News Roundup: Feb. 24


Top Story

Boy band and pop heartthrobs ‘N Sync will be performing the American national anthem at the Winter Olympics closing ceremony Sunday, accompanied by the biggest fireworks display ever seen in the U.S. The some 2,500 athletes will finally be able to party it up after surviving the tight security throughout most of the 17-day Olympics. They’ll dance all night to the music of KISS, Gloria Estefan, Bon Jovi, Moby and Christina Aguilera.

“The tone of the closing ceremony will be completely different; it will be more of a celebration to entertain the athletes,” producer Don Mischer told journalists on Saturday.

In General

One hundred of the world’s top photojournalists, armed with digital cameras, are canvassing 53 African states Feb. 28 to bring back photos for a book entitled A Day in the Life of Africa. The proceeds from the book will help fight against the AIDS epidemic, which currently runs rampant in the African continent.

Texas Ranger relief pitcher John Rocker will leave the mound temporarily to play a homicidal maniac in the upcoming slasher flick The Greenskeeper. The story focuses on a group of teens (who else?) who gather at a country club for a party and start getting bumped off by a greenskeeper armed with golf course tools. Can we say Caddyshack gone bad?

Former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, a.k.a. Posh, and soccer star husband David are expecting their second child in September. The couple have a 2-year-old son, Brooklyn.

Two thumbs up for Roger. Movie critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times is said to be recovering nicely after having his thyroid gland removed Friday after a cancerous growth was found. “He is expected to make a complete recovery,” Ebert’s doctor told The Associated Press.

Director Spike Lee will be directing three 30-second spots to help the financially ailing K-mart discount stores, which filed for Chapter 11 last month due to stringent competition from Wal-Mart and Target stores. The ad campaign will center on everyday family life with tagline: “K-mart. The Stuff of Life.”

French actress Sophie Marceau (Braveheart) was attacked by muggers and had her car stolen in a parking lot of a ritzy Paris suburb, the Le Parisien reported Friday. Marceau, who is four months pregnant, was assaulted sometime early Wednesday morning by five men while she was trying to get into her Volkswagen Passat in the suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine.