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Stephen King to receive honorary National Book Award

New York -- Stephen King doesn't have the literary reputation of Philip Roth or Arthur Miller, but now all three authors have something in common: an honorary National Book Award for lifetime achievement.

King, brand-name writer, master of the horror story and e-book pioneer, is receiving this year's medal for Distinguished Contributions to American Letters. The prize, worth $10,000, was announced Monday by the National Book Foundation.

"This is probably the most exciting thing to happen to me in my career as a writer since the sale of my first book in 1973," King said.

"I'll return the cash award to the National Book Foundation for the support of their many educational and literary outreach programs for children and youth across the country; the Medal I will keep and treasure for the rest of my life."

King will receive the award Nov. 19.

Baby on the way

Los Angeles -- Actors Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards are being cast in the role of new parents. They're expecting their first child early next spring, a publicist said Monday.

Sheen also has an 18-year-old daughter, Cassandra, from his first marriage.

He and Richards married in June 2002. They're co-starring in "Scary Movie 3," which opens Oct. 24.

Sheen also appears in the new CBS series "Two and a Half Men."

'Cut Piece' for peace

Paris -- Yoko Ono performed her legendary 1960s "Cut Piece" Monday, inviting the audience to cut off her clothing with scissors in the name of world peace.

The 70-year-old avant-garde icon sat in a chair on stage alone at Paris' intimate Ranelagh theater and asked that each member of the audience silently cut off a piece of her clothing and send it to a loved one.

One by one, the 200 audience members filed onstage and snipped away pieces of Ono's outfit. The artist was left seated in her black undergarments.

"I was just here to say imagine world peace, and to say I love you," Ono told Associated Press Television News in an exclusive interview after the show. "Let's create a peaceful world. I'm hoping these things will help."

Visit to Neverland

Santa Maria, Calif.-- Michael Jackson had a fund-raiser at his Neverland Ranch with a celebrity invitation list that included boxer Mike Tyson and musicians Patti LaBelle and Boyz II Men.

About 700 people were invited Saturday and paid $5,000 to attend. The proceeds were to go to Make-A-Wish Foundation, Oneness, and E Ai Como E Que Fica, a Rio de Janeiro organization that provides food, clothing and medical care for poor children.

Fans outside the ranch gates traveled from as far as Denmark and Croatia to catch a glimpse of Jackson and other celebrities.

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