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Celebrity Moderators to Appear on Michelle Obama's Book Tour

Women joining the former first lady include Oprah, Tracee Ellis Ross and Reese Witherspoon.

Former first lady Michelle Obama is set to kick-off her 10-city U.S. book tour in support of her memoir "Becoming" on Nov. 13. The events will include all-star moderators whom she's scheduled to appear with.

The first stop on the tour will be in Obama's hometown of Chicago, with Oprah Winfrey moderating her conversation at the United Center. Other tour events will be moderated by Elizabeth Alexander (Nov. 25 and Dec. 1), Valerie Jarrett (Nov. 17 and Dec.17), Michele Norris (Nov. 24 and Dec. 14), Sarah Jessica Parker (Dec. 19), Phoebe Robinson (Nov. 29 and Dec. 11), Tracee Ellis Ross (Nov. 15), and Reese Witherspoon (Dec.13), each of whom will engage Obama in a conversation.

Last week, Obama and Live Nation announced a selection of the local and community organizations who will receive free admission the book tour. About 10 percent of ticket inventory in each city on the tour was set aside for various organizations including, schools, charities and community groups.

NowThis produced a video of Obama surprising students with the news.

Along with writing about her upbringing, the Princeton University and Harvard Law School graduate writes in her memoir about her time in the White House as the first Black first lady, motherhood and her public health campaign.

Penguin Random House, publisher of "Becoming," said that with "unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it — in her own words and on her own terms."

The book is to be published simultaneously in 24 languages around the world and will be released in the U.S. and Canada through the publisher's Crown Publisher Group, according to Reuters. Obama will also read for the audio edition and there will be an international book tour, which will be announced at a later date.

Penguin Random House landed a deal to publish both the former first lady's memoir and former President Barack Obama's. After a bidding war, the company reportedly agreed to pay $60 million to the former first couple for their books.

Barack Obama's three previous books — "Dreams of My Father," "The Audacity of Hope" and "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters" — were published by the same company.

The Obamas plan to donate a "significant portion of their author proceeds to charity," including the Obama Foundation, the publisher said in a statement.

Tickets for Michelle Obama's book tour are available at BecomingMichelleObama.com.

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The Trumps arrived in Iraq on Wednesday, following a "secret overnight flight."

REUTERS

UPDATE: Dec. 26, 2018 at 4:08 p.m.

In a visit that came hours after NBC News reported that President Trump was the first president since 2002 that did not visit wounded warriors or troops during Christmastime, Trump and First Lady Melania Trump met with troops stationed in Iraq, traveling there "late Christmas night," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

The Trumps arrived in Iraq on Wednesday, following a "secret overnight flight."

"Trump left behind a slate of troubles in Washington, including a partial government shutdown and an unsteady economy," according to CNN. "He's also faced criticism for a series of foreign policy decisions that have left his national security team at odds."

This makes Trump's first trip to visit U.S. troops in a combat zone, after much criticism.

According to The Washington Post, the head of one of two main blocs in Iraq's Parliament, Sabah al-Saidi, "is denouncing Trump's unannounced visit, calling it a 'blatant violation of Iraq's sovereignty'." Al-Saidi is calling for an emergency session of Parliament to discuss his visit.

He said Trump should not be allowed to arrive "as if Iraq is a state of the United States" as "the American occupation of Iraq is over."

White House press secretary Sanders said Trump couldn't meet with the Iraqi prime minister because of the short notice of the president's trip and security concerns.

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