Happy birthday, Madame Chiang

Taipei, Taiwan � Soong Mayling, the wife of the late Gen. Chiang Kai-shek, made a rare appearance at a party in New York celebrating her 105th birthday, Taiwanese media reported Tuesday.

Madame Chiang and Chiang Kai-shek, who once ruled China, were one of the world's most famous couples during World War II. After their Nationalist Party lost a civil war with the Communists in 1949, the Chiangs moved their government to Taiwan.

Since her husband's death in 1975, she has spent most of her time in America and rarely makes public appearances.

Living tribute to Harrison

Mayapur, India � Hare Krishnas are planning a garden in eastern India in memory of former Beatle George Harrison, a longtime devotee of Hinduism who died Nov. 29.

In one of Harrison's most popular songs, "My Sweet Lord," he chants "Hare Krishna" as he pays tribute to Hinduism's most revered god.

Can't talk his way out of trouble

Mendenhall, Miss. � Former syndicated talk show host Gary Collins is free on bond after being arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, Simpson County authorities said.

Sheriff J.C. Dillon said Tuesday that Collins was arrested Sunday morning after a deputy stopped his vehicle north of Mendenhall. He refused a DUI test.

The actor, who was the host of "Hour Magazine" in the 1980s and appeared in 2000's beauty pageant comedy "Beautiful," is married to 1959's Miss America, Mary Ann Mobley of Brandon.

Thinking in pink

New York � Brandy didn't want to wait nine months to find out whether she would have a boy or a girl.

The 23-year-old singer-actress, who's five months pregnant with her first child, is going to have a girl.

"I always wanted to know what it was, so I can get the names together, and so when I do the baby shower, we know what to have," Brandy told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "I'm planning a nursery, so now that I know that it's a female, I can plan it around the female energy and things like that."

Holding a grudge

New York � John Tesh seems like a mild-mannered musician � until you ask him what he thinks about NBC Sports commentator Bob Costas.

"I think Bob Costas needs a spanking," the former newsman told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "I have nothing nasty to say about most people, but just the unbridled drubbing that he drummed up for me, it was just unnecessary. ... I'm not a big fan."

Tesh, 49, is still bitter about comments he said Costas made about his much-panned stint as a gymnastics commentator during the 1996 Summer Olympics on NBC. "On 'The Tonight Show,' he said, 'As an Olympic commentator, John Tesh is a great piano player,'" Tesh recalled.


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