Illusionist parts ways with Vegas resort
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LAS VEGAS — Lance Burton's run at the Monte Carlo hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip is ending after 14 years.
Hotel officials said yesterday the illusionist's show will end Sept. 4 — well short of a six-year contract extension he and the resort signed last year.
Burton, 50, has performed at the Monte Carlo since the day it opened in 1996 and started in Las Vegas 28 years ago. He said the split came because of differing philosophies about how to put on a show.
Burton said in June that he considered every option before signing the extension through 2015, but ultimately felt he had a few more shows in him.
JACKSON CASE ASSIGNED TO TRIAL JUDGE
LOS ANGELES — The involuntary manslaughter case against Michael Jackson's cardiologist was assigned to a trial judge yesterday in a brief proceeding that drew fans and family members of the late pop star.
Dr. Conrad Murray, his attorneys and prosecutors assembled before Supervising Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza, who in moments assigned the case to Judge Michael Pastor and sent them to his courtroom.
Pastor scheduled a June 14 court date to take up remaining procedural issues, including the setting of a date for a preliminary hearing and Murray's fight to keep his California medical license.
Murray has pleaded not guilty.
TRUMP DUMPS FORMER ILLINOIS GOVERNOR
NEW YORK — Rod Blagojevich has been fired again.
The former governor, whom Illinois lawmakers ousted from office last year, has been kicked off NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice."
"Apprentice" boss Donald Trump fired him after Blagojevich struggled as team leader in creating an interactive display.
As on a previous episode, technology posed a surprising hurdle for Blagojevich. On Sunday's show, he had trouble sending text messages and e-mailing.
The 53-year-old Blagojevich explained his difficulties using cell phones and computers on WLS-AM's "Don Wade and Roma Morning Show" yesterday. He said his generation didn't grow up with what he calls "all that stuff."
PITT, JOLIE SPOTLIGHT REFUGEES' PLIGHT
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt visited Bosnia yesterday, intending to spotlight the plight of 117,000 people who have not been able to return to their homes, even though the Bosnia war ended 15 years ago.
The two arrived Sunday, said a spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Sarajevo. Jolie, who has been a UNHCR ambassador since 2001, will visit projects meant to help Bosnians who cannot return home, either because their homes have not been rebuilt or the infrastructure in their villages has not been repaired.