Taking Names

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Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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Diddy, model split

Sean “Diddy” Combs is flying solo.

The 37-year-old rap mogul and his longtime girlfriend, model Kim Porter, have split up, his spokeswoman, Keesha Johnson, told Associated Press yesterday.

Mr. Combs and Miss Porter have a son, Christian, and twin daughters, D’Lila Star and Jessie James, who were born Dec. 21. He also has a son, Justin, with ex-girlfriend Misa Hylton-Brim.

Mr. Combs, who has appeared on Broadway and in movies, has a record label and clothing line, among other ventures.

Count OK’s Cruise

Tom Cruise yesterday received backing for his contested plans to play the mastermind behind a daring bid to assassinate Adolf Hitler from one of the real-life hero’s fellow conspirators, Agence France-Presse reports.

Count Philipp von Boeselager, 89, told the German daily Bild that the uproar in Germany over the Hollywood star’s links to the Church of Scientology in no way disqualifies him to play Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg.

“I think it is good that Cruise is playing Stauffenberg,” Count von Boeselager said in an interview. “He is a good actor. But he must not be allowed to advertise for Scientology with the movie.”

Filming is set to begin next week in Berlin on “Valkyrie,” named after the code name of the plot. But city authorities have restricted where the crew can film, and some German officials have expressed discomfort with the idea of Mr. Cruise, a dedicated Scientologist, playing a national hero and martyr, AFP said.

Germany considers the Scientology movement a commercial operation that exploits vulnerable people.

Count Boeselager belonged to Count Stauffenberg’s cadre of aristocratic military officers who conspired to kill Hitler in 1944.

Set in steel

A monument to the Beatles will be constructed in Hamburg, Germany, where the Fab Four started their international career 45 years ago, AP reports.

Radio station Oldie 95, the organizer, says the $625,000 steel monument will be built on a corner of the St. Pauli district near clubs where the Beatles played songs such as “Love Me Do” in 1962. The monument will represent Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and early Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe, who died in Hamburg in 1962, the radio station said Monday. Construction is expected to begin this year.

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