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Archive for Wednesday, September 17, 2008

People in the news

September 17, 2008

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Jolie, Pitt donate $2M for Ethiopian clinic

New York - Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are giving back to the country where their 3-year-old daughter Zahara was born.

The couple have donated $2 million to help fight HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in Ethiopia, said the Global Health Committee, which announced the donation by the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.

The organization will use the money to build a center in the capital city of Addis Ababa for children affected by the disease and establish a program to treat tuberculosis in children and adults. The center will be named for Zahara.

The World Health Organization estimates that the African nation has 1.7 million people infected with HIV and 6,000 people infected with drug-resistant tuberculosis.

"It is our hope when Zahara is older she will take responsibility of the clinic and continue its mission," Pitt, 44, said in a statement.

The couple worked with the Global Health Committee to open the Maddox Chivan Children's Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, named after their oldest son, 7-year-old Maddox, who was adopted from Cambodia. Since February 2006, the center has provided medical treatment, education and social services to children affected by HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

"Our goal is to transfer the success we have had in Cambodia to Ethiopia, where people are needlessly dying of tuberculosis, a curable disease, and HIV/AIDS, a treatable disease," Jolie, 33, said in a statement Saturday.

The couple's 4-year-old son Pax was adopted from Vietnam. The couple are also the parents of 2-year-old Shiloh and twins Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline, who were born in July.

Actress-singer Jennifer Hudson engaged

New York - Jennifer Hudson got a big surprise on her 27th birthday: an engagement ring.

Hudson's beau, David Otunga, popped the question while celebrating the actress-singer's big day in Los Angeles on Friday, her publicist, Jessica Kolstad, said Monday.

The couple have not yet set a wedding date, Kolstad said.

Hudson won a best supporting actress Oscar in 2007 for her role in "Dreamgirls." Her film credits also include "Sex and the City" and the upcoming "The Secret Life of Bees." The "American Idol" alum will release her debut solo album Sept. 30.

Otunga appeared as a contestant nicknamed "Punk" on the VH1 reality dating show "I Love New York 2."

Lincoln Center to honor Tom Hanks at gala

New York - The Film Society of Lincoln Center will honor Tom Hanks in its annual gala tribute, citing the actor's talent of making "a good man compelling."

The two-time Academy Award winner will be feted April 27 at Alice Tully Hall, which is being renovated but scheduled to reopen Feb. 22. It will be the society's 36th annual gala, following last year's celebration of Meryl Streep.

"There are so few actors who have been able to make the struggle and drama of being a good man compelling," Kent Jones, the society's associate director of programming, said Monday. "With his talent, his presence, his versatility, his sense of humor, he has set a very high standard for his fellow actors."

The 52-year-old Hanks won best-actor Oscars for 1993's "Philadelphia" and 1994's "Forrest Gump."

Fox opens up about old flame: Nikita

Los Angeles - Megan Fox has nothing to hide.

The candid 22-year-old "Transformers" star, who's currently engaged to actor Brian Austin Green, opened up to GQ about her love life, telling the magazine she was once in love with a female stripper. Fox, who appears on the October cover in a black bikini, said she was in the relationship when she was 18 and first living in Los Angeles alone.

"Well, that year my boyfriend broke up with me, and I decided - oh man, sorry, mommy! - that I was in love with this girl that worked at the Body Shop," Fox said. "I decided that I was going to get her to love me back, and I went out of my way to create a relationship with this girl, a stripper named Nikita."

Fox said she would bring the Russian stripper gifts and try to inspire her to quit her line of work.

Fox's publicist, Dominique Appel, confirmed the contents of the GQ report Monday.

Despite the brief relationship with a woman, Fox said she does not identify herself as gay.

"Look, I'm not a lesbian," Fox said. "I just think that all humans are born with the ability to be attracted to both sexes."

Rapper Webbie arrested after car chase

Hattiesburg, Miss. - Rapper Webbie was charged with felony eluding, driving under the influence and misdemeanor possession of marijuana after a high-speed police chase.

Webbie, whose real name is Webster Gradney Jr., was arrested in Hattiesburg. He was being held Tuesday at the Forrest County Jail pending an initial court appearance.

Authorities said the rapper attempted to elude police Sunday after an officer tried to pull over a 2009 Dodge Challenger for a traffic violation on Interstate 59. He ignored police lights and continued on I-59, colliding with another vehicle. Police later found the damaged Challenger in a parking lot on U.S. Highway 49.

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