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People talk 2/25

Monday, February 25, 2002

Rock star Bono wants to help world's poor

NEW YORK -- Rock star Bono says he's tired of just dreaming about helping the world's poor and sick.

"I'm into doing at the moment," the U2 singer tells Time magazine in its Feb. 24 issue, on newsstands today.

"I know how absurd it is to have a rock star talk about the World Health Organization or debt relief or HIV/AIDS in Africa," he acknowledges.

But the 41-year-old celebrity has access to media and money, and power-brokers listen to him. As chief benefactor of a debt-relief advocacy group, Bono recently sat on a World Economic Forum dais with Bill Gates, discussing how to save Africa from financial ruin.

"I refused to meet him at first," Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said.

But their scheduled half-hour session stretched to 90 minutes, and O'Neill changed his mind: "He's a serious person. He cares deeply about these issues, and you know what? He knows a lot about them."

King to replace George on Tennessee quarters

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Elvis Presley Enterprises has licensed a company to replace George Washington on some of Tennessee's 2002 quarters with a color illustration of the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

The coins, souvenirs honoring Presley on the 25th anniversary of his death, went into production this month through the International Collector's Society. The process fuses a color portrait of Elvis over Washington's face. Pete Davidson, EPE' senior licensing manager, said the British colony of Gibraltar mints Elvis coins as part of its currency, but the refaced quarter is the only option in U.S. currency.

Public station sued by antiques show's owner

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The man who owns the U.S. rights to the "Antiques Roadshow" program has sued Boston's public television station for $130,000, claiming the station failed to comply with their licensing agreement.

Daniel M. Farrell says WGBH won't let him audit its records, according to a lawsuit filed in Hampden Superior Court. He wants a court order to force the station to give him an accounting of its ancillary revenues from the show.

WGBH generates money from sales of "Antiques Roadshow" products, including a board game, books and calendars.

The show, which features members of the public getting free appraisals for their antiques and heirlooms, has about 16 million regular viewers, according to court documents, and is the most popular prime-time show on PBS.

-- From wire reports


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