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Depp comments 'out of context'

Los Angeles -- Johnny Depp said he intended no "anti-American sentiment" in comparing the nation to a dumb puppy, and blamed news reports for misrepresenting his opinions.

Depp, star of the summer hit movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," was quoted as saying that "America is dumb, is something like a dumb puppy that has big teeth -- that can bite and hurt you, aggressive." Stern, the German magazine that interviewed the actor, stood by its story.

In a statement Thursday, the 40-year-old actor complained that "the inaccurate and out of context misquote" was "virulently spreading in the news."

"Taken in context, what I was saying was that, compared to Europe, America is a very young country and we are still growing as a nation. It is a shame that the metaphor I used was taken so radically out of context and slung about irresponsibly by the news media," Depp said.

Manson case goes to jury

St. Paul, Minn. -- Jurors began deliberating Thursday in the civil trial of shock rocker Marilyn Manson, who is accused of committing battery during a concert.

A security guard is suing Manson for an incident at Minneapolis' Historic Orpheum Theater in October 2000, when Manson crouched at the end of the stage, pulled the guard's head back toward his crotch and gyrated.

Deliberations were expected to resume Friday.

Ford values U.S.-French tension

Paris -- Harrison Ford said recent tensions between the United States and France could have a positive effect, and felt no concern about appearing at the 2003 Deauville film festival, where he's the star guest.

"I think the Americans can profit from recognizing other points of view in the world," Ford told a news conference ahead of Friday's opening of the 10-day festival in the Normandy resort town.

"It's good to have a certain amount of tension so that one can test (his) ideas against other people's ideas," the 61-year-old actor said.

Roman Polanski is presiding over the jury at the festival honoring American films.

Alternative music acclaimed

New York -- Floetry, Cody Chestnutt and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are among the acts vying for this year's Shortlist Music Prize, which honors the best nonmainstream artists in music.

Other finalists include Icelandic band Sigur Ros, Bright Eyes, Black Keys, Interpol, Damien Rice, Cat Power and British rapper The Streets.

Nominees were announced this week. Winners will be selected by a committee that includes Dave Matthews, Mos Def, Erykah Badu, Tori Amos, Perry Farrell, the Neptunes and director Spike Jonze.

The winner is selected after a Shortlist concert. This year's concert Oct. 5 will be aired as part of an hourlong special on MTV2 later that month.

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