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PEOPLE IN BRIEF: Conan O'Brien says no thanks to NBC move

Conan O'Brien says no thanks to NBC move

LOS ANGELES -- Conan O'Brien said he's rejecting NBC's attempt to move ''The Tonight Show'' to a post-midnight slot to accommodate Jay Leno's return to late-night.

In a statement Tuesday, O'Brien said that NBC has given him a scant seven months to try to establish himself as host of ''Tonight.''

NBC wants to move ''The Jay Leno Show'' out of prime-time and to the 11:35 p.m. daily slot, bumping ''Tonight'' to 12:05 p.m.

O'Brien said he hoped he and NBC could resolve the issue quickly so he could do a show of which he and his crew could be proud -- ''for a company that values our work'' -- raising the possibility he might go to another network. But he said he has no such offer.

Vatican says 'Avatar' is no masterpiece

VATICAN CITY -- ''Avatar'' is wooing audiences worldwide with visually dazzling landscapes and nature-loving blue creatures. But the Vatican is no easy crowd to please.

The Vatican newspaper and radio station are criticizing James Cameron's 3-D blockbuster for flirting with the idea that worship of nature can replace religion -- a notion the pope has warned against. They call the movie a simplistic and sappy tale, despite its awe-inspiring special effects.

''Not much behind the images'' was how the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, summed it up in a headline.

Shepherd's son charged in mid-air thefts

PHILADELPHIA -- The son of actress Cybill Shepherd has been charged with stealing from fellow airplane passengers during a cross-country flight.

Police said 22-year-old Cyrus Shepherd-Oppenheim was arrested in Philadelphia on Tuesday about midnight after the United Airlines plane arrived from San Francisco.

Police said witnesses identified Shepherd-Oppenheim as the man who allegedly stole cash, a digital camera, leather make-up case and a small travel bag from two passengers' carry-on luggage.

Shepherd-Oppenheim has been charged with theft and receiving stolen property.