'Seinfeld' actor accused of slurring Jews
A comedian under fire for hurling racial epithets at blacks once similarly attacked Jews, fans said. Two comedy fans told the showbiz Web site TMZ.com last week that Michael Richards, who played Kramer on Seinfeld, attacked a man speaking during his performance last April as a "f------ Jew" and said "You people are the cause of Jesus dying."
The two fans wondered at the time if the slurs were part of the act, but came forward after Richards launched a racist attack on two black men who heckled him during his performance last week.
Richards' publicist confirmed the April incident, but said it was indeed part of the act, unlike the more recent attack on blacks. - JTA
Kazakh: Borat creator deserves prize
A leading Kazakh writer has nominated actor Sacha Baron Cohen for a national award for popularizing Kazakhstan. Novelist Sapabek Asip-uly called on the Kazakh Club of Art Patrons to give Baron Cohen its annual award, according to a letter published by the Vremya newspaper last week. Baron Cohen's fictional character Borat "has managed to spark an immense interest of the whole world in Kazakhstan, something our authorities could not do during the years of independence," said Asip-uly.
Government officials in the former Soviet republic have been enraged by Borat's unflattering portrayal of Kazakh life in the spoof documentary, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. The film depicts Kazakhstan as riddled with anti-Semitism and sexism. "If state officials completely lack a sense of humor, their country becomes a laughing stock," Asip-uly said.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said last week that Borat has helped to make Kazakhstan better known in the West, and he invited Baron Cohen to visit the Central Asian state.
"I truly hope my initiative will be supported for the benefit of the glorious nation of Kazakhstan," Asip-uly said. - AP
Mia Farrow assails 'genocidal violence'
Actress and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Mia Farrow called last week for peacekeepers to be sent immediately to halt "genocidal violence" that she said was spreading from Sudan's Darfur province into neighboring Chad.
"We're seeing atrocities of an indescribable kind," said Farrow, just back from a visit to Chad after an earlier trip to Darfur.
It was apparent, she said, that the war being carried out by Arab militias in Darfur since 2003 now encompasses Chad's eastern region, with militias from both countries banding together. The attackers are "heavily, heavily armed" by the Sudanese government and defenders are often equipped only with bows and arrows, the 61-year-old actress said.
Farrow expressed outrage that no effective peacekeeping force has been sent to Darfur almost four years after atrocities started. According to some estimates, the violence in Darfur has killed 400,000 and left more than 2 million homeless. - AP
Yoko Ono calls for global healing
Yoko Ono is calling for the anniversary of the death of her husband, John Lennon, to become a day of worldwide healing. In a full-page advertisement appearing in Sunday editions of The New York Times, Ono urges readers to mark the anniversary by apologizing to those who have suffered because of violence and war.
"Every year, let's make December 8 the day to ask for forgiveness from those who suffered the insufferable," writes the former Beatle's widow, who signs the letter Yoko Ono Lennon.
Ono urges readers to take responsibility for failing to intervene on behalf of victims around the world. "Know that the physical and mental abuse you have endured will have a lingering effect on our society," she writes in a portion of the letter directed to victims. "Know that the burden is ours."- AP
Bergman look-alike sought in Sweden
A small Swedish town is searching for a bride-to-be who is an Ingrid Bergman look-alike to take part in a reenactment of the film star's first wedding in 1937. The search has been initiated by the folklore society in Stode, 235 miles north of Stockholm, to mark the 70-year anniversary of Bergman's wedding to her first husband, Petter Aron Lindstrom, in the town church.
"We're looking for a Swedish look-alike and it's going to be a real wedding - there won't be any cheating - and we'll pay for the wedding dress and dinner," said Gertrud Svensson, a deputy member of the society.
The Bergman-style wedding is planned for the summer of 2007 and, aside from featuring a look-alike bride and wedding dress, guests will be invited to dine on the original wedding porcelain at the wedding party.
The groom does not necessarily have to resemble Lindstrom, who came from Stode.- AP