Published July 10, 2007
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
San Francisco State University is being sued for allegedly violating the rights of students who stomped on Hamas and Hezbollah flags during an anti-terrorism rally. The Alliance Defense Fund and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education — also called FIRE — have filed the suit in federal court on behalf of the College Republicans club and two individual students.
The lawsuit contends the school conducted an illegal investigation into the flag stomping incident. FIRE says it wrote to the school president twice to stress that a public university is not permitted to prosecute students for engaging in a peaceful protest or desecrating any type of flag.
The students ultimately were cleared by the school after a five-month probe.
The government of Iran has taken the rare step of confirming that a man convicted of adultery was stoned to death last week. It happened in a village about 124 miles west of Tehran. It is the first time in years that Iran has confirmed such an execution.
Adultery is punishable by death under Islamic law. Tradition calls for a male to be buried up to his waist and then stoned until dead.
The U.N.'s human rights chief condemned the execution — saying stoning is a clear violation of international law.
The Sound of Music
We have a couple of examples of just how far some people will go to get out of jury duty.
In London a Muslim woman has been arrested on a contempt charge for allegedly listening to music on her MP3 player — hidden under her headscarf — while a murder defendant was testifying. The woman had used several excuses to try to get out of serving and was said to be habitually late for court. She could get thrown in jail and given a fine.
And a Cape Cod man tried to get off a jury by claiming in open court he was homophobic, racist and a habitual liar — in what the judge called the most brazen attempt to buck the system he'd ever seen.
When the self-admitted liar said he it was true that he was intentionally trying to avoid service, the judge ordered him taken into custody. He could face perjury and other charges.
And British scientists desperate to cut the country's soaring levels of greenhouse gas pollution are taking aim at the mouths and hind quarters of cows and sheep.
The Guardian newspaper reports researchers are considering changing the animals' diets in order to reduce flatulence and burping — which produce gaseous emissions rife with methane.
Researchers say a single cow can produce up to 53 gallons of methane in one day. Scientists are suggesting growing grass varieties that would alter the way bacteria breaks down in the animals' stomachs.
A similar effort in New Zealand suggested that sheep emissions could be reduced by as much as 50 percent.
—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.