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Entertainment briefs

May 08, 2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A federal jury has recommended a $1.5 million award to a British record company that sued rapper-producer Dr. Dre for song plagiarism, attorneys for both sides said.

U.S. District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall has yet to sign the judgment, Dre's attorney Howard King said Tuesday. A recorded telephone message left after business hours for King to elaborate on the award wasn't returned.

London-based Minder Music Ltd., sued Dre in 2000, claiming his 1999 song, "Let's Get High," used the bass line of Minder Music group Fatback's 1980 song, "Backstrokin," said Minder Music attorney Alan Dowling.

A recorded phone message left after hours for Dowling wasn't returned.

"Let's Get High" was one of the lesser known of 22 songs on Dre's "2001" album, which sold 9 million copies worldwide.

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MADRID, Spain (AP) - Writer and intellectual Susan Sontag and Moroccan feminist author Fatima Mernissi were named joint winners of Spain's Prince of Asturias Prize for Letters Wednesday.

In a statement announcing the award, the jury praised the 70-year-old Sontag and 63-year-old Mernissi for "having developed a literary work in several genres that, with a profoundness of thought and aesthetic qualities, tackles essential issues of our time."

New-York born Sontag, who's also a human rights activist, has written nonfiction and novels touching on a wide range of subjects from literature to ethics, health, politics and culture.

"This is an honor, a great honor, which I shall regard as being bestowed, first of all, on the project of literature itself and its most exacting standards, which I hope to continue to serve," Sontag told reporters in New York Wednesday.

Mernissi, a sociologist and a professor at Rabat University, is considered an authority on women's issues and Islam.

The award is one of eight Prince of Asturias prizes presented annually, which are considered the Spanish-speaking world's equivalent of Nobel prizes.

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