Archive for Thursday, March 31, 2005


March 31, 2005


V.P.'s daughter to write book

New York -- Mary Cheney, daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, plans to publish a memoir under a new subdivision of Simon & Schuster devoted to conservative books, the company announced Tuesday.

Cheney, a top aide during her father's campaigns in 2000 and 2004, has drawn much political attention because she is openly gay. Her memoir is the first acquisition for Mary Matalin's publishing subdivision, Threshold.

Matalin, a Republican pundit and strategist, said the book would give Cheney a chance to give her own thoughts on the issue -- something she couldn't do while working on the campaigns.

"All the Cheneys are great writers, and she's no exception," Matalin told The Associated Press. "What I have seen on paper so far is great."

Simon & Schuster Inc. did not say how much it paid.

'Sweet Charity' revived

New York -- It's back -- and so is its star, Christina Applegate. The problem-plagued revival of "Sweet Charity," which last week canceled its Broadway engagement after Applegate broke her foot and the show received tepid out-of-town reviews, will open May 4 in New York, two weeks later than originally planned, producer Barry Weissler said.

"Christina came to me and made the most deeply felt emotional plea," Weissler said in a telephone interview. "She has given up all her movies for the year, plus her home and husband are on the West Coast. This is what she has wanted since she was a little girl and I just couldn't take it away from her."

Weissler said he has received assurances from Applegate's doctors that she will be able to perform in the musical, which is a dance-heavy show.

"Sweet Charity" will now begin preview performances April 11 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, with Applegate's standby, Charlotte d'Amboise, playing the role through April 16. Applegate, who broke her right foot during a performance in Chicago on March 11, will take over the role on April 18.

Forbidden fruit fine upheld

Wellington, New Zealand -- Hilary Swank has been fined $163 for bringing fruit into New Zealand, after getting thumbs down from judges in an appeal.

Swank was issued notice of a fine for breaching New Zealand's strict quarantine laws when she failed to declare an apple and an orange when she arrived at Auckland International Airport Jan. 15 on a flight from Los Angeles. She appealed the penalty to a court.

On Wednesday, the Manukau District Court advised the country's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry that Swank's appeal had been rejected and that she had been fined $142 plus costs of $21.

New Zealand is largely free of insect pests that cause billions of dollars in damage to crops and livestock in other parts of the world. The country has extremely strict quarantine guidelines to keep such pests from entering the country.

Sinead O'Connor goes reggae

Kingston, Jamaica -- Sinead O'Connor is in Jamaica recording a reggae album with some of the country's leading musicians.

The Irish pop singer has been in Kingston since last week working on tracks for the album, co-producer Sly Dunbar said Wednesday.

He said the album, set for release this summer by British-based Sanctuary Records, will include covers of some of reggae's most famous protest songs -- Bob Marley's "War," Peter Tosh's "Downpressor Man" and Burning Spear's "Marcus Garvey."

O'Connor, 38, is best known for her 1991 hit, "Nothing Compares 2 U." She famously tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II during a 1992 appearance on "Saturday Night Live."

Rapper loses murder appeal

Gretna, La. -- C-Murder, who lost in his latest bid to get his second-degree murder conviction thrown out, is hopeful Louisiana's Supreme Court will be more favorable to his appeal than the lower courts have been.

The rapper, whose real name is Corey Miller, was convicted Sept. 30, 2003, in the death of Steve Thomas, 16, at a nightclub in the New Orleans suburb of Harvey. He faces a mandatory life sentence without parole.

In April 2004, State District Judge Martha Sassone ordered a new trial on grounds that prosecutors withheld information on the criminal history of their key witnesses.

Prosecutors appealed the ruling, and earlier this month, two of the three judges on a panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that even without the witnesses' testimony, "there was an abundance of other evidence which fully established Miller's guilt."

C-Murder asked for a rehearing before the entire court, but the request was denied Tuesday. He is being held in the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna.

C-Murder says he believes other courts may have been swayed by media reports and negative comments made about him. He recently angered the local sheriff by recording parts of his latest music video and album behind bars.

OKC memorial concert planned for anniversary

Oklahoma City -- Oklahoma natives Vince Gill and Toby Keith will headline an April 22 benefit concert to honor rescue workers, survivors and family members of victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

April 19 is the 10th anniversary of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing, which killed 168 people.

"The concert is a way for the memorial to thank the people of Oklahoma who've worked so hard to support us with their generosity and giving spirit," said Kari Watkins, executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

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