Sat, 05 Mar 2005
From:

Michael Jackson's jewelry causes stir in Austria

VIENNA, Austria: Austrians recognized Michael Jackson's star -- the one he wore on his chest that is.

The pop singer has been photographed before recent court appearances in California wearing what experts here say is the "Order of Vienna," a medal awarded to artists, businessmen or others of merit, Austria Press Agency reported. The gold star with an eagle in the center has been bestowed to about 50 people a year for their contributions to society.

The only problem is that Jackson, 46, who is accused of molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor at his Neverland ranch in 2003, has not been among the prize's recipients. The singer's staff bought the medal at an antique shop in downtown Vienna, APA reported.

It is illegal in Austria to wear such medals if one has not earned them, and Jackson theoretically could face a US$919 fine in Austria.

City officials say they don't plan to press charges. --AP

;REUTERS; ANPAO..u.. ODD-BRITAIN-BLAIR Could Tony Blair have been a rock star? JP/20/GUESS

Could Tony Blair have been a rock star?

LONDON: Running the United Kingdom is all well and good, but Tony Blair still wonders if he could have made it as a rock star.

If only he'd had the attitude...

"I've always wondered, could I have actually ever done it," the one-time lead singer of a rock band called the Ugly Rumours, more recently prime minister of Britain, told his former bass player in an interview published on Thursday.

"I was quite serious about it. It wasn't just a mere dalliance -- it was a bit more than that for me," Blair told ex-bass player Mark Ellen. Excerpts of the interview for Word magazine were printed in The Times newspaper.

"With politics, it all clicked into place for me somehow. Whereas with music you had to have a particular set of attitudes that I didn't quite have, and it never happened for me even though I was desperately keen to carry on."

Blair, 51, said he still gets a thrill meeting rock icons of his youth like Paul McCartney or David Bowie.

"They say: 'it must be so interesting, what you do,' and I say: 'it's not as interesting as what you do.'" --Reuters

GetRTR 3.00 -- MAR 3, 2005 22:23:52





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