Brown cancels concert

GEORGETOWN, Guyana - Organizers say American R&B star Chris Brown has canceled a stadium concert in Guyana after local protests over his 2009 beating of then-girlfriend Rihanna.

Brown was billed to headline a Dec. 26 show. But he drew the ire of women's rights groups and opposition lawmakers who said Brown would not be welcome in Guyana three years after his assault of Barbadian superstar Rihanna.

Concert promoter Hits & Jams Entertainment said Thursday that Brown backed out, citing discomfort with the protests.

In 2009, Brown hit, choked and bit Rihanna during an argument in Los Angeles. He later pleaded guilty to assault.

Since then, Brown has worked to repair his image, undergoing violence counseling and putting out a new album. He has a duet with Rihanna on her recently released record.

Anthony aids orphanage

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - Singer Marc Anthony is coming to the aid of an orphanage in the Dominican Republic.

A foundation run by Anthony with music and sports producer Henry Cardenas plans to build a new residence hall, classrooms and a baseball field for the Children of Christ orphanage in the eastern city of La Romana. Anthony attended the groundbreaking ceremony Friday with his model girlfriend Shannon de Lima.

Children of Christ Foundation Director Sonia Hane said Anthony visited the orphanage previously and decided to help. His Maestro Cares Foundation raised $200,000 for the expansion on land donated by a sugar company. The orphanage was founded in 1996 for children who were abused or abandoned or whose parents were unable to care for them.

Day-Lewis in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Leaving nothing to chance, Daniel Day-Lewis' prep for his movie role as Abraham Lincoln included the two-time Academy Award winner secretly spending time in the 16th U.S. president's former Illinois turf.

Day-Lewis toured Lincoln sites in Springfield two years ago, at times standing in the Old State Capitol's chamber and asking to be left alone for 10 minutes.

Dave Blanchette with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum remembers the star of the new Steven Spielberg film "Lincoln" as studious and reverential. Blanchette says the actor even asked to touch letters Lincoln wrote to his generals. Those writings are in the museum's archives.

Day-Lewis showed up in Springfield in November 2010 intent on being incognito, wearing sunglasses and a fedora.

Willis ski area

FAIRFIELD, Idaho - "Die Hard" star Bruce Willis is saying goodbye to a small ski area in Idaho he's owned since the 1990s - by donating it to a nonprofit group.

Willis said he's happy with the people from Fairfield who formed a nonprofit to take over operations at Soldier Mountain.

The actor said in a news release that he wishes the group "the very best" now that he's exiting the scene.

"I couldn't be more pleased with the organization that will be responsible for the management of Soldier Mountain Ski Area," Willis said. "It was exciting to see that the very people who ski at Soldier care so much about its future."

Madonna lawsuit dismissed

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - A Russian court on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit that sought millions of dollars in damages from Madonna for allegedly traumatizing minors by speaking up for gay rights during a concert in St. Petersburg.

The ruling came after a one-day hearing that bordered on the farcical. During it, plaintiffs claimed that Madonna's so-called "propaganda of perversion" would negatively affect Russia's birthrate and erode the nation's defense capability by depriving the country of future soldiers. At one point, the judge threatened to expel journalists from the courtroom if they laughed too much.

In the end, the Moskovsky district court in St. Petersburg threw out the Trade Union of Russian Citizens' lawsuit and the $10.7 million it sought from the singer for allegedly exposing youths to "homosexual propaganda."

'Sesame Street' director dies

NEW YORK - A longtime "Sesame Street" director who also worked on soap operas including "The Guiding Light" and "As the World Turns" has died.

Emily Squires died Wednesday at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital. She was 71.

Squires' husband, Len Belzer, said Friday that the cause of death has not been determined.

Squires directed the "Sesame Street" children's television series from 1982 to 2007 while also writing for the program.

She directed several "Sesame Street" TV specials as well as other children's programs such as the PBS show "Between the Lions," which promoted reading.

She also was a scriptwriter for soap operas including "The Guiding Light," ''Search for Tomorrow," ''The Secret Storm" and "As the World Turns."

Squires later directed documentaries including "Visions of Perfect Worlds," a conversation with the Dalai Lama.