Compiled By Gary West @ mrpopculture.com
Week of February 1, 2011
In The News –
Jordan’s King Abdullah II fired his government Tuesday (Feb.1) in the wake of street protests and asked an ex-prime minister to form a new Cabinet, ordering him to launch immediate political reforms.The dismissal follows several large protests across Jordan_ inspired by similar demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt — calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai, who is blamed for a rise in fuel and food prices and slowed political reforms.
Red light cameras are helping drivers remember that red means stop and are saving lives, according to a new study out Tuesday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The study concludes that the cameras have reduced the rate of fatal crashes by 24 percent in 14 large cities that introduced red light cameras between 1996 and 2004. “Red light cameras are working,” said institute President Adrian Lund. “There are hundreds of people who are alive because some communities had the courage to use this method of enforcement.”
Syrians are organizing campaigns on Facebook and Twitter that call for a “day of rage” in Damascus this week, taking inspiration from Egypt and Tunisia in using social networking sites to rally their followers for sweeping political reforms. Like Egypt and Tunisia, Syria suffers from corruption, poverty and unemployment. All three nations have seen subsidy cuts on staples like bread and oil. Syria’s authoritarian president has resisted calls for political freedoms and jailed critics of his regime.
More than a quarter-million people flooded Cairo’s main square Tuesday (Feb.1) in a stunning and jubilant array of young and old, urban poor and middle class professionals, mounting by far the largest protest yet in a week of unrelenting demands for President Hosni Mubarak to leave after nearly 30 years in power. The crowds — determined but peaceful — filled Tahrir, or Liberation, Square and spilled into nearby streets, among them people defying a government transportation shutdown to make their way from rural provinces.
The Dow Jones industrial average has closed above 12,000 for the first time in 2 1/2 years — yet another sign that the economy is extending its recovery from the recession.
President Barack Obama appeared on Tuesday to have persuaded his Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak, to take a middle course of promising to step aside later this year. It was unclear if that would satisfy the hundreds of thousands of protesters who gathered across Egypt to call on Mubarak to immediately relinquish power.
A massive storm billed as the worst in decades barreled toward the northeast Wednesday (Feb.2), leaving vast swaths from Chicago to New York paralyzed by snow and ice, stranding hundreds of motorists all night and shuttering airports and schools. Chicago had 19.5 inches of snow, ranking the storm the third-largest on record to hit the city with still more possible. As much as 1 1/2 feet fell in Missouri, more than a foot dropped on northern Indiana and southeast Kansas, and Oklahoma saw up to a foot.
The United States criticized the government of President Hosni Mubarak and condemned violence in Egypt’s capital as clashes between protesters and pro-government supporters demonstrated there would be no easy resolution to the unrest destabilizing America’s closest ally in the Arab world. A day after President Barack Obama pressed Mubarak to loosen his grip on power immediately, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the U.S. “deplores and condemns the violence that is taking place in Egypt.”
The Republicans effort to sink the Democrats’ health care overhaul fails. The repeal effort sank along party lines, 51-47 as expected. But in the process, Republicans forced Democrats on the record in favor of President Barack Obama’s signature overhaul and launched what they described as a two-year effort to discredit it in the lead-up to a bid for a second term.
Republicans now controlling the House promised Thursday to slash domestic agencies’ budgets by almost 20 percent for the coming year, the first salvo in what’s sure to be a bruising battle over their drive to cut spending to where it was before President Barack Obama took office.
Tens of thousands packed central Cairo Friday(Feb.4), waving flags and singing the national anthem, emboldened in their campaign to oust President Hosni Mubarak after they repelled pro-regime attackers in two days of bloody street fights. The U.S. was pressing Egypt for an immediate start to democratic transition, including a proposal for Mubarak to step down immediately.
Mark Kelly, astronaut husband of wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, will keep his seat on the space shuttle Endeavour’s final flight in April – a mission he will also command. Kelly had been debating whether to go through with the mission or stay by his wife’s side as she recovers. Giffords was shot in the head Jan. 8 at a constituent meeting at a Tucson, Ariz., grocery store. Since Jan. 21, she has been undergoing rehab at a hospital in Houston.
The top leadership body of Egypt’s ruling party resigned Saturday, including the president’s son, but the regime appeared to be digging in its heels, calculating that it can ride out street demonstrations and keep President Hosni Mubarak in office. The ruling party leaders who resigned included the country’s most powerful political figures — and its most unpopular among many Egyptians. The move may have been aimed at convincing protesters in the streets that the regime is sincere in implementing democratic reforms they demand.
Seamstresses, set designers and musicians watched in tears as firefighters struggled to control a blaze that raged through warehouses holding many of the elaborate costumes and floats they had assembled for this year’s samba parade. With just a month left before the March 6 start of the competition, there is no way to fully replace them.
Egypt’s vice president met a broad representation of major opposition groups for the first time Sunday and offered new concessions including freedom of the press, release of those detained since anti-government protests began nearly two weeks ago and the eventual lifting of the country’s hated emergency laws. Two of the groups that attended the meeting said this was only a first step in a dialogue which has yet to meet their central demand — the immediate ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak.
Authorities in northeast Ohio say a shooting at a fraternity house just north of the Youngstown State University campus killed one student and injured 11 people, including six students. Youngstown police Lt. Franklin Palmer says the shooting happened during a party early Sunday and no arrests have been made, but police have at least one suspect.
An Iranian court held closed-door proceedings Sunday to begin the espionage trial of three Americans – two in custody and one freed on bail – whose 18-month detention has been the subject of impassioned family appeals and backdoor outreach by Washington through an Arab ally in the Gulf. Iran’s state-run Press TV reported that not guilty pleas were submitted to the court by their attorney, but gave no other details. Details of the nearly five-hour hearing were not made public and it was unclear whether the two Americans in Iranian custody – Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal – were present in the Revolutionary Court, which deals with state security cases like those of people arrested in the violent aftermath of Iran’s disputed election in 2009.
President Barack Obama is telling business leaders that despite some strong disagreements, “we can and must work together.” Obama spoke Monday (Feb.7) morning at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is so close to the White House that Obama was able to walk across the street to make his comments. His appearance comes as Obama aims to smooth his relations with corporate leaders and persuade major businesses to spend their cash, expand hiring and promote economic growth.
Rio de Janeiro’s world-famed Carnival went up in flames Monday for thousands of people who spent nearly a year preparing for the spectacular event.
First iPad newspaper launched – News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch and a gaggle of tech and media chroniclers gathered Wednesday (Feb.2) at the Guggenheim Museum in New York for a first look at the debut edition of The Daily, News Corp.’s experimental iPad “newspaper.” Apple has sold 14.8 million iPads since its tablet hit the market in April. Murdoch said he expects the tablet audience to grow to more than 50 million within the next year. “The Daily” will cost about $40 a year.
According to a new Cisco forecast, in just four years two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video. How will wireless carriers keep up with this demand? The major providers are pinning their hopes on 4G wireless networks, which they say will be able to handle greater data loads.
AOL has announced that it plans to buy the Huffington Post for $315 million. Arianna Huffington will become editor in chief of all of AOL’s content sites, including TechCrunch and Engadget. According to Arianna’s memo to site contributors, nothing will be different except “more people reading what you wrote.
The NBA fined the New York Knicks $200,000 and team scout Rodney Heard $20,000 on Thursday for conducting illegal draft workouts. The league ruled that Heard, the Knicks’ director of East scouting, violated rules restricting contact between teams and players eligible for the draft in May 2007 and May 2010. Under the rules at that time, players were not eligible to be worked out for teams before the NBA’s predraft camp in May.
Super Bowl XLV scored with viewers, tying for the highest-rated NFL championship game according to overnight television ratings released Monday by Fox. The Green Bay Packers’ 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers earned a 47.9 market rating in 56 metered U.S. markets, an increase of 3 percent over last year’s game on CBS and tying it with Super Bowl XXI in 1987, according to News Corp’s Fox.
Music news –
Justin Bieber hits the court to headline the 2011 BBVA NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, as part of the NBA’s upcoming All-Star Weekend, on February 18 in Los Angeles.
Elton John on his friend Billy Joel and Joel’s rehap… “He’s going to hate me for this, but every time he goes to rehab they’ve been light,” the legendary singer — who went to rehab for drug and alcohol abuse in 1990 — tells the new issue of Rolling Stone, “When I went to rehab, I had to clean the floors. He goes to rehab where they have TVs.”But the Grammy-winner, 63, stresses that his words come from a caring place.
The Recording Academy is finally getting some satisfaction, with Mick Jagger’s first appearance on the Grammy stage. The Rolling Stones frontman will perform at the Feb. 13 ceremony as part of a tribute to soul great Solomon Burke, who died last year. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer opened for the Rolling Stones several times during his career comeback late in life.
Entertainment news –
Halle Berry has pulled out of a film job to prepare for a custody fight over her young daughter.A spokeswoman for the Oscar-winning actress says Berry backed out of a role in “New Year’s Eve” that was scheduled to shoot in New York this week “due to pending custody litigation involving her daughter.”
Television news –
ReelzChannel will air The Kennedys. The pickup comes nearly a month after A&E Television Networks abruptly dropped the project from its History channel — starring Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes as John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy, respectively — because it is “not a fit for the History brand.”
The original Ewings — Larry Hagman (J.R.), Patrick Duffy (Bobby) and Linda Gray (Sue Ellen) – have signed on to appear in the pilot reboot of “Dallas.” TNT announced the pilot of the new “Dallas” would feature the trio, who helped thrill America between 1978 and 1991, playing the high-living family from Southforth, Texas.
The red swimsuit that helped make “Charlie’s Angels” actress Farrah Fawcett a 1970s icon became part of the Smithsonian’s collection Wednesday on what would have been her 64th birthday. Fawcett’s longtime companion Ryan O’Neal presented the swimsuit and other items to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington. O’Neal said Fawcett, who died in 2009 after battling anal cancer for several years, always intended to give the suit to the museum.
Beavis and Butthead – MTV announces its once-popular cartoon about channel-surfing, heavy-metal-loving high school losers would return to the network this summer.
Actor Charlie Sheen hopes to be finished with rehab and back on the set of his top-rated TV comedy “Two and A Half Men” by the end of February. Production on the TV show, broadcast on CBS, was suspended after Sheen, 45, went into rehab at the weekend after being hospitalized following a reported 36-hour party at his home last week.
Dana Carvey returned to Saturday Night Live. Music guest was Justin Bieber.
The 16-year-old pop singer brought his million-dollar smile and “angel’s voice” to two sketches, turning both Carvey and Andy Sambert into fans.
Hot Hits This Week In 2011 –
Grenade- Bruno Mars
Firework – Katy Perry
F**kin’ Perfect – P!nk
Black and Yello – Wiz Khalifa
Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You) – Enrique Iglesias fea. Ludacrus & DJ Frank E
Hold It Against Me – Britney Spears
Hey Baby (Drop It To The Floor) – Pitbull fea. T-Pain
Rocketeer – Far East Movement
We R Who We R – Ke$ha
What’s My Name? – Rihanna
Coming Home – Diddy – Dirty Money fea. Skylar Grey
Raise Your Glass – P!nk
The Time (Dirty Bit) – The Black Eyed Peas
Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars
No Hands – Waka Flocka Flame fea. Roscoe Das and Wal
6 Foot 7 Foot – Lil Wayne fea. Cory Gunz
Yeah 3X – Chris Brown
Back to December – Taylor Swift
F**k You (Forget You) – Cee Lo Green
Stereo Love – Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina
Jar of Hearts – Christina Perri
More – Usher
Only Girl (In The World) – Rihanna
What the Hell – Avril Lavigne
Higher – Taio Cruz fea. Travie McCoy
Dynamite – Taio Cruz
At the movies this week –
The Roomate (1st week – $15 million)
Sanctum (1st week – $9.4 million)
No Strings Attached
The King’s Spech
The Green Hornet
Hip Tuesday night TV (TV Squad)
Cartoon Network: ‘Sym-Bionic Titan’
CBS: ‘Live to Dance’
NBC: ‘Minute to Win It’
FOX: ‘American Idol’
PBS: ‘Nova scienceNOW’
Travel Channel: ‘Deep Fried’
OWN: ‘Mystery Diagnosis’
Food Network: ‘Throwdown With Bobby Flay’
NBC: ‘Minute to Win It’
FOX: ‘Human Target’
DirecTV 101: ‘Friday Night Lights’
Syfy: ‘Ghost Hunters International’
Travel Channel: ‘Man vs. Food: Carnivore Chronicles’
TLC: ‘My Strange Addiction’
TruTV: ‘Operation Repo’
Showtime: ‘Inside the NFL’
ABC: ‘Cougar Town’
ABC: ‘Off the Map’
CBS: ‘Blue Bloods’
NBC: ‘Law and Order: SVU’
Bravo: ‘Top Chef’
TV Land: ‘Hot in Cleveland’
Syfy: ‘Face Off’
ID: ‘James Ellroy’s L.A.: City of Demons’
TV Land: ‘Retired at 35′
SoapNet: ‘Being Erica’
Late-Night Talk Shows
PBS: ‘Charlie Rose’: Annette Bening
TBS: ‘Conan’: Kobe Bryant
Comedy Central: ‘The Daily Show’: Matthew Perry
E!: ‘Chelsea Lately’: Rachel Bilson
BET: ‘The Mo’Nique Show’: Antoine Dodson, Will Moss, Dante Lee, the Gregory Brothers and Mindless Behavior
Comedy Central: ‘The Colbert Report’: Sean Kelly
ABC: ‘Nightline’: TBA
CBS: ‘The Late Show With David Letterman’: Kate Walsh, Jim Gaffigan and Boxer Rebellion
NBC: ‘The Tonight Show’: Jesse Eisenberg, Jennifer Lawrence, and Ryan Bingham
PBS: ‘Tavis Smiley’: Atul Gawande and Blythe Danner
TBS: ‘Lopez Tonight’: Mindy Kaling, Derek Fisher, Jasper Redd, and Arturo Sandoval
ABC: ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’: Josh Brolin and Tinie Tempah
CBS: ‘The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson’: Jim Parsons and Kurt Metzger
NBC: ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’: Samuel L. Jackson, Larry the Cable Guy and Phantogram
NBC: ‘Last Call With Carson Daly’: Rich Eisen, The Meltdown and Screaming Females
Top TV Shows –
|1.||American Idol” (Wednesday)||FOX|
|2.||American Idol” (Thursday)||FOX|
|3.||Hallmark Hall of Fame: “The Lost Valentine||CBS|
|4.||Pro Bowl: AFC vs. NFC||FOX|