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. Brandon R.

    Yeah and that's why L.A. is one of the dirtiest cities in the country and has some of the highest crime rates and worst gangs in the country. Arizona is trying to protect it's citizens from the illegals coming across the border that more times than not have gang or drug cartel relations and pose a serious threat. It's time Legal American Citizens took this country back from illegals and the politicians who support them. I have to pay for my health care and it causes a financial burden for me, but yet I can pay taxes to give someone who doesn't belong here free health care? Or how about lets give the illegal imigrants jobs and let them send the money back home to their families which prevents the money from staying in this economy, and at the same time take jobs away from legal citizens? Or we'll just give them welfare so they don't have to work, which oh, by the way, is paid with taxes I and other legal tax payers have to pay which is also a financial burden to me? As a legal citizen I have to pay for everything but if I were to renounce my citizenship and become illegal, I could get it all for free. So where is the incentive here to be a legal citizen? I think what Arizona is attempting to do is great and other States should follow suite. If you want to come to America and live here, then by all means please do, but do it the right and legal way. I'm surprised that more people were not upset when that thing happened out in California sometime back when that Store hung the American Flag upside down and under the Mexican Flag. No one got in trouble for that. So here is my take; If you come here to live, then do it legally, learn our language the best you can, and support our country, not the one you were so desperate to get away from.

    May 13, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. Susan

    Arizona rules for standing up for US citizens, who are being victimized by illegal immigrants. Victimized by high crime by illegals, loss of jobs to illegals, insane taxes to pay to care for illegals. Illegal means just that ILLEGAL. The federal government is a disgrace for not handling this issue – we don't want to offend. Well the majority of the people in this country – LEGAL CITIZENS – want the illegals out. Los Angeles is a crime ridden, shame on you all.

    May 13, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. Don

    Arizona should VERY publicly post the list of boycotting companies and let the 70% of Americans who support the law change their support to companies who support the law. Boycotts can be used by law abiding people also.

    May 13, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. Walt

    Funny, California has SO MANY laws that other states don't agree with, wonder how they would feel if the entire Mid-West boycotted California due to legalization of marijuana, gay marriage, or any other issue that conservative states disagree with California on?

    Funny that they passed a resolution by stating 'facts' that are actually the opposite of what the law says. AZ WILL NOT DEPORT ANYONE, only turn people over to U.S. Immigration. All the law does is allow local police to enforce a federal law, nothing more, nothing less.

    May 13, 2010 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. John haigh

    Hey, Los Angeles, Americans are tired of our porous borders and our government's cowardly position on illegal immigration. Probably 90% of America could care less what your racist City Council approves. Threee cheers for Arizona!

    May 13, 2010 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. yogi

    I agree that illegals shouldn't be allowed in the U.S. if they are sneaking across the border, But I disagree with the racial profiling. The main worry should be the drug cartels and gang members terrorizing the streets. I don't mind pulling someone over for questioning, but when you put it as a law, it makes people angry and that is why we have people everywhere screaming RACISM

    May 13, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bodine/MU

    I say that everyone boycotts L.A., California until Ed Reyes and the rest of the city council is replaced. Once again these politicians don't seem to understand the meaning of ILLEGAL immigrants!!!!! I have no problem making people carry their papers. Some say this would be like Nazi Germany. I’m 47 years old American and I have been carrying my papers since I was 16 years old. My paper is a little plastic card called a DRIVERS LICENCE/ID card!!!!!!!

    The problem is that all politicians don’t want to touch this because all they want is the vote to retain their office. All they want his that Hispanic vote. Something else, when a child is born here to ILLEGAL parents then the child should NOT be given American citizenship. THE CHILD WAS BORN HERE ILLEGALLY!!!!!!!

    Face the facts people,,,,, we are being terrorized by Middle East, it not racial profiling when we look at them because they are the target!!!!!

    Just like Illegal Immigrants are mainly Hispanics from Mexico, so it's not racial profiling when we look at them because that's the target for Illegal Immigrants!!!!!

    This is a black and white debate. ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL!!!!!

    May 13, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. Chris

    Yeah, why READ THE LAW when you can just jump on the bandwagon and try to portray yourself as an HR Activist..... sad, sad day for Californians.

    May 13, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  9. T

    It looks like The L.A. Council figured out a way to save money. "BOYC
    OTT ARIZONA". Therefore they do not have to pay Arizona any money. These "laws" that they are complaining about are federal laws. Even Though President Obama called it misguide, he even realized that these laws are on the books. So people need to stop trying to make Arizona the whipping post for doing what the law of this land requires them to do.

    May 13, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. anonymous

    They are simply afraid all of our society draining, non-contributing (schools, hospitals, state/federal taxes) illegals will move to LA! If this new law scares even a small percentage to leave our wonderful state it will have been a huge success. Hopefully we will require legal resident status to attend our schools next. I lived in Europe for 4 years (legally) and our kids were not allowed in their schools without proper resident paperwork; why do we allow this in our great country. If we didn't offer so many free services to those that do not contribute to our society, they wouldn't be here!

    May 13, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. mike b

    This is cutting of your nose to spite your face. Shame on LA city council.

    May 13, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. jackie

    American citizens do have to carry our driver's license and registration and if we don't we get a citation. Is it inconceivable that we would want the same laws to apply to those that are in our country illegally? Why is it racial profiling to ask they carry their illegal papers? I don't see a problem. The only ones that do see a problem are those that want votes from illegals, and those that are illegals. It is not just Mexico that has a great number of illegal immigrants, it is all countries. We are a diverse nation, but do it the legal way, as we have to do in other countries. Thank you. If asked in Mexico to show your passport, do we have to do that? Do we have to carry our passport in other countries?

    May 13, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  13. Curtis

    California is broke. How can they boycott anything. They pay in IOUs

    May 13, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  14. Joe

    It is unfortunate so many on the left wish to demonize Arizona for making a formal effort to uphold the law.

    May 13, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  15. lostinsauce

    I find it very interesting that LA is trying to boycott AZ when they have the same law on the books

    California Penal Code Section 834b

    I guess they don't think anyone knows... Typical..

    May 13, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
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