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Why Some Iraqi Exiles Are Returning Home

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

The Homecoming

The Iraqi government says more than 3,000 Iraqi families that were driven out of their Baghdad neighborhoods have returned home in the past three months — because of the decline in sectarian violence.

One businessman says before he and his family fled to Syria — streets were deserted by mid-afternoon and shops were closed. He says now stores stay open until 10 at night — and the U.S. military working with the neighborhood council is handing out $2,000 grants to new and returning shop owners.

A worker at the Iraqi Airways office in Damascus says the flow of refugees from Iraq to Syria has almost reversed. Once full flights from Baghdad are now virtually empty — and flights headed the other way have considerably more passengers.

Unconventional Wisdom

Last week we told you about American scientist John Christy — who was part of the U.N.'s IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, saying there is no smoking gun proving that human activity is to blame for global warming.

That did not sit well with Al Gore — who shared the Nobel Prize with the IPCC. He told "The Today Show" that the media is giving too much balance to global warming skeptics — and compared them to people who still believe the earth is flat.

Meanwhile — another IPCC member is ripping Gore and his supporters. Hans Labohm — an economist and author who was an expert reviewer on the panel — says — "Both 'An Inconvenient Truth' and the latest IPCC report labor under cherry-picking, spindoctoring and scare-mongering. Awarding the Nobel Prize for such flawed science is a disgrace."

Extracurricular Activities

A student at the University of Maine says a professor offered extra credit to class members if they burned the American flag or the constitution — or were arrested defending free speech. The Bangor Daily News reports sophomore Rebekah McDade says she dropped the mass communications class after Professor Paul Grosswiler made the statement. A second student also filed a complaint.

But another said Grosswiler was just trying to prove a point by being outlandish. The professor says McDade misunderstood his comments and that he does not intend for students to burn either the flag or the constitution. He says he refers to provocative examples to demonstrate the courage necessary to support free expression.

Double Trouble

And when doctors in Birmingham, England attempted to abort a 25-week old fetus in order to save the life of his twin — the baby had other plans. The Daily Mail reports Gabriel Jones had a severely enlarged heart and was much smaller and weaker than his brother. Doctors and the mother agreed to end his suffering — and ensure the other twin's safety.

But Gabriel's umbilical cord proved too strong to sever. And when doctors cut the placenta in half to isolate the baby — that turned out to be the thing that saved him — by evening out the distribution of nutrition to the womb.

Both babies were delivered by cesarean six weeks later — and both are now happy, healthy and home.

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