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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wyclef defends charity, urges Haiti aid


Advertiser News Services

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Wyclef Jean

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

President Barack Obama

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NEW YORK Haitian-born musician Wyclef Jean defended his charity yesterday in the wake of questions about its practices while calling on the international community to enable the evacuation of his homeland's earthquake-ravaged capital.

"Port-au-Prince is a morgue," Jean said tearfully at a Manhattan press conference.

The musician made the plea for an evacuation at the behest of Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and President Rene Preval, said Hugh Locke, the president of The Wyclef Jean Foundation Inc.

The organization, also known as the Yele Haiti Foundation, has drawn fire as groups that vet charities raised doubts about its accounting practices and ability to function in a nation devastated by last week's earthquake.

OBAMA AND FAMILY HONOR MLK JR.

WASHINGTON President Obama served plates of steaming-hot lunches to the needy yesterday, one of several ways the nation's first black president paid tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. on the federal holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader.

"How are you sir? God bless you," the president said, greeting one man among the dozens of men and women who filed into the dining room at SOME, or So Others Might Eat. The organization provides the poor and homeless with food and other services.

Obama brought his whole family: first lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, mother-in-law Marian Robinson and some aides.

Back at the White House, Obama and Mrs. Obama held a discussion with people who had been active in the civil rights movement. The president also spoke at the Kennedy Center during a musical celebration of King's legacy.

GOLDEN GLOBES FARE BETTER IN RATINGS

NEW YORK NBC's Golden Globes broadcast shined a little brighter in the ratings this year, according to Nielsen numbers.

The 67th annual Golden Globe Awards had 14 percent more viewers than last year. The three-hour shindig won its time slot and drew 16.9 million viewers, beating an audience of 14.9 million viewers in 2009.

Originating from Los Angeles at 5 p.m., the event was aired live in all time zones, rather than delayed for prime-time broadcast in the West, as in past years. For NBC, it was the best numbers on a Sunday night not including sports in five years.

HOMER AND MARGE HEADED TO VANCOUVER

Cowabunga! Homer and Marge Simpson are headed to Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The TV couple will be representing the United States in the fictional event of mixed curling in an episode to be aired during the Games in mid-February.

Why curling? Several of the show's writers are Canadian, where curling is the No. 2 sport behind hockey.

"We liked the idea of a sport that you could do with your spouse, and all the issues that presents," Rob LaZebnik, one of the show's writers, told The Associated Press. "Plus, we're hoping we get free Olympic stuff."