Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
In addition to footing the bill for hotel rooms, the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides rent money to Katrina evacuees looking to move out of the hotels into alternative housing. But The Shreveport Times reports that 85 percent of evacuees in Louisiana hotels who've cashed housing checks are still living in their hotel rooms.
Some 8,500 families have received a total of nearly $20 million in federal housing assistance, while still taking advantage of free hotels and a FEMA spokeswoman admits that the payments "may not have been spent appropriately." The agency plans to require anyone applying for the next round of housing assistance to prove they've used the money for housing.
Kennedy Cutting Ties
Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy says he'll sever his ties with an all-male Harvard alumni organization after blasting Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito for belonging to a similar group at Princeton. Kennedy criticized Alito for his affiliation with the Concerned Alumni of Princeton, which opposed admissions quotas for women and minorities, calling the group "radical" and "right wing."
But Kennedy himself continues to pay dues to The Owl Club, a social group for Harvard alumni that was evicted from the university in 1984 for discriminating against women. Kennedy says he's no longer a member, but admits to donating $100 to the group last year and tells WHDH-TV in Boston, "I'm going to get out as fast as I can."
The British Government has denied that President Bush ever suggested bombing Al-Jazeera during a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair. The Arab news network has requested a secret government memo detailing a 2004 conversation between the two leaders during which the president supposedly floated a proposal to attack the Al-Jazeera headquarters in Qatar.
But a spokesman for the prime minister now says, "We can confirm that the memo does not refer to bombing the Al-Jazeera station in Qatar, despite the various allegations."
Anti-globalization protesters who've made violence a tradition at the annual World Bank and IMF meetings may want to think twice about making trouble this year. Host country Singapore is famous for its harsh treatment of criminals, including physical beatings. The country bans public demonstrations or protests and Singapore's minister for home affairs says the country is prepared to cane or imprison anyone committing violent crimes — including vandalism and arson — at the meetings in September.
— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report