Timeline Date – This Week In History News & Pop Culture – December 22, 2011

Timeline This Week In History Date – December 22-31, 2011

A look at news, latest songs, tv guide listings and popular history – same week. With Youtube videos.

 

News From The Week Of December 22-31, 2011

A wave of bombings ripped across Baghdad on Thursday(Dec22) morning, killing at least 57 people and injuring nearly 200 in the worst violence Iraq has seen for months. The bloodbath comes just days after American forces left the country. The blasts also came on the heels of a political crisis between Iraq’sSunni and Shiite factions that erupted this weekend. The political spat, which pits Iraq’s Shiite prime minister against the highest-ranking Sunni political leader, has raised fears that Iraq’s sectarian wounds will be reopened during a fragile time when Iraq is finally navigating its own political future without U.S. military support.

The Senate’s top Republican on Thursday(Dec22) urged the GOP-led House to pass a short-term renewal of payroll tax cuts and break an impasse that threatens 160 million workers with a 2 percentage point tax increase on Jan. 1. The move by Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is aimed at breaking an impasse between House Republicans and Democrats controlling the Senate. He urged House Republicans to pass a new short-term extension while calling on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to appoint negotiators on the separate House measure that would bring a year-long renewal of the payroll tax and jobless benefits.

Tens of thousands of flag-waving and chanting protesters called Saturday for a disputed parliamentary election to be rerun and an end to Vladimir Putin’s rule, increasing pressure on the Russian leader as he tries to win back the presidency. The protesters shouted “Russia without Putin” and “New elections, New elections” as one speaker after another called for an end to Putin’s 12-year domination of the country at the second big opposition rally in two weeks in central Moscow. ”Do you want Putin to return to the presidency?” novelist Boris Akunin asked from a large stage. Whistling and jeering, protesters chanted: “No!”

Iraq’s Shiite spiritual leader on Friday demanded the country’s politicians work to restore security, saying their conflicts were to blame for attacks like the devastating bombings that tore through mostly Shiite neighborhoods ofBaghdad and killed at least 69 people. The calls by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, made by his representative in a Friday prayer sermon, implicitly hit on the political showdown between the Shiite prime minister and the top Sunni political leader in the country, against whom the government put out an arrest warrant, accusing him of running hit squads. Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi has denied the charges, which have fueled Sunni fears that the minority community is being pushed out of influence by the Shiite-dominated government.

Fire swept through an advertising executive’s Victorian home along the Connecticut shoreline, killing her three children and her parents. Madonna Badger and a male acquaintance were able to escape from the house as it was engulfed by flames on Christmas morning, Stamford police Sgt. Paul Guzda said. But Badger’s three daughters — a 10-year-old and 7-year-old twins — died in the fire, Guzda said. He said Badger’s parents, who were visiting for the holiday, also died in the blaze.

Afghanistan will accept a Taliban liaison office in Qatar to start peace talks but no foreign power can get involved in the process without its consent, the government’s peace councilsaid, as efforts gather pace to find a solution to the decade-long war. Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, in a note to foreign missions, has set out ground rules for engaging the Taliban after Kabul grew concerned that the United States and Qatar, helped by Germany, had secretly agreed with the Taliban to open an office in the Qatari capital, Doha.

A Utah woman used Facebook to seek help after she and her 17-month-old son were held hostage at a residence for nearly five days, police said. Police Sgt. Jon Arnold said the woman hid in a closet with a laptop to post her plea for help on the social networking website, saying she and her son would be “dead by morning” if they were not rescued. The post prompted someone to call police, who went to the home to check on the woman’s welfare. “Facebook was her only outlet that she had at the home,” Arnold said. “It just happened that she was able to use it.” Police arrested Troy Reed Critchfield, 33, and booked him into jail Saturday for investigation of aggravated kidnapping, forcible sodomy, aggravated assault, domestic violence, child abuse, animal cruelty and other charges.

Sears Holdings Corp will close as many as 120 of its Kmart and namesake big-box stores after sales during the peak holiday period fell sharply, and the retailer also forecast that fourth quarter earnings would fall by more than half, sending its shares plunging some 25 percent. Adding to the share selloff, Sears also disclosed on Tuesday that it has tapped its credit facility to borrow cash. Once one of the leading retailers with a national reach through its popular catalog along with hundreds of stores, Sears has been pressured in recent years by competitors ranging from Wal-Mart Stores to Amazon.com.

U.S. consumer confidence hit an eight month high in December on improving job prospects, lending theeconomy further support, even though weak home prices could delay a recovery in the housing market. The sharp rise in sentiment reported by the Conference Board on Tuesday offered hope for a pick-up in consumer spending after an anemic performance in November.

The U.S. Fifth Fleet said on Wednesday it will not allow any disruption of traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, afterIran threatened to stop ships moving through the strategic oil route.  “The free flow of goods and services through the Strait of Hormuz is vital to regional and global prosperity,” a spokesperson for the Bahrain-based fleet said in a written response to queries from Reuters about the possibility of Iran trying to close the waterway. “Anyone who threatens to disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly outside the community of nations; any disruption will not be tolerated.”

The world watched anxiously on Wednesday as North Korea staged a huge funeral in the capital, Pyongyang, for former leader Kim Jong-il, searching for signs of what to expect from the isolated nation that may be close to attaining nuclear weapons capacity. Bleak pictures from state television showed a funeral cortege led by a limousine carrying a huge picture of the 69-year old, who died on December 17, passing serried ranks of olive green-clad soldiers whose bare heads were bowed in homage in the main square of the snow-covered capital.

President Barack Obama will nominate Harvard economist Jeremy Stein and Jerome Powell, an investment banker and former Treasury official, to the two empty seats on the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting board of governors. The White House’s pick of candidates, who have Democratic and Republican credentials respectively, may help speed their nomination through Congress amid a sluggish economic recovery that has failed to put a major dent in the unemployment rate, now at 8.6 percent.

Six victims of a Christmas Day shooting rampage near Dallas were honored by more than 100 friends on Wednesday who wept and clung to each other as they shared their memories at a candlelit vigil. Police said Aziz Yazdanpanah, 58, opened fire on Sunday morning and killed his estranged wife Fatemeh Rahmati, 56, and two children Nona, 19, and Ali, 14. Toting two pistols and dressed as Santa, the gunman also shot and killed his wife’s sister, Zohreh Rahmaty, 58, her husband, Mohamad Hossein Zarei, 59, and their daughter, Sahra Zarei, 22, before turning a gun on himself.

His Videos Go Viral Before His Death - Ben Breedlove, 18, died on Christmas, but not before posting a pair of powerful videos.

Turkish warplanes launched air strikes against suspected Kurdish militants in northern Iraq near the Turkish border overnight, the military said on Thursday, but local officials said the attack killed 35 smugglers who were mistaken for guerrillas.

The Turkish military confirmed it had launched the strikes after unmanned drones spotted suspected rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), but said there were no civilians in the area and it was investigating the incident.

Retail sales look poised for a solid finish to the holiday season as warm weather and deep discounts encouraged shoppers to hit stores or go online to snap up last-minute gifts, according to data released on Wednesday. Sales in the week ending December 24 soared 14.8 percent from a year ago to about $44 billion, helped by Christmas Eve falling on a Saturday, according to ShopperTrak, which monitors traffic at shopping malls. Good weather also helped as snowstorms had blanketed some areas at the same time last year. 

Boeing Co beat out Lockheed Martin to retain its position as the prime contractor for the U.S. long-range missile shield, the Pentagon said on Friday. The U.S. Defense Department said it was awarding Boeing a $3.48 billion, seven-year contract to develop, test, engineer and manufacture missile defense systems. A team led by Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Co had vied with Boeing to expand and maintain the Ground-based Midcourse Defense, or GMD, hub of layered antimissile protection.

Republican voters in Iowa open a long and grueling 2012 presidential race on Tuesday(Jan3), with polls showing Mitt Romney battling Ron Paul for a momentum-generating win in the party’s kickoff nominating contest. Four other contenders, led by surging Rick Santorum, are vying to consolidate conservative support and break into the top tier in the state-by-state fight to pick a Republican challenger to President Barack Obama, a Democrat, in November’s election. The stakes are high for each candidate, with Romney aiming for a win that could put him on a path toward clinching the nomination early and struggling rivals like Rick Perry and Michele Bachmannfighting to keep their White House hopes alive. 

Technology News Articles –

2011  seemed to be the year when streaming media for mobile really took off. , 14% of U.S. mobile users (about 31 million people) now watch videos on their smartphones and feature phones, a 35% increase over last year. Also, 29% of U.S. smartphone users stream music or Internet radio to their phones, up 66% from 2010.

Verizon Wireless was working to get its 4G network back up and running on Wednesday, following a nationwide outage that began in the early morning hours. Customers across the country, from California to Ohio to Virginia, took to Verizon’s formums to complain that service was knocked out, though gripes were mostly limited to the new 4G LTE data network, which Verizon began to roll out a year ago. Voice calls, texts and 3G data were unaffected, according to the company.

LG upcoming OLED TV panel measures 55 inches and comes with a contrast ratio of over 100,000:1, the company has announced. The panel is also just 5 mm thin and has a color gamut that is “wider” than that produced by LCD panels. All of these characteristics make it a candidate for bringing OLED TV technology to the masses in a market that’s still dominated by LCDs.”Although OLED technology is seen as the future of TV display, the technology has been limited to smaller display sizes and by high costs, until now. LG Display’s 55-inch OLED TV panel has overcome these barriers,” said Sang Beom Han, CEO and Executive Vice President of LG Display.

The Google+ social network has topped 60 million users, according to Ancestry.com founder Paul Allen, who also made the bold prediction late Tuesday that Google+ would reach 400 million users by the end of 2012. Allen, who calls himself the “unofficial statistician” of Google+, runs hundreds of queries on various surnames on the social network each week. He has been tracking those names since Google first announced that.

IBM Says Passwords Passé In Five Years – The company recently released its annual list of five predictions for five years into the future. Among them is the belief that facial definitions, eye scans, voice files and even DNA will safeguard personal identity and information, and replace the current memorization-based approach. Some of these systems are already in use, but future developments will enhance the technologies, making them much more sensitive. Imagine voice and facial recognition sensors and software at an ATM refusing you access to your account because you look and sound under duress. Thinking that you the customer are possibly being robbed, it might even contact the police.

Verizon Wireless has reversed its decision to charge a $2 fee for telephone and online bill payments, bowing to a storm of criticism from consumers and the U.S. communications regulator. The biggest U.S. wireless operator retracted its decision on Friday, just a day after it announced the fee for one-time payments, which was to have begun January 15.

Entertainment news December 22-31, 2011 –

Adam Lambert and his reality TV star boyfriend Sauli Koskinen were arrested and jailed Thursday morning for getting into a fight outside a Helsinki, Finland bar. The duo were released several hours later. 

Mel Gibson is officially a single man. The 55-year-old actor finalized his divorce from Robyn Gibson(now going by Robyn Moore).

Robert De Niro is a father again. Stan Rosenfield, the 68-year-old actor’s spokesman, says De Niro and his 56-year-old wife, Grace Hightower, welcomed a healthy 7-pound, 2-ounce (3.3 kilogram) baby girl named Helen Grace Hightower through a surrogate mother.

Van Halen Set To Re-unite Next Year – Next year with represent the 40th anniversary of the founding of Van Halen, and what better way to celebrate four decades of strumming and strutting than with another tour and a new album?  Such is the case for the four men of Van Halen: Guitarist Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Wolfgang Van Halen, and singer/dancer/bon vivant David Lee Roth. , which was the first time the Van Halen brothers had teamed up with Roth since the ill-fated (and short-lived reunion in 1996. The return of the band’s original (and best) singer remains tempered by the absence of bassist Michael Anthony, whose backing vocals and wild-eyed personality were sorely missed on the last tour (he was always a remarkably great foil for Roth on stage; Wolfgang, Eddie’s son, always looked like he was in Van Halen against his will).

British comic Russell Brand filed for divorce Friday to end his marriage to US pop star Katy Perry 14 months after the pair were wed in India. “Sadly, Katy and I are ending our marriage. I’ll always adore her and I know we’ll remain friends,” the 36-year-old comedian and actor said in a statement. In court documents Brand filed in Los Angeles, the British actor and comedian cited “irreconcilable differences” as a reason for divorce.

Latest albums week December 22-31, 2011 –

21 – Adele

Christmas – Michael Buble

TM: 103: Hustlerz Ambition

Take Care – Drake

Under The Mistletoe – Justin Bieber

Own the Night  – Lady Antebellum

Talk That Talk – Rihanna

Here and Now – Nickelback

El Camino – The Black Keys

NOW 40

Clear As Day – Scotty McCreery

Mylo Xyloto – Coldplay

My Kinda Party – Jason Aldean

Concerto: One Night In Central Park – Andrea Cocelli

Lioness: Hidden Treasures – Amy Winehouse

19 – Adele

Sorry For party Rocking – LMFAO

The Dreamer/The Believer – Common

My Life II… The Journey Continues – Mary J. Blige

Ceremonials – Florence + The Machine

Break The Spell – Daughtry

A Very She & Him Christmas – She & Him

Duets II – Tony Bennett

Tha Carter IV – Lil Wayne

 

Top movies December 22-31, 2011

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Alvin nd the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

 

We Bought a Zoo

The Adventures of Tintin

New Year’s Eve

The Descendants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Popculture Timeline – Week In Review – News, Pop, Tech, Trends December 8, 2011

 

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

Timeline – News and Pop Culture – Week In History- December 8, 2011

(Headline Video) Two Dead At Virginia Tech – The  police officer who was fatally shot by a gunman on the school’s campus, along with a second person who was found dead, were killed by the same handgun, officials said early today. Virginia State Police said that ballistics tests confirmed and “officially linked the two fatal shootings” that left Virginia Tech Police Officer Deriek W. Crouse and a second victim dead Thursday, authorities said in a news release. The shooting came almost five years after the deadly massacre at the Blacksburg, Va., school, when Seung Hui-Cho killed 32 other people before killing himself. Crouse, 39, of Christiansburg, Va., was shot and killed while performing a routine traffic stop when someone walked up to the officer’s car and shot him.

Rescue crews completed the difficult process of recovering bodies Thursday from a remote canyon outside Las Vegas after the crash of a tour helicopter belonging to a company with repeated aviation violations. Sundance Helicopters of Las Vegas had at least five accidents and was the subject of 10 federal enforcement actions since 1994. It charted a luxury sunset tour of the Las Vegas Strip and Hoover Dam on Wednesday that killed a 31-year-old pilot and his fourpassengers.

Nobel Peace Prize To Three Women – Three women who fought injustice, dictatorship and sexual violence in Liberia and Yemen accepted the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize on Saturday, calling on repressed women worldwide to rise up against male supremacy. “My sisters, my daughters, my friends — find your voice,” Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said after collecting her Nobel diploma and medal at a ceremony in Oslo. Sirleaf, Africa’s first democratically elected female president, shared the award with women’s rights campaigner Leymah Gbowee, also from Liberia, and Tawakkul Karman, a female icon of the protest movement in Yemen.

Iran will not return a U.S. surveillance drone captured by its armed forces, a senior commander of the country’s elite Revolutionary Guard said Sunday.Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy head of the Guard, said in remarks broadcast on state television that the violation of Iran’s airspace by the U.S. drone was a “hostile act” and warned of a “bigger” response. He did not elaborate on what Tehran might do.

President Barack Obama defended his leadership style on Sunday and said he would keep standing up toCongress as another stand-off over taxes and deficits brewed on Capitol Hill. In an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Obama suggested his wife,Michelle, had mixed feelings about their time in the White Housebut said he had no hesitation about seeking re-election next year, saying he wanted to finish the job of putting the U.S. economy on stronger, and fairer, footing.

A decision by retail giant Lowe’s Home Improvement to pull ads from a reality show about American Muslims following protests from an evangelical Christian group has sparked criticism and calls for a boycott against the chain. The retailer stopped advertising on TLC’s “All-American Muslim” after a conservative group known as the Florida Family Association complained, saying the program was “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to rule on Arizona’s controversial law targeting illegal immigrants, setting the stage for an election-year decision on an issue that is already shaping presidential politics.

Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky abruptly waived his right to a preliminary hearing at which eight young men accusing him of child sex abuse when they were boys were set to testify against him. Shortly after arriving at a packed Centre County courthouse at 8 a.m., Sandusky and his attorney,Joe Amendola, joined two prosecutors and a court reporter in the judge’s chambers of the courtroom. A second attorney, Karl Rominger, arrived at court with Sandusky and Amendola and went with them into chambers.

A man armed with hand grenades and guns opened fire in the crowded center of a Belgian city on Tuesday, killing two people and wounding 64, an official said. It was not immediately clear what motivated the attack in Liegecity, but Interior Ministry official Peter Mertens said it did not involve terrorism. He said the assailant died, but did not say how that had happened. The daily La Meuse newspaper said the unidentified attacker killed himself.

A U.S. Congressional panel has frozen $700 million in aid to Pakistan until it gives assurances it is helping fight the spread of homemade bombs in the region, a move one Pakistani senator called unwise and likely to strain ties further. Pakistan is one of the largest recipients of U.S. foreign aid and the cutback announced is only a small proportion of the billions in civil and military assistance it gets each year.

A Montana man convicted of running an investment scam on the Internet was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $13.2 million in restitution to more than 1,400 investors. U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks in Reno told Rick Young, 52, of Lewistown, that the fraud carried out by his Nevada-based Global One Group from 2006 to 2007 was “incredibly repulsive.” Many of the victims, the judge said, were vulnerable, “middle-class working people taking money out of accounts, trading out of their 401(k) plans, their pension plans, even off of their credit cards.” “Frankly, it was nothing more than a type of Ponzi scheme, but it was incredibly sophisticated,” he said.

Tim Magazine names its person of the year, “The Protester.”

Unfavorable views of Barack Obama inched to their highest level of his presidency in the latest  ABC News/Washington Post poll,  but he’s still more popular than his front-running potential Republican challenger, Newt Gingrich. And then there are views of the economy, which make both look almost good by comparison. Forty-nine percent of Americans now express an unfavorable opinion of Obama, while 48 percent view him favorably – the first time his negative number has exceeded his positive one in this most basic measure of personal popularity. Obama’s favorable rating has plummeted by 31 points from his career high, 79 percent, days before he took office.

President Barack Obama saluted troops returning from Iraq Wednesday, declaring that the nearly nine-year conflict is ending honorably, “not with a final battle, but with a final march toward home.”   Marking the conclusion of the war at this military base that’s seen more than 200 deaths over nearly nine years of fighting in Iraq, Obama never tried to declare victory. It was a war that he opposed from the start, inherited as president and is now bringing to a close, leaving behind an Iraq that is still struggling.

Sports –

Albert Pujols – the heart and hammer of theSt Louis Cardinals for more than a decade, will leave St. Louis and sign with the Los Angeles Angels. Latecomers to the Pujols derby, the Angels will pay Pujols $250 million to $260 million over 10 years, a devastating turn for the Cardinals and a departure from past organizational philosophies for Arte Moreno’s Angels.

Technology –

(Quick Response) QR Codes – Really? Most Don’t Know What It Is. The whole point of a QR code is that it’s supposed to make it easier for people to use their phones to connect with information about things that they encounter in their environment. That’s where mobile typing gets in the way. Most smartphones and even many feature phones have good enough web browsers and data connections to display a simple mobile-friendly web page, but trying to correctly type a URL on even the best smartphone is a pretty tedious and error-prone activity. QR codes eliminate the need for typing a URL on your phone, but you need to have a barcode scanner app installed. And then you must take a moment to find and launch that app before you point your phone’s camera at a QR code.

 

Microsoft released an Xbox Live app for iOS devices on Wednesday, bringing features of Microsoft’s gaming service to Apple devices for the first time. My Xbox Live lets users edit their 3-D avatars, chat with Xbox Live friends and revel in their achievements. You can also check out more information about the newest apps and games on Xbox, as well as gaming tips and breaking news.

AT&T remains the worst carrier in the United States, according to an annual customer satisfaction survey compiled byConsumer Reports and released on Tuesday.The mobile provider ranked dead last for the second year in a row, and its rating fell from 2010.. Actually, customer satisfaction with all four national carriers fell this year, with third-ranked T-Mobile sliding by the largest margin. Still, T-Mobile ranked well ahead of AT&T, according to Consumer Reports’ survey.

Facebook officially took the “beta” label off its much-publicized Timeline Tuesday evening, but it’s rolling out the new feature gradually. New Zealand is currently the only country to get Timeline, the company said in a blog post. Other regions will get it in the “near future.” Facebook first unveiled Timeline in early September, and quickly provided the means for developers and curious users to enable the feature. A more general release was planned for later that month, but it never came, ostensibly to address technical issues and privacy concerns having to do with the software. Timeline, you may recall, is a way to illustrate your entire life — not just the part you’ve been living on Facebook since you joined — in a graphical way.

Google made its first foray into the growing field of social facial recognition technologies on Thursday, introducing , a tagging suggestion tool for its Google+ social network. unlike Facebook, Google  prompts users to opt into the service before it starts automatically suggesting to their friends that they be tagged in photos. Only after a Google+ user opts into Find My Face will Google construct a face model of that person, using his or her profile photo and existing manually tagged photos on the site.

Google also requires the subject of a suggested tag to approve it before it goes public if the tagger isn’t in the tagee’s “circles.” Facebook allows all tags to go live before notifying the subject. “Privacy has been baked right into this feature,” said Benjamin Petrosky, product counsel for Google+, at a facial recognition policy summit held by the Federal Trade Commission in Washington on Thursday.

Jawbone Wristband Device Not Peforming Well – When the wristband works properly, it records all your daytime footsteps, and later provides a visual report of your walking, running or hiking activity via a nifty iOS app interface. You can also set the band to give you “Activity Reminders” — gentle vibrations on your wrist that compel you to get out of your seat and take a few steps. Three review units have failed during , numerous complaints of “bricked” units riddle Jawbone’s user forums, and the clever health and fitness product currently receives just two out of five stars on Amazon.com reviews — 41 different user reviews were complaining of 23 bricked devices as of press time.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen announces his new space project. Stratolaunch Systems will reunite Allen and aerospace pioneer Burt Rutan as they work to develop a new mobile launch system. The duo previously collaborated on SpaceShipOne, in 2004.

Radio News –

The just-released Arbitron report – the radio ratings company, indicates that Ruch and Hannity are down almost 1/3 their audiences. With a lull in ratings since November, Rush Limbaugh had a 3.0 share of listeners for his radio time slot, which is a 33% slide from October and from last April. Sean Hannity’s national talkshow was reported to be down 28% from its peak numbers in the fall.

 

Entertainment –

Jodie Foster’s estranged father faces more than 25 years behind bars after being convicted of bilking more than $100,000 from the poor and elderly in a home-building scheme. City News Service reports that Lucius Foster was convicted of 21 misdemeanor counts of grand theft after a jury deliberated for about three hours on Wednesday. A Los Angeles judge is scheduled to sentence the 89-year-old on Thursday afternoon.

The  are in from Men’s Health! Readers of the magazine awarded  with the honorable title of “Hottest Woman of All Time.” Not just 2011. She is the hottest woman ever. And that’s a bit of a surprise, considering Aniston was only  on the list for the year 2011.

Top albums this week:

Christmas – Michael Buble

Under the Mistletoe – Justin Bieber

Take Care – Drake

Here and Now  – Nickelback

Talk That Talk – Rihanna

My Life II – Mary J. Bloge

Concerto: One Night In Centroal Park – Andrea Bocelli

Own the Night – Lady Antebellum

Clear as Day – Scotty McCreery

Mylo Xyloto – Coldplay

Glee: The Christmas Album

Break The Spell – Daughtery

My Christmas – Andrea Bocelli

Someone To Watch Over Me – Susan Boyle

Heavenly Christmas – Jack Evancho

Speak Now: World Tour Live – Taylor Swift

Christmas Symphony – Mannheim Stemroller

Twilight Saga – Breaking Dawn

Ceremonials – Florence + The Machine

Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll – Bob Segar &The Silver Bullet Band

Inevitable – Trey Songz

Duets II – Tony Bennett

 

At the movies –

New Year’s Eve (1st week $13.7 million)

The Sitter (1st week $10 million)

Twilight Saga: Breaking Down Part 1

The Muppets

Arthur Christmas

Hugo

The desenceants

Happy Feet Two

Jack and Jill

Immortals

Tower Heist

Puss in Boots

 

Top TV –

1. The OT FOX
2. NFL Football: Detroit at New Orleans NBC
3. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick NBC
4. NCIS CBS
5. Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer CBS
6. 60 Minutes CBS
7. Football Night in America NBC
8. Blue Bloods CBS
9. Survivor: South Pacific CBS
10. The X-Factor” (Wednesday) FOX
11. The Big Bang Theory CBS
12. CSI: Miami CBS
13. Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show CBS
14. The X-Factor” (Thursday) FOX
15. Last Man Standing ABC
16. The Good Wife CBS
17. Law & Order: SVU NBC
18. Harry’s Law NBC
19. CSI: NY CBS
20. Two and a Half Men CBS

 

 

 

Week In Review. September 1, 2001 In Pop Culture, News, Tech News, Entertainment. With Videos

Week In Review – September 1, 2011

Compiled By Gary West @www.mr popculture.com

In The News –

Wall Street’s four-day rally ground to a halt on Thursday, with major indexes falling 1 percent on caution ahead of a key labor market report expected to underscore fears the economy is headed for another recession. Financials were the biggest losers, selling off sharply in the afternoon, led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc . Goldman’s shares fell 3.5 percent to $112.16 after agreements with the Federal Reserve and New York state’s banking regulator over wrongful foreclosures raised concerns that Goldman is still not yet off the hook.

Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador and said Friday it is cutting military ties with the country over its refusal to apologize for last year’s raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed nine people. Turkey’s move came before the anticipated publication Friday of a U.N. report on violence aboard a Gaza-bound protest flotilla, further straining a relationship that had been a cornerstone of regional stability.

Employers stopped adding jobs in August, an alarming setback for an economy that has struggled to grow and might be at risk of another recession. The government also reported that the unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent. It was the weakest jobs report since September 2010. Stocks tumbled on the news. The Dow Jones industrial average sank more than 190 points in early-morning trading.

Bands of heavy rain and strong wind gusts from knocked out power to thousands in south Louisiana and Mississippi and prompted evacuations in bayou towns like Jean Lafitte, where water lapped at several front doors along the main highway Saturday morning. The sluggish storm stalled just before making landfall, and threatened to dump more than a foot of rain across the northern Gulf Coast and into the Southeast in coming days. No injuries were reported and there were only scattered reports of water entering low-lying homes and businesses.

By Sunday, at least 6 to 10 inches of rain had fallen in some spots along the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts, and the National Weather Service warned there was a threat of extensive flooding and flash floods because of the storm’s slow, meandering jog inland.

A North Carolina man will spend the rest of his life in prison after a jury on Saturday found him guilty of fatally shooting eight people at a nursing home in March 2009. Jurors found Robert Stewart, 47, guilty of eight counts of second-degree murder connected to the rampage that left seven patients and a nurse dead in Carthage, a small town about 60 miles southwest of Raleigh. A judge then sentenced Stewart to 189 to 236 months in prison on each count, to be run consecutively, defense attorney Frank Wells told Reuters. The state charged Stewart with first-degree murder, arguing he had gone to the Pinelake Health and Rehab Center looking for his wife who had recently left him.

The FBI and Homeland Security have issued a nationwide warning about al-Qaida threats to small airplanes, just days before the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Authorities say there is no specific or credible terrorist threat for the 10-year anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. But they have stepped up security nationwide as a precaution.

While Lee’s winds have lost some of their punch, forecasters warn that its slow-moving rain clouds pose a worse flooding threat to inland areas with hills or mountains in the coming days. Flash flood watches and warnings were in effect across a swath of the Southeast early Monday, stretching from the lower Mississippi Valley, eastward to the Florida Panhandle and the southern Appalachians, according to the Hydrometeorological Predication Center. The massive storm system dumped more than a foot of rain in New Orleans and spawned tornadoes elsewhere before it weakened to a tropical depression Sunday night. Its remnants were expected to continue to march to the northeast.

A two-week-old Houston-area boy has died after being mauled by the family dog. The incident happened Saturday night as the baby sat in an infant carrier on the floor of a room in the family house. Harris County sheriff’s spokesman Thomas Gilliland says the dog, a Labrador mix, began sniffing the child and attacked him before the parents could pull it away.

Pakistani intelligence officers working with the CIA arrested three members of al-Qaida including a top operative believed to have been tasked by Osama bin Laden with targeting American economic interests around the world, Pakistan’s army said Monday.

Absent but still the star of the show, comedian Jerry Lewis ) helped the 2011 Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon raise more than $61 million over the weekend. An annual event that stretched over 21 hours on Sunday honored his efforts during the past 45 years to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to fight the disorder through medical research, the organization said on Monday. Gigantic photos of Lewis, who retired this year from the fundraiser he has headlined since 1966, served as a backdrop for the stage on which four co-hosts gushed about the funny man with a big heart.

Wildfires sweeping across drought-stricken Texas have destroyed more than 1,000 homes in the last several days as they move into more populated areas, Governor Rick Perry said on Tuesday. Perry surveyed damage in west Austin on Tuesday, where dozens of homes have been destroyed and hundreds evacuated. Speaking after his visit, The Texas governor, who left the presidential campaign trail to deal with the fires, said he hopes cooler temperatures and slowing winds Tuesday will help firefighters contain more than 50 fires across the state.

( A gunman wielding an AK-47 opened fire on a table of uniformed National Guard members at an IHOP restaurant on Tuesday in an outburst of violence that killed four people, wounded eight others and put Nevada’s capital city on high alert. Five Nevada National Guard troops sitting together at the back of the restaurant were shot — two of them fatally. Another woman was also killed, and the gunman, 32-year-old Eduardo Sencion of Carson City, shot himself in the head and died at a hospital. The shooter’s motive was unclear, but family members said he had mental issues. He had never been in the military and had no known affiliation with anyone inside the restaurant.

Wall Street stocks tumbled for a third session on Tuesday on rising concerns about the euro zone’s debt crisis and the outlook for the global economy.Major U.S. banks were among the biggest decliners, with the KBW Bank index off nearly 2 percent on fears that lenders face a growing list of mortgage-related lawsuits.

President Obama’s approval rating hit another new low, and Rick Perry has surged to the lead in the 2012 Republican presidential race, according to a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday. After what could be considered the worst summer of his presidency politically, Obama’s approval rating is at a new low of just 44 percent in the NBC/WSJ poll. Just 37 percent approve of his handling of the economy–a six-point drop since July. The poll’s margin of error is 3 percent.

Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday signed into law a stricter, four-year lifetime limit on cash welfare benefits, prompting advocates for the poor to warn that tens of thousands of residents will find themselves without cash assistance on Oct. 1. Michigan’s first-year Republican chief executive said the state will offer exemptions to the limit for those with a disability who can’t work, those who care for a disabled spouse or child and those who are 65 or older and don’t qualify for Social Security benefits or receive very low benefits.

A Russian jet carrying a top ice hockey team crashed while taking off Wednesday in western Russia, killing at least 43 people and leaving two critically injured, officials said. The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said the Yak-42 plane crashed immediately after leaving an airport near the city of Yaroslavl, on the Volga River about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Moscow. It was carrying 45 people, including 37 passengers and eight crew, and the ministry said all but two people were killed in the crash.

( Republican Debate – Candidates including Rick Perry and Mitt Romney got together for a huge Republican debate and the Ronald Reagan Library at Simi Valley, CA.

Tech News –

Facebook intends to launch its long-rumored music service next month with Spotify, MOG and Rdio as three of the company’s launch partners. The music and media platform will be announced at Facebook’s f8 developer conference on September 22. It will allow users to listen to music from within Facebook.com. Evidence of Facebook’s music platform first surfaced in the code of Facebook’s video chat service. According to two sources familiar with the matter, Facebook will not directly host or stream any music or media. Instead, it will rely on partners to provide the content. This is in contrast to Apple, Google and Amazon’s strategy of hosting music content on their servers. Facebook’s plan is to become a platform for media content in the same way it is a platform for applications and games.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against AT&T on Wednesday seeking to block its $39 million merger with T-Mobile. The merger would create the largest wireless company in the United States, combining AT&T’s 98 million customers with T-Mobile’s 34 million users, for a total of 130 million subscribers. AT&T is currently the second-largest wireless company by number of subscribers, and T-Mobile is fourth. he DOJ said the merger would lead to a situation in which just two companies — the AT&T-T-Mobile combination and Verizon Wireless — would dominate the mobile market. The new AT&T and Verizon would account for more than two-thirds of wireless subscribers and 78% of the wireless industry’s revenues.

Netflix has started to restrict its users from streaming more than one movie at a time as part of its price hike. The change could have a major effect on how families use Netflix. No longer can one person watch a movie from the iPad while the rest of the family watches another film on the Xbox, for example. As website Stop the Cap points out, Netflix has always had a policy that limited streaming, with those on a single DVD or streaming-only plan limited to streaming one film at a time. But it appears as if Netflix just started enforcing this rule on September 1. The changes seem to coincide with Netflix’s price hike, which took effect on Sept. 1 as well. Now, if you attempt to launch two movie streams, Netflix will block it and tell you that your membership plan doesn’t support multiple movie streams.

Entertainment news

A New York court has recommended Prince pay the princely sum of $3.95 million to a perfume company after he flaked on promotional duties for a fragrance named after one of his albums. A second judge would need to confirm this ruling before the “Let’s Go Crazy” singer, 53, forks over the cash. According to the Associated Press, Revelations Perfume and Cosmetics licensed  Prince’s name, likeness and 2006 album title “3121″ to market a fragrance called “3121″ in 2007. The Grammy winning star reneged on promises to help promote the scent in summer 2007 — thereby hampering all marketing efforts.

After 28 years together, KISS bassist are getting married.The two left viewers hanging on the season finale of their A&E reality show, “Gene Simmons: Family Jewels,” when footage showed Simmons popping the question while vacationing in Belize. The show teased that Tweed’s response will be revealed when the show returns Oct. 4.

Oprah Winfrey is coming to Facebook next week. On September 8, the TV star will be the one answering questions rather than asking them, appearing on a one-hour Facebook Live streaming video interview at 4:30 p.m. ET.Fans are invited to share their questions now, with the promise that “you might hear Oprah answer your question during the live show.”

a well-known social media personality, died Sunday in Greenville, S.C., of an apparent suicide.  Pennington ran a consulting practice, blog and online radio show. He maintained presences on all of the top social networks, includingTwitter, Facebook and Google+  The local NBC affiliate in Greenville tells us that police had confirmed a man killed himself in a church parking lot earlier Sunday. As of 6:45 p.m. ET, the coroner had not released the identity of the body, but a member of the news staff there said they had heard from multiple sources that it was Pennington.

For the past 23 years, Regis Philbon has spent weekday mornings entertaining millions of viewers with his morning talk show. But on November 18, 2011, the 80-year-old will be signing off for good. “Friday, November 18 is my last day,” Philbin announced on LIVE! With Regis and Kelly Tuesday. “But don’t worry, the show goes on.” Philibin said the show is already working on finding his replacement.

mrpopculture.com/anthony michael hallBratpack actor Anthony Michael Hall – perhaps best known for such ’80s John Hughes fare as “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club” — was arrested on suspicion of disturbing the peace and taken into custody Monday night, after allegedly engaging in a disturbance at his Playa del Rey, Calif., condominium complex, the Los Angeles Times reports. The actor, 43, was arrested at approximately 9:50 p.m. after Los Angeles Police Department officers were called to the residence. Hall’s neighbor told police that the actor had torn up plants in the common area of the condominium. When confronted, the neighbor claimed, Hall hurled an obscenity and threatened to beat the neighbor “to a pulp.”

Only someone as over-the-top as Lady Gaga could make posing au natural seem shocking. Wearing absolutely no makeup, the 25-year-old “You and I” singer shows off her natural beauty on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar’s’s October issue (on newsstands September 27). “Whether I’m wearing lots of makeup or no makeup, I’m always the same person inside,” the singer confesses in the accompanying article.

Journalist Andrea Mitchell revealed that she’s battling breast cancer on her MSNBC show Wednesday. I had planned to be hiking in Wyoming last week, but instead discovered that I am now among the 1 in 8 women in this country — incredibly 1 in 8 — who have had breast cancer,” she said. The 64-year-old said the disease “was discovered during my annual screening just a short time ago.” “Luckily for me, I am one of the fortunate ones; we discovered it in the earliest stage, it hadn’t spread, and I’m already back at work with a terrific prognosis,” Mitchell added.

A Paris court convicted former Christian Dior designer John Galiano on Thursday for making anti-Semitic insults in a bar but gave him only a suspended sentence, taking into account his apology to the victims. Galliano, who didn’t attend the announcement of the verdict, was given no prison time. He was given a suspended (EURO)6,000 ($8,400) fine, which means it goes on his criminal record but he does not have to pay it.

Hot hits this week
Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO fea. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock

Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People

Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5 fea. Christina Aguilera

Lighters – Bad Meets Evil fea. Bruno Mars

Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) – Katy Perry

Super Bass – Nicki Minaj

How To Love – Lil Wayne

Give Me Everything – Pitbull fea. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer

Stereo Hearts – Gym Glass Heroes fea. Adam Levine

Good Life – OneRepublic

I Wanna Go – Britney Spears

Cheers (Drink To That) – Rihanna

Rolling In The Deep – Adele

If I Die Young – The Band Perry

You and I – Lady Gaga

Tonight Tonight – Hot Chelle Rae

She Will – Lil Wayne fea. Drake

You Make Me Feel – Cobra Starship fea. Sabi

Someone Like You – Adele

I’m On One – DJ Khaled fea. Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne

Remind Me – Brad Paisley With Carrie Underwoos

The Edge of Glory – Lady Gaga

Top TV

1. America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday) NBC
2. America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday) NBC
3. NCIS CBS
4. NFL Exhibition Football: San Diego vs. Oakland NBC
5. NCIS: Los Angeles CBS
6. Big Brother 13″ (Thursday) CBS
7. 60 Minutes CBS
8. Big Brother 13″ (Wednesday) CBS
9. Big Brother 13″ (Sunday) CBS
10. NCIS” (Tuesday CBS
11. The Big Bang Theory CBS
12. NFL Exhibition Football: Green Bay vs. Indianapolis CBS
13. NBC NFL Preseason Pre-Kick NBC
14. Hell’s Kitchen” (Monday FOX
15. Wipeout” (Tuesday) ABC
16. America’s Funniest Home Videos ABC
17. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS
18. Bachelor Pad ABC
19. Hell’s Kitchen” (Monday FOX
20. 20/20: Sixth Sense ABC

Week In Review With Videos. June 22 2011 In Pop Culture, News, Tech, Entertainment, Music And Television

Week Of June 22, 2011.

Compiled By Gary West @ mrpopculture.com

In The News

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it would again maintain its key interest rate near zero as the pace of the US economic recovery was more sluggish than expected. “The economic recovery is continuing at a moderate pace, though somewhat more slowly than the committee expected,” the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee said after a two-day meeting.

President Barack Obama, in a widely anticipated speech tonight, announced a brisk drawdown of 33,000 U.S. forces from Afghanistan by the end of next summer, and called more broadly for the U.S. to assume a more pragmatic approach to international interventions in order to focus on economic recovery and nation-building at home.”We are a nation whose strength abroad has been anchored in opportunity for our citizens at home,” Obama said in the brief twelve minute speech from the White House East Room. “Over the last decade, we have spent a trillion dollars on war, at a time of rising debt and hard economic times. Now, we must invest in America’s greatest resource — our people.”

A magnitude-6.7 earthquake rattled northeast Japan on Thursday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. It was the same area of the Pacific where a massive magnitude 9 quake hit on March 11, triggering a deadly tsunami. At least 23,000 people were killed or left missing in those disasters, which destroyed hundreds of homes, offices and factories in northeastern Japan. The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning for Iwate Prefecture after the quake, but canceled it about an hour later.

Sirens wailed across Minot Wednesday as the swollen Souris River overtopped levees five hours ahead of a looming evacuation deadline, setting in motion what is expected to be the worst flooding to hit the North Dakota city in four decades.  The warning was followed by an announcement saying, “All residents must evacuate, Zones 1 through 9,” prompting the last of nearly 11,000 Minot residents to leave their homes for a second time in a month.

The International Energy Agency will release 60 million barrels of oil from strategic government stockpiles held by industrialized consumer nations in a bid to push down oil prices, the 28-member group announced on Thursday. The announcement comes after OPEC failed to raise production at a meeting on June 8 and despite assurances from OPEC’s biggest producer Saudi Arabia that it would lift supplies unilaterally. “Greater tightness in the oil market threatens to undermine the fragile global economic recovery,” the IEA said.

The House refused to vote President Barack Obama the authority for U.S. military operations against Libya on Friday but stopped short of cutting off funds for the mission, a mixed message reminiscent of congressional unease on Vietnam and more recent wars.

In a repudiation of the commander in chief, the House voted overwhelmingly against a resolution that would have favored letting the mission continue for one year while barring U.S. ground forces, a resolution the president said he would welcome.

Governor Andrew Cuomo made same-sex marriages legal ( in New York on Friday(June24), a key victory for gay rights ahead of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections. New York will become the sixth and most populous U.S. state to allow gay marriage. State senators voted 33-29 on Friday evening to approve marriage equality legislation and Cuomo, a Democrat who had introduced the measure, signed it into law. “This vote today will send a message across the country. This is the way to go, the time to do it is now, and it is achievable; it’s no longer a dream or an aspiration. I think you’re going to see a rapid evolution,” Cuomo, who is in his first year of office, told a news conference. “We reached a new level of social justice,” he said.

An asteroid the size of a tour bus flies past Earth today (June 27) so closely it was beneath some of the planet’s satellites. The rock, named asteroid 2011 MD  zoomed by just 7,500 miles (12,000 km) above the planet, making a sharp turn forced by Earth’s gravity before winging off into space again. The flyby will occur at about 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT). There was no risk of an impact, NASA scientists said. The space rock, estimated to be between 29 to 98 feet (9 to 30 meters) wide, was too small to survive a plunge through our atmosphere anyway. An asteroid this size, if it were mostly stony, would break apart and burn up before hitting the surface. Iron-heavy space rocks are better at surviving the fiery entry, however.

Riot police fired tear gas at youths hurling rocks and petrol bombs near the Greek finance ministry Tuesday, trying to quell the anger unleashed during mass protests and a general strike as parliament debated new cost-cutting measures. The latest austerity measures must pass in two parliamentary votes Wednesday and Thursday if Greece is to receive another batch of bailout funds to see it beyond the middle of next month. If the votes don’t pass, Greece could become the first eurozone nation to default on its debts, sending shock waves through the global economy.

Greece’s parliament approved deeply unpopular austerity measures despite worsening street violence on Wednesday(June29), in a vote vital to secure international aid and prevent the euro zone’s first sovereign debt default. Lawmakers passed a five-year package of spending cuts, tax rises and state asset sales by a comfortable margin of 155 votes to 138 in a roll-call vote, handing a victory to embattled Prime Minister George Papandreou. “We must avoid the country’s collapse at all costs. Now is not the time to step back,” the Socialist premier told lawmakers just before the vote.

An appeals court on Wednesday upheld President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare law that requires Americans to buy insurance as constitutional, a victory for the White House. The Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, based in Cincinnati, said the “minimum coverage provision is a valid exercise of legislative power by Congress under the Commerce Clause” of the U.S. Constitution.

In a blunt challenge to Republicans in Congress, President Barack Obama insisted Wednesday that elimination of selected tax breaks for oil companies and the super-wealthy must be included in any deficit reduction plan.”You stay here. Let’s get it done,” he all-but-lectured lawmakers, holding open the possibility of keeping Congress in Washington unless there is significant progress by week’s end on a deal to cut deficits, raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit and avert a threatened financial crisis.

President Barack Obama on Thursday(June30) honored outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ four decades of service (, including the past 4 1/2 years in charge of the Pentagon, by surprising him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It’s the highest honor a president can give a civilian. “I can think of no better way to express the gratitude of the nation to Bob Gates than with a very special recognition,” Obama said as he asked Gates to step forward to receive the award.

The Senate abandoned plans for a July 4 break as time dwindled for lawmakers to strike a compromise on avoiding a government default and reducing mammoth federal deficits. In a challenge to President Barack Obama, the chamber’s top Republican invited him to the Capitol to discuss the impasse with GOP lawmakers. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced the scheduling change Thursday, a day after President Barack Obama prodded lawmakers to act swiftly to extend the government’s ability to borrow money. The Senate had been scheduled to take a week’s break but instead will meet beginning Tuesday.

Sports –

The Los Angeles Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection in the latest skirmish of a running feud between Dodger owner Frank McCourt and Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. McCourt said he had lined up $150 million in debtor-in-possession financing so he could keep control of the team during bankruptcy proceedings. The decision to file bankruptcy was taken ”to protect the franchise financially and provide a path that will enable the club to consummate a media transaction and capitalize the team,” McCourt said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.

Tech News –

The hacker group LulzSec has alarmed police in Arizona this week after releasing sensitive information about officers. The group said they posted the information in response to Arizona’s controversial immigration law. “We are releasing hundreds of private intelligence bulletins, training manuals, personal email correspondence, names, phone numbers, addresses and passwords belonging to Arizona law enforcement,” the group said in a statement. “We are targeting AZDPS (Arizona Department of Public Safety) specifically because we are against SB 1070 and the racial profiling anti-immigrant police state that is Arizona.”

Nine months after the launch of New Twitter, the social media company is letting users know that the old version of Twitter will be completely eliminated “very, very soon.” The old version of Twitter always asked users to switch to the new version of Twitter, but today the message was changed, and it’s more urgent. “You will automatically be upgraded to New Twitter very, very soon,” the top of old Twitter now reads. The color of the top bar has also been changed to yellow as an alert to users. We’re not sure what Twitter means by “very,very soon” — it could be days or even weeks until Twitter flips the switch (we’ve emailed the Twitter for comment). However, it’s clear that Twitter is finally ready to eliminate the old version of Twitter altogether and bring everybody into the new design.

The Supreme Court on Monday(June 27) refused to let California clamp down on the sale or rental of violent video games to children, saying governments lack authority to “restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed” despite complaints that the popular and fast-changing technology allows the young to simulate acts of brutality. On a 7-2 vote, the high court upheld a federal appeals court decision to throw out California’s ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Sacramento had ruled that the law violated minors’ rights under the First Amendment, and the high court agreed.

Three of Twitter’s key developers– Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Jason Goldman — are launching a new venture. “Our plan is to develop new projects and work on solving big problems aligned along a simple mission statement: The Obvious Corporation develops systems that help people work together to improve the world,” Stone wrote Tuesday in a blog post announcing their plans. The move is the latest musical-chairs shuffle at Twitter, which is undergoing as the five-year-old venture matures from a startup to a tech industry power player.

Google on Tuesday unveiled Google+, yet another attempt by the search giant to overcome its past miscues in the social networking space. More people visit Google’s network of websites than Facebook each month, but Facebook is killing the search company in categories that advertisers care most about: Time spent and pages viewed. Users spent 62% more time on Facebook than on Google last month, and viewed more than twice the number of pages on Facebook as they did on Google, according to comScore.

In the latest of a recent slew of antitrust complaints filed against Google, French search company 1plusV said Tuesday it would seek $423 million in damages from the American search giant. 1plusV, which makes a host of niche search engines for French speakers, said the sum it is seeking equals the amount of business it lost because of Google’s alleged anticompetitive business practices. This would be the largest such claim against Google in Europe. The French company claims Google blacklisted 30 of its search engines from its search results from 2007 to 2010. Though 1plusV said some have recently been “white-listed,” the company believes it suffered irreparable damage.

Google has launched a new, mysterious service called What Do You Love. It’s a simple search box box, similar to the one on Google’s homepage, but it returns results from over 20 different Google services, including Google Translate, Trends, YouTube, Maps, Groups etc. The results are presented in little boxes which can, in some cases, be expanded by clicking on the icon in the lower right corner; if you need even more results, you can always click the button in the upper right corner of the box and go directly to the chosen service.

Media –

MSNBC has suspended political analyst and Time magazine writer Mark Halperin indefinitely over a remark he made about President Obama Thursday morning. “Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable,” said MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines in a statement. “We apologize to the President, the White House and all of our viewers. We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air.” Appearing on “Morning Joe” this morning, Halperin, senior political analyst at Time and MSNBC and co-author of the 2008 election opus “Game Change,” sought to characterize the president’s demeanor at a press briefing the previous day. Are we on the seven-second delay?” Halperin asked. “We have it. We can use it. Go for it. Let’s see what happens,” co-anchor Joe Scarborough replied. “I thought he was a dick yesterday,” Halperin replied, sending the hosts into a brief moment of panic. Halperin apologized later on in the show and issued his own mea culpa hours later via MSNBC.

Entertainment news –

U.S. Marshals arrested ( in Tempe, Arizona, after he failed to appear in court on fraud charges linked to his vitamin business. Earlier this month, Lapre, of Phoenix, was indicted by a federal grand jury, which charged that his business, Greatest Vitamin in the World, signed up 226,794 people and promised them money for selling vitamins and recruiting others to the business. In the end, prosecutors say, investors and customers spent nearly $51.8 million, but received just $6.4 million in commissions. Between 2004 and 2007, they say, Lapre himself took in at least $2.2 million from the business. The self-proclaimed infomercial king was charged with 41 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, promotional money laundering and transactional money laundering. He has acknowledged that he “did not have the perfect company,” but denied breaking the law.

Passing – Peter Falk, the stage and movie actor who became identified as the squinty, rumpled detective in “Columbo,” which spanned 30 years in prime-time television and established one of the most iconic characters in movie police work, has died. He was 83. Falk died Thursday in his Beverly Hills home, according to a statement released Friday by family friend Larry Larson.

Veteran US comedian Jerry Lewis has had to cancel a sell-out Sydney tour after collapsing from exhaustion as he prepared to take the stage, promoters said Saturday. The 85-year-old was due to perform before a packed house in western Sydney Friday night to raise money for muscular dystrophy but the event was called off at the last minute after he fell ill. Lewis has cancelled the remainder of his Sydney tour to rest and will return to the stage on Thursday for a Melbourne performance if his health permits.

Neal Patrick Harris The 38-year-old How I Met Your Mother star tweeted Saturday that he and partner David Birtka are planning to say “I do” now that gay marriage is legal in New York! “David and I did propose to each other, but over five years ago!” he explained. “We’ve been wearing engagement rings for ages, waiting for an available. date.”

BET Awards – Steve Harvey was recognized for his humanitarian work at the BET Awards. Patti Labelle also accepted a special honor at Sunday’s ceremony; Gladys Knight presented her with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The night’s leading nominee, , Chris Brown collected four awards in all. The 21-year-old singer won a pair of prizes early in the show and two fan-voted awards at the end of the ceremony. Brown was named best male R&B artist and won best collaboration for his song “Look At Me Now” with Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes.

Michael Jackson’s iconic red and black leather jacket from his “Thriller” video sold for $1.8 million in an online auction. Julien’s Auctions, which oversaw the bidding, announced that Milton Verret of Austin, Texas, bought the jacket and plans to display it in the city’s Dell Children’s Hospital.

Mexican pop singer Paulina Rubio ()  is charged in Miami with refusing to comply with police officers after a traffic accident. According to an arrest report, Rubio’s BMW collided with another car Saturday near Miami’s Little Havana. When asked to get out of her car, Rubio allegedly refused, cursed at an officer and said she was nervous and that “all of you Miami cops are abusive.” The officer placed Rubio in handcuffs. The report states that Rubio screamed for help and threat ened to call her attorney. Police say Rubio eventually calmed down and apologized. She is charged with refusing to obey a lawful command, obstruction of justice and disorderly conduct.

The military-backed government of Myanmar has deported Hollywood actress Michelle Yeoh, who stars as pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in an upcoming movie, officials said Tuesday. The Malaysian actress arrived in the country’s main city, Yangon, on June 22 and was deported the same day because she was on a blacklist, a government official said. The official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the press, did not say why Yeoh was on the list. But Myanmar’s repressive government has routinely rejected visa requests of journalists and perceived critics for years.

Marries – America Ferrera  and longtime boyfriend Ryan Piers Williams are married, her rep confirms.

Lindsay Lohan gets released from home detention on Wednesday(June29) after spending 35 days at her Los Angeles apartment for stealing a gold necklace, authorities said.A private company that handles monitoring equipment for home detention inmates removed the electronic ankle bracelet from the “Mean Girls” star on Wednesday morning, said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department.Lohan was sentenced in May to 120 days in jail, but the 24 year-old actress qualified for a shorter period of house arrest under programs for nonviolent offenders and to reduce overcrowding in Los Angeles jails.

A man convicted of attempting to burglarize Paris Hilton’s home has been sentenced to two years in state prison. City News Service reported that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Kellogg also recommended during Wednesday’s hearing that Nathan Lee Parada undergo mental health counseling. A jury took less than an hour in April to convict the 32-year-old of felony attempted residential burglary for trying to break into Hilton’s house in August. The socialite testified during Parada’s trial about being awoken early Aug. 24 to the sound of Parada banging on Hilton’s window with a knife. Parada told a detective he planned to steal as much as he could carry and move to a deserted island.

Goodbye Glenn Beck – as he bid adieu to Fox News on Thursday, as the controversial host prepares to launch his own network. However, there were no tears from Beck, who instead promised his fans he would help fix the country and even poked fun at his own persona.”I’m the only host who is supposedly the most dangerous person in America because of my influence and the least influential person in America because my ratings are supposedly declining,” the 47-year-old said on his show. Nevertheless, Beck thanked Fox News chief Roger Ailes, the man who canceled him, during his farewell show Thursday(June30).

Music news –

Rhinestone Cowboy” singer Glen Campbell ( says he is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, and has recorded one last album as a farewell to his fans. Campbell, 75, had been suffering from short-term memory loss for years, but the terminal Alzheimer’s diagnosis only came six months ago, according to an interview published in People magazine on Wednesday. “I still love making music,” he was quoted as saying. “And I still love performing for my fans. I’d like to thank them for sticking with me through thick and thin.”

Top albums this week in 2011 –

Hell: The Sequel – Bad Meets Evil

21 – Adele

Dream With me – Jackie Evancho

Born this Way – Lady Gaga

My Kinda Party – Jason Alean

All Things Bright and Beautiful – Owl City

15 Minutes: Fame… Can You… Barry Maniloww

Pieces of Me – Ledisi

This Is Country Music – Brad Paisley

NOW 38

The Book of Mormon – Original Broadway Cast

Wasting Light – Foo Fighters

Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons

Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

Set The World On Fire – Black Veil Brides

NOW That’s What I Call Country

Journey’s Greatest Hits

Ronnie Dunn

Speak Now – Taylor Swift

Codes and Keys – Death Cab For Cutie

Ukulele Songs – Eddie Vedder

Nothing But The Best – Frank Sinatra

Doo-Wops & Hooligans – Bruno Mars

All 6’s & 7’s – Tech N9ne

At the movies –

Cars 2 (1st week $68 million)

Bad Teacher (1st week $31 million)

Green Lantern

Super 8

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

X-Men: First Class

The Hangover Part II

Bridesmaids

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Midnight in Paris

Kung Fu Panda 2

Top TV –

1. America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday) NBC
2. America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday) NBC
3. The Voice NBC
4. America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday) NBC NBC
5. The Voice Results Show NBC
6. NCIS CBS
7. NCIS: Los Angeles CBS
8. The Mentalist CBS
9. Copa Oro 2011 Soccer: U.S. vs. Mexico
10. The Bachelorette ABC
11. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS
12. Wipeout” (Thursday) ABC
13. The Big Bang Theory CBS
14. 60 Minutes CBS
15. Expedition Impossible ABC
16. Copa Oro 2011 Soccer: Honduras vs. Mexico
17. So You Think You Can Dance” (Thursday) FOX
18. Criminal Minds CBS
19. So You Think You Can Dance” (Wednesday) FOX
20. America’s Got Talent” (Monday) NBC

Week In Review June 1, 2011 In Pop Culture, News, Entertainment, Tech, TV Guide (with videos)

A Complete Look At The Week Of June 1, 2011.

Compiled By Gary West @ mrpopculture.com

In The News -

Wall Street ended a four-day rally with its worst session since August on Wednesday and could suffer more losses in coming days as investors faced more signs the economic recovery is fading. All 10 Standard & Poor’s sectors ended more than 1 percent lower and all 30 stocks in the Dow industrials fell. Banks were the biggest decliners as the economic reports painted a glum picture for jobs and manufacturing.

Syrian forces killed 41 civilians in the central town of Rastan on Tuesday during a military operation to crush pro-democracy protests, Razan Zaitouna, a human rights lawyer, said on Wednesday. The death toll included a 4-year-old girl, Zaitouna told Reuters by telephone from Damascus. Government forces surrounded the town on Sunday and shelled it during the operation, she said, adding that activists on the ground had a list consisting of 41 dead civilians.

NATO and its partners in the military campaign to protect Libyan civilians have decided to extend their mission another 90 days, the alliance’s top official said Wednesday. “This decision sends a clear message to the Gadhafi regime: We are determined to continue our operation to protect the people of Libya,” said NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Gadhafi is trying to withstand the NATO air barrage and put down a rebellion among his own people.

Search and rescue efforts continued and thousands in Massachusetts were still without power on Thursday after tornadoes that ripped through the state the previous day, killing at least four people. The twisters injured at least 200. The casualty count “hasn’t changed yet, although we have a lot of folks doing search and rescue, dealing with debris piles and things today, so that number could change,” Peter Judge, spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said. “We’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

Passing – Jack Kevorkian, the audacious doctor who spurred on the national right-to-die debate with a homemade suicide machine that helped end the lives of dozens of ailing people, died Friday at a Detroit-area hospital after a brief illness. He was 83.

U.S. newspaper advertising revenue fell 7 percent during the first three months of the year. That left the industry’s quarterly ad revenue at its lowest level in 27 years. Combined print and online advertising revenue totaled $5.6 billion in the first quarter. That compared with $6 billion a year earlier. Revenue was $5.2 billion in the first quarter of 1984. It had peaked in the fourth quarter of 2005 at $14.3 billion. Newspapers have struggled with the weak economy and a shift by advertisers to free and cheaper outlets on the Internet.

A federal grand jury charged two-time presidential candidate John Edwards on Friday with soliciting and covering up the secret spending of more than $925,000 to hide his mistress and their baby during the peak of his 2008 campaign for the White House.

A Philadelphia woman is suing Dunkin’ Donuts, saying a worker mistakenly put sugar in her coffee that ultimately caused her to go into diabetic shock.

Danielle Jordan’s lawsuit claims she asked for artificial sweetener to be added to her coffee during a June 2009 visit. Jordan claims she downed the drink and experienced dizziness, light-headedness and ended up making an emergency trip to the hospital.

The Chinese military accused the U.S. on Friday of launching a global “Internet war” to bring down Arab and other governments, redirecting the spotlight away from allegations of major online attacks on Western targets originating in China. The accusations Friday by Chinese military academy scholars, and their urging of tougher policing of the Internet, followed allegations this week that computer hackers in China had compromised the personal Gmail accounts of several hundred people, including government officials, military personnel and political activists.

President Barack Obama says recent economic “headwinds” at home resulted from high gasoline prices, the Japanese earthquake and Europe’s financial crisis. As inspiration for a broader recovery, he’s citing the American auto industry’s resurgence.”We’re a people who don’t give up, who do big things, who shape our own destiny,” the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday(June4.)The message, taped Friday during Obama’s visit to a Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio, was hardly different than the remarks he offered to about 350 Chrysler workers.

British Apache and French attack helicopters struck targets for the first time in NATO’s campaign in Libya, hitting Moammar Gadhafi’s troops early Saturday near a key coastal oil town, the alliance said. Hours later, at least eight airstrikes were heard in Tripoli.The action was a significant step-up in NATO’s operations and a major boost to Libyan rebels, just a day after rebel fighters forced government troops from three western towns and broke the siege of a fourth in yet another erosion of Gadhafi’s power since the eruption in mid-February of the uprising to end his 42-year rule

Israeli troops opened fire Sunday at a crowd of pro-Palestinian protesters who tried to break into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights from neighboring Syria, killing as many as 20 people and wounding scores in a burst of violence marking the Arab defeat in the 1967 Mideast war. The casualty figures came from Syrian state television and were confirmed by the head of a hospital treating the casualties. The Israeli military said it was not tracking casualties on either side. The latest television report said a woman and child were among the dead.

So far, House Democratic leaders haven’t publicly demanded resign after admitting he sent suggestive photos of himself in his underwear via Twitter and then lied about it to everyone within earshot. But they’ve made it clear they’d appreciate it if he’d go away. And soon. In statements within an hour of Weiner’s stunning admission on Monday, not a single Democrat volunteered support for the man long mentioned as a possible future mayor of New York. And notably, none chose to comment on his defiant vow: “I am not resigning.”

More then 120 Syrian security officers were killed in battles with gunmen, state television said, in the first report of large-scale clashes in a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

The report said on Monday armed groups set government buildings ablaze in the northwestern town of Jisr al-Shughour, stole five tonnes of dynamite and were firing at civilians and security forces with machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades.

Fighting flared on Tuesday(June7) in a southern Yemen city seized by Islamist militants, killing at least 25 people, a local official said, after Washington urged President Ali Abdullah Saleh to hand over power peacefully.

With few options at hand and his poll numbers sagging, President Barack Obama expressed concern Tuesday about the sudden slowdown in the economy but said he is not worried about a second recession and the nation should “not panic.”

Tech News –

A waterfront area in the New York borough of Brooklyn has become the first city neighborhood to feature free wireless service on streets and in parks and plazas. DUMBO, short for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, already has a reputation for innovative projects. Several formerly abandoned and neglected structures there have been transformed into eco-friendly offices and apartment buildings.”We are encouraging people to step out of their offices and homes and engage with one another and the neighborhood in new and different ways,” said Alexandria Sica, the executive director of the DUMBO Business Improvement District (BIB).

More Hacker Problems for Sony – A group calling itself “Lulz Security” announced a fresh attack on Thursday, posting online snippets of data it says came from a breach earlier this week of more than 1 million user accounts on Sony’s website. Lulz began posting messages to Twitter on Thursday about its “Sownage” campaign, and around 4:30 p.m. ET it posted links to download what it claimed was a giant cache of Sony user data. The World Health Organization re-stoked the debate over mobile phones and cancer this week, when they added the gadgets to a list of items that “possibly” contribute to the disease. The documents posted include names, passwords, e-mail addresses, home addresses and dates of birth for thousands of people. Lulz said it grabbed the material by exploiting vulnerability on a Sony page advertising the company’s Ghostbusters franchise. Lulz posted the website’s address in its data dump, and encouraged fellow hackers to “tear the living shit out of it while you can; take from them everything!”

iCloud Is Here Apple’s Steve Jobs on Monday(June6) announced a new service called “iCloud,” which lets Apple product owners store documents and music on the Internet instead of on their own computer hard drives or mobile phones. iCloud expands on the trend of cloud computing, which refers to the idea that computer users are storing more of their information “in the cloud” of the Internet rather than on their own storage drives. All of a person’s Apple devices — iPhone, iPads and Mac computers — sync wirelessly with Apple’s iCloud, giving users access to their documents, photos, apps, calendars and e-mails from any location, not just on a specific gadget. “We think this is going to be pretty big,” said Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, who has been on medical leave since January.

Verizon follows AT&T in reportedly moving toward tiered plans that charge users based on how much data they use. New Nielsen research indicates that Android users might eventually encounter some bill shock. Nielsen analyzed nearly 65,000 U.S. cell phone bills from the first quarter of 2011 and found that “Android smartphone owners consumed an average of 582 MB of data each month, compared to 492 MB for iPhone owners.” Right now, since 4G networks and handsets are not widely deployed in the United States, these figures mainly represent data usage on 3G networks. As 4G becomes the norm for mobile broadband, average data usage will likely rise sharply.

Live TV on the Xbox and a more mature second generation of games for the Kinect were among the promises at a Microsoft briefing Monday in advance of the E3 video-game expo. At the event, Microsoft said it hopes to make Xbox Live a hub for almost all types of entertainment. As such, they rolled out new partners, such as YouTube and Bing, that they hope will help the gaming system position itself in that way.

Sports –

Shaq O’Neal announces his retirement from pro-basketball after playing 19 seasons.

College football quarterback Nate Montana, son of NFL Hall of Fame star Joe Montana, was arrested early on Friday in Missoula, Montana, on suspicion of driving under the influence. Nate Montana, 21, was stopped at about 4 a.m. local time for speeding and refused to submit to an alcohol breath test, but the arresting officer nevertheless found him to have been driving under the influence, said Jason Johnson a spokesman for the county sheriff’s department. The athlete was subsequently booked into the Missoula County Jail on a DUI first offense — a misdemeanor traffic infraction — and was released after posting a $685 bond, Johnson said.

Rafael Nadal has won his record-equaling sixth French Open title, beating Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-1 in the final.It was the fourth final at Roland Garros between the two players, and Nadal has won all four.

Entertainment –

The season finale of “American Idol” had 29.3 million viewers.

Lady Gaga Hot – In its first week of release, her album Born this Way sold 1.11 million copies nationwide — the highest debut since March 2005, when 50 Cent’s The Massacre sold 1.14 million copies in its first week. Born This Way is only the 17th album to sell one-million plus copies in a week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991.Digital sales for the record totaled 662,000, the biggest week ever for a digital album in SoundScan history.

TV Season Scorecard As Season Ends – CBS finished the 2010-11 season last week as the nation’s most-watched television network for the eighth time in nine years, the Nielsen Co. said on Wednesday. Fox won its seventh season in a row among the youthful 18-to-49-year-old demographic closely watched by advertisers. The country’s favorite TV show was Fox’s “American Idol” for the eighth straight season. Viewership was down for each of the four biggest broadcast networks, Nielsen said. CBS averaged 11.6 million viewers in prime-time (down 2 percent from last season), Fox had 9.8 million viewers (down 2 percent), ABC had 8.5 million (down 1 percent) and NBC had 7 million (down 15 percent), Nielsen said. Much of NBC’s decline was because the network broadcast the Winter Olympics last season; take away sports and NBC’s prime-time decline was 3 percent. CBS had the five most popular dramas on television, each a crime-solving procedural (“NCIS,” ”NCIS: Los Angeles,” ”The Mentalist,” ”Criminal Minds” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”). The network also had the two most popular comedies in “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men,” the latter despite a Sheen-shortened season. Only the writer’s strike-affected 2007-08 season, won by Fox, stopped CBS from a nine-year winning streak. The fastest-growing prime-time show was  “Modern Family” on ABC, up 24 percent to 11.8 million viewers, Nielsen said. Fox’s since-canceled “Good Guys,” down 42 percent, was the biggest year-to-year loser.

Shania Twain receives the 2,442nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today, honoring her for overcoming poverty as a youth and the deaths of her mother and stepfather in an auto accident to become the top-selling female country artist of all time. Actress Bo Derek and Rob Light, head of Creative Artists Agency’s music division, will joined Twain in speaking in the ceremony in front of the W Hollywood hotel at 6270 Hollywood Blvd. The ceremony comes nearly a month after the release of her best-selling memoir “From This Moment On” and the premiere of a documentary series “Why Not? With Shania Twain” on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.

Passing – James Arness, the 6-foot-6 actor who towered over the television landscape for two decades as righteous Dodge City lawman Matt Dillon in “Gunsmoke,” died Friday. He was 88. The actor died in his sleep at his home in Brentwood, Calif., according to his business manager, Ginny Fazer.

Passing – — Clarice Taylor, the actress and comedian best known for playing grandmothers on “The Cosby Show” and “Sesame Street,” has died at the age of 93.Taylor died of congestive heart failure in her home in Englewood, N.J., on Monday, said her son, William Taylor. During a career that spanned five decades, Taylor performed on radio and TV, in film and on stage, including in the original Broadway cast of the musical “The Wiz.”

The estranged daughter of Billy Bob Thornton has been found guilty of aggravated manslaughter.Amanda Brumsfield had faced murder charges after an incident in 2008 that lead to the death of a friend’s 1-year-old girl. Brumsfield claimed the girl, whom she was taking care of, hit her head after falling from her playpen, but prosecutors from the Orange County State Attorney’s office in Florida argued that the height from which she supposedly fell wouldn’t have caused a fracture of the child’s skull.

Paris Hilton’s’s no longer hot in the reality TV world. The premiere of her Oxygen series, The World According to Paris, drew a meager 409,000 viewers for its Wednesday premiere. By comparison, the March debut of singer Aubrey O’Day‘s Oxygen series drew 724,000, while 1.7 million viewers tuned in for the premiere of the most recent installment of The Bad Girls Club. Despite the initial ratings return, Hilton remains confident her series will strike a chord with viewers.

Winners from the 20th annual MTV Movie Awards:

Best Movie: “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”

Best Male Performance: Robert Pattinson, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”

Best Female Performance: Kristen Stewart, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”

Best Comedic Performance: Emma Stone, “Easy A.”

Best Breakout Star: Chloe Grace Moretz, “Kick-Ass.”

Biggest Badass Star: Chloe Grace Moretz, “Kick-Ass.”

Best Villain: Tom Felton, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.”

Katy Couric – the 54-year-old journalist (who left CBS’ Evening News on May 19) has inked a multi-year, multi-platform deal with Disney/ABC Television Group on Wednesday to host and produce her own nationally syndicated daytime talk show and to join the ABC news team.

Longtime sportscaster Marv Albert — best known as the lead announcer on NBC’s coverage of the NBA and for his signature calls “Yes!” and “RE-jected!” — is joining CBS Sports to broadcast NFL games, the network announced Monday. “Marv Albert is recognized throughout sports broadcasting as one of its true legends.Very few in the broadcasting industry can claim his combined accomplishments and remarkable longevity,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said. Albert, who turns 70 on June 12, will continue with the play-by-play for TNT’s National Basketball Association coverage.

NBC has retained the rights to the Olympics through 2020 in a new deal that covers four more games. Comcast, NBC’s new parent company, agreed Tuesday to acquire the rights to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, and the next two Olympics, whose host cities have not yet been chosen. The deal is worth $4.38 billion. NBC Universial CEO Steve Burke said he was “extremely pleased” to continue to carry the games.

Rise Against and Linkin Park – and even the Foo Fighters hit the stage for a surprise appearance at KROQ radio’s annual Weenie Roast in S. California. They’ve been doing it since 1993.

Rap producer and artist Dr Dre Monday settled a federal lawsuit over album sales a day before trial of the royalties case was set to begin. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, sued the current owners of Death Row Records last year in Los Angeles federal court, alleging the label owed him royalties for three albums. According to the breach of contract suit, WIDEawake Entertainment Group, which oversees Death Row, never paid the artist money for sales of “The Chronic,” “The Chronic Re-Lit” and a greatest hits collection.

Michael Jackson’s Jacket – The coat, which the late star wore in the iconic 1983 music video which saw him transform into a zombie, is expected to fetch between $200,000 and $400,000 when it is sold in Beverley Hills, California, later this month. Auctioneers Julien’s said: “We know of no other jacket that is so easily recognizable or one that so altered fashion history. It is the most recognized and significant piece of pop culture.” The jacket is signed “love Michael Jackson” on its sleeve, and was originally presented to the King of Pop’s designers, Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush, who worked with him on a number of outfits during his career.

Passing – Versatile singer/songwriter Andrew Gold, who enjoyed chart success in the 1970s with the songs “Lonely Boy” and “Thank You For Being a Friend,” died in his sleep. He was 59. The Los Angeles Times said he died at his home on Friday. He had been undergoing cancer treatment but was responding well to treatment. Gold, the son of Oscar-winning composer Ernest Gold and singer Marni Nixon, got his break in 1973 when he joined Linda Ronstadt’s band. He played a key role on such tunes as “You’re No Good” and “When Will I Be Loved?” He launched a parallel solo career in 1975 with a self-titled album on which he played most of the instruments. The track “Endless Flight” was later covered by Leo Sayer.

Hot Hits –

Give Me Everything – Pitbull fea. Ne-Yo, Afro-Jack & Nayer

Rolling In The Deep – Adele

E.T. – Katy Perry fea. Kanye West

Just Can’t Get Enough – The Black Eyed Peas

On The Floor  – Jennifer Lopez fea. Pitbullever

The Lazy Song – Bruno Mars

The Edge of Glory – Lady Gaga

Till The World Ends – Britney Spears

I’m The One – DJ Khaled fea. Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne

Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO fea. Lauren Bennet & GoonRock

I Love You This Big – Scotty McCreery

The Show Goes On – Lupe Fiasco

Look At Me Now – Chris Brown fea. Lil Wayne & Busta Rymes

Roll Up – Wiz Khalifa

Super Bass – Nicki Minaj

Down On Me – Jeremih fea. 50 Cent

S&M – Rihanna

Blow – Ke$ha

Don’t Wanna go Home – Jason Derulo

Like My Mother Does – Lauren Alaina

F**k You (Forget You) – Cee Lo Green

Written in the Stars – Tinie Tempah fea. Eric Turner

Honey Bee  Blake Shelton

Good Life –  OneRepublic

Motivation  Kelly Rowland fea. Lil Wayne

Top Video Games

L.A. Noire (X360 PS3)

Wii Sorts Resort

NASCAR 2011: The Game

Wii Sports

Will Mario Kart

Wii Zumba Fitness

X360 Kincect Adventures!

Wii Fit Plus

PS3 Mortal Kombat

At the movies –

X-Men: First Class (1st week $55.1 million)

The Hangover Part II

King Fu Panda 2

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Bradesmaids

Thor

Fast Five

Midnight In Paris

Something Borrowed

Jumping In the Broom

Rio

Top TV Last Week –

1. American Idol” (Wednesday) ) FOX
2. Dancing With the Stars ABC
3. Dancing With the Stars Results ABC
4. American Idol” (Tuesday) FOX
5. Glee FOX
6. Dancing With the Stars” (Tuesday ABC
7. Modern Family ABC
8. NCIS CBS
9. So You Think You Can Dance” (Thursday) FOX
10. The Mentalist CBS
11. House FOX
12. The Bachelorette ABC
13. NCIS: Los Angeles CBS
14. The Voice NBC
15. The Big Bang Theory CBS
16. The Biggest Loser 11 NBC
17. Auto Racing: NASCAR Sprint Cup FOX
18. Two and a Half Men CBS
19. NCIS” (Tuesday CBS
20. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS

Verizon iPhone Selling Nicely. Pop Culture Tech History.

We knew it, but can’t help but report that the Verizon version of iPhone has topped two million sales. So many were unhappy with AT&T’s spotty reception – and now – the first sales results are in:

Verizon announced Thursday that it activated 2.2 million iPhones during the quarter, helping the company more than triple its profit from a year ago. The wireless division of telecom giant began selling the iPhone on Feb. 10. Verizon only sold the iPhone 4 for 50 days during the quarter, compared to the full 90 days of the quarter that Apple’s smartphone sold on rival AT&T’s network.

Week of March 15, 2011. A Complete Look At News, Pop Culture, Trends, Tech, Entertertainment, Music, TV Guide & More.

This Week In News, Pop Culture, Trends, Tech, Hollywood, TV Guide & More.

The Week of March 15, 2011

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


In The News –

Japan’s central bank pumped billions more into the financial system Tuesday to quell fears that the country’s banks could be overwhelmed by the impact of the massive earthquake and tsunami. Stocks slumped for a second day as a nuclear crisis escalated. Two cash injections totaling 8 trillion yen ($98 billion) came a day after the Bank of Japan fed a record 15 trillion yen ($184 billion) into money markets and eased monetary policy to support the economy in the aftermath of Friday’s 9.0 magnitude quake that has killed thousands. The injections have helped stabilize currency markets. But stock markets dived for a second day as investors unloaded assets amid escalating worries of a nuclear crisis.

Bahrain declared martial law on Tuesday as it struggles to quell an uprising by the island’s Shi’ite Muslim majority that has drawn in troops from fellow Sunni-ruled neighbor Saudi Arabia. The three-month state of emergency will hand wholesale power to Bahrain’s security forces, which are dominated by the country’s Sunni Muslim elite, stoking sectarian tensions in one of the Gulf’s most politically volatile nations.

Europe is considering “stress testing” its nuclear power stations to check they can cope with crises, while its energy chief on Tuesday even raised the prospect of a nuclear-free future. The developments mark a dramatic turnaround for a continent that had been considering a partial nuclear revival until this week, when Japan’s nuclear accident highlighted how quickly events can run out of control — and not only after an earthquake.

Moammar Gadhafi’s forces struck the rebellion’s heartland with airstrikes, missiles and artillery on Tuesday, trying for the first time to take back a city that serves as a crucial gateway for the band of fighters who threatened his four-decade hold on power. Rebels rushed to the front and sent up two rickety airplanes to bomb government ships, as mosques broadcast pleas for help defending the city. The pro-Gadhafi forces surprised rebels with attacks on two sides of the city of Ajdabiya, and the opposition was outgunned.

Dangerous levels of radiation leaking from a crippled nuclear plant forced Japan to order 140,000 people to seal themselves indoors Tuesday after an explosion and a fire dramatically escalated the crisis spawned by a deadly tsunami. In a nationally televised statement, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said radiation had spread from the four stricken reactors of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant along Japan’s northeastern coast. The region was shattered by Friday’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami that is believed to have killed more than 10,000 people, plunged millions into misery and pummeled the world’s third-largest economy.

Australia advised its citizens in Japan on Wednesday to consider leaving Tokyo and earthquake-affected areas, joining a growing number of governments and businesses telling their people it may be safer elsewhere.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a travel advice update that Australians with no need to be in the area should think about leaving but added that the decision had nothing to do with the threat of nuclear contamination from a damaged nuclear power plant.

Producer prices surged in February at their fastest pace in 1-1/2 years, pointing to a build-up in inflation pressures from soaring food and energy costs. In another reminder on Wednesday of the headwinds facing the economy, the Commerce Department said groundbreaking activity for new homes posted the biggest drop in 27 years with permits for future building reaching a record low. The reports came a day after the Federal Reserve said it expected the upward inflation pressure from commodities to prove transitory but that it was keeping a watchful eye.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday that it plans to remove about 500 unapproved prescription cough, cold, and allergy medicines from pharmacy shelves.These drugs have not been evaluated by the FDA for safety and effectiveness, and they may be riskier to take than approved over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that treat these same conditions, agency officials explained. “This action is necessary to protect consumers from the potential risks posed by unapproved drugs, because we don’t know what’s in them, whether they work properly or how they are made,” Deborah M. Autor, director of the agency’s Office of Compliance at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said during a morning news conference.

Newspaper advertising in the U.S. has sunk to a 25-year low as marketing budgets followed readers to the Internet, where advertising is far cheaper than what publishers have been able to command in print. Advertisers spent $25.8 billion on newspapers’ print and digital editions last year, according to figures released Tuesday by the Newspaper Association of America. That’s the lowest amount since 1985 when total newspaper advertising stood at $25.2 billion. After adjusting for inflation, newspaper advertising now stands at about the same level as nearly 50 years ago. In 1962, newspaper advertising totaled $3.7 billion, which translates to about $26 billion today.

Japan tried high-pressure water cannons, fire trucks and even helicopters that dropped batches of seawater in increasingly frantic attempts Thursday to cool an overheated nuclear complex as U.S. officials warned the situation was deteriorating. The top U.S. nuclear regulatory official gave a far bleaker assessment of the crisis than the Japanese, and the U.S. ambassador warned U.S. citizens within 50 miles (80 kilometers) of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant on the northeast coast to leave the area or at least remain indoors.

U.S. life expectancy has hit another all-time high, rising above 78 years. The estimate of 78 years and 2 months is for a baby born in 2009, and comes from a preliminary report released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 2.4 million people died in the United States in 2009 — roughly 36,000 fewer deaths than the year before.

Deaths were down for a range of causes, from heart disease to homicide, so experts don’t believe there’s one simple explanation for the increase in life expectancy. Better medical treatment, vaccination campaigns and public health measures against smoking are believed to be having an impact.

Libya declared an immediate cease-fire Friday, trying to fend off international military intervention after the U.N. authorized a no-fly zone and “all necessary measures” to prevent the regime from striking its own people. A rebel spokesman said Moammar Gadhafi’s forces were still shelling two cities. The United States said a cease-fire announcement was insufficient, calling on the regime to pull back from eastern Libya, where the once-confident rebels this week found themselves facing an overpowering force using rockets, artillery, tanks, warplanes.

U.S. sales of Diet Coke overtook those of Pepsi-Cola for the first time in 2010, making the diet soda the No. 2 carbonated soft drink in the country behind Coca-Cola, industry data are expected to confirm Thursday. Occupying the top two rankings would mark a historic win for Coca-Cola) in its decades-old rivalry with PepsiCo Inc. which has seen its market share slip in recent years and is trying to retool its marketing. The two companies have fought over the past decade to win market share from one another as cola sales overall have dropped.

Moammar Gadhafi’s forces swept rebel fighters out of a key oil town and into the desert Sunday with searing waves of artillery fire and airstrikes, extending their rapid advance on the poorly equipped and loosely organized fighters. The United States, meanwhile, was sending its top diplomat to make contact with Gadhafi opponents in Paris, as it and other world powers considered trying to ground his air force with a no-fly zone that carries many of its own risks.

Anti-aircraft fire has erupted in the Libyan capital, with volleys of tracer fire arching into the air, marking the start of a second night of allied strikes on the country.

There is no immediate word on the targets in the new round of strikes. The heavy chatter of anti-aircraft defenses began soon after nightfall. The U.S. military says the first air assault by the U.S. and its allies the night before — including airstrikes by long-range bombers and a shower of Tomahawk cruise missiles — was successful, though it did not fully eliminate the threat from Libyan air defenses.

The largest full moon in more than 18 years – a so-called “supermoon” – did not disappoint eager skywatchers around the world Saturday when it rose, big and bright, into Earth’s night sky. The full moon of March was 221,565 miles (356,575 kilometers) on Saturday, March 19 just 50 minutes after it hit its full phase, making it the biggest and brightest full moon since 1993. The “supermoon” phenomenon occurred because the moon was in its full phase and just 50 minutes past perigee – the point of its orbit that brings it closer to Earth.This year’s biggest full moon also gained notoriety after erroneous claims that it would spark waves of natural disasters around the world.

Leading Republican Sarah Palin toured Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Sunday as she began a two-day, private visit to Israel. She also planned on meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during her first trip to the Jewish state to discuss key issues facing the U.S. ally. Palin, a 2008 vice presidential candidate, is a potential White House contender in 2012 and a leading light in the fiscally conservative Tea Party movement.

The nuclear crisis in Japan, while severe, appears to be stabilizing and does not warrant any immediate changes in U.S. nuclear plants, a top U.S. nuclear official said Monday. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s executive director for operations, Bill Borchardt, said officials have “a high degree of confidence” that operations at the 104 nuclear reactors in 31 states are safe. He said inspectors at each of the plants have redoubled efforts to guard against any safety breaches.

Buyers emerged on Monday in U.S. stocks, enticed by the biggest proposed merger of the year, though crises in Japan, the Middle East and North Africa meant market volatility would continue. The bulls have held the upper hand for three days, as the S&P 500 has put together its best three-day run since early December. Dow component AT&T (T.N) rose 1.1 percent after the company announced plans to buy Deutsche Telekom’s (DTEGn.DE) T-Mobile USA and refocused investor attention on attractive company valuations.

Golfer and notorious cheater Tiger Woods has taken another swing at dating, this time with 22-year-old Alyse Lahti Johnston.Woods, who was struck with heavy criticism last year after news broke of his numerous high profile extra-marital affairs, divorced Swedish model Elin Nordegren in August. In November 2009, Woods raised some eyebrows after he plowed his 2009 Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant and a tree at 2:30 a.m., leading many to speculate he’d gotten into an argument with then-wife Nordegren about his unfaithful behavior.

Technology –

They come not just for the balmy weather or the Tex-Mex food but for South by Southwest, a collection of conferences and festivals that’s considered one of the most influential happenings on the annual cultural calendar. Abbreviated as SXSW — and nicknamed “South by” by festival veterans — the 24-year-old conference kicks off Friday and runs through March 20. The three-headed event encompasses separate festivals for film, music and interactive technology and has helped launch everything from Twitter to Broken Social Scene.

It’s where hipster culture meets geek culture, and where internet entrepreneurs are treated like rock stars SXSW first kicked off in 1987 as the place where relatively unknown bands played gigs with hopes of attracting the attention of critics, talent scouts or big-time musicians seeking an opening act for their tours. Conference organizers integrated film and technology segments in 1994 as a “multimedia” event, and a year later, the separate South by Southwest Interactive was formed.

Nintendo 3DS, a glasses-free 3-D handheld video game system, arrives March 27 for $249.99.  Nintendo hopes it will make the strongest case yet for 3-D special effects affordability and relevance.

But calling it a gaming console may be the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American public. Gaming, it turns out, might be among the least of the system’s capabilities. The device will also deliver an array of other fully-connected entertainment experiences, according to Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime at the 2011 Game Developers Conference.  From 3-D movies to TV shows, digital music to augmented reality applications, the company is clearly assigning tremendous importance to non-gaming applications.

Though they won’t say it directly, Nintendo clearly plans to make the system a Trojan horse for the larger world of 3-D multimedia. This should scare the competition.

Recently, Google announced that the Android version of its Google Maps app now automatically routes users around traffic when providing directions. According to the Google Blog, Google Maps navigation previously “would choose whichever route was fastest, without taking current traffic conditions into account. It would also generate additional alternate directions, such as the shortest route or one that uses highways instead of side roads. “[Now], our routing algorithms will also apply our knowledge of current and historical traffic to select the fastest route from those alternates. That means that navigation will automatically guide you along the best route given the current traffic conditions.”

Sports –

Atlanta Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar has lost an eye after he was struck in the face by a line drive while watching a spring training game. Braves general manager Frank Wren said Wednesday that doctors were unable to save Salazar’s left eye after the accident March 9. The former major league player is otherwise recovering from his injuries and expects to manage Lynchburg of the Class A Carolina League this season. The 54-year-old Salazar was standing against the railing on the top step of the dugout during a game between the Braves and St. Louis Cardinals when Brian McCann fouled a ball in his direction. Salazar was unable to get out of the way.

Entertainment news –

Comic Gilbert Gottfried will no longer be the voice of the Aflac duck — effective immediately. The insurance company fired Gottfried, 56, on Monday after he made a slew of jokes via Twitter about the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Ashton Kutcher, president of pop culture for the popchips snack food company, launched a search back in February for a vice president of pop culture. The gig sounded pretty good: For a salary of $50,000, the VP’s duties included working with popchips and Kutcher to create digital content, take part in popchips’ social media channels and serve as popchips’ on-location reporter at three culture events. And the winner has just been announced: It’s Diane Mizota. One of her biggest claims to fame is that she appeared in Austin Powers in Goldmember, along with Carrie Ann Inaba. She also is host of the GSN series Bingo.

Teen sensation Justin Bieber is immortalized in wax at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in London and New York. So, what does Justin think of his new wax figure? Plus, which stars’ wax figure would he like his wax figure to be next to?

Mel Gibson was booked and released at El Segundo Police Department on Wednesday night as part of his sentence for the misdemeanor battery case resulting from an alleged January 2010 incident with his then-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, Access Hollywood has confirmed.

Charlie Sheen’s “Torpedo of Truth” live tour will explode onto 12 more stages across the United States and into Canada, as reports surfaced on Thursday of sold-out shows at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. “Fastballs keep coming. 12 more shows on sale Sat.,” Sheen tweeted. The new shows for the tour, dubbed “Charlie Sheen’s Violent Torpedo of Truth Defeat Is Not an Option,” are also listed on sales website

Billy Ray Cyrus revealed he has withdrawn his request to divorce his wife, Tish. “I’ve dropped the divorce,” Billy Ray said on the show, which taped on Thursday. “I wanted to put my family back together.”

Jennifer Lopez’ new song, “Invading My Mind,” has invaded the Internet.

The American Idol judge’s new track has leaked online The song, from her upcoming Island Def Jam album “Love?,” follows “On the Floor,” which features Pitbull. “Invading My Mind” is all about Lopez, though, and is a high energy, super-dance-y track.

Wyclef Jean has been released from the hospital after being treated for a gunshot wound to his hand. Jean, 41, was shot in the hand after 11 p.m. Saturday in Delmas — a city just outside Port-au-Prince — according to Joe Mignon, the senior program director for Jean’s Yele Foundation. He offered no further details.

Music news –

Passing – Rapper and music producer Nate Dogg, a prominent figure in the world of hip-hop, has died at the age of 41, the Hollywood Reporter wrote Wednesday without giving a cause of death. Best known for his 1994 hit “Regulate,” Nate Dogg — a longtime friend and collaborator of rap legends Snoop Dogg and the late Tupac Shakur — died late Tuesday, the trade newspaper wrote. It quoted a tweet from Snoop Dogg lamenting the death of his friend. “We lost a true legend n hip hop n rnb. One of my best friends n a brother to me since 1986,” the rap megastar wrote on this Twitter microblog posting.

In the latest issue of Rolling Stone, Howard Stern shares details about the end of his 21-year marriage to first wife Alison. “My marriage ending blew my mind,” the Sirius radio star, 57, revealed. “I was upset that I failed and let down my family, my kids, my ex-wife. It was all very painful.”While no topic was off-limits for guests on his radio show, Stern admits he kept his own personal problems buried. But feeling like a “detached robot,” he started going to therapy. “I was totally neurotic…I knew things weren’t right, and I said, ‘Gee, where am I going to get some answers?’ I had never been a guy to turn to religion but then as my marriage was coming to an end, I needed help to explain it to my children and make sense of it all…Because once you are a divorced guy, being a father is a whole different thing.”

Passing – Country music pioneer Ferlin Husky has died at age 85. He sold more than 20 million records, mostly in the ’50s and early ’60s, with hits including “Wings of a Dove” and “gone.” (March 17)

Passing – British musician Jet Harris, who played bass guitar in Cliff Richard’s band The Shadows, has died aged 71, British media reported on Friday. Terence Harris, nicknamed “Jet” because he was one of the fastest runners in his school, was introduced to Richard in 1958, and his website credits him with coming up with the name The Shadows.”Jet was exactly what the Shadows and I needed — a backbone holding our sound together,” Richard said in a statement. “Jet, the bass player, will always be an integral part of British rock’n'roll history. Losing him is sad — but the great memories will stay with me. Rock on, Jet.” With The Shadows, Harris enjoyed a string of hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s including “High Class Baby,” the chart-topping “Apache” and “Guitar Tango.” His last recording with the band was “Wonderful Land” in 1962, which also made it to number one in the British charts. After leaving the group, Harris teamed up with former Shadows bandmate Tony Meehan and again reached number one with “Diamonds” in 1963.

Bryan Adams is now enshrined in concrete. The Canadian singer, songwriter, guitarist, bassist and producer got his Hollywood Walk of Fame star Monday in front of the Musicians Institute. His hits included “Cut Like a Knife,” “Summer of ’69,” “Run to You,” and “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You.”

Hot hits this week –

F**k You (Forget You) – Cee Lo Green

Born This Way – Lady Gaga

S&M – Rihanna

E.T. – Katy Perry fea. Kanye West

On The Floor – Jennifer Lopez fea. Pitbull

Grenade – Bruno Mars

F**kin Perfect

Till the World Ends – Britney Spears

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

Blow – Ke$ha

Look At Me Now –

Chris Brown fea. Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes

Coming Home – Diddy – Dirty Money fea. Skylar Grey

Firework – Katy Perry

Hey Baby (Drop It To The Floor) – Pitbull

Moment 4 Life – Nicki Minaj fea. Drake

I Need A Doctor – Dr. Dre fea. Eminem & Skylar Grey

Jar of Hearts – Christina Perri

What The Hell – Avril Lavigne

More – Usher

Just Can’t Get Enough – The Black Eyed Peas

6 Foot 7 Foot – Lil Wayne fea. Cory Gunz

Landslide – Glee Cast fea. Gwyneth paltrow

Pretty Girl Rock- Keri Hilson

Rollin In The Deep – Adele

At the movies this week

Limitless (1st week $19 million)

Rango

Battle: Los Angeles

The Lincoln Lawyer (1st $13.4 million)

Paul – (1st week $13.1 million)

Red Riding Hood

The Adjustment Bureau

Mars Needs Moms

Beastly

Hall Pass

Gnomeo & Juliet

Hip Thursday night TV (TV Squad)

7PM

Discovery: ‘Out of the Wild: Venezuela’

7:45

IFC: ‘The Grid’

8:00

ABC: ‘Wipeout’
NBC: ‘Community’
FOX: ‘American Idol’
ESPN: ‘Winter X Games: Europe’
Nicktoons: ‘Dragon Ball Z Kai’

8:30

NBC: ‘Perfect Couples’

9:00

ABC: ‘Private Practice’
FOX: ‘Bones’
Discovery: ‘Man vs. Wild’
Bravo: ‘Kathy Griffin: 50 & Not Pregnant’
HGTV: ‘Selling New York’
Spike: ‘TNA Wrestling’

9:30

NBC: ‘Parks and Recreation’

10:00

NBC: ’30 Rock’
USA: ‘Fairly Legal’
FX: ‘Archer’
MTV: ‘Jersey Shore’
Food Network: ‘Ice Brigade’
HGTV: ‘House Hunters’
A&E: ‘Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force’ (two episodes)

10:30

NBC: ‘Outsourced’
HGTV: ‘House Hunters International’

Midnight

Cartoon Network: ‘Eagleheart’

Late-Night Talk Shows

11:00

PBS: ‘Charlie Rose’: Jonathan Schell on the future of nuclear power
TBS: ‘Conan’: Larry King, Shaun White, and Iron & Wine (repeat)
Comedy Central: ‘The Daily Show’: Howard Stern (repeat)
E!: ‘Chelsea Lately’: Rihanna (repeat)
BET: ‘The Mo’Nique Show’: Tisha Campbell-Martin, Keith David and Lloyd

11:30

Comedy Central: ‘The Colbert Report’: Dan Sinker (repeat)

11:35

ABC: ‘Nightline’: TBA
CBS: ‘The Late Show With David Letterman’: Tim McGraw, Shaq and Keri Hilson (repeat)
NBC: ‘The Tonight Show’: Rainn Wilson and Serj Tankian

Midnight

ABC: ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live: Matthew McConaughey, Jena Malone and Young Dubliners
PBS: ‘Tavis Smiley’: Clive Davis and Lawrence Goldstone
TBS: ‘Lopez Tonight’: Cameron Diaz, Jason Priestley, Luke Perry and Greg Fitzsimmons (repeat)

12:35

CBS: ‘The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson’: Mila Kunis and Geechy Guy (repeat)
NBC: ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’: Howard Stern, Penn & Teller, and Leon Russell

1:35

NBC: ‘Last Call With Carson Daly’: Gale Ann Hurd, Mia Morett and Caitlin Moe

Top TV –

1. American Idol” (Wednesday) FOX
2. American Idol” (Thursday) FOX
3. The Mentalist CBS
4. NCIS: Los Angeles CBS
5. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS
6. NCIS CBS
7. The Big Bang Theory CBS
8. Glee FOX
9. CSI: Miami CBS
10. Undercover Boss CBS
11. Blue Bloods CBS
12. Secret Millionaire ABC
13. House FOX
14. Survivor: Redemption Island CBS
15. CSI: NY CBS
16. Bones FOX
17. 60 Minutes CBS
18. Two and a Half Men CBS
19. The Bachelor ABC
20. Harry’s Law NBC

This Week In History. Week Of March 8, 2011 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Trends, Music, TV Guide & More.

This Week In Pop & News History. A Complete Look At The Week Of March 8, 2011.

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

In The News –

Forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi hammered rebels with rocket barrages and airstrikes Tuesday, trying to check their advance out of the opposition-held east of Libya toward the capital Tripoli. At least 26 were wounded, some of them seriously. On another front, government forces were reportedly battering down resistance in the closest rebel-held city to Tripoli, Zawiya. A government official claimed Gadhafi loyalists had recaptured the city, but some residents reported that rebels still held the city’s main square amid a heavy barrage of residential areas. The city was sealed off and phone lines have been cut, making it impossible to verify the account.

America’s population center is edging away from the Midwest, pulled by Hispanic growth in the Southwest, according to census figures. The historic shift is changing the nation’s politics and even the traditional notion of the country’s heartland — long the symbol of mainstream American beliefs and culture. The West is now home to the four fastest-growing states — Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Idaho — and has surpassed the Midwest in population, according to 2010 figures. California and Texas added to the southwestern population tilt, making up more than one-fourth of the nation’s total gains since 2000.

A suicide bomber struck a funeral attended by anti-Taliban militiamen in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing at least 36 mourners and wounding more than 100 in the deadliest militant attack in the country this year. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility. The blast near the city of Peshawar was not far from the tribally administered regions bordering Afghanistan where militants are at their strongest. The area struck is home to several tribal armies that battle the Pakistani branches of the Taliban with the government’s encouragement.

Forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi struck an oil pipeline and oil storage facility Wednesday as they pounded rebels with artillery and gunfire in at least two major cities, killing four people, officials said. Gadhafi appeared to be keeping up the momentum he has seized in recent days in his fight against rebels trying to move on the capital, Tripoli, from territory they hold in eastern Libya.

Space shuttle Discovery zoomed back to Earth for the last time Wednesday to wrap up a long flying career. The world’s most-traveled spaceship was due to return to Earth — for the last time ever — three minutes before noon. The crew of six fired the braking rockets in late morning, putting Discovery on track for a Florida touchdown. It was Discovery’s final fiery ride through the atmosphere. NASA’s oldest shuttle has flown 39 missions over nearly 27 years. It’s being retired after this voyage

Illinois abolished the death penalty Wednesday (March 9) more than a decade after the state imposed a moratorium on executions out of concern that innocent people could be put to death by a justice system that had wrongly condemned 13 men.

Gov. Pat Quinn also commuted the sentences of all 15 inmates remaining on death row. They will now serve life in prison with no hope of parole. State lawmakers voted in January to abandon capital punishment, and Quinn spent two months reflecting on the issue, speaking with prosecutors, crime victims’ families, death penalty opponents and religious leaders. He called it the “most difficult decision” he has made as governor.

It could take a week — and the smell could get pretty bad — before crews manage to scoop and vacuum up tons of dead sardines from a Southern California marina. Net-wielding crews in rowboats and firefighting vessels began work Wednesday, hoping to remove the estimated one million fish before they rot and possibly poison remaining sea life in the harbor. The cleanup came after the enormous school of sardines apparently suffocated in the confines of King Harbor, possibly while seeking shelter from a predator or simply becoming lost near a breakwater late Monday.

Oil prices tumbled 3 percent Thursday, as economists warned that the recent surge in fuel prices will eventually hurt the fragile economic recovery. So far fuel prices haven’t slowed consumption, but economist Michael Lynch said drivers and businesses may start cutting back, if oil remains above the $100 per barrel level. The jump in oil has already pushed the average price of gasoline up by 46 cents a gallon this year, just as some workers who were laid off during the recession return to a daily commute.

Bulletin – (Friday March11) A massive earthquakes strikes about 80 miles off the Northeast coast of Japan. The magnitude-8.9 offshore quake unleashed a 23-foot (seven-meter) tsunami and was followed for hours by more than 50 aftershocks, many of them of more than magnitude 6.0. A tsunami spawned by one of the largest earthquakes on record slammed Japan’s eastern coast Friday, killing hundreds of people as it swept away ships, cars and homes while widespread fires burned out of control. Hours later, the tsunami hit Hawaii but did not cause major damage. Warnings blanketed the Pacific, putting areas on alert as far away as South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West coast. In northeastern Japan, the area around a nuclear power plant was evacuated after the reactor’s cooling system failed. “The earthquake has caused major damage in broad areas in northern Japan,” Prime Minister Naoto Kan said at a news conference.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker succeeded Friday in taking away nearly all collective bargaining rights from the vast majority of the state’s public employees, quietly capping weeks of contentious debate and delivering an epic defeat to the labor movement with a private bill signing. The bill forces state workers to pay more for their pensions and health care benefits, which is estimated to save Wisconsin $30 million to help pay down a $137 million budget shortfall projected by July 1. The higher payments for state workers will take effect over the coming weeks.

Shoppers snapped up new cars, clothing and electronics in February, pushing retail sales up for the eighth straight month. Retail sales rose 1 percent last month, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Part of the gain reflected higher prices for gasoline. Still, excluding sales at gas stations, retail sales rose a solid 0.9 percent

A tour bus returning from a casino at daybreak scraped along an interstate guard rail, tipped on its side and slammed into a pole that sheared it nearly end to end, leaving a jumble of bodies and twisted metal along Interstate 95. Fourteen passengers were killed. The bus had just reached the outskirts of New York City on a journey from the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut when the crash happened. The driver told police he lost control trying to avoid a swerving tractor-trailer. As many as 20 passengers were treated at area hospitals. Seven were in critical condition, according to police. Several were in surgery later in the day. The crash happened at 5:35 a.m., with some of the 31 passengers still asleep. The bus scraped along the guard rail for 300 feet, toppled and crashed into the support pole for a highway sign indicating the exit for the Hutchinson Parkway.

Tokyo’s usually bustling central districts were deserted on Saturday after the country’s worst earthquake and a tsunami devastated the north of the country, and the few in bars and restaurants were glued to television coverage of the disaster. An explosion at a nuclear power plant near the earthquake zone and news of a radiation leak caused the most worry, but thousands also swamped the Internet to tell loved ones they were safe after phone lines went down. At least 1,700 people were killed or missing, media said, and thousands of homes were flattened as a huge deluge of sea water swept inland in the north of Japan after the quake, engulfing roads, farmland and villages.

The world moved a step closer to a decision on imposing a no-fly zone over Libya but Moammar Gadhafi was swiftly advancing Saturday on the poorly equipped and loosely organized rebels who have seized much of the country. Gadhafi’s forces pushed the front line miles deeper into rebel territory and violence erupted at the front door of the opposition stronghold in eastern Libya, where an Al-Jazeera cameraman slain in an ambush became the first journalist killed in the nearly monthlong conflict. In Cairo, the Arab League asked the U.N. Security Council to impose a no-fly zone to protect the rebels, increasing pressure on the U.S. and other Western powers to take action that most have expressed deep reservations about.

The estimated death toll from Japan’s disasters climbed past 10,000 Sunday as authorities raced to combat the threat of multiple nuclear reactor meltdowns and hundreds of thousands of people struggled to find food and water. The prime minister said it was the nation’s worst crisis since World War II.

Nuclear plant operators worked frantically to try to keep temperatures down in several reactors crippled by the earthquake and tsunami, wrecking at least two by dumping sea water into them in last-ditch efforts to avoid meltdowns. Officials warned of a second explosion but said it would not pose a health threat.

Moammar Gadhafi’s forces swept rebel fighters out of a key oil town and into the desert Sunday with searing waves of artillery fire and airstrikes, extending their rapid advance on the poorly equipped and loosely organized fighters. The United States, meanwhile, was sending its top diplomat to make contact with Gadhafi opponents in Paris, as it and other world powers considered trying to ground his air force with a no-fly zone that carries many of its own risks.

Passing – Owsley “Bear” Stanley, a 1960s counterculture icon and prolific LSD producer who worked with The Grateful Dead, has died. He was 76. Stanley died Saturday after a car he was driving swerved off a highway and hit trees down an embanked near Mareeba in Queensland, Australia.His wife, Sheila, was treated for minor injuries from the crash. One of the pioneers of California’s drug culture, Stanley produced an estimated pound of pure LSD, or roughly 5 million “trips” of normal potency of the hallucinogenic drug in the mid-1960s while at the University of California at Berkeley.

Technology –

Crisis mappers wasted no time responding: In under 2.5 hours Google launched its person finder app, which was also used when New Zealand’s 6.3 quake struck last month, and a local developer in Tokyo, Shu Sigashi, a member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation in Japan, quickly put up a localized Ushahidi crisis platform. Crisis mapping’s reach only goes as far as it is utilized, so the key now is getting the word out that online tools are available to help report the missing. Google’s person finder app is already rapidly increasing in usage. Within a couple hours 2,000 reports had been logged. If you type in the name, “Yoshi,” in Google’s app, results come up that indicate whether people with that name have been reported as alive or missing.

The 2nd incarnation of the iPad — the gadget that’s become practically synonymous with tablet computing — goes on sale Friday. The first iPad debuted less than a year ago in April and surprised some analysts by becoming a runaway hit. The company sold 14.8 million iPads worldwide in the first nine months the device was available. Analysts forecast Apple will sell about 30 million tablets this year. The iPad 2 will be faster, lighter and include a gyroscope, a feature that will enhance gaming options. It will have front and rear-facing cameras designed for video chatting. Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the new tablet at the beginning of the month. “It’s an all-new design,” he said, adding the new iPad will be “dramatically faster” than its predecessor. Like the popular iPhone, the iPad 2 will include a gyroscope, a feature that will enhance gaming options. Changes to the processor that powers the device could also dramatically propel the iPad as a game-playing device. Jobs said the new iPad will have the same price structure as the current one — ranging from $499 to $829.

Facebook announced two new safety features Thursday in conjunction with a White House summit on bullying. A new reporting tool will let Facebook users, including teens and younger users, to privately report troubling content not just to the site itself but to parents, teachers and others in their support system. And an improved Safety Center, due out in the next few weeks, will provide educational videos, articles and other content created by bullying experts to help adults address the problem.

Radio news –

NPR chief executive Vivian Schiller resigned Wednesday, just one day after conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe released a video showing an NPR executive slamming Republicans and the Tea party movement during a hidden-camera sting operation. “The Board accepted Vivian’s resignation with understanding, genuine regret and great respect for her leadership of NPR these past two years,” said Dave Edwards, chairman of NPR’s Board of Directors, in a statement. Joyce Slocum, the network’s senior vice president of legal affairs and general counsel, will be appointed interim CEO.

Entertainment news –

Lady Gaga’s‘s deal to sell a special edition of her upcoming album at Target is now out of range. A representative for the singer said Wednesday the two sides “came to a mutual decision to end their overall exclusive partnership a few weeks ago.” Last month, it was announced that Target would be selling a deluxe edition of the album, to be released May 23, with bonus content. But gay advocates were concerned about the partnership, citing Target’s donations to a political candidate who was against gay marriage. Gaga told Billboard that her relationship with the retail giant was tied to their “reform,” supporting the gay community and making up for past “mistakes.”

British rock star Eric Clapton raised $2.15 million at a New York auction of 75 guitars and 55 amplifiers on Wednesday, more than triple the pre-sale expectations, auctioneers Bonhams said on Thursday.The proceeds from the sale at which every lot found a buyer will go to the 65-year-old guitar legend’s Crossroads Center drug and alcohol treatment facility in the Caribbean. The auction total without the buyer’s premium was around $1.8 million, and the sale also included instruments donated by Clapton’s musician friends Jeff Beck, J.J. Cale and Joe Bonamassa. Among the top lots was a 1948 Gibson L-5P, which had been expected to fetch $20-30,000 but raised $82,960. A 2005 Zemaitis S22BP 3S, estimated at $12-18,000, sold for $75,640. The top amp of the sale was a pair of 1997 Fender Twin Amps, estimated at $9-12,000, which sold for $42,700.

Footage of Lindsay Lohan trying on a necklace that a jewelry store later reported stolen is scheduled to be aired Tuesday. “Entertainment Tonight” promoted the video during a segment on Monday’s show. Lohan is seen smiling as she enters the Venice jewelry store Kamofie & Co. The store reported that Lohan took a $2,500 necklace without permission, and prosecutors have charged her with felony grand theft. The video’s release comes days before the “Mean Girls” star returns to court. On Thursday, her attorney is scheduled to tell a judge whether the actress will fight the case or take a plea bargain that carries a guaranteed jail sentence.

Popular sitcoms All That, Clarissa Explains It All, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Rugrats, Rocketpower, Salute Your Shorts, The Amanda Show and Kenan & Kel will be added to a block of programming on TeenNick called “The ’90s Are All That!” Nickelodeon announced on Thursday. “There is an entire generation of young people who literally grew up on these great 1990s series,” TeenNick General Manager Keith Dawkins said. “TeenNick … is the perfect place to reconnect these shows to their original fans and introduce them to younger viewers for the very first time.”

Citing “irreconcilable differences,” Tony Danza has filed for divorce from Tracy, his wife of 24 years. The Who’s the Boss star, 60, and Tracy have two daughters: Katherine, 24, and Emily, 17.

Charlie Sheen says his dismissal from “Two and a Half Man” was “unconscionable.” The 45-year-old actor lashed out at his former CBS and Warner Bros. Television bosses on his live Internet show, “Sheen’s Korner,” on Tuesday, the day after Warner Bros. said his services on “Two and a Half Men” had been terminated. At the beginning of his prepared remarks, which lasted about 10 minutes, Sheen added that he believes that Monday’s decision was also illegal.

Charlie Sheen is suing Warner Bros. Television and the executive producer of ‘Two and a Half Men’ for $100 million. The lawsuit filed Thursday alleges production was halted on the CBS sitcom to punish Sheen.

The criminal cases of Hollywood star Mel Gibson and his former girlfriend ended on Friday when a judge sentenced him to probation for hitting her and prosecutors declined to charge her with blackmail. Gibson, 55, pleaded no contest to a charge of domestic violence against Oksana Grigorieva, the mother of his baby daughter. He received three years’ probation, was ordered to spend one year in counseling, perform 16 hours of community service and pay fines and court costs. The stoic Gibson, dressed in a dark suit and open-collared shirt during a brief proceeding in a Los Angeles courtroom, received no jail time as part of his plea, which is the equivalent of admitting guilt under California law.

Charlie Sheen is hitting the road and taking his antics to the stage! The former “Two and a Half Men” star announced plans for “Charlie Sheen LIVE: My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not An Option Show.” The tour kicks off in Detroit on April 2 and continues in Chicago on April 3. Just two dates have been announced so far and tickets are scheduled to go on sale on Saturday. “I’m going on the road. LIVE. Will there be surprises? Will there be guests? Will there be mayhem? Will you ask questions? Will you laugh? Will you scream? Will you know the truth? WILL THERE BE MORE?!?!,” a description of the show reads on Ticketmaster’s website. “This IS where you will hear the REAL story from the Warlock. Bring it. I dare you to keep up with me.”

Richard Hatch  – The first Survivor winner, who is currently appearing on Celebrity Apprentice, was supposed to re-file his 2000 and 2001 taxes to pay what he owed, but failed to do so. Hatch will serve a nine-month sentence. “As far as I can tell, you’ve made no effort to put any money into the government’s coffers,” U.S. District Court Judge William Smith said. Hatch previously spent three years in prison after failing to pay taxes on the $1 million he won on Survivor. He was released in 2009.

Charlie Sheen says  tickets are gone for his pair of live appearances next month. The outspoken actor has tweeted: “Fastball; Detroit/Chicago sold out in minutes… Thanks to Sheen’s Cadre..!”

No details about the show have been disclosed, but it’s being billed as “Charlie Sheen Live: My Violent Torpedo of Truth.” Sheen spokesman Larry Solters confirmed Sunday the April 2 and 3 appearances are sold out. Sheen announced the show last week to his more than 2 million Twitter followers, calling it “the REAL story.”

Comic Gilbert Gottfried will no longer be the voice of the Aflac duck — effective immediately. The insurance company fired Gottfried, 56, on Monday after he made a slew of jokes via Twitter about the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Music news –

British singer and drummer Phil Collins has used his personal website to announce his retirement in a bid to clarify recent speculation over his career. In a post titled “Breaking News,” the London-born multiple Grammy award winner said he wanted to explain his reasons “for calling it a day” in response to articles claiming he was quitting the music business. “Many of the articles printed over the last few months have ended up painting a picture of me that is more than a little distorted,” Collins, 60, explained in the message posted Monday. He said he is stopping music so he can be a full time father to his two young sons “on a daily basis” – not because of bad reviews, bad press or because he doesn’t “feel loved.”

Former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr, who played on the band’s first two influential albums and was one of the last people to see singer Layne Staley alive, has been found dead in a Salt Lake City home. Starr, who was 44, was arrested earlier this month in Salt Lake City and found to be in possession of six Xanax pills and six Opana painkillers.

Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper, Darlene Love and Tom Waits were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with Dr. John and Leon Russell. Diamond, 70, is well known for his song “Sweet Caroline,” inspired by Caroline Kennedy and now used as the Boston Red Sox anthem. Cooper (real name: Vincent Furnier) is known for his band’s hard rock hits “Eighteen” and “School’s Out.” 

American Idol” judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler will give this year’s crop of contestants a few pointers when they take to the stage to perform later this season. The “On The Floor” singer and Steven – with his band Aerosmith – will perform on the hit FOX series. “I thought it was a big secret. I guess the cat’s out of the bag!” Steven told Access on Monday night at PaleyFest 2011.

Top Albums This Week In 2011 –

21 – Adele

Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons

Late Nights & Early Mornings – Marsha Ambrosius

Never Say Never: The Remixes – Justin Bieber

NOW 37

My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber

Going Out In Style – Dropkick Murphys

Doo-Wops & Hooligans – Bruno Mars

Greatest Hits… So Far!!! – P!nk

Loud – Rihanna

Town Line – Aaron Lewis

Recovery – Eminem

Pink Friday – Nicki Minaj

Blessed – Lucinda Williams

Hundred More Years – Francesca Battistelli

Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

Speak Now – Taylor Swift

Need You Now – Lady Antebellum

Burlesque – soundtrack

Lungs – Florence + The Machine

Spring Break 3 – Luke Bryan

You Get What You Give – Zac Brown Band

Love Letter – R. Kelly

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West

At the movies this week –

Battle: Los Angeles (1st week $35.5 million)

Rango

Red Riding Hood (1st week $14 million)

The Adjustment Bureau

Mars Needs Moms ((1st week $6.9 million)

Beastly

Hall Pass

Just Go With It

Gnomeo & Juliet

The King’s Speech

Unknown

Hip Wednesday night TV (TV Squad)
7PM

Cartoon Network: ‘Sym-Bionic Titan’

8:00

CBS: ‘Survivor’
NBC: ‘Minute to Win It’
FOX: ‘American Idol’
The CW: ‘America’s Next Top Model’
G4: ‘Campus PD’
Nicktoons: ‘Dragon Ball Z Kai’

8:30

Food Network: ‘Throwdown With Bobby Flay’

9:00

The CW: ‘Shedding for the Wedding’
TBS: ‘Are We There Yet?’ (two episodes)
A&E: ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’
Syfy: ‘Ghost Hunters’
History Channel: ‘Underwater Universe’ (two episodes)
TruTV: ‘Operation Repo’
Disney XD: ‘Naruto: Shippuden’
Current: ‘Hooked on Danger’ (two episodes)
Showtime: ‘Inside NASCAR’

9:30

ABC: ‘Mr. Sunshine’
Discovery: ‘Sons of Guns’

10:00

ABC: ‘Off the Map’
CBS: ‘Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior’
FX: ‘Justified’
Bravo: ‘Top Chef’
Syfy: ‘Face Off’
MTV: ‘The Real World’ (season premiere)
TV Land: ‘Hot in Cleveland’
TLC: ‘Hoarding: Buried Alive’
Spike: ’1,000 Ways to Die’

10:30

TV Land: ‘Retired at 35′
Spike: ‘Charlie Sheen’s Winningest Moments’

Late-Night Talk Shows

11:00

PBS: ‘Charlie Rose’: TBA
TBS: ‘Conan’: Pee-Wee Herman, Shane Mauss and Edmund Morris
Comedy Central: ‘The Daily Show’: Aaron Eckhart
E!: ‘Chelsea Lately’: Nick de Vos
BET: ‘The Mo’Nique Show’: Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Candic Kumai and Aloe Blacc

11:30

Comedy Central: ‘The Colbert Report’: David Brooks

11:35

ABC: ‘Nightline’: TBA
CBS: ‘The Late Show With David Letterman’: Snooki, Judah Friedlander and Bryan Ferry (repeat)
NBC: ‘The Tonight Show’: Michael Douglas, Julie Scardina and the Randy Rogers Band (repeat)

Midnight

ABC: ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live: Jamie Foxx and Sarah Shahi (repeat)
PBS: ‘Tavis Smiley’: David Brooks and Lupe Fiasco
TBS: ‘Lopez Tonight’: Jerry O’Connell, Curtis Stone and Lupe Fiasco

12:35

CBS: ‘The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson’: Trace Adkins and Windell Middlebrooks
NBC: ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’: Adam Sandler, Aziz Ansari and Mike Gordon (repeat)

1:35

NBC: ‘Last Call With Carson Daly’: Diplo, Laurie Ann Gibson and Alberta Cross (repeat)

This Week In History. News, Pop Culture, Trends, Music, Technology. A Complete Look At The Week Of March 1, 2011.

A Complete Look At The Week Of March 1, 2011.

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

In The News -

Republicans controlling the House are moving quickly to pass stopgap legislation to avoid a partial shutdown of the government when temporary funding runs out Friday. Tuesday’s measure would keep the government running for two weeks to buy time for the Republican House, the Democratic Senate and the Obama White House to try to reach agreement on longer-term legislation to fund the government through the end of the budget year. It’s a relatively mild volley in a party-defining spending battle that promises to go on for months or years.

The central Arkansas town of Greenbrier has been plagued for months by hundreds of small earthquakes, and after being woken up by the largest quake to hit the state in 35 years, residents said Monday they’re unsettled by the increasing severity and lack of warning. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the 4.7 magnitude quake at 11 p.m. Sunday, centered just northeast of Greenbrier, about 40 miles north of Little Rock. It was the largest of more than 800 quakes to strike the area since September in what is now being called the Guy-Greenbrier earthquake swarm.

TRIPOLI, Libya – Residents of the rebel-held city closest to Libya’s capital passed out sweets and cold drinks to fighters Tuesday and celebrated with a victory march after they managed to repel an overnight attack by forces loyal to longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi. Pro-Gadhafi forces also were repelled as they tried to retake two other opposition-held cities: Misrata, Libya’s third-largest city 125 miles (200 kilometers) east of Tripoli, and Zintan, 75 miles (120 kilometers) south of the Libyan capital.

French fashion house Dior said on Tuesday (March1) it is firing John Galliano after complaints were lodged with police that their star designer made offensive and anti-Semitic comments. Dior said it decided to start procedures to fire Galliano after seeing a video clip that purportedly shows the designer shouting abuse at people in a Paris bar.

A Government Accountability report finds that the federal government wastes billions of federal dollars on duplicative spending in its byzantine bureaucracy. The Wall Street Journal explains: The agency found 82 federal programs to improve teacher quality; 80 to help disadvantaged people with transportation; 47 for job training and employment; and 56 to help people understand finances, according to a draft of the report reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.Other findings: There are 15 agencies enforcing food safety laws, 80 programs to boost the economy and 20 programs to help the homeless.

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount anti-gay protests outside military funerals, despite the pain they cause grieving families. The court voted 8-1 in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. The decision upheld an appeals court ruling that threw out a $5 million judgment to the father of a dead Marine who sued church members after they picketed his son’s funeral. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for the court. Justice Samuel Alito dissented. Roberts said free speech rights in the First Amendment shield the funeral protesters, noting that they obeyed police directions and were 1,000 feet from the church.

Opponents of Moammar Gadhafi repelled an attack by the Libyan leader’s forces trying to retake a key coastal oil installation in a topsy-turvy battle Wednesday in which shells splashed in the Mediterranean and a warplane bombed a beach where rebel fighters were charging over the dunes. At least six people were killed in the fighting. The assault on the Brega oil port was the first major regime counteroffensive against the opposition-held eastern half of Libya, where the population backed by mutinous army units rose up and drove out Gadhafi’s rule over the past two weeks.

The suspect in the slaying of two U.S. airmen at Frankfurt airport has confessed to targeting American military members, a German security official said Thursday as investigators probed what they considered a possible act of Islamic terrorism. Hesse state Interior Minister Boris Rhein told reporters in Wiesbaden that the suspect, identified as a 21-year-old ethnic Albanian from Kosovo, was apparently radicalized over the last few weeks. Relatives in northern Kosovo identified him as Arid Uka, whose family has been living in Germany for 40 years. The suspect opened fire on a U.S. Air Force bus carrying 15 airmen based in the Lakenheath airfield in eastern England from Frankfurt to Ramstein Air Base, the Air Force said. From there, the airmen were to deploy to Afghanistan.

Employers hired in February at the fastest pace in almost a year, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.9 percent — a nearly two-year low. The economy added a net 192,000 jobs. Factories, professional and business services, education and health care were among the sectors that hired. Retailers, though, trimmed jobs. State and local governments, squeezed by budget gaps, slashed 30,000 jobs, the most since November. Federal government was flat.

Moammar Gadhafi loyalists swept into the opposition-held city closest to Tripoli on Saturday, tightening security around the regime-held capital. To the east, rebel forces captured a key oil port as the country veered toward civil war.The contrasting fortunes of the two warring sides suggest that the conflict in Libya could last for weeks and maybe months, with neither side mustering enough military power to decisively defeat the other. The government is fighting fiercely to maintain its hold in Tripoli and surrounding areas and the rebels are pushing their front westward from their eastern stronghold.

DNA confirmed that a man arrested Friday in Connecticut is the East Coast Rapist suspected of terrorizing women with sexual assaults from Virginia to Rhode Island over 12 years, police said Saturday. Lt. Julie Johnson said DNA was collected and subsequently matched by the state police forensic lab confirming 39-year-old Aaron Thomas was the East Coast Rapist.

President Obama said Saturday he has already met Republicans halfway in the on-going budget dispute and is “prepared to do more” in an effort to responsibly cut spending and avoid a government shutdown later this month. temporary two-budget that kept the trains running expires on March 18 as Republicans and Democrats wrangle over how much to trim from a longer-term plan that would fund government operations through Sept. 30, the close of the 2011 fiscal year. “We’ve got to step up our game,” Obama said in his weekly address. “We can’t do business two weeks at a time… We’ve got to keep that momentum going.”

Repeated airstrikes by Libyan warplanes on Monday (March7) illustrated the edge Moammar Gadhafi holds in his fight against rebel forces marching toward the capital: He controls the air. After pleading from the uprising’s leaders, Britain and France began drafting a U.N. resolution for a no-fly zone in Libya that could balance the scales. President Barack Obama warned that the U.S. and its NATO allies are still considering military options to stop what he called “unacceptable” violence by Gadhafi’s regime. NATO decided to boost flights of AWACs surveillance planes over Libya from 10 to 24 hours a day, the U.S. Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder said.

Libyan helicopter gunships strafed opposition fighters as forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi pounded them with artillery and rockets Sunday, dramatically escalating a counteroffensive to halt the rapid advance of rebels toward the capital, Tripoli.

Another scene of heavy fighting was the city of Misrata, 120 miles (200 kilometers) east of Tripoli, where a doctor told The Associated Press 20 people were killed and 100 wounded. Residents said pro-Gadhafi troops punched into the city with mortars and tanks but were pushed out five hours later by rebel forces. The rebel commanders intentionally opened the way for government tanks to enter the city, then surrounded them and attacked with anti-aircraft guns and mortars, said Abdel Fatah al-Misrati, one of the rebels.

President Barack Obama reversed course Monday and ordered a resumption of military trials for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, making his once ironclad promise to close the isolated prison look even more distant. Guantanamo has been a major political and national security headache for the president since he took office promising to close the prison within a year, a deadline that came and went without him ever setting a new one. Obama made the change with clear reluctance, bowing to the reality that Congress’ vehement opposition to trying detainees on U.S. soil leaves them nowhere else to go. The president emphasized his preference for trials in federal civilian courts, and his administration blamed congressional meddling for closing off that avenue.

Oil prices continued to set new post-recession highs Monday as forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi pounded rebels near a key oil port in Libya. It’s unclear how long the country’s oil exports will be cut off, and traders prepared for a worst-case scenario in which world supplies would be under pressure for months. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery gained $1.02 to settle at $105.44 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price almost hit $107 per barrel earlier in electronic trading, the highest level since Sept. 26, 2008.

Southwest Airlines Co. has joined a sweeping increase of $10 in the price of many domestic round-trip airfares, citing the need to offset high fuel prices. Southwest’s action over the weekend may have ensured success for a price hike by major airlines that seemed to be faltering. Southwest carries more U.S. passengers than any airline and wields great influence over prices.

Lite News – The daughter of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has signed with William Morrow to publish “Not Afraid of Life,” to come out this summer. Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, announced Tuesday that the memoir would provide “an inside look at her life.” “Bristol gives readers an intimate behind-the-scenes look at her life for the first time, from growing up in Alaska to coming of age amid the media and political frenzy surrounding her mother’s political rise; from becoming a single mother while still a teenager to coping as her relationship with her baby’s father crumbled publicly — not once, but twice,” according to Morrow.

Technology –

Apple finally introduced the iPad 2 during its media event in San Francisco this week and gave us a preview of what’s to come in iOS 4.3. including streaming media and JavaScript performance improvements as well as adding FaceTime to the iPad 2 and Personal Hotspot to the GSM iPhone 4.

Right now, the three leading types of smartphones are running nearly neck-and-neck in the U.S., although Google’s Android models may be inching ahead. Data from Nielsen shows that slightly more U.S. consumers are buying Android phones than any other type of smartphone. Currently Android holds 29% of the US smartphone market; while the iPhone and BlackBerry hold 27% each. But wait: Android is an operating system, and there’s considerable diversity among the manufacturers, models, features, and general user experience available in that category. Under the “Android” label you’ll find everything from the high-end Motorola Droid Pro and the HTC Evo 4G to the lower-tech Samsung Intercept. Also, Android sytem updates get rolled out unevenly to various Android devices.

Sports –

Danica Patrick finished fourth in Saturday’s Nationwide race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, becoming the highest finishing woman in any of NASCAR’s to three series.”We just had a good car, that’s all I can say. That’s what makes a difference in these things,” said Patrick. “I know I haven’t had the best results, especially in NASCAR, but we’re getting them now.” Patrick had a pretty fast car throughout the entire race and only went a lap down because of the way that green-flag pit stops had cycled. She was able to get that lap back because of a cluster of cautions in the last half of the race. (Previously, Patrick had gone laps down because of a lack of speed, not bad luck).

Entertainment News –

Best Supporting Actress winner Melissa Leo may have made jaws drop at last Sunday’s Academy Awards when she let the F-bomb fly during her acceptance speech, but The Fighter star says it was never her intention to shock and awe. “I really don’t mean to offend, and [the Oscars were] probably a very inappropriate place to use that particular word,” Leo, 50, told reporters backstage after accepting her trophy.

Passing – Filmmaker Gary Winick, who directed flicks like the Jennifer Garnervehicle 13 Going on 30, died Sunday at age 49. “He was suffering from brain cancer for quite some time, and it ultimately metastasized throughout his body,” his manager Rosalie Swedlin, said.

Passing – “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” movie star Jane Russell, who became a controversial Hollywood sex symbol, died on Monday at the age of 89, her family said. Russell, best known as the buxom star of 1940s and 1950s movie, died of respiratory failure at her home in Santa Maria, central California, her family said.

Christina Aguilera was arrested early Tuesday morning in West Hollywood — along with her boyfriend, Matthew Rutler. The “Not Myself Tonight” singer was arrested at 2:45 a.m. and booked on a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication. Aguilera is in the process of being released on $250 bail.

On the heels of his client’s week of media rants bashing everyone from AA to CBS, Charlie Sheen’s long-term publicist Stan Rosenfield says he’s no longer working for the troubled actor.”I have worked with Charlie Sheen for a long time and I care about him very much,” said Rosenfield.  “However, at this time, I’m unable to work effectively as his publicist and have respectfully resigned.”

While his professional life is in turmoil, Charlie Sheen says life at home with his “goddesses” is “perfect.” “It’s perfect. It’s awesome. Every day is just filled with just wins. All we do is put wins in the record books,” Sheen told ABC News. “We win so radically in our underwear before our first cup of coffee, it’s scary. People say it’s lonely at the top, but I sure like the view. … These are the women that I love that have completed the three parts of my heart.” Sheen lives with his two 24-year-old girlfriends — or as he calls them “goddesses” — Natalie Kenly, a nanny and graphic designer, and Rachel Oberlin, a porn star. Nicknaming himself the “Wedge,” Sheen called Hugh Hefner an “amateur.”

Christina Aguilera has signed on to be a coach on NBC’s upcoming singing reality competition, “The Voice.” The news comes just a day after Aguilera was arrested for public intoxication, but not charged.

Just one day after launching his Twitter account, Charlie has already crossed the 1 million followers mark.

Justin Bieber apologized on Wednesday for angrily hoisting his middle finger at paparazzi who buzzed the squeaky-clean pop star and his girlfriend after his birthday dinner in Los Angeles. The fracas occurred on Tuesday evening when Bieber and Disney starlet Selena Gomez left an Italian restaurant where they had celebrated his 17th birthday. A grim Bieber made the spontaneous gesture after he took the wheel of their vehicle and Gomez shielded her face. It was a rare outburst by the pop sensation.

Justin Bieber’s hair is officially the stuff of legend: His hair clippings have sold for more than $40,000 on eBay. After the 17-year-old pop sensation chopped off some of his famous locks, he brought the clippings to the “Ellen” show. Host Ellen DeGeneres put them on eBay. When the bidding ended, the clippings went for $40,668. The proceeds are being donated to The Gentle Barn, which rescues neglected and abused animals and uses them to help disadvantaged kids. Bieber’s magic touch continues. He’s got two albums in the top five on the U.S. album chart this week, and his movie, “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (3-D),” has grossed almost $70 million at the box office since its release last month.

Don’t hold it against her! Britney Spears gave an interview in the current issue of V Magazine talking about her new album “Femme Fatale,” life in the spotlight and what’s been on her iPod lately. “I think ‘Femme Fatale’ speaks for itself,” Britney said, noting that she spent almost two years recording it. “I think it’s the best album I have ever made.” According to Britney, “Femme Fatale” is a “fierce dance record” to play while getting ready for a night on the town. “It’s definitely my edgiest and most mature sound yet,” she said.

He can’t stop… he won’t stop… and he’s taking the Diddy train all the way to “American Idol.” Sean “Diddy” Combs is heading to the hit FOX reality singing competition, where he’ll perform his latest single, “Coming Home,” as well as mentor the contestants in the ways of “swagger,” courtesy of his signature clothing line, Sean John.

Miley Cyrus said she misses her hit Disney show. The teen star stopped by “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” on Thursday and dished about her upcoming hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live.” ”I’m super stoked, we’ve been rehearsing all day, It’s been fun,” Miley told Jimmy. “I love seeing you do funny stuff. I miss the ‘Hannah Montana’ days,” Jimmy told the actress.

Lady Gaga  made YouTube sensation Maria Aragon the happiest Little Monster in the world last night! The singer made good on her promise to duet with the 10-year-old and brought her onstage during her show on Thursday night in Toronto.

Its reveled that Mike Myers secretly wed his girlfriend, Kelly Tisdale, last fall. The couple was “married in a private ceremony and celebrated with family and friends,” his rep told the magazine. Myers, 47, and Tisdale have been dating since he split from his wife of 12 years, Robin Ruzan, in 2006.

Passing - Frank Alesia, a character actor in the beach party movies of the 1960s and a director of “Captain Kangaroo,” died February 27 of natural causes at his home in Carlsbad, California. He was 65.Alesia came to Hollywood from Chicago in 1964 and was one of the last character actors to work under the studio system. His film appearances included “Riot on the Sunset Strip” (1967) and some of the beach films that starred Frankie Avalon and/or Annette Funicello, including “Bikini Beach” (1964), “Pajama Party” (1964) and “Beach Blanket Bingo” (1965).

Scream” actor David Arquette was involved in a car crash on Friday and taken to a hospital, but was “okay and is getting treatment,” his spokeswoman said. Arquette, 39, the estranged husband of former “Friends” star Courteney Cox, was driving in the West Hollywood community of Los Angeles when his car smashed into another automobile. Arquette and Cox announced a trial separation in October after 11 years of marriage. In January Arquette spent a month in rehab, reportedly for alcohol issues and depression.

Her new romance with Glee’s Chord Overstreet isn’t the only thing giving Taylor Swift reason to celebrate. Swift, 21, just nabbed her 7th No. 1 record with the hit “Back to December.” On top of that, her album Speak Now got certified platinum for the third time. Currently in the midst of a World Tour, Swift leaves Asia and heads to Brussels to kick of a slew of European dates on Sunday.

Tyler Perry ‘s For Colored Girls topped the 42nd NAACP Image Awards with three trophies, including Best Picture.The film also took home the director and supporting actress awards Friday for Perry and Kimberly Elise, respectively. Perry had a great night overall: His TV series, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne won Best Comedy Series, while his other show, Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns earned Best Actor in a Comedy Series honors for star David Mann. Halley Berry snagged Best Actress for her work in the drama Frankie & Alice, which also won Best Independent Film. Denzel Washington (The Book of Eli) and Samuel L Jackson (Mother and Child) won the lead and supporting actor prizes, respectively.

Courtney Love’s settlement of a case sparked by online attacks on a fashion designer show that while Twitter posts may be short, they can also be costly. The singer has agreed to pay Dawn Simorangkir $430,000, plus interest, to settle a lawsuit the designer filed in March 2009 over comments Love made on Twitter and her MySpace blog. While the case didn’t go to a jury, First Amendment experts say it highlights the need for celebrities and average people to watch what they say online.

Sean Penn thanked Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Saturday for supporting the actor’s relief organization in Haiti, saying the aid has helped its humanitarian work in distributing medicines. Chavez met with Penn at the presidential palace and praised the actor’s efforts with his J/P Haitian Relief Organization, which was founded in response to the catastrophic 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Neither provided details about how much financial assistance Venezuela has provided to the group.

Television news –

Turns out it really does take a rocket scientist to beat Watson, the “Jeopardy”-winning computer. U.S. Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey — a five-time champion during the trivia show’s original run 35 years ago — topped the IBM computer Monday night in a “Jeopardy”-style match of congressmen vs. machine held at a Washington hotel. Though Holt isn’t the first human to beat Watson, the victory adds to the 62-year-old Democrat’s already-impressive resume: a former State Department arms control expert and ex-leader of the federal Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

Miley Cyrus has met her “Saturday Night Live” impression while lampooning a fellow teen pop star herself. Cyrus hosted “SNL” on Saturday night, leading to an inevitable face-off between the 18-year-old singer and cast member Vanessa Bayer’s parody. But Cyrus appeared on Bayer’s “The Miley Cyrus Show” not as herself, but 17-year-old Justin Bieber. Cyrus played Bieber as too hip to use Bayer’s enthusiastic “pretty cool” catch phrase. In other sketches, Cyrus also played Fergie and Lindsay Lohan. Her Lohan impression occurred during a sketch with cast members portraying Charlie Sheen as the host of a TV show called “Duh! Winning!” with Lohan, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and fashion designer John Galliano as guests.

Monday (March7) – Charlie Sheen has been fired from “Two and a Half Men.” “After careful consideration, Warner Bros. Television has terminated Charlie Sheen’s services on ‘Two and a Half Men’ effective immediately,” Warner Bros. states.“No decision’s been made on the future of the show,” a rep for Warner Bros. tells the press. Charlie Sheen responded: “This is very good news. They continue to be in breach, like so many whales. It is a big day of gladness at the Sober Valley Lodge because now I can take all of the bazillions, never have to look at whatshiscock again and I never have to put on those silly shirts for as long as this warlock exists in the terrestrial dimension,” the actor says in a statement to the press

Hot hits this week in 2011 –

Grenade – Bruno Mars

Born This Way – Lady Gaga

F**K You (Forget You) – Cee Lo Green

S&M – Rihanna

F**kin’ Perfect – P!nk

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

Firework – Katy Perry

On The Floor – Jennifer Lopez fea. pitbll

E.T. – Katy Perry fea. Kanye West

I Need a Doctor – Dr. Dre. Fea. Eminem & Skylar Grey

Hold It Against Me- Britney Spears

Blow – Ke$ha

Rolling In The Deep – Adele

Moment 4 Life –Nicki Minaj fea. Drake

Hey Baby (Drop It To The Floor) – Pitbull fea. T-Pain

More – Usher

Rocketeer – Far East Movement fea. Ryan Tedder

Black and Yellow – Wiz Khalifia

Coming Home – Diddy – Dirty Money fea. Skylar Grey

Down on Me – Jeremih fea. 50 Cent

What The Hell – Avril Lavigne

Jar of Hearts – Christina Perri

Look At Me Now – Chris Brown fea. Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes

Never Say Never – Justin Bieber fea. Jaden Smith

At the movies this week –

Rango (1st week $38 million)

The Adjustment Bureau (1st week $20.9 million)

Beastly – (1st week $10.1 million)

Hall Pass

Gnomeo & Juliet

Unknown

The King’s Speech

Just Go With IT

I Am Number Four

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never: The Director’s Fan Cut

Take Me Home Tonight (1st week $3.5 million)

7PM

Discover: ‘Pitchmen’

8:00

ABC: ‘No Ordinary Family’
CBS: ‘NCIS’
NBC: ‘The Biggest Loser’
FOX: ‘American Idol’
The CW: ‘One Tree Hill’
MyNetwork TV: ‘Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?’ (two episodes)
Comedy Central: ‘Onion SportsDome’
OWN: ‘What Would You Do?’

After the jump, the rest of the schedule and the late-night talk shows.

9:00

ABC: ‘V’
CBS: ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’
The CW: ‘Hellcats’
Discovery: ‘Dirty Jobs’
TLC: ‘What Not to Wear’
Food Network: ‘Cupcake Wars’
Travel Channel: ‘Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern’
History Channel: ‘Only in America With Larry the Cable Guy’ (two episodes)

9:30

FOX: ‘Raising Hope’
Cooking Channel: ‘United Tastes of America’

10:00

ABC: ’20/20′: Charlie Sheen
CBS: ‘The Good Wife’
NBC: ‘Parenthood’
USA: ‘White Collar’
TNT: ‘Southland’
FX: ‘Lights Out’
Bravo: ‘Real Housewives of Miami’
Comedy Central: ‘Tosh.0′
BBC America: ‘Louis Theroux: Behind Bars’
Discovery: ‘American Treasures’
BET: ‘The Game’

10:30

BET: ‘Let’s Stay Together’

Late-Night Talk Shows

11:00

PBS: ‘Charlie Rose’: Amy Chua
TBS: ‘Conan’: Piers Morgan, Emmy Rossum and Nick Griffin
Comedy Central: ‘The Daily Show’: Ayman Safadi
E!: ‘Chelsea Lately’: Lil Jon
BET: ‘The Mo’Nique Show’: Chris Spencer, Camille Winbush and Bun B

11:30

Comedy Central: ‘The Colbert Report’: Evan Osnos

11:35

ABC: ‘Nightline’: TBA
CBS: ‘The Late Show With David Letterman’: Amanda Seyfried, B.J. Novak and the cast of ‘Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark’
NBC: ‘The Tonight Show’: Matt Damon, Betty White and Cake

Midnight

ABC: ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live: Emily Blunt, Max Irons and Aaron Lewis
PBS: ‘Tavis Smiley’: Smokey Robinson
TBS: ‘Lopez Tonight’: Cheryl Burke

12:35

CBS: ‘The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson’: Carla Gugino and Tom Lennon
NBC: ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’: Isla Fisher, Josh Radnor and Dan St. Germain

1:35

NBC: ‘Last Call With Carson Daly’: Jason Sudekis, Elgin James and Freddie Gibbs

Week Of February 22, 2011. This Week In History, News Pop Culture, Technology, Trends And Music. A Complete Look.

This Week in History – News, Pop Culture, Technology, Trends, Music. A complete look at the week of February 22, 2011.

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

In The News

Four Murdered By Pirates – A pirate fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a U.S. Navy destroyer shadowing a hijacked yacht with four Americans. Then gunfire erupted, the military said. U.S. special forces rushed to the yacht only to find the four Americans fatally wounded. The experienced yacht enthusiasts from California and Washington are the first Americans killed by Somali pirates since the start of attacks off East Africa several years ago. One of the American couples on board had been sailing around the world since 2004 handing out Bibles. Their deaths appear to underscore an increasingly brutal and aggressive shift pirates have been showing toward hostages.

Deadly New Zealand Earthquake – Search teams using dogs, heavy cranes and earth movers worked through dawn Wednesday in one of New Zealand’s largest cities, trying frantically to find survivors amid the crumbled concrete, twisted metal and huge mounds of brick left by a powerful earthquake. But they fear that the death toll — at least 148 — and about 50 are still missing, ranking the disaster among the island nation’s worst earthquakes in 80 years.

A defiant Moammar Gadhafi vowed to fight to his “last drop of blood” and roared at supporters to strike back against Libyan protesters to defend his embattled regime Tuesday, signaling an escalation of the crackdown that has thrown the capital into scenes of mayhem, wild shooting and bodies in the streets.

Militiamen loyal to Moammar Gadhafi clamped down in Tripoli, but cracks in his regime spread elsewhere across the nation, as the protest-fueled rebellion controlling much of eastern Libya claimed new gains closer to the capital. Two pilots let their warplane crash in the desert, parachuting to safety, rather than bomb an opposition-held city.

Border agents said Wednesday they arrested an unusually large group of illegal immigrants crossing through the western Arizona desert in what authorities said is proof that increased border technology is working. Border Patrol surveillance video operators Friday morning spotted a group of more than 100 people walking just north of the Mexico border about 15 miles west of Lukeville, Ariz., Agent Eric Cantu said. When agents responded, Cantu said they were able to arrest 22 people but the rest of the group scattered.

President Barack Obama ordered his administration on Wednesday to stop defending the constitutionality of a federal law that bans recognition of gay marriage, a policy reversal that could have major implications for the rights and benefits of gay couples and reignite an emotional debate for the 2012 presidential campaign.

Obama still is “grappling” with his personal views on whether gays should be allowed to marry but has long opposed the federal law as unnecessary and unfair, said spokesman Jay Carney.

General Motors posted fourth-quarter earnings slightly above expectations and its first full-year profit since 2004. Profit for all of 2010 was $4.7 billion, achieved after the company slashed costs and debt in a 2009 bankruptcy financed by the Obama administration.

Trend – Wisconsin and unions are big news – and a major trend is occurring – some 16 states (including Wisconsin) are going to war with unions. At issue in the U.S. are the collective-bargaining rights of unionized public employees. States facing budget shortfalls and high debt payments want to curtail workers’ collective-bargaining ability to in part gain flexibility in dealing with financial crises. Protesters in Wisconsin have found plenty of support and will be joined in solidarity Saturday by protests in every state capital. 16 states have proposed legislation similar to the bill cleared for vote last Wednesday by Wisconsin’s Republican legislators, which would strip public-sector union workers of the right to bargain collectively about any on-the-job issue besides wages.

Discovery, the world’s most traveled spaceship, thundered into orbit for the final time Thursday, heading toward the International Space Station on a journey that marks the beginning of the end of the shuttle era. The six astronauts on board, all experienced space fliers, were thrilled to be on their way after a delay of nearly four months for fuel tank repairs. But it puts Discovery on the cusp of retirement when it returns in 11 days and eventually heads to a museum. It was Discovery’s 39th launch and the 133rd shuttle mission overall.

Thousands marched on government buildings and clashed with security forces in cities across Iraq on Friday (Feb.25) in the largest and most violent anti-government protests here since political unrest began spreading in the Arab world several weeks ago. In two northern Iraqi cities, security forces trying to push back crowds opened fire, killing six demonstrators. In the capital of Baghdad, demonstrators knocked down blast walls, threw rocks and scuffled with club-wielding troops. The protests, billed as a “Day of Rage, were fueled by anger over corruption, chronic unemployment and shoddy public services.

Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly took the first significant action on their plan to strip collective bargaining rights from most public workers, abruptly passing the measure early Friday morning (Feb.25) before sleep-deprived Democrats realized what was happening. The vote ended three straight days of punishing debate in the Assembly. But the political standoff over the bill — and the monumental protests at the state Capitol against it — appear far from over. The Assembly’s vote sent the bill on to the Senate, but minority Democrats in that house have fled to Illinois to prevent a vote. No one knows when they will return from hiding. Republicans who control the chamber sent state troopers out looking for them at their homes on Thursday, but they turned up nothing.

Ratcheting up the pressure, President Barack Obama on Saturday said Moammar Gadhafi has lost his legitimacy to rule and urged the Libyan leader to leave power immediately.It was the first time Obama has called for Gadhafi to step down, coming after days of bloodshed in Libya. Gadhafi has vowed to fight to the end to maintain his four-decade grip on power in the North African country.

Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff said in a magazine interview published Sunday (Feb.27) that new regulatory reform enacted after the recent national financial crisis is laughable and that the federal government is a Ponzi scheme. “The whole new regulatory reform is a joke,” Madoff said during a telephone interview with New York magazine in which he discussed his disdain for the financial industry and for its regulators.

Passing – Frank Buckles, the last surviving U.S. veteran of World War I, has died. He was 110. Buckles, who also survived being a civilian POW in the Philippines in World War II, died peacefully of natural causes early Sunday at his home in Charles Town, biographer and family spokesman David DeJonge said in a statement. Buckles turned 110 on Feb. 1 and had been advocating for a national memorial honoring veterans of World War I in Washington, D.C.

International pressure on Moammar Gadhafi to end his crackdown on opponents escalated Monday as his loyalists closed in on rebel-held cities closest to the capital. The U.S. moved naval and air forces closer to Libya and said all options were open, including the use of warplanes to patrol the North African nation’s skies and protect Libyans threatened by their leader.

Meets with governors -  In a concession over his divisive health care overhaul, President Barack Obama offered Monday to let unhappy states design alternative plans as long as they fulfill the goals of his landmark law. Addressing the nation’s governors, Obama also challenged state chiefs who have sought to balance their budgets through weakening unions and curbing employees’ benefits, telling them that they should not demonize workers.

Sports –

Joe Torre is back in baseball as Major League Baseball’s executive vice president for baseball operations. The 70-year-old Torre will oversee major league operations, on-field discipline, umpiring and other areas. He’ll also be one of baseball’s representatives to general managers and field managers. Joe Torre won four World Series titles for the Yankees during a 29-year career as a manager. He retired after last season following three years with the Dodgers. He played parts of 18 seasons in the majors including a stint with the NY Mets.

Passing – Baseball Hall of Famer Duke Snider died Sunday morning at the Valle Vista Convalescent Hospital in Escondido, Calif.. He was 84. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., in 1980 after an 18-year major league career in which he hit 407 home runs.

Radio News –

On his radio show Tuesday, Glenn Beck made what he has now called “one of the worst analogies of all time” when he compared Reform Judaism to Islamic Extremism. The reaction was swift, with the Anti-Defamation League saying the comments belied Beck’s “bigoted ignorance” Today, in a lengthy comment that opened his show, Beck said he agreed and that “ignorant” is a “perfect description for what [he] said.” Beck made the apology at the top of his show as he said it’s always important to lead with your mistakes so as to “guard your credibility.” He explained that he was speaking off of some information that he had heard (or misheard) from someone the day before, however the onus was entirely on him. “I’ve always told you to do your own homework,” he said. “And, in this case, I didn’t do enough homework.”

Technology –

Lately, Google’s been taking heat  for the suddenly nebulous quality and reliability of its search results. In response, the company reaffirmed its commitment to enhance its search mechanisms, and rolled out a handful of small and sutle changes. Yesterday, however, Google announced that it’s making a “big algorithmic change” — one that its users will actually be able to notice. The update, which reportedly affects 11.8-percent of all queries, is designed to prioritize high-quality results, while reducing rankings for low-quality sites. In other words, your Google searches will now turn up more original, in-depth results and less content-farm runoff.

Ipad2 to be released next week.”Come see what 2011 will be the year of.”

Entertainment news –

It’s reported that former homeless voice-over talent Ted Williams will begin shooting his own reality show in two weeks: “Second Chances At Life.”

A judge told Lindsay Lohan on Wednesday he would sentence her to jail if she accepted a plea deal from prosecutors to avoid trial for allegedly stealing a $2,500 necklace from an upscale jewelry store.

Marries – Kelsey Grammer, 56, wed girlfriend Kayte Walsh Friday at NYC’s Longacre Theater. Grammer and British flight attendant Walsh, 29, exchanged vows on the stage — covered with white candles — where the actor just wrapped his Tony-nominated run in the Broadway musical La Cage Aux Folles.

83rd Annual Academy Awards (held Sunday night Feb.28)… some winners…

1. Best Picture: “The King’s Speech.”

2. Actor: Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech.”

3. Actress: Natalie Portman, “Black Swan.”

4. Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, “The Fighter.”

5. Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, “The Fighter.”

6. Directing: Tom Hooper, “The King’s Speech.”

7. Foreign Language Film: “In a Better World,” Denmark.

8. Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network.”

9. Original Screenplay: David Seidler, “The King’s Speech.”

10. Animated Feature Film: “Toy Story 3.”

11. Original Score: “The Social Network,” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

12. Original Song: “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3,” Randy Newman

Television News

“American Idol” contestants are in Las Vegas for “Beatles” night! This week!

Oprah Winfrey says she feels “terrific” about the end of her daytime show and the future of her new cable network, OWN. “We’re building, night by night by night. What everyone told me about the cable business is the way you do cable is you start with a couple of shows, people are used to repeats,” Winfrey told The Hollywood Reporter. “Oprah viewers were not!”

Larry King – The King of Comedy? – The veteran TV interviewer, who left his “Larry King Live” CNN show after 25 years in December, is launching a series of one man comedy shows in April about his life and work called “Larry King: Standing Up,” producers said on Tuesday. King, 77, will give fans “a hilarious and insightful look” at his life both behind and in front of the cameras. The one-night-only shows will cover his life growing up as a street-smart kid in Brooklyn to tales from his career as the man who interviewed presidents, generals and celebrities.

American Idol will offer online voting for the first time, Fox announced Thursday. Online voting begins immediately after the first performance show on Tuesday. Fans will be required to log in through their Facebook accounts to access the voting page and can cast up to 50 online votes for that evening’s performances.

American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez cries, “I Don’t Want To Do This Anymore” after sending Chris Medina, a fan-favorite contestant – packing. AI is down to the top 24 contestants.

Just hours after Charlie Sheen went on a radio rampage, blasting his bosses at the television show, CBS issued a statement on behalf of the network and “…Men’s” production company, announcing they were pulling the show from production of new episodes. “Based on the totality of Charlie Sheen’s statements, conduct and condition, CBS and Warner Bros. Television have decided to discontinue production of ‘Two and a Half Men’ for the remainder of the season,” CBS said in a statement late Thursday night. Sheen called into a nationally syndicated radio show on Thursday and unleashed a shocking rant in which he attacked Alcoholics Anonymous and his hit CBS show. “I was told if I went on the attack, they would cancel the show and all that and so I’m just sort of seeing if they’re telling the truth or not,” Charlie claimed to host Alex Jones in an interview for his radio show, “The Alex Jones Show,” on Thursday, referring to his CBS bosses.

Music news –

Diana Ross will deliver her first television performance in four years when she’s a guest on Oprah later this month. The former Supremes singer will perform her hit “I’m Coming Out,” and sit down with the talk-show host for her first interview with all of her five children and her grandson on the Feb. 25 episode.

Lady Gaga first conquered Twitter – nabbing more followers than anyone else – and now the singer has broken a record on iTunes. The singer’s first single off her new album, “Born This Way,” has become the fastest-selling single ever on the popular music download service, selling more than one million downloads in just five days, Apple announced.

Lady Gaga returned to New York City on Monday night wowing a sold-out Madison Square Garden full of Little Monsters! “New York City, did you guys come to party tonight?” she asked fans after making her entrance. “The Monster Ball will set you free.” The Grammy-winning singer taped the first of two concerts, which will be used for her upcoming HBO special on May 7. “My name is Lady Gaga, and I was born and raised in the unbreakable streets of New York City,” she reportedly told the crowd. “Thank you so much. Tonight, I want you to forget all of your insecurities because I didn’t used to be brave but you have made me brave, Little Monsters.”

Justin Bieber has a 17th birthday coming up (March 1)- and he’s as hot as ever. His movie, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, has grossed $51,237,000 in its first two weekends; he’s on the cover of the current issue of Rolling Stone; and now his hit EP Never Say Never: The Remixes enters The Billboard 200 (album charts) at #1. It’s Bieber’s second #1 album, following last year’s My World 2.0. Only three other artists in chart history have landed a pair of #1 albums before their 17th birthdays. Miley Cyrus had her second #1 album (counting Hannah Montana) when she was 14 and seven months. LeAnn secured her second when she was 15. Nick Jonas of Jonas Brothers had his second when he was 16 and nine months. All four of Bieber’s albums are listed in the top 40 this week. My World 2.0 drops from #3 to #8. My Worlds Acoustic drops from #10 to #18. My World jumps from #39 to #31. Billboard’s Keith Caulfield reports that Bieber is the first artist to put four albums in the top 40 simultaneously since Garth Brooks in January 1993.

Eminem might have lost out on his bid for the Grammy’s Album of the Year, but that hasn’t weakened his following one bit. The rapper continued his recent siege on social networks and digital media by officially overtaking Lady Gaga as the most “liked” artist on Facebook. With over 28,883,000 “likes” at press time, Eminem has narrowly surpassed Lady Gaga’s “like” tally of 28,872,000, and with Em averaging over a half-million “likes” a week according to FameCount, the rapper will only widen the gap between himself and Gaga.

Music Industry At A Glance… In the U.S., music sales peaked in 1999 at about $14.6 billion (at list prices). In 2009, sales were at $7.78 billion, 53% of the peak. But if you account for inflation, sales are only at 40% of the peak. 2010 numbers haven’t been released yet, but my bet is that they come in at about $6.5 billion. Several CDs recently made #1 on the Billboard charts by selling the least amount of albums in a week ever necessary to make the top position. Although there are many reasons why music sales have deteriorated (fragmentation of the market, aging of baby boomers, piracy, lack of radio support, competition for free time, the economy, labels run by accountants instead of music people, etc.), the biggest is that the move to virtual media has also meant a move away from the album and back to the single. The single worked in the 1950′s and early 60′s because artists used to go into a studio and record three tracks in a few hours. But today, when the big artists fool around for a year and record, mix and master with different engineers and frequently different producers in different studios, the economics simply don’t work.

Passing – Suze Rotolo, Bob Dylan’s longtime girlfriend during his fledgling days as a Greenwich Village folk singer and the woman who appears alongside him on the famous cover of “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,” – at her home in Manhattan following a long illness, Rolling Stone reports. Rotolo was 67. In addition to forever being captured on the Don Hunstein-photographed “Freewheelin’ ” cover, Rotolo’s three-year relationship with Dylan, from 1961 to 1964, also inspired him to write three of his early love songs, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” “Tomorrow is a Long Time,” and “Boots of Spanish Leather

Top albums this week in 2011 –

Never Say Never: The Remixes – Justin Bieber

NOW 37

Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons

Doo-Wops & Hooigans – Bruno Mars

Need You Now – Lady Antebellum

Recovery – Eminem

Loud – Rihanna

2011 Grammy Nominees

My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber

The Suburbs – Arcade Fire

Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

Pink Friday – Nicki Minaj

Greatest Hits… So Far!!! – P!nk

The People’s Key – Bright Eyes

My Kinda Party – Jason Aldean

My Worlds Acoustic – Justin Bieber

Aftermath – Hillsong United

Love Letter – R. Kelly

Lungs – Florence + The Machine

The Lady Killer – Cee Lo Green

You Get What You Give – Zac Brown Band

The Fame – Lady Gaga

Brothers – The Black Keys

I Am Not A Human Being – Lil Wayne

Revolution – Miranda Lambert

Top movies this week –

Hall Pass (1st week – $13.5 million)

Gnomeo & Juliet

Unknown

I Am Number Four

Just Go With It

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never: The Director’s Fan Cut

Big Momas: Like Father, Like Son

The King’s Speech

Drive Angry 3D (1st week $5.1million)

True Grit

The Roommate

The Eagle

Hip Monday night television (TV Squad)
8PM

ABC: ‘The Bachelor’
CBS: ‘How I Met Your Mother’
NBC: ‘Chuck’
FOX: ‘House’
The CW: ’90210′
PBS: ‘Antiques Roadshow’
Disney XD: ‘Zeke and Luther’

8:15

Cartoon Network: ‘MAD’

.

8:30

CBS: ‘Mad Love’
Food Network: ‘Kid in a Candy Store’
Cartoon Network: ‘Regular Show’

9:00

NBC: ‘The Cape’
FOX: ‘The Chicago Code’
The CW: ‘Gossip Girl’
PBS: ‘American Experience’
ABC Family: ‘Greek’
USA: ‘WWE Monday Night RAW’
Syfy: ‘Being Human’
ESPN2: ’2011 BNP Paribas Showdown: Pete Sampras vs. Andre Agassi’
Food Network: ‘Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives’
Travel Channel: ‘Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations’ (season premiere)
BBC America: ‘Top Gear’
TLC: ‘Cake Boss’
Biography: ‘Shatner’s Raw Nerve’ (two episodes)
Oxygen: ‘The Bad Girls Club: Flo Gets Married’

9:30

CBS: ‘Mike & Molly’
TLC: ‘Outrageous Kid Parties’

10:00

ABC: ‘Castle’
NBC: ‘Harry’s Law’
TLC: ’19 Kids and Counting’
A&E: ‘Heavy’
Bravo: ‘Bethenny Ever After’
MTV: ‘Skins’
E!: ‘Fashion Police’

Late-Night Talk Shows

11:00

PBS: ‘Charlie Rose’: Mike Huckabee and Nassim Nicholas Taleb
TBS: ‘Conan’: Marisa Tomei, Harland Williams, and Fritz & the Tantrums
Comedy Central: ‘The Daily Show’: Howard Stern
E!: ‘Chelsea Lately’: Adele
BET: ‘The Mo’Nique Show’: Delroy Lindo, Coco Crisp and Kandi Burress

11:30

Comedy Central: ‘The Colbert Report’: Michael Scheur

11:35

ABC: ‘Nightline’: TBA
CBS: ‘The Late Show With David Letterman’: Brian Williams, Trey Parker, Matt Stone and the Zac Brown Band
NBC: ‘The Tonight Show’: Christina Applegate, John Fulton and Michael Fulton

Midnight

ABC: ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live: Bill Maher and Esperanza Spalding
PBS: ‘Tavis Smiley’: Charles Ferguson
TBS: ‘Lopez Tonight’: Owen Wilson, Aly Michalka and Terry Fator

12:35

CBS: ‘The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson’: Isaac Mizrahi and Patton Oswalt
NBC: ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’: Topher Grace, Jim Gaffigan and Glasser

1:35

NBC: ‘Last Call With Carson Daly’: Nate Corddry, Troupe Vertigo and Off (repeat)