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Tuesday, 28 August, 2001, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Michael Jackson and the Nasdaq
Pop superstar Michael Jackson is to make an unusual personal appearance when he opens the day's trading on the Nasdaq stock market.

Jackson's financial date in New York on Thursday is a prelude to his 30th anniversary celebration concerts at Madison Square Garden on 7 and 10 September.

"The Nasdaq stock market recognises Michael Jackson for his extraordinary vision and commitment to excellence in the entertainment industry as well as being a humanitarian who is continually seeking creative avenues in which to help others," said David Weild, executive vice president of The Nasdaq Stock Market.


Film noir star Greer dies

The 1940s film noir star Jane Greer has died of complications from cancer, aged 76.

US-born Greer played cold, manipulative roles to great effect in films such as Out of the Past with Kirk Douglas and Robert Mitchum.

The actress starred in some 30 movies and more recently appeared in the TV drama Twin Peaks.

Greer was briefly married to singer Rudy Vallee and later married lawyer-producer Edward Lasker with whom she had three sons before divorcing in 1963.


Bardot halts Russian bullfight

The French former actress Brigitte Bardot and the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox church have won their fight to have a bullfight in Moscow cancelled.

Patriarch Alexis II also lent his weight to the campaign by denouncing bullfights as "archaic and cruel" in a letter published by the daily Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Moscow's mayor Yury Luzhkov ordered the event to be called off and city's authorities branded the corrida "an unacceptable demonstration of violence".

Animal rights campaigner Bardot wrote an open letter to Luzhkov last week branding bullfighting as "archaic and cruel".


Garcia guitar lawsuit not dismissed

An American court has refused to dismiss a lawsuit to determine the ownership of five guitars belonging to the late rock and roll star Jerry Garcia.

Grateful Dead Productions which represents the surviving band members had asked the Marin County Superior Court to dismiss Doug Irwin's claim for custody of the guitars.

Irwin, who built the guitars known as Wolf, Tiger, Rosebud, Headless and Wolf Jr, claims Garcia left them to him in his will.

But Grateful Dead Productions claims it had bought the instruments which were not Garcia's to give away.


London to host sci-fi film festival

Sci-fi London, a science fiction and science fantasy festival, will be held in London next year.

The Matrix, Robocop and 12 Monkeys are among the films to be screened at the Curzon cinema in Soho from February 1-3.

The New Hope Award for the best new writers, artists and film-makers will also be announced at the event.

The official website, www.sci-fi-london.com, says: "We also have a few premieres and a world premiere, but we can't talk about these yet."


'No Friends offer' for Ellis Bextor

Warner Brothers Television have reportedly denied rumours that pop star Sophie Ellis Bextor was asked to join its hugely successful TV show Friends.

Warner's publicist is reported by Reuters news agency as saying that, contrary to the media reports, there were no plans for former model Bextor, 22, to appear in the show.

The British singer, who is currently at number three in the charts with her remake of Cher's Take Me Home, had been approached by producers of the show, according to newspapers.

The press reports said she had been approached by producers to replace British actress Helen Baxendale in the role of Ross Geller's former wife Emily.

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