Maybe Britney won’t head to Namibia after all

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – A Namibian tourism official said Saturday he may have been duped into believing that Britney Spears was considering having her baby in Namibia.

Deputy Environment and Tourism Minister Leon Jooste said he made his original public statement after receiving a phone call from the United States on Monday.

“Somebody told me that she (Spears) is interested in coming to Namibia and that they would contact me in the next two weeks,” he said Saturday.

But the connection was so bad, he said, that he never got a name or contact information for the person.

Still, Jooste went public with the information.

That prompted Spears’ New York-based publicist, Leslie Sloane Zelnik, to send an e-mail to The Associated Press on Friday saying: “Not true.”

Asked if the call might have been a hoax, Jooste said: “It is really possible.”

Jooste, who is vacationing in neighboring South Africa, said he plans to look into the matter when he returns to Namibia next week.

“I am actually going to call and invite them to see if they would like to come,” he said.

Spears, 24, is expecting her second child.

PETA surprises Beyonce at New York dinner

NEW YORK – Beyonce Knowles had several surprise guests at a recent dinner, where members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals peppered the pop star with questions about her use of fur.

An eBay auction offered fans a chance to dine with Knowles, and PETA secretly placed the winning bid. At the dinner Wednesday at the chic Nobu 57 restaurant, members of the animal rights group confronted Knowles about wearing fur coats and using fur in her clothing line, House of Dereon.

Knowles was unresponsive to the allegations and appealed to others in her group to react. The PETA guests, whose tone was conversational but persistent, were eventually kicked out of the restaurant.

A spokesman for the singer told The Associated Press on Friday that Knowles, 24, had no comment on the incident.

PETA, known for its untraditional methods of raising awareness about animal rights, said it had previously attempted to reach Knowles through faxes, letters and rallies outside her concerts.

Pomp, pageantry honor Queen Elizabeth’s 80th

LONDON – British soldiers in tall bearskin hats marched before Queen Elizabeth II and military jets saluted her with a flyby over Buckingham Palace on Saturday in the second round of celebrations of her 80th birthday.

Thousands of Londoners and tourists – many waving small Union Jack flags – yelled “Happy Birthday!” to the queen, who waved back with a white-gloved hand.

Elizabeth, wearing a deep purple coat and hat, rode down the mall near the palace in an ivory carriage built for Queen Victoria in 1842 for the ceremony at the Horseguards Parade ground in central London. Mounted members of the Household Calvary rode before her, clad in golden armor.

The celebration was nearly interrupted when two father’s rights activists wearing only Union Jack boxer shorts attempted to hurl themselves in front the queen’s carriage.

The two men, members of a group campaigning to give fathers in broken families greater access to their children, were quickly arrested, a police spokeswoman said.

Elizabeth was born April 21, but the official, outdoor celebration comes two months later, when the chance of warm weather is better. It was hot and sunny in downtown London on Saturday.

From Herald news services

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