Archive for Friday, July 24, 2009

People in the news

July 24, 2009


Cronkite eulogized as newsman, friend, father

New York — Walter Cronkite was remembered as a great journalist, sailor, friend and father during services that, despite the grandeur of the setting, felt remarkably comfortable — like the man.

“I was often asked, ‘What he’s really like?’ And I would always answer, ‘He’s just the way you hope he is,’” said Mike Ashford, a sailing comrade of more than 30 years and one of the speakers at Thursday’s funeral.

Another speaker, longtime CBS newsman and “60 Minutes” commentator Andy Rooney, recalled meeting Cronkite when they both were in England covering World War II.

“You get to know someone pretty well in a war,” said Rooney, describing Cronkite as “such a good friend.”

The services were witnessed by a near capacity crowd at the elegant, enormous St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in midtown Manhattan, where the Cronkite family has worshipped for years.

Broadcast journalists — co-workers, competitors, successors — were on hand, including Connie Chung, Bob Schieffer, Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams, Dan Rather, Barbara Walters, Charles Gibson, Matt Lauer, Tom Brokaw, Morley Safer and Meredith Vieira. Comedians-actors Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller were also in attendance.

A separate memorial will be within the next few weeks at New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Cronkite is to be cremated and his remains buried next to his wife, Betsy, in the family plot at a cemetery in Kansas City, Mo.

Judge approves deals to reprint ‘Moonwalk’

Los Angeles — A judge has approved a deal that will bring Michael Jackson’s autobiography, “Moonwalk,” back to store shelves.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff on Thursday approved a request by the temporary administrators of the pop icon’s estate to enter into new publishing deals.

Details of the agreements were filed under seal. But the deals will allow the 1988 book to be reprinted in the United States, Canada, England, Germany and France.

Court records state “Moonwalk” could hit store shelves in France by August. The records don’t indicate when sales in other countries would begin, but the estate’s administrators say sales would be maximized the sooner the book was rereleased.

Angelina Jolie visits displaced Iraqis

Baghdad — Angelina Jolie on Thursday visited a settlement for displaced Iraqis in northwest Baghdad in her role as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The actress met four families whose members said their children could not go to school and they could not afford to pay for medical treatment, the U.N. refugee agency said.

Jolie said during her one-day trip that there is progress in returning Iraqis to their homes after years of war, but more needs to be done, according to UNHCR.

“This is a moment where things seem to be improving on the ground, but Iraqis need a lot of support and help to rebuild their lives,” the agency quoted Jolie as saying. It was her third trip to Iraq.

UNHCR estimates that 1.6 million Iraqis were displaced within the country by sectarian violence, and that 300,000 have returned home amid improving security. It says hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees live in neighboring countries, mostly in Syria and Jordan.

‘Star Wars in Concert’ tour launching

Los Angeles — A worldwide “Star Wars” concert tour is going into hyperdrive across the planet.

“Star Wars in Concert” will feature a symphony orchestra and choir performing composer John Williams’ music from the six “Star Wars” films. The performances will be narrated live by C-3P0 actor Anthony Daniels and accompanied by a three-story-tall high-definition screen displaying movie footage synchronized to the live music.

“My role is not to be 3P0 in ‘Star Wars in Concert,’” said Daniels, who served as master of ceremonies when the concert debuted at London’s O2 arena in April. “It is to be the host, to be the narrator. I very simply tell the story in segments.”

Organizers plan to land the tour in several North American cities before embarking on a global journey. “Star Wars in Concert” will launch at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Oct. 1, and make stops in Phoenix; Los Angeles; Sacramento; San Jose, Calif.; Seattle; Portland; Tulsa, Okla.; and Oklahoma City. Other cities will be announced later.

Winehouse: I’m too short to have hit tall fan

London — Amy Winehouse told a London court Thursday that she was too short to have punched a fan in the face, saying her trademark beehive makes her look taller than she is.

The 25-year-old “Back to Black” singer is on trial accused of hitting dancer Sherene Flash in the eye after the fan asked to take her picture following a September charity ball in London’s Berkeley Square.

Winehouse told District Judge Timothy Workman that, at “5 foot 2 1/2 or 5 foot 3,” she was too short to have hit the woman in the face. Flash is 5 foot 7 inches tall.

“My hair does make a difference,” said the singer, who sported her signature hairdo in court.

Winehouse left the witness box to show Workman her shoes, which she said were similar to those she wore on the night of the alleged assault.

“These are really flat. They don’t even have a sole,” she said.


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