Bread Knife Leads to Expulsion

And now the most interesting two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy wants a Justice Department investigation of whether former Independent Counsel Robert Ray, who's running for the Senate in New Jersey, engaged in improper political activities while he was still in his old job. While Ray never commented publicly on any political ambitions while he was still the independent counsel, he did meet with Republican Party officials in New Jersey and party fund-raisers. Leahy wrote to Attorney General Ashcroft that, "Ray's choice of career is of no concern, but the timing of his choice is."

The latest from the world of American education is that a 16-year-old high school junior in the Fort Worth, Texas, suburb of Hurst is fighting his expulsion from school because a bread knife was found in the back of his pickup truck. The student, Taylor Hess, and his father explained that the day before they had used his truck to take some of his ailing grandmother's belongings, including kitchenware, to the goodwill for donations. The knife, it seems, fell out of one of the boxes and was spotted by school officials the next day. After a hearing, young Hess was expelled. Officials said they had no choice under the school's zero-tolerance policy for possession of a weapon.

The Arabic Translation of Hitler's anti-Semitic manifesto Mein Kampf, which has been a bestseller in the Palestinian territories for some time, has begun to turn up in bookshops in London where they are said to be selling well. The London Telegraph quotes a local bookstore clerk in an area heavily populated by Arabs as saying, "People are interested in it." The Telegraph notes that the Bavarian state government in Germany, which holds the book's copyright, has tried to stop its publication around the world. But the Arabic version, with a picture of Hitler and a swastika on its cover, became the sixth best selling book in areas controlled by the Palestinian authority.

And CBS News Anchor Dan Rather is worried that what he calls "patriotic spin" may adversely affect American journalists. He told an audience in Houston on Monday that such spin "is not anything explicit but nonetheless sends this message: 'Don't examine this. Don't grouse. Don't ask tough questions.’ Don't you know we're in a war?" Rather said such pressures "can be the hardest for all of us to deal with."