Car racer Carroll Shelby dies at 89
Carroll Shelby (pictured centre), the car racer and designer who built the Shelby Cobra sports car and injected testosterone into Ford’s Mustang and Chrysler’s Viper, has died at 89.
Shelby’s company, Carroll Shelby International, said he died at a hospital in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday. Shelby was one of America’s longest-living heart transplant recipients, having received a heart on June 7 1990, from a 34-year-old man who died of an aneurism. Shelby also received a kidney transplant in 1996 from his son Michael.
Stevie Wonder ‘blackmail’ arrests
Two people have been charged with extortion after being arrested by detectives for allegedly trying to sell embarrassing information about singer Stevie Wonder.
Alpha Walker and his girlfriend Tamara have pleaded not guilty and will appear in court in Los Angeles on Wednesday for a hearing in which a judge will decide whether there is enough evidence for them to stand trial.
According to a felony complaint, Walker and Diaz attempted to obtain money from the Grammy-winning musician.
District attorney’s spokeswoman Jane Robison said Walker contacted Wonder’s representatives claiming to have embarrassing information about the musician. Police did not release additional details about their investigation.
Drug money movie shock for church
US government prosecutors have forced a Mexican drug trafficker to turn over his stake in a planned prequel to Mel Gibson’s 2004 blockbuster The Passion Of The Christ.
If the film is made, the government will receive a cut of the profits.
Some of the big names behind the Hollywood project include megachurch pastor Joel Osteen, who said he had no idea about the script’s unsavoury back-story.
If the film becomes a reality, it will probably be “the first time that a major motion picture was made in which 10 per cent of the profits went to the American taxpayers”, Richard Rosenthal, a lawyer for Aloe Entertainment, said.
It would be an incredibly unique story.”
Post office in laptop shipping ban
The US Postal Service is banning international shipments of electronics with lithium batteries such as smartphones, laptops and iPads, because of the risk of fire.
From Wednesday, consumers may no longer make the shipments, including to army and diplomatic post offices.
That means friends and family will have to use more expensive private companies to ship electronics to US troops based abroad.
The Postal Service cited discussion by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the Universal Postal Union. They issue semi-binding guidelines for global trade.
Veteran actor in theatre collapse
Veteran stage and screen actor John Woodvine (pictured) was in a stable condition in hospital today after collapsing while performing in a musical on Friday night.
During his long career Woodvine, 83, has performed alongside Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench as Banquo in Macbeth, and is well known for his role as Detective Inspector Witty in the 1960s TV police drama Z Cars.
During his latest performance as the Star Keeper in the musical Carousel, Woodvine collapsed in the wings at the Grand Theatre in Leeds. The actor, who had a long career with the Royal Shakespeare Company, is in a stable condition in hospital, according to show producers.