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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: Chronicle of Higher Ed
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Ed (10-31-06)
The warm reception from Western higher education that greeted these student 56ers, as they are often called, was a remarkable response to an equally remarkable student-initiated anti-Soviet revolution that took place over thirteen days in the autumn of 1956.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (10-31-06)
But it is still a rude culture shock for a generation of older people whose need for a macabre fall festival was traditionally satisfied by Bonfire Night. That holiday is celebrated by building a fire around a homemade effigy of Guy Fawkes, the Catholic perpetrator of the failed plot to blow up Parliament in 1605, and shouting happily as it burns to a crisp. Fireworks are set off, sausages are eaten, and some people toss effigies of unpopular politicians on the fire for good measure.
But Bonfire Night tends not to be celebrated on Nov. 5, the day the plot was discovered, but on the nearest convenient Saturday. And many local bonfires have been canceled because of new safety regulations — requiring guardrails, fire marshals and the like — that are proving prohibitively expensive to meet.
This withering away of homegrown tradition makes people hate Halloween all the more.
SOURCE: NYT (10-29-06)
In 2003, in another 4-to-3 decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court authorized gay marriages, and it invoked the Perez case as a model.
Last week, in a third 4-to-3 decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court stopped just short of endorsing gay marriages. It instructed the State Legislature to provide gay unions with a full complement of legal rights but said that the question of whether to call such unions “marriages” was a political, not judicial, one.
The New Jersey court did not mention the Perez case by name and it said that interracial marriage was not a useful touchstone in thinking about same-sex marriage.
SOURCE: NYT (10-28-06)
But there’s a crucial difference: It is race-torn America; the heroine is mulatto; the book, “The Curse of Caste; or The Slave Bride,” is believed by some scholars to be the first novel ever published by an African-American woman.
Julia C. Collins, a free black woman who lived in Williamsport, Pa., serialized “The Curse of Caste” in 1865 in The Christian Recorder, the newspaper of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. This month it is being published for the first time in book form by Oxford University Press.
But the republication has stirred a dispute between its editors — William L. Andrews, an English professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Mitch Kachun, a history professor at Western Michigan University — and the Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., who says that “The Curse of Caste” is not, as stated on the jacket, the first novel by an African-American woman.
Mr. Gates says that honor belongs to “Our Nig” (1859), by Harriet E. Wilson, which he himself brought to light in 1982.
Moreover, the book jacket of “The Curse of Caste” proclaims that it has been “rediscovered.” Mr. Gates said that he published it in microfiche form in 1989 as part of “The Black Periodical Fiction Project.” At Mr. Gates’s request, Mr. Andrews and Mr. Kachun added a footnote to the book acknowledging this.
(In 2001, Mr. Gates also announced the discovery of “The Bondwoman’s Narrative,” written sometime before the Civil War and said to be by a former slave, Hannah Crafts, though Ms. Crafts’s identity has never been established. The first known novel by any African-American is “Clotel: or, The President’s Daughter,” by William Wells Brown, in 1853.)
The dispute between the scholars centers on competing definitions of what constitutes a novel.
SOURCE: NYT (10-26-06)
The loss of the original, and uncomfortable, pine pews, handmade in 1867 and meticulously etched and painted to look like oak, angers many Mormons, whose religion is strongly defined by its history and its forebears’ hardships.
Kim Farah, a spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, released a two-sentence statement saying some original pews — Ms. Farah would not say how many — would be returned and that others would be replaced with oak copies “to maintain historicity.” “No determination has been made on what will happen to the unused original benches,” the statement said.
Church officials would not give an explanation for the change, Ms. Farah said in an interview.
SOURCE: NYT (10-26-06)
The cause was pneumonia after a long illness, his son, Steven, said.
A survivor of the Warsaw ghetto, Mr. Meed was at his death the president of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, an organization he helped found in 1981. For decades, he was a driving force behind the large-scale reunions of survivors held every few years in Washington.
“Benjamin Meed was the chief organizer and, in the best sense of the term, ward leader of the survivors,” Michael Berenbaum, a Holocaust scholar and the former project director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “He was the one survivor who really had a constituency and could produce thousands, and tens of thousands, of survivors to events, to meetings, to gatherings, to reunions.”
Name of source: AP
Botha died at his home on the southern Cape coast at 8 p.m., according to the South African Press Association. "Botha died at home, peacefully," Capt. Frikkie Lucas was quoted as saying.
The African National Congress issued a statement expressing condolences and wishing his family "strength and comfort at this difficult time."
Nicknamed the "Old Crocodile" for his feared temper and sometimes ruthless manner, Botha served as head of the white racist government from 1978 to 1989.
Throughout his leadership he resisted mounting pressure to free South Africa's most famous political prisoner, Nelson Mandela. Mandela was released by Botha's successor, F.W. de Klerk in 1990.
Just in time to frighten young trick-or-treaters, an 18-foot-high steel sculpture of the Horseman and his gangly patsy was erected Tuesday alongside Route 9, not far from the grave of Washington Irving, author of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."
A cheer rose from a crowd of about 50 as the rust-colored structure was lowered into place. Two small dogs in pumpkin costumes joined the celebration.
These days a bigger issue faces the 175-year-old force that made its name fighting France's overseas battles in jungle and desert. Its key role -- to be a crack professional force available for rapid, no-questions-asked deployment in far-flung conflicts -- has all but evaporated.
In campaigns from Algeria to Vietnam, Madagascar to Mexico, Legionnaires made up the bulk of the combat forces and suffered most of the casualties. Even in Bosnia a decade ago, serving as U.N. peacekeepers for the first time, they made up a significant portion of the French troops there.
But this summer, when Paris contributed a 2,000-strong contingent to the U.N. force in Lebanon, it included only 200 Legion engineers.
Plath, who committed suicide in 1963 at age 30, wrote "Ennui" in 1955 in her senior year at Smith College, said Anna Journey, a graduate student in creative writing at Virginia Commonwealth University. While researching Plath archives at Indiana University, Journey discovered the sonnet had not been published.
The poem will be featured in Blackbird, published online by VCU's English department and New Virginia Review.
SOURCE: AP (10-28-06)
A new biography of the legendary performer suggests that Houdini worked as a spy for Scotland Yard, monitored Russian anarchists and chased counterfeiters for the U.S. Secret Service — all before he was possibly murdered.
"The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero" will be released on Halloween — the anniversary of Houdini's untimely death at age 52. Chasing new information on the elusive superstar eventually led authors William Kalush and Larry Sloman to create a database of more than 700,000 pages.
SOURCE: AP (10-27-06)
The Virginia Freedmen Project plans to digitize more than 200,000 images collected by the Richmond bureau, one of dozens of offices established throughout the South to help former slaves adjust to free life.
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine on Thursday unveiled the project and a state marker near the site where the bureau once stood in downtown Richmond.
"This is the equivalent for African Americans of Ellis Island's records being put up," said Kaine, who was joined by Mayor L. Douglas Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor and a grandson of slaves.
Today, the tidy town built on meatpacking and rodeos is again plagued by gunfighters. But this time they're in street gangs, some of which have second-generation members as young as 11. The drug of choice is methamphetamine and the weapons range from automatic rifles to baseball bats.
"When it was old Dodge City, it was cowboys coming off the range and ending up in Dodge and raising hell and letting things go," said John Ball, Dodge City chief of police. "This is entirely different. There is no comparison.
Cdr. Lionel "Buster" Crabb, a decorated Royal Navy veteran, disappeared while diving near Portsmouth in southern England on April 19, 1956. Navy chiefs said Crabb was presumed dead after failing to return from a dive to test underwater equipment.
The press and public doubted that was the full story. Russian warships were in Portsmouth harbor at the time as part of Khrushchev's goodwill visit. Crew members reported seeing a diver near one of the ships, prompting an official Soviet complaint to the British government.
It was widely assumed that Crabb was inspecting the ship on behalf of the spy agency MI6 when something went wrong.
According to the documents, the navy did not mount a rescue operation for Crabb because the mission was secret and "a search could not be carried out beside the Russian warships."
The Sergeant York Discovery Expedition said that after four years of work, it found the cartridges buried 2 to 4 inches in soil near the village of Chatel-Chehery where York single-handedly took out a nest of German machine guns.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-31-06)
Though the beasts, made in the 1730s, are chipped, suffer from cracks and have a slightly haughty air, Rodney Woolley, Christie's top ceramics expert, has valued them at up to £5 million — £1.5 million above the previous record price for Meissen porcelain.
A combination of the animals' size, quality and rarity made the pair "the Mona Lisa" of the ceramics world, he claimed yesterday.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-27-06)
A soldier who survived the Charge of the Light Brigade but died in poverty to be buried in a pauper's grave was honoured yesterday in a -ceremony attended by his modern-day Army regiment.
Thomas Warr was with the 11th Hussars when he was one of the noble 600 who charged the Russian guns in Crimea in 1854.
He remained in the Army for a further six years before returning to his home town, Dorchester, where he died in 1916, aged 87. He was given a full military funeral and people lined the streets, but he was buried in an unmarked grave.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-27-06)
It said yesterday that it wanted to reveal the often untold "sad" history of great estates and houses whose wealth may have been built on slave labour in former British colonies.
Maria Adebowale, an English Heritage commissioner, said the histories of many dynasties had been written for a white, middle-class audience. She said the organisation had a responsibility to cater for a multi-cultural audience and to reveal the true contribution of black people to the nation's heritage.
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (10-29-06)
But surveying the midterm elections last week, McGovern, 84, said he sees an opportunity for an anti-war campaign in the 2008 presidential race. "I would love to be running again if I were 25 years younger," he said in an interview from his Montana home. "I think I would win."
On the eve of the midterms, dismay over the Iraq war has propelled the Democrats to a political status they have not enjoyed since before McGovern: For the first time in decades, polls show that the public trusts Democrats as much as Republicans to handle foreign affairs.
But as they look ahead, Democrats are torn between two visions of their history. Some potential candidates in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries and many liberal activists argue that the Republican responsibility for the Iraq war has freed the Democrats from McGovern's legacy. They say the 2006 elections will provide a mandate for a new anti-war argument: Troops can be pulled from Iraq to shore up U.S. security elsewhere.
Other strategists and political scientists argue that the Iraq war has given the Democrats a different opportunity to lay to rest their McGovernite image, in part by rejecting calls for a quick withdrawal in Iraq.
"All voters are doing is giving Democrats a chance, and we better not blow it," said Gary Hart, the former senator and presidential candidate.
A younger McGovern could probably win the Democratic primary, Hart said, but he would still lose the general election: "Just running on a platform of 'Get us out of Iraq' is not going to solve the Democrats' problem on the issue of national security."
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (10-31-06)
About to be auctioned is the gallows that was built to hang anarchist labor organizers convicted in the Haymarket Affair in the late 19th century. It continued to be used for decades to hang some of Chicago's most infamous criminals.
Since 1977 the gallows has stood in a Wild West theme park run by two history-buff brothers in small-town Union, Ill. Before that it had languished, disassembled, in the basement of Cook County Jail in Chicago.
The gallows would have been destroyed after Cook County discontinued hanging in 1927 if it were not for a fugitive named"Terrible Tommy" O'Connor, who escaped from death row in 1921, four days before his scheduled execution for killing a Chicago policeman. The gallows was preserved so O'Connor's sentence, which specified that he be hanged, could be carried out should he ever resurface. Theories held that O'Connor returned to his native Ireland to fight the British, fled to Mexico or became a Trappist monk. His tale is the basis of the films"The Front Page,""His Girl Friday" and"Switching Channels."
SOURCE: WaPo (10-27-06)
As part of his own version of a good neighbor policy, President Bush signed into law yesterday the "Secure Fence Act of 2006." It authorizes construction of 700 miles of new walls along parts of the 1,951-mile-long border from San Ysidro, Calif., to Brownsville, Tex. The Secure Fence Act does not include funding for the project, the cost of which is estimated to be at least $6 billion.
Yet humans quite clearly do love walls.
Starting 2,200 years ago, Chinese dynasties built walls to keep the Mongols at bay. The most famous of these is the Great Wall, which is twice as long as the U.S.-Mexico border. It did not prevent the Manchu from conquering China in 1644.
The Romans built Hadrian's Wall across 74 miles of what is now northern England to keep the tribes from Scotland in their place. This did not prevent the Romans from eventually abandoning this outpost of empire.
The Berlin Wall was a shock because it was intended to keep people in . To this day, hefting chunks of it can feel spooky. Maybe it's all in the imagination, but those shards of pebble and concrete still seem to give off a palpable chill of evil.
However, history tells us that walls usually work the other way.
After World War I, the French built the Maginot Line to slow down the Germans. The Germans invested in high mobility. When they moved, they drove and flew around and over this wall. They were well into France in five days.
During World War II, to defeat an Allied invasion, the Nazis built the Atlantic Wall along the west coast of Europe from the French-Spanish border to Norway. It included 6 million mines in northern France, concrete pillboxes, machine guns, antitank guns, light artillery and underwater obstacles. Devotees of "Saving Private Ryan" know how that movie ends....
SOURCE: WaPo (10-26-06)
And perhaps nowhere are the aftershocks and viewpoints as evident as in Richmond, where a new museum is attempting to tell the history of the war from three angles. That would be: the Union, the African American and the Confederate.
The American Civil War Center, which opens today, argues that each of the three had distinct ideas about freedom -- and few would challenge that. Its inaugural 10,000-square-foot exhibition, "In the Cause of Liberty," suggests that in this complicated story there were more lines crossed than the military ones. Each side was passionate. Each found justification for its goals in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Each suffered many casualties.
"There are three big ideas -- the War for Home, the War for Union and the War for Freedom. Some of these concepts bumped into one another, creating more tensions. What we are trying to do is model a discussion, rather than shouting about the points of view," says H. Alexander Wise Jr., the museum president who is a former state historical preservation officer for Virginia and the descendant of a Confederate general. The museum is run by a private foundation based in Richmond.
The reaction of African Americans to the concepts ranges from outrage to open-mindedness.
"This is ridiculous. Number one, it puts villains on the same plane as American heroes, Lincoln and Douglass," says Raymond Boone, former editor of the Richmond Afro-American newspaper. "When you start celebrating the Confederacy, you are talking about terrorists. It is normal to celebrate a just cause. It is abnormal to celebrate a losing and unjust cause."
John Fleming, the vice president for museums of the Cincinnati Museum Center and the president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, was recruited as an adviser. He praises the center for putting the African American story on center stage and says he learned a lot about the Confederacy. "I never came to agree with their goals for war because their goals would have kept black people in slavery. I came to understand why they fought for home and liberty, as they understood it. That was a big jump on my part," he says.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (10-29-06)
Monks in flowing orange robes chanted hymns from scriptures as the remains were lowered into a shallow pit on top of a 90-ft (27 metres) high stone dome, as part of celebrations to mark the 2250th anniversary of the spiritual leader's enlightenment.
Organisers of the ceremony said this was the first time in around 2,000 years that Buddha's mortal remains were being enshrined.
"The relics now kept in this magnificent pagoda came from an ancient dome discovered during an archaeological expedition in south India in early-1900s," Acharya S.N. Goenka told reporters.
SOURCE: Reuters (10-30-06)
This month, a crew of 13 heads out to sea each day, hoping for clear-enough weather to dive the 20 to 25 feet (6 to 7.5 metres) to the ocean bottom to excavate what they believe is Blackbeard's ship.
The team has found cannons, a bell, lead shot of all sizes, gold dust, pewter cups and medical devices, like a urethral syringe used to treat syphilis with mercury.
SOURCE: Reuters (10-27-06)
Lopez testified in the case against former police commissioner Miguel Etchecolatz, who was sentenced to life in prison in September for crimes committed during Argentina's 1976-1983 "dirty war."
His disappearance has stirred up memories of the dictatorship, leading to fears for other witnesses' safety, and the nationwide search for the 77-year-old mason has degenerated into political finger-pointing.
SOURCE: Reuters (10-27-06)
Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet for crimes related to a secret detention
center used in the years following his 1973 coup.
Judge Alejandro Solis ordered the arrest of Pinochet for 36 cases of
kidnapping, one of homicide and for 23 cases of torture at the Villa
Grimaldi, a political detention center run by Pinochet's secret police
where thousands of people were tortured between 1974 and 1977.
"I am not going to give any details until Monday, when he will be
judicially notified," he said outside the court house.
SOURCE: Reuters (10-26-06)
The 13 footprints found in Cuatro Cienegas in the northern state of Coahuila are fossilized in stone less than an inch (2 cm) deep and are around the age of the oldest known footprints in North or South America.
"We believe they could be between 10,000 and 15,000 years old," said archeologist Yuri de la Rosa."The research we have done on Cuatro Cienegas shows the presence of hunters and gatherers in the Coahuila desert beginning 10,000 years ago."
Name of source: CBS Evening News
SOURCE: CBS Evening News (10-30-06)
As CBS News correspondent Jerry Bowen reports, 40 years ago Monday, Reagan was elected governor of California.
"When Ronald Reagan was elected governor, he blew everybody's expectations of him losing out of the water," says historian Douglas Brinkley, a CBS News consultant.
Brinkley is writing a book based on Reagan's presidential diaries.
"That this Hollywood actor could ... win the biggest state in the country and use that as the springboard for the conservative movement has become the stuff of political lore," Brinkley says.
Name of source: NEH (July/Aug. 2006)
SOURCE: NEH (July/Aug. 2006) (10-30-06)
The locations--Uruk and Ur--that gave birth to these treasures are in peril. The cradle of civilization lies largely unguarded. The winds of war, progress, and time threaten to erase the sites and the knowledge they hold, leaving only traces and tales.
To prevent this loss is the mission of the World Monument Fund's two-year project to catalog the cultural resources of Iraq. The ambitious undertaking is under the direction of Gaetano Palumbo, director of Archaeological Conservation for WMF Europe. In cooperation with the Getty Conservation Institute and in coordination with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Palumbo is developing a program with Iraq's State Board of Antiquities and Heritage to collect information about the country's cultural resources in order to document and assess the status of archaeological sites and historic urban centers.
Name of source: From an excerpt from Out of Iraq, by George McGovern and William Polk
SOURCE: From an excerpt from Out of Iraq, by George McGovern and William Polk (10-30-06)
Name of source: LAT
SOURCE: LAT (10-26-06)
What is old — and odd — is new again, and quickly creeping into American homes. Black crystal chandeliers, old-fashioned patterned wallpaper and fabric, heavily carved and tufted furniture and an explosion of antlers and other animal parts have brought an eerie elegance home. Take the recent ad campaign for furniture maker Maurice Villency, which flanked its sofa with two taxidermy peacocks.
In L.A., the New Victorian look — modern updates of oddball antiques, vintage scientific equipment and specimens suitable for a natural history museum — is its own décor genre.
Name of source: MSNBC
SOURCE: MSNBC (10-30-06)
But back in 1470 B.C., this was the agenda for one of ancient Egypt's most raucous rituals, the "festival of drunkenness," which celebrated nothing less than the salvation of humanity. Archaeologists say they have found evidence amid the ruins of a temple in Luxor that the annual rite featured sex, drugs and the ancient equivalent of rock 'n' roll.
Name of source: Times Online (UK)
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (10-30-06)
Smith, who died in 1790, having lived out his days as a quiet Customs official with his mother, will become the first Scotsman to appear on a Bank of England note when he replaces Edward Elgar next spring.
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (10-28-06)
His exhibition of photographs of the Great Wall at the Beijing Capital Museum in January, titled Great Wall Revisited, will show the changes wrought in the past century by Man and Nature.
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (10-27-06)
The two-storey structure, which features erotic frescoes that leave little to the imagination, is expected to become one of the ancient city’s top draws. Officials who unveiled it yesterday emphasised that the year-long restoration had been carried out in the interests of archaeology — and to save the frescoes — rather than prurience. The brothel was named the Lupanare — from lupa (she-wolf), the colloquial Latin term for a prostitute. Prices were posted outside the building, which had three entrances, and the frescoes depict the sexual services on offer.
The Lupanare boasted ten rooms, five on each floor, with the upper floor (which had a balcony) reserved for more important and wealthier clients. Sexual activity took place on stone beds, which would have been covered by mattresses.
Like other parts of pleasure-loving Pompeii, the brothel was overwhelmed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which buried the city in a 6m (19½ft) layer of volcanish ash in AD79. The ash preserved the city as a time capsule until the 18th century, when the first excavations began to bring to light well- preserved houses, shops, frescoes and skeletons of people caught as they tried to flee.
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (10-25-06)
Riccardo Pacifici, the deputy head of the Jewish community association in Rome, said that flats in the ghetto area were being snapped up at low prices by figures from show business, politics and finance. “The effect is that our poorest elderly Jewish residents are being expelled from places they have lived all their lives,” he said.
The former Jewish ghetto on the banks of the Tiber in central Rome dates from 1555, during the Inquisition, when Pope Paul IV decreed that all Jews must live in a confined area. It was abolished after the unification of Italy in 1870. But many Italian Jews chose to remain in the area. Today the quarter is noted for its kosher butchers and bakers, its Jewish school and its restaurants, which serve delicacies such as fried cod (baccalà) and fried artichokes (carciofi alla giudia). The ghetto remains a picturesque area of cobbled alleyways.
As property prices in the Italian capital soar, the ghetto has become “gentrified”. Prominent residents include Lucia Annunziata, the former head of Rai, the Italian state broadcasting network, the actor Luca Barbareschi and the TV variety show presenter Mara Venier.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (10-27-06)
The Deutsche Oper in the German capital said the production of Idomeneo will be staged after it received a new security assessment from the police.
Four performances of the opera were dropped in September after the risks of staging it were deemed "incalculable".
The decision, taken in the wake of the Danish Muhammad cartoons row, sparked a debate about free speech in Germany.
German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble called the decision crazy and Chancellor Angela Merkel warned against "self-censorship out of fear".
SOURCE: BBC (10-26-06)
For the most part, the names that have disappeared have been those of white Afrikaners, many of them prominent during the days of apartheid.
OR Tambo International is South Africa's busiest airport, handling 16 million passengers a year.
It started life in the 1950s as Jan Smuts Airport, in honour of the country's war-time prime minister.
During the decades of racial segregation, all the airports in South Africa were named after Afrikaner leaders.
However, with the advent of democracy in 1994, those names were removed, and as part of the compromise, the airports became known by their respective towns or cities.
The decision to rename Johannesburg Airport again is arguably the most important change to date.
Name of source: Monterey Herald
SOURCE: Monterey Herald (10-27-06)
Albert and other city officials gathered at the site of Dennis the Menace Park on Friday to issue the announcement. Park workers discovered that the statue, which is valued at up to $30,000, was missing Thursday morning.
Name of source: Yale Daily
SOURCE: Yale Daily (10-30-06)
James Campbell, chair of the Brown University Committee on Slavery and Justice said Brown felt it was important to confront candidly the issue of its involvement with slavery. Brown University President Ruth Simmons, who appointed the committee, is the first African-American to lead an Ivy League institution. Campbell said the conversations that students have had on this issue have been far richer than the committee could have hoped.
"We used this as an occasion to not only to teach our students about the history of the institution but also to model for them how it was possible to confront very awkward, controversial questions in reasoned, civil and academically rigorous ways," he said.
In its report, the Brown committee recommended that the university formally acknowledge the participation of many of its founders and benefactors in the institution of slavery, create a slave trade memorial, write a new history book that includes references to slavery and incorporate a discussion of the university's relationship to slavery in freshman orientation.
Several students said they thought if Yale looked into its historical relationship with slavery, it would show the evolution of the University from a more conservative to a more liberal institution. They said if Yale does not come forth and investigate its past, students will have no other means of finding out exactly what happened.
"I think it is the responsibility of the University to open this discourse and make this information available to students," Danielle Lespinasse '07 said.
Yale's eight-year-old Gilder Lehrman Center, which is part of the MacMillan Center for International Studies, focuses most of its research on the international development of slavery in the modern world rather than on American slavery. Assistant Director Dana Schaffer said while the center has studied American slavery, its research projects are often dependent on its fellows' interests, which have spanned nations and time periods.
Aside from the actions of the center, Associate Director Robert Forbes said that there has not been a University-wide commitment to the issue comparable to the Brown initiative.
"Yale as an institution could have applied its extraordinary resources to accomplish more and take a greater leadership role in mobilizing more resources than were available through the GLC," Forbes said. "It could have made this a bigger story than it ultimately did."
Chris Rabb '92, co-founder of the Yale Black Alumni Network, said the administration has not taken leadership in substantively addressing this issue, since Yale has benefited from the money generated from the slave trade, played a historic role in the aftermath of the Amistad revolt and is located in New Haven, a city with a large impoverished black community.
"I think the silence is deafening as a black alum of a predominantly white institution," he said. "It heightens my long-standing suspicion of the extent to which the University is sensitive to its various constituencies."
The Law School's 2002 conference was organized in response to a 2001 report written by three Yale doctoral students. The report, entitled "Yale, Slavery, and Abolition," alleged that nine of Yale's 12 residential colleges are named after slave owners or prominent defenders of slavery. While the academic merits of the report were disputed - some critics said the report, which was funded by GESO and Locals 34 and 35, lacked historical context and was meant simply to embarrass Yale - the controversy it generated was enough to draw a response from the University.
But Owen Williams LAW '07, who attended the conference, said despite the fact that one of the workshops was entitled "The Edwards Tradition and Post-Revolutionary Yale," the only mention of Yale's relationship to slavery came during one of the workshop's question and answer sessions.
"That conference was a way of appearing to respond to the Yale and slavery report, without in fact responding," Williams said.
While administrators intended the conference to be the beginning of Yale's response to its historical involvement with slavery, Forbes said, he thinks it was the end of it.
But given that the University's long history reaches back to a period where slavery was prevalent in society, Yale President Richard Levin said, the University's historical ties to slavery are inevitable.
"American history is full of embarrassments," Levin said. "We know today that slavery was very widespread in the North as well as the South, at least prior to the Revolutionary War. There are a number of early leaders of this institution who were slave owners. It's simply a fact of history."
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor Gerald Horne, who wrote the foreword to the 2001 graduate student report, said the fact that many institutions have historical ties to slavery does not excuse Yale from investigating the depth of its relationship to slavery.
"This country has a bloodstained history and I don't think it's sufficient to say that everybody is doing it, so nobody has to do anything," Horne said.
While Forbes said he believes Yale could have done more after the 2001 graduate student report was released to build discussion on the issue, he said he understands the cautious stance the University took.
"I'm also a realist in recognizing that this university is a multibillion dollar corporation that operates with extreme caution and conservatism," Forbes said. "It's a challenging environment to negotiate the abstract values of academic inquiry."
The 2001 report also caused controversy among students. After the release of the report, which alleged that Timothy Dwight trained more pro-slavery clergymen than any other educator in the nation during his tenure as Yale president, Dwight Hall coordinators considered changing the name of their organization. Although Dwight Hall retained its name in the end, students installed a plaque that acknowledged Dwight's pro-slavery practices while maintaining the organization's mission of social justice.
"With this plaque, Dwight Hall at Yale renounces the pro-slavery thought and actions of Timothy Dwight, while reaffirming our predecessors' work on behalf of justice and equality," reads the plaque, which is displayed inside Dwight Hall. "We maintain the name Dwight Hall to ensure the ideological continuity of this work in the minds of Yale students and New Haven residents, who associate Dwight Hall with the ideals of public service and social justice."
Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center David Blight said that having the University create an unbiased committee of people from different backgrounds, disciplines and fields to address Yale's connection to slavery, antislavery and race relations could "do useful good for the campus." But he said unlike the 2001 graduate student report, the committee and its research should be conducted in a broad and open process.
"You don't want to do things just to expose a piece of the past, just try to embarrass people," Blight said. "You want to do it for good, sound educational reasons."
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (10-27-06)
The latest payments, totalling $417.8m (£220m), were made yesterday to governments and oil companies for losses and damages stemming from the Kuwaiti occupation, bringing the total paid out to more than $21bn (£11bn). The total claims that have been approved run to $52bn (£27.5bn) and will take many more years to complete.
The transfers by the Geneva-based Compensation Commission are not the only hangover from the Saddam era to be funded by Iraqi oil revenues. The UN weapons inspectors, now known as UNMOVIC, have never been wound up by the Security Council and still have $114m in their coffers - despite $200m having been shifted from their escrow account in June last year into the Iraq development fund. That was only months after $9bn went missing from the development fund.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (10-27-06)
The exhibition, "11,000 Jewish children - with the Reichsbahn to death", was conceived by the German Nazi-hunter Beate Klarsfeld. It has already been shown at railway stations through France where its display of identity cards and other items belonging to child Holocaust victims received wide acclaim.
But plans to mount the exhibition at railway stations in Germany next year to coincide with the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp have been rejected by Hartmut Mehdorn, chief executive of Deutsche Bahn, the successor organisation to the Reichsbahn rail company. He is said to have cited "technical, organisational and financial reasons" for his refusal, despite the government's insistence that the exhibition must be shown at German railway stations.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (10-25-06)
The 7ft bronze monument, showing the Admiralbestriding the globe, rolled map in one hand, shading his eyes with the other, will stand upon a granite pedestal facing Cuba's ancient palace of Duke Fernando of Beja, of whom, so the theory goes, Cristovao Colom was the illegitimate son.
The ceremony, to be attended by Portugal's Culture Minister, Isabel Pires de Lima, will strengthen the arguments of Portuguese historians that the voyager who first set foot in the Americas was neither Genoese, as is generally thought, nor Catalan - as a counter lobby insists - but Portuguese, of mixed noble and Jewish blood.
The mystery of why Columbus apparently covered up his Portuguese roots - even though he spoke the language fluently - is explained by the possibility that he was secretly working as a double agent for the Portuguese King Joao II, while accepting riches to fund his transatlantic voyages of discovery from Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain - Portugal's bitterest rivals in the conquest of America.
Name of source: UPI
SOURCE: UPI (10-27-06)
China's Administration of Cultural Heritage and its Bureau of Surveying and Mapping are organizing a scientific survey to discover everything they can about the Great Wall, the Xinhua state news agency reports.
Name of source: monstersandcritics.com
SOURCE: monstersandcritics.com (10-29-06)
However it is called, it divided the West, pitting Britain and France against the United States, and for a moment imperilled the 'special relationship' between London and Washington forged during World War II by Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.
It began at 4.59 p.m. on October 29, 1956 when the red light above the door of Israeli transport aircraft changed to green and 395 paratroopers from Israel's 202 paratroop brigade, led by a young officer named Ariel Sharon, dropped on the Mitla Pass in the western Sinai.
Around the same time, Israeli armoured columns began thrusting into the Egyptian-controlled Gaza Strip and into the peninsula.
Britain and France immediately offered to separate the warring Israelis and Egyptians by reoccupying the area.
Name of source: Media Matters
SOURCE: Media Matters (10-27-06)
Name of source: Inside Higher Ed
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (10-27-06)
Williams College is in the process of changing such a requirement — with far more civility than characterized many of those ’80s discussions. In the process, faculty members have managed to be quite critical of the old requirement — while coming up with a new way to require study of a broad range of groups.
The old system at Williams was pretty basic. Students had to take a course about a minority group or a non-Western group. Anything that met that basic criterion could count, and got a “people and cultures” asterisk. “It was a good idea. It grew from nice liberal white guilt,” but it stopped being effective some time ago, according to Christopher Waters, a history professor who is overseeing the new system. The requirement was so vague that it didn’t have any real meaning, he said. Further, the idea that students needed to study a non-white group to represent difference doesn’t make sense when the college has attracted a much larger share of non-white Americans and of international students.
“This requirement was seen as a joke,” Waters said. “We were sticking things with the asteriskwithout a solid intellectual justification. I think a lot of our international students wondered what on earth this was about, and many of our non-white students viewed it as tokenism. Why would our minority students need to take such a course?” (A series of articles and editorials in The Williams Record, the student newspaper, reflect widespread student frustration with the requirement — regardless of students’ ethnicity or politics.)
So after a year of deliberation, the Williams faculty voted to do away with all the asterisk designations and to instead require that the diversity requirement be about more than some “other” group. ...
Name of source: Newsweek
SOURCE: Newsweek (10-27-06)
Who was this "close European ally"? That's classified, says the CIA. According to a footnote in Drumheller's book: "The nationality of the visiting delegation in this chapter and other details of what the author witnessed of that event have been masked under CIA secrecy requirements." But two former intel officials tell NEWSWEEK the foreign delegation was British, led by spy chief Richard Dearlove and David Manning, the national-security adviser.
SOURCE: Newsweek (10-30-06)
The phenomenon was first widely noted in 1982, when Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley lost a squeaker of a race for governor after being widely projected as the winner. Douglas Wilder also came up against the "Bradley Effect" when he barely won the 1989 contest for governor of Virginia, after leading comfortably in the polls.
Ronald Walters of the University of Maryland was at Wilder's hotel as a projected easy victory turned into a nail-biter. That is a night "I'll never forget," says Walters, who thinks it "naive" to believe that things have changed very much. He believes that some percentage of whites—perhaps 5 percent or so, intent on being seen as less biased than they may be—will claim to support a nonwhite candidate when they actually do not.
Other political observers think the effect may have diminished over time. "We may be seeing the turning of this," says Ed Sarpolus, vice president of EPIC-MRA, a Michigan-based polling firm.
Name of source: Times
SOURCE: Times (10-27-06)
Oded Ben-Hur, the Israeli Ambassador to the Holy See, said: “I am asking the Vatican to block the beatification process for Pius XII.” He added that the process should be halted until archives relating to the Second World War were opened to scholars.
Pius XII, formerly the papal nuncio to Germany and later Pius XI’s Secretary of State as Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, is accused of turning a blind eye to the Holocaust and remaining silent about Nazi anti-Semitism. Mr Ben-Hur was speaking at the launch of The Holy See and the Jewish Question, a study by the Italian historian Alessandro Duce. He said that even those close to Pius XII were critical of his failure to condemn Nazi atrocities.
Vatican officials said that the Pope had sought to save Jews in Rome through quiet diplomacy, fearing that public attacks on Hitler would make matters worse. Scholars said Vatican archives from the period of Pius XI showed that as a diplomat the future Pius XII was often indecisive.