Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Mankind a "Virus"

Animal rights activists and environmentalists are in full cry today — with a call for a chimpanzee to be declared a person — a claim that children are bad for the planet — and a call for the current world population of around 6.5 billion to be cut to less than one billion.

The man behind that last idea is Paul Watson, the founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. He says humans are a disease — "the AIDS of the earth." Watson is calling for a return to "primitive lifestyles" with no cars, planes or motorized water transportation.

He says this is necessary because mankind is "acting like a virus" and killing the planet. He doesn't specify how we should get rid of the excess 5.5 billion folks. But he does say only people who are "responsible and completely dedicated" to his population eradication beliefs should be allowed to have children.

Reduce Family Size

Meanwhile the British-based Optimum Population Trust says that reducing family size is the greatest thing anyone can do to help the future of the planet. The group says that just one less child means a reduction in nearly 750 tons of carbon dioxide — the equivalent of 620 flights between New York and London each year.

It is calling on families to have just two children instead of three.

Legally a Person?

An animal rights group in Austria wants a judge to declare that a 26-year-old chimpanzee is legally a person. The animal sanctuary where Hiasl the chimpanzee has lived most of his life has gone bankrupt. Activists want to take in donations to provide a home for him — but Austrian law says only a person can receive personal donations.

The president of the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says the idea is absurd, and could lead to animals gaining broader rights, such as copyright protections on their photographs.

Avoid Cooperation

A Maryland-based immigrant advocacy group is giving illegal workers instructions on how to avoid cooperating with officials if they are arrested or detained. The Washington Times reports the group —called CASA — is a tax exempt organization that received more than $1.5 million in government fees and contracts in 2005.

Its booklet advises illegals to remain silent if arrested and refuse to provide authorities with information about their immigration status.

Pilots Grounded

And an update on an item we told you about several weeks ago. The House last week amended its ethics package to fix a rule that had essentially kept members of Congress from flying their own private airplanes.

The measure was originally intended to stop members from taking trips on corporate jets — but was not clearly written. The new version exempts members and their families who own or lease private planes.

—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill 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