Nation/World


Obama book-buying supports small stores

President Barack Obama made a quick trip to a Virginia bookstore for some Christmas shopping.

The president took his daughters, Sasha and Malia, to One More Page Books in Arlington, Va., on Saturday afternoon.

The White House says Obama was promoting an effort called Small Business Saturday to encourage shoppers to patronize mom-and-pop businesses after Thanksgiving.

At the store, Obama held up his BlackBerry, apparently looking up a book title as he spoke with shop owner Eileen McGervey. He said “preparation” was the key to his shopping.

The White House says Obama bought 15 children’s books that will be given as Christmas gifts to family members.

Bjork sings praises of surgery

Icelandic singer Bjork says she has had successful surgery to remove a vocal cord polyp.

The eccentric 47-year-old singer says on her official website that she had been trying to tackle the problem with exercises and diets since doctors first discovered the polyp, a benign growth on either one or both of the vocal cords, several years ago.

Bjork said she decided to undergo laser surgery and it has worked, though she had to stay quiet for three weeks.

She wrote: “Surgery rocks! … It’s been very satisfying to sing all them clear notes again.”

The singer apologized for canceling various shows earlier this year and said she looked forward to singing for her fans next year.

Last year Adele had minor surgery to remove a benign polyp.

The birthday bunch

Singer Percy Sledge is 72. Actor-game show host Ben Stein is 68. Actor John Larroquette is 65. “Dancing With the Stars” judge Bruno Tonioli is 57. Singer Amy Grant is 52. Actor Billy Burke is 46. Singer Stacy Lattisaw is 46. Guitarist Rodney Sheppard (Sugar Ray) is 46. Rapper-producer Erick Sermon is 44. Actress Jill Hennessy (“Crossing Jordan”) is 43. Actress Christina Applegate is 41. Actor Eddie Steeples (“My Name Is Earl”) is 39. Actress Katie Cassidy (new “Melrose Place”) is 26.


 

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