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Aretha Franklin blasts author of unauthorized bio

NEW YORK (AP) — The Queen of Soul says don’t waste your money — or soul — on the recently released unauthorized biography about her. In a statement, Aretha Franklin called David Ritz’s “Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin,” a “trashy book.” The two have a history of collaborating: Franklin and award-winning Ritz worked together on [...]

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Reading Harry Potter gives clues to brain activity

  WASHINGTON (AP) — Reading about Harry Potter’s adventures learning to fly his broomstick activates some of the same regions in the brain we use to perceive real people’s actions and intentions. In a unique study, scientists who peeked into the brains of people caught up in a good book emerged with maps of what a healthy [...]

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LL Cool J, Chaka Khan help honor Quincy Jones

  LOS ANGELES (AP) — Though Quincy Jones and LL Cool J never collaborated musically, the rapper-actor says Jones has played a major role in his life. “You just really taught me to be a man,” LL Cool J said Wednesday in a heartfelt introduction of his mentor and friend at Ebony magazine’s annual Power [...]

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Wendy Williams ‘proud’ of ‘Aaliyah’ TV movie

    NEW YORK (AP) — Though the Lifetime movie “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B” drew criticism from fans upset with casting and the way it depicts Aaliyah’s life, executive producer Wendy Williams says she wouldn’t do anything differently if she had it to do again. Aaliyah fans took to Twitter, criticizing everything from the movie’s [...]

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Latin pop star Prince Royce hopes to cross over

  LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prince Royce says although he’s working on his first album in English, his fans can still expect to hear his signature Latin and tropical sound in his new music. The 25-year-old star released his first English language single, “Stuck on a Feeling,” on Monday. It features rapper Snoop Dogg and [...]

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‘Cosby’ author sorry for omitting assault charges

  NEW YORK (AP) — The author of a new Bill Cosby biography is apologizing for not pursuing allegations that the comedian had drugged and sexually assaulted numerous women. Mark Whitaker, whose “Cosby: His Life and Times” was published in September, tweeted Monday that he was wrong not to “aggressively” look into the charges and [...]

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UK: ‘Severe’ terror threat requires new powers

  LONDON (AP) — Britain faces its greatest-ever threat from terrorism, the interior minister said Monday, announcing measures to control suspects, strengthen online scrutiny and prevent insurance companies from paying terrorist ransoms. Home Secretary Theresa May said the advance of the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq had given “energy and a renewed sense [...]

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Democrats name 3 finalists to host 2016 convention

  WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats narrowed the list of contenders for their 2016 national convention to three cities on Monday, announcing the party’s next presidential candidate will be formally nominated in New York City, Philadelphia or Columbus, Ohio. The Democratic National Committee said convention bids made by Birmingham, Alabama and Phoenix had been eliminated. DNC [...]

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Israel resumes razing homes to punish attackers

  JERUSALEM (AP) — Enas Shalodi, a Palestinian mother of six, has been severely punished by Israel for something she didn’t do. A wrecking crew gutted her family’s apartment in Jerusalem last week, tearing down inner walls and leaving behind a thick layer of debris. The demolition came a month after her oldest son, 21-year-old [...]

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Obama meets with American winners of Nobel Prizes

  WASHINGTON (AP) — Some smart minds came together in the Oval Office. President Barack Obama welcomed the four American winners of this year’s Nobel Prizes to the White House on Monday. The four Nobel laureates Obama met with are: — U.S. researchers Eric Betzig and William Moerner, chemistry. — Japanese-born U.S. scientist Shuji Nakamura, [...]

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Russia gets greater control over Black Sea region

  MOSCOW (AP) — Russia tightened its control Monday over Georgia’s breakaway province of Abkhazia with a new treaty envisaging closer military and economic ties with the lush sliver of land along the Black Sea. The move drew outrage and cries of “annexation” in Georgia and sent a chill through those in Abkhazia who fear [...]

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