And now some fresh pickings from the wartime grapevine.

A Wall Street Journal reporter is missing in Pakistan. A newspaper spokesman says Daniel Pearl hasn't spoken with editors since Wednesday night. He was about to do an interview with what was believed to be "an important source" – somewhere near the city of Karachi.  A WSJ spokesman says Pakistani and U.S. officials are working to find the reporter. Pearl is the newspaper's South Asia bureau chief.

The New York Post is reporting that former President Bill Clinton was quick to defend U.S. foreign policy at a conference on Islam yesterday. His presidential foundation co-sponsored a gathering of Islamic experts at NYU’s law school, and several panelists blasted U.S. policy toward Israel.  A correspondent for London's Al Hayat Arabic newspaper said, "it's simply not right to support Israel...Arabs and Muslims cannot understand" it. And a professor at George Washington University says the United States maintains pro-Israel bias by "subsidizing them $3 billion per year without asking for any commitment for peace." Clinton was only supposed to give opening remarks, but after those comments he grabbed the microphone and delivered an impromptu defense of U.S. policy. He says the Palestinians said no to peace in 2000, and Egypt also benefits from U.S. aid, as part of Camp David accords signed in 1977.

Meanwhile, as he left for his trip to Maine this morning President Bush was spotted carrying a book by former CBS correspondent Bernard Goldberg. It's called Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distorts the News. In the book, Goldberg charges that the network where he worked for 28 years suffers from an unconscious liberal bias.
Congressman Gary Condit may be hoping for another term, but his ties to missing intern Chandra Levy have left him with precious few Democratic supporters. California's senators –  Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein – say they will back Dennis Cardoza, who's opposing Condit in the March primary. The announcement comes a day after former Democrat Congressman Tony Coelho said he wouldn't support Condit for another term.

Finally, you might think shaking hands would be as natural to politicians as accepting campaign cash – but there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. Now state legislators in New Mexico are learning the correct way to press the flesh. Occupational therapy experts are training lawmakers in Santa Fe about the fine points of hand shaking – so the politicians don't injure themselves from improper glad-handing.