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‘Twilight’ Time: Girls Just Wanna Swoon Over Vampires

Emily Keller, a Watervliet, N.Y., high school senior, has read the four “Twilight” books 28 times.

Olivia Jaquith, a Niskayuna, N.Y., ninth-grader, flew with her mom across country last year to attend the “Twilight” premiere and has since watched the film about 50 times.

Pamela Townsend, a senior, is joining other “Twilight” fanatics to see the first showing of the second movie in the series, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”

The film started at 12:01 a.m. Friday in this region of upstate New York. One multiplex is showing it on 12 screens.

Welcome to the “Twilight” phenomenon — and not, presumably, for the first time. As Liz Gialanella, a school psychologist, says, “You’d have to be on another planet not to know about ‘Twilight.”’

It’s a four-book series by Stephenie Meyer being made into a four-movie series about a girl who falls in love with a vampire while being courted by a werewolf. Young, beautiful actors portray the characters — the vampires and werewolves are particularly gorgeous — and the hype is intense. “Twilight” merchandise is everywhere, and teenage girls, especially, swoon over it all.

Oprah Winfrey Plans to Leave ABC Show in Cable Gamble

Oprah Winfrey is giving network television one of her trademark aha moments.

Winfrey, the billionaire queen of daytime television, is planning to announce Friday that she will step down from her daily pulpit, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” in two years in order to concentrate on the forthcoming cable channel that will bear her name.

“The sun will set on the Oprah show as its 25th season draws to a close on Sept. 9, 2011,” Tim Bennett, the president of Winfrey’s production company, Harpo, said in a letter to her 214 local TV stations Thursday evening. She will appear on her cable channel, called OWN: the Oprah Winfrey Network, in some form. But “The Oprah Winfrey Show” will no longer be.

The list of repercussions of her decision is long. For CBS, owner of the syndication rights to her show, it means the loss of its signature program and millions of dollars every year in revenue. For ABC, where her show was largely shown, it means the loss of daytime’s most popular show, a generator of a massive audience leading into its evening news programs.

European Union Names Two to Positions as Leaders

Leaders of the 27 countries of the European Union on Thursday night chose Herman Van Rompuy, the Belgian prime minister, as the European Union’s first president, and Catherine Ashton of Britain, currently the EU trade commissioner, as its high representative for foreign policy. The vote was unanimous.

Both officials are highly respected but little known outside their own countries. After the European Union’s eight-year battle to rewrite its internal rules and to pass the Lisbon Treaty that created these two new jobs, the choice of such low-profile figures seemed to highlight Europe’s problems instead of its readiness to take a more united and forceful place in world affairs.