‘Spiderman’ scales another skyscraper
The French skyscraper climber known to some as Spiderman has struck again: This time on France’s new tallest building.
Alain Robert scaled the recently heightened First Tower in La Defense business district west of Paris on Thursday. Hundreds of onlookers peered out of its windows or craned their necks as he went up.
Robert has ascended more than 100 skyscrapers and monuments over his 15-year career of daredevil climbs using no support equipment.
Often his climbs are illegal, but not this time: Thursday’s feat up the 758-foot building got its owner’s go-ahead.
Robert said he doesn’t battle fear on the way up because “I really don’t have time to be afraid; I really have other things to do.”
Court win for ex-Village People singer
The original lead singer of the Village People has fought off an effort to keep him from regaining rights to “Y.M.C.A.” and other group hits.
A federal judge in Los Angeles on Monday rejected a lawsuit by two music publishers that argued Victor Willis had no right to regain at least partial ownership of 33 songs he co-wrote under contract. It’s the first test of a decades-old copyright provision and could mean millions in additional royalties for Willis.
The former San Diego resident told U-T San Diego that the ruling benefits all songwriters.
But Stewart Levy, an attorney for Scorpio Music and Can’t Stop Productions, told the New York Times that it doesn’t lay out how much Willis will get and that the case is far from over.
Dutch writer to receive German award
Dutch writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali is to receive a special award from German publishing house Axel Springer in recognition of her “courage and commitment to freedom as a women’s rights campaigner and critic of Islam.”
The publisher of Germany’s biggest selling daily Bild said Hirsi Ali will be awarded the $32,375 prize Thursday in Berlin.
Somali-born Hirsi Ali is a former Dutch lawmaker and best-selling author of the autobiography “Infidel: My Life.”
In the book, she gives a graphic account of how she rejected her faith and the violence she says was inflicted on her in the name of Islam.
Following death threats from Muslims offended by her work, in 2006 she moved to Washington, D.C., where she lives under protection.
The birthday bunch
Comedian Mort Sahl is 85. Rock singer Eric Burdon (The Animals; War) is 71. Actress Shohreh Aghdashloo is 60. Actress Martha Quinn is 53. Actor Jeffrey Donovan is 44. Country musician Keith West (Heartland) is 44. Actor Coby Bell is 37. Cellist Perttu Kivilaakso is 34. Actor Cory Monteith (“Glee”) is 30.