DWTS: Drew Lachey and Cheryl BurkeIn Season 2, Drew Lachey and pro dancer Cheryl Burke were crowned winners of DWTS. Lachey, brother to Nick Lachey, was an original member of the pop group "98 Degrees." Lachey toured the U.S. in early 2007 with the "Dancing With The Stars Tour." He also co-hosted three weeks of the show's fifth series when Samantha Harris was on maternity leave. Since DWTS, Lachey and his wife, Lea, had a second child in May 2011.
DWTS: Emmitt Smith and Cheryl BurkeSeason 3 crowned Emmitt Smith and pro partner Cheryl Burke champions. Smith is a retired NFL running back. He played college football for the University of Florida and later played professionally for the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals. He retired from football in 2004. Since his DWTS days, Smith has covered football for ESPN and was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
DWTS: Apolo Anton Ono and Julianne HoughSeason 4 crowned Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough victors. Ohno is no stranger to victory, being a eight-time medalist in the Winter Olympics for short track speed skating. After competing on DWTS in 2007, Ohno returned to the Olympics to win one silver and two bronze medals. He has also developed a nutrition supplement business and created the "Apolo Anton Ohno Foundation," to encourage healthy lifestyles.
DWTS: Helio Castroneves and Julianne HoughSeason 5 crowned Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough the stars. Castroneves is a famous IndyCar competitor and has never placed lower than sixth in the standings in a complete season of racing. Since his run on DWTS, Castroneves won the Indianapolis 500 in 2009 and the Indy Japan 300 in 2010.
DWTS: Kristi Yamaguchi and Gilles MariniSeason 6 marked the year for Kristi Yamaguchi and Gilles Marini. Yamaguchi is an American figure skater and was crowned the 1992 Olympic Champion in ladies' singles. She also won two World Figure Skating Championship in 1991 and 1992 as well as a U.S. Figure Skating Championship in 1992. In 2005, she was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. Since her run on DWTS, she has become a correspondent for "Today" for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
DWTS: Brooke Burke and Derek HoughSeason 7 crowned Brooke Burke and Derek Hough winners. Burke is an actress, dancer, model and television personality. Following her win on DWTS, Burke started a company, Baoosh Baby, offering wraps for pregnant women. She also hosted season 10 of DWTS alongside Tom Bergeron.
Matsushita Creates Massive Plasma
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., the maker of Panasonic brand electronics, said on Monday it hoped to start selling the world's largest plasma television by early next year.
Measuring 2.4 meters by 1.4 meters and weighing 215 kg, the 103-inch panel is bigger than a double-sized mattress and almost as heavy as an upright piano.
The world's largest consumer electronics maker has yet to set the price but Matsushita's 65-inch plasma TVs, its largest available now, sell for about $7,500 in Japan.
The plasma panel used in the Matsushita TV will be just one-inch larger measured diagonally than a 102-inch model developed by Samsung SDI Co. Ltd. The South Korean company has not launched the model commercially.
Matsushita is the world's largest plasma TV maker competing with smaller rivals such as South Korea's LG Electronics Inc.
As liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs encroach on the market for 40-inch TVs and above - which had previously seen as plasma TV's turf - developing even larger-sized panels is important for plasma TV makers to remain competitive.
Sharp Corp. plans to bring on stream the world's first plant that cuts LCD panels from eighth-generation glass in October.
Eighth-generation glass is bigger than seventh-generation glass now used by Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. in their joint venture, and allows LCD makers to produce large-sized panels economically.
Matsushita also said it had started taking orders for the 103-inch panels in the United States for business use, such as studio monitors at broadcasting companies and electronic billboards, and planned to deliver them from this autumn.
Matsushita aims to sell 5,000 units of the 103-inch panels a year, with TV demand accounting for little less than 20 percent, which can be calculated into annual sales of some 1,000 103-inch TVs.
The new panels will meet full high-definition specifications, meaning they can produce images at the highest standard of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels of resolution.
Osaka-based Matsushita controlled 21.6 percent of the global plasma TV market in the January-March quarter, followed by LG Electronics with 17.8 percent, according to DisplaySearch.
Shares of Matsushita closed up 1.5 percent at 2,390 yen, outstripping the Tokyo stock market's electrical machinery index, which gained 1.2 percent.
DWTS: Kym Johnson and Donny OsmondSeason 9 crowned Donny Osmond and pro dancer Kym Johnson the winners. Osmond is a famous American singer, musician, actor, dancer, radio personality and former teen idol. He and his younger sister gained fame as "Donny & Marie" in the '70s. Since DWTS, Osmond has hosted a music radio show where he features clips from the show "Donny & Marie."
A Testy Time for Airbus
Recent airplane production delays, the resignation of a pair of top executives and competition from Boeing have seen Airbus shares plunge. However, the manufacturer is moving forward as it undertakes the second half of 2006.
On Monday, the Airbus division of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. announced that it had received orders for 117 planes during the first six months of 2006, a figure that pales in comparison with that of its American competitor Boeing, which had previously reported that it had secured 480 orders during the same time period.
The latest numbers could be a reflection of several challenges the company is facing.
Just last week EADS ended a brief but turbulent period where the companyâ€™s co-CEO and the head of Airbus unit departed following the announcement of inevitable delays in the manufacturing of the flagship A380 super jumbo jet.
The 555 passenger giant is meant to be the plane that ushers in a new era of air travel, surpassing the 30 year reign of Boeingâ€™s 747 as the worldâ€™s largest commercial jet.
On June 13, the Airbus blindsided investors and shareholders when it announced that it would delay the delivery of A380 by up to seven months due to electrical wiring difficulties. The added delay put the jet over a year behind schedule. Meanwhile, customers who had already ordered jets announced the same day they would be reviewing their options with some saying they would seek compensation.
In the June 14 trading session, the companyâ€™s stock plunged 26 percent, wiping out over $7 billion in EADS valuation.
The question of which executives knew about the delay and when they knew it arose. In the aftermath of several weeks of intense speculation and a desire to see someone held accountable, Airbus head Gustav Humbert and EADS co-CEO Noel Forgeard resigned, on July 3, saying that they were taking responsibility.
For the departing Forgeard, who said he already knew there was a risk of delay in April, it was a sad exit following nearly a decade at the company. He was known as the father of the A380 because the drive to create it came under his watch as CEO of Airbus.
Another of the major difficulties facing the company has been customer dissatisfaction with designs for the 300 passenger A350 jet. The A350 is meant as a medium-sized, long distance option for airlines. It has been criticized for being fuel inefficient.
Boeingâ€™s 787, known as the Dreamliner, is the A350s closest competitor. It touts lightweight building materials and more efficient engines. While Boeing has secured a total 360 firm orders for the plane, the Airbus counterpart has only 100 confirmed.
When the complaints were first made, executives at Boeing said that a decision on whether the A350 needed a redesign was going to be made by July. With the recent management shakeup, those plans may be placed on hold.
New Airbus Chief Executive Christian Streiff, who was confirmed by shareholders last week, could decide about the fate of the A350 by next weekâ€™s Farnborough International Air Show near London.
Time is a factor. The Boeing jet is scheduled for its first delivery by 2008, with consistent production in place by 2010. A significant redesign of the A350 could delay production until 2012.
DWTS: Jennifer Grey and Derek HoughSeason 11 crowned Jennifer Grey and pro dancer Derek Hough its stars. Grey is an American actress who has starred in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Dirty Dancing," "Red Dawn" and other films. Throughout her career, she has been romantically involved with Matthew Broderick, Johnny Depp, George Stephanopoulous and Clark Gregg, her current husband.
High oil prices no longer barometer for FX market
Oil prices are hovering near record highs, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the foreign exchange market.
Currencies once considered vulnerable to high oil costs have gained in recent weeks, while those of oil-exporting countries such as Canada have lost value even as oil prices hit a new high above $75 a barrel.
Analysts say that's because robust global growth, not tight supplies or geopolitical jitters, is driving oil higher, which means investors will have to adopt new strategies for trading so-called petro-currencies.
The bottom line is the old world view of oil and its effect on FX has to be reevaluated, said Boris Schlossberg, senior currency strategist at Forex Capital Markets in New York.
Mansoor Mohi-udden, a currency strategist at UBS in London, said demand-driven oil prices mean investors should consider trading currencies in a contrarian manner and look favorably on 'growth' currencies like Asian exchange rates, even when such countries have high oil import bills.
Indeed, as Schlossberg pointed out, oil at $75 a barrel has not stopped the Japanese economy from performing well, nor has it unduly affected the habits or confidence of the U.S. consumer.
Japan, the world's second largest economy, imports virtually all its oil, which would suggest higher oil prices would weigh on the economy and the yen.
What we're starting to see now is how much more accustomed the world is to high oil prices, said George Davis, technical strategist at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto. Oil above $70 a barrel doesn't shock us.
That leaves investors to focus on growth and interest-rate differentials rather than the previously perceived negative effect of the black gold on currencies.
The Canadian dollar, Schlossberg said, is a case in point. The currency has decoupled from oil prices over recent weeks and tumbled nearly 1 percent against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday when the Bank of Canada kept interest rates steady at 4.25 percent.
The U.S. dollar, meanwhile, is benefiting from interest rates at 5.25 percent, which are expected to rise by at least another quarter percentage point before the Federal Reserve ends a tightening campaign now at two years and counting.
SLIP SLIDING AWAY
On Tuesday the Canadian dollar fell to a near three-month low against the U.S. dollar, while on Monday the Japanese yen hit a one-month high against the greenback.
These moves came only days after oil hit all-time highs. Last Friday, U.S.-traded crude futures traded as high as $75.78 a barrel.
Yet more traditional relationships between currencies and oil - where oil-producing countries enjoy rising inflows from high prices while importer nations need more foreign currency to buy energy - may yet be reestablished.
In Russia, the world's largest oil-producing nation along with Saudi Arabia, the higher oil climbs, the faster the country's fiscal situation improves. This is a positive for the rouble, analysts say.
Dennis Gartman, an independent analyst and author of The Gartman Letter, said he's skeptical about adopting too single-minded a focus on one variable when investing in currencies.
I'm amused at how slavish people get about watching interest rate differentials. If that were all that mattered, I'd be long the Zimbabwe currency, he said.
At well above 1,000 percent, inflation in the African country is the world's highest and obliterates any yield advantage the Zimbabwean dollar may get from high interest rates.
And while today's more fuel-efficient cars and more productive firms have dulled the pain of higher energy prices, Gartman said potential supply disruptions and geopolitical risks from Mexico to Iran still exist in the energy sphere.
Davis, of RBC Capital Markets, said a big test will come at the height of the U.S. hurricane season, usually around August and September.
A surge in oil prices as a result of supply disruptions indeed favors adopting the conventional foreign exchange logic of buying currencies of oil exporters against those of importers, as happened last year when Hurricane Katrina battered the U.S. Gulf Coast.
So far, though, there's little sign that higher interest rates or higher oil prices are slowing growth.
There's been a psychological adjustment for consumers as well as at the corporate level, said Davis. That's why we aren't seeing currencies such as the yen impacted by these developments.
DWTS: J.R. Martinez and Karina SmirnoffIn the most recent series finale, DWTS crowned J.R. Martinez and pro dancer Karina Smirnoff its winners. Martinez is an American actor and former U.S. Army soldier. In 2003, Martinez suffered severe burns on over 40 percent of his body while serving in Iraq. He has traveled around the U.S. to give motivational speeches to corporations, veterans, students and others. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors.
Dancing with the Stars, the incredibly popular reality series on ABC, finished its thirteenth season late Tuesday. J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff were crowned winners in the season finale, following ten weeks of grueling dance rehearsals and performances.
With thirteen seaons under its belt, DWTS has seen many Olympics athletes, actors, models and veterans dance to the top, but where are the winners now? Come take a look at the thirteen past winners of Dancing with the Stars.