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Special Report

Some Denver Residents Are 'Hot' Over a Plan to Combat Global Warming

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Global Warming Plan

Last Friday was the coldest June 8 ever recorded in Denver — but this week city officials are moving forward with exceptionally strong measures to combat global warming — and much of the response is not enthusiastic.

The proposals include extra charges for high energy users, higher auto insurance rates for long-distance drivers and requiring houses to meet new and higher energy efficiency standards before they can be sold.

The Rocky Mountain News reports that after word of the plan hit the Internet, the mayor's office took many calls accusing it of embracing a radical environmental agenda.

The newspaper says it has received emails calling the scheme "crackpot", "loony" and "stupid."

Hemorrhaging Members

The Council on American-Islamic Relations continues to receive considerable attention as a civil rights representative for a large section of America's Muslim population — but the group is actually hemorrhaging members.

The Washington Times reports membership in CAIR has dropped more than 90 percent since the 9/11 terror attacks. Tax documents show 29,000 people on CAIR's membership rolls in 2000, and fewer than 1,700 last year.

The paper says the organization relies on about two dozen big-money donors to keep it going.

The director of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy says: "Post-9/11, they have marginalized themselves by their tired exploitation of media attention for victimization issues at the expense of representing the priorities of the American Muslim population."

But CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed seems unfazed — telling the Times: "We are proud that our grass-roots support in the American Muslim community has allowed CAIR to grow from having eight chapters and offices in 2001 to having 33 today."

Director's Flights

The FBI is defending the use of its $40 million Gulfstream Five jet by Director Robert Mueller on trips for speeches, public appearances and field office visits.

The Washington Post reports the jet was originally approved by Congress as a means to transport terrorism suspects back to the U.S. at a moment's notice for interrogation.

But the Post says the long-range jet is now flown about 23 percent of the time for Mueller's travel.

Bureau officials acknowledge this is a marked departure from the original mission of the plane — but insist they check with the Counterterrorism Division before using it.

What's in a Name?

Chinese officials are considering drastic measures to fight a major domestic problem — the confusion resulting from the fact that more than a billion people share just 100 last names.

Current Chinese law states children must take the surname of either the mother or father. And so there are now 93 million people with the family name Wang. 92 million people are named Li. 88 million are called Zhang.

A Chinese newspaper reports the government is considering the legalization of a practice some parents have already begun — combining the surnames of the parents into a new last name. The paper says that could open up about 1.25 million new possibilities.

—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.