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Friday, 17 May, 2002, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
'N Sync star has heart op
'N Sync singer Lance Bass has had a minor heart operation to help him qualify to fly to the International Space Station.

The 23-year-old - who had an irregular heartbeat - still has to undergo a rigorous series of tests to qualify as physically fit to fly to the station this year.

The condition was "not even remotely life-threatening", a spokeswoman said. "It's something he had wanted to correct for a long time, but being that he's planning to go into space, it prompted him to move it up a bit."

Bass is now at the cosmonaut training centre in Star City, Russia, for medical tests following the operation, which was carried out in the US.

Cantonese record for Wong

Hong Kong singer Faye Wong has won a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the best-selling female singer of Cantonese pop music.

Wong had sold 9.7 million of her 20 albums by March 2000 and is one of the first women to dominate Hong Kong's recording industry.

The Beijing-born performer, whose native tongue is Mandarin, only learned Cantonese after settling in Hong Kong in the late 1980s.

Her 1999 album, Lovers and Strangers, has sold more than 800,000 copies and was number one in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.

She has at least 100 dedicated websites and thousands of fans around the world.

Jackson's cocaine hell

Samuel L Jackson has revealed he decided to kick his cocaine and tequila habit after his wife found him lying in a heap under the kitchen table.

Jackson, who plays Jedi Mace Windu in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, got his first role as a crack cocaine addict in Spike Lee's interracial romance Jungle Fever.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "I was tired. I was real tired. I'd tried everything else and I figured the one thing I hadn't tried was sobriety."

The 53-year-old said only his powerful desire to get better saved him from a relapse.

Peters, Hines host Tonys

Former Tony winners Bernadette Peters and Gregory Hines will host the 2002 awards honouring the best of Broadway.

The three-hour show will be broadcast on 2 June, with concerns continuing about declingin ratings.

Peters won a Tony in 1986 for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song and Dance and again in 1999 for the revival of Annie Get Your Gun.

She is expected back on Broadway next season in a production of Gypsy, directed by Britain's Sam Mendes.

Poet wins prestigious prize

German poet, social critic and children's author Hans Magnus Enzensberger has won the Prince of Asturias Prize for communications after being described as "an exemplary figure of modern humanism".

The jury, which included some of Spain's leading editors and publishers, on Wednesday praised "the depth and the extraordinary variety of an oeuvre that includes poetry, essays, philosophical and scientific thought, drama, reportage, political reflection and narrative".

Enzensberger, born in 1929 in Bavaria, is perhaps Germany's best-known poet, as well as a fierce critic of post-war German society.

The 50,000 euro prize will be presented to the laureate along with a Joan Miro sculpture in a ceremony later this year.

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