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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 (11-14-06)
He once predicted that 15 minutes after he died, his name would be taken off the Queens stadium where the New York Mets play baseball. It took 15 years instead.
But Mr. Shea got the big picture right. Nothing lasts forever, certainly not a name on the facade of a ballpark, certainly not when huge bucks are at stake and corporate egos need nourishing.
For 42 years, the Mets’ home field has been called Shea Stadium. It is called that for a reason: to honor Mr. Shea, never mind that ever-shrinking numbers of the team’s fans have a clue who he was.
Mr. Shea, who died in 1991 at 84, was a lawyer and a power broker. He, as much as anyone, brought National League baseball back to a bereft city after the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants took a powder in 1957. The New York Metropolitan Baseball Club Inc. came into being in 1961. When it moved into a new home of its own in 1964, it made sense to many to name the home Shea Stadium.
It was an honor in the dictionary definition of the word: high regard or great respect. It is an honor that has now become a casualty of modern business.
Yesterday, the Mets made it official that their new playground, rising next to the old one in Flushing Meadows, will not be called Shea Stadium. The new name is Citi Field, in obeisance to Citigroup, the banking titan.
SOURCE: NYT (11-14-06)
So the Army Corps of Engineers is embarking on a $14 million plan to save the lighthouse by building a sea wall of boulders to protect the bluff. But a group of surfers say the boulders that would save the lighthouse would ruin Alamo, the world-renowned surf break just beyond its shadow, and they have a counterproposal.
Dude, just move the lighthouse back.
SOURCE: NYT (11-13-06)
Burnside, the ill-fated Union Army commander in the winter of 1862, endured mud, cold, communications breakdowns and unreliable supply lines — not to mention hostile fire — during his attempt to ford this Northern Virginia river.
Despite the cool drizzly weather of October 2006, Mr. Campi, the policy and communications director for the Civil War Preservation Trust, has no such problems. The Rappahannock’s muddy waters pass in the blink of an eye as his Honda Pilot purrs down I-95, cellphone and coffee mug at his side.
He’s headed for the same place as Burnside and his army of 110,000: Fredericksburg, on the southern banks of the river. Now a quaint tourist town, this was enemy territory for Burnside, who was on his way to a calamitous defeat at the hands of Robert E. Lee’s 75,000 Confederates.
Mr. Campi and his organization have just won their own battle on the same hallowed ground. Working with an unlikely ally — Tricord, a developer — as well as with local preservation groups, the trust managed to buy the pristine 208-acre Slaughter Pen Farm.
SOURCE: NYT (11-12-06)
Perhaps it is the contrast with digital maps that makes old-fashioned paper road maps seem rich and wonderful again. Those colorful guides once found in every glove compartment are gaining desirability not just as collectibles but as cultural records — even in archives as august as those of the Library of Congress.
C. Ford Peatross, curator of architecture, design and engineering collections in the library’s prints and photographs division, recently joined John Margolies, an expert on modern road maps, for a presentation in New York of Mr. Margolies’s artifacts of the road. Mr. Margolies’s maps, along with matchbooks, menus and other ephemera make up only part of a collection recording life on the road in America in the (mostly) 20th century.
SOURCE: NYT (11-11-06)
Here the stubbornness of old cold warriors in Washington and the equal tenacity of leftist governments in Cuba and Venezuela have kept a miniature cold war going. Just as it was 20 years ago, Nicaragua now finds itself smack in the middle of the conflict with the election this week of Daniel Ortega, the former Marxist rebel leader, as president.
Mr. Ortega faces a balancing act no politician would envy, both inside the country and on the world stage. On the one hand, to satisfy his supporters, he must fulfill promises to “eradicate poverty,” curb “savage capitalism,” and remain friendly with his leftist allies, Fidel Castro of Cuba and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela. Venezuela, in particular, could be a source of cheap oil and money for social programs.
On the other hand, he can ill afford to lose more than $50 million a year in United States aid or credit from the International Monetary Fund.
SOURCE: NYT (11-10-06)
Mr. Gates, in the words of one Central Intelligence Agency subordinate, Jennifer L. Glaudemans, “politicized intelligence analysis,” insisting on slanted reports that became the basis for “momentous foreign policy decisions.”
The Senate will have to decide whether such claims, which did not prevent the C.I.A. veteran from becoming the agency’s director 15 years ago, have new relevance now that President Bush has named him to succeed Donald H. Rumsfeld as defense secretary.
Senators may revisit assertions that Mr. Gates falsely denied knowledge of the Reagan administration’s secret scheme to sell arms to Iran and use the proceeds to support the Nicaraguan contra rebels, an issue that derailed his first nomination to lead the C.I.A. in 1987.
SOURCE: NYT (11-10-06)
On the flag were two stars and two numbers: a gold star followed by “58” and just below that a black star with “1235”.
Joel Allen, a history professor at the college who had been on a quest to track down the names of students who died during World War II, knew that the flag represented the number of Queens College students who served — 1,235 — and died — 58 — during the war.
But while the flag had survived the decades, the names of those it represented had long been lost.
That deeply disturbed Arnold Franco, a Manhattan insurance executive, a member of the Queens College class of 1943, who was one of the 1,235 — 60 percent of the student body at the time — who left the college to serve in the military. He found himself one morning about a year ago in his apartment on East 62nd Street, depressed at the thought that many of his soldier-classmates had been forgotten.
“I woke up and I said, ‘My God, there’s no World War II veterans memorial at the school,’ ” said Mr. Franco, 83, who urged school officials to begin the search for the dead students’ names and offered $100,000 to build a memorial on campus. His offer was accepted, and today, the memorial will be dedicated.
Mr. Franco, who was born and raised in Richmond Hill and majored in history at Queens College, which is in Flushing, served in an elite group of code-breakers during the war. He can still recite from memory the coded German message announcing the paratroop invasion that led to the Battle of the Bulge.
Yet the job of breaking the flag’s code fell to a newer group of recruits: six history majors at the college, led by Professor Allen, who began their research last winter.
SOURCE: NYT (11-9-06)
In research being published online this week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists reported that matings between Neanderthals and modern humans presumably accounted for the presence of a variant of the gene that regulates brain size.
Bruce T. Lahn of the University of Chicago, the report’s senior author, said the findings demonstrated that such interbreeding with relative species, those on the brink of extinction, contributed to the evolutionary success of modern humans.
Name of source: CBS News
SOURCE: CBS News (11-13-06)
Carter made history in World War II as one of the first African-American fighter pilots, CBS News correspondent Richard Schlesinger reports. At age 22 he was an original member of the all-black Tuskegee Airmen, who had to fight for the right to fight for their country.
"We were told that we were lackadaisical. That was an insult, to say that you were too stupid to serve your country," Carter says.
At the time, black servicemen were seen more often in the kitchen than the cockpit.
"Our philosophy was that the antidote to racism and separatism was excellence in performance," Carter says....
There were about 1,000 black fighter pilots in the group. They flew more than 16,000 times during the war, won more than 900 medals — and the Germans never shot down a bomber they were protecting.
New York Rep. Charles Rangel led the fight to award the Tuskegee Airmen the highest honor Congress can bestow, the Congressional Gold Medal, as a tribute to their victories over there and their suffering over here.
"The sad part of the story is when they came home, they were just black men who served their country and were subjected to the same discrimination that existed before their heroic acts," says Rangel.
The Airmen have won a slew of other honors, but this medal can't come too soon for Carter.
"It simply says that the United States of America is saying, finally, a job well done," he says.
Carter is one of only about 130 known surviving Tuskegee pilots — old men now whose skills were recognized years ago, but who are only now getting the recognition they deserve.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (11-11-06)
Wreaths taken from around the cemetery were set alight on top of the writer's gravestone, Russian TV reported.
Pasternak's daughter-in-law, Natalya, said she feared the monument, which features a sculpture of the writer, could be lost forever.
SOURCE: BBC (11-11-06)
Police officers also found anti-Semitic graffiti painted on one home and a shop close to the memorial in Chapel Road, Worthing, on Saturday morning.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: "This is offensive and racist graffiti. It's fairly large-scale."
The Royal British Legion said it was "dismayed and upset" by the graffiti, which was removed prior to the main service at 1100 GMT.
SOURCE: BBC (11-10-06)
Birgit Wiger-Angner's family held the marble for 110 years, but she decided to return it to Athens after hearing about Greece's Elgin marbles campaign.
The small fragment comes from the Acropolis's Erechtheion temple.
The move has boosted the international campaign to persuade the British Museum to return the Elgin marbles to Athens.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (11-12-06)
While reviewing absentee ballots Tuesday night, Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom noticed what looked like a small stamp collection on one envelope. There was no name on the envelope, so the vote contained inside did not count.
At least one of the stamps was from 1936, Rodstrom said later. But another really caught his eye: It had an upside-down World War I-era airplane -- the hallmark of a stamp known among collectors as the Inverted Jenny.
The 24-cent Jenny stamps were printed in 1918. Sheets were run through presses twice to process all the colors and, on one pass, four went through backward. Inspectors caught the errors on three sheets and destroyed them, but one sheet of 100 stamps escaped into circulation.
Stamp collectors have spent 88 years trying to find them all.
Col. Charles J. Scharf, of San Diego, was flying his F-4C Phantom after a pair of bombing missions when he was shot by enemy fire.
The Pentagon said Thursday that his remains had been identified after specialists matched the DNA from gummed adhesive on envelopes of letters Scharf sent his wife Patricia to a bone fragment found near the crash site in a 1992 excavation.
The display has been in the lobby of the Taylor County courthouse since 1944, honoring servicemembers who fought in World War II. The two lists are mounted side by side behind glass in two large frames.
John Cole Vodicka, an activist from Americus, is organizing a rally Monday at the courthouse to persuade the county commission to take down the display.
"They can't obviously be proud of the fact that the plaques continue to stay on the wall," he said.
In January, the Taylor County Commission unanimously decided to create an "integrated" list, with all the names together, along with additional names that weren't in the display designed before the war ended.
But the commission also decided to leave the "Whites" and "Colored" lists up in the lobby of the building.
"If we erase everything we find offensive or don't like, then it may happen again," said Sybil Willingham, chairwoman of the county's Historic Preservation Commission.
SOURCE: AP (11-12-06)
"It's been a catharsis for a lot of people," said Hal Barker, 59. "They write a letter telling the person who was lost how their life turned out."
It's been 11 years since the Barkers, inspired by their father's reticence, started the Korean War Project, an online memory bank for the 1950s conflict that claimed about 36,500 U.S. lives. They have helped comrades reconnect and tried to get relatives of the missing to submit DNA to the U.S. government to help with identification.
"The length of one's days matters less than the love of one's family and friends," Ford said in a statement this week from the Rancho Mirage compound he shares with former first lady Betty Ford, 88.
Ford was president from Aug. 9, 1974, when Richard Nixon resigned, until January 1977. He's suffered a variety of health problems in recent years, including undergoing heart procedures at the Mayo Clinic in August.
"He's doing very well. He's still recuperating," said Ford's chief of staff, Penny Circle.
The grave in Snagovo village, about 30 miles north of Srebrenica, was found after experts received a tip-off from an undisclosed source, said Murat Hurtic, head of Bosnia's Missing Persons Commission.
It is the seventh mass grave Hurtic's team has found near Srebrenica, the scene of Europe's worst massacre since World War II.
The sale price sets a record for a pre-World War II work of art created in the United States, The New York Times reported.
The Smithsonian's National Gallery of Art will share the work with Alice Walton, daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, The Washington Post reported. Alice Walton founded the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which is scheduled to open in 2009 in Bentonville, Ark.
SOURCE: AP (11-8-06)
The plan to award a unique insignia for duty at Srebrenica outraged survivors and victims' families Wednesday, who called it an insult to those who died.
The award was meant to heal a painful wound in the military, which felt unfairly blamed for the massacre and its reputation unjustly tarnished.
SOURCE: AP (11-8-06)
Forestview High School principal Robert Carpenter said neither he nor his team's coach knew about the speech before the 90-second excerpt was played during pre-game training Saturday, according to a letter he sent Monday to visiting Charlotte Catholic High School.
Carpenter said in the letter the team had adopted the slogan "On to victory," and a German exchange student who plays on the team had taught other students how to say the phrase in German.
"Some of our more zealous students sought to capture this slogan in German and to play it on the PA," Carpenter wrote.
Name of source: Times Online (UK)
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (11-11-06)
There was, just as there was with Saddam Hussein, a compelling case for trying him. His army had launched an unprovoked assault on a neutral country. It had deployed unusually vile forms of killing — chlorine gas attacks, Zeppelin bombing raids against urban civilian targets and unrestricted submarine warfare that included torpedoing cruise liners.
But was he personally responsible? Could a trial lead to counter allegations about Allied war crimes? Might trying a deposed head of state create an unfortunate precedent? Was this any way to treat Queen Victoria’s grandson? If German democracy collapsed, might it be necessary to restore the monarch? A trial could prove inconvenient.
F. E. Smith, the Attorney-General, however, assured the Imperial War Cabinet that it was inequitable to put U-boat captains on trial for war crimes but not their Supreme Warlord. He cited Edmund Burke’s reasoning in the trial of Warren Hastings: “You strike at the whole corps if you strike at the head.” Furthermore: “If this man escapes, common people will say everywhere that he has escaped because he is an emperor,” Smith explained. “They will say that august influence has been exerted to save him.”
A new world order was being created, based around the UN’s forerunner, the League of Nations. Trying this discredited old world relic would be a fitting start. The Cabinet agreed, as did the French.
Woodrow Wilson was less sure. “King Charles I was a contemptible character and the greatest liar in history”, the US President alleged, yet “he was celebrated by poetry and transformed into a martyr by his execution.” Nonetheless, Wilson went along with his allies and Article 227 of the Treaty of Versailles demanded that the ex-Kaiser stand trial before a special tribunal composed of five judges from each of the victorious powers....
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (11-10-06)
Private David Martin, from Belfast, was one of a handful of soldiers left behind during the British retreat in 1914, and then trapped behind the lines in German-occupied France.
For 18 months, Martin and three other British soldiers were hidden by French peasants in a little village near the Somme, until they were betrayed, tried as spies, and shot by a German firing squad.
On the night before he died, 28-year-old Martin wrote to his wife, Mary, on a typewriter provided by his German gaoler. He was uneducated and his letter contains numerous spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, yet it is also extraordinarily touching: the final testament of a terrified man summoning up his last reserves of piety, pluck and patriotism.
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (11-10-06)
This week, Boy’s Christmas Truce letter was sold at auction for £14,400, after the singer Chris de Burgh trumped 14 rival bidders.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-12-06)
Angela Merkel, the chancellor, has summoned culture ministers and museum directors from Germany's 16 federal states next week to discuss an overhaul of the "restitution" law, which critics say is stripping the country's museums of important works.
Under the law, paintings and sculptures that were parted with under duress must be returned to their owners or their heirs. But a heated debate over the way the law is operating was fuelled last week by two dramatic developments on the international art market: the sale of an important Expressionist work for a record price in New York, and an attempt through the courts to block the auction of a Picasso, owned by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Art Foundation.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-10-06)
Wolf was the head of the Hauptverwaltung Aufklarung, the East German foreign intelligence service, from 1952 until 1986, making a speciality of sending so-called "Romeo" spies into West Germany to seduce female government employees. The hallmark of Wolf's operations was the enormous patience with which he waited for his spies to achieve positions where they would be useful to their Communist masters.
Many of the women who succumbed to the ploy were lonely secretaries approaching middle age who had far greater access to government secrets than their lowly role might have suggested. But one progressed through the ranks of the West German security service to become its most highly placed female officer, while in 1975 another secured a post in the office of Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.
Dagmar Kahlig-Scheffler, codenamed Inge, was recruited by a Romeo spy who was actually on holiday in Bulgaria and was slowly manoeuvred through a succession of posts until she obtained a job in the Chancellery. The intelligence she passed to her handlers included the contents of confidential conversations between Schmidt and James Callaghan, in which the then British prime minister denounced the Americans as "arrogant" and "stupid".
But Wolf's most important agent was neither a Romeo spy nor one of the scores of lonely "Juliets" they seduced. Gunther Guillaume was part of a husband and wife team, just one of hundreds of potential spies, sent into the West in the 1950s. Guillaume worked in an East German publishing house with links to the secret police, the Stasi, which as well as running an extensive network of spies against its own people had ultimate control over Wolf's foreign intelligence service.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-11-06)
Muriel Thomson looked after Sir Winston as he neared death and, in addition to making sure he had his cigars and whisky to hand, was expected to put the bird 'to bed'.
The former prime minister was an animal lover and it seems that, towards the end of his life, his budgie was seldom far from his side, even accompanying him to dinner.
"Whisky and soda, specs, cards; bird to be brought into dining room near his chair," Nurse Thomson wrote in her notes. "Tweeds; hanky in top pocket; boiler suit — slippers" and "after dinner… put bird to bed!!"
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (11-12-06)
He had come to see the grave of Gen. John J. Pershing, on a hill in Arlington National Cemetery. Buckles once shook the great soldier's hand, chatted with him in Oklahoma City, 1920, after the war. Now he sat in a wheelchair on a small stage near the headstone and waited for the ceremony to begin: Veterans Day again.
He's a few months shy of 106, the youngest of 13 known U.S. veterans of World War I still living. When the fighting stopped 88 years ago yesterday, there were 4.7 million Americans in uniform. Now, a dozen men and a woman are left.
They are the last, Buckles and the others -- the end of the generation that parented the Greatest Generation, the adults of the Depression who struggled to feed the children who would grow to win that other world war, the big one everybody remembers.
SOURCE: WaPo (10-31-06)
She is by no means alone in her effort. In the fall of 2005, Virginia began issuing academic scholarships to repair even a small portion of the harm done to at least 2,000 African American schoolchildren who suffered a particularly acute form of deprivation during the hard-fought transition to integrated schooling. The fund, known as the Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship Program, is an attempt to atone for the damage that Prince Edward -- with profound complicity from the state itself -- inflicted upon its most vulnerable citizens. The program pays the costs of a GED program or high school diploma for those who found jobs during the closings and may never have returned to school at all; it also pays for community college or an undergraduate or master's degree, up to $7,200 a year.
"It's difficult to start your life over when you are 58 years old, but we are never too old to learn and be filled with knowledge and wonder," says Ken Woodley, 49, editor of the Farmville Herald and the chief architect of the plan."There are people who see it as an opportunity to get a better job or go into business for themselves. I really believe that if someone discovers one author, one painter, their lives are enriched, and they are able to experience more of what life has to offer."
SOURCE: WaPo (11-12-06)
Or maybe she was riding around with her dad and his bullhorn, as he touted his candidacy from a convertible.
The late Thomas J. D'Alesandro Jr., also known as Old Tommy or Tommy the Elder, was the flamboyant and legendary machine politician, a Roosevelt Democrat, whose only daughter is the woman poised to be the speaker of the House, second in line of succession from the presidency.
She grew up stuffing envelopes for her dad. She grew up watching how the political game was played. She saw how favors were handed out, how chits were called in. She watched her mother balance full-time motherhood with grass-roots organizing, and later followed her example. Albemarle Street was Nancy Pelosi's training ground, the center of a political universe forged from a community as tight-knit as an Italian village.
Critics deride Pelosi, 66, for a presumed lightweight liberalism they attribute to her latter-day home in San Francisco. But her liberalism -- and the keen political instincts and skill at the inside parry of the game -- can be traced more deeply and more precisely back to Albemarle Street, to the political empire that grew there when her father held court through decades of an intensely political life.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (11-13-06)
``As we turn these shovels we are just beginning to turn the dirt, and as we turn this dirt at this ground, let us go back to our communities and turn the dirt there,'' said former King aide Andrew Young, admonishing attendees to continue the slain leader's work against racism, poverty and violence.
Nearly 5,000 people, including TV show host Oprah Winfrey and former President Bill Clinton braved the morning cold to celebrate the life of the Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Speakers quoted King's sermons and speeches and paid tribute to his belief that non-violent protest could help end discrimination against black Americans.
Democrat Barack Obama from Illinois, the only African-American serving in the U.S. Senate and a possible presidential candidate in 2008, wondered what to tell his daughters when they visit the monument.
``I will tell them this man gave his life serving others,'' Obama said. ``I will tell them this man tried to love somebody. I will tell them that because he did those things they live today, with the freedom God intended, their citizenship unquestioned, their dreams unbounded.''
Construction officially begins on the crescent-shaped four-acre site in the spring and is scheduled to be completed in 2008.
SOURCE: Reuters (11-10-06)
"We are in the wilderness because we walked away from the limited government principles that minted the Republican Congress," Rep. Mike Pence wrote to colleagues after Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives and the Senate in this week's elections.
The Indiana Republican, a major voice of the conservative wing in the House who is seeking a leadership position in his party, described himself as dedicated to providing "a credible and persuasive voice for the Reagan agenda."
"Now is the time to return to the ideals that swept us into a governing majority," said John Shadegg of Arizona, quoting from the 1994 Contract with America, the manifesto of Reagan's ideological heirs. Shadegg also is seeking a leadership role.
As Pence, Shadegg and other figures maneuver for influence in the new Democratic-controlled Congress, the dominant Republican themes are fiscal discipline, tax cuts and conservative purity. They are not talking much about Iraq or foreign policy.
So far no Republican moderates have ventured into the leadership arena, and the one moderate who had been part of that circle, Deborah Pryce of Ohio, announced she is leaving after barely surviving her re-election bid.
But some of the dwindling band of moderate Republicans are speaking up, urging that their party move toward the center, where the recent election showed many American voters are most comfortable.
SOURCE: Reuters (11-10-06)
SOURCE: Reuters (11-11-06)
No one on the crowded pavement appears to be listening to the scratchy, nasal sounds that are actually coming from loudspeakers, obscured by trees, which are used for neighborhood announcements in Communist-run Vietnam.
The loudspeakers are a throwback to the 1960s and 1970s war years when they delivered news from the front and warned people to take shelter from American aircraft bombing during Hanoi's war with a U.S.-backed South Vietnam government.
More than three decades later, they are blaring announcements about the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that Hanoi is hosting on November 12-19.
It is Vietnam's international coming out party to showcase the higher standard of living it has achieved in the past two decades after a long history of war and poverty.
"This is an opportunity for Vietnam to promote businesses and introduce the economic potential of Vietnam to the international community," explained one announcement on the loudspeakers, which are mounted on pylons, sometimes near trees.
The daily 6.30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. broadcasts in a male or female voice often politely begin with"Ladies and Gentlemen...". They end with an equally polite"thank you for listening to our broadcast" after covering topics such as Communist Party municipal committee meetings, avian flu prevention, vitamin regimens, sanitation and reminders to vaccinate against rabies.
SOURCE: Reuters (11-9-06)
The Klimts included a portrait that fetched the third-highest auction price ever, while new records were also set for Gauguin, Schiele and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner at the $491,472,000 sale.
In the end, however, the night belonged to Klimt, and to Maria Altmann, a Los Angeles nonagenarian and the niece of the Austrian couple Adele and Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer who lost the works to the Nazis.
The four paintings, led by the portrait ``Adele Bloch-Bauer II,'' fetched a total of $192.7 million including Christie's commission -- double the expectations for the works by the Austrian artist which had never been offered on the open market.
Name of source: Secrecy News, written by Steven Aftergood, is published by the Federation of American Scientists
As Director of Central Intelligence from 1991-1993, Robert M. Gates, the nominee to be the next Secretary of Defense, grappled with questions of government secrecy more than almost any other agency head and helped to inaugurate a decade of increasing openness in intelligence and elsewhere.
Though he said the term "CIA openness" was "an oxymoron," Mr. Gates also expressed the view that the interests of the CIA would best be served by eliminating unnecessary restrictions on disclosure of Agency information.
He undertook several initiatives to increase openness in U.S. intelligence, some of which did not fail.
He directed the publication of unclassified and declassified articles from the CIA journal Studies in Intelligence; he began the process of declassifying records concerning major U.S. covert actions during the cold war; he signaled the CIA's willingness to cooperate in a government-wide program of declassifying records pertaining to the assassination of President Kennedy; and he initiated a program of declassification of National Intelligence Estimates on the former Soviet Union.
"Over the years, CIA's approach to dealing with the media and the public has been, at best, uneven," he said in a 1992 speech. It "took place against a backdrop of overall continuing and undifferentiated secrecy.... This is going to change."
Mr. Gates laid out his views on the subject and his new initiatives in "CIA and Openness," a speech to the Oklahoma Press Association, on February 21, 1992:
Most of Mr. Gates's changes in intelligence disclosure policy were incremental and did not fundamentally transform either internal or external communications. Many of the proposed changes were adopted half-heartedly or inconsistently, or later abandoned. Some were not implemented at all.
For example, at his 1991 confirmation hearing, Mr. Gates expressed support for the idea of declassifying the intelligence budget total, but he never did so.
An excellent proposal that he presented in his 1992 speech -- to "publish on an annual basis an index of all documents [CIA] has declassified" -- was never accomplished, though it remains a valuable and perfectly achievable objective, for CIA and other national security agencies.
Mr. Gates' halting efforts to increase openness were explicitly motivated by bureaucratic self-interest, but they were not less effective for that reason. To the contrary, he seemed to understand what few agency heads do: that openness and responsiveness to the public can advance the interests of an agency over the long run.
Mr. Gates has also displayed an appreciation for the role of congressional oversight that may yet serve him and the nation well.
"I sat in the Situation Room in secret meetings for nearly twenty years under five Presidents, and all I can say is that some awfully crazy schemes might well have been approved had everyone present not known and expected hard questions, debate, and criticism from the Hill," he wrote in his 1996 memoir "From the Shadows" (p. 559).
"And when, on a few occasions, Congress was kept in the dark, and such schemes did proceed, it was nearly always to the lasting regret of the Presidents involved. Working with the Congress was never easy for Presidents, but then, under the Constitution, it wasn't supposed to be. I saw too many in the White House forget that."
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (11-12-06)
George W Bush: chosen by Owen Dudley Edwards
The question "who is the worst US president" is something I have thought long and hard about and the answer is very simple: it is the incumbent president. I had previously thought that Nixon was the worst and there were other candidates such as Warren Harding - but they all pale in comparison to Bush. He has displaced all his predecessors. Nobody has been quite as appalling....
George W Bush - chosen by A C Grayling
Bush certainly is the worst president since the start of the 20th century. Before then, there was very little that US presidents could do. They did not have the same influence in world affairs that they have today. So since the start of the 20th century is the only basis for comparison. The first reason for Bush being the worst US president is his insensitivity and his ignorance. Before he became president he was asked questions such as what is the capital of Sweden - and he showed that he was very, very poorly prepared....
Herbert Hoover - chosen by Stefan Halper
The US has had a number of presidents who in various ways were unsuited to their era. There was Herbert Hoover, who was unable to grasp the dimensions of the Depression, and his willingness to engage in national resources was also very limited....
Calvin Coolidge - chosen by William Shawcross
The amazing thing about America is how many presidents have been good, not how many have been terrible. Never underestimate America or its leaders.
Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan were all dismissed at the time - but all made huge contributions to the West's security, and above all Europe. To dismiss George Bush as the worst is as absurd as it is fashionable. Afghanistan is still fragile but it is a far better place for the majority of its people than it was under the Taliban, whom Bush (and Blair) ousted....
George W Bush - chosen by Antony Beevor
Bush has been a completely disastrous president. The whole of his strategy - if you can give it that word, which I don't think you can - has been based on completely false historical parallels.
Part of the problem was the fact that the neocons were part of the Vietnam generation. The idea behind Vietnam was the domino theory, in which they believed that Communism would spread from country to country....
Jimmy Carter - chosen by Andrew Roberts
Carter was the worst US president, there is no question of that. I can't imagine how anyone can possibly think of citing anyone else. He brought America to its lowest ebb in the most disastrous decade to have struck America....
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (11-10-06)
In future, they could have even more in common. Yesterday, the Somerset market town emerged as a leading contender in the competition to provide Timbuktu with a British twin.
The Cultural Mission of Timbuktu announced that Glastonbury was one of three finalists shortlisted from more than fifty UK towns and cities which applied for the post after reading about the vacancy in The Independent last month.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (11-8-06)
Heritage sites that have existed for thousands of years "may, by virtue of climate change, very well not be available to future generations," said Achim Steiner, head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Seaside cities that have lasted for centuries, some of the world's most important national parks, and a coral reef in Belize that Charles Darwin once described as "the most remarkable reef in the West Indies, "are all at risk from rising sea levels and increased temperatures.
"Our world is changing, there is no going back," said Tom Downing, co-author of the study, entitled The Atlas of Climate Change.
Mr Steiner said: "Adaptation to climate change should and must include natural and culturally important sites."
Name of source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
SOURCE: Cleveland Plain Dealer (11-11-06)
But the people who lived through World War I, and gave it that designation, perhaps figured that any conflict that killed 15 million soldiers and civilians would leave a lasting impression.
They also created an annual reminder of that war in Armistice Day - marking the truce that ended four years of battle on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
Then came World War II and the realization of even greater losses. Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day.
As the number of people who marked the original holiday dwindles, so, too, do the ranks of those who fought in a war that saw the first widespread use of airplanes, machine guns, tanks, submarines and poison gas.
Name of source: San Francisco Chronicle
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (11-11-06)
Actually, he does. The crusading publisher of fiery cultural broadsides like Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" is also a World War II Navy veteran. He was a "Splinter Fleet" skipper, commanding one of the frail, 110-foot, wooden subchasers assigned to secure convoys and coasts from U-boat attack.
Veterans Day is a time to honor those who served our country. It's also a good time to study what that period of service taught them. For Ferlinghetti, whose tour of duty ranged from Normandy Beach to Nagasaki, the aftereffects of what he did and saw were considerable. His military service is usually summarized in half a sentence. But there was a lot more to it than that. Like other vets, his story deserves exploration.
Name of source: LAT
SOURCE: LAT (11-11-06)
With Floquet's death, only four French veterans of the Great War are still alive.
Born Dec. 25, 1894, Floquet joined the infantry in September 1914. He fought in France and Belgium and was seriously wounded twice. The first time, in the battle of the Somme in northern France, he was injured during hand-to-hand fighting and nearly suffocated on a clot of blood lodged in his throat, according to France's Defense Ministry.
Name of source: SOPnewswire
SOURCE: SOPnewswire (11-10-06)
The orbiter is the oldest of five NASA spacecraft currently active at the red planet. Its original mission was to examine Mars for a full Martian year, roughly two Earth years. Once that period elapsed, considering the string of discoveries, NASA extended the mission repeatedly, most recently on Oct. 1 of this year.
The orbiter has operated longer than any other spacecraft ever sent to Mars.
Name of source: Richmond Times-Dispatch
SOURCE: Richmond Times-Dispatch (11-10-06)
"For too long, the only people who have the direct experience of the Marine Corps are the Marines themselves and the enemy who's made the mistake of taking them on," he said to applause.
Bush noted the $90 million museum off Interstate 95 guides visitors through interactive exhibits and galleries, including one that depicts boot camp. "No thanks," he said to laughter, adding, "The museum will not make you into a Marine. Only a drill instructor can do that."
Name of source: Dan barry in the NYT
SOURCE: Dan barry in the NYT (11-11-06)
Seeing again the New York State Pavilion, the massive space-age remnant of the 1964 World’s Fair that looms just beyond the Grand Central Parkway, seeing it in all its premature decrepitude, you cannot help but wonder: If this was built to evoke the future, then may the gods have mercy on us all.
The city’s neglect of this gift bequeathed to it in 1967 has long been a prominent embarrassment, the elephant in the room that is the borough of Queens.
But the more years that go by, the more the structure becomes New York’s own “colossal wreck,” begging, as Shelley wrote in “Ozymandias,” that we look upon it and despair.
Name of source: Media Matters
SOURCE: Media Matters (11-9-06)
Name of source: Report of Lawrence Walsh
SOURCE: Report of Lawrence Walsh (8-4-93)
He was not indicted by special counsel Lawrence Walsh. But Walsh in his report devoted a chapter to Gates and concluded:
Independent Counsel found insufficient evidence to warrant charging Robert Gates with a crime for his role in the Iran/contra affair. Like those of many other Iran/contra figures, the statements of Gates often seemed scripted and less than candid. Nevertheless, given the complex nature of the activities and Gates's apparent lack of direct participation, a jury could find the evidence left a reasonable doubt that Gates either obstructed official inquiries or that his two demonstrably incorrect statements were deliberate lies.
Name of source: Inside Higher Ed
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (11-9-06)
Name of source: Sweden's News in English
SOURCE: Sweden's News in English (11-8-06)