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University of Illinois Controversy

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

United Nations: Pro-American or Anti-American?

The latest FOX News poll shows a striking difference in how the political parties feel about the United Nations. Thirty percent more Republicans say the U.N. is anti-American than say it's pro-American, and 15 percent more independents believe the group is anti-U.S. than those who believe it's pro-U.S. But a plurality of Democrats — 33 percent — say the U.N. is pro-American, compared to 24 percent who say it's anti-American.

Meanwhile, President Bush may have vowed to get Usama bin Laden, but he's getting most of the blame for failing to capture the Al Qaeda leader. Thirty-two percent of those surveyed blame the Bush administration for failing to get bin Laden, while just 22 percent fault President Clinton.

Tussles in Brussels

Groups of youths have been tearing up a suburb of Brussels the past three nights after the death of a Muslim North African man in police custody over the weekend. The rioters — themselves described as North Africans — have set police cars ablaze, looted stores and thrown stones at people.

The man who died was being held in an isolation cell and reportedly had been given a sedative. An autopsy pinpointing the cause of death has yet to be released.

A Christmas Education

If public school teachers want to tell their students about the religious history of Christmas, it's OK with U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.

The secretary responded to an e-mail from a teacher in Utah who was unsure about what she can say and what kinds of decorations she can use. Spellings wrote back that schools and teachers are free to celebrate the secular aspects of Christmas and may also teach about the religion and history behind the holiday.

Mad About Mascot

The University of Illinois has yet to retire "Chief Illiniwek" a year after the NCAA ripped the school for continuing to employ an Indian mascot. Now, one group of professors upset over the lack of progress is hitting the athletic department where it hurts, mailing current football and basketball recruits urging them not to attend Illinois because of its "hostile and abusive" use of Native American imagery.

The professors say potential student athletes should know that the school "refuses to commit to equality for all races and places more value on an outdated and divisive mascot than on a winning program."

—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