Week In Review – August 15, 2011
Compiled By Gary West @ mrpopculture.com
In The News –
Bomb blasts ripped through more than a dozen Iraqi cities Monday morning, killing 56 people — most of them in the southern city of Kut — in a wave of violence that shattered what had been a relatively peaceful holy month of Ramadan. The violence struck from the northern city of Kirkuk to the capital of Baghdad to the southern Shiite cities of Najaf, Kut and Karbala, and emphasized the persistent ability of insurgents to wreak havoc at a time when Iraqi officials are weighing whether they are able to protect the country without the assistance of American troops.
The leaders of France and Germany meet for high-pressure talks on Tuesday to discuss what further measures they can take to shore up investor confidence in the euro zone following a dramatic market sell-off last week. President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are under pressure to show financial markets they are in agreement on doing more to shore up the embattled currency union — or risk watching the euro zone unravel. The two leaders could discuss obliging all euro zone countries to pass national laws on deficit limits and the idea of a permanent euro zone spokesperson or coordinator, a source close to the talks told Reuters.
Barack Obama hit the road Monday for his three-day Midwestern bus tour toting an array of political baggage: a downgraded national credit rating, a faltering economy, a stretch of wild market vicissitudes, an approval rating that by one measure has slumped to a historical low of 39%.
A parasite known as the “brain-eating amoeba” has claimed its second young American victim this month. Christian Strickland, a 9-year-old from Henrico County in Virginia contracted an infection after visiting a fishing camp in his state. He died of meningitis on August 5. This week, health department officials confirmed that the deadly amoeba–officially known as “Naegleria fowleri”–was to blame. “Sadly, we have had a Naegleria infection in Virginia this summer,” Dr. Keri Hall of the Virginia Department of Health, told the press. “It’s important that people be aware of . . . safe swimming messages.” Earlier this month, Courtney Nash died to the brain-eating amoeba after diving off a dock into the St. John’s River at her grandmother’s house in Florida.
Tampa police arrested an expelled student after thwarting what they called a “catastrophic” plot to set off a bomb at his former high school next week, authorities said Wednesday. Police Chief Jane Castor said Jared Cano (), 17, had threatened to plant a device at Freedom High School in north Tampa and discharge it on the first day of school Tuesday. He was arrested Tuesday night after someone tipped off police about the plot.
Gunmen killed seven people in southern Israel on Thursday in attacks along the Egyptian border and Israel responded with an air strike in the Gaza Strip that killed six Palestinians, including the leaders of a group it blamed for the violence. The series of assaults on a desert road north of Israel’s Red Sea resort of Eilat drew Israeli accusations that Egypt’s new rulers were losing their grip on the porous frontier.
More signs of economic weakness triggered a global sell-off in stocks Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 400 points in a return to the wild swings in the market last week. In the United States, there were reports that more people joined the unemployment line last week than a week earlier, gasoline prices contributed to higher inflation and manufacturing slowed in the mid-Atlantic.
Syrian forces shot dead 20 protesters on Friday despite a pledge by President Bashar al-Assad that a crackdown was over, activists said as thousands marched across Syria, spurred on by U.S. and European calls for him to step down.
A suicide bomber struck a mosque in a Pakistani tribal region during Friday prayers, officials said, killing at least 40 people and wounding 85 others in the deadliest attack in the country in recent weeks. The attack came during the holy month of Ramadan, a time of fasting, sharing and heightened community spirit for Muslims.
() Burger King Corp. on Friday said it is retiring “The King” mascot, a man with an oversized plastic head and creepy smile who in recent years has been shown in ads peeping into people’s windows and popping up next to them in bed. The move is an effort by the struggling fast food chain to boost slumping sales by focusing its marketing on the freshness of its food rather than the funny-factor of its ads. It’s rolling out a new campaign on Saturday sans The King to tout its fresh ingredients and new products like its California Whopper, which has guacamole.
A chartered Boeing 737 plane crashed Saturday afternoon in Canada’s Arctic region, killing 12 people, police said. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the plane went down near the hamlet of Resolute Bay in the Arctic territory of Nunavut. The First Air charter flight was traveling from Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories to Resolute Bay, and was scheduled to continue on to Grise Fiord on Ellesmere Island.
People freed in Tripoli – Muammar Gaddafi was a hunted man as loyal remnants of his forces made a last-ditch stand in the capital and world leaders embraced the fractious Libyan rebels as new masters of the oil-rich North African state.
Nearly 48 hours after a pincer thrust on Tripoli by the irregular rebel armies, launched in tandem with an uprising in the city, Gaddafi’s tanks and sharpshooters appeared to hold only small areas, including his Bab al-Aziziya headquarters. Civilians, who mobbed the streets late on Sunday to cheer the end of dictatorship, stayed indoors as gunfire crackled. Gaddafi’s prime minister showed up in Tunisia. State television went off the air and rebels said they had seized its transmitters. More Libyan embassies abroad hoisted the rebel flag.
A wingwalker at an air show near Detroit fell to his death on Sunday, after he tried to transfer from an aircraft to a helicopter and plunged about 200 feet to the ground, officials said. The death of wingwalker Todd Green comes one day after an aerobatic flyer crashed and died at a Kansas City, Missouri, air show and a British Royal Air Force “Red Arrows” pilot crashed and died at an air festival on the coast of England.
Tech news –
Google Inc will buy phone hardware maker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc for $12.5 billion to bolster adoption of its Android mobile software and compete with smartphone rival Apple Inc. In its biggest deal to date, Google said it would pay $40 per share in cash, a 63 percent premium to Motorola Mobility’s Friday closing price on the New York Stock Exchange. “What it says is that Google wants to provide a total experience that’s hardware and software (like Apple),” said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis.
Hewlett-Packard is taking a hatchet to its business and doing some radical restructuring. The company said Thursday that it is looking to spin off its industry-leading but struggling personal computer business. HP also killed off the TouchPad tablet it launched last month, as well as its webOS smartphone line.
Prince Harry, 27, will be spending time in the Golden State plus Arizona for a series of Apache helicopter training courses. The exact locations and dates of the “spare heir’s” visit have yet to be disclosed. Called “Exercise Crimson Eagle,” the California and Arizona training features “environmental training, live firing and tactical exercises,” the rep explains.
Despite a promising start last year, Conan O’Brien’s TBS talk show has steadily lost viewers — and TBS is investing heavily to stop the slide. TBS’s great red hope is tanking. A new Wall Street Journal report on the network’s late-night talk show, Conan, details just how big an investment its hiring of host Conan O’Brien has been — and just how poorly that investment has paid off this past year. And TBS’s “Conan O’Brien experiment” is about to get even more expensive.
( Kim Kardashian Marries – Kim Kardashian finally took her walk down the aisle on Saturday and married Kris Humphries with a reported 440 guests in attendance. Escorted by stepfather Bruce Jenner, the bride proceeded down the aisle in a strapless Vera Wang wedding dress, witnessed by her expansive reality show family, including Kris Jenner, bridesmaids Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and Kim’s matron and maid of honor, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, with their men.
Lil Wayne said he is recovering after gashing his head at a St. Louis-area skateboard park. The 28-year-old rapper whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. was in suburban St. Louis Sunday for a performance at the outdoor Verizon Amphitheatre. KTVI-TV reported that Lil Wayne, accompanied by a large entourage, showed up Sunday at DePaul Health Center’s emergency room. Hospital spokeswoman Jamie Newell said she could not confirm Lil Wayne was at the hospital, citing privacy laws. But Lil Wayne wrote about it on his Twitter account. “The Lou was good but I busted my … head at the sk8park! 9stitches! Gnarly gash over my left eye! Luv the people,” he wrote.
Hot hits this week in 2011:
Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO fea. Lauren Bennet & GoonRock
Super Bass – Nicki Minaj
( Moves Like A Jagger – Maroon 5 fea. Christina Aguilera
Lighters – Bad meets Evil fea. Bruno Mars
Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) – Katy Perry
Give Me Everything – Pitbull fea. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer
Pumped Up Kicks – Foster The Peole
I Wanna Go – Britney Spears
Good Life – OneRepublic
How To Love – Lil Wayne
Tonight Tonight – Hot Chelle Rae
Headlines – Drake
Rolling In The Deep – Adele
The Edge of Glory – Lady Gaga
If I Die Young – The Band Perry
I’m On One – DJ Khaled fea. Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne
Stereo Hearts – Gym Class Heroes fea. Adam Levine
Best Thing I Never Had – Beyonce
Remind Me – Brad Paisley With Carrie Underwood
Dirt Road Anthem – Jason Aldean
Knee Deep – Zac Brown Band fea. Jimmy Buffett
Motivation – Kelly Rowland fea. Lil Wayne
Just A Kiss – Lady Antebellum
You Make Me Feel – Cobra Starship fea. Sabi
Cheers (Drink To That) – Rihanna
Just A Kiss – Lady Antebellum
Top TV –
|1.||America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday)||NBC|
|3.||America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday)||NBC|
|5.||NCIS: Los Angeles||CBS|
|6.||Big Brother 13″ (Sunday)||CBS|
|7.||Big Brother 13″ (Wednesday)||CBS|
|8.||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||CBS|
|9.||Big Brother 13″ (Thursday)||CBS|
|10.||CMA Music Festival||ABC|
|12.||Hell’s Kitchen” (Monday)||FOX|
|14.||The Big Bang Theory||CBS|
|15.||Hell’s Kitchen” (Tuesday)||FOX|
|16.||The Mentalist” (Tuesday)||CBS|
|19.||So You Think You Can Dance” (Thursday)||FOX|
|20.||Master Chef” (Tuesday)||FOX|
At the movies –
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Spy Kids: All the Time In The World (1st week $12 million)
Conan the Barbarian (1st week $10 million)
Final Destination 5
30 Minutes or Less
Crazy, Stupid Love