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This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used. Because most of our readers read the NYT we usually do not include the paper's stories in HIGHLIGHTS.
Name of source: Australian
SOURCE: Australian (12-21-05)
But real-life gay cowboys and Wild West historians say that the plot of Brokeback Mountain -- an Oscar favourite after topping the Golden Globes nominations -- is nothing new.
And in a claim that is likely to outrage many rural conservatives, they say that homosexuality was an unspoken norm on the American frontier, where men were close and women were scarce.
''There they were, a couple of men, alone together in isolated frontier country, for weeks or sometimes months at a time,'' says Randy Jones, 53, who was the stetson-wearing, lasso-throwing gay cowboy in the Village People and who acted as an adviser on the film.
''The thought must have passed through their minds, even if they didn't act on it, because men are sexy animals. If that wasn't the case, there wouldn't be so much homosexual sex in prison.''
There is growing evidence to support Jones's theory. As far back as 1882, the Texas Livestock Journal wrote that ''if the inner history of friendship among the rough and perhaps untutored cowboys could be written, it would be quite as unselfish and romantic as that of Damon and Pythias''.
In Greek mythology, Damon offered to be taken hostage by the despot Dionysius I so that his condemned friend, Pythias, could make a final visit home. When Pythias returned to be executed, Dionysius was so impressed by their trust that he spared both their lives.
''There have been gay cowboys for as long as there have been gay people,'' says Brian Helander, a 51-year-old nurse from Arizona and president of the International Gay Rodeo Association. ''It's always been a part of the western frontier lifestyle that wasn't talked about. It was just there.''
Jim Wilke, the cowboy historian, agrees. ''Many circumstances contributed to personal closeness on the ranch and trail,'' he wrote in a 1997 article. ''Cowboys commonly bedded in pairs, sharing bedrolls with their 'bunkie'.''
Wilke also points to the tradition of the all-male stag dance, where cowboys could be found entertaining themselves with polkas, waltzes and quicksteps. He says homosexual acts between young, unmarried cowboys were euphemistically known as ''mutual solace'' in the 19th century.
In a 1948 study of rural homosexuality by Alfred Kinsey, the controversial zoologist, it was noted that ''there is a fair amount of sexual contact among the older males in western rural areas''.
His report added: ''It is a type of homosexuality that was probably common among pioneers and outdoor men. Today it is found among ranchmen, cattlemen, prospectors, lumbermen and farming groups in general. These are men who ... live on realities and on a minimum of theory. Such a background breeds the attitude that sex is sex, irrespective of the nature of the partner.''
SOURCE: Australian (12-18-05)
Portuguese author and scriptwriter Luis Miguel Rocha said he based The Last Pope on documents he obtained through an undisclosed Vatican source, which he will make public when the novel is published in April.
The novel puts the theory that John Paul I had become a threat because he was aware of moneylaundering involving the Vatican Bank and also because of his plans to liberalise aspects of centuries-old church doctrine.
"He wanted to be the last wealthy pope. John Paul I wanted to redistribute the riches of the church, open the church to women and authorise the use of contraceptives," said Rocha, 29, in a weekend interview.
The novel depicts John Paul I's assassination as the result of a conspiracy involving top financial officials, several European governments and a Mafia group that counted top officials of the Roman Curia, including the pontiff's personal secretary, among its members.
John Paul I's death on September 28, 1978, caused widespread speculation due to discrepancies between the official account of the discovery of his body and the facts, combined with the Vatican's refusal to perform an autopsy.
Rocha's book is not the first to point to foul play.
In 1984, British author David Yallop, who writes mostly about unsolved crimes, published In God's Name, which proposed the theory that John Paul I's death was linked to corruption at the Vatican Bank.
Many of its points of suspicion, however, were challenged four years later by British historian and journalist John Cornwell in his book A Thief in the Night.
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (12-20-05)
''The president has the power to keep the country from going to hell," Truman told his staff, according to David McCullough's 1992 biography.
Truman was wrong, according to the Supreme Court, in its most extensively reasoned decision charting the limits of presidential power.
The so-called ''steel seizure case" is suddenly in the news again because President Bush is now saying that his powers as president and commander-in-chief -- the justifications cited by Truman -- permit him to authorize wiretaps on US citizens.
Luckily for Bush, Americans who are being wiretapped don't know they're being bugged, and thus can't challenge his powers in court. But when Congress holds hearings on whether the president has exceeded his powers, the Supreme Court's ruling in the steel seizure case will be the closest thing to settled law on the matter.
And the story of the seizure of the steel mills isn't necessarily comforting to Bush.
Truman, like many presidents, tended to view his critics as being incapable of seeing the national interest. And by early 1952, Truman had a lot of critics. His favorability had plunged below 30 percent, largely because of his handling of the Korean War, and he could no longer count on Congress's support.
In addition, his distrust of corporations -- which dated back to his time as head of a senatorial committee investigating World War II profiteering -- led him to believe that owners of steel companies were pursuing policies that would hamper the war effort. The steelworkers' union was engaged in bitter negotations for pay increases, but management seemed only too willing to accept a strike.
By some accounts, Truman feared that a strike would be used by the owners to drive up prices; the military, in the midst of a munitions buildup, was by far the biggest customer of steel, and would be the biggest victim of a strike.
Congress considered taking action to block the strike but did not, though the Taft-Hartley Act would have allowed Truman to order a three-month ''cooling-off" period.
Declaring that both sides were sufficiently deadlocked as to make a cooling-off period useless, Truman ordered a government takeover of the mills. He said American lives depended on it.
Truman said he was acting to avert a wartime emergency. He cited Article II of the Constitution, which says ''the executive power shall be vested in the president," and that the president ''shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States."
The Supreme Court declared that Truman had exceeded his authority, but its inability to reach a consensus reflected the extraordinary difficulty of setting constitutional boundaries for a president's power. Three justices filed their own concurring opinions, suggesting different ways to gauge the limits of presidential power. Three justices dissented.
The majority opinion, by Justice Hugo Black, concentrated on separating the president's powers from Congress's powers. Black made much of the fact that Congress could have chosen to seize the mills and did not, suggesting Truman was usurping Congress's ''lawmaking power."
The likely question for George W. Bush will be: Why not seek congressional approval for wiretapping terrorist suspects without judicial warrants? Given that so many other surveillance mechanisms were sweepingly approved by Congress in the 2001 Patriot Act, why not include warrant-free wiretaps?
SOURCE: Boston Globe (12-16-05)
"It is not Orhan Pamuk who will stand trial, but Turkey," EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said in an unusually blunt statement released in Brussels. "This is a litmus test of whether Turkey is seriously committed to freedom of expression and to reforms that enhance the rule of law."
Pamuk, 53, Turkey's best-known novelist, is expected to go on trial today for stating in a Swiss magazine interview what most historians regard as unassailable facts: That some 1 million Armenians were slaughtered by Turks in the 1915-1918 genocide and that thousands of ethnic Kurds have lost their lives in more recent civil strife in modern Turkey.
The case has stirred outrage across Europe, where there is deepening opposition to allowing Turkey whose population is largely Muslim and whose landmass lies almost entirely in Asia to join an economic and political confederation whose most basic membership requirement is a commitment to democracy and to such values as freedom of speech.
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (12-19-05)
Before Bush's secret order, the NSA operated under strict limits on domestic intelligence collection. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 set up a secret federal court that must approve requests for the NSA to conduct surveillance against anyone in the USA suspected of being an "agent of a foreign power," such as a terrorist group.
Revelations in 1975 of CIA misdeeds led to an investigation by a committee headed by then-senator Frank Church. The committee published a report in 1976 that uncovered three cases of NSA spying on Americans.
"Here we are, 30 years later, revisiting the whole issue," said Matthew Aid, a historian who has written about the NSA.
Name of source: NYT
But to him, the dusty shingles are buried treasure. These old dies and plates were once used to print items of great worth: bank notes, stock certificates and bond coupons, as well as postage stamps, tickets, playing cards and other types of paper ephemera.
The slabs, about an eighth of an inch thick and ranging from an inch square to poster-size, lie in boxes stacked on more than a hundred pallets. Some of them date to the 1830's.
This 200-ton trove once belonged to the American Bank Note Company, a major New York securities printer whose clients included governments, universities, banks and railroads, from captains of industry to humble savings and loans. As demand for steel and copperplate engraving fell, the company merged with or acquired many of its competitors, often picking up their old plates as well.
Only scant mention is made, however, of the bloody rioting more than a century ago during which black residents were killed and survivors banished by white supremacists, who seized control of the city government in what historians say is the only successful overthrow of a local government in United States history.
But last week, Wilmington revisited that painful history with the release of a draft of a 500-page report ordered by the state legislature that not only tells the story of the Nov. 10, 1898, upheaval, but also presents an analysis of its effects on black families that persist to this day.
Culled from newspaper clippings, government records, historical archives and interviews, some previously unexplored, the report explodes oft-repeated local claims that the insurrection was a frantic response to a corrupt and ineffective post-Reconstruction government.
"The ultimate goal was the resurgence of white rule of the city and state for a handful of men through whatever means necessary," the historian LeRae Umfleet wrote in the report's introduction.
The report concludes that the rioting and coup fully ended black participation in local government until the civil rights era, and was a catalyst for the development of Jim Crow laws in North Carolina.
"Because Wilmington rioters were able to murder blacks in daylight and overthrow Republican government without penalty or federal intervention, everyone in the state, regardless of race, knew that the white supremacy campaign was victorious on all fronts," the report said.
In the period immediately after the Civil War, the Democratic Party-ruled government in Wilmington, which was then North Carolina's largest city, was displaced by a coalition that was largely Republican and included many blacks. The loss of power stirred dissatisfaction among a faction of white civic leaders and business owners.
The tensions came to a head on Election Day, Nov. 9, 1898, when the Democrats regained power, according to historians largely by stuffing ballot boxes and intimidating black voters to keep them from the polls. Not waiting for an orderly transition of government, a group of white vigilantes demanded that power be handed over immediately. When they were rebuffed, in the words of the report, "Hell jolted loose."
City officials have conceded that the thick stone wall, which sits about nine feet below street level and perpendicular to the path of a planned subway tunnel, is too historically significant to cart off to a landfill. Archaeologists believe it was built at least 240 years ago and was either part of the battery wall that protected European settlements at the south end of Manhattan or a piece of one of the forts that replaced Fort Amsterdam.
But coming up with a plan for preserving the wall, discovered last month, presents a bigger puzzle. City officials must answer a string of questions: How much of the wall should be removed from the ground? How and where would it be displayed? Where would it be stored in the meantime? And who is going to pay for all of this?
Adrian Benepe, the city's parks commissioner, said that he hoped some of those questions would be answered at a meeting scheduled for today at the offices of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
He said that one of the biggest obstacles was cleared on Thursday when the authority agreed to hire conservation experts to draft a plan for extracting the wall from the subway trench.
But those planners will have to act fast. Joan C. Berkowitz, a partner in Jablonski Berkowitz Conservation Inc., said the transportation authority has asked her firm to take two weeks to document the current state of the wall in enough detail so that it can be taken apart and reconstructed. Still, she said it would probably require three.
SOURCE: NYT (12-18-05)
Impetuous, imperious and fearless, Ms. Osthoff, a German, had worked for years in Iraq as an archaeologist. After the American-led invasion, she campaigned to stop the looting of Iraq's spectacular archaeological sites.
I have a personal interest in her fate. In June 2003, I bet my life on her and let her guide me to a scene of plundering that could have been taken from "Indiana Jones."
Hordes of looters, swarming like ants over a remote patch in southern Iraq, were digging up sculptures, vases, ornaments and cuneiform tablets. Many relics dated back 3,000 years to the Sumerian era. Weapons were everywhere: AK-47's, pistols, knives, even swords. There was no law, no police, no hint of the American military.
Ms. Osthoff's persistence seems to have shamed American and Iraqi leaders into posting more protection, though the looting continues.
But her exploits had a broader significance, offering clues to why the Americans remain so bedeviled and bewildered by Iraq's complexities. Unlike many of those trying to stabilize and rebuild Iraq, Ms. Osthoff could differentiate between good guys and bad guys.
She also recognized problems that others wanted to ignore. And to the extent that she stayed alive, it was because she had credibility with everyone from local Bedouin leaders to onetime Baathist powerbrokers.
As a reporter for The New York Times in Iraq in June 2003, I met Ms. Osthoff at the Sheraton Hotel in Baghdad. She seemed like a vagabond, so short of money that she had been avoiding her hotel bill. But she raged about the devastation of Iraq's archaeological treasure, and she knew what she was talking about.
Donny George, head of research at the Iraqi National Museum, greeted her as an old friend and said he had heard the same stories she had.
Ms. Osthoff wanted to show me the looting firsthand, but her fearlessness seemed to border on recklessness.
"Nothing will happen to you," she scoffed as I fretted. "I know all the people there. I know who to trust. You just have to do what I tell you."
Her self-assurance seemed outrageous. We would be entering an area where a lot of ill-gotten money was at stake. No matter how many armed escorts we might have - and we had several - we would to some extent be at the mercy of the looters, who were legion.
But after teaming up with an American photographer, Matt Moyer, I decided to take up the challenge - one step at a time.
In "Striking Back," a blunt, angry book incorporating some of the Kopel Report's findings, Aaron J. Klein analyzes this massacre and the acts of retaliation it prompted. Mr. Klein, a former Israeli intelligence officer and a correspondent in Time magazine's Jerusalem bureau, also describes a world in transition at the time of the Munich attacks. His book makes it clear why this was a pivotal event in the evolution of global terrorism - and why the security budget for the Olympics has since mushroomed, from $2 million in 1972 to $1 billion in 2004.
"Striking Back" is a terser, less dramatic account than George Jonas's 1984 "Vengeance." It is Mr. Jonas's book that is the basis for Steven Spielberg's coming film on this subject. Although "Striking Back" is not linked with the film, its publication is conveniently timed to imply a connection and capitalize on the inevitable debate.
"It is the most important acquisition we could possibly make," Stephanie Copeland, head of the Mount's restoration project, said in an interview just before she signed the deal.
The sale ended a remarkable period of uncertainty, not just for the future of the collection and the keepers of the Mount but also for Mr. Ramsden, who bought the bulk of the library in 1984 for £45,000, then worth around $80,000, and has devoted much of his life to completing and cataloguing it.
The library has rarely been on public view since the writer's death in France in 1937, and its return to the Mount will provide scholars and Wharton aficionados with an opportunity to view the volumes that not only shaped Wharton's development but also reflected the broad sweep of her interests, from classical French theater and German drama to the novels of her peers and the delights of the then new-fangled automobile.
The gene comes in two versions, one of which is found in 99 percent of Europeans and the other in 93 to 100 percent of Africans, the researchers report in today's issue of Science.
The new gene falls into the same category as the Duffy gene, and it may shed light on the evolutionary pressures to which Europeans were subjected as their ancestors, who were presumably dark skinned, moved into the northern latitudes some 40,000 years ago.
Humans acquired dark skins in Africa about 1.5 million years ago to shield their newly hairless bodies from the sun. Its ultra-violet rays destroy folic acid, a shortage of which leads to birth defects.
But when the modern humans who left Africa began to live in northern latitudes, they needed more sunlight to penetrate the skin, to permit the chemical reaction that produces vitamin D.
SOURCE: NYT (12-15-05)
But it turns out, a commission appointed by the German government reports, that faulty wiring in the library, the assumed cause of the fire, was not the only problem for Weimar, which has more great cultural monuments per capita than just about any other city in Europe.
Weimar, in the former East Germany, decayed badly under the Communists, and after reunification in 1990 the new federal government didn't do much to make things better.
Name of source: KUsports.com
SOURCE: KUsports.com (12-19-05)
"He was a national icon," Goudsouzian said. "He was the first real, black celebrity star in college basketball."
Chamberlain died in 1999, less than two years after seeing his number retired during a dramatic half-time ceremony at Allen Fieldhouse. He was 63.
In "Can Basketball Survive Chamberlain? The Kansas Years of Wilt the Stilt," a lengthy article in the latest issue of Kansas State Historical Society's "Kansas History" magazine, Goudsouzian contends that Chamberlain's time in Lawrence "foreshadowed the changing landscapes in ofAmerican sports and race relations."
Though Chamberlain was hardly a civil rights activist, Goudsouzian said, his fame and ego often put him on a collision course with Lawrence's then-de facto segregation.
Businesses -- bars and restaurants, mostly -- that had long refused to serve blacks found it difficult to turn away Chamberlain.
"I'll tell you a story that was well-known at the time," said Leonard Monroe, a Lawrence native and a longtime friend of Chamberlain's.
"(Then-KU basketball coach) Phog Allen's son, Mitt, and Wilt went to a cafe downtown -- I can't remember which one it was -- and the owner said, ‘Mr. Allen, we're not going to serve him,'" Monroe said.
"Now, Mitt Allen was a lawyer. So he says, ‘Why you ol' blankety-blank, if you don't serve him, I'm going to close this blankety-blank place down," Monroe said.
"They served him," Monroe chuckled.
But Chamberlain's being served didn't mean other blacks were.
"Me? Oh, no, I couldn't eat there," said Monroe, who is black. "Wilt could, but the rest of us couldn't."
Name of source: Christian Science Monitor
SOURCE: Christian Science Monitor (12-20-05)
In many ways, life has changed little in this pastoral patch of southern Maine, where the Shaker community has toiled for more than two centuries. That's why Brother Arnold winces when he is told they are vanishing."Everyone says, 'poor Shakers,'" he says."People come here, and say we are gone."
You could, of course, be forgiven the assumption. This is the last populated Shaker village in the country. The other 17 have disappeared or become museums. And here on Sabbathday Lake, on 1,800 idyllic acres of forest, apple orchard, and pasture, only four Shakers remain, pledging celibacy, and, in their founder Mother Ann's words, to put their"hands to work and hearts to God."
Brother Arnold, Brother Wayne, Sister June, and Sister Frances are the last possessors of the Shaker tradition, a responsibility they are reminded of each day as they share meals across long, wooden tables, or when they say goodnight and head to their separate rooms. Yet it is not with a sense of doom, but determination, that they uphold the tenets of their centuries-old faith - and adapt to the realities of the future.
Sometimes that means looking outward in ways both pragmatic and novel. Recently they signed a $3.7 million preservation plan with a consortium of conservation groups in Maine to ease their tax bills and protect their property from being turned into subdivisions."Friends are increasingly important to this community," says Brother Arnold, patting their golden retriever, Chase.
The United Society of Believers, dubbed Shakers because they shook and trembled during 18th-century worship, was never a group of vast numbers. Ann Lee founded the Protestant sect in 1747 in England, but, because of persecution, they immigrated to the US in 1774. Here they formed communities stretching from Maine to Florida. At their height before the Civil War, they numbered 5,000, many of them orphans.
SOURCE: Christian Science Monitor (12-18-05)
The events vary in tone and size. For intimacy and prestige, it's hard to top the small dinner for Bush family members and close friends. Legislators are feted at a black tie congressional ball. Gatherings are held for White House staff, Secret Service, and generous political supporters.
As if to test their holiday spirit, the president and Mrs. Bush also host a party for the press. ...
The brief moments with the president offer some humanizing context, clearly one reason this White House - and others before it - entertain the press. Franklin Roosevelt was the first president to invite reporters to social events. Before that, "reporters were always there to cover, not to be on the guest list," says Donald Ritchie, associate historian of the US Senate.
Presidents vary, of course, in their enthusiasm for such encounters. Richard Nixon skipped a Christmas party during Watergate, while Gerald Ford was something of a bon vivant: He even liked to dance with guests.
All this chumminess, however, makes some media watchdogs uncomfortable. Bob Steele, a journalism ethicist at the Poynter Institute, says the press "should not be accepting special favors that are offered to us because we are journalists."
Name of source: David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies
SOURCE: David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies (12-19-05)
Another speaker at the conference described how the leaders of elite American universities not only ignored the plight of Jews under Hitler in the 1930s, but actually engaged in actions that helped enhance the Hitler regime's image in the West.
The information was presented at a panel on "America and the Holocaust: New Research," sponsored by The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, as part of the annual conference of the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS), the premier organization of Jewish scholars, at the Washington, D.C. Hilton hotel.
The panel was chaired by Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the Wyman Institute.
Prof. Laurel Leff, of Northeastern University, revealed in her lecture:
* While other university departments and disciplines added Jewish refugees to their faculties to help them escape Hitler, none of America's approximately forty journalism schools and departments took in Jewish refugee journalists, and no major newspaper hired refugee journalists.
* In 1939, refugee advocates Prof. David Reisman (later a famous Harvard sociologist) and Prof. Carl Friedrich requested ten minutes to speak at the convention of the American Newspaper Publishers Association about the plight of Jewish refugee journalists. Their request was rejected.
* Refusals to aid Jewish refugee journalists were often laced with antisemitic comments. For example, Lawrence Murphy, dean of the University of Illinois School of Journalism and one of the leading figures in journalism education, opposed aiding the refugees and rationalized it on the grounds that it was for their own good. "The minute that Jews show up in numbers they become a threat to the others ... they would occupy all the jobs there are [and] are quite likely to work together in filling the jobs," Murphy wrote. "We must hurt them to help them. We must keep them from becoming too prominent and assertive..."
Prof. Leff is the author of the critically-acclaimed new book about the New York Times and the Holocaust, 'Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper,' which was published by Cambridge University Press earlier this year.
Prof. Stephen Norwood, of the University of Oklahoma, said in his remarks at the conference:
* Despite book-burnings and anti-Jewish violence in Nazi Germany, the leaders of elite American universities such as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins refused to speak out against the Hitler regime during 1933-1937. Columbia president Nicholas Butler expelled a student for leading an anti-Hitler rally on campus. Harvard president James Conant warmly welcomed Ernst Hanfstangl, a Harvard alumnus who was Hitler's foreign press secretary, when he visited the campus in 1934. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology hosted a visit by Nazi Germany's ambassador to the United States, Hans Luther.
* Even though German universities fired their Jewish professors and adopted a Nazi curriculum, prominent American universities continued to maintain relations with them. They exchanged students with German universities, and sent representatives to a celebration at the University of Heidelberg in 1936 (Williams College was one of the few that refused to participate). Harvard Law School dean Roscoe Pound accepted a honorary degree from the University of Berlin in 1934. Johns Hopkins president Isaiah Bowman, a famed geographer, accepted an honor from a Nazi geographical society.
* Antisemitic comments that Prof. Norwood found in the private correspondence of some prominent American university officials suggest that bigotry was at least part of the motive for their positions regarding Hitler and German Jewry. Harvard president Conant urged the DuPont Corporation not to hire the famous German Jewish chemist Max Bergmann, because he was "very definitely of the Jewish type." Yale president James Rowland Angell asked his deans to examine whether Jewish students were engaged in cheating and financial wrongdoing. Johns Hopkins president Isaiah Bowman refused to sign a petition against anti-Jewish discrimination in Polish universities in 1937, and claimed the protest was the result of "pressure from Jews in New York."
ABOUT THE WYMAN INSTITUTE: The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, located on the campus of Gratz College (near Philadelphia), is a research and education institute focusing on America’s response to the Holocaust. It is named in honor of the eminent historian and author of the 1984 best-seller The Abandonment of the Jews, the most important and influential book concerning the U.S. response to the Nazi genocide.
The Institute’s Advisory Committee includes Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, Members of Congress, and other luminaries. Its Academic Council includes more than 50 leading professors of the Holocaust, American history, and Jewish history. The Institute’s Arts & Letters Council, chaired by Cynthia Ozick, includes prominent artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers. (For a complete list, please visit www.WymanInstitute.org)
Name of source: South Coast Today
SOURCE: South Coast Today (12-19-05)
The student, who was completing a research paper on Communism for Professor Pontbriand's class on fascism and totalitarianism, filled out a form for the request, leaving his name, address, phone number and Social Security number. He was later visited at his parents' home in New Bedford by two agents of the Department of Homeland Security, the professors said.
The professors said the student was told by the agents that the book is on a"watch list," and that his background, which included significant time abroad, triggered them to investigate the student further.
"I tell my students to go to the direct source, and so he asked for the official Peking version of the book," Professor Pontbriand said."Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security is monitoring inter-library loans, because that's what triggered the visit, as I understand it."
Dr. Williams said he had been planning to offer a course on terrorism next semester, but is reconsidering, because it might put his students at risk."I shudder to think of all the students I've had monitoring al-Qaeda Web sites, what the government must think of that," he said."Mao Tse-Tung is completely harmless."
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (12-19-05)
Citing Foreign Office files that were opened after a request under the Freedom of Information Act, the newspaper says Britain had held men and woman at a prison in Bad Nenndorf until July 1947.
Locals at the time said you could hear prisoners scream at night.
The Foreign Office files detailed an investigation carried out by a Scotland Yard detective, Inspector Tom Hayward, who found evidence of torture and said at least two inmates had starved to death while another had been beaten to death.
"Even today, the Foreign Office is refusing to release photographs taken of some of the 'living skeletons' on their release," the newspaper said.
Former prisoners told Inspector Hayward they had been whipped as well as beaten and any prisoner thought to be uncooperative during interrogation was taken to a punishment cell.
"Threats to execute prisoners, or to arrest, torture and murder their wives and children were considered 'perfectly proper' on the grounds that such threats were never carried out," the paper reports.
Initially, most of the detainees were Nazi members or former members of the SS, rounded up in an attempt to prevent any Nazi insurgency, although a significant number were also businessmen who had done well under Adolf Hitler, the paper says.
One of the men who starved to death, Walter Bergmann, had offered to spy for the British and fell under suspicion because he spoke Russian.
"There seems little doubt that Bergmann, against whom no charge of any crime has ever been made, but on the contrary, who appears to be a man who has given every assistance, and that of considerable value, has lost his life through malnutrition and lack of medical care," Inspector Hayward wrote in his report.
Name of source: ITP Business
SOURCE: ITP Business (12-18-05)
Michel Van Rijn is well versed in the dark arts of antiquity trading, as well as the riches that can be made from them. Claimed by some to have once been responsible for 90% of international art smuggling, the Dutchman admits to having made millions from less than legal activities — and to having lost millions as well.
But now he is helping to catch those involved in the trade, rather than profit from it, Van Rijn is concerned at the stuttering progress authorities have made in retrieving Iraq’s treasures. “They are looking in the wrong direction,” he says, cooking breakfast for his family in his London home.
“They have no idea of reality. They are up against very well organised looters with outlets in Switzerland, the US, France and England. So they need people who know the mechanics of the black market and how to fight it. They need people to whisper in their ear and tell them where to look.”
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (12-18-05)
He did not disclose any details about Susanne Osthoff's release.
''I am glad to be able to announce to you ... that Mrs. Susanne Osthoff is no longer in the hands of the kidnappers,'' Steinmeier said at a hastily arranged news conference. ''As of today, she is safely in the care of the German Embassy in Baghdad.''
e added that ''our impression after talking to her is that she is in good physical condition.''
It was not immediately clear if Osthoff's driver also was freed. Steinmeier left the news conference without taking questions.
The woman's brother, Robert Osthoff, told The Associated Press that German police informed him of his sister's release just a few minutes before Steinmeier's announcement.
''We'll light candles, pray, and then perhaps we'll get our peace and quiet back,'' he said. ''I'm happy, I'm overjoyed, that's all I can say.''
SOURCE: AP (12-19-05)
The violence in Wilmington, which resulted in the deaths of an unknown number of black people, "was part of a statewide effort to put white supremacist Democrats in office and stem the political advances of black citizens," the 1898 Wilmington Riot Commission concludes in a draft report.
Afterward, white supremacists in state office passed laws that disfranchised blacks until the civil rights movement and Voting Rights Act of the 1960s.
"Essentially, it crippled a segment of our population that hasn't recovered in 107 years," said Harper Peterson, a commission member and former mayor of Wilmington. "It's a major event that went unnoticed."
At the time of the violence, black men in North Carolina had been able to vote for some three decades as part of Reconstruction following the Civil War, said Jeffrey Crow, deputy secretary of the state Office of Archives and History, which researched the report.
But within a year of the insurrection, the General Assembly was controlled by Democrats and had passed the first Jim Crow law that ended voting rights to blacks.
The General Assembly established the commission in 2000. Its draft report was opened for public comment last week.
Some commission members have suggested financing historical exhibitions about the riot and its consequences, portraying it in school history texts and developing economic interests in affected areas.
In addition, the state should issue some sort of apology for its inaction, said Irving Joyner, vice chairman of the commission and a law professor at N.C. Central University.
SOURCE: AP (12-14-05)
Legislation calling for the honor in 2009 was given final congressional approval last night by the House and it is expected to be signed by President Bush.
The Senate -- where sponsors included Illinoisans Dick Durbin and Barack Obama -- passed the legislation last month.
The redesigned pennies are to feature four designs on the reverse side of the coins, with the first one depicting his Kentucky birthplace, the second his youth in Indiana, and the final two his professional life in Illinois and presidency in Washington.
SOURCE: AP (12-15-05)
"You're going to relegate my history to a month?" the 68-year-old actor says in an interview on CBS' "60 Minutes" to air Sunday (7 p.m. EST). "I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history."
Black History Month has roots in historian Carter G. Woodson's Negro History Week, which he designated in 1926 as the second week in February to mark the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.
Woodson said he hoped the week could one day be eliminated - when black history would become fundamental to American history.
Freeman notes there is no "white history month," and says the only way to get rid of racism is to "stop talking about it."
The actor says he believes the labels "black" and "white" are an obstacle to beating racism.
"I am going to stop calling you a white man and I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man," Freeman says.
Freeman received Oscar nominations for his roles in 1987's "Street Smart," 1989's "Driving Miss Daisy" and 1994's "The Shawshank Redemption." He finally won earlier this year for "Million Dollar Baby."
Name of source: Mirror
SOURCE: Mirror (12-19-05)
One measure recommended includes getting rid of Florence Nightingale, Edward Elgar, and Charles Darwin from notes, or even remove the Queen's face altogether.
In their place could come Victorian black MPs, social pioneers like nurse Mary Seacole, anti-slavery campaigners like William Wilberforce or poets like Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Sunder Katwala of the Fabian Society said: "Our national symbols should reflect the nation we are today. The design of notes is not set in stone.
"Just having a debate about whether there should be a new mix of black and white faces on them would be a positive development."
Writing in the Fabian Review, historian Linda Colley - an adviser to Tony Blair - also backed the idea.
She said: "Why are the people on British bank notes always white? Why not have Olaudah Equiano, the great 18th century anti-slavery writer, or the first Indian MP?"
The group, which has close links with Downing Street, also called for a written constitution setting down rights and responsibilities. It would also change the traditional coronation into a "multi-faith ceremony".
And it suggests ending an honours system with awards such as the Order of the British Empire and replacing it with an Order of British Citizens.
For younger people it suggests introducing a compulsory community service scheme for 16 and 21-year-olds to ensure they work with youngsters of different backgrounds. The society wants to tackle discrimination in employment and promote a social and ethnic mix in school intakes.
Name of source: Independent on Sunday (London)
SOURCE: Independent on Sunday (London) (12-18-05)
The massive modernist art-work, entitled A Reclining Figure, was taken from the Henry Moore Foundation sculpture park at Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, late on Thursday night.
Police believe that a crane was used to hoist the 11ft by 8ft, two- ton statue on to a Mercedes flat-bed lorry. Three men are being sought, having been caught on security cameras.
A Reclining Figure was created by Moore, widely seen as one of the 20th century's greatest sculptors, late in his career.
Born in Yorkshire in 1898 to a mining family, Moore is credited with helping to heal the rift between popular and 'intellectual' art. His work is to be found worldwide, much of it on public, or open access, display. Moore died in 1986 " feted by the media, honoured by the establishment and loved by the public " leaving an extraordinary body of work comprising hundreds of pieces, scattered worldwide in public and private collections.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (12-17-05)
Seaman 2nd Class Warren P. Hickok of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was assigned to the USS Sicard when Japanese aircraft attacked the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, the Defense Department's POW/Missing Personnel Office said Friday.
Hickok was among crew members who were sent to assist the crew of the USS Cummings, a destroyer docked nearby.
The USS Cummings succeeded in leaving Pearl Harbor with no casualties reported, the office said.
The number of Americans killed in the attack was 2,388, according to the U.S. National Park Service.
SOURCE: CNN (12-16-05)
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad provoked international outrage on Wednesday when he described the Holocaust as "a myth" and suggested that Israel be moved to Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska.
But speaking at an Athens conference on immigration on Friday, Mostafa Pourmohammadi told The Associated Press: "Actually the case has been misunderstood. (Ahmadinejad) did not mean to raise this matter."
Ahmadinejad "wanted to say that if others harmed the Jewish community and created problems for the Jewish community, they have to pay the price themselves. People like the Palestinian people or other nations should not pay the price (for it).
"A historical incident has occurred. Correct or not correct. We don't want to launch research or carry out historical investigation about it," he said without elaborating.
Name of source: chron.com
SOURCE: chron.com (12-17-05)
Across from the entrance, about 25 demonstrators donning T-shirts marked with various pro-black slogans held up the placards.
Waving the red, black and green African flag, at times moving to the beat of drums, they asked drivers in passing cars to honk in support of their goal: reminding people not to take the lighter-skinned portrait of King Tutankhamun on display as an accurate depiction.
Name of source: Weekly Standard
SOURCE: Weekly Standard (12-19-05)
As a consequence, the ongoing debate over the Iraq war and its origins is taking place without crucial information about the former Iraqi regime and its relationships with presumed U.S. allies and known U.S. enemies. Despite the determined shredding and burning efforts of regime officials in the dying days of Saddam Hussein's government, much of this information still exists--in handwritten documents, in videotapes and audiotapes, in photographs and satellite images, on computer hard drives. All told, the U.S. government has in its possession more than 2 million "exploitable" items from the former Iraqi regime (the intelligence community's term of art for information it thinks might be useful). According to sources with knowledge of the project, now two and a half years old, only 50,000 documents have been translated and fully exploited. Few of those translated documents have been circulated to policymakers in the Bush administration. And although one of the translated documents was leaked to the New York Times last summer, none of the others has been released, formally or informally.
The result: Much of today's debate about the threat posed three years ago by Saddam Hussein's Iraq is based on past assessments by U.S. intelligence agencies that we now know had no real sources on the ground in Iraq. The Bush administration seems remarkably uninterested in discovering, now that we have reams of material from Saddam's regime, what the actual terror-related and WMD-related activities of that regime were. But as the political debate of recent weeks makes clear, answering these questions remains central to the debate over the war. More important, it cannot be the case that there's nothing helpful to the ongoing war on terror in these files.
Beginning in February 2005, I started asking the Pentagon's public affairs office for more information on the document exploitation (DOCEX) project headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Later in the spring, I provided to the Pentagon a list of more than 40 unclassified Iraqi regime documents and requested that they be released. Pentagon public affairs officials denied this request and indicated that a Freedom of Information Act request would likely be the only way to secure the documents, even though they were not classified. I filed a FOIA request on June 19. The FOIA request was passed from the Pentagon to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to the Army's Intelligence and Security Command. I received an "administrative denial" of my request on September 20.
One of the reasons I was given to explain the delays: "There are hundreds of thousands of other documents in the system, and it is a labor intensive process to find specific documents." That is nonsense, according to two intelligence sources with extensive background in the document exploitation project. The databases are keyword searchable.
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (12-18-05)
Pupils are getting a 'Yo! Sushi experience of historical understanding', sampling a series of short, unconnected modules on detailed issues but unable to connect them into a broader picture, according to the Labour MP Gordon Marsden, who heads an informal advisory group on history teaching for the Department for Education and Skills.
That leaves pupils with only a piecemeal understanding of Britain's past, failing to foster the greater sense of belonging that politicians have been calling for in the wake of the 7 July bombings.
Marsden, a former history teacher, argues in an essay to be published by think tank the Fabian Society this week, that the over-emphasis on the Third Reich risks a 'Hitlerisation of history', with some pupils covering the same period two or three times if they go on to A-level.
His essay forms part of a collection on Britishness, published ahead of a conference on national identity this week which will be headlined by the Chancellor, Gordon Brown. A separate essay by Labour MP John Denham, who is chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, calls for the honest teaching of migrant history, explaining 'why so many people have roots on the other side of the world', and a factual presentation of the history of empire.
Linda Colley, a historian who has lectured distinguished audiences at Downing Street, argues in her essay that too great a focus on the world wars 'encourages the idea that Germany has always been our enemy', whereas exploring 19th-century history would show how closely allied the two countries were for a long time.
Marsden said the fascination with genealogy and TV programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are?, in which celebrities traced their family trees, showed a keen national interest in history. But he said lessons needed to do more to join up the dots: 'We are all now obsessed with - from a memorialising point of view - World War Two. But [history] is all about connections and feeling part of something bigger than yourself.'
History was taught well and imaginatively in many schools, but the 7 July bombings had lent a new significance to the process of explaining the events that have shaped modern Britain.
Defining what children should learn instead was complicated by the way British identity had been defined over the centuries more by what it was not than by what it was, he added: 'England was one of the earliest unified nations in Europe. From the ninth or tenth century the concept of what it meant to be English and later British has always largely been defined in opposition to things - first the Vikings, then the Normans, the Hundred Years War, and then ultimately very much around the anti-Catholic (agenda) - the Spanish Armada, Louis XIV, Napoleon.'
A proper understanding of history should include 'the way in which Britishness has been enriched by successive waves of immigration, principally from the 16th century onwards', he said.
History is compulsory in British schools until the age of 14, and the chief inspector of schools, David Bell, recently called for citizenship education - which is compulsory from ages 11 to 16 - to be linked to both history and geography.
A spokesman for the Department for Education and Skills said it had already ordered a review by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, which oversees exams and course content, of history 'following concern that there is an excessive concentration on the period 1919-1945 in the study of German history'.
However, he added standards in history were rising, with Ofsted reporting that the subject was 'very well taught' in schools: 'The national curriculum's aim is for all pupils to develop a chronological understanding of the past with a predominant emphasis on British history - including how Britain has helped shape the wider world.'
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (12-17-05)
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his Cabinet will discuss Monday whether a court should press ahead with the trial of Orhan Pamuk, a case that has raised questions about Turkey's commitment to free speech.
On Friday, the first day of the trial, a judge halted the proceeding and insisted the Justice Ministry first approve going ahead with the trial of the acclaimed writer, who is accused of insulting the country's honor.
The move is forcing Turkey's politicians to grapple with whether they are willing to press forward with a high-profile trial despite criticism from the European Union, which Turkey is trying to join.
Turkey began membership talks with the EU on Oct. 3, and Dutch conservative Camiel Eurlings, head of a European Parliament delegation monitoring the trial, cautioned Friday that the impact of the case ``could be huge, and it could be negative.''
Erdogan told reporters Saturday: ``The EU at the moment is trying to put our judiciary under pressure ... Rightly or wrongly, the issue is in the courts.
``My views concerning freedom of expression are well known,'' he said. ``I am a person who was a victim of a freedom of expression case.''
Erdogan served four months in jail in 1999 for reciting what the courts deemed to be an inflammatory poem interpreted as being anti-secular. Turkey is a staunchly secular state.
Pamuk, author of ``Snow'' and ``My Name is Red'' and an often-mentioned candidate for the Nobel prize in literature, said in a brief statement to the press that ``it is not good for Turkey, for our democracy, for such freedom of expression cases to be prolonged.''
Denis MacShane, Britain's former minister for Europe and a member of the British Parliament, told The Associated Press on Friday that ``the accusation of insulting the state is something you associate with dictatorial regimes, not with a modern European state.''
``You can't put one of the world's best living novelists on trial and say this is just growing pains,'' added MacShane, who attended the hearings as an informal observer.
Pamuk is being tried for telling a Swiss newspaper in February that ``30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians were killed in these lands, and nobody but me dares to talk about it.''
Name of source: Financial Times (London, England)
SOURCE: Financial Times (London, England) (12-17-05)
And their tale went on to be adapted for the 1969 box office smash, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, which turned the tale of the Wild Bunch outlaws who fled to South America with USDollars 1,000 rewards on their heads into the stuff of legend.
With 2006 marking the 100th anniversary of Butch and Sundance's arrival in Bolivia and a fledgling backpacker trail already carving out a route in their footsteps, interest in the legend of Butch and Sundance is fuelling a new boom in Bolivia for Butch Cassidy tours.
"Bolivia's Tupiza region is as captivating today to backpackers as it was to Butch and Sundance a century ago, while the story of Butch and Sundance's misadventures in the Tupiza region is attracting increasing numbers of tourists, history buffs and trekkers," says historian Ann Meadows, author of Digging Up Butch and Sundance, the definitive book about the outlaws.
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (12-16-05)
Inspired by his musical past, north Devon folk singer Sheelagh Allen has written a tune for him called The Highland Piper.
Name of source: AHA Perspectives (Dec. 2005)
SOURCE: AHA Perspectives (Dec. 2005) ()
LETTER OF JESSE LEMISCH:
I was glad that President James Sheehan and the American Historical Association Council expressed disapproval of the Turkish government's role in the cancellation of a conference on"Ottoman Armenians during the Decline of the Empire" (Perspectives, September 2005, 3–4). But I found it jarring that, in the midst of this otherwise commendable expression, the AHA and its president felt the need to state that,"Needless to say, the Association does not have a position on the fate of the Armenians." As a veteran of Vietnam-era struggles within the professional associations, I know just how militantly the AHA has held to the notion that, in President Sheehan's words, it"does not take a position on particular historical issues." (And I recall the December 1968 AHA meeting in New York in which a procession of worthies proclaimed that the convention had been moved from Chicago after the police riot during the Democratic Convention in August only as a matter of convenience, with no hint of political or historical judgment.)
As President Sheehan reminds us, the Turkish government has denied that a genocide took place. But can it be that the AHA has no position on the fact of the Armenian Genocide? In response to my query on what I take to be a related question, the AHA's executive director has reminded me of the AHA Council's 1991 statement deploring Holocaust Denial ("No serious historian questions that the Holocaust took place"). I'm sure some readers will see an inconsistency between the AHA's position on the Holocaust and its position on the Armenian Genocide; I'm sure others will find enough angels on the head of this pin to squirm out of it. But doesn't it come down to this: the AHA opposes Holocaust denial in one case but is agnostic in another?
RESPONSE OF JAMES SHEEHAN:
I am grateful to Jesse Lemisch for the opportunity to clarify the point I tried to make in my letter to Prime Minister Erdogan. Let me add that I am now speaking only for myself, not for the Council or the AHA.
In December 1991, the Council approved the following statement:"The American Historical Association Council strongly deplores the publicly reported attempts to deny the fact of the Holocaust. No serious historian questions that the Holocaust took place." The second sentence is, of course, a simple statement of fact: there is agreement among all serious scholars about the basic facts of the Holocaust, even if there are debates about details and interpretations. This consensus did not happen because organizations like the AHA"deplored" the views of those who denied the Holocaust, but because free and open research produced an extraordinarily rich and convincing body of scholarship.
The AHA does not have a position on the Armenian genocide. Should it have one? I don’t think so—even though I am personally convinced that what happened to the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian minority in 1915 was indeed a genocide. As a scholarly organization, our efforts should not be directed at issuing proclamations about what happened in the past. Such proclamations, I suspect, rarely change anyone’s mind. We should concentrate our attention on trying to end restrictions on research and discussion in the present. This was why the AHA protested the political pressures that forced the cancellation of the scholarly conference scheduled to be held in Istanbul last May.
As many readers of Perspectives are aware, that conference, on"Ottoman Armenians during the Demise of the Empire: Issues of Democracy and Scientific Responsibility," took place on September 24 and 25, 2005, at Bilgi University in Istanbul. The success of the conference was a testimony to the courage of its organizers and a victory for academic freedom and scholarly integrity. These values, on which our common labors as historians must ultimately depend, remain the best antidotes to irresponsible scholarship and repressive politics.
Name of source: Herald (Glasgow)
SOURCE: Herald (Glasgow) (12-16-05)
Professor Ian Findlay, a Scottish-born scientist, is attempting to build up a genetic "fingerprint" of the serial killer by taking samples of saliva on the back of envelopes sent to police at the time of the killings.
Once his DNA is known, it can be cross-referenced with the DNA of descendants from the prime suspects in the case.
Five brutal prostitute murders in the Whitechapel area of London in 1888 were originally linked to Jack the Ripper, although theories have emerged recently claiming that he went on to kill elsewhere.
Many of the letters police received signed "Jack the Ripper" are believed to be hoaxes but some, including several which had mutilated body parts enclosed, are thought to be genuine.
Professor Findlay, chief scientist at the Gribbles molecular science forensic laboratory in Brisbane, Australia, said being involved in the Ripper case was "daunting".
The Glasgow University graduate said: "As a youngster growing up in Blantyre, I always wanted to be a police scientist and now I am working onone of the world's biggest murder mysteries.
"The Ripper case is absolutely huge and one mention of it in Australia landed me on the front pages of the newspapers here.
"If we found DNA on the stamps, we can compare that with DNA from the descendants of the suspects. There were supposedly hundreds of letters. Most were probably hoaxes, but at least a dozen are thought to be genuine, including one which came with a piece of kidney he took from one of his victims.
"Generally, there were thought to be 10 main suspects, from royalty to doctors and painters."
The attempt to establish the London murderer's true identity is the latest in a series of recent high-profile investigations which have fanned interest in the notorious killings.
Patricia Cornwell, the crime writer, spent GBP2m of her own money researching a book in which she claimed that the artist Walter Sickert was the killer. However, her theory has been heavily criticised by detectives and historians.
Professor Findlay began working on the case after developing a DNA identification technology called CellTrack ID which he claims can extract and compile a DNA fingerprint from a single cell or strand of hair up to 160 years old.
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (12-17-05)
Amid scenes of mayhem and abuse at an Istanbul courthouse, the case was put back to February 7, while the Turkish government was handed the hot political potato of deciding whether to prosecute the author or drop the case.
Armed riot police in body armour and white helmets thronged the narrow corridors of the Sisli district criminal court, but did little to maintain order as protesters from the hard left and the far right hurled abuse at Pamuk and his supporters, attacked his car, and punched and kicked human rights observers.
Pamuk, 53, who is accused of "denigrating Turkishness" for stating that 30,000 people have died in Turkey's Kurdish conflict and that a million Armenians were killed in Turkey during the first world war, must return to court in February unless the government decides to drop the case, the judge ordered.
The author of the novels Snow and My Name Is Red, who is widely regarded as a Nobel laureate contender, stood silent in a dark suit and white shirt for 45 minutes in a packed court. Judge Metin Aydin struggled to maintain order amid arguments between Pamuk's defence team and a group of rightwing lawyers who claimed their Turkishness had been impugned by Pamuk's remarks in a Swiss newspaper interview earlier this year.
The defence demanded an instant dismissal of the case. The prosecution demanded instant pursuit of it. The judge played for time and shifted the onus of decision-taking to the government.
Pamuk voiced dismay that his ordeal was not over. "It is not good for Turkey, for our democracy, for such freedom-of-expression cases to be prolonged," he said in a statement. But the government made plain it was in no hurry to close the case.
Outside, nationalists screamed "traitor" at Pamuk, and scuffles broke out. Protesters pelted his car with eggs and assaulted his supporters.
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Education
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (12-16-05)
The International Journal for Educational Integrity, a freely accessible online publication that made its debut last week, will cover matters of academic rectitude, including soft marking, fraud, and other forms of academic dishonesty, as well as plagiarism.
Billed as the first of its kind, the periodical is to be published twice a year. Most of the articles in the new issue examine the theme of plagiarism in Australia, particularly in relation to the country's historically high number of international students among whom English is not a first language.
The publication was unveiled at a conference on the same subject that was held at the country's University of Newcastle, which itself was recently found by a government investigation to have covered up a rash of plagiarism for fear of losing a lucrative overseas program (The Chronicle, October 14).
Name of source: Chicago Tribune
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune (12-16-05)
Its owner, Hildegarde Mallet-Prevost, died in September at 100, and her family is selling the three-bedroom colonial with the attached log cabin that was once home to Josiah Henson, the slave whose 1849 autobiography was the model for Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin."
The cabin, where Henson lived during the time in which Stowe's novel takes place, served for many years as the home office for Marcel Mallet-Prevost, Hildegarde's husband and a lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board who died in 2000. Their son Greg, showing a reporter around recently, pointed out the oak beams below, still covered in bark; the broad floorboards, probably original to the plantation house; the bedroom where he slept when he was home from college.
Few have been inside cabin
"My parents were history people," Greg said. "They accommodated anyone who wanted to take pictures of the outside, and people came by constantly, but my parents wanted to be left alone on the inside."
As a result, few historians have been inside the cabin. "This house basically fell between the cracks," said Judy Christensen, a historian who is preservation planner for the city of Rockville. "It's a site of national importance."
Planners for Montgomery County and Heritage Montgomery, the county's historical tourism agency, are trying to raise money to bid on the house, which is on Montgomery's list of historic sites. The cabin has not made it to the National Register of Historic Places because, as Greg Mallet-Prevost put it, "my father felt it was his right to decide if it was historic."
Name of source: EduGeek
SOURCE: EduGeek (12-16-05)
Several recent cases have highlighted the potential problems. One article was revealed as falsely suggesting that a former assistant to US Senator Robert Kennedy may have been involved in his assassination. And podcasting pioneer Adam Curry has been accused of editing the entry on podcasting to remove references to competitors' work. Curry says he merely thought he was making the entry more accurate.
However, an expert-led investigation carried out by Nature — the first to use peer review to compare Wikipedia and Britannica's coverage of science — suggests that such high-profile examples are the exception rather than the rule.
The exercise revealed numerous errors in both encyclopaedias, but among 42 entries tested, the difference in accuracy was not particularly great: the average science entry in Wikipedia contained around four inaccuracies; Britannica, about three.
Considering how Wikipedia articles are written, that result might seem surprising. A solar physicist could, for example, work on the entry on the Sun, but would have the same status as a contributor without an academic background. Disputes about content are usually resolved by discussion among users.
But Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia and president of the encyclopaedia's parent organization, the Wikimedia Foundation of St Petersburg, Florida, says the finding shows the potential of Wikipedia. "I'm pleased," he says. "Our goal is to get to Britannica quality, or better."
Wikipedia is growing fast. The encyclopaedia has added 3.7 million articles in 200 languages since it was founded in 2001. The English version has more than 45,000 registered users, and added about 1,500 new articles every day of October 2005. Wikipedia has become the 37th most visited website, according to Alexa, a web ranking service.
But critics have raised concerns about the site's increasing influence, questioning whether multiple, unpaid editors can match paid professionals for accuracy. Writing in the online magazine TCS last year, former Britannica editor Robert McHenry declared one Wikipedia entry — on US founding father Alexander Hamilton — as "what might be expected of a high-school student". Opening up the editing process to all, regardless of expertise, means that reliability can never be ensured, he concluded.
Yet Nature's investigation suggests that Britannica's advantage may not be great, at least when it comes to science entries. In the study, entries were chosen from the websites of Wikipedia and Encyclopaedia Britannica on a broad range of scientific disciplines and sent to a relevant expert for peer review. Each reviewer examined the entry on a single subject from the two encyclopaedias; they were not told which article came from which encyclopaedia. A total of 42 usable reviews were returned out of 50 sent out, and were then examined by Nature's news team.
Only eight serious errors, such as misinterpretations of important concepts, were detected in the pairs of articles reviewed, four from each encyclopaedia. But reviewers also found many factual errors, omissions or misleading statements: 162 and 123 in Wikipedia and Britannica, respectively.
Editors at Britannica would not discuss the findings, but say their own studies of Wikipedia have uncovered numerous flaws. "We have nothing against Wikipedia," says Tom Panelas, director of corporate communications at the company's headquarters in Chicago. "But it is not the case that errors creep in on an occasional basis or that a couple of articles are poorly written. There are lots of articles in that condition. They need a good editor."
Several Nature reviewers agreed with Panelas' point on readability, commenting that the Wikipedia article they reviewed was poorly structured and confusing. This criticism is common among information scientists, who also point to other problems with article quality, such as undue prominence given to controversial scientific theories. But Michael Twidale, an information scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says that Wikipedia's strongest suit is the speed at which it can updated, a factor not considered by Nature's reviewers.
Name of source: Log Cabin Democrat
SOURCE: Log Cabin Democrat (12-16-05)
"Well, I was pretty amazed," said Charles Moenning, the head of construction on a project to turn the old S.H. Kress store into loft apartments and retail space. "I have never seen anything like that in my life, in person, rather."
Black letters stand out from the beige plaster walls, recalling the days when segregation ruled the South. Blacks and whites were kept apart in schools, public transportation and accommodations. Integration arrived here slowly in the 1950s and 1960s, most anxiously as nine black students tried to enter Little Rock Central High School in 1957.
"I used to shop downtown when I was a kid and I used to remember all of those signs," said 63-year-old Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey, who dropped by the store Friday with the hope of preserving the wall. He said a Roman Catholic priest had raised his awareness about racial issues when he was in high school in the 1950s.
"He would talk about it's just not fair that a young man who's white can go to a movie and sit in a certain place and a black man cannot," Dailey said. "And somebody can't drink out of a certain water fountain."
Kress built the store on Main Street in 1943 and it remained a five-and-dime until the 1960s when a drug store moved in and occupied the space until the 1990s. Developer Frieda Nelson Tirado recently purchased the vacant three-story building.
Demolition workers clearing the basement for parking spaces were ripping out old walls about two weeks ago when someone noticed the lettering through the partially demolished partition. Moenning helped workers remove the last of material covering the words Thursday.
Marks on the wall, which has sections of exposed turquoise paint, suggest the water fountains were once separated by a partition.
While Little Rock is perhaps best known for its high school desegregation crisis, integration actually started in the city a bit earlier, said Laura Miller, a historian at the Central High School National Historic Site.
"I believe it was right around 1955 and 1956 when representatives from the NAACP started asking downtown store owners to desegregate water fountains and things like that," she said. "And they did, quietly, without telling their white customers."
But the desegregation of downtown Little Rock wasn't swift. In 1960, students from historically black Philander Smith College staged a sit-in at Woolworth's to protest continuing lunch counter segregation.
During the mayor's visit, Moenning agreed to save the wall from demolition.
Dailey said he would try to see that the signs are put in a museum, calling them "a dramatic reminder of a world that we don't want to go back to."
Name of source: Defense Department
SOURCE: Defense Department (12-16-05)
Hickok was assigned to the Light Mine Layer the USS Sicard when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Many crewmembers from the USS Sicard, including Hickok, were dispatched to assist the crew of the USS Cummings, a destroyer docked nearby. The Cummings succeeded in getting underway and clearing Pearl Harbor with no casualties reported. However, an investigation into those still unaccounted-for after the attack surmised that Hickok may have been a casualty aboard the battleship, the USS Pennsylvania, since some crewmen from the USS Sicard had been dispatched to the USS Pennsylvania during the attack. But records indicate that Hickok was not lost aboard that ship.
In the days following the attack, burial details interred many of the unknown dead in Nuuanu Cemetery on Oahu. Among those buried were an unknown sailor identified only as X-2. Following the war, the Army Graves Registration Service oversaw the disinterment of unknown remains, including the X-2 remains. They could not be identified and were reburied in Section E, Grave 73 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, on June 9, 1949.
Name of source: Romanesko
SOURCE: Romanesko (12-16-05)
Name of source: Palm Beach Post
SOURCE: Palm Beach Post (12-16-05)
The non-binding resolution sponsored by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from Pembroke Pines, urges Bush to designate by executive order the month of January each year as American Jewish History month, similar to the way February has been designated Black History Month.
More than 250 members of the House joined in co-sponsoring the resolution, led by Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., chairman of the House International Relations Committee. Local Reps. Mark Foley, R-Jupiter, Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, E. Clay Shaw Jr., R-Fort Lauderdale, and Robert Wexler, D-Delray Beach, were among the co-sponsors.
Wasserman Schultz introduced the resolution late Wednesday after receiving a commitment from House Speaker Dennis Hastert that he would contact Bush and urge him to issue the order.
Congress last year adopted a resolution recognizing this year as the 350th anniversary of American Jewish life and suggested that a month recognizing the contribution of Jews to America be established.
"American Jewish History Month would honor the contributions of American Jews to society," Wasserman Schultz said in introducing the resolution. "Similar to Black History Month in February and Women's History Month in March, American Jewish History Month would present educators with the opportunity and tools to teach diversity and cultural awareness."
Wasserman Schultz noted that "ignorance about Jews and our history, culture and contributions to American society remains widespread in the United States. This ignorance leads to hatred and bigotry, and one way to stop it is through education. As we all know, education leads to understanding."
Name of source: Scotsman
SOURCE: Scotsman (12-16-05)
Dr Moffat has housed his archive at the nearby former Fala Primary School, Fala, for the past three years, since he was forced to move it from its original home at a cottage in the village.
But now Midlothian Council is to sell the land - and has told Dr Moffat he will have to move the archive by the end of December.
It is believed the land is to be sold to the Honourable Michael Dalrymple of Oxenfoord Castle near Pathhead.
Dr Moffat said: "It is a huge archive. We've been going for 20 years and I never throw anything away. The school in Fala hasn't been used for 12 years, so it seems a shame that the landowner wants to do something with it now.
"It is very difficult because I have only had a few weeks' notice and at the moment, I have nowhere to go. Unless we find somewhere suitable very quickly, we will be on the streets with four tonnes of paperwork."
He added: "I need somewhere very specific for the archive. Somewhere that is very dry, with plenty of storage and it has to be very secure. Some of the work contains information that could be worth quite a lot of money if it got into the wrong hands.
"The council has suggested I might be able to store it at the Old Dalkeith High School, but it would be in an open classroom, which I don't think is secure."
He said he was expecting the archive, which currently receives around a dozen inquiries a week from drug companies and medicinal herbalists looking for information, to see a huge surge in popularity over the coming months following a joint project with the Duchess of Northumberland.
He added he had hoped to open a visitors' centre in the school hall to hold exhibitions about the monks' work.
The Duchess, who is originally from Edinburgh, took cuttings from Soutra to include in her poison gardens at Alnwick Castle.
The Duchess, who features cannabis, opium poppies, magic mushrooms and coca - the source of cocaine - in her gardens, has featured an interview with Dr Moffat in one of her promotional videos.
Name of source: The Australian
SOURCE: The Australian (12-16-05)
The king has "taken note of the nature of the final report of the Equity and Reconciliation Panel (IER) and commanded that it be published and brought to the knowledge of the people," a palace statement in the north African kingdom said.
The IER, a 17-member independent panel set up by the king in November 2003 to probe reports of killings, disappearances, torture and other serious abuses between 1960 and 1999, the reign of his father Hassan II, meanwhile urged the state to apologise and develop a "national strategy against impunity".
"We intend to give a very warm welcome to the different recommendations made in this report," government spokesman Nabil Benabdellah said. "We consider the report to bear witness of the deep desire of His Majesty the King and his government to turn a page in our history."
The king's decision to set up such a commission, which reported back to him last month after a series of investigations and opening mass graves around the country, including inside the notorious Tazmamart prison in the south, was the first of its kind in the Arab world.
Hundreds of families had reported atrocities and disappearance during what were known as the "leaden years", when Hassan II was a staunch ally of the west but maintained power at home surrounded by hardline security and interior ministers and secret services while keeping a multi-party system going.
Name of source: Chicago Sun-Times
SOURCE: Chicago Sun-Times (12-16-05)
The invaders showered the city with hundreds of small clay missiles, knocked down fortification walls, burned buildings and perhaps took inhabitants captive.
This clearly was no minor skirmish," said Clemens Reichel of the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute. "This was 'shock and awe' in the fourth millennium B.C."
Reichel and Salam Al Kuntar, of Syria's Antiquities Department and Cambridge University, directed a team that excavated the site in the present day town of Hamoukar. It's one of the most revealing discoveries yet of early urban warfare.
There's no record of a battle, since writing hadn't been invented yet. In such cases, it's often difficult to determine whether destruction was the result of warfare or of other calamities such as accidental fires.
"But in our case, it was unambiguous," Reichel said. "There's very clear evidence of violent destruction."
Name of source: Network of Concerned Historians
SOURCE: Network of Concerned Historians (12-16-05)
PEN OBSERVERS DESCRIBE "UGLY AND VIOLENT" SCENES TRIAL OF ORHAN PAMUK
16 December 2005
On 16 December 2005, the Sisli No 2 Court of First Instance in Istanbul, announced that the hearing against Orhan Pamuk, one of Turkey's most eminent writers, would be adjourned until 7 February 2006. His trial dossier is apparently still with the Ministry of Justice in Ankara for consideration that Pamuk be tried under the old penal code that was repealed on 1 June this year. Pamuk's "offence", was a statement published in a Swiss newspaper in which he declared "One million Armenians and 30,000 Kurds were killed in these lands [Turkey] and nobody but me dares talk about it." This has led to him being accused of "publicly denigrating Turkish identity". The comment was made in February this year before the penal code was revised.
Since then Article 159 of that Penal Code dealing with "insult" to the Turkish state has been replaced by new Penal Code Article 301.
Until a few days ago, it was thought that the court would hear a request that the trial proceed under the New Penal Code. Pamuk's lawyer, Haluk Inanici, in a written statement earlier this week, said that the court asked the prosecutor's office whether Pamuk should be tried according to the new Penal Code or the old version. On December 2, the Istanbul court, stated that while both article 159/1 of the old penal code and article 301/1 of the new code call for prison sentences of up to three years for the same "crime", the old law favours Pamuk as it requires the permission of the Ministry of Justice to proceed with the trial.
Among the many observers to the trial were the Chair of International PEN's Writers in Prison Committee, Karin Clark, President of the Turkish PEN Centre Vecdi Sayar, and International PEN Board Member, Eugene Schoulgin. Here follows their account of the events this
"The scenes around the first appearance of Orhan Pamuk before Sisli No. 2 Court of First Instance on 16 December 2005 at 11:00 were marked by constant shouting and scuffling turning ugly and violent at times. As those attending the proceedings left the court, eggs were hurled along with insults from the nationalists and fascists among the crowd lining the pavement across the street. This in full sight of the national and international media which had turned out in full.
Right wing hecklers had already greeted the defenders of free expression from within and outside Turkey with banners bearing slogans in English and even German such as: "Turkey for the Turks this is none of your concern", "Foreign presence is uncalled for", "You are putting Turkey on trial, giving it a bad name", "You are only here for the show" etc.
The courtroom was packed with well over 70 people - among them famous Turkish writers such as Yasar Kemal and Arif Damar, and representatives of the European Parliament, several diplomats, members of Turkish and international freedom of speech organizations.
The aggression and heckling inside and outside the court did not abate. Some ten lawyers of the extreme right who want to be involved in the case on the prosecutor's side, some in their robes, others in street clothes, eventually surrounded the court officials seated on the podium, with Orhan Pamuk and his defence lawyer standing before them. One of the lawyers who had initiated the charges, even though he did not have any right to intervene, as there had not been a decision yet on whether or on what grounds the trial would be opened, was allowed to speak for almost 10 minutes without being interrupted by the judge. He made accusations against Orhan Pamuk, who was represented by council but himself was not called on to speak.
Again and again, confrontations and shouting in the hallways interrupted the proceedings, the aggressive mood spilling over into the courtroom itself. The session ended after an hour and 15 minutes with an adjournment until 7 February 2006, due to the fact that the Ministry of Justice had indicated it needed more time to decide on the legal basis of the trial".
STATEMENT ON THE TRIAL OF ORHAN PAMUK
16 December 2005
Turkey: Suspension of trial hearing against Orhan Pamuk Bodes Ill for Free Expression
This morning the trial against Orhan Pamuk, one of Turkey's most well- known authors, was postponed to 7 February 2006 after the Ministry of Justice said that it needed more time to study the trial dossier. On hearing of the news that the process will drag on, the President of International PEN, Jiøí Gruša said "It is unbelievable that Orhan Pamuk, one of Turkey's best known and eminent authors, is in this situation. What it indicates is a complete disregard for the right to freedom of expression not only for Pamuk, but also for the Turkish populace as a whole. This decision bodes ill for other writers who are being tried under similar laws."
Jiøí Gruša is referring to the cases of around 14 other writers, publishers and journalists accused of "insult" for having criticised the Turkish state and its officials. They are on trial for writings on issues including accusations that the Turkish army has committed human rights abuses and for commentary on the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman army in the early 1900s. They are being prosecuted under the revised Penal Code that had been amended earlier this year as part of a process aimed at removing from Turkish law human rights anomalies. This is part of the process that the government hopes will lead to acceptance to the European Union. The EU's Enlargement Commissioner, Olli Rehn, has said that the trial has cast a shadow over Turkey's application.
Among those on trial for "insult" is Hrant Dink, the editor of an Armenian language newspaper, who is accused for his comments on his discomfiture at having to recite as a child a patriotic verse that required him to identify himself as a Turk rather than Armenian. Also writer Zülküf Kisanak, whose next trial hearing will be on 22 December, or his book depicting the destruction of Kurdish villages by the Turkish armed forces. Ragip Zarakolu, a long-time campaigner for minority and human rights, has two trials against him, both for books published by him by Armenian authors describing the events of the early 1900s. The most recent case was the initiation of trial proceedings earlier this month against five journalists who are accused of having insulted the judiciary by challenging a court decision in November to ban an academic conference on Armenia planned to take place at a university in Istanbul. For details of these and other "insult" cases known to PEN see below. Around 50 writers, publishers and journalists have been before the courts this year under various Penal Code items for their writings on sensitive issues There is growing alarm in Turkey that positive changes in the state of freedom of expression and the right to write, which had been the pattern of recent years, have taken a dramatic downward turn in recent months.
International PEN President Jiøí Gruša reiterates "PEN demands that the trials against all writers, publishers and journalists be halted and that the laws under which they are being tried be removed from the Penal Code. We also call on the Turkish authorities to put a definitive end to the penalisation of those who exercise their right to freedom of expression."
LIST OF CASES OF WRITERS, PUBLISHERS AND JOURNALISTS TRIED UNDER "INSULT" LAWS
1. Erkan AKAY, editor of Yeni Dünya Için Çagri (Call for a New World). His trial was launched in Istanbul Court of First Instance under Article 301 of the Penal Code on 10 November 2005 for an article '1915-2005 Forgetting or Denial?'
2. Hrant DINK: editor of the Armenian language Agos whose trial opened on 28 April 2005 on charges of insult regarding remarks he made at a conference in December 2002 entitled "Global Security, Terror and Human Rights, Multi-culturalism, Minorities and Human Rights". He reportedly faces up to three years in prison if convicted. The charges relate to comments he made about his childhood when he had objected to having to recite a patriotic verse that required him to identify himself as a Turk, rather than an Armenian. He also criticised a line in the Turkish national anthem that he considered to be discriminatory. The next hearing is due on 9 February 2006.
3. Zülküf KISANAK: Writer and journalist against whom legal proceedings were initiated in December 2004 for his book, Lost Villages. He was charged under Article 159 of the Turkish Penal Code for insult to the Turkish state for claiming that 3,500 Kurdish villages were forcefully evacuated between 1990 and 1995 and that homes were burnt. A hearing held on 18 October 2005 approved the trial to proceed under Article 301 of the new Penal Code. Next hearing due 22 December 2005.
4. Ersen KORKMAZ: editor-in-chief of Demokrat Iskenderun had a case launched against him on 28 June 2005 for "insulting the state" under Article 301 of the new penal code for an article entitled "Turkey Towards May Day". Hearings started on 22 July 2005.
5. Seyvi ÖNGIDER: A court hearing was scheduled to open 8 December 2005 on charges of "insulting Atatürk" for his book The Story of Two
Cities: Ankara-Istanbul Conflict. To be tried at the Kadiköy Penal Court of First Instance.
6. Murat PABUC, a writer on trial in November 2005 under Article 301 of the Penal Code for his book Deserting Bench Guard Duty that suggests that corruption in the army is systemic. He is accused of insulting the military. Pabuc refers to his experience as a soldier serving in the south east of Turkey as being an inspiration behind his book.
7. Orhan PAMUK an internationally renowned author who is to stand trial on 16 December 2005 before the Sisli Court, Istanbul on charges under article 301/1 of the Penal Code for "insult" to the Turkish nation. He faces up to 3 years in prison. Charges relate to a statement he made in the Swiss newspaper Tagesanzeiger published 6 February 2005 in which he stated that a million Armenians had be killed by Ottoman forces in Turkey in 1915-17, and that "30,000" Kurds had died in the conflict in the south east since the mid 1980s.
In February-April 2005, Pamuk was under threat from extremist groups who had objected to the article. It was also reported that a local official in the southern town of Isparta ordered the seizure and burning of all Pamuk's works in Isparta's libraries, only to discover that none existed. The official was subsequently reprimanded for his comments by the Isparta governor. Pamuk is the author of six novels and is translated into 20 languages. He is the recipient of numerous literary awards both in Turkey and abroad. Books include My Name is Red, Snow and most recently book on his home city, Istanbul.
8. Fatih TAS, a publisher with the Aram Publishing House. A trial opened on 17 November 2005 for the publication of a Turkish Translation of US academic John Tirman's Spoils of War: the Human Cost of America's Arms Trade. The book, that claims that US weapons were used to carry out human rights abuses against Kurds and is highly critical of the Turkish military, nationalism and Atatürk. He is being tried under Article 301 of the Penal Code for insult to the army, the Turkish state, "Turkishness", and, under Article 1/1 and 2 of Law 5816, to the memory of Kemal Atatürk. Article 301 carries penalties of up to 2 years. Law 5816 carries sentences of up to 3 years, which can be increased by one half if the "insult" is in print. Hearing held on 2 December 2005 was adjourned to 8 February 2006. On 9 December Tas was convicted to six months in prison under article 301 of the New Penal Code for publishing another book, this time accusing the Turkish army of complicity in the disappearance of a journalist in the early 1990s.
9. Ragip ZARAKOLU: publisher, Belge Publishing House. Legal proceedings were initiated in December 2004 against Zarakolu for the publication of George Jerjian's book History Will Free All of Us/Turkish-Armenian Conciliation under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (formerly Article 159 of the old Penal Code) for "insult" to the State and to the memory of Kemal Atatürk. The book is said to claim that leading government figures close to Atatürk had been responsible for the mass deportation of Armenians in 1915. The first trial was held before the Light Crimes Court at Istanbul on 16 March 2005 with a subsequent hearing on 17 May, postponed to 20 September, then to 22 November 2005 and again to 15 February 2006. On 1 August 2005, another case was opened, this time for the publication of Professor Dora Sakayan's An Armenian Doctor in Turkey: Garabed Hatcherian: My Smyrna Ordeal of 1922 To be charged under Article 301 of the Penal Code . Case opened on 21 September 2005, adjourned to 22 November and again to 15 February 2006 when the final verdict is due to be given.
10. Five journalists: Ismet BERKAN, Murat BELGE, Haluk SAHIN
(Radikal) and Erol KATIRCIOGLU and Hasan CEMAL (Milliyet): Charged on 2 December 2005 with insult to the judiciary under Article 301 of the Penal Code for having criticised a court decision to ban a conference on the Armenian "genocide" that was to be held in September. The conference was eventually held later that month at another university.
For further information please contact Sara Whyatt at the Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN, 9/10 Charterhouse Buildings, London EC1M 7AT, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (0) 207 253 3226 Fax: +44
(0) 207 253 5711 email: email@example.com
Name of source: Wa Po
SOURCE: Wa Po (12-15-05)
But the historical finds have led to a confrontation with modern community concerns. In recent weeks, community meetings have been held in which residents were asked whether they would agree to vacate their property so historians could dig under their huts and through their farms.
Ethiopia, one of the world's poorest and least developed nations, is believed to contain some of civilization's oldest archaeological troves under its rocky soil. Experts estimate that less than 7 percent of these artifacts have been found, meaning that Ethiopia could be on the brink of the same kind of major archaeological discoveries that began in late 19th-century Greece or 1920s Egypt.
"Aksum is one of the least known civilizations in the world," said Fasil Giorghis, an Ethiopian architect and leader of a team of archaeologists and historians who are working in Aksum, as he hunched over reams of drawings in his office. "There are layers and layers of buildings and history here. There is major work to be done here. It's an exciting thing for our country."
Name of source: Baltimore Sun
SOURCE: Baltimore Sun (12-15-05)
Robert L. White, a retired cleaning-supply salesman whose collection of 350,000 items relates to the life of the 35th president, spent more than 40 years gathering Kennedy material. His collection, the largest in private hands, is rivaled only by that of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.
White, who lived in Woodbine, died two years ago. He was 54.
White's collection began in his youth when he wrote to Kennedy, requesting an autograph. After Kennedy's assassination, he traveled to Washington to attend the funeral.
What became a lifelong obsession was given a significant boost when White befriended Evelyn Lincoln, Kennedy's personal secretary and presidential pack rat, who filled her Chevy Chase apartment with steamer trunks and filing cabinets containing material relating to the late president.