Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation’s press.



Day of the African Child: Pop music celebrity Bob Geldof, who raised $130 million for Ethiopia famine victims in 1984, returned to the Horn of Africa Monday for the Day of the African Child. Geldof boarded a traditional showboat to watch children in Bossaso, Somalia, float bottles into the sea with messages. “It was interesting what the kids actually said in their bottles--they were identical to any person on the planet,” Geldof said. “They want their mums and dads to be well. They want to be healthy. They want a good education and they have professional ambitions,” noted the Irish singer, who was the driving force behind the Live Aid extravaganza for famine relief and was given an honorary knighthood by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth. The town of 100,000 is being rebuilt after civil war. The U.N. Children’s Fund organized a conference on the media’s role in emergencies to celebrate the Day of the African Child.

Naomi in Paris: Supermodel Naomi Campbell arrived for work in Paris Monday amid conflicting reports on the cause of her weekend hospitalization in the Canary Islands. Spanish media reported that the 27-year-old model had suffered from an overdose of barbiturates after a heated argument with her boyfriend, Spanish flamenco dancer Joaquin Cortes. But Elite, her modeling agency, said she was treated for an allergic reaction to antibiotics. Elite said in a statement Monday from London that Campbell “is now perfectly well and fully recovered.”


Cable Wars: The simmering battle between two cable networks flared again after the Fox News Channel was ruled ineligible for news Emmy Awards--and MSNBC wasn’t. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences said its decision is too late to be changed and called the flap unfortunate. Nominations will be announced next month and awards will be presented Sept. 10. “It’s one of those things where you can’t affix blame,” said Richard Thrall, the academy’s awards chairman. “It was either our failure to communicate clearly or their failure to understand clearly.” Fox said it asked a few months ago about the matter and was rejected since it didn’t meet a requirement that it be broadcast to at least 51% of the U.S. television audience, according to Fox spokeswoman Lori Dolginoff. MSNBC was similarly rejected, then argued successfully that it should be eligible because it is available by satellite dish to anyone in the country who wants it. Fox also is available by satellite. “We were unaware that the criteria to enter the Emmy Awards was changed,” Dolginoff said. Fox started its news channel last October, three months after MSNBC.


En Route to Seattle: KNBC-TV Channel 4 News Director Bill Lord, who has been at the station for about two years, is returning to his roots and his old job. Lord will resume his news director post at CBS affiliate KIRO-TV in Seattle, which he left in 1995, in mid-July, said a KIRO spokeswoman. Lord may also assume additional executive duties, sources said. Officials at KNBC said they did not yet have an exact date of departure for Lord, who is a native of Seattle. Nancy Bauer, KNBC’s assistant news director, will take over for Lord until a replacement is found.


Natural Causes: The newborn son of the artist formerly known as Prince died last year of natural causes, authorities in Minneapolis confirmed after a three-month review that began after two former employees contacted authorities. The boy was born with an often-fatal skeletal abnormality, Pfeiffer syndrome type 2. The boy died of natural causes Oct. 23 when he was 7 days old, the county medical examiner’s office said Friday. The body was cremated without an autopsy under the name “Boy Gregory.” The coroner’s inquiry began in March after two personal assistants of the artist’s wife, Mayte Garcia-Nelson, criticized the decision to turn off the baby’s respirator. The artist and his wife never publicly confirmed the death of their son.

A Step Toward Divorce: Citing irreconcilable differences, “Lord of the Dance” star Michael Flatley filed for divorce in L.A. Superior Court from his wife of 11 years, Beata. They have no children. Flatley, a Chicago-born Irish American, was lead performer and helped choreograph the hit Irish revue “Riverdance,” but left last year in a dispute with producers. He went on to create his own Irish dance show, “Lord of the Dance,” which has played to packed houses. . . . Speaking of which, several hundred $55 seats close to the stage have been released for performances of “Lord of the Dance” tonight, Wednesday and Thursday at the Pond of Anaheim.


Celebrating the release of “Songs and More Songs by Tom Lehrer,” Rhino Records hosts an online chat with the reclusive satirist at 6 tonight at (follow the link to the chat room). . . . Roger Vorce, president of the Agency for the Performing Arts, announced a $100,000 donation to the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television. . . . And Oprah Winfrey made a $100,000 contribution to the Greater Hartford Initiative Scholarship’s college fund. . . . Joan Lunden may be joining the afternoon talk-show wars. The ABC “Good Morning America” host says she’s been inundated with offers to launch such a show after she leaves the morning show in September.