Macy Gray Helps Out
Singer Macy Gray spent Saturday helping flood victims from New Orleans by handing out clothes and toiletries in the Houston Astrodome.
"I just really wanted to help out," Gray told the Associated Press. The R&B singer was assisting the 18,000-plus survivors who are housed in the Astrodome and its adjacent meeting hall. "I think the most important thing to them is their futures. They are here, and they have gotten out of that disaster but it is, like, now what? Because they can't live like that forever. . . . It is crazy when you don't know what is going to happen to you the next day and suddenly that is what their lives are like."
The Grishams' Flood Fund
Writer John Grisham and his wife are contributing $5 million to a relief fund they established this week to help Mississippians rebuild following Hurricane Katrina's devastation.
"We don't normally publicize gifts. It's something we keep extremely private but in these very, very rare circumstances -- this tragic time -- we hope the gift will get some attention and inspire other people to contribute money and help our fellow Mississippians on the Gulf Coast," the bestselling author said during a conference call with the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.
BancorpSouth will handle the money donated by the Grishams to the Rebuild the Coast Fund Organization. Grisham, a former state legislator, said he would hire a small staff to evaluate the hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of requests to assist Mississippi residents and businesses.
"I wonder how many of these homes are uninsured, how many are insured, how big a gap there is between insurance and loss?" he said. "Let's help plug those gaps."
The couple, who maintain a home in Oxford, Miss., hope to employ Gulf Coast residents who have lost their jobs and are familiar with the area. "When you make charitable contributions, you realize you can't save the world, so you find a small area you can go into and hopefully do some good and do it with your own money and your own sweat and you see the results," Grisham said. "You can't spread yourself too thin."
Cameraman Sues ABC News
Egyptian photographer Essam Mohamed Aly Deraz has sued ABC News for copyright infringement and deceptive trade practices, claiming that rare footage he shot of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan during the 1980s was used by the network without his permission. The suit filed Aug. 31 in U.S. District Court seeks $10 million in damages for Deraz and would bar ABC from further use of the still photos and video pictures of bin Laden fighting with the mujaheddin that Deraz took "at great risk to his personal safety," the lawsuit claims. "[Deraz] was the only cameraman with Osama bin Laden in the late 1980s, and his film and photographs were the only ones ever taken then that show Osama bin Laden in the battlefield."
Deraz says ABC paid him a total of $15,000 in 1998 to twice air the images on a "limited basis" but then continued airing the pictures without his permission. Deraz says ABC also provided copies of his work to CNN and the BBC without credit or compensation. A current resident of Cairo, the Egyptian cameraman said he was "given unprecedented access" to film and photograph bin Laden at the mujaheddin camp in Afghanistan's Hindu Kush mountains.
The lawsuit demands that the network destroy all copies in its possession. ABC News spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said the network hadn't seen the lawsuit yet, and declined to comment.
-- Compiled by Ashby Strassburger
from wire reports
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