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Court extends Britney Spears' conservatorship

LOS ANGELES - Britney Spears' father will retain control of the pop singer's finances and personal affairs through the end of the year.

Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz extended James Spears' conservatorship over his daughter Thursday morning until the end of 2008.

Goetz opened the hearing by saying the singer 'reluctantly agreed' to extend the arrangement, and scheduled an update hearing for October.

The pop singer's father assumed control over her personal life and finances earlier this year after a series of high-profile incidents of erratic behavior that twice led to her being hospitalized.

Spears has since shown signs of improvement, settling a custody dispute with Kevin Federline, making successful TV cameos and working on an album this summer.

Taylor to return from hospital

LOS ANGELES - Elizabeth Taylor was hospitalized for an undisclosed reason but was expected to return home soon, representatives for the Oscar-winning actress said Thursday.

A statement released by Dick Guttman, her Los Angeles-based publicist, did not say where Taylor was staying, nor did it specify what might have been ailing the 76-year-old actress.

'Ms. Taylor is fine,' the statement read. 'Her hospital visit was precautionary. She will be returning home shortly. At present, she is surrounded by family, friends and fabulous jewels.'

'Gone Wild' founder settles another lawsuit

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - 'Girls Gone Wild' video founder Joe Francis has settled another of the many legal cases against his soft porn empire.

The 35-year-old multimillionaire reached a settlement this week with a Panama City woman who said she was 16 when filmed flashing her breast in 2002. Her picture was on the cover of a popular video.

Francis' attorney says the woman will not be paid but will be freed of a countersuit alleging she abused the legal process.