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Soul legend Aretha Franklin to wed longtime friend

Aretha Franklin, 69, is making plans to tie the knot with longtime friend William “Willie” Wilkerson, the Queen of Soul said Monday through her publicist. “We’re looking at June or July for our date and no, I’m not pregnant,” said the Grammy-winning voice behind such classics as “Respect,” “Think,” “Chain…

Star Wars saber-master Bob Anderson dies aged 89

LONDON — Bob Anderson, Olympic swordsman and the man inside Darth Vader’s helmet during many iconic lightsaber battles in the Star Wars films, has died aged 89, the British Academy of Fencing said Monday. Anderson, who represented Britain in fencing at the 1952 Games, “passed away peacefully” at 0400 GMT…

Berlin film fest to honour Meryl Streep

BERLIN — The Berlin film festival said Monday it would award Oscar-winning US actress Meryl Streep an honorary Golden Bear next month in recognition of her decades-long career. Streep, 62, whose latest film sees her portraying Britain’s former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the biopic “The Iron Lady”, will receive…

Elton John wants Timberlake to play him in biopic

LOS ANGELES — Elton John is working on a biopic about himself and would like Justin Timberlake to take on the lead role, he said in an interview published Sunday. The British veteran star also spoke about his and partner David Furnish’s love for their son Zachary — whose first…

Media rights group: 2011 ‘another bloody year’ for journalists

Media rights activist IFJ called on the United Nations Saturday to take “drastic action” against governments of the most dangerous countries for media after 106 journalists and media personnel were killed in 2011. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said 2011 was “another bloody year” for the media. It blamed…

A year in Raw: Our 10 most popular news stories of 2011

It’s been a long year for the staff at Raw Story. The 12 months of 2011 have brought us many highs, many lows, many what-the-hell moments and plenty of surprises. In the spirit of looking back, as so many of us do each year before the dawning of the next,…

Fox asks Facebook users if Jews killed Jesus

A foreign affiliate of the Fox television network apologized this week after it published a poll on Facebook asking whether users felt like Jews were responsible for killing the biblical deity character Jesus Christ. The poll was published by Fox Latin America, based in Argentina, according to The Associated Press.…

U.S. Jewish publisher out with Talmud index

The Talmud, the 63-volume record of discussions among rabbis that is one of the most sacred books in Judaism, has lacked a comprehensive index for 1,500 years — until now. A US-based Jewish publisher has produced an alphabetical index to the Talmud Bavli (Babylonian Talmud), a work it describes as…

Fox News attacks Girl Scouts with liberal ‘conspiracy’ charge

Fox News on Thursday teamed up with a former Girl Scout to warn that the organization was conspiring to “promote a clear liberal ideology.” Fifteen-year-old Sydney Volankski, who left the Girl Scouts in 2010 to write about their “pro-abortion mindset” on her blog, has now discovered that a guide published…

Metallica singer throws stones at reporters in Uruguay

MONTEVIDEO — Metallica lead singer James Hetfield hurled stones at reporters who were photographing him in an ice-cream parlor at a chic Uruguayan resort, the El Pais daily reported Thursday. The singer for the hugely popular American heavy metal band was cruising with his son on a scooter Sunday in…

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