This Week: Glimmers Of Hope

Madonna, Bono and Aishwarya Rai
CBS/ AP / Getty Images
At a time when there seems to be so much sadness and evil in the world, it's heartening to know that there are still glimmers of goodness, joy and hope for the future.

Most of the nation was riveted by the tragedy at Virginia Tech this week. While there were some headlines about celebrity bad behavior, there were far more signs of people reaching out to one another.

Rapper E40 came to the rescue of students at his alma mater, donating $12,000 so the high school could replace instruments that vandals had destroyed the previous year. E40 played in the band from the fourth grade forward and was a member of the high school's champion drum line.

Madonna went back to Malawi, where she visited a center for street children that benefits from the charity work the pop star is doing in this impoverished country in southern Africa. She brought along her 9-year-old daughter Lourdes, who hopefully is learning from her mom's example.


Photos: Madonna in Malawi
U2's Bono continued his battle against poverty in Africa by meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to press his call for the African continent to remain high on the agendas of the world's leading industrial countries.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes appeared Thursday at a private $6,000-a-plate dinner in Manhattan, to raise money for the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project, a program he co-founded in 2002. The program is based on principles developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Elsewhere, Sanjaya Malakar was booted off "American Idol," but he's keeping things positive by looking ahead to the future. "I just want the full entertainment business and career, I guess," he said in a teleconference. The 17-year-old said his philosophy on the show was "to stay true to myself and just try to put my personality out there."


Photos: Sanjaya Hairmania!
Larry Birkhead has only kind words to say about Howard K. Stern, his former adversary in the Anna Nicole Smith paternity case. "People blame him a lot, but Anna had her own mind, too," Birkhead, the father of Smith's baby daughter, tells OK! magazine. "She had a choice, and we were arguing and that's what happens. I'm thankful that everyone can get along for Dannielynn. How could you not?"

Chris Rock wants to do the right thing if it turns out a young mother's claim that he's the father of her 13-year-old boy is true. Rock asked a Georgia court to start paternity proceedings and said in court papers that he "desires to contribute to the support, maintenance, and education" if the boy is his biological son. Rock was still single at the time the boy was born.

Dave Chapelle proved he can fill a room with laughter for hours Sunday by breaking the Laugh Factory's endurance record. Chapelle kept the jokes coming for six hours and seven minutes at the Los Angeles nightclub.


Photos: The Big Bollywood Wedding
Millions of Bollywood fans are Photos: Kitty Carlisle Hart
The world said goodbye Tuesday to actress Kitty Carlisle Hart, who died at age 96 after a life of good deeds as a philanthropist and arts advocate. "She passed away peacefully" in her Manhattan apartment, said her son, director-writer-producer Christopher Hart, who was at her side. "She had such a wonderful life and a great long run. It was a blessing."