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Actor Hoskins diagnosed with Parkinson’s, retiring

LONDON — British actor Bob Hoskins says he is retiring after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

In a statement released Wednesday through his agent, the 69-year-old performer thanked his fans and said he had had a “wonderful career.”

The statement said Hoskins was diagnosed with the degenerative nerve condition last fall.

The London actor — a specialist in tough guys with a tender streak — starred in British classics including “The Long Good Friday” and “Mona Lisa” as well as the Hollywood hit “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”

Earlier this year he was seen as one of the seven dwarves in “Snow White & The Huntsman,” starring Kristen Stewart.

Judge rejects Buju Banton plea for new Fla. trial

TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge has denied reggae singer Buju Banton’s request for a new trial, saying there’s no need because of a previous appeals court ruling.

In June, the federal appeals court in Atlanta upheld the Jamaican singer’s 2011 conviction on cocaine conspiracy and trafficking charges. The three-judge panel also sided with a Tampa jury’s conviction of Banton on a gun possession charge, which the trial judge tossed at his sentencing.

The appeals court rules that there was sufficient evidence to convict the singer, whose real name is Mark Myrie, on the gun charge.

Banton’s attorney filed a motion in July seeking a new trial. Judge James Moody in Tampa denied that request Tuesday.

Banton is serving a 10-year prison sentence. The gun charge carries an additional five-year sentence.

Sir Bernard Lovell, pioneer radio astronomer, dies

Sir Bernard Lovell, the radio astronomer who was one of the 20th-century’s leaders in the age-old effort to understand the secrets of the heavens, died Aug. 6 at his home in the village of Swettenham, in the English county of Cheshire. He was 98.

Much of Bernard Lovell’s groundbreaking work revolved around the use of a powerful and innovative scientific instrument, the celebrated radio telescope he built and operated for many years at the Jodrell Bank observatory in northwest England.

As Lovell was one of the first to show starting in the 1940s, faint electromagnetic signals from remote reaches of the universe can be collected, analyzed and interpreted to discern basic information about the cosmos.

As one of the foremost figures in radio astronomy since its earliest days, Lovell, an emeritus professor at the University of Manchester, was celebrated in science and beyond. The Jodrell Bank observatory, operated by the university and named for the place where it was built, has also become widely known.

The principal radio telescope at Jodrell Bank was completed in 1957 and has been named for Lovell.

Alfred Charles Bernard Lovell was born in Oldland Common, near Bristol, on Aug. 31, 1913.

In 1936, he received a doctorate in physics from the University of Bristol. His early work involved the use of a cloud chamber to detect and study cosmic rays. During World War II, he led a radar development group. Lovell, who was knighted in 1961, was a fellow of the Royal Society and a past president of the Royal Astronomical Society. He wrote several books, including a memoir he called “Astronomer by Chance” (1990). He was known for an interest in educating the public about science.

Monkees announce first tour since Jones’ death

NEW YORK — The Monkees will perform their first live shows since star Davy Jones died in February.

Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork announced Wednesday that the group will launch a 12-date U.S. tour in November. It’s the band’s first tour since 1997.

Jones died of a heart attack on Feb. 29 at age 66.

The group starred in its own NBC television show in 1966 as a made-for-TV band seeking to capitalize on Beatlemania sweeping the world. Jones rocketed to the top of the music charts with The Monkees, captivating audiences with hits including “Daydream Believer” and “I’m a Believer.”

The tour kicks off Nov. 8 in Escondido, Calif. It wraps on Dec. 2 in New York. It will highlight Jones “in the show’s multimedia content.”

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