Anderson urges end to seal hunt

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HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) – Pamela Anderson is renewing calls for her homeland to end its East Coast seal hunt.

Anderson, a native of British Columbia, said Saturday that she was disappointed Prime Minister Stephen Harper had refused her request for a meeting after Canada’s annual Juno music awards shows on Sunday, which she was invited to host.

The refusal prompted the former “Baywatch” star to write Harper a letter warning that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would escalate its efforts if Canada does not stop the annual seal harvest.

“When people think of Canadian Club, they should think of a good whiskey, not jerks beating pups on the ice,” Anderson said at a news conference Saturday.

This year’s seal hunt, which began last weekend in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, has attracted several celebrity opponents, including former Beatle Paul McCartney and French actress Brigitte Bardot.

The Canadian government and fishing communities insist they need the winter income. The slaughter of 320,000 seals last season brought in $14.5 million.



ROME (AP) – Bono complained in a front-page commentary Sunday that he feels exploited by propaganda for the campaign of Italy’s premier, which says the activist rock star is “grateful” to the leader for the nation’s aid for poor countries.

Bono’s photo appears midway through a 160-page glossy publication prepared by Silvio Berlusconi’s party that is being delivered to millions of Italian voters before April 9-10 elections.

The publication says Bono “is grateful to the premier for action promoted by the Italian government on behalf of poor countries.”

Bono, lead singer of the Irish group U2, wrote in the Milan Daily Corriere della Sera that, in a phone conversation, Berlusconi had committed himself to implementing a decision by the Group of Eight industrialized countries to cancel poor countries’ debt so the money could be spent on health care and education.

“Tragically, in these last few years under this government, Italy has become the last in the list among the 22 richest nations of the world in terms of per capita spending on behalf of the Third World,” Bono wrote.

The premier’s office responded Sunday in a statement that the government “will stay faithful as ever” toward aid commitments. It cited Italy’s economic problems for “some delay” in delivering on its promises.



FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) – Raj Bhakta, the aspiring apprentice turned aspiring politician, acknowledges that he has been arrested twice on drunken driving charges.

Bhakta, who was fired by Donald Trump during the second season of the NBC reality show “The Apprentice,” is the Republican challenging Democratic U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz for a seat representing suburban Philadelphia.

Bhakta on Friday confirmed the authenticity of a June 1997 arrest report posted on “The Smoking Gun” Web site. He also disclosed that he had a second such arrest in Colorado.

The 1997 report said Bhakta was arrested in Brookline, Mass., after an officer stopped him for having no license plate. He agreed to undergo an alcohol-education program and pay a $35 fine, according to Smoking Gun.

The second arrest occurred when Bhakta lived in Vail, Colo., in 2004. Bhakta would not discuss details but said the case was dismissed.

Bhakta, 30, said he was ashamed of his “irresponsible” actions.

“Politicians today need to come clean,” Bhakta said. “I ask for the forgiveness and understanding of the voters, while giving them my solemn pledge that this behavior will not happen again.”

Schwartz had no comment, a spokeswoman said.



On the Net:

Smoking Gun: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/



ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) – The former co-host of BET’s popular “106 & Park” show blasts what he calls the destructive messages of many of the show’s most popular music videos.

A.J. Calloway co-hosted the show for five years with Free, whose given name is Marie Wright. Both left the show in July.

“I couldn’t watch my own show with my niece on my lap,” Calloway said this past week at South Carolina State University as part of the “Black Student Today” panel. The discussion focused on the impact of hip-hop music.

“Pick your five favorite songs,” Calloway said. “Write down every word that’s in your favorite songs. Read it back to yourself and think about what that has put into your head.”

Calloway told the university audience he had vowed that after facing racism while growing up in New Jersey he would “never do anything against my race.”

“I felt like I was hurting us by doing what I was doing,” he said.



On the Net:

BET: http://www.bet.com/



FERRIDAY, La. (AP) – Antoine “Fats” Domino didn’t attend his induction into the Delta Music Museum Hall of Fame, but he said he was deeply touched by the honor.

“I have received many honors in my lifetime, however none touch my heart as much as being recognized by the people of my home state Louisiana,” the musician known for “Blueberry Hill” and “Ain’t That a Shame” wrote in a letter. He was inducted Saturday.

Family friend Cleo Banquer delivered the letter, saying Domino, 78, didn’t feel up to the 150-mile trip to Ferriday from Harvey, outside New Orleans, where he is living after riding out Hurricane Katrina in the devastated Ninth Ward.

“Hurricane Katrina led a path of destruction through my home,” Domino wrote. “However, she would not destroy my faith in God and my love of music and my fans.”

Domino still plans to perform at the Jazz & Heritage Festival in May in New Orleans, Banquer said.



On the Net:

Delta Music Museum: http://www.sec.state.la.us/museums/delta/

AP-ES-04-02-06 1329EDT

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