Hollywood Weighs In Against the Taliban

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Celebrities are often called at the last minute to raise money for political campaigns. Nothing eleventh-hour about the most recent efforts of Jay Leno and his wife, Mavis. The couple held a meeting last week in their Beverly Hills, Calif., home to raise $500,000 and plan early strategy for a publicity campaign to end "gender apartheid in Afghanistan." Industry heavyweight Sid Scheinberg and actress Teri Garr were among the 45 people who attended. The group aims to stop corporate investment and to cease recognition by any nation of the Taliban government, which has barred women from schooling and work. Mavis Leno has gone beyond giving parties. Two weeks ago, she went to a Unocal shareholders' meeting to demand that the oil company drop plans to build a $4.5 billion pipeline in Afghanistan. Not long after, Unocal temporarily ceased operations there.