'You Are Stupid and Understand Nothing'

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

Remember Tjere Larsen, the Norwegian U.N. official who said nothing could justify what Israel did in Jenin, which he called, "horrifying beyond belief." He and his wife Mona Juul, who is Norway's ambassador to Israel, are in trouble back home. They have been found to have received $100,000 in 1999 from the Shimon Peres Center for Peace for their work in connection with the Oslo Peace process. Larsen and his wife were out of government at the time, but failed to report the prize and paid no income taxes on the money. The couple has been reprimanded by the Norwegian government.

President Bush has been described by the chairman of the Arab Psychiatrists Association as "stupid" in an open letter to the president published in an Egyptian newspaper and broadcast over a Mideast satellite TV station. The letter was written by Dr. Adel Sadeq, who is the head of the Psychiatry Department at Ein Shams University in Cairo. He received the 1990 Egyptian State Prize for his work. In his letter he says, "You are stupid and understand nothing about what is happening in the world. Stupidity and idiocy are synonyms, and if you don't like the word 'stupid,' you are an evil person with an ugly soul."

Yasser Arafat may have been uncomfortable during his confinement in his Ramallah compound, but it seems unlikely that he has gone hungry. The Palestinian Authority ordered, and Israel allowed to be delivered, among other things, 13,000 servings of pita bread, 420 cans of hummus, 505 tins of sardines, plus 60 cartons of eggs. The supplies also included nearly 300 pounds of tomatoes, about 120 pounds of bananas and more than 700 bottles of coca cola.

That weekend story alleging that Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah demanded that no female air traffic controllers guide his airplane on his trip to Texas and that none be on the tarmac when he arrived in Waco seems to be fading. The Dallas Morning News first reported the story based on comments from Texas aviation officials, none of whom had actually heard the request themselves. The Saudis emphatically denied the story, noting for one thing, that there were women on the ground when Abdullah arrived in Waco. Since the denials, no further confirmation of the story been reported and no one who actually heard the alleged request has been identified.