Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Indicted on New Charges

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Late to the Party

Former Detroit Democratic Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick -- who is already serving time for violating probation in another case -- has been indicted on new charges.

The 38-count indictment alleges corruption regarding city contracts, racketeering conspiracy, extortion, fraud and bribery.

None of the local CBS, ABC, NBC or Fox affiliates listed Kilpatrick's party identification in their articles. The Associated Press write-up didn't include his party either. Reuters and the Detroit News did mention Kilpatrick is a Democrat.

Mute Button

A victory for those of you who hate watching a program only to have to grab the remote control to lower the volume during the commercials. President Obama has signed into law the "Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation" or CALM Act which regulates the volume of TV commercials.

Under the new law, commercials can only be as loud as the decibel level of regular programming.

Peace and Quiet

An American Muslim living in Indonesia was trying to get his own peace and quiet, but it landed him in jail.

Gregory Lloyd Luke who runs a lodge for tourists on the beach was found guilty of blasphemy after storming into a nearby mosque during prayers and disabling loudspeakers he said were too noisy.

A local official said Luke was given leniency because he was apologetic and polite during his hearings.

Silver and Gold

And finally, in Abu Dhabi, where the official religion is Islam, the country has a pretty swanky Christmas tree on display.

The Emirates Palace Hotel is showing off a 43-foot faux fir that is valued at -- get this -- $11 million because it comes with 131 expensive ornaments and gem-studded bows. The trimmings include gold and precious stones such as diamonds and sapphires.

Christmas spirit is in full force in the United Arab Emirates which caters to Western tourists. Malls are full of carolers, Santas and piped-in yuletide songs.