With special buddy Brad Pitt standing by, Angelina Jolie, 30, adopted a girl orphaned by AIDS in Ethiopia. The child, who’s less than a year old, is named Zahara Marley. Jolie adopted son Maddox, 3, from a Cambodian orphanage in 2002. Jolie’s reps declined to comment.


President Bush tapped former Tennessee senator and Law & Order costar Fred Thompson, 62, to guide the administration’s yet-to-be-named Supreme Court nominee through the Senate.


Energy drink company Rockstar filed suit July 1 against the production company of reality TV czar Mark Burnett and CBS, claiming the two tricked the beverage brewer into forgoing its planned show Rockstar so that CBS’ Rock Star: INXS would be the only rock star-titled reality series. Attorneys for Burnett say, ”The lawsuit is frivolous.”. . .On July 6, a federal judge declared a mistrial in the Notorious B.I.G. wrongful-death case, saying the LAPD had deliberately withheld evidence. The suit against the city of L.A. and its police department claims a former officer played a role in the murder of the rapper (real name Christopher Wallace) in 1997. Wallace’s family plans to refile the suit with the new findings taken into account. . . .On July 8, former Disney board members Roy Disney and Stanley Gold announced they have dropped their pending lawsuit challenging the choice of Bob Iger as new CEO. Additionally, Roy Disney has been named director emeritus and a company consultant as part of the truce. . . .DreamWorks confirmed July 11 that it will cooperate with an SEC inquiry, following a flurry of class-action suits claiming DreamWorks Animation artificially raised its stock value by exaggerating the success of Shrek 2 DVD sales. A DreamWorks spokeswoman says, ”These lawsuits are completely without merit.”


”Milk chocolate. Dark chocolate. I love chocolate,” Freddie Highmore (with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory costar Johnny Depp) said July 10 in L.A. His faves on the set? ”Chocolate pudding and a marshmallow flambé with a cream dome. [I ate] quite a bit.”


Brad Pitt, 41, checked into an L.A. hospital July 11 with flu-like symptoms following his recent travels to Africa. No word on Angie’s health. . . .Hall & Oates singer Daryl Hall, 55, has been diagnosed with Lyme disease, forcing the duo to cancel shows on their current U.S. tour. Hall will return to the stage in early August. . . .Zsa Zsa Gabor, 88, was rushed to an L.A. hospital after suffering a stroke on July 6. Following emergency surgery to clear a blocked artery, the actress is expected to make a full recovery.


1940s musical star June Haver, 79, Fred MacMurray’s widow who was once billed as the next Betty Grable, July 4, of respiratory failure, in Brentwood, Calif. . . .Actress Frances Langford, 92, famed for her steamy version of ”I’m in the Mood for Love,” July 11, of heart failure, in Jensen Beach, Fla. . . .One of the few successful black country artists, ”Big” Al Downing, 65, July 4, of leukemia, in Leicester, Mass. . . .Bass vocalist for funk pioneers Parliament-Funkadelic, Ray Davis, 65, July 5, of respiratory complications, in New Brunswick, N.J. . . .Rising comedian Freddy Soto, 35, who recently appeared in Spanglish, July 10, of unknown causes, in L.A.