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‘Shield’ actor enters plea

An actor who played a police officer on “The Shield” TV series pleaded not guilty to murder Wednesday in the death of his wife and was ordered to stay away from his two young sons.

Michael Jace entered the plea through his attorneys and was told by a judge to stay away from his two children and not contact them if he is eventually released on $2 million bail.

Jace, 51, is accused of shooting his wife to death May 19 in their Los Angeles home. The children, both under 10, were home at the time and were unharmed.

His lawyer said Jace did not contest the order involving his children because he wants to do what is best for them.

“Mr. Jace is just concerned about his children,” Jason Sias said.

Clinton’s book a big seller

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “Hard Choices” sold well enough during its first week to make it among the year’s most popular nonfiction books.

But its opening was also far slower than that for her previous memoir, “Living History.”

According to Simon & Schuster, “Hard Choices” has sold more than 100,000 copies since coming out June 10. By comparison, first-week sales in 2003 for “Living History” were around 600,000 copies. A likely factor: “Living History” included her first extended comments on the affair between President Bill Clinton and White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Suit against Gaga dismissed

A federal judge has dismissed a copyright lawsuit against Lady Gaga filed by a Chicago songwriter who accused her of stealing parts of one of her songs.

Rebecca Francescatti filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Chicago in 2011, alleging that Lady Gaga had copied music and the title lyric from her 1998 song “Juda.”

Gaga’s 2011 song is called “Judas.”

Judge Marvin Aspen ruled this week that the songs do not have common lyrics, have different themes and sound nothing alike musically.

The judge also concluded there was not enough evidence that Gaga could have heard or known about Francescatti’s song before publishing “Judas.”

Leno wins Twain honor

Newly retired from “The Tonight Show,” Jay Leno is now being awarded the nation’s top humor prize for following in the tradition of satire and social commentary of Mark Twain, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced Wednesday.

Leno will be honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Oct. 19 in Washington. The show will be broadcast Nov. 23 on PBS stations.

“Like Mark Twain, Jay Leno has offered us a lifetime’s worth of humorous commentary on American daily life,” said Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein in announcing the award. “For both men, no one was too high or too low to escape their wit, and we are all the better for it.”

After learning about the prize, Leno said in a statement that he’s honored and is a big fan of Twain’s. He said “A Tale of Two Cities” is one of his favorite books.

‑ From News wire services