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. JUST ME


    May 13, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bob

    MY concern is that if we continue to boycott Arizona, that White Arizonans may start to move away. I don't want a those people in my neighborhood, taking my jobs and lowering my property value. We'd have to build them a separate school just to keep the little fascists away from Colorado's legal and respected Mexican and Korean population. I understand that boycotting hurts many people that didn't support fascism, but I fully support a national Arizona curb stomp

    Hey 164, sorry but your license won't be enough. If you don't have a birth certificate on you at all times, you go to JAIL browny

    May 13, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ellie

    Get over it people. If you're here illegally GTFO! If you're here legitimately then you have nothing to worry about. Why are we boycotting AZ?! I think they're taking a step in the right direction. Hopefully the rest of America will follow suit.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. Love Arizona

    My group is about 1000 people and we already agree to boycott every organizations who boycott Arizona. No travels, no purchases, etc.

    Let's boycott those who boycott Arizona. Take our country back before it is too late. If we don't act now, this country will be a third world country. It won't take too long. Just look at the schools, all kids are Mexicans! We gotta stop this NOW!

    May 13, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. martin

    They are called ILLEGAL aliens for a reason, living in this country without citizenship/visa is ILLEGAL!!! This is a real problem. This country is going farther and farther into debt and the more people living in this country without contributing to the tax base, the bigger the problem will get. This isn't racism, it's enforcing a law that makes sense. I think this law will really push this issue to the forefront where it belongs and hopefully it will become both easier to become a citizen and decrease the number of people living in this country illegally.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. mamaT

    ALL people are reqired to follow the LAW! The first clue is "ILLEGALS"?? This country needs to know who is in it for security and economic reasons. Illegals don't pay TAXES and they don't pay for HEALTH CARE! ***It is not right to attack law enforcement for upholding the law. Shame on you all. Profiling law enforcement officers and agencies is not right. Ball teams and LA officials need to get their heads on straight.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. Robert Daniel Upstate New York

    I hope MS-13, Sons of Satan, El Banditos, Los Locos, and the entrepreneurs on the street corners by every High School will boycott them too.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mr. Tea


    Read the law that was passed. The law bans cultural studies that promotes one race over another, which is the very definition of racism. So this law makes teaching racism illegal. Explain what's wrong with that please.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. Matt

    It is pretty easy for a white person to say they are OK with racial profiling. The white person's freedoms are not being jeopardized. It is pretty sad that most still do not realize that the US is great due to it's diversity and that it is a melting pot of cultures. Did the federal governemnt do enough in regards to illegals? Probably not. Is Arizona going way too far? Most definitely.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. Robert

    I guess I could make a lot of useless comments but the facts are that this problem should have been handled 30 years ago. It is now way too late. I predict that by the year 2020 the entire southern as well as middle states will basically resemble a third world type area. The sad part is that our so-called leaders as well as every citizen (myself included) of the late great United States of America allowed this to fester. The entire world will suffer because of our stupidity and constant finger pointing. It's very sad. Good-By America – it was a great run.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. USA

    Live in LA, and was going to travel to San Francisco this summer.
    I will now travel to to Arizona.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bill

    I guess this mean the Lakers will be forfeiting their series against the Suns, and the Dodgers will be forfeiting all 18 games they have against the Diamondbacks.

    Seriously, I'm from Southern California and support the AZ law, but I'm also sick of people (on BOTH sides of the political fence) using these idiotic boycotts. It's childish and ineffective. We live in a democracy, which means sometimes we have to respect laws we don't agree with from the other side. Boycotting AZ is up there as only slightly less stupid than when conservatives decided to rename 'french fries' to 'freedom fries' because they were angry that the French weren't stupid enough to jump onboard with Bush's illegal war in Iraq. How'd that end up turning out, anyway? I'm willing to bet the French got the last laugh there, as AZ will here when they end up with a safer state as a result of this law, while my beautiful home state of California continues to be infested with illegal alien criminals.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  13. DaveRad

    Maybe I'm oversimplfying, but if a person is here LEGALLY, then they have NOTHING to worry about. Even with our close proximity to the Beltway, sensible Virginians support Arizona 100%.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sarah Nyberg

    Last time I was in Mexico I had to show my passport. Uh. Last time I traveled by plane to California I had to show a valid ID ( drivers license). Uh. Last time I drove to California from Arizona I was stopped at the Cali/AZ border and asked question Uh. Strange I thought this just happened in Arizona. Hey good luck to California and L.A. on your debt. I rather live in Arizona then bankrupt California.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bob

    Because you can't even prove you are a legal resident right now sitting there. You aren't holding your birth certificate you the Arizona cops can arrest you and detain you (and beat you) until you can prove you live here legally. What you meant to say is "I'm white, so I must be legal"

    May 13, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
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