The Middle East Conflict

TONY SNOW: And now some pickings from the "Wartime Grapevine."

President Bush says he thinks Mideast envoy Anthony Zinni is making progress in trying to broker a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. But the Reverend Jesse Jackson apparently thinks Zinni could use some help. Fox News has learned that he is thinking about getting involved in negotiations. Sources say Jackson came up with the idea and contacted both sides about his potential participation.

The State Department, so far, has managed to restrain its enthusiasm. Last year, you may recall, Jackson claimed Taliban representatives had asked him to mediate some pre-war talks. The Taliban said that it had no idea what he was talking about. The mission collapsed. we'll keep you posted on this one.

Former Vice President Al Gore is taking a shot at the Bush administration's energy policy. In a speech last night at Tennessee Technological University, he claimed the administration was treating the

country like a bunch of children, by refusing to reveal the names of those who advised the president on policies that -- quote -- "are going to affect all our lives."

He says people need the power of fact in such matters. The author of "Earth in the Balance" also predicts that environmental issues will become -- quote -- "the principle challenge facing our civilization."

Documents released this week show that Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham met at least eight times with energy industry leaders while the administration was drafting its energy plan, but didn't not huddle with environmentalists.

It's spring break. Time for the annual collegiate bacchanal along various Florida beaches. Police in Panama City Beach, Florida, a town that normally hosts hundreds of thousands of youngsters, who (UNINTELLIGIBLE) cars, screaming hormones and two weeks of free time, have begun cracking down on lawmakers. This year's round-up even netted a man of God. The Reverend Harvey Brant (ph), organizer of the Christian rock concert, wound up in a squad car after police decided the performance violated local noise ordinances. The gendarmes released the reverend when he agreed to turn the volume.

Finally, Army Captain David Donovan may be the Yossarian of the present-day Army. He spent the last 18 months trying to resign from the military on grounds that he's a homosexual. The Army thinks he may be lying to get out of service, however, since he's married and has teenaged children. Now it turns out that Donovan also has been hauling down significant dough as part owner and chief technology officer of a digital film conversion company, a job that pays as much part-time as his full-time military job.

Donovan, who says he's bisexual, now plans to issue a -- quote -- "coming out statement," in the hopes that that will trigger a don't ask-don't tell discharge. Otherwise, he'll be stuck in the Army until 2005.

Afghan leader Hamid Karzai told survivors of Monday's deadly earthquake that his heart is with them and everything will be done to help them. He visited the disaster area today in northern Afghanistan, as more aftershocks rocked the region. Karzai said that 20,000 people have lost their homes. And he declared today a national day of mourning.

Survivors have been digging through the rubble with their hands since Monday's quake, hoping to find survivors. So far, they've only found bodies.

Since September 11th, the problems at the Immigration and Naturalization Service have been under a national spotlight. The president, among others, has expressed exasperation with such problems as poor security procedures, and the failure to track foreign nationals who enter the country.