News Roundup: Nov. 19

Top Story

Scoffing at newspapers who’ve nicknamed his band “The Strolling Bones,” 58-year-old Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger has announced that he has given up on drink, drugs and partying so he can be fit enough to perform onstage. The Stones are planning a world tour and Jagger’s new solo disc, Goddess in the Doorway, hits stores this week.

In Courts

Assault charges against Jamiroquai lead singer Jay Kay have been dropped due to insufficient evidence, reports Reuters. Kay had pleaded not guilty to assaulting a photographer and damaging camera equipment at a London nightclub.


Kris Kristofferson was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the ninth annual Diversity Awards presented by the Multicultural Motion Picture Association. Others honored included actors Vin Diesel, Cuba Gooding Jr., Ving Rhames and the directing/producing team of Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins. The honorees are chosen for their work in improving diversity on film and television.

Actors Kevin Spacey and Judi Dench hosted a gala event Sunday in London’s Old Vic theater to raise money for the victims of Sept. 11. Tickets cost up to $760 and organizers said they raised $580,000. The money will be donated to the World Trade Center Disaster Fund and a British Council program called Open Minds, created to provide a better cultural understanding.

2001: A Space Odyssey author Arthur C. Clarke was honored at an event at the Playboy Mansion Thursday night, hosted by the Space Frontier Foundation and Diamond Sky. Some in attendance included Patrick Stewart, James Cameron, Bill Paxton and guest speaker Morgan Freeman. Clarke could not join the festivities but participated from his home in Sri Lanka via satellite.

In General

A final unfinished manuscript by quirky satirist Douglas Adams, author of the classic The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, will be published next year on the anniversary of his death, his agent told Reuters. The files for the new novel were found on Adams’ computer after he died suddenly of a heart attack in May at age 49. Titled A Salmon of a Doubt will be the sixth and last part of the Hitchhiker series.

Fifty employees were laid off from Graceland, the former home of Elvis Presley, due to declining tourism from the Sept. 11 attacks. In recent weeks, visitor attendance dropped 15 percent.

Dustin Hoffman’s Punch Prods. has signed a first-look production deal with Walt Disney Studios and will be producing the upcoming black comedy Goodbye, Hello starring Hoffman and Susan Sarandon. The two entities are also collaborating on the film Personal Injuries, based on the Scott Turow novel, which will also be Hoffman’s directorial debut.

Australian actor Heath Ledger will play legendary Australian outlaw Ned Kelly in a new film adapted from a novel Our Sunshine by Robert Drewe. The story follows the life of the 19th century outlaw, who wore armor and became a folk hero Down Under. Production will start in April 2002.

Tickets for the Star Wars Celebration II convention in Indianapolis, Indiana May 3-5 have gone on sale. The convention will take place at the Indiana Convention Center and will pay tribute to the 25th anniversary of the first Star Wars as well as coincide with the release of Star Wars Episode II: The Attack of the Clones.