News Roundup: Oct. 17

Top Stories

Pop acts plan to perform at three benefits concerts this weekend to raise money for the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, The Associated Press reports. The shows will kick off in New York at Madison Square Garden with the Backstreet Boys, Destiny’s Child, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Billy Joel. The “United We Stand” concert Sunday in Washington will feature the Backstreet Boys and Destiny’s Child, as well as ‘N Sync, Michael Jackson, P. Diddy, KISS and Mick Jagger. Country stars Tim McGraw and Trisha Yearwood will also take to the stage Sunday at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville.

Someone claiming to represent Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeta network has asked both CNN and Al-Jazeera TV to submit six written questions for him, that he will then answer on video tape, Variety reports. The proposal came from Al-Jazeera, which then notified CNN. The news network submitted six questions on Tuesday.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show will reopen Oct. 30 at Broadway’s Circle in the Square for a 10-week run ending January 6, The Associated Press reports. Bat Boy will also resume this week, with the hit London musical Mamma Mia! premiering Thursday.

Rowan Atkinson, who starred in the hit TV shows Blackadder and Mr. Bean, is worried that proposed anti-terror laws outlawing “incitement to religious hatred” could curb freedom of expression, Reuters reports. Atkinson said there should be no subject about which jokes should be banned, including religion.

Comedian Denis Leary is putting on a New York benefit Monday night to honor the firefighters who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, reports. According to Leary, Harrison Ford has offered to help, as well as Matthew Broderick, and Nathan Lane. Leary hopes to raise $250,000.


Whoopi Goldberg has become the first woman to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, The Associated Press reports. Chris Rock, Robin Williams and Billy Crystal took part in the event, which will be televised on PBS Nov. 21 at 9 p.m.

In Courts

A United Nations panel ruled Tuesday that actor Rip Torn has the rights to the Internet domain name, The Associated Press reports. Torn complained to the World Intellectual Property Organization after someone from Oakville, Ontario registered the domain name in March 2000.

Novelist and politician Jeffrey Archer, who is serving a four-year sentence for perjury and perverting the course of justice, has been moved to a prison where security is less strict, The Associated Press reports. The North Sea in Lincolnshire allows inmates more freedom of movement.

In General

Russell Crowe has been offered a role in The Cinderella Man, playing real-life heavyweight boxing champ Jim Braddock, Variety reports. Lasse Hallstorm will direct the movie, which has been in development for several years now.

Ted Turner will have a cameo role in the Civil War film Gods and Generals, The Associated Press reports. Turner will reprise his role as Col. Waller T. Patton from the 1993 film Gettysburg. Gods and Generals, which is being financed by Turner, is a prequel to Gettysburg.