LOPEZ CONFIRMS ENGAGEMENT TO AFFLECK
It's been the topic of conversation for months, the relationship of singer-entertainer Jennifer Lopez and young Hollywood leading man Ben Affleck. Well, ABC News's Diane Sawyer managed to get Lopez to consent to a sit-down interview in which she popped the question: "Are you two engaged?" "Yes," was the answer from Lopez. The interview was taped for ABC News's "Primetime," and the network will air it Wednesday night. The interview was conducted in New York City in the singer's old neighborhood. ABC News released some of the interview material in advance of the broadcast. Lopez, who is wearing a pink diamond ring, told Sawyer that the proposal was carried out in a "traditional, but also in a very spectacular way, as of course Ben would do it ... it was very, very beautiful."
EMINEM R-RATED FILM SOARS AT BOX OFFICE
For any parent already worried that the "R" rating for movies actually doesn't keep anyone out -- as a matter of fact, the rating is often simply an additional enticement for underage kids to see the film -- the following is bad news, indeed. It's already a given that many parents see foul-mouthed rapper Eminem as the worst thing since Rudy Vallee, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and Britney Spears. All either were or still are accused of corrupting the young. All used the media to circumvent parental controls. And, in the cases of Spears and Eminem, they have (in the quest for cash) openly pushed the envelope past the breaking point in what some see as a calculated effort to convince their barely pubescent followers that there are no rules and the quicker you can be an adult the better ... regardless of the fact you're still in sixth grade. Universal's latest R-rated film "8 Mile" has had the highest-grossing opening of any film of its rating in Hollywood history. One major reason that so many went to see it (legally or otherwise) was that it starred Eminem. It took in an amazing $22,065 at each theater in which it played, on average, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Its total gross (sorry to use that word twice so far in connection with the movie) has been an estimated $54.5 million.
CIA SPYMASTER AND AUTHOR DIES
For decades Harry Rositzke had one of the county's most secret jobs. He was heavily involved in the CIA's covert operations involving our relations with the Soviet Union. He was in the forefront of handling some of the most sensitive information gathered during the height of the Cold War. Then he turned to writing, churning out incredibly detailed novels about something he knew very well ... the spy business. A professor for some time at Harvard, he not only explained the inner workings of the CIA in his books, but looked at the enigmatic world of the KGB. Amid all of this he had the time to research the origins of the English language and the structure of Old German. According to The Washington Post, when he finally called it quits in Washington and at Harvard, he retired to a cattle ranch and to his typewriter. A complicated man with an intensely organized brain and a love of his country, Harry Rositzke was 91.
NBC PUTS CHEECH IN STARRING ROLE
One of the truly funny men of Hollywood is Cheech Marin. Half of the former team of Cheech and Chong, Marin has emerged as a star in his own right. Now NBC, on its Web site, is reporting that Marin will play the lead in the pilot being taped for a planned sitcom to be called "The Ortegas." Inspired by a Brit com (as so many American comedy shows have been), the show will center around a Mexican family living in the Los Angeles area. Among the funny plot twists that have been announced is the fact that the son in the program fashions himself a talk-show host and even rehearses on a home-built set in the family's back yard.
INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS DENIED ENTRY VISAS
With the world situation what it is and with the Bush administration more empowered in the wake of the recent election victories, State Department officials in Washington are refusing an increasing number of foreign artists entry into this country. According to the independent film news service indieWIRE, several Cuban filmmakers have been denied visas in the last few days. Cuban director Humberto Solas wanted to attend the screening of the new film "Honey for Oshun" and then go to San Francisco for a Latin American film festival at which he was to have received a special lifetime achievement award. Washington said: "No." Additionally, Cuban artist Salvador Gonzalez, subject of a new documentary, was denied an entry visa to attend the American premiere of a film about his life. IndieWIRE says the State Department, under the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Reform Act, requires applicants from seven countries -- including Cuba -- to undergo extra background checks, because the countries are on a "state sponsors of terrorism" list. Some weeks ago, an Iranian director, Abbas Kiarostami, was denied a visa to enter this country to attend a screening of his film "Ten" at the 40th New York Film Festival under the provisions of the same legislation. When word of Kiarostami's refusal of entry into this country was made known, several well-known filmmakers boycotted the Big Apple event. Included in the no-show list was Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki.
VISIONARY CLERIC GIVES FINAL SERMON
The Rev. William Fontaine accomplished more during his lifetime than any five people. The Chicago Tribune says that Fontaine, whose final job was as chief chaplain for the Illinois prison system, decided to go into the ministry after a "life-changing" experience while serving in Vietnam. While waiting for rescue after being stabbed in the jaw by an enemy soldier, Fontaine reported that he saw an angel. The vision told him that help was on the way. He was rescued and survived the ordeal. Later, it was discovered that he received the wound in hand-to-hand combat during which he successfully killed several enemy soldiers. For this, he was awarded the Purple Heart. Upon returning to the States, he entered the ministry, eventually running several Christian coffeehouses in the Chicago area and finally going to work as a prison chaplain. When he discovered that prison chapels lacked Bibles and other printed information and computer equipment, he personally went out on a fundraising mission. He managed to collect more than $13.5 million over a five-year period. The Chicago Tribune says that Fontaine died of heart failure. His wife called him "the master." Fontaine was only 54.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 456
Our question for today is: "Do you have any food allergies and what problems have those allergies caused over the years?" Put ALLERGY in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org, via the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 451 (COUPONS)
Last week we asked whether you used coupons or special offers. From a very random dip into the e-mail inbox here are the results:
85 percent noted they use coupons or rebates of one kind or another.
15 percent said they had no interest in coupons.
Darla wrote to tell of three nuns in the nation's capital who some years ago discovered that there was a grocery in West Virginia that occasionally offered TRIPLE coupons. They subscribed to the newspaper from that town and began scoping out the store's specials. One weekend they made the two-hour trip to the store and got tons of groceries. Not only did they save a huge amount of money, they packed their station wagon and were PAID $52 for doing so. Not bad ... a station wagon full of food and $52 for their efforts. Additionally, some of those who said they used coupons noted that the only kind they regularly used were rebates. TOMORROW: Would you like to be president? GBA.