- - Monday, December 19, 2011

Medical student wins 23rd edition of ‘Survivor’

Sophie Clarke slayed the competition on “Survivor: South Pacific.”

The brainy 22-year-old medical student from Willsboro, N.Y., overcame 39-year-old “Survivor” veteran Benjamin “Coach” Wade of Susanville, Calif., and 26-year-old high school baseball coach Albert Destrade of Plantation, Fla., to win the CBS reality competition’s $1 million grand prize Sunday, the Associated Press reports. Ms. Clarke earned six votes from the nine-member jury of former players.

“I think I had my finger on the pulse of the game the whole time,” Ms. Clarke said after it was announced that she had won.

She secured her place among the final three contestants on the 23rd edition of “Survivor” by forging a strong alliance from the outset and winning three individual immunity challenges, including the final physical competition, which ousted seasoned 30-year-old “Survivor” veteran Oscar “Ozzy” Lusth of Venice, Calif., from the 39-day endurance contest.

“I knew the only one that could beat me at a challenge - no offense, guys - was Sophie,” Mr. Lusth said.

Mr. Wade, who competed on the “Tocantins” and “Heroes vs. Villains” editions, and Mr. Lusth, who was featured on the “Cook Islands” and “Micronesia” editions, formed strong alliances with new contestants, though Mr. Lusth spent most of the game’s second half on Redemption Island battling fellow voted-off castaways for a chance to return to the game.

At the end of the finale, show host Jeff Probst announced that the 24th season would be titled “Survivor: One World” and would feature two tribes competing against each other while living together on one island. “One World” is set to premiere in February.

Lowe’s faces protests after pulling ads from Muslim show

Protesters descended on a Lowe’s store in one of the country’s largest Arab-American communities on Saturday, calling for a boycott after the home-improvement chain pulled its ads from a reality television show about five Muslim families living in Michigan.

According to the Associated Press, about 100 people gathered outside the store in Allen Park, a Detroit suburb adjacent to the city where “All-American Muslim” is taped. Lowe’s Cos. said that the TLC show had become a “lightning rod” for complaints after a conservative Christian group started an email campaign.

Protesters, including Christian clergy and lawmakers, called for unity and held signs that read “Boycott Bigotry” and chanted “God Bless America, shame on Lowe’s” during the rally, which was organized by a coalition of Christian, Muslim and civil rights groups.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Detroit Democrat and the first Muslim woman elected to the Michigan Legislature, said it was “disgusting” for Lowe’s to stop supporting a show that reflects America - the conservatives, liberals and even “the Kim Kardashians” in the Muslim community, she said.

“We’re asking the company to change their mind,” said protester Ray Holman, a legislative liaison for a United Auto Workers local. He said he was dismayed that the retailer “pulled sponsorship of a positive program.”

A local rabbi extended his support to clergy at the protest and local Arab-Americans, saying he and other Jews would have been at the protest had it not fallen during the Jewish Sabbath.

“I hope that they would likewise stand up and demonstrate should something outrageous like this take place against another religion,” Rabbi Jason Miller said in a statement.

Lowe’s spokeswoman Karen Cobb said Saturday that the company respected the opinions of protesters.

“We appreciate and respect everyone’s right to express their opinion peacefully,” she said.

The show, which premiered last month, chronicles the lives of families living in and around Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit at the heart of one of the largest Arab-American populations outside the Middle East.

It airs Sundays and ends its first season Jan. 8.

The Florida Family Association has said that more than 60 companies it emailed, including Amazon.com Inc. and McDonald’s Corp., pulled their ads from the show, but Lowe’s is the only major company so far to confirm that it had done so. The group accused the show of being “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”

Actor Dan Frazer, known for ‘Kojak,’ dies at age 90

Veteran film and television actor Dan Frazer, best known for his role as Capt. Frank McNeil on the 1970s television series “Kojak,” has died in New York. He was 90.

Mr. Frazer’s daughter, Susanna Frazer, said Sunday that her father died of cardiac arrest Friday at his home in Manhattan. She described him as a “very truthful, naturalistic actor.”

Mr. Frazer started playing character roles in various television series and films in the 1950s. His films include “Cleopatra Jones,” “Take the Money and Run” “Gideon’s Trumpet” and “Deconstructing Harry.” Besides “Kojak,” Mr. Frazer’s television appearances include “Car 54, Where Are You,” “Route 66,” “Barney Miller” and “Law & Order.”

British media regulator probes tirade over strikers

British media regulator Ofcom is launching an investigation into Jeremy Clarkson’s on-screen tirade in which the “Top Gear” presenter said striking public-service workers should be taken out and “executed in front of their families.”

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ofcom has received at least 763 complaints about the presenter’s appearance on the BBC’s “The One Show,” in addition to more than 32,000 complaints received by the BBC.

“Ofcom has taken the decision to investigate comments made by Jeremy Clarkson on BBC1’s “The One Show.” We will make the outcome of the investigation known in due course,” Ofcom said.

The BBC issued an on-screen apology after the interview and compelled its star presenter to also apologize.

But BBC bosses also have defended Mr. Clarkson. BBC director general Mark Thompson told a parliamentary committee last week that Mr. Clarkson was not to blame and that the comments were “entirely in jest and not to be taken seriously.”

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.

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