Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The Ron Paul presidential campaign is about to get help from above. The Politico reports what's being called "the Ron Paul blimp" will launch Monday from Elizabeth City, North Carolina — on a trek up the east coast — with a destination of New Hampshire — site of the January 8 first-in-the-nation primaries.
The Paul campaign is not sponsoring the blimp. Instead, supporters have formed a non-profit company — in order to avoid many of the restrictive campaign finance rules. Basically, people pay for advertising on the blimp — instead of making a contribution to the candidate.
The blimp will feature banners asking "Who is Ron Paul?" and urging people to "Google Ron Paul." The other side will feature a logo promoting what's called the "Ron Paul love revolution."
The United Nations copyright and patent chief who used a false birth date for more than two decades has been convinced to resign. But Kamil Idris will be allowed to work until September of next year — collect a year's pay — almost $312,000 — and full pension benefits.
An internal audit revealed that Idris originally said he had been born in 1945 — which helped him land a job requiring a decade of experience. Last year he changed his birth date to 1954 in a move that would have enabled him to work longer and enhance his retirement benefits. Idris is also accused of making inaccurate claims about his qualifications when applying for jobs.
Idris denies that — and blames the birth date discrepancy on a typographical error.
A group of indigenous people from around the globe protested outside the U.N. climate conference in Bali, Indonesia today. The people from countries including Nigeria, Kenya, Mexico and Samoa say they have been excluded from the talks — despite the fact their homes, livelihoods and culture are at risk from global warming.
One Nigerian man says not allowing indigenous people to participate is a crime against humanity. His group contends some projects such as the growth of biofuel crops and renewable energy initiatives —which are aimed at curbing global warming — are actually hurting their land. The group says such projects are a violation of human rights.
Denial of Service
Syrian authorities reportedly are blocking access to the popular Internet site Facebook — over fears of Israeli infiltration into Syrian social networks. Residents in Damascus say they have not been able to get into Facebook for more than two weeks. Syrian officials are not talking about it.
But the French based group Reporters Without Borders says more than 110 sites are being blocked by the Syrian government — including the e-mail service Hotmail, Google's YouTube, and Amazon.com.
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.