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Special Report

Did Forbes Commit 'Clumsy Slander'?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Heard in Europe

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz's nomination to head the World Bank has set off a round of harrumphing in Europe. Amsterdam-based Greenpeace says it's a "disaster to put the World Bank ... into the hands of a man who clearly will put U.S. and oil industry interests firsts."

The British-based World Development Movement says it's "a truly terrifying appointment." The German Green party calls the nomination unacceptable. And a researcher at the Foundation of Political Sciences in Paris says it "sounds like a declaration of war — and if not that, a declaration of contempt [for Europe]."

New Yorkers Not Happy

New York Democrats and Republicans alike are up in arms that U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, in the Mideast earlier this week to promote peace efforts and attend the opening of a Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, laid a wreath at the grave of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner said, "It is almost grotesque to travel to Israel to pay tribute to the 6 million Jews massacred in [the Holocaust] and use the opportunity to pay tribute to a terrorist." Republican Congressman Peter King called Annan, "incredibly insensitive" and "the worst type of world leader." An Annan spokesman insists that as the head of an international organization visiting the region Annan had to visit the Palestinian presidential compound, and pay his respects.

Thought He Had a Chance?

Incumbent mayoral candidate James Neville has lost his bid for a third term in the village of Baxter Estates, New York even though he was running unopposed. You see, Neville declined to campaign thinking he was a shoe-in. But on Election Day earlier this week, only 14 people voted for him. 29 people wrote in the name of John Maher, whom Neville edged out by two votes four years ago. Neville says, "I got lazy."

Forbes Committed "Clumsy Slander"?

The Cuban government is condemning Forbes magazine for publishing "a repugnant ... campaign of lies" against Cuban President Fidel Castro, insisting Forbes committed "clumsy slander ... with the sole aim of justifying the criminal blockade of Cuba." So what exactly did Forbes say?

Why, it said Castro was worth about $550 million. And, it said, he got his money from a number of state-owned businesses. The Cuban government, however, insists income from state-owned companies is "used exclusively for the benefit of the people, to whom they belong."

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report