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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: Hobart Mercury
SOURCE: Hobart Mercury (3-6-06)
Lost behind impenetrable jungle in Borneo for the past 60 years, the 250km Sandakan death march track has been rediscovered through painstaking detective work.
The track was the scene of one of the darkest episodes of World War II.
Of 2438 Australian and British PoWs held at Sandakan after Japan captured Singapore, only six managed to escape and all of them were Australian.
Those who did not die of disease, starvation or maltreatment were executed, either at the Sandakan camp or on the long march to Ranau in Borneo's rugged interior.
Historian Lynette Silver has spent 14 years uncovering the route and a section will be opened to the public through organised trekking expeditions.
''My hope is that the Sandakan track will become as much a part of the nation's ethos as the Kokoda Trail and Gallipoli,'' Ms Silver said.
Name of source: Tom Mangold in the Guardian
SOURCE: Tom Mangold in the Guardian (3-6-06)
Far from maintaining the courage and intellectual rigour of the campaigning standards then adopted by CBS's legendary news division, first through Ed Murrow's See It Now, (his principal attack vehicle against Senator McCarthy), and later by such reporting/commentary giants as Walter Cronkite and Morley Safer, the BBC has emerged in the 21st century as a sad follower of the dumb-down trend. This, even though, unlike CBS, the once great public service broadcaster has no commercial responsibilities to its shareholders.
George Clooney's film, on limited release in Britain now and up for six Oscars last night, concerns itself less with Murrow's struggle against the junior senator from Wisconsin, than with raising the basic issue of what TV was actually to be for.
Crucially, the nascent network, under its legendary boss William S Paley, had to determine whether editorialising was permissible, or advisable, even if it emanated from Murrow, the man who had editorialised on an unbroken London during the Blitz. After all, McCarthy was a poisonous toad, but he wasn't Heinrich Himmler. Furthermore, as the film points out, editorial courage is all very well until the big advertisers pull out.
But the BBC has never had that problem. Unlike CBS, the BBC has never had the courage to unleash the full power of its Dimblebys. While Cronkite's dispatches from Vietnam showed conclusively that the Americans were embroiled in an unwinnable struggle, and helped bring the war to an end, my efforts from the same front were met with a strict headmasterly reprimand from the BBC. Having watched some American Phantom A4s destroy a small Vietnamese village, killing only the very old, the very young and the farm animals, I cautiously opined on camera: "military historians may question the wisdom of these methods". For which I nearly got the sack.
Name of source: Australian
SOURCE: Australian (3-6-06)
''You can see [in the play] the roots of the way we are treated now, as if there is no such thing as objective truth,'' says Hytner, in Sydney for the opening. ''Everything is twisted, everything is presented and spun. It's perfectly plain, the way the [play's] smart young historian, Irwin, twists history, and the way a set of disputed facts can be twisted to take us into a war'' -- he means Iraq -- ''which nobody supported.''
The history boys are sixth-formers at an English school, whose headmaster is force-feeding them for entrance into Oxford and Cambridge. The school's general studies teacher, Hector -- played by Richard Griffiths, Uncle Vernon of Harry Potter fame -- is having none of it. A motorbike-riding eccentric with a fondness for Gracie Fields, he teaches with his heart and regards education as a getting of wisdom, not a getting of a place on the schools league table.
Enter the bright but intellectually slippery Irwin, brought in to give the boys some final polish for the university entrance exams. Not much older than the students themselves, he encourages them to take a contrary view of textbook history and to dazzle the examiners with their independent thought -- even if it means explaining that Hitler was just another politician. Bennett presents the stand-off between these different ideas about the purpose of education -- represented by Hector and Irwin -- with subtlety and wit. The wordplay is exhilarating. The History Boys is a play about teaching, and also about growing up: the boys are almost men, by turns playful and serious, and thoroughly preoccupied with sex.
The National Theatre's production is on a world tour that will include, after Sydney, an extended Broadway run (it is also being made into a film). The touring cast is almost the same as that of the London premiere -- only the actors playing the headmaster (Malcolm Sinclair here) and teacher Mrs Lintott (Maggie Steed) are different. Sydney Theatre Company, which is presenting the show, has reported its highest-ever advance sales for the month-long season.
SOURCE: Australian (3-7-06)
This is no fictional blockbuster but German television's attempt to tell the story of the bombing of Dresden by the British during World War II, when up to 50,000 people are believed to have died.
At pound stg. 7million ($16.5million), Dresden: An Inferno is the costliest drama made by German television.
Yet critics have been harsh in their condemnation of the plot and historians have expressed concern over the made-for-TV treatment given to what many Germans still see as a war crime.
''Why does one wish that Dresden was never filmed?'' asked Kerstin Decker, chief critic of Berlin's influential Tagesspiegel. ''Because it makes a mockery out of suffering.''
Treating the bombing as fiction shatters one of Germany's last historical taboos.
The British raid on February 13, 1945, is still regarded with horror. So far it has been dealt with only in very cautious black-and-white documentaries.
Millions of German viewers watched on Sunday the first part of the miniseries, which has at its heart an implausible love affair between an RAF pilot and a German nurse.
Made by German state broadcaster ZDF, Dresden features British and German actors. The lead role is played by John Light, who starred in Band of Brothers.
Name of source: Wa Po
SOURCE: Wa Po (3-7-06)
The celebration marks the evolution of a publication that began as a two-column, 16-page gazette of the burgeoning federal bureaucracy created by the New Deal. It has progressed from a diary of completed rulemakings -- usually about five items a day at first -- to an Internet-based reference that allowed some 208 million documents to be downloaded in 2004.
On March 14, 1936, when the first issue came off the presses, the Federal Register contained items about regulating the handling of milk in the St. Louis area, trade practice rules the Federal Trade Commission issued for button manufacturers, and an excise tax on employers under the Social Security Act.
The readers were few. The cost for a subscription was $10 annually. And some officials worried there would not be enough material to publish daily. Indeed, it took only 1,500 pages to fill the first six months of the publication, compared with the 75,675 pages printed in 2004.
Subscriptions to the print version now cost $749. Circulation plummeted to 2,500 from 20,000 after the register became available for free online in 1994.
Though he had doubts about establishing the register, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote the lead-off rule -- really an executive order -- to enlarge the Cape Romain Migratory Bird Refuge in South Carolina. Roosevelt appointed the first director, retired Army Maj. Bernard R. Kennedy, at a salary "not to exceed" $5,000 a year.
Name of source: South China Morning Post
SOURCE: South China Morning Post (3-7-06)
Liu Gang, a prominent intellectual property rights lawyer, says he bought the map in a Shanghai bookshop in 2001.
It appears to be a copy made in 1763 of a map drawn in 1418, recording the explorations of admiral Zheng He, who made several voyages to Africa and possibly beyond during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).
The map is extraordinarily detailed, showing North and South America, Africa and even Antarctica.
Mr Liu presented a smattering of mostly circumstantial evidence to support his claim. He pointed to a map drawn by Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit missionary who lived in China in the late 15th century.
On this map, which is generally assumed to be the first world map seen by the Chinese, Ricci marked Brazil as "known by the Chinese as Sumu". Mr Liu asked: "If the Chinese did not know that part of the world, how did they have their own name for it?"
Even if the map does date from 1763, it may not be an exact copy of the 1418 original. Asked if the 1763 copyist might have made "improvements", Mr Liu said the copyist had marked his alterations explicitly.
"On the map he refers to himself [in a manner indicating] he was addressing the emperor. Why would he lie to the emperor, and risk being killed along with all his relatives?"
LIU GANG may turn out to be a discerning collector whose lucky find of an ancient map will rewrite history. Or he may be a pawn, nudged along by people whose interests lie in promoting the view that Chinese sailors discovered the Americas before Christopher Columbus landed in the New World in 1492.
Mr Liu isn't fazed by the furore generated by the unveiling his acquisition from an antique dealer in Shanghai. "I am quite sure that this map is real," he says.
Mr Liu's map has rekindled a fierce debate sparked by a similar notion set out in amateur historian Gavin Menzies' book 1421: The Year China Discovered the World, which argues that Zheng circumnavigated the world and discovered the Americas.
Name of source: NY Daily News
SOURCE: NY Daily News (3-7-06)
Visit www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/eagle and you will open the yellowed pages of the great Brooklyn Eagle, offering history's first draft of the most legendary borough of New York. Brooklyn's infancy is available with the click of a mouse, from the early pages edited by Walt Whitman, to the building of the Coney Island amusement parks, to the construction of the Roeblings' Brooklyn Bridge, to the landscaping of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux's Prospect Park, to the creation of our boulevards and rail lines, to the founding of the Brooklyn Public Library system, to the great mistake of '98, when the City of Brooklyn was incorporated into the City of New York.
Since the 147,000 pages were digitized in 2001 with a $239,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, some 45,000 people a month make 15-minute or longer visits to the site. Access to any pertinent event in the past can be gained by entering a date or keyword and there before you like a miraculous digital exhumation appears the corresponding page from the Brooklyn Eagle crypt.
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Education
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (3-7-06)
According to the association, known as LASA, the Cubans were informed of the decision on February 23, just three weeks before the conference is scheduled to start, on March 15. The association holds an international conference every 18 months.
The decision is consistent with Bush administration decisions that have increasingly tightened restrictions against academic and other contacts between Americans and Cubans. In March 2003, only 60 of 105 Cuban academics were granted U.S. visas to attend LASA's conference in Dallas. In 2004 all 65 Cubans who had planned to attend the group's conference in Las Vegas were informed 10 days before the gathering that they would be barred from entering the United States (The Chronicle, October 1, 2004).
In a letter sent late last month to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, LASA stated: "The U.S. government's decision seriously interferes with LASA's ability to carry out its core mission and represents an egregious affront to academic freedom." Nearly 6,000 academics are expected at the gathering in Puerto Rico.
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (3-6-06)
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (3-6-06)
Salaries at private institutions increased 3.7 percent, while those at public institutions rose 3.1 percent. A year ago, faculty salaries increased 3.2 percent over all.
Unlike the salary survey done by the American Association of University Professors, the CUPA-HR survey does not report data by institution. It does, however, categorize the numbers by discipline and rank.
Law professors continue to lead the list. According to the survey, full professors in the field earn an average annual salary of $136,634. Even new assistant professors in law make nearly $80,000 a year. That is about the same average salary that full professors in history earn. New assistant professors in history average about $45,000.
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (3-2-06)
But several colleges have figured that they could learn from the past in preparing for what could be another flu pandemic -- if a deadly form of avian flu that has surfaced in humans in Southeast Asia, China and the Middle East becomes easily transmissible among people. So they have scoured their archives for records of the 1918 pandemic. What they have found only emphasizes the need for advance planning, college officials say.
The president of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill died of the flu in October 1918. The university appointed the dean of the college of liberal arts to serve as acting president, but he died of the flu in January 1919.
Peter A. Reinhardt, who is director of environment, health, and safety at Chapel Hill, discovered that in 1918 the university asked students not to attend gatherings. "We saw some social-distancing measures," he says, a prime strategy even today to slow the spread of flu.
The student newspaper in 1918 mentioned a student meeting that was canceled because of the request, but the same issue also reported on a campus dance with "young ladies present from all parts of the state."
"If we run into the situation again in another pandemic," Mr. Reinhardt says, "I think the university would have a lot more control over its operations."
Some universities canceled classes during the peak wave of influenza. The University of Maryland at Baltimore did so in October 1918.
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (3-7-06)
It contained the remains of electrical fittings and gas heaters as well as shoes, an ink-well, a wartime fire bucket and a metal escape ladder.
Chalk drawings and other artefacts were also found. It is hoped the shelter will be kept open for history lessons.
"This was the moment archaeologists dream of," said Gabe Moshenka, of University College London, who organised the dig.
SOURCE: BBC News (3-6-06)
"Here lived Sir Christopher Wren during the building of St Paul's cathedral," proclaims an ornate ceramic plaque on the house on the south bank of the river Thames.
"Here also, in 1502, Catherine Infanta of Castile and Aragon, afterwards first queen of Henry VIII, took shelter on her first landing in London," it adds proudly.
Rubbish, Gillian Tindall responds.
Wren stayed a few houses up the road.
And Spanish princesses, let alone future queens, do not stay in waterfront inns, she observes tartly.
The author ought to know.
Her new book, The House on the Thames and the People who Lived There, traces the 300-year history of the building labelled Cardinal's Wharf, sandwiched between the Tate Modern art gallery and the reconstructed Globe theatre, where Shakespeare's plays are once again performed.
Name of source: Yahoo News
SOURCE: Yahoo News (3-6-06)
The team found the artifacts in the Kom Hitan area on the location of the 18th dynasty (1580-1314 BC) temple of pharaoh Amenhotep III on the west bank of the Nile, said Egyptian antiquities boss Zahi Hawas.
The black granite statues show Sekhmet sitting on a throne holding the "key of life" in her left hand. They were buried under the eastern wall of the temple's courtyard, Hawas said in a statement.
Three of the statues were recovered intact, said Horig Sourouzian, head of the joint team.
SOURCE: Yahoo News (3-6-06)
Name of source: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (3-6-06)
On the volcanic plains east of Naples, Italy, archaeologists have made an unusual discovery: thousands of prehistoric footprints in a layer of volcanic ash.
These footprints are just one of several archaeological finds indicating that the still-active Vesuvius is capable of far worse eruptions than anything disaster planners in nearby Naples are currently prepared for.
Vesuvius is best known as the volcano that buried the ancient Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum in A.D. 79.
But the newly found footprints date to a prior eruption approximately 3,800 years ago.
Nobody knows how many people lived in the area at that time, but it might have been as many as 10,000, says Michael Sheridan, a geologist at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York.
What is known is that everyone left in a hurry when the mountain erupted.
SOURCE: National Geographic News (3-2-06)
Researchers excavating a site in the Andean highland town of Waynuna found both corn leaf and corncob remains in the ruins of a house at least 3,600 years old.
Perhaps even more important, the scientists say, is that they found arrowroot remains at the same dig site.
The presence of this edible root confirms archeologists' suspicions that people in the eastern lowland forests—where the plant was grown—made contact with people in the highlands—where the root was consumed.
"Archaeologists have suspected that there was an important connection between the two areas based upon iconographic evidence and some coastal finds," said Linda Perry, the lead author on the study.
Name of source: Cedar Rapids Gazette
SOURCE: Cedar Rapids Gazette (3-7-06)
The U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint against Hansl in July 2003, claiming he hid his military service when he applied for a visa to come to the United States in 1955. He was granted a visa and became a U.S. citizen in 1960.
Hansl was a guard with the Waffen SS at the Sachsenhausen and Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camps in 1943 and 1944. His duties included guarding prisoners from watch towers, marching prisoners at gunpoint to work sites near the prison, court records show.
He was ordered to shoot any prisoner who tried to escape and helped search for an escaped prisoner who was later shot to death, although Hansl did not pull he trigger, court records show.
Hansl claimed he did not voluntarily join the Waffen SS and that officials knew of his military service before he was granted a visa to emigrate to the United States.
The legal argument in the case revolved around a 1953 law designed to control the flow of immigrants to the U.S. after World War II.
Lawyers for Hansl claimed the law required a person to have ''personally assisted'' in the persecution of others before they could be denied a visa.
U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt revoked Hansl's citizenship in April 2005, ruling that Hansl's conduct as a guard left ''no room for factual dispute whether he personally advocated or assisted in persecution.''
On Tuesday, the St. Louis-based court agreed, ruling that the law is clear.
''We need not turn to either the immigration officials' testimony or legislative history to determine the meaning of 'personally assisted' because the language (of the law) is unambiguous,'' the court said.
The court also said that it has previously ruled that duties similar to those Hansl performed as a guard constituted personal assistance in persecution.
''Hansl's service in the Waffen SS as an armed guard at Sachsenhausen and Natzweiler concentration camps constituted personal assistance in the persecution that occurred in those camps,'' the court ruled. ''Because his actions constituted personal assistance in persecution, he was ineligible for a visa -- and the issuance of a visa was improper.
''Accordingly, he was not lawfully admitted to the United States, and his subsequent naturalization was illegally procured.''
The court also rejected Hansl's argument that he was forced to join the Waffen SS as irrelevant.
Hansl was born in Yugoslavia and was drafted into the Waffen SS in 1943, two years after Germany invaded the country. Since his father had small children to raise, the Germans drafted Hansl, court records show.
Hansl's lawyer, Lisa Mattson, of St. Louis, said she was surprised by the ruling because the government had recently turned over evidence that would have shown Hansl was eligible for a visa.
''The policies and criteria used by the state department in 1955 were not considered, which is unfortunate,'' Mattson said. ''We believe those factors were an important and relevant aspect of interpreting the law as it was applied at the time.''
Mattson said she would continue to review the case to determine her next step.
''It's not over and I'm determined to continue to fight vigorously for Mr. Hansl,'' she said.
Name of source: The Australian
SOURCE: The Australian (3-7-06)
The Year 8 textbook Humanities Alive 2 says that the Crusaders, like Muslim terrorists, "believed they were giving their lives for a religious cause".
"Like the Crusaders ... they were told they would go straight to heaven when they died," the book says. "Those who destroyed the World Trade Center (sic) are regarded as terrorists. Might it be fair to say that Crusaders who attacked the Muslim inhabitants of Jerusalem were also terrorists?"
The textbook has been criticised by Melbourne University historian Barry Collett, a specialist in medieval history, for being "historically inaccurate" and "grossly misleading" in its depiction of the Middle Ages.
"The Crusaders felt they were intervening to stop the bloodshed that was already going on," he said. "I would tend to compare them more with Australian troops intervening in East Timor."
The book, used in about 100 schools around Victoria, is a revised edition of a series of textbooks published by John Wiley and Sons since 2003, all of which have included the section on September 11.
The selection of textbooks is at the discretion of individual schools in Victoria and neither the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority nor the state Education Department have any input into the quality or content of textbooks.
A spokesman for state Education Minister Lynne Kosky said schools decided for themselves what was appropriate to be taught and there were no recommended books for the curriculum.
The textbook also portrays the church as a corrupt institution driven by the desire for power and which tortured and killed anyone with opposing beliefs.
"It's very out of date, this view of the church as being fiendishly power-hungry," said Dr Collett, a visiting scholar at Oxford University.
"The church's activities were far more humane and pastoral than you would guess from reading this."
Dr Collett said the textbook presented an oversimplified view of history and the language used suggested a particular point of view rather than asking open-ended questions.
Despite popular perception, Dr Collett said those involved in the Inquisition actually spent most of their time working with divided families rather than torturing heretics.
Rather than working with government to oppress people, Dr Collett said the church was the principal force against the authoritarian excesses of governments.
General manager of the schools division at John Wiley, Peter van Noorden, denied the textbook makes a connection between the Crusades and September 11.
He said the section was intended to encourage discussion and prompt students to think more broadly about history. "It's very specifically put at the end of the section as a challenge for students to consider ... to analyse things from different perspectives," he said.
Dr Collett said the authors of the book included a historian, who worked closely with school teachers in developing the text and activities.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (3-7-06)
Almost no one is safe. Not even, as it turns out, Whistler's mother.
This month, the publisher Pearson Prentice Hall is introducing the first thoroughly revised version of "Janson's History of Art," a doorstopper first published in 1962 that has been a classroom hit ever since Horst Woldemar Janson wrote it while working at New York University. For a generation of baby boomers, it defined what was what and who was who in art, from Angelico (Fra) to Zurbarán (Francisco de).
But in recent years it has lost its perch as the best-selling art survey and has been criticized for becoming a scholarly chestnut. So its publisher recruited six scholars from around the country and told them to rewrite as much as they wanted, to cast a critical eye on every reproduction, chapter heading and sacred cow.
The result, at more than 1,100 pages and 1,450 illustrations, will undoubtedly surprise many Janson loyalists, especially instructors who have taught from the book so long they can almost do so without cracking it open. The new edition drops not only Whistler's portrait of his mother but also evicts several other longtime residents, like Domenichino, the Baroque master, and Louis Le Nain, whose work is in the Louvre.
The sculptor Louis-François Roubiliac, for example, has been erased with a vengeance; even a portrait by another artist of Roubiliac posing with his work has been dropped. And some full-page reproductions that had become permanent fixtures — like the Metropolitan Museum of Art's van Eyck diptych, "The Crucifixion, the Last Judgment" — have been replaced with others seen to be more representative of an artist's work.
Although the publisher has now incorporated the name "Janson" into the title, the new edition, the seventh, is the first to have no Janson associated with it. H. W. Janson died in 1982, and his son, Anthony F. Janson, who took over and revised it several times, retired as the book's guiding light in 2002.
Sarah Touborg, the current editor, said about a quarter of the contents had been changed. "To have done less than that would have been tough, given our vision of renovating Janson," she said. "And doing more than that would have risked losing our very loyal base of customers."
"There's a strong affection for this book among teachers," she added. "It's their book."
But in many colleges, the book, while as familiar as furniture, had become something to teach against, its clear narrative of art's development, focused mostly on Europe, muddied considerably since the early 1960's by changes in scholarship that began to place art more solidly in a social and political context.
The first editions included no women artists; even through versions published into the mid-1970's, Mary Cassatt, for example, went unmentioned. Oddly, Jackson Pollock was in the first edition, only six years after his death, but photography was not included until relatively recently.
The new book adds many more women, and for the first time, decorative arts are included. And it uses art much more as a way to discuss race, class and gender. In the introduction, on pages that once used Dürer and Mantegna to examine the concept of originality, Chris Ofili's "Holy Virgin Mary" — a painting that rested on clumps of elephant dung and created a furor when it was shown in Brooklyn in 1999 — is used to talk about differences between Western and African ways of seeing. "Art is never an empty container," the introduction states. "Rather, it is a vessel loaded with meaning."
The book's new authors warn that because their approach diverges from the model H. W. Janson pioneered — the showcasing of individual geniuses and masterpieces — the exclusion of works should not necessarily be looked at as beloved artists being unceremoniously escorted out of the canon. But because Janson, as it is called, was so influential in undergraduate courses for so long, some teachers say they cannot help but view the revision that way.
"I can see the reasons, artistically, for dropping Whistler's mother," said Mickey McConnell, an instructor who until recently taught a survey course at the University of New Mexico and has used Janson for years. "But it's become so well known, such a part of the culture. What if there's a cartoon in The New Yorker that uses it as a reference? Younger students aren't going to know what it's talking about."
SOURCE: NYT (3-5-06)
The object of the writer's longing, of course, was Huey P. Long, the Kingfish, the Depression-era governor and United States senator who dominated the state before his assassination in September 1935.
It's the sort of sentiment that Stephen M. Sabludowsky, the founder of BayouBuzz, says he hears plenty of these days: paeans to Long, and even to disgraced politicians like former Gov. Edwin Edwards, who is serving a 10-year prison term for a conviction on corruption charges related to the licensing of casinos during his tenure.
"New Orleans is so fractured and fragmented," Mr. Sabludowsky said with bloggish hyperbole, that Hitler, "if he could make the trains run on time," might do well in the April 22 mayoral election.
Despite scattered signs of progress, New Orleans still seems mired in its destroyed neighborhoods and political squabbling. It is a place where no decision is so small that it cannot be second-guessed, and one of the most common complaints — after gripes about FEMA — is the dearth of leadership.
"You need some leadership," said State Representative Emile (Peppi) Bruneau, a Republican from New Orleans whose home and legislative office were heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina. "We have none right now at either the state or the local level in her excellency, the governor, or his excellency, the mayor, in my opinion."
SOURCE: NYT (3-5-06)
The homes, including the one Mr. Hampton died in, have been razed and new ones have been built. And a construction team was hammering away on a new building this week, even as Fred Hampton Jr. showed a visitor the street he wants renamed in his father's memory.
"This is one of the ground zeroes in our community, a place where brutal acts of terrorism occurred," Mr. Hampton said, gazing around in his dark sunglasses as snow flurries fell. "Chairman Fred deserves this honor for all the contributions he made. I learned lessons from his legend — about what a man is supposed to be."
What has not changed over four decades, even with the blurring and fading of memories, is the size of this city's division over what happened the day the elder Mr. Hampton was killed, who he was and what his legacy should be.
For his son, born just weeks after his father was killed and now known to some as Little Chairman Fred, and for many other black residents here, Mr. Hampton was a hero who boldly demanded rights for black people, pressed for meals for black schoolchildren and died at the hands of the police.
For many white residents, and police officers especially, Mr. Hampton was a frightening, dangerous radical from a turbulent era who told The Chicago Sun-Times, not long before his death at age 21, that he was "at war with the pigs."
And so, although nearly 1,300 city blocks in Chicago already bear brown street signs with honorary names for all sorts of people (plenty of whom few have ever heard of) and although most of those distinctions make their way through the City Council without even a moment of notice, a proposal this week to turn this block into Chairman Fred Hampton Way has stirred a sudden fury of debate.
SOURCE: NYT (3-4-06)
But does this so-called Chandos portrait actually depict Shakespeare? Indeed, do any of dozens of other "Shakespeare" paintings and engravings offer a true likeness of the man who was born in Stratford-on-Avon in 1564 and died there in 1616?
These are the central questions addressed in "Searching for Shakespeare," a fascinating exhibition on view here through May 29. For this inquiry, the National Portrait Gallery has for the first time united the six oils most frequently said to portray Shakespeare. For further comparison, it is also presenting the 1623 engraving of him in the First Folio of his collected plays, as well as a plaster cast of the bust that was placed above his grave in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford sometime between 1620 and 1623.
And the answer? Well, for all the light that Shakespeare threw on human nature, his own life remains shadowy: his education, the "lost years" between 1585 and 1592, his relations with his wife and children and, yes, even his appearance are very much matters of conjecture.
Still, of all the competing paintings, the Chandos portrait has emerged as the strongest contender. "It's not absolutely watertight," said Tarnya Cooper, the gallery's curator for 16th-century painting, who organized the show, "but the evidence has increased. It is a portrait that probably represents Shakespeare, but will we ever have watertight evidence?"
SOURCE: NYT (3-3-06)
Allen Weinstein, the nation's chief archivist, announced what he called a "moratorium" on reclassification of documents until an audit can be completed to determine which records should be secret.
A group of historians recently found that decades-old documents that they had photocopied years ago and that appeared to have little sensitivity had disappeared from the open files. They learned that in a program operated in secrecy since 1999, intelligence and security agencies had removed more than 55,000 pages that agency officials believed had been wrongly declassified.
Mr. Weinstein, who became archivist of the United States a year ago, said he knew "precious little" about the seven-year-old reclassification program before it was disclosed in The New York Times on Feb. 21.
He said he did not want to prejudge the results of the audit being conducted by the archives' Information Security Oversight Office, which oversees classification. But he said the archives' goal was to make sure that government records that could safely be released were available. The audit was ordered by J. William Leonard, head of the oversight office, after he met with historians on Jan. 27.
SOURCE: NYT (3-3-06)
They say that with government records, reports and documents increasingly being created and stored in digital form, there is a software threat to electronic access to government information and archives. The problem is that public information can be locked in proprietary software whose document formats become obsolete or cannot be read by people using software from another company.
"The goal is to ensure that the largest number of people possible are able to find, retrieve and meaningfully use government information," said Patrice McDermott, deputy director of government relations for the American Library Association, a member of the alliance.
The problem, she said, is bad and getting worse. She noted that the National Archives and Records Administration was engaged in a costly project so the electronic documents it saves from federal agencies can be opened and read.
Name of source: Romanesko
SOURCE: Romanesko (3-6-06)
Name of source: NYT Magazine
SOURCE: NYT Magazine (3-5-06)
Most of us leave no lasting traces that recall our stay on the planet, but through accident and fate, Fransz left something that has endured the centuries. His house — an elegant redbrick step-gable, its facade ornamented with sandstone bands and wooden cross-framed windows, a building that has more of the Renaissance than the Baroque about it — still stands. Napoleon and Hitler conquered Amsterdam in their separate centuries; later, postmodern architects and the sex and soft-drug industries made their marks. Pieter Fransz's house withstood all.
The Dutch have always been meticulous recordkeepers, so it is possible to follow this house, and others nearby it on Amsterdam's famous Herengracht, or Gentlemen's Canal, as they make their way through the centuries: to watch the succession of doctors, diamond cutters, confectioners, merchants and politicians move in and out, to glimpse the births and deaths, to watch careers and families unfold. More to the point, it's possible to follow the successive property transactions in this area of Amsterdam from the time it was developed to the present.
In itself, this isn't exceptional: other European cities have land registers that date to the Middle Ages. What makes Pieter Fransz's neighborhood unique — and uniquely interesting to some economists who are studying today's global real-estate boom and wondering whether the bubble that has been expanding for the past decade and more is in the process of bursting — is what real-estate experts call a constant quality index....
Name of source: Timesonline (UK)
SOURCE: Timesonline (UK) (3-4-06)
The Libyan leader angered Italy after he spoke of his people’s “hatred” of Italians and threatened attacks on Italian interests in Libya unless reparations were agreed.
Two weeks after riots outside the Italian consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi, in which 11 people were killed, Colonel Gaddafi said that Libyans were still simmering with rage over Italy’s 33 years of colonial rule.
The Italian Government sought to play down the remarks. Opposition leaders however, called them unacceptable, government supporters accused him of interfering in Italy’s election campaign and Mussolini’s granddaughter said Libyans should thank Italy they were not “riding on camels with turbans on their heads”.
Italy acquired Libya in 1911 after a brief war with the Ottoman Empire. Fascist Italy, under Mussolini, waged a long, bloody “pacification”. It withdrew in 1943 under Anglo-American pressure but many colonialists stayed on.
Talks between Libya and Italy over a settlement have failed to reach agreement, despite Colonel Gaddafi’s eagerness to settle disputes with other Western nations, including Britain and the US.
Name of source: post-gazette.com
SOURCE: post-gazette.com (2-28-06)
That was 12 days ago and the park service since has calculated the cost to repair and restore the monuments at just over $61,000. It was the worst case of vandalism at the park in 93 years.
A coalition of Gettysburg-area groups and individuals has put up a reward totaling $36,000 for the arrest of the perpetrators. Monuments to the 4th New York Independent Battery and 11th Massachusetts and 114th Pennsylvania regiments were damaged.
"It infuriates me, it absolutely infuriates me, and I think I speak for just about everybody," said Charles Kuhn, junior vice-commander-in-chief of the Sons of Union Veterans, a descendant of Civil War veterans who grew up in Gettysburg and lives in nearby East Berlin. "The first feeling I had was a sick feeling. Then all of a sudden that sick feeling becomes anger."
The sense of outrage over the deliberate desecration of monuments has deep roots. The last time there was such widespread damage was 1913, when nine Gettysburg monuments were vandalized. At the time, R.B. Reath closed a letter to the park's superintendent with the following:
Name of source: KATC3
SOURCE: KATC3 (3-6-06)
"The submarines look like they will stay an enigma for a while," said Ralph Wilbanks, the diver who led underwater efforts that found the Confederate submersible Hunley off Charleston Harbor in 1995. "We have looked in the bayou and we didn't see anything we didn't see last time."
Wilbanks, together with fellow Hunley discoverer Harry Pecorelli III and diver Darrell Taylor, spent the last week in February in Shreveport, dragging side-scan sonars and magnetometers in countless lanes on mapped grids on the Red River, Cross Bayou and Cross Lake, looking for nagging mysteries from the Civil War to World War II.
As with Wilbanks' first visit to Shreveport in 1999, the current survey was underwritten by best-selling author Clive Cussler and his nonprofit, volunteer National Underwater and Marine Agency. Cussler said his decision to send Wilbanks and his crew back to Shreveport was based on "new data where the river changed course ... Apparently nothing was found again."
Wilbanks thinks the submarines were abandoned and salvaged after the Civil War.
Name of source: Washington Times
SOURCE: Washington Times (3-5-06)
Not everyone wants the heritage to be remembered as something to be proud of, though.
The Charlotte News & Observer reports hundreds crowded the state House chamber Saturday, sang "Dixie" and saluted the flag -- along with a Civil War-era state flag and the current U.S. flag.
The event -- which the newspaper described as all-white -- was sponsored by the N.C. Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Many Americans, black and white, see a link between the confederate flag and a pro-slavery, Jim Crow, white supremacy attitude, the newspaper said, but the flag is still honored in the south.
University of South Carolina history professor Clyde Wilson said the response to the confederate flag is only a mask for a hatred for the South.
SOURCE: Washington Times (3-2-06)
The song, most argued, is about folks leaving Virginia, crossing the "wide Missouri" to escape difficult economic times.
Sen. Charles J. Colgan Sr. brought in a choir from the Shenandoah Valley to make his case for the tune, which was changed to be more Virginia-centric. Mr. Colgan's proposal re-tooled the lyrics to "Shenandoah," deleting some of the lines about fleeing the state.
"Oh Shenandoah, we long to hear you. Away, we're bound away, cross our fair Virginia," sang the group, known as the Shenandoah Singers.
State songs have long stirred emotions, especially in the South.
While some Southerners proudly hum more modern state songs -- think the Peach State's Ray Charles-blessed "Georgia on My Mind " -- legislatures in Florida and Maryland have been wrangling over potentially politically incorrect lyrics for years.
In Florida, lawmakers fought over "Way Down Upon the Swanee River," which refers to "darkies" and plantations.
In 2002, Maryland lawmakers fought over their state song, which refers to Union troops as "scum" and calls President Abraham Lincoln a "despot," calling it too "divisive." The tune, "Maryland! My Maryland!" was written during the Civil War by a man who was angry that his roommate was killed by Union troops.
Both tunes remain in place.
Coming up with a new song has a sordid history in Virginia. The panel that was tasked with choosing a song that could be sung at football games and gubernatorial inaugurations hasn't met for eight years. It did narrow the field of singable submissions from 340 to eight, including a ditty by sausage magnate Jimmy Dean, but no one could agree on their favorite.
Only two delegates voted in favor of the song, which would have been the first official state tune since lawmakers retired "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" in 1997 because they felt it was racist.
"Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" was written by James A. Bland, a free black who later became a minstrel. The song, written during the 1800s, includes lyrics about a "darkie" who "labored so hard for old massa."
Name of source: Lawrence Downes in the NYT
SOURCE: Lawrence Downes in the NYT (3-6-06)
Their descendants crowded the Savannah Civic Center for the festival, eating corned-beef sandwiches, drinking Guinness and applauding the young step dancers who thundered across the stage, tossing their auburn ringlets. Vendors sold teapots and cookbooks and those itchy, kitschy sweaters and scarves that have become the worldwide uniform of warm, fuzzy Irishness.
It is hard to imagine a tubercular immigrant, knee deep in cellar muck, dreaming that his adopted city would one day commemorate his sacrifice with a party. Unskilled Irish immigrants were abused and despised back then, chained to a life of poverty and hard labor that bonded them — at least for a little while — with enslaved African-Americans.
The parallels with the present day are too obvious to ignore. Georgia is undergoing another demographic shift, as Mexican immigrants flock to its farms, mills, processing plants and cities. The Latino immigrant population has soared in the last 10 years and exploded in the last 5, to an estimated 650,000 in a state of nine million. Some experts say the real immigrant number is double that. At least half of the newcomers are illegal, unskilled laborers who, like their Irish predecessors, want "any job, but now."
Anti-immigrant groups have taken to calling the state "Georgiafornia," and have vowed to fight the Latino influx. As Congress takes up immigration legislation in coming weeks, the Republicans who control the Georgia Legislature have been way ahead of them, having already put the issue at the top of their agenda.
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (3-4-06)
Dresden: An Inferno is the first television feature film to be made about the bombing of Dresden. The raid by British bombers on February 13 1945 saw the near total destruction of one of Germany's most beautiful cities. Many Germans regard the bombing as a war crime.
The three-hour film is to be shown tomorrow and Monday by Germany's ZDF television channel. It depicts the firestorm that engulfed Dresden after the RAF's raid, with burning people jumping out of windows and families suffocating in cellars.
But it is the "sickly-sweet" love story that has enraged the critics. The pilot - played by British actor John Light - falls in love with a German nurse after he escapes from a mob and hides in her hospital. The two manage an intimate encounter on the ward, with the pilot later turning up in disguise at a party of SS officers. The film ends with the tearful nurse telling her British lover: "I love you."
"I didn't realise there was so much beautiful lingerie in Dresden in February 1945. They must have been able to do some wonderful things with parachutes," one British diplomat who saw the film observed drily yesterday.
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (3-2-06)
Peru demanded this fall that Yale return the artifacts, which include mummies, ceramics and human bones excavated by explorer Hiram Bingham in the early 1900s.
The university offered to send some artifacts for display at a new museum in Peru, while the rest would remain at Yale. Many are on display at Yale's Peabody Museum.
Peru's U.S. ambassador, Eduardo Ferrero, dismissed the university's deal, saying Yale's offer was inequitable.
``Yale refused to acknowledge Peru's ownership of the artifacts,'' said Ferrero, adding that Yale ``proposes that these artifacts belong to humanity, and at the same time pretends to keep part of the collection.''
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (2-24-06)
Without warning, Khrushchev had launched a fierce attack on his predecessor, the revered Joseph Stalin. The great vozhd (chief) who had guided the country through the second world war and died three years earlier was a "capricious and despotic character", Khrushchev said. In a four-hour indictment he condemned Stalin for creating a personality cult and unleashing "brutal violence" on anyone who stood in his way.
Uttered 50 years ago tomorrow, this was Khrushchev's secret speech: a coruscating indictment of Stalinism that would roll out across the world; the beginning of the "thaw" and the end of terror in a country where hundreds of thousands had been shot or sent to the gulags.
In the west, the speech has mostly been interpreted as a brave and moral step that changed the fate of the country. Earlier this month Khrushchev's granddaughter Nina, a lecturer who lives in the US, lauded him in the Washington Post for "outing Stalin as a monster".
Yet in Russia, amid muted celebrations of the anniversary, there is growing evidence that Khrushchev's speech was a cynical ploy to save his skin and that of his party cronies. "Khrushchev was trying to dump all the blame on Stalin when his own hands were drenched in blood," says Yuri Zhukov, a historian from the Russian Academy of Sciences who has studied newly declassified archives on the period.
The re-evaluation comes as critics accuse President Vladimir Putin of leading a drift towards an authoritarianism that resembles the rule of the communist strongmen who dominated the 20th century. New measures have included increased state control over broadcast media and the replacement of elected governors by appointees.
While he is not actively promoted by the Kremlin, Stalin remains hugely popular, with higher approval ratings than Khrushchev. Few politicians dare criticise his legacy despite pleas to do so from victims of his oppression. A survey by the All-Russia Centre for the Study of Public Opinion found that 50% of Russians believe Stalin played a positive role, up from 46% in 2003.
In 1956 Khrushchev's speech was certainly a rent with the past. Stalin, he said, had committed "serious and grave perversions of party principles" and triggered the "cruellest repression" by inventing the concept of the "enemy of the people". In 1937 and 1938, 98 of the 139 members of the central committee had been shot on Stalin's orders, Khrushchev revealed.
Many of the 1,400 people at the congress had only heard innuendo about such events and their shock was real; as was the fury of Stalin's supporters. "My impression was very negative," says Nikolai Baybakov, 94, then head of Gosplan, the Soviet central planning agency, and whose voice is still dark with fury at the insult meted out to his hero. "Yes, negative. Compared to Stalin, Khrushchev was a zero."
No debate was allowed, however, and the delegates went home in awe. Many were sunk in depression; two committed suicide within weeks.
Almost immediately, changes began. Although the full text of the speech was not published in the Soviet Union until the late 80s, excerpts were passed to local party officials and read at meetings. Political prisoners were rehabilitated, the press was given limited freedom and ties were re-established with foreign powers such as France and the US. Khrushchev's political enemies were sidelined, but they escaped the death sentence that would have been automatic under Stalin. Abroad, the speech sparked intense interest after it was leaked by foreign communists. The Observer devoted an entire issue to the 26,000-word text.
But while Khrushchev set unstoppable changes in motion, experts say he concealed his own role in bloody repressions. Only in the past five years has the full extent of his complicity in Stalin's terror become evident.
A telegram discovered in Politburo archives by Mr Zhukov shows that Khrushchev sent a request to Moscow to kill or imprison 30,000 people when he took over the leadership of Ukraine in 1938. A brutal purge of intellectuals and "hostile elements" was soon under way.
The year before, when he was party chief in the Moscow region, documents show Khrushchev asked permission to shoot 8,500 anti-Soviet "traitors" and dispatch almost 33,000 to camps. "These persecutions were real and they were carried out on Khrushchev's orders," Mr Zhukov says.
Dima Bykov, a young Russian intellectual, says Khrushchev was a willing servant of Stalin. "When I was a teacher I explained the 20th congress to my pupils using an analogy: imagine Himmler giving an anti-fascist speech at a Nazi congress after Hitler's death."
The limits of Khrushchev's thaw were evident a few months after the speech when he sent Soviet tanks to crush the Hungarian uprising. And while he allowed Alexander Solzhenitsyn to publish a novel about the gulags, he banned Boris Pasternak's Dr Zhivago for its unsympathetic portrait of the aftermath of the Bolshevik revolution.
Nikita Khrushchev, 46, a journalist who was named after his grandfather, admits the Soviet leader was not the hero he is often made out to be. "Of course, grandpa participated in the repressions," he says. "Of course, you can see his signatures on the lists of those to be dealt with. And, of course, many documents have yet to be released from the archives. But the fact that he dared to expose Stalin was his own courageous step. It was a real feat ... It meant he had overcome the Stalinist inside himself."
Mr Bykov says Khrushchev was a brave man who recognised his faults and attempted reform, but lacked the will to smash the system completely. "Khrushchev was half dictator, half liberal," he says. "Putin is just the same. The difference is that in Khrushchev's time the main movement was towards freedom. Now it is backwards. Krushchev initiated freedom. Putin is its graveyard."
Name of source: Newsday
SOURCE: Newsday (3-5-06)
When insurgents in Iraq use IEDs to attack armored vehicles and disrupt U.S. supply lines, they are taking a page from the less-advanced tactics of T.E. Lawrence, the British adventurer who pioneered guerrilla warfare during the 1916-18 Arab revolt against Turkish rule. His main lesson for insurgents: If you're facing a bigger and better-armed adversary, don't engage him directly.
Lawrence introduced many innovations to modern guerrilla wars, but perhaps his most effective technique was the use of mines to disrupt Turkish trains and supply convoys. "We had proved that a well-laid mine would fire; and that a well-laid mine was difficult even for its maker to discover," he wrote in his 1922 memoir, "Seven Pillars of Wisdom." "Mines were the best weapon yet discovered to make the regular working of their trains costly and uncertain for our Turkish enemy."
Today, Iraqi insurgents are using more powerful explosives and sophisticated methods to detonate their IEDs, but the basic purpose is the same as it was in Lawrence's time: to inflict casualties and damage the morale of a militarily superior enemy.
IEDs have been the leading cause of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq, accounting for more than half of those killed since February of last year. Overall, 724 U.S. troops have been killed by IEDs since the American invasion in March 2003.
As U.S. casualties mounted, the Pentagon created an IED Task Force in 2004 to find technological solutions and to better protect U.S. troops. Last year, military officials spent about $1.2 billion on counter-IED measures, and this year they plan to spend $3.5 billion.
Name of source: Harvard Crimson
SOURCE: Harvard Crimson (3-5-06)
An expected change to history concentration requirements would abolish a long-standing pillar of the department, according to a professor who has taught the course in the past. But the decision hasn’t been finalized by the department.
“No one is willing to defend ‘Western Civ’ and lots of people want to abolish it,” said Baird Professor of History Mark A. Kishlansky, who has taught History 10a twice since 2002. “I think the department will vote this change.”
Kishlansky predicted that the department would eliminate History 10a and its counterpart, History 10b, “Western Economies, Societies, and Polities: From 1648 to the Present,” in response to ongoing student and faculty opposition.
Concentrators currently have the option of substituting History 10b with History 10c, “A Global History of Modern Times,” or bypassing History 10b or History 10c with a score of five on the Advanced Placement European History or World History exam.
But concentrators currently must take History 10a.
New “long ago” and “far away” requirements would replace these mandatory survey courses, Kishlansky said.
The “long ago” component would require students to take a premodern course about a “civilization at a different stage of development than the one you know of,” Kishlansky said.
But he said the department has yet to determine the exact dates that this “premodern” period would encompass.
The department also plans to implement a “far away” requirement that would have students take a course on a subject geographically removed from their area of interest, Kishlansky said. ...
Name of source: Time Magazine
SOURCE: Time Magazine (3-5-06)
the remains that came to be known as Kennewick Man were almost twice as old as the celebrated Iceman discovered in 1991 in an Alpine glacier, and among the oldest and most complete skeletons ever found in the Americas. Plenty of archaeological sites date back that far, or nearly so, but scientists have found only about 50 skeletons of such antiquity, most of them fragmentary. Any new find can thus add crucial insight into the ongoing mystery of who first colonized the New World—the last corner of the globe to be populated by humans. Kennewick Man could cast some much needed light on the murky questions of when that epochal migration took place, where the first Americans originally came from and how they got here.
U.S. government researchers examined the bones, but it would take almost a decade for independent scientists to get a good look at the skeleton. Although it was found in the summer of 1996, the local Umatilla Indians and four other Columbia Basin tribes almost immediately claimed it as ancestral remains under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (see box), demanding that the skeleton be reburied without the desecration of scientific study. A group of researchers sued, starting a legal tug-of-war and negotiations that ended only last summer, with the scientists getting their first extensive access to the bones. And now, for the first time, we know the results of that examination.
WHAT THE BONES REVEALED
It was clearly worth the wait. the scientific team that examined the skeleton was led by forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. He has worked with thousands of historic and prehistoric skeletons, including those of Jamestown colonists, Plains Indians and Civil War soldiers. He helped identify remains from the Branch Davidian compound in Texas, the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon and mass graves in Croatia.
In this case, Owsley and his team were able to nail down or make strong guesses about Kennewick Man's physical attributes. He stood about 5 ft. 9 in. tall and was fairly muscular. He was clearly right-handed: the bones of the right arm are markedly larger than those of the left. In fact, says Owsley, "the bones are so robust that they're bent," the result, he speculates, of muscles built up during a lifetime of hunting and spear fishing.
An examination of the joints showed that Kennewick Man had arthritis in the right elbow, both knees and several vertebrae but that it wasn't severe enough to be crippling. He had suffered plenty of trauma as well. "One rib was fractured and healed," says Owsley, "and there is a depression fracture on his forehead and a similar indentation on the left side of the head." None of those fractures were fatal, though, and neither was the spear jab. "The injury looks healed," says Owsley. "It wasn't a weeping abscess." Previous estimates had Kennewick Man's age as 45 to 55 when he died, but Owsley thinks he may have been as young as 38. Nothing in the bones reveals what caused his demise.
But that's just the beginning of an impressive catalog of information that the scientists have added to what was already known—all the more impressive given the limitations placed on the team by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is responsible for the skeleton because the Corps has jurisdiction over the federal land on which it was found. The researchers had to do nearly all their work at the University of Washington's Burke Museum, where Kennewick Man has been housed in a locked room since 1998, under the watchful eyes of representatives of both the Corps and the museum, and according to a strict schedule that had to be submitted in advance. "We only had 10 days to do everything we wanted to do," says Owsley. "It was like a choreographed dance."
Perhaps the most remarkable discovery: Kennewick Man had been buried deliberately. By looking at concentrations of calcium carbonate left behind as underground water collected on the underside of the bones and then evaporated, scientists can tell that he was lying on his back with his feet rolled slightly outward and his arms at his side, the palms facing down—a position that could hardly have come about by accident. And there was no evidence that animal scavengers had been at the body.
Name of source: Baltimore Sun
SOURCE: Baltimore Sun (3-4-06)
The spaces in the Rosa L. Parks Freedom Chapel were priced at $17,000 before the cemetery gave spots, for free, to Parks, her husband and her mother. Now, the spaces cost $24,275, and possibly as much as $65,000 for the slots nearest to Parks' crypt.
Some of her relatives worry the prices might cheapen the legacy of the woman who began the civil rights movement by refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955. Parks died in October.
Parks' closest living relative, nephew William McCauley, said her burial was a"private matter, not a spectacle."
Name of source: History Today
SOURCE: History Today (2-28-06)
The team from the Netherlands estimated land use changed around 1347, when the Black Death arrived, which would have caused an agricultural crisis; trees then flourished on land no longer being cultivated. Tests on pollen and leaves in the southeast Netherlands suggest these millions of trees would have absorbed carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, producing a cooling effect in the next few centuries. This minor ‘Ice Age’ in European history lasted for around 300 years from 1500. The scientists included Dr Thomas van Hoof, who stated: ‘Between AD 1200 to 1300, we see a decrease in stomata and a sharp rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide, due to deforestation we think.’ The research is published in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology; other scientists suggest oceanic, solar, or volcanic reasons for the lower average temperatures.
Name of source: Defence News
SOURCE: Defence News (3-3-06)
RAF Saxa Vord on Unst in the Shetlands – the northernmost inhabited island in the UK with a population of about 700 - was a pivotal link providing early warning of air threats to the UK for more than 30 years and as such was a frontline Cold War station.
Its mission was to assist RAF fighters intercept long-range Soviet bombers entering UK airspace, shadowing them as they tested the reactions of our air defences until jets such Lightnings, Phantom F4s and more recently Tornado F3s escorted them "off the premises."
Name of source: Advertiser (Australia)
SOURCE: Advertiser (Australia) (3-3-06)
But those looking for a salacious side to the biblical figure will be disappointed: Serious religious scholars agree characterisations that stray from faithful disciple and witness to the Resurrection are bogus. Despite stage and screen portrayals, they say, the sinful Mary is a matter of mistaken identity.
The chief culprit was Pope Gregory the Great, who preached a sermon in 591 AD calling Mary a notorious prostitute who repented after encountering Jesus Christ.
The Da Vinci yarn says Christians conspired to conceal the Jesus-Mary marriage and the royal French bloodline their offspring established. But there's no evidence Jesus ever married Mary.
Mary supposedly travelled to France, but the claim is suspect; the first mention of her relics located there dates from the year 745.
The best source of material on Mary is a first century account, the New Testament itself. There she stands out as Jesus' most important female disciple. Mary is named first among the witnesses to Jesus' Crucifixion, entombment and empty tomb. The less valiant male apostles deserted Jesus at the cross and refused at first to believe the women's ''idle tale'' about the empty tomb.
For Christians across the centuries, ''she is the faithful disciple, and consistently portrayed that way,'' says Harvard church historian Karen King.
A cottage industry has sprung up around Mary, boosted by The Da Vinci Code novel and the film scheduled for release in May.
All this buzz for a figure whom, prior to Golgotha, appears in the Gospels only in Luke 8 - as one of the women who travelled with Jesus and the apostles and ''provided for them out of their means.'' The phrase indicates Mary was wealthy, making prostitution unlikely.
Pope Gregory mistakenly identified Mary with an unnamed female ''sinner'' in the preceding passage who had a dramatic encounter with Jesus. If Mary had been that sinner, Bible experts surmise, she'd have been named there first - instead of in Luke 8.
Name of source: Irish Independent
SOURCE: Irish Independent (3-3-06)
The Government last night announced a drive to finally ditch vast amounts of legislation inherited from the years before the foundation of the State. Some of the dusty ordinances date back to the Middle Ages.
The public is being encouraged to comment on the determined effort to update and codify Irish law by abolishing and replacing a total of 45,000 statutes.
They include a primitive form of justice whereby suspected thieves and murderers could be subjected to an ordeal by water. Prisoners would be thrown into deep water tied to a millstone, and those who sank were deemed to be guilty.
A total of 14,500 Acts date from before the Act of Union of 1801.
Name of source: WSJ Editorial
SOURCE: WSJ Editorial (3-3-06)
In Britain, as in the U.S., ideas are not protected by copyright--it's the way they are expressed that counts. The accusation here is not that Mr. Brown's novel plagiarized the 1982 book's words. Plaintiff authors Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh assert that Mr. Brown wrongfully appropriated the "architecture" of their earlier work. For instance, the "Holy Blood" authors consulted documents in France relating to an alleged "Priory of Scion" organization that since 1099 has allegedly protected the secret of Jesus' marriage. Can, and did, the fruit of their labors turn up in another book?
The case is worrying to publishers and authors in part because it involves the issue of research and the point at which research becomes not just information but protected information. Depending on the judge's reasoning, a decision in favor of the plaintiffs could have a chilling effect on writers. A book (or other publication) need only appear in Britain for anyone, regardless of their nationality, to sue in a British court.
It's all the more depressing because "The Da Vinci Code" is a work of fiction, woven with legend ancient and new. So is the titillating essence of "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail," whatever its authors say or believe. "The "Priory of Scion" documents that figure in both books' conspiracy theorizing were long ago revealed to be grounded in a hoax. One of its principal architects, Pierre Plantard, a French anti-Semite and royal-blood pretender, contributed to a partial account of the conspiracy story in a book published in 1967. So perhaps Random House should pay his heirs.
Name of source: Yahoo
SOURCE: Yahoo (3-3-06)
Large arrowheads, hearths and stone slabs used to grind seeds and acorns were among the items found at the site at the base of the Angeles National Forest, according to archeologists from Cogstone Resource Management Inc.
No human or animal bones were discovered, the company said.
The consulting firm was hired by Azusa Land Partners, which is developing 1,250 homes on the 520-acre site. Workers removed and catalogued about 100 tools and implements used by the Gabrielino-Tongva tribe, which lived in the area before Europeans arrived, said Cogstone President Sherri Gust.
Name of source: AP
After raising less than $10 million since 1996, the group is stepping up its efforts to generate $150 million for a museum dedicated to great names and unsung heroines.
"Half the story of U.S. history has never fully been told," said Susan B. Jollie, the museum organization's president."Our mission is to add women's stories to the historic record."
Thirty groups, including the National Association of Women Business Owners and the National Education Association, are urging support of the National Women's History Museum Act, which has already been passed by the Senate.
House approval would clear the way for use of the Old Post Office Annex building on Pennsylvania Avenue, just east of the White House, as a museum site. The facility north of the National Mall would provide more than 100,000 square feet of exhibit space. It has not been used since 1994.
The group Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawaii Nei, which borrowed 83 objects from the Bishop Museum in 2000, hid them in a secret cave on the Big Island because the group claims the artifacts belong to the dead and aren't meant for public display.
They include a human-hair wig, containers with human teeth and carved wooden statuettes of family gods.
Hui Malama lawyer Alan Murakami says his group is dedicated to finding a solution.
John Pace, who last month left his post as director of the human rights office at the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq, said the level of extra-judicial executions and torture is soaring, and morgue workers are being threatened by both government-backed militia and insurgents not to properly investigate deaths.
"Under Saddam, if you agreed to forgo your basic right to freedom of expression and thought, you were physically more or less OK," Pace said in an interview with The Associated Press. "But now, no. Here, you have a primitive, chaotic situation where anybody can do anything they want to anyone."
Pace, who was born in Malta but now resides in Australia, said that while the scale of atrocity under Saddam was "daunting," now nobody is safe from abuse.
"It is certainly as bad," he said. "It extends over a much wider section of the population than it did under Saddam."
Name of source: Charleston Post & Courier
SOURCE: Charleston Post & Courier (3-2-06)
Rodger Stroup, director of the S.C. Department of Archives and History, met with some of them Tuesday after realizing only a few years remain until the first sesquicentennial milestone: the contentious Democratic convention in Charleston in April 1860.
The 150th anniversary of the Civil War's beginning, the firing on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, will be April 12, 2011. "We really need to try to get a handle on what's going on," Stroup said. "One of the things that will come out of this is increased tourism. Let's face it. It started here."
During the centennial anniversary in the 1960s, many viewed the war solely through a military or political lens. Marion Edmonds, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, said that since then, historians have written much more about how blacks and women contributed during the war.
"We now know so much more about the cultures within our state," Edmonds said. "It's not just a simple view anymore. We also now know the differences between what was happening in the Lowcountry and in the Upstate."