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/ 1 June 2008

Large fire at Universal Studios in Los Angeles

Hundreds of firefighters were battling a large blaze that broke out on Sunday on a back lot at Universal Studios, site of movie and television production, a spokesperson for a neighbouring fire department said. Burbank firefighter David Ortiz said that about 200 firefighters and two helicopters had been deployed to assist the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

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/ 27 May 2008

Film director Sydney Pollack dies

Hollywood filmmaker Sydney Pollack, who won a pair of Academy Awards for the epic romance <i>Out of Africa</i> and earned praise for his acting stints in films such as <i>Tootsie</i> and <i>Michael Clayton</i>, died on May 26 after a battle with cancer, his spokesperson said. He was 73.

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/ 9 May 2008

Baskin-Robbins ice cream co-founder dead at 90:

Irvine Robbins, who delighted ice cream afficionados by conjuring up ever more inventive flavours as co-founder of the Baskin-Robbins empire, has died aged 90. Robbins, who started the Baskin-Robbins ice-cream chain with late brother-in-law Burt Baskin in 1945, died on May 5 at the Eisenhower Medical Centre in Rancho Mirage, California.

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/ 7 May 2008

When diamonds become girls’ worst friends

Diamonds may be forever. But what’s a girl to do when she gets dumped or divorced and those rings, necklaces and love gifts lose their emotional sparkle? Help is just a click away on new websites that provide an outlet for selling jewellery from past relationships, sharing break-up stories and helping broken hearts heal.

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/ 1 May 2008

Pink Floyd’s missing giant pig has landed

A giant inflatable pig that went missing from a Southern California music festival at the weekend has been found in tatters in a desert town. The pig, which has been a signature Pink Floyd stage prop since its appearance on the 1977 cover of Animals, broke away from its tethers on Sunday night at Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival.

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/ 25 April 2008

Hollywood grizzly bear kills trainer

A grizzly bear featured in the recent Will Ferrell film Semi-Pro and touted as one of the ”best trained” in show business has killed its handler, but officials said on Wednesday they were puzzled by what provoked the attack. The 317kg bear bit Stephan Miller in the neck on Tuesday at a facility where wild animals are trained for film and TV productions.

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/ 22 April 2008

Blogging in your dreams? Time to unplug

Sharon Sarmiento knew it was time to unplug when she realised she was blogging in her dreams and hearing imaginary instant messages. She is part of a new grassroots movement in which tech geeks, internet addicts, Blackberry thumbers and compulsive IMers are wresting back control of their lives by daring to switch off — if only for a day.

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/ 9 April 2008

San Francisco braced to greet Olympic torch

Thousands of protesters were expected to line the route of the latest leg of the Olympic torch’s ”Journey of Harmony” on Wednesday as officials in San Francisco braced themselves for a repetition of the tumultuous scenes in Paris and London. A broad coalition of protest groups has converged on the city.

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/ 1 April 2008

Sharapova, Federer eager for Olympic experience

Tennis greatness is measured in Grand Slam triumphs, but that doesn’t make the game’s best players immune to the lure of Olympic gold. Andy Roddick has decided to skip the Beijing Games in August in order to prepare for a run at the US Open, but for most of the top players on the ATP and WTA tours, the Games remain a key event in the 2008 calendar.

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/ 31 March 2008

Nipple rings fall foul of airport check

A woman who claims she was ordered by federal airport screeners to remove her nipple rings with pliers demanded an apology from the United States Transportation Security Administration on Thursday. Mandi Hamlin (37) also called for an investigation into the February 24 incident in Lubbock, Texas.

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/ 22 March 2008

Shock jock named king of politically incorrect

”Nappy-headed hos,” the phrase that cost radio shock jock Don Imus his job and triggered a debate on how far free speech can go, was named on Thursday as the most egregious politically incorrect turn of phrase in 2007. Trailing behind that phrase in the annual survey by Global Language Monitor, a word usage group, were ”ho-ho-ho” and ”carbon-footprint stomping”.

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/ 8 March 2008

Disgraced sprinter Marion Jones jailed

One-time Olympic superstar Marion Jones on Friday began a six-month jail sentence for lying about her steroid use, a punishment likely to grab the attention of baseball home-run king Barry Bonds. Jones (32) reported to a correctional facility in Fort Worth, Texas, United States Bureau of Prisons spokesperson Traci Billingsley said.

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/ 25 February 2008

Coen brothers lead the Oscars pack

No Country for Old Men was living up to its front-runner status at Sunday’s Academy Awards, winning best adapted screenplay for the Coen brothers and best supporting actor for Javier Bardem. La Vie En Rose star Marion Cotillard was a surprise winner in the best-actress category.

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/ 25 February 2008

Coen brothers win top Oscars

No Country For Old Men won the Oscar for best film and its makers, brothers Joel and Ethan Coen, were named best directors on Sunday, giving the bleak crime drama four of the world’s top movie awards. Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honoured a wide range of movies, actors and actresses from several countries.

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/ 24 February 2008

Oscars to revive Hollywood awards season

Hollywood stars will parade across the red carpet for Sunday’s Academy Awards after weeks of debate over whether a writers’ strike that had derailed other award shows would be settled in time for the Oscars. However, the Oscars competition itself appears to hold little suspense, with clear favourites generally expected to win.

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/ 12 February 2008

Blame it on the breasts, says Dolly

Dolly Parton’s breasts may be two of the wonders of the entertainment world, but the country music icon says they are a pain in her back. Parton (62) said on Monday she would postpone her upcoming North American tour after doctors told her to take it easy for six to eight weeks to rest her sore back.

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/ 11 February 2008

Jaws actor Roy Scheider dead at 75

Actor Roy Scheider, a two-time Oscar nominee best known for his roles as a small-town police chief in Jaws and his portrait of famed choreographer Bob Fosse in All That Jazz, died on February 10 at age 75. Scheider died of complications from multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood cells.

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/ 1 February 2008

Clinton, Obama make peace with eye on history

Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton shared a debate stage alone for the first time on Thursday, striking a cordial tone and highlighting their opportunity to make history as the next United States president. ”Just by looking at us, you can tell we aren’t more of the same,” said Clinton, a New York senator who would be the first woman US president.

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/ 31 January 2008

Britney Spears rushed to hospital again

Troubled pop icon Britney Spears was rushed to hospital in an ambulance early on Thursday morning for the second time this month for an involuntary mental health evaluation, United States media reported. Spears was taken to the UCLA Medical Centre at about 1.30am local time, celebrity website said.