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In the News

Crowe appears to be unwired by broken phone

Russell Crowe was arrested for allegedly throwing a telephone at the concierge at the Mercer Hotel in the SoHo section of Manhattan yesterday.

Crowe, 41, was arraigned on charges of second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon - the telephone - before Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Martin Murphy then released on his own recognizance; a court date of Sept. 14 was set. The assault charge is punishable by seven years in prison.

Crowe's publicist, Robin Baum, told syndicated TV show Extra that "after asking the front desk several times to replace a faulty phone in his room [his lawyer, Gerald Lefcourt, said Crowe was trying to reach his wife in Australia] Crowe brought the phone down to the front desk. ... Words were exchanged and Crowe wound up throwing the phone against the wall. He regrets that he lost his temper, but at no time did he assault anyone or touch any hotel employee."

The police complaint said he hit the concierge "in the face and [caused] a laceration and substantial pain."

Fran Drescher show renewed

Fran Drescher's new show, Living with Fran, has been picked up by WB for next season.

Drescher, who held sway so long on CBS with The Nanny, says, "I started doing pilots every year but [none got] picked up until Princesses, which was a Barry Kemp project for CBS with myself, Twiggy and Julie Hagerty," she recalls. "They only aired four of the seven episodes we shot."

Find work you enjoy

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman told graduates of Williams College in Massachusetts that working with "joy and passion and optimism" is a key to professional success.

"If I have had any success as a journalist ... it's because I found a way to enjoy the journey as much as the destination," said Friedman, the school's main Commencement speaker Sunday.

Friedman said he fell in love with journalism as a 10th grader in Minnesota. The first article he ever wrote, for his high school newspaper in 1969, was based on an interview with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, then a general in the Israeli army.

"Little did I know how many times our paths would cross in the years to come," said Friedman, who has won the Pulitzer Prize three times.

Williams awarded degrees to 504 undergraduates, 14 graduate students and 29 fellows from the Center for Development Economics.

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