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. Read The Actual Arizona Law

    Ramon Herrera,

    " "Asking for proof of citizenship – then detaining those who are here illegally is just the same as a cop asking for your license and registration. It's call law and order folks."

    I am appalled at the IGNORANCE displayed here. The writer of the above statement is kindly advised to go to his/her high school and ask for a refund.

    A cop CANNOT stop anyone based on his whim, mood, prejudices, etc. There are very specific rules, which if not followed will get the case thrown out of court.

    There are sheriff offices and the 3 largest AZ cities which intend not to follow the new law and/or sue the state. Meanwhile the above illuminated poster knows better?"

    Please state your sources on where you obtained the information that the three largest cities in AZ are not going to support the law. A link will suffice so that I can do the research myself.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ted R.

    It's great that Arizona is standing up for what's right. Illegal immigration has taken it's toll on the state and AZ has a right to take the reins. What LA thinks is irrelevant–it is a safe haven for illegals, gangs and criminals. I will do my best not to spend money in LA if I have to visit in the area.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. DSangiovanni

    A cop don't need to ask for your licence and registration if you look hispanic you moron!!

    May 13, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. dxk

    The Arizona cops are subsidizing their income by stopping and robbing the Mexican workers who are doing our menial tasks. In the first place, the Mexican workers are not paid very much. The Arizona people are shamelessly tolerating this behavior.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  5. Patrick

    Good for you Cali! As a Canadian, I will not only boycott Arizona, but will boycott the entire USA!

    I am married to a Muslim girl, am white and my best friend is an immigrant.

    Shame on you america.. Hopefully someone will put you in your place once and for all.. I am thinking a nice nukin' from Iran.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. mich

    Viva Arizona!

    May 13, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. Brian Paul

    Good for Arizona. Now they are getting rid of illegal aliens and californians. This is working out much better than they expected. LOL

    May 13, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. Patrick

    AMERICA IS A COUNTRY OF COWARDS WHO SHOULD BE WIPED OFF THE MAP LIKE IRAN SAYS.

    AMERICA = WORLDS BIGGEST TERRORST OF HISTORY.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  9. B-Bo

    To 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...!!!

    Come On... Serioulsy... Read the law first. I understand where you are coming from... but concentration camp... not necessary.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. blather

    boycott L.A.! it is a total wasteland

    May 13, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ramon F. Herrera

    "Who needs California? Since when does this make a difference?"

    Who needs Flagstaff?

    Who needs Phoenix?

    Who needs Tucson?

    All 3 cities are suing the state.

    At least one sheriff declared he will not be following the new law.

    Hey, who need sheriffs, anyway!?

    May 13, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  12. lochlan

    Boycott LA!!!

    May 13, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kerri

    Gee... what a shame. Some L.A. actually won't exploit.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bobby Seay

    Arizona, the country is behind you. You shouldn't want contracts from LA anyway, from what I hear they are going broke. Cancelled contracts with you will be a blessing down the road.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  15. parker

    Why would I boycott Arizona? They are doing what the rest of the country should be doing. After all, those of us that have travelled internationally know all too well about showing legal status for being in another country. Arizona is only doing what most EVERY other country in the world has done, including Mexico. What is the big deal? Grow up!

    May 13, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
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