This Week In History. News, pop culture, trends, TV guide, music. A complete look at the week of November 1, 2010.

This Week In Pop History. A complete look at the week of November 1, 2010

Compiled By Gary West @ mrpopculture.com  and  www.mrpophistory.com

In The News -

Iraq’s dwindling Christian community was grieving and afraid on Monday after militants seized a Baghdad church during evening Mass, held the congregation hostage and triggered a raid by Iraqi security forces. The bloodbath left at least 52 people killed and 67 wounded — nearly everyone inside.

BP lifted its estimate of the likely cost of its Gulf of Mexico oil spill to $40 billion on Tuesday, denting profits, but its underlying performance beat all expectations on higher refining margins and a lower tax rate. BP, the world’s biggest non-government controlled oil company by production last year, said delays in capping its blown-out well prompted the increased charge for ending the leak, cleaning up the damage and compensating those affected.

Bombs exploded at the Swiss and Russian embassies in Athens on Tuesday and police found suspect packages at two other embassies in a wave of parcel bomb attacks in the Greek capital. Police linked the attacks to Greek leftist guerrillas. Small bomb and gas canister attacks have been frequent in Greece since 2008 when the police killing of a teenager sparked the country’s worst riots in decades.

South Korea said Tuesday (Nov. 2) it would build a massive offshore wind farm off the west coast by 2019 to develop new sources of renewable energy and help wind turbine exporters. Under the 9.2 trillion won (8.2 billion dollars) project, companies such as Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering plan to build 500 turbines, the Knowledge Economy Ministry said in a statement. The wind farm, to be built near the southwestern counties of Buan and Yeonggwang, will generate about 2,500 megawatts of electricity, it said.

Elections –

The Republicans retake the house 240-185 as the Democrats retain the senate at 51-46. Republicans picked up at least 60 House seats, far more than the 39 they needed for a majority that would elevate John Boehner to House speaker and put Republicans in charge of House committees. It is the biggest shift in power since Democrats lost 75 House seats in 1948. Conservative grass roots activists associated with the Tea Party movement shook up the Republican Party earlier this year when they toppled some incumbents deemed not conservative  enough and replaced them with less experienced, more ideological candidates. Tea Party favorites won in Florida, Utah and Kentucky, ensuring an influx of conservative views in the staid chamber. But the movement may have prevented Republicans from winning the Senate, as voters rejected Tea Party-backed candidates in Nevada, Delaware and West Virginia. The Dems had a few bright spots – Joe Manchin winning the Senate race in West Virginia, Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown prevailing in California, Harry Reid hanging on in Nevada. Election stats were amazing. Some 50 Democrat incumbents are gone! John Boehner in Picture.

A chastened President Barack Obama signaled a willingness to compromise with Republicans on tax cuts and energy policy Wednesday, one day after his party lost control of the House and suffered deep Senate losses in midterm elections. Obama ruefully called the Republican victories “a shellacking” and acknowledged that his own connection with the public had frayed.

Emboldened by a commanding House majority and Senate gains, Republican leaders vowed Wednesday to roll back the size of government and, in time, the nation’s sweeping health care law. President Barack Obama, reflective after his party’s drubbing, accepted blame for failing to deliver the economic security Americans demand while saying of his health overhaul: “This was the right thing to do.” He called the election a “shellacking.” After two years with fellow Democrats leading Congress, Obama now must deal for the rest of his term with the jarring reality of Republican control of the House, a diminished Democratic majority in the Senate and a new flock of lawmakers sworn to downsize government at every chance.

Rebuked by voters, President Obama is turning overseas, heading to Asia for 10 days of diplomacy, tourism and dealmaking that could boost the battered chief executive and highlight his political skills on the world stage. First stop – India, then a sojourn through India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan aimed at highlighting America’s increasing engagement with Asia.

A Yemen-based al-Qaida group is claiming responsibility for the international mail bomb plot uncovered late last week as well as the crash of a United Parcel Service cargo plane in September. A week after authorities intercepted packages in Dubai and England that were bound for the U.S., Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula issued a message Friday saying it will continue to strike American and Western interests. They specifically said they would target civilian and cargo aircraft.

Hurricane Tomas flooded the earthquake-shattered remains of a Haitian town on Friday, forcing families who had already lost their homes in one disaster to flee another. In the country’s capital, quake refugees resisted calls to abandon flimsy tarp and tent camps.

Indonesia – A surge of searing gas raced down the sides of Mount Merapi on Friday, smothering houses, cattle and villagers in its path. The death toll after the volcano’s largest eruption in a century soared to 122. The worst hit village of Bronggang lay nine miles (15 kilometers) from the fiery crater, just on the perimeter of the government-delineated “danger zone.” Crumpled roofs, charred carcasses of cattle and broken chairs — all layered in white ash and soot — dotted the smoldering landscape.

President Obama announced a host of new trade deals with India supporting tens of thousands of U.S. jobs Saturday as he began a 10-day trip through Asia on a determinedly domestic note. Intent on demonstrating his attention to the sluggish U.S. economy even while overseas, Obama, also told a meeting of U.S. and Indian executives that the U.S. would relax some export regulations that have complicated trade between America and this fast-growing country of 1.2 billion people.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Congress should act quickly, before new members take their seats, to repeal the miltary’s plan on gays serving openly in the military.

Iraq’s political rivals reached a breakthrough power-sharing deal in which Nuri al-Maliki, a Shiite, retains the premiership, a spokesman said on Sunday, exactly eight months after inconclusive elections. The deal was between the National Alliance, which represents the main Shiite parties, and the Kurdish coalition, while Iraqiya’s support hinged on its agreement over the posts of speaker and president.

A French nun who was considered the world’s oldest person died Thursday on the Caribbean island of St. Barthelemy at the age of 114, the French government said. Eugenie Blanchard, who friends called “Sweets” because of her kindness, died at around 3 a.m. at Bruyn Hospital, where she had lived in the geriatric ward since 1980, said hospital director Pierre Nuty.

After 14 years of serving the Big Island, financially strapped Japan Airlines has ended flights between Tokyo and Kona International Airport. The last passengers arriving from Narita International Airport to Kona Friday were greeted with lei and live Hawaiian music, the Big Island Visitors Bureau said.

Sports –

Cowboys sucking eggs this season – After the Cowboys’ 35-17 home loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, owner Jerry Jones spoke to the media in a state of confusion. “I’m embarrassed,” Jones said. “Of course I am. And to every fan, I should have and do take the ultimate, ultimate responsibility. I do. That’s the way we’re structured. That’s the way I run it. There’s no question that I have the plan and executing it to have the best players and the best coaching that we can have. I’m dumbfounded that we are 1-7.”

The San Francisco Giants win the World Series in a 4-0 sweep against the Texas Rangers.

Passing – Former Reds and Tiger Manager: Sparky Anderson passes away at the age of 76 due to complications of dementia.

Passing – Three time world surfing champ Andy Irons (32).

Technology –

Priceline.com has introduced a new feature that makes it easier to find the hotel freebie of your dreams. “Increasingly freebies are becoming a staple for hotels of almost any star level to differentiate themselves, especially in this economy,” said Priceline spokesman Brian Ek. “What we’re finding is that consumers are looking for freebies and they value them, in some cases as much or more than a really good rate.” Priceline has listed hotels with freebies before, but until now, “there wasn’t a way to conveniently see who was offering what in a macro sense. You could not easily compare,” Ek said. The new feature assembles freebies “in a searchable way, so that a visitor to the site could mine our hotel database to see what’s available.”

Leading video game publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that PAC-MAN Party has gone gold for Wii. Set in a birthday party theme, PAC-MAN stars in this new venture packed with dozens of mini-games, challenges and surprises. Utilizing the Wii Remote, the game’s easy to pick-up-and-play controls will have players using their skills and reflexes to compete against one another as they move about unique virtual game boards. With something for everyone in the family, PAC-MAN Party will be packed with non-stop action when it is available throughout North America on November 16, 2010.

Known as three-dimensional telepresence, executives may not be able to beam a full three-dimensional image of themselves across the world just yet but researchers are a step closer to 3-D real-time images, an advance in holographic technology that could make video conferencing far more lifelike. Nasser Peyghambarian of the University of Arizona and colleagues said on Wednesday their new holographic technology can project a near 360-degree image to another location that updates every two seconds. The earliest use of the technology could be in movies, given the popularity of 3-D films such as “Avatar.”

Android smartphone market share trails iPhone market share by a scant 9 percentage points in a recent study from analysis giant Nielsen. According to statistics on overall U.S. market share, Android is the single fastest-growing mobile platform. By contrast, Apple’s iOS shows an ever-so-slight decline. Other operating systems, including BlackBerry and Windows Mobile, show sharp declines over the past quarter. Still, BlackBerry is the top mobile OS by the numbers, with around 30 percent of the total market share.

Facebook begins offering coupons from various retailers, including a promotion from Gap which will give away 10,000 pairs of jeans. Mobile users can access the partner deals on their smartphones, go to the store and show the virtual coupon to the clerk. Facebook said it is launching a test version of the feature, called Deals, with more than 20 companies, including the Gap, McDonalds, 24 Hour Fitness, American Eagle Outfitters and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a chain of movie theaters that serves food and drinks

.

Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the Minnesota woman who has been fighting the recording industry over 24 songs she illegally downloaded and shared online four years ago, has lost another round in court. A jury in Minneapolis decided today that she was liable for $1.5 million in copyright infringement damages to Capitol Records, or $62,500 for each song she illegally shared in April 2006. The Recording Industry Association of America–the trade group that represents the four major music labels–applauded the verdict.

Entertainment –

Taylor Swift, 20, signed a deal to create her very own signature scent with Elizabeth Arden, the company behind the fragrances of Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Elizabeth Taylor and Usher “I have always loved how fragrance can shape a memory the way certain scents remind you of events and people that are imprinted in your thoughts,” Swift said in a statement.

A U.S. teen was crowned Miss World 2010. Alexandria Mills was named the winner in this year’s competition. The 18-year-old from Lexington, Ky., became the third ever U.S. contestant to take the title in the pageant’s history. Second place went to Emma Wareus of Botswana. Adriana Vasini of Venezuela came in third.

Director Ron Howard says he will not cut a joke using the word “gay” from his new film, The Dilemma. The joke was deemed insensitive by GLAAD and subsequently removed from the film’s trailer two weeks ago. In the clip, Vince Vaughn, who plays an automotive consultant, says, “Ladies and gentleman, electric cars are gay.” “I believe in sensitivity but not censorship. I feel that our film is taking additional heat as an emblem for many movies and TV shows that preceded it that have even more provocative characterizations and language,” said Howard.

Filmmaker George Hickenlooper has died at age 47, just before the premiere of his new film “Casino Jack” at the Starz Denver Film Festival, the Denver Post newspaper reported on Saturday.

Fergie has been named a Woman of the Year by Glamour magazine. As a result of the honor, the triple threat is being featured on three different covers for the mag’s 20th anniversary of its Women of the Year Awards.

Justin Bieber has written his first book. “So, the reason I decided to write this book at such a young age is because there is so much stuff on the Internet that is misconstrued and a lot of people have [written] stuff about me and it’s just not right,” It’s called “First Step 2 Forever: My Story.”

Charlie Sheen has filed for divorce from his third wife, Brooke Mueller Sheen. He is seeking joint custody of the former couples’ twins while Brooke Sheen filed her own petition for divorce, seeking sole custody and spousal support.

Randy Travis and his wife divorce after 19 years of marriage.

Passing – Charlie O’ Donnell – heard as the announcer on “Wheel of Fortune” and other game shows of the past. He began his career as a top-40 DJ when AM radio was king. He was 78. His other gameshow announcing credits include: “The Dating Game,” “Everybody’s Talking,” “The Gong Show,” “The Guinness Game,” “Hot Potato,” “The Joker’s Wild,” “Let’s Go Back,” “Monopoly,” “The Newlywed Game,” “The Parent Game,” “Stompers,” “Tic Tac Dough,” “To Tell The Truth,” “Trivia Trap,” “Wedding Party,” “The Wizard of Odds” and “Wordplay.” Do you remember half of those?

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, marking a climax to a drawn-out restructuring for the storied Hollywood studio that controls the James Bond films and made “The Wizard of Oz.” The Chapter 11 filing follows last week’s vote by creditors to support a “prepackaged” bankruptcy in which MGM will shed more than $4 billion of debt and hand control to its secured lenders. Management would be assumed by Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, who run the Spyglass Entertainment film company. MGM filed for protection from creditors after striking an agreement with Carl Icahn, one of its largest debtholders, to win the billionaire’s support for a restructuring.

Update – The reason Miley Cyrus’’ parents are splitting after 17 years of marriage: Mom Tish had an affair with rocker Bret Michaels. When Billy Ray learned of it – as well as at least one other fling – he filed for divorce Oct. 27.

ET

Passing – Jill Clayburgh, the sophisticated Hollywood and Broadway actress known for portrayals of empowered women in a career spanning five decades, highlighted by her Oscar-nominated role of a divorcee exploring life after marriage in the 1978 film “An Unmarried Woman,” has died. She was 66.

Music news –

Taylor Swift fans have spoken — more than a million times. The country-pop superstar sold more than 1 million copies of her new album “Speak Now” to debut at the top of the Billboard album chart this week. Billboard.com said Wednesday that it’s the biggest debut since 50 Cent’s “The Massacre” five years ago.

On the heels of the news that Miley Cyrus’’ parents – Billy Ray and Tish – were divorcing, Miley also finds herself a single gal, again. Miley and her on-again/off-again beau, Liam Hemsworth, have split again.

Lady Gaga took home three prizes at the MTV Europe Music Awards for best pop artist, best female singer and best song for her single “Bad Romance.”

Lil Wayne checks in with the officials in Yuma County, Ariz., to begin a three-year stint of unsupervised probation for a drug conviction. Yuma County chief probation officer Steve Hardy says the 28-year-old rapper’s case is being transferred to his home state of Florida. For the next three years, he must avoid drugs and alcohol and not commit any new crimes, among other conditions. Real name is Dwayne Carter Jr., he was released from a New York jail Thursday after serving eight months in a gun case.

Television news –

The Oprah Winfrey Network announces three shows – starring Ryan and Tatum O’Neal, Naomi and Wynonna Judd and Carson Kressley. The three shows —Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals, The Judds and Carson-Nation — will premiere in 2011. The O’Neals will focus on the father and daughter actors as they try to reconcile after a 25-year estrangement. The Judds will follow the Grammy-winning country music duo as they prepare for their first tour together in 10 years. Carson-Nation centers on the former Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fashion and design expert as he travels through the country to give makeovers to residents of small towns.

AMC’s new zombie drama The Walking Dead debuted to 5.3 million viewers, the largest audience for any original series on the network.

For the second year in a row, ABC will air a Thanksgiving special with Beyonce. Beyonce’s I Am… World Tour will feature a compilation of performances, backstage moments and life on her tour. Jay-Z, the 29-year-old Grammy winner’s husband, and Kanye West are slated to make guest appearances.

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and conservative media critic Bernie Goldberg slammed MSNBC on Wednesday for having the network’s top liberal hosts and commentators lead election night coverage. Goldberg praised CNN and Fox News for having nonpartisan anchors give results, with commentators on the right and left providing analysis. But he said  MSNBC “jumped the shark” with its team, which included Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell and Eugene Robinson in the studio, along with Ed Schultz in Las Vegas.

Passing – Storm Chaser Matt Hughs. Storm chasing is now an extreme sport!

MSNBC has suspended “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann Friday after the it was learned he donated to three Democratic candidates. He had given the maximum individual donation of $2,400 to three candidates in this week’s elections. Olbermann, in a statement to Politico, said that he “did not privately or publicly encourage anyone else to donate to these campaigns nor to any others in this election or any previous ones.” Also, Olbermann said he had not “previously donated to any political campaign at any level.”

Hip Wednesday night television (TV Squad)

8:00 to 9:00
ABC: ‘The Middle’ and ‘Better With You’
CBS: ‘Survivor: Nicaragua’
CW: ‘America’s Next Top Model’
NBC: ‘Undercovers’
PBS: ‘Secrets of the Dead’* — Season 10
Cartoon Network: ‘Dude, What Would Happen?’ and ‘Destroy Build Destroy’
DisneyXD: ‘The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’
G4: ‘Campus PD’ and ‘That’s Tough’
Logo: ‘Bump!’

9:00 to 10:00
ABC: ‘Modern Family’ and ‘Cougar Town’
CBS: ‘Criminal Minds’
CW: ‘Hellcats’
NBC: ‘Law & Order: SVU’
PBS: ‘Circus’* — (120 minutes)
A&E: ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ — 9:30 start
BBC America: ‘I’d Do Anything’* — (120 minutes)
Bio: ‘Biography’ — Focus on all of the ‘Star Trek’ captains
DIRECTV The 101 Network: ‘Friday Night Lights’
Discovery: ‘MythBusters’
DisneyXD: ‘Naruto: Shippuden’
DIY: ’10 Grand in Your Hand’
History: ‘Marijuana: A Chronic History’ — (120 minutes)
ID: ‘The Will: Family Secrets Revealed’*
NatGeo: ‘Border Wars’
NatGeo WILD: ‘My Dog Ate What?’*
Showtime: ‘Inside the NFL’
SyFy: ‘Ghost Hunters’
Travel: ‘Man v. Food Presents Carnivore Chronicles’
truTV: ‘Most Shocking’

10:00 to 11:00
ABC: ‘In the Spotlight With Robin Roberts: All Access Nashville’
CBS: ‘The Defenders’
NBC: ‘Law & Order: Los Angeles’
A&E: ‘Steven Seagal Lawman’ — Two episodes
Animal Planet: ‘I Shouldn’t Be Alive’
Bravo: ‘Top Chef: Just Desserts’
Cooking Channel: ‘Bitchin Kitchen’ — 10:30 start
Comedy Central: ‘South Park’ and ‘Ugly Americans’
DIRECTV: ‘Mutual Friends’*
Discovery: ‘Storm Chasers’
Discovery Health: ‘My Deadly Appetite’
DIY: ‘Disaster House’ — 10:30 start
E!: ‘What’s Eating You’
Food Network: ‘Tailgate Warriors With Guy Fieri’
FX: ‘Terriers’
ID: ‘Who the Bleep Did I Marry’**
MTV: ‘The Challenge: Cutthroat’
Science Channel: ‘Sci Fi Science’
Showtime: ‘Inside NASCAR’
Spike: ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and ‘Blue Mountain State’ — ‘Blue Mountain’ starts at 10:55
SyFy: ‘Hollywood Treasure’ — Two episodes
TBS: ‘Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns’
TLC: ‘LA Ink’**
Travel: ‘Food Wars’
truTV: ‘Black Gold’
TV Land: ‘Harry Loves Lisa’
VH1: ‘I Love Money’

11:00 to Midnight
Style: ‘Clean House Comes Clean’ — Two episodes
VH1: ‘Real and Chance: The Legend Hunters’

11:00
‘Charlie Rose’ (PBS): TBA
‘The Mo’Nique Show’ (BET): Beverly Bond; Iyanla Vanzant; performance by Chrisette Michele
‘The Daily Show’ (Comedy Central): Chris Wallace
‘Chelsea Lately’ (E!): Emily Procter (PHOTO)
‘Lopez Tonight’ (TBS): William Shatner; Atticus Shaffer; performance by Soulja Boy

11:30
‘Late Show With David Letterman’ (CBS): Tina Fey; performance by Brad Paisley

‘The Tonight Show’ (NBC): James Franco; Meghan McCain; performance by Far East Movement
‘The Colbert Report’ (Comedy Central): Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin

Midnight
‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ (ABC): Danny McBride; performance by Huey Lewis
‘Tavis Smiley’ (PBS): Recap of the midterm elections

12:30
‘The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson’ (CBS): Louis Black; Jayma Mays; performance by Dr. Dog
‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’ (NBC): Zach Galifianakis; director Danny Boyle; performance by Kid Cudi

1:30
‘Last Call With Carson Daly’ (NBC): Craig Robinson; performance by Built to Spill

Hot Hits This Week In 2010 –

We R Who We R – Ke$ha

Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars

Like a G6 – Far East Movement fea. Cataracs & Dev

Only Girl (In The World) – Rihanna

DJ Got us Fallin’ In Love – Usher fea. Pitbull

Just A Dream – Nelly

Bottoms Up – Trey Songz fea. Nicki Minaj

Raise Your Glass – P!nk

Dynamite – Taio Cruz

Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

Whip My Hair – Willow

Animal – Neo Trees

Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Rida fea. David Guetta

Deuces – Chris Brown fea. Tyga & Kevin McCall

Love The Way You Lie – Eminem fea. Rihanna

Sparks Fly – Taylor Swift

Monster – Kanye West fea. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver & Nicki Minaj

Please Don’t Go – Mike Posner

Mine – Taylor Swift

Right Above It – Lil Wayne fea. Drake

F**k You (Forget You) – Cee Lo Green

If I Die Young – The Band Perry

No Hands – Waks Flocka Flame fea. Roscoe Dash & Wal

Check it Out – will.i.am & Nick Minaj

Top Video Games –

Fable III (X360)

Fallout: New Vegas (X360) (PS2)

Star Wars: The Force Unleased… (X360 PS3)

Just Dance 2 (Wii)

Medal of Honor (X360)

Wii Sports Resort

Wii Sports

Rock Band 3 (X360)

At the movies –

Megamind (1st week $47.65 million)

Due Date (1st week $33.5 million)

For Colored Girls (1st week $20 million)

Red

Saw3D

Paranormal Activity 2

Jackass 3D

Hereafter

Secretariat

The Social Network

This Week In History. News Trends And Pop Culture. A Complete Look At November 22, 2010

The Week Of November 22, 2010

Compiled by Gary West of mrpopculture.com   and     www.mrpophistory.com

Ireland’s banks will be pruned down, merged or sold as part of a massive EU-IMF bailout taking shape, the government said as a shellshocked nation came to grips with its failure to protect and revive its banks. Crucially, some experts say the rescue may have come too late to save the next weak link, Portugal, from a similar fate. Ireland’s crisis also appears likely to force the early departure of its deeply unpopular government, calling into doubt the credibility of Prime Minister Brian Cowen’s four-year austerity plans.
GREYMOUTH, New Zealand – Hopes waned Monday for the survival of 29 New Zealand coal miners who have been trapped for three days underground, where the presence of explosive gases has prevented a rescue. Family members expressed frustration with the pace of the response as officials acknowledged for the first time it may be too late to save the miners, who have not been heard from since a massive explosion ripped through the Pike River Mine on the country’s South Island on Friday.
Cambodia’s prime minister says more than 300 people have been killed in a stampede in the capital. Thousands of Cambodians were celebrating a water festival on an island in a river in the capital Monday night when the press of the crowd caused some to panic. In the chaos, some tried to flee over a bridge, and many fell over its sides into the water. The area was littered with hundreds of injured. Prime Minister Hun Sen has made several live broadcasts Monday night. In his latest one, he said that 339 people had been killed and 329 injured.
A man already imprisoned for attacking two women was found guilty Monday of murdering Washington intern Chandra Levy back in 2001, bringing legal resolution to a murder mystery that took down a congressman and drew the nation’s rapt attention a decade ago. Ingmar Guandique was convicted of first-degree murder for attacking Levy while she exercised in Washington’s Rock Creek Park in May 2001. Her disappearance made headlines when she was romantically linked to then-Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif. Condit was once a suspect, but police no longer believe he was involved.
North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire Tuesday after the North shelled an island near their disputed sea border, killing at least two South Korean marines, setting dozens of buildings ablaze and sending civilians fleeing for shelter. The clash, which put South Korea’s military on high alert, was one of the rivals’ most dramatic confrontations since the Korean War ended, and one of the few to put civilians at risk, though no nonmilitary deaths were immediately reported. Sixteen South Korean soldiers and three civilians were injured and the extent of casualties on the northern side was unknown.

In a seismic shift on one of the most profound — and profoundly contentious — Roman Catholic teachings, the Vatican said Tuesday that condoms are the lesser of two evils when used to curb the spread of AIDS, even if their use prevents a pregnancy. The position was an acknowledgment that the church’s long-held anti-birth control stance against condoms doesn’t justify putting lives at risk.
Barack Obama performed an annual rite of presidents on Wednesday, pardoning a pair of turkeys on Thanksgiving eve and cracking jokes about the competition that brought them to his famous doorstep.”For the record, let me say that it feels pretty good to stop at least one shellacking this November,” Obama said in the White House Rose Garden, where he was flanked by daughters Malia and Sasha. A “shellacking” is how Obama described the beating Democrats suffered in elections earlier this month; the party lost control of the House and saw its Senate majority trimmed by six seats. The president wished America’s families, including many buffeted by the economic slump, a safe and happy holiday. He also thanked the men and women of the U.S. military for serving “bravely and selflessly” in places far away from home.
North Korea warned Friday that U.S.-South Korean plans for military maneuvers put the peninsula on the brink of war, and appeared to launch its own artillery drills within sight of an island it showered with a deadly barrage this week.The fresh artillery blasts were especially defiant because they came as the U.S. commander in South Korea, Gen. Walter Sharp, toured the South Korean Island to survey damage from Tuesday’s hail of North Korean artillery fire that killed four people.
Bargain shoppers, braving rain or frigid weather, crowded the nation’s stores in the wee hours of the night to get their hands on deals from TVs to toys on Black Friday. Early signs pointed to bigger crowds at many stores including Best Buy, Sears, and Toys R Us for the traditional start to the holiday shopping season. In an encouraging sign for retailers and for the economy, more shoppers appeared to be buying for themselves than last year, when such indulgences were limited. Lengthened hours that pushed some store openings into Thanksgiving also appeared to pay off.

Portugal adopted a raft of debt-reducing austerity measures Friday, which the government claimed would be enough to restore market confidence in its public finances without resorting to a bailout. Portugal adopted a raft of debt-reducing austerity measures Friday, which the government claimed would be enough to restore market confidence in its public finances without resorting to a bailout.
.
Portugal’s high debt and low growth have alarmed investors, fueling speculation it may be the next European country to need a bailout after Greece and Ireland. Although it does not have a major debt sale until January, analysts say investors will not be reassured until its public finances are shored up by Europe’s emergency fund.
Two suicide bombers blew themselves up at an Afghan police headquarters Saturday, killing 12 officers in an area along the Pakistan border that still sees heavy Taliban attacks even as NATO pours in more troops and resources. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in eastern Paktika province, which has long been a refuge for Islamist extremists from around the world. It is one of the most violent areas of Afghanistan, where NATO and Afghan forces fight daily against the Haqqani network, a Pakistan-based Taliban faction closely tied to al-Qaida

A Somali-born teenager plotted “a spectacular show” of terrorism for months, saying he didn’t mind that children would die if he bombed a crowded Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, according to a law-enforcement official and court documents. He never got the chance. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested Friday in downtown Portland after using a cell phone to try to detonate what he thought were explosives in a van, prosecutors said. It turned out to be a dummy bomb put together by FBI agents.
European Union nations agreed to give euro67.5 billion ($89.4 billion) in bailout loans to Ireland on Sunday to help it weather the cost of its massive banking crisis, and sketched out new rules for future emergencies in an effort to restore faith in the euro currency. The rescue deal, approved by finance ministers at an emergency meeting in Brussels, means two of the eurozone’s 16 nations have now come to depend on foreign help and underscores Europe’s struggle to contain its spreading debut crisis. The fear is that with Greece and now Ireland shored up, speculative traders will target the bloc’s other weak fiscal links, particularly Portugal.
WikiLeaks – Hundreds of thousands of State Department documents leaked Sunday revealed a hidden world of backstage international diplomacy, divulging candid comments from world leaders and detailing occasional U.S. pressure tactics aimed at hot spots in Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea. The classified diplomatic cables released by online whistle-blower WikiLeaks and reported on by news organizations in the United States and Europe provided often unflattering assessments of foreign leaders, ranging from U.S. allies such as Germany and Italy to other nations like Libya, Iran and Afghanistan.
Patrols around mosques and other Islamic sites in Portland have been stepped up as Muslim leaders expressed fears of retribution, days after a Somali-American man was accused of trying to blow up a van full of explosives during the city’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The move followed a fire Sunday at the Islamic center in Corvallis, a college town about 75 miles southwest of Portland, where suspect Mohamed Osman Mohamud occasionally worshipped, prompting an FBI arson investigation and concern about the potential for more retaliation. Mohamud, 19, was being held on charges of plotting to carry out a terror attack Friday on a crowd of thousands at Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday afternoon.
President Barack Obama announced a pay freeze for 2 million federal employees Monday and warned the American public that the move is the first of many difficult decisions that must be made to slash the nation’s mounting deficits. “The hard truth is that getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifice, and that sacrifice must be shared by the employees of the federal government,”Obama said.
A Pentagon study that argues that gay troops could serve openly without hurting the military’s ability to fight is expected to re-ignite debate this month on Capitol Hill over repealing the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Officials familiar with the 10-month study’s results have said a clear majority of respondents don’t care if gays serve openly, with 70 percent predicting that lifting the ban would have positive, mixed or no results. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the findings hadn’t been released.
The State Department severed its computer files from the government’s classified network, officials said Tuesday, as U.S. and world leaders tried to clean up from the embarrassing leak that spilled America’s sensitive documents onto screens around the globe. By temporarily pulling the plug, the U.S. significantly reduced the number of government employees who can read important diplomatic messages. It was an extraordinary hunkering down, prompted by the disclosure of hundreds of thousands of those messages this week by WikiLeaks, the self-styled whistleblower organization.

Technology –
Facebook has received a notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the trademark on the word “face” when used in the context of online chat rooms or bulletin boards. Facebook filed for this trademark in December 2005. The notice of allowance does not mean that Facebook has been granted the trademark just yet, but it’s getting really close. In the next three months, Facebook must pay a fee and file a statement of use, at which time it must prove that it is actively using the mark to provide goods or services, and then get the approval of an attorney

Music news –
Keith Urban is trying to make his fans and his family happy this summer. The multi-platinum country star is hitting the road June 16 on a 44-city arena tour in the U.S. with a schedule that gives him time to be with his wife, actress Nicole Kidman, and their 2-year-old daughter, Sunday Rose. “The thing is with balance, it’s never achieved. It’s just maintained,” Urban said of his family and career demands. “It’s maintained based on Nic’s and my ability to stay present and make the adjustments as we go.”
Sports – Juan Manuel Marquez didn’t waste any time after defending his lightweight title before setting his sights on Round 3 with Manny Pacquiao. Marquez stopped Michael Katsidis in the ninth round Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, winning an all-action battle and certain candidate for Fight of the Year. Moments later, he turned his attention to settling the score with the man considered the best in the world

Entertainment news –
On Wednesday, Disney will be releasing “Tangled,” the studio’s 50th animated film. You might think that this would be cause for celebration, but from recent stories in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times, it appears that Disney Animation is in the midst of a major freak-out/reinvention. The main takeaway from these articles was that Pixar guru (and Disney Animation bigwig) John Lasseter is in the midst of reviving Disney’s slumping non-Pixar animation projects. Oh, and he’s done making movies about fairy tales and princesses. “They may come back later because someone has a fresh take on it,” Lasseter’s Disney Animation co-chief Ed Catmull said. “But have any other musicals or fairy tales lined up.” One reason is because the studio is fearful of alienating young boys, who supposedly won’t see something like last year’s “The Princess and the Frog.” The other reason, frighteningly, is that young girls consider themselves too cool to want to be princesses.
Charlie Sheen has countersued Capri Anderson, claiming that the adult-film actress tried to extort him for $1 million after their encounter in a New York hotel room. “This case involves a shakedown and extortion of the internationally known actor and celebrity Charlie Sheen … by an opportunist pornographic film star and publicity-hungry scam artist,” the lawsuit states.

Angelina Jolie is filming her directorial debut, a controversial love story between a Muslim woman and a Serbian man, in two different languages: English and the Eastern European dialect many of her actors speak. “We actually shot a full version in their native language and we shot a full version in English. We shot two complete films,” Jolie tells local outlet Vasarnapi Hirek). “I was only able to do it because the actors were so fluent in English so they were willing to work hard and do the scenes in two languages.”
George Lopez and his wife of 17 years are making their breakup official with her filing for divorce. Ann Serrano Lopez filed her petition, citing irreconcilable difference, on Tuesday in Los Angeles.The pair announced their breakup in September and said they would remain partners in a charitable foundation. They have a 14-year-old daughter, and Ann Lopez is seeking physical custody.
John Travolta and Kelly Preston will have a new guest at their Thanksgiving table. A publicist says the couple welcomed a baby boy Tuesday in Florida. They named their new son Benjamin.

An actor who once had a small part on “Ugly Betty” was charged Tuesday with stabbing his mother to death with a 3-foot sword in her home after a fight, police said. Officers responding to a call of a family dispute found 55-year-old Yannick Brea kneeling in the bathroom of her Brooklyn apartment at about 2:20 a.m. She had cuts to her head and was pronounced dead at the scene. “In a bedroom was her son … with a 3-foot sword,” Kelly said. The son, Michael Brea, 31, was arrested on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon. He was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at Kings County Hospital, and police didn’t know if he had an attorney. No phone number was listed at the address provided by police.
An Arizona judge on Wednesday denied bail for rapper DMX. keeping him jailed on charges that he violated probation by using drugs, court officials said. The 39 year-old rapper, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was arrested Thursday for probation violations that included using cocaine and Oxycontin, failing to submit to drug testing and counseling, and driving with a suspended license.
Actress Jennifer Grey won television’s “Dancing With the Stars” contest on Tuesday, while Bristol Palin, whose survival on the show sparked nationwide controversy, finished in third place. Grey, 50, who co-starred with the late Patrick Swayze in the 1987 movie “Dirty Dancing”, was named champion at the end of a two-hour broadcast and a record number of public votes. Kyle Massey, 19, a former child star on the Disney Channel show “That’s So Raven,” was runner-up and Bristol Palin – third.

Passing – Leslie Nielsen, who traded in his dramatic persona for inspired bumbling as a hapless doctor in “Airplane!” and the accident-prone detective Frank Drebin in “The Naked Gun” comedies, died on Sunday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 84.
Radio news – The radio giant Clear Channel Communications signs Ryan Seacrest to a new three-year contract worth an estimated $60 million, nearly double the value of his expiring deal with that company. Clear Channel will get more hours of his syndicated “On Air With Ryan Seacrest” show and develop a record label and concert series with him. But Robert W. Pittman, the company’s chairman of media and entertainment platforms, said the hefty raise was more reflective of Mr. Seacrest’s standing with consumers as someone who has his finger on what is cool. “He has emerged as somebody who you believe is searching through everything out there and telling you what is the very best about popular culture at that moment,” Mr. Pittman said. “He’s trusted.” In addition to his three top-rated radio shows for Clear Channel, Mr. Seacrest, 35, hosts “American Idol” for Fox, appears on a daily entertainment news program on E! and runs a television production company that is responsible for cable hits like “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”
More On Doctor Laura’s Move To Satellite Radio – One of the first subjects Laura Schlessinger will tackle in depth on her new Sirius XM Radio talk show in the new year is the one that nearly derailed her. In confirming the exclusive arrangement to bring her talk show to satellite radio beginning Jan, 3, Schlessinger said Monday she intends to introduce roundtable discussions. Within the first three weeks one topic will be race relations and free speech. “Racism, bigotry and hate,” Schlessinger told the Hollywood Reporter, “what they really are, instead of the politically-inspired efforts to eliminate dissenting opinions or state facts.” The “politically correct version is what happened to me,” she said, referencing the controversy that erupted during the summer when she used the “n-word” several times during her show “The Dr, Laura Program” to illustrate her point that the term “racist” is overused. That incident led liberal activists to call for her dismissal and to encourage advertisers to yank their support. Schlessinger responded in August by announcing she’d end her syndicated show on regular terrestrial radio at year’s end.

At the movies this week –
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1
Tangled
Megamind
Burlesque
Unstoppable
Love & Other Drugs
Faster
Due Date
The Next Three Days
Morning Glory
127 Hours
Fair Game
Red
For Colored Girls

Top albums this week –
The Gift – Susan Boyle
Loud – Rihanna
O Holy Night – Jackie Evancho
Born Free – Kid Rock
Illuminations – Josh Groban
Nothing Like This – Rascal Flatts
Get Closer – Keith Urban
Glee: The Christmas Album
5.0 – Nelly
My Kinda Party – Jason Aldean
What Separates Me From You – A Day To Remember
Now 36
Greatest Hits So Far!!! – P!nk
The Incredible Machine – Sugarland
The Promise – Bruce Springsteen
Greatest Hits – Bon Jovi
And If Our God Is For Us… Chris Tomlin
Glory In The Highest – Chris Tomlin
Live It Up – Lee DeWyze
Man On The Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
Recovery – Eminem
Merry Christmas II You – Mariah Carey
A Merry Little Christmas – Lady Antebellum

Hip Monday Night Television (TV Squad)

8:00 to 9:00
ABC: ‘Skating With the Stars’ — (120 minutes)
CW: ’90210′
NBC: ‘Chuck’ — Linda Hamilton and Timothy Dalton return
BET: ‘Food For Thought: Conversations With T.I.’
Cartoon Network: ‘Adventure Time,’ ‘Regular Show’ and ‘Robotomy’
DisneyXD: ‘Pair of Kings’ and ‘Zeke and Luther’
ESPN: ‘Monday Night Football’ — 8:30 start for the 49ers at the Arizona Cardinals
MTV: ‘Moguls and Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood’ — A look at Hollywood during World War II.
NatGeo WILD: ‘Africa’s Great Rift’
Style: ‘Giuliana & Bill’
TLC: ‘Little People, Big World’ — Two ‘Ask the Roloffs’ segments

The rest of the schedule and the late night talk shows after the jump.

9:00 to 10:00
CW: ‘Gossip Girl’
FOX: ‘Lie to Me’
NBC: ‘The Event’
Current: ‘Vanguard’
Discovery: ‘American Chopper; Senior vs. Junior: A Family Divided’
Discovery Health: ‘Dr. G.: Medical Examiner’
Food Network: ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate’
Lifetime Movie Network: ‘Unanswered Prayers’ — (120 minutes) Garth Brooks executive produced this film about a happily married man who encounters a life-altering decision when his high school crush returns to town
HBO: ‘In Treatment’ — Two episodes
ID: ‘Hardcover Mysteries’
NatGeo: ‘Restrepo: Afghan Outpost’ — (120 minutes)
NatGeo WILD: ‘Africa’s Great Rift’
TLC: ‘Cake Boss’**
USA: ‘WWE Monday Night RAW’ — (120 minutes)
VH1: ‘My Big Friggin’ Wedding’

10:00 to 11:00
ABC: ‘CMA Country Christmas’
NBC: ‘Chase’
A&E: ‘Hoarders’
Discovery: ‘Brew Masters’
E!: ‘The Soup Presents’
ID: ‘Disappeared’
Logo: ‘The A-List: New York’**
MTV: ‘The Buried Life’** — Two episodes
NatGeo WILD: ‘Africa’s Great Rift’
TLC: ‘Fabulous Cakes’
truTV: ‘Southern Fried Stings’

11:00
‘Charlie Rose’ (PBS): TBA
‘The Mo’Nique Show’ (BET): Tamara Tunie; Page Kennedy; Eric Benet
‘The Daily Show’ (Comedy Central): Judah Friedlander of ’30 Rock’
‘Chelsea Lately’ (E!): TBA
‘Conan’ (TBS): George Lopez; Chris Colfer; performance by Kid Cudi

11:30
‘Late Show With David Letterman’ (CBS): Steve Martin; Emily Deschanel; performance by Steve Martin and the Punch Brothers (repeat)
‘The Tonight Show’ (NBC): Bill Cosby; actor Atticus Shaffer
‘The Colbert Report’ (Comedy Central): Columnist Dan Savage

Midnight
‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ (ABC): Ben Affleck; author David Sedaris; performance by Nicki Minaj
‘Tavis Smiley’ (PBS): The Isley Brothers’ Ron Isley
‘Lopez Tonight’ (TBS): Zachary Levi; performance by 3OH!3

12:30
‘The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson’ (CBS): Michael Sheen; musician Michael Franti
‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’ (NBC): Lewis Black; performance by Elvis Costello (repeat)

1:30
‘Last Call With Carson Daly’ (NBC): Morgan Spurlock; Buff Monster; performance by Kate Nash

Mr. Pop Culture Report – Let’s Review Last Week… December 15-21 2010. The World’s Largest And Best This Week In Review Place.

From the Mr. Pop Culture database – the largest of its kind:

Week of December 15-21 2010 – The week in news, pop culture, trends…

Police investigating a possible serial killer have determined that four decomposed bodies found recently along a remote New York beach are all women. The four bodies were systematically dumped, perhaps over a period of 18 months or longer, along a desolate, wind-swept stretch of highway that on sunny summer days transports thousands to the white sands of Jones Beach, police said.

LAS VEGAS — Waving a gun, a motorcycle helmet-wearing bandit ordered wide-eyed gamblers and dealers back from a Bellagio craps table, and quickly stashed at least $1.5 million in casino chips into a bag. As he fled, casino security had a choice: Let the armed robber escape, or get into a dangerous shootout.In the end, the bandit casually jogged out of the posh resort — every step captured by surveillance cameras, and broadcast later around the world. He disappeared into the neon light of the Las Vegas Strip.

India – Firefighters searched a gutted garment factory  for more possible victims of a devastating fire that trapped workers and forced some to jump to their deaths. At least 29 fatalities were reported. No more bodies were immediately found, said Nilufar Yasmine, a fire department official.

Consumer prices increased slightly last month as food and energy costs ticked up, but there was little sign of widespread inflation. The Consumer Price Index rose 0.1 percent in November, less than the previous month’s rise of 0.2 percent, the Labor Department said Wednesday. In the past year, prices have moved up only 1.1 percent.

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up near a mosque in southeastern Iran on Wednesday, killing at least 39 people, including a newborn baby, at a Shiite mourning ceremony, state media reported. The attack, which also injured 90 people, took place outside the Imam Hussein Mosque in the port city of Chahbahar, near the border with Pakistan, the official IRNA news agency said.

Oops!  Mr. Pop Photo – Mick Jagger From 1964 Wearing A WMCA (radio) ) Goodguy Sweatshirt. Now back to the week of December 15-21, 2010…

For the second time this year the House voted to dismantle the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, giving the Senate a final shot in the waning days of this Congress at changing a law requiring thousands of uniformed gays to hide their sexual identity. The strong 250-175 House vote Wednesday propels the issue to the Senate, where supporters of repeal say they have the votes but perhaps not the time to get the bill to the floor. It could be the last chance for some time to legislatively end the 1993 law that forbids recruiters from asking about sexual orientation and troops from acknowledging that they are gay.

In a reach across party lines the Senate overwhelmingly passed sweeping legislation Wednesday to prevent a Jan. 1 income tax increase for millions and renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. The 81-19 roll call cleared the way for a suspenseful vote in the House on Thursday, where rebellious liberals announced plans to try and stiffen an estate tax provision they oppose as too generous to the rich.

President Barack Obama told war-weary Americans on Thursday that enough progress was being made in Afghanistan to begin withdrawing U.S. troops in July, even as he faces growing doubts about his war strategy. Obama, under pressure to show results after criticizing his predecessor George W. Bush for neglecting the war, insisted that U.S.-led forces were scoring gains against the Taliban and al Qaeda but warned they were fragile and reversible.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been named Time’s “Person of the Year” for 2010, joining the ranks of winners that include heads of state and rock stars as the person the magazine believes most influenced events of the past year. At 26, Zuckerberg is the youngest “Person of the Year” since the first one chosen, Charles Lindbergh; he was 25 when he was named in 1927, Time said Wednesday. Zuckerberg beat out Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II by just two weeks: She was 26 when she was named in 1952.

The founder of WikiLeaks said Friday he fears that the United States is preparing to indict him, but insisted that the secret-spilling site would continue its work despite what he claims is a dirty tricks campaign. Assange spoke from snowbound Ellingham Hall, a supporter’s 10-bedroom country mansion where he is confined on bail as he fights Sweden’s attempt to extradite him on allegations of rape and molestation.

President Barack Obama signed into law a huge, holiday-season tax bill extending cuts for all Americans on Friday, saluting a new spirit of political compromise as Republicans applauded and liberals seethed. The benefits range from tax cuts for millionaires and the middle class to longer-term help for the jobless.

The U.N. Security Council met in emergency session Sunday amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula and a North Korean warning of a “catastrophe” if South Korea goes ahead with a live-fire drill. Russia called for the meeting, and Moscow wants the U.N.’s most powerful body to adopt a statement calling on North Korea and South Korea “to exercise maximum restraint” and urging immediate diplomatic efforts to reduce tensions.

Pakistan’s top spy agency denied Saturday that it helped unmask the CIA’s station chief in Islamabad, dismissing speculation it was retaliating for a U.S. lawsuit linking the Pakistani intelligence chief to the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India.

The latest in a series of powerful storm systems is bearing down on California, pelting mountain areas with heavy rain, snow and high winds, prompting evacuations and leaving thousands without power. Virtually the entire state has been affected by the storms.

An explosive device was found Tuesday under a subway-car seat in Rome and bomb-disposal experts were examining whether it was an attempted Christmas season terror attack, officials said. The ANSA news agency said the device was in a package that had wires, pipes and explosive powder.

There have been growing concerns in Europe about holiday season attacks following a suicide bombing in Sweden and official fears of an assault on a European city modeled on the deadly shooting spree in Mumbai, India.

Moon eclipse – The 3 1/2 hour celestial spectacle was visible from North and Central America where skies were clear. Portions of Europe and Asia only caught part of the show.

Secrets about Apple Inc.’s iPhone were among insider trading tips that led to the arrests Thursday of three employees at public companies and a sales executive at a California expert-networking firm, authorities said as they boosted to six the number of arrests in a wide-ranging Wall Street insider trading probe.

Steve Jobs action figures that got so much press last month has sold online for $2,500. The SJ Action Figure, you may recall, was hand-painted doll that sold for $99 until Apple) complained to M.I.C Gadget — its Chinese manufacturer — that the toy constituted an unauthorized use of a person’s name or likeness and threatened to sue under California Civil Code Section 3344. Only 300 were made.

Nielsen Study – In the U.S., 33% of young mobile users have smartphones. Italy had the highest smartphone penetration among youth (47%), and India had the lowest (10%). One surprise: Most young U.S. smartphone users (55%) are female. In every other country studied, most young smartphone users are male.

The Obama administration on Thursday unveiled a proposed new framework for protecting consumers’ privacy online. The plan centers around a “Privacy Bill of Rights” that would encourage better transparency about data collection online, according to the Commerce Department’s report on its policy recommendations. It would promote “informed consent” for consumers through simple notices that clearly state what personal information will be collected and what will be done with it.

New York Gov. David Paterson contradicted his staff, the Yankees and common sense when he falsely claimed he always intended to pay for five tickets to the first game of the 2009 World Series at Yankee Stadium, a state commission said in assessing him a $62,125 fine.

In a report from The Environmental Working Group  indicats that millions of Americans are regularly drinking hexavalent chromium, made famous in the film “Erin Brockovich” as a carcinogen, through their tap water. The group tested water from 35 U.S. cities and found that samples from 31 cities contained hexavalent chromium. The highest concentrations were found in Norman, Okla.; Honolulu; and Riverside, Calif. The substance had been a widely used industrial chemical for decades and has evidently leached into the groundwater in many areas.

Federal regulators adopted new rules Tuesday to keep the companies that control the Internet’s pipelines from restricting what their customers do online or blocking competing services, including online calling applications and Web video. The vote by the Federal Communications Commission was 3-2 and quickly came under attack from the commission’s two Republicans, who said the rules would discourage investments in broadband. Prominent Republicans in Congress vowed to work to overturn them.

Republican-leaning states will gain at least a half dozen House seats thanks to the 2010 census, which found the nation’s population growing more slowly than in past decades but still shifting to the South and West. The Census Bureau announced Tuesday that the nation’s population on April 1 was 308,745,538, up from 281.4 million a decade ago. The growth rate for the past decade was 9.7 percent, the lowest since the Great Depression. The nation’s population grew by 13.2 percent from 1990 to 2000. Michigan was the only state to lose population during the past decade. Nevada, with a 35 percent increase, was the fastest-growing state.

The State Department is ordering most of its personnel to leave Ivory Coast because of what officials are calling a deteriorating political and security situation and growing anti-Western sentiment. A disputed presidential election has led to deadly violence in Ivory Coast and threats of international sanctions if President Laurent Gbagbo refuses to relinquish power.

Sports – The Yankees Wanted Him – But the Phillies Got Him Instead! The The Philadelphia Phillies agreed to terms late Monday night with Cliff Lee, the prized left-hander who pitched for them in the 2009 World Series, according to a baseball executive told of the deal. The executive was granted anonymity so he could speak freely about a contract that was not completed.  The contract is believed to be for five years and $120 million (or $24 million a year) with a vesting option for a sixth year based on innings pitched. The baseball executive said the Yankees initially offered Lee six years for $138 million (or $23 million a year), then extended the offer to seven years at $148 million.

Entertainment news –

Passing – Director, writer and producer Blake Edwards, who made more than 40 films including the classic “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and the “Pink Panther” comedies, has died from complications of pneumonia at age 88. A spokesman for his wife, Julie Andrews, said Edwards died Wednesday night at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, with Andrews and immediate family members by his side.

Vince and wife Kyla Weber welcomed daughter Locklyn Kyla Vaughn into their family on Saturday in Chicago, a rep for the “Wedding Crashers” star has confirmed.

While the top two searches of the year went to the oil spill debacle in the Gulf of Mexico and the World Cup in South Africa, Miley Cyrus earned the honors of the Year’s Most Searched Person on Yahoo! Miley was a fixture on the cyber scene this past year, with the ending of her long-running Disney show, “Hannah Montana,” her on-again off-again relationship with now ex-boyfriend Liam Hemsworth, her provocative dance moves in an Adam Shankman video, her parents’ highly-publicized split and the most recent video leak of her holding a bong smoking what was reported to be the herb Salvia. Following Miley on the list of most searched celebrities was reality queen,Kim Kardashian. The “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” star was quite busy in 2010, earning her a spot at the top of The Daily Beast’s “Highest Paid Reality TV Stars” list. On Yahoo!’s Most Searched list, she was #4 overall.

At 88-years-old, actress Betty White had a year that would have been remarkable at any age. For her influence on entertainment and culture in 2010, AP members voted her Entertainer of the Year.

Music  news -Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year, he announced on his website. “Any club that has Chuck Berry and Little Richard and The Everly Brothers is a club that I want to be a part of,” the 69-year-old “Sweet Caroline” singer said in a statement. “I think it’s great. I’m happy that they recognized me and my work.” Artists are eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first single or album, although Diamond began recording in the 1960s.

Garth Brook’s offer to perform a benefit concert for Tennessee flood  Victims has become nine sold-out concerts beginning on Thursday night, and the music star said he was overwhelmed by the response. Brooks, the all-time best-selling star in country music, will raise at least $4 million for the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee for the nine concerts over six days. Merchandise sales could raise another $1 million. Brooks announced in October that he would do one show in Nashville to benefit the foundation. When tickets went on sale November 3, he sold out nine shows in four hours.

Troubled rapper DMX was sentenced to one year in prison by an Arizona judge on Thursday after admitting he violated his probation by drinking alcohol, court officials said. The rapper, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was on probation for attempted aggravated assault and using a fake name to avoid paying a $7,500 hospital bill.

Arizona Superior Court Commissioner Christine Mulleneaux said DMX would receive credit for 113 days already served in prison while he awaiting trial.

It’s a sad day for Parisian “little monsters” after Lady Gaga’s concert in Paris has been canceled due to complications arising from a severe storm. The princess of pop took to Twitter early Sunday morning to vent her frustration, Tweeting, “All 28 of my trucks for the Monsterball [tour] were detained by the French government going on over 26 hrs, 2 of my employees were arrested trying to get into Paris so we could perform.

Kanye West has been named MTV’s Man of the Year.
The rapper won the honor for his “compelling” comeback story after starting the year as a villain, thanks to his infamous mic-swipe from Taylor Swift, and ending it as a “hero.”

After a self-imposed hiatus, West started his comeback in May, releasing “Power.” Two months later, he joined Twitter, unleashing infinitely entertaining stream of consciousness in 140-character bursts. By the fall, he wowed fans with his performances on the MTV VIdeo Music Awards and Saturday Night Live; directed a short film, Runaway; released his album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy; made amends with George W.Bush  – but in a tiff with Matt Lauer.

Shania Twain and Nestle business executive Frederic Thiebaud are engaged. He’s her ex-best friend’s former husband!

Television news –

Larry King’s Last CNN SHow – More than 2.2 million tuned in to watch King’s final CNN show on Thursday night. That may not sound like a huge number, but it was up more than 100% compared to the previous night. King even beat Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity, the perennial 9 p.m. cable news, for total tune-in. Hannity was watched by 2.1 million. But Hannity did beat King among news’ target demographic of 25-54 year olds (543,000 vs. 530,000).

Passing – Steve Landesberg – best known as Detective Sgt. Arthur Dietrich on the long-running 1970s cop comedy “Barney Miller.” He was 65.

The much-touted “Sing Off” finale finale didn’t exactly reach fortissimo, but it helped NBC win the night with its 2.7 ratings among 18-to-49-year-olds. The two-hour show averaged 8 million-plus viewers, but was down 18 percent in the demo from the previous Monday. The premiere of Perfect Couples, which followed it at 10/9c, attracted just a 1.9 in 18-49.

At the movies this week in 2010 –

TRON: Legacy (1st week $44.026 million)

Yogi Bear (1st week $16.411 million)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Fighter

Tangled

The Tourist

Black Swan

How Do You Know (1st week $7.484 million)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – part 1

Unstoppable

Burlesque

Due Date

Love & Other Drugs

Hit Hits This Week –

Firework – Katy Perry

Raise Your Glass – P!nk

Grenade – Bruno Mars

We R Who We R – Ke$ha

Only Girl (in the World) – Rihanna

The Time (Dirty Bit) – The Black Eyed Peas

Just Tthe Way Your Are – Bruno Mars

Bottoms Up – Trey Songz fea. Nicki Minaj

Just a Dream – Nelly

Like a G6 – Far East Movement fea. Cataracs & Dev

Black and Yello – Wiz Khalifa

Dynamite  Taio Cruz

Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You) – Enrique Iglesias fea. Ludacris & DJ Frank E

No Hands – Waka Flocka Flame fea. Roscoe & Wal

That’s All She Wrote – T.J. fea. Eminem

Stereo Love – Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina

Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

Please Don’t Go – Mike Posner

Animal  – Neon Trees

F**k You ( Forget You) – Cee Lo Green

Secrets – One Republic

Coming  Home – Diddy – Dirty Money fea. Skylar Grey

Top Video Games –

Wii Sports

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (PC)

Wii Sports Resort

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Kinect  Adventures (X360)

Call of Duty: Black Ops (X360, PS3)

Just Dance Wii

Mario Kart DS

Donkey Kong Country Returns Wii

Top TV  -

NFL Football: Philadelphia at Dallas NBC
2. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick NBC
3. 60 Minutes CBS
4. Criminal Minds CBS
5. Two and a Half Men CBS
6. The Mentalist CBS
7. Barbara Walters Special ABC
8. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS
9. Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People ABC
10. Survivor: Nicaragua CBS
11. Amazing Race 17 CBS
12. The Big Bang Theory CBS
13. Football Night in America NBC
14. NCIS CBS
15. Desperate Housewives ABC
16. Undercover Boss CBS
17. Modern Family ABC
18. Glee FOX
19. Mike & Molly CBS
20. The Defenders CBS

Hip Wednesday Night TV (Dec. 15) (TV Squad)

8:00 to 9:00
CBS: ‘Survivor: Nicaragua’
FOX: ‘Human Target’
NBC: ‘The Sing-Off’ — (120 minutes)
PBS: ‘Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’ — Featuring guests Natalie Cole and David McCullough
ABC Family: ‘Disney Prep & Landing’
DIY: ‘Cool Tools’ — Two episodes
G4: ‘American Ninja Warrior’
NatGeo: ‘Lockdown’
TLC: ‘My Skin is Killing Me’
VH1: ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together: Confessions of Rock’s Greatest Groupies’

The rest of the schedule and the late night talk shows after the jump.

9:00 to 10:00
CBS: ‘Criminal Minds’
FOX: ‘Hell’s Kitchen’**
PBS: ‘Paris: The Luminous Years’ — (120 minutes)
A&E: ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ — 9:30 start
BBC America: ‘I’d Do Anything’ — (120 minutes)
CNBC: ‘Behind the Counter: The Untold Story of Franchising’
Discovery: ‘MythBusters’
DisneyXD: ‘Naruto: Shippuden’
DIY: ’10 Grand in Your Hand’
G4: ‘American Ninja Warrior’
History: ‘Third Reich: The Fall’ — (120 minutes)
ID: ‘The Will: Family Secrets Revealed’
NatGeo: ‘Border Wars’
Science Channel: ‘Oddities’
TLC: ‘Untold Stories of the E.R.’
Travel: ‘Man v. Food: Carnivore Chronicles’
Showtime: ‘Inside the NFL’
USA: ‘Psych’

10:00 to 11:00
CBS: ‘The Defenders’
A&E: ‘Storage Wars’ — Two episodes
Bio: ‘Biography’ — Former husband to Sandra Bullock, Jesse James
Bravo: ‘Top Chef: All-Stars’
Cooking Channel: ‘Bitchin’ Kitchen’
DIY: ‘Holiday Wrap-Up’ and ‘Disaster House’
E!: ‘E! Investigates’ — The real-life military wives
G4: ‘American Ninja Warrior’
HBO: ’24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic’
ID: ‘Hookers: Saved on the Strip’
MTV: ‘Challenge: Cutthroat’**
NatGeo: ‘Wild Justice’
NatGeo WILD: ‘Python vs. Gator’
Spike: ’1000 Ways to Die’ and ‘MANswers’
TBS: ‘Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns’ — Two episodes
TLC: ‘The Boy With Bloody Tears’
Travel: ‘Pasta Paradise’
truTV: ‘Full Throttle Saloon’
USA: ‘Psych’


11:00
‘Charlie Rose’ (PBS): TBA, though the cast and director of ‘Blue Valentine’ may appear since they were pushed back last night due to a tribute to the late Richard Holbrooke
‘Watch What Happens: Live’ (Bravo): Phaedra Parks and Atlanta housewife Apollo Nida
‘The Mo’Nique Show’ (BET): Shante Broadus; Aldis Hodge; Anjela Johnson; Anoop Desai, LPA
‘The Daily Show’ (Comedy Central): Paul Rudd
‘Chelsea Lately’ (E!): Ciara
‘Conan’ (TBS): Amy Adams; Roger Waters; performance by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes

11:30
‘Late Show With David Letterman’ (CBS): Matt Damon; performance by Florence & the Machine
‘The Tonight Show’ (NBC): Jason Segel; ‘Top Gear’ hosts Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust and Rutledge Wood
‘The Colbert Report’ (Comedy Central): Laird Hamilton

Midnight
‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ (ABC): Jeff Bridges; performance by Diddy
‘Tavis Smiley’ (PBS): Kevin Spacey; Amy Adams
‘Lopez Tonight’ (TBS): Mila Kunis; Dr. Drew Pinsky; Chrisette Michele

12:30
‘The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson’ (CBS): Seth Green; magician Jamy Ian Swiss; performance by Ruth Gerson
‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’ (NBC): Paul Rudd; Jon Lovitz; performance by Aloe Blacc

1:30
‘Last Call With Carson Daly’ (NBC): Adam Carolla; actor Casey Pieretti; performance by School of Seven Bells

Hip Saturday Night TV (Dec 18)  (TV Squad)

8:00 to 9:00
ABC: ‘I Want a Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown!’
FOX: ‘Cops’
Disney Channel: ‘Fish Hooks’ — 8:30 start
Univision: ‘Sabado Gigante’ — (180 minutes)
CNN: ‘A Soldier’s Story’
Discovery: ‘Ten Commandments of the Mafia’
Food Network: ‘A McConaughey and Fieri Feast’
Hallmark Channel: ‘Battle of the Bulbs’ — (120 minutes) Daniel Stern and Matt Fewer star as feuding neighbors who compete in the annual Christmas lighting contest
HGTV: ‘Color Splash’
History: ‘The Naturalized’ — (120 minutes)
Style: ‘How Do I Look?’**

9:00 to 10:00
FOX: ‘America’s Most Wanted’
NBC: ‘WWE Tribute to the Troops’
Bio: ‘Celebrity Ghost Stories’
CNBC: ‘The Suze Orman Show’
Discovery: ‘I (Almost) Got Away With It’
Disney Channel: ‘Fish Hooks’ — Two episodes
DIY: ‘Renovation Realities’
ESPN: ‘New Orleans Bowl’ — Ohio vs. Troy
Food Network: ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’
Style: ‘Lucky’s 10 Biggest Obsessions Ever’
We: ‘Downsized’

10:00 to 11:00
Animal Planet: ‘Pit Bulls and Parolees’
BBC America: ‘The Graham Norton Show’ — Barry Manilow; Katherine Jenkins; KT Tunstall
CNBC: ‘Til Debt Do Us Part’
Cooking Channel: ‘Two Fat Ladies’ — Two episodes
Discovery: ‘I Shouldn’t Be Alive’
HBO: ‘Ricky Gervais: Out of England 2 – The Stand-Up Special’
MSNBC: ‘Lockup: Raw’
Style: ‘The Dish Salutes 2010′s Craziest Moments’
We: ‘Downsized’**

‘Saturday Night Live’ — Host Jeff Bridges with musical guests Eminem and Lil Wayne

Has TMZ, The Edgy Website Ever Had A Bad Day? This Week In History.

Mr. Pop History – TMZ is great at edgy, hooky, breaking pop culture news. They work hard at it. Founder Harvey Levin is pretty connected and he created a great niche. His background – a lawyer and a investigative TV reporter among other ventures.

But, being out front has its disadvantages – TMZ does get vulnerable. Earlier this year, it got sued. Take a look at this from February, 2010:

Out Of The Zone – TMZ is being sued for broadcasting allegedly stolen and confidential footage of an interview with Debbie Rowe soon after her ex-husband, Michael Jackson, died last June. The details of the lawsuit raise interesting questions about the gossip Web site’s news operation, copyright issues, and the boundaries between an entertainment clip and a fair-use news product. Suit was filed by Marc Schaffel Productions.”