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, Entertainment, Technology. A Complete Look At The Week Of February 1, 2011

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.

Technology -

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.

Sports –

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

The Rite

The Mechanic

True Grit

Black Swan

The Dilemma

The Fighter

Yogi Bear

Hip Tuesday night TV (TV Squad)

7PM

Cartoon Network: ‘Sym-Bionic Titan’

8:00

CBS: ‘Live to Dance’
NBC: ‘Minute to Win It’
FOX: ‘American Idol’
PBS: ‘Nova scienceNOW’
Travel Channel: ‘Deep Fried’
OWN: ‘Mystery Diagnosis’

8:30

Food Network: ‘Throwdown With Bobby Flay’

9:00

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’

9:30

ABC: ‘Cougar Town’

10:00

ABC: ‘Off the Map’
CBS: ‘Blue Bloods’
NBC: ‘Law and Order: SVU’
Bravo: ‘Top Chef’
TV Land: ‘Hot in Cleveland’
Syfy: ‘Face Off’
Spike: ‘MANswers’
ID: ‘James Ellroy’s L.A.: City of Demons’

10:30

TV Land: ‘Retired at 35′
Spike: ‘MANswers’

11:00

SoapNet: ‘Being Erica’

Late-Night Talk Shows

11:00

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

11:30

Comedy Central: ‘The Colbert Report’: Sean Kelly

11:35

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

Midnight

PBS: ‘Tavis Smiley’: Atul Gawande and Blythe Danner
TBS: ‘Lopez Tonight’: Mindy Kaling, Derek Fisher, Jasper Redd, and Arturo Sandoval

12:05AM

ABC: ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’: Josh Brolin and Tinie Tempah

12:35

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

1:35

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
5. NCIS CBS
6. Criminal Minds CBS
7. Blue Bloods CBS

This Week In History – Exactly Three Months Ago. Week of October 8, 2010. From The World’s Only Week-By-Week News and Pop Website.

From the www.mrpophistory.com and mrpopculture.com archives.

Week of October 8, 2010 in News and Pop Culture:

A mushrooming crisis over potential flaws in foreclosure documents is threatening to throw the real estate industry into chaos, as Bank of America on Friday became the first bank to stop taking back tens of thousands of foreclosed homes in all 50 states. The move, along with another decision on foreclosures by PNC Financial Services Inc., adds to growing concerns that mortgage lenders have been evicting homeowners using flawed court papers, without verifying the information in them.

In another White House shake up, President Barack Obama on Friday announced that his national security adviser, Gen. James Jones, was stepping down after helping to shape the foreign policy for nearly two years Tom Donilon, Jones’ deputy, will take over as the top security adviser.

China has long wanted a Nobel prize. Now that it has one, its leaders are furious. The Nobel committee awarded its peace prize to imprisoned democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo on Friday, lending encouragement to China’s dissident community and sending a rebuke to the authoritarian government, which sharply condemned the award

Abbott Laboratories says it is withdrawing its diet pill Meridia in the U.S. and Canada, almost a year after studies showed the drug increases the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with a history of heart disease. Meridia has been available in both countries for more than a decade. Abbott says it made the decision at the request of the Food and Drug Administration. Earlier in the day, Health Canada, the nation’s health department, announced the drug would come off the market there

Pakistan said Saturday (October 9) it will reopen a key border crossing and allow convoys to resume delivering supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan, ending a 10-day blockade during which trucks were stranded on their way to the border and almost 150 were destroyed by attackers. Pakistan closed the northwest crossing at Torkham on Sept. 30 in an apparent protest over a NATO helicopter incursion that killed two of its soldiers on the border.

Chile – Sixty-six days after their gold and copper mine collapsed above them, 33 miners were offered a way out Saturday as a drill broke through to their underground purgatory. They should be out in a matter of days. More later.

The Republican candidate for governor, Carl P. Paladino, told a gathering in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Sunday that children should not be “brainwashed” into thinking that homosexuality was acceptable, and criticized his opponent, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, for marching in a gay pride parade earlier this year. Addressing Orthodox Jewish leaders, Mr. Paladino described his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Two Americans and a British-Cypriot economist won the 2010 Nobel economics prize Monday for developing a theory that helps explain why many people can remain unemployed despite a large number of job vacancies. Federal Reserve board nominee Peter Diamond was honored along with Dale Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides with the 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.5 million) prize for their analysis of the obstacles that prevent buyers and sellers from efficiently pairing up in markets.

A train locomotive rammed through a stalled passenger bus on a railroad crossing in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, killing 43 people and injuring eight others as the bus was pushed 300 meters (yards) down the tracks. Investigators said the bus driver ignored the siren of the oncoming train, and the bus stalled on the tracks as the driver tried to shift gears. Witnesses said the driver also ignored a red light.

A federal judge Tuesday (October 12) ordered the government to stop banning openly gay men and women from serving in the military under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy”. U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips found the policy unconstitutional in September. On Tuesday, she rejected an Obama administration request to delay an injunction and ordered enforcement of the 17-year-old policy permanently stopped. The Justice Department has 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say the government is under no legal obligation to do so and they could let Phillips’ ruling stand.

The Obama administration on Tuesday lifted the moratorium on deepwater exploratory oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico — provided companies follow new safety rules. “Operators who play by the rules and clear the higher bar can be allowed to resume” drilling, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said at a news conference.

Officials in 50 states and the District of Columbia have launched a joint investigation into allegations that mortgage companies mishandled documents and broke laws in foreclosing on hundreds of thousands of homeowners. The states’ attorneys general and bank regulators will examine whether mortgage company employees made false statements or prepared documents improperly.
Chile’s trapped miners were shuttled up a narrow escape shaft to freedom and joyous reunions on Wednesday in a meticulously planned rescue operation that ended the longest underground entrapment in human history. One after another, the miners climbed into a missile-like steel capsule barely wider than a man’s shoulders and took a 15-minute journey through 2,000 feet of rock to the surface. All of the miners were freed Wednesday night in a rescue operation that advanced rapidly without hitches. Scenes of jubilation erupted each time a miner arrived to a hero’s welcome above the San Jose gold and copper mine in Chile’s northern Atacama desert. The last miner out was Luis Alberto Urzua, 54, the shift foreman credited with helping the trapped miners endure 17 days in isolation before Chileans discovered the men had survived the mine collapse.

More people applied for unemployment benefits last week, the first rise in three weeks and evidence that companies are reluctant to hire in a slow economy. Initial claims for unemployment rose by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 462,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was only the second rise in two months.

For the Senate – Trailing by double-digits in most polls, Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell went on the offensive Wednesday, attacking Democrat Chris Coons as a career politician with Marxist views who would raise taxes and rubber-stamp Democratic policies. Coons, meanwhile, during a nationally televised debate portrayed O’Donnell as an extremist more interested in clever sound bites than offering solutions to the problems confronting the nation.

Sudan – A former militia leader arrived in Southern Sudan’s capital Thursday to hold peace talks with the president and army leadership, part of an effort by the southern government to project unity ahead of a looming vote on self-determination. The oil-rich, mainly Christian south is due to hold a referendum on independence from the mainly Muslim north in January as part of a peace deal that ended a two-decades-long war between the regions. During that time, more than 2 million people were killed, often the result of the north arming southern groups and encouraging them to fight each other.

Obama’s Health Care Plan Will Have Its Day In Court – Crucial pieces of a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s health care overhaul can go to trial, with a judge ruling Thursday he wants to hear more arguments over whether it’s constitutional to force citizens to buy health insurance. In a written ruling, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson said it also needs to be decided whether it’s constitutional to penalize people who do not buy insurance with taxes and to require states to expand their Medicaid programs. Another federal judge in Michigan threw out a similar lawsuit last week. Vinson set a hearing for Dec. 16. The lawsuits will likely wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

After two days of silence, the Obama administration urged a federal judge on Thursday to let the military press on with its “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on gays serving openly in the military. Still, President Barack Obama insisted the policy that has divided the nation for two decades “will end on my watch.” The Pentagon said the military “will of course obey the law” and halt enforcement while the case is still in question. But gay rights advocates cautioned gay service members to avoid revealing their sexuality in the meantime.

For more than a year, CVS Pharmacy Inc. was more than a neighborhood drug store in Southern California and at least four other states. Federal authorities say it was the place of choice for would-be criminals known as “smurfers” to buy a key ingredient used to cook batches of the highly addictive drug methamphetamine. On Thursday, the nation’s largest operator of retail pharmacies announced it had agreed to pay $75 million in fines for allowing repeated purchases of pseudoephedrine that led to a spike in Southern California drug trafficking.

Gap is back to blue. The casual wear chain will keep its decades-old white-on-navy blue logo after all. The move comes just one week after the company swapped it online for a new logo without saying a word. The new logo irritated fans, spurring them to complain about it online. Gap North America president Marka Hansen said in a statement late Monday that the San Francisco-based company realized how much people liked the old logo after they put up the new one, a white background with black letters and a little blue box. She also says Gap didn’t handle the change correctly and missed a chance to have shoppers offer input until it was too late.

American Airlines is recalling about 800 furloughed employees, about 1 percent of its work force, as it adds flights on international routes.

Technology –
Microsoft Phones – With the unveiling of nine Windows Phone 7 phones to be rolled out on four continents this holiday season, Microsoft’s re-entry into the smart phone business is nearly underway. Of the nine, five are coming to America — three from HTC, LG and Samsung go to AT&T, while T-Mobile will sell an additional two, from Dell and HTC. Though the big reveal is this week, the first of the phones won’t be available until November 8. T-Mobile’s main Windows Phone 7 model, the HTC HD7, will have a 4.3-inch screen, one of the largest around. As for the two other major U.S. wireless carriers, Microsoft promises that Verizon and Sprint will have phones in 2011, and that “select models” would be sold at Microsoft Stores and on Amazon. AT&T’s phones include the HTC Surround, LG Quantum and Samsung Focus, all pictured up top. They all have 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, capacitive touch screens and 5-megapixel cameras. They will each sell for $199.99 with a two-year contract.

New technology to pick up audio during busy sporting events…
It’s from a company called Squarehead and the device is called Audioscope, and contains over 300 microphones. Picture this – the device is mounted above a stadium and a wide-angle camera looks down on the scene from the center of a disk containing the microphones. All the operator has to do is pinpoint a spot on the court or field using the screen, and the Audioscope works out how far that spot is from each of the mics, corrects for delay and then synchronizes the audio from all 315 of them. The result is a microphone that can pick out the pop of a bubblegum bubble in the middle of a basketball game…”

Microsoft issued its biggest-ever security fix Tuesday, including repairs to its ubiquitous Windows operating system and Internet browser for flaws that could let hackers take control of a PC. The new patches aim to fix a number of vulnerabilities including the notorious Stuxnet virus that attacked an Iranian nuclear power plant and other industrial control systems around the world. Microsoft said four of the new patches — software updates that write over glitches — were of the highest priority and should be deployed immediately to protect users from potential criminal attacks on the Windows operating systems.

Entertainment news –

Ryan Seacrest is in talks with AEG, which is mostly in the live-event business, and talent agency CAA about teaming up to create a new cable network. The discussions are in the early stages, according to The Live Feed, but the partners are discussing programming that would be “music, pop culture and lifestyle oriented.” Seacrest would continue working with E!, where he hosts and executive produces the daily “E! News” show and produces “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and other shows.

A Michigan couple convicted of trying to extort $680,000 out of “Glee” actor John Stamos were each sentenced Friday to four years in prison. Allison Coss and Scott Sippola were hoping to receive sentences of less than two years in prison, but U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar ordered a stiffer punishment.

The Cigar Guy is actually a Cigar Guy’s secret identity has been revealed, and in the end, the truth was right in front of our faces all along. He’s the mysterious grinning stranger in the corner of the now famous Daily Mail Tiger Woods photo from the Ryder Cup last week. Wearing what appeared to be a turban and smoking a cigar the size of a small tree, the absurdly out-of-place Cigar Guy kicked off a worldwide Internet game of Photoshop one-upsmanship. Within moments, Cigar Guy began showing up all throughout history. He’s a mild-mannered, mildly embarrassed young man! (Isn’t that always the way with our heroes?) Cigar Guy is Rupesh Shingadia, a 30-year-old investment analyst who — no kidding — still lives with his parents in South London.

Television news -
Caitlin Sanchez the voice of Dora the Explorer, has filed a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against Nickelodeon that claims that she didn’t receive her promised cut of Dora revenue. “Caitlin traveled around the U.S., promoting the Dora Brand, and making over one hundred interview personal appearances… Defendants have never compensated her for her promotional work,” the 35-page lawsuit states. Sanchez was recently fired as the star of the animated program. “Caitlin’s voice changed and she was no longer able to portray the Dora character, as happened with the actress who originated the role,” the network said in a statement.

“Two and a Half Men.” Angus T. Jones, 16, who plays Charlie Sheen’s nephew, has inked a $300,000-per-episode contract.

PBS station KCET said Friday it’s dropping out of the public TV system and going independent because of a dispute over fees and programming. Starting in January, the Los Angeles-based station’s schedule will include some current shows along with new fare that reflect Southern California’s “diverse” voices, KCET President Al Jerome said in a statement. “After four decades as the West Coast flagship PBS station, this is not a decision we made lightly,” Jerome said.
Fired CNN correspondent Rick Sanchez said Friday morning that he would “absolutely” return to CNN if offered the opportunity, acknowledged he had “a chip on his shoulder,” apologized for his “offensive comments” and called Jon Stewart “the classiest guy.” In his first TV interview since being fired for his comments last week about Stewart and Jewish people in the media industry, Sanchez appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” in a chat with George Stephanopoulos to once again apologize. Talking about his comments, he said: “Not only were they wrong, they were offensive.”

Tina Fey will return to “Saturday Night Live” in a primetime special, a representative for the NBC sketch comedy series confirmed. Fey, Rachel Dratch and Amy Poehler and will be among the former cast members who appear in “The Women of SNL,” which will air Monday, November 1 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET. Also participating: Nora Dunn, Ana Gasteyer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Laraine Newman, Cheri Oteri, Maya Rudolph, Molly Shannon and current cast member Kristen Wiig.

Larry Wilcox, best known for his role as Officer Jon Baker on CHiPs, was charged Thursday with securities fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Prosecutors said the former TV star was part of an “illicit kickback scheme to manipulate the volume and price of microcap stocks and illegally generate stock sales.” According to the complaint filed by the SEC, the 63-year-old actor created a phony company, the UC HUB Group, through which he received kickbacks from Anthony Mellone, the CEO of Tri-Star Holdings Inc.

TV journalist Laura Ling, who was held in North Korean captivity last year, will host a one-hour news show on E!. Set to premiere Dec. 8 and a departure from the network’s gossip-heavy fare, E! Investigates will explore more serious issues. The first two episodes will focus on teen suicide and the lives of military wives.

After 11 years of marriage, Courteney Cox and David Arquette have separated, the couple announced in a joint statement on Monday afternoon. Courteney and David initially met on the set of “Scream” in 1995. Three years later, in October of 1998, they announced their engagement. They tied the knot on June 12, 1999.
Chelsea Handler is getting another show on E! and signs on to star in a half-hour comedy titled After Lately.. It will be semi-improvised and focus on behind-the-scenes of Handler’s talk show. No premiere date has been set, but eight episodes have been ordered. Handler, 35, most recently hosted MTV’s Video Music Awards.

Fox is turning Napolean Dynamite into a cartoon. The network has ordered six episodes of an animated version of the 2004 indie comedy. The original cast, including Jon Heder, will return to voice the awkward high schoolers.

“The View” co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar stormed off the set Thursday during a contentious interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. As the cast debated whether there should be a community center and mosque built in Lower Manhattan, O’Reilly declared that “Muslims killed us on 9/11″ to back up his position that it’s “inappropriate.” “Oh my God!” Goldberg responded, before uttering a few words bleeped out. “Muslims didn’t kill us on 9/11?” O’Reilly responded. “Is that what you’re saying?”Goldberg called O’Reilly an “extremist” as several of the co-hosts responded to O’Reilly’s statement that “Muslims” — and not Muslim radicals, extremists or terrorists — killed “us” on 9/11.

Music news –
Though he has a pending cocaine felony charge, newcomer Bruno Mars is aiming to reach the stars by writing hits for others and doing the same on his debut CD, ‘Doo-Wops and Holligans.’

Taylor Swift’s former manager is suing her for millions of dollars in commissions. Dan Dymtrow says he discovered Swift, signed her in April 2004, and helped build her career. He was axed a year later, right before Swift signed a deal with Big Machine Records and became a superstar. Dymtrow claims that his deal with Swift and her parents allowed him to be paid between 5 and 10 percent commission from Taylor’s music career, and that he was fired so the Swifts could avoid compensating him. “They delayed and delayed [the deal] and got rid of my client and subsequently signed the deal and kept his commissions for themselves,” Fernando Pinguelo, Dymtrow’s attorney, told the Reporter. Dymtrow also said he introduced Swift to the agents that ended up in charge of booking her concert gigs so he’s entitle to profit from forming that relationship.

Passing- Solomon Burke – Blues & Rhythm artist. He was 70.

Has Miley Cyrus finally gone so far with her increasingly sensual image that she’s been condemned by her own father? Well, no, not exactly. But her racy new music video, “Who Owns My Heart?,” has been slammed by the Parents Television Council. Funnily enough, when you check the list of folks sitting on the advisory board for this conservative watchdog group, the biggest-name celebrity listed there is—you guessed it—none other than Billy Ray Cyrus!

Appearing on CBS’ “60 Minutes – Rapper Eminem reveals that… he does not cuss at home. “Profanity around my house? No,” said the rapper when asked if his real life vocabulary mimics that of his records. “I’m not saying there’s not glimpses of me in the music, [that] there’s not truth in…things that I say, but this is music, this is my art.”

George Michael is out of jail. The singer, 47, was released after serving almost four weeks of an eight week jail term for driving under the influence and possession of marijuana. Thrown in the slammer Sept. 14 after driving his Range Rover through the storefront of a photo shop in London July 4, the Wham! singer admitted he had smoked marijuana and had taken a sedative. He pleaded guilty to the charge soon after the accident.

Justin Bieber, the 16-year-old R&B singer has teamed with Nicole for OPI to start a line of fingernail polishes based on his songs. The “One Less Lonely Girl” collection comes out in December with six shades, including “Give Me The First Dance” (silver), “Prized Possession Purple” (grape), and “Me + Blue” (dark blue). Eight additional shades will hit stores in January. The polishes will be available exclusively at Wal-Mart.

Christina Aguilera and her husband, Jordan Bratman have split. They’ve been separated for a few months actually.

Passing – General Norman Johnson, lead singer of The Chairmen Of The Board at the age of 67. Their big hit was “Gimmie Just A Little More Time” and earlier – with the Showmen – a hit called “It Will Stand.”

Top albums this week –
Hemingway’s Whiskey – Kenny Chesney
I Am Not A Human Being – Lil Wayne
You Get What You Give – Zac Brown Band
The Appeal: Georgia’s Most Wanted – Gucci Mane
Clapton – Eric Clapton
Passion, Pain & Pleasure – Trey Songz
Recovery – Eminem
A Thousand Sunds – Linkin Park
Hands All Over – Maroon 5
Invented – Jimmy Eat World
A Year Without Rain – Selena Gomez & The Scene
Le Noise – Neil Young
WAKE UP! – John Legend & The Roots
Incarcerated – Lil’ Boosie
Rehab – LeCrae
My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber
Now 35
Guitar Heaven – Santana
Enjoy Yourself – Billy Currington
The Social Network Soundtrack – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
The Guitar Song – Jamey Johnson
I Am The West – Ice Cube
Telephantasm – Soundgarden
Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons

Top movies this week –
The Social Network
Life as We Know It (1st week – $14.635 million)
Secretariat – (1st week – $12.6 million)
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga”Hoole
My Soul to Take (1st week – $6.9 million)
The Town
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Easy A
Case 39
You Again

Hip Thursday night TV (TV Squad)

8:00 to 9:00
CBS: ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and ‘S–! My Dad Says’
FOX: ‘Bones’
NBC: ‘Community’ and ’30 Rock’ — 30 Rock goes live tonight
PBS: ‘This Old House Hour’
Food Network: ‘Good Eats’ — 8:30 start
HGTV: ‘Property Virgins’ and ‘My First Place’

9:00 to 10:00
ABC: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’
CBS: ‘CSI’
FOX: ‘Fringe’
NBC: ‘The Office’ and ‘Outsourced’
A&E: ‘The First 48′
Bio: ‘Creating the World of Harry Potter: The Magic Begins’
Bravo: ‘The Real Housewives of Washington D.C.’ — The reunion episode
Discovery: ‘Storm Chasers’ — (120 minutes)
DIY: ‘The Vanilla Ice Project’* — Two episodes
Lifetime: ‘Project Runway’ — (90 minutes)
Spike: ‘TNA Wrestling Impact!’ — (120 minutes)
SyFy: ‘Destination Truth’
TLC: ‘Lottery Changed My Life’
truTV: ‘Smoking Gun Presents: World’s Dumbest Criminals’

10:00 to 11:00
ABC: ‘Private Practice’
CBS: ‘The Mentalist’
NBC: ‘The Apprentice’
A&E: ‘The First 48′
Bio: ‘Creating the World of Harry Potter: Characters’
Bravo: ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’*
Cooking Channel: ‘Cook Like an Iron Chef’
DIY: ‘Rehab Addict’* — Two episodes
Food Network: ‘Food Feuds’
FX: ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ and ‘The League’
HGTV: ‘House Hunters’ and ‘House Hunters International’
ID: ‘Wicked Attraction’
Lifetime: ‘On the Road With Austin & Santino’ — 10:30 start
MTV: ‘Jersey Shore’
NatGeo WILD: ‘Morays: The Alien Eels’
Science Channel: ‘Blowdown’

11:00
‘Charlie Rose’ (PBS): Chinese TV host Yang Lan; Klaus Schaub, Chairman, World Economic Forum
‘The Mo’Nique Show’ (BET): Ron Artest; Michael Clark Duncan and Omarosa
‘Watch What Happens: Live’ (Bravo): Cast members from ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’
‘The Daily Show’ (Comedy Central): Author David Rakoff
‘Chelsea Lately’ (E!): Amy Brenneman
‘Lopez Tonight’ (TBS): Mark Wahlberg; Bill Bellamy; performance by David Otunga
11:30
‘Late Show With David Letterman’ (CBS): Rapper Diddy; Emma Stone; performance by Diddy-Dirty Money
‘The Tonight Show’ (NBC): Wanda Sykes; Kevin McHale
‘The Colbert Report’ (Comedy Central): Author Bill Bryson

Midnight
‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ (ABC): Josh Duhamel; Julia Stiles; performance by Nas and Damian Marley
‘Tavis Smiley’ (PBS): Tony Danza

12:30
‘The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson’ (CBS): Drew Carey; Jenny Wade
‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’ (NBC): Pee-wee Herman; author Nick Hornby; performance by Ben Folds

1:30
‘Last Call With Carson Daly’ (NBC): Filmmakers Amir Bar-Lev and Seth Gordon; performance by City and Colour

Mr. Pop Culture Report… June 14

Top albums this week in 2010 –

To The Sea – Jack Johnson

Glee: The Music, Volume 3

My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber

Raymond V Raymond – Usher

Need You Now – Lady Antebellum

The Fame – Lady Gaga

Tried and True – Clay Aiken

Live at the Troubadour – Carole Kin & James Taylor

Rokstarr – Taio Cruz

The Oracle – Godsmack

Animal – Ke$ha

Interesting Tony Trend as Academy Award winners Denzel Washington and Catherine Zeta-Jones take home their first Tonys.

Knocked Out The Competition – The Karate Kid KO’d the A-Team in 1st week box office revenues by a clear margin of 2:1.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – May 24

Paula Is Back – As Simon Cowell leaves the reality-show judge’s chair, his old foil, Paula Abdul, is coming back. CBS said Monday that Abdul will be a judge on “Got to Dance,” a competition expected to make it on the air sometime next season. She’ll also be an executive producer for the series, which is based on a successful competition that airs in Britain.

Rock singer Bret Michaels finally had a reason to celebrate on Sunday after a string of medical emergencies — winning the reality TV show “The Celebrity Apprentice.” The show’s host Donald Trump told Michaels he was “hired” in Sunday’s finale, winning $250,000 for his nominated charity, the American Diabetes Association. In second place was actress Holly Robinson Peete with $250,000 also to go to her chosen charity, her own HollyRod Foundation that supports families facing a serious illness.

Simon Cowell tells Oprah Winfrey he’s leaving “Idol” because, he’s bored… “After a while, you start to go on automatic pilot,” Cowell  “And there were too many times, Oprah, where I was sitting there bored, and I thought, ‘The end of the day, the audience doesn’t tune in to watch me being bored. They deserve more than that.’ But I can’t hide it when I’m bored. I just can’t fake it.”

Technology – “Tech Guy” Leo LePorte – who does a popular weekend radio show on the tech industry – is at war of sorts with Facebook – and has pulled his page. And lately – the social Internet giant has come under fire for how it operates and how it shares information. Now buffeted by those privacy snafus and the lingering fallout from a damning, years-old instant messaging thread, Facebook chief exec Mark Zuckerberg switched into full-on damage control Monday, confessing that the sprawling social network had “missed the mark” when it comes to its complex privacy controls — and pledging to do better. The company this week releases these bullet points – to set the record straight…

Here are the principles under which Facebook operates:

You have control over how your information is shared.

We do not share your personal information with people or services you don’t want.

We do not give advertisers access to your personal information.

We do not and never will sell any of your information to anyone.

We will always keep Facebook a free service for everyone.

Hot albums this week in 2010 –

My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber

Iron Man 2 – soundtrack

Need You Now – Lady Antebellum

Sea of Cowards – The Dead Weather

Live at the Troubadour – Carole King & James Taylor

Charice – Charice

Raymond V Raymond – Usher

The Oracle – Godsmack

Powerless Rise – As I Lay Dying

Court Yard Hounds – Court Yard Hounds

Mr. Pop Culture Report – April 28…

Sandra Bullock says that she and her estranged husband, Jesse James, adopted a baby boy in January and that, in the wake of allegations of James’ infidelity, the Oscar-winning actress has filed for divorce and plans to raise the 3 1/2-month old child as a single mother.

Conan O’Brien – former “Tonight Show” host, will speak to CBS’ “60 Minutes” this Sunday in an interview conducted by Steve Kroft. O’Brien’s exit deal with NBC says he can’t do formal interviews until May 1. Sunday is May 2.

Hewlett-Packard announced Wednesday that it would buy struggling smart phone maker Palm for $1.2 billion. HP –  known more for its computers, notebooks and printers than its smart phones — will buy Palm for $5.70 a share in cash, a 23% premium over Palm’s closing price of $4.64 on Wednesday.

Hot albums this week in 2010 -

Need You Now – Lady Antebellum

My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber

Congratulations – MGMT

Now 33

Year of the Black Rainbow – Coheed And Cambria

Animal – Ke$ha

Still Standing – Monica

Mr. Pop Culture Report – April 26

American Idol” raised more than $15 million as part of their “Idol Gives Back” special, and one more contestant was sent home. Despite his good looks and contagious smile, Tim Urban was the contestant who was eliminated. Celebrities including Jennifer Garner, Elton John, the Black Eyed Peas, Joss Stone and Mary J. Blige showed their support at the “Idol Gives Back” charity event.

Music news – Teen sensation Justin Bieber was forced to cancel his only Australian gig on Monday after chaos broke out among fans. Scores of supporters camped overnight at Sydney Harbor to see their idol perform and by Monday morning, thousands of youngsters were packed into the Circular Quay area. The frenzied crowd began to surge, prompting police to cancel the event after “more than 100 teens” became “distressed,” according to officials.

Randy and Evi Quaid showed up in a criminal courtroom two weeks late Monday and were arrested on outstanding warrants, authorities said.The actor and his wife were ordered held on $100,000 bail and told to return for a court hearing Wednesday, Senior Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter said in an e-mail. The couple have repeatedly failed to show up in a Santa Barbara court for hearings in a felony case alleging that they defrauded an inn out of more than $10,000.

Mr. Pop Archives – This Week In 1987 –

Sports – NBA playoffs – as Larry Bird helps the Celtics beat the Bulls in a 108-104 victory. Will the Bulls come back?

NBA Expansion – Both Miami and Orlando are awarded franchises and you can add those to Minneapolis and Charlotte. The Miami Heat, The Minneapolis Timberwovles and the Charlotte Sprit will begin play during the 1988-1989 season. The Orlando Magic begin in 1989-1990.

Technology – Apple Computer says it is creating an independent software company to develop, publish and market applications software for its Macintosh and Apple II personal computers. The company also will publish software products developed by other companies.

Entertainment news –

Actress Mia Farrow is pregnant, and the father is her long-time beau Woody Allen. , The baby will be her ninth child, five of whom were adopted. Farrow (42) and Allen (51) began their professional association in 1982 when Farrow made “A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy” and have made six movies together.

Elizabeth Taylor teams up with Japanese businessman Ryoochi Sasakawa in an alliance to bring her anti-AIDS crusade to that country. She’s also meeting with Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone.

Mr. Pop Culture Report For April 14

Another Trend – A market study says some 800,000 households have left – or shut of their cable TV. This, from a study by Tech Crunch. There’s plenty to watch online or with devices such as xBox. Still, there are still about 100 million subscribers to cable, satellite and similar systems according to the Tech Crunch report.

He’s Out Of There – Kevin Eubanks is leaving as Jay Leno’s sideman in May after 18 years with the late-night host. He told Leno during Monday’s taping of Tonight in Burbank, Calif., that he was ready for a career change of pace, but he didn’t announce specific plans. Eubanks called the NBC late-night show his “home” and said it had been “a wonderful experience” working there.

Last night was Elvis Presley night on “American Idol.”

Dead Show For Dead Man – Reality TV star Jesse James’’ alleged cheating scandal has cost him his hit U.S. show. “Jesse James Is A Dead Man” will not return for a second season on cable channel Spike TV.  A spokesman reveals the decision was made shortly after news of James’ infidelities first broke, and his wife Sandra Bullock walked out on him.

Sweet Tweet – Every 140-character snippet of info you’ve ever shared publicly on Twitter will soon have a home next to the Declaration of Independence. Twitter and the Library of Congress announce that every public tweet posted since Twitter started in 2006 will be archived digitally by the federal library. The purpose, according to a blog post by Library of Congress communications director Matt Raymond, is to document “important tweets” as well as gather information about the way we live through the sheer masses of tweets on the site.

Top albums this week in 2010 –

My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber

Now 33

Raymond V Raymond – Usher

Freight Train – Alan Jackson

Still Standing – Monica

Now Ladies And Gentlemen – Mr. Pop Archives And This Week In 2004…

Weekly radio address – President Bush said that U.S. forces were taking control of Fallouja “block by block” and allied troops were “finding and engaging the enemy” elsewhere in the country despite this being one of the bloodiest weeks of the Iraq war.  He warned that the military offensive against the widespread insurgency could rage for weeks, but reaffirmed his commitment to the June 30 deadline for transferring sovereignty to Iraqis.

Television news –

Mark Wahlberg is one of the executive producers on a new HBO show called “Entourage.” The series stars Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven.

Donald Trump will double his take on the second season of “The Apprentice.” He was getting $50k per episode and now he’ll get $100K.

“The Swan” – getting a nice lead-in from “American Idol” on Fox, beats ABC’s “The Bachelor in the ratings.

Saturday night on USA – “Nashville Star” – as four contenders are left.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – March 24

Passing – TV actor Robert Culp who teamed with Robert Culp in the racially groundbreaking TV series I Spy and was Bob in the critically acclaimed sex comedy Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, died Wednesday after collapsing outside his Hollywood home, his agent said. Culp was 79. The actor was a on series television during the 1960′s through the 1970′s and into the 1980′s. Check out his guest-starring “bad-guy” roles Columbo.

Simon Cowell Wears Bowersox – Simon Cowell no doubt – likes contender Crystal Bowersox. The  singer, who has thus far had a penchant for performing barefoot on a rug with her guitar, tackled a Janis Joplin standard – “Me & Bobby McGee”  — for an “American Idol” week made up of Billboard #1 hits, mentored by teen pop star Miley Cyrus. Cowell quipped, “You’re doing your own thing, you’re not sliding all over the stage, jumping into the crowd like we’ve seen before, gimmicky,” Simon said, referencing Tim Urban’s performance earlier in the night. “You’ve just took a song, nailed it and you’re only gimmick is a carpet.”

His Manager Needs A’Justin – NY – Scott “Scooter” Braun, manager for pop sensation Justin Bieber, awaits arraignment on charges of reckless endangerment and criminal nuisance. His lawyer said he will plead not guilty. His arrest stems from a planned appearance in November by the 16-year-old Bieber at Roosevelt Field Mall. When the crowd of 3,000 became unruly, Nassau County police canceled the event. But some fans refused to leave, crowding the narrow area outside the clothing store where Bieber was scheduled to sign autographs. Five people were taken to hospitals with minor injuries.

Mr. Pop Archives – One Year Ago – Week of March 22, 2009…

Bruce Willis and model/actress Emma Heming were officially married in a private civil ceremony today at a friend’s home in Beverly Hills.

Out in Los Angeles -  Ryan Seacrest announces the performance line-up for Wango Tango set for Saturday, May 9: Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Flo Rida, Lady Gaga, All American Rejects, Soulja Boy Tellum, Kevin Rudolf, Pitbull and Jamie Foxx. Ryan will host the show which is in association with KIIS-FM Los Angeles.

Former WABC Radio (NY) newsman George Weber was found murdered in his Brooklyn apartment after failing to report to work for two days, sources told The Post. Weber, who would have turned 48 today, was discovered half-naked in his bed shortly before 10 a.m. inside his apartment with his throat slashed and more than a dozen stab wounds to his neck.