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European Backlash Over U.S. Efforts To Track Terrorist Finances

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

By a vote of 302 to 219, the European Parliament approved a resolution demanding that European banks and governments disclose what they knew about the U.S. program to monitor terrorists' financial transactions.

The New York Times reports one French politician accused the U.S. of "rifling through our private bank accounts," and an Italian lawmaker compared the case to alleged CIA kidnappings of terror suspects, saying it has the same objective, "to extort information."

The administration had tried to convince the Times not to unveil the secret program, arguing among other things, that it would hurt cooperation with the Europeans.

But Times executive editor Bill Keller dismissed those concerns, calling that argument "puzzling," and noting just after publication, that the story did not appear to be generating a "backlash against the program" — at least, until now.

Biden Backs Down

Delaware Democratic Senator Joe Biden is beating a hasty retreat after comments about Indian-Americans landed him in hot water. Cameras recently caught the presidential hopeful telling an Indian-American political activist that Indian-Americans are Delaware's fastest growing population, and saying, "You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent."

The Indian American Republican Council blasted Biden for stereotyping, calling his statement an "insult." But Biden's spokeswoman says the Senator was making a broader point about the "vibrant Indian-American community" in the state... merely pointing out that "middle class families are moving into Delaware and purchasing family-run small businesses."

Minnesota Underdog

Sharon Anderson is the latest entry in the Republican primary for Minnesota attorney general, and she's convinced she can win despite several disadvantages. There's the fact that Anderson is not a lawyer, and that she's run in multiple elections since 1970 without winning a single one.

She was also committed to a mental institution for "delusional disorders" after making "terroristic threats" against her husband in 1996. But Anderson considers that incident an advantage, because a judge later ruled that her mental illness was in partial remission. So, Anderson says, that makes her the only candidate who has actually been "certified" as sane.

Peculiar Protest

People find all kinds of ways to protest their government's actions. But one Vietnamese man is finally reversing an unusual act of defiance that made his son a local laughingstock for nearly 20 years. Mai Xuan Can named his fifth son the Vietnamese equivalent of "Fined 6,500" — the amount he was forced to pay the government for violating the country's two-child policy 19 years ago.

Local officials begged the father to reconsider on behalf of his son, who was constantly teased by classmates at school. Two decades later, Can has relented and given his son a new name. The man once known as "Fined 6,500" is now known as "Golden Dragon."

—FOX News Channel's Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.

With more than 35 years of journalism experience to draw from, Brit Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel (FNC) and contributes to all major political coverage. Hume also is regular panelist on FOX's weekly public affairs program, "FOX News Sunday" on Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Click here for more information on Brit Hume