News Shticker: Aronofsky directs Chabon, Shakira hugs Shimon, Galliano pleads addiction

* Darren Aronofsky is set to direct a new HBO series written by Michael Chabon, author of many books with Jewish themes (like "The Yiddish Policeman’s Union") . The series, titled "Hobgoblins," is no exception: Variety describes the plot as "a group of con men and magicians who use their skills of deception to help defeat Hitler and the Germans during WWII." (Variety)

* "Grey’s Anatomy" actors Kevin McKidd (who plays Dr. Owen Hunt) and Sarah Drew (Dr. April Kepner) recently visited an Israeli hospital through an America’s Voices in Israel initiative, a program that promotes American understanding of Israel and its policies. The actors got a chance to visit Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital robotic surgery wing and learn some advanced medical procedures. (Jerusalem Post)

* On June 21, Shakira visited Jerusalem for Israel’s Presidential Conference, where she met — and hugged – Israeli President Shimon Peres. At the conference, she discussed The Barefoot Foundation, her personal charity, focused on "ensuring every child can exercise his or her basic right to a quality education," as the charity’s website explains. While in Israel she also visited a bilingual school in Jerusalem for both Israeli and Palestinian children. (N.Y. Times)

* John Galliano, the former designer for Dior, went on trial Wednesday over anti-Semitic and racist statements he made in February at a French cafe. Galliano blames his alcohol and drug addictions for the slurs, and could face a fine over $32,000 or a jail sentence of six months. (FoxNews)

* Yoav Potash, director of the documentary "Crime After Crime," noted the Jewish value of "tikkun olam" (repairing the world) as a key influence in his filmmaking. "Crime After Crime," which focuses on the issue of wrongful incarceration, will be released on July 1 and will also be featured on Oprah’s OWN TV network. (Jewcy.com)

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