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Police in New Mexico say Gene Hackman was acting in self-defense when he slapped a homeless man who had become aggressive toward the Oscar-winning actor and his wife.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the incident occurred Tuesday afternoon in downtown Santa Fe.

Police didn’t immediately provide any additional details. A message seeking comment was left for Mr. Hackman’s publicists at Guttman Associates in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Mr. Hackman and his wife have a home in Santa Fe.

The 82-year-old actor has won two Academy Awards and been nominated for three others over a career that has spanned five decades.

Mr. Hackman took the best actor trophy for his portrayal of Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle in “The French Connection” in 1971, and the best supporting actor award for “Unforgiven” in 1992.

Author Khaled Hosseini’s new book set for May release

Khaled Hosseini’s next novel will be a journey across time and space.

The author of the million-sellers “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns” has finished his third book, “And the Mountains Echoed.” Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) and publisher of his first two novels, announced Monday that “And the Mountains Echoed” will be published May 21, The Associated Press reports.

“I am forever drawn to family as a recurring, central theme of my writing,” Mr. Hosseini, the Afghan-born author and physician, said in a statement. “My earlier novels were at heart tales of fatherhood and motherhood. My new novel is a multigenerational family story as well, this time revolving around brothers and sisters, and the ways in which they love, wound, betray, honor and sacrifice for each other. I am thrilled at the chance to share this book with my readers.”

Penguin President Susan Petersen Kennedy is one of the few people to have read the novel. She said during an interview Monday that “And the Mountains Echoed” would take place “in different parts of the world” and, as with his previous books, offers “such a clear experience and characters you can identify with even if their lives are very different from your own.”

“He really opens you up to what it means to be human,” she said.

Mr. Hosseini, 47, is one of the world’s most popular authors, with his first two books selling more than 38 million copies. “The Kite Runner,” his debut, came out in 2003 and became a word-of-mouth sensation and book-club favorite in paperback, spending two years on The New York Times’ best-seller list. He suffered no second-novel jinx: “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” a 2007 release, received strong reviews and topped the Times’ hardcover list.

Both stories were set, at least in part, in Mr. Hosseini’s native country.

Financial terms for his new book were not disclosed.