Miley Cyrus to skip Disney red carpet event
Orlando, Fla. - Miley Cyrus won't be attending her first scheduled public appearance since Vanity Fair published photos that have thrown her status as a role model for young girls into question, Disney said Thursday.
The 15-year-old star of "Hannah Montana" for weeks has been scheduled to appear at a red carpet event today, but is no longer expected, Disney confirmed. Cyrus was to appear at a media party in Orlando today, along with dozens of other Disney Channel stars in town to film the "Disney Channel Games," a charity competition.
Disney did not elaborate on the change in Cyrus' status for the party.
The photos, showing Cyrus' bare shoulders and back, were taken by renowned celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz. She and the magazine defended the pictures, saying the singer, her parents and her handlers approved of the images during the shoot.
Cyrus said earlier this week that she was "embarrassed" by the pictures and apologized to fans.
Ferrell, Aniston film videos for campaign
New York - Will Ferrell, Jennifer Aniston and Ellen Page are among those lending their celebrity status to a new campaign focusing attention on Myanmar's military-run government.
Jim Carrey previously filmed a public service announcement to raise awareness about the Southeast Asian country, also known as Burma, and human-rights leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been confined by the government for 12 of the last 18 years.
But starting Thursday, the message will be on a much larger scale. A video will be released each day in May starring Ferrell, Aniston, Page, Sarah Silverman, Sylvester Stallone, Anjelica Huston, Woody Harrelson and Judd Apatow, among others.
The celebs appear solo or in scenes together on behalf of the Human Rights Action Center and the U.S. Campaign for Burma.
The spots are more like short films than PSAs, and will be blasted across the Internet on sites such as YouTube and MySpace, Jeremy Woodrum, co-founder of the U.S. Campaign for Burma, said this week.
In Ferrell's bit, he nods to an unseen person when he correctly pronounces the name of Suu Kyi, who's under long-term house arrest. In rare serious mode, he concludes: "Every now and again, a single person or event captures the imagination and inspiration of the world. This moment belongs to Burma, and to Aung San Suu Kyi. Please honor her courage, honor your compassion and let this month be the month you join an effort to change the world."
Cosby brings 'blunt' message to leaders
Newark, N.J. - Bill Cosby told several hundred people at a conference of community associations Thursday to stand up and confront the ills facing black Americans.
Repeating a mantra that has angered some black leaders who have accused him of downplaying the effects of long-term discrimination, he exhorted the audience several times to "stop looking for somebody to blame."
Characterizing his own words as "blunt, but not harsh," the 70-year-old comedian criticized a culture in which "babies are wearing $40 sneakers while their mothers are feeding them Oodles of Noodles."
Cosby deemed some of his critics "intellectual panhandlers" who enable destructive behavior by staying silent or blaming racism.
"You've got these idiots who've got these degrees and some of them are ordained ministers and they say, 'Bill, you're picking on the poor,"' he said. He then drew laughs by adding, "Well, so did Jesus then. Jesus was always telling someone, 'Go ye.' Jesus was always telling people to go somewhere. And 'don't do this again or don't do that again."'
Rodman arrested for alleged hitting woman
Los Angeles - Dennis Rodman has been arrested for allegedly hitting a woman at a hotel in the Century City area of Los Angeles.
Police say the 46-year-old former NBA star was arrested Wednesday night after officers answered a report of a domestic dispute. Officer Sara Fayden says they learned Rodman had struck a woman who suffered "injuries to her arm."
There was no word on the seriousness of the injury.
Rodman manager Darren Prince told TMZ.com that Rodman and his girlfriend had too much to drink, argued, and Rodman grabbed her arm and left a bruise. Prince told TMZ that Rodman's drinking has escalated because of a nasty divorce and he plans to enter rehab.
Nickelback frontman fined for drunken driving
Surrey, British Columbia - Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger was sentenced Thursday to a year without driving and fined $588 for a drunken driving conviction.
Kroeger, whose real name is Chad Turton, was stopped for speeding in his red Lamborghini in suburban Surrey, British Columbia, in June 2006.
Authorities said his blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit.
His lawyer, Marvin Stern, noted the 33-year-old singer's charitable works and said the charges and trial have been an intrusion into Kroeger's life.