Breaking NewsFollow Breaking News updates on RSS and Twitter
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: Timesonline (UK)
SOURCE: Timesonline (UK) (3-12-06)
The findings are already being considered by a Rome prosecutor who may relaunch his long-stalled investigation into the assassination attempt.
The report of the Rome parliament’s Mitrokhin commission deals with both the run-up to the shooting and its aftermath. It was originally set up to study the Soviet penetration of Italy which was revealed in documents spirited out of Moscow by Vasili Mitrokhin, a former KGB archivist who defected in 1992.
The commission decided to focus on the attack after John Paul wrote in his book Memory and Identity: Conversations between Millenniums: “Someone else planned it, someone else commissioned it.” For the first time he indirectly blamed the Soviet Union, referring to it as “the last dictatorship of the century”.
Paolo Guzzanti, the commission’s president, said last week that it had come to a “categorical conclusion”.
Name of source: NYT
The teacher, Jay Bennish, who had been on paid leave from Overland High School, said he was trying to make students think in a lecture on Feb. 1 that a student recorded. The State Board of Education split on Thursday, four Republicans vs. four Democrats, over a resolution condemning Mr. Bennish. A bill in the State Senate would allow teachers to be fired for violating school district policies that require balanced presentations.
But business was not the only thing potentially troubling Mr. Maxwell in the last days of his life, according to an account in the newspaper The Independent on Friday. The paper said that Mr. Maxwell, who owned the Mirror Group of newspapers, was also being investigated as a possible war criminal in connection with an episode in which, as a captain in the British Army during World War II, he shot and killed an unarmed German civilian.
For a land that has since become renowned for ministerial misbehavior, Mr. Profumo's imbroglio in 1963 set a standard, and became known in newspaper headlines as the Scandal of the Century.
It helped bring down the Conservative government to which Mr. Profumo belonged and put an abrupt halt to his political ambitions, which, some said, could have made him prime minister. The scandal titillated millions of Britons with tales of misbehavior that had the hallmarks of a salacious thriller: nobility and spies, call girls and country estates, sex and suicide, guns and lies.
My aim is to present the truth, and that takes time," the former Serbian president told the tribunal in The Hague, a prelude to painstaking circumlocutions that sought over more than four years to cast the author of Yugoslavia's destruction as a misunderstood man bent only on that country's defense.
In fact, the truth for Mr. Milosevic was always a commodity to be manipulated in the single-minded pursuit of power. Everyone — Croats reinvented as World War II fascists, Bosnian Muslims recast as marauding Ottoman Turks, multiplying Kosovo Albanians redrawn as agents of "demographic genocide" against the Serbs — was fit material for Mr. Milosevic's overriding myth of Serbian suffering.
That myth held a heady power over many years. As Communism collapsed in Europe and his own Yugoslavia in the late 1980's, Mr. Milosevic seized the potential of nationalism as what Miroslav Hroch, a Czech political theorist, has called "a substitute for factors of integration in a disintegrating society."
But Saddam Hussein and his small circle of aides had their own ideas of how to fight the war. Convinced that the main danger to his government came from within, Mr. Hussein had sought to keep Iraq's bridges intact so he could rush troops south if the Shiites got out of line.
Much of this material is included in a secret history prepared by the American military of how Mr. Hussein and his commanders fought their war. Posing as military historians, American analysts interrogated more than 110 Iraqi officials and military officers, treating some to lavish dinners to pry loose their secrets and questioning others in a detention center at the Baghdad airport or the Abu Ghraib prison. United States military officials view the accounts as credible because many were similar. In addition, more than 600 captured Iraqi documents were reviewed.
Overseen by the Joint Forces Command, an unclassified version of the study is to be made public soon. A classified version was prepared in April 2005. Titled "Iraqi Perspectives on Operation Iraqi Freedom, Major Combat Operations," the study shows that Mr. Hussein discounted the possibility of a full-scale American invasion.
Germany is a place where, a couple of years ago, a big city police chief was cashiered because he threatened to torture the kidnapper of a 9-year-old boy if he did not disclose where the boy was being held.
Clearly, as was generally recognized, the police chief was acting in the interests of the boy, who, it turned out, had already been killed. Still, the policeman lost his job, not for torturing the kidnapper, but for threatening to.
A similarly absolutist morality seems to be involved in the political scandal.
But a strong argument is being made by some here that what the former leftist coalition did — oppose the Iraqi invasion publicly but offer help privately to the United States once it began — was not, after all, the act of unadulterated hypocrisy that many Germans have been proclaiming it.
Is it really so shocking, that argument goes, that a German government would have quietly done what it could to help its American ally, while at the same time holding together the Atlantic alliance and even providing some militarily useful information that might have saved some American lives? Surely, even if the government did the wrong thing, there were some good reasons for what it did.
SOURCE: NYT (3-10-06)
In an emotional one-hour ceremony at a downtown square just off a boulevard named for O'Higgins and barely a stone's throw from the presidential palace, President Ricardo Lagos symbolically reclaimed "the Father of the Nation" for Chile's 15 million people.
The restoration of O'Higgins's tomb to civilian control is the culmination of a series of symbolic gestures that Mr. Lagos, a Socialist who leaves office on Saturday, has made during his six years in office. He began by reopening a side entrance to the palace that had often been used by Salvador Allende, the only other Socialist to govern Chile, and allowed the public to move through the main entrance and courtyard.
Then, just before the 30th anniversary of the Pinochet coup, a statue of Mr. Allende was unveiled on the main square that is just behind the palace, known as La Moneda, where he committed suicide on Sept. 11, 1973, after air force planes bombed it. As a parting gesture, Mr. Lagos plans this week to dedicate a small plaque inside the palace to officials killed with Mr. Allende in the coup.
SOURCE: NYT (3-7-06)
More than moviemaking is behind the research. A revival of ethnic pride and cultural studies among Indians has stimulated Indians' interest in their languages, some long dead. Of the more than 15 original Algonquian languages in eastern North America, the two still spoken are Passamaquoddy-Malecite in Maine and Mikmaq in New Brunswick.
In other cases, the few speakers of an Indian tongue are the old people, never their grandchildren, and so the research is a desperate attempt to save another language from burial with a departing generation.
The passing of a language diminishes cultural diversity, anthropologists say, and the restoration of at least some part of a language is an act of reclaiming a people's heritage.
Blair A. Rudes, a linguist at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, who specializes in reconstructing Indian languages, said several Algonquian communities in the East had efforts under way to recover their lost languages and return them to daily use.
SOURCE: NYT (3-7-06)
Described as a parody of the hit German drama "Der Untergang" ("Downfall"), about Hitler's last days, the film by the Swiss director Dani Levy, 48, "My Führer: The Really True Truth About Adolf Hitler," features a sniveling Hitler wallowing in his defeats. Mr. Levy achieved success in 2004 in Germany and abroad with "Alles auf Zucker!" ("Go for Zucker!"), regarded as the first comedy about German Jews made in Germany since World War II. Nazi symbols are officially banned in Germany but may be used in specific educational and artistic contexts. Paul Spiegel, leader of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told the newspaper Bild that he believed the director was "certainly capable of bringing the necessary sensitivity to this project."
SOURCE: NYT (3-6-06)
From about 1640 to 1795, historians say, perhaps 15,000 slaves were buried there in a forgotten wasteland. Many had died before the age of 12. Some had died within two years of arriving in chains.
The federal government announced plans last week for an $8 million memorial and visitor center on part of the site, now known as the African Burial Ground. They are scheduled to be completed this fall. The memorial was designed by Aarris Architects of Manhattan.
President Bush also proclaimed the space, about a third of an acre at Duane and Elk Streets, a national monument, like the Statue of Liberty. The overall site, the equivalent of nearly seven acres, is the oldest and largest African burial site in North America, according to the National Park Service.
''We preserve this sacred ground,'' Gale A. Norton, the secretary of the Interior Department, said at last week's ceremony overlooking the memorial site. She added, ''We will not allow steel and glass towers to cover holy ground.''
David N. Dinkins, who was mayor when the burial ground was uncovered, said, ''Our young folks coming along need to know our history.''
Name of source: Wa Po
SOURCE: Wa Po (3-11-06)
"You cannot win against an insurgency that springs from the population," said Jack Valenti, former special assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson. "There's never been an insurgency that doesn't prevail against a mighty power."
"How much reform can you do," former secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger wondered later, "simultaneously with fighting a war?"
The banner on their dais read "Vietnam and the Presidency" -- ostensibly, the subject of a high-powered conference that brought historians and former policymakers to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library for two days ending Saturday.
But, as the speakers talked about anti-American insurgents and faulty U.S. intelligence and the search for an honorable way out in Southeast Asia, nearly all found bitter parallels to the current conflict in Iraq.
"It appears to me we haven't learned very much," said Alexander M. Haig Jr., Kissinger's assistant in the Nixon White House and secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan.
The conference's stated subject -- Vietnam's history -- was captivating and wrenching enough on its own. Timothy Naftali, director of the Presidential Recordings Program at the University of Virginia, played recordings of Johnson's conversations, including one from 1965 where he asked Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara how the war was going.
"The current battle is going very well," McNamara said, and then continued with a sentence whose Catch-22 logic made the audience laugh. "The problem is that it's not producing the conditions that will almost certainly win for us."
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (3-11-06)
"Every asset of the nation must be applied to the conflict to bring about a quick and successful outcome, or don't do it," Haig said. "We're in the midst of another struggle where it appears to me we haven't learned very much."
The comments by Haig, Nixon's chief of staff and also a secretary of state under President Reagan, came at a conference at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum examining the Vietnam War and the American Presidency.
The conference brought together advisers from the Nixon, Johnson and Kennedy administrations, and talk turned to Iraq where the panelists saw parallels with Vietnam.
Former Nixon Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made a rare appearance at the conference. He said he agreed to come out of admiration for the Kennedy family.
Kissinger was greeted outside by about 25 protesters who chanted "Kissinger should go to jail, no bail." He refused to directly respond to a question, submitted by the audience and read by a moderator, that asked if he wanted to apologize for policies that led to so many deaths in Vietnam.
"This is not the occasion," Kissinger said. "We have to start from the assumption that serious people were making serious decisions. So that's the sort of question that's highly inappropriate."
In another audience question, Kissinger was asked whether he agreed that the U.S. bombing of Cambodia led to the rise of the Khmer Rouge, and, if so, was he responsible for the 2 million people the Khmer Rouge killed?
"The premise that the bombing of a 5-mile strip led to the rise of Khmer Rouge and the murder of two million people is an example of masochism that is really inexcusable," he said.
Kissinger said that the Vietnam War "has fundamentally affected my life in the sense that the Nixon debate doesn't ever seem to end and for many I am the surviving symbol of the Nixon administration."
Kissinger also spoke about the war in Iraq, saying he supported the invasion.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (3-11-06)
The statue has been criticised as "absurd and pathetic" by his grandson, Tory MP Nicholas Soames.
Charity Rethink commissioned the 9ft high sculpture, unveiled in Norwich, to highlight the stigma of mental health.
Rethink said the image of Churchill - who suffered bouts of depression - was designed to "portray a more positive image of people with mental illness".
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (3-10-06)
DAN BROWN got a date wrong in The Da Vinci Code. The error may well prove to his advantage.
According to him the Priory of Sion, alleged keeper of the secret of Christ’s wife and children, was founded in Jerusalem during the Second Crusade in the reign of Baldwin II. But according to the authors of The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail, who are suing Brown for stealing their plot, the Priory was founded in 1099 during the First Crusade, and Baldwin did not ascend the throne of the ancient city until 1118.
Rarely has medieval Christian history had such a field day in court, but then Mr Justice Smith, who is hearing the Chancery Division case alleging infringement of copyright, is equal to the task.
Having done his homework, he knows that the Second Crusade lasted from 1147 to 1149.
In his third day in the witness box Michael Baigent, co-author of The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail, was being cross-examined on his claim that Mr Brown had lifted his book wholesale. John Baldwin, QC, for the defendant, Random House, which published The Da Vinci Code, suggested that Mr Brown had got his information from an entirely different book, a history of the Knights Templar.
The judge turned to Mr Baigent: “Well, he certainly didn’t get it from you, because you wouldn’t have made the date error that he has.”
Name of source: JFK Library
SOURCE: JFK Library (3-10-06)
On March 10 and 11, 2006, the National Archives and the nation’s Presidential Libraries are hosting an unprecedented two-day conference examining the history of the Vietnam War and the American presidency. The conference is being held at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.
Name of source: History Today
SOURCE: History Today (3-10-06)
The south London museum’s film and video archive, in particular, will benefit from the award. The collection includes documentary films such as the 1916 The Battle of the Somme (which is to be on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register), and Oscar-winning Second World War films Desert Victory and The True Glory. The project will develop cataloguing, research and viewing facilities and allow online webstream viewing; the film and video archive, one of the oldest in the world, has over 20,000 hours of footage from British and Commonwealth conflicts throughout the 20th century. Last year the Museum digitised thousands of its images, artworks, audio files and documents. The PRSE was established to aid public sector organisations to market their research.
Name of source: Press Release -- David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies
SOURCE: Press Release -- David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies (3-10-06)
The petition was organized by The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and former New York Times reporter Laurence Zuckerman. It was based on new research by Prof. Laurel Leff, of Northeastern University, revealing that U.S. journalism schools refused all requests to take in German Jewish journalists fleeing HItler, and that the American Newspaper Publishers Association (precursor to the Newspaper Association of America) rejected a request by Harvard Prof. Carl Friedrich to discuss the issue for ten minutes at its 1939 convention. Prof. Leff found evidence that some of the refusals to help were motivated at least in part by antisemitism. The petition asked the NAA to acknowledge these failures and permit Prof. Leff to address the organization.
In a letter to the Wyman Institute dated March 3, 2006, NAA President John Sturm:
* acknowledged, and expressed "regret," for the ANPA's action in 1939;
* invited Prof. Leff, and Prof. Friedrich's son, Paul Friedrich, to address the next NAA Board of DIrectors meeting, to be held in Chicago on April 1, 2006;
* announced that NAA chairman Jay Smith will speak about "the work of Prof. Friedrich, and the issues raised in Prof. Leff's paper," in his address to the NAA annual convention, to be held in Chicago on April 3, 2006;
* asked Prof. Leff to write an article for the May issue of the NAA's flagship publication, Presstime Magazine, about American journalism's response to the plight of German Jewish refugee journalists
Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the Wyman Institute, said: "We strongly commend John Sturm and the NAA for facing up to the failure of U.S. journalists and publishers to aid Jewish refugee journalists, just as other public figures, corporations, and governments have in recent years faced up to their own failures during the Holocaust. Acknowledging and regretting past mistakes is the first step in ensuring that they will never be repeated."
The signatories on the Wyman Institute's petition included Marvin Kalb and Alex Jones of Harvard University's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy; Martin Peretz, editor in chief, and Leon Wieseltier, literary editor, of The New Republic; Victor Navasky, Publisher Emeritus of The Nation; Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Columbia University School of Journalism; and numerous other deans of journalism schools, professors of journalism, and prominent journalists.
(For the full text of the petition, and a complete list of the signatories, please visit www.WymanInstitute.org)
Prof. Leff said she is "pleased to have the opportunity to address the NAA Board of DIrectors, and write for the NAA's magazine, about this troubling but important chapter in the history of American journalism."
Prof. Leff, a member of the Wyman Institute's Academic Council, is Associate Professor of Journalism at Northeastern University. Formerly a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and the Miami Herald, she is author of the critically-acclaimed new book, Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper (Cambridge University Press, 2005).
Name of source: AlterNet
SOURCE: AlterNet (3-9-06)
Another 85 senior academics have been kidnapped or survived assassination attempts, according to the Association of University Lecturers in Iraq.
The attacks have led to an exodus of Iraqi academics who are vital to educating and rebuilding the war-damaged country.
"What is going on in Iraq against these professors is a real war crime," said Dr Isam Kadhem Al-Rawi, head of the association and Professor in Earth Sciences at the University of Baghdad.
Name of source: Yahoo News
SOURCE: Yahoo News (3-10-06)
Debate about origins and final resting place of Columbus has raged for over a century, with historians questioning the traditional theory that he hails from Genoa, Italy. Some say he was a Spanish Jew, a Greek, a Basque or Portuguese.
Even the location of his remains is the subject of controversy. The Dominican Republic and Spain both stake claims as the final resting place of Columbus, who died in May, 1506.
The Spanish-led research team, which includes Italians, Americans and Germans, sampled DNA from the known remains from Columbus' brother and son, and then compared them to fragments attributed to Columbus in Seville.
Although the official announcement is expected later this year, Italian researchers say they are confident based on the evidence gathered so far that Columbus' supposed remains in Seville are likely authentic.
Name of source: Huffington Post (blog)
SOURCE: Huffington Post (blog) (3-9-06)
"I think the biggest problem we've got in the country is people don't study history anymore. People who go to school in high schools and colleges, they tend to study current events and call it history... There are just too darn few people in our country who study history enough."
"There's never been a popular war. You can't name a popular war. There isn't such a thing."
"George Washington was almost fired."
"The Civil War was the ugliest thing -- carnage. 10,000, 15,000 people killed in a battle."
"Same thing in World War II... Franklin Roosevelt was one of the most hated people in the country and he was President of the United States. He was Commander-in-Chief. He did a terrific job."
Name of source: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (3-9-06)
Once there, the colonizers quickly began erecting the famous statues for which the remote eastern South Pacific island (map) is famous. They also helped deplete the island's natural resources at a much faster rate than previously thought, the study says.
Name of source: The Irish Times
SOURCE: The Irish Times (3-10-06)
Under communism, "a system that crushed consciences, some men of the church also breached the trust placed in them", they said after a meeting in Warsaw.
"We regret that and apologise, particularly to those who experienced harm and distress," the bishops added, while warning against "creating an atmosphere of sensationalism and accusations."
Polish media regularly carry stories of priestly collaboration with the communists, which threaten to tarnish the church's reputation as a bastion of resistance against Soviet hegemony in eastern Europe.
The Institute of National Remembrance, which looks after Poland's communist police archives, said all the country's priests were the subject of a security service file from the moment they entered a seminary.
The institute also claimed that between 10 and 15 per cent of priests became police agents, mostly after being blackmailed or intimidated or threatened with a ban on foreign travel.
Poland was stunned when, shortly after the death last April of Pope John Paul, the institute revealed that a Polish priest at the Vatican had spied on the pontiff.
Fr Konrad Hejmo, who for many years ran a hostel for Poles visiting Rome, admitted to regularly meeting a Pole living in Germany who was later revealed to be a communist agent.
The institute of remembrance said Fr Hejmo gave the man information about the church and John Paul in return for cash and other gifts, but the priest denied giving him any sensitive information, or ever knowing that he was an intelligence operative.
Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow and the former personal secretary of John Paul, established a Remembrance and Truth commission last month to investigate priests who worked as police agents.
The creation of the commission is widely seen as an attempt by the church to rein in media speculation about its communist- era collaboration.
The conservative Law and Justice party promised a "moral revolution" when it was elected late last year; many Poles fear it will use the archives to purge former communists. Several of the party's sympathisers have just taken up key positions at the institute.
Historians there say most priests passed mostly harmless information to their "handlers", although some were less benign.
Historian Janusz Kotanski said: "Of course, there were those who reported in a permanent, perfidious manner, with great intensity of their will. That was very painful for the church.
"But I believe it is in the good interests of the church to disclose these names, because it will show that the vast majority of priests did not let themselves be broken."
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (3-9-06)
It has always been a battleground for beliefs - ever since the Chartists' March of 1848.
But following a £25m project to transform it in 2003, almost 200 public events (excluding political rallies) have been staged there.
It has been the backdrop to key moments in London's sporting, political and cultural calendar from Olympic bid success to Nelson Mandela's call to make poverty history.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (3-9-06)
Britain also made hundreds of shipments of restricted materials to Israel in the 1960s which could have aided a nuclear arms programme, the BBC said in a summary of a report to be shown on its Newsnight programme later in the evening.
The Labour government under Prime Minister Harold Wilson sold Israel lithium compounds which would have enabled it to make weapons 10 times as powerful as the first atom bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945, the BBC said.
Israel is widely believed to have the Middle East's only atomic arsenal but it neither confirms nor denies this under an 'ambiguity' policy billed as a safeguard against arms races in the Middle East.
Newsnight said its investigation, based on previously secret documents released under freedom of information laws, had shown Israel asked Britain for 10 milligrams of plutonium in 1966.
Although Israel would have needed almost 5 kg of plutonium for an atom bomb, British officials were warned the amount had "significant military value" and could be used in experiments to speed up the development of nuclear arms, according to the BBC.
The Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence opposed the request but it was pushed through by Mike Michaels, a Jewish civil servant in the Ministry of Technology, the BBC said.
Tony Benn, who served as technology minister under Wilson, said he had no knowledge of the decision although he had suspected civil servants were doing deals behind his back.
"I'm not only surprised, I'm shocked," he told the BBC. "It never occurred to me they would authorise something so totally against the policy of the government."
Britain's Foreign Office had no immediate comment on the BBC report.
Israel established its main nuclear reactor outside the desert town of Dimona in the 1950s, primarily with French help. Historians believe resources for the plant were also obtained from elsewhere in Europe and from North America.
Based on revelations made by former Dimona technician Mordechai Vanunu to a British newspaper in 1986, independent experts concluded that Israel has amassed as many as 200 nuclear warheads using uranium and plutonium.
The founder of Israel's government arms manufacturer Rafael said in his memoir that on the eve of the 1967 Middle East war his designers managed to assemble a working 'system' -- a euphemism now widely believed to refer to the Jewish state's first nuclear bomb.
Last year Newsnight reported that in the late 1950s Britain provided Israel with 20 tonnes of heavy water which it needed to start up the Dimona reactor.
Name of source: KMOV4 (St. Louis, MO)
SOURCE: KMOV4 (St. Louis, MO) (3-9-06)
The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday approved a bill requiring the proposed $175,000 study, which is backed by both of Tennessee's senators — Lamar Alexander and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist — and the National Park Service.
About 16,000 Cherokee Indians, mostly from Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia, were forced from their homes in the winter of 1838-39 and required to walk about 800 miles to designated Indian Territory in what now is Oklahoma. More than 4,000 died along the way.
The study could lead to greatly expanding the current national historic trail of about 2,200 miles of their known land and water routes. The Cherokee Nation, historians and other experts favor national recognition of all routes used as part of the public education about that traumatic period in American history.
Name of source: Times (London)
SOURCE: Times (London) (3-9-06)
The Martin Luther Memorial Church in Berlin has embarrassed the authorities for six decades.
The image of a Nazi storm trooper side by side with Jesus Christ has been carved into the pulpit, the entrance is lit by a chandelier in the shape of an iron cross and the organ was used to stir the spirits at a torch-lit Nuremberg rally.
Throughout the church, consecrated in 1933, there are bare patches where swastikas, illegal since the end of the war, have been ripped out.
“There was a bust of Adolf Hitler in the nave,” Isolde Boehm, dean of the church, said. “A carved face of Hitler has been replaced by one of Martin Luther. There is even a rumour that the church was supposed to be called the Adolf Hitler Church.”
The Protestant church — smelling of damp and spine-chillingly cold — has been closed for the past year because tiles were falling off the tower.
The priests — Frau Boehm and the Reverend Malte Jungnickel — have applied to have the church declared a listed building and are lobbying the Government to come up with €3 million (£2 million) to fund the restoration.
“There is no other church in Germany that is so obviously fascist-designed,” said Ilse Klein, a parish councillor and local historian. Fundraising activities to preserve this fascist monument are likely to include bring-and-buy sales and sponsored runs.
“Look at the face of Christ on the cross,” Herr Jungnickel said. “It is the face of a victorious Aryan, with a bodybuilder’s frame, not the suffering Jesus.”
The exterior of the church was designed in the Bauhaus style in 1929, before the Nazis came to power. The problem, however, lies with the interior: the big fascist-style sweep of the nave and the Nazi iconography carved into every niche.
“So far, thank God, the neo-Nazis have not discovered the church as a place of pilgrimage,” Frau Boehm said.
The ethical dilemma of preserving Nazi iconography has been gripping German art critics. Debate has also been raging as to how much from the Nazi era should be cleared away or allowed to stay.
The World Cup final this summer will be played in the Berlin stadium designed for the 1936 Olympics. Part of the German Foreign Ministry used to be the Nazi central bank, while the Finance Ministry served as Hermann Goering’s air force headquarters with a roof so broad that he could land aircraft on it.
A Nazi church, however, is even more politically sensitive: it highlights how clearly the Protestant Church aligned itself to Hitler.
In 1932 Nazis were encouraged to become “German Christians” and joined their local parishes to undermine the Church’s power to resist the dictatorship.
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (3-9-06)
In an emotional one-hour ceremony at a square just off a boulevard named for O'Higgins and barely a stone's throw from the presidential palace, known as La Moneda, President Ricardo Lagos symbolically reclaimed "the Father of the Nation" for all 15 million of Chile's people.
He did so, he said, in the name of
Chile's "re-encountering its democratic values and traditions" and establishing "a new relationship between civilians and the military."
After delivering their speeches beneath a statue of O'Higgins on horseback, Lagos and General Emilio Cheyre, the armed forces commander, visited the newly constructed underground mausoleum, which still smelled faintly of fresh paint and damp granite.
The restoration of O'Higgins's tomb to civilian control is the culmination of a series of symbolic gestures that Lagos, a Socialist who will leave office Saturday, has taken during his six years in office.
He began by reopening a side entrance to La Moneda that had often been used by Salvador Allende, the only other Socialist to govern Chile.
He also allowed the public to move
through the palace's main entrance and courtyard.
Then, just before the 30th anniversary of the Pinochet coup, a statue of Allende was unveiled on the main square just behind La Moneda, where Allende committed suicide on Sept. 11, 1973, after air force planes bombed the palace.
As a parting gesture, Lagos also plans this week to dedicate a small plaque inside the palace to government officials killed in the coup.
"A lot of my friends died, either there or a few days later," Lagos said during an interview last weekend in response to a question about his fondness for such symbolic acts.
The common thread in everything he has done in that regard, Lagos said, is "to be able to recover a piece of the nation's history" but in a way that "does not divide Chileans again, but unites them."
In that sense, the "Altar of the Fatherland" and especially the "Flame of Liberty" have been problems difficult to resolve.
During the 17 years of the Pinochet dictatorship, opponents repeatedly
tried to extinguish the torch to protest the political repression and lack of freedom in the country during the period,
thus forcing the military to close the space to the public.
Even after the restoration of democracy in 1990, there were attempts to sabotage the monument, which remained a rallying point for Pinochet's followers. In August 2003, for instance, just before the 30th anniversary commemorations, three men were detained with fire extinguishers in hand as they tried to douse the flame.
Finally, in 2004, after a debate about who should pay the mounting gas bill for the flame, the torch and altar were removed, O'Higgins's remains transferred to the military academy and the
square was renamed the "Plaza of Citizenship."
Chile being Chile, however, those steps were taken, not as an explicit rebuke to Pinochet or the military, but supposedly in the name of an urban renewal leading up to Chile's Bicentennial in 2010.
"There is no special significance in changing the flame and putting a fountain in its place," Ricardo Trincado, the regional director of the Housing and Urban Planning Service, told skeptical
"It simply seemed to us a good way to take better advantage of the space and beautify the location," he said.
Determining who should have possession of the remains of O'Higgins, who was of Irish descent and was born in 1778, is of obvious importance. But his is by no means the only example in Chile of the way that bodies of historical and even contemporary figures been used for political purposes.
"There is an obsession in this country with burials, disinterrals and reburials," said Alfredo Jocelyn-Holt, a prominent historian and social critic. "We still have our unburied disappeared from the Pinochet years, of course, but beyond them, there is also Allende himself and Pablo Neruda and Diego Portales," another hero of Chilean independence.
"It is a very morbid thing, deeply psychological and social, born of problems that have not been resolved," Jocelyn- Holt said.
And a mystery about O'Higgins remains unsolved: the whereabouts of two of his swords.
Even today, every time a military officer is promoted to general, he receives a reproduction of O'Higgins's battle sword.
As a result, a great mystique is attached to the original, which was on display at the National Museum until Pinochet seized power, when it suddenly disappeared.
When the museum asked the military to return of the swords after the restoration of democracy, it received instead what were determined to be copies. A former director of the museum has said
publicly that she suspects that Pinochet ended up with both of the swords.
If the swords are indeed in Pinochet's possession, it would not be the first time that he has appropriated part of the national historic patrimony for personal use.
Descendants of José Miguel Carrera, another hero of Chile's independence, were shocked to find that his wartime diary had somehow ended up in Pinochet's library after 1973, and it was only after a public uproar that the
former dictator returned the journal to a museum late last year.
But Pinochet has always had a special obsession with O'Higgins, the general whom all Chileans love. Pinochet even bestowed upon himself a title, captain general, that had been awarded O'Higgins and then, out of respect for the father of independence, never used again.
"As a dictator, Pinochet was always in search of historical elements that could help bestow some sort of legitimacy on him," said Francisco Estévez Valencia, a historian and journalist who was one of those detained in 2003 for trying to extinguish the freedom flame. "So he symbolically kidnapped O'Higgins, who was not a tyrant but a progressive for his time, and only now are Chileans being allowed to re-encounter O'Higgins as he really was."
Name of source: cronaca.com
SOURCE: cronaca.com (3-9-06)
John Newman, from Suffolk County Council's Archaeological Service, told the treasure inquest in Bury St Edmunds that the coins, which were originally adorned with a silver wash, were minted during the reign of the so-called usurper emperor Carausius (287-293 AD), who set himself up in opposition to Rome, and his successor Allectus (293-296 AD).
"This appears to be the largest hoard of legitimately minted coins of the two usurpers from Britain to date," he said. "The coins are made up of 258 of Carausius and 347 of Allectus, minted at London and possibly Southampton or Colchester, which was the first time official mints were set up in Roman Britain."
Name of source: Golf Digest
SOURCE: Golf Digest (3-9-06)
Golf just might be the only other subject on earth that can withstand, or demand, the same level of analysis. Swing planes and coefficient of restitution; the Claw grip and the Road Hole bunker; Wild Bill Mehlhorn and Robert Tyre Jones. For those who like to indulge these twin manias, chasing history and golf balls, there is a convenient way to do it, driving from Gettysburg, Pa., to Petersburg, Va., and exploring the better courses in between.
Much of the Civil War route is in or near the I-95 corridor, with all the usual Red Holiday Courtyards, but the many bed and breakfasts of Gettysburg or Fredericksburg, Va., offer a more genteel accommodation. Visit www.bbonline.com for some suggestions. The length of the trip depends largely on the ratio of battlefields visited to golf courses played, so it can last anywhere from a couple of days to a week. Even allowing for some to-ing and fro-ing, the journey is not long. It covers about 250 miles.
The battles themselves tended to be fought in the good-weather months from April to September -- the December combat in Fredericksburg being the glaring exception. While the heat of the summer can get a little sticky for golf, there is a haunting quality to visiting the battlefields when they're covered with corn or wildflowers, just as they were for the soldiers 140 years ago.
Name of source: Yahoo
SOURCE: Yahoo (3-8-06)
Italian researchers have discovered that environmentally friendly olive oil was used in furnaces at a site in southern Cyprus up to 4,000 years ago, instead of the fume-belching charcoal used in industry for hundreds of years since.
Described as "liquid gold" by the ancient Greek poet Homer, olive oil has long been associated with grooming, pampering and the religious rites of the ancients, but not - at least in the Mediterranean - with heavy industry.
SOURCE: Yahoo (3-9-06)
European museums have usually been the ones needing to answer over their acquisitions of artifacts collected during colonial days, but American institutions have faced demands for the return of allegedly looted antiquities.
To improve the transparency of acquisitions, the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) released new guidelines last month on loans of antiquities and ancient art.
SOURCE: Yahoo (3-7-06)
For years, these bones dating from 13,000 to 15,000 years ago were thought to be from a girl because her wisdom teeth had not yet erupted, something that typically should happen between the ages of 18 and 22. But new analyses provide evidence that she was in fact a 25- to 35-year-old woman at the time of death.
And the Magdalenian Girl's impacted wisdom teeth, which had failed to emerge at the normal time, provide new clues about the dietary changes of humans.
Because the coarse diet of early humans required a lot of chewing, there was more growth stimulation of the jawbone and more room for wisdom teeth to emerge. But when they started cooking their food and making it softer, the wisdom teeth had more trouble surfacing.
Name of source: Discovery News
SOURCE: Discovery News (3-7-06)
The mystery of his life still eludes us — the shadows move, but the dark is never quite dispersed." was how Howard Carter, the British archaeologist who discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun in 1922, described his fascination with the 3,300-year-old boy pharaoh.
In an exclusive interview with Discovery News, Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities and one of the most famous Egyptologists in the world, said some shadows surrounding King Tut have now totally disappeared. Yet, he said, the the dark will never be quite dispersed.
Name of source: Rediff
SOURCE: Rediff (3-8-06)
"Well, obviously, the Pakistanis want to continue to have a good relationship with us. It's not going to be possible for us to have a civil nuclear relationship with Pakistan of the type that we've just announced with India. Because of history, because of their proliferation history," Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns told CBS channel's 'Charlie Rose Show.'
Burns' comment was an obvious reference to the global nuclear proliferation network carried out by the disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist A Q Khan.
Burns also said India's military programme was never the focus of the landmark Indo-US civil nuclear agreement and brushed aside notions that it was meant to contain China.
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (3-8-06)
The setting sun, at Raz's back, illuminated the reactor as if by spotlight. Raz flipped a switch with his index finger and released two 2,000-pound bombs. Seven other Israeli fighter jets flying with him did the same.
In one bold action on June 7, 1981, Israel's military had left the Osiraq nuclear reactor near Baghdad in smoldering ruins and dealt a blow to Saddam Hussein's nuclear ambitions.
"We didn't see a single Iraqi MiG (fighter), and not a single surface-to-air missile was fired," Raz says. "The whole operation was just too perfect."
The Osiraq mission is getting renewed attention in Israel now that the United Nations Security Council is likely to take up the issue of Iran's nuclear program, setting up a possible showdown between Iran and the West.
When asked in December how far he would go to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, the Israeli military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, said "2,000 kilometers" -- the approximate flying distance between Israel and key Iranian nuclear sites.
Halutz says diplomatic efforts won't thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions. "I believe that the political means that are used by the Europeans and the U.S. to convince the Iranians to stop the project will not succeed."
However, military observers say a quick, Osiraq-style Israeli strike against Iranian targets is unlikely. "We'll never see ... eight planes swooping down on Iran," Raz says. "It could never happen."
Name of source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania)
SOURCE: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania) (3-8-06)
The visa denials cover 55 participants from that country who were to attend the Latin American Studies Association's International Congress in San Juan, Puerto Rico March 15-18.
They are the latest in a long line of athletes, academics and others from Cuba and the United States who have seen their travel plans between the two countries blocked by Washington amid ongoing tension with Fidel Castro's Communist government.
In 2004, another Pitt-based program, Semester at Sea, scrapped regular Cuba visits by its floating campus, citing tightened restrictions under the Bush administration.
Name of source: Herald (Glasgow)
SOURCE: Herald (Glasgow) (3-8-06)
More than 800 prominent women are profiled in the Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women. The entries come from varied backgrounds. Among the pages, queens consort with factory workers, heroines rub shoulders with spies, and mountaineers with missionaries. Penned by a team of 280 scholars, the entries explore people who shaped the society we know today.
ADAM Smith, Walter Scott, Alexander Graham Bell, William Wallace - the names trip off the tongue of any Scot asked for a list of their greatest compatriots. But what about Elsie Inglis, Evelyn Balfour, or Marion Reid? These women, largely forgotten in modern Scotland, shaped history in this country and abroad.
Take Inglis. She was a leading surgeon and campaigner for healthcare for the poor. And in 1843 Reid wrote a groundbreaking work to prioritise civil and political rights. The women's influence and significance, however, has been largely overlooked.
Now that is about to change.
Name of source: Australian
SOURCE: Australian (3-9-06)
The idea that the Crusaders and their fight in a holy war shared similarities and ''moral equivalence'' with the September 11 terrorists was intended to teach students how to support an argument, educators said.
The book, Humanities Alive 2 developed for Year 8 students, was criticised this week by Melbourne University historian Barry Collett for being historically inaccurate and misleading in its depiction of the Crusades and the church during the Middle Ages.
Victorian president of the Australian Education Union Mary Bluett said the text relating the Crusades and September 11 was purposely provocative to spark discussion and tease out ideas from students.
''Clearly there's sensitivity around it and teachers as professionals would handle that sort of debate very carefully,'' she said.
Ms Bluett said the aim of the exercise was not to teach students that there were similarities between the Crusades and September 11, but to teach them the principles of mounting an argument.
''It's really about teaching young people to analyse the words being said, think about their response and justify their response. It's a tool for teaching them how to advance an opinion and back it up,'' she said.
Name of source: Columbus Dispatch
SOURCE: Columbus Dispatch (3-8-06)
Since 1999, 9,500 documents containing 55,500 pages have been withdrawn from public view. These are papers that were made public under a 1995 executive order that required declassification of many records that were at least 25 years old.
After that order by President Clinton expanded the official record available to historians, some agencies objected. The Clinton administration began a program four years later to reclassify some of the data.
Agencies including the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Justice and Defense departments contended that many sensitive papers were among the documents made public.
How sensitive could they be? Often, the records dealt with Cold War policy in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. In some cases, researchers already had copied the papers. Included in the removal were a series of reports published by the State Department titled, Foreign Relations of the United States.
Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and other critics of the reclassification program wonder what possible threat to national security is posed by documents from the mid-20th century.
What's more likely is that the agencies sought to remove documents that would be embarrassing to the United States or to the offices involved.
One withdrawn document is a 1950 CIA memo to President Truman discounting the likelihood that Chinese communists would intervene in the Korean War. The Chinese invasion came six weeks after the faulty CIA analysis.
Because of complaints raised by historians and such groups as the National Security Archive, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, the brakes have been put on the reclassification project.
Federal archivist Allen Weinstein that the withdrawal of data will stop until the Information Security Oversight Office of the National Archives completes an audit of the reclassified records. Audit results are expected next month.
Name of source: CBS News
SOURCE: CBS News (3-7-06)
Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, authors of the 1982 nonfiction book "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail," are suing Random House, publisher of Dan Brown's book.
They claimed that parts of their work formed the basis of Brown's 2003 novel, which has sold more than 40 million copies and has been made into a forthcoming film starring Tom Hanks. They claim that the book didn't just borrow a theory, it stole the whole thrilling jigsaw puzzle they created, CBS News correspondent Richard Roth reports.
Not surprisingly, Brown's publisher calls this nonsense.
"The publishers of the Da Vinci Code are saying, look, all we have done
is take the basic facts in the original work, the premise about Jesus
and Mary Magdalene, and turn it into a novel," said Paul Herbert, a media lawyer. "There is no copyright in the facts that we based it on, so where's the claim?"
Name of source: Press Release -- The Holocaust History Project
SOURCE: Press Release -- The Holocaust History Project (3-8-06)
It was just the latest in a series of attacks with the apparent intent to silence THHP. For the past 18 months, the THHP website has been under an unprecedented Distributed Denial of Service attack. This cyber attack began on September 11, 2004, and is being carried out by a specially modified version of the MyDoom computer worm, programmed to target the THHP web server. (see the THHP statement: http://holocaust-history.org/denial/denial-of-service.shtml)
Harry Mazal, the Director of THHP said, "We have been able to defend our work against these cyber attackers. They tried, but couldn't shut us down. We have strong indications that this arson is the next step in a series of attacks against our educational and scholarly work. Although the fire caused significant damage to our offices, there is no way we will be silenced. Our web site has not been affected, and our work will continue."
While an arson attack such as this cannot be specifically anticipated, THHP has long ago taken steps to minimize the impact of any attacks, physical or virtual. Several mirror sites ensure that even as serious an attack as occurred Monday morning will be unsuccessful in forcing THHP to go offline.
THHP (http://holocaust-history.org) is one of the largest repositories of information relating to the Holocaust on the Web. For the last ten years, an international staff of volunteers has worked tirelessly to make information on the Holocaust, and on those who would deny it, easily accessible to students, scholars, and anyone who has an interest in the truth.
Among the material on the site are essays about various events and people, scientific and legal analyses, original Nazi documents, expert witness testimony, transcripts of many of the Nuremberg trials, and the complete texts of two seminal works, Jean-Claude Pressac's "Auschwitz" and Robert Jay Lifton's "The Nazi Doctors." In addition, THHP volunteers personally answer emails from thousands of students each year who are looking for information to further their studies.
The site registers more than 50 million hits a year. "Traffic to our site increases every year," said Mr. Mazal, "we intend to keep adding new content to the site. Right now we are preparing the Belsen trial transcripts, and the transcript of Adolf Eichmann's trial in Israel."
The Holocaust History Project Internet site may be reached at
Media questions should be addressed to Sara Salzman, 303-617-9412, email@example.com
Name of source: Nieman Watchdog
SOURCE: Nieman Watchdog (3-8-06)
Name of source: Science Daily
SOURCE: Science Daily (3-7-06)
Heading to the supermarket to pick up some corn flour, a couple of tomatoes or a can of beans usually doesn't conjure up the notion of 10,000 years of agricultural development in the Americas--a transition from hunter-gatherer cultures to agricultural cultures actively developing and trading new food crops. But this transition is still inadequately understood. New excavations and a growing collection of plant microfossil remains rapidly adds pieces to this puzzle.
A multidisciplinary team excavated a stone house at Waynuna, north of Arequipa on the western slope of the Andes and analyzed plant remains from three grinding stones.
Name of source: US Dept. of State
SOURCE: US Dept. of State (3-8-06)
“Artifacts such as these coins are not trinkets that can be pilfered and sold to the highest bidder,” said Julie L. Myers, assistant secretary of homeland security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “To their rightful owners, these artifacts are priceless items that are cherished and proudly displayed as a testament to their cultural history.”
Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Turki Al-Faisal said the coins reflect “Saudi Arabia’s unique history as an ancient trade center and as the birthplace of Islam.” He said the return of the antiquities shows the United States’ respect for cultural heritage.
After being confronted by ICE agents, a Florida man admitted to stealing the coins during a recreational dive in Saudi territorial waters in 1994. He surrendered the artifacts to customs officials in April 2005.
Name of source: Wichita Eagle
SOURCE: Wichita Eagle (3-8-06)
As governments seek the return of antiquities or archaeological artifacts that they say are rightfully theirs, U.S. museums are tightening their standards for buying or exhibiting such works and studying ways of resolving ownership disputes outside the courtroom.
"It's clear that this is a shifting landscape," said Mary Sue Sweeney Price, the director of the Newark Museum and president of the Association of Art Museum Directors.
In the case of the Machu Picchu artifacts, the landscape shifted for the worse last week. After three years of negotiations, Peru rejected Yale's offer to split the objects in its collection, which were taken to New Haven by the swashbuckling explorer who found the ruins in 1911.
The university had offered to return a "substantial number" of objects to Peru, while retaining the remainder for display and research, according to a proposal put forth by Barbara Shailor, Yale's deputy arts provost.
But Peruvian Ambassador Eduardo Ferrero said in a statement that Yale professor Hiram Bingham, the explorer who found Machu Picchu, took relics from the site "with the legal authorization and express understanding of all the parties that the artifacts were on a temporary loan and would be returned to Peru."
Yet despite the passage of nine decades, the ambassador said, "still Yale will not return Peru's rightful property," adding that his country plans to file suit against Yale in an unspecified U.S. court.
Objects on display at the university's Peabody Museum include delicate silver and bronze pieces, smooth stoneware cooking implements, and several 30-inch-high vases for storing the corn beer that was central to Incan life.
The museum's exhibit, "Machu Picchu: Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas," recently returned to Yale after spending nearly three years touring the country, including stops at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
After his initial discovery, Bingham, who went on to fly planes in World War I and serve as a U.S. senator, returned to Machu Picchu on two collecting expeditions in 1912 and 1914-15. On those trips, he cleared and excavated the overgrown site, which archaeologists now believe was a summer retreat for the Sapa Inca, the ruler of the Incas, and his court.
Yale says that materials from the last expedition were returned to Peru years ago because that trip was covered by a Peruvian decree stipulating that objects Bingham collected on that expedition had to be sent back to Peru.
But his 1912 journey was governed by a far looser agreement, and it is the objects from that expedition that Peru is now seeking to recover.
Yale says that under Peruvian law at the time, the university became the owner of the artifacts "at the time of their excavation and ever since," according to deputy provost Shailor.
Following Peru's rejection of Shailor's proposal, the university said in a statement that "despite Yale's belief that it has title to all of the Bingham materials, it has been willing to negotiate the return of many objects to Peru," in an effort to avoid a long, costly legal fight.
And Yale officials emphasize that they have cared for the artifacts for more than 90 years, preserving them, making them available for scholars, and displaying them to the public.
"The value is not in the individual items but in the collection as a whole and the story it tells about the place," said Janet Sweeting, the Peabody's education director. "And if we hadn't kept it together, it wouldn't be together today because others would have come along after Bingham and taken these objects. They'd be in living rooms instead of a museum."
But winning the return of the Machu Picchu artifacts has been a priority for Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, the first indigenous Peruvian to lead the country, who emphasized his heritage by holding part of his inauguration ceremony at Machu Picchu in 2001.
Apart from nationalist sentiment, having the objects close by would also enhance the appeal of Peru's most popular tourist destination. More than 400,000 foreigners visited the site in 2005, up 68 percent in two years.
Although Yale and Peru may be at an impasse, museum directors are hopeful that a recent settlement of another dispute, involving New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Italian government, could serve as a model for resolving ownership disputes.
The agreement, announced two weeks ago, calls for the museum to return 21 pieces of ancient objects to Italy in return for long-term loans of works of equal importance.
The Italian government says the objects, including a large vase and a set of silver pieces, were looted from archaeological sites, part of an illicit haul that has resulted in criminal charges against a former curator of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
"I think the Italians were very generous," said Patty Gerstenblith, a professor at DePaul University's law school who specializes in cultural property issues. "They had a high probability of recovering those artifacts, but litigation takes a long time. It costs a lot of money. This is a quick and easy resolution."
Italian prosecutors have indicated that several other American museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Toledo Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art, own works that they believe were also looted and exported illegally.
But Gerstenblith does not expect a mass exodus of ancient artwork from American collections. Rarely is the evidence as compelling as in the Italian case involving the Getty and the Metropolitan.
Still, museums are tightening their acquisition policies. Last week, the art museum directors' group issued guidelines for accepting loans of antiquities from private collectors or other museums, following up on a tougher set of standards for buying ancient art that the group instituted in 2004.
Museums are also devoting more staff and money to researching the objects in their collections with uncertain provenance, or ownership history, said Price, the head of the museum directors' group. The result will be that museums and art historians will know more about the objects.
"In the long term, that will contribute to scholarship," she said.
Name of source: The Australian
SOURCE: The Australian (3-8-06)
The idea that the Crusaders and their fight in a holy war shared similarities and "moral equivalence" with the September 11 terrorists was intended to teach students how to support an argument, educators said.
The book, Humanities Alive 2 developed for Year 8 students, was criticised this week by Melbourne University historian Barry Collett for being historically inaccurate and misleading in its depiction of the Crusades and the church during the Middle Ages.
Victorian president of the Australian Education Union Mary Bluett said the text relating the Crusades and September 11 was purposely provocative to spark discussion and tease out ideas from students.
"Clearly there's sensitivity around it and teachers as professionals would handle that sort of debate very carefully," she said.
Ms Bluett said the aim of the exercise was not to teach students that there were similarities between the Crusades and September 11, but to teach them the principles of mounting an argument.
"It's really about teaching young people to analyse the words being said, think about their response and justify their response. It's a tool for teaching them how to advance an opinion and back it up," she said.
Director of the teaching resources and textbook research unit at Sydney University Michael Horsley said how the textbook was used by teachers was more important than its content. "It isn't a matter of what's written on paper. Any text can be interpreted in many different ways by children - and that's where the teacher's knowledge and expertise comes in," he said.
He said history in Victoria was taught as part of a combined society and environment syllabus with geography and economics, rather than a stand-alone subject. As a result, textbooks covering all three subjects were necessarily simplified or carried little detail.
"This is not a history course; kids aren't necessarily studying medieval history for a longer period of time," he said.
Mr Horsley added that most commercial textbooks were written in conjunction with teachers to reflect the way they taught the syllabus, and were subjected to peer review.
President of the History Teachers Association of Australia Nick Ewbank said the accuracy of textbooks was safeguarded by market forces.
"Textbooks which are generally regarded as poor quality won't sell and the invisible hand of the market will operate," he said. "I don't see there's any huge virtue of having a group of bureaucrats or teachers sitting down to review every textbook that comes out."
Name of source: Australian Broadcasting Network
SOURCE: Australian Broadcasting Network (3-8-06)
Carbon dating of rare manuscripts from a private collection dubbed the "Dead Sea scrolls of Buddhism" may reveal the religion's ancient origins.
Fragments of the manuscripts were delicately washed, then carbon dated at Sydney's Lucas Heights nuclear reactor.
Scientists found the texts originated from the first and fifth centuries AD.
Dr Mark Allon from the University of Sydney says they are believed to be the earliest examples of Buddhist literature in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
"These manuscripts will throw light on the transmission of Buddhism into China," he said.
"What type of Buddhism was being transmitted, how it was being transmitted, where the literature came from and how it was developing."
Buddhism was originally an oral tradition.
This discovery also gives historians an insight into how Buddhist literature began.
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (3-8-06)
Ties with South Korea have been chilled over Koizumi's repeated visits to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, seen by Seoul as a symbol of Japan's past militarism, and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun last week urged Japan to stop all actions that diluted its apologies for past aggression.
South Korea has protested Tokyo's approval of history textbooks that Seoul says whitewash actions of Japan's military before and during World War Two.
The two nations are also locked in a dispute over some rocky islets midway between the two nations, called Tokto by Korean and Takeshima by Japan.
In a meeting with Koizumi, Park Geun-hye, head of the main opposition Grand National Party, which traditionally has a warmer view of Japan than the Roh government, called on him to resolve these and other issues before his term ends in September, Kyodo news agency said.
"It's a fact that Japan was a victimizer and South Korea was a victim," she was quoted by Kyodo as telling reporters after the meeting.
"But the problem will be solved by taking actions that take neighboring countries into account," she added.
According to a statement issued by Japan's Foreign Ministry, Koizumi and Park agreed on the need to build future-oriented relations between their two nations.
"Our nations have overcome a number of difficulties to have the relations we have today," the ministry quoted Koizumi as saying.
But Kyodo quoted Park as saying, "Unfortunately, there are hurdles such as the issues of Tokto, (Yasukuni) shrine visits, (revisionist) schoolbooks and sex slaves."
Park, the daughter of South Korea's former authoritarian ruler Park Chung-hee, is set to meet Foreign Minister Taro Aso later on Wednesday. Her visit to Japan lasts until Saturday.
Japan has issued apologies to women forced into sexual slavery for Japanese troops before and during World War Two as well as setting up a mostly private fund for compensation.
But critics say these efforts have been undercut by moves such as last year's approval of the history textbooks.
"Japan has already apologized," Roh said in a speech last week. "We are objecting to actions that negate that apology."
Former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama apologized in 1995 for the country's colonial past -- which included colonizing the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945 -- and Koizumi repeated the apology last year.
He has paid annual visits to the Yasukuni Shrine since taking office in 2001. Many people in South Korea and China find the visits offensive because convicted war criminals are honored along with war dead, but Koizumi says he goes there to pray for peace.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (3-6-06)
Now, new insights about Harriet Scott uncovered here recently are helping to fill in the gaps of her story. Historians also hope the findings will ignite more research into the couple's life.
"It's not about what I have done here," said Ruth Ann Abels Hager, a genealogy expert at St. Louis County Library who uncovered details of Harriet's Scott's death and burial. "It's about Harriet. It's Harriet's story. This woman has her place in history."
Harriet was a generation younger than poor, old and tubercular Dred, and would have had reason to pursue freedom through the courts, her biographer, University of Iowa law professor Lea VanderVelde said. Slave status followed the mother and she had two daughters.
Most of more than 200 slave lawsuits for freedom filed here between 1812 and 1865 were brought by women, said Bob Moore, a National Park Service historian in St. Louis. Both Dred and Harriet Scott filed separate freedom lawsuits on the same day but a judge folded her suit into her husband's.
"Harriet may well have been the motivating force behind the case," Moore said.