin said Saturday he’ll run for Russia’s presidency in 2012, almost certainly ensuring he’ll retake the office he previously held and likely foreshadowing years more of a strongman rule that many in the West have called a retreat from democracy. If Putin wins two presidential terms in a row, he will have been atop the Russian hierarchy for almost a quarter-century.
A six-ton NASA science satellite pierced the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean and fell back to Earth, the U.S. space agency said on Saturday, but it was not yet known where the remains landed. NASA said its decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, which took an unpredictable course as it tumbled through the upper atmosphere, fell to Earth sometime between 11:23 p.m. EDT on Friday and 1:09 a.m. EDT on Saturday.
UBS chief executive Oswald Gruebel has resigned over a $2.3 billion rogue trading loss, the bank said Saturday. The move ends days of speculation about whether Gruebel could retain his position following the latest scandal to hit Switzerland’s biggest bank.
A millionaire developer who lived in the same central Florida neighborhood as Tiger Woods and other celebrities was convicted Saturday of murdering his wife in their mansion. The six jurors deliberated more than 12 hours over two days before finding Bob Ward guilty of second-degree murder. The two-week trial took place in the same courthouse where the Casey Anthony case was tried this summer. Ward was stoic as the verdict was read. Before the verdict, he hugged his two college-aged daughters as the women wept. He faces up to life in prison when he’s sentenced in November.
Libyan revolutionary authorities say they have discovered a mass grave containing the remains of 1,270 inmates killed by the regime of Moammar Gadhafi in a 1996 prison massacre. The site was found near Tripoli’s Abu Salim prison, where the victims were killed on June 26, 1996, after protesting conditions at the facility.
President Barack Obama is on the road selling his jobs plan — and his re-election hopes — to plugged-in networkers in Silicon Valley and around the country. He was to appear Monday at a town hall-style event hosted by the career-focused social networking site LinkedIn to pitch his nearly $450 billion jobs proposal as he travels through California scooping up campaign cash.
( Boeing’s long-awaited dream machine became a commercial reality on Sunday when the lightweight plastic-composites 787 Dreamliner was formally delivered to its first Japanese customer. Boeing says the revolutionary carbon fiber design will hand 20 percent fuel savings to airlines struggling to avoid a new recession, and give passengers a more comfortable ride with better cabin air and large electronically dimmable windows. The first $200 million aircraft was handed over to Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways three years behind schedule after persistent delays that cost Boeing billions of dollars.
A new survey shows that the average cost of employer-sponsored health insurance surged this year, snapping a trend toward moderate growth, but experts say increases may slow again in 2012. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation says annual premiums for family coverage climbed 9 percent compared to 2010, when they rose only 3 percent.
Greece’s international debt inspectors will return to Athens on Thursday after they suspended their review of the country’s finances early this month amid talk of budget shortfalls. European Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj Tardio said the decision to go back to Athens “follows recent announcements by the Greek authorities concerning fiscal consolidation measures that constitute an important” development.
President Obama is encouraging students to work hard in their classes, saying the country is counting on them. Obama was scheduled to speak Wednesday afternoon at Washington’s Benjamin Banneker Academic High School. His back-to-school address will be televised live and carried online. In his prepared remarks, Obama urges students to pursue an education after high school and says that in tough economic times, the country needs their ideas and passion. “Whether we fall behind or race ahead in the coming years is up to you,” he says.
A man was arrested Wednesday (Sept 28) and accused of plotting an assault on the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol using remote-controlled aircraft armed with explosives — the latest of several terrorism cases to spring from federal sting operations. Rezwan Ferdaus was arrested in Framingham, Massachusetts, after undercover federal agents delivered materials he had allegedly requested, including grenades, six machine guns and what he believed was 24 pounds of C-4 explosive. Federal officials said the public was never in danger from the explosives, which it said were always under control and closely monitored.
In a significant new blow to al-Qaida, U.S. airstrikes in Yemen on Friday(Sept 30) killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an American militant cleric who became a prominent figure in the terror network’s most dangerous branch, using his fluent English and Internet savvy to draw recruits for attacks in the United States. The strike was the biggest U.S. success in hitting al-Qaida’s leadership since the May killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. But it raises questions that other strikes did not: Al-Awlaki was an American citizen who has not been charged with any crime. Civil liberties groups have questioned the government’s authority to kill an American without trial.
Federal agents on Thursday raided a Boeing plant that makes military helicopters in a Philadelphia suburb and charged more than three dozen people with distributing or trying to get prescription drugs, among them powerful painkillers. The arrests were made by the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration at the 5,400-employee plant in Ridley Park, where workers build aircraft including the H-47 Chinook helicopter and the V-22 Osprey. The plant is part of Boeing’s Defense, Space and Security unit.
Tech News –
Facebook f8 – as founder Mark Zuckerberg rolled out new features including a personal timeline. In his keynote speech at f8, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg unveiled new ways for users to share information — and for content creators to gather fresh intel on what is beings shared. Facebook is expanding its vocabulary beyond “Like” to add verbs: Users will soon be able to “watch” a movie or “read” a book. Facebook also unveiled changes to the permissions process users go through when they install new apps. The new version will let users control in more detail what information their apps share with others.
According to a new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 31% of American adults prefer text messages to phone calls. An additional 14% said the contact method they prefer depends on the situation. To put this in perspective, most Americans (but just barely: 53%) still generally prefer to get voice calls rather than text messages. Also, Pew notes that 4% of cell owners do not make or receive any voice calls on an average day. And 27% of cell owners do not use text messaging, even occasionally.
Kindle – The maker of the world’s most popular e-book reader is rumored to be announcing a color, touch-screen tablet device called the “Kindle Fire,” that claims to have seen the gadget. Here are the Kindle Fire’s specs: 7-inch color screen, compared to 6-inch for current Kindles
– Wi-Fi only (no 3G version)
– Touch-screen navigation
– Glowing LED screen instead of paper-like e-ink
– Android operating system
– Hits stores in November
– Current Kindle will remain on sale
MoboTap, the creator of the popular Dolphin Browser for Android and iPhone, has unleashed a browser for the iPad. The app, Dolphin Browser HD, contains all of the gesture control features that have made it a hit on the Android platform. Drawing a “<” will take you back a page, and drawing a “>” will take you forward. Users can also create their own gestures and shortcuts to access their favorite websites or launch browser commands. (We suggest “M” for Mashable.) The iPad app also includes Dolphin Webzine, the browser’s Flipboard-style system for reading web content, tabbing browsing, a URL bar that predicts what website you’re going to type, and a speed dial for accessing favorite websites with a quick tap. Users can access their bookmarks by swiping from left-to-right or their open tabs by swiping right-to-left.
Entertainment news –
( Big-voiced R&B diva Vesta Williams, perhaps best-known for her 1980s hits “Don’t Blow A Good Thing” and “Congratulations,” has been found dead of a possible drug overdose in a Southern California hotel room, coroner’s investigators said Friday. She was 53. Williams was found dead at 6:15 p.m. Thursday in an El Segundo hotel room, Los Angeles County coroner’s Capt. John Kades (KAY’-dihs) said.
Jackson’s parents, Joe and Katherine, his sisters, Janet and La Toya, and other family members arrived at the Los Angeles court, where dozens of media and fans holding pictures of the dead “Thriller” singer, sunflowers, and placards saying “Justice for Michael” gathered outside. Dr. Conrad Murray’s trial is expected to give the public a glimpse into the King of Pop’s final days as he rehearsed for a series of concerts aimed at restoring a career shattered by a 2005 child molestation trial, despite his acquittal. The trial, which is being televised live in the United States, is expected to last four to six weeks.
Top albums this week –
21 – Adele
Own the Night – Lady Antebellum
Tha Carter IV – Lil Wayne
Staind – Staind
1 – The Beatles
Halfway To Heaven – Brantley Gilbert
Watch The Throne – Jay Z Kanye West
A Dramatic Turn of Events – Dream Theater
Dead Throne – The Devil Wears Prada
Hot hits this week –
Someone Like You – Adele
Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5 fea. Christina Aguilera
Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO fea. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock
Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People
( Stereo Hearts – Gym Class Heroes fea. Adam Levine
Lighters – Bad Meets Evil fea. Bruno Mars
Super Bass – Nicki Minaj
You and I – Lady Gaga
Cheers (Drink To That) – Rihanna
You Make Me Feel… – Cobra Starship
Give Me Everything – Pitbull fea. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer
How to Love – Lil Wayne
Good Life – OneRepublic
Without You – David Guetta fea. Usher
Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)- Katy Perry
Paradise – Coldplay
In The Dark – Dev
I Wanna Go – Britney Spears
Tonight Tonight – Hot Chelle Rae
Rolling In the Deep – Adele
Headlines – Drake
I’m On One – DJ Khaled fea. Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne
If I Die Young – The Band Perry
At the movies –
The Lion King
Moneyball (1st week $20.6 million)
Dolphin Tale (1st week $20.3 million)
Abduction (1st week $11.2 million)
I Don’t Know How She Does It
Top TV –
|1.||NFL Football: New Orleans at Green Bay||NBC|
|2.||NFL Football: Dallas at N.Y. Jets||NBC|
|3.||NFL Thursday Pre-Kick||NBC|
|4.||Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick||NBC|
|5.||Football Night in America||NBC|
|6.||NFL Kickoff 2011||NBC|
|7.||America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday)||NBC|
|8.||9/11: 10 Years Later||CBS|
|9.||America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday)||NBC|
|11.||NCIS: Los Angeles||CBS|
|14.||Big Brother 13″ (Wednesday)||CBS|
|15.||NCIS: Los Angeles” (Tuesday||CBS|
|16.||Big Brother 13″ (Thursday)||CBS|
|17.||Dateline NBC” (Friday)||NBC|
|18.||The Big Bang Theory||CBS|
|19.||Football Night in America||NBC|