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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: Rocky Mountain News
SOURCE: Rocky Mountain News (12-5-05)
Author Dalton Trumbo, a renowned novelist who won two Academy Awards for his screenwriting, will be honored by a festival celebrating his career and the reprinting of the book that created such a ruckus in this Western Slope city.
Trumbo was born 100 years ago Dec. 9, an occasion to be marked by a party at the Avalon Theater in downtown Grand Junction.
But in his hometown, where his writing career got started on the high school newspaper and continued at the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Trumbo was reviled for decades after the publication of his first novel, Eclipse.
Set in the fictional "Shale City," the book and its author were shunned after its printing in 1935. Children of leading residents whose names had been lightly disguised and who were disparaged in the book tell tales of their parents or grandparents ripping up copies of the novel.
Trumbo, who left Grand Junction in the late 1920s for Hollywood and never returned, would go on to write 72 screenplays and seven books, one of which, the anti-war novel Johnny Got His Gun, was widely read on college campuses during the Vietnam War. Trumbo died in 1975.
The University of Colorado honored Trumbo, who attended the school for one year, by naming the fountain area on the Boulder campus after him.
He won Oscars for Roman Holiday in 1953 and The Brave One in 1957. He wrote those screenplays under pseudonyms because the House Committee on Un-American Activities had blacklisted him for joining the Communist Party.
"He went to one meeting and never went back," said Grand Junction historian Dave Fishell. "But the blacklist lasted and lasted, and Trumbo went to jail for 11 months rather than squeal on his friends."
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (12-5-05)
Mr. Carey said that had his first wife not died in 1974, he would have challenged Jimmy Carter for the presidency. ''I had real ambition to run against Carter,'' he said. ''I felt he didn't have the capacity to be president. He lacked true vision.''
He said that despite having endorsed a number of prominent Republicans, including Gov. George E. Pataki for re-election (at the ceremony, Howard J. Rubenstein, the publicist, read a proclamation from Mr. Pataki), he remains a proud Democrat (who was elected governor himself by challenging the party organization).
Mr. Carey who turned 86 last April, commutes between his Upper East Side apartment and the Harris Beach law office on Third Avenue, where he is a senior partner. He depends on a cane, which makes him appear even more dapper.
What does he hope to be remembered for?
''That's the toughest question anybody has to answer,'' he replied, then answered: ''As a man who loved the people of New York as much as he loved his own family.''
SOURCE: NYT (12-4-05)
The question arises because Mr. Seigenthaler recently read about himself on Wikipedia and was shocked to learn that he "was thought to have been directly involved in the Kennedy assassinations of both John and his brother Bobby."
Mr. Seigenthaler discovered that the false information had been on the site for several months and that an unknown number of people had read it, and possibly posted it on or linked it to other sites.
If any assassination was going on, Mr. Seigenthaler (who is 78 and did edit The Tennessean) wrote last week in an op-ed article in USA Today, it was of his character.
The case triggered extensive debate on the Internet over the value and reliability of Wikipedia, and more broadly, over the nature of online information.
Wikipedia is a kind of collective brain, a repository of knowledge, maintained on servers in various countries and built by anyone in the world with a computer and an Internet connection who wants to share knowledge about a subject. Literally hundreds of thousands of people have written Wikipedia entries.
Mistakes are expected to be caught and corrected by later contributors and users.
The whole nonprofit enterprise began in January 2001, the brainchild of Jimmy Wales, 39, a former futures and options trader who lives in St. Petersburg, Fla. He said he had hoped to advance the promise of the Internet as a place for sharing information.
It has, by most measures, been a spectacular success. Wikipedia is now the biggest encyclopedia in the history of the world. As of Friday, it was receiving 2.5 billion page views a month, and offering at least 1,000 articles in 82 languages. The number of articles, already close to two million, is growing by 7 percent a month. And Mr. Wales said that traffic doubles every four months.
Still, the question of Wikipedia, as of so much of what you find online, is: Can you trust it?
And beyond reliability, there is the question of accountability. Mr. Seigenthaler, after discovering that he had been defamed, found that his "biographer" was anonymous. He learned that the writer was a customer of BellSouth Internet, but that federal privacy laws shield the identity of Internet customers, even if they disseminate defamatory material. And the laws protect online corporations from libel suits.
He could have filed a lawsuit against BellSouth, he wrote, but only a subpoena would compel BellSouth to reveal the name.
In the end, Mr. Seigenthaler decided against going to court, instead alerting the public, through his article, "that Wikipedia is a flawed and irresponsible research tool."
SOURCE: NYT (12-4-05)
Although White House officials said many federal departments had contributed to the document, its relentless focus on the theme of victory strongly reflected a new voice in the administration: Peter D. Feaver, a Duke University political scientist who joined the N.S.C. staff as a special adviser in June and has closely studied public opinion on the war.
Despite the president's oft-stated aversion to polls, Dr. Feaver was recruited after he and Duke colleagues presented the administration with an analysis of polls about the Iraq war in 2003 and 2004. They concluded that Americans would support a war with mounting casualties on one condition: that they believed it would ultimately succeed.
That finding, which is questioned by other political scientists, was clearly behind the victory theme in the speech and the plan, in which the word appears six times in the table of contents alone, including sections titled "Victory in Iraq is a Vital U.S. Interest" and "Our Strategy for Victory is Clear."
SOURCE: NYT (12-3-05)
The conference, blocked by a court in May and again in September, was held on Sept. 24 after organizers changed its location. The journalists, Ismet Berkan, Murat Belge and Haluk Sahin of the liberal newspaper Radikal, and Hasan Cemal and Erol Katircioglu of the center-right newspaper Milliyet, were charged with "influencing judicial procedures" and "publicly insulting members of the judiciary." They face up to 10 years in prison. A court hearing is expected on Feb. 7.
SOURCE: NYT (12-3-05)
About 300 people were on hand for the opening and more filed in through the day to see the nation's first museum dedicated to World War II, with interactive video and audio exhibits that complement the artifacts, war planes and military vehicles on display.
Unlike much of the city, the museum in downtown New Orleans was not flooded. However, it suffered about $200,000 to $300,000 in damage, primarily related to theft and vandalism at the gift store and coffee shop, both of which were open Saturday, said president and chief executive Nick Mueller.
Attorney General Charlie Crist announced Friday that investigators had begun excavating the site of Harry and Harriette Moore's home, which was blown up on Christmas night in 1951.
Detectives were searching for detonators and other evidence that could prove what type of explosive was used.
The four suspects, all members of the Florida Klan at one time, had experience with dynamite, said Frank Beisler, an investigator with Crist's office.
Beisler said the major break in the recently reopened investigation came about a month ago when he interviewed a man to whom one of the bombers had confessed.
"The president has other commitments," said the White House spokesman, Scott McClellan.
No problem, said Judge Ralph T. Strother of State District Court, though President Bush's name had popped up on a random list of Texans summoned for jury service. Judge Strother said he had now given Mr. Bush, who owns a 1,600-acre ranch outside Crawford, a choice of six other dates from January to June 2006.
Does Judge Strother expect him to show up?
Why, yes, the judge said by telephone, the White House assured him that "the president considers it an important civic responsibility and duty."
And, he said he was told, "the president didn't want to be treated differently than anybody else."
But to actually sit on a jury and hear a murder case, say, or perhaps just a civil suit?
"I'd be a little surprised," the judge admitted.
Would he ever lock up the president for being a no-show?
"It didn't cross my mind," said the judge, a Republican who has won two elections to the bench since first being appointed in 1999 by Mr. Bush, who was then governor.
Nearly a decade later, she became the first United States citizen to be extradited for war crimes. She was sent to West Germany, where she was tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
That was in 1981, and little has been written about her since, although a German newspaper took note of her release, for health reasons, in 1996.
It turns out that she died three years later, on April 19, 1999, at the age of 79.
Her death appears to have gone unrecorded by American newspapers and magazines, although it is noted on the Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia and in a footnote in a 2005 memoir, "Omaha Blues," by Joseph Lelyveld, a former executive editor of The Times, who recounts his experience as the young reporter who knocked on the door of the Ryan home more than 40 years ago.
Official word of Mrs. Ryan's death came in recent weeks from the Simon Wiesenthal Center's office in Israel, in response to questions by another Times reporter who was researching an article on the former Maidanek death camp in Poland, where Mrs. Ryan was once assigned.
Efraim Zuroff, director of the Israeli center, said he believed the death had been noted in some German papers. He said he did not know the cause, but in 1996, when the German government pardoned her from her life sentence, she suffered from diabetes and had had a leg amputated.
The cause was cancer, the National Press Photographers Association said.
Mr. Evans worked for Time magazine, The New York Times and other publications, but was best known as the official White House photographer during the Reagan administration. He was by the president's side when he was shot in 1981, and for weeks afterward Mr. Reagan was seen by the public almost exclusively in still photographs taken by Mr. Evans or his staff of four.
The photograph of Mr. Reagan, smiling his celebrated, slightly crooked smile, was taken in 1975 during the early months of his losing campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Mr. Evans said in interviews in 2004.
SOURCE: NYT (12-1-05)
Officials were planning to replace the long-shuttered grande dame of Wilshire Boulevard with a school big enough for 4,000 students, many of them immigrants and minorities, who would otherwise have to keep riding buses across town. One of the project's backers was Ethel Kennedy, the senator's widow, who saw it as a fitting tribute to her husband.
Now his son--and other filmmakers--are scrambling to shoot scenes at the hotel before it's demolished.
If the school district's contractors are busily erasing a tremendous chunk of this city's glittery history, Mr. Estevez is seeking to revisit and preserve one of the darkest days in Los Angeles's past.
"Bobby" is being made for between $5 million and $10 million, and it does not yet have a domestic distributor, but Mr. Estevez has assembled a roster of stars worthy of "The Towering Inferno." Along with Mr. Sheen and Mr. Estevez, the cast includes Anthony Hopkins, Demi Moore, William H. Macy, Harry Belafonte, Sharon Stone, Laurence Fishburne, Helen Hunt, Elijah Wood, Lindsay Lohan, Nick Cannon, Heather Graham, Ashton Kutcher, Freddy Rodríguez and Christian Slater, none of whom are receiving anything like a normal fee.
Mr. Estevez was able to shoot a few days at the Ambassador, 48 hours ahead of the wrecking crew, before shifting locations to another faded hotel dressed to look like it.
SOURCE: NYT (11-30-05)
Leaders of Jewish and Muslim groups as well as diplomats and foreign policy experts will preview ``Munich'' before its U.S. release on December 23, but Spielberg has shied away from the media hype and costly promotional campaigns that typically precede a big-studio movie, including several of his own.
The low profile is even more unusual given that ``Munich'' has appeared, sight unseen, on almost every pundit's list of films expected to be nominated for an Oscar for best picture.
Spielberg's associates say the director, recognizing the potential of his film to stir fierce debate, insists on letting the work speak for itself.
It is arguably the most politically charged movie of a career that has not shied from confronting difficult issues, among them the Holocaust in 'Schindler's List' for which Spielberg won an Academy Award.
``He didn't want to talk to anybody until people had a chance to see the film,'' spokesman Marvin Levy said. ``He said, 'Let me make the movie, and then we'll show the movie, and everyone can make up their own minds.''
Another associate close to the production added: ``We know there's going to be controversy. We just want to make sure it's informed.''
Name of source: Australian
SOURCE: Australian (12-5-05)
One building that should be a source of historical records is the Arrow Cross party headquarters at 60 Andrassy St, Budapest -- known as the House of Loyalty.
To Melbourne pensioner Lajos Polgar, it was the House of Fidelity. Now a war crimes investigation by Hungarian authorities into Polgar may fill some of history's gaps. And if the investigation results in an extradition request for Polgar, he will become the second Australian pensioner this year to face prosecution for alleged war crimes.
Perth pensioner Charles Zentai is facing extradition to Hungary accused of bashing 18-year-old Peter Balazs to death in a Budapest army barracks.
What is known of the House of Loyalty is that Jews were tortured and possibly killed in the building's basement. "It was a notorious building. It was the headquarters of the Arrow Cross," says Hungarian Holocaust historian Tom Kramer. "They used it basically as a torture chamber, as a means of intimidating potential opponents."
Polgar insists he's innocent of any war crimes and that he held the lesser role of secretary at the House of Loyalty to hanged party henchman Jozsef Gera. Polgar laughs when told the Hungarian authorities suspect him of genocide. "I am absolutely innocent. I never made any crime at all," he says.
Polgar hid his wartime history when he emigrated to Australia in 1949 and subsequently befriended the family of former prime minister Malcolm Fraser. He lived a quiet life until four months ago when Labor MP Michael Danby raised questions about his wartime history in federal parliament.
Court papers obtained by The Australian reveal Polgar was a key figure in the brutal Arrow Cross regime. Gera claimed he personally appointed Polgar as "commander of the House of Loyalty".
Whether Gera was telling the truth when he named Polgar as commander is likely to be critical to the Hungarian investigation, says Kramer, author of the book From Emancipation to Catastrophe: the Rise and Holocaust of Hungarian Jewry.
"There is no question at all in my mind that whoever was in command of the House of Loyalty was in fact a major war criminal," Kramer says. "Polgar is probably attempting to airbrush himself out of history, painting himself as an innocent bystander who was just shifting paper backwards and forwards, whereas the commander would be the one issuing the instructions."
Polgar rejects Kramer's version of events saying "there is no such thing, commander. Of course, anything I wanted there from the rest of the people in the House of Fidelity, they had to obey that. This is not commander, I never have been. Commander was Dr Gera. I was an assistant. My job was the working order, I looked over everything."
Name of source: scotsman.com
SOURCE: scotsman.com (12-4-05)
Almost an hour after the USS Ward attacked the midget sub, 40 Japanese torpedo bombers made their first successful and unhindered run on Pearl Harbour's Battleship Row.
Veterans, their families and government and military officials are remembering the Ward in anticipation of Wednesday's observance of the 64th anniversary of the attack, which pushed the United States into World War II.
The Ward, then a newly recommissioned World War I destroyer, shot the Japanese vessel in the harbour's defensive area, where submarines were required to sail above water.
Will Lehner, 84, whose battle station on the Ward was as ammunition handler on the destroyer's afterdeck, said the vessel sailed over the 78ft black Japanese sub after it sunk.
"It looked like it was covered by moss," said Lehner, who now lives in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. "I had never seen anything like it before."
However, proof of the attack did not appear until 2002, when University of Hawaii researchers found the missing sub submerged in about 1,200ft of water.
"Every time we would tell someone about it, they would say 'You have no proof'," Lehner said. "It was a closure for me to see that sub. I saw it when it got hit, I saw it when it was going down, and then, 60 years later, I saw it laying on the bottom."
The Japanese sub sunk by the Ward was one of five launched on December 6, each carrying a two-man crew and armed with two torpedoes. One of them washed up on the beaches at Bellows after the 1941 attack; three, including the one attacked by the Ward, were believed to have been sunk; the whereabouts of the fifth have never been verified.
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (12-5-05)
It makes the skeleton about 1,500 years older than the 15th century ship.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (12-5-05)
"The breakup and sinking of the Titanic has never been accurately depicted," Parks Stephenson, a Titanic historian, said at a conference at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
The ocean liner that was billed as "unsinkable" by its owner struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage and went down in the North Atlantic on April 14, 1912. About 1,500 people were killed.
Undersea explorer Robert Ballard located the bulk of the wreck in 1985, at a depth of 13,000 feet and about 380 miles southeast of Newfoundland. He declared that the ship had broken into two major sections, and that is the way the sinking was portrayed in the 1997 movie about he catastrophe.
However, the latest expedition, sponsored by the History Channel, found two hull pieces, each roughly 40 feet by 90 feet and lying about a third of a mile from the rest of the wreck. The explorers said the location of the wreckage indicates that the ship's bottom came off the ship intact _ constituting a third major piece _ and later broke in two.
Ballard played down the importance of the find.
SOURCE: AP (12-1-05)
If this sounds like a reversal of Japan's history of aggression in Asia, that is just what the authors intend. The scenes appear in two best-selling examples of a growing literary genre in Japan: nationalist comics.
The trend, typified by the runaway hits ``Hate Korea: A Comic'' and ``Introduction to China,'' has struck a chord among young readers who resent Japan's being cast as the bully in 20th century history - and say it is time for a change.
``These books finally depict history from a Japanese perspective, and there is nothing wrong with that,'' says Atsushi Iwata, 22, student at Tokyo's prestigious Waseda University who attends a weekly seminar by a co-author of ``Introduction to China.''
``It's the right of any nation to interpret history as it feels it should,'' he said.
The interpretation in the recent comic books is nothing short of provocative - at a time of rising tensions between Tokyo and its neighbors, and as Japan takes a decided tilt toward an unapologetic view of previous military action.
``Hate Korea'' tells the tale of wide-eyed Japanese college freshmen who discover that Japan's colonial rule over the Korean peninsula in 1910-45 - seen in Korea as brutal subjugation - was a well-intentioned attempt to bring civilization to a backward country.
"It's not an exaggeration to say modern Korea was built by Japan,'' one of the Japanese students, eyes shining, declares toward the end of the book. Her Korean debate opponent, fuming at the mouth, is unable to respond.
The China tome covers similar territory, vehemently denying Japanese atrocities in China during its invasion during the 1930s and 40s, such as biological experiments carried out by the Imperial Army's top-secret Unit 731.
SOURCE: AP (12-1-05)
Name of source: White Lake Beacon
SOURCE: White Lake Beacon (12-5-05)
“The Tel Zayit Inscription,” now sparking discussion and controversy among biblical and language scholars around the world, is two lines of 24 inscribed letters. It’s an alphabet, resembling both Phoenician and Hebrew, on a 38-pound limestone boulder which dates to around the 10th century B.C.E. - the time some biblical historians believe Kings David and Solomon reigned over a united kingdom of Judah.
Tel Zayit, located southwest of Jerusalem in the lowlands of what was believed to be ancient Judah, has been undergoing excavation by a team of archaeologists sponsored by Pittsburgh Theological Seminary since 1999.
Rypma learned about the excavations from one of his professors at Colorado State who was a former colleague of the director of the dig, Dr. Ron E. Tappy, associate professor of Bible and Archaeology at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Rypma applied for the 2005 dig, and was soon on his way to Israel.
It was on the second-to-the-last day of the five-week dig when Rypma uncovered the stone in the wall of a 3,000-year-old two-story home. The limestone boulder had incised scratches on it that Rypma said he knew were man-made, but could it be writing? Rypma wasn’t sure. It was his first archaeological dig, and he said he felt “sheepish” about bringing it to anyone’s attention. But that night he told his supervisor who went out the following day - the final day of the dig - to take a look at it.
The supervisor called Tappy to the location of the stone. Rypma saw his eyes instantly light up.
“By God, I think it’s an inscription,” Rypma recalled Tappy saying. “Next thing I knew everyone was shaking my hand. I was a bit taken aback. I realized it was important, but I didn’t realize how important it was to them.”
“I realized as soon as I laid eyes on the stone that the inscription was very old and very important, not only to the history of the alphabet and of writing, but to the history of the region in the biblical period,” said Dr. Tappy in an emailed response last week.
Tappy said only one other inscription from the time period has been found in the last 100 years. Pottery and other findings from the Tel Zayit site securely date the inscription found there to the 10th century B.C.E., according to Tappy.
Name of source: Beta News
SOURCE: Beta News (12-5-05)
On November 29, an op-ed piece appeared in USA Today penned by John Seigenthaler, a former aide to Robert Kennedy. Seigenthaler said that for 132 days, the Wikipedia entry under his name falsely accused him of being a suspect in Kennedy's assassination.
Two days later, former MTV VJ and podcasting pioneer Adam Curry was caught anonymously editing people out of an article on the history of podcasting while hyping his own role in the effort.
So far, Curry has publicly refuted such claims, saying he was only trying to ensure the article correctly portrayed the history of podcasting.
The capability of anonymous editing has people like Seigenthaler upset, and he says that it opens the door for malicious or blatantly incorrect information being posted to the service without accountability.
"Wales, in a recent C-SPAN interview with Brian Lamb, insisted that his website is accountable and that his community of thousands of volunteer editors corrects mistakes within minutes," he chided in the op-ed piece. "My experience refutes that."
Furthermore, Wikipedia articles like Seigenthaler's can go unnoticed for long periods of time as they may be less frequently linked to, and thus not often checked for errors by editors like popular articles.
In reponse to such complaints, anonymous authors will no longer be permitted to create new articles on Wikipedia. Instead, users will be required to create accounts in order to do so.
However, the process of changing articles will still be open to anonymous editing, which may disappoint some. While Curry's editing of the podcasting article was eventually traced back, in most cases edits may be practically impossible to trace without some form of registration.
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (12-5-05)
"It has all the elements: four perfectly shaped slopes pointing toward the cardinal points, a flat top and an entrance complex," he said, gazing at the hill and wondering what lies beneath.
No pyramids are known in Europe, and there is no evidence any ancient civilization there ever attempted to build one. But Osmanagic, a Bosnian archaeologist who has spent the last 15 years studying the pyramids of Latin America, suspects there is one here in his Balkan homeland.
"We have already dug out stone blocks which I believe are covering the pyramid," he said. "We found a paved entrance plateau and discovered underground tunnels. You don't have to be an expert to realize what this is."
Osmanagic, 45, who now lives in Houston, is personally financing excavations at the Visocica hill, a 2,120-foot hump outside Visoko, a town about 20 miles northwest of the capital, Sarajevo.
He learned about the hill in April from Senad Hodovic, director of a museum devoted to the history of Visoko, which is rich in Bronze Age and medieval artifacts. Hodovic had attended a promotion of an Osmanagic book about ancient civilizations and thought he would like to see Visoko's pyramid-shaped hill.
When the pair climbed the hill, the sweeping view revealed a second, smaller pyramid-shaped hill. It reminded Osmanagic of pairs of pyramids he has seen in Latin America that together create a gateway into a valley.
After obtaining a permit to research the site, which is protected by the state as a national monument, the first probes of the main hill were carried out this summer at six points. Nadja Nukic, a geologist involved in the research, said she found 15 anomalies suggesting that some layers of the hill were manmade.
SOURCE: Boston Globe (12-4-05)
The conventional version of the '37 tale, a staple of high school and undergraduate history courses, goes something like this: Beginning in 1905, with the Lochner v. New York decision, which struck down a law setting maximum working hours for bakers, the court read into the Constitution a rigid laissez-faire economic worldview. That view stood for 30 years. In the throes of the Depression, as Roosevelt pushed his ambitious legislative agenda to revive the economy, the court struck down law after law, rejecting minimum-wage legislation and gutting the National Industrial Recovery Act and the Agricultural Adjustment Act. Unions and liberal newspapers hammered the court; farmers hanged the justices in effigy.
Then, in early 1937, fresh from his landslide reelection victory, Roosevelt pulled out a club: He proposed to ''pack'' the court-that is, to add one new justice for each one over 70, on the flimsy excuse that the nine justices were overworked (a plan made possible by the fact that the Constitution does not specify how many justices the court should have).
The court caved. In March 1937, less than a year after striking down a very similar law, the justices upheld a minimum-wage law in Washington state, in West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish. The key vote, the so-called ''switch'' that ''saved'' the nine, came from Justice Owen Roberts, a frequent ally of the court's four hard-line conservatives. The way was now clear for the Fair Labor Standards Act and Social Security. By 1938, the court had largely removed itself as a block to national economic policy; the world was made safe for the New Deal.
That's the story, anyway.
G. Edward White, a law professor and historian at the University of Virginia, calls the tale ''a distortion of the historical record.'' ''The court-packing story is based on a pretty limited base of research,'' he said in an interview. And, he added, ''it's winner's history,'' appealing to people-like liberal historians-who instinctively cast Roosevelt as a hero who imposed his righteous will on hack political judges. The standard narrative, however, has also been accepted by conservatives who think this was the moment constitutional law went off the rails.
Name of source: Ralph Luker at Cliopatria blog
SOURCE: Ralph Luker at Cliopatria blog (12-3-05)
Name of source: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (12-2-05)
Two new books—one by Richard Zacks of Pelham, New York, and the other by Joshua London of Washington, D.C.—tell the story of this campaign against North African pirates in 1805.
At the center of the story is William Eaton, who accomplished his task against staggering odds and then was abandoned by the president who'd sent him on the mission.
London is the author of Victory in Tripoli: How America's War with the Barbary Pirates Established the U.S. Navy and Shaped a Nation, published in September by John Wiley and Sons.
London said Eaton "had the grace and bearing of a rough-and-tumble zealot" and was a man who didn't allow "gray areas in his patriotism."
"I saw Eaton as a hero and a patriot and a tragic figure," said Zacks, author of The Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, the First Marines, and the Secret Mission of 1805, published in June by Hyperion Books.
Zacks said he'd been interested in the story since he first read about the Barbary pirates in elementary school. Many years later he realized that the history books hadn't touched on one intriguing angle.
"I realized that no one had told the story from the standpoint of it being a covert operation," he said.
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (12-1-05)
The duplicity led relatives of two British journalists killed by Indonesian troops in East Timor in the run-up to the invasion yesterday to intensify their demands for a judicial inquiry into their deaths. British officials knew well in advance that Jakarta was almost certain to attack the former Portuguese colony, and determined that it would be in London's best interests to let it proceed, the documents indicate. They also detail how the British embassy in Jakarta and the Foreign Office lied about their knowledge of atrocities, particularly the killing of three Australian and two British newsmen in a house in the town of Balibo shortly before the main invasion.
The documents include a top secret telegram from the embassy in October 1975, two months before the attack, assessing that an invasion was inevitable. It continues by saying: "The American ambassador said ... Timor was high on [secretary of state Henry] Kissinger's list of places where the US do not want to comment or get involved. I am sure we should continue to follow the American model."
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (12-2-05)
"Peru has notified Yale University President Richard Levin that a lawsuit is prepared if its rights to the archaeological pieces are not recognized," the ministry said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press.
"We are convinced that we have sufficient proof to win in court," Foreign Minister Oscar Maurtua said in the statement, noting that Peru still preferred a settlement to a long, expensive legal fight.
The threat was delivered to Yale in a letter written by Peru's ambassador to the United States, Eduardo Ferrero, according to the statement. The letter's date was not specified.
Yale spokesman Tom Conroy said the university has been "having discussions with the government of Peru and we are hoping for a resolution that is satisfactory to all involved."
Name of source: US Newswire
SOURCE: US Newswire (12-2-05)
The museum is working to build a focused collection of objects and photographs that reflects specific aspects of the hurricane's impact along the Gulf Coast, the rescue of survivors and the recovery of local communities. In addition to the more than 20 objects collected and more than 900 photographs taken by museum staff during the week of Sept. 26 - 30, the museum is still seeking tools used to escape from homes (such as sledgehammers and axes); homemade floatation devices and hand-lettered signs calling for help and rescue. A second collecting trip to the Gulf Coast region, including New Orleans, is planned for early December.
"As the only national history museum, the museum recognizes its responsibility to collect, preserve and document this episode in the country's history," said Brent D. Glass, museum director. "Just as the National Museum of American History became the official repository of artifacts related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, collecting from Hurricane Katrina continues to fulfill the museum's national mission and is our first concerted effort at documenting a natural catastrophe."
Name of source: Hobart Mercury (Australia)
SOURCE: Hobart Mercury (Australia) (12-1-05)
The 15-year-old said she was both astounded and thrilled.
"I had seen the other entries and they were all so good -- so I was very surprised when I was chosen," she said.
She won top honours for her outstanding essay on the Snug District Disaster Appeal Committee.
The committee was formed two years after the 1967 bushfires to help raise money for other natural disasters around Australia.
The group gave to the Canberra bushfires in 2003.
She wins a Commonwealth medal and plaque as well as $500.
Name of source: National Coalition for History
SOURCE: National Coalition for History (12-1-05)
Over the past 40 years, the total number of doctorates awarded has increased by an annual average of 3.5%, although in recent years, the number has been flat or even on the decline. The increase of 3.4% in 2004 was the second consecutive year that more doctorates were awarded, primarily due to an influx of international students.
The report indicates that there were 42,155 new doctoral recipients in 2004. While there have been increases in all broad fields of study, 5,467 of the recipients received doctorates in the humanities, approximately 12.5% of the total number. Specifically, 975 were in the field of history, reflecting 17.8% of the humanities doctorates and 2.3% of the total doctorates awarded. Ten years ago, the number of history doctorates awarded was 2.4% of the total, indicating a minor decline in the number of history PhDs in the overall totals. Some thirty years ago, in 1974, the total number of history doctorates comprised 3.5% of the total number of doctorates awarded.
Additionally, the study found that 41.6% of history doctorate recipients were female a number that reflects a 12.8% increase of female recipients over the past ten years. 402 of the 975 history doctorates were specifically in American history, reflecting 41.2% of the total.
The report is sponsored by several agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Departments of Agriculture and Education, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The full text of the report “Doctorate Recipients From United States Universities: Summary Report 2004,” is available in PDF format online at http://www.norc.uchicago.edu/issues/sed-2004.pdf .
Name of source: National Security Archive Update
SOURCE: National Security Archive Update (12-1-05)
According to National Security Archive research fellow John Prados, "the American people have long deserved to know the full truth about the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The National Security Agency is to be commended for releasing this piece of the puzzle. The parallels between the faulty intelligence on Tonkin Gulf and the manipulated intelligence used to justify the Iraq War makes it all the more worthwhile to re-examine the events of August 1964 in light of new evidence." Last year, Prados edited a National Security Archive briefing book which published for the first time some of the key intercepts from the Gulf of Tonkin crisis.
The National Security Agency has long resisted the declassification of material on the Gulf of Tonkin incident, despite efforts by Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer Carl Marcy (who had prepared a staff study on the August 4 incident); former Deputy Director Louis Tordella, and John Prados to push for declassification of key documents. Today's release is largely due to the perseverance of FOIA requester Matthew M. Aid who requested the Hanyok study in April 2004 and brought the issue to the attention of the New York Times when he learned that senior National Security Agency officials were trying to block release of the documents. New York Times reporter Scott Shane wrote that higher-level officials at the NSA were "fearful that [declassification] might prompt uncomfortable comparisons with the flawed intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq." The glaring light of publicity encouraged the Agency's leaders finally to approve declassification of the documents.
Hanyok's article, "Skunks, Bogies, Silent Hounds, and the Flying Fish: The Gulf of Tonkin Mystery, 2-4 August 1964," originally published in the National Security Agency's classified journal Cryptologic Quarterly in early 2001, provides a comprehensive SIGINT-based account "of what happened in the Gulf of Tonkin." Using this evidence, Hanyok argues that the SIGINT confirms that North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked a U.S. destroyer, the USS Maddox on August 2, 1964, although under questionable circumstances.
The SIGINT also shows, according to Hanyok, that a second attack, on August 4, 1964, by North Vietnamese torpedo boats on U.S. ships did not occur despite claims to the contrary by the Johnson administration. President Johnson and Secretary of Defense McNamara treated Agency SIGINT reports as vital evidence of a second attack and used this claim to support retaliatory air strikes and to buttress its request for a Congressional resolution that would give the White House freedom of action in Vietnam.
Hanyok further argues that Agency officials had "mishandled" SIGINT concerning the events of August 4 and provided top level officials with "skewed" intelligence supporting claims of an August 4 attack. "The overwhelming body of reports, if used, would have told the story that no attack occurred." Key pieces of evidence are missing from the Agency's archives, such as the original decrypted Vietnamese text of a document that played an important role in the White House's case. Hanyok has not found a "smoking gun" to demonstrate a cover-up but believes that the evidence suggests "an active effort to make SIGINT fit the claim of what happened during the evening of 4 August in the Gulf of Tonkin." Senior officials at the Agency, the Pentagon, and the White House were none the wiser about the gaps in the intelligence.
Hanyok's conclusions have sparked controversy among old Agency hands but his research confirms the insight of journalist I.F. Stone who questioned the second attack only weeks after the events. Hanyok's article is part of a larger study on the National Security Agency and the Vietnam War, "Spartans in Darkness," which is the subject of a pending FOIA request by the National Security Archive.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-30-05)
Neither President Jacques Chirac nor his prime minister, Dominique de Villepin - an ardent admirer of Napoleon - will take part in the official ceremonies to mark the French army's defeat of Austrian and Russian forces on Dec 2, 1805.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-30-05)
On this open ground, now hemmed in by slums and a dual carriageway, Britain made a lavish statement of imperial power - or overweening vanity.
In Delhi political circles the Coronation Park was seen, perhaps with a hint of satisfaction, as a fittingly tatty postscript to the vainglorious era of the British Raj.
Now, however, the New Delhi government and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage are restoring the park as a tourist attraction.
Until recently only the most intrepid and well informed tourists - and boys retrieving cricket balls - ventured into its walled precincts.
Name of source: Haaretz
SOURCE: Haaretz (11-30-05)
On completion of the police investigation, the remains will be transferred to the Jewish community of Stuttgart for burial.
The Israel Police, which had initially been asked to assist the Germans in identifying the remains, announced on Tuesday following Goll's decision that the search for relatives of the inmates, from whom DNA samples were to have been taken to try to identify the remains, was called off.
Goll's decision was made in response to requests by Jewish organizations to bury the remains without conducting the tests to avoid desecration of the dead. The spokesman for the Baden-Wurttemberg Justice Ministry, Stefan Wirz, told Haaretz that the Rabbinic Center of Europe (RCE), an umbrella organization headquartered in Brussels, had requested the genetic testing not be performed.
"The request by the rabbis was one consideration in the minister's decision not to perform the tests, but the main consideration was that the purpose of the investigation was to discover the identity of the murderer and the means of the murder, not the identity of the victims."
Wirz said the investigation was now seeking eye-witnesses who knew the commander of the camp near the murder site.
Construction workers digging at the site in September discovered skeletons and quickly called local police, who found the remains of 34 bodies during their search. German police determined that the mass grave probably dated back to World War II.
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (12-1-05)
In period uniforms, and thermal underwear, military enthusiasts from all over the world will gather on Saturday to re-enact one of the greatest victories in French history. They will come from the United States, from Australia, from Canada, from Russia, from Britain, and even some from France. They will converge on an obscure village in the Czech Republic which was once called Austerlitz.
Two hundred years ago tomorrow, a valley and a plateau near the village were the scene of a bloody six-hour battle which, above all others, sealed the reputation of Napoleon Bonaparte as a military genius and brought the Emperor Napoleon to the apogee of his power. The part of the emperor in Saturday's re-enactment will be played by an American Napoleonophile, Mark Schneider from Virginia.
In Paris, tomorrow night, on the actual bicentenary of the battle, a discreet ceremony and son et lumiére will be organised by the French army in the Place de Vendôme. President Jacques Chirac will not be present. Neither will the Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, (even though he has written poetically about Napoleon and, according to some of his colleagues, believes himself to be the direct, spiritual descendant of the Great Man).
As of yesterday, the French army could not say who would represent the French state at its Austerlitz party tomorrow. "We have been promised a minister but we don't yet know which one," a spokesman said, bravely.
Comparison is inevitable with the elaborate and joyful British commemorations of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, which began last summer and are still going on. So far the French press has been slow to make this comparison but a cannonade of media protests is expected today and tomorrow.
Name of source: Times Online (UK)
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (11-30-05)
Limbo has long been held to be the place where the souls of children go if they die before they can be baptised. However, a 30-strong international commission of theologians summoned by the late John Paul II last year to come up with a “more coherent and illuminating” doctrine in tune with the modern age is to present its findings to Pope Benedict XVI on Friday.
Vatican sources said yesterday that the commission would recommend that Limbo be replaced by the more “compassionate” doctrine that all children who die do so “in the hope of eternal salvation”.
In Christian doctrine, Heaven is a state of union with God, while Hell is separation from God. Christians have long wrestled, however, with the thorny question of what happened to those who died before Jesus, who “brought Man salvation”, as well as the fate after death of children who die in the womb.
Although there is no basis for it in Scripture the traditional answer is Limbo, from the Latin limbus, meaning a hem, edge or boundary. It is described as the temporary resting place of “the souls of good persons who died before the resurrection of Jesus” (limbus patrum) and the permanent home in the afterlife of “the unbaptised who die in infancy without having been freed from original sin” (limbus infantium).