Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The names of three prominent Syrian officials implicated in the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, including Syrian President Bashar Assad's brother, might not have been revealed if not for a U.N. computer error. An electronic report on the U.N.'s investigation inadvertently allowed readers to see any changes that had been made, including the deletion of three high-ranking Syrians and one Lebanese official.
Those cuts were made just after a draft version of the report was presented to Secretary General Kofi Annan, who has repeatedly pledged not to change a word. But the report's author, German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, says Annan had nothing to do with the changes.
Burying the Lead?
Nearly 79 percent of Iraqis voted to adopt the country's new constitution, but you might not know it from reading the Associated Press report on the election. The first paragraph notes that Sunnis are already calling the vote "a farce." In the second paragraph, the AP reports that two more U.S. Marines were killed in Baghdad last week.
The story then speculates that the victory could fuel the insurgency and reports on several more acts of violence across the country since the election. The AP finally points out the constitution's overwhelming margin of victory in paragraph 27.
The Toronoto Star reports that the Canadian government is proposing a solution to the country's rising violent crime rate: sue U.S. gunmakers. Prime Minister Paul Martin argues that half of all gun crimes in Canada are committed with weapons obtained illegally from the U.S. and the government is looking to punish manufacturers who produce the guns used in homicides across the border.
But the U.S. ambassador to Canada argues that cracking down on border security would have more impact since most of the weapons coming into Canada are purchased illegally by Canadian citizens and smuggled across the border.
Fistful of Daggers
Senator Charles Schumer has described proposals by the president's commission on tax reform as "a dagger to the heart of the people of New York" and the New York Sun reports that his rhetoric sounds awfully familiar.
Since 1999, the New York Democrat has called a plan for flexible work schedules, "a dagger to the heart of the middle class;" a plan to unilaterally declare Palestinian statehood, "a dagger through the heart of the peace process;" high gas prices, "a dagger at the heart of our economy;" hate crimes, "a dagger in the heart of what America is all about;" and school vouchers, "daggers that plunge into the heart of what is the American way."
— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report