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Miss Witherspoon said talking publicly “creates empowerment” among women and helps them feel they’re not alone. She said it often gives them the courage to go to a shelter or take legal action that could save their lives.

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip to open 2012 Olympics

Queen Elizabeth II’s busy summer calendar just got a bit more crowded.

The monarch will open both the 2012 Olympics and the Paralympics this summer, signaling that both events will be celebrated as great state occasions — something the British are famous for. It is the first time the queen has opened the Paralympic Games.

The monarch and her husband, Prince Philip, will perform the ceremonial role at the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium when the Olympic games begin on July 27, and for the Paralympic Games that start Aug. 29, the Associated Press reports.

The queen follows in the footsteps of her father, the late King George VI, who opened the 1948 London Olympics, and her great-grandfather, King Edward VII, who opened the 1908 London Olympics. The queen also opened the 1976 Olympics Games in Montreal as she is the head of state of Canada, while Philip did so on her behalf at Melbourne, Australia, in 1956.

The decision to open both ceremonies caps a very busy year for the queen, whose diamond jubilee this year marks her 60 years on the throne.

The queen, 85, and Philip, 90, are planning an extensive tour of the United Kingdom during the celebrations, including visits to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Philip is still planning to stick to the schedule despite his December heart scare, which required a stent to keep his coronary arteries open.

All-star lineup slated for Cash birthday bash

A diverse all-star lineup will celebrate the 80th birthday of Johnny Cash with an April concert.

Kenny Chesney, Kris Kristofferson, Lucinda Williams, Ray LaMontagne and Jamey Johnson are among the performers scheduled to appear in “We Walk the Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash” on April 20 at the Austin City Limits Live venue in Austin, Texas.

Chris Cornell, Ronnie Dunn, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Amy Lee and Shooter Jennings also will perform. Tickets are on sale.

Though Cash died in 2003 at age 71, interest in his music and legacy continue. Several celebrations are planned. Members of the Cash family gathered Sunday in Dyess, Ark., on what would have been Cash’s 80th birthday, to break ground on a museum at his boyhood home.

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.