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Gay Malawian couple freed, thanks to Madonna

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A gay Malawian couple has been freed from prison, apparently thanks in part to Madonna. Steven Monjenza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga had been sentenced to 14 years hard labour for gross indencency and unnatural acts, but were released Saturday, on "humanitarian" grounds, reports E! Online.

Upon hearing of the couple's imprisonment, Madonna said she was "shocked and saddened" by the government's decision, and called upon people all over the world to speak out against the ruling. Government officials from all over the world also called for the release of the couple.

Madonna said in a statement: "I have always believed love conquers all—yesterday I got to see it in action. In the last week over 30,000 of you added your name to mine calling for the release of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalangal—the Malawi couple sentenced to 14 years hard labor for the "crime" of homosexuality. With incredible joy, I am writing to share with you that Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika has ordered their release."

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Madonna journals pulled from eBay auction

Getty ImagesTMZ says an online auction for a pile of Madonna's old private journals came to a halt Monday, thanks to an 11th hour intervention from her reps.

The anonymous guy behind the attempted sale claims he obtained the 12 journals and other memorabilia in a blind auction. He told TMZ that eBay removed his listing around 10AM Monday morning because a rep for the singer was able to convince eBay that "they" (quotes TMZ's) were the rightful owners.

TMZ says, "A rep from eBay confirmed they did receive a claim from Madonna's camp and have since pulled the auction from their site.

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China starts fining lip-synchers.

Getty Images So Madonna has been accused of lip-synching her performance for Haiti. Interesting. Basically because I don't care and it surprises me that anyone does. Pop stars lip-synch and they always have (also, does it really make a difference? I'm not a Madge fan by ANY stretch [she terrifies me in a very Boogey Man kind of way] but it was a relief concert, for Pete's sake. What's wrong with people?).

Long ago, when I worked in music television, I crawled under a stage set up for a very famous (at the time) person, to retrieve something (a tape, I think), and saw that none of the instruments were plugged in. I was a little surprised for about a quarter of a second but got over it pretty quickly.

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Madonna changed album title for fear original idea was too offensive

Getty Images Madonna is sooooo much smarter than you.

The 51-year-old pop star (Is it me, by the way, or does she look older than 51, which is totally not old?) scrapped the original name of her last album because she thought it would be over your head. It seems, according to Starpulse, which got it from Rolling Stone, that the record that became 'Hard Candy' was going to be called 'Black Madonna.'

And she had even posed in "blackface make-up with white eyes for photographer Steven Klein's cover art, but she quickly realized the whole idea would be too controversial and scrapped it."

Madonna reportedly told Rolling Stone magazine, "I painted my face black, except for red lips and white eyes. It was a play on words. Have you ever heard of the Black Madonna?

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Bulgarians blame Madonna concert for disaster that killed 15

Getty Images Bulgarian religious leaders are blaming Madonna for a boating accident that killed 15 people on Saturday September 5. Contact Music says they believe her decision to perform in the country on a holy day, despite being asked to change the date, brought bad luck.

Church officials, if you will recall, were angry that Madonna was staging her Sticky & Sweet concert in the capital city of Sofia on 29 August, the day Orthodox Christians mark the beheading of Saint John the Baptist with a fast. They asked that she reschedule the concert but it went ahead as planned.
 
So, they are now convinced this defiance of sacred customs led to the disaster that killed 15 when a pleasure boat sank on Macedonia's Lake Ohrid

Church leader Nikolay, in the city of Plovdiv, told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, "The catastrophe in Macedonia in which 15 Bulgarian citizens died was a sign from heaven."

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Madonna Collapses on stage

Getty Images Madonna collapsed on stage twice over the weekend.

Contact Music says the singer, 51, lost consciousness "due to exhaustion" on Saturday, during a performance at the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia Bulgaria. But, as if we would expect anything less, she kept right on going.

The story is that Madonna, who is on her Sticky and Sweet world tour, first fainted during her 1983 hit Holiday. Her limp body, according to reports, was held up by backing dancers until she regained consciousness. She then passed out a second time and collapsed into a heap on the floor as she left the stage after Spanish Lesson.

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Three crazy Brits really love Madonna

Getty Images Three British women have changed their names in tribute to Madonna.

Twins Lianne and Emma Dawson are now Lianne Madonna Vogue On The Cover Of A Magazine McHale Dawson and Emma Madonna Confessions On A Dance Floor McHale Dawson. Their friend Gemma Mitchell is now Gemma Madonna True Blue Strike A Pose Carroll McHale Dawson Me Me Mitchell.

They want to prove to the star that they are her biggest fans and are hoping that this will do the trick and inspire Madge to want to meet them at a show in July.

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