March 19, 2003 04:54 PM

CHARGED: Details about Elizabeth Smart‘s abduction surfaced yesterday after prosecutors in Salt Lake City filed a litany of charges against alleged kidnappers Brian Mitchell, 49, and Wanda Barzee, 57. Among the charges: aggravated kidnapping, sexual assault and burglary. Mitchell and Barzee could both face life in prison if convicted, the Associated Press reports. Bail for each was set at $10 million.

SUED: Liza Minnelli and husband David Gest are named in a civil suit by a New York construction company that claims the celebrity couple failed to pay for renovations the company made to the couple’s Manhattan apartment. G & I Construction Corp. says Minnelli and Gest owe the company more than $138,000 for work agreed upon in 2002, Reuters reports.

WON: American children’s book author Maurice Sendak is the recipient of the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Literature, reports AP. Sendak, 74, whose book “Where the Wild Things Are” is a children’s classic, will share the honor with Christine Noestlinger, an Austrian children’s author.

DIED: Best-selling writer Howard Fast, 88, passed away at his Connecticut home last week. The author of more than 80 books, Fast sold his first novel when he was 18. A number of his titles, including “Spartacus,” were turned into films.

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