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KATE Middleton's wedding

The seats were mostly taken by the press and the only "tourists" were a few interested locals, but the bus tour around the home county of British Prince William's fiancee Kate Middleton kicked off last weekend. The ride organized by bus tour operator Morton Travel around Royal Berkshire provides a glimpse of Middleton's not-so-ordinary upbringing.

News that Britain's royal wedding invites are in the post has touched off lively press speculation, with former England football captain David Beckham and the King of Bahrain tipped to be attending but not Barack Obama or Sarah Ferguson. Royal watchers say Beckham, who worked with William on England's failed bid to host the World Cup in 2018, and his ex-Spice Girl wife Victoria will be among the 1,900 guests at London's Westminster Abbey on April 29.

Dancer in Berlusconi case may grace Vienna ball

The nightclub dancer at the center of a political storm in Italy involving Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is set to be the star guest at Vienna's famed Opera Ball this year, a spokesman for her host said. Karima el Mahroug - an 18-year-old dancer known by her stage name Ruby Rubacuori (Ruby Heartstealer) - will be the special guest of Vienna construction magnate and social lion Richard Lugner, his spokesman said on Monday.

Palin says hiring aide not a sign of 2012 intentions

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said her recent hiring of a chief of staff for her political action committee did not signal a decision to run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Speaking to a business group, Palin said in response to a question that she hired strategist Michael Glassner as chief of staff because her husband Todd was tired of handling those duties.

Michael Jackson estate earns US$310 million

Michael Jackson's estate has generated US$310 million in revenue from album sales, a film, merchandising and other products since his death in 2009, according to court papers filed recently. His estate's administrators have used US$159 million to pay down the pop star's debt, which amounted to more than US$400 million when he died.

LA Times details Mel Gibson, Grigorieva breakup

Little is known publicly about the squabbling between Mel Gibson and his ex-girlfriend beyond the racist and sexist rants heard last year on the web, but one day after police completed a lengthy probe into the matter, new details have come to light. The Los Angeles Times on February 17 published what it said were e-mails, text messages, attorneys' notes and information from legal papers between the "Braveheart" actor and Oksana Grigorieva, the mother of Gibson's infant daughter.

Jane Goodall toasts 20 years of "Roots and Shoots"

At 76, famed primatologist Jane Goodall has no thoughts of slowing down. Still traveling more than 300 days a year, she marshals her personal experiences, her expertise and her rock-star status as a world-renowned scientist to influence decision makers and inspire the young.

Anna Nicole Smith: big in life, now big in opera

The tabloid life of buxum Playboy centerfold Anna Nicole Smith, who married an oil billionaire and gave birth on TV, has made it to the opera stage in London in a production true to operatic tradition. Like her sexy operatic sisters Salome, Lulu and Manon, the Texan babe with the silicone breasts who becomes addicted to pain killers due to back pain, dies just before the final curtain, of a drug overdose at age 39.

Chris Brown allowed near Rihanna, 2 years later

A court order was lifted on Tuesday that had prevented R&B singer Chris Brown from coming into close contact with his ex-girlfriend Rihanna since a violent altercation two years ago. Los Angeles Superior Court judge Patricia Schnegg downgraded the stay-away order that said Brown, 21, must stay 50 yards away from Rihanna, or 10 yards at entertainment industry events.


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