Elton John, a newly awarded Legion of Honor pinned to his suit, joined a call Friday by French President Emmanuel Macron to fund AIDS research and treatment.
The singer spoke alongside Macron before thousands of people packed into the presidential Élysée Palace courtyard, on the same weekend as the annual Fete de la Musique. John was clearly moved at receiving France's highest award, pinned on him by Macron in a private ceremony, attended by the singer's husband, David Furnish, and their two children. Macron saluted the virtuoso musician as "an icon that knew how to set an example." Later in the palace courtyard, John said, "To receive this decoration the day of the Fete de la Musique makes it even more special."
Macron used the occasion to make a call to youth and world leaders to replenish the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria before an October summit in Lyon, France. He said that 27 million people have been treated and saved through the Global Fund that raised about 13 billion euros in 2016.
John has his own AIDS foundation, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year.
Special prosecutor to probe Smollett case
A judge appointed a special prosecutor Friday to investigate the decision by Cook County prosecutors to dismiss all charges against actor Jussie Smollett, who was accused of lying to police by claiming he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in downtown Chicago in January. In a ruling that leaves open the possibility that Smollett could be charged again, Cook County Judge Michael Toomin suggested that the county State's Attorney Kim Foxx mishandled the Smollett case by appointing a top aide to oversee it after she recused herself.
Wallenda is nervous for his sister
As Nik Wallenda prepares to walk a wire 25 stories above New York's Times Square, he admits he's a little uneasy. His sister, Lijana, will join him for the first time since a near-fatal accident. "Of course, I'm nervous. How would you not be? You know the fact that I'm going to be risking my life, along with my sister who nearly lost hers to that same wire," Wallenda said. Two years ago. during a rehearsal for an eight-person pyramid stunt to break a Guinness world record, something went awry, and five performers were injured, falling 30 feet. Lijana Wallenda suffered severe injuries to her face that required reconstructive surgery. The siblings will start from opposite ends of the 1,300-foot wire. In the middle, Lijana Wallenda will sit on the wire and let her brother step over her. Both will then continue to the opposite side.