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Also: Listen to "Celebrity Watch" from CNN Radio's Ken Pauli
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Web posted on:
Wednesday, October 06, 1999 2:29:38 PM EST

Today's buzz stories:

James Cameron narrated a new version of "Titanic"

'Titanic' finds new audience: The blind

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- If a picture's worth a thousand words, then what's the film "Titanic" worth? You can now find out, thanks to a new "Titanic" home video enhanced for the blind with narrative description between moments of dialogue. The narration is supplied by James Cameron, who directed the 1997 epic, and actress Angie Dickinson. They describe the film's action, scenery, costumes and even facial expressions, in a licensed dubbing process called TheatreVision.

The video, which retails for $19.95, might help bring "Titanic" to life for 31 million Americans who are visually impaired, says Helen Harris, 63, a former painter and blind activist who developed TheatreVision in cooperation with major Hollywood studios. "It's a wonderful movie to describe, and a very, very hard movie," said Harris, who lost her sight to the degenerative, hereditary eye disease retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

"Forrest Gump" (1994), "Schindler's List" (1993), "Braveheart" (1995) and "Pocahontas" (1995) are among other films enhanced by TheatreVision, but "Titanic" is the first to be nationally distributed.

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Kidman joins princely effort

LONDON (CNN) -- Britain's Prince Andrew and Australian actress Nicole Kidman teamed up Wednesday in a campaign to end child abuse in Great Britain. They were pictured on the cover of celebrity magazine Hello! to publicize the cause.

Inside, Andrew -- the chairman of a campaign launched by the British National Society for The Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) -- is quoted as saying, "I was staggered to learn that between one and two children die as a result of abuse in Britain every week -- and most during their first year of life." He has been recruiting celebrities like Kidman to help bring attention to the issue.

Kidman, who co-stars in the late Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut" with her husband Tom Cruise, told the magazine, "Children should be allowed to grow up without fear of cruelty."

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Yearwood and Reynolds divorce

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (CNN) -- Trisha Yearwood's marriage to Robert Reynolds has hit a sour note. Yearwood and Reynolds are divorcing after five years of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences.

They were married in 1994 at Ryman Auditorium, the former home of the Grand Ole Opry country-music show. They have no children.

Reynolds, 37, is a bassist with The Mavericks. Yearwood, 35, was named the Country Music Association's female vocalist of the year in 1997 and 1998. She first drew attention with her 1991 hit "She's in Love With the Boy." Her other hits include "XXX's & OOO's (An American Girl)" and "Thinkin' About You."

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Canadian producer sues 'Green Gables' author's family

TORONTO (CNN) -- Canadian film producer Sullivan Entertainment has made several TV series based on the celebrated "Anne of Green Gables" books. But now the company is suing descendants of Lucy Maud Montgomery, the books' author, for alleged defamation.

Toronto-based Sullivan is seeking $37 million ($55 Canadian) in damages, saying Montgomery's 84-year-old daughter-in-law and other relatives defamed the company in a July 6 news conference when they complained that Sullivan owed them money. Papers filed in the lawsuit say the statements made by the family would lead the public to think Sullivan was "untrustworthy, dishonest and deceitful." The company says it was forced it to withdraw its initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange this summer because of the statements.

Sullivan has produced "Anne of Green Gables," "Road to Avonlea" and several other series carried on CBC, the Canadian public broadcasting network, and several international networks.

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Winfrey -- for president?

Winfrey in the White House?

CHICAGO (CNN) -- They helped elect Jesse Venture governor of Minnesota, although some of them aren't happy about his recent Playboy comments on organized religion and other topics. Now, some members of the Reform Party have decided the Oval Office might look good on Oprah Winfrey.

Party members from Minnesota are working on a campaign to draft Winfrey -- a talk-show host and actress known to millions of Americans -- for the 2000 White House race.

"It is Jesse Ventura times 100," says Paul Larsen, chairman of the draft committee and a party leader from suburban Minneapolis. "She's got a thousand times as much money, 100 times the name recognition. She has a sterling reputation for honesty."

A Winfrey spokeswoman says her boss isn't interested in a political career with the party. But Larsen says he's not giving up and will ask Ventura, Minnesota's governor and the nation's highest elected Reform Party official, to help persuade her to run.

Ventura spokesman Doug Friedline says the whole situation "has gotten kind of weird. ... It's almost like we have celebrity-itis in the Reform Party."

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Reuters contributed to this report.

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