Archive for Thursday, November 29, 2007

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November 29, 2007

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Strike ends; Broadway shows to resume today

New York - Broadway stagehands and theater producers reached a tentative agreement Wednesday night to end a strike and almost immediately return to the stage most of the two dozen plays and musicals that have been shut down for more than two weeks.

The settlement came after two days of marathon, all-night sessions and months of negotiation between Local 1 and the League of American Theatres and Producers. The walkout, which began Nov. 10, has cost the city and theaters millions of dollars in lost income.

Bruce Cohen, a spokesman for the union, confirmed the agreement ending the 19-day work stoppage.

"We're glad there's a deal, and everyone should go back to work and the public should go see a Broadway show," Cohen said.

Most shows were expected to resume performances today, the league said.

Usher and wife welcome son Usher Raymond V

Atlanta - Usher is the father of a baby boy.

His wife, Tameka Foster, gave birth to their son, Usher Raymond V, in Atlanta on Monday night, a publicist for the 29-year-old singer said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

The baby weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces. He is the couple's first child. Foster, 37, has three children from a previous marriage.

"We are so happy and proud of our beautiful son. What a blessing!" Usher said in a statement provided Tuesday night by publicist Patti Webster.

The couple wed in a large, glitzy ceremony in early September after exchanging vows a few weeks earlier in a civil ceremony. They had called off their July 28 wedding amid reports that Foster had checked into a hospital because of problems with her pregnancy.

Castroneves, fiancee call off engagement

New York - Helio Castroneves won the mirrorball trophy on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," but lost his fiancee, Aliette Vazquez.

Less than a day after Castroneves was declared the winner, Vazquez, a Miami-based business executive, announced she had called off her engagement to the Brazilian race-car driver.

Castroneves out-danced finalists Melanie Brown and Marie Osmond on Tuesday night's show.

"There's been a lot of rumors and a lot of stuff said, and she just wanted confirmed that they are no longer engaged. There's no animosity, there's nothing mean. Just a simple confirmation," Vazquez's publicist, Howard Bragman, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Pregnant Christina Aguilera bares her belly

New York - Christina Aguilera flaunts her pregnancy in an upcoming issue of Marie Claire magazine.

The 26-year-old singer is shown wearing a cropped jacket, hoop earrings and a ring on the cover of the January issue, on newsstands Dec. 11. Excerpts from the story were released Wednesday.

Aguilera and her husband, Jordan Bratman, married in 2005.

The singer says she learned she was pregnant while on her recent "Back to Basics" tour.

"We were planning on starting to try after the tour. And so, I had gone off the Pill to prepare my body because I didn't know how much time it would take. You've heard it takes some time - except with Power Egg and Super Sperm here," she says. "I'm like, 'Oh my god, can you believe it just happened?'"

Aguilera says she became "paranoid" during the tour.

"There are so many things that could go wrong - somebody could slip, somebody could fall, I could fall," says Aguilera, who wore a heart monitor during performances. "There was no way ... I was going to jeopardize my baby for my show."

Winfrey meets student claiming abuse at school

Johannesburg, South Africa - Oprah Winfrey has met with the family of the first student to complain of abuse at her elite school for disadvantaged South African girls and invited the girl to return to the academy.

People magazine quoted the father of the girl as saying they met for two hours with Winfrey on Sunday at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. He said it was their first meeting since they had withdrawn their daughter from the school after staff ignored her complaints.

A spokeswoman for Winfrey, Angela de Paul, confirmed the meeting and its purpose. The school had been heavily guarded over the weekend.

A dormitory matron, who has been accused of indecent assault and criminal injury against six students ages 13-15 and a 23-year-old fellow dormitory matron, is to be charged in court next month. She has said she is innocent.

Lohan's deposition can be videotaped

Los Angeles - Lindsay Lohan soon will appear on camera for a taping she has tried to avoid.

A judge on Tuesday said he would allow the videotaping of Lohan's deposition in a lawsuit over a car crash that injured a busboy.

Raymundo Ortega alleges that Lohan drove her Mercedes-Benz into a van he was driving in October 2005 after she drank alcohol and later tried to escape paparazzi.

A California Highway Patrol investigation concluded that Ortega caused the crash by making an illegal U-turn in Beverly Hills.

Lohan attorney David J. Ozeran argued in a motion that a leak of the videotape could hurt his client's career much more than the $200,000 in damages that Ortega is seeking.

Superior Court Judge Michael L. Stern rejected the motion.

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