This Week In History… A Complete Look At The Week Of January 8, 2011.

From The www.mrpopculture and www.mrpophistory week-by-week sites. A complete look at the week of January 8, 2011 in news, trends and pop culture…

Week of January 8, 2011

TUCSON, Ariz. – Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head Saturday when an assailant opened fire outside a grocery store during a meeting with constituents, killing at least five people and wounding several others in a rampage that rattled the nation. Giffords was among at least 10 people wounded, and the hospital said her outlook was “optimistic” and that she was responding to commands from doctors despite having a bullet go through her head. The hospital said a 9-year-old child was among the dead, and a U.S. Marshal said a federal judge was also fatally shot in the attack.

Mexico’s drug violence -, 27 people killed in less than a day, including 14 men whose bodies were found with their heads chopped off at a shopping center. Acapulco has seen fierce turf wars between drug gangs, and the bloodshed is scaring some vacationers away even though little of the violence happens in tourist areas. The 14 headless bodies, and a 15th intact corpse, were found by police on a street outside a shopping center accompanied by written warnings from a drug cartel, authorities said.

Doctors said Monday that Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ brain remains swollen, but the pressure isn’t increasing — a good sign for the congresswoman’s recovery. Neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Lemole of Tucson’s University Medical Center said Giffords’ condition two days after surgery for a gunshot wound to the head remains stable. He said that swelling from such an injury typically peaks around the third day, so doctors “can breathe a collective sigh of relief” after that.

A 22-year-old man described as a social outcast with wild beliefs steeped in mistrust faces a federal court hearing Monday on charges he tried to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a Tucson shooting rampage that left six people dead. A military official in Washington said Jared Loughner was rejected from the Army in 2008 because he failed a drug test. The official spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because privacy laws prevent the military from disclosing such information about an individual’s application.

President Barack Obama has presided over a national moment of silence for severely injured Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the people who were killed during an assassination attempt against her. On the White House South Lawn, Obama was joined by first lady Michelle Obama and White House staff members on a cold morning. The moment was marked at the U.S. Capitol and elsewhere around a nation still coming to grips with the tragedy.

For weeks, the flooding in eastern Australia has been a slow-motion disaster, with drenching rain devastating wide swaths of farmland and small towns. Now, rivers are rising in Brisbane, the country’s third-largest city, forcing people to flee both suburbs and skyscrapers.

Flooding that has unfolded since late November across the waterlogged state of Queensland turned suddenly violent Monday, with a cloudburst sending a raging torrent down the Lockyer Valley west of Brisbane. Hundreds had to be rescued by helicopter Tuesday.

Democratic Illinois lawmakers beat a looming deadline and approved a 66 percent income tax increase in a desperate bid to end the state’s crippling budget crisis. Legislative leaders rushed early Wednesday to pass the politically risky plan before a new General Assembly was sworn in at noon, taking a slice out of the Democratic majority and removing lame-duck lawmakers willing to support the tax before leaving office.

The second major snow storm of the winter season pelted the Northeast with about 8 inches of snow on Wednesday, snarling traffic and canceling flights, but it was not enough to suspend school in New York City. The National Weather Service reported snow on the ground in 49 of the 50 states — only Florida was spared — and much of the South was still battling icy conditions that made roads dangerous and led to several traffic deaths.

A Las Vegas judge has spared senior ACORN executive Amy Adele Busefink jail time for her role in a notorious voter fraud conspiracy. Judge Donald Mosley sentenced Busefink to two years imprisonment but suspended the jail time provided that she abides by the terms of her probation. She was also fined a total of $4,000 and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service. Prosecutors had argued for a fine of just $1,000. Voter fraud, sometimes called electoral fraud, is a blanket term encompassing a host of election-related improprieties.

Brazil’s Worst-Ever disaster – Summer rains sent tons of red mud and torrents of water rushing down mountainsides in towns outside Rio, enveloping homes of rich and poor alike and killing at least 500 people. Some survivors clung to trees to escape the water and landslides. Rescuers used heavy machinery, shovels and bare hands to dig through debris in a search for survivors Wednesday. It was not immediately clear how many people were rescued. At least 50 remained missing, and officials feared that figure would rise.

TUCSON, Ariz. – President Obama exhorted Americans to refrain from partisan bickering and urged the country to embrace the idealistic vision of democracy held by 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, the youngest Arizona shooting victim and an aspiring politician who is set to be buried Thursday in the first of half-a-dozen funerals. Speaking to an arena audience of about 14,000 and even more in a nearby football stadium and at homes across the country, Obama drew on themes of unity, patriotism and heroism as he tried to help the nation make sense of a tragedy that unfolded as citizens were exercising their most basic of rights, meeting with their congresswoman.

Steven Vego heard a pop in the rear of his Southern California home and went outside to investigate. His son and wife followed in what turned out to be a tragic decision. The three were electrocuted Friday, one after the other as the wife and son attempted rescues, each coming in contact with a 12,000-volt power line that had fallen over in their backyard, authorities said. San Bernardino firefighters arrived to find the three bodies, but it was too dangerous to free them, fire spokesman Jason Serrano said. A utility company finally cut the power.

Serving as California governor cost Arnold Schwarzenegger at least $200 million, the bodybuilding star turned actor and politician told a newspaper in his native Austria, insisting ‘it was more than worth it.” Counting expenses and lost income from acting in Hollywood films, “in all it is probably more than $200 million,” he told Krone when asked how much his two terms in Sacramento had cost.

Sports – Auburn’s first BCS Championship and the second college football national championship in school history came down to a simple twist of fate. Michael Dyer’s spinning, twisting recovery from an apparent tackle produced a game-changing 37-yard run late in the fourth quarter, and then he made an almost identical play to give the Tigers the ball inside the 1-yard line and set up Wes Bynum’s 19-yard field goal as time expired, giving Auburn a thrilling 22-19 victory over Oregon in the BCS Championship Game on Monday at University of Phoenix Stadium.

NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor avoided jail on Thursday by pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges stemming from his May arrest on rape and prostitution charges. The former New York Giants great will serve six years probation as part of the agreement, which saw him plead guilty to sexual misconduct and patronizing a prostitute. He will have to register as a sex offender. In court, Taylor admitted to having sex with a prostitute who ended up being a 16-year-old runaway. “She told me she was 19,” he said.

Technology –

Motorola Mobility’s Xoom tablet computer powered by new “Honeycomb” software from Google was crowned the best gadget at the giant Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Saturday. Along with being declared the top creation at the dazzling gadget extravaganza, Xoom was also honored as the best of the scores of tablets introduced here as fresh competitors in a market dominated by Apple IPads.

Verizon Wireless, the top U.S. mobile provider, plans on Tuesday to unveil a version of the Apple iPhone for its service and will kick off sales of the device a few weeks later, a source told Reuters. Verizon Wireless will offer the iPhone to its customers under its existing wireless service price plans, said the source, who asked not to be named as the plan has not yet been announced.

News Corp’s MySpace is laying off nearly half its staff, setting the stage for a sale of the former Internet social networking leader as is it refocuses as an entertainment site. The restructuring affects about 500 employees, or 47 percent of the company, and comes after weeks of speculation on technology blogs about the cuts.

iPad will soon have a Paper feature to be announced by Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch. The two men will make the announcement later this month. Jobs and Murdoch will appear together at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, at a launch event, rumoured to be scheduled for January 19. Murdoch has called his iPad newspaper his “number one most exciting project” in recent months, with the paper set to have a core full-time editorial staff based out of offices in New York and Los Angeles.

The child-abduction alert system used by law enforcement, broadcasters and transportation departments is now available on Facebook. AMBER Alerts have previously been available to many users via their local law enforcement Facebook pages. But now, Facebook users can receive the announcements directly from state AMBER Alert pages, by choosing which state’s alerts they want to see. The District of Columbia and the U.S. Territories also each have an alert page.

Verizon Wireless said it will begin selling Apple’s iPhone early next month, ending AT&T’s four-year run as the phone’s exclusive carrier. ” Existing Verizon customers will be able to pre-order the phone beginning Feb. 3. The phone will launch in Apple and Verizon stores online on Feb. 10, according to Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead. Verizon customers eligible for “new every two” upgrades will be able to use those upgrade credits toward an iPhone.

New Facebook Profiles…  Starting (January 13) all accounts will be upgraded to the new profile. The new Facebook profiles feature a revamped interface, as well as easy access to photos of the user. The profiles also offer more details about work and education information, while letting users put friends into distinct categories, list various interests, and fill out a nifty new “about me” user summary.

Computer history for $400? An IBM computer won the practice round on popular TV quiz show Jeopardy! against two top contestants, showing artificial intelligence has come a long way in simulating how humans think. “We have created a computer system which has the ability to understand natural human language, which is a very difficult thing for a computer to do,” said John Kelly, the director of IBM Research. The emotion was left to the audience as Watson, the contestant, beat out two of Jeopardy’s most winningest champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, by $1,000.  The machine, named Watson after legendary International Business Machines Machines president Thomas Watson, is a showcase of the company’s computing expertise and research in advanced science.

Entertainment news –

Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian have been sued for $75 million in debit card damages — and they didn’t even slap down the plastic themselves. The sisters, along with mom Kris Jenner, are being sued by The Revenue Resource Group for breach of contract after they pulled out of promotional duties stemming from the launch of their branded prepaid debit card.

Another Awards Show! – MTV Comedy Central have announced The Comedy Awards, an event honoring the industry’s top writers, directors, actors and stand-up comedians.

“This historic, one-night-only celebration will honor [those] who provided the laugh track to our lives this past year: the pioneers who pushed boundaries; the TV shows that we rushed home for; the movies that are etched into our collective pop-culture memory; the stand-up comedians and the viral videos that make us laugh every day.”

Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas, who revealed in August that he had throat cancer, said on Monday that his tumor is gone and chances are good he has beaten cancer. In an interview with U.S. morning news and talk show “Today,” Douglas told co-host Matt Lauer, “I feel good, relieved.

The Ohio homeless man whose smooth broadcaster voice made him an Internet sensation was questioned by police after he and his daughter got into a heated argument at a hotel during a trip to Hollywood to appear on “Dr. Phil” and “Entertainment Tonight.” “I don’t know how loud they were,” Officer Catherine Massey said, but the argument around 9 p.m. Monday at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa led to a disturbance report. “It was minor. Both parties were angry but there were no signs of visible abuse,” Massey said Tuesday. She said Ted Williams and his daughter “were brought in, calmed down, talked to and released” and she did not know the nature of the argument.

Pop singer Shakira and her boyfriend of almost 11 years, Antonio de la Rue, have split, the singer announced on her blog. “Since August 2010, we made a mutual decision to take time apart from our romantic relationship. Throughout this time we have continued to work together hand in hand, have remained close and have kept the details absolutely private until now,” she wrote.

Dr Drew gets a daytime TV talker – with a new daily, half-hour CW show. The program — slated to air next fall — will focus on people dealing with conflicts in their lives, including relationship and addiction issues. Pinsky and a panel of experts — ranging from celebrities to people in the medical field — will attempt to help the show’s guests with their problems.

Justin Bieber (16) will return to CSI for an upcoming episode, CBS announced Tuesday.  Bieber will reprise the role of Jason McCann, a troubled boy whose brother was killed in the Season 11 premiere. Jason returns when he calls Nick (George Eads)) to alert him that he’s in imminent danger.

Conan O’Brien says he got a phone call from David Letterman over the holidays. The CBS host wanted to make sure a year of late-night TV turmoil hadn’t created a rift between them. O’Brien told reporters Wednesday that he and Letterman have “always been good. I said he didn’t owe me a phone call, but I appreciated it.” O’Brien wouldn’t be so receptive to a call from Jay Leno, who preceded and replaced him as “Tonight” show host. He says the reason is no mystery, noting, “We all know the story.”

Passing – David Nelson, who starred on his parents’ popular television show “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” has died, a family spokesman said. He was 74. Nelson, who was battling complications of colon cancer, died Tuesday at his Los Angeles home, said family spokesman and longtime Hollywood publicist Dale Olson.

Actor Peter Fonda was part of a real-life mystery on Hollywood’s famed Sunset Boulevard on Wednesday. The Oscar-nominated actor (brother to Jane and son of the late Henry Fonda), 70, discovered a dead body inside a car parked on the famed street. Fonda found the deceased driver slumped over in the front seat and called 911.

Ted Williams, the 53-year-old former homeless man with the golden voice, is heading to rehab after having a one-on-one with Dr. Phil, the psychologist said in a statement. “If Ted is ever going to get better, he’s got to be honest with himself and admit he’s addicted to drugs and alcohol,” the statement said. Williams taped segments with his family members that will air Wednesday and Thursday. During the discussion, he admitted to drinking — an addiction he suffered in the past. The Brooklyn native began drinking and using drugs in 1996 and as a result, he lost his radio job and his home. Earlier this week, he said he’s been sober for two years.

King’s Speech” Golden Globe nominee Colin Firth now has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The British actor unveiled his sidewalk shrine Thursday in front of the Pig ‘N Whistle pub on Hollywood Boulevard. It’s the 2,429th star dedicated on the avenue of dreams.

Mark Harmon is America’s favorite TV star, according to a recent Harris Poll. Years after he played on St. Elsewhere and Chicago Hope, the 59-year-old NCIS star jumped seven spots from last year to beat out the reigning No. 1, Oprah Winfrey (who now ties at No. 2 with House’s Hugh Laurie).Of the 2,331 adults polled, more men said Harmon is their favorite, while women said Winfrey.

Paris Hilton’s life will be on display in a new Oxygen TV reality TV series. The cable channel said Thursday that “The World According to Paris” will debut this spring. An Oxygen executive described the series as “for real,” detailing the “highs” of the socialite turning 30 and her relationships.

Passing – John Dye, best known as the angel of death Andrew on “Touched By An Angel,” has died. He was 47. star Jesse Eisenberg will host the final Saturday Night Live of January, NBC announced Friday.

Music Passing – Trish Keenan, the lead singer of the British electronic pop music group Broadcast, has died, according to her record label. She was 42. She died from complications with pneumonia after battling the illness for two weeks in intensive care.

Following in the footsteps of Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce, Gwen Stefani has announced that she will be the next face of cosmetics giant L’Oreal Paris. “I can’t believe I get to be one of the L’Oreal Paris girls,” said the singer. “I love playing dress up, on stage or shooting videos, it’s always been one of my favorite parts of being in a band. And to get to work with such a modern, talented group of people is really exciting.”

Saturday Night Live – Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network),who’s nominated for a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for his portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, will host the Jan. 29 episode. He will be joined by musical guest Nicki Minaj.

Top Albums This Week In 2011:

Speak Now – Taylor Swift

Tron: Legacy Soundtrack

Pink Friday – Nicki Minaj

Doo-Wops & Hooligans – Bruno Mars

Loud – Rihanna

Recovery – Eminem

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Father – Kanye West

Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons

My Kinda Party – Jason Aldean

Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

Country Strong Soundtrack

A Merry Little Christmas – Lady Antebellum

Love Letter – R. Kelly

The Beginning – The Black Eyed Peas

Brothers – The Black Keys

Born Free – Kid Rock

Need You Know – Lady Antebellum

Best Night Of My Life – Jamie Foxx

No Mercy – T.J.

Greatest Hits So Far!!! – P!nk

Glee, The Music: Season Two

Calling All Hearts – Keyshia Cole

Michael – Michael Jackson

No Boys Allowed – Keri Hilson

I Am Not A Human Being – Lil Wayne

Lungs – Florence + The Machine

At the movies –

True Grit

Little Fockers

Season of the Witch (1st week $10.6 million)

TRON: Legacy

Black Swan

Country Strong

The Fighter

Yogi Bear

The King’s Speech

Tangled

The Chronicles of Narmia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Gulliver’s Travels

Top TV Shows –

1. NFL Playoff Game 2: Jets at Indianapolis NBC
2. NFL Playoff Bridge (between Games 1 and 2) NBC
3. NFL Playoff Prekick (Game 2) NBC
4. NFL Wildcard Post-Game (Sunday) FOX
5. Two and a Half Men CBS
6. The Mentalist CBS
7. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS
8. The Big Bang Theory CBS
9. Desperate Housewives ABC
10. The Simpsons FOX
11. Mike & Molly CBS
12. CSI: Miami CBS
13. Modern Family ABC
14. Undercover Boss CBS
15. Wipeout ABC
16. Grey’s Anatomy ABC
17. Hawaii Five-O CBS
18. (Bleep) My Dad Says CBS
19. Law & Order: SVU NBC
20. 60 Minutes

This Week In History as compiled by Gary West of mrpopculture.com and www.mrpophistory.com.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – New Facebook Profiles Begin… Another “Awards” Ceremony – The Media Already Has A Ton Of Them… Dr Phil Is Capitalizing On That (Once) Homeless Radio Announcer… Top Albums This Week In Pop History… This Radio Talent Doesn’t Dig The Ted Williams Hoopla… Oh, And – There Are Now (Two) Ted Williams’ In Pop Culture History. Remember The Other One?

The Game Is On As New Facebook Profiles… Starting (January 13) all accounts will be upgraded to the new profile. The new Facebook profiles feature a revamped interface, as well as easy access to photos of the user. The profiles also offer more details about work and education information, while letting users put friends into distinct categories, list various interests, and fill out a nifty new “about me” user summary.

Another Awards Show! – MTV Comedy Central have announced The Comedy Awards, an event honoring the industry’s top writers, directors, actors and stand-up comedians. “This historic, one-night-only celebration will honor [those] who provided the laugh track to our lives this past year: the pioneers who pushed boundaries; the TV shows that we rushed home for; the movies that are etched into our collective pop-culture memory; the stand-up comedians and the viral videos that make us laugh every day.”

Ted Williams, the 53-year-old former homeless man with the golden voice, is heading to rehab after having a one-on-one with Dr. Phil, the psychologist said in a statement. “If Ted is ever going to get better, he’s got to be honest with himself and admit he’s addicted to drugs and alcohol,” the statement said. Williams taped segments with his family members that will air Wednesday and Thursday. During the discussion, he admitted to drinking — an addiction he suffered in the past. The Brooklyn native began drinking and using drugs in 1996 and as a result, he lost his radio job and his home. Earlier this week, he said he’s been sober for two years.

Top Albums This Week In 2011:

Speak Now – Taylor Swift

Tron: Legacy Soundtrack

Pink Friday – Nicki Minaj

Doo-Wops & Hooligans – Bruno Mars

Loud – Rihanna

Recovery – Eminem

Dan Ingram, legendary NY Voice Over and DJ,  Doesn’t Dig The Ted Williams Stuff… A letter to the Ken Levine Blog:

I feel used and conned by all the sob-sister P.R. crap about the poor scab VO guy who is selling his rather resonant voice because he’s an ex junkie and an ex lush. I know at least fifty thoroughly qualified VO men and women who have never been hooked on drugs or anything else who are having difficulty making a living wage doing VO work as honorable Union members. They all know from their endeavors how fickle, thoughtless and downright cruel the VO business can be. I know that I do, especially lately.

I wish him success when he hits the bricks like the rest of us. And success under a Union contract.

In solidarity,
Dan Ingram

Speaking of Ted Williams, here’s a picture of the other one – the baseball legend!

Gary West – mrpopculture.com  or if you prefer   www.mrpophistory.com

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 – November 4 … Taylor’s Swift Rise To #1… Facebook Coupons… New High For Cable’s AMC… Wii Still Love Pac-Man…

Taylor Swift fans have spoken — more than a million times. The country-pop superstar sold more than 1 million copies of her new album “Speak Now” to debut at the top of the Billboard album chart this week. Billboard.com said Wednesday that it’s the biggest debut since 50 Cent’s “The Massacre” five years ago.

Facebook begins offering coupons from various retailers, including a promotion from Gap which will give away 10,000 pairs of jeans. Mobile users can access the partner deals on their smartphones, go to the store and show the virtual coupon to the clerk. Facebook said it is launching a test version of the feature, called Deals, with more than 20 companies, including the Gap, McDonalds, 24 Hour Fitness, American Eagle Outfitters and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a chain of movie theaters that serves food and drinks.

AMC’s new zombie drama The Walking Dead debuted to 5.3 million viewers, the largest audience for any original series on the network.

Leading video game publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announces  that PAC-MAN Party has gone gold for Wii. Set in a birthday party theme, PAC-MAN stars in this new venture packed with dozens of mini-games, challenges and surprises. Utilizing the Wii Remote, the game’s easy to pick-up-and-play controls will have players using their skills and reflexes to compete against one another as they move about unique virtual game boards.

Hot Pop – Saturday March 6… Mr. Pop Culture Report

Swift Scorn – Country’s Taylor Swift has warned ex-boyfriend Joe Jonas to expect more songs about their failed romance — because the heartbreak has provided her with “albums” full of material. The “You Belong With Me” hitmaker, 20, dated the Jonas Brothers singer for several months in 2008 — but she was left devastated when he dumped her in a 27-second phone call. Swift poured out her emotions in her song “Forever & Always” and went on national TV in the U.S. in November that year to publicly chastise her ex — but she insists she’s not quite done targeting Jonas just yet.

Videos A Go - The band “OK Go” is more famous for their videos than their songs or music sales. When these guys put out a video, you can be sure it’ll make your jaw drop at least once or twice. “How did they do that,” is a typical reaction. Check out OK Go’s “” and “.” Why? They do the videos once!  Are these guys crazy?? (Yahoo)

These Cats Are Fed-Up - The Pussycat Dolls has finally broken up, as Kimberly Wyatt told Great Britain’s The Daily Mirror. “The girls and I have just finished our huge world tour and are taking a break from the band and doing our own thing. We’re all concentrating on our own projects and deciding what the future will hold.” No one in the group got along with lead Nicole Scheringer!

Taking A Bite From Knight - The government wants want over $6 mil from former rap mogul Suge Knight. According to court docs, a tax lien originally filed in 2003 — against Suge’s 1996 tax return — was re-filed again in January to the tune of $6,578,696.31. (TMZ)

Mr. Pop Archives – This Week In 1994…

The Bosnian government and Croatian separatists – two of the parties in the three-sided war – sign a peace agreement to form a federated state. The U.S- brokered deal hopes that will put pressure on Serbs to reach a settlement.

Hugh Rodham – brother of the First Lady – is making a run for the senate in Florida. He’s trying to unseat Republican Connie Mack.

Passing – In Mexico -  Comedic actor John Candy (43). Candy was stricken with a heart attack during his sleep and was found dead in his trailer.  The production of “Wagons East,” in which Candy was playing the drunken wagon master of an 1860’s prairie schooner heading the wrong way, was suspended.  He most recently completed the Fox television movie comedy, “Hostage for a Day,” his directorial debut.

Overdose – Kurt Cobain, lead singer for Nirvana, is rushed to a hospital in Rome after collapsing into a drug-induced coma.

Hot Hits This Week In 1994 –

The Power of Love – Celine Dion

Whatta Man – Salt-N-Pepa

So Much in Love – All-4-One

The Sign – Ace of Base

Cantaloop – Us3

Bump “n” Grind – R. Kelly

Gin and Juice – Snoop Doggy Dogg

Hey DJ – Lighter Shade of Brown

Mmmm Mmmm… Crash Test Dummies

You Know How We Do It – Ice Cube