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NEWS BRIEFS: Jacko Passes Back Passport

01/06/2004 01:00PM

RETURNED: Michael Jackson, 45, has again surrendered the passport they briefly returned to him so he could travel on business in December, although there was no indication he ever used it, reports the Associated Press. Santa Barbara County District Attorney Thomas Sneddon took Jackson's passport after the singer was booked on child molestation charges Nov. 20, but had returned it so Jackson could travel to Britain to meet what the singer said were contractual obligations. But two days after the Dec. 20 trip was to begin, the prosecutor demanded that Jackson prove he was traveling or return the document. Now he has.

TAPPED: Beyoncé Knowles, 22, is slated to sing the national anthem prior to Super Bowl XXXVIII at Reliant Stadium in her native Houston on Feb. 1, reports Billboard. Last year, the honor went to the Dixie Chicks. Janet Jackson, 37, will perform as part of the MTV-produced halftime show. Additional artists have yet to be announced.


QUOTED: "I don't think I am going to get pregnant. I am trying not to. But we might get a dog." -- Jessica Simpson, 23, to PEOPLE, on her and hubby Nick Lachey's plans


HONORED: A tearful Celine Dion, 35, received the first Hollywood Walk of Fame star of 2004 on Tuesday, at a ceremony witnessed by hundreds of fans in front of the Kodak Theatre, reports Reuters. Hers is the 2,244th star on the sidewalk, and she dedicated it to her father, who died a month ago, calling him her "No. 1 fan." "I know I was his favorite singer," she said. "He was very proud of me. I think he still is. And he represents all my fans."

DIED: Fashion and celebrity photographer Francesco Scavullo, 82, who shot covers for Cosmopolitan magazine for more than 30 years, died Tuesday morning of heart failure, his companion and manager, Sean Byrnes, said. Scavullo was preparing for an assignment when he complained of feeling weak, and then collapsed, Byrnes said. One of the most famous shots by Scavullo was his 1975 portrait of a young Brooke Shields.

CAST: As PEOPLE's Daily Insider reported this week, sitcom veteran Michael J. Fox, 42, is set to appear in two episodes of NBC's "Scrubs" next month as a doctor who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, reports AP. Fox, whose TV appearances have been limited because of his Parkinson's disease, is reuniting with Bill Lawrence, executive producer of "Scrubs" and creator of Fox's last series, "Spin City."

DISCUSSED: NBC News is talking with California first lady Maria Shriver, 48, about an extended leave from her "Dateline NBC" job, reports AP. NBC News President Neal Shapiro's spokeswoman, Allison Gollust, denied a New York Daily News report that NBC had asked Shriver to resign because of concerns about how she could maintain a reporter's objectivity while involved in the administration of her husband, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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