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O’Brien to host awards

Late nite talk show host Conan O’Brien will be serving up buckets of golden popcorn.

O’Brien announced Tuesday on his TBS show “Conan” that he’s hosting this year’s MTV Movie Awards. The annual movie celebration that honors winners with popcorn-shaped trophies is scheduled for April 13 at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.

“After eight years of intense negotiations, I am honored to announce I am hosting MTV’s second most prestigious awards show,” the comedian joked in a statement.

Anchor stands by comments

An anchorwoman on a Kremlin-funded TV network said Wednesday that she is standing by her criticism of Russia’s military incursion in Ukraine because she would rather risk her job and “go down on the right side of history.”

Abby Martin, a Washington-based newswoman for Russia Today, said the network, which is supported by Russian public grants, has decided not to fire her for expressing her views in an on-air postscript to her show. Martin said she would continue to speak out against Russia for sending in troops to take control of much of the Crimea, where Russian speakers are in the majority.

“I think that, honestly, it would look really bad if I got fired,” Martin said in a telephone interview. “I think they probably just weighed their options and just knew that keeping me on would be best. It’s good. It’s good to show that we have dissent. It would be really, really bad if they fired me and I really hope that they don’t do that.”

During the Monday broadcast of her show, called “Breaking the Set,” Martin said she wanted to express something from her heart before she wrapped up the program. She blamed Russia for creating what she described as a “terrible situation” and pledged to keep “telling the truth as I see it” if it would prevent another Cold War.

Judge cuts support amount

A judge approved a substantial cut in the amount of child support that Beyonce Knowles’ father must pay because his income dropped after his superstar daughter fired him as her manager.

A ruling obtained by The Associated Press shows that a Los Angeles Superior Court judge cut the amount Mathew Knowles must pay to actress Alexsandra Wright from $12,000 a month to roughly $2,500 a month. The payments are for a son Knowles fathered with Wright while he was still married to Beyonce’s mother. Judge Scott Gordon’s order is retroactive to February 2013.

Although the singer’s name is not mentioned in Monday’s ruling, it notes that her father’s income has substantially fallen since she fired him in 2011. Mathew Knowles sought a reduction in his child support payments, and a hearing was held earlier this year.

Icons take the stage

From the time the two musical icons stepped on the Madison Square Garden stage, it was clear from their very first glance that Paul Simon and Sting shared mutual affection for each other.

After opening with Sting’s “Brand New Day” Tuesday night, followed by Simon’s “The Boy in the Bubble,” the two performers rotated on and off stage for the next two-and-a-half hours.

By the end of the night, the two legendary performers had covered a poignant mix of their hits and obscurities and brought life to each other’s music. The show’s final songs were duets of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” ‘’Every Breath You Take,” and “Late in the Evening.”

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