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Quick Takes: The reality: More Palin

June 20, 2012

His wife starred in a reality series about Alaska. His daughter stars in a reality series set in L.A. that premiered Tuesday night. Now Todd Palin, Sarah's husband and Bristol's father, will compete against retired boxing champion Laila Ali, singer Nick Lachey and other celebrities in a competition show called "Stars Earn Stripes."

NBC announced Tuesday that retired Army general and former presidential candidate Wesley Clark will co-host the series with television personality Samantha Harris. It premieres Aug. 13.

Palin and the other seven competitors will convene at a remote training facility to tackle difficult missions inspired by real military exercises. Each competitor will be paired with a trainer who has been a member of the armed forces or a law enforcement agency.

Each team will play for a military or veterans charity. A team will be eliminated weekly.

—Associated Press

Miró work sells for $37 million

A painting by Joan Miró sold Tuesday in London for $37 million, a record for the artist at auction.

Miró's 1927 abstract "Peinture (Étoile Bleue)" was bought by a telephone bidder represented by Tobias Meyer, Sotheby's worldwide head of contemporary art.

The painting had been acquired by its unidentified seller at a Paris auction in 2007. Since then, the market for the Spanish surrealist's work has been boosted by museum exhibitions and the record $26.4 million paid for his 1925 "Painting-Poem" at Christie's International in February.

—Bloomberg News

Filming begins for 'Maleficent'

Walt Disney Studios has begun filming its live-action fairy tale "Maleficent," starring Angelina Jolie, in London.

Disney said Tuesday that production began last week on the movie, billed as the untold story of the villainess from the 1959 Disney classic "Sleeping Beauty."

The cast also includes Miranda Richardson, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton and Sharlto Copley.

"Maleficent" is scheduled for a March 14, 2014, release in 3-D.

—Richard Verrier

Your mutt could be a movie star

Brandon Camp, whose father created "Benji" nearly 40 years ago, and veteran movie trainer Mark Forbes have set out to find a dog to become the new Benji in a nationwide search that includes online tools and sites that weren't around when the first four were discovered.

A Facebook page has been set up so pet owners and shelter staffs can post pictures and videos of dogs they think could be the next Benji.

Camp and Forbes will scour photos of pets from shelters and rescues across the country, along with sites like and Forbes said he was personally visiting every shelter within 75 miles of Los Angeles, where he is general manager and head trainer at Birds and Animals Unlimited.

The original 1974 movie "Benji" — written, produced, directed and financed by Camp's father, Joe Camp — was about a stray who helps save two kidnapped children. It spawned four sequels, several TV specials, a Saturday morning TV series and a syndicated comic strip.

Over the years, four different dogs took the lead role.

Brandon Camp said the new movie will stay true to the heart of the original.

"Parents and grandparents will recognize the spirit of Benji," he said. "He was always a mutt and will always be a mutt. He is the everydog."

—Associated Press

Depp, partner are separated

Johnny Depp and his longtime partner, Vanessa Paradis, have split.

A publicist for Depp said Tuesday that the two "have amicably separated." The statement requested privacy for the former couple and their two children, 9-year-old son Jack and 13-year-old daughter Lily-Rose.

Depp and Paradis met in 1998 but never married during their 14-year relationship. The American actor and the French model-singer lived together with their children in France.

—Associated Press

Military writing prize awarded

British historian Max Hastings has won a $100,000 lifetime achievement honor for military writing.

Hastings, 66, has won the Pritzker Military Library's Literature Award. His 23 books include "Inferno," "Finest Years" and other World War II histories.

He is also a former war correspondent and a former editor in chief of the Daily Telegraph.

—Associated Press

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