Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Britney Spears to release album on her birthday

Monday, Sep 15, 2008

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Britney Spears is gearing up for another comeback attempt.

The pop singer's label said on Monday it would release her new album, "Circus," on December 2, her 27th birthday.

The album marks the follow-up to 2007's "Blackout," which was also billed as a comeback after a sustained period of personal and professional woes. It failed to return Spears to the commercial heyday she enjoyed at the turn of the century.

The latest comeback talk got a boost last week when Spears won three prizes at the MTV Video Music Awards in Hollywood and did not commit any missteps in the process.

The first single from the album is called "Womanizer," Jive Records said in a statement. The label said Spears collaborated with a team of writer/producers, including stalwarts such as Swedish hitmaker Max Martin and Floyd "Danja" Hills.

Jive is ultimately owned by Sony Music Entertainment Inc, a unit of Sony Corp.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Jolie and Pitt give over 1 million pounds for Ethiopia kids

Monday, Sep 15, 2008

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Angelina Jolie and partner Brad Pitt have donated $2 million (1.12 million pounds) to create a centre, named after their adopted daughter, Zahara, for Ethiopian children affected by AIDS and tuberculosis.

The Global Health Committee said the donation from the Jolie-Pitt Foundation would establish a centre in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to treat AIDS orphans and develop a program to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis.

The Oscar-winning Jolie adopted a baby girl she called Zahara, now 3 years old, from Ethiopia in July 2005 and the new clinic will be named after her.

"It is our hope that when Zahara is older, she will take responsibility for the clinic and continue its mission," Pitt said in a statement.

Pitt and Jolie now have six children -- twins Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline born in July, Shiloh, 2, and adopted children Zahara, Pax from Vietnam and Maddox from Cambodia.

The Jolie-Pitt Foundation helped set up a similar clinic in 2006 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia that is named after Maddox.

"Our goal is to transfer the success we have had in Cambodia to Ethiopia where people are needlessly dying of tuberculosis, a curable disease, and HIV/AIDS, a treatable disease," Jolie said.

Ethiopia has the seventh-highest rate of tuberculosis disease in the world and an estimated 1.7 million people in the country are infected with HIV, according to the World Health Organization. UNICEF estimates that more than 900,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS in Ethiopia.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant, Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

Paris Hilton finds new "best friend"

Wednesday, Sep 17, 2008

By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Paris Hilton launched a television show to look for a new best friend who was hot, loyal and "paparazzi-ready" -- and she says she found exactly what she was looking for.

Hilton, 27, the millionaire socialite, said some 300,000 Americans applied to take part in the reality series "Paris Hilton's My New BFF" (Best Friend Forever), which begins airing on September 30 on MTV.

The 16 women and two men selected to compete had to perform a series of challenges to be Hilton's new BFF, including how to look hot on a rollercoaster and making a commercial for one of her fashion products. She has now picked a winner with whom she said she has struck up a real, off-screen friendship.

"The person who won is now my best friend. We hang out. Yeah, we're really friends," Hilton told Reuters on Tuesday.

"We've been having barbecues and hanging out at the house. The winner and I have been pretty low-key so far, because it is top secret right now," she said.

Hilton said the TV show prepared the contestants for life in Hollywood and hectic red carpet events, parties, and product launches -- all under the constant glare of photographers.

"In my life you can get photographed at any time. You never know when paparazzi are going to be hiding around the corner. So my friend needs to be paparazzi-ready," she said.

In her real-life friendships, Hilton says she values trust more than looking hot and says it was fun to meet people on the show who were not as jaded as the usual Hollywood crowd.

"They (the contestants) were so excited. We went on a private jet to Las Vegas and they had never been on a private plane. It was nice to really show them things they maybe never could do in their life. They were really appreciative and so sweet," Hilton said.

As for her own qualities as a friend, Hilton said she was loyal, good at keeping secrets, truthful and generous.

"I will always tell you the truth. If you ask me if I like your outfit, if I don't, I'll say I don't. I'm a lot of fun. I love showing my friends my world and enjoying life," she said.

Hilton starts filming a second series of the show, this time set in England, next month and expects her new "friends" to be very different.

"London is my favourite city in the world. I love their accents, their attitude. They are so real, they are not fake. I feel that everyone in LA wants to be famous but in London it's more about business."

(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)