Obama skit has 15m hits
President Barack Obama’s appearance on the Between Two Ferns satirical online talk show last week is at 15 million views — almost at Justin Bieber levels. The Web site Funny or Die on Friday said that Obama’s interview with Zach Galfianakis, posted on Tuesday, will likely beat Bieber’s record of 17.8 million views for the show. Funny or Die chief executive Dick Glover called the appearance a key moment for the Internet, much like former president Franklin Roosevelt’s fireside chats for radio and the Kennedy-Nixon debate for TV. Obama told Ryan Seacrest in an interview on Friday that he figured he had reached his target audience of young people with a healthcare message when his daughter Malia was excited to hear he had taped the appearance with Galfianakis.
David Brenner dies at 78
A spokesman for the family of comedian David Brenner says the Tonight Show favorite has died. He was 78. Brenner died on Saturday afternoon at his home in New York City, said Jeff Abraham, who was Brenner’s publicist. The gangly, toothy Brenner made more than 150 appearances as a guest and substitute host on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, starting in the 1970s. His Tonight exposure turned the former documentary filmmaker into a hot comedian. Brenner was a regular on other TV talk shows and game shows and starred in four HBO comedy specials. He also briefly hosted his own syndicated talk show in 1987. Brenner continued to work steadily doing standup shows.
Magnitude 6.3 quake strikes
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the northwest of the country near its border with Ecuador on Saturday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported. The National Civil Defense Institute said it had not received reports of serious damage or injuries, and authorities did not issue a tsunami alert. The quake struck at 6:51pm. Its epicenter was 45km south-southwest of Piura and it occurred at a depth of 9.8km, the USGS said. Brazilian construction company Odebrecht SA said its US$700 million irrigation project in the area was unaffected. Still, the quake jolted the northern coastal region, with local media reporting that some people ran into the street after the tremor, fearing their homes could cave in. A witness on local radio RPP said the cross on the dome of a local church fell off. The quake was also felt in parts of Ecuador, according to newspaper El Comercio.
Cao’s death ‘disturbing’
The government on Saturday offered condolences to the family of a Chinese activist who died while in detention and urged Beijing to respect human rights. “The United States is deeply disturbed by reports that rights activist Cao Shunli (曹順利) has passed away at a hospital in Beijing. We offer our condolences to her family,” a statement from Department of State spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. Rights groups said Cao died on Friday after falling critically ill in police detention, where she was at first denied treatment. She had joined a rare protest outside the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in June last year to demand greater participation in the UN’s review of human rights in China, Amnesty International said. Cao was set to travel to Switzerland for a UN Human Rights Council review in September last year, but police detained her at Beijing’s international airport. She became seriously ill and her condition worsened after she was refused medical care, her lawyer said.