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Winfrey praises Florida students as 'warriors of the light'

Oprah Winfrey has nothing but praise for the Florida school shooting survivors who have channeled angst into activism, calling them "warriors of the light" and comparing them to civil rights pioneers.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Saturday, Winfrey drew parallels between the teens and the Freedom Riders of the 1960s, who rode buses into southern states in protest of racial segregation. Winfrey called the Parkland students' protests for gun control "a proud moment."

"It's an evolving moment for our country. The same thing happened, as you know, back in the '50s and '60s for the civil rights movement," Winfrey said. "Young people said, 'We will not tolerate what our ancestors have tolerated. We have had enough and we're willing to fight for it and willing to march in the streets for it and, if necessary, die for it.'"

Winfrey spoke while promoting the upcoming film "A Wrinkle in Time," directed by Ava DuVernay and featuring her, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling. The film is adapted from Madeleine L'Engle's science-fiction fantasy novel.

"These young people get to be literally warriors of the light," Winfrey said. "That's what they're trying to do. They're trying to — through their voices, through the March For Our Lives — say 'We will not let this happen again. We are going to do what we can to banish the darkness.'"

The former talk show host last week matched a $500,000 donation by George and Amal Clooney to the students' planned marches, including one on March 24 in Washington, D.C.

The Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead has sparked calls for walkouts, sit-ins and other actions on school campuses across the U.S.

Winfrey also again reacted to President Donald Trump's recent tweeting about her in which he called her "very insecure."

"Nobody wants to be hate-tweeted, especially by the president," said Winfrey. "So it's not a comfortable thing I think for anybody on social media who's had somebody say something about you that you didn't feel was true. But I believe that you meet any kind of negativity in your life, that you meet it with light."

Michelle Obama announces November release for ‘deeply personal’ memoir

Former first lady Michelle Obama announced the title and release date of her upcoming memoir, People reported Sunday.

>> Read more trending news

The book, “Becoming,” will be released Nov. 13 and will be published in 24 languages worldwide, People reported. Obama tweeted Sunday that writing the book was “a deeply personal experience,” 

“I talk about my roots and how a girl from the South Side found her voice,” Obama tweeted. “I hope my journey inspires readers to find the courage to become whoever they aspire to be. I can't wait to share my story.”

“Becoming” is Obama’s second book. Her first, “American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America,” was published in 2012, Rolling Stone reported.

The book will be published by Penguin Random House. Markus Dohle, the company’s CEO, said in a statement that Obama’s book “will stretch the confines of a traditional first-lady memoir.”

“Becoming is an unusually intimate reckoning from a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations — and whose story inspires us to do the same,” Dohle said.

Music icon Marian Anderson to be celebrated in her hometown

The late music icon Marian Anderson will be celebrated in her Connecticut hometown on the 121st anniversary of her birth.

Western Connecticut State University in Danbury has scheduled the community gathering for Tuesday.

The opera singer is credited with breaking down barriers for blacks in the arts and galvanizing the fledging civil rights movement with a 1939 concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.

First lady Eleanor Roosevelt arranged for the concert after Anderson wasn't allowed to perform at another Washington venue.

Anderson became the first black artist to perform at the White House in 1936 and the first African-American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera.

Anderson lived in Danbury for nearly 50 years. She died in 1993 at age 96.

More information about the celebration is available online .

George Harrison remembered by fellow Beatle on 75th birthday

Paul McCartney and George Harrison's widow and son have publicly remembered the late Beatle on what would have been his 75th birthday.

"Happy Birthday Georgie. Wonderful memories," McCartney tweeted Sunday along with a black and white photograph of the two of them taken during the Beatlemania days.

Harrison died of cancer in 2001 at age 58.

His widow, Olivia Harrison, and his son, Dhani Harrison, tweeted an invitation for fans to celebrate George's birthday by watching a video of Billy Preston and Eric Clapton performing the Harrison song "Isn't It a Pity" at the star-studded Concert for George in 2002.

McCartney and Ringo Starr are the only surviving members of the English band that rocketed to global fame in the 1960s. John Lennon was shot to death in 1980.

End of the road for TommyXGigi, Dolce&Gabbana fly drones

Designers have made plays big and small for the loyalty of younger admirers at Milan Fashion Week.

They have reached out with Instagram-savvy supermodels like Gigi Hadid, styles that incorporate more elements of street-wear and ever-evolving technology, as highlighted with Dolce & Gabbana's clever use of drones during their womenswear show.

Some highlights from the fifth day of Milan Fashion Week womenswear previews for next fall and winter Sunday:

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TOMMY AND GIGI END THEIR ROAD SHOW

Tommy Hilfiger took his international road show to Milan, previewing his latest see-now, buy-now collection headlined by Gigi Hadid.

The U.S. brand invited 1,000 loyal Milan customers to the city's fairgrounds for the show, with the possibility to buy the exclusive wears even before they walked down the runway. Francesca Ottavia Battaglia, a long time consumer of Hilfiger's apparel, came with her sister and bought a 129 euro ($158) sweatshirt "also to have a memento from the show."

She says she buys a whole range of apparel from the brand — jeans, shoes and even suits for her job as a financial advisor. "Tommy manages to give that extravagance, that detail, even in classic styles, that makes it clear it is not the usual suit," she said.

The TommyNow Drive collection designed with Hadid was inspired by racing and with many 1990s influences featured bright primary colors that played well off of each other on the runway.

Hadid — who also has a Hilfiger-clad Barbie doll in her image — opened the show with a pair of blue and black leather racing leggings (499 euros) and a Hilfiger bandeau top, and closed in a long diaphanous layered maxidress with racing logo prints (530 euros).

It was the fourth collection that Hadid designed with the Hilfiger team, with the first three showing in Los Angeles, New York and London.

"It is a bit emotional but it is so exciting," Hadid said backstage. She said she learned with each season how to better execute her ideas, adding, "I feel like this collection is one that I really feel that I learned the most with."

Hadid closed the show taking one last lap with Hilfiger — who said that while their TommyXGigi collaboration was ending that they would "always be close. We'll always be family and friends." And he held out the possibility of another collaboration in the future.

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DOLCE & GABBANA DRONE DEVOTION

The fashion crowd was mystified and then miffed when the Dolce & Gabbana show was delayed by repeated announcements that all Wi-Fi connections needed to be turned off and then the announcer calling out the scofflaws. Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour got out of her seat to investigate. There were catcalls.

Then, 45 minutes after the scheduled start time, relief at the sound of opening music turned quickly to awe as the doors of the mocked-up church facade opened and out flew a series of drones. Each carried one of the fashion house's quilted leather handbags of the season, named Devotion and featuring a heart-shaped closure.

While the designing duo of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana again showed their mastery of marketing, the collection that followed made clear they would have sent the bags down the runway with flying cherubs, if only they could figure out how.

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FASHION SINNERS

Dolce & Gabbana have often played with church iconography. Now, they have come out and openly said what many had long suspected by opening their show with a look emblazoned "Fashion Sinner."

The audacious collection kept smartphones snapping during a parade that included pink cotton candy wigs, headbands topped with purses, hoods with zebra manes, angel wings on an ornate jacket and cherubs perched on eyewear.

The looks were fun and varied, from sequin encrusted jerseys and athletic-striped trousers proclaiming "Fashion Devotion," to a coordinated zebra-striped jacket, leggings and shoes, to pretty chiffon dresses in florals and lingerie-inspired dresses.

There were angelic looks, too: sequined dresses with cherubs and mini-skirts with detailing that might as well have been taken from church ceilings, worn with bejeweled cross necklaces.

"Love is Love," and "Fashion is Beauty" were among the other messages displayed on looks with generous helpings of sequins and crystals.

Dolce & Gabbana had a (not-so) secret show on Saturday night at their downtown party spot, featuring models and millennials in every manner of crystal-covered evening dress and playsuit. Models for the "Secrets & Diamonds" show included real life royalty, Lady Kitty Spencer, a cousin of Princes William and Harry.

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EMPORIO ARMANI MIXES DAY AND NIGHT

Giorgio Armani said he was inspired by what he sees on the streets to mix night and day looks in his ultra-feminine Emporio Armani collection for next fall and winter.

"Today everything gets mixed in absolute freedom," the stylist said after the show. "Young people today dress in contradictions. They go to clubs in their brother's sweatshirts and to the office in chiffon."

Armani captured that spirit with mini-skirts worn with cowboy boots, jackets with curved hemlines worn over a jumpsuit, fuzzy long coats over short-shorts and knitted cardigan jackets with athletic striped trousers. The color palette ranged from Kelly greens to soft blue, anchored by black.

The collection also reinvented the Emporio Armani logo as a simple EA heat-stamped on suede purses, as dangling crystal amulets on jackets and subtly emblazoned on dresses.

With antagonism between the sexes receiving so much attention, the Emporio Armani collection put a refreshing eye on friendship between men and women. The designer grouped a female model in a fuzzy EA sweater with a pair of male models in layers of knitwear, the trio dressed for a relaxed day out.

"I like this story," Armani said.

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MARNI'S HARMONY OF CONTRASTS

Francesco Risso's Marni collection for next season turned on bold colors and prints and intended to evoke a feel, according to the show notes, that is "basic, raw, immediate."

"They are women who scream colors and take the vital message into the streets," the designer said.

The collection opened with shiny belted trenches of treated leather or plastic that had unfinished threads left trailing. Sweater dresses clung and bunched seductively on the frame, a contrast to the oversized layering of tunic, vest and wide-legged trousers all in bright greens, purples or red.

Silken dresses were composed of panels of complementary fabrics and prints, united by a big, bent brass button. Knit hoods peeked out of tailored jackets with feline eye prints, reminiscent of a spookier version of the Cheshire cat.

There was a suggestion of recycling in the ponchos formed from blankets and sweaters sewn together with seams inside out — an idea reinforced by the piles of newspapers and used clothes that became the show room seating.

Big gold and silver moon earrings or long trailing feathers finished the looks. Shoes included closed-toed sandals on wavy rubber wedges. Surprisingly, there was none of the brand's trademark fur.

Michelle Obama to release memoir in November

Michelle Obama's memoir, one of the most highly anticipated books in recent years, is coming out Nov. 13.

The former first lady tweeted Sunday that the book, to come out a week after the 2018 midterm elections, is called "Becoming."

"Writing 'Becoming' has been a deeply personal experience," she said in a statement. "It has allowed me, for the very first time, the space to honestly reflect on the unexpected trajectory of my life. In this book, I talk about my roots and how a little girl from the South Side of Chicago found her voice and developed the strength to use it to empower others. I hope my journey inspires readers to find the courage to become whoever they aspire to be. I can't wait to share my story."

She and her husband, former President Barack Obama, last year reached a joint agreement with Penguin Random House for their respective books. The deal is believed to be well in excess of $30 million. "Becoming" will be released in the U.S. through the Crown Publishing Group, a Penguin Random House division that has published works by both Obamas.

Memoirs by former first ladies usually sell well, with notable works including Laura Bush's "Spoken from the Heart" and Hillary Rodham Clinton's "Living History." Michelle Obama's memoir is expected to be a major commercial and cultural event. She is admired around the world and has never told her story at length. Her only previous book was a 2012 work on gardening, "American Grown."

The book will be published simultaneously in 24 languages, from Swedish to Arabic, and Michelle Obama expects to promote "Becoming" in the U.S. and overseas. She will also narrate the audio version. According to Crown, Obama is working with a team of assistants, but that every word in the finished text will be hers.

"As first lady of the United States of America — the first African-American to serve in that role — she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world," Crown said in a statement.

"In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her_from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address."

Barack Obama, who has written the million-sellers "Dreams from My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope," has not yet scheduled his memoir. He is expected to focus on his eight years in the White House.

George Harrison would have been 75 Sunday

The youngest Beatle would have been 75 Sunday.

>> Read more trending news

George Harrison was the lead guitarist for the Beatles and also had a successful solo career. He was born Feb. 25, 1943, in Liverpool, United Kingdom. Harrison was the second member of the band to die, when he passed away on Nov. 29, 2001, in Los Angeles.

Harrison’s official Twitter account marked the milestone birthday with a remastered video of “Blue Jay Way,” a song the guitarist wrote for the 1967 album and movie, “Magical Mystery Tour.”

Harrison brought a guitar-playing style that would influence 1960s groups like the Byrds, and he learned how to play the sitar under the tutelage of Ravi Shankar, an Indian musician. Shankar’s influence was apparent in Harrison songs like “Within You WIthout You,” and “The Inner Light,” and also in the group’s hit “Norwegian Wood.”

Harrison’s most notable song with the group was “Something,” which appeared on the “Abbey Road” album along with “Here Comes the Sun.” Other hits included “Taxman,” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” along with his first composition with the band, “Don’t Bother Me.”

Harrison also made his mark on the band outside of music. He studied Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and persuaded the other Beatles to visit the the Maharishi’s camp in India during 1968.

Harrison was the first member of the Beatles to record a solo album, releasing “Wonderwall Music” on Nov. 1, 1968. 

When he began his solo career, Harrison hit No. 1 with “My Sweet Lord” and organized a benefit called the Concert for Bangladesh, which included a surprise appearance by Bob Dylan.

Harrison ran into copyright problems with Bright Tunes, which alleged infringement of the Ronnie Mack song “He’s So Fine,” which was performed by the Chiffons. The courts ruled against Harrison and he was forced to pay royalties.

However, Harrison maintained his sense of humor, writing in his 1976 tune “This Song” that “This song, has nothing Bright about it.”

‘Notting Hill’ actress Emma Chambers dead at 53

Actress Emma Chambers, who played Hugh Grant’s younger sister in the 1999 movie “Notting Hill,” died Wednesday, her agent told CNN. She was 53.

>> Read more trending news

Her agent, John Grant, said Chambers died of natural causes. The British actress is survived by her husband, actor Ian Dunn.

“Over the years, Emma, created a wealth of characters and an immense body of work. She brought laughter and joy to many, and will be greatly missed," John Grant said.

Hugh Grant tweeted that Chambers was “a hilarious and very warm person and of course a brilliant actress.”

In addition to “Notting Hill,” Chambers starred for more than a decade as Alice Tinker in the BBC comedy “The Vicar of Dibley,” CNN reported.

Second weekend for 'Black Panther' is one of the best ever

"Black Panther" scored one of the best second weekends ever with an estimated $108 million in ticket sales, putting it on track to rank among the highest-grossing blockbusters ever.

Ryan Coogler's Marvel sensation is on a box-office course that few films have managed, according to studio estimates Sunday. It is only the fourth film to earn $100 million in its second weekend, along with "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" ($149.2 million), "Jurassic World" ($106.6 million) and "The Avengers" ($103.1 million).

Only "The Force Awakens" had a better second weekend than "Black Panther," which dropped 47 percent after its opening weekend of $201.8 million.

"Black Panther" has grossed $400 million domestically and $704 million worldwide in two weeks. The film, starring Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan, has held even better overseas, where it dropped 42 percent this weekend. Its release in China, the world's second-largest film market, is set for March 9.

"Whatever your projections for 'Black Panther' might be, just increase them by 20 percent and you might be on point," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore. "Now the question isn't so much if it gets to $1 billion, but how far beyond that number does it go."

The results so far put it in the company of "Jurassic World," which ended up grossing $1.67 billion worldwide, and "The Avengers," which ultimately hauled in $1.52 billion. Both rank among the top five of all time, not accounting for inflation.

"Black Panther" is spurring a surge for the industry. The overall box office is up 12.5 percent from last year, according to comScore.

And the movie is doing it with an especially diverse audience. This weekend's audience was 33 percent African-American, 37 percent Caucasian, 18 percent Hispanic and 7 percent Asian, according to comScore.

The film's success didn't appear to hurt the handful of new releases.

Faring the best was "Game Night," starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, from Warner Bros.' New Line. The comedy, which cost about $37 million to make and was directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, debuted with $16.6 million, coming in slightly above forecasts.

Though comedies have struggled at the box office in recent years, "Game Night" got a modest boost from good reviews and perhaps from the waves of moviegoers brought in by "Black Panther."

"It's that whole 'a rising tide floats all boats,'" said Jeff Goldstein, distribution head for Warner Bros.

"The whole (comedy) genre is just really troubled," he added. "New Line is, I think, particularly good at teasing these movies out to be the best versions of them. They've had a lot of success in the past, whether it be 'Horrible Bosses' or 'Central Intelligence.'"

Alex Garland's sci-fi thriller "Annihilation," starring Natalie Portman, also debuted with some momentum thanks to strong reviews. It opened with $11 million on about 2,000 screens (or about half the number of "Black Panther").

Paramount earlier sold the film's international rights (except in China) to Netflix after disappointing reactions in test screenings. Opening weekend audiences largely responded similarly, giving the film a poor C CinemaScore.

It's not uncommon for studios to offload international rights to recoup their costs. But selling an ambitious film from Garland, writer-director of 2015's acclaimed "Ex Machina," to Netflix was seen by some as a sign of diminishing aspirations for a Hollywood major studio.

But Paramount has been behind some of the more artistically audacious releases in recent years, including Darren Aronofsky's "mother!," Alexander Payne's "Downsizing" and Martin Scorsese's "Silence."

"Annihilation," an unusually challenging and psychedelic sci-fi release for a major studio, cost about $40 million to produce. It's among the last releases green-lit by previous Paramount head Brad Grey. Jim Gianopulos took over as chief executive and chairman last year, and he is pushing a more franchise-focused agenda.

Kyle Davies, Paramount's domestic distribution chief, declined to comment on the Netflix deal but said he was pleased with the film's performance.

"Alex is a very talented filmmaker, and he's created this mind-bending experience," Davies said. "And I think there's going to be a lot of chatter and a lot of buzz that will propel the movie into the spring moviegoing season."

Also opening was the micro-budget young adult romance "Every Day," the first release from Metro Goldwyn Mayer's rebooted Orion Pictures. The film, which cost less than $5 million to make, debuted with $3.1 million in ticket sales.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers also are included. Final three-day domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. "Black Panther," $108 million ($83.8 million international).

2. "Game Night," $16.6 million ($5.2 million international).

3. "Peter Rabbit," $12.5 million.

4. "Annihilation," $11 million.

5. "Fifty Shades Freed," $6.9 million ($22.3 million international).

6. "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," $5.7 million ($3 million international).

7. "The 15:17 to Paris," $3.6 million ($1.3 million international).

8. "The Greatest Showman," $3.4 million ($7.7 million international).

9. "Every Day," $3.1 million.

10. "MET Opera: La Boheme," $1.9 million.

___

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:

1. "Operation Red Sea," $107 million.

2. "Black Panther," $83.8 million.

3. "Detective Chinatown 2," $80 million.

4. "Monster Hunt 2," $33.5 million.

5. "Fifty Shades Freed," $22.3 million.

6. "Boonie Bears: The Big Shrink," $12.7 million.

7. "The Shape of Water," $11.6 million.

8. "The Greatest Showman," $7.7 million.

9. "Monkey King 3: The Kingdom of Women," $7.6 million.

10. "Maze Runner: The Death Cure," $7.1 million.

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Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

Russia official calls US charges a joke worthy of Jim Carrey

A spokeswoman for Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman says the U.S. indictment charging 13 Russians with trying to influence the U.S. presidential election is ridiculous enough to be the work of a professional comedian.

State news agency Tass quoted ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova saying Sunday: "I sometimes get the impression that ... behind these statements that are made in the U.S. are some of their most popular comedians, maybe Jim Carrey."

The indictment issued Feb. 16 alleges a businessman linked to President Vladimir Putin and a dozen other Russians ran a "troll farm" that created false social media content.

Tass says Zakharova commented during a talk show on state Rossiya-1 TV: "It's really very ridiculous to blame 13 Russians from a legal company with influence on the U.S. election and seriously discuss it as evidence."

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