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Kennedy edges closer to ambassador post

A Senate panel has approved the nomination of Caroline Kennedy to serve as U.S. ambassador to Japan.

By voice vote on Monday, the Foreign Relations Committee endorsed President Barack Obama’s choice, the former first daughter who has promised to carry forward John F. Kennedy’s legacy with humility.

Caroline Kennedy helped propel Obama to the Democratic presidential nomination with her endorsement over Hillary Rodham Clinton, the only time she’s endorsed a presidential candidate other than her uncle Ted in 1980.

If confirmed, Kennedy would replace John Roos, a former Silicon Valley lawyer and top Obama campaign fundraiser.

At her confirmation hearing, Kennedy noted the significance of her nomination 50 years since her father’s presidency, focusing on his tenure rather than his assassination on Nov. 22, 1963.

Singer Currington pleads no contest

Country singer Billy Currington has pleaded no contest months after he was charged with threatening a 70-year-old tour boat captain who cruised past the dock of his waterfront home in coastal Georgia.

Currington pleaded no contest Friday to a charge of abuse of an elderly person and was sentenced to five years of probation and a $1,000 fine. He was ordered to undergo anger-management counseling and have no contact with the boat captain.

In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of making terroristic threats.

Tour boat captain Charles Harvey Ferrelle and two passengers told police an irate Currington on April 15 chased them in his own boat and threatened them.

Currington’s latest album, “We Are Tonight,” was released last week.

NBC cancels Clinton miniseries

NBC says it is pulling the plug on its planned miniseries about Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The network’s announcement on Monday came only a few hours after a filmmaker who was making a documentary about Clinton for CNN said he was abandoning the project because few people would cooperate with him.

NBC issued a statement that it would no longer continue developing the planned four-hour miniseries, with Diane Lane starring as the former secretary of state. The network gave no reason for the decision.

The miniseries was announced by NBC Entertainment officials this summer, and some NBC News employees actively opposed it.

The birthday bunch

Actress-singer Julie Andrews is 78. Actor Randy Quaid is 63. Actor Esai Morales is 51. Actor Zach Galifianakis is 44. Actress Brie Larson (“United States of Tara”) is 24.


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