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Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of January 15, 2015 In News, Pop Culture History, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


The United States rolled out a sweeping set of measures on Thursday to significantly ease the half-century-old embargo against Cuba, opening up the country to expanded travel, trade and financial activities.

Police in three European countries have arrested some two dozen people suspected of terrorists links, as authorities crack down in a continent on edge after three days of violence last week in France. Belgian police arrested 13 people on Thursday thought to have been on the verge of carrying out attacks on policemen, authorities said in a press conference on Friday. Meanwhile, French police detained 12 people in relation to last week’s terror spree that killed 17, and German police said they raided 11 properties in Berlin and arrested two people suspected of providing financial support and recruiting fighters for Islamic State in Syria.

The cost of living in the U.S. declined in December by the most in six years, reflecting a plunge in energy costs that’s keeping inflation from rising toward the Federal Reserve’s goal.

At least 60,500 suspects involved in drug-related crimes, were arrested by the Chinese police, which also seized 11.14 tons of narcotics from raids, Xinhua reported, citing the country's ministry of public security. The arrests are part of the ongoing countrywide campaign dubbed, "Ban drugs in hundreds of cities."

State of the Union - President Obama will call for higher taxes on the wealthy and large financial institutions in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. Obama will propose that the $320 billion in tax hikes be used to pay for tax cuts for the middle class, as well as a range of programs.

Pope Francis urged millions gathered in Manila on Sunday to take care of one another -- and help promote peace in the world. The Pope wore a yellow poncho over his robe as he celebrated the Mass, which was attended by 6 million people, according to the Philippine News Agency.
The militant group Islamic State released an online video on Tuesday purporting to show two Japanese captives and threatening to kill them unless it received $200 million in ransom.
Neighbors are fearing the worst in Annapolis as investigators start a heart wrenching search through the remains of a mansion that burned to the ground this week.They will be looking for the homeowners, Don and Sandy Pyle, and their four grandchildren, who have been missing since the fire.
More State of the Union Address - Amongst the areas that we are doing well, President Obama highlighted the fact that we are creating jobs at fastest pace since 1999, that the unemployment rate lower than before the crisis, more Americans are insured than ever before and that we are not dependent on foreign oil for the first time in 30 years.

Sports -
CBS Sports basketball analyst Greg Anthony has been suspended indefinitely by the network, a CBS spokesperson said on Saturday, a day after he was arrested in Washington, D.C., on a charge of soliciting prostitution. Anthony, 47, was arrested Friday evening after making an agreement for sexual favors, according to Washington's Metropolitan Police Department.

NFL Playoffs - The Green Bay Packers - Leading by 12 into the fourth quarter - blow it as the Seattle Seahawks win in overtime 28-22. And, New England blows out Indiana - 45-7. It’ll be the 6th Super Bowl appearance for New England.

The NFL is investigating whether the New England Patriots used under-inflated footballs in Sunday’s AFC championship game win against the Indianapolis Colts.

Tech news -
Google has chosen Puerto Rico as the test market for its first modular smartphone, due to go on sale here in the second half of the year. The selection was announced at the second Project Ara Developers Conference near Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California, which was streamed live on the Internet.

Google is ending sales of its Google Glass eyewear. The company insists it is still committed to launching the smart glasses as a consumer product, but will stop producing Glass in its present form. Instead it will focus on "future versions of Glass" with work carried out by a different division to before.

Google is reportedly close to slinging $1bn at Elon Musk's SpaceX to pad out investment in the private company's development of satellites for internet-based services.
According to The Information, which cited several people familiar with the matter, a deal could be sealed soon. One source said that Google had agreed to value SpaceX above $10bn.
American Teens now spend more time with streaming audio services such as Pandora and Spotify than they do with AM/FM radio (including both over-the-air and the online streams of AM/FM stations), according to the fall 2014 “Share of Ear” report, new research from Edison Research.

Microsoft wants back in the game, and it is using a little science fiction to get there.
The company has seemed adrift in recent years. But on Wednesday, it unveiled an unexpected new headset that allows interaction with holographic images, enabling people to play video games, build 3-D models and hold immersive videoconferences with colleagues.
With the device, HoloLens, Microsoft is entering an increasingly crowded area, with giant competitors, in the world of virtual and augmented reality. Whether Microsoft can outmaneuver those companies, like Facebook and Google, is far from guaranteed.

Entertainment -
NBC News is turning to a name from the past to help lead "Today" into the future. Noah Oppenheim, a senior producer of the morning program when it was No. 1 in the ratings, is returning as the top executive in charge of the entire editorial operation, according to NBC News executives familiar with the plan. “Today” has been getting beat by GMA.

Passing - Kim Fowley, an impresario, record producer and scenester best known for his work with the Runaways, has died, He was 75.... of bladder cancer. Fowly had been in the music business since the 1950’s. Whether proto-metal dynamite with Blue Cheer and The Lancasters (featuring a young Richie Blackmore), quieter acoustic fare with Cat Stevens, ’60s pop perfection with Paul Revere & The Raiders and the Byrds or harder ’70s rock withKISS and Alice Cooper, Fowley put his unique stamp on the musical world.

The View is reportedly about to get the axe. According to Q-Political, the long-running show has been on the chopping block for quite some time due to the continuous complications between Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O’Donnell. It’s definitely no secret that the two co-hosts aren’t the best of friends. As a matter of fact, they’re probably the biggest opposing forces on daytime talk show television.

Goodbye Black Crowes - Rich Robinson announces that, after 24 years, the Black Crowes are breaking up. "It is with great disappointment and regret that after having the privilege of writing and performing the music of The Black Crowes over the last 24 years, I find myself in the position of saying that the band has broken up."

The Dead Are Back - Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio will join the four living original members of The Grateful Dead for three 50th-anniversary shows July 3-5 at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Dead's last performance with Jerry Garcia, who died in August 1995, was at the same 55,000-seat capacity venue on July 9, 1995.

Fitness instructor Greg Plitt -- who appeared on the Bravo show "Work Out" -- died Saturday after he was struck by a train. The 37 year-old was hit by a Metrolink train in Burbank. He was with some friends who may have been shooting video at the time.

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore pronounced that "snipers aren't heroes" in a tweet on Sunday as "American Sniper," the Oscar-nominated biopic of a former Navy SEAL and sharpshooter, won the weekend box office. The "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Bowling for Columbine" director later expanded on his remarks, saying: "But if you're on the roof of your home defending it from invaders who've come 7K miles, you are not a sniper, u are brave, u are a neighbor."

Justin Bieber as the subject of a Comedy Central roast? He’s set to do it. Get ready for: The Justin Bieber who allegedly egged a neighbor's house? The Justin Bieber who reportedly antagonized an airplane crew and filled an plane with pot smoke? The Justin Bieber whose antics prompted some commentators to ask for his deportation?

Top movies -
American Sniper
The Wedding Ringer
Taken 3
The Imitation Game
Into The Woods
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

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