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Topic: Karl

The new items published under this topic are as follows.

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Thin Lizzy, Bonnaroo, Jamie Lidell, Cutout Bin, Uppity Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 13, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with THIN LIZZY!  Won't be long 'till Summer comes, now that Thin Lizzy is back in rotation.  Here's Phil Lynott & Co. live at the Sydney Opera House in 1978, playing "Jailbreak," "Bad Reputation," "Cowboy Song," "The Boys Are Back In Town," "Waiting For An Alibi," and "Are You Ready?"

BONNAROO: You can listen live to selected sets from this weekend's big fest at AT&T's Blueroom starting with the Drive-By Truckers at 12:30 EDT today.

MISSION OF BURMA: Roger Miller talks to the Boston Herald about playing their Vs. album live for the Pitchfork/ATP fest this year.

IRON & WINE: Sam Beam stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

SILVER JEWS mastermind David Berman talks to Prefix about the upcoming album and its musical simplicity.  He is also the subject of an essay at the Village Voice.

JAMIE LIDELL brought his own brand of four-eyed soul to the Peacock network with this take on "Another Day."

FLEET FOXES lead singer Robin Pecknold talks to Drowned In Sound about how the band came together, songwriting and more...

THE TOP 25 GUITAR SONGS, according to Rolling Stone readers, as opposed to writers. Oof.

WOLF PARADE talks to the Montreal Gazette about the recording of their new album.

CUTOUT BIN: From the Undertones to King Curtis, from the Sweet to the Polyphonic Spree, from Los Hombres to Exile  to the Beatles, Talking Heads, Stevie Wonder, Patterson Hood covering Big Star and more, this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed separately via the Pate page at the ol' HM.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: In next month's Playboy, Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of VH1's "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew," says: "A lot of people in the public eye who behave strangely have mental illness we can learn from, and much of it is based on childhood trauma, without a doubt. Take a guy like Tom Cruise. Why would somebody be drawn into a cultish kind of environment like Scientology? To me, that's a function of a very deep emptiness and suggests serious neglect in childhood - maybe some abuse, but mostly neglect." Cruise's lawyer compared the TV doctor's analysis to Nazi methods.  Pinsky issued a tempered apology.  I would note that Scientology generally despises psychology and psychiatry and claims they led to the rise of the Nazis.  Cruise's lawyer knows his client.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases are The Incredible Hulk, which is currently scoring 73 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, and M. Night Shamalayan's The Happening, which is currently scoring 14 percent.

EDWARD NORTON -- and Edward Norton's hair -- have slipped off to a desert island rather than do publicity for "The Incredible Hulk." Norton re-wrote parts of the script but fell out with Marvel and Universal -- supposedly over the final cut, but there may be money issues involved.

PAM ANDERSON & TOMMY LEE -- together again.  Check your survival gear.

JEN & JOHN: Aniston's relationship with her much younger beau Mayer is giving her a glowing new sense of self.

CHARLIZE THERON blasts celebrities who constantly court media attention, branding their attitude "sad" and "ugly", in the July issue of British GQ magazine.

MADONNA and BRITNEY SPEARS are about to get socked with scandalous, tell-all books about their wild and crazy lives.

MATT DAMON has transformed into Fat Damon for his new role in The Informant.  Now he sorta looks like a Wahlberg.

THE 50 WORST SEX SCENES IN CINEMA, according to IFC.com and Nerve.com.  Embedded videos galore.

ZOOEY DESCHANEL talks about her first acting gig with Letterman.  Let's go to the video.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA's Tricia Helfer and Katie Sackhoff are biker chicks. They took up motorcycling last year because they were each "tired of being on the back of a guy's bike," said Sackhoff.  Video at the link.

ISLAMISM in the USA: Textbooks at a private Islamic school in northern Virginia teach students that it is permissible for Muslims to kill adulterers and converts from Islam, according to a federal investigation released Wednesday. Other passages in the school's textbooks state that "the Jews conspired against Islam and its people" and that Muslims are permitted to take the lives and property of those deemed "polytheists."

TERROR in the UK: Top secret documents about al-Qaeda left on a train could have been useful to terrorists, a security expert said today.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS: The Cassation Court on Tuesday declined to endorse a general court ruling to sentence a girly man to 10 years' imprisonment and 1,500 lashes.  Girly man?

IRAQ: Basra residents are both hopeful and fearful more than two months after the Iraqi military sent thousands of US-backed reinforcements to pry Iraq's second-largest city from the grip of Shiite militias and criminal gangs.  But if the housing market is an economic indicator, then Iraq's southern city of Basra is in the midst of an economic boom. Iraqi reinforcement troops deployed to the oil-producing southern city of Amarah on Thursday as the military geared up for another crackdown against Shiite militiamen.

THE COW was not happy with the service from the local auto repair spot.

A SMALL, UPPITY DOG is being sought by the Poughkeepsie Police.

A RARE UNICORN DEER is drawing hundreds of curious visitors to the nature preserve in Tuscany, NY. Pic and video at the link.

GEORGE, who is 14, was awarded the "The Oldest Living Rabbit" honors by Guinness after several vets confirmed his age.

SCENT of a DINGO: Keeps kangaroos and other marsupials out of places they're not wanted... but drives the ladies wild!  Okay, maybe not that last bit.

2071 Reads

REM, She & Him, Sloan, The Old 97s, Great White Shark   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 12, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

R.E.M. was joined by Modest Mouse axemeister Johnny Marr for a rendition of "Fall On Me" at Chicago's United Center.  The first time I saw the band play this, it was not quite finished.

SHE & HIM kick off a new series produced by the legendary Steve Lillywhite at NPR. The duo is also featured in the roll-out of Blurt, which comes with a bonus feature on Zooey Deschanel.

MY MORNING JACKET frontman Jim James rejects comparing the band's new LP to Prince at the outset of a piece at Blurt.

SLOAN is streaming their new Parallel Play album via YepRoc. (Thx, Chromewaves.)

VAMPIRE WEEKEND bassist Chris Baio takes a look back at the band's crazy year with the Village Voice.

THE OLD 97s have Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer in the video for "Dance With Me," which is pretty much a command.

BLACK MOUNTAIN: Stephen McBean talks to ChartAttack about the group's sophomore effort, from the depths of a haze of cold medication.

T-BONE BURNETT talks to NPR's Day to Day, which also has a couple of streaming tracks from his music for a new version of Sam Shepherd's play, Tooth of Crime,

EMMYLOU HARRIS talks to Pitchfork about her many collaborations, interpreting other people's songs, Johnny Cash, and the downside of staying so busy.

THE BBC & EMI have struck a deal to release thousands of hours of previously-unreleased music from the likes of Paul McCartney, Coldplay, The Beach Boys and David Bowie.

KATHERINE HEIGL withdrew her name from contention for an Emmy, blaming the Gray's Anatomy writers for not giving her worthy material: "In addition, I did not want to potentially take away an opportunity from an actress who was given such materials."

GEORGE CLOONEY & SARAH LAWSEN split over her boob job?

ANGELINA JOLIE does a Q&A with Entertainment Weekly, explaining what attracted her to the film adaptation of Wanted.

DAVID SPADE and Playboy Playmate Jillian Grace, who dated briefly, are expecting a baby girl.

REESE WITHERSPOON's gig as Avon's Global Ambassador has her donning a kimono in Japan to spread awareness about breast cancer.

BRITNEY SPEARS & MEL GIBSON had another of their ongoing guidance sessions -- at an exclusive Beverly Hills cigar club.

CAMERON DIAZ is continuing to heat things up with Jen Aniston's ex boy-toy, Paul Sculfor.

THE SMURFS are celebrating their 50th anniversary with a Hollywood movie deal announced on Tuesday by Columbia Pictures.  Aren't their heads already big?

IT IS THE YEAR OF THE TWEEN for the Forbes Celebrity 100 List, though none crack the Top Ten.

THE WEBBY AWARDS went to these folks, who are supposed to limit their acceptance speeches to five words.

THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE trailer is online. I want to believe this will be good...

PAKISTAN condemned a US and Afghan Army cross-border attack against Taliban forces in Mohmand agency. The US military said it warned Pakistan the fighting was underway.

AFGHANISTAN: US Marines who served in Anbar Province are bringing the lessons of Iraq to the fight against the Taliban.

IRAQ: The Guardian reports on the downward slide of AQI, while noting AQ may move more into places like Somalia and Yemen. The US is seeing a sharp drop in the number of foreigners entering Iraq to become AQI suicide bombers, according to intelligence and Bush administration sources.  CNN reviews internal AQI documents. The US military said on Wednesday that more than 500 insurgents who fought US and Iraqi forces had surrendered their arms in the past three weeks and joined the reconciliation process in central Iraq. High-level negotiations over the future role of the US military in Iraq have turned into an increasingly acrimonious public debate, with Iraqi politicians denouncing what they say are US demands to maintain nearly 60 bases in their country indefinitely.

WHITE TIGERS are thriving so much at one of India's top reserves that authorities have agreed to expand its boundary to give them a bigger area for the free swim.

A TRAPPED PUPPY was rescued from a storm drain under Interstate 95 in Miami after a couple walking near Northwest Sixth Avenue and 75th Street saw a female dog pacing on top of a metal storm-drain grate and heard a helpless puppy whimpering below.  Like the Jessica McClure story, but with a puppy.

A MAMA BEAR and her two cubs seated themselves at a Romanian raestaurant. "It was like Goldilocks and the three bears in reverse," said frightened customer Flaviu Lazar.

A REKNOWNED SCOTTISH FARMER was crushed to death by his tractor; the family believes the "accident" may have been caused by his dog.

A GREAT WHITE SHARK was spotted off the coast of Martha's Vineyard in two separate incidents over the weekend. What say you, Police Chief Brody?

1638 Reads

New Hold Steady, Isobel Campbell, 80s fashion, Pig in Boots   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

GNARLS BARKLEY had it "Goin' On" for Dave on the Eye network the other night.

THE HOLD STEADY are advance streaming their new album Stay Positive.  Which should be enough for today, but I'll continue.

LOU REED talks to New York magazine about his new satellite radio show, then breaks bad when the subject of money is raised.

ISOBEL CAMPBELL is reluctantly interviewed by The Observer about a bunch of things, including her first take of current collaborator Mark Lanegan: "He was in Glasgow with Queens of the Stone Age in around May 2003. I don't go out much - I never have - so it was quite a new thing to be at this rock concert with all these kids going mad. I felt like a scientist observing some event. I got quite tired in the middle and had to go to the toilet for a sit down."

THE TING TINGS tell USAToday that they get lots of free merch named "Ting" or "ing Ting."  Kattie White: "I only wish we had known this. We would have named ourselves after something really expensive and hard to get hold of."

MY MORNING JACKET has a little mini-documentary on the recording and roll out of the band's new Evil Urges album (the mellow vibe of which is semi-controversial).  Frontman Jim James talks to The A.V. Club.

OF MONTREAL frontman Kevin Barnes blogs about the band's just-completed album: "i am so bored with art that makes sense and "works". i wanted to do somethings that didn't "work". very few things pique our interest while they are working as we expect them to, things are far more interesting when they are not working..."

FRANZ FERDINAND has posted snippets of songs in progress in the "Music" section of their website, with some departures from the usuall FF sound.

WILL JOHNSON of Centro-matic and South San Gabriel talks to the Phoenix about recording and playing as two different bands with the same members.

EIGHTIES FASHION violates the laws of nature, going against the evolutionary process itself, according to a professor of mathematics.

MADONNA's publicist has hit back at claims on a celebrity gossip website that the superstar hired Heather Mills' hard-hitting divorce lawyer, suggesting a bitter feud with Guy Ritchie was about to erupt.

PAUL NEWMAN has quietly turned over the 120 million dollar value of his ownership in Newman's Own - the company that makes salad dressing and cookies - to charity.  Roger Friedman learned about this extraordinary gift as news started coming out recently about Newman's battle with lung cancer. Newman's rep denied reports that the cancer is terminal.

SHIA LeBEOUF says he's "embarrassed" by a video that made its way around the Internet yesterday, showing LaBeouf participating in a sophomoric slapping contest with a friend during what appears to be a boozy house party. LaBeouf successfully provoked his pal to whack him by calling him a "faggot."

JESSICA ALBA's baby girl looks just like her, according to her Uncle Josh.  I'm thinking she looks younger.  The Alba is claiming that she is unaware of the tabloid offers for the baby pics.

LINDSAY LOHAN & SAMANTHA RONSON look great together, says Sam's bro, producer Mark Ronson.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: They actually put out a teaser trailer for Valkyrie.  Be afraid.

PAM ANDERSON presented Hugh Hefner with his 82nd birthday cake in the nude.  Hef still living.

SPIKE LEE continued his latest showbiz feud-promotion, invoking America's bitter legacy of slavery in response to Clint Eastwood's comments to the Guardian.

IRON MAN 2 may lose director Jon Favreau because Marvel Studios head honcho David Maisel is being cheap regards to making Favreau's deal.  Penny wise, multi-million dollar foolish.

THE DARK KNIGHT has a new website (via Comcast) with behind-the-scenes video and more...  Plus, director Christopher Nolan tells SciFi wire that his vision of The Joker was inspired by Johnny Rotten.

DENISE RICHARDS & CHARLIE SHEEN are at loggerheads over whether to vaccinate their kids. He is convinced vaccinations are poison.  In contrast, I am convnced people will want to see Richards getting a nude spray tan.

VENEZUELA: Hugo Chavez has tossed out a controversial intelligence decree that would have forced Venezuelans to become informants and spy on their neighbors or face prison time. Chavez says the National Assembly will draft a new law from scratch in response to resounding criticism.

THE BBC has come under attack for paying expenses to a disgraced academic who says the 7/7 London bombings may have been an intelligence agency conspiracy.  His theory is that the Al-Qaeda inspired bombers were 'innocent patsies', set up by elements of the Israeli, British and U.S. security agencies.

IRAQ: McClatchy reports that recent substantial gains by the Iraqi army, flagging insurgent violence and civilians reclaiming a sense of confidence have produced expectations that are higher than at any time since 2003. Iraqi police captured 65 Mahdi Army fighters during operations in Dhi Qhar province. Iraqi and Coalition forces killed three AQI fighters and detained five during raids in northern Iraq. Iraqi Special Operations Forces detained four AQI operatives in the Tal Abtah area northwest of Mosul. Coalition forces detained two AQI cell leaders and three associates in Baghdad.  Bodybuilding and bodyguarding are booming businesses in Iraq. The State Department's top Iraq adviser says he believes a U.S.-Iraqi security agreement will be finalized by the end of July.  We'll see.

A CANE TOAD survived after being eaten by a dog and spending 40 minutes in the animal's stomach. The dog also lived to bark another day -- proving she's as tough as her owner, Darwin rugby league star Jackson Crews. It's like the story of Jonah and the big fish, but with a cane toad and a dog.

BIG IN BOOTS: The world's only porker who is afraid of mud.  Awww...some pics at the link.

AN ELUSIVE HEN that took up residence outside a McDonald's was finally captured after it engaging in acts of civil disobedience.

BEAUTY the BALD EAGLE gets a bionic beak.  We can rebuild her.  We have the technology.  Nuhnuhnuhnuh.

LONG-TAILED MACAQUES were observed four times over the past eight years scooping up small fish with their hands.  The species had been known to eat fruit and forage for crabs and insects, but never before fish from rivers.  Just keep your hands off me, you d*mn dirty apes!

2286 Reads

Foo Zeppelin, New Releases, New Radiohead, Monkey Robots   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

FOO ZEPPELIN:  Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones joined the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins on "Rock and Roll" (with a profanity-laden intro) and "Ramble On" for the encore to the Foos' big gig at Wembley Stadium in London last weekend. In an interview after the concert, Page said Zep was ready to reunite and perform more live events... but fans could have to wait until Autumn 2009 as band members had to tie up individual projects first. And that's a Twofer Tuesday!

NEW RELEASES: My Morning Jacket, Adele, Supergrass, Martha Wainwright, Solomon Burke, James Hunter, The Beach Boys and more are streaming in full via Spinner.

SIGUR ROS is advance streaming their upcoming album, Með suð i eyrum við spilum endalaust ("with a buzz in our ear we play endlessly"), if you're into that sort of thing.  I can be, in the right mood.

RON SEXSMITH has an advance stream of his version of "Brandy Alexander," (which he co-wrote with Leslie Feist) available via Entertainment Weekly. The song was inspired by a story of John Lennon and Harry Nilsson's fondness for the cocktail -- and sounds like it, methinks.

FEIST: The Irish Independent tells us how she gets, how she gets to Sesame Street.

RADIOHEAD debut a new song, "Super-Collider," in Dublin.  Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood cover Portishead's "The Rip" unpluggety backstage in St. Louis. That's Two Twofer Tuesdays.

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE frontman Ben Gibbard talks to Gothamist about the new album, taking over Stereogum for a day, and the nature of alt-rock fame: "Even after selling a million records, I very rarely get recognized on the street or when I'm shopping for groceries. I think part of the benefit of being in a nerdy, bookish, indie rock band is that you blend into a crowd pretty easily. It'd be one thing if -- you know, I'm not dressed like Steven Tyler or someone like that, so it's pretty easy to blend in."

MUDHONEY's Mark Arm talks to Express about his influences, songwriting, going back to a day job and more...

THE FOALS drop a surprising seven free songs at Daytrotter, four previously unreleased.

THOMAS DOLBY answers the standard 20 questions for PopMatters, including the all-important "Star Trek or Star Wars?"

JESSICA SIMPSON is going into the lingerie business. I am sure it will reek of style and class.

BRITNEY SPEARS' latest appeal to overturn the conservatorship awarded to her father in February was rejected by a California appellate court.

SIENNA MILLER says a pair of pajamas she shared with Heath Ledger, who died in January, helps keep her Casanova costar alive in her heart.

KATE HUDSON didn't deny a romance with Lance Armstrong when she appeared on Ryan Seacrest's KIIS-FM radio show Monday morning to plug her new eco-friendly hair product line with long time stylist David Babaii.  Hudson recently took her son Ryder to Armstrong's hometown of Austin, TX.

BILL MURRAY'a wife claims that he is the violent and booze-addicted one in the family - but she has gotten a reputation in her suburban Charleston, SC, neighborhood as an avid drinker who gets "physical" with her children and gets into bizarre police incidents.  I cannot imagine who dropped that tidbit onto Page Six...

ANNE HATHAWAY's boyfriend's charity is under investigation by NY State Attorney General Andrew Andrew Cuomo. "She was on the board, but is no longer," Hathaway's spokesman said. "I don't remember exactly when she ceased to be a board member."  Maybe when the phone rang?

ROBERT DOWNEY JR. has publicly thanked Burger King for helping him overcome his personal problems and resurrect his film career. But it's not really an endorsement of the King...

RUPERT EVERETT has made an unreserved apology for calling soldiers "wimps" and suggesting they went into the Army to torture prisoners.

CAPT. KIRK is not invited to Lt. Sulu's big gay wedding.

SEAN COMBS would like to be called Puff Daddy. The circle is now complete.

WALL-E: There;'s an extended clip from the upcoming Pixar pic on the Tube, if you get there before the Mouse's lawyers.

"CARBON OFFSETTING is like kicking the dog and giving money to the RSPCA, but simply all the best people are doing it, darling."

ISLAMISM in S.E. ASIA: The deadliest terrorist networks in Southeast Asia have suffered significant setbacks in the past three years, weakened by aggressive policing, improved intelligence, enhanced military operations and an erosion of public support, government officials and counterterrorism specialists say. OTOH, members of a moderate Muslim sect were ordered by the government Monday to return to mainstream Islam or face possible imprisonment for insulting the country's predominant religion.

ISLAMISM in the UK: An "encyclopaedia or library" of articles promoting terrorism was found during raids on the homes of three men and a boy of 16, a court has heard.  Schoolchildren as young as 13 in Yorkshire are being groomed by al-Qaeda extremists trying to radicalize them and turn them into terrorists, a chief constable has warned.

IRAN: The US wants the EU to redouble efforts to punish Iran financially for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, a US diplomat said Monday before an EU-US summit in Slovenia.

IRAQ: Sadr City's markets are recovering; since the wall project was completed more than two weeks ago, firefights have been replaced with intelligence gathering, civic engagement and reconstruction. The chief of the Anbar Salvation Council announced on Monday an alliance of four political powers in the predominantly Sunni province of al-Anbar within preparations for the forthcoming elections scheduled for next October. This alliance does not include the Iraqi Islamic Party of Iraqi Vice President al-Hashimi.  Sheik Ahmad al-Rishawi of the Anbar movement is offering his men to help gin up a rebellion against Osama bin Laden's organization along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.  Eight former officials from executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's government will be transferred from US military prisons to Iraqi custody in the coming days.

MONKEYS CONTROL ROBOTS with their minds. Video at the link. Just so long as it's not squirrels.

A 300-LB MASTIFF makes for a good watchdog. Pics at the link.

A 40-YEAR-OLD MAN has been found dead with a cobra carcass in his hands and a condom on his penis. In Bangkok.  Snake remnants were found in the dead man's teeth.  No happy ending for him.

DOG SAVES HUNTER who suffered a crippling fall - by fetching his mobile phone.

CHANCE BEATS THE ODDS: A frisky yellow Labrador named Chance was lost after last month's tornado in Parkersburg, IA, but sniffed his way to his owners' car nine days later.

3951 Reads

Neko Case, The Old 97s, The Brunettes, Kung Fu Pandas   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 09, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

LIGHTSPEED CHAMPION played "Galaxy of the Lost" for the redhead on the peacock.

NEKO CASE played L.A.'s Walt Disney Concert Hall last November; NPR has the whole thing streaming now.

BILLY BRAGG talks about the struggle for freedom beyond England with Vancouver's Straight.

THE OLD 97's stpped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND singer Ezra Koenig talks to Metromix about Internet debates, Vampire Weekend's alleged resemblance to Paul Simon's "Graceland" and their more literal connections to Art Garfunkel.

THE BRUNETTES bring back the giant rocker in the video for "Small Town Crew."

THE HOLD STEADY frontman Craig Finn staying positive confuses a reporter from the Guardian: "When I think about the Hold Steady, I don't think about optimism or Oprah Winfrey. I think, Holly's in the hospital, and Gideon's got a pipe made from a Pringle's can. I think, some nights the painkillers make the pain even worse."

MARTHA WAINWRIGHT tells the Independent that growing up among the Wainwrights and McGarrigles was not like being in the Von Trapp family.  Two streaming tracks at the link also.

MUDHONEY guitarist Steve Turner talks to Drowned In Sound about returning to the energetic, abrasive output of the band's first few records after 20 years of making music.  Two videos at the link, including "Touch Me, I'm Sick."

PAUL WELLER, former Mod and Style Councillor is interviewed by fashion designer Sir Paul Smith at the Independent.

AMY WINEHOUSE has apologized after being caught in yet another shameful video which shows her revelling in sex in a public place, surrounded by evidence of drugs and singing racist chants.

JESICA ALBA & CASH WARREN have welcomed a baby girl, according to US magazine.  The Alba is interviewed about motherhood, The Love Guru and mysticism at USA Weekend.

PATRICK SWAYZE, battling pancreatic cancer, is nevertheless set to start filming a new TV series for A&E.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is reportedly in talks to star in a remake of of the Lerner and Loewe classic musical "My Fair Lady."

WONDER WOMAN: Lydna Carter discovered a body on the Potomac River in Washington and assisted rescuers.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Kung Fu Panda exceeded expectations, taking in 60 million, which is a good thing, considering a rumored budget in the 130-50 million range.  I thought it was fun and a bit more kid-oriented than one might guess with Jack Black in the lead (though he just became a dad again, so why not).  You Don't Mess With The Zohan followed with 40 million, about average for an Adam Sandler comedy opening.  With a 90 million budget, it should do fine.  Indiana Jones comes in third with 22.8 million, but a 49 percent drop is probably bigger than Hollywood hoped for.  Even so, Indy has raked in 253 million in the US, 520 million worldwide.  Sex & The City plunges 62.5 percent to fourth place with 21 million.  But it wil cross 100 million this week on a 60 million budget.  The Strangers drops about 56 percent to round out the Top Five -- 37.6 million on a 9 million budget is not bad.  Iron Man, btw, hangs in at sixth and may cross the 300 million mark in the US by next week.

ANNE HECHE has reached a divorce settlement with her ex-husband Coley Laffoon, including a 275K lump sum payment to him.

DISNEY & PIXAR, otoh, have worked well together under a prenup.

KATE BECKINSALE has offered an unusual excuse for her poor performance in the kitchen - she's too good in bed: "I'm the worst wife in the cooking department. I always thought you can't be good at food and sex, but you can always order the food in.  I'd rather he didn't order in the sex."

ANNE HATHAWAY is desperate to change the 'good girl' image she got starring in children's films 'The Princess Diaries' and 'Ella Enchanted.'   You would have thought Brokeback Mountain and Havoc would have done the trick.

CLINT EASTWOOD talks to the Guardian about race, euthanasia, politicians, capital punishment, Dirty Harry and Spike Lee: "A guy like him should shut his face."

ALFRED HITCHCOCK knew how to control your mind.

IRAN: Pres. Ahmadinejad has ordered the country's leading banks to transfer billions of dollars of assets from Europe to the Central Bank to prevent them being frozen by international sanctions. But his action has caused friction with the governor of the Central Bank, who may resign over the issue. This would constitute a serious blow to Mr Ahmadinejad's already battered reputation for economic competence.

IRAQ: US soldiers in Baghdad captured an Iraqi arms dealer and "assassination squad" leader responsible for trafficking Shi'ite extremists in and out of neighboring Iran for training, the military said Sunday. Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki on Sunday assured Iran that Iraq wouldn't allow its territory to be used as a platform to "harm" the Islamic republic, the official Iranian news agency reported. Iraqi police on Sunday dismantled an AQI cell of would-be suicide bombers in Hit, seizing 50 explosive belts primed for use, a local mayor said.  Coalition forces captured an alleged AQI leader and a man believed to lead a bombing cell under his direction during operations in Mosul Sunday. Coalition forces captured a suspected Basra-based Special Groups criminal and his associate late Saturday night during operations in the Rusafa district of Baghdad. Turkish warplanes struck a Kurdish guerrilla target in northern Iraq on Saturday night.  US troops in Iraq would be confined to their bases and private security guards subject to local law if Iraq gets its way in negotiations with the US over the future status of forces.

KUNG FU PANDAS:  Okay, more like Sumo pandas.  Let's go to the video.

HANUMAN THE MONKEY GOD has been named official chairman of the recently opened Sardar Bhagat Singh College of Technology and Management in northern India.  Congrats!

KITTEN ABUSER ARRESTED after sealing kitties inside a wall with hardening insulation.  The kitties ae on the road to recovery.

PIGEON-RACING CHAMP Scott Gibson has quit the sport after spies hid in bushes to investigate cheating claims.

STRANDED DIVERS fight off Komodo dragon with rocks, wood.

SCIENTISTS fear a pack of deadly bull sharks  are now hunting people for the first time after Jaws-style attacks on a Mexican resort.

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