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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: Inside Higher Ed
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (10-16-06)
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Ed
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Ed (10-16-06)
"This case is about the ability of historically black colleges and universities to attract students of all races, to ensure that the programs that they offer are distinguished and not duplicated" at nearby institutions that are traditionally white, said David J. Burton, president of the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education Inc., which filed the suit.
According to Mr. Burton, Maryland has violated numerous laws and agreements, including a stipulation that the state would not duplicate a program at another university if it was within 35 miles of a historically black institution with a similar program.
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (10-16-06)
The answer, it appears, is on a piece of paper locked away in the House clerk's office.
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Which sitting president was arrested for trampling a woman with his horse?
James K. Polk
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In a little-noticed action taken nearly four years ago, the House amended its rules dealing with the "continuity of Congress" in emergencies and the succession of speakers. The rule, cited recently in Roll Call, directs the speaker to "deliver to the Clerk a list of Members in the order in which each shall act as Speaker pro tempore . . . in the case of a vacancy in the office of Speaker."
Normally, "speaker pro tempore" is the title given for a few hours at a time to various members of the majority who preside over House sessions. But the rules revision made in January 2003, in response to worries about terrorist strikes that could wipe out large numbers of elected officials, appears to bestow upon a newly named replacement all the powers enjoyed by a full-time speaker elected by his peers.
That would include standing behind only the vice president in the line of presidential succession, said Sally Collins, spokeswoman for House administrators. But other House officials said it is extremely unlikely that a speaker pro tempore could assume the presidency before Congress would reconvene and elect a new speaker.
One thing is certain: The identity of the speaker-in-waiting is a closely held secret. Hastert's office declined to discuss the matter, citing security concerns, and the clerk's office confirmed only that Hastert's list is not made public.
Name of source: Christian Science Monitor
SOURCE: Christian Science Monitor (10-17-06)
Schoolchildren may learn about a daring hero who proved the Earth wasn't flat, but because his biography is pocked with holes, Christopher Columbus is a figure around whom elaborate theories and enigmatic rumors have long circulated. This year, the 500th anniversary of his death, two Spanish scholars are working to clear up some of the mysteries.
José Antonio Lorente, a geneticist at the University of Granada, is attempting to resolve one of the greatest enigmas - the question of Columbus's origins. In 1927, Peruvian historian Luis Ulloa Cisneros claimed Columbus was from Catalonia - in what is today northwestern Spain - rather than from the Italian port city of Genoa.
Since then, theories have proliferated, some suggesting that Columbus was a Catalan nobleman who rebelled against King Ferdinand's father, King John II, by engaging in piracy on behalf of the French, and then hid his origins to win favor with the son. Others maintain that he was the illegitimate child of Prince Carlos de Viana, a Majorcan nobleman related to Ferdinand and Isabella. Still others suggest that Columbus was a Jew, whose family fled to Genoa to escape persecution.
A historian at the University of Seville asked Mr. Lorente (who had previously used genetic testing to determine that bones in the Cathedral of Seville belonged to Columbus's own illegitimate son), to help resolve the Catalan/Genovese issue.
Name of source: Scientific American
SOURCE: Scientific American (10-13-06)
An individual's genes are a link to the past that stretches across any break in family name or birthplace through the generations. But not all genes are equally useful in tracing ancestries. The genes present on chromosomes are mixed extensively in every generation, making them a crude guide. In contrast, mitochondrial DNA is passed down from mother to child relatively unchanged, offering an individual the chance of identifying a distinct modern population, such as an ethnic group, having the same ancestors. Such reconstructions may still be imprecise, however, because mitochondrial sequences originating in one ethnic group can easily leak to others as women migrate.
Nevertheless, Bert Ely of the University of South Carolina wanted to see if he could use mitochondrial DNA sequences to trace the African roots of black Americans, as some companies have begun offering. ...
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (10-16-06)
Their 10 panels depict scenes from the Old Testament, intricately illustrated in high and low relief. When the three-ton, 20-foot-tall doors were completed, in 1452, Michelangelo pronounced them grand enough to adorn the entrance to paradise, and so they became known as “The Gates of Paradise.” They have for centuries been considered one of the masterpieces of Western art.
The American Community Survey, released this month by the Census Bureau, found that 49.7 percent, or 55.2 million, of the nation’s 111.1 million households in 2005 were made up of married couples — with and without children — just shy of a majority and down from more than 52 percent five years earlier.
SOURCE: NYT (10-14-06)
In a telephone interview broadcast live on the private television network NTV, Mr. Pamuk, who faced criminal charges for his statements acknowledging the massacre, said France had acted against its own fundamental principles of freedom of expression.
“The French tradition of critical thinking influenced and taught me a lot,” he said. “This decision, however, is a prohibition and didn’t suit the libertarian nature of the French tradition.” The legislation was approved by the lower house of Parliament, but it is uncertain whether the upper house will concur.
The cause was kidney failure, said her daughter, Phoebe Bennett.
As a result of Mrs. Bennett’s idea, an international team of scientists embarked on a genetic study of Jefferson and Hemings descendants. Their findings, published in the journal Nature in 1998, indicated that a male of the Jefferson family, most likely Thomas, fathered at least one of Hemings’s children.
The cause was a vascular illness that led Mr. Studds to collapse while walking his dog on Oct. 3 in Boston. He was 69.
From 1973 to 1997, Mr. Studds (whose first name was pronounced GAIR-ee) represented the Massachusetts district where he grew up, covering Cape Cod and the barnacled old fishing towns near the coast. He was the first Democrat to win the district in 50 years, and over the course of 12 terms, he sponsored several laws that helped protect local fisheries and create national parks along the Massachusetts shore.
The rest is political history. By winning over millions of white working-class Democrats, Mr. Reagan cut that gap in half and ushered in 26 years of Republican dominance at the voting booth.
Now, on the eve of the midterm elections, surveys show mounting impatience with both the war in Iraq and Republican rule. Some political analysts — including Mr. Wirthlin — say they see a chance for a potential Democratic comeback, an opportunity for another historic realignment of the political parties.
SOURCE: NYT (10-13-06)
Announcing the award in Stockholm, the Swedish Academy said Mr. Pamuk’s “quest for the melancholic soul of his native city,” Istanbul, led him to discover “new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures.”
Mr. Pamuk, 54, is Turkey’s best-known and best-selling novelist but also a divisive figure in a nation being pulled in many directions at once. A champion of freedom of speech at a time when insulting Turkish identity is a criminal offense, he has run afoul of Islamists who resent his Western secularism and of Turkish nationalists who object to his unflinching, sometimes unflattering portrayal of their country.
The Swedish Academy never offers nonliterary reasons for its choices and presents itself as uninfluenced by politics. But last year’s winner, the British playwright Harold Pinter, is a prominent critic of the British and American governments, and there were political implications again in the choice of Mr. Pamuk....
Nationalist Turks have not forgiven Mr. Pamuk for an interview with a Swiss magazine in 2005 in which he denounced the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in World War I and the killing of Kurds by Turkey in the 1980’s. The remarks were deemed anti-Turkish, and a group of nationalists initiated a criminal case against him. The charges were dropped on a technicality in January. Accepting a literary award in Germany in 2005, Mr. Pamuk said: “The fueling of anti-Turkish sentiment in Europe is resulting in an anti-European, indiscriminate nationalism in Turkey.”
SOURCE: NYT (10-12-06)
The leaders of the Peronist movement and the labor unions affiliated with it have announced two days of ceremonies to transfer the general’s remains, ending Oct. 17, the anniversary of the populist uprising that carried him to power in 1945. Some have even threatened to defy the court should they be stymied there, where the struggle now rages.
In 2004, Peronist leaders began building the $1.3 million mausoleum for their leader at San Vicente, a 47-acre retreat in suburban Buenos Aires Province that the general and his second wife, Evita, acquired in 1946. A museum honoring the couple now occupies the property, which Perón always said was the site of some of his happiest memories.
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (10-16-06)
The first schools-specific use of the Hollywood director's 10-year project to record the testimonies of Holocaust survivors is being launched at Pimlico School in south London today - 60 years after the first Nazi war criminals were hanged.
Through the Recollections DVD programme, students can learn about the Holocaust by engaging with survivor testimony through interactive technology.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (10-12-06)
Indigènes tells the largely concealed story of the 300,000 Arab and north African soldiers who helped to liberate France in 1944.
In one respect, the film has already succeeded where years of complaints have failed. Last week, just before it reached the cinema, the French government was shamed into paying belated full pensions to 80,000 surviving ex-colonial soldiers who, since 1959, have been paid a fraction of what French veterans receive.
The movie has more ambitious, political aims. Its director, Rachid Bouchareb, and its co-producer, Jamel Debbouze, hope that it will be an important turning point in race relations in France. It is a big hope.
Name of source: Newsday
SOURCE: Newsday (10-15-06)
The three bombs, thought to be American-made, were dropped in an Allied bombing raid in October 1943, and were located with the help of aerial photos.
Two were buried in an open area, while the third was close to a house. All were embedded at depths up to 21 feet.
Fire service spokesman Alfred Falkenberg said one of the bombs had smashed on impact and was harmless. The other two were defused successfully.
Name of source: Toronto Star
SOURCE: Toronto Star (10-15-06)
In fact, only now, 17 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, is the truth about what happened and why coming into clear focus.
"Since 1990, scholars have found a lot of new material on the revolution," says Géza Jeszenszky, a history professor at Corvinus University in Budapest and Hungary's former ambassador to the U.S., who was recently in Toronto.
"Apart from the opening of the Hungarian archives (particularly the secret files of the Communist Party and the Ministry of the Interior), part of the Soviet records pertaining to the intervention have become available, and much of the American documents, including the activities of the CIA and Radio Free Europe."
Name of source: Drake Bennett in the Boston Globe
SOURCE: Drake Bennett in the Boston Globe (10-15-06)
But history shows that civil liberties haven’t always inspired profound political indifference—do they have to today?
Throughout American history, those in power have shown that they are willing to make serious compromises on civil liberties when they feel national security is at stake. From the Alien and Sedition Acts signed by John Adams, to Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War, to the Red Scare following World War I, to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and Cold War McCarthyism, the right to free speech and a fair trial have been anything but sacred.
‘‘The historical pattern is extremely clear, it does not require some microscopic assessment,’’ argues the historian Joseph Ellis, a professor at Mount Holyoke College. ‘‘And if you look up any of those incidents in a standard college history textbook they will all be described as embarrassments, as regretted moments.’’
It’s also true, however, that the popular reaction to these incidents has been far from uniform.
For example, the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, passed by the ruling Federalist Party in the face of the looming threat of war with Napoleon’s France, were enormously unpopular at the time, and historians generally agree that they were a significant political blunder. The laws helped propel Thomas Jefferson, leader of the opposition Republican Party, to the presidency in 1800, and John Adams would later claim that signing them was the biggest mistake of his life.
Similarly, one of the greatest controversies of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency was his refusal to overturn the conviction of Clement Vallandigham, an antiwar Democrat who had been convicted by a military commission in Ohio of having declared sympathy for the Confederacy and making ‘‘disloyal sentiments and opinions.’’ Lincoln’s personal secretaries, John Nicolay and John Hay, wrote that no other act of Lincoln’s ‘‘was so strongly criticized’’ or created ‘‘so deep and so wide-spread’’ an outcry of opposition. Even Republican newspapers normally loyal to Lincoln chastised him for his disloyalty to the Constitution.
On the other hand, limits on civil liberties that have focused primarily on immigrants and noncitizens have tended to run into less opposition. In the Red Scare that followed on the heels of World War I, citizens were prosecuted for seditious activities, but the bulk of the arrests were of aliens, 3,000 of whom were deported on the orders of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer. As Geoffrey Stone, a University of Chicago law professor, writes in ‘‘Perilous Times,’’ his 2004 history of free speech in wartime, the so-called ‘‘Palmer Raids’’ were hugely popular.
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (10-12-06)
This becomes all the more apparent after a visit to the new Mount Vernon museum and visitors' orientation center, which opens Oct. 27 at the first president's 18th-century estate in the Virginia countryside south of the national capital named for him. It's the first major expansion of Mount Vernon in more than 140 years.
Now, thanks to the latest techniques in forensic reconstructions, visitors can see what Washington actually looked like: a flesh-and-blood man — tall, vigorous, good-looking and, dare we say, sexy. Who knew?
SOURCE: USA Today (10-13-06)
Historians who have studied just a fraction of the 30,000 files that were opened last month say the material also strengthens views that the future wartime pontiff, Pius XII, was a sometimes indecisive diplomat.
The files span the 1922-39 pontificate of Pius XI, which ended less than seven months before the outbreak of World War II. His successor, Pius XII, was the Vatican's top diplomat in the years before the conflict in his role as Secretary of State Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli.
Pius XI apparently kept no diary during his pontificate, the head of the Vatican secret archives, the Rev. Sergio Pagano, said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press.
But Pacelli kept methodical, detailed, nearly daily notes of Pius XI's meetings in tightly scrawled, often hard-to-decipher handwriting.
As Pius XI's cardiovascular problems worsened, in the late 1930s, "Pacelli would record this (physical) tiredness but also his spiritual discomfort about totalitarianism, fascism, Nazism, naturally, and (Francisco) Franco's (period) in Spain but also about the political stands of some bishops he didn't share," Pagano said.
Asked what Pius might have said in confidence to Pacelli about the horrors of Hitler that were emerging as war loomed closer, Pagano said he couldn't answer since he has only had time to carefully study Pacelli's notes from 1930-31.
Still, Pacelli's notes even then make clear that Pius XI was vigorously opposed to the growing dictatorial regimes in some parts of Europe, Pagano said.
By 1930, only a year after a landmark treaty governing relations between the Italian state and the Holy See, "problems were already arising with the fascist regime" of Benito Mussolini and the church, Pagano said.
Mussolini's government often defied the 1929 Lateran Treaty, including by failing to give quick consensus on the pope's selection of Italian bishops, Pagano said.
"Pius XI was very angry because the concordat was not respected," Pagano said, citing Pacelli's notes. Pius XI also expressed worry about Italian interference in the formation of Catholic organizations, Pagano said.
"These problems worried the pope. He was already seeing that Mussolini was moving toward complete dictatorship," the Vatican official said, adding that he found no evidence of any direct correspondence between Pius XI and Mussolini on the dispute.
Early in his pontificate, Pius XI had been supportive of far-right regimes, considering them a bulwark against liberal secularism and communism.
Pagano said Pacelli "almost never" expressed his own opinions in his notekeeping. But as the Vatican's top diplomat, Pacelli was a key player in international matters.
Pacelli, who would become Pius XII, has been accused by Jewish groups of not using his moral authority vigorously enough during his 1939-58 papacy to denounce the Holocaust. The Vatican insists he used quiet diplomacy.
The Rev. Gerald Fogarty, a Jesuit historian from the University of Virginia, said notes from Vatican meetings he has found in the newly opened archives indicate that Pacelli was "very upset" about the Rev. Charles Coughlin, a U.S. priest who was stridently anti-Communist and pro-Nazi in widely followed radio broadcasts and who had launched vehement attacks on President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Fogarty said Pacelli was advised by both U.S. bishops, worried about their autonomy, and by the Vatican's apostolic delegate in Washington against saying anything about Coughlin. When Pacelli visited the United States in 1936, he publicly said nothing about the priest, Fogarty said.
The files are "reinforcing what we knew" about Pacelli, Fogarty said in a telephone interview. Pius XII was "frequently seen as being indecisive because he sees all the nuances," Fogarty said.
"When I say 'indecisive,' I'm not saying not having a position, but I mean he's always thinking like a diplomat," Fogarty said. He cited Pacelli's dismay that a U.S. bishop once had derided Hitler of being a "bad paperhanger" because of its diplomatic implications.
Fogarty served on a team of Jewish-Catholic scholars which, after studying some documents made available several years ago by the Vatican, concluded that Pius XII was bent on fruitless diplomacy while reports of Nazi atrocities poured into the Vatican.
As secretary of state, Pacelli pushed for formal U.S.-Vatican relations, using a friendship with the future New York Cardinal Francis Spellman, then an auxiliary bishop in Boston, to help him lobby, Fogarty said.
"I know Spellman was instructed to see FDR and he got to see him through Joseph Kennedy," the well-connected father of future President John F. Kennedy, Fogarty said, recalling his own notes on material in the newly released files.
Full-fledged diplomatic ties were re-established between Washington and the Vatican in 1984.
Pagano said he expected that it would take at least 20 years of preparation before Vatican archives could be open on Pius XII's pontificate. He said material from Pius XI's papacy, including documents from Vatican envoys' offices in the United States, China, Japan and Italy, was still being added to the archives opened last month.
Name of source: Columbus Dispatch
SOURCE: Columbus Dispatch (10-15-06)
The records detail nearly every object the Ohio Historical Society owns.
They tell stories of a Dayton doctor who removed a shawl pin from an 8-year-old girl’s throat in the 1860s, or of Jesuit priests who gave cobalt blue porcelain sticks to American Indians as a sign of respect in the 1700s. One such stick was found by a Portage County farmer, who donated it to the historical society in 1933.
Those stories give meaning to each item in the historical society’s collection, but they are scattered and sometimes hard to find. Curators work like detectives to match an item with the document that tells its story.
Sometimes, as with the porcelain stick or the shawl pin, they’re lucky. Sometimes objects are orphaned, separated from their stories for years.
Next month, the historical society will begin linking the two once more. Workers will sift through thousands of paper records and consolidate them in one computer database. Each record will be linked with its object, and eventually, the information will be available in the society’s online catalog, located at www.ohiohistory.org.
The two-year project is partially funded by a $150,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The historical society will pay the rest of the $330,000 cost.
"It’s about preserving the story as much as the object," said Clifford Eckle, assistant curator and collections specialist.
Similar projects are going on across the country, as museums and libraries preserve information contained in decades’ worth of written documents.
Name of source: Washington Times
SOURCE: Washington Times (12-31-69)
"The focus is on limiting the damage" after the French National Assembly voted on Thursday to make any denial of the Ottoman mass killings of Armenians a punishable offense, according to one diplomatic report.
France's leading politicians, including President Jacques Chirac and his rivals, are on record in favor of keeping Turkey out of the European Union unless it admits the massacres as genocide.
However, the French political class generally has remained lukewarm following the decision by the lower house of Parliament, influenced by the vocal Armenian lobby.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (10-14-06)
The bronze monument, installed in front of the train station in the Paris suburb of Chaville in 2002, went missing between Friday night and Saturday morning, said authorities for the Haut-de-Seine region.
The police have not ruled out the possibility that the statue, which weighs several hundred kilograms (pounds), was stolen to be sold as scrap metal, said Stephane Topalian, who serves on the board of the local chapter of the Armenian church.
SOURCE: AP (10-13-06)
Scholars will have to wait years before the Holy See opens its files on Pius XII, who has been accused of failing to speak out enough against the Holocaust. But historians who have studied just a fraction of the 30,000 files from the papacy of his predecessor, Pius XI, say the material is providing insights into the man who would become Pius XII.
The files span the 1922-39 pontificate of Pius XI, which ended less than seven months before the outbreak of World War II. The Vatican's top diplomat in the run-up to the war was Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli -- the future Pius XII.
SOURCE: AP (10-12-06)
In the rocks were manmade oval depressions in which acorns were ground into flour.
"This place was happening," said Hangan, a U.S. Forest Service archaeologist. "They had water, food, grass for baskets — everything they needed."
For all the damage they do, wildfires can be a boon to archaeologists, laying bare the traces of long-gone civilizations.
Around the country, government archaeologists often move in to see what has been exposed after the flames have burned away the underbrush; sometimes they accompany firefighters while a blaze is still raging to make sure artifacts are not damaged.
"Fires are a double-edged sword," said Richard Fitzgerald, an archaeologist for California state parks. "They can be very destructive, but after a big fire you can find new sites, even in areas that have been surveyed before."
SOURCE: AP (10-12-06)
The 178-year-old book gives clues about its original owners — not only names and dates of births, deaths and marriages, but also two locks of hair, a handwritten poem and several pressed leaves, possibly from a funeral floral arrangement.
Scott bought the Bible at an auction in this southwestern Ohio town. She finds old Bibles at auctions and estate sales and then — armed with today’s computer-search powers — uses them as treasure maps to track down the modern-day descendants of their original owners.
SOURCE: AP (10-11-06)
The exhibition, titled "Deadly Medicine -- Racial Madness in National Socialism," opened Thursday evening in the 1930s-era Hygiene Museum in the eastern city of Dresden.
Many of the swastika-stamped posters promoting Nazi theories of racial purity were made in the museum after it fell under Nazi control in 1933 -- a link that helped the museum persuade the Holocaust Memorial Museum to let one of its exhibits move abroad for the first time.
Divided into three sections, the exhibit first shows how eugenics, which purported to improve the human species by controlling heredity, became a global movement in the scientific world starting in 1919.
Name of source: Houston Chronicle
SOURCE: Houston Chronicle (10-14-06)
It's a key piece of the "Black Legend," the tales of atrocities committed by the Spanish Inquisition and colonizers of the New World. But it may be just that legend, according to Rodolfo Acuña-Soto, a Harvard-trained epidemiologist.
He argues that an unknown indigenous hemorrhagic fever may have killed the bulk of Mexico's native population, which plummeted from an estimated 22 million in 1519, when the Spaniards arrived, to 2 million in 1600.
And he warns that the fever ˜ which the Aztecs called cocoliztli in their Nahuatl language ˜ may still be lurking in remote rural areas of Mexico.
Name of source: Times Online (UK)
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (10-14-06)
Pepys, whose nine-year diary provides an incomparable insight into life in late 17th-century England, took an instant shine to Deb, who was half his age, when she arrived to be a "waiting gentlewoman" to his wife Elizabeth. And she, the niece of a well-to-do Bristol merchant, returned his affection.
One fateful day in Oct 1668, Elizabeth "coming up suddenly, did find me imbracing the girl [with] my hand [under] her [petti-]coats; and endeed I was with my [hand] in her. I was at a wonderful loss upon it and the girl also..."
This was not the last time the couple were found in flagrante delicto, although Deb never did bestow the "final favours" on her 35-year-old lover, according to Dr Kate Loveman of Leicester University, the academic who has uncovered previously unknown documents relating to Miss Willet.
"As far as we can tell, the relationship was not consummated, although Pepys did have several other mistresses," said Dr Loveman, who did her research in the Bodleian while a researcher at St Anne's College, Oxford.
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (10-13-06)
That became plain yesterday as the personal cook of Erich Honecker spilled the beans on the way that the East German Communist leader cheated on his hunting expeditions.
Official photographs of Honecker’s catch in the 1970s and 1980s show hundreds of hares arranged in circles or a clutch of proud tyrants inspecting slaughtered stags.
In fact, says the cook, Jurgen Krause, much of the swag was shot in advance and came straight out of the deep freeze. “While Honecker and his guests were wading through the woods, most of the hares had already been caught and strung up by professional hunters. Many had not even been properly defrosted.”
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (10-12-06)
Deputies in the National Assembly voted 106-19 for the bill, which if signed into law, would punish denial with a maximum one-year prison term and a fine of up to €45,000 (£30,000).
After the vote, the French government stressed that it valued close ties with Turkey and said that it would continue to oppose the motion, which needs to be ratified by the upper house Senate.
"This is just the beginning of a long legislative process. At each stage, the government will continue to make known its position on this proposed Bill, which appears unnecessary and untimely," a Foreign Ministry statement said.
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (10-13-06)
The documents include Gorbachev's initial letter to Reagan from 15 September 1986 asking for "a quick one-on-one meeting, let us say in Iceland or in London," newly translated Gorbachev discussions with his aides and with the Politburo preparing for the meeting, U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz's briefing book for the summit, the complete U.S. and Soviet transcripts of the Reykjavik summit, and the internal recriminations and reflections by both sides after the meeting failed to reach agreement.
Archive director Thomas Blanton, Archive director of Russia programs Dr. Svetlana Savranskaya, and Pulitzer-Prize-winning biographer Dr. William Taubman presented the documents to Gorbachev at a state dinner in the residence of President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson of Iceland on October 12 marking the 20th anniversary of the summit, which Grimsson commented had put Iceland on the map as a meeting place for international dialogue.
The documents show that U.S. analysis of Gorbachev's goals for the summit completely missed the Soviet leader's emphasis on "liquidation" of nuclear weapons, a dream Gorbachev shared with Reagan and which the two leaders turned to repeatedly during the intense discussions at Reykjavik in October 1986. But the epitaph for the summit came from Soviet aide Gyorgy Arbatov, who at one point during staff discussions told U.S. official Paul Nitze that the U.S. proposals (continued testing of missile defenses in the Strategic Defense Initiative or SDI while proceeding over 10 years to eliminate all ballistic missiles, leading to the ultimate abolition of all offensive nuclear weapons) would require "an exceptional level of trust" and therefore "we cannot accept your position."
Politburo notes from October 30, two weeks after the summit, show that Gorbachev by then had largely accepted Reagan's formulation for further SDI research, but by that point it was too late for a deal. The Iran-Contra scandal was about to break, causing Reagan's approval ratings to plummet and removing key Reagan aides like National Security Adviser John Poindexter, whose replacement was not interested in the ambitious nuclear abolition dreams the two leaders shared at Reykjavik. The documents show that even the more limited notion of abolishing ballistic missiles foundered on opposition from the U.S. military which presented huge estimates of needed additional conventional spending to make up for not having the missiles.
The U.S. documents were obtained by the Archive through Freedom of Information Act and Mandatory Declassification Review requests to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and the U.S. Department of State. The Soviet documents came to the Archive courtesy of top Gorbachev aide Anatoly Sergeyevich Chernyaev, who has donated his diary and notes of Politburo and other Gorbachev discussions to the Archive, and from the Volkogonov collection of the U.S. Library of Congress.
These documents are now available on the Web site of the National Security Archive:
Name of source: Wa Po
SOURCE: Wa Po (10-13-06)
But when some of its charter members leave the lofty confines of power, watch out.
It's almost like they wriggle free of the straitjacket, rip the masking tape off their mouths and finally feel free to reveal the inner machinations of Bush World.
Paul O'Neill was a garden-variety Treasury Secretary until he quit, later charging in a book that President Bush showed little interest in policy discussions and led Cabinet meetings "like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people." Richard Clarke, after quitting his counterterrorism job, declared in a book that Bush responded lackadaisically in 2001 to repeated warnings of an impending terrorist attack.
Now comes David Kuo, a special assistant to President Bush from 2001 to 2003. Keith Olbermann and "Countdown" got the first look at his book, 'Tempting Faith," and MSNBC has this report:
"A self-described conservative Christian, Kuo's previous experience includes work for prominent conservatives including former Education Secretary and federal drug czar Bill Bennett and former Attorney General John Ashcroft.
"Kuo, who has complained publicly in the past about the funding shortfalls, goes several steps further in his new book.
"He says some of the nation's most prominent evangelical leaders were known in the office of presidential political strategist Karl Rove as 'the nuts.'
SOURCE: Wa Po (10-13-06)
In speeches, statements and news conferences this year, the president has repeatedly declared a range of problems "unacceptable," including rising health costs, immigrants who live outside the law, North Korea's claimed nuclear test, genocide in Sudan and Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Bush's decision to lay down blunt new markers about the things he deems intolerable comes at an odd time, a phase of his presidency in which all manner of circumstances are not bending to his will: national security setbacks in North Korea and Iraq, a Congress that has shrugged its shoulders at his top domestic initiatives, a favorability rating mired below 40 percent.
But a survey of transcripts from Bush's public remarks over the past seven years shows the president's worsening political predicament has actually stoked, rather than diminished, his desire to proclaim what he cannot abide. Some presidential scholars and psychologists describe the trend as a signpost of Bush's rising frustration with his declining influence.
In the first nine months of this year, Bush declared more than twice as many events or outcomes "unacceptable" or "not acceptable" as he did in all of 2005, and nearly four times as many as he did in 2004. He is, in fact, at a presidential career high in denouncing events he considers intolerable. They number 37 so far this year, as opposed to five in 2003, 18 in 2002 and 14 in 2001.
SOURCE: Wa Po (10-10-06)
When handwritten essays were introduced on the SAT exams for the class of 2006, just 15 percent of the almost 1.5 million students wrote their answers in cursive. The rest? They printed. Block letters.
And those college hopefuls are just the first edge of a wave of U.S. students who no longer get much handwriting instruction in the primary grades, frequently 10 minutes a day or less. As a result, more and more students struggle to read and write cursive.
Many educators shrug. Stacked up against teaching technology, foreign languages and the material on standardized tests, penmanship instruction seems a relic, teachers across the region say. But academics who specialize in writing acquisition argue that it's important cognitively, pointing to research that shows children without proficient handwriting skills produce simpler, shorter compositions, from the earliest grades.
Scholars who study original documents say the demise of handwriting will diminish the power and accuracy of future historical research. And others simply lament the loss of handwritten communication for its beauty, individualism and intimacy....
There are those who say the culture is at a crossroads, turning permanently from the written word to the typed one. If handwriting becomes a lost form of communication, does it matter?
It was at U-Va. that researchers recently discovered a previously unknown poem by Robert Frost, written in his signature script. Handwritten documents are more valuable to researchers, historians say, because their authenticity can be confirmed. Students also find them more intriguing.
"They feel closer to that person as an actual human, that somebody actually wrote that just like me," said Jim Mohr, a professor of U.S. history at the University of Oregon at Eugene, who wrote a book on diaries from the Civil War. "There's a kind of personal authenticity to individual writing that's hard to capture any other way."
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-13-06)
Bishop Alois Hudal, who died in 1963, was the director of the Pan-Germanic College of Santa Maria dell' Anima in Rome between 1923 and 1952. The college is the main training centre in Rome for German priests.
The priest openly declared his pro-Nazi views and has been labelled the "Black Bishop" by Simon Wiesenthal, the Nazi hunter whose foundation gathered evidence against him.
Inside the vault, historians from the Institute for Austrian History in Rome found a copy of a telegram sent to Adolf Hitler by Hudal supporting the annexation of Austria.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (10-13-06)
The site has been formally declared a Catholic sanctuary, which means that in future it can host religious ceremonies such as weddings and baptisms.
The statue's serene gaze over the city gives little hint of the Herculean effort that went into its construction.
Over 1,000 tons of materials had to be moved up the 700m high Corcovado hill.
SOURCE: BBC (10-5-06)
Name of source: Norwich Bulletin
SOURCE: Norwich Bulletin (10-9-06)
"The Indians had their own opinions and Columbus had his; why couldn't he just go back (to Europe)?" said Horner, 10, of Norwich, a student at John B. Stanton Elementary School. "Columbus changed everything."
Across the country, some teachers are shifting away from the notion Columbus discovered America and are teaching about the explorer as a pioneer of imperialism, according to local educators, scholars and American Indians.
But the shift has been slow and sporadic, educators say, since new interpretations of Columbus are mired in controversy between historical evidence and ethnic pride.
"Many Italian people today consider Columbus Day as the antidote to 'The Godfather' and 'The Sopranos,' " said Robert Thompson, a Syracuse University professor and pop culture expert. "The traditional Columbus story is a natural, easy way to organize history, but history is really one big complicated mess."...
Sociologist James Loewen, who spent two years examining 12 leading high school textbooks of American history to write "Lies My Teacher Told Me," said accounts of Columbus as a barbaric conqueror are more accurate.
"I think we're still dealing with a white supremacist view when it comes to Native Americans," Loewen said. "The truth about Columbus is not such a pretty picture when you get to the details, which include the complete annihilation of the native population of Haiti within 60 years of his arrival."
Name of source: Yahoo News
SOURCE: Yahoo News (10-12-06)
Families of 306 men from Britain and the Commonwealth have been campaigning for years to clear the names of their relatives executed during the 1914-1918 conflict.
Members of the unelected House of Lords backed the plans contained in an amendment to the Armed Forces bill as it passed through the committee stage of the parliamentary process on Thursday.
Junior defence minister Lord Paul Drayson stressed that the amendment did not "seek to re-write history" by quashing sentences or convictions and would not give rise to any right, entitlement or liability.
Defence Secretary Des Browne said in August that the government would seek parliamentary approval to pardon the soldiers, who were executed for offences including cowardice, sleeping while on duty, striking a superior officer, disobedience and desertion.
In many cases the executed soldiers were later found to have been unjustly tried.
Drayson said: "Having reviewed the situation again, we should, we believe, act now to remove the dishonour that still taints the memory of these servicemen and is still felt all too heavily by their families.
"It is to recognise that execution was not a fate that they deserved but one that resulted from the form of discipline believed to be necessary at the time for the prosecution of the war.
"It is not the government's intention to call into question the actions of the officers responsible for discipline.
"We plan to place a formal record of the pardon alongside the relevant court martial files, where we hold these."
It is now thought that many of those shot for cowardice were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after enduring months of artillery bombardment in the trenches.
Their relatives have been attempting to obtain pardons since 1990 when Public Record Office files were declassified and outlined the cases against the men.
Name of source: Armenian News Network
SOURCE: Armenian News Network (10-13-06)
The parliament made a series of amendments to the Armenian Penal Code, Armenia's Yerkir News Agency said.
"Penalizing the genocide" is also among the amendments.
Terming the 1915 incidents as genocide, Yerevan set the penalty for those who "deny the genocide" as a minimum fine of 100 to 300 times the minimum wage in Armenia or a prison sentence up to four years.
Authorities state this is the first such law in Armenia.
Pointing out it is not a crime in Turkey to say "I recognize the Armenian genocide" yet similar cases were opened for "insulting Turkishness," authorities said no Armenian historian would be able to reject the "genocide" if they should join the joint history commission proposed by Ankara.
Name of source: Philadelphia Daily News
SOURCE: Philadelphia Daily News (10-13-06)
Opponents said recognizing the month was an attempt by the district to indoctrinate students to the homosexual lifestyle. They said it was an insult to equate gay rights with the struggles of African-Americans for civil rights.
Some angrily asked the reform commissioners what group would they recognize next: Adulterers? Fornicators? Prostitutes? Pedophiles?
"I am requesting that you rescind this gay and lesbian pride month. Issue new calendars for October and call this month anti-violence month, reading month," said Ann Martin, a grandparent and ex- school district employee.
"Shame on you. Shame on you," she said, shouting at the school officials. "It's never too late to right a wrong. What were you thinking?"
Robert Gray, of the African American Freedom and Reconstruction League, stood as his wife read his statement: "The children aren't taught to read, write and master life-survival skills. However, our children are being taught gender preference. This is totally unacceptable."
Gray contended that Bartram, Martin Luther King, University City and Girls High Schools have problems with gangs of lesbians.
In the near-capacity audience was a group of students from King High School, accompanied by King special education teacher Erika T. Garnett-Wootson, who described herself as "a mother as well as an out lesbian."
"When the papers began to report that people were complaining [about the calendar] it came as no surprise to me," Garnett-Wootson told the meeting. "I knew that the world was full of cowards and homophobes who would use misplaced ethics, fear, intolerance and biblical jargon to oppress my people," she said, lamenting that those who had expressed the most opposition are black, like her.
After the meeting she said there are at least 100 to 150 homosexual students at King, and that about 20 or so attend weekly meetings of the school's Gay-Straight Alliance. She said all who attend the meetings are girls, except one boy who is in the process of becoming a female.
Deirdra Williams, 15, a King 10th-grader, was brought to tears by the anti-gay heckling from some audience members.
After the meeting, surrounded by her lesbian friends, she spoke of the experience. "At first, it hurt me. But then I stopped crying because I realized that these people don't know me and I don't know them," she said. "But I would hate to be their child, having to come out of the closet to them."
Carrie Jacobs, executive director of the Attic Youth Center, which provides services to gay youth in Philadelphia, was heckled and cheered during her remarks.
"Gay and Lesbian History Month is about the contributions that gays and lesbians have made to Western civilization and to our shared culture," she said. "It is not about promoting an agenda or attacking anyone's values."
Cecilia Cummings, a school district spokeswoman, explained to the audience that Gay and Lesbian History Month is not being taught as part of the school district's curriculum. However, she said the 35 Gay-Straight Alliance clubs in schools may hold activities after school, as other student groups do.
She said Gay and Lesbian History Month was included in the calendar because it is one of many commemorative events listed by the National Education Association.
About 120 parents with concerns have called her office, Cummings said. "Hopefully the inclusion of Gay and Lesbian History Month in the calendar has sparked some understanding, at least a dialogue," she said.
James Nevels, chairman of the School Reform Commission, said he supported adding gay history month to the calendar.
"The calendar was drafted in a way to be able to reflect the diversity of this great school district that we have and the young people that we have in it," he said.
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (10-7-06)
Last night Professor Peter Fowler, an internationally acknowledged expert on the Stonehenge landscape and on World Heritage Sites management, washed his hands of the whole argument: "Since no sort of a tunnel is going to be built, the A303 should be kept exactly as and where it is, because neither widening it nor allowing it to career off sinuously to north or south is an option."
Name of source: Press Release -- NYHS
SOURCE: Press Release -- NYHS (10-13-06)
The New-York Historical Society (www.nyhistory.org) will take a penetrating look at these and other questions in its provocative new show, New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War, opening November 17, 2006 and running through September 3, 2007.
The exhibition, spearheaded by Society President and CEO Louise Mirrer, marks the final installation of a two-year, three-part examination of the history and legacy of slavery in New York and the nation. It began last fall with the critically acclaimed Slavery in New York, followed by Legacies: Contemporary Artists Reflect on Slavery, a contemporary art exhibition created around the theme of slavery and its stark historical repercussions.
New York Divided completes the story begun in Slavery in New York – this time introducing a surprising look at a politically, economically, and racially divided city of the mid-1800s. The exhibition’s chief historian, James Oliver Horton (the Benjamin Banneker Professor of American Studies and History at George Washington University and the co-author of the companion book to the 2005 PBS series Slavery and the Making of America) suggests that New York Divided “brings to life a city that was the economic capital of the capital that was financing the South.” According to Horton, the influx of capital from the cotton trade led to a wave of pro-Southern sentiment coloring the cultural fabric of the city. This financial interdependence with the South fueled the underlying tensions that characterized mid-19th century New York – black and white, wealthy and poor, pro-South and abolitionist – and that eventually came to a head, culminating in the bloody Draft Riots of 1863.
Curator Richard Rabinowitz, president of the American History Workshop, will reprise the most successful elements of Slavery in New York to create a multi-media, immersive visitor experience. Rabinowitz has drawn upon the collections of major historical institutions across the country -- especially the New-York Historical Society’s unrivaled collection of documents, newspapers, playbills, paintings and artifacts -- to recreate pivotal New York environments, including the Park Theater, a counting house, the Franklin House Hotel, and an 1834 Black Convention.
Combining soundscapes, video reenactments and unexpected elements such as an authentic bale of cotton from a Louisiana cotton museum, New York Divided will offer visitors a unique entrée into the divided city.
Please contact me at 212-843-9216 or email@example.com if I can provide you with any additional information about this remarkable exhibition.
1345 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (10-12-06)
Yahoo launched the project this week aimed at gathering text, images, video and sounds submitted by visitors from all over the world through 20 of the company's multiple-language sites.
The information was to be beamed by laser into space on Oct. 25 from the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan, once the center of a sprawling Indian empire, in an attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial life.
SOURCE: Reuters (10-12-06)
This would have closed off human migration by foot across the bridge 1,000 years earlier, too, the researchers said.
A team at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego and the University of Massachusetts found places on the ocean floor where sediment deposits were deep enough to act as a kind of geologic clock.
Name of source: Discovery.com
SOURCE: Discovery.com (10-10-06)
Food particles found embedded in ancient cooking pots reveal that Britain’s first farmers boiled milk and processed it to make foods such as cheese, butter and yogurt, according to a report in the latest British Archaeology.
Name of source: Cybercast News Service
SOURCE: Cybercast News Service (10-11-06)
Adam Gadahn, 28 - also known as Azzam al-Amriki or Azzam the American - "gave al Qaeda aid and comfort ... with intent to betray the United States," according to the treason count in the indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana, Calif....
The last person convicted of treason against the United States was Tomoya Kawakita, a Japanese-American sentenced to death in 1952 for tormenting American prisoners of war during World War II.
His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1953, and 10 years later, President John F. Kennedy - during the closing of the Alcatraz prison where he was serving his time - pardoned him and had him deported to Japan.
Name of source: The Australian
SOURCE: The Australian (10-10-06)
The 12 original tribes of Taiwan are Austronesian by language and culture, as are the great majority of the island peoples who settled the Pacific islands. Since most historians now believe the Pacific was settled from East Asia, the island of Taiwan seems to have been their main place of origin. Work on DNA is backing this thesis up. About 60 per cent of Maori DNA is in common with Taiwanese aboriginal DNA. The aborigines also have anthropological connections to the Malay people of Southeast Asia.
Han Chinese people did not begin migrating to Taiwan until after a Dutch settlement in the southeast of the island, from 1624-62, was removed by Ming dynasty pirate-turned-admiral Zheng Cheng-gong.
Until then, the aborigines lived on the subtropical island in a manner remarkably similar to that of many rural Pacific Islanders today.
The contemporary identity conflict has naturally led leaders of the 460,000 people who call themselves aborigines -- and who use aboriginal names completely different from those of the ethnic Chinese majority among the 23 million population -- to affirm more strongly their own identity and to claim extended land ownership.
Aboriginal descent is usually most importantly traced through the mother, as most of the cultures are matrilineal.
The chairman of the Council of Aboriginal Affairs, a government-funded body, is Walis Pelin, a tall, substantial figure who would look at home with a group of aristocratic Tongans. A leader of the Atayal tribe, he has recently visited Aboriginal leaders in the Northern Territory.
The tribes have different origin myths, he says, but archaeological evidence points to their emergence in Taiwan 6000-10,000 years ago.
Many of the 17th century Chinese settlers were soldiers, says Pelin. Most of them were men. So they widely sought wives among the aborigines.
The aboriginal word for grasping a neighbour's hand, kanchu, was mistakenly adopted into Taiwanese as the word for wife, because those seeking a wife would shake hands on the ''deal'' and then ask the correct word. The aborigine would give the word for the action -- shaking hands -- while the Chinese would assume it was describing the wife.
The aborigines thus mixed with Chinese people and used Mandarin. They retained their cultures, says Pelin. ''They didn't always want to reveal their identity.'' They fought at first to keep their land, he says, but then reached a compromise, realising that they could not compete with these new arrivals for the flat, coastal land -- and retreated into the mountain chain that stretches down the east of Taiwan.
When Japan took control of Taiwan following its naval defeat of China in 1896, the aborigines renewed their fighting -- against the Japanese. ''But in a very short time, they were beaten,'' says Pelin, whose own tribe lost some 60,000 people fighting Japan in the early years of the 20th century.
The smallest surviving tribe is the Saozu, whose ancestral lands are close to the Sun-Moon Lake, one of the most beautiful areas of the country. They number about 500 and their language has almost disappeared, known only by the elderly. An educational program to restore the language has begun.
Pelin says all the aboriginal languages are still spoken in family homes in the more remote mountain areas, but that in the cities and the main centres most children learn only Mandarin. He and his wife speak Atayal, but their children cannot.
The council has decided that only those aborigines who can speak their own languages will be eligible for special scholarships to colleges and universities. In primary and high schools, it will become compulsory for indigenous children to learn their languages. The council is training teachers for this ambitious program.
About 36 per cent of aborigines now live in cities, the rest on their traditional land, mostly in the mountains, but the 36 per cent return often, says Pelin, for festivals and family events.
The aborigines on their own land virtually all have access to electricity and running water and either grow crops or raise stock on their land. Some also work in the tourism industry.
Many still chew betel nut, as do many Melanesians, and taro is a staple food -- as is sweet potato, whose shape they say resembles that of the island of Taiwan. Traditional tattooing is also enjoying a comeback.
Name of source: The Globe and Mail
SOURCE: The Globe and Mail (10-12-06)
Members of France's 400,000-strong Armenian diaspora, whose votes are important to all sides in next spring's presidential election, have lobbied for years to criminalize negating their genocide, just as it is a crime in France to deny the Holocaust. But the proposed law, which would also require the French Senate's approval, has caused an uproar outside France and discomfort in some unexpected quarters.
Turkey has warned that French companies will be barred from bidding on billions of dollars worth of government contracts if the law is approved. The Armenian government has kept silent on the proposal, saying its goal is to secure recognition of the genocide by Turkey. The European Union's enlargement commissioner has pleaded with the French to abandon the bill, saying it would only undermine those Turks and Armenians promoting a dialogue over their conflicting versions of history.
More surprising has been the reaction of Armenian community leaders inside Turkey who have been fighting for greater freedom of speech at home.
They said France would do more harm than good by outlawing the expression of unpopular views.
"I have been tried in Turkey for saying the Armenian genocide exists, and I have talked about how wrong this is," said Hrant Dink, the editor of an Armenian-language newspaper in Istanbul, in an interview with CNN-Turk. "But if this bill becomes law, I will be one of the first to head to France and break the law. Then we can watch Turkey and the French government race to see which will throw me in jail first."
The story of the expulsion of Armenians from the towns and villages of what is now southern Turkey has long stirred fierce passions and bitter political battles.
More than one million Armenians died by execution, starvation and disease between 1895 and 1915, when the Ottoman empire launched a campaign to rid itself of ethnic groups, such as the Armenians and the Greeks, that were seen as agents of enemies including Russia and Greece.
The descendants of those who survived the campaigns have managed, over the past few decades, to convince about 20 countries, including France and Canada, to officially categorize the events as genocide.
Turkey, the successor to the Ottomans and independent since 1921, has long argued that massacres occurred on both sides and denied that the bloody expulsion of Armenians amounted to systematic killing or genocide. The government recently announced that its own historians have established that 523,000 Turks were killed by Armenians in Turkey from 1910 to 1922.
Under the three-year-old government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who once was jailed for a pro-Islamic speech that displeased government authorities, Turkey has grown more tolerant of books, movies and academic discussions that shine a spotlight on the expulsions and massacres of the early 20th century.
But nationalist groups have continued to bring lawsuits against writers and journalists, such as Mr. Dink, who refer to the massacres, arguing they insult the Turkish nation. The trials in turn provide ammunition for those opposed to Turkey's membership in the European Union.
The EU has not made recognition of the Armenian genocide a condition for Turkey to join the union. But with popular opinion across Europe skeptical about accepting Muslim Turkey into the EU fold, the genocide issue has been seized upon by politicians as justification for denying it membership.
During a visit to Armenia last month, French President Jacques Chirac became the latest European leader to insist that Turkey could never join the EU until it agreed that Armenians were the victims of genocide.
But the proposed law to criminalize genocide denial has raised different issues and left Mr. Chirac's right-wing coalition in disarray. The main right-wing party has said it would boycott the debate, although individual assembly members could vote as they liked.
Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, the leading candidate for the party's presidential nomination, has endorsed the proposed law in principle but not stated whether he will vote for it.