Showcase of tempers

Lubbock, Tex. � Basketball coach Bob Knight, known for his explosive temper, is scheduled to appear alongside Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler in the upcoming movie "Anger Management."

The film, scheduled for June 2003 release, is about a mild-mannered businessman, played by Sandler, who is accidentally sent to an anger management help group. The group is instructed by Nicholson's overly aggressive character.

Other sports personalities known for their tempers are scheduled to make cameos in the film, including John McEnroe.

A watershed event

New York � Harrison Ford will take to the skies to show the effects of pollution and sprawl on the Hudson River and the watershed that supplies drinking water to New York City.

Ford will pilot his helicopter today while friend and photographer Timothy White photographs pollution sites, the environmental group Riverkeeper said.

The group said in a release that the aerial surveillance would help it catch polluters.

The star of the "Indiana Jones" and original "Star Wars" movies has been a longtime Riverkeeper supporter, the release said.

Fighting a scourge

Beijing � A charity created by Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates will donate $37.5 million to combat hepatitis B in China, where two-thirds of the disease's victims live.

The Vaccine Fund's gift will be used to help immunize 35 million infants during the next five years against the potentially lethal blood-borne ailment, fund Executive Vice President James Jones told The Associated Press Friday.

The Chinese government will spend another $37.5 million on the project, which will buy vaccines to immunize newborn children in poor rural areas.

The money also will buy 500 million self-disabling syringes � specially designed to be used only one time. Reuse of dirty needles and syringes has been a leading cause of hepatitis B infection in China.

Jones said Chinese officials estimate the disease has infected more than 700 million Chinese. Every year, as many as 400,000 people in China die from liver cancer and other liver ailments caused by the disease.

Stop and smell the lavender

Los Angeles � For 30 years, Hollywood columnist Rona Barrett dished up scoops about celebrities. Now, the sweet smell of success has a lavender scent.

Barrett is rolling out a spa line of lavender body care products in limited release. The creams and facials have become strong sellers, providing a second act to a storied career that redefined entertainment journalism.

Before her retirement in 1990, Barrett was well known for her Tinseltown coverage. But despite breaking exclusives like Elvis Presley's surprise wedding, she grew tired of the grind and retired to her ranch.

"I decided to smell the roses, but they turned out to be lavender," she said.


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