News Roundup: Feb. 11


Top Story

U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill said he was pleasantly surprised after meeting U2 lead singer Bono, initially fearing Bono would be just another rock star who wanted to use him for something. The two met during a scheduled half-hour session that lasted more than 90 minutes to discuss such issues as development aid for Africa, The Associated Press reports. “He’s a serious person,” O’Neill said of Bono. “He cares deeply about these issues and you know what? He knows a lot about them.” Bono has become the main spokesman for Drop the Debt, a campaign for developing countries debt cancellation, and the fight against HIV/AIDS in the world’s poorest countries.

In General

Filmmaker Robert Altman (Gosford Park), who received a lifetime achievement award at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, told reporters at a news conference Sunday that the coveted Silver Bear may be premature. “It’s a great honor, but I hope it doesn’t mean–lifetime. I have plans.”

Supermodel Naomi Campbell is seeking damages for invasion of privacy from London’s The Mirror over a story it published in February 2001, the AP reports. The tabloid newspaper printed a picture of Campbell leaving a Narcotics Anonymous meeting with the headline “Naomi: I’m a Drug Addict.”

Although rumors of the Spice Girls’ split have been circulating since Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell left the group in 1998, Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, has just driven the final nail in the band’s coffin. Beckham told Sky News Monday, “If we came out and said to everybody we’ve split up, everybody would say ‘we knew that anyway and what do we care.’ What we’re saying is the truth.”

First lady Laura Bush, pop princess Britney Spears and the rock group Foo Fighters will appear on a special edition of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Monday, February 11. The Olympic Tonight Show with Jay Leno kicked off Friday with Leno checking in with Olympic correspondents Katie Couric and Bob Costa from Utah.

Author Jack Henry Abott was found dead Sunday in his single cell at Wende Correctional Facility in New York, having hanged himself with a bed sheet and a shoelace, the AP reports. Abbott, 58, gained famed when he turned his letters from prison to Norman Mailer (written between 1978 and 1981) into the best-selling book In the Belly of the Beast. At the time, Abbott was serving time for a bank robbery and for fatally stabbing a fellow inmate. Six months after his parole in 1981, which Mailer supported, Abbott stabbed and killed a 22-year old aspiring actor, resulting in Abbott’s current incarceration.