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NEWS BRIEFS: Hill Hits Catholic Clergy

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OUTRAGED: Hip-hop singer Lauryn Hill, 28, shocked Catholic officials by reportedly telling them at a Vatican concert Saturday to “repent” and alluding to sexual abuse of children by U.S. priests. “God has been a witness to the corruption of his leadership, of the exploitation and abuses … by the clergy,” she said, according to a transcript of her statement run by the Rome newspaper La Repubblica. The broadside was delivered on a stage frequently used by the Pope. There was no immediate response Sunday to Reuters’ calls seeking comment from Hill’s label, Columbia Records. Concert organizers said afterward that Hill’s outburst and performance would most likely be cut from the show when it is aired on Christmas Eve.

RENEWED: Mohamed al Fayed has launched his latest bid to win a public inquiry into the 1997 deaths of his son Dodi and Diana, Princess of Wales — taking his case to a court in Scotland, reports Reuters. The Egyptian-born owner of Harrods has already failed in his attempt to persuade courts in England and France to heed his request and was turned down earlier this year by Scotland’s Lord Advocate. “I am taking my case to the court of appeal because I believe in Scottish justice,” Fayed told BBC radio Monday.

QUOTED: “The year’s been incredibly painful, but also hugely strengthening and rewarding and yet heartbreaking. Anyone who ever goes through that situation could say the same — you feel that you find a new strength in yourself, but you also feel you’ve lost your right hand.” — “Cold Mountain” star Jude Law, 31, describing his divorce from wife Sadie Frost, to USA Today

WED: Opera star Luciano Pavarotti, 68, married his longtime partner and producer Nicoletta Mantovani, 34, in Modena, Italy, on Saturday in a celebrity-studded wedding and a song-filled, Champagne and caviar reception that featured clowns and a carousel, reports the Associated Press. The couple’s year-old daughter, Alice, was the official hostess of the wedding and, like her mother, wore a rose Armani dress and little pink ballet slippers, Pavarotti’s publicist Terri Robson said.

DIED: 1940s’ movie star Jeanne Crain, 78, who was nominated for an Oscar for playing a black girl who passes for white in the controversial 1949 film “Pinky,” died of a heart attack at her Santa Barbara home, her son tells the Associated Press. In all, she starred in 64 films (including the musical “State Fair,” in which she sang “It Might As Well Be Spring”), and many TV shows during her long career, playing opposite such stars as Frank Sinatra, Kirk Douglas and William Holden.

BURIED: “Free Willy” star Keiko, 27, was laid to rest secretly Monday near the Norwegian fjord that was the home of the world-famous killer whale in the last year of his life, officials tell Reuters. The world’s biggest movie star died of pneumonia Friday in Taknes Bay in western Norway. He received a modest funeral attended by three caretakers and four locals who helped bury the 6-ton animal in a 30-ft.-long, 15-ft.-deep grave. “It was a nice and quiet funeral,” said Keiko handler Frank Haavik.

AWARDED: The American Film Institute named the year’s 10 best films and TV shows on Sunday. On the big screen, the winners were (in alphabetical order): “American Splendor,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Human Stain,” “In America,” “The Last Samurai,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” “Lost in Translation,” “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” “Monster” and “Mystic River.” On the small: “Alias,” “Angels in America,” “Arrested Development,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Joan of Arcadia,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Playmakers,” “Soldier’s Girl,” “24,” and “The Wire.”