History in Flames

D.C. was beset today by fires at two historic sites, one at popular shopping destination Eastern Market (a sort of farmer’s market that also features crafts), and the Georgetown Branch of the D.C. Public Library. No one was apparently injured (the fires appear to have occurred overnight), but here’s hoping that at the library, none of the rare collection in the Peabody Room was damaged, including the portrait of Yarrow Marmout, an African Muslim slave before the American Revolution.  Marmout became a shareholder in America’s second chartered bank- the Columbia Bank.

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I Must Listen Now

Air America comedienne Stephanie Miller sits in the “Imus seat” on MSNBC this week. “Mama”, as she likes to refer to herself, is the daughter of 1964 GOP veep candidate Bill Miller. Her “voice guru”, Jim Ward, is funnier and more versatile than Bernard McGurk anyway, any day.

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Man on Film

PC’s Greatest Voices of American Cinema:

James Earl Jones

Gregory Peck

E.G. Marshall

Ben Gazzara

Humphrey Bogart

David Janssen

John Forsyth

Billy Dee Williams

Spencer Tracy

John Wayne

Alec Baldwin

Rod Steiger

Jason Robards

James Coburn

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It’s a Rai Heat

PATNA: Bollywood megastar Aishwarya Rai has been summoned to explain an “obscene” kissing scene, Indian officials said on Saturday, just days after a similar row engulfed Hollywood’s Richard Gere.Rai, who married into the Indian film industry’s most famous family last week, was ordered to appear before a district court over a scene in which she is kissed lightly on the cheek.

Her “Dhoom-II” co-star Hrithik Roshan and the owners of a cinema which screened the action film have also been summoned to Muzaffarpur court in the eastern state of Bihar on May 30.

“The court also sent notices to the Bihar government for allowing screening of the film despite its ‘obscene’ content,” a court official said. He said the judge handed out the orders after a lawyer argued the film “offended public sensibility.”

The 33-year-old Rai has not responded to the court order, government officials said in the state capital Patna. The summons came after a district court in another state issued arrest warrants for Gere and Indian actress Shilpa Shetty

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