Maybe later, your majesty

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling took a rain check Monday for her investiture by Queen Elizabeth II as an Officer of the Order of British Empire for contributions to children's literature.

Rowling, a single mother who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, sent regrets for the Tuesday honor because her 7-year-old daughter, Jessica, was ill, a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said.

"We of course understand why J.K. Rowling has had to postpone her investiture," the spokeswoman said. "These things happen occasionally and we will arrange another investiture date when it is convenient for her."

A new dawn for Deborah

Deborah Gibson's new album � M.Y.O.B (Mind Your Own Business) � features a remake of Tony Orlando's "Knock Three Times."

The 56-year-old Orlando � of Tony Orlando and Dawn fame � joined the 30-year-old pop star in the studio for a remake of the 1970s classic.

"'Knock Three Times' is a song I grew up playing on the piano and singing. I think this album takes the listener on a journey that reflects the different dynamics of people in general," Gibson said.

Said Orlando: "I've been knocking for 30 years; finally, someone answered."

Infamous collectibles

A violin and other items taken from Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's mountain villa by an American soldier were auctioned in Mount Vernon, Ill., to a private collector for $22,500.

The violin, its case, scrapbooks and a doll changed hands Saturday after antiques dealer Lisa Hanson made the winning bid on behalf of an anonymous buyer from Illinois.

After Mussolini tried to flee Italy in 1945, the late Clinton Fleenor and members of his unit went into the Mussolini family villa. He grabbed the violin, which had been inscribed by the dictator's German allies with a birthday greeting in 1933.

Fleenor returned to Mount Vernon and died shortly after the war. His widow, who died two years ago, had kept the items under her bed.

Tale of a castaway

"Survivor" castaway Gervase Peterson, who capitalized on his fame with guest spots on "The Hughleys," "Nash Bridges" and MTV's "Say What? Karaoke," is stepping into his biggest role yet: president of the United States.

Peterson plays the commander in chief on "There Goes the Nation," a new show on Peterson spoofs himself as Darwin Speeks, a "Survivor"-like character whose notoriety takes him all the way to the White House. The show will run Monday on the Internet.


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