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Last Update on August 20, 2014 07:10 GMT


FERGUSON, Missouri (AP) -- Some celebrities with ties to the St. Louis area are speaking out about the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri -- and the police shooting of an 18-year-old that sparked the protests. Rap star Nelly has been among the most vocal, appearing at a rally this past weekend and again on Monday night. He grew up in St. Louis -- not far from Ferguson. He has called for calm in the area. Actor Jon Hamm of "Mad Men" fame describes the area near Ferguson as his neighborhood. He says he hopes that once all the facts are in, that justice will be done.

Sound: 03:32 aed


NEW YORK (AP) -- David Letterman considered himself a friend of Robin Williams, as well as a comedy colleague. And he says even as someone who has known Williams for decades, he didn't see his death coming, especially as it did by his own hand. Letterman says he had no idea Williams was in so much emotional pain -- even as he was being one of the funniest people on the planet. Letterman paid tribute to Williams on his show Monday night -- a week after the world learned of his suicide. Letterman talked about how a group of comedians working the Comedy Store in Los Angeles thought they might have to find another line of work after hearing Williams perform as a newcomer.

Sound: 03:32 aed


NEW YORK (AP) -- Just as Don Pardo's voice made "Saturday Night Live" special, everyone knows it just won't be the same without him, now that he has died. Who will be the replacement? The man who runs SNL doesn't know -- and says he's glad he has about a month to figure out what to do. Lorne Michaels says when SNL first went on the air, he was given a list of staff announcers -- and when he saw Pardo's name, he knew he had to have him aboard. Michaels describes Pardo as the show's "link to the beginnings of television on NBC." Pardo died Monday at age 96.

Sound: 3:32 aed


MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Dwayne Johnson says he will be taking on a role in an upcoming movie based on DC Comics. Only trouble is he hasn't decided whether to play Shazam or his arch-nemesis Black Adam. While he hasn't come down on one side or the other, he seems to be hinting toward the darker role. He says he has always been a fan of anti-heroes -- and that one of his favorite DC Comics characters is Black Adam. Either way, Johnson says movie fans won't be shortchanged. He promises to put his heart, soul and bones into the role.

Sound: 3:32 aed


BEIJING (AP) -- Jackie Chan's son has become the latest celebrity caught up in China's crackdown on drugs. Jaycee Chan, an actor himself, was detained late last week along with a Taiwanese movie star. Police say both actors tested positive for pot -- and admitted smoking weed. Authorities also say 100 grams of pot were taken from Chan's home. A statement from Chan's management team apologizes to the public for the "social impact" caused by the drug bust. China's president declared back in June that illegal drugs should be wiped out and that offenders would be severely punished.


NEW YORK (AP) -- Bob Marley is the latest musician whose work will be the subject of a musical. A Baltimore theater says it will roll out the world premiere of "Marley" around the middle of next year. The show focuses on the years between 1975 and 1978, when Marley survived an attempted assassination in his native Jamaica and went into exile in London. It will feature sings like "Jamming," "Three Little Birds" and "Roots, Rock, Reggae."

Rewind Time

August 20, 2014 07:10 GMT

Today is Wednesday, August 20, the 232nd day of 2014. There are 133 days left in the year.

Today's Highlights in History:

On August 20, 1914, German forces occupied Brussels, Belgium, during World War I.

On this date:

In 1833, Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president of the United States, was born in North Bend, Ohio.

In 1866, President Andrew Johnson formally declared the Civil War over, months after fighting had stopped.

In 1882, Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" had its premiere in Moscow.

In 1910, a series of forest fires swept through parts of Idaho, Montana and Washington, killing at least 85 people and burning some 3 million acres.

In 1940, during World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill paid tribute to the Royal Air Force before the House of Commons, saying, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

In 1953, the Soviet Union publicly acknowledged it had tested a hydrogen bomb.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act, a nearly $1 billion anti-poverty measure.

In 1968, the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations began invading Czechoslovakia to crush the "Prague Spring" liberalization drive.

In 1972, the Wattstax concert took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

In 1977, the U.S. launched Voyager 2, an unmanned spacecraft carrying a 12-inch copper phonograph record containing greetings in dozens of languages, samples of music and sounds of nature.

In 1989, entertainment executive Jose Menendez and his wife, Kitty, were shot to death in their Beverly Hills mansion by their sons, Lyle and Erik. Fifty-one people died when a pleasure boat sank in the River Thames (tehmz) in London after colliding with a dredger. British conservationist George Adamson, 83, was shot and killed by bandits in Kenya. The situation comedy "Saved by the Bell" premiered on NBC-TV.

In 1994, Benjamin Chavis Jr. was fired as head of the NAACP after a turbulent 16-month tenure.

Ten years ago: Democrats labored to deflect attacks on presidential nominee John Kerry's war record with fresh television ads touting his fitness for national command. In Athens, Michael Phelps matched Mark Spitz's record of four individual gold medals in the Olympic pool with a stirring comeback in the 100-meter butterfly, then removed himself from further competition.

Five years ago: The only man convicted in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 returned home to Libya after his release on compassionate grounds from a Scottish prison. (Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, said to have only months to live because of prostate cancer, died nearly three years later, claiming his innocence.) Afghans voted for a president for the second time ever, but Taliban threats dampened turnout in the militant south. Ryan Alexander Jenkins, a contestant on the VH1 reality show "Megan Wants a Millionaire," was charged with murdering his wife, Jasmine Fiore, whose body was found in Buena Park, California (Jenkins was found dead three days later, an apparent suicide). One-time Super Bowl star Plaxico Burress (PLEK'-sih-koh BUR'-ihs) accepted a plea bargain with a two-year prison sentence for accidentally shooting himself in the thigh at a Manhattan nightclub.

One year ago: A Pakistani court indicted former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf on murder charges stemming from the assassination of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Qatar-based Al-Jazeera Media Network launched its U.S. cable news outlet, Al-Jazeera America. Crime novelist Elmore Leonard, 87, died in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. Jazz pianist Marian McPartland, 95, died in Port Washington, New York, of natural causes.

Today's Birthdays: Writer-producer-director Walter Bernstein is 95. Boxing promoter Don King is 83. Former Sen. George Mitchell, D-Maine, is 81. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is 79. Former MLB All-Star Graig Nettles is 70. Broadcast journalist Connie Chung is 68. Musician Jimmy Pankow (Chicago) is 67. Actor John Noble is 66. Rock singer Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) is 66. Country singer Rudy Gatlin is 62. Singer-songwriter John Hiatt is 62. Actor-director Peter Horton is 61. TV weatherman Al Roker is 60. Actor Jay Acovone is 59. Actress Joan Allen is 58. Movie director David O. Russell (Film: "American Hustle") is 56. TV personality Asha Blake is 53. Actor James Marsters is 52. Rapper KRS-One is 49. Actor Colin Cunningham is 48. Actor Billy Gardell is 45. Rock singer Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) is 44. Rock musician Brad Avery is 43. Actor Jonathan Ke Quan is 43. Actor Misha Collins is 40. Rock singer Monique Powell (Save Ferris) is 39. Actor Ben Barnes is 33. Actress Meghan Ory is 32. Actor Andrew Garfield is 31. Actor Brant Daugherty (TV: "Pretty Little Liars") is 29. Actress-singer Demi Lovato is 22.

Thought for Today: "To the eye of failure success is an accident." -- Ambrose Bierce, American author-journalist (1842-1914?).

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