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Archive for Wednesday, March 12, 2008

People in the news

March 12, 2008

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Spears to appear on CBS sitcom

New York - Britney Spears' upcoming appearance on the CBS show "How I Met Your Mother" could be - to borrow scene-stealer Barney's favorite word - legendary.

Spears will guest star in a March 24 episode of the cult series, a CBS spokeswoman said Tuesday. The pop star will portray a receptionist in a dermatologist's office named Abby who becomes "smitten" with Ted (Josh Radnor).

Craig Thomas, the show's creator, told Usmagazine.com that representatives for Spears approached the CBS about "Mother" because "she was looking for a small part on a funny show."

"How I Met Your Mother," returning Monday with all-new episodes following the writers strike, co-stars Radnor, Jason Segal, Alyson Hannigan, Cobie Smulders and Neil Patrick Harris as twentysomethings living in New York City. Harris portrays serial bachelor Barney Stinson, who frequently uses the word "legendary" to describe his various exploits.

Clooney pressures sponsor over Darfur

London - George Clooney has put pressure on an Olympic sponsor to speak out over China's foreign policy in Sudan.

The Hollywood star promotes Omega Watches - one of the worldwide Olympic partners for the Beijing games.

"I have talked with Omega (about China) for over a year and will continue to talk to Omega," Clooney was quoted as saying on the BBC Web site on Tuesday. "I have and will go to the places I and China do business and ask for help."

Clooney has publicly spoken several times about the crisis in Darfur, Sudan, where more than 200,000 people have been killed and about 2.5 million people displaced in three years of fighting between African rebels and government troops allied with Arab militia known as janjaweed.

China is a major trading partner with Sudan, and Beijing has resisted United Nations attempts to force Sudan to accept U.N. peacekeepers in Darfur.

The push to link the Beijing Games to the Darfur crisis gained wide attention last month when Hollywood director Steven Spielberg said he could not in good conscience serve as an artistic adviser to the opening and closing ceremonies.

Omega has been the official timekeeper for the Olympics since 1932 - including the boycotted games in 1980 and 1984. Swatch Group chief executive Nick Hayek, whose company owns Omega, said executives had discussed the issue with Clooney.

John Cho prepares for 'Star Trek' frenzy

Austin, Texas - John Cho thinks he has a cult following now as Harold in the "Harold & Kumar" movies - but he ain't seen nothing yet.

Cho will co-star as Sulu in J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek," due out next summer. He's shooting his last scenes this week as the Starship Enterprise's helmsman, just as he's promoting "Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay."

The 35-year-old actor is fully aware of the pressure he and the rest of the cast and crew are under to please the legions of voracious "Star Trek" fans.

"Right after I got the gig, a friend of a friend e-mailed me and said, you know, 'Congratulations, I'm so happy for you, and also I just wanted to impart to you how great a responsibility this is,' and, like, just went on for a while about how important it was and how 'Star Trek' changed his life and how it's responsible for everything good in his life," Cho said. "And he also went on to claim that 'Star Trek' is the predecessor to the iPod, cell phones and all that."

"Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay," co-starring Kal Penn, opens April 25. "Star Trek" is scheduled to come out May 8, 2009.

Janet Jackson too ill for 'SNL' performance

New York - Janet Jackson has dropped out of her upcoming "Saturday Night Live" performance because she has the flu, the singer's representative said Tuesday.

"Janet did go to the hospital last night due to the fact she's been suffering from this flu that's kicked a lot of people's behinds," publicist Patti Webster told The Associated Press in an e-mail. "She was never admitted, and she is fine."

Still, Webster said Jackson - who visited a Los Angeles hospital - was pulling out of the March 15 "SNL" telecast because "she needs some time to get better."

Latin music stars to perform for peace

Bogota, Colombia - Some of Latin music's biggest stars plan to join Juanes to perform a free concert atop a bridge linking Colombia and Venezuela in a show of unity among neighboring South American countries still recovering from a diplomatic crisis.

Others scheduled to perform: Juan Luis Guerra, Miguel Bose, Carlos Vives and Alejandro Sanz.

Juanes, the Grammy-winning Colombian rocker, said the "Peace Without Borders" concert - scheduled for Sunday - is an effort to ease tensions caused by a Colombian raid into Ecuador to kill a top rebel leader March 1.

In response to the attack, Ecuador and its ally Venezuela briefly sent troops to their Colombian borders.

The artists will perform on the Simon Bolivar Bridge linking Cucuta, Colombia, and San Antonio del Tachira, Venezuela.

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