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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

News Candy

Bono turns newspaper editor for the day
By Paul Majendie

BonoIrish rock star and Third World campaigner Bono turned guest newspaper editor today with the Independent agreeing to give half its revenues for the day to fight AIDS in Africa.

Bono got to interview UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown while U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice offered her 10 favourite pieces of music.

In a celebrity-laden one-off edition, the front page illustrated by artist Damien Hirst proclaimed in a banner headline that there was "No News Today" - except for the deaths of 6,500 Africans from HIV/AIDS.

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Blair, who has made Africa one of the top priorities of his premiership, said the continent "wants to stand on its own two feet and what it wants from us in the meantime is help to get there".

16 May 06 Independent Front PageStella McCartney interviewed fellow designer Giorgio Armani who said: "Fashion requires consumers to consume but we can run our companies in a socially responsible way.

The paper asked if rock stars like Bono and Live Aid and Live 8 organiser Bob Geldof could change the world by using the power of celebrity to pressure politicians into helping to eradicate poverty.

"No," was the answer from the guest editor who was the first to admit the limitations of pop fame on the world political stage.

"Celebrity is ridiculous but it is currency and I want to spend mine wisely," he said.

On Monday, Bono launched a new bright red mobile phone. Sales of the phone, following on the heels of the RED American Express credit card, are expected to raise hundreds of dollars to fight AIDS in Africa.

He co-founded Product RED, an ambitious branding and AIDS fund-raising scheme, with former U.S. President John F. Kennedy's nephew Bobby Shriver in January.

Big names from politics and show business abounded through the pages of Tuesday's Independent with Rice asked to pick her 10 best musical works.

They ranged from Mozart's Piano Concerto in D minor to "Rocket Man" by Elton John and, tipping her hat to the editor of the day, she also chose "anything by U2".

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Actors in Empowering Messages

Hollywood stars Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman said they hope their new film X-Men: The Last Stand will inspire Latin American audiences to be true to themselves and to value their heritage.

Berry spoke of empowering people of colour through the movie which has a diverse cast of characters and debuts in Mexican theatres on May 26.

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"I think we have to continue to force people to accept us for who we are and the way we are," she told journalists at a Mexico City hotel.

Meanwhile Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster has spoken at the University of Pennsylvania's commencement ceremonies. Foster, who graduated from Ivy League rival Yale University in 1985, received an honorary doctor of arts degree.

She struck a serious note later, saying the country and world are worse off than they were four years ago, and challenging graduates to change that.

The US "squandered" the goodwill and sympathy other nations offered after the September 11 terror attacks, Foster said. She also criticised officials for the "disastrous and shameful" handling of Hurricane Katrina.

She received a standing ovation after her speech.

Foster, 43, won Oscars for 1988's The Accused and 1991's The Silence of the Lambs. She received nominations for her roles in 1976's Taxi Driver and 1994's Nell.

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"Cab driver" becomes internet expert in BBC mix-up

Guy Goma faced questions about the Apple vs Apple court caseThe BBC has apologised after putting a mystery man, possibly a taxi driver, on the air in a live interview, mistaking him for a computer expert who was waiting at the reception desk.

The man's mouth opened in horror as the camera cut to him in the BBC's News-24 television studio, where he had been seated on a stool by a floor manager, a microphone clipped to his lapel.

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A business presenter, sitting opposite, introduced the clearly startled man as the editor of a technology Web site, and asked if he was surprised by computer company Apple's victory in a trademark dispute over The Beatles' Apple Corps.

"I'm very surprised to see this verdict to come on me because I was not expecting that," he replied, with a strong French accent, in broken English. "When I came they told me something else and I'm coming ... so a big surprise anyway.

He gamely answered two more questions about music downloading, before the presenter thanked him and moved on.

The BBC said it still did not know who he was but newspapers reported he was thought to be a taxi driver who happened to be at reception when a floor manager came to fetch the guest.

The real Web site editor, Guy Kewney, who watched with astonishment at reception, said the mix-up was hard to explain because BBC staff had seen his picture in advance. Kewney is white and the mystery guest was black.

"He seemed as baffled as I felt," Kewney wrote on his Web site, which has a link to the interview, broadcast live on Friday.

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Dolphins 'have their own names'

Dolphins were monitored in Sarasota Bay off Florida (Image: Randall Wells)Dolphins communicate like humans by calling each other by "name", scientists in Fife have found.

The mammals are able to recognise themselves and other members of the same species as individuals with separate identities, using whistles.

The three-year-study was funded by the Royal Society of London.

Pictures courtesy of BBC News online and MSN News. Dolphin image by Randall Wells.

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