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Jennifer Aniston’s birthday and Claire Danes’ engagement made news the week of February 9, 2008

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ENGAGED
Actress Claire Danes, 29, already does a mean British accent, but it’s bound to get even stronger now that she’s engaged to Brit Hugh Dancy (Confessions of a Shopaholic), 33. The two met on the set of 2007’s Evening.

EXPECTING
Actor Hank Azaria, (The Simpsons), 44, and girlfriend Katie Wright are expecting their first child, a baby boy, this summer…. Being Bobby Brown just got a little better: The R&B singer, 40, will have his first child with girlfriend/manager Alicia Etheredge this summer. Brown already has four children, including one with ex Whitney Houston, 45.

BIRTHS
Golfer Tiger Woods, 33, and wife Elin Nordegren, 29, became parents to a baby boy named Charlie Axel on Feb. 8. The couple already has a 1-year-old daughter, Sam Alexis.

ON TOUR
Britney Spears‘ kids are about to join the Circus: The singer, 27, reportedly agreed to give ex-husband Kevin Federline $5,000 per week in order to bring her children along on her upcoming Circus tour. Jayden, 2, and Sean Preston, 3, will stay at homes in New Jersey, New Orleans, and Los Angeles during the three-month tour, with Spears commuting from her concert sites to be with them. Spears had previously threatened to cancel the tour if she couldn’t bring her children. The exes share parenting of the kids.

COURTS
On Feb. 9, artist Shepard Fairey, 38, sued the Associated Press, asking a judge to clear him of wrongdoing in connection with his iconic Barack Obama ”Hope” poster. The suit follows the AP’s allegation that Fairey illegally used one of its photos to create the illustration. In a statement, a rep for the newsgroup maintained that use of the photo ”required permission from AP.”

POLITICS
On Feb. 5, actor Val Kilmer, 49, told the AP that he may run for governor of New Mexico, his home state for more than two decades. ”If I run, I’m going to be the next governor,” said Kilmer.

RECOVERING
Tameka Foster, 38, wife of R&B singer Usher, 30, is in stable condition after suffering serious complications from surgery in Brazil. Usher canceled his performance at Clive Davis’ Grammy pre-party on Feb. 7 to fly to the Brazilian hospital where Foster was undergoing treatment.

APOLOGY
There were more rough waters in store for Olympian Michael Phelps, 23, in the week after photos of him appearing to smoke marijuana surfaced. First, Phelps was suspended from competitive swimming for three months by USA Swimming on Feb. 5. Then on Feb. 6, Kellogg’s announced that Phelps’ cereal endorsement deal would not be renewed. But Phelps isn’t left totally high and dry — companies like Visa, Speedo, and Subway have said they’ll continue as sponsors. ”I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way,” said the swimmer in a statement. ”I promise my fans and the public — it will not happen again.”

DEATHS
One Life to Live lost two of its best-loved alums in the same week: Actor Phil Carey, 83, who played Asa Buchanan, died Feb. 6 in NYC after a battle with lung cancer, while Clint Ritchie, 70, known to fans as Clint Buchanan, died Jan. 31 in Roseville, Calif., after a short illness…. Oscar-nominated actor James Whitmore (The Shawshank Redemption), 87, died Feb. 6 in Malibu, Calif., after a battle with lung cancer…. Buena Vista Social Club bassist Orlando ”Cachaito” López, 76, died Feb. 9 in Havana, Cuba, of complications from surgery…. Lux Interior (n e] Erick Purkhiser), 62, lead singer of punk-rock group the Cramps, died of complications from a heart condition on Feb. 4 in Glendale, Calif. — With additional reporting by Stewart Allen

Jennifer Aniston Is 40…Going on Fabulous
Jennifer Aniston turned 40 on Feb. 11, a milestone that can send some actresses reaching for the uppers, but one she embraced with Rachel-from-Friends-like chipperness. ”I don’t know if I’m a late bloomer,” she told EW, ”but I feel like 40 is going to be awesome.” It’s off to a pretty awesome start. On Feb. 7, Aniston threw a birthday party for herself at her Beverly Hills home, with guests including boyfriend John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, and Tom Hanks, right as her romantic comedy He’s Just Not That Into You was topping the box office with a $28 million haul. Coming on the heels of her $140 million smash Marley & Me, He’s Just Not That Into You suggests that her movie career may be kicking into a higher gear. (The actress already has two more films in the can: the indie comedy Management and the romantic drama Traveling.) It doesn’t hurt that Aniston, who recently posed nude in GQ, looks ageless — notwithstanding the discovery of a gray hair, which, as she told Ellen DeGeneres last week, ”flipped me out.” Skeptics will argue Aniston still hasn’t demonstrated she can reliably open a movie: Marley had an adorable puppy on the poster, and He’s Just Not That Into You is an ensemble film. But Mandate Pictures president Nathan Kahane, who recently lured Aniston to star in The Baster, a comedy about a woman who undergoes artificial insemination, says she has nothing to prove: ”This is a great time for her. She has shown that there are more tools in her chest than any of us knew.” — Josh Rottenberg, with additional reporting by Nicole Sperling