Archive for Tuesday, September 29, 2009

People in the news

September 29, 2009

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Palin memoir to be released Nov. 17

New York — That was fast.

Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, has finished her memoir just four months after the book deal was announced, and the release date has been moved up from the spring to Nov. 17, her publisher said.

Palin’s book, her first, will be 400 pages, said Jonathan Burnham, publisher of Harper. The book now has a title, one fitting for a public figure known for the unexpected — “Going Rogue: An American Life.”

Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins, has commissioned a huge first printing of 1.5 million copies. Sen. Ted Kennedy’s “True Compass,” published by Twelve soon after his Aug. 25 death, also had a 1.5 million first printing.

Prosecutors: Polanski efforts go back decades

Los Angeles — With Roman Polanski under arrest in Switzerland, American prosecutors Monday disputed a claim by the director that they had never tried to nab him after he fled overseas to escape sentencing on charges he had sex with an underage girl.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said it had multiple contacts with several countries in efforts to arrest the Academy Award-winning filmmaker, including once with Israel as recently as 2007.

Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland on Saturday sparked an international outcry from prominent European supporters and drew questions about why American authorities chose to act now even though Polanski has been living and working openly in Europe for decades.

Polanski’s agent, Jeff Berg, said he was aware of no efforts to arrest Polanski before Saturday.

The timing of the director’s arrest “certainly appears unusual,” Berg said, especially since Polanski spent the summer at his house in Switzerland.

Polanski, who has been shooting “The Ghost” in Germany for the past six months, was in plain sight, Berg added.

On Monday, France and Poland urged Switzerland to free him on bail and pressed U.S. officials all the way up to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Polanski has told Swiss officials that he will contest a U.S. request that he be returned to the United States.

O’Brien back at work, joking about accident

Los Angeles — Conan O’Brien is back at work on the “Tonight Show” and joking about a stunt accident that gave him what he calls a slight concussion.

O’Brien hit his head during Friday’s show, halting the production and sending him to a hospital to be checked out. A “Tonight” rerun aired instead of the planned episode.

In his monologue for Monday’s taping, O’Brien said he was asked all weekend about what happened. O’Brien told the studio audience that he hit his head so hard that for five seconds he understood the plot of “Lost,” according to an NBC transcript.

When he fell, the “Tonight” host was doing a stunt with guest Teri Hatcher of “Desperate Housewives.”

Pilot in Hudson landing will return to cockpit

The airline captain who glided his US Airways jet safely into New York’s Hudson River will return to the cockpit soon, the airline said on Monday.

Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger will pilot regular flights as well as join the airline’s flight operations safety management team. The airline said it was still working out the details of his return to flight duties.

Sullenberger, 58, has finished the training required to return to the cockpit and is eligible to fly, said US Airways Group Inc. spokesman Jonathan Freed. The requirements for returning to the cockpit include ground school, simulator training and flying with a captain from the training department, he said.

On Jan. 15 Sullenberger ditched the Airbus A320 in the Hudson after a collision with a flock of geese killed power in both engines minutes after takeoff from LaGuardia airport. All 155 people on the plane survived. First Officer Jeffrey Skiles said in March that he would return to the cockpit.

Sullenberger wrote about the landing in “Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters,” with co-author Jeffrey Zaslow. The book is due out next month.

Daughter: Newman liked being on Nixon list

Hartford, Conn. — Paul Newman liked to joke about his trademark blue eyes, musing that if they turned brown his career might be in jeopardy, and was delighted to learn he was on Richard Nixon’s enemies list, the Academy Award-winning actor’s daughter said Monday.

Nell Newman, whose father died a year ago at age 83, gave a rare glimpse into the actor’s life in an interview with The Associated Press. She was meeting with reporters in Connecticut as part of an effort by her company, Newman’s Own Organics, to highlight its partnership with McDonald’s Corp., where it sells coffee at McDonald’s New England restaurants.

She said her father considered himself lucky and wanted to give back, leading to his passion for philanthropy.

“He always used to joke if his eyes turned brown, what would happen to his career,” she said. “He always felt he was just really lucky.”

The Hollywood star won an Oscar and took home two honorary ones, and had major roles in more than 50 motion pictures, including “Cool Hand Luke,” “Exodus,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Verdict,” “The Sting” and “Absence of Malice.”

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