- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Judging beauties

Associated Press

Michael Phelps and Sugar Ray Leonard are among the eight judges for the Miss USA 2005 pageant, scheduled for April 11 in Baltimore.

The winner will represent the United States in the Miss Universe pageant, to be held this year in Bangkok.

Back off, Bob told

BBC.com

Hundreds of people have marched through the streets of the Ugandan capital, Kampala, to protest Sir Bob Geldof’s call for the country’s president to step down.

The crowd was angered by comments made by the pop star as he stood beside British Prime Minister Tony Blair to reveal Britain’s Commission for Africa report two weeks ago. “Get a grip, Museveni,” Mr. Geldof said, referring to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. “Your time is up; go away.”

The comments were a criticism of the president’s decision to run for an unconstitutional third term next year.

Mr. Museveni’s supporters hit back by organizing a mob to rally in the streets. The protesters even made a halfhearted attempt to storm the British mission in the Ugandan capital. Truckloads of students were brought in for the demonstration from campuses as hundreds more streamed into the city to voice their support for a third Museveni term.

Many were draped in dry banana leaves, a symbol of support for Mr. Museveni’s rule. Demonstrators waved placards reading, “Geldof, sober up and shut up” and “No to drug addicts and rock homos.”

“We are saying no to external influence from neocolonialists, specifically the U.K.,” Moses Nuwagaba of the Makerere University Movement Forum told a Kampala newspaper. “We are telling them that they ruled us for 100 years and we did not see any elections or term limits, so what moral authority do they have now to preach democracy to us?”

‘Bride’ branches out

Associated Press

The actress known as the “queen of Bollywood” is trying to make the transition from Indian sensation to Hollywood star.

Aishwarya Rai, whose first English-language movie was 2004’s “Bride & Prejudice,” was in downtown Oakland, Calif., filming scenes for her new movie, “Mistress of Spices,” about a shop owner trained in the art of healing with spices.

Miss Rai, a former Miss World, is a superstar in India. She has made more than 30 movies and has served on the Cannes Film Festival jury.

“It’s kind of like an ode to the Bay Area,” Miss Rai, 31, said of her new film.

The filmmakers spent Sunday shooting joggers and murals around Lake Merritt for background scenes for “Spices,” which is based on a novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.

Water worth ‘Millions’

Fox Searchlight Pictures has joined hands with the nation’s leading theater chains to kick off a fund-raising initiative for WaterAid tied to the release of the heartwarming film “Millions.” The movie, directed by Danny Boyle, follows a story of faith and miracles — and lots of money.

Through the project, which began with yesterday’s observance of World Water Day, several large theater chains — including Regal, Loews, Landmark, Laemmle, Century, Clearview and Pacific — will ask moviegoers for contributions to aid in providing clean water for developing nations. The donations will be collected in “Millions”-themed change receptacles, which will remain in theaters through April 22, Earth Day.

“It is wonderful to be part of this rare occasion when movie theaters across the country are coming together in support of the cause that is such an important part of the unique story of ‘Millions,’” said Steve Gilula, president of distribution for Fox Searchlight Pictures.

A shot in the dark

E! Online

The Clash knows all about the “Guns of Brixton.”

Now, apparently, so does Nas.

The rapper’s Monday-night show at London’s Brixton Academy was halted midset after gunfire erupted, according to reports.

Two shots were fired, but no one was injured, according to police. However, London’s Evening Standard reported that several people were hurt in the panic to exit the hall.

The concert was called off soon after the fracas began.

Nas, who married chart topping R&B; star Kelis in January, was on the final leg of a British tour, Reuters News Agency reports.

Compiled by R. Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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