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Special Report

Will Americans Attending the Beijing Olympics Be Taking Their Lives in Their Hands?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Cooling Effect

A number of environmental experts now say that global temperatures have stopped rising — and that the earth is in fact cooling.

Jennifer Maro-Hasy, an Australian biologist and think-tank member says that even though carbon dioxide levels continue to rise that — "temperatures have actually been coming down over the last 10 years."

In an interview on an Australian radio station last week — Maro-Hasy was then asked if her claim was controversial. She replied — "no. The head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has actually acknowledged it"

She also said that new data from a NASA satellite show that weather patterns are compensating for carbon dioxide emissions while limiting the greenhouse effect. She added — "the policy implications are enormous... I think people are still in shock at this point."

Chinese Caveat

Are you thinking about going to China for the Olympics? Well consider this warning from the State Department that — "all hotel rooms and offices are considered to be subject to on-site or remote technical monitoring at all times. Hotel rooms, residences and offices may be accessed at any time without the occupant's consent or knowledge."

The warning said Chinese hotels and apartment buildings may be poorly built, lack emergency exits, fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide monitors, and basic security locks, alarms and personnel.

BBC's Blunder

The British Broadcasting Corporation has acknowledged further inaccuracies in its coverage of Mideast violence.

Last week the BBC apologized for wrongly reporting that the home of a Palestinian gunman who killed eight Israelis at a rabbinical seminary — was destroyed by an Israeli bulldozer. In fact — the house is still standing and the images broadcast were of another demolition.

But in a second news item on its Web site on March 14 — the BBC reported that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned an Israeli operation against Kassam rocket-launch sites in Gaza — and described it as an attack on Palestinian civilians.

As it turns out — Ban's attributed comments were made to the U.N. Security Council two weeks before the Israeli operation — and were not in reference to any particular attack. In fact — the secretary general did not describe any Israeli operation as an attack on civilians.

Encouraging the Enemy

And finally — researchers at Harvard University say that publicly-voiced doubts about the war in Iraq have a quote "emboldened effect" on insurgents.

A report titled — "Is There an Emboldened Effect? Evidence From the Insurgency in Iraq" has found that intense news coverage of criticism about the war is followed by an increase in the number of attacks on Iraqi civilians and U.S. forces in Iraq.

The study tracks what is called "anti-resolve statements" made by U.S. politicians and reports about public opinion on the war. The study has also found that insurgent attacks increased more in parts of Iraq where there is greater access to international news media.

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