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Bass still dreams of space

Houston -- While his plans to fly to the international space station were canceled last year, 'N Sync singer Lance Bass remains an avid supporter of space travel.

He'll return to Houston, where he trained a year ago at NASA's Johnson Space Center, to promote space, math and science to students as part of World Space Week, Oct. 4-10.

"I'm very excited about flying in space one day," Bass said Wednesday. "What excites me even more is the possibility that eventually nearly anyone will be able to travel in space just as easily as taking a plane from L.A. to Houston."

Bass, 24, would have been the youngest person ever in space. He had to cancel plans to fly to the space station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft last October because he failed to raise the estimated $20 million fare.

U.N. inspector to share Iraq story

New York -- Hans Blix, the United Nations inspector who clashed often with the Bush administration over allegations of Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction, has a book deal.

Pantheon hopes to publish Blix's book, currently untitled, in the spring of 2004.

"The core of the book will be the four months leading up to the invasion of Iraq," Pantheon editor Dan Frank said Thursday. "It will give readers a clear sense of what the U.N. does, and the ins and outs of diplomacy."

Blix, who retired last summer, spent three years searching for Iraqi chemical, biological and ballistic missiles as head of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission.

Public Cash memorial planned

Nashville, Tenn. -- A public memorial service for Johnny Cash is set for Nov. 12 at the Ryman Auditorium, where the country music legend was host of a prime-time network television show more than 30 years ago.

Details about who will take part in the service are expected to be announced in the next several weeks.

Setting a date for the memorial was delayed because the entire Cash family wanted to participate. The singer's son, John Carter Cash, is on a European tour until the beginning of November.

Cash, 71, died Sept. 12 of respiratory failure caused by complications from diabetes.

The public memorial will be free.

Madonna tops children's book list

New York -- Madonna has another No. 1 hit, this time on the book charts.

The singer's children's story, "The English Roses," was published simultaneously around the world Sept. 15 and will top The New York Times' children's list for the Oct. 5 edition.

According to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks sales in the United States, Madonna's book sold 57,369 copies in its first full week, ranking No. 5 overall. The top seller was Dr. Phil McGraw's "The Ultimate Weight Solution," with sales of 215,536.

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