And now some fresh pickings from the wartime grapevine.
Oprah Winfrey has politely told the White House – no. The Chicago Tribune reports the Bush administration asked Winfrey to join a U.S. delegation to Afghanistan. The trip was to highlight girls' return to school in that country. The delegation also would have included Bush adviser Karen Hughes and possibly National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. Winfrey respectfully declined the invite, citing responsibilities to her TV show. And that news led to postponement of the trip. The administration had wanted to soften the images of the war by celebrating the liberation of Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, a morose piece of history is up for sale. A Florida liquidation company is going to sell two rental cars driven by terrorist ringleader Mohammed Atta in the weeks before Sept. 11. The owner says he's received bids of up to $250,000 dollars for the white 1996 Ford Escort and faded blue Chevy Corsica. He says offers have come in from collectors, museums and even someone who wanted to charge people to hit the cars with sledgehammers. Atta rented both cars in August as he was preparing for the attacks. He returned the Escort two days before the worst terrorist attack in history. The owner says he'll only consider selling to legitimate collectors or museums because he doesn't want the cars' display to "become a carnival." He also says he'll donate all proceeds to charity.
Education officials in a suburb of San Diego have rejected a father's discrimination complaint. The San Diego Union Tribune reports Paul Scott had complained his daughter's privacy was violated because she is required to share facilities at Grossmont Union High School with homosexual students and staff. Scott was demanding separate restrooms and locker rooms for students and staff who are or perceived to be gay or lesbian. School trustees say the law won't let them implement Scott's idea. Scott may appeal to the California's Department of Education, if he chooses.