Group seeks to preserve Hughes home in Ohio
Cleveland — A boyhood home of writer Langston Hughes has been purchased after foreclosure by a nonprofit group in Cleveland that aims to preserve it.
The Fairfax Renaissance Development Corp. says options include renovating it into a residence or restoring it to create a Hughes museum.
Hughes was born in Joplin, Mo., and lived in Lawrence, Kan., and Lincoln, Ill., before moving into the Cleveland house as a teenager around 1917.
The 2 1/2-story, wood-frame house was sold at a sheriff’s auction in February. It was transferred to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which sold it to the group for $100.
The Academy of American Poets says Hughes’ novels, plays and poems displayed insightful portrayals of black life in America. He died in 1967 in New York City.
Spears’ accounts hacked on Twitter, MySpace
New York — Britney Spears’ Twitter and MySpace accounts have apparently been hacked.
Messages on her Twitter profile Thursday purported to be from the 27-year-old pop star and claimed she worshipped the devil. The handful of unusual messages were deleted after Spears’ management regained control of the account.
Her Twitter feed boasts more than 3.7 million followers and is updated by herself and her “team” of handlers. A message Thursday apologized for “any offense the hacker’s messages caused.”
Spears’ MySpace account was taken over at about the same time.
Hacked messages have gone out from Spears’ Twitter account before.
This time, Twitter users appeared to suspect something was up. The subject “donthackbritney” was one of the most popular topics on the site Thursday.
Crawford, husband being extorted
Los Angeles — A German man was charged Thursday with trying to extort $100,000 from former supermodel Cindy Crawford and her entrepreneur husband Rande Gerber over a photo of their daughter bound to a chair and gagged, authorities said.
Edis Kayalar, 26, has not yet been arrested. He was recently deported to Germany and believed to be in Stuttgart, authorities said.
He was charged with one count of extortion. If convicted, he could face up to two years in prison. It was not clear if he has an attorney in the U.S.
The photo was purportedly taken by the couple’s former nanny earlier this year and shows the girl, then 7, bound to a chair wearing shorts and a T-shirt.
The daughter told her parents, who were unaware of the photo, that the nanny took the picture as part of a “cops and robbers” game, according to an affidavit filed in the case and first obtained by The Associated Press.
The nanny, whose name wasn’t released, has not been charged. She was fired a week before Kayalar called the couple.
Kayalar stole the photo from the nanny and repeatedly sought to get money from Crawford and Gerber, starting in July, according to the document.
Lucy Liu film highlights child trafficking
Cairo — Actress Lucy Liu, who has produced a film about children sold into the sex trade in Cambodia, says the fight against human trafficking will be long.
Liu praised several projects funded by the U.N. children’s agency in Egypt, where she was promoting the film “Red Light” at the Cairo International Film Festival.
The actress co-produced and narrated the movie, which follows the stories of a number of girls over the course of four years as they are kidnapped and sold to brothels in Cambodia.
Liu said Wednesday it “is really going to take a really long time” to fight human trafficking, labeled the third most profitable business in the world after weapons and drugs trading.
That assessment rings true in the Middle East, where stigma in conservative societies and a lack of data have frustrated activists’ efforts.
‘Office Space’ star Ron Livingston weds
Los Angeles — Ron Livingston and Rosemarie DeWitt have tied the knot.
The 42-year-old “Office Space” star and 35-year-old “Rachel Getting Married” actress married Nov. 2 in San Francisco, according to Livingston’s spokeswoman, Carri McClure.
Livingston and DeWitt starred together as crisis negotiation partners in Fox’s short-lived drama “Standoff.” Livingston also appeared in “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and the ABC series “Defying Gravity” earlier this year.
Warhol painting a hot ticket at NYC auction
New York — A painting by Andy Warhol, “200 One Dollar Bills,” brought the equivalent of 43.8 million dollar bills at auction, more than three times its highest presale estimate of $12 million.
The piece, one of Warhol’s first silk-screen paintings, sold at Sotheby’s on Wednesday evening. The auction house did not reveal the names of the buyer and seller.
Bidding for the seminal work was spirited and fast. Auctioneer Tobias Meyer opened bidding at $6 million, which was immediately doubled. Five more people in the room jumped in, competing until a phone bidder was declared the winner.
The current record for a Warhol is $71.7 million for “Green Car Crash,” sold at Christie’s in 2007.