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Robert F. Chew, a.k.a. Prop Joe on 'The Wire,' is dead

Robert F. Chew, the Baltimore actor who played the brilliant and lovably devious drug kingpin Proposition Joe in all five seasons of The Wire, has died. The Baltimore Sun reports that Chew died of apparent heart failure. A Baltimore native, Chew was active in the city’s theater scene for decades, including having an important role as a teacher of young actors in Baltimore’s Arena Players. He appeared in small roles on Wire creator David Simon’s two previous Baltimore-set TV series, Homicide: Life on the Street and The Corner.

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Kim Kardashian's pregnancy announced by Kanye West

Earlier in 2012, Kim Kardashian, 32, and rapper Kanye West, 35, went public with their romance, and they’re ending the year with the announcement that Kardashian is pregnant.

During a concert at Atlantic City’s Revel Resort on Sunday night, West paused in the middle of a song to make the reveal. “Can we make some noise for my baby mom right quick?” he said.

Kardashian later confirmed the pregnancy. According to E!, she is about 12 weeks along. That would place the baby’s birth date some time in June 2013.

This will be the first child for both West and Kardashian, both of whom have had very public personal lives throughout their professional careers. West had a long relationship with model Amber Rose from 2008 until 2010 (she is now pregnant with Wiz Khalifa’s first child). Meanwhile, Kardashian is still technically married to Brooklyn Nets forward Kris Humphries, as the divorce dissolving their 72-day marriage has yet to be finalized.

Kardashian had been planning on having children—a story line during last season’s run of Keeping Up With the Kardashians involved her looking into freezing some of her eggs.

This will be the second child to enter into the inner circle of music’s most powerful family, as frequent West collaborators Jay-Z and Beyoncé celebrated the birth of their first child earlier in 2012. West, Kardashian, Jay, and Bey have been spotted together numerous times over the past few months.

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'Boy Meets World' star Rider Strong engaged

(And no, it’s not to Angela.)

Boy Meets World heartthrob Rider Strong is engaged to actress Alexandra Barreto, his rep confirms to EW. The couple met while co-starring in the short-lived TV series Pepper Dennis in 2006. Strong is best known for playing bad boy Shawn Hunter on the ’90s TGIF favorite.

In November, Strong revealed that he will not be involved in Girl Meets World, Disney Channel’s highly anticipated BMW spinoff: “There might be a chance to see some of the BMW cast in a guest spot, and I think it would be nice to find out where our characters have been all these years. But Girl Meets World will be, and I think it should be, its own show. It will be about Cory and Topanga, their daughter, and a new set of characters,” he said in a statement.

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Gerry Anderson, creator of 'Thunderbirds' puppet series, dies

Gerry Anderson, puppetry pioneer and British creator of the sci-fi hit Thunderbirds TV show, has died. He was 83.

Anderson’s son Jamie said his father died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday at a nursing home near Oxfordshire, England, after being diagnosed with mixed dementia two years ago.

His condition had worsened dramatically over the past six months, his son said.

Anderson’s television career launched in the 1950s. Once Thunderbirds aired in the 1960s, “Thunderbirds are go!” became a catchphrase for generations. It also introduced the use of “supermarionation” — a puppetry technique using thin wires to control marionettes — and made sci-fi mainstream, according to Jamie Anderson.

“He forever changed the direction of sci-fi entertainment,” Jamie told the Associated Press. “Lots of animation and films that have been made in the past 20 or 30 years have been inspired by the work that he did.” READ FULL STORY

American crowned Miss Universe

An American university student is the new Miss Universe, defeating dozens of contestants from six continents to bring the crown back to the U.S. after a drought of more than a decade.

Twenty-year-old Olivia Culpo won the title Wednesday night at the Planet Hollywood casino on the Las Vegas Strip, replacing outgoing champion Leila Lopes of Angola.

The Boston University sophomore’s coronation ends a long losing spell for the U.S. in the competition co-owned by Donald Trump and NBC. An American had not won the Miss Universe title since Brook Lee won in 1997.

Culpo, who beat out 88 competitors, wore a tight navy blue mini-dress with a sequined bodice as she walked on stage for the event’s opening number. Later in the night, she strutted in a purple and blue bikini, and donned a wintery red velvet gown with a plunging neckline. READ FULL STORY

Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, the man who became a meme, dies at 85

Robert H. Bork, legal scholar and former nominee for the Supreme Court, died on Wednesday at 85. His son said he succumbed to complications from a heart ailment.

Ronald Reagan nominated Bork in 1987 to fill the seat vacated by Justice Lewis F. Powell, but a national political and lobbying effort to block his nomination — the first of its kind for a US Supreme Court nominee — which included television ads and pointed televised speeches from prominent members of the Senate, was ultimately successful and led to a 58-42 vote against him. READ FULL STORY

'Burn Notice' star Jeffrey Donovan welcomes baby girl

Burn Notice star Jeffrey Donovan and his wife model Michelle welcomed a baby girl, People reports.

“She is a healthy and happy baby girl, and we are incredibly blessed to have her in our lives,” the first-time parents said in a statement that didn’t reveal any other details. The couple wed in August.

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Richard Engel and NBC news team escape kidnapping in Syria -- VIDEO

More than a dozen heavily armed gunmen kidnapped and held NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and several colleagues for five days inside Syria, keeping them blindfolded and tied up before they finally escaped unharmed during a firefight between their captors and anti-regime rebels, Engel said Tuesday.

Speaking to NBC’s Today show one day after the escape, an unshaven Engel said he believes the kidnappers were a Shiite militia group loyal to the Syrian government, which is fighting to crush a bloody uprising by rebels. He said they executed at least one of his rebel escorts on the spot at the time he was captured.

“They kept us blindfolded, bound,” said 39-year-old Engel, who speaks and reads fluent Arabic. “We weren’t physically beaten or tortured. A lot of psychological torture, threats of being killed. They made us choose which one of us would be shot first and when we refused, there were mock shootings,” he added. READ FULL STORY

'The Mentalist' actress Samaire Armstrong gives birth

The Mentalist actress Samaire Armstrong is a new mom.

Armstrong announced the birth in a Facebook status update on Sunday. “Thank you sooo much for all the love!! Will post pictures after a little rest. We’re all doing wonderfully. It was an amazing experience and we couldn’t be more thrilled with our new arrival,” she wrote.

This is the first child, reportedly a boy, for Armstrong, 32, who currently appears on the CBS procedural and is also known for her role on Dirty Sexy Money.

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Donald Faison marries girlfriend Cacee Cobb

Donald Faison married his girlfriend Cacee Cobb yesterday, according to People. The ceremony took place at the Los Angeles home of Faison’s Scrubs costar Zach Braff, and Cobb’s friend Jessica Simpson was a bridesmaid. The couple got engaged in August 2011.

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