July 4, 2012 in Nation/World

Chan will advocate for trafficked kids

From Wire Reports

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Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan is going to Myanmar this week on a three-day mission to help combat child trafficking in the Southeast Asian nation.

UNICEF announced Tuesday that in his capacity as a goodwill ambassador, Chan will visit the agency’s projects for supporting trafficked children under special care for trauma and distress. He also will meet with officials in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city.

The U.S. State Department’s annual report on human trafficking says thousands of children in Myanmar are forced to serve in the national army and ethnic military groups. However, Myanmar signed an agreement with the United Nations last week to ban the recruitment of child soldiers and demobilize those already serving.

Baldwin gives $1 million to orchestra

Alec Baldwin has donated $1 million to the New York Philharmonic. The gift is in honor of outgoing President and Executive Director Zarin Mehta.

The “30 Rock” actor is a Philharmonic board member and hosts its radio show, “The New York Philharmonic This Week.” He said in a statement Monday that Mehta made his dream of becoming part of the world of classical music come true. The Philharmonic said the gift is a donation of proceeds Baldwin received from a Capital One advertising campaign.

Baldwin married yoga instructor Hilaria Thomas in Manhattan on Saturday.

A roundabout route to Broadway

After winning an Academy Award and a Grammy, Jennifer Hudson is taking a roundabout route to give theater a try.

She’ll appear on the second season of the television musical drama series “Smash” in a multi-episode arc as a Broadway star named Veronica Moore. Hudson will join fellow “American Idol” alum Katharine McPhee, who’s one of the show’s main characters.

Fans will have to wait a while to see her on the series, which doesn’t return to television until early next year.

In the meantime, Hudson, 30, is working on a clothing line. The Jennifer Hudson Collection for QVC will launch in September.

The birthday bunch

Pauline Phillips, the original “Dear Abby,” is 94. Actress Eva Marie Saint is 88. Actress Gina Lollobrigida is 85. Playwright Neil Simon is 85. Broadcast journalist Geraldo Rivera is 69. Ralph Johnson (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 61. Singer John Waite is 57. Kirk Pengilly (INXS) is 54. Country musician Teddy Carr is 52. Tennis Hall of Famer Pam Shriver is 50. Actress Becki Newton (“Ugly Betty”) is 34. TV personality Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is 30. Presidential daughter Malia Obama is 14.

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