David Beckham plansto open soccer academy
CARSON, Calif. -- Some American youngsters will have a chance to learn how to "Bend It Like Beckham." David Beckham, who stars for England and Real Madrid, will be a partner in a soccer academy set to open this fall at the Home Depot Center in Carson, a Los Angeles suburb. The 30-year-old midfielder joined Simon Fuller, creator of television's "American Idol," and Tim Leiweke, president and chief executive of Anschutz Entertainment Group, Thursday to unveil plans for The David Beckham Academy. The same group earlier announced an academy in London, part of an arena and entertainment district that AEG is building. "It's about kids coming down, getting off the streets, having fun. If we find great new talent, then that's good," Beckham, whose name is in the title of the 2002 movie "Bend It Like Beckham," told AP Television News. "But the most important thing, the kids [are] coming down, they're learning about football, they're learning about their body and injuries that you can get. And also, they're having fun," he said. The academy initially will focus on children 8 to 15 years old. The opening is set for November. Beckham, the world's most recognized soccer player, is married to Victoria Adams, the former Posh Spice. He's also a style icon, with London tabloids tracking his hairstyle from buzz cut to mohawk and noting when gel or blond dye is applied.
Rush guitarist sues Ritz-Carlton over arrest
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The lead guitarist for the band Rush, his son and daughter-in-law are suing the Ritz-Carlton, its security director and three sheriff's deputies stemming from a New Year's Eve 2003 altercation at the Naples hotel. Alex Zivojinovich, whose stage name is Alex Lifeson, his son Justin and daughter-in-law Michelle are seeking an unspecified amount of monetary damages for injuries, pain and suffering, mental anguish and the costs of their defense in criminal cases. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court. Hotel spokeswoman Suzanne Willis refused to comment Friday. Messages left for lawyers who represented family members in their criminal cases and at the Collier County Sheriff's office weren't immediately returned. Justin Zivojinovich and his friends agitated hotel security when they got up on a platform when the house band was taking a break at a party to ring in 2004. The lawsuit alleges that deputies who responded to a call by hotel security "applied illegal and unjustified force, and such force was excessive," causing Justin Zivojinovich "severe discomfort and pain." It also alleges that Michelle Zivojinovich was illegally arrested when she complained about the force used to subdue her husband. Deputies said Alex Zivojinovich pushed a female deputy down a stairwell and spit in another deputy's face when he tried to intervene. Zivojinovich, a founding member of Rush, suffered a broken nose and other injuries in the scuffle.
Pavarotti out of Mexico show due to laryngitis
ROME -- Luciano Pavarotti pulled out of a concert planned for Saturday in Monterrey, Mexico, after contracting laryngitis, his manager said. After coming down with laryngitis last week, Pavarotti "talked to his voice specialist and he was told to rest his voice for at least 10 days," manager Terri Robson said. He had been due to perform in a "Three Tenors" concert with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras. Robson said the Monterrey concert would go ahead despite Pavarotti's cancellation. The 69-year-old singer is in New York, where he'll have neck surgery later this month for a separate problem, Robson said. The planned procedure has forced Pavarotti to cancel a concert in Toledo, Spain, and reschedule several others that were part of his "Farewell Tour."
Jackie Chan battles against counterfeiting
HONG KONG -- Jackie Chan battled copyright pirates, smashing fake designer watches with a hammer and using a chain saw to destroy a street-side stand hawking counterfeit bags and clothes. The skit about Chan breaking up a counterfeit sales operation was organized by the International Trademark Association. "It may be funny to watch our skit. But there's nothing funny about counterfeits," Chan said Thursday. He said piracy is seriously damaging the film industry in Hong Kong. "Looking at the counterfeit problem, it really hurts," the 51-year-old action star said. "We used to make 300 movies a year here in Hong Kong. Now there are maybe 50 a year." Chan, whose Hollywood movies include the "Rush Hour" films, used a flurry of karate chops against four assailants wearing Jackie Chan masks. He also cut a tie in half with scissors and ripped apart a pair of counterfeit shoes with his hands.
Actor Leon Askin, who gained popularity with the character of Gen. Albert Burkhalter in the 1960s television comedy "Hogan's Heroes," died in a Vienna hospital, Austrian officials said Friday. The time and cause of death were not disclosed. He was 97.
Broadcast journalist Bill Moyers is 71. Rhythm-and-blues singer Floyd Butler (Friends of Distinction) is 64. Country singer Don Reid (The Statler Brothers) is 60. Rock musician Fred Stone (Sly and the Family Stone) is 59. Rock singer Laurie Anderson is 58. Country singer Gail Davies is 57. Author Ken Follett is 56. Rock musician Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden) is 53. Jazz musician Kenny G is 49. Rock singer Richard Butler (Psychedelic Furs) is 49. Actor Jeff Garlin is 43. Actress Karen Sillas is 40. Actor Ron Livingston is 38. Singer Brian McKnight is 36. Rock musician Claus Norreen (Aqua) is 35. Actor Mark Wahlberg is 34. Actor Chad Allen is 31. Rock musician P-nut (311) is 31. Actress Liza Weil is 28. Rock musician Seb Lefebvre (Simple Plan) is 24.