People in Brief

Dion

NEW YORK — A Virginia mayor is facing criticism from “Star Trek” star George Takei after the politician cited the mass detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II in order to deny Syrian refugees the chance to resettle in the United States.

Takei, who was one of 120,000 people of Asian descent put in internment camps in the wake of 1940s-era prejudice, took issue with Roanoke Mayor David A. Bowers’ grasp of history.

The TV and stage star pointed out that Bowers was wrong to call those interred as “foreign nationals” since two-thirds were U.S. citizens. Also, he said there was never any proven incident of espionage or sabotage from the Japanese-Americans held.

Bowers last week demanded that Syrian refugees not receive any government assistance and that it was “presently imprudent” to assist in their relocation.

He then cited the internments during WWII, saying “it appears that the threat of harm to America from ISIS now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.”

Takei was 5 years old when soldiers marched onto his front porch with bayonets in May 1942 and ordered his entire family to leave their Los Angeles home. His school days began with him reciting “The Pledge of Allegiance,” but he could see the barbed wire and sentry towers through his schoolroom window.

NEW YORK — Dancer Misty Copeland is working on a health and fitness book.

Grand Central Life & Style, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, announced Thursday that Copeland’s “Ballerina Body” is scheduled for 2017. Copeland, the first African-American woman to become the American Ballet Theatre’s principal dancer, is a member of President Barack Obama’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.

Copeland said in a statement issued by her publisher that she wanted to show “all athletes have to take care of themselves from the inside out.”

LOS ANGELES — Celine Dion will honor the victims of the attacks in Paris at Sunday’s American Music Awards.

ABC and dick clark productions say that Dion will perform a rendition of Edith Piaf’s “Hymne à L’Amour” in French at the ceremony to pay tribute to those affected by last week’s attacks.

American Music Awards producer Larry Klein says the ceremony’s producers wanted to show solidarity.

“Hymne à L’Amour” was written by Piaf as a tribute to lover Marcel Cerdan. He died in a plane crash in 1949.

Jennifer Lopez is set to host and perform at Sunday’s fan-favorite ceremony at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Other performers include Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Gwen Stefani, Coldplay, One Direction and Carrie Underwood.

The awards air at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Associated Press

We're improving out commenting experience.

We’ve temporarily removed comments from articles while we work on a new and better commenting experience. In the meantime, subscribers are encouraged to join the conversation at our Post and Courier Subscribers group on Facebook.