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Archive for Tuesday, October 20, 2009

People in the news

October 20, 2009

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Michelle Obama to appear on ‘Leno Show’

Los Angeles — First lady Michelle Obama is going to be serving up answers on “The Jay Leno Show.”

NBC said Monday that Mrs. Obama is set to respond to 10 “rapid-fire questions” in a comedy bit with Leno. She’ll participate via satellite from Washington.

Leno’s Q&A routine with celebrities and newsmakers has featured Justin Timberlake, Sen. John McCain and LeBron James, among others.

The first lady is to appear Friday on “The Jay Leno Show.” Colin Firth is the scheduled guest.

Beyonce delays show amid Muslim criticism

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — R&B star Beyonce Knowles has postponed a planned concert in Malaysia, the event’s organizer said Monday, following accusations by Islamic conservatives that the show would be immoral.

Knowles, known for her provocative clothes and choreography, had been scheduled to perform at a Kuala Lumpur stadium Oct. 25. The show “has been postponed to a future date to be announced shortly,” Malaysian entertainment company Marctensia said in a statement.

“The postponement is solely (the) decision of the artist and has nothing to do with other external reasons,” the statement said.

A Marctensia representative declined to say whether the decision was prompted by criticism from the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, the country’s largest opposition group, which has called for the show to be scrapped because it would promote “Western sexy performances.”

Knowles also canceled a planned performance in Malaysia in 2007 following protest threats by the opposition Islamic party. At the time, her talent agency said the show was called off because of a scheduling conflict.

Instead, Knowles went to Indonesia, also a largely Muslim country, which has less stringent rules about how performers should dress and behave.

CBS pays tribute to ‘60 Minutes’ creator

New York — At the end, there were too many stories to keep television news pioneer Don Hewitt’s memorial service to 60 minutes.

A CBS News lifer who created “60 Minutes” and ran TV’s first newsmagazine from 1968 to 2004, Hewitt died in August of pancreatic cancer at age 86. Only a month after a public memorial service for Walter Cronkite, CBS brought many of its old-timers back on Monday to pay tribute to Hewitt.

He was described as a quick and curious showman who maintained a childlike enthusiasm for life and his work, whose credo for stories big and small was “tell me a story.” He was so persistent with his idea for “60 Minutes” in the 1960s that colleagues would duck away when seeing him for fear of hearing it again.

Joan Ganz Cooney, a friend who helped create “Sesame Street,” said Hewitt ranked with CBS newscasters Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow, and ABC executive Roone Arledge as the four most important men in the development of TV news.

“They’re the ones who showed what television news could be,” Cooney said. “They’re the ones that others followed.”

Wyclef Jean working on memoir, publisher says

New York — Wyclef Jean is working on a memoir.

The solo star and former frontman for The Fugees is collaborating with Rolling Stone writer Anthony Bozza on a book — currently untitled — to be published by It Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, and a release date hasn’t been set.

The publisher announced in a statement Monday that the book will cover Jean’s life, from his childhood in rural Haiti to his musical career and philanthropic work.

Jean, who just turned 37, is known for such hit singles as “We Trying to Stay Alive” and “Gone Till November.” With the Fugees, he recorded the Grammy-winning, multiplatinum-selling album “The Score.”

Prosecutor in Smith case faces accusation

Los Angeles — A prosecutor who was accused of trying to intimidate one of the star witnesses in the Anna Nicole Smith drug case was absent from the courtroom Monday afternoon, and the district attorney’s office said her further role in the case was under discussion.

Larry Birkhead, father of the celebrity model’s daughter, disclosed from the witness stand that Sarah Slice, the young prosecutor who had been escorting him to and from court, had given him advice about his testimony and warned that his daughter might have problems in later life because of her late mother’s drug use.

“I felt I personally did my best, and I was being chastised,” he said under questioning by defense attorney Ellyn Garofalo.

Birkhead said Slice told him prosecutors were “frustrated” because he appeared to be taking the side of Howard K. Stern in the preliminary hearing which will decide whether Stern and two doctors stand trial.

Stern — Smith’s former boyfriend — and two doctors are charged with conspiracy to illegally give controlled substances to the former Playboy Playmate, who died of an accidental overdose in 2007.

Birkhead, who ended his two-day stay on the witness stand, said he felt he was being pressured by Slice to “ramp up” his testimony against the defendants.

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