NEW YORK (AP) – Ever dream of rocking out on stage with Sting? All you need to do is ask.

That tactic worked for one lucky fan Saturday night, during an intimate concert at the club Irving Plaza to mark the end of Sting’s “Broken Music” tour.

As he was about to start playing the song “End of the Game,” a female fan screamed out that she wanted to join him.

“You want to help me sing the song? OK, C’mon,” he said to the delight of the fan, and the crowd.

“You’d better be good,” he jokingly added.

The fan did her best – dancing along with Sting, and singing into a microphone brought on stage for her. But she needed to read from the teleprompter for the words.

After the song, he shook her hand and she gave him a kiss on the cheek. Then Sting shouted out, “Who’s next?”

The concert was only for a few hundred fans, who were treated to Sting’s new hits as well as old material, including “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You” and the Police classic “Roxanne.”

Among those in the VIP section were “Today” show host Katie Couric, who laughed and gabbed with Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts; elsewhere in the crowd, Australian actor Hugh Jackman sang along with all of the songs, standing on a chair so he could have a clear view amid the packed, standing-room only crowd.

For those not able to get tickets, they may still see the show – it was filmed and footage is expected to be used for a later DVD.



NEW YORK (AP) – American universities must do a better job of educating talented students of modest means, Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela said in an address to students and faculty of Amherst College.

“The challenges of ensuring full access according to ability, rather than wealth or privilege, have not been met,” Mandela said last week. “Until they are, we will forfeit some of the talent and genius that the world sorely needs.”

Mandela spoke after receiving an honorary doctorate from Amherst, which held the ceremony in New York so the 86-year-old former South African president wouldn’t have to travel to Massachusetts.

Mandela was in the United States to launch the Nelson Mandela Legacy Trust, which will support his foundations in Africa.

A frail-looking Mandela leaned on a walking stick and on the arm of his wife, Graca Machel, who also received an honorary degree.

Mandela noted that Amherst was founded by abolitionists and has an impressive history of diversity but must do more – as all U.S. colleges must.

“All institutions of higher education have the obligation to open the door more widely,” he said. “Above all, those who educate most rigorously carry the highest obligation. You have the quality, the ability, the standing, and the support to press further.”



On the Net:

www.nelsonmandela.org



DECATUR, Ga. (AP) – Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told Agnes Scott College graduates that all women must “decide what we want to do and how we will contribute.”

“There has never been a time in human history where it has been better to be a young woman alive and living in America,” Clinton told the 200 graduates of the all-women’s liberal arts college near Atlanta.

“There has never been any generation of young women with so many choices and so many opportunities to live up to their God-given potential.”

Marsha Norman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Agnes Scott alumna, followed Clinton to the podium and challenged the former first lady to contribute by running for president.

Norman encouraged the graduates to “sign up for hard work and free time and free thought and free will.”

Then, gesturing to Clinton, Norman added: “Sign up for women presidents.”

As Clinton smiled, appearing slightly embarrassed, the crowd cheered.

Clinton was in Atlanta for a fund-raiser for her 2006 Senate campaign in New York. She never mentioned 2008 presidential aspirations in her speech, but joked she might be tempted to take advantage of the “fifth year free” option offered by Agnes Scott College.

“I think every once in a while we all need a break, to see what we want to do with our lives,” Clinton said.



On the Net:

http://clinton.senate.gov/



NEW YORK, N.Y. (AP) – Acclaimed architect and designer Michael Graves is back at work full-time, two years after meningitis left him paralyzed below the waist.

“Right after it happened, I said, ‘Why me?”‘ Graves said last week.

But he soon realized that was the wrong attitude because “who knows why you or me – it’s not going to change.”

Graves’ meningitis evolved from an untreated sinus infection for which he delayed getting treatment because he was busy with work and thought it was just a bad cold.

He is in a wheelchair, but has resumed traveling longer distances. Last month, he went to Winchester, Va., for the opening of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, designed by his firm, Princeton, N.J.-based Michael Graves & Associates.

Some of the firm’s other projects include the Walt Disney Co. headquarters in Burbank, Calif., the new United States embassy complex in Seoul, South Korea, and the O’Reilly Theater in Pittsburgh.

Prospects of walking again remain uncertain for Graves, 70, who was awarded the American Institute of Architects’ highest honor in 2001. But he says he has a new outlook on how improved design can make life easier for people in wheelchairs.

“In no bathroom I was in,” he said of his hospital stays, “could I reach the faucets from my wheelchair.”



http://www.michaelgraves.com


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