News Roundup: Oct. 15

Top Stories

The Komodo dragon that took a bite out of San Francisco Chronicle executive editor (and Sharon Stone‘s hubby) Phil Bronstein last June, has injured his own left foot. The 6-foot-10 reptile allegedly tripped and suffered a hairline fracture while climbing down a ledge at the Los Angeles Zoo, according to The bedridden dragon was not able to attend the unveiling of the zoo’s new $450,000 “Dragon of Komodo” habitat.

In General

Richard Gere told ABCNEWS Radio that the best way for Americans to deal with the Sept. 11 attacks is with “the medicine of love and compassion.” Gere, a vocal advocate of Buddhism, said the terrorists are creating horrible future lives for themselves because of the negativity of this karma, and stressed the importance of compassion for everyone.

Microsoft’s new advertising campaign for Windows XP kicks off today, ten days before the products official Oct. 25 launch, The Associated Press reports. The campaign, the company’s biggest since Windows 95, features a 60-second TV spot set to the tune of Madonna‘s pop hit, “Ray of Light.”

Albert Finney will play Winston Churchill in an upcoming TV movie, The Associated Press reports. A Lonely Star, which begins shooting this week, is set to air on BBC television next year. Vanessa Redgrave will play Churchill’s wife Clemmie.

Rap group D12 performed at a suburban Detroit Bar Mitzvah, says Ethan Weisman, a real estate developer, hired the popular Hip-Hop group to make a half-hour appearance at the party and sign autographs.

A little-known Australian actor has landed the lead role in Ang Lee‘s next feature, a big-budget adaptation of Universal’s The Hulk. According to Variety, Eric Bana will play Bruce Banner, a scientist who morphs into the green-skinned Hulk, when production begins in March.

The WB is going ahead with two new reality series for 2002, Variety reports. Classmates will follow a group of 12 to 16 high school alumni at their ten-year reunion. The Most Talented People in America will follow one of the show’s executive producers to regional casting calls in six U.S. cities and document his search for possible future stars.

Fox has nixed plans to launch a Fox Classics 24-hour digital network which was to feature reruns and movies from the 20th century Fox library, reports Variety. Fox blames a sluggish economy as well as low demands among cable operators for new networks.

The European Union may block major record labels from moving forward on their planned music download services, the BBC reports. Some politicians fear that services like Pressplay and MusicNet would be anti-competitive and unfairly dominate the market, restricting opportunities for independent download sites.