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People in the News

Eds: Updates with items on David Crosby, Tom Cruise and Pat Tillman, Peter Jackson, Miss World Rosanna Davison and Richard Gere. Contains items on Stan Laurel, Gloria Estefan, Stanley Donen and Manoel de Oliveira, Pablo Menendez and Alan Ruck.

AP Photo NYR121, NYET168, NYET169, NYET170, NYET171, NYET172, NY107, NY108, NY109, NY110, NY111

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) – Rock musician David Crosby, founding member of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, pleaded guilty Friday to a gun charge, was fined $5,000 and sentenced to a conditional discharge.

Crosby, 62, pleaded guilty in Manhattan’s state Supreme Court to attempted criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree as part of a plea deal. The charge carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison upon conviction.

Justice Michael R. Ambrecht said the case was discharged on the conditions that Crosby pay the fine and the court surcharges and avoid getting arrested again. Crosby’s lawyer, Scott Herschman, said his client planned to pay the fine immediately.

The singer was arrested March 6 at the DoubleTree Suites Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Police said they found a Colt .45-caliber handgun, three clips of .45-caliber ammunition and two knives in his luggage.

Police also said the musician had a plastic bag containing an ounce of marijuana, a wooden container with a marijuana cigarette in it, a package of cigarette rolling papers and two other plastic containers with marijuana residue.

Crosby was arrested just hours after performing with his band, CPR, at a Wayne, N.J., college. He had checked out of the hotel but left behind a piece of luggage, police said. A hotel worker went through the luggage looking for identification, found the marijuana, gun and knives, and called police.

Crosby later called the hotel to say he’d be returning to pick up the luggage. Police greeted him when he showed up.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Tom Cruise will introduce a tribute to late football star Pat Tillman during the 12th annual ESPY Awards, which recognize achievement in sports.

Tillman left a $3.6 million contract as an Arizona Cardinals safety to join the Army and was killed in Afghanistan on April 22. He was 27.

“I am honored to take part in remembering and celebrating the life of Pat Tillman, someone whose courage and integrity I respect and admire,” Cruise said in a statement Thursday.

The tribute will be part of the awards ceremony to be taped July 14 at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre. The show, hosted by actor-comedian Jamie Foxx, will air July 18 on ESPN.

During last year’s ceremonies, Tillman and his brother, Kevin, were recipients of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. This year’s recipient will be soccer star George Weah, who has worked in his war-torn homeland of Liberia to reintegrate former child soldiers into their communities.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – The box office success of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy has made him very rich. Sales of merchandise linked to movies of the J.R.R. Tolkien books are set to make him even richer.

The Wellington-based director saw his wealth balloon from $45 million last year to $118 million this year, according to a list of rich New Zealanders published Friday in a National Business Review magazine survey.

“This could double once the sales of other merchandise, including toys and DVDs, are taken into account,” said the magazine’s editor in chief, Nevil Gibson. “Because of this, his wealth will continue to increase steadily in the years to come, regardless of the success of his new ventures, such as ‘King Kong.”‘

Jackson made Oscar history earlier this year when the last installment of the trilogy, “The Return of the King,” won all 11 Oscars for which it was nominated, including best picture and best director. He’s now working on a remake of “King Kong.”

But Jackson will have to make even more hugely successful movies before he can topple businessman Graeme Hart from the position of richest New Zealander.

Hart’s wealth was estimated at $895 million in the fiscal year ending in June.

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) – Miss World, Rosanna Davison of Ireland, has finally signed her contract with pageant organizers halfway through her reign – and denied that she’s been playing hardball.

The 19-year-old issued a statement through her lawyer’s office that blamed any delays on the Miss World organizers. She also rejected Irish press reports that she was refusing to do engagements as the pageant wanted.

The legal statement said Davison – the daughter of 1980s pop crooner Chris de Burgh – signed a contract in mid-June, three months after Miss World organizers presented it. It offered no detail on the contract terms or issues in dispute.

“Prior to this, Miss Davison had already carried out numerous engagements as Miss World in the United States, Canada, China, Sri Lanka, continental Europe, England and Ireland, helping to raise millions of dollars for children’s charities, promoting the aims of the Miss World organization and bringing much positive global attention to her native land,” the statement said.

Davison’s main appearance in Ireland was as grand marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin. She is due to hand back her crown at the next contest on Dec. 4 in Sanya, China.

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BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) – Brazilian dresses made of condoms, a drag show from Indonesia and a special appearance by actor Richard Gere.

These and dozens of other cultural performances, art shows, fashion parades and films from around the world will be featured at the international AIDS conference this month in Bangkok to break the monotony of scientific sessions, organizers said Friday.

Nearly 240 artists, mostly from Asia but also from Africa, the Americas and Europe, will produce more than 70 shows during the 15th International AIDS Conference July 11-17, said Chumpon Apisuk, chief coordinator of the cultural program.

“We would like to energize the conference with art and culture, to bring color, to bring it alive,” Chumpon said. More than half the performing artists are people living with HIV/AIDS, he said.

The program includes painting and photography exhibitions, a festival of films and documentaries on AIDS, music, modern and traditional dance, poetry, storytelling, puppets and fashion shows including one by models infected with HIV.

“We want to show they are human beings. They are normal just like us,” said Chumpon, whose group, Silabha, is organizing the shows.

A highlight of the six-day cultural extravaganza is Brazilian Adriana Bertini’s condom dresses. Bertini believes her art can provoke reflections on sexual health matters, according to a statement.

Gaya Nusantara will perform a traditional Indonesian dance show in drag while Gere, the star of films including “An Officer and a Gentleman” and “Pretty Woman,” will make a special appearance at the opening of a dance performance by Silabha artists.

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LONDON (AP) – An auction of Stan Laurel memorabilia took in $36,800 from fans of the famous comedian.

“It was something of a sensation,” said auctioneer John Anderson of the Anderson & Garland auction house in Newcastle, northern England, of Thursday’s auction.

Laurel and his partner, Oliver Hardy, “just seem to command non-dwindling support and indeed seem to speak to a younger generation,” he said.

Among the items sold was a silver hip flask Laurel got from his father. It fetched $3,800, the highest price at the sale. “To my dear son Stan, from Dad, August 1932,” the inscription said.

Photographs and other items were put on sale by the British-born Laurel’s nephew, Huntley Jefferson Woods, who lives in northeastern England.

“I am very pleased at the way it has gone,” Woods said. “I never expected that the pieces would go that high.”

The pre-sale estimate of the total take was $9,000.

“I always feel a loss to part with things like this, but I am 81, and as I get older the collection becomes more difficult to look after,” Woods said. “I was worried what would happen when I pass on, and at least they have been sold to collectors who will care for them.”

Among the buyers were Universal film studios and the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Ulverston, the northern English town where Laurel was born.

Laurel died in 1965. Oliver Hardy died in 1957.

NEW YORK (AP) – It’s a wrap for Gloria Estefan’s days on the road.

“Although I will continue writing and recording and doing everything else that comes with this incredible way of life, this next tour will be my last,” the 46-year-old singer says in a posting on her Web site.

Estefan will begin her Live and Re-Wrapped tour July 30 in Texas. The tour will conclude Sept. 25 in Miami, where Estefan lives with her husband-producer, Emilio.

In her message to fans, Estefan alluded to her hesitancy performing live: “I was never really a “performer type’ person.”

While Estefan will no longer take to the stage, she assured fans that creating songs in the studio “never ceases to be a magical process for me.”

She also said that she’s putting a lot of energy into getting a film produced about singer Connie Francis, and is planning to write a book.

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VENICE, Italy (AP) – “Singin’ in the Rain” co-director Stanley Donen and veteran Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira will both receive the Venice Film Festival’s lifetime achievement award this September.

The 61st festival is set for Sept. 1-11 on the small Lido island just off the historic center of the city.

Donen, 80, was described as “one of the greatest authors of musicals in the history of cinema, putting his mark on works considered masterpieces of the genre.”

He co-directed 1952’s “Singin’ in the Rain,” with star Gene Kelly. His films also include “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “Funny Face,” “Indiscreet” and “Charade.”

Oliveira, 95, “has for decades explored, through personal aesthetic research, the theme of impossible love and its frustrations, especially with sources inspired from literature,” said the award announcement Wednesday.

HAVANA (AP) – A group of well-known musicians criticized new U.S. regulations that further limit travel to Cuba, urging the United States to build bridges to the island instead of tearing them down.

The musicians, who produce jazz, Afro-Cuban music and a ballad style known as Cuban trova, tied their comments to Tuesday’s release of “Bridge to Havana,” a combination CD-DVD produced by dozens of U.S. and Cuban artists during a songwriting workshop and cultural exchange program in Havana in 1999.

The product “proves the brotherhood that exists between American and Cuban musicians,” said a statement released Wednesday and signed by “the unstoppable Cuban musicians,” about 10 of whom held a news conference to call for a second such meeting of artists in Cuba.

“The day that the U.S. government intensifies its attacks on our country, on Cuba, is the same day that our response is to send more songs, to send more music, to send more love, to send more solidarity,” said Pablo Menendez, founder of the Afro-Cuban fusion band Mezcla and a U.S. citizen who has lived in Cuba nearly 40 years.

Menendez worked with Bonnie Raitt, actor Woody Harrelson – who plays the guitar – and Cuban classical guitarist Rey Guerra during the workshop. They produced “La Brisa Azul” (“Blue Breeze”) on the “Bridge to Havana” CD.

The new U.S. rules, which tighten a U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, went into effect Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (AP) – More than two years ago, doctors told Alan Ruck, who played Cameron in the 1986 film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” that he was about to die.

Now, he’s singing and dancing eight times a week in the role of Leopold Bloom in the touring company of “The Producers,” now playing at the Kennedy Center.

Bloom is the role made famous on Broadway by Ruck’s “Ferris Bueller” buddy, Matthew Broderick.

Diagnosed with a strep infection in December 2001, Ruck said his doctors didn’t think he’d survive.

“For the first two days (the doctors) said, “We don’t know if he’s going to make it.’ And then after that they said, “Well, we think he’s going to make it, but we don’t know if he’s going to have all his marbles,”‘ the 48-year-old actor told AP Radio in an interview.

Ruck emerged intact – and with all his marbles – and for that, he knows he’s fortunate. “I was lucky I have come out of it relatively unscathed. And I’m singing and dancing!”

He’ll continue on the road through the end of the year. Then, Ruck said, he’ll join the Broadway cast.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – It may be Independence Day to you, but July 4th is officially Goo Goo Dolls Day in Buffalo.

The group has a city proclamation to prove it.

Johnny Rzeznik and Robbie Takac can pick up the honor when they close out the Uncle Sam’s Jam 2004 weekend music festival, which also features fellow Buffalo-born artist Ani DiFranco.

The July 4th free outdoor concert will be filmed for a music DVD to be released by the Goo Goo Dolls in the winter. Film crews will be in the city all weekend, chronicling the journey home for the band whose hits include “Name” and “Iris.”

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AP-ES-07-02-04 1412EDT

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