And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Usama bin Laden Alive and in Control?
The editor of a London-based Arabic newspaper thought to have close ties to Al Qaeda says Usama bin Laden is not only still alive, but is now once again firmly in control of the terrorist network. Abdel Bari-Atwan, editor of the daily Al Quds al Arabi, has not seen bin Laden and doesn't know where he is, but he says his sources in the organization assure him bin Laden is safe and in good health. The editor told Reuters, "Al Qaeda were shattered during the U.S. bombing so it was difficult for bin Laden to stay in control. Now, they have regrouped and are organized again."
Protesting Military's Policy on Gays
Harvard Law School, which has banned U.S. military recruiters from its campus for more than 20 years, has lifted the prohibition, but not out of any post 9/11 burst of patriotic sentiment. The ban was initiated to protest the military's policy against gays serving openly in the armed forces. But it runs the risk of depriving the university about $328 million in federal funding under a 6-year-old law, which is now being strictly enforced. So Dean Robert Clark wrote students and faculty that there was "no reasonable alternative" to ending the ban, which he called "no easy decision."
Security officials at the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament in New York are insisting that even bomb-sniffing dogs wear photo id badges. But the tournament resisted letting New York's elite anti-terrorism squad inside Arthur Ashe stadium, the largest tournament venue. The New York Post reports that 26 members of the special police unit were kept out because officials feared they would make the fans uncomfortable. Finally, though, police said they were going in anyway, and said a police spokesman, "they folded very quickly."
A new poll indicates that Yasser Arafat's popularity has sunk to an all-time low — 34 percent, compared to 46 percent before the start of the current uprising two years ago. The poll by the respected Palestinian Center for Policy, also found that Arafat's Fatah organization has seen its support decline from 37 percent to 26 percent. But support for extremist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad has risen to 27 percent. And a majority — 52 percent — still supports attacks on Israelis civilians.