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One Bond about another: He's 'marvelous' as 007

Roger Moore told reporters in Hong Kong on Thursday that Daniel Craig is "marvelous" as James Bond because he brings a fresh dimension to the character.

Moore, 81, who starred in seven Bond films in the 1970s and the 1980s, said Craig's performances in Steven Spielberg's 2005 political thriller Munich and Sylvia in 2003 helped shape a new Bond.

Moore, speaking at an event in Hong Kong to promote his autobiography My Word Is My Bond, said he had yet to see Craig in Quantum of Solace.

Moore said he met Craig for the first time recently and found him a "charming guy."

Houston-Brown rematch?

Whitney Houston has issued a statement denying the rumors of a reunion with ex-husband Bobby Brown.

Acting on behalf of Houston, the singer's publicist Nancy Seltzer calls speculation that the two are getting back together "a complete fabrication."

Seltzer pinpoints the rumors to a report in Wednesday's Chicago Sun-Times that said Houston and Brown had been spotted out and about in Georgia.

Houston and Brown divorced in April 2007 after 14 years of marriage. During their tumultuous union, Brown was arrested on drug and alcohol charges, and Houston twice entered drug rehabilitation programs.

Celebrity ball

Rapper Nelly and music producer Jermaine Dupri will host the third annual Black and White Ball in St. Louis, a gala that draws celebrities and will include the creation of a new scholarship program.

The party tomorrow night is expected to include singer Ashanti among the guests and a performance by the rhythm-and-blues group Boyz II Men.

A new program will be announced at the formal-attire event to provide two students from the St. Louis region with full-tuition scholarships to Lindenwood University in nearby St. Charles, Mo.

Poems of the pope on a CD

A new album of songs based on poems by the late Pope John Paul II and performed by Placido Domingo went on sale in Italy yesterday.

The world famous tenor says the album Amore Infinito (Infinite Love) contains "songs for everyone," not just the faithful.

The 12-track CD features duets with Andrea Bocelli, Vanessa Williams and Katherine Jenkins. The lyrics are in Italian, English and Spanish.

The Deutsche Grammophon record label says the CD will come out next month in Mexico, where Domingo grew up, and worldwide in January.

Pope John Paul published poems, plays and philosophical essays before he became pope. He died in 2005.

today's birthdays

Musician Chuck Mangione, 68.

Comedian Garry Shandling, 59.

Movie director Joel Coen, 54.

Game show host Howie Mandel, 53.

Actress Kim Delaney, 47.

Actor Don Cheadle, 44.

Actress Anna Faris, 32.

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