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Mickey & Goofy behind bars? Snow White, Tinkerbell, Peter Pan handcuffed

Cinderella, Snow White, Tinkerbell and other fictional fixtures of modern-day childhood arrested outside Disneyland

(quote)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Cinderella, Snow White, Tinkerbell and other fictional fixtures of modern-day childhood were handcuffed, frisked and loaded into police vans Thursday at the culmination of a labor protest that brought a touch of reality to the Happiest Place on Earth.

The arrest of the 32 protesters, many of whom wore costumes representing famous Disney characters, came at the end of an hour-long march to Disneyland's gates from one of three Disney-owned hotels at the center of a labor dispute.

hotel workers march from the Paradise Pier Hotel to the main entrance of Disneyland

Those who were arrested sat in a circle on a busy intersection outside the park holding hands until they were placed in plastic handcuffs and led to two police vans while hundreds of hotel workers cheered and chanted. The protesters were arrested on a misdemeanor count of failure to obey a police officer and two traffic infractions, said Sgt. Rick Martinez of the Anaheim police. They were cited and released, Sgt. Chris Schneider said.  read more »

Olympics open with full variety of athletes; flag bearers relishing moment, athletes celebrate, ready for the big Games

opening parade at 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

opening parade at 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

opening parade at 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

(quote)

opening parade at 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

China launched the 29th summer Olympics on Friday with a glittering opening ceremony combining 5,000 years of its history with a modern firecracker of a show.

The 91,000-strong crowd in the National Stadium, and more than a billion television viewers, earlier saw the hoisting of the Chinese flag which was carried into the stadium by children from China's 56 ethnic groups after 2,008 drummers had started the show.

opening parade at 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

Around 11,000 athletes from a record 204 nations will compete in 28 sports for 302 gold medals at the first Olympics in China and third in Asia, following Tokyo in 1964 and Seoul in 1988.  read more »

Countdown to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games - athletes to watch, each with a story of their own

Dara Torres, United States - Swimming

Among those featured in Time special issue "100 Olympic Athletes To Watch":

(quote)

Dara Torres (United States) - 41, nine-time Olympic medallist in swimming and mother of a two-year old who has qualified for her fifth Olympic Games, something no other swimmer has ever done. The time in the 100m freestyle that got her a ticket to Beijing was 2.47 seconds faster than her Olympic effort in 1988, at age 21 - a lifetime in such a short race.

Liu Xiang, China - Hurdles

Liu Xiang (China) – 25. When Liu Xiang claimed victory in the 110-m hurdles in Athens, delivering China its first ever sprint gold, you could almost sense the alarm in the announcers' voices. Few had heard of this mystery athlete, much less knew how to pronounce his given name. What a difference four years make. In Beijing, Liu, 25, along with basketball star Yao Ming, will be the poster boy for China's mighty Olympic squad. His name (pronounced Sheeahng) means "to soar" in Chinese.

Usain Bolt, Jamaica - Sprints  read more »

Bill Gates has pledged to give back to humanity all but a tiny fraction of 1% of that fortune

Gates will divide his time among three offices: one at Microsoft, one at his foundation, and another one equidistant from the other two

(quote)

(Fortune Magazine) -- The billionaire co-founder of Microsoft has always been something of a utopian. In his mind, even the world's knottiest problems can be solved if you apply enough IQ. Accordingly, Gates, who has been spotted on Seattle freeways reading a book while driving himself to the office, covets knowledge. It's as if he's still trying to make up for dropping out of Harvard, as he spends just about any spare waking minute reading, studying science texts, or watching university courses on DVD. Some say his wealth and famous opportunism are reminiscent of the robber barons of yore. Yet here is a man who has set a goal to eradicate malaria. Rich as he is - his net worth is an estimated $50 billion - you can't call the man greedy when he has pledged to give back to humanity all but a tiny fraction of 1% of that fortune.

Bill Gates at age 9, in 1965  read more »

Mayor of Nice welcomes new Brangelina arrivals - Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s twin joy: Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline

glowing Angelina Jolie expectant with twins at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival

(quote)

NICE, France (AP) - Brad Pitt was emotional but calm, Angelina Jolie laughed and chatted. The world's most famous celebrity couple were joined in emotion during the birth of their twins - a boy and a girl - and all "are doing marvelously well," the doctor who delivered the babies in a seaside hospital on the French Riviera said Sunday.

The Mayor of Nice, France, has personally welcomed Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s newborn twins, Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline, signing off on their birth certificates and offering his congratulations to the superstar couple. Jolie's obstetrician, Dr. Michel Sussmann, said he believed the baby girl's middle name was chosen in honor of Jolie's mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, who died in January 2007 after a 7 1/2-year battle with cancer.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt ecstatic as new twins join the family

Mayor Christian Estrosi showed the waiting media the birth certificate of baby Knox, born on Saturday July 12 at 6:27pm, bearing Pitt’s full initials WBP - William Bradley Pitt. “On behalf of the inhabitants of Nice,” Estrosi declared, “I congratulate the happy parents, the most famous couple of the world, who have chosen our city for this happy event.”

"The father is having one of the happiest moments of his life, like any father, especially when they have the joy of having two children from such a wonderful wife as Angelina Jolie. The mother is doing fine. She is smiling a lot. She is as happy as the father," Estrosi said.

Nice mayor Christian Estrosi holds copies of Brangelina's new son Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt's birth certificate as Angelina's doctor Michel Sussman and hospital director Bernard Lecat look on

Nice Matin, the hometown daily in the Riviera city in the south of France, put the worth of the twins' photos at more than $11 million. It first broke news of the birth and reported Sunday that the couple have sold the rights for the first photo of their newly expanded family to a U.S. publication, which it did not name, and that the proceeds would go to charity.

(unquote)

Photos courtesy of Reuters, MTV Newsroom, and Mail Online

Original Source: AP and The Celebrity Truth

Golden Globes award goes to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and they are expecting twins!

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

(quote)

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's love for children is by no means limited to their own: The couple has donated $1 million to help kids affected by the war in Iraq, the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict announced.

The organization will distribute the donation, made through the couple's Jolie-Pitt Foundation, to four organizations working on behalf of children who have lost parents, homes and schools in Iraq. Children in the U.S. who have lost parents in the conflict will also benefit.

Voice actor Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrive for the screening of the animated film 'Kung Fu Panda'

"These educational support programs for children of conflict are the best way to help them heal," said Jolie in a written statement from Education Partnership for Children of Conflict, which she co-chairs.

"We hope to encourage others to give to these great organizations," Pitt added in the statement.

The Pitt-Jolie family: with children Maddox, Zahara, and Shiloh

The Jolie-Pitt Foundation has given $500,000 to three groups in the war-torn country which will provide aid for some 5,700 children, said the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict.  read more »

History in less than 2 minutes in Olympic sport - Natalie Coughlin snatches back the world record of 100-meter backstroke

Natalie Coughlin swims the 100-meter backstroke en route to setting a new world record of 59.03 during the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Nebraska

(quote)

OMAHA - Call it the one-heat world record. For about two minutes, Hayley McGregory was on the top of the world. Swimming in the second-to-last heat of the preliminaries for the 100-meter backstroke at the United States Olympic Trials, the 22-year-old from Texas clocked a 59.15, breaking the world record by .06 seconds.

When McGregory made the turn at 50 meters on world-record pace, the Qwest Center crowd got firmly behind her, cheering loudly. Natalie Coughlin, whose record McGregory broke, was standing over McGregory’s lane as she finished, getting ready to race in the final heat. The plan was for Coughlin, who this year has recorded three of the five all-time fastest times in the event, to conserve her energy and deliver a nice, easy performance, maybe a second or so faster than her personal best.

Natalie Coughlin reclaims her world mark in the 100-metre backstroke one heat after Hayley McGregory took it down at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials

When Coughlin saw McGregory’s time, she switched gears. Swimming with a sense of urgency seldom seen from a top swimmer early in the day’s heats, the 25-year-old Coughlin one-upped McGregory with a time of 59.03. McGregory will go down as the world-record holder for less than two minutes. "Not even a whole minute, really," McGregory said with a chuckle. "It’s still awesome." Looking ahead to Monday night’s semifinal, she said, "I’m really excited to race next to her."

The top 16 finishers will race again Monday night, after which the field will be pared to eight finalists, who will compete Tuesday for the two berths to Beijing. "I was planning on going a lot easier this morning," said Coughlin, the gold medalist in the 100 backstroke at the 2004 Olympics with a time of 1:00.37. McGregory’s swim, she said, "gave me motivation to swim a little faster than I was originally planning." Coughlin, a Californian who came into the race with five of the 10 fastest swims in the event, looks at the 100 backstroke as her baby. She wasn’t going to let somebody take it from her without putting up a fight. "I didn’t really want her to have it long," Coughlin said. After all, Coughlin had held the mark uninterrupted since 2002 when she became the first woman to break the minute barrier in this event, going 59.58 six years ago.

Natalie Coughlin swims the 100 meter backstroke en route to setting a new world record of 59.03 during the U.S. at the Swimming Olympic Trials on June 30, 2008 at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Nebraska

Either Coughlin or McGregory, or both, could conceivably take the record down even more in the semifinals later tonight. McGregory may have popped up on Coughlin's radar in a big way, but the 22-year-old from Longhorn Aquatics in Texas is no pretender, having shown sub-minute speed in the event, going 59.46 at a meet in Austin earlier this month. She started her career at the University of Texas, transferred to USC and found herself a bit adrift when the program changed hands from Mark Schubert to Dave Salo when Schubert joined USA Swimming.

The rest of morning preliminaries went to form. Jessica Hardy (1:06.85) of Trojan Swim was the fastest qualifier in the 100 breaststroke, edging her teammates Rebecca Soni, who went 1:06.90. In the men's 100 backstroke, Randall Bal had the fastest time in 53.28. World-record holder and Nike endorser Aaron Peirsol, who experimented with Speedo's LZR Racer, was sixth in the 100 backstroke, going 54.14. "The way everyone's swimming, it looks like it's not that big a deal anymore," Peirsol said, joking of the four world records set here in less than two days.

(unquote)

Photos courtesy of Al Bello, Donald Miralle/Getty Images, and KCRA

Original Source: NY Times and LA Times

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