- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bhutto rap tribute

The elder daughter of Pakistan’s assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto has written a rap song expressing her anguish over her mother’s death.

According to Reuters news agency, the song, “I Would Take the Pain Away,” and a five-minute video of clips and photographs of Mrs. Bhutto have been broadcast on state-run Pakistani television and posted on the video-sharing Web site YouTube.

“My mother was murdered. I don’t even comprehend. Was it worth dying for? I’m walking through screened doors,” Bakhtawar Bhutto, 18, sings in English on the lilting hip-hop song.

“No comfort or ease. I’m begging you please God bless the deceased,” Miss Bhutto sings.

Information Minister Sherry Rehman, for years an aide to the slain Mrs. Bhutto, said the daughter, a student at Britain’s Edinburgh University, wrote the lyrics and music.

“It’s a tribute of a grieving daughter to her iconic and loving mother,” Miss Rehman told Reuters on Monday.

Music is a hobby for young Miss Bhutto, and she has no plan to pursue it as a career, Miss Rehman said.

Mrs. Bhutto, 54, was murdered in a suicide gun-and-bomb attack in the city of Rawalpindi in December 2007. The government, then led by former president Pervez Musharraf, blamed the attack on Islamist militants.

Mrs. Bhutto’s widower and Bakhtawar Bhutto’s father, Asif Ali Zardari, become president in September.

Their son, Bilawal, 20, studies at Oxford University in Britain, and another daughter, Aseefa, 15, also studies abroad.

Religion aids Cruise

Actor Tom Cruise says Scientology teachings helped him overcome childhood dyslexia, a Spanish magazine reports.

He is quoted by the Spanish magazine XL Semanal as saying he was diagnosed with the learning disability when he was 7 years old. Mr. Cruise said he was often anxious, frustrated and bored as a youth and couldn’t concentrate in class, the magazine reported Sunday on its Web site.

The magazine quoted Mr. Cruise as saying he was functionally illiterate when he graduated from school in 1980 but learned to read perfectly as an adult through Scientology technology.

XL Semanal said the interview was conducted in Los Angeles but did not say when. A transcript of Mr. Cruise’s original comments in English was not available.

The Church of Scientology was established in 1945 by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard and claims 10 million members around the world. Mr. Cruise and fellow actor John Travolta are among its more famous followers.

The marrying man

His Harry Potter character, Sirius Black, may not have lived to see the franchise’s sixth installment, but Gary Oldman has made it down the aisle a fourth time.

According to E! Online, the 50-year-old actor, who also co-stars as Gotham’s top cop, James Gordon, in “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight,” wed singer Alexandra Edenborough, 31, in Santa Barbara last week, his agent confirmed to the Daily Mail.

Mr. Oldman’s previous marriage to model Donya Fiorentino ended in April 2001. Actresses Lesley Manville and Uma Thurman were his first and second wives, respectively. He has three sons, one with Miss Manville and two with Miss Fiorentino.

New additions

Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell are new parents - times two.

A publicist for the “Ugly Betty” actress says twin daughters Dolly Rebecca Rose and Charlie Tamara Tulip were born Dec. 28. They are the couple’s first children.

Publicist Lewis Kay tells AP that “mother, father and both girls are all home and doing well.”

Miss Romijn, 36, and Mr. O’Connell, 34, were married in 2007.

Mr. O’Connell - whose feature-film credits include “Stand by Me” and “Jerry Maguire” - also starred in the TV series “Crossing Jordan” and “Carpoolers.”

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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