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Archive for Wednesday, March 31, 2010

People in the news

March 31, 2010

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‘Twilight’ author Meyer novella coming soon

New York — Attention “Twilight” fans: Stephenie Meyer has a new book coming out.

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers will release “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner” on June 5.

The novella is told from the viewpoint of Bree, a newborn vampire featured in “Eclipse.” That’s one of the books in Meyer’s best-selling teen-vampire saga.

Meyer says in a statement Tuesday the novella had originally been planned for “The Twilight Saga: The Official Guide.” But she says it became too long to fit into the guide.

The publisher says $1 for each book sold in the U.S. from the first printing of 1.5 million copies will be donated to the American Red Cross International Response Fund. It supports disaster relief efforts such as those in Haiti and Chile.

Cyrus through with ‘Hannah Montana’

Santa Monica, Calif. — Miley Cyrus is growing up.

After years of reigning as the Queen of Tweens with her Disney Channel series “Hannah Montana,” the 17-year-old is leaving the blond wig behind after this fourth season and is trying to build a more serious acting career.

The first step comes today with the release of “The Last Song,” a movie based on the book by Nicholas Sparks. Cyrus plays Ronnie, a piano prodigy who has turned her back on music, friends and family after her parents’ divorce. When she must spend the summer in Georgia with her father (Greg Kinnear), Ronnie learns there’s more to growing up than just getting older.

“As one chapter is beginning, one that’s been my life for the last five years is ending,” Cyrus says. “It’s interesting to be leaving my security blanket behind. But also it’s exciting.”

Sparks, who has written several books that became films (“The Notebook,” “Dear John,” “A Walk to Remember”), conceived the part of Ronnie specifically for Cyrus.

Madonna teams with daughter on fashion line

New York — When Madonna needed inspiration for her latest fashion collection, she didn’t have to look far. The pop icon teamed up with her 13-year-old daughter Lourdes to create Material Girl, an affordable juniors’ clothing line that debuts at Macy’s this fall.

This is not Madonna’s first foray into designing. In 2007, she worked with H&M to create a limited edition collection, M by Madonna. This time around, her venture into fashion will be long-lasting: She has launched a new company called MG ICON which, in addition to producing the juniors’ line, will also put out other collections including eyewear.

The Material Girl collection includes jeans, shoes, fingerless gloves, necklaces and other accessories. Many of the pieces are inspired by Madonna and her daughter’s dance roots.

‘Dancing’ dismisses its first celeb

Los Angeles — After two weeks on “Dancing With the Stars,” Shannen Doherty is leaving the ballroom.

The actress was the first celebrity eliminated from the new season of the hit ABC show. She and professional partner Mark Ballas were axed during Tuesday’s episode.

“Dancing isn’t really my thing,” she said after learning her fate. “I did it for my dad.”

The 38-year-old “Charmed” and “90210” star said on last week’s season premiere that she joined the “Dancing” cast to honor her father, a big fan of the show who recently suffered a stroke. He sat in the audience, watching his daughter perform.

“To see my dad’s face light up the way that it did and how proud he was of me just filled me with this kind of amazing emotion of thankfulness,” Doherty said Tuesday. “I call that a success.”

Survey: Kids spurn chef’s healthy lunches

Morgantown, W.Va. — A survey shows kids at the West Virginia school featured in “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” liked their standard pizza and chicken nuggets more than the celebrity chef’s fresh, healthy menu items.

And when denied the food they were used to, many stopped buying the school lunch.

The survey at Central City Elementary in Huntington also found children drank less milk after Oliver removed the sugary chocolate and strawberry bottles.

But there is a bright spot in the data from the West Virginia University Health Research Center: More than six in 10 kids said they’d learned to try new foods.

ABC chose to have the show in Huntington after a 2008 Associated Press story dubbed the five-county metropolitan area the nation’s unhealthiest.

Prosecutors demand Polanski’s return

Los Angeles — Prosecutors angrily deny claims by Roman Polanski’s lawyers that they tried to conceal evidence in his 32-year-old sex case, and they have renewed demands that an appeals court order him to return to the United States for sentencing.

Two prosecutors who handle appellate matters for the district attorney’s office argue in a 26-page brief filed Tuesday that allowing Polanski to avoid extradition from Switzerland hurts the integrity of the judicial system more than revelations of alleged misconduct by a now deceased judge.

They also claim there has been a misinterpretation of an extradition treaty with Switzerland and that Polanski should be returned for a court hearing in Los Angeles.

The 76-year-old film director fled the U.S. in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He remains under house arrest at his chalet in Switzerland.

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