NEW YORK (AP) – Eminem plans to vote for the first time ever this year, and while he’s highly critical of President Bush, he hasn’t yet settled on Democrat John Kerry.

“Bush is definitely not my homie,” the rap superstar said in an interview with Rolling Stone, parts of which were posted Thursday on the magazine’s Web site. “But I’m still undecided. Kerry has been known to say some things that’s caught my attention, made a few statements I’ve liked, but I don’t know. Whatever my decision, I would like to see Bush out of office.”

The 32-year old rapper includes an angry and profanity-laced denunciation of Bush and the war in Iraq on his new album, “Encore,” which will be released next month.

“Let the president answer on higher anarchy/Strap him with an AK-47, let him go fight his own war/Let him impress daddy that way … No more blood for oil,” Eminem says in the single “Mosh.”

“He’s been painted to be this hero and he’s got our troops over there dying for no reason,” Eminem said in the interview. “He’s in a tailspin, running around like a dog chasing his tail. And we got young people over there dyin’, kids in their teens, early ‘20s that should have futures ahead of them. And for what? It seems like Vietnam 2.”

A Michigan resident, the rapper said he worries his 18-year old brother could be drafted if Bush remains president. Bush has said flatly he would not reinstitute the draft if re-elected.

“People think their votes don’t count, but people need to get out and vote,” Eminem said.

Glenn Close joins cast

NEW YORK (AP) – Glenn Close has joined the cast of FX’s “The Shield.”

The “Fatal Attraction” actress will star as Capt. Monica Rawling for the cop drama’s 13-episode fourth season, the cable channel announced Thursday. This is the first time Close will play a regular on a prime-time TV series.

“Glenn is flat-out, hands-down one of the very best actresses on the planet,” said “Shield” creator and executive producer Shawn Ryan in a statement. “We think this is an extremely unique, dynamic character that shakes our “Shield’ world upside-down over the course of the entire season.”

The Rawling character will empower Detective Vic Mackey, played by Michael Chiklis, to enforce her controversial community policies.

Production begins in January.

“As a great admirer of Glenn Close’s work, I’m thrilled she will be bringing her prodigious talents to FX and “The Shield’,” said FX President of Entertainment John Landgraf. “Shawn Ryan has created an original and complex character, and we have great excitement about what Glenn will bring to her.”

Close has starred in films such as “Dangerous Liaisons,” “The Big Chill,” “The World According to Garp” and “Air Force One.” Her TV movies include “Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story.”

Newton entertains troops

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – Las Vegas mainstay Wayne Newton, belting out his trademark version of “Danke Schoen,” entertained troops during a recent trip to a U.S. base in Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

Newton, along with special guests that included actor Rob Schneider and country singer Neal McCoy, spent nearly three hours at a 1st Cavalry division camp in the capital on Tuesday.

They talked with troops, signed autographs, posed for pictures and shared a meal at the base camp’s dining facility, a statement said.

Newton took over for entertainer Bob Hope two years ago as a celebrity figurehead on United Service Organizations tours, traveling around the world to headline entertainment shows for U.S. troops.

“Our purpose for the USO is to bring, obviously, a touch of home to our military men and women,” Newton said. “And, to let them know they are not going to be disrespected when they get home.”

Schneider echoed Newton’s comments, saying, “This is a small thing that I could do, to make them laugh and just say, “Hi,’ and let them know America is behind them and we love them and hurry up and get home.”

“In my career, I’ve done a lot of different things, television, movies, been all over the world – I get more out of performing for the troops than anything else,” Schneider said.

The seven-day tour of the region included three evening performances, the first in Kuwait and two others in Iraq. It also includes stops at some base camps in Iraq.

Bono’s notes returned

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A long-lost briefcase full of notes and lyrics that were intended for the 1981 U2 album “October” has been returned, 23 years after it was stolen at a Portland concert.

U2 frontman Bono made the announcement Wednesday during an appearance before the World Affairs Council of Oregon, saying the returned notes were “an act of grace.”

Bono had to rewrite the “October” lyrics in the studio, and band members called it their worst recording experience. Though the record was generally well-received, it didn’t earn the praise of the band’s debut album, “Boy,” or third album, “War.”

The briefcase was returned by Cindy Harris, 44, who said she found it in the attic of a rental home in Tacoma, Wash., in 1981. She said she did not know the notes had been stolen until many years later, and then she had no idea how to reach the band.

Her friend Danielle Rheaume spent much of the past year contacting U2’s management.

According to “Into the Heart,” a book of stories about U2 songs, the briefcase was stolen by some women who joined the band backstage at a now-defunct Portland nightclub.

The band returned to Portland a few years after the theft and Bono asked the audience if anyone knew about the briefcase. He repeated the question when the band played at the Rose Garden arena in 2001.

Bo Diddley postpones concert

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Bo Diddley postponed a Thursday concert in California because he needs more time to recover from a toe amputation. The bluesman, though, will resume touring Saturday after a two month break following the surgery.

“He’s back in action and rockin’ and rollin’ again,” said Robert Rowland of Diddley’s management group.

The singer checked into the North Florida Regional Medical Center because of a hyperglycemic condition about two months ago, said his manager, Margo Lewis. Diddley has diabetes and hyperglycemia is often associated with the disease.

The musician postponed the Thursday concert at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center in Lancaster, Calif., because he needed more time to recover, according to the arts center’s Web site.

The show has been rescheduled for March 17. Other dates missed during Aug. and Sept. have also been rescheduled.

The 75-year-old bluesman popularized rhythm ‘n’ blues in the 1950s with hits including “Bo Diddley” and “Mona.”

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