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PEOPLE IN BRIEF: Writer of 'What a Wonderful World' dies

Writer of 'What a Wonderful World' dies

OLDWICK, N.J. -- George David Weiss, who helped write chart-topping pop hits including ''Can't Help Falling in Love'' and ''What a Wonderful World,'' has died. He was 89.

He died Monday of natural causes at his home in Oldwick, N.J., his wife, Claire, said.

Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and many other big-name artists recorded compositions written or co-written by Weiss, whose career choice greatly disappointed his mother. She wanted him to become a lawyer.

A Juilliard School of Music graduate who played the violin, piano, saxophone and clarinet, Weiss was a military bandleader in World War II. He soon gained wide recognition as a songsmith with success over the next few decades.

Henson donates original Kermit to Smithsonian

WASHINGTON -- The original Kermit the Frog, his body created with an old dull-green coat and his eyes made of pingpong balls, has returned home to the nation's capital, where the puppet got his start.

The first Kermit creation from Jim Henson's Muppet's collection appeared in 1955 on the early TV show ''Sam and Friends,'' produced at Washington's WRC-TV. Henson's widow Jane Henson on Wednesday donated 10 characters from the show to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

She said the original characters provided five minutes of fun each night after the local news.

Susan Boyle to sing for pope during UK tour

LONDON -- British singing sensation Susan Boyle said Wednesday she feels humbled and honored by the opportunity to sing for Pope Benedict XVI during his tour of Britain.

The unlikely pop star who shot to global fame after she sang on the TV show ''Britain's Got Talent'' will perform hymns and sing with an 800-strong choir at an open-air papal Mass in Glasgow's Bellahouston Park on Sept. 16, the Roman Catholic Church said.

Boyle, 49, will also sing ''I Dreamed A Dream'' from ''Les Miserables.'' Her rendition of the song on the talent show has been viewed millions of times on the Internet.