News Roundup: Oct. 25

Top Stories

God Bless America debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s top album charts this week after selling 180,984 copies, The Associated Press reports. The album features a rendition of “God Bless America” by Celine Dion, Frank Sinatra‘s “America the Beautiful” and Mariah Carey‘s “Hero.”

CBS news anchor Dan Rather said he will not be tested for anthrax or take the antibiotic Cipro, even though anthrax was found in his office. According to, Rather has shown no symptoms of the disease. His assistant, however, is being treated for the skin form of anthrax.

In Courts

A Florida jury found O.J. Simpson not guilty on Wednesday of auto burglary and battery charges, Reuters reports. The jury deliberate for 90 minutes before delivering the verdict.

Dr. Dre‘s lawsuit accusing the Michigan cities of Detroit, Auburn Hills and their officials of censorship has been settled, AP reports. Dre filed the lawsuit in July after officials from both cities threatened to arrest him if he aired a sexually explicit video during a concert that month. The settlement included a written apology from Mayor Dennis Archer of Auburn Hills and First Amendment training for police officers in each city. The cities will also reimburse the rapper for legal fees.

Jimmy Gulzar, Spice Girl Mel B’s former husband, has been charged with common assault on a three-year-old. According to BBC News, the alleged incident happened on Sept. 1 while Gulzar was visiting the London Zoo with his daughter, Phoenix Chi.


Sexy Beast received four awards at the British Independent Film Awards, the BBC reports. The gangster movie won best film, best screenplay, best director for Jonathan Glazer and best actor for Ben Kingsley.

In General

Kenneth Branagh has signed on to do the second Harry Potter movie, which will begin filming Nov. 16, Variety reports. Branagh will play the role of a wizard who is enlisted to teach at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

George Clooney is criticizing the Screen Actors Guild’s national board for expelling three members who worked during last year’s commercial strike, Variety reports. Clooney pointed out that Elizabeth Hurley and Tiger Woods received fines of $100,000, while Shaquille O’Neal’s case did not even go to trial. The actor said that the union should not enforce laws based on celebrity and that punishment should be uniform. Clooney has offered to pay the fines for Mario Barbieri Cecchini, Gerry Donato and Robert Kalomeer if they could not afford to do so.

Justin Timberlake of ‘N Sync has canceled plans for his new novel Inside Drive: A Novel of Basketball, Life and Love because he has no time for a national publicity tour, AP reports. Timberlake signed a seven-figure deal with Ballentine Books to publish his first novel.

Winners of the Latin Grammy Awards will be announced Tuesday at the Conga Room in Hollywood, Reuters reports. While there will be no performances, the academy has not determined if there will be any acceptance speeches or a ceremony.

British pop star Robbie Williams told a crowd of 17,000 fans in Singapore Wednesday that he was fined $5,700 for flashing the audience on Saturday. According to Reuters, Singapore police say that Williams is giving them a bum rap and that they have no record that the singer was fined.

Queen Latifah is the latest addition to the cast of Chicago, the film version of the Broadway musical, Variety reports. The film, directed by Bill Condon, will also star Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere and Renee Zellweger.