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Archive for Monday, September 18, 2006

People in the news

September 18, 2006

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R.E.M. regroups, briefly

Atlanta - The four original members of R.E.M. gave a rare performance as the group was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

The group, which formed in Athens, Ga., in 1980, has won three Grammys and sold more than 70 million records. It has performed as a quartet only a handful of times since 1997, when drummer Bill Berry left the group after suffering a brain aneurysm onstage in 1995.

Saturday's reunion performance was by far the largest and the first that was publicized in advance. Many of the roughly 1,500 people at the Georgia hall's black-tie induction ceremony clearly were there to see the group.

The three remaining members - Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Mike Mills - have continued to tour and record without naming an official drummer.

Also inducted Saturday were Allman Brothers founder Gregg Allman, writer-producers Dallas Austin and Jermaine Dupri, and the late Felice Bryant. Bryant, along with husband Boudleaux Bryant, wrote country and rock standards including "Rocky Top," "Wake Up Little Susie" and "Love Hurts."

T-shirt with a message

Chicago - The lead singer of the band U2 brought his fight against AIDS and poverty to town.

Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson, visited the downtown Nordstrom store Saturday to promote a designer T-shirt that will raise money to pay for AIDS medication and medical care in Africa.

The shirts are emblazoned with the logo of Bono's "One" campaign against poverty. They are made in Africa by Edun, a fair trade clothing label started by Bono and Hewson. The company will donate $10 for every $40 shirt sold to a fund supporting the health care of the factory workers who make the shirts.

The shirt factory is in a village in Lesotho in southern Africa.

Second autopsy inconclusive

Nassau, Bahamas - The examiner who performed a second autopsy Sunday on Anna Nicole Smith's 20-year-old son said he could not yet determine the cause of death.

Cyril Wecht, a forensic pathologist who gained fame as a critic of the government's probe into John F. Kennedy's assassination and as a consultant in Elvis Presley's death, ruled out several potential natural causes including heart disease, stroke, or a "congenital anomaly."

He also affirmed findings by Bahamas investigators that foul play did not appear to be involved in the young man's death, which was labeled "suspicious" by the coroner's office because the cause was still unclear.

He said he has requested Daniel Smith's medical records from the United States and ordered further tests that could take weeks to complete. He said he had sent samples to a lab in the United States for further examination, including toxicology tests.

The former Playboy model and reality TV star's son died Sept. 10 in a hospital room where she was recuperating from giving birth three days earlier.

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