The weekday report for the topics and people that are trending on
Yahoo! and across the Web for Wednesday May 2, 2012.
Research by Search editor Liz Streng
The reform-minded actions of a Middle East king triggers overseas interest. In domestic politics, both sides of the Massachusetts senate race are invoking the president. Down in Kentucky, where people are busy preparing for a Derby weekend, there will also be small but significant marker paying homage to one of America's greatest sports stars. Give some respect to what you readers are interested in, as we dig into the searches and the stories behind them.
STANDOUT SPIKES (a deeper dig behind three trending terms)
King Abdullah II: In a post-Arab Spring landscape, the Jordan ruler swore in his new Cabinet on Wednesday to carry out a reform agenda, including his third prime minister in 18 months. New to the 30-person body is the position of minister to oversee women's affairs, occupied by journalist Nadia Hashim. Despite the changes, some feel the crew is still too "conservative" to push for meaningful changes. The king urged for a "political solution" to Syria; an estimated 12,500 refugees have fled to Jordan to escape the civil war. He also found time to host the 4th annual Warrior Competition, in which 35 commando units from 18 countries face off.
Elizabeth Warren: It's Obama vs. Obama in what may be the most expensive 2012 race. After incumbent Senator Scott Brown released a radio ad about "standing with President Obama" after gaining bipartisan support for a bill, the challenger responded with a TV ad in which the president praised the "janitor's daughter" for helping set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Warren has also come under scrutiny for her heritage: The Crimson reported that Harvard Law School—under fire for its lack of diversity—singled out the professor's Native American roots. Warren, whose great-great-great grandmother was Cherokee, said through her campaign that she never approved the law school's rhetorical use of her background. Criticism erupted on suspicion that the heritage was used for hiring purposes, but a former Ronald Reagan solicitor general who was on the school's appointing committee said her genealogy never came up in hiring discussions. Ironically, a 1675 law that banned Native Americans from entering Boston wasn't formally repealed until 2005, under then governor Mitt Romney.
Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on Jan. 17, 1942, at Louisville General Hospital. He lived at 3302 Grand Ave. with his parents, Odessa and Cassius Clay Sr., and brother, Rudolph. Ali attended Central High School. The Clay family was part of the black middle class of West End Louisville, which was racially segregated at the time. There he began to train in boxing as a teenager and eventually transforming into three-time heavyweight champion and world-renowned humanitarian Muhammad Ali.
Other spikes, by beat...
NEWS & POLITICS
- $1 Million Lottery Ticket: No finders' keepers, at least in Arkansas. Sharon Jones will appeal a judge's ruling ordering her to give up the proceeds of a $1 million lottery prize to ticket buyer Sharon Duncan, even though Duncan threw the ticket away. Duncan argued the ticket ended up in the trash because the store scanner erroneously said there were no winning numbers. Ironically, the lawsuit started because the store owner wanted the winnings.
- Newt Gingrich: The former House speaker will likely end his bid for the GOP presidential candidacy, a week after announcing he would drop out and more than a month after he vowed he'd stick it through to the Republican convention. Withdrawal or no withdrawal, Comedy Central has a book out called "Goodnight Moon Colony" on his run. The intro to the online edition states, "Our storybook farewell to Newt Gingrich's campaign which we'll always remember for its nuanced policy positions and bold vision of ... ah, screw it. We'll remember the moon colony thing."
- Breitbart Coroner: There is an ongoing investigation afoot into the death of forensic technician Michael Cormier, who worked in the Los Angeles Coroner's office. The 61-year-old may have died of arsenic poisoning on April 20. That's the same day the coroner's office released the autopsy results of Andrew Breitbart, who died March 1 of heart failure and hypertropic cardiomyopathy at age 43.
- British Spy in Bag: National security concerns helped delay an inquest into the death of a British spy found August 2010, found naked padlocked inside a large red carrying bag stowed in the bathtub. The coroner discounted previous theories of kinky sex gone wrong and concluded that 31-year-old Gareth Williams either suffocated or was poisoned and that his death was "likely to have been criminally mediated." Experts believe MI6 was involved in a cover-up, especially since the spy had not been reporting missing for one week.
- Chen Guangcheng: The Chinese dissident left the U.S. Embassy in Beijing Wednesday "of his own volition" and reportedly plans to remain in China. In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "I am pleased that we were able to facilitate Chen Guangcheng's stay and departure from the U.S. embassy in a way that reflected his choices and our values."
- Cleveland Bomb Plot: Five men have been charged with plotting to bomb a bridge in Cleveland. Described as anarchists angry with corporate America and the government, the men worked with an FBI informant to carry out their plan.
- Marissa Alexander: Post-trial motions take place Thursday in a case in which critics allege a stand-your-ground double standard. The 5-foot 2-inch mother of three claimed her husband, who had a history of arrests for domestic abuse, was threatening her. She retrieved a gun and fired a warning shot into the ceiling. The Jacksonville woman, who had been denied stand-your-ground immunity, may face a 20-year sentence.
- Michael Bascum Selsor: The 57-year-old became Oklahoma's third execution this year. He was sent to death row in the 1975 murder of a convenience store manager, Clayton Chandler. His partner in crime, Richard Dodson, was convicted of robbery and shooting with intent to kill. He is scheduled for a parole hearing in 2013.
- Richard Grenell: The openly gay foreign-policy spokesman for Mitt Romney's campaign resigned Tuesday before the official start of his job, May 1. Hired on April 19, Grenell stated, "My ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyperpartisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign."
- Rita Crundwell: The former comptroller of Dixon, Illinois, took more than $53 million—about $20 million more than prosecutors thought—over a 20-year period allegedly to support her horse-breeding business and lavish lifestyle. Her quarter horses boasted names "Potential Fortune," "Have Faith in Money," "Sum for Me," "Packin Jewels," "Jewels by Tiffany," and "I Found a Penny."
- Secret Service Agents: A hearing found that three agents involved in the scandal refused to take a polygraph test. They were the first to go.
SCIENCE & NATURE
- Dog Guards Bike: Best dog ever? A golden retriever in China has been filmed guarding a bike, then hopping on board for the ride home after barking out an all-clear.
- Iceman Oetzi : Scientists reported Tuesday that the 5,300-year-old Alps mummy survived the arrow shot to his back. The Ludwig Maximilian University researchers used "nano-scale" forensic technology to study the blood. The dude was also lactose intolerant.
- Meat Glue: If you're nostalgic for pink slime, there's always transglutaminase, described as a white powder that binds pieces of meat together to form a single piece. The powder is created from natural enzymes harvested from fermented bacteria and used to make filet mignon quilts. Mmm.
BUSINESS & MONEY
- Facebook IPO: The social networking giant's IPO will finally happen on May 18, but the public offering roadshow begins Monday, to some skepticism.
- Instagram Users: The photo-sharing app now has more than 50 million users—and is adding new ones "at the rate of roughly 5 million per week."
- "Biggest Loser" 2012: A 199-pound loss was enough to get Jeremy Britt the season 13 title of the reality show, plus the $250,000 prize.
- Black Ops 2: The trailer for "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2" is out, and the game lands in stores November 13.
- "Dancing With the Stars": Urkel had a nice run, but Jaleel White and dance partner Kym Johnson were eliminated on the reality competition last night. Related searches: Maria Menounos, Chelsie Hightower, Roshon Fegan
- NBC "The Voice" 2012 Eliminations: Katrina Parker, Lindsey Pavao, Erin Martin, and Jamar Rogers got the boot on last night's episode of "The Voice."
- Paul Miller: The blogger of tech-news site the Verge gives up Internet for 365 days, yet still writes his blogs offline and delivers his stories by thumb drive. What's wrong with cuneiform?
- Tyler Perry Studios: The Atlanta film studios had a four-alarm fire, but Madea is okay. Yes, there's another one coming out June 29.
- Gregg Allman: The singer's memoir, "My Cross to Bear," arrived in stores Tuesday, and the Mayo Clinic gave him the OK to go on a book tour. The singer has had health issues after his 2010 liver transplant, the latest being a heart arrhythmia following hernia surgery.
- Albert Pujols: April was home run free for the Los Angeles slugger.
- Amar'e Stoudemire: The Knicks player is definitely out for the season. After punching a fire extinguisher glass case, he had surgery to repair a small muscle in his left hand.
- Andy Pettitte Testimony: The Yankees pitcher testified he was 50 percent sure that teammate Roger Clemens told of taking the growth hormone HGH.
- Celtics: Despite injuries, Celtics evened the series in a win over Atlanta, but the standout may have been a Tebowing moment when Paul Pierce sank a free throw and dropped to one knee.
- Matt Leinart: The Heisman Trophy winner will back up Oakland Raider QB Carson Palmer just like in USC.
- Jonathan Vilma: More Saints bad news: The linebacker and three of his teammates are suspended without pay "for conduct detrimental to the NFL as a result of their leadership roles in the Saints' bounty program."
- DMAA: Vitamin and supplement chain GNC is on the defense over products containing dimethylamylamine, or DMAA. The Food and Drug Administration have warned the products aren't safe.
HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE WEB
What's popular on Yahoo!, Twitter, Google Trends, CNN, BBC, Hollywood Reporter, and other sources.
- Tanning booth mom calls arrest for taking daughter, 5, a misunderstanding; 'It was a sunburn,' dad says
- Woman who lost Ark. lotto ticket entitled to $1M
- 'Avery's Bucket List': Five-Month-Old Girl With Spinal Muscular Atrophy Dies
- Flashpoints on Occupy May Day
- Mother Accused of Letting Daughter, 5, Use Tanning Bed
- Reporter's Notebook: Inside Obama's Secret Trip to Afghanistan
Twitter Trends (US)
- Maybach O
- Junior Seau's
- Remember the Titans
- Charlie Brooks
- Defensive Player of the Year
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