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. Bill CA

    The Los Angeles City Council has overstepped its boundries poliitically and morally. Their Nazi reference is an insult to Holocast survivors and WW ll vets who defended us against the Nazis. I support Arizona. Our borders have to be protected. I look forward to the next election so I can vote these Coouncil members out of office. They don't represent me or the citizens of California.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. D'Oh!

    You know who I bet is really ticked? Utah. Once that law takes effect, every immigrant north of Flagstaff is heading for the nearest border.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. floydrturboamerican

    this is patently un-American behavior by the hispanic minority.
    how can one city protest another State's actions.
    where is the federal government.
    all this does is reinforce that the hispanic alliegance is to itself first and foremost, country be damned....that is interesting

    May 13, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. lochlan

    Does Las Angeles have a deficit or surplus? But hey, what's another $56million to try to get a different state to allow people to break the law again. Arizona is doing right by kicking out the illegal aliens who steal jobs from Americans. How much additional revenue is Arizona going to take in in taxes by Americans doing those jobs rather than illegals who don't pay taxes? I'd go even one wtep further and label illegals to be detained as "enemy combatants".

    May 13, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dave

    The boycott will have no meaning unless there is something that has national spotlight such as sports. An example would be the L.A. Dodgers to boycott an Arizona Diamondbacks home game, willing to concede defeat if they don't show up to play; the Lakers doing something similar with the Suns, and so forth..

    May 13, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  6. MK

    I would hope other States wouold encourage business and travel to Arizona. I see nothing wrong with the law that Arizona passed. I wish other states would follow their lead.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. carlos

    How could anyone be in support of this??? an American government boycotting American business, sad day. The Arizona law is not racist,it does not explicitly target any group, it is not a very well thought out law in the long term but it merely reflects the inadequacies and frustrations with an illegal immigrant situation. I am Latino, i also immigrated here legally and waited over 10 years to finally get my citizenship; we must reduce incentives for illegal immigration or else we will get stuck with a very fragile underclass that lives in the shadows. And to those that point out our history, past generations of immigrants came here legally, thus were able to take full advantage of all opportunities.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  8. rsan

    the problem is not the law ,as a matter of fact ,let's make the "asking for papers '(not just for a drivers license )an all color experience.Let's ask all people in Arizona ,white people included,for their papers and see how soon it gets old. i agree that illegals should go,but there's a lot lot of non-white people that are USA citizens ,same with white people that are illegal..so let's stop and ask everybody for papers ,btw,do you realize that AZ is going to need more resources to comply with this law therefore they may need to raise taxes?

    May 13, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  9. jimnuthousiki

    The way I see it is, its actually good for AZ. CA government and especially LA city is not going to be able to pay their bills anyway. So why carry bad debt on your books..... Well, Fed government will probably step in to pay all their bills if that happens, but then Feds may be running out of money too. So this is a good news for AZ economy.
    What does LA want to do next, declare Grand Canyon as CA landmark??????

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

    I am elated that Arizona has taken the courage to enforce federal laws that the federal govenrment has not had the back bone to. I say, HOORAY for Arizona, and pooh-pooh on Los Angeles.

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

    I say give california back to Mexico. Stop all federal funds, and boycott all businesses based in california. L.A. can go to hell.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  12. Michael, Chapel HIll

    These City Council members are out of touch with the American public. Also, they are against reason. Further they use their power and money, bestowed by others, to mandate theri popularity.
    Like any other Liberal, they are irresponsible with the tax payers money and will.

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

    AS AN AMERICAN INDIAN HALF CHEROKEE AND HALF TOHONO, I AM AGAINST THIS ARIZONA LAW, BECAUSE BROWN PEOPLE WILL BE TARGETED, QUESTIONED, ARRESTED AND DUMPED IN A SECRET CONCENTRATION CAMP......IT ALSO MEANS THAT THE BROWN PEOPLE MUST CARRY A BIRTH CERTIFICATE OR AN U.S. PASSPORT ATTACHED TO THEIR NECKS ALL THE TIME...BECAUSE A DRIVER'S LICENSE OR A SOCIAL SECURITY CARD ARE NOT PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP. I SUPPORT 100 PERCENT THIS BOYCOTT...!!!

    May 13, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  14. L Newman

    I propose we all boycott L.A.

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

    Yeah well when L.A. falls into the Pacific, you won't have to worry about this, see you all in Arizona Bay.

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