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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: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (11-18-06)
There are two things that are intriguing about the compilation by Christopher Null. First, instead of just listing a generic product like a television, which was the oldest device ranked, the magazine names a specific version (the RCA Model 630TS) that either defined the category or caused it to catch on. It lists when the device became all the rage (1946 in the case of television).
The magazine says the Sharp Aquos LC-65D90U is the television to have these days.
Listed second: The Western Electric 500 Desk Telephone (1949). “Nearly every phone that followed, from wall-mounted versions for kitchens to the bedroom-specific Princess model, took design cues from the 500.”
Rounding out the top 10 of what the magazine calls “the 10 most life-altering devices of the modern era”: The Kodak Brownie 127 Camera (1953); Bell & Howell Director Series Model 414 Zoomatic 8-millimeter Movie Camera (circa 1962); Amana Radarange Microwave (1967); JVC HR-3300 Videocassette Recorder; Atari 2600 Video Computer System (1977); Sony Walkman TPS-L2 Portable Cassette Player (1979); I.B.M. 5150 Personal Computer (1981); and the Motorola StarTAC Cell Phone (1996).
SOURCE: NYT (11-18-06)
Carefully avoiding any direct mention of how the Vietnam War ended for the United States, Mr. Bush instead focused on the deepening — if still wary — economic and diplomatic ties between the two countries.
“History has a long march to it,” Mr. Bush said in response to a question about how he felt about arriving here, the second American president to visit since the war’s end. “Societies change and relationships can constantly be altered to the good.”...
But it was the Iraq comparisons that were the most difficult, because they required Mr. Bush to argue two seemingly contradictory threads: that Vietnam turned out well despite America’s withdrawal, but that the situation in Iraq was so much more complicated that retreat was not an option.
“The Maliki government is going to make it unless the coalition leaves before they have a chance to make it,” he said of Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.
SOURCE: NYT (11-17-06)
“Did I think about going to the Army post and saying ‘Send me to Vietnam?’ ” Mr. Bush asked, describing his own outlook in 1968. “Not really. I wanted to fly, and that was the adventure I was seeking.”
Thirty-eight years later, at age 60, Mr. Bush finally arrived in Vietnam Friday morning. His motorcade sped into the city past roads that Americans once bombed, at the start of a 72-hour visit linked to an annual Asian summit meeting that the Communist government in Vietnam is playing host to for the first time.
SOURCE: NYT (11-16-06)
In the book, Mr. Egan, a former New York Times reporter who remains a frequent contributor to the newspaper, gives an account of the dust storms that descended on the Great Plains during the Depression.
“Abraham Lincoln said we cannot escape history, but this history of the Dust Bowl nearly escaped us,” Mr. Egan, a third-generation Westerner, told a crowd of more than 700 publishers, writers and editors.....
Joining Mr. Egan as finalists for nonfiction were Taylor Branch for “At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68” (Simon & Schuster); Rajiv Chandrasekaran for “Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone” (Alfred A. Knopf); Peter Hessler for “Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China’s Past and Present” (HarperCollins); and Lawrence Wright for “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11” (Alfred A. Knopf). Mr. Egan’s publisher was Houghton Mifflin.
SOURCE: NYT (11-15-06)
SOURCE: NYT (11-15-06)
The words were seared in the memories of the men, who otherwise spoke no Japanese, when they were forced to toil in slavelike conditions in southern Japan’s mines during World War II.
Seventy-six laborers and relatives came to Japan from China in early November to pursue lawsuits against the Japanese government and companies, which refuse even to pay them their unpaid wartime wages, much less offer compensation.
“The Japanese government bears responsibility for our suffering, and so do companies,” said Tang Kunyuan, 80, who was worker “No. 66” at a mine here owned by Mitsubishi Mining, now known as Mitsubishi Materials, one of the world’s leading makers of metal and ceramic materials for the electronics industry.
“First, we want an apology, then compensation,” Mr. Tang said. “Mitsubishi Materials has done terrible things.”
Over a hill, a discreet distance from and out of sight of the ruins of Qumran, near the Dead Sea, a broad patch of soil appeared to be discolored. Two archaeological sleuths had reasons to suspect this may have been Qumran’s toilet. Soil samples yielded the desiccated eggs of human intestinal parasites.
The researchers say this could well be evidence supporting the controversial view that Qumran was occupied by an ascetic Jewish sect, the Essenes, and that they probably wrote the Dead Sea scrolls and hid them in nearby caves. The discovery of the scrolls, beginning in 1947, was a sensation, with the promise of yielding insights into Judaism and early Christianity.
On close inspection, the chevron deposits contain deep ocean microfossils that are fused with a medley of metals typically formed by cosmic impacts. And all of them point in the same direction — toward the middle of the Indian Ocean where a newly discovered crater, 18 miles in diameter, lies 12,500 feet below the surface.
The explanation is obvious to some scientists. A large asteroid or comet, the kind that could kill a quarter of the world’s population, smashed into the Indian Ocean 4,800 years ago, producing a tsunami at least 600 feet high, about 13 times as big as the one that inundated Indonesia nearly two years ago. The wave carried the huge deposits of sediment to land.
Most astronomers doubt that any large comets or asteroids have crashed into the Earth in the last 10,000 years. But the self-described “band of misfits” that make up the two-year-old Holocene Impact Working Group say that astronomers simply have not known how or where to look for evidence of such impacts along the world’s shorelines and in the deep ocean.
Now, in tandem with the Israeli government, many evangelical Christians have focused on a new villain, Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Evangelical broadcasters and commentators have seized on Mr. Ahmadinejad’s comments questioning the Holocaust and calling for the abolition of the Israeli state. And many evangelicals now talk of the Iranian leader as a “mortal threat” to Israel.
Some evangelical leaders say they are wary of reports that a panel including former Secretary of State James A. Baker III might recommend negotiating with Iran about the future of Iraq. “It certainly bothers me,” said Dr. James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and one of the most influential conservative Christians. “That has the same kind of feel to it as the British negotiating with Germany, Italy and Japan in the run up to World War II.”
At rallies this fall for Christian conservative voters, Dr. Dobson sometimes singled out Mr. Ahmadinejad as a reason to go to the polls, arguing that Democrats could not be trusted to face down such dangers. “Hitler told everybody what he was going to do, and Ahmadinejad is saying exactly what he is going to do,” Dr. Dobson explained. “He is talking genocide.”
The same name, with many pronunciations, comes up repeatedly on Christian talk radio shows, said Gary Bauer, a Christian conservative political organizer. “I am not sure there is a foreign leader who has made a bigger splash in American culture since Khrushchev, certainly among committed Christians,” he said.
Mr. Hagee [the Rev. John Hagee of San Antonio], for his part, said Mr. Ahmadinejad’s comments about Israel and the Holocaust were part of what motivated him to found Christians United For Israel late last year. Since the fight with Hezbollah, Mr. Hagee said, he is doing all he can to keep the pressure on United States officials to take a hard line with Iran.
Name of source: Times Online (UK)
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (11-17-06)
The extraordinary design of the Tempelhof complex — the terminal has huge cathedral-like ceilings — prompted Norman Foster, the British architect, to call it the “mother of all airports”.
Its future is in doubt because the cash-strapped Berlin city government wants to close it next year and move all flights to an airport east of the city. Now the Estée Lauder perfume empire has, according to Finance Ministry sources, submitted a proposal to convert the terminal into a luxury clinic. One landing strip would be retained so that wealthy patients could land and take off within reach of the city hospital. The Estée Lauder group has been investing in health spas and aesthetic surgery.
The heirs to Estée Lauder, Ronald and Leonard Lauder, are significant shareholders in the profitable group, which has 22,000 employees worldwide. Ronald Lauder also has a foundation that is sparking the revival of Jewish life in Central and Eastern Europe: it has sponsored restoration work in Auschwitz concentration camp, set up Jewish colleges and encouraged the training of rabbis.
It is ironic then that Mr Lauder is being mentioned in connection with the rescue of one of the few remaining pieces of Nazi architecture left in Berlin. Although it was used as an airport before the Nazis came to power, Hitler and his master planner, Albert Speer, put their decisive stamp on it from 1936.
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (11-16-06)
A court in Moscow granted an appeal by a descendant of the Romanov dynasty against a refusal to declare the Royal Family victims of political repression.
Tverskoi district court ordered the Prosecutor General’s Office to reconsider the case, ruling that its rejection of an application to exonerate the Tsar was illegal. The appeal was brought by Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, who lives in Spain and whose claim to be the Tsar’s legal heir is disputed by other members of the Romanov family.
The court had upheld the official view that the execution of Nicholas II and his family in 1918 was unauthorised rather than an act of state policy. Moscow’s highest court later ordered a fresh hearing after representatives of the Grand Duchess unearthed documents that they claimed showed that the Bolshevik regime had sanctioned the killings.
Boris Yeltsin, then the President. described the deaths as “a monstrous crime” when the Romanovs’ remains were reburied in St Petersburg in 1998, in what he said was an act of atonement for Russians’ shared guilt. The country’s judicial system has never acknowledged that a political crime took place, which would open the door to rehabilitation under legislation to clear the names of victims of Soviet repression.
Name of source: PHDiva (Blog)
SOURCE: PHDiva (Blog) (11-17-06)
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (11-17-06)
BAD AROLSEN, Germany (AP) — The 21-year-old Russian sat before a clerk of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate's office, describing the furnaces at Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp where he had been a prisoner until a few weeks previously.
"I saw with my own eyes how thousands of Jews were gassed daily and thrown by the hundreds into pits where Jews were burning," he said.
"I saw how little children were killed with sticks and thrown into the fire," he continued. Blood flowed in gutters, and "Jews were thrown in and died there"; more were taken off trucks and cast alive into the flames.
Today the Holocaust is known in dense and painful detail. Yet the young Russian's words leap off the faded, onionskin page with a rawness that transports the reader back to April 1945, when World War II was still raging and the world still knew little about gas chambers, genocide and the Final Solution.
The two pages of testimony, in a file randomly plucked off a shelf, are among millions of documents held by the International Tracing Service, or ITS, an arm of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
This vast archive — 16 miles (26 kilometers) of files in six nondescript buildings in a German spa town — contains the fullest records of Nazi persecutions in existence. But because of concerns about the victims' privacy, the ITS has kept the files closed to the public for half a century, doling out information in minimal amounts to survivors or their descendants on a strict need-to-know basis.
This policy, which has generated much ill-feeling among Holocaust survivors and researchers, is about to change.
In May, after years of pressure from the United States and survivors' groups, the 11 countries overseeing the archive agreed to unseal the files for scholars as well as victims and their families. In recent weeks the ITS' interim director, Jean-Luc Blondel, has been to Washington, The Hague and to the Buchenwald memorial with a new message of cooperation with other Holocaust institutions and governments.
ITS has allowed Paul Shapiro, of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, to look at the files and has also given The Associated Press extensive access on condition no names from the files are revealed unless they have been identified in other sources.
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (11-17-06)
The museum's trustees announced the decision to return the remains by March a day after an independent panel presented an ethics review and guidelines for dealing with future claims.
The Australian government had filed a formal request in November 2005 on behalf of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Center for the return of the remains, which the center plans to cremate according to their customs, museum director Michael Dixon told a news conference.
"We acknowledge our decision may be questioned by community groups or by some scientists," Dixon said. "However, we believe the decision to return the Tasmanian remains, following a short period of data collection, is a commonsense one that balances the requirements of all those with an interest in the remains."
The Natural History Museum holds Britain's national collection of human remains: about 19,500 specimens, from complete skeletons to a single finger bone. The collection, with samples from around the world covering a time span of 500,000 years, was acquired from other museums and collections, officials said.
The Tasmanian Aboriginal Center initially demanded all research using the remains stop, but as a compromise agreed to allow scientists to compile as complete a record as possible before returning them.
Scientists will scan the specimens, create plaster casts and conduct DNA analysis, the museum's science director, Richard Lane, said. The Tasmanian specimens, the oldest of which were acquired by a British collector in 1839, are of particular scientific value because they date back to when Tasmania was an isolated part of the world and its people were genetically unique, he said.
For more than 20 years, Australian aboriginal groups have appealed to the British and Australian governments to return ancestral remains. Indigenous groups in North America and New Zealand have made similar appeals.
The British Museum announced in March that it was returning two artifacts containing the cremated ashes of Australian Aborigines, more than 150 years after they were taken.
Until last year, such requests were refused because the Natural History Museum, the British Museum and other large national facilities were created by acts of Parliament that barred them from disposing of items in their collections.
In October 2005 the government amended the Human Tissue Act to allow museums to return remains "which are reasonably believed to be under 1,000 years in age."
Dixon said the museum was in talks with the Australian government to return all human remains — about 450 specimens in all, including the 18 it has already agreed to return.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (11-17-06)
The remains include the skull of an aboriginal person thought to have been illegally exported to Britain in 1913.
The rest comprise the remains of 17 aboriginal people from Tasmania, which will be returned after a three-month period of data collection.
Museum director Dr Michael Dixon said the move was "a commonsense one" but accepted there would be objections.
SOURCE: BBC (11-15-06)
It seems extraordinary today that the "leader of the free world" should not venture abroad but, in November 1906, both the presidency and technology were hugely different from what they are today.
In 1906, just three years after the Wright brothers took to the sky at Kittyhawk, air travel was still in its infancy.
Steamships - stately, fabulously well-equipped but slow - were the preferred mode of travel for international statesmen, who communicated over the telegraph.
SOURCE: BBC (11-14-06)
Germar Rudolf published a study saying the Nazis did not use gas to kill Jews at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
The prosecution says he "represented the Holocaust as invention" and used the internet to spread his documents.
If found guilty, Mr Rudolf will face up to five years in prison. He has already been given an jail sentence in a similar case but fled to the US.
A chemistry graduate, 42-year-old Mr Rudolf also faces charges of defaming the memory of the dead.
He was sentenced to 14 months in prison in a similar case in 1995 but fled the country.
His 2000 application for political asylum in the US was rejected and he was deported back to Germany to serve the earlier sentence.
In a similar case in February 2005, British revisionist historian David Irving was found guilty of denying the Holocaust by an Austrian court and sentenced to three years in prison.
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (11-16-06)
Gordon Brown and the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) certainly think so. The Chancellor of the Exchequer recently received an award from the trust for his personal commitment to Holocaust education in the UK. >From February 2007, with the help of £1.5m in Treasury funding, the trust is hoping to take two sixth-formers from each school in the UK - more than 6,000 students - to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau within three years.
But not everyone agrees with the idea, arguing that it is an odd use of taxpayers' money - albeit a relatively small amount - and that there are other ways to teach children about atrocities. The critics also complain that it keeps Britain locked in an old-fashioned 60-year-old mindset about Germany and about British relationships with that country when, in reality, they have changed beyond all recognition.
Walking around the camp on a bitter November day with a large group of remarkably composed 16- and 17-year-olds, Kay Andrews, head of education for HET, explains the value of showing students something of the scale of the Holocaust. "Coming to Auschwitz brings home the mechanics of the Nazi death machine, which is what made the Holocaust such a unique event," she says. "Often the students don't become emotional about their experiences while they're here, but by the time of our post-trip seminar, after reflecting on what they've seen and trying to express it to their family and friends, they're more affected."
Name of source: AP
It would be the first burial site ever found of a leader of the 1427-1521 Aztec empire, said archaeologist Eduardo Matos, who leads the excavation project at the Templo Mayor ruins around Mexico City's main square.
"We think this could be a gravestone covering the place where this ruler was laid to rest," Matos said Thursday, as he showed reporters the carved face of the stone for the first time since it was discovered Oct.2.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, the New Komeito, want to revise Japan's post-World War II education law to boost patriotism among the young. With the bloc dominating both legislative chambers, Thursday's passage makes the bill's amendment almost certain.
The revision, a centerpiece of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's conservative agenda, is strongly opposed by opposition lawmakers, who boycotted Thursday's lower house vote.
The 1947 education law has helped raise national education standards, boost Japan's economy and promote democracy, but has "largely neglected nurturing morality, ethics and discipline," Abe said in his latest weekly Web magazine, published Thursday.
The classified air combat training program ran from 1977 to 1988 at the Tonopah Test Range in remote desert scrubland near Las Vegas and Nellis Air Force Base.
"I guess the mouse is out of the pocket," said Gail Peck, who helped start the program and was its first commander. "After 20-some odd years, you have a little bit of a tingling feeling talking about things that were so closely held for so long."
Officials decided to declassify the program after determining that releasing the information would not harm anyone, and the Air Force announced the move Monday. A news conference was held Thursday at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, which has a MiG fighter on display.
Turkey's land forces commander, Gen. Ilker Basbug, announced the cut Wednesday amid a debate over whether 1915 killings of Armenians constitutes genocide. France's lower house of parliament has passed a bill outlawing denials that genocide occurred, angering Turkey.
Defense Ministry spokesman Jean-Francois Bureau noted that the suspension came from a military commander, not from Turkey's civilian government, and that French authorities had not received official word from Turkey on delays or cancelations in joint military operations.
France believes that existing cooperation with Turkey will continue. Specifically, Bureau mentioned operations in the Balkans and in Afghanistan.
"There is a relationship of work and cooperation in these operational commitments with Turkey that are extremely important and which, in our eyes, will continue," he said.
SOURCE: AP (11-15-06)
Gordon died Tuesday of complications from recent stomach and kidney surgery at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Menlo Park, according to his daughter, Cherie Gordon.
Gordon, who made two failed escape attempts from Stalag VIIA -- including one on a bicycle while yelling the only German he knew, "Heil, Hitler" -- succeeded on Oct. 13, 1943, according to historian Robert C. Doyle.
"Shorty was a committed natural escaper," Doyle said. "There was nothing that was going to keep that man in that camp."
The Southern California native was serving as a ball turret gunner with the Army Air Corps' 305th Bomb Group when his B-17 was shot down over Wilhelmshaven, Germany, on Feb. 26, 1943. He survived the parachute landing, but was quickly captured by German troops, his daughter said.
SOURCE: AP (11-14-06)
Martha Holgado has maintained for years through the courts that she is the product of a brief affair between Peron and her mother. The third wife of former President Peron, Maria Estela Martinez de Peron, commissioned the DNA test on a sample of Peron's bones after insisting the late caudillo was childless.
Name of source: Newsweek
SOURCE: Newsweek (11-20-06)
Ask thy father, and he will show thee: advice that, at long last, George W. Bush seems to be taking. Last week the president lost both houses of Congress and 16 more Americans died in Iraq, bringing the U.S. death toll to 2,844, with little discernible progress in sight. The war there has now lasted 44 months, the amount of time that elapsed between Pearl Harbor and VJ Day.
In a conference room filled with commemorative shotguns in his Houston offices last Wednesday, the father settled in to watch his son's post-election press conference on TV. Lunching on pizza, Bush Senior listened as George W. Bush said the loss of Congress was a "thumping," promised to "work with" a commission on Iraq chaired by James A. Baker III and Lee Hamilton, and announced that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was resigning. Within two hours the president was in the Oval Office with Rumsfeld and his replacement: Robert M. Gates, Bush Senior's CIA director and the president of Texas A&M University, the home of Bush 41's presidential library.
In Houston the phones started ringing, and Bush 41 staffers were pulled away from their pizza. Reporters were calling and e-mailing: would 41 talk about 43's shake-up? The answer was no, though two perfunctory statements were issued (one for the Bryan-College Station Eagle and one, as the former president put it, "for everybody else"). Still, the reality spoke for itself. Dad's team was back—a remarkable course correction in the political life of the son and, quite possibly, in the life of the nation.
SOURCE: Newsweek (11-17-06)
As Air Force One flew over the country where 58,000 American troops lost their lives, his press secretary insisted that there was no historical prism for the trip. “What’s interesting is that the Vietnamese are not particularly interested in that,” Tony Snow told reporters on board. “You’ve got a young population and a dynamic economy. This is not going to be a look back at Vietnam; it really is going to be a looking forward to areas of cooperation and shared concern, in terms of working with the Vietnamese.”
Maybe so. But the past is unavoidable in Vietnam. The country’s economy may be growing rapidly thanks to capitalism—which the billboards outside Hanoi’s airport attest to. Yet Bush’s motorcade also passed Ho Chi Minh’s austere mausoleum as the president traveled to his hotel. And it passed by the lake where Sen. John McCain was recovered when he ditched his plane during the war.
Name of source: Christian Science Monitor
SOURCE: Christian Science Monitor (11-16-06)
Sound trivial? The US government thinks so, and plans to roll out a new pilot test this winter.
It will continue to be an oral test, conducted in English, and will have 10 questions. Six correct answers will earn a passing grade. But the content, which is tightly under wraps, is expected to shun simple historical facts about America that can be recounted in a few words for more explanation about the principles of American democracy, such as freedom.
The changes raise the bar - critics say too high - for immigrants to show not only that they care enough to study for a test, but also that they understand and share American values. Behind the shift is rising anxiety among Americans about high levels of immigration and European troubles with large, unassimilated communities, say observers.
"Whenever there is a large number of immigrants, people talk about having an assimilation policy," says John Fonte, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a think tank in Washington. "We've always had an Americanization policy of some type [but] we haven't so much in the last 20, 30 years.... I'd see this as continuing that tradition, which Europe did not do."
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-16-06)
Although childhood mortality may well have been high more than 20 millennia ago, the use of red ochre, as well as the grave gifts — a chain of ivory beads — shows that babies were even then considered full members of society.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-14-06)
The former prime minister, who led the country in the campaign to retake the South Atlantic islands after they were invaded by Argentina in 1982, is expected to take part in the ceremonies despite recent ill health.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-13-06)
The cemetery is the resting place for 3,686 Commonwealth servicemen, mostly British infantrymen
The British embassy in Tel Aviv wrote to the Israeli government four months ago after six headstones and a perimeter wall were destroyed by an Israeli army bulldozer but has not yet received an answer.
More damage was done last week during an Israeli operation in the nearby town of Beit Hanoun, when an attack helicopter used its cannon to fire at one of the cemetery's larger group memorial stones.
Name of source: Independent Institute
SOURCE: Independent Institute (11-16-06)
The playlet, written 70 years ago, is said to have been brought to the attention of Edward VIII by Winston Churchill who suggested the King emulate the actions of the Shaw's fictitious monarch.
In Shaw's drama The King, the Constitution and the Lady, a king takes on the twin establishments of church and polity to marry his twice-divorced American mistress Daisy Bell.
The playlet is based on The Apple Cart, an earlier Shaw comedy, in which King Magnus is pressured by his mistress to marry her but faces opposition from his prime minister on constitutional grounds.
Magnus wins the battle by agreeing to abdicate in favour of his son, but with the caveat that he then intends to enter the political process and run for election. Recognising the king's popularity with the public, the prime minister caves in.
Writing in the magazine History Today, the biographer Stanley Weintraub describes how Edward Grigg, a Tory MP and a supporter of Edward, asked the King to follow Magnus's example. If he adopted the domestic politics of Lloyd George and Churchill's foreign policies, said Grigg, the King would be irresistible at the polls.
SOURCE: Independent Institute (11-15-06)
The conservation body warns that many of the nation's redundant town halls, fire stations, courts, schools and libraries are in serious danger of decaying over the next decade unless new uses can be found for them.
Simon Thurley, the government-funded agency's chief executive, said at the launch yesterday of the annual Heritage Counts report on the state of the historic built environment, that there was a "magnificent legacy" of public buildings left by earlier generations, particularly the Victorians, which embodied the spirit of their age. But some were at risk and their number could increase dramatically if action was not taken.
Name of source: Bloomberg News
SOURCE: Bloomberg News (11-13-06)
``Warhol is like Microsoft,'' said New York private dealer Alberto Mugrabi, who aims to augment his Warhol holdings this week. ``He is an artist who has overachieved, and he is not going to go away if the market goes up and down.'' Mugrabi's fellow collectors include the billionaires Eli Broad and Laurence Graff.
About $80 million of Warhols are on the block at Sotheby's, Christie's International and Phillips de Pury & Co. That's more than all the artist's painted pictures traded in 2006's first six months, said the auction tracker Artnet AG. Warhol's paintings cost 4.2 times as much as in 1997, including a 30 percent jump in the first nine months of 2006, said the data service Artprice.com.
At Christie's on Nov. 15, ``Sixteen Jackies,'' a 1964 group of images of the late U.S. First Lady, has a top estimate of $18 million or more. ``Orange Marilyn,'' a 1962 canvas of the film star colored with polymer and silkscreen inks, has a $15 million top estimate. ``Mao,'' a 1972 portrait of China's late leader, painted partly with a mop, is being sold by Switzerland's Daros Collection at a $12 million high value.
Name of source: San Francisco Chronicle
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (11-15-06)
The final decision about how much money each site got was made by a panel of experts who considered historical significance and need along with the number of votes. ...
The online election, which National Trust Vice President David Brown said was inspired by the television show "American Idol," ran from mid-September until Oct. 31.
Name of source: Nicholas Wade in the NYT
SOURCE: Nicholas Wade in the NYT (11-16-06)
One million units of Neanderthal DNA have already been analyzed, and a draft version of the entire genome, 3.2 billion units in length, should be ready in two years, said Dr. Svante Paabo, the leader of the research project at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.
Biologists expect knowledge of the Neanderthal genome to reveal, by its differences with the human genome, many distinctive qualities of what it means to be human. Researchers also hope to resolve such questions as whether the Neanderthals spoke, their hair and skin color, and whether they interbred at all with the modern humans who first arrived on their doorstep 45,000 years ago, or were driven to extinction without leaving any genetic legacy.
Dr. Paabo has shared some of his precious sample of Neanderthal DNA with Edward M. Rubin of the Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, Calif., whose team has identified 62,250 units of Neanderthal DNA by a different method. The two teams report their results in this week’s issues of the journals Nature and Science respectively, saying they have independently demonstrated that recovery of the Neanderthal genome is now possible.
Name of source: Inside Higher Ed
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (11-16-06)
“Some of it is deliberately hostile, from the stories that I’ve read, but some of the incidents are motivated out of a kind of racial ignorance,” said Nina Lerman, chair of the history department and director of the race and ethnic studies program at Whitman College, in Washington, the site of a daylong seminar on race last week after students painted their skin black for a party. “Many white students believe that civil rights kind of fixed things, and that we’re supposed to live in a colorblind society. They don’t understand that there’s this history of offensiveness that still lives.”
“It’s a particular moment. As we live through our multiculturalism, at the same time, we are becoming rather distant and removed from some of the history of how we got to where we are,” said Ben Vinson, director of the Center for Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University, the location of another controversial race-related incident this year. “Because you’re distant from the history, there’s a comfort level in expressing images or symbols that can be offensive to one group.”
Name of source: Salon
SOURCE: Salon (11-16-06)
Library officials released a detailed list of the missing documents to map dealers Wednesday, in case they show up on the market."We'll shine the bright light and see if some of these things out there can find their way home," Bernard Margolis, president of the Boston Public Library, told The Boston Globe.
The books containing the missing maps were used by E. Forbes Smiley III, a rare maps dealer with a home on Martha's Vineyard. In September, Smiley was sentenced in federal court in New Haven, Conn., to three years in prison for stealing nearly 100 rare maps worth about $3 million from libraries in five cities, including Boston, New York and London.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (11-16-06)
A free-market economist, Friedman preached free enterprise in the face of government regulation and advocated a monetary policy that called for steady growth in money supplies.
His ideas played a pivotal role in informing the governing philosophies of world leaders like former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
Friedman believed that economic stabilization policy did not operate like a thermostat, because of the 'long and variable lag' between policy actions and their ultimate effects.
SOURCE: Reuters (11-14-06)
After viewing photographs of the stamp, which turned up on a ballot envelope in Fort Lauderdale, officials with the U.S. stamp collectors' organization said they found inconsistencies that led them to believe it was a reproduction.
The Inverted Jenny took its name from an image of a biplane accidentally printed upside down. Only 100 of the misprinted stamps have ever been found, making them among the rarest in the world of philately.
SOURCE: Reuters (11-13-06)
Sela is an Indian by birth, part of a community in the country's remote northeast who says they are one of the "lost tribes of Israel", exiled from their homeland 2,700 years ago.
"I want to be there when my last days come. Because Israel is the land of Sarah. It's the first place where she will come," she said, referring to the wife of the biblical patriarch Abraham.
Sela, a 63-year-old mother of 10, is among the first group of India's Bnei Menashe community to be allowed to settle in the Holy Land since rabbinical leaders in Israel formally recognized them as Jews and carried out a mass conversion ceremony in India last year.
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (11-16-06)
A Japanese official said Taro Aso and his Chinese counterpart, Li Zhaoxing, had taken the decision at a meeting in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi.
The two countries will each set up a team of 10 historians to study ancient, wartime and modern history, with the results due in 2008.
History textbooks used in Japan have been a regular source of friction between Tokyo and neighbouring China and South Korea.
Last year, both Beijing and Seoul made diplomatic protests when the Japanese government approved a new edition of a previously criticised history textbook.
The book was condemned for glossing over atrocities committed by Japanese troops in Asia and leaving out the story of women being sexually enslaved by members of the imperial army during the 1930s and 1940s.
The Japanese government's decision to approve the new edition triggered anti-Japanese demonstrations in both China and South Korea.
Japan said the text did not represent the government's official view, and the book has been widely shunned. Published by the rightwing company Fusosha, it is used in less than 1% of Japanese schools.
China takes particular exception to the book's description of the 1937-38 Nanjing massacre - when Japanese troops killed an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 people - as an "incident".
The book also says Japan's actions during the second world war were motivated by "self-preservation" and a desire to liberate Asia from western control.
Even as China and Japan were seeking to take the sting out of the controversy, Japan's lower house of parliament today passed a contentious bill encouraging teachers to instil patriotism and respect for tradition in their students.
The legislation - which will now go to the upper house - would change the country's education law for the first time since it was enacted in 1947. It calls for "an attitude that respects tradition and culture and love of the national homeland that has fostered them".
Shinzo Abe, the new and hawkish Japanese prime minister, said a revision of the education law would promote patriotism and discipline in schools.
Conservative MPs argue that the current education law has put too much emphasis on respect for individuality and development of individual personality, allowing students and teachers to indulge in too much freedom at schools.
Opponents fear the move could stoke a resurgence of nationalism. They point to Japan's past, when military leaders used patriotism to justify the expansionism that helped bring on the second world war.
Name of source: NPR (audio)
SOURCE: NPR (audio) (11-15-06)
In Vietnam, the publication of a wartime diary written by an idealistic young doctor has captured the imagination of readers, and become a runaway best-seller. The diary of Dang Thuy Tram was rescued from destruction by an American soldier.
In December 1969, Frederick Whitehurst was stationed in Quang Ngai province, in what was then South Vietnam. Assigned to the 635th Military Intelligence Detachment near Duc Pho, he was burning captured enemy documents that seemed to have no military value.
Whitehurst and Nguyen Trung Hieu, his South Vietnamese interpreter, were standing by a 55-gallon drum.
"I'm throwing things in there and they're burning, and over my left shoulder, and I remember this, Nguyen Trung Hieu was looking at the diary and said, 'Fred, don't burn this. It has fire in it already,'" Whitehurst says.
The diary was that of 27-year-old Dang Thuy Tram.
"My interpreter was a very loyal soldier to the southern government," Whitehurst says. "The fact that he would put himself at risk by saying 'Don't destroy her words' was very impressive to me. And if you read just very quickly into the diary four and five pages, you can see this is something that needs to be preserved."
Name of source: Richmond Times-Dispatch
SOURCE: Richmond Times-Dispatch (11-15-06)
The queen announced the visit in a speech today launching a new session of the British Parliament.
At about the same time, President Bush released a statement welcoming the royal couple "for a state visit to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown Settlement.
Name of source: Newsday
SOURCE: Newsday (11-15-06)
The two-part interview, titled "O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here's How It Happened," will air Nov. 27 and Nov. 29, the TV network said.
Simpson has agreed to an "unrestricted" interview with book publisher Judith Regan, Fox said.
"O.J. Simpson, in his own words, tells for the first time how he would have committed the murders if he were the one responsible for the crimes," the network said in a statement. "In the two-part event, Simpson describes how he would have carried out the murders he has vehemently denied committing for over a decade."
Name of source: The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies
SOURCE: The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies (11-14-06)
The controversy concerns portraits that Mengele forced Auschwitz prisoner Dina Babbitt to paint of Gypsy prisoners on whom he was performing sadistic medical experiments. (Mrs. Babbitt, now 83, resides in northern California.) The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, in Poland, later acquired seven of the paintings from a private source but has refused to return them to Mrs. Babbitt on the grounds that they are a necessary part of the museum's exhibits.
But now, in a surprising twist, the new director of the Auschwitz museum is strongly implying that the paintings belong to Dr. Mengele. In an email to Maura McDermott of the Newark-Star Ledger, director Piotr Cywinski wrote that the paintings "have never been [Mrs. Babbitt's] property. They were made on the order and for the use of ... Mengele." (Toronto Star, Nov. 11, 2006)
Cywinski's statement is reminiscent of a letter Mrs. Babbitt received from an official of the Auschwitz Museum in 1973, in which he wrote, "if anyone has a right to these paintings, it's Dr. Mengele, but I doubt he will pick them up." (KLAS-TV, Dec. 3, 2001)
Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, said: "The museum's implication is shocking and offensive. Josef Mengele was an infamous war criminal, not a patron of the arts. He did not commission the portraits--he ordered her to paint them, and she knew Mengele could murder her if she refused. A war criminal does not deserve to enjoy the fruits of his crimes. The paintings do not belong to Mengele or his heirs--they belong to the painter, Dina Babbitt."
In 2002, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution, sponsored by Congresswoman Shelly Berkley (D-NV), urging the museum to return the paintings to Mrs. Babbitt and instructing the State Department to intervene on her behalf.
The Wyman Institute is now organizing an international petition by attorneys and legal scholars, challenging the museum's suggestion that the paintings belong to Mengele. The petition drive is being spearheaded by Thane Rosenbaum, Professor of Human Rights Law at the Fordham University School of Law, and Harry Reicher,
Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and author of the forthcoming book, 'Holocaust Law: Materials and Commentary.'
The Wyman Institute recently mobilized 450 cartoonists, animators and comic book artists from around the world to sign a petition supporting Mrs. Babbitt. (It was Mrs. Babbitt's painting of a Snow White mural on the children's barracks at Auschwitz which resulted in Mengele ordering her to paint the Gypsy portraits. After the war, Mrs. Babbitt worked for many years as an animator for Warner Brothers and other cartoon producers, drawing such famous characters as Tweety Bird, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, and Cap'n Crunch.)
Name of source: McClatchy Papers
SOURCE: McClatchy Papers (11-11-06)
Remnants of the Cold War era abound, conjuring up a time of nuclear armament, international unrest and frosty relations with the then Soviet Union.
That’s not what Pipes thinks about as he strolls through this missile silo near Pleasant Hill, Mo., however.
He sees a chance to make a few bucks. He’s not exactly sure how that will happen, but he figures the silo he bought for less than $200,000 was too good a deal to pass up.
Pipes in October purchased a decommissioned missile base once owned by the federal government. The property spans more than 15 acres and includes three enormous underground bunkers, where Nike defense missiles were poised for launching at a moment’s notice.
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (11-13-06)
At the request of the survivors and the families of the dead, the bodies of thousands of the victims have been preserved in lime and placed where they were killed. One classroom is filled with hundreds of skulls and piles of bones, while another contains the children, some with their petrified arms raised up to fend off the blows that killed them.
This sacred place for relatives and survivors' groups should, by now, also house a genocide memorial centre, created by a British charity and partly funded by the UK government as a monument of international significance.
But the project, which was supposed to have opened two years ago, has remained closed amid criticism from Rwandans that it has completely failed to provide a culturally sensitive memorial to the slaughter of one million people. The British charity, the Aegis Trust, is now attempting to satisfy demands for substantial changes.
Name of source: Perspectives, the newsmagazine of the AHA
SOURCE: Perspectives, the newsmagazine of the AHA (11-1-06)
John Lewis, who was born the son of sharecroppers on February 21, 1940, grew up on his family’s farm and attended segregated public schools in Pike County, Alabama. He was inspired by the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and the activism surrounding the Montgomery Bus Boycott, to become a part of the civil rights movement.
Name of source: CBS 8 (San Diego)
SOURCE: CBS 8 (San Diego) (11-14-06)
The items, including handwritten diaries and typed notes, were discovered last spring, when Naismith's granddaughter, Hellen Carpenter, went down to her basement to look for an old family photograph.
Instead, she found journals, keepsakes and typewritten rule sheets that open a new window on the birth of one of the world's most popular sports.
Carpenter is auctioning off the documents in December. She said they settle details about her grandfather's invention, such as the "Eureka" moment when he remembered rules from Duck on a Rock, a Canadian game he played as a child, and applied them to his new game.
The items include the first rules of basketball; photos of the first basketball team and court, and Naismith's description of the very first game; a whistle Naismith used as the first basketball coach at Kansas; and the passport he used to attend the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics, the first to feature basketball as a medal sport.
The five boxes of documents, photos and items were handed down to Carpenter from her mother Hellen Naismith Dodd, Carpenter said. She kept them around for decades without looking through them.
"My mother told me for years that there was nothing of real value there," the 74-year-old Carpenter said.
Chris Ivy disagreed. As director of sports auctions for Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas, he was stunned when Carpenter called him and described the documents casually stored in her home in the St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield.
Documents autographed by Naismith only surface two or three times a year, he said. Carpenter's boxes were an especially rare find, he said.
"It almost crosses into history _ it's not just sports collectibles," he said.
Naismith carefully recorded basketball's birth in 1891.
At the time, Naismith, a native of Canada, was teaching at a school in Springfield, Mass., that trained young men to become instructors at the newly formed YMCA centers that were opening around the country, Carpenter said.
The students got bored during the winter months when they couldn't play outdoor soccer and football. Naismith needed to invent a strenuous game that could be played on small indoor courts.
He tried to adapt lacrosse and football to be played inside. He even introduced his students to a slew of invented games like Hylo Ball, Scruggy Ball and Association Football. None of them took.
Handwritten diaries show Naismith was nervous the students wouldn't like his newest invention _ Basket Ball, as he called it.
Before the first basketball game was played, Naismith prepared the gym by nailing two baskets to balconies on either end of a court and posting 13 rules of the game on a bulletin board.
"I busied myself arranging the apparatus all the time watching the boys as they arrived to observe their attitude that day," Naismith wrote in cursive script.
"I felt this was a crucial moment in my life as it meant success or failure of my attempt to hold the interest of the class and devise a new game," he wrote.
He seems to have gotten mixed reviews. He wrote that Frank Mahan, a Southerner, was the first student to walk on to the court. Mahan looked at the baskets and the rules.
"Huh. Another new game," Mahan said, according to the diary.
Still, basketball caught on. But there were glitches. Naismith eventually added a backboard behind the basket so students couldn't stand in the balcony and knock away good shots from the opposing team, Carpenter said.
Naismith also noted in his journal that it took a lot of reminding to keep students from tackling a player when he got possession of the ball.
The game became more popular as Naismith's students went on to teach at YMCAs around the country, Carpenter said.
Naismith knew before his death in 1939 that he had created a lasting game when basketball became an Olympic sport.
"Up until then, he'd just thought of it as a little game," she said.
Name of source: La Times
SOURCE: La Times (11-14-06)
'They paid a high price for their holiness,' said archeologist James D. Tabor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, one of the coauthors of a paper appearing in the international journal Revue de Qumran. 'Some people might laugh, but it is terribly sad,' he said. 'They were so dedicated and had such a strenuous lifestyle, but they were probably lowering their life expectancy and ruining their health in an effort to do what is right.' The discovery of the unique toilet area provides further evidence linking the scrolls to Qumran - an association that has recently been called into question by a small but vociferous group of archeologists who have argued that the settlement was a pottery factory, a country villa or a Roman fortress, but not a monastery.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, the revisionists claim, were actually hidden in the caves of Qumran by Jews fleeing the devastation of Jerusalem during the Roman suppression beginning in AD 66. The majority of archeologists, in contrast, argue that the scrolls were copies produced by a small sect, generally called the Essenes, who lived at Qumran. Because the location of the latrine was specified in two of the most important scrolls found at the site, its discovery provides strong evidence associating the settlement with the scrolls, Tabor said. Tabor and his colleagues 'make a pretty good case,' said Hershel Shanks, editor of the Biblical Archeology Review. Nonetheless, he added, 'the argument about whether it is an Essene community will go on for many years and maybe never be settled.' Interest in Qumran dates back to 1947, when Bedouin tribesmen discovered three ancient manuscripts in a cave on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, about 10 miles south of the West Bank city of Jericho. Subsequent searches yielded about 900 manuscripts and fragments dating from about 250 BC to AD 68. Some of the manuscripts are copies of books of the Old Testament, while others are related to more mundane aspects of life.
The Catholic priest Roland de Vaux excavated part of Qumran in the 1950s and concluded that it had been inhabited by an apocalyptic Jewish sect that copied the manuscripts and eventually hid them from the invading Romans. That conclusion is still widely accepted. The Essenes are one of very few ancient groups whose toilet practices were documented. The 1st century Jewish historian Josephus noted that members of the group normally dug holes and buried their waste outside the city. The group was not allowed to defecate on the Sabbath, he said, because its members were prohibited from leaving the city. Two of the Dead Sea Scrolls note that the latrines should be situated northwest of the settlement, at a distance of 1,000 to 3,000 cubits - about 450 to 1,350 yards - and out of sight of the settlement. Mulling these guidelines, Tabor noted that there is a natural bluff about 1,000 yards northwest of Qumran, blocking the view of the area behind it. The soil there, he said, 'looked different' from that around it. Eventually, Tabor and Joe E. Zias of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an expert on ancient latrines, went to the site and took samples from the area and from other areas. 'The earth was so nice and soft, while the rest of the desert was very hard,' Zias said. 'In fact, I broke my pick collecting control samples from the other areas.' Zias sent samples to Stephanie Harter-Lailheugue of the CNRS Laboratory for Anthropology in Marseille, France. She found preserved eggs and other remnants of roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms and pinworms, all human intestinal parasites.
Samples from the surrounding areas contained no parasites, while a sample from the stable area of the settlement contained a species of animal worms. 'The evidence shows conclusively that the area was a toilet,' Zias said. Had the waste been dumped on the surface, as is the practice of Bedouins in the area, the parasites would have quickly been killed by sunlight. Buried, they could persist for a year or longer, infecting anyone who walked through the soil. The situation was made worse by the fact that the Essenes had to pass through an immersion cistern, or miqvot , before returning to the settlement. The water would have served as a breeding ground for the parasites. The ritual cleansing 'is a total immersion, which means that it gets in your ears, in your eyes and in your mouth,' Zias said. 'It is not hard to imagine how sick everyone must have been.' The sickness is reflected in the Qumran cemetery, which had been partially excavated previously.
'The graveyard at Qumran is the unhealthiest group I have ever studied in over 30 years,' Zias said.
Fewer than 6% of the men buried there survived to age 40, he said. In contrast, cemeteries from the same period excavated at Jericho show that half the men lived beyond age 40.