And now the most engaging two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine.
U.N. relief officials say a humanitarian catastrophe has been averted in Afghanistan this winter by the massive influx of food and other supplies that has accompanied the U.S. war effort. But officials admit that large amounts of aid are still not getting through, and most reports have blamed that on theft by armed warlords. But now U.N. aid officials are conceding that some private international aid agency personnel are joining in the stealing. One U.N. aid official told the Boston Globe "These non-governmental organizations are not always honest. This program is not working."
Veteran Democratic Congressman John Dingell of Michigan was required by airport security personnel to drop his pants while a metal-detecting wand was waved over his shorts. It happened over the weekend at Washington's Reagan National Airport after Dingell's artificial hip, and the knee brace he was wearing, set off the screener he passed through. Officials refused to take his word that he had an artificial hip and pins implanted in his ankles in addition to his knee brace. They had him remove the pants and the knee brace in a back room. "They felt me up and down like a prize steer," said Dingell. Northwest Airlines defended the action, but Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta told Dingell he was appalled.
The Pentagon has put scientist to work developing a new bomb – a stink bomb. The New York Post reports that a Philadephia based firm called Monell Chemical Senses Center has been asked to come up with a device that could be used to clear crowds. Researcher Pamel Dalton told the <I>Post "what they would be interested in is something to keep people out of certain areas."
Finally, we picked up an AP item last time that said People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had outfitted 400 deer out in Ohio with those bright orange vests that hunters use to alert each other not to shoot. The story went on to say that a sporting goods store had tried to thwart PETA by paying a bounty for the vests taken from from dead deer. It turned out the item was not only not new, it wasn't true either. It was a hoax and we fell for it. Sorry about that.