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Archive for Tuesday, October 21, 2008

People in the news

October 21, 2008

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Sean Penn visits Venezuela's Chavez

Caracas, Venezuela - U.S. actor Sean Penn is visiting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez - again.

Venezuela's state-run news agency reports that Penn accompanied Chavez during the inspection of a natural gas pipeline last weekend.

Chavez has praised Penn for his criticism of the U.S. war in Iraq, but he did not mention Penn's visit during a televised address. Nor did state media broadcast images of the Oscar-winning actor.

It was Penn's second meeting with Chavez. The actor also visited in August 2007, when he went as a freelance journalist.

Chavez has hosted visits by several Hollywood stars, including actors Danny Glover and Kevin Spacey. British supermodel Naomi Campbell visited last year, expressing support for Chavez's efforts to help the poor.

Paltrow: I'm helping Madonna over split

London - Gwyneth Paltrow is helping her friend Madonna through the breakup of her marriage.

The actress told reporters that she's supporting the pop star following Wednesday's announcement that she's separated from filmmaker-husband Guy Ritchie.

"She's a very good friend. I'm supporting her in all the ways that I can. I'm just there for her. I speak to her a lot," Paltrow said as she attended the premiere of her film "Two Lovers" at London's Film Festival.

Like Madonna, Paltrow - who's married to Coldplay singer Chris Martin - lives partly in London.

Madonna and Ritchie, who were married at a Scottish castle in December 2000, have two children: Rocco, 8, and David Banda, 3, who was adopted in Malawi in 2006. Madonna also has a 12-year-old daughter, Lourdes, from a previous relationship.

Madonna's publicist said Sunday that details of a divorce settlement are yet to be finalized, dismissing reports that the couple had agreed to a custody arrangement for the couple's children.

The couple own homes in London, Los Angeles and New York, and a 1,200-acre retreat in Wiltshire, England.

McGraw writes book on dads and daughters

Nashville, Tenn. - As the father of three girls, Tim McGraw understands the challenges that face dads who want to please their daughters.

So the children's book he's co-written with Tom Douglas has some simple advice: As long as you're spending time with them, it doesn't really matter what you do.

"My Little Girl," to be published today by Thomas Nelson, tells the story of a father - in a dark cowboy hat, of course - who spends a fun day with his little girl Katie doing : nothing in particular.

They stop by the farm co-op, gaze up at the clouds and play on a tire swing.

The 41-year-old country singer said he enjoys spending time with his daughters - ages 11, 10 and 6 - but if he did what they liked doing, he'd be spending a lot of time shopping at the mall or getting pedicures.

But McGraw said he's found that his daughters like coming along while he does simple, everyday stuff, like running to the grocery store or stopping by the office.

McGraw's wife, Faith Hill, wrote in the foreword: "I hope this story provides quality time for fathers and daughters to enjoy each other's company and make memories reading together."

While Hill loved the book, McGraw said, his daughters were far less enthusiastic.

"If it doesn't have Chris Brown or the Jonas Brothers involved, they don't care," he joked.

Scarlett Johansson to host Nobel concert

Oslo, Norway - Actress Scarlett Johansson will co-host the 2008 Nobel Peace Concert on Dec. 11 in honor of this year's laureate, Finnish peace mediator and former President Martti Ahtisaari, organizers said Monday.

The other co-host will be announced in coming weeks, said a statement given to The Associated Press ahead of its official release. Last year's show was hosted by Uma Thurman and Kevin Spacey.

Johansson, 23, will host a program headlined by Diana Ross. It includes Canadian singer Leslie Feist, who performs under the name Feist, American country singer Dierks Bentley, Mexican singer-songwriter Julieta Venegas, and Nigerian star Seun Kuti, according to a list released last week.

No verdict reached yet in Spears trial

Los Angeles - A second day of deliberations ended without a verdict Monday in Britney Spears' driving-without-a-license case.

Jurors left for the day after saying earlier that they were hopelessly deadlocked. A foreman said they had voted three times since Friday, and each time failed to reach an unanimous conclusion. The three votes were all 10 to 2, the foreman said without indicating which way.

The jurors appeared glum after lunch, with many on the panel telling Superior Court Judge James A. Steele that they didn't think an agreement could be reached.

Jurors have spent about six hours deliberating so far. They resume their deliberations this morning.

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