Pitt among celebs joining Bono's anti-poverty effort
Beverly Hills, Calif. -- Brad Pitt is among the A-list celebrities featured in new public service announcements for a campaign led by U2 singer Bono to fight poverty and AIDS.
The campaign wasn't immediately asking for donations but simply raising awareness and recruiting new advocates, Bono said Wednesday.
"We're not just asking for people to put cash in the pot here," the singer said. "Americans are generous, we know they'll do that. We're not actually asking for their money, we're asking for their voice."
Pitt, who visited Africa after being inspired by Bono's advocacy, said he was struck by how extreme poverty there made it difficult for the sick to gain access to drugs to minimize the effects of AIDS.
"I've seen it, I've been there, and to walk away from it and turn my back makes me culpable," the actor said. "And I can't do that."
A 60-second ad to air Sunday night on various networks and cable channels features actors, musicians and religious leaders, including Jewel, Penelope Cruz, Tom Hanks, Mos Def, Al Pacino and Jamie Foxx.
Completing each other's sentences, each appears in black-and-white, peering into the camera and saying a few words.
'View' co-host calls to share news of baby girl's birth
New York -- A day after her daughter was born, Elisabeth Hasselbeck called her co-hosts on ABC's "The View" to reveal the baby's name: Grace Elisabeth.
"I'm a little beat up, but it's all worth it," Hasselbeck said Thursday.
Grace Elisabeth was born at a New York hospital weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces, Hasselbeck and her husband, Washington Redskins quarterback Tim Hasselbeck, announced Wednesday. She is the couple's first child.
The baby had been a frequent topic of conversation on the daytime chat fest.
"We feel like we all had a baby!" exclaimed co-host Joy Behar.
Hasselbeck, who will be on maternity leave for about six weeks, said she might be released from the hospital today.
Hasselbeck, 27, is a former contestant of "Survivor: The Australian Outback."
'Brenda Starr' cartoon strip creator dies at age 98
Penngrove, Calif. -- Dale Messick, whose long-running comic strip "Brenda Starr, Reporter" gave her entry into the male world of the funny pages, has died at age 98.
Messick, whose strip ran in 250 newspapers at its peak in the 1950s, died Tuesday, said her daughter, Starr Rohrman, who had been caring for her mother at her home in Sonoma County.
Messick -- who jettisoned her given name Dalia to further her career -- once said Brenda had "everything I didn't have." But she charmed acquaintances with spunk and style worthy of her red-headed creation.
"Most comics, the main characters are heroes, guys, and they don't write for women," Messick said in a 2002 interview. "I was a woman, so I was writing for women and I think that's what put her over."
Messick retired from the strip in 1985. It is still running, now written by Mary Schmich and drawn by June Brigman.
Elton John shares admiration for Eminem's 'intelligence'
New York -- Elton John says Eminem is on par with Jimi Hendrix and Mick Jagger.
In the new issue of Rolling Stone, the rapper is listed in the magazine's second "Immortals" edition, featuring another 50 of the greatest figures of rock 'n' roll with appreciations written by other artists.
In his immortalizing of Eminem, John writes that he got goose bumps when he first rehearsed with him for their performance at the 2001 Grammy Awards.
"From the start, I've always admired Eminem's thinking," John writes. "That's the reason I wanted to appear on the Grammys with him when I was asked, despite all the nonsense talked about his being homophobic.
"Let the Boy Georges and the George Michaels of the world get up in a twist about it if they don't have the intelligence to see his intelligence."
Other "Immortals" contributors include Dave Matthews writing on Radiohead, Trey Anastasio on Frank Zappa, Beck on Hank Williams, David Bowie on Nine Inch Nails and Mos Def on Miles Davis.
The original top 50 "Immortals" were listed by Rolling Stone in 2004. Topping the ranks were the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley.
Former Jackson guard gives graphic testimony
Santa Maria, Calif. -- In graphic testimony Thursday, a former security guard at Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch described watching the pop star kiss, caress and perform a sex act on a nude young boy after the pair had showered together.
Ralph Chacon's abuse allegation was the most vivid to emerge in the pop star's child-molestation trial, which so far has focused largely on claims Jackson groped and masturbated young boys in darkened rooms or under covers.
The incidents described in court Thursday allegedly occurred more than 10 years ago, but they were used to bolster the current charge that Jackson molested a 13-year-old Los Angeles boy in 2003. In sex-offense trials, California state law allows prosecutors to introduce past allegations in an effort to show a pattern of similar conduct.
Chacon was followed to the stand by Adrian McManus, a former Jackson housekeeper who said she saw Jackson kiss and grope three boys during the four years she worked for him.
Former first lady Betty Ford is 87. Basketball Hall-of-Famer John Havlicek is 65. Actor John Schneider is 45. Singer Julian Lennon is 42. Actress Robin Wright Penn is 39. Actress Patricia Arquette is 37. Actor Taran Noah Smith is 21. Actress Kirsten Storms is 21.