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Bette Midler says her New Year's Eve show will have "a couple of surprises," but hopes they'll be hers to create.

Midler will end her 32-city "The Divine Miss Millennium Tour" with Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 performances on the Las Vegas strip. The shows, she says, will "be built around the millennium -- a lot of talk about time and space and where we fit in."

She's hoping this year won't find her at the bottom of a pile of Styrofoam peanuts -- an unexpected finale of a show more than 20 years ago in Chicago. When they were released over her at midnight, she was buried.

"I started choking on Styrofoam peanuts," Midler says. "I almost died. In hindsight, it was funny, but at the time I was scared to death. I slipped and fell, and was completely covered by Styrofoam peanuts 6 feet deep."


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Globe have settled a $50 million libel suit brought over a 1998 article that described the actor as being in poor health and worried about a heart attack.

The tabloid will print a retraction and apology to Schwarzenegger in its next issue, the actor said in a statement Tuesday.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Schwarzenegger attorney Martin Singer said the Globe's former owners have made a contribution to the Inner City Games Foundation, a charity headed by the actor.

The Globe was bought last month by American Media, publisher of such rival tabloids as the National Enquirer and the Star.

Schwarzenegger had sued after the Globe story appeared in August 1998. He said it appeared at a time when he was in excellent health, and came 16 months after he had successful heart surgery.

Globe spokesman Richard Valvo would not comment on the case.


Talk about a basic instinct . . . actress Sharon Stone, who has developed a reputation over the years for her shameless need for attention, hasn't made much of an effort to quell the public's perception of her. Variety reports that before Stone got her Golden Globe nomination for "The Muse," watches were sent in her behalf to all 82 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The watches were returned to the actress Dec. 13 on orders from Helmut Voss, the president of the association, which votes on the awards. "This watch was way, way, way beyond the edge of the envelope as far as promotional considerations, like T-shirts," said Voss, who estimated they cost $295 to $395 each. "We were touched by her generosity, but this is definitely a no-no for a group like ours that wants to protect the integrity of its award." Stone's publicist, Cheryl Maisel, insisted the watches were sent by USA Films, which released "The Muse." USA Films said the watches were provided free to the studio by Coach to be sent on Miss Stone's behalf. But Daily Variety quoted unidentified sources as saying the watches were sent at Stone's request.

Knight Ridder

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