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Archive for Saturday, April 18, 2009

People in the news

April 18, 2009

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Ashton Kutcher wins Twitter battle with CNN

New York — For now, Ashton Kutcher is the king of Twitter.

Kutcher triumphed over CNN in their much ballyhooed race to be the first to reach a million followers on the microblogging Web site. Kutcher surpassed that benchmark in the early morning hours Friday, narrowly edging out the breaking news feed from the Time Warner Inc.-owned network.

Speaking in a live webcast early Friday, Kutcher took the tone of a revolutionary.

“We have shown the world that the new wave is here,” Kutcher said on ustream.tv shortly after passing the million mark. “It is present and it is ready to explode. You guys are all of it because I can’t follow me.”

Kutcher had long trailed CNN, but he staged a rally in recent days that captured the attention of the Web. The million mark race was taken by many as a symbol of a huge upswing of Twitter’s popularity.

In recent months, the site has increased exponentially in visitors. The search engine Yahoo said Friday that searches for Twitter over the past four months increased more than 5,559 percent over the same time last year.

Oprah Winfrey writes her first ‘tweet’ live

Chicago — Oprah Winfrey sent her first “tweet” during a taping of her television talk show.

The audience cheered as Winfrey typed “ASHTON IS NEXT” on a laptop Friday morning and sent the message on the social networking site Twitter.

Winfrey was welcomed onto the site with messages from George Stephanopoulos, Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon and Shaquille O’Neal. She noted that Ashton Kutcher had 1 million “followers” on the site, surpassing CNN, and spoke with the actor over Skype, an Internet communications service.

According to Twitter, Winfrey already has 75,000 followers, which are people who have requested to see her tweets.

Later in the show, she added tweets of thanks for the welcome and updates about her dog getting its rabies vaccine.

Seal confirms Klum’s pregnancy at concert

New York — Speculation abounded about Heidi Klum’s pregnancy — and the supermodel’s husband Seal couldn’t keep it secret for long.

The singer’s lips weren’t sealed Thursday night when he announced to the audience at his New York concert that he and Klum are having another baby.

Klum’s representative, SaraJane Liebe, confirmed Seal’s baby announcement.

Klum has two young sons with the Grammy-winning singer, whom she married in 2005. The German-born supermodel also has a daughter from a past relationship.

The 35-year-old host of the TV series “Project Runway” chimed in on her Web site Friday, writing: “I am expecting a baby. Leni, Henry and Johan as well as Seal and I are thrilled.”

Redmond O’Neal gets another shot at rehab

Los Angeles — A judge is giving the son of Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O’Neal one last chance to kick his drug habit.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Millington on Friday transferred two felony drug cases against Redmond O’Neal to a court that could send him to a stringent rehab program. But he sternly warned the 24-year-old that if he fails at rehab — as he has at least three times before — he’s going to prison.

“Understand if I see you in that seat again, it’s not going to be pretty,” Millington told a somber-looking O’Neal.

O’Neal appeared in a jail jumpsuit and told Millington he was motivated by Fawcett’s ailing health to stay clean. He said Fawcett weighs roughly 86 pounds and that he is ashamed of himself for recent relapses and his April 5 arrest on suspicion of taking heroin to a Los Angeles area jail facility.

Fawcett was recently released from a Los Angeles hospital after suffering complications from a medical procedure she had in Germany. The “Charlie’s Angels” actress is suffering from anal cancer.

“I’m just really upset with myself,” O’Neal said at one point during the hearing.

Gordon-Levitt plays villain in ’G.I. Joe’ film

Los Angeles — It’s one of the most shrouded summer movie mysteries: What will actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt look like as masked baddie Cobra Commander in “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”?

The 28-year-old actor isn’t giving away any details, but Gordon-Levitt says the villain’s look was the main reason he signed on for the movie, based on the popular Hasbro toy line.

“The way the character looks, that’s what ultimately convinced me to do the part,” he says. “I saw the designs and drawings of the way they interpreted my character for this movie — the costume, the whole getup — and I was like, ’Oh, wow. I get to be that guy? Fantastic. Sign me up. Please. Thank you.”’

Spoiler alert! Many fans are miffed that the character’s hood has been replaced with a scubalike mask in images of a new Cobra Commander action figure that have appeared online.

“That toy is not my face. It’s a mask. I like that I get to keep my face,” he said. “It has less to do with me and more to do with this character that I helped create. That’s more thrilling to me. It’s this thing that was born out of a creative, collaborative process between me and a bunch of other people that all worked on creating this character.”

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