And now the most intriguing two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Saudi Land, Saudi Law
The latest from Saudi Arabia is that it will not allow outsiders — and that means U.S. investigators — to question those 11 Al Qaeda suspects who allegedly tried to shoot down an U.S. military plane. The government-controlled Saudi newspaper Okaz said only Saudi authorities will do questioning because their alleged crimes "occurred or were going to take place on Saudi territories." This is not the first time the Saudis have taken such an approach. When five Americans were killed in a car bomb outside U.S. military headquarters in Riyadh six years ago, the Saudis convicted and executed four suspects without letting U.S. authorities talk to them.
No More Bombings
A group of leading Palestinian citizens, including the senior Arafat adviser Hanan Ashrawi, have taken out a full-page ad in a Palestinian newspaper calling for an end to suicide murders. The ad says the bombings "deepen the hatred and widen the gap between the Palestinians and the Israeli people." But signers of the ad do not appear to have any moral qualms about suicide bombings, arguing instead that they "give Israel's aggressive government under Sharon the excuse to continue its harsh war against our people." Arafat, meanwhile, had been planning to make a similar appeal on televisions, but it was canceled for what were called "technical reasons."
Topping the Charts
The Senate's millionaire's club has grown to 40 members, according to a new survey, which says that democrats John Kerry of Massachusetts and Herb Kohl of Wisconsin top the list with fortunes in excess of $100 million. The survey by the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, based on Senate disclosure forms, says 23 of the Senate's millionaires are republicans, 17 are democrats. But it says the huge bankrolls of Kerry, Kohl and New Jersey's Jon Corzine pushes the average net worth of all Senate democrats to nearly $11 million, compared to $2.9 million for Senate republicans.
Finally, no trucks are allowed on the Virginia Route 110 where it runs past the Pentagon, but is this thing a truck? It is of course the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile (one of seven now on the road), and it was pulled over and the driver questioned by a state trooper yesterday. The cop later escorted it to the nearest exit, remarking "That was the biggest wiener I've ever seen.”