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Special Report

Will Key Element of Obama's Health Care Reform Plans Be Sacrificed?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Public Optional?

The number three Democrat in the House said Sunday that he could support a health care bill without government-run health insurance, the so-called public option.

Majority Whip James Clyburn acknowledged that the public option, a key element of the bill passed in the House, might have to be sacrificed as negotiators hammer out a final agreement with the Senate. Asked if he could embrace a bill that does not contain a public plan, the South Carolina Democrat said he could back a bill as long as it creates more choice and competition and curbs costs, saying on CBS "Face the Nation": "Whether or not we label it a public option or not is of no consequence."

Food Fight

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey is giving up his role as chairman of the organic supermarket, following years of petitioning by an activist shareholder group to separate the two roles.

In Mackey's August op-ed in The Wall Street Journal entitled: "The Whole Foods Alternative to Obamacare" he argued government-provided health care was too expensive. The activist shareholder group, CTW Investment Group, wasn't pleased with Mackey's essay and subsequently called for his removal, saying the CEO "deeply offended a key segment of Whole Foods consumer base." The group said Mackey had become a liability because of what it called his indiscretion.

Old Money, New Problems

North Korea has eased some of its currency restrictions after a backlash from citizens following a decision to limit the amount of old bills that can be turned in for new money.

The Washington Post reports the overhaul sparked panic and anger as much of the old North Korean won became worthless and it became illegal for citizens to have more than the equivalent of $40 of local currency. The move seems to be part of a government crackdown on private markets for food products in the communist nation.

One resident was quoted as saying, "I worked like a dog for two months for the winter, but the money became useless paper overnight."

The Weaker Driver?

And finally, a shopping center in China is trying to market itself to women drivers by offering bigger-than-normal parking spaces to accommodate what it sees as their special needs. Shopping center official Wang Zheng told the French Press Agency the women-only parking lot aimed to address women's "strong sense of color and different sense of distance," adding that the mall "installed signs and security monitoring equipment that correspond more to women's needs."

— Fox News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.