May 13th, 2010
07:57 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Ed Reyes

The Los Angeles, California, City Council on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a boycott of Arizona-based businesses and governments unless the state repeals a new law giving police the power to question a detainee's immigration status. The city's legislative analyst reported that Los Angeles currently has $56 million in contracts with companies headquartered in Arizona.

According to The Los Angeles Times, during their debate on the resolution, council members compared Arizona's legislative behavior to Nazi Germany and the beginning of the Holocaust, as well as the internment and deportation of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

"Los Angeles is the second-largest city in this country, an immigrant city, an international city. It needs to have its voice heard," said Councilman Reyes, a resolution sponsor. "As an American, I cannot go to Arizona today without a passport. If I come across an officer who's having a bad day and feels that the picture on my ID is not me, I can be ... deported, no questions asked. That is not American."

CNN This Just In: Los Angeles passes Arizona boycott over immigration law

Los Angeles Times: L.A. council bans most official travel to Arizona

John Legend

The singer-songwriter-pianist is helping to raise funds for Gulf Coast fishing families and environmentalists facing the challenges of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Legend and many other top artists will perform May 14–16 at the Hangout Beach Music and Arts Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Along with Legend will be such performers as Zac Brown Band, Alison Krauss, The Black Crowes, and Jakob Dylan.

Legend, the winner of six Grammy awards, is also scheduled to appear at the Gulf Aid benefit concert in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Sunday.

Hangout Festival website

John Legend website

Robert MacLean

An administrative judge has ruled that the Transportation Security Administration was within its rights when it fired the federal air marshal for leaking sensitive information to the media.

MacLean was fired in 2006, two years after he told an MSNBC reporter that the agency planned to remove air marshals from flights that required costly overnight hotels. The disclosure embarrassed the agency, coming only days after the government had sent out a warning about planned terror attacks on U.S. aircraft.

MacLean said he will appeal the administrative judge's decision and that he hopes for a suspension, not termination, as the appropriate punishment for his actions. He told CNN in 2009 that he never had to make an arrest in five years flying missions as an air marshal.

"It was a well-paying job with enormous responsibility, yet extremely tedious and mundane," he said. "You did the same thing every day, there was nothing new. You sat in your seat and prayed that nobody would set off an IED or ambush you mid-flight."

CNN This Just In: Judge upholds firing of federal air marshal

Maryam Ali

The 16-year-old sophomore at West Potomac High School in Alexandria, Virginia, wants to race with her school's crew team.

In a moving Washington Post profile, reporter Annie Gowen describes the challenges facing Ali asthma, overweight, lives in subsidized housing and how tough it was to pay for her $260 uniform and the team's $750 fees. And because she's not strong enough to row with others, her coach found her a separate boat to practice in.

Ali, who is African-American in a sport dominated by white competitive rowers, told the newspaper that her goal is to get in a race before the end of the season.

"I just want to do the best I can ... and be an important part of the team," she said.

Washington Post: Rower confronts class barriers with spot on crew team

Piers Sellers

The British-born NASA astronaut is taking a small piece of Sir Isaac Newton's famous apple tree into space on Friday on his trip to the International Space Station.

According to the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, the mathematician and physicist saw an apple fall in his orchard at some time during 1665 or 1666. Newton then hypothesized that the same gravitational force that made the apple fall also governed the motion of the moon.

London's Guardian newspaper reports that Sellers, who has dual UK-U.S. citizenship, said he will let the slice from Newton's tree float around in the Atlantis shuttle.

"While it's up there, it will be experiencing no gravity, so if it had an apple on it, the apple wouldn't fall. ... Sir Isaac would have loved to see this, assuming he wasn't spacesick, as it would have proved his first law of motion to be correct."

The Guardian: Isaac Newton's apple tree to experience zero gravity

Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences: Newton's life

soundoff (575 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    I'm just amused that the boycott doesn't include anything really important like Water or Power.
    A lot of Southern California's power is generated out of state, particularly in AZ because it's cheaper.. Why? Because the emissions controls and other regulations are not as strict.

    Good luck to those in AZ. If you have trouble selling your products to CA, There are lots of others in other states who would be happy to buy them. Don't give in.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. AsianMan

    I am an Asian and I can read. The law said nothing about what color of your skin is. The law said if you break the law, the officers have the right to ask for your legal status. Arizona does not want people come to their state illegally and breakin their laws. If you are smart enough, you would not want intruder intruding your home and breaking up your belongings. This is a simple law and little can understand it. How dumb for some of those against and boycott this law.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. Kerri

    SomeONE L.A. won't exploit.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. DSangiovanni

    I don't know who you call Arizona. People who are behind this law are racist. That's all. Police should do their job and immigration officers should take care of immigration. Police don't receive a training to treat immigrants.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. mich

    Can you say ILLEGAL.....

    May 13, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ben

    Thank you to all those who support us here in Arizona. California is bankrupt and crime is high. Especially in their government. We Arizonans are trying to prevent it before it takes over our state. All these botcotts are going to hurt legal immigrants in this state. Not the rest of us. I just wish the other states that are considering doing what we are would stop talking and get it done. That will be the only way our government will do anything.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  7. Rob

    I think it's high time the "silent" majority is no longer silent!! MOST Americans support this law, and so we should boycott the boycotters – do NOT go to LA or San Fran, do NOT go to the movies, call the mayor's offices in both cities & let them know they are supporting illegal aliens over US citizens and you will NOT stand for it any longer.

    Since there are so many more Americans who support this law than do not, I feel we can have the biggest impact & teach them a lesson!!

    May 13, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  8. Patrick

    Down with USA

    May 13, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ann A.

    Go Arizona!!! I wish Illinois would do the same thing – our taxes are among the highest in the nation because we're supporting so many illegals.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. lochlan

    HEY AMERICANS!!! LOOKS LIKE THERE ARE GOING TO BE SOME JOB OPENINGS IN ARIZONA. GOOD THING TOO, ESPECIALLY IN THIS ECONOMY.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  11. VIGON

    I propose that all hardworking conservative Americans make plans to vacation in Arizona this summer. Not only will you find some good bargains but you won't have to put up with liberals as a bonus!

    May 13, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. son

    So LA is boycotting AZ ? Just another reason why the city of LA has become the laughing stock of the USA. Keep it up LA. I can't wait to go back to AZ. Even though LA is about an hour from me.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. B-Bo

    Hey Patrick... Other than Montreal beating Pittsburg last night... PI$$ off. Please do boycott the US... then I wont have to hear... A A A A A all the time!

    May 13, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  14. Farsight

    I won't visit Arizona. Too much like Iraq. Hot and dry with lots of narrow minded fanatics living there.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  15. Roger

    The council has shown their full ineptness and ignorance. Maybe they should read the bill before comparing it to the Holocaust. Shame on them.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
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