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Center stage in Baghdad: ...
Las Vegas mainstay Wayne Newton and comedy actor Rob Schneider entertained the troops during a stop this week at a First Calvary division camp in Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

They talked with troops, signed autographs, posed for pictures and shared a meal at the base camp's dining facility during a three-hour stop on a seven-day tour, a statement said.

Newton took over for entertainer Bob Hope two years ago as a celebrity figurehead on United Service Organizations tours, traveling around the world to headline shows for U.S. troops. "Our purpose for the USO is to bring, obviously, a touch of home to our military men and women," Newton said. Schneider, star of "The Hot Chick," echoed Newton's comments, saying, "This is a small thing that I could do, to make them laugh and just say, 'Hi,' and let them know America is behind them and we love them and hurry up and get home."

A new Superman ...
A little-known actor has been cast as Superman in a big-budget film slated for 2006, according to Variety magazine.

Brandon Routh, 25, of Norwalk, has appeared in the soap opera "One Life to Live" and just finished his first feature film, "Deadly." He attended the University of Iowa and has had guest appearances on the television shows "Cold Case," "Gilmore Girls" and "Will and Grace."

Routh's father, Ron Routh, confirmed the Variety report but declined further comment because his son has not signed a contract. He said he's been told publicity about the movie won't happen until after it's shot. "Their motive is to keep the mystique up," he said.

Making use of time ...
Martha Stewart is using her prison time to figure out "innovative ways to do microwave cooking" to share with fellow inmates and is being treated with respect, her lawyer said.

"She's making the best of what's necessarily a difficult situation," lawyer Walter Dellinger said on NBC's "Today" show. "There is no freedom. It's regimented. She has no privacy. They are subject to strip searches. But she's so resilient."

Stewart is in the first month of a five-month sentence at the minimum-security federal women's prison in Alderson, W.Va.

Because inmates can use only a microwave to do their own cooking, Stewart is working with fellow prisoners to "come up with some creative recipes" based on the limited number of ingredients available at the prison commissary, Dellinger said. "She has a group that is cooking," he said. "She is trying to figure out innovative ways to do microwave cooking which is all they have.

Gwen's Gavin has a daughter ...
Gwen Stefani has made no secret of her desire to have kids, but this probably isn't what she had in mind. The No Doubt frontwoman's British husband, Gavin Rossdale, has just learned he has a daughter, reports

DNA tests have reportedly confirmed that the Bush front man, 37, is the father of 15-year-old model Daisy Lowe (mom is London-based designer and singer Pearl Lowe).

"Yes, it's true but out of respect to all parties concerned, I've no further comment," Rossdale said.

Celebrity birthdays

Sunday: Bill Wyman is 68. Kevin Kline is 57.

Monday: Helen Reddy is 63. Jon Anderson of Yes is 60. Nancy Cartwright is 47.

Tuesday: Pat Sajak is 58. Jaclyn Smith is 57. Natalie Merchant is 41.

Wednesday: Nanette Fabray is 84. John Cleese is 65. Lee Greenwood is 62.

Thursday: Charlie Daniels is 68. Actress Jane Alexander is 65. Dennis Franz is 60. Julia Roberts is 37. Joaquin Phoenix is 30.

Friday: Richard Dreyfuss is 57. Kate Jackson is 56. Winona Ryder is 33.

Next Saturday: Grace Slick is 65. Henry Winkler is 59.

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