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Special Report

A Merry Christmas for One Iraqi Shoemaker

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

All the Rage

One of the men claiming to be the maker of those shoes hurled at President Bush earlier this month has had to hire 100 extra workers to cope with the surge in demand for his footwear. The French Press Agency reports Turkish shoemaker Serkan Turk says since the incident "we have received orders totaling 370,000 pairs."

His company normally sells just 15,000 pairs each year. But after Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi threw his shoes at the president during a December 14th press conference, orders flooded in from Iraq and across the Middle East.

The company is even fielding orders from around the world — including 19,000 requests from the United States. And the design — formally known as "Model 271" — has been renamed "Bush Shoes."

Pontification Problems

If you think Evangelical Minister Rick Warren is in hot water with the gay community — what about Pope Benedict? Warren is catching heat after President-elect Obama announced he would deliver the inauguration invocation. Gay rights activists are crying foul because of Warren's opposition to gay marriage.

But the London Times reports the pontiff is under similar attack after giving a speech Monday in which he said, "it's not simply outdated metaphysics if the church speaks of the nature of the human person as a man and a woman, and asks that this order of creation be respected." Adding that non-heterosexual relationships are "destruction of God's work."

Gay Rights Activist blogger Pam Spaulding says the Pope "opens his trap again, and the homophobia stinks like trash piled up during a New York City garbage strike." And the chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement says the Pope's remarks are "unacceptable in any shape or form."

Fact Check

The Chairman of the International Geological Congress' Science Committee David Gee is questioning global warming theories.

He asks, "for how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming?"

The chairman's remarks appeared in an editorial today by the Examiner Newspaper Group which says the scientific consensus that former vice president and global warming activist Al Gore relies on is "being unraveled by mother nature."

The editorial adds, "Ice is expanding this year — not shrinking — and there were 115 record-low temperatures reported in the United States in October... it appears that 2008, the National Climatic Data Center now says, will go down as the coldest year in a decade."

Pictures This

And finally, a man ordered by a civil court not to associate with fellow gang members has been charged with violating his probation. Uriel Oliva was not involved in a shooting or a robbery, but was nabbed after having his photo taken with Santa Claus and two other gang members at a Los Angeles shopping mall.

In the photo, one of the men is sitting on Santa's lap and all three are flashing gang signs. A probation officer found a key chain with the photo in Oliva's pocket. He was arrested and could face up to 18-months in jail if convicted.

— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.