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Rock cult hero Wesley Willis dies

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 26, 2003

Wesley Willis, a 6-foot-4, 320-pound former homeless man who channeled his schizophrenia into an unlikely career as a rock music cult hero, died Thursday. He was 40.

He had undergone emergency surgery in June for internal bleeding and had remained in a Chicago hospice since. At the end of last year doctors had told him he had chronic myelogenous leukemia, but the cause of death had not been determined as of Friday, according to a spokeswoman for his record company.

Willis had attracted admirers in the punk world because of the cathartic effect his unfettered emotional outbursts shared with punk's raw energy.

Most recently he recorded for Alternative Tentacles Records, a San Francisco Bay Area label started by Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra. Other fans included Black Flag's Henry Rollins, the Beastie Boys and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Fox News drops lawsuit

NEW YORK - Fox News dropped its lawsuit against Al Franken on Monday, three days after a federal judge refused to block the liberal humorist from using the Fox slogan "Fair and Balanced" on the cover of his book.

The lawsuit had sought unspecified damages from Franken and Penguin Group, publisher of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right.

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