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MIAMI (CNN) -- Arturo Sandoval became a U.S. citizen Monday. The 49-year-old jazz trumpeter defected eight years ago from Cuba while on tour with Dizzy Gillespie. Sandoval, who was granted political asylum in 1990, said it did not make him happy to give up his Cuban citizenship: "I never wished to have to escape from my own land."
Sandoval's swearing-in ceremony took place two years after he began trying to become a citizen. The Immigration and Naturalization Service at first told him that citizenship applicants would be rejected if they had been Communist Party members within 10 years of the request.
Sandoval now tours the world playing Latin jazz.
MALIBU, California (CNN) -- A judge praised Robert Downey Jr. Monday for making progress in drug rehab. "You're doing a lot better than you did in the past," Municipal Judge Lawrence Mira told the actor during a hearing. "You look great and you seem to be doing well. Keep up the good work."
When Downey was stopped for speeding in 1996, authorities found cocaine, heroin and a pistol in his vehicle. His probation was revoked and he was sentenced to six months in jail.
The actor served 113 days before being released in March; Mira ordered him to complete his 100 remaining hours of community service in the next six months.
The star of "Chaplin," "Natural Born Killers" and "Less Than Zero," Downey appeared in court clean-shaven and wearing a suit and tie. "I'm just glad to be well. I'm doing real well. I've never felt better and actually I'm glad (the judge) agrees," he said.
MOSCOW (CNN) -- A Russian television station canceled the broadcast of a documentary marking Alexander Solzhenitsyn's 80th birthday because the writer's family complained that it contained unauthorized footage, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The RTR television station had planned to show "The Chosen One" last Friday, the 25th anniversary of the publication of Solzhenitsyn's "The Gulag Archipelago." The station announced the cancellation on its evening news, less than two hours before the scheduled broadcast.
RTR spokesman Andrei Fatyushchenko said the station decided to honor the wishes of the writer's wife, Natalya, who sent a letter protesting the film, the daily Moscow Times reported. The documentary includes footage of the family's private life made by a filmmaker who stayed at the Solzhenitsyns' home. It was filmed on condition that it would not be broadcast, Mrs. Solzhenitsyn said in the letter, which was published by the daily Kommersant. RTR chief Mikhail Shvydkoi said the film will not be aired "at least until both sides come to an agreement, if it is at all possible," the Moscow Times reported.
Meanwhile, two other Russian television stations are marking Solzhenitsyn's December 11 birthday with films. Solzhenitsyn's books, "The Gulag Archipelago," "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch" and "Cancer Ward" exposed the repressions and cruelties of the Soviet system. A year after the 1973 publication of "The Gulag Archipelago," the writer was arrested and expelled from the Soviet Union. He spend 18 years in Vermont before returning to Russia in 1994.
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Actress Helen Hunt said she is considering adding a new punctuation mark to her name. The star of "As Good As It Gets" and "Mad About You" won E! Entertainment Television's Celebrity of the Year award.
"My middle name actually is Elizabeth, so I'm Helen E. Hunt. And in honor of this I'm going to add the exclamation point to my name," she said in her acceptance speech, which will be part of a one-hour special airing Thursday on the network.
Other contenders for the honor were Tom Hanks, Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey and Brandy. "I'm very grateful and appreciate it very much. I am honored to be in such esteemed, distinguished company," Hunt said.
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The programming executive who helped launch the WB network declined to renew his contract and will leave the network next spring. Entertainment President Garth Ancier will serve as a consultant until his current agreement ends in May.
Ancier was there when the network launched in January 1995, and helped it cultivate a young audience. Susanne Daniels, WB's executive vice president for programming, replaces Ancier.
Published reports indicate that Ancier is likely to go to NBC to work with new programming head Scott Sassa. The move makes WB the third network to have a recent change in entertainment chiefs. At NBC, Sassa replaced Warren Littlefield in October, and Doug Herzog took over from Peter Roth at Fox last month. NBC and Fox are expecting their new executives to fix flaws in scheduling, but WB is already on a roll. The network was the only one of the top six broadcast networks to post a year-to-year gain in viewers in the November ratings "sweep."
WB has several Top 20 shows among teen-agers -- including "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Felicity." However, the network is still significantly behind CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox in total viewers.
Reuters Limited contributed to this report.
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