And now some fresh pickings from the wartime grapevine:
Food for Thought
Tonight at midnight E.T., the Iraq 'Oil for Food' program -- the biggest and most unusual aid program in United Nations history -- goes the way of the dodo, after seven years of offering carrots and sticks to Iraq. The program, which stripped Saddam Hussein (search) of control over his nation's oil production, sold oil on global markets and used the proceeds -- in theory -- to help the people of Iraq.
During that span, the U.N. delivered $28 billion worth of humanitarian aid to Iraq and halved the malnutrition rate among Iraqi children. Most Iraqis will not notice the program has ended, because coalition forces have renegotiated contracts to supply Iraqis with food, water, electricity, and the like.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is wondering whether a recent installment of the comic strip "B.C." published in, among other newspapers, The Washington Post was an intentional slight against Islam. The strip, as you can see, centers around a man going into an outhouse and then asking "Is it me, or does it stink in here?"
CAIR (search) says the door's sound-effect, "SLAM," is stacked in the shape of an "eye" and can be read as "Islam." Plus, CAIR says, the crescent moons in the strip can be seen as references to Islam. But cartoonist Johnny Hart (search) insists the comic is just a -- "silly" bathroom joke about the ambiguous authorship of a bad, lingering smell.
The Daily Mirror reporter who infiltrated Buckingham Palace just before President Bush's stay there this week may have done a service by showing holes in security, but British newspapers are insisting he did a service by showing something else ... the royal family's lack of style.
The Guardian writes "Have you seen that wallpaper?," adding that it is reminiscent of "the unused upstairs room of your local pub where tuneless rock bands used to practice." The Daily Telegraph teases the royal family for using Tupperware, and labels some of them "victims" for adorning their beds with stuffed animals.
The Daily Mail, meanwhile, says the decor, especially the old-fashioned telephone still in use, is a -- "constant reminder... of bygone years when the lives of royals were so much gentler and less troubled."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report