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Tattle: Earthquake? In China? Eh?

"CROUCHING Tiger, Hidden Dragon" star Zhang Ziyi says that she's outraged by what she says is ignorance about the recent earthquake in China.

"CROUCHING Tiger, Hidden Dragon" star

Zhang Ziyi

says that she's outraged by what she says is ignorance about the recent earthquake in China.

Zhang said in several Chinese-language blog entries over the past week that she has been busy raising money for relief efforts after the deadly quake struck the Sichuan province, killing more than 60,000.

Zhang said that she has made a pamphlet about the quake to show foreigners and has donated $144,000 to the cause. She has also received a pledge of $100,000 from Wendi Deng, the Chinese-born wife of billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Zhang, however, said that she was surprised to find that one group she solicited on the sidelines of the Cannes film festival in France knew little about the disaster.

"I was as angry as a madwoman," Zhang said. "I said, 'Are you idiots? You are well-dressed people who look like you identify with society, but you don't know what's going on on planet Earth.' It's incredible!"

Blissfully ignorant rich people on the French Riviera? Not so incredible.

* In other earthquake news, reports that Sharon Stone thinks that China may have gotten a little payback for all its human-rights violations.

During an interview at Cannes, Stone unfortunately wondered aloud that when the earthquake first occurred, she thought, "Is that karma? When you are not nice . . . bad things happen to you."

Oh. So is the Sharon Stone theory that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans because the people there weren't nice?

Sharon went on to say that she no longer thought the 60,000 dead was some type of cosmic retribution, but she'd already let the stupidity cat out of the bag.

In commencement news

* Sir Paul McCartney was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Yale University yesterday.

In granting the honorary degree to Sir Paul, the university said he awakened a generation, giving a fresh sound to rock, roll, rhythm and blues.

And his band wasn't bad, either.

* Jessica Lange bashed the Bush administration and denounced the war in Iraq during a commencement address at Sarah Lawrence College.

"We are living in an America that, in the last seven and a half years, has waged an unnecessary war, established prison camps, condoned torture, employed corporate armies, eliminated the right of habeas corpus, practiced extraordinary rendition, and, believe me, this is only a partial list," Lange said.

Lange asked the graduates, including her 22-year-old daughter Hannah Shepard, to commit themselves to the "pursuit of peace."


Citing unspecified health issues, Paul Newman will not direct the fall production of John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" at Connecticut's Westport Country Playhouse, the theater's artistic directors announced Friday.

Newman, 83, will be replaced by Mark Lamos, who has directed extensively around the country and in New York.

"I'm sorry I can't be part of this Westport Country Playhouse production, but I leave 'Of Mice and Men' in Mark Lamos' very capable hands with the full support of my wife, Joanne Woodward, and Anne Keefe, as Playhouse artistic directors," Newman said in a statement.

No further details were given, but dire rumors are sure to quickly spread.

* East Hampton art gallery owner Ruth Vered was led away in handcuffs Saturday after she refused to stop serving drinks at an opening bash for a celebrity photo exhibit featuring pics by Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Angelina Jolie and others. As about 200 startled guests looked on, Ruth was arrested on a charge of selling alcohol without a liquor license.

"I told them I've been doing this since before they were born," said Vered, 67, whose gallery has been a fixture of the Hamptons art scene for more than 30 years. "They have some nerve."

She said the wine and champagne were free.

Mayor Paul Rickenbach said police were just doing their job.

* Members of Russia's Communist Party are calling for a nationwide boycott of the new Indiana Jones movie, saying that it aims to undermine communist ideology and distort history.

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" stars Harrison Ford as an archaeologist competing in 1957 with an evil KGB agent, played by Cate Blanchett, to find a skull endowed with mystic powers.

Communist Party members in St. Petersburg said on a Web site this week that the Soviet Union in 1957 "did not send terrorists to the States," but launched a satellite, "which evoked the admiration of the whole world."

Moscow Communist lawmaker Andrei Andreyev said Saturday that "it is very disturbing if talented directors want to provoke a new Cold War."

Yo, comrades, Indiana Jones is not a real person. And the evil KGB agent is not chasing after military secrets, but a skull endowed with mystic powers.

It's not like the movie is "based on a true story."

You know who should be ticked off is Nancy Drew, who had a Crystal Skull adventure first, in an interactive video game.

Also peeved and threatening a boycott are primitive Peruvian warriors upset that the movie portrays them as grunting savages.

And Harvard is upset that Indiana Jones teaches at a university that looks a lot like Yale. *

Daily News wire services contributed to this report.