- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ciao, Venice

George Clooney and Brad Pitt are making two appearances at the Venice Film Festival this week, Associated Press reports.

They were slated to appear Tuesday night at a fundraising event for their charity, Not on Our Watch. Then they were to return to the red carpet on Wednesday when Joel and Ethan Coen’s film “Burn After Reading” opens the 65th edition of the festival.

Not on Our Watch has raised more than $7 million to help victims of both the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan and the cyclone in Burma, according to executive director Alex Wagner.

The charity, which was started last year by the stars and some of their “Ocean’s Thirteen” colleagues, uses their star appeal to bring attention to human rights abuses, but it isn’t easy to get even two of the founders together because of filming and family demands, Miss Wagner said.



Mr. Clooney will discuss the issues and where the charity puts its money at the fundraising dinner on Venice’s Giudecca island, which will be attended by about 200 industry insiders and Italian VIPs, she said.

Among the group’s donations was a $500,000 grant in March to keep helicopters and airplanes flying aid into Darfur — topping off a $1 million donation a year earlier for the same program.

Diddy detained

Sean “Diddy” Combs says a Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy pulled over members of his entourage and briefly drew his weapon during a weekend traffic stop but that the officer was professional and respectful.

The music and fashion mogul was traveling on Sunset Boulevard in a seven-car convoy when a deputy pulled over one of the vehicles (not Diddy’s) for having an expired registration tag, the Philadelphia Daily News says.

‘Idol’ Ace Broadway bound

Another “American Idol” alum is heading to “Grease” on Broadway.

Ace Young, who competed on season five of the Fox show, joins the cast Sept. 9, playing Kenickie in the revival of the popular musical.

The 27-year-old singer-songwriter — known for his pretty-boy looks and falsetto vocals — will make his debut two days after fellow “Idol” Taylor Hicks completes a two-month stint as the character Teen Angel. Mr. Hicks took home the “Idol” crown in 2006. Mr. Young will perform through Jan. 18.

Singing for Obama

Oscar-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”) will sing the national anthem at the Democratic National Convention in Denver on Thursday, the night Sen. Barack Obama accepts his party’s nomination for president, Reuters News Agency reports.

Miss Hudson, 26, a native of Mr. Obama’s hometown of Chicago, was asked to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the convention at the request of the senator, her publicist at RCA Music Group said Tuesday.

Groups dog Dogg

Australia is rethinking a decision to give gangsta rapper Snoop Dogg a visa after public complaints that he should not tour in October in a double act with Ice Cube, Reuters reported Tuesday.

The rap star, whose real name is Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr., was refused permission to apply for a visa to enter Australia in 2007 because of his criminal record, sinking plans for him to co-host the MTV Australia Video Music Awards. However, immigration officials this week cleared the way for an October tour visit — until a spate of public complaints Tuesday from Australian victims of crime groups.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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