Researchers Reach Conclusion

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

A report in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association (search) by five researchers at the University of California-San Francisco concludes that fetuses likely don't feel pain until the seventh month of pregnancy. But what the report and much of the subsequent media coverage fail to mention is that at least two of the report's authors are closely associated with abortion rights.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Dr. Eleanor Drey is medical director of the abortion clinic at San Francisco General Hospital. What's more, the report's lead author, medical student Susan Lee, previously worked for NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Officials Dismissed Robertson's Remarks

Both the State Department and Pentagon have dismissed televangelist Pat Robertson's call to assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (search) as chatter from a private citizen. That was good enough for everyone, but two: Chavez's ambassador here in Washington and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (search), who's demanding that President Bush personally repudiate the "outrageous" remarks.

In a statement issued today, Pelosi says, "At a time when the invasion of Iraq has caused such damage to the international reputation of the United States, the last thing we need is a prominent Republican advocating assassination as a foreign policy tool. President Bush must respond to the Robertson statement forcefully."

Palestinians' Next Step?

With the world watching to see what the Palestinians' next step would be after Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank, there may now be an answer. According to the Jerusalem Post, the terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad say they've reached a deal with the Palestinian Authority that will let them keep their weapons.

Senior Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzouk (search) says at a meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, "we stressed ... that the Palestinians have the right to continue the resistance [against Israel] and that there would be no attempt to collect weapons from the resistance groups.'" After all, he says, "The Gaza victory was achieved with the weapons of the resistance, which is the only strategy to drive Israel out of the rest of our lands."

Networks Making Headway In Middle East

U.S. sponsored broadcast networks set up to counter anti-U.S. propaganda in Arab media are apparently making substantial headway in the Middle East (search). A new survey by ACNielsen (search) in nine Middle East countries shows that each week, in those countries alone, 21.3 million people watch TV news network Al-Hurra. And 20.8 million tune in to Radio Sawa, which carries a combo of music and news.

What's more, the vast majority of those polled said they consider news by the U.S. funded broadcasters reliable. In fact, in Egypt 92 percent now say Al-Hurra is credible, up from 70 percent last year. In Lebanon, 79 percent say it's credible, up from 53 percent, and in Jordan 68 percent agree, up from 46 percent.

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report