Kidnap charges dropped

London -- The trial of five men accused of plotting to kidnap former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham collapsed Monday after prosecutors questioned evidence from a key witness.

The men, four Romanians and one Kosovo Albanian, were accused of conspiring to kidnap the singer -- who's also known as Posh Spice and whose husband is Manchester United soccer star David Beckham -- on or before Nov. 2, 2002.

They were charged after a story about the alleged plot appeared in the News of the World tabloid newspaper.

The Crown Prosecution Service said Monday that it won't pursue the case at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court, central London, after deciding that evidence was unreliable from a 27-year-old Kosovar parking attendant who was paid by the newspaper.

Albright, Moore do breakfast

Los Angeles -- It was an odd pairing of breakfast speakers: Madeleine Albright, secretary of state under President Clinton, and Michael Moore, the author-filmmaker-agitator who once referred to Clinton as a "sad, pathetic man."

But the two featured guests Sunday at BookExpo America got along just great, thanks largely to one man they both oppose: President Bush.

"What a blast it is to be here with Michael Moore," said Albright, whose memoirs come out this fall. Both she and Moore received standing ovations and both got big laughs criticizing Bush.

Moore spoke first, noting the success of his book "Stupid White Men" and mocking Bush for backing a tax cut that primarily helps the wealthy -- namely Michael Moore.

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I don't know what I'm going to do with all this money," said Moore, who quickly offered an idea. "I'm going to spend my entire tax cut to help defeat you next year."

Chicks singer silenced

Cleveland -- The Dixie Chicks canceled a sold-out concert over the weekend because lead singer Natalie Maines had a sore throat.

Fans were not permitted to go to their seats at Gund Arena on Sunday and the show was canceled about 15 minutes before its 7:30 p.m start time. The concert was rescheduled for June 11.

Band member Emily Robison said it's the first show they ever had to cancel.

The Dixie Chicks' tour is selling out despite backlash from Maines' comment to a London audience on March 10 that "we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."

Never was a ladies' man

Honolulu -- More than four decades after he captured women's hearts on television's "Dr. Kildare," Richard Chamberlain has decided to reveal his identity as a gay man "because I'm not afraid anymore."

"I'm not a romantic leading man anymore, so I don't need to nurture that public image anymore," the 69-year-old Chamberlain said Sunday on "Dateline NBC."

The "Dateline" interview coincides with the publication of Chamberlain's new memoir, "Shattered Love," which will be released today by ReganBooks.


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