And now the most scintillating two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Deserting Old Theories
Though common theory believes global warming (search) may be helping to convert fertile lands into desert, a new study suggests the opposite is true -- that the greenhouse gases that cause global warming are helping to convert desert into fertile lands. Scientists from the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, studying a forest on the edge of the Negev desert, found that global warming is leading to the greening of deserts because the high levels of carbon dioxide in the air help plants grow. But the leader of the study, in London's Times, notes, "If you have a very big increase in carbon dioxide then the rise in the temperature outweighs the positive effects. The overall effect is negative."
Past Presidents Partook
Republicans defending President Bush's trip onto the USS Abraham Lincoln (search) two weeks ago have said Mr. Bush is not the first president to do so. Indeed, The Washington Times says every president since John Tyler in 1844 spent time on a Navy vessel. Just nine years ago then-President Bill Clinton, taking part in D-Day observances, helicoptered onto the USS George Washington, ate dinner with the crew, gave a speech on deck, did live network interviews from the flight deck and steered the ship part-way across the English Channel. Mr. Clinton, like other presidents, was no stranger to military garb either, as is shown in this picture taken during his 1998 trip to South Korea.
And speaking of President Clinton, noted historian Robert Dallek says Mr. Clinton wasn't the first president to have a dalliance with a White House intern. Dallek says the John F. Kennedy carried on an affair with an attractive 19-year-old intern while he was on official trips and maybe even in the White House. The New York Daily News quotes Dallek as saying the intern's greatest skill was, "She could answer the phone."
Over the weekend dozens of Iraqis in Basra took part in protests against -- of all people -- Al-Jazeera (search). The Associated Press says the Iraqis accused Al-Jazeera of supporting Saddam and harassed a crew of Al-Jazeera journalists so much they were unable to cover the meeting they were assigned. Meanwhile, London's Sunday Times says documents found in Baghdad show Saddam Hussein placed three Iraqi intelligence agents, two of them posing as cameramen, inside Al-Jazeera so the former Iraqi dictator and his regime could win favorable news coverage. A spokesman for Al-Jazeera did not exactly deny that any of his colleagues had worked for Iraqi intelligence, but he did tell Reuters he is unaware of any colleague who "is" working for Iraqi intelligence.