PETA Picks Fight With Hamas

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Hard Feelings

The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is upset with the Palestinian faction Hamas, but not for anything it has done to Palestinian rivals or to Israel. No, PETA is unhappy with a segment on the Hamas television channel showing a man in a bee costume swinging and kicking a cat and throwing stones at a caged lion.

The segment was aimed at showing unacceptable behavior toward animals. But a PETA spokesman calls it "shocking and sickening" and says animal abuse can't be ignored, even in places where violence against humans is common.

Uncivil Behavior

A federal appeals court has upheld a verdict against New Orleans District Attorney Eddie Jordan that found he violated the civil rights of dozens of white employees he fired when he took office.

Jordan was sued for racial discrimination by 42 whites and one Hispanic, who were all replaced by blacks. The City of New Orleans — or state of Louisiana — will have to pick up the $3.5 million award in back pay and damages.

Blast Zone

Construction crews at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta are scheduled to resume blasting work within 30 feet of labs holding some of the world's deadliest organisms.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that blasting was halted in May after explosions sent rocks through windows in two other lab buildings that also contain deadly germs. But a CDC spokesman says new safety measures have been implemented and the chance of infectious organisms being released is, "pretty close to zero."

Not Starting With a Bang

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory is refusing to fire a starter's pistol to begin a charity road race Saturday, saying it sends the wrong message in a city that set a modern record for murders last year.

To start the race Mallory intends to blow a whistle instead.

—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.