Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:


The wife of a Zimbabwean opposition party member has been savagely murdered in what is being described as one the most grotesque atrocities ever committed by President Robert Mugabe' s regime.

The London Times reports that three members of Mugabe's militia arrived at the house of Patson Chipiro, Friday. His wife told the men that her husband was in the capital city of Harare, and that he would be back later in the day. The men left then returned an hour later.

The Times reports they grabbed the woman and chopped off one of her hands and both feet. They then threw her into her home, locked the door and tossed a gasoline bomb through the window.

The barbaric killing is just the latest in a wave of violence before the run-off presidential election that we told you about earlier in the broadcast.

Dishonest Diplomat

The head of the United Nations' good governance division has been strongly criticized for diverting funds donated by the Greek government to improperly pay contractors.

Guido Bertucci is also accused of mismanaging a $2.8 million trust fund meant to, ironically, foster transparency and accountability.

An internal report by the United Nation's Procurement Task Force obtained by the Washington Times says that Bertucci should reimburse the trust fund, and recommends "appropriate disciplinary action."

But, U.N. officials familiar with the case tell the times that he is unlikely to receive any punishment stronger than a note in his personnel file.

Bertucci denies any wrongdoing.

Homegrown Hate

A federal investigation says textbooks at a private Islamic school in Northern Virginia teach students that it is okay for Muslims to kill adulterers and converts from Islam.

Books at the Islamic Saudi Academy — which receives most of its funding from the Saudi government — also teach that, "The Jews conspired against Islam and its people."

A congressional panel recommended last year that the school be shut down. That was before members got a look at the textbooks. A spokeswoman says now that they have seen them, members are confident the potential problems cited really are present.

School officials deny the academy fosters intolerance.

Snuffed Out

The Dutch government will introduce a nationwide smoking ban in July that targets bars, cafes and restaurants.

Spiegel Online reports the ban will also apply to more than 700 coffee shops across Holland which are known for attracting smokers who often consume something stronger than tobacco.

But the new law applies only to tobacco and permits the smoking of marijuana and hashish. If a customer wants to roll a joint with tobacco he has to smoke it outside.

Coffee shop owner Paul Wilhelm says, "That sounds... to me like going into a cafe and being able to buy a beer without being able to drink it there. But the cafe still lets you drink whiskey, rum and vodka."

FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.