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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 May, 2003, 18:46 GMT 19:46 UK
Bumfights producers plead guilty

Three men have pleaded guilty to paying homeless men to be filmed fighting each other for the controversial Bumfights video.

Ryan McPherson, 19, Daniel Tanner, 21, and Zachary Bubeck, 24, face up to a year in jail.

A fourth defendant, 21-year-old Michael Slyman, pleaded guilty to the same charge of conspiracy to promote illegal fighting in March and is expected to be sentenced next week.

More than 300,000 copies of the video - for which homeless people fought in exchange for money, food and alcohol - have been sold over the internet for $19.99 (12.50) each.

Bond voted top action hero

James Bond has emerged victorious in a battle with Superman, Batman and Spider-Man to be voted the best action hero of all time.

Bond, whose 20th movie was released in 2002, came top of the poll for a new BBC magazine, Action Hero.

Two stars of other blockbuster films, Superman and Spider-Man, were in second and third places respectively.

Robin Hood, Thunderbirds, Flash Gordon, Captain Scarlet, Zorro and the Incredible Hulk made up the rest of the top 10.

Madonna says 'strong women' have gone

Madonna has said there are too few inspirational female role-models in music.

"Women that I really looked up to when I was first starting out were Debbie Harry and Chrissie Hynde," she told BBC Radio 1 in an interview to be broadcast on Monday.

"I thought they were really strong. I loved their sense of irony which I think is missing from pop music right now."

She also told presenter Jo Whiley that Coldplay singer Chris Martin is "incredibly talented".

Actor Sizemore arrested

Actor Tom Sizemore, who has starred in films including Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down, has been has been arrested on suspicion of threatening former Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss.

Sizemore, 41, is accused of trying to stop Fleiss from testifying in his domestic violence case that arose from an alleged assault on his ex-girlfriend in November.

He turned himself in to police on Thursday after an arrest warrant was issued. He was released on $100,000 (62,400) bail the next day.

The former star of TV drama Robbery Homicide Division had been engaged to Fleiss but the couple had a "turbulent and unhealthy relationship", his publicist said.

Johnny Cash's wife critically ill

June Carter Cash, the singer and wife of Johnny Cash, is in critical condition in hospital after suffering complications from heart surgery.

Mrs Cash, 73, who featured on two Grammy-winning duets with her husband, had an operation to replace a valve on Wednesday.

Her husband is now asking fans to pray for the singer, songwriter, musician, actress and author who co-wrote Cash's 1963 hit Ring of Fire, about falling in love with him.

"June did this for him one time when he was critically ill. The recovery the next morning was something the doctors couldn't describe or imagine," manager Lou Robin said.

Eminem thwarts Weird Al parody

Eminem has refused to let comedy singer Weird Al Yankovic shoot a video for his new song, Couch Potato, a parody of the rapper's Lose Yourself.

Yankovic said: "It's very disappointing. This could have been my best video ever."

But a spokesman for Eminem said Lose Yourself was "an important personal piece of music for him, a piece of art".

Artists including Michael Jackson have allowed Yankovic to tackle their videos in their past.

Financial problems hit Florida orchestra

The Florida Philharmonic has suspended operations after failing to raise $500,000 (310,000) needed to pay their musicians.

The 80 musicians were told not to go to rehearsals on Saturday - but the orchestra has not yet filed for bankruptcy, spokesman Bill Underwood said.

A skeleton staff will work to get the organisation back up and running to reach the "dim light in the future", he said.

Poor ticket sales and a drop-off in donations have been blamed.


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