Hugo Chávez returning to Cuba
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez skipped the Summit of the Americas for medical reasons Saturday and headed to Cuba to continue with cancer treatment that is increasingly forcing him out of the international spotlight. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro announced the decision from Colombia, where he was attending the summit in Chávez's place. Maduro told state television that Chávez decided not to attend on the advice of his doctors. The decision headed off a potential confrontation with President Barack Obama, and also raised questions anew about the effects that Chávez's cancer could have on his political future and ambitions.
Website finally opens to Harry Potter fans
Since J.K. Rowling and Sony announced it in July, the website Pottermore.com has been eagerly awaited by Harry Potter's millions of fans. Its scheduled October opening was delayed, but in March its shop opened as the exclusive seller of ebook versions of Rowling's seven novels, which have sold 450 million copies in print. The entire multimedia site opened to registration Saturday, with animation, games and new content from Rowling that will expand on the boy wizard's world and adventures. A message at the site warned fans that it might take several days to receive confirmation that will let them sign in to use it.
Dick Cheney appears healthy at convention
Former Vice President Dick Cheney walked onstage without any assistance and spoke for an hour and 15 minutes without seeming to tire in his first public engagement since he underwent a heart transplant three weeks ago. At the Wyoming Republican Party state convention in Cheyenne on Saturday, he sat in a chair chatting with daughter Liz Cheney and looked healthier than recent appearances. Cheney even predicted that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is going to do a "whale of a job."
Settlements spark Palestinian protest
Israel completed preparations Saturday for an expected influx of hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists today, while the Welcome to Palestine 2012 initiative urged protesters barred from boarding flights to challenge the decision. An Israeli police spokesman said that more than 500 police officers, in uniform and civilian clothing, would be stationed at Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv, ahead of the mass arrival of demonstrators taking part in Welcome to Palestine.
New class of rockers inducted into Hall
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, a musical celebration that in past years has included awkward moments, touching tributes and unforgettable performances, kicked off Saturday night in historic Public Hall where 6,000 fans, 1,400 well-heeled guests and many of music's biggest stars were set to party with the class of 2012. Hard rockers Guns N' Roses headlined this year's eclectic group of inductees. Others were the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Beastie Boys, folk icon Donovan, late singer-songwriter Laura Nyro and British bands the Small Faces and Faces. Axl Rose, the Guns N' Roses lead singer, skipped the event.