** Must Read Article: Chinese Babies Stolen By Officials For Foreign Adoption (click link to read in full)(from the Los Angeles Times)
Since the early 1990s, more than 80,000 Chinese children have been adopted abroad, the majority to the United States. The conventional wisdom is that the babies, mostly girls, were abandoned by their parents because of the traditional preference for boys and China's restrictions on family size. No doubt, that was the case for tens of thousands of the girls.
But some parents are beginning to come forward to tell harrowing stories of babies who were taken away by coercion, fraud or kidnapping -- sometimes by government officials who covered their tracks by pretending that the babies had been abandoned. Parents who say their children were taken complain that officials were motivated by the $3,000 per child that adoptive parents pay orphanages.
"Our children were exported abroad like they were factory products," said Yang Libing, a migrant worker from Hunan province whose daughter was seized in 2005. He has since learned that she is in the United States.
** According to TV blog insiders, numerous fans of CW's Supernatural (which stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) are upset and may boycott the upcoming 5th episode that will feature Paris Hilton. Upset that the show will include her instead of an actress who is actually know for her acting abilities is the general consensus of many of the complaints. While others (including non fans of the series) are planning to watch just to see her killed off (many hope in a gruesome way).
** Disney Faces Rights Issues Over Marvel. According to the New York Times, Walt Disney’s proposed $4 billion acquisition of Marvel Entertainment may come with a headache: newly filed claims challenging Marvel’s long-term rights to some of its superhero characters. Heirs to the comic book artist Jack Kirby, a creator of characters and stories behind Marvel mainstays like “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four,” last week sent 45 notices of copyright termination to Marvel and Disney, as well as Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, and other companies that have been using the characters.
The notices expressed an intent to regain copyrights to some of Mr. Kirby’s creations as early as 2014, according to a statement disclosed on Sunday by Toberoff & Associates, a law firm in Los Angeles that helped win a court ruling last year returning a share of the copyright in Superman to heirs of one of the character’s creators, Jerome Siegel.
** Singer and actress Jill Scott (HBO's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency) has just signed on to star in Lifetime's "Sin of the Mother". Based on the Carleen Rice novel "Orange Mint and Honey". The movie is described by Variety as focusing on a grad student who returns home to face her abusive, alcoholic mother only to discover that her mom is sober and has a 3-year-old daughter and new life. "Sins of the Mother" is due to premiere on the Lifetime Movie Network in 2010. Jill Scott is also appearing in Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married Too?" in 2010. (Black Talent News)
** London Mayor Wants Museum Visitors to Pay. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London said he had been impressed, during his visit to New York last week, with its semi-voluntary admission system. Although New York’s museums are officially free, each one has a range of entry fees and visitors are usually made to feel compelled to pay. Mr Johnson said he had no interest in coercing people, but felt that a similar system could work in London.
Free museums are considered one of the Britain’s biggest cultural attractions, particularly in London. Mr Johnson said that "cynical young people” had approached him and questioned the value of offering free museums. He said that if adults paid a voluntary fee, it would show youth the importance of the cultural institutions.
Mr. Johnson made his comments at the Victoria and Albert museum, in Kensington, West London, during a discussion with Kevin Spacey, the actor, and other cultural figures about the impact of the recession on the arts world. Mr. Spacey, artistic director of the Old Vic, warned that many arts institutions were suffering from reduced corporate donations and sponsorship deals during the economic downturn. He said: “I believe that, far from being a luxury in our lives, the arts and culture are a necessity. The creative industries lead the UK economy and are the envy of the world". (London Times)
** According to Us Weekly, Zooey Deschanel married Death Cab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard on Saturday in Seattle. Congratulations!