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Hopkins to reprise 'Lambs' sequel role

Anthony Hopkins will reprise his Oscar-winning role as Hannibal Lecter in the sequel to "The Silence of the Lambs," and Julianne Moore will star as FBI Agent Clarice Starling.In confirming the cast, Universal Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer said Ridley Scott ("Thelma and Louise," "Alien," "Blade Runner") will direct the thriller. Jonathan Demme directed the original, which won the Oscar for best picture of 1991. Jodie Foster played Clarice. The two studios are co-financing the sequel, which begins production in May in Italy.

Balloonists launch drive against noma

Two balloonists marked the one-year anniversary of their round-the-world flight Tuesday by launching a foundation to help children with a disfiguring disease.

Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones donated $100,000 to their Winds of Hope Foundation to combat noma, a little-known gangrenous infection that affects thousands of children every year in Asia, Africa and South America.

"Aware of our extraordinary good fortune at being able to fulfill our dream, we promised on our return to Geneva to dedicate our flight to the world's children," the pair said.

Last year Piccard, a Swiss psychiatrist, and Jones, a British balloon instructor, became the first and so far only people to complete a nonstop balloon trip around the world.

Jordanian queen is expecting No. 3

Queen Rania is pregnant and expects her third child in late September, Jordan's Royal Palace announced Tuesday.

"We beseech God to make this event an omen for blessing and prosperity to the noble Hashemite family and our dear Jordan," said the announcement.

Rania, 29, is the Palestinian wife of King Abdullah II, 38. The royal couple has two children, Prince Hussein, 5, and Princess Iman, 3.

Hawn wants Jumbo out of circuses

Goldie Hawn has urged Maryland legislators to ban the use of elephants in circuses and other entertainment acts.

In a letter to the Maryland Judiciary Committee, the Takoma Park native wrote: "Circus elephants are denied almost everything important to them, including family relationships, privacy, mental stimulation, physical exercise and emotional outlets."

A bill before the General Assembly would prevent the use of live elephants for entertainment in the state. Two earlier bills died in committee.