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Archive for Thursday, February 15, 2007

People in the news

February 15, 2007

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Anna Nicole Smith's body held in paternity case

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. - The bickering over Anna Nicole Smith spiraled into a post-mortem legal war Wednesday, with judges on both coasts issuing rulings and a parade of lawyers fighting for control of the body.

At the end of the day, though, Smith's remains still were at the medical examiner's office, and a judge here said the dispute could be lengthy.

"We're going to have hearings, as many hearings as we need," Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin said at the start of afternoon proceedings. "This is just a warm-up."

At least three people are seeking control of Smith's body - her longtime companion Howard K. Stern, her estranged mother Vergie Arthur and photographer Larry Birkhead, who claims to have fathered the model's 5-month-old daughter, Dannielynn.

Stern claims he is executor of Smith's will and wants to have her buried next to her son in the Bahamas; Arthur wants her daughter buried in her home state of Texas; and Birkhead simply wants to prove he is the father of Dannielynn, who potentially could inherit millions.

For now, though, the judge said Smith's body would stay where it was.

"This body belongs to me right now," he said. "This body's not leaving Broward County till I make the ruling."

Broward County medical examiner Joshua Perper warned that Smith's corpse is decomposing and should be released. Her unembalmed body will remain refrigerated until the judge rules.

Comedian Al Franken seeks U.S. Senate seat

Minneapolis - Al Franken announced Wednesday that he will run for the Senate in 2008, making it clear that the comedian and author of "Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot" wants to be taken seriously as a political figure.

Franken said he would seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and immediately acknowledged the doubts voters may have about electing a former "Saturday Night Live" performer.

"Minnesotans have a right to be skeptical about whether I'm ready for this challenge, and to wonder how seriously I would take the responsibility that I'm asking you to give me," Franken said in a video on his Web site.

"I want you to know: Nothing means more to me than making government work better for the working families of this state, and over the next 20 months, I look forward to proving to you that I take these issues seriously," he said.

Ben & Jerry's names new flavor for Colbert

New York - Stephen Colbert may have no taste for the truth, but he does have a sweet tooth.

Ben & Jerry's has named a new ice cream in honor of the comedian: "Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream." It's vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and caramel.

The Vermont-based ice-cream maker is known for naming its flavors after people such as Jerry Garcia, Wavy Gravy and the band Phish - which Colbert sees as a political bias. "I'm not afraid to say it. Dessert has a well-known liberal agenda," Colbert said. "What I hope to do with this ice cream is bring some balance back to the freezer case."

Colbert, who spoofs conservative pundits on his Comedy Central show, "The Colbert Report," is donating his proceeds to charity through the new Stephen Colbert Americone Dream Fund, which will support various causes.

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