People talk 1/28/03

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Anti-war activists joined by actresses

CANBERRA, Australia -- Actresses Toni Collette and Judy Davis were among anti-war activists Monday who tried to present Prime Minister John Howard with an application for U.S. citizenship because of his support for Washington's hardline stance against Iraq.

"He's blindly following Bush, like a sheep, into a pit and who knows what the repercussions may be," said Collette, who was nominated for a best-supporting actress Oscar for 1999's "The Sixth Sense." She also appeared last year in "About a Boy" and "The Hours."

The group of prominent actors, doctors, lawyers and human rights activists gathered in a small protest at the gates of the prime minister's Sydney home and presented security guards with a four-point document for application for honorary U.S. citizenship.

It reads in part that Howard promises to obey all commands from President Bush and put all other loyalties second to his allegiance to Washington.

Davis, who won an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award for playing Judy Garland in the miniseries, "Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows," said the democratic process in Australia and across the world was being undermined.

Director gives backing to intercultural program

BERLIN -- Director Steven Spielberg has launched a Germany-wide contest designed to promote tolerance through students' intercultural interaction.

The contest, "Remembering for the Present and Future -- Tolerance Wins," comes as the Sept. 11 attacks and increasing tensions in the Persian Gulf region highlight the need for children to understand other cultures, but Spielberg said no more so than other times.

"We've been at the brink of many world crises ever since the Holocaust, and this is one more crisis," Spielberg said at a news conference Sunday.

"But the need for tolerance education has always existed."

The contest challenges students to put together video, audio, written, Internet or photo presentations that promote understanding between countries, cultures and religions.

The competition awards 3,000 euros ($3,250) to the first place winners, 2,000 euros ($2,165) for second place and 1,000 euros ($1,080) for third place. All entries must be in by the end of July.

Prosecutors consider subpoenaing singer

DETROIT -- Prosecutors may subpoena singer Aretha Franklin to obtain information about her home that was destroyed by a fire in October.

The Oakland County Prosecutor's Office will decide this week whether to issue an investigative subpoena that would "compel her to testify," said Assistant Prosecutor James Halushka.

Since the Oct. 25 fire, which has been ruled an arson, investigators have tried at least three times to interview Franklin.

Her attorney, Elbert Hatchett, has answered most investigators' questions on her behalf.

Halushka said if the subpoena is issued, the only way Franklin could avoid directly answering questions would be to invoke her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

"I wouldn't expect her to do that because she is not a suspect," Halushka told the Detroit Free Press for a Monday story.

But Hatchett said that's a possibility if Franklin is subpoenaed.

Franklin was on tour in Houston when fire swept through the 10,000-square-foot home in Bloomfield Township.

The investigation showed that an accelerant was used to start the fire in three locations on the first floor of the $1.6 million home.

Police have one suspect -- a man walking near the home the morning of the fire. He was questioned and released.

Couple announces plans for first child

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Olympic ice skating champion Scott Hamilton and his wife of one month are expecting their first child in September.

Hamilton and Tracie Rose Robinson, who were married Dec. 14 in Malibu, announced the pregnancy at a wedding reception they hosted Friday in Thousand Oaks, publicist Michael Sterling said Sunday in a news release. A message left for Sterling wasn't returned.

Among the 200 guests were celebrities William Shatner, Susan Anton, Kevin Sorbo and Dan Cortese; ice skating colleagues Kristi Yamaguchi, Christopher Dean and wife Jill Trenary, Paul Wylie, Roslynn Sumners, Tai Babilonia, Steven Cousins and Doug Ladret; and Olympic champions Bart Conner and wife Nadia Comanechi, Mitch Gaylord and Bruce Jenner, the release said.

Hamilton, 44, and Robinson, 33, met in 2000 and got engaged in September 2002 at Hamilton's fund-raising ice show in Cleveland, Ohio. Hamilton is a 1984 Olympic gold medalist and testicular cancer survivor.

Robinson, of Jackson, Tenn., moved to Los Angeles in 1998.

Gunslinger's grave site threatened by erosion

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. -- Historians fear erosion could unearth the grave of gunslinger Doc Holliday and others in the 115-year-old Linwood Cemetery.

The Frontier Historical Society, which oversees the city's Frontier Historical Museum, has formed a committee to try to spruce up one of the city's most popular tourist attractions.

"This will be a long-term project, and we want to focus on the most immediate needs first, which is the erosion," said Randy Henrie, president of the historical society.

Holliday, trained as a dentist, became a legend when he joined Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp to shoot it out with the Clanton gang at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Ariz., in 1881.

He retired to Glenwood Springs hoping that its hot springs would help him fight tuberculosis.

-- From wire reports

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: