dropping by to say hello: New U.S. ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, accompanied by her husband, Edwin Schlossberg, greeted students Monday at Mangokuura Elementary School in Ishinomaki. She also toured areas in northeastern Japan devastated by the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake.
Yahoo announced Monday that it had signed Katie Couric, the longtime network news star, for a new position as the “global anchor” of its still-formative news operation. It had been widely reported late last week that Couric was about to sign a deal to shift from ABC News to Yahoo as a base for news reporting and interviews, while, at least for the current television season, continuing her daytime syndicated talk show.
Couric said over the weekend that she would still focus on the daytime show for the remainder of the current television season and described the position she will assume at Yahoo as “a work in progress.” The move to Yahoo will end her deal with ABC News a year early.
Life-size Barbie house at MOA: A life-size Barbie Dreamhouse, 30,000 square feet of worship to the most famous fashion doll of all time, will soon be open to visitors young and nostalgic in the Mall of America in Bloomington. Drenched in pink and designed with more than 20 pounds of glitter, “Barbie, The Dreamhouse Experience” will feature an “endless closet displaying outfits from some of her 130-plus inspirational careers,” the mall said in a statement Monday announcing the attraction. The Dreamhouse will open in early spring and will be on Level 3 in the mall’s southeast corner for at least two years. General admission tickets to visit the Dreamhouse go on sale starting Dec. 2 for $23.99 ($16.99 for seniors; visitors 2 and under are free).
Cleveland captive to write book: One of three young women held captive for years in a Cleveland house has a book deal. Michelle Knight’s memoir is scheduled to come out next spring, publisher Weinstein Books announced Monday. The book, currently untitled, will be co-written by Michelle Burford, who worked on a memoir by Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas. Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus escaped in May after 11 years in captivity at the hands of Ariel Castro. He hanged himself in his cell in September.
Stars donate songs for typhoon aid: Dozens of top stars have donated songs to an album aimed at raising funds for disaster relief in the Philippines. Songs by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Beyoncé, U2 and Bruno Mars are among the 39 donated to “Songs for the Philippines,” available for purchase Monday at iTunes and for streaming on iTunes Radio. The artists, record companies and music publishers have agreed to donate all proceeds. The money will go the Philippines Red Cross.
Paul Walsh and News services