And now the most intriguing two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine.
When the Rev. Al Sharpton opened the West Coast office of his National Action Network in Los Angeles the other day, there was a special guest at a private party to commemorate the event. It was Karin Stanford, former mistress of Sharpton rival Jesse Jackson, and the mother of Jackson's 2-year-old out-of-wedlock daughter. Stanford told Newsmax.com that Sharpton is "the only civil rights leader I respect and support." Stanford had previously said only nice things about Jackson, but that was before the long dispute over his child support payments that was just settled in November.
It's deer season out in Ohio and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is trying to protect the animals by adorning them with bright orange vests of the kind that hunters use to alert each other not to shoot. PETA boasted it had succeeded in dressing more than 400 deer in the vests. But Guy Lockey, owner of a sporting goods store in Youngstown, countered by offering a reward to hunters who could bag vested deer and bring home the vests. So far, says Lockey, he's got more than 300 of the vests. State officials are said to be worried the whole vest competition could get someone shot.
China has arrested a Hong Kong businessman on charges of "using a cult to undermine enforcement of the law," a charge which in some cases has carried the death penalty. And what do the authorities charge 38-year-old Li Guangqiang with doing? It seems he tried to deliver thousands of copies of the New Testament to an underground Christian group called the Shouters. The group was banned seven years ago as a "aberrant religious organization."
A militant British Muslim says he has sent more than 200 British volunteers to fight for the Taliban and that while a few were killed the rest may return to Britain to mount terrorist attacks against government and military targets. Twenty-two-year old Hassan Butt said he succeeded in sneaking back into his home country from Pakistan after the Sept. 11 attacks, which he told the BBC “shows the incompetence and vulnerability which Britain has when it comes to dealing with holy warriors and the Muslims."