And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine. 

Pakistani officials are quietly confirming reports that China has made a quick delivery of five shiploads of military equipment, including airplanes and air weapons, to Pakistan.  The English-language New International newspaper in Pakistan says that the stuff was shipped in a 10-day period in December to the port of Karachi.  Its purpose, officials said, was to address what is described as a marked imbalance of the air forces of India and Pakistan. 

And, speaking of arms shipments, U.S. intelligence sources are saying that that ship that Israel seized carrying 50 tons of weapons, the ship captain said were bound for the Palestinians was not the first such shipment.  UPI quotes sources as saying there have been at least two other such weapons shipments that escaped capture.  Some doubt remains, meanwhile, about where the weapons actually came from, despite the fact that the captain said they were picked up off the coast of Iran.  Saddam Hussein of Iraq, by the way, has now denounced the Israeli seizure of the ship as a "sheer breach of international navigation laws, and a criminal piracy."

Former housing secretary Andrew Cuomo, who's running for governor of New York, a Democrat, has reversed himself and decided not to accept support from Hustler magazine chairman Larry Flint, after all.  Flint was one of the sponsors and a vice chairman of a $2,500-a-plate Cuomo fund raiser Thursday night in Los Angeles.  As recently as a day ago, Cuomo’s spokesman, Josh Isay, told the AP that just as Cuomo had a right to fight for women's rights, Flint had "a right to support Andrew Cuomo."  Now the spokesman is saying the campaign "has decided he will not be a vice chairman or give money to the campaign."

Now, you've heard of sexism, racism, ageism and perhaps even lookism.  But now it seems there's a new "ism" that denotes discrimination against animals – speciesism.  Karen Davis, head of an animal rights group called Poultry Concerns, writes in an open letter to the vegetarian magazine,  Vegan Voice, "I think it's speciesist to think that the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center was a greater tragedy than what millions of chickens endured that day and what they endure every day because they cannot defend themselves against the concerted human appetites arrayed against them."