Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The Obama administration may send a delegation to the U.N. World Conference on Racism after saying in February it would boycott the event for inciting the very thing it is supposed to stamp out.
Next week's Durban Two conference in Geneva is strongly opposed by those who say the first Durban conference in 2001 amounted to an Israel-bashing session. The U.S. and Israel walked out of that meeting in protest after a draft resolution likened the establishment of a Jewish state to racism.
But State Department spokesman Robert Wood said Monday, "the previous draft text contained objectionable language in several areas. Since then, substantial improvements have been made." But he said there are some remaining concerns. One potential obstacle: The U.N. confirmed today that Iranian President and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will attend.
Israel, Canada and Italy have already said they will boycott the conference.
The U.N. has misspent millions in U.S. funds intended for reconstruction projects in Afghanistan. The American government gave the U.N. almost $26 million between 2003 and 2006. But an investigation uncovered a series of shoddy projects and financial misconduct.
One U.N. employee told investigators that $10 million were spent in other countries, including Sudan, Haiti, Sri Lanka and Dubai. The Afghan project director spent about $200,000 on renovations to his guest house. $250,000 were used for a bridge that was still unsafe after repairs were made. $375,000 went for Afghan's central bank, but it still lacked plumbing and electricity. U.N. officials withdrew $6.7 million from a U.S. line of credit without permission, months after the project was over. The U.N. has not yet explained what happened to that money.
U.N. officials say they are working to resolve the issue and will refund any funds in dispute.
Michal Grzes of the Polish Law and Justice Party has blasted his local zoo for spending big bucks on what he calls a gay elephant. The official in the city of Poznan says Ninio the elephant should be procreating: "We didn't pay (the equivalent of $11.4 million) for the largest elephant house in Europe to have a gay elephant live there. We were supposed to have a herd, but as Ninio prefers male friends over females how will he produce offspring?"
The head of the zoo says 10-year-old Ninio is too young to decide whether he prefers males or females, because elephants generally reach sexual maturity at age 14.
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.
Bret Baier currently serves as FOX News Channel's (FNC) chief political anchor and anchor of Special Report with Bret Baier(weeknights at 6-7PM/ET), the highest-rated cable news program in its timeslot and consistently one of the top five shows in cable news. Based in Washington, DC, he joined the network in 1998 as the first reporter in the Atlanta bureau.