And now the most scintillating two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine.
Former Immigration and Naturalization Services director Doris Meissner has been found to have ordered the destruction of a document that might have helped the case for granting asylum to Elian Gonzalez. Elian, you'll recall, was the Cuban boy whose mother drowned trying to bring him to America, and whose Miami relatives tried unsuccessfully to keep him here. The document in question was an INS e-mail that suggested the boy could be given asylum if it were shown that his father had been coerced by the Cuban government into trying to get him back. Doris Meissner ordered the memo destroyed, according to a document released yesterday by the activist group Judicial Watch, which obtained it in connection with a lawsuit it has filed.
Colorado Rep. Congressman Tom Tancredo says he was advised by a border guard in the Mexican town of Juarez that the best place to buy fake U.S. documents to get into this country was a place just a few blocks from the border crossing itself. And says Tancredo, chairman of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, immigrants in the United States who are detained on deportable offenses are often let go after being given a summons to appear at a later hearing. The summonses, he says, are known as "run letters" because that's what the immigrants who get them usually do.
Virginia Rep. Sen. George Allen says he was stopped twice by security guards at the airport on his way to Los Angeles and made to take off the cowboy boots, which he often wears. He fared much better than another man trying to fly out of San Francisco today. Wires and batteries were spotted in a pair of shoes in his carry-on luggage. Police investigated and found that the shoes were designed to heat up and keep the wearer's feet warm, and contained no explosives. But, the AP reports that police blew up his shoes anyway.
And the tourist board of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is reportedly planning to sue the Fox Broadcast Network over a TV program the Brazilian government claims "brought a distorted vision" of their country. In the show, Rio was portrayed as a city where all the men are bisexual, where menacing monkeys roam the streets and where tourists are mugged by children. The show in question was an edition of the cartoon series The Simpsons.