And now the most intriguing two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Solid as a Rock?
These may be trying days for the United Nations, between the war on terrorism, fighting in the Mideast and two nuclear powers, India and Pakistan, at each other’s throats. But back in New York, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has emerged as "the most sociable, plugged-in United Nations Secretary General the city has ever known." That according to the New York Times, which quotes Annan as saying, "You have everybody here, lots of interesting people." His Swedish-born wife Nane, said, though, that there are limits, "We try ideally not to go out more than three nights a week."
Saving His Pennies
Meanwhile the Bush administration is trying to get the United Nations to crack down on the kickbacks that lawyers, who the United Nations pays to represent war crimes defendants, are paying to their clients. The Washington Times says that war crimes defendants at the International tribunal in the Hague commonly ask for as much as 30 percent of the fees that their U.N.-paid, court-appointed lawyers receive. One Serbian war crimes suspect, Zoran Zigic, has reportedly squeezed enough money from his two lawyers to build himself a new house.
No Response in Big Apple
The INS is denying a front-page report in the New York Post that when New York police picked up a group of suspicious illegal Mideastern aliens over the weekend, they had to let them go because they INS refused to be bothered on a holiday. Several of the men had fake ids, and the cops say they could have held them, but the INS didn't have anybody on duty in New York City and did not respond until the next day. The INS notes that the men were found to be no threat and insists that someone was on duty in New York. No explanation, though, for the lack of a prompt response.
Orders to Kill Women and Children?
An Army Private who served with Tenth Mountain Division during Operation Anaconda in eastern Afghanistan claims he was under orders to kill women and children. Private Matt Guckenheimer told the Ithaca Journal (New York) that he and about 100 others were sent into the area in early March. "We were told there were no friendly forces," he said. "If there was anybody there, they were the enemy. We were told specifically that if there were women and children, we were to kill them." The Tenth Mountain Division told FOX News today that its rules "did not permit such illegal acts."