A Complete Look At The Week Of May 22-May 31 In Pop Culture, News, Tech, Entertainment And More.
Compiled By Gary West @ mrpopculture.com
In The News -
Seventeen bombs exploded Sunday within hours of one another in Baghdad, killing at least 19 people and wounding more than 80, Iraqi authorities said. The bombings came the same day Britain wrapped up its military mission in Iraq, leaving a predominantly American military presence that is expected to disappear by the end of the year under a U.S.-Iraqi security pact that requires U.S. troops to withdraw from the country. The blasts Sunday were the latest in a spate in recent weeks that have raised concerns about Iraq’s ability to protect itself. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said he plans to meet with Iraqi political leaders this month to discuss whether to request U.S. troops remain in Iraq beyond the Jan. 1, 2012, withdrawal deadline.
The Los Angeles police chief says a tip from a parole officer led to the arrest of one of the suspects in the attack on a San Francisco Giants fan outside Dodger Stadium after the rival teams’ season opener. At an afternoon news conference at the stadium, Chief Charlie Beck said the man detained early Sunday is believed to be the “main aggressor” in the March 31 beating that left Bryan Stow with brain damage.
Spanish cyclist (Video) was killed in a freak accident on Monday in which he was crushed between his car and a garage door at a ski resort in southern Spain, a police source said. Tondo, 32, was in his car about to leave the garage of an apartment building of the Sierra Nevada resort Monday morning to continue training for the Tour de France. For reasons that remain unclear, he got out of the vehicle and became trapped between his car and the automatic door of the garage, a police source in the nearby city of Granada said.
A massive tornado that tore a 6-mile path across southwestern Missouri killed at least 123 with 750 people injured and many more missing, authorities said on Tuesday. Iit slammed into the city of Joplin, ripping into a hospital, crushing cars like soda cans and leaving a forest of splintered tree trunks behind where entire neighborhoods once stood. Authorities warned that the death toll could climb as search and rescue workers continued their efforts. Their task was made more miserable as a new thunderstorm with strong winds, heavy rain pelted part of the city with quarter-sized hail.
Violent thunderstorms roared across middle America on Tuesday(May24), killing six people in two states, with several tornadoes touching down in Oklahoma and high winds pounding rural Kansas. The high-powered storms arrived as forecast, just two days after a massive tornado tore through the southwest Missouri town of Joplin and killed 122 people.
Regulators launched one of the biggest ever crackdowns on oil price manipulation on Tuesday, suing two well-known traders and two trading firms owned by Norwegian billionaire John Fredriksen for allegedly making $50 million by squeezing markets in 2008. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said traders James Dyer of Oklahoma’s Parnon Energy, and Nick Wildgoose of Europe-based Arcadia Energy, amassed large physical positions at a key U.S. trading hub to create the impression of tight supplies that would boost oil prices. Later they dumped those barrels back onto the market, causing prices to crash and racking up profits from short positions they had accrued in futures markets, the suit said. “Defendants conducted a manipulative cycle, driving the price of WTI (crude) to artificial highs and then back down, to make unlawful profits,” the lawsuit filed in New York said.
Elizabeth Smart says she was thrilled with the two life sentences given to the man who kidnapped her from the bedroom of her Utah home nearly nine years ago. Smart said at a news conference Wednesday after the hearing that she fully believes defendant David Brian Mitchell knew exactly what he was doing when he abducted and raped her, despite arguments by his lawyers for years that he was mentally incompetent to stand trial.
Fierce fighting among apparent rival drug gangs in western Mexico bloodied one highway with 28 dead, while in a nearby state more than 700 people huddled in shelters after fleeing villages that had become battlegrounds. The violence, which appeared to be unrelated, escalated Wednesday(May25) in the western states of Nayarit and Michoacan, where drug cartels have been warring for territory.
Gen. Ratko Mladic, the brutal Bosnian Serb general suspected of leading the bloody massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys, was arrested in an early morning raid Thursday in Serbia after more than a decade hiding from genocide charges, the country’s president said. The arrest 16 years after Mladic was indicted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal could be a jolt for Serbia’s lagging efforts to join the European Union.
Yemen – More than 40 Yemenis were killed in pitched street battles in the capital on Thursday as fighting aimed at ending President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s three-decade-long rule threatened to ignite civil war.
The Supreme Court upheld an Arizona law Thursday that penalizes businesses for hiring workers who are in the United States illegally, rejecting arguments that states have no role in immigration matters. By a 5-3 vote, the court said that federal immigration law gives states the authority to impose sanctions on employers who hire unauthorized workers. The ruling cheered supporters of tougher immigration laws who said it would encourage states to take new steps, especially in the employment area.
Egypt lifted a four-year-old blockade on the Gaza Strip’s main link to the outside world Saturday(May28), bringing relief to the crowded territory’s 1.5 million Palestinians but deepening a rift with Israel since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year.
The Egyptian move will allow thousands of Gazans to move freely in and out of the area — heightening Israeli fears that militants and weapons could easily reach its doorstep.
Seven more people were confirmed dead over the last 24 hours, bringing the number of fatalities from the powerful Joplin tornado to 139, the city confirmed on Saturday(May28).
The tornado, already the deadliest single twister in the United States since 1947, injured more than 900 people, though officials said that figure could be higher because some people did not go to hospitals.
Archaeologists recovered the first anchor from what’s believed to be the wreck of the pirate Blackbeard’s flagship off the North Carolina coast Friday, a move that might change plans about how to save the rest of the almost 300-year-old artifacts from the central part of the ship.
A massive and unprecedented outbreak of bacterial infections linked to contaminated vegetables claimed two more lives in Europe on Tuesday, driving the death toll to 16. The number of sick rose to more than 1,150 people in at least eight nations. Nearly 400 people in Germany were battling a severe and potentially fatal version of the infection that attacks the kidneys. A U.S. expert said doctors had never seen so many cases of the condition, hemolytic uremic syndrome, tied to a foodborne illness outbreak before.
The Illinois House of Representatives on Monday passed a gambling expansion bill that would bring a casino to Chicago. The measure passed by a vote of 65-50. New Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel supports having a casino in the city and urged the state’s Senate to “act swiftly to pass this bill.”
House Republicans dealt defeat to their own proposal for a $2.4 trillion increase in the nation’s debt limit Tuesday, a political gambit designed to reinforce a demand for spending cuts to accompany any increase in government borrowing. The vote was lopsided, with just 97 in favor of the measure and 318 against. House Democrats accused the GOP of political demagoguery, while the Obama administration maneuvered to avoid taking sides — or giving offense to majority Republicans.
Passing – Former Texas Governor Bill Clements, who was the state’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction when he took office in 1979, has died at the age of 94. His family said in a statement that he died after a brief hospital stay surrounded by his wife, daughter, and numerous family members. He had been ill for several months, the statement said. Clements, who served two terms as governor, from 1979 to 1983 and from 1987 to 1991, was remembered by current Governor Rick Perry as “the father of the modern day Republican party” in the state.
Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter has a brain tumor that “appears to be malignant”, doctors at Duke University Medical Center said on Friday. The 11-times All-Star was diagnosed with four brain tumors in Florida last week and had biopsies done on one of them at Duke University in North Carolina earlier on Friday.
With the NFL lockout in full swing, John Elway must really be bored. Somehow Elway — the Denver Broncos vice president and Hall-of-Fame quarterback — became aware of the Fort Collins, Colo., punk band “Elway,” and decided he’s just not cool with the group using his surname. The Broncos legend’s lawyer has requested that the band change its name, but stopped short of suing or issuing a cease and desist order.
NFL quarterback Tony Romo and girlfriend Candice Crawford got hitched at Arlington Hall in Dallas, Texas on Saturday evening. Over 600 guests were invited to the nuptials.
Wins The Indy 500 – The race car sponsored by Justin Timberlake’s’s William Rast clothing line won the Indy 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana on Sunday.”What a Memorial Day weekend!” the singer-actor tweeted. “The William Rast car just won the Indy 500!” The car, driven by racing veteran Dan Wheldon, beat out 32 other drivers for the coveted Borg-Warner Trophy.
Tech news –
Yahoo is rolling out an upgraded version of its e-mail service to its 284 million users. The revamped service, which will become available to users in the coming weeks, will be twice as fast as previous versions and integrate more seamlessly with social networks. “This latest version of Yahoo! Mail is faster, safer, easier to use, and offers a seamless experience across PC, mobile and tablet devices,” said David McDowell, a director of product management for the company. Users of the new service will be able to respond instantly to messages from Facebook from their inbox while sharing notifications from Twitter, Facebook and Zynga via a new Updates tab.
A computer security researcher has found a flaw in Microsoft Corp’s widely used Internet Explorer browser that he said could let hackers steal credentials to access FaceBook, Twitter and other websites. He calls the technique “cookiejacking.” “Any website. Any cookie. Limit is just your imagination,” said Rosario Valotta, an independent Internet security researcher based in Italy. Hackers can exploit the flaw to access a data file stored inside the browser known as a “cookie,” which holds the login name and password to a web account, Valotta said via email. Once a hacker has that cookie, he or she can use it to access the same site, said Valotta, who calls the technique “cookiejacking.”
Calling the case a “brazen and outrageous fraud,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg urged a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit by a New York man claiming he owns a huge stake in the social networking website. In a filing Thursday with the U.S. District Court in Buffalo, New York, Facebook Inc and Zuckerberg said the lawsuit by Paul Ceglia is based on a “doctored contract and fabricated evidence.” They also called the plaintiff “an inveterate scam artist whose misconduct extends across decades and borders.” Ceglia, a wood pellet salesman from Wellsville, New York, has contended that he contracted in 2003 for 50 percent of Zuckerberg’s interest in what became Facebook. Facebook is privately held, but analysts have said it could be worth $70 billion should it go public, perhaps in 2012. Forbes magazine in March estimated Zuckerberg’s net worth at $13.5 billion.
Apple has confirmed maybe the worst kept secret in Silicon Valley: It’s been working on a cloud service, and will announce it at the June 6 Worldwide Developers Conference. So now we know annual developer’s conference will unveil “iCloud®, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering,” but we don’t know yet what it is, or what exactly will reside at the domain name it may have bought for $4.5 million in April.
Intel plans to unveil something called “Ultrabook” – a slim laptop that will run on its second-generation core chips. Look for it later this year.
iCloud could be the mythical iTunes streaming service, a possibility that is looking increasingly likely now that Apple has most of the major record labels signed up for it, in a space pioneered by Amazon and Google, which has no such deals. Or it could be Apple’s version of DropBox, the amazing sync and storage service that currently glues together the whole iOS ecosystem along with its desktop service.
PayPal is suing Google for allegedly stealing its employees and trade secrets that may have led to the launch of Google’s mobile payment service. The 28-page lawsuit, filed in a superior court in San Jose, Calif., late Thursday, accuses Google) and two former PayPal employees who now work at Google of implementing PayPal’s confidential trade secrets related to mobile payment technology. This as Former PayPal employees Stephanie Tilenius and Osama Bedier announce the launch of Google Wallet in New York, Thursday.
Entertainment News –
Lady Gaga fans were delighted Monday to learn that they could download her new album, Born This Way, from Amazon for a mere $.99 — until, of course, technical difficulties set in. Downloads of the album are delayed, leaving folks unable to get the entire album immediately upon purchase. Amazon issued the following statement: “Amazon is experiencing high volume and downloads are delayed. If customers order today, they will get the full Lady Gaga, Born This Way album for $0.99. Thanks for your patience.”
The animated series starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a superhero is officially on hold. The companies behind “The Governator” said Friday they have stopped working on the budding franchise that Schwarzenegger helped announce to much fanfare in Cannes, France, last month. “In light of recent events, A Squared Entertainment, POW, Stan Lee Comics, and Archie Comics, have halted production” on the project, the companies said in a written statement. There is no word when or if production on the planned TV series, comic book, movie and video game will resume. “The Governator” is to star Schwarzenegger as a superhero living a double life: A family man and former governor who secretly fights global villainy and modern-day disasters alongside a team of hip teenagers.
Joseph Brooks, the Academy Award-winning songwriter of “You Light Up My Life” who was awaiting trial on charges of sexually assaulting more than a dozen women, was found dead Sunday of an apparent suicide in his Manhattan apartment, police said. Brooks, 73, was discovered in his Upper East Side apartment around 12:30 p.m. by a friend with whom he had planned to have lunch, police spokesman Paul Browne said. It was not immediately clear how long his body had been there. Brooks’ death comes five months after his son was arrested in an unrelated, high-profile case. The son is charged with murdering his girlfriend, whose body was found in December in an overflowing bathtub at a swank hotel in SoHo.
“Planet of the Apes” actress and former model Estella Warren was arrested after a late-night crash that led to her allegedly assaulting a police officer then trying to flee from custody, officials said Tuesday. Warren was driving down Harper Avenue near West Hollywood when she crashed into three parked cars, Los Angeles police Officer Sarah Faden said. Someone heard the noise of the crashes and came to see what was going on. That person called police then pursued Warren when it was clear she wasn’t going to stop and leave her information, Faden said.
Justin Bieber had an amazing night at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards that included six awards –and a kiss from Selena Gomez. ( The 17-year-old singing sensation took home a slew of awards at the Las Vegas awards show, including Digital Artist of the Year, Top New Artist and the Fan Favorite award and before be took to the stage to accept his New Artist award, he planted a kiss on Selena who he was sitting with him in the audience. On stage, he didn’t thank Selena specifically, but gave shout outs to “my whole family, [talent manager] Scooter Braun, Usher – basically everyone who helped me get out of my hometown and live my dream.”
Lindsay Lohan’s father has pleaded not guilty to attacking his ex-girlfriend during an argument earlier this year in California. Michael Lohan entered the plea to misdemeanor domestic violence battery Monday in Beverly Hills. He was arrested in March after his ex-girlfriend, Kate Major, accused him of abusing her and preventing her from calling 911.
Passing – Phyllis Avery, who played the wife of Ray Milland in 75 episodes of the 1953-55 CBS comedy “Meet Mr. McNulty,” died May 19 of heart failure at her home in Los Angeles. She was 88. In “McNulty” (later called “The Ray Milland Show”), Milland played a professor at a college for girls, with Avery as his wife, Peggy. During her 50-year career, the petite blonde also co-starred in the 1960-62 CBS soap opera “The Clear Horizon” and on such shows as “Peter Gunn,” “Have Gun — Will Travel,” “The Rifleman,” “The Millionaire,” “Rawhide” and “Perry Mason.”
Passing – Longtime CNBC anchor Mark Haines has died Wednesday. He was 65. He died unexpectedly at his home Tuesday night, according to CNBC, which did not offer a cause of death.
Goodbye Oprah – Oprah Winfey signed off her long-running talk show, Wednesday(May25) in an emotional hour that featured just one guest: Winfrey herself. Surrounded by 300 audience members and celeb pals like Maria Shriver, Gayle King and Winfrey’s longtime beau, Stedman Graham, the host, 57, described her talk show exit as “all sweet, no bitter.” “There are no words to match this moment,” Winfrey said in the show’s opening moments. “This show has been going on for 4561 days of my life.” Later, the host recalled her early days on the Chicago-based series, sans a stylist and publicist. “[I had] just a Jheri Curl and a bad fur coat,” she joked.
Actress Lindsay Lohan turned herself in to Los Angeles jail authorities early on Thursday and has begun serving a sentence for jewelry theft under house arrest, officials said. Lohan, 24, turned up at a Los Angeles jail at 5 am on Thursday, according to official records.
Left-leaning Ed Schultz has been suspended from MSNBC for referring to fellow host Laura Ingraham as a “right-wing slut” and “talk slut” on his syndicated show Tuesday. In a statement released Wednesday, the cable channel said: “MSNBC management met with Ed Schultz this afternoon and accepted his offer to take one week of unpaid leave for the remarks he made yesterday on his radio program. Ed will address these remarks on his show tonight, and immediately following begin his leave. Remarks of this nature are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
An appeals court on Friday(May 27) refused to reconsider music producer Phil Spector’s appeal of his murder conviction, saying there was overwhelming evidence of his guilt. The California 2nd District Court of Appeal panel acknowledged it did not consider an issue that defense lawyers now say was critical to his conviction. The panel blamed the lawyers for failing to sufficiently brief the point and said they had no obligation to consider it.
Amercian Idol Season #10 Winner – Beam Him Up – Scotty McCreery! Runner up is Lauren Alainia. 122 million votes were cast.
Lady Gaga and Rihanna – (Friday May 27) kIcked off summer music on Friday with two morning concerts in New York City. Mama Monster and her Little Monsters stormed Central Park for a concert on “Good Morning America.” Meanwhile, Rihanna did her thing for the “Today” show over at Rockefeller Plaza.
Passing – Jeff Conaway, who starred in the sitcom “Taxi,” played swaggering Kenickie in the movie musical “Grease” and publicly battled drug and alcohol addiction on “Celebrity Rehab,” died Friday. He was 60. The actor was taken off life support Thursday and died Friday morning at Encino Tarzana Medical Center, according to one of his managers, Kathryn Boole.
Chart-topping hip-hop star Sean Kingston remained hospitalized in intensive care on Monday, a day after his personal watercraft hit a bridge in Miami Beach, a spokesman for his record label said. Kingston, 21, and a female passenger were injured when the watercraft hit the Palm Island Bridge early Sunday evening. They were plucked from the water by a passing boater. The extent of their injuries was not known.
The former “Brady Bunch” middle child and the first “America’s Next Top Model” have gone their separate ways. After five years together, Christopher Knight (53), and Adrianne Curry, 28, have called it quits… on their five-year anniversary. “After starting a relationship with what seemed to be irreconcilable differences, the couple has reached a period where those differences are no longer appreciated. The decision was mutually reached after it became clear to both that some perspective was needed in order to assess their unique union. Not unlike all marriages, work must be put in,” the couple’s manager said in a statement.
Pollstar TOP 20 CONCERT TOURS
1. (1) Bon Jovi; $2,465,286; $103.09.
2. (2) Lady Gaga; $1,722,078; $96.77.
3. (3) Rod Stewart / Stevie Nicks; $1,455,243; $107.14.
4. (5) Elton John; $1,140,460; $95.44.
5. (4) Kenny Chesney; $1,127,293; $68.41.
6. (6) George Strait / Reba / Lee Ann Womack; $1,021,356; $74.72.
7. (7) Sugarland; $422,677; $48.27.
8. (8) Kid Rock; $409,670; $42.10.
9. (9) Jeff Dunham; $314,902; $47.70.
10. (10) Rain — A Tribute To The Beatles; $287,710; $68.18.
11. (New) Kem; $223,169; $58.80.
12. (13) James Taylor; $222,444; $76.33.
13. (11) Yanni; $221,929; $69.36.
14. (12) Avenged Sevenfold; $219,807; $36.13.
15. (15) Robert Plant And The Band Of Joy; $204,870; $63.80.
16. (14) “Music As A Weapon Tour” / Korn / Disturbed; $201,696; $47.59.
17. (16) Heart; $189,283; $70.29.
18. (17) Tiesto; $188,718; $58.52.
19. (18) Sarah McLachlan; $187,445; $62.03.
20. (19) “Riverdance”; $169,351; $58.22.
Top albums this week –
21 – Adele
Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray – Seether
Hot Sauce Committee Part Two – Beastie Boys
Turtleneck & Chain – The Lonely Island
Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons
Helplessness Blues – Fleet Foxes
Never Say Ever: The Remixes – Justin Bieber
Rome – Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi
Love? – Jennifer Lopez
II Volo – II Volo
Lovestrong. Chrstina Peri
Give Till It’s Gone – Ben Harper
Michael Grimm – Michael Grimm
Lemonade Mouth – soundtrack
19 – Adele
Doo-Wops & Hooligans – Bruno Mars
The Way It Was – Parachute
Wasting Light – Foo Fighters
Disc-Overy – Tinie Tempah
F.A.M.E. – Chris Brown
My World 2.0
In Your Dreams – Stevie Nicks
Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
At the movies –
The Hangover Part II (1st week $103 million)
Kung Fu Panda 2 (1st week $60 million)
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – (1st week $90 million)
Jumping The Broom
Water For Elephants
Tyler Perrys Madea’s Big Happy Family