Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Jan 3, 2013
January 3, 2013
Stars and their movies:
Today's the day that British actress and Oscar-winner Dame HELEN MIRREN gets a star (the 2,488th) on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
The star will be in front of the Pig 'N Whistle pub, and given that she played Queen Elizabeth the First, and Elizabeth the Second in "The Queen," appropriately right next the star of COLIN FIRTH, who played King George the Sixth in "The King's Speech."
Her latest film is "Hitchcock," and she'll also be in the upcoming HBO biopic about "Phil Spector," which airs later this year.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN has been named MusiCares Person of the Year for 2013. The Recording Academy will honor The Boss with a gala hosted by JON STEWART in Los Angeles on February 8th. That's two days before the Grammy Awards. ELTON JOHN, NEIL YOUNG, MUMFORD & SONS, STING, KENNY CHESNEY, EDDIE VEDDER and others are set to perform some of Bruce's hits at the gala. MusiCares helps out musicians in need and was established by the Recording Academy in 1989. (Marino)
Stuff drug companies may never sell:
CHARLIE SHEEN may have tiger blood, but panda blood is the really good stuff.
Chinese researchers believe panda blood could help create a super drug that would protect humans against a wide range or microorganisms including bacteria and fungi, both standard and drug-resistant strains.
According to the Daily Telegraph, researchers believe the antibiotic is released by the panda's immune system to protect them from infections when they are living in the wild. Thankfully, researchers have been able to synthesize the substance in the lab, making them less dependent on the panda's notoriously unreliable breeding capacity. (Page)
Broadcast, cable and video news:
AL GORE has sold Current TV to Al Jazeera. The new cable channel will be called Al Jazeera America, although it won't be available on Time Warner cable, according to Deadline.com. In fact, Time Warner released a statement saying it was "removing the service as quickly as possible."
Current TV now reaches around 59 million subscribers --Time Warner has around 12.2 million (roughly a fifth) of those-- and Deadline.com says other cable networks may drop the channel as well despite the fact that co-founder Al Gore reportedly will serve on the Advisory Board." Co-founder and current CEO JOEL HYATT says Al Jazeera will "tell the important stories that no one else is telling."
Who's up for a "Tsunami Bomb?" Britain's Daily Telegraph reports that the U-S and New Zealand tested a series of off-shore bombs back in 1944 as a possible alternative to nuclear weapons.
The goal was to destroy coastal cities by triggering massive tidal waves with powerful explosions. Experts eventually concluded that single explosions were not powerful enough and a successful Tsunami Bomb would need about four-and-a-half-million-pounds of explosives arranged in a line about five miles from shore in order to work. (Pacelli)
The Stock Market:
Wall Street roared yesterday on the first trading day of the year after Congress manage to pass a fiscal cliff deal.
The Dow Jones surged 308 points, or 2.4 percent, to 13,413. It was the biggest single-day gain for the blue-chip index gain since Nov 19.
The S&P 500 gained 36 points, or 2.5 percent and the Nasdaq jumped 93 points, or 3.1 percent.
Reality Check: Don't kid yourself: any fiscal cliff deal would have sent the markets soaring this high. Remember: a significant portion of the fiscal cliff drama was widespread uncertainty over the ability of the White House and Congress to actually build and pass a bill that would address all the big important things that the fiscal cliff would have ushered in: a tax hike, and deep cuts to elements of the social safety net, like unemployment benefits. That uncertainty only intensified when, a few days before Christmas, Speaker JOHN BOEHNER failed to collect enough votes among his own party's members to pass his "Plan B" bill. Even with this deal, there's plenty that wasn't resolved (see Politics). The stock market isn't reacting to the particulars of the bill but the fact that our political system somehow managed to pass it. (Maiman)
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