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Obamas, Oprah join Chicago project reading to kids online

Obamas, Oprah join Chicago project reading to kids online

CHICAGO — Barack and Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey have joined the ranks of famous Chicagoans who are reading children's books in videos posted online by the Chicago Public Library to engage families during the coronavirus pandemic.
Beckett Cypher, 21-year-old son of Melissa Etheridge, dies

Beckett Cypher, 21-year-old son of Melissa Etheridge, dies

LOS ANGELES — Melissa Etheridge said Wednesday that her son Beckett Cypher has died. Etheridge released a statement saying opioid addiction was behind Cypher's death.
Head of World Trade Organization to step down early

Head of World Trade Organization to step down early

GENEVA — The head of the World Trade Organization said Thursday that he will leave his post a year early, a “personal decision” that sets the stage for a succession contest at the trade body amid lingering U.S.
The promotion will be virtual for new "Hunger Games" novel

The promotion will be virtual for new "Hunger Games" novel

NEW YORK — When Suzanne Collins' “Mockingjay” was published a decade ago, Books of Wonder owner Peter Glassman put on a show: a late-night celebration for hundreds at his Manhattan store, with jugglers, costumes, a trivia wheel, cupcakes with the “Mo
Matt Damon describes 'fairy tale' lockdown life in Ireland

Matt Damon describes 'fairy tale' lockdown life in Ireland

LONDON — Matt Damon has described living in Ireland during the country’s coronavirus lockdown as like being in a “fairy tale” during a surprise radio interview.
Biography of Ida B. Wells coming out in 2021, publisher says

Biography of Ida B. Wells coming out in 2021, publisher says

NEW YORK — The great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells is writing a biography of the pioneering African-American journalist and activist. One Signal Publishers announced Thursday that Michelle Duster's “Ida B. the Queen” will come out next February.
Follett novel, others to be excerpted in free e-compilation

Follett novel, others to be excerpted in free e-compilation

NEW YORK — Fiction by Ken Follett, Matt Haig and Sue Miller will be among the dozens of upcoming releases excerpted in two free e-book compilations.
Common's #WeMatterToo push urges jail releases amid virus

Common's #WeMatterToo push urges jail releases amid virus

NEW YORK — Rapper and activist Common went into quarantine concerned about incarcerated people he has met during visits to jails, prisons and juvenile detention centres around the U.S.
DOJ: Reality star spent emergency loan on Rolex, Rolls Royce

DOJ: Reality star spent emergency loan on Rolex, Rolls Royce

ATLANTA — A reality TV star in Atlanta used an emergency loan from the federal government to lease a Rolls Royce, make child support payments and purchase $85,000 worth of jewelry, authorities said Wednesday.
Virus spikes could emerge weeks after US economic reopenings

Virus spikes could emerge weeks after US economic reopenings

U.S. states are beginning to restart their economies after months of paralyzing coronavirus lockdowns, but it could take weeks until it becomes clear whether those reopenings will cause a spike in COVID-19 cases, experts said Wednesday.