Originally created 06/03/04

People in the News



LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Director Martin Scorsese will speak at the fifth annual Lake Placid Film Festival, which runs Wednesday through Sunday.

He will introduce a restored print of the 1963 Italian film "The Leopard," considered by some critics to be a lost classic, on Saturday.

Organizers said about 60 features will be screened, including "Touch of Pink," about a gay man's crisis when his mother tries to set him up with a Muslim girl, and "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster," a documentary about the veteran heavy metal band.

The festival is hoping to rebound financially after a year in which it suffered from a lack of corporate sponsorships and ran up a deficit.

Festival co-founder Kathleen Carroll said the festival has been successful in attracting sponsors this year and is screening more films.

"This year we had the urge to show as many films as we could, but to create a lot of excitement, too," Carroll said Monday.

On the Net:

http://www.lakeplacidfilmforum.com

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NEW YORK -- New York Yankees manager Joe Torre joined hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and business leaders in an event aimed at curtailing domestic violence.

Torre, who has spoken out before about growing up in an abusive household, said his father, a police officer in New York, "was violent with my mom."

"He never hit me, but the scars that a child takes with him into adulthood, they don't go away," Torre said Tuesday.

Torre, who has led the Yankees to four World Series titles, added that coaches and managers need to do more to foster healthy attitudes toward women among athletes.

"You tell them to be aggressive, go out there and beat somebody up, go out there and win a ballgame, and unfortunately when they go out on a date that night they don't take 'No' for an answer," he said.

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HONOLULU -- Samuel Wong, who helped bring some of classical music's biggest stars to Hawaii, is stepping down as musical director of the Honolulu Symphony after the 2004-05 classical season.

Wong, who has led the orchestra since the 1996-97 season, plans to make several guest appearances through 2007, the symphony said Monday.

The conductor said he wants to spend more time with his wife and two children in New York and pursue other projects.

"It's time to shift my musical focus to the mainland and to Europe," he said. "My priority is to spend more time with my family and do something big in science."

A licensed ophthalmologist, Wong said he plans to work on an Institute of Music and Healing.

Stephen Bloom, the symphony's executive director, praised Wong for helping the orchestra grow.

During Wong's tenure with the symphony, concerts have included appearances by Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman, Deborah Voigt, Andre Watts, Midori, Peter Serkin and Emanuel Ax. He led the symphony to its first mainland concert at the Hollywood Bowl in 1997.

On the Net:

http://www.honolulusymphony.com

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DUBLIN, Ireland -- Bono urged European Union governments to spend more on forgiving debts and combating the spread of AIDS in Africa, causes the frontman for Irish band U2 has championed for the past decade.

Bono, the lunchtime speaker Tuesday at a conference of EU development ministers at Dublin Castle, said most EU states had reneged on a long-standing promise to commit 0.7 percent of their gross domestic product to overseas aid. He called that "renegotiating your deal with God downwards."

He also said EU-run aid programs had dragged their heels.

"There's about $14 billion that people have pledged to the EU, but the EU haven't found a way of spending it. That's not the Europe I want to be in," the 44-year-old singer said.

Bono, responding to a reporter's question, said he didn't expect popular singers to band together soon to mount another Live Aid-style concert. The 1985 concerts led by Bob Geldof raised $22 million for famine relief in Ethiopia and the Sudan.

"At this point there are no plans for a Live Aid II," Bono said. "It's always there in the background but right now, no. Right now we're after billions, not millions. A Live Aid II would help, but it wouldn't fix the problem."

On the Net:

http://www.u2.com/lite/

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NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez will soon need to make one more adjustment in his life - becoming a dad.

After Tuesday night's 8-7 win over Baltimore, the New York Yankees third baseman said he and his wife, Cynthia, are expecting their first child this fall.

"We're very excited. It'll probably be in November, late in the month," Rodriguez said.

The AL MVP said the couple would likely find out in a month whether they will have a boy or girl.

The pregnancy was first reported by People magazine on its Web site.

Rodriguez has spent the season learning how to play third after Texas traded the All-Star shortstop to the Yankees last winter.

Baseball's highest-paid player has reached base safely in 39 straight games, the longest streak of his career and the longest string in the majors this season. He is hitting .294 with a team-leading 12 home runs, and has 29 RBIs.

Rodriguez and his wife were married in 2002.