November 2006 Archives

Bono meets with Peter Costello

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By Michael Harvey, Gerard, McManus and Mark Dunn

TOURING rock star and political activist Bono believes Australia will match other developed nations in lifting aid to poor nations.

The U2 frontman took his anti-poverty campaign direct to federal Treasurer Peter Costello yesterday -- securing the one-on-one meeting Prime Minister John Howard would not give.

While Bono wanted total aid spending lifted, Mr Costello stressed the importance of "aid effectiveness" -- making sure aid dollars were spent on those who needed them and not soaked up by corrupt local officials.

Both men emerged from the hour-long talks liking what they heard.

"He is a very genuine guy, he is a very charming man," Mr Costello said. "He is very sincere and it was just a very warm, positive discussion."

Bono said he enjoyed the meeting and that Australia would eventually reach the goal of committing 0.7 per cent of GDP to aid.

"This wave is breaking and it's going to happen. Australia will get to 0.7," Bono said.

"(Mr Costello) seemed to be personally very interested in the plight of the world's poor and determined to figure a way for his country to play a more committed role."

Mr Costello made no new pledge on the aid front but restated his commitment to lift aid to $4 billion a year.

U2 Win Battle Against Ex-Stylist

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U2 Win Battle Against Ex-Stylist

Rock group U2 have won a legal battle against their former stylist, forcing her to hand over a cowboy hat and clothes she took from them in 1987.

Singer Bono told Dublin's High Court last month that Lola Cashman acquired the items without permission during the band's Joshua Tree tour.

She insisted they were a gift to her from the star and appealed against a ruling that she must return them.

In a statement the band said they were "relieved" the legal battle is over.

"Proceedings were issued in Ireland very much as a last resort and with great reluctance," they said.

They added that they wished Ms Cashman "well in the future" and they would not be pursuing costs from her, despite being entitled to.

Rosary beads

The possessions were estimated to be valued at 5,000 euros (£3,400).

U2 had been fighting with Ms Cashman over the ownership of a Stetson hat, a pair of metal hooped earrings, a green sweatshirt and a pair of black trousers.

They were also trying to retrieve a number of other items which had been seen in her flat, including a video tape and monitor, rosary beads and hundreds of photographs.

Pope, Bono buy bonds for poor kids' vaccines

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Securities with triple-A credit rating are part of a 10-year plan to immunize children around the world.

LONDON (Reuters) -- Pope Benedict joined other religious leaders, rock stars and financial institutions Tuesday to buy into a $1 billion bond issue that will fund life-saving vaccines for children in poor countries.

Investors bid for almost twice the amount of securities on offer as British finance minister Gordon Brown launched the project to fight preventable diseases like polio and measles.

The offering, the first of its kind, was the start of a 10-year initiative known as the International Finance Facility for Immunization.

"We will ultimately raise an extra $4 billion to deliver life-saving vaccines to children in the poorest countries," Brown said at the launch, flanked by religious leaders and Queen Rania of Jordan.

"This will immunize 500 million children by 2015, saving 10 million lives, and help to eradicate polio from the world."

Brown handed the first bond to Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Vatican's Justice and Peace Council, who bought it in the Pope's name.

"It is the hope of Pope Benedict that the participation by the Church in this program will help to inspire others to take the step toward concrete action," he said.

Five more bonds were sold to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sachs, the Muslim Council of Britain, the Hindu Forum of Britain and the Network of Sikh Organizations.

Inside Bono's Dressing Room

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By Christine Sams, Sun-Herald

With Irish supergroup U2 about to begin their long-awaited Australian tour, Christine Sams meets their charismatic frontman.

Better than ever...Bono.

Stretched horizontal across a couch inside his dressing room, Bono paused for a moment to take off his sunglasses.

"I've never thought of myself as cool," he said, with a low, throaty chuckle. "Irish people are not cool -- they're hot."

The man who is the world's biggest rock star -- U2 frontman, global political activist and proud Irishman -- took time out of rehearsals in Brisbane last week to chat to S. Bono was so naturally talkative, so warm and effusive, he chatted for nearly 40 minutes. The singer even waved away his PR at one point, saying: "I'm enjoying myself."

So what's Bono like up close? A little more freckly than you might expect, his hair cropped close, his wrists wrapped in motivational wristbands (the familiar yellow logo of Lance Armstrong's Livestrong, plus the white wristband for Make Poverty History), not to mention his toes sticking out of a pair of thongs.

If truth be known, Bono didn't even make it to rehearsals with his U2 bandmates the Edge, Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton -- he seemed happier staying inside his dressing room talking.

"The band are rehearsing now, I'm getting out of it by talking to you, which is great because I really can't stand rehearsal," he said, laughing. "I really do find it very hard to sing those songs unless there's people [the stadium audience] there."

EU To Rule On Purchase of BMG

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BRUSSELS (AP) - EU regulators on Monday set a Dec. 8 deadline to rule on Universal Music Group's plans to buy BMG Music Publishing for $2.09 billion.

BMG - owned by German media company Bertelsmann AG - has the rights to more than a million songs by recording artists such as Nelly, Maroon 5 and Coldplay, as well as classic hits by the Beach Boys, Barry Manilow and other entertainers.

Vivendi SA's Universal is the world's largest music company.

Its purchase of BMG Music Publishing must be cleared by both EU and U.S. regulators. It is likely to face careful scrutiny in Europe after an EU court in July overturned the European Commission's go-ahead from a merger between the music units of Sony and Bertelsmann AG.

That deal - reducing the number of major record companies from five to four - must be re-examined and analysts warned it could raise the stakes for similar mergers. The Commission has already said it had to watch the music sector closely to check that antitrust rules are not being broken.

EMI suspended $4.6 billion takeover talks with U.S. rival Warner Music Group after the court ruling since it cast doubt on whether an EMI-Warner deal would receive regulatory approval.

The Court of First Instance - the EU's second-highest court - said regulators had not properly shown that there was a monopoly in the recording industry before the deal or that there would not be one afterward.

U218 Singles Will Be Released on November 21, 2006

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LOS ANGELES, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- U218 Singles is the first single disc collection to span the band's career from Boy (1980) to How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb (2004). Also included are two tracks recorded last month with producer Rick Rubin at Abbey Road Studios in London: The Saints Are Coming (with Green Day) and a new, previously unreleased track Window In The Skies.
U218 Singles will be released on CD and 12" vinyl and as a full length DVD featuring the single promo videos. The collection will also be available as a limited edition CD with a bonus DVD of 10 tracks recorded live in Milan, Italy on the Vertigo//05 tour.

The full tracklisting is as follows:
1. Beautiful Day
2. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
3. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
4. With Or Without You
5. Vertigo
6. New Year's Day
7. Mysterious Ways
8. Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of
9. Where The Streets Have No Name
10. Sweetest Thing
11. Sunday Bloody Sunday
12. One
13. Desire
14. Walk On
15. Elevation
16. Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
17. The Saints Are Coming
18. Window In The Skies

U2 will be back on tour in November and December, with shows in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Hawaii.
Source: Interscope Records

Mysterious ways: U2 in 3-D concert film

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By Gregg Goldstein

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - U2's Vertigo world tour may soon create a real sense of vertigo among moviegoers as the Irish rockers are planning to release their first 3-D concert film next year.

The untitled feature, being readied for a summer or fall release, will draw from more than 700 hours of footage shot during the trek's South American leg in February and March. In conjunction with its release, U2 might take part in the first live 3-D performance projected in theaters nationwide.

The film was directed by Mark Pellington ("Arlington Road"), who began his career by shooting U2's seminal "One" video, and Catherine Owens, a creative director on several U2 world tours.

A representative for the band called it "the first-ever 3-D multicamera live shoot." Editing is underway in New York. Discussions are under way with several major studio distributors.

3ality Digital Entertainment, the project's producer, put together of the largest assemblages of 3-D camera technology ever used for a single project.

It is expected that the film will screen nationwide using the Real D technology put in place by theaters that showing the current digital 3-D release of "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas."

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