Late Distribution?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation blasted the Bush administration for its slow response to Hurricane Katrina, but has yet to distribute any of the $400,000 it raised for Katrina victims. In the aftermath of the storm, CBC member Jesse Jackson Jr. called the "lack of response" by the government, "shockingly awful," and Carolyn Kilpatrick said she was "ashamed of America."

But a CBCF spokesman tells Cybercast News that funds won't be distributed until January or February at the earliest after a committee decides how to spend the money.

Emissions Slow Global Warming?

Cleaner air could hasten global warming instead of curbing it — that according to a new study in Nature magazine. The particles in soot and haze are known to keep the earth cool by scattering and absorbing sunlight, but an international team of researchers performing the first actual measure of just how much light those particles deflect concludes that making the earth's air cleaner would lead to substantial warming.

Scientists conclude that without aerosol cooling, global temperatures could rise 6 to 10 degrees Celsius over the next 100 years, well beyond most scientists' predictions.

A Nation of One?

A postal worker in suburban Washington has been indicted for bankruptcy fraud after he claimed his boss owed him $1 million for violating his rights as a "self-ruling sovereign nation." After Gregory I. Armstrong's supervisor suspended him for continued absences at work, Armstrong argued that he was a self-ruling sovereign whose "power to contract is unlimited."

He then initiated involuntary bankruptcy proceedings against his boss, alleging that he had agreed to pay Armstrong $1 million for the unauthorized use of his name — which Armstrong had copyrighted. The Washington Post reports that bankruptcy proceedings were closed after it became clear that Armstrong is not, in fact, his own country.

No Smoking... Even at Home?

A Scottish ban on smoking in public places could be extended to private homes. The Scotsman reports that government departments have been told to compile a "smokers' map" of Scotland to identify houses with at least one smoker. Residents would then be ordered not to smoke for at least one hour before visits by public sector employees, like social workers or health officials. But Conservative Parliament members complained that the move would merely add to Scottish bureaucracy and Liberal Democrat Mike Rumbles, who sits on the parliament's health committee, called the directive, "political correctness gone mad."

— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report