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Of Human Interest: News-lite

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   April 8, 2002 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

ROCK ON!

Is President Bush a closet metalhead?

We don't know, but the commander in chief will be breaking bread with the godfather of metal, Ozzy Osbourne, when both attend next month's White House Correspondents Association dinner.

The dinner, now in its 88th year, is a goodwill gesture between the White House and the journalists who cover it. President Bush is scheduled to attend the May 4 event and MTV News reports Osbourne and his wife, Sharon, were invited to the bash by the Fox News Channel and news anchor Greta Van Susteren. The Osbournes accepted the invitation last week.


OK, IT'S FOR A GOOD CAUSE

The line has officially formed outside Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood for the May 16 opening of "Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones."

Just a handful of fans got there the first day, but their number will grow over the next six weeks, as hardcore "Star Wars" people take pains to guarantee that they're in the house when the lights go down for the first screening.

While they're waiting, the fans will also be raising funds for the Starlight Children's Foundation -- an international non-profit that works on behalf of seriously ill children and their families.

(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


SPEAKING OF CLONES...

A Middle East news agency is reporting that a woman is pregnant with a cloned human embryo.

A Gulf News report from the United Arab Emirates -- picked up by other news agencies in the United States -- quotes controversial Italian fertility researcher Dr. Severino Antinori claiming one of his patients is eight weeks pregnant with a cloned human embryo.

His colleague, Panos Zavos, a Lexington, Ky.-based fertility researcher, issued a statement to UPI in which he did not confirm or deny the report. No comment from Italian health officials.

Antinori previously made headlines with his success using fertility drugs and in-vitro fertilization to allow post-menopausal women to become pregnant.

Last year, Antinori and Zavos announced that they were joining forces to conduct research in human cloning, setting off a firestorm of protest. In subsequent months, several countries -- including the United States and the United Kingdom -- moved toward outlawing human cloning experiments.

Antinori and Zavos have refused to identify the location for their experiments but claim no work is being done in either the United States or Britain.


REASONS TO CELEBRATE THIS WEEK:

MONDAY: Buddhists around the world celebrate the Birthday of the Buddha today.

Japan commemorates the Buddha's birthday with Hana Matsuri or the Flower Festival.

The Chicken Little Awards will be presented today by the National Anxiety Center to those individuals or organizations who've scared the living daylights out of people. (Web site: anxietycenter.com)

And this is International Feng Shui Awareness Day. (Web site: bobsfengshui.com)

TUESDAY: This is Children's Day in Florida, a legal holiday.

Today is National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day, by presidential proclamation.

It's Winston Churchill Day, marking the anniversary of the legislation that made the British statesman an honorary U.S. citizen.

Holocaust Day (Yom Hashoah) is observed today in Israel.

And Tunisia celebrates Martyrs' Day today.

WEDNESDAY: This is Commodore Perry Day, commemorating the anniversary of the birth, in 1794, of Matthew C. Perry, who negotiated the first treaty between the United States and Japan (in 1854).

Today is National Siblings Day. (Web site: siblingsday.org)

It's Salvation Army Founder's Day, celebrating the anniversary of the birth, in 1829, of Methodist minister William Booth who founded what became the Salvation Army in London in 1865.

And this is Stories Day, a day to share stores with young children and to celebrate storytelling in general. (Web site: childcarecoalition.org)

THURSDAY: This is Barbershop Quartet Day. The Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America was founded on this date in 1938 in Tulsa, Okla.

It's Vote Lawyers Out Of Office Day. (Web site: sharkbaitpress.com)

Costa Rica celebrates Juan Santamaria Day, on the anniversary of the Battle of Rivas in 1856. It's a national holiday.

Today is National D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Day, by presidential proclamation.

It's Liberation Day in Uganda, celebrating the overthrow of Idi Amin in 1979.

FRIDAY: This is International Teens Against Zits, a rally protesting the injustice done by acne all over the world.

And the 14th annual Ozark UFO Conference is today through Sunday at the Inn of the Ozarks Conference Center in Eureka Springs, Ark. The truth is out there. Beam me up, Scotty.

(Thanks to Chase's 2002 Calendar of Events)


BY THE WAY...

It was on this date in about 563 B.C. that the founder of Buddhism is believed to have been born in India. What does "Buddha" mean in the Sanskrit language?

"The enlightened one."

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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