Thief takes advantage of Backstreet Boy stir Backstreet...

People And Places

May 30, 2000

Thief takes advantage of Backstreet Boy stir

Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell tried to slip discreetly into a suburban Atlanta Kmart and buy pool-party supplies, but he ended up making a splash.

But the giggling girls who quickly surrounded the blond singer and his fiancee, Leighanne Wallace, weren't the only ones to take advantage of his presence.

While the couple was trying to leave with their purchases, a thief decided the commotion would provide good cover for him to sneak out of the store with a television.

Security alarms went off, and employees grabbed the alleged crook.

Honoring Mrs. Graham

Billy Graham's wife will make a rare public appearance tonight at a dinner to benefit the Ruth and Billy Graham Children's Health Center.

More than 300 friends and admirers, including actress Andie MacDowell and author Patricia Cornwell, are expected at the $250-a-plate event.

Five hip-replacement procedures have left Ruth Bell Graham, who turns 80 June 10, in chronic pain so she remains at their home near Asheville, N.C.

In fragile health himself, the 81-year-old Graham will honor his wife of 56 years live via a satellite TV feed from Nashville where he's about to open a four-day crusade.

No ring-a-ding-ding

Egyptian government agencies have had their service to mobile phones cut off because they owe the phone company $119 million, a newspaper reported Sunday.

The independent financial daily al-Alam al-Youm said Egypt Telecom disconnected government institutions from using the codes for the mobile phone operators after they failed to pay their April bill.

The payment default caused a lack of liquidity in the state telecoms company, the paper said.

"Prime Minister Atef Obeid had to intervene personally and request all government institutions to pay their debts to the company in order for it to continue projects and telecommunication development," the newspaper reported.

Onassis awards

Former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis and an American scientist were named yesterday as this year's recipients of the Onassis Foundation awards.

D'Estaing, 74, won the prize for "International Understanding and Social Achievement," for his efforts to form the European Union and helping Greece to enter it.

Theodorakis, 75, a prolific composer known for the film score for "Zorba the Greek," received the foundation's cultural award, and John Doran, 55, professor at the University of Nebraska and a researcher at the Soil and Water Conservation Research Unit in Lincoln, received the environment prize.

They will receive their awards at a ceremony Nov. 7 at the Athens concert hall.

The foundation was established by the late Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, husband of the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, in memory of his 23-year-old son, Alexander, who was killed in an airplane crash in 1973. Each award is worth $250,000.

Today's birthdays

Country musician Johnny Gimble is 74.

Actor Clint Walker is 73.

Actress Ruta Lee is 64.

Actor Michael J. Pollard is 61.

Actor Stephen Tobolowsky is 49.

Actor Colm Meaney is 47.

Actor Ted McGinley is 42.

Actor Ralph Carter is 39.

Country singer Wynonna is 36.

Rock musician Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) is 36.

Rock musician Patrick Dahlheimer (Live) is 29.

Actor Trey Parker ("Newsies") is 28.

Rapper Cee-Lo (Goodie Mob) is 26.

Actor Blake Bashoff is 19.

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