Archive for Sunday, April 17, 2005


April 17, 2005


Royal couple visits Thailand

Khao Lak, Thailand -- Denmark's crown prince and princess visited a shelter for hundreds of villagers made homeless by the Dec. 26 tsunami that battered the coast of southern Thailand.

Crown Prince Frederik and his wife, Crown Princess Mary, were welcomed Saturday by volunteers and Thai villagers. They watched fishermen repair tsunami-damaged boats and fishing nets and children at the camp who performed traditional Thai dances.

Their official delegation also attended a private memorial service in Khao Lak with 210 relatives of the victims. Thirty-six Danes have been confirmed dead from the Indian Ocean tsunami, and 10 are still missing.

The tsunami killed more than 5,300 and left 2,900 missing in Thailand, most of them in the resort town of Khao Lak and nearby fishing villages in Phang Nga province, about 75 miles north of the resort island of Phuket.

Nearly half the dead were vacationing foreigners.

The royal couple leave Thailand today.

Apollo 13 astronaut gives museum mission memorabilia

Chicago -- Former astronaut Jim Lovell, whose near-fatal trip to the moon was made famous in the movie "Apollo 13," has given a planetarium the handbook whose cardboard cover was used to save the space crew's lives.

Lovell donated several items from his career to the Adler Planetarium to mark the institution's 75th anniversary.

The gifts include pieces of memorabilia from the trip to the moon that turned into a race for survival after an oxygen tank exploded.

The handbook's cardboard cover was torn off and used in an air purifier to let Lovell and his fellow astronauts breathe. "If it hadn't worked, we would have been poisoned by our own exhalation," Lovell said Wednesday.

Two other donated items would have been left on the moon's surface if the mission hadn't been aborted: a plaque listing the names of the astronauts and a small navigational telescope.

Ono to serve as chairwoman of 'Art for Peace' competition

Portsmouth, N.H. -- Yoko Ono has agreed to serve as honorary chairwoman of an art competition and exhibition for the 100th anniversary of the treaty that ended the Russo-Japanese War.

"The Portsmouth peace treaty is a very important and enduring symbol of peace that is worthy of honoring and celebrating with this visual arts competition and exhibition," said Ono, wife of the late Beatle John Lennon.

The exhibition of works reflecting visions of peace and harmony is scheduled for July 20 through Sept. 5.

Governor wants to hire Trump

Atlantic City, N.J. -- Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell wants Donald Trump in the game.

With his state poised to open 14 slot parlors next year, Pennsylvania's chief executive hopes Trump will be among those running them.

"I want the best operators who will put the best facilities together," Rendell said after an appearance at the New Jersey Conference of Mayors on Thursday at Trump Taj Mahal. "The Trump name would be a big draw, so we would encourage him to bid on a license."

Trump's casino company, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, recently won court approval for its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Next month, it is expected to formally emerge from bankruptcy court protection, boosted by a $500 million line of credit expected to be tapped for renovations to Trump's Atlantic City properties and -- possibly -- a play in Pennsylvania.

Rap mogul to put spin on yoga

New York -- As country is to line-dancing, rap is to ... yoga?

Hip-hop guru Russell Simmons has entered the fitness world with the release of a yoga video set to rap beats. "Russell Simmons Presents Yoga Live" is an otherwise traditional instructional video that teaches the basics of yoga postures and breathing.

"For me, this is a very serious venture," Simmons recently told The Associated Press. "If I could move the meter and take yoga and spread it ... then everyone in the world would do it."

The 47-year-old Simmons has practiced yoga for nearly a decade. The creator of rap label Def Jam also has introduced a host of other hip-hop flavored products including an HBO comedy series, clothing lines and beverages -- but says this yoga series is especially important.

Hosted by Sara Ivanhoe, the video (also available in DVD) has a soundtrack with relatively tame rap beats.

Civil rights icon, rap duo settle use of name lawsuit

Rosa Parks and rap duo OutKast have settled a lawsuit in which the civil rights pioneer accused the group of wrongly using her name in a song title, reports Billboard Online.

OutKast, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and two of the company's units admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to work on projects "to enlighten today's youth about the significant role Rosa Parks played in making America a better place for all races," Parks' guardian, Dennis Archer, said in a statement.

Sony BMG attorney Joe Beck said the defendants were pleased with the settlement.

Parks, who is now 92, was arrested after refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Ala., in 1955. The incident triggered one of the modern civil rights movement's earliest landmark events, a 381-day boycott of the bus system organized by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

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