Mon, Jul 27, 2009 - Page 13 News List

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outh Korean pop star Rain faced off last week against Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung in what was billed as a “dream match” in Seoul.

Running side by side, Rain, also known as Jung Ji-hoon, joined Park and Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon in kicking off a charity match during Manchester United’s visit to South Korea, designed to capitalize on the club’s popularity in South Korea.

Each demonstrated his dribbling and passing skills. “I think the world star is better,” Park joked when asked to compare the mayor and the singer.

Team MU Rain — comprised of young aspiring South Korean soccer players — then battled Team Manchester United — teenagers selected from a worldwide YouTube competition.

Manchester United forward Dimitar Berbatov and defender Gary Neville led Team MU, while defender John O’Shea and defender Jonny Evans joined the mayor and Rain in leading Team MU Rain. Team MU Rain won the match 6-4.

Manchester United plays FC Seoul on Friday, the third match of its Asian tour.

Over in the US, the mother of octuplets born in Los Angeles last January has signed a US$250,000 agreement for her children to star in a reality television show, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

The newspaper said European production company Eyeworks has inked the deal with Nadya Suleman, the mother of the children. Eyeworks lists Breaking Bonaduce and The Biggest Loser among its television credits.

Filming is scheduled to start on Sept. 1, the report said. The toddlers will collectively earn US$125,for 36 days of shooting in the first year of production, US$75,000 for 21 days in the second year and US$50,000 for 14 days in the third year, the paper said.

The contract also states that 15 percent of the gross compensation will be deposited by Eyeworks into a trust account, and the money will not be touched until the children turn 18.

Bono and U2 rocked more than 80,000 fans in Dublin as the Irish supergroup’s latest world tour hit new emotional highs Friday night on home soil.

A deafening roar welcomed the Dubliners as they launched their three-concert homestand at Croke Park, Ireland’s biggest stadium and a cathedral to Irish nationalism. The band’s “360” tour — featuring its underselling 12th studio album, No Line on the Horizon — switches from Europe to North America in September.

“We are so young — as a nation!” shouted the 49-year-old lead singer Bono.

Before taking the stage, Bono joked that the band’s performances in Barcelona, Milan, Paris, Nice, Berlin and Amsterdam were just “rehearsals” for the Dublin concerts.

The U2 gigs are delivering an estimated US$70 million boost to Ireland’s recession-ravaged economy, with most Dublin hotels booked solid for weeks. Even the Dublin Criminal Court shut down jury deliberations for the weekend because too many jurors had U2 tickets.

Also on Friday, singer Amy Winehouse was found not guilty of assaulting a dancer at a charity ball in London last year.

The ruling came at the end of a two-day trial at the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court, according to the Press Association. Winehouse, 25, had been accused on punching dancer Sherene Flash in the face. The singer denied the charge, saying she had been intimidated when Flash put her arm around her and so pushed her away.

“Five foot seven [1.7m] in burlesque heels places you at quite an advantage over five foot two [1.57m] in ballet pumps,” Winehouse’s lawyer Patrick Gibbs told Flash in court on Friday, explaining why the singer had felt threatened.

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