Celebs news: George Clooney on Sudan

Clooney on Sudan

Actor George Clooney says a satellite project over Sudan that he helped found has curbed violence, at least during daylight. Clooney said Wednesday at the Venice Film Festival that the Satellite Sentinel Project, which uses satellite imagery to monitor acts of war over areas between Sudan and South Sudan, has been ‘‘incredibly successful.’’ He says ‘‘now the attacks are only happening at night or under cloud cover. So now we’ll switch that up to infrared.’’ Clooney has long worked to prevent conflict in Sudan and South Sudan. South Sudan peacefully broke away from Sudan in 2011, but tensions between the countries, especially over oil, remain high. Clooney is in Venice for the world premiere of ‘‘Gravity,’’ in which he and Sandra Bullock play astronauts adrift in space. (AP)

‘Some time apart’

A spokeswoman for Catherine Zeta-Jones says the actress and her husband, Michael Douglas, ‘‘are taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage.’’ Publicist Cece Yorke said in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Wednesday that there would be no further comment. A phone call to a representative for Douglas wasn’t immediately returned. Zeta-Jones, 43, and Douglas, 68, were married in 2000. They have two children. He battled throat cancer in 2010 and made headlines this summer when he spoke out about one potential cause, oral sex. (AP)

Art controversy in Russia

A museum director says an artist whose paintings depicted Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in women’s undergarments has fled the country. The director of St. Petersburg’s Museum of Power, Tatiana Titova, said Wednesday that Konstantin Altunin left for France and was planning to request asylum there. Authorities removed four of Altunin’s satirical depictions of Russian politicians on Monday and shut down the exhibition. A police statement did not specify which laws may have been violated by the works. Last year, an exhibit that depicted members of the Pussy Riot punk band as holy icons drew the ire of religious and pro-government activists. (AP)