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Push to alter British succession rule supported

by The Associated Press on April 24, 2013 10:00 AM

LONDON — Legislation that will end a centuries-old British rule that puts boys before girls in the succession to the throne has cleared the House of Lords, and now goes to Queen Elizabeth II for approval.

The change means that if Prince William and the former Kate Middleton have a girl first, she will become queen, and no younger brother will be able to jump the line and displace her.

The legislation also permits an heir to the throne to marry a Catholic, though Catholics would still be barred from succeeding to the throne.

The bill, which has been fast-tracked through Parliament, passed a third and final reading in the House of Lords Monday.

The government wants to change current laws, which date back to the 1701 Act of Settlement, before the royal couple’s first child is born in July. The baby will be third in line to the throne after William and his father Prince Charles. Kate, formally known as the Duchess of Cambridge, has kept up a fairly busy schedule of royal engagements since becoming pregnant. On Tuesday, she visited a school in Manchester to launch a counseling project and meet workers from a youth mental health services charity.

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LOS ANGELES — Dwayne Johnson, 40, is home after hernia surgery.

The “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” star tweeted a photo of himself in a hospital bed Tuesday. He’s flexing his muscles while wearing a Superman shirt and a hospital bonnet.

Johnson wrote that the doctor repaired three hernia tears. Johnson’s publicist, Alan Nierob, says the actor is now recovering at home.

Johnson’s latest film, “Pain & Gain,” opens Friday. He can also been seen in “Fast & Furious 6” next month.

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NEW YORK — A TV captioning service has apologized for misidentifying “New Girl” star Zooey Deschanel as one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects on a Texas news broadcast.

Lawrence, Kan.-based Caption Solutions said it and its captioner “deeply regret” the mistake. Company president Kala J. Patterson said in a statement issued Tuesday they “sincerely apologize for this error.”

The erroneous onscreen text appeared during coverage by the Fox network affiliate KDFW in Dallas-Fort Worth of Friday’s manhunt for a bombing suspect. It declared: “Marathon Bomber. He is 19-year-old Zooey Deschanel.”

The suspect was 19-year-old college student Dzhok-har Tsarnaev, who later was arrested and hospitalized.

Deschanel learned of the TV captioning blunder over the weekend and tweeted: “Whoa! Epic closed captioning FAIL!”

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PORTLAND, Maine — Stephen King and his wife have made a donation to a Maine group advocating for stricter gun control laws.

King says the gift was “five figures” but doesn’t want to say more about it because “charity’s supposed to be a private thing.”

The Coalition for a Safer Maine says King is a gun owner and a defender of the Second Amendment who supports expanded background checks on gun sales and a ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines. It says the “substantial contribution” from the “Salem’s Lot” author and fellow author Tabitha King will help fund its advocacy efforts.

The Maine Legislature this week is considering several gun control bills.

After the deadly Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting in December, Stephen King wrote a best-selling e-book called “Guns,” discussing his thoughts on gun control and gun rights.

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NEW YORK — The DIY television network is proving a comfortable home for rappers turned renovators.

“Vanilla Ice Goes Amish” will debut on the network this year. Network executive Burton Jablin says the former rap star will live with an Amish community in Ohio to learn how they do construction. Vanilla Ice already has a renovation series on the network that will return for its fourth season this fall.

Reverend Run of Run DMC will have a series next year starring with his wife and three children as they renovate their home.

Keeping with the music theme, DIY will also feature Daryl Hall next year as he renovates a farmhouse in Connecticut.

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