The Greatest meets His Holiness

Bloomington, Ind. -- Muhammad Ali will meet the Dalai Lama when the exiled Tibetan leader visits Bloomington in September.

"It will be the first time the two have met," said the Dalai Lama's nephew, Jigme Norbu of Bloomington. "We're honored that he is taking the time and making the effort to be with us."

The Dalai Lama is scheduled to visit Bloomington Sept. 7 to dedicate a new, 10,000-square-foot interfaith temple, the Chamtse Ling. It will be his fourth visit to Indiana University's hometown, about 50 miles south of Indianapolis.

Ali plans to attend the ceremony to show support for the temple's mission of promoting world peace, and for the people of Tibet, The Herald-Times reported.

Cher gets crafty

Troy, Ohio -- Ever wonder what pop divas do before they perform?

In Cher's case, she designs pottery at local arts and crafts shops.

The cultural icon visited WaterStone Fired Arts and Crafts Sunday night before a Monday performance at the Nutter Center at Wright State University in Fairborn.

She also visited Michaels Arts and Crafts at a Beavercreek mall where she was spotted by fans and signed autographs.

"I turned around and there she was," said shopper Arundi Venkayya Cox. "She was wearing big 70s-type sunglasses. I thought 'Oh my gosh, I can't believe how thin she is."'

While the group allowed no photographs, Cher gave the store owners and employees tickets to the concert.

Serena takes tennis to 'Street'

Los Angeles -- Serena Williams will play a reformed gang member on parole in an Oct. 1 episode of the Showtime series "Street Time."

"As a fan of 'Street Time,' I told myself that if given the opportunity, I'd love to be on the show," Williams said Wednesday. "I am taking this role very seriously, because I want to excel and because I have respect for the series."

The role was created for the world's top-ranked women's tennis player, said Richard Stratton, the cable show's co-executive producer.

McCartney joins chicken crusade

Louisville, Ky. -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has enlisted the help of Paul McCartney in its campaign against KFC.

An open letter from McCartney to David Novak, chairman and CEO of KFC's Louisville-based parent company, Yum! Brands Inc., appeared in a full-page advertisement in Thursday's editions of The Courier-Journal.

The 61-year-old McCartney, who's a vegetarian for ethical reasons, insists in the ad that Novak should improve the treatment of 750 million chickens raised annually in "factory farms" and killed in "frightening ways" for KFC restaurants, according to PETA.


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