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Special Report

Lost in Translation?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

French President Jacques Chirac stormed out of a European Union summit meeting in protest Thursday because he couldn't bear to hear a Frenchman speaking English.

The entire French delegation promptly left the room when business executive Ernest-Antoine Seilliere announced that he would address the summit in English — which he called "the language of business."

Chirac, who has fought to keep the French language internationally relevant, says he was "profoundly shocked" that a Frenchman would use a foreign tongue at the Council table, adding that he "walked out rather than listen to that."

Darling of the Democrats?

Sen. Russ Feingold topped the list of Democratic candidates in the presidential straw poll on the liberal Web log "Daily Kos" — no surprise, given Feingold's proposal to formally censure President Bush.

More surprising, however, was the approval rating of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. Just 19 percent said they approve of Pelosi — compared with 50 percent for Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, and a whopping 84 percent for Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean.

Several Kos readers say they don't like Pelosi because she isn't outspoken enough for liberal causes and has refused to support Feingold's censure motion. Reid hasn't either, but still does better among liberal blog readers.

Not a ‘Nutbag’?

Actor Charlie Sheen denies being what he calls a "conspiracy nutbag,” but you might think otherwise after hearing his theories about 9/11. On the Alex Jones radio show, Sheen said the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center, "didn't look like any commercial jetliner I've flown on" and that the buildings appeared to come down "in a controlled demolition."

Sheen argues that the speed of the U.S. response in Afghanistan proves the administration was in on 9/11, saying, "Strategies don't go together overnight for a major invasion." As for being dismissed as a conspiracy theorist, Sheen says, "Nineteen amateurs with box cutters taking over four commercial airliners and hitting 75 percent of their targets — that feels like a conspiracy theory."

Fidel's Dirty Laundry

A former gofer for Cuban strongman Fidel Castro has become a celebrity in Miami for his tales from inside the communist regime — including why the dictator burns his dirty underwear. Delfin Fernandez tells the Miami Herald he attended to Castro's inner circle and helped fulfill the dictator's more extravagant wishes — like flying to Spain to bring back $2500 in hams and looking after his fleet of 300 cars.

Fernandez says Castro is obsessed with his health and built a multi-million dollar clinic just yards from his front door. As for his underwear, Fernandez says the Cuban leader doesn't wash them, he burns them — to eliminate the possibility of an assassination attempt using chemicals in the laundry.

— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.