Archive for Thursday, July 7, 2005

People in the news

July 7, 2005

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Krakow recognizes Spielberg for 'Schindler's List'

Warsaw, Poland - The city of Krakow has recognized Steven Spielberg for his efforts to preserve parts of the former ghetto where he filmed much of his Oscar-winning "Schindler's List."

Spielberg was named a prestigious "Patron of Culture" for 2004 in a ceremony late Tuesday, Krakow spokesman Filip Szatanik said.

The city cited the director's donation of $40,000 to preserve the former Pod Orlem pharmacy, whose owner risked his life to help Jews of the ghetto.

"We are trying now to revitalize old Jewish districts in Krakow where people lived before the war," Szatanik said, adding that the award was one of the most important that the city bestows. "This support from Mr. Spielberg will help us to do this better."

The pharmacy owner, Tadeusz Pankiewicz, was the only non-Jew who remained in the ghetto during the entire Nazi occupation. He provided food and medicine to the Jewish population and helped some residents escape.

Pankiewicz described the experience in his book, "The Pharmacy in the Krakow Ghetto."

Krakow is helping to build a museum in the factory where Oskar Schindler - the subject of Spielberg's 1993 film - shielded more than a thousand Jews during the Nazi Holocaust.

Jolie to adopt second child

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Angelina Jolie, who has been romantically linked with her "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" co-star Brad Pitt, is adopting an orphaned Ethiopian baby girl.

Jolie visited the Horn of Africa nation last week to file her adoption request, accompanied by Pitt and her 3-year-old son, Maddox, whom she adopted in Cambodia, an official said Wednesday.

"The paperwork has gone through. Miss Angelina's request was accepted last week," Hadosh Halefom, head of the country's state-run adoption agency, told The Associated Press.

The child "is less than a year old," Hadosh said, refusing to elaborate. The actress filed her request through a private adoption agency.

"If people's paperwork is in order, it can take only two days to finalize everything," Hadosh said.

In a posting on People magazine's Web site, Jolie is quoted as saying the child's name is Zahara Marley Jolie and that she and Maddox are "very happy to have a new addition to our family."

Pink Floyd guitarist donating his Live 8 profits to charity

London - Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour says he will donate profits from his Live 8 appearance to charity - and has urged other artists to do the same.

Retailers have reported a huge upsurge in Pink Floyd sales since the band reunited for Saturday's concert in Hyde Park. The concert was one of 10 around the world designed to pressure leaders of the G-8 nations to strike a deal for impoverished African countries at their summit in Scotland this week.

HMV said sales of Pink Floyd's album "Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd" had gone up by 1,343 percent since the weekend.

"Though the main objective has been to raise consciousness and put pressure on the G-8 leaders, I will not profit from the concert," Gilmour said in a statement Monday.

"If other artists feel like donating their extra royalties to charity, perhaps then the record companies could be persuaded to make a similar gesture and that would be a bonus," he said. "This is money that should be used to save lives."

Music artists to donate tickets to charity auction

New York - Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, Maroon 5 and other music acts have donated concert tickets and special experiences in an online auction for Music Clearing Minefields, an initiative of the United Nations Association's Adopt-A-Minefield Campaign.

"Heather and I have worked hard to raise funds and awareness for Adopt-A-Minefield," McCartney said in a statement Tuesday. "We hope that through Music Clearing Minefields, others will become as impassioned about this cause as we are."

McCartney has donated VIP tickets to his sold-out fall tour to the online auction, which opened Wednesday on the Charity Folks Web site. Coldplay, Meat Loaf, Avril Lavigne, Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson, Jack Johnson, B.B. King and others also have donated concert tickets and "meet-and-greets."

Graceland closing last independent shops

Memphis - Elvis Presley Enterprises is taking over the last two independent souvenir shops at Graceland but says it has no immediate plans to expand.

However, Graceland spokesman Todd Morgan said that closing the independently owned shops gives EPE freedom to move quickly on new ideas for more company-owned stores, museums or the like.

The independent shops, Memories of Elvis and Loose Ends, are in a strip mall owned by EPE next door to Graceland Plaza, the company's main shopping complex.

Their leases will not be renewed when they expire in November, said Carol Light, owner of Memories of Elvis.

"It's a tragedy with the big people squeezing out the little man," Light said.

But the company is just going about its business, Morgan said.

"It doesn't make a lot of sense to lease space to a competing business," he said.

For years after Presley's death in 1977 at Graceland, his Memphis residence, independent trinket hawkers controlled the Elvis souvenir trade.

But in the early 1980s, Presley's estate lobbied the Tennessee Legislature and went to court to ultimately gain the legal rights to his name and likeness.

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