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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: AP
Around 300 soldiers, who were executed during the 1914-1918 conflict for failing to return to the front lines, were included in the pardon. The government has said it is continuing research to identify other soldiers who were brought before firing squads after only summary trials.
The decision to pardon the men was made as part of the Armed Forces Act 2006, which only awaits the guaranteed assent of the queen to become law.
Bruno Gollnisch, the No. 2 in France's National Front party, is accused of "disputing a crime against humanity" in the trial in Lyon in southeast France.
A verdict is expected Wednesday. He faces up to one year in prison if convicted.
"Our world is changing, there is no going back," Tom Downing of the Stockholm Environment Institute said Tuesday at the U.N. climate conference, where he released a report on threats to archaeological sites, coastal areas and other treasures.
Recent floods attributed to climate change have damaged the 600-year-old ruins of Sukhothai in northern Thailand, the report said, while increasing temperatures are "bleaching" the Belize barrier reef and a rising sea level is sending damaging salt into the wetlands of Donana National Park in Spain.
SOURCE: AP (11-6-06)
The Sandinista leader's victory in Sunday's election, if confirmed by final results, would expand the club of leftist Latin rulers led by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, who has tried to help his Nicaraguan ally by shipping cheap oil to the energy-starved nation.
Ortega, who led Nicaragua from 1985-1990, repeatedly has said he no longer is the Marxist revolutionary who fought U.S.-backed Contra rebels in a war that left 30,000 dead and the economy in shambles.
Many are trying to make peace with pasts they long kept cloaked from shame. They are asking questions, tracing their roots and demanding that the truth be told about SS chief Heinrich Himmler's Lebensborn, or "Source of Life," program.
"It is an important issue and it is time that it finally comes to light," said 64-year-old Dagmar Jung, whose adoptive parents refused for years to answer her questions about her past as a Lebensborn child.
Researchers from Denmark and the U.S. Virgin Islands want to unearth up to 50 skeletons next year, hoping to learn about their diet, illnesses and causes of death, and thus broaden knowledge of slave life in the one-time Danish colony.
Descendants of slaves could discover ancestors through DNA tests. At public meetings, islanders have also embraced the excavations as a way for Europeans to recognize their historic role in the slave trade -- and perhaps to make new amends.
On Nov. 13, a half-mile from Lincoln's iconic statue, a diverse group of celebrities, corporate leaders and ordinary Americans will help turn the first shovels of dirt for a memorial honoring the civil rights leader who was slain 38 years ago. It will be the first monument to an African American on the National Mall.
As the 42-year-old coolly puffed on a cigar, the plotters' names were read out. As each was called, secret police led them away, executing 22. To make sure his countrymen got the message, Saddam videotaped the whole thing and sent copies around the country.
The plot was a lie. But in a few terrifying minutes on July 22, 1979, Saddam eliminated his potential rivals — consolidating the power he wielded for almost three decades as Iraq's president, until a U.S.-led coalition drove him out in 2003.
The brutality helped him survive war with Iran, defeat in Kuwait, rebellions by northern Kurds and southern Shiites, international sanctions, plots and conspiracies.
It also proved his undoing. Trusting few except kin, Saddam surrounded himself with sycophants, selected for loyalty rather than intellect and ability. When he was forced out, he left a country impoverished — despite its vast oil wealth — and roiling with long suppressed ethnic and sectarian tensions.
Brothers Bob and Skip Young say the chair has been cherished by their family, but its historical value would be better appreciated by the church and the residents of the city founded by their ancestor.
The Youngs are descendants of Lucy Decker Young, one of the wives of the church president who led members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.
Accounts of the number of Brigham Young's wives vary. A history posted on the Web site of the university named after him says he had 27 wives, who bore him 56 children, while a nonprofit genealogy Web site sponsored by the LDS church lists 38 wives.
As global leaders struggle to strike a balance between punishing the communist-led North for its Oct. 9 nuclear test and engaging the volatile state in arms talks, hundreds of tourists are still flocking to the front lines each week hoping for a glimpse across the last Cold War frontier.
Littered with land mines and encased in razor wire, the 156-mile-long Demilitarized Zone between the rival Koreas is among the most popular sights for overseas visitors to South Korea.
Commemorations across the country remembered the end of the uprising, when an estimated 100,000 Soviet troops and up to 4,600 tanks overran the country.
There have been protests in the Hungarian capital since Sept. 17, after radio broadcasts of a leaked recording on which Socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany could be heard admitting that the government lied about the economy to win re-election in April.
The 2.5-acre site that Coca-Cola Co. offered two weeks ago for the museum is near the Georgia Aquarium, the CNN Center and the future World of Coca-Cola Museum. Some city leaders say the civil rights museum should be less than two miles away near Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King preached, and the King Center, where he and his wife, Coretta Scott King, are buried.
"I would hope that we as a community and a city, if we were going to erect a civil rights museum, it would be in the King historic district," Martin Luther King III said told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The reaction to Botha's death pointed to the extraordinary strides toward reconciliation made by a country once bitterly divided. The gestures made this week also show a desire to relegate the wounds inflicted by apartheid to the past.
In a measure of the progress, former President Nelson Mandela -- who Botha kept in prison despite enormous international pressure to free him -- gave him some credit for helping to pave the way for multiracial democracy.
Now, death is posing a bit of a puzzle for the caretakers of her homestead.
While making improvements to the grounds of the Emily Dickinson Museum on Halloween, workers unearthed the gravestone of one of the poet's relatives.
But exactly what Gen. Thomas Gilbert's headstone was doing under 18 inches of dirt in Dickinson's front yard has some experts stumped — especially knowing that his remains are buried in a nearby cemetery with a more ornate grave marker.
SOURCE: AP (11-2-06)
Officials at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University this summer bought the Roman marble statue and its head, which had broken off sometime in the past 170 years.
On Thursday, they enlisted the help of Delta Air Lines inspectors at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, who took X-rays of the statue and the head to try to determine where the statue has been broken before and how old repairs are holding up.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-8-06)
Lt Col James Power "Fred" Carne, the commander of the 1st Bn Gloucestershire Regt (the Glorious Glosters) at the battle of Imjin, Korea, in April 1951, fell into Chinese captivity after his 700-man battalion's astonishing resistance against an estimated 11,000 attackers was finally overcome.
Lt Col Carne won the VC for his role at Imjin. As the senior British officer among hundreds of prisoners kept in appalling conditions in camps in communist-held Korea, he was singled out for special treatment.
While the other ranks were "re-educated" by the communist commissars at their camps, Lt Col Carne was kept in solitary confinement and subjected to treatment later to be fictionalised in two film versions of The Manchurian Candidate, one starring Frank Sinatra and the remake with Denzil Washington.
John Frankenheimer, the director of the 1962 version, said at the time that none of the brainwashing inflicted on American troops in Korea approached what had been portrayed in his film.
In his version a GI is programmed by his communist captors to return home as an assassin. Lt Col Carne was programmed by Chinese commissars, but not with such a violent end in sight.
According to documents just released at the National Archives in Kew, Lt Col Carne was released in September 1953 after two and half years' imprisonment and told Sir Esler Dening, the British ambassador in Tokyo, "an extraordinary story".
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-5-06)
Ninety years on, as Remembrance Day approaches, those letters paint a vivid picture of the First World War seen through the eyes of one ordinary family who made an extraordinary sacrifice.
Handed down through three generations, and locked away in an attic, they were only discovered when another story of sacrifice prompted their owner to investigate her own history. They tell of brothers who went to war, and of a mother who prayed for their safe return.
Amy Beechey, the widow of the Rev Prince William Thomas Beechey, rector of Friesthorpe with Snarford in Lincolnshire, raised eight boys and six daughters on her own after her husband died in 1912. All her sons – Barnard, Charles, Leonard, Christopher, Frank, Eric, Harold and Sam – served king and country. Five were killed and a sixth was maimed for life.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-5-06)
Part of Red Square, the iconic symbol of the former Soviet Union and home to the mausoleum housing its first leader, is to become a playground for the fabulously rich.
One of the ornate, pre-revolution buildings overlooking the historic square is being transformed into a palatial £250 million hotel and elite apartment complex. With Moscow property prices doubling every year and now topping £372 per square foot, it is anyone's guess how much the flats will cost when they go on sale. One thing is for sure; they will be beyond the wildest dreams of the average Russian on a monthly salary equivalent to £162.
The French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, who is designing the complex, said it was a dream project.
"For me it is a unique and incredible opportunity, and to be honest one that I have not taken in yet," he told The Sunday Telegraph.
"Red Square is a trademark, a mythical place that features in thousands of tourist photographs every single day. The challenge for us is to do something that respects the history of the place while introducing something contemporary. It is an extraordinary thing to be doing."
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-4-06)
Politicians and the public reacted furiously after the £7.4 million project failed to get lottery funding because it was deemed not to meet the criteria for "Living Landmarks".
After interventions by Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, and Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, heads of the lottery said last night that "a way forward" had been found that should enable the outstanding building costs to be met.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-4-06)
Nick Barratt's appeal came as a senior MP repeated warnings that, in a few years, digital records of government business might be unreadable because of the accelerating pace of technological change.
Mr Barratt, The Daily Telegraph's Family Detective and the researcher behind the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? series, said that the throwaway nature of modern society meant that this generation was in danger of leaving behind an inadequate legacy of memories.
Name of source: San Francisco Examiner
SOURCE: San Francisco Examiner (11-6-06)
The San Francisco Port Commission is expected to vote Nov. 14 on whether to allow the artwork’s installation near the east wall of the Vaillancourt Fountain at Justin Herman Plaza. It would be only the third monument to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the United States.
The Abraham Lincoln Brigade was part of an international brigade of men and women who volunteered to fight against fascism in the Spanish Civil War from 1936 through 1938. They were also the first racially integrated U.S. armed forces at all levels of command.
Name of source: Bruce Craig in the newsletter of the National Coalition for History
SOURCE: Bruce Craig in the newsletter of the National Coalition for History (11-8-06)
Historians and environmentalists have reason to rejoice at the defeat of outspoken (actually just plain rude) cattle rancher Richard Pombo (R-CA), the present House Resources Committee Chair (and former National Parks Subcommittee Chair) who was soundly defeated by Democrat challenger Jerry McNerney who is an alternative energy proponent – his profession is that of a wind-power engineer.
Also on the positive side, Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) won 64% of the electorate against his millionaire Republican challenger who pulled about 34% of the vote. While the victory is by a smaller margin than Byrd’s last election win six years ago when he captured 78% of the West Virginia vote, he returns to the Senate's as the institution's senior senator – the longest lived member of that body. If the Democrats take control he will be the most powerful member as he is poised to once again regain the chair of the Appropriations Committee. That’s good news for programs like the “Teaching American History” initiative.
Some prognostications: In the House, the senior Democrat on the House Committee of Education, George Miller, should he become Chair, would be a forceful advocate for federal grants of students and education reform in general. Good news in the education realm also if the Democrats take control of the Senate – Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) would probably become Chair of the Senate Education Committee. However, it is still unclear what Kennedy would do regarding the two issues of prime concern to history educators – the reauthorizations of the "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) and the Higher Education Act.
If Henry Waxman (D-CA) becomes the Chair of the Government House Reform Committee there will be – in the words of Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists and author of the online publication “Secrecy News” -- “a new day in Washington.”
Chris Shays (R-CT) the present chair of the Government Reform subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations narrowly managed to hold onto his House seat. Shays has been a national leader in confronting the problem of overclassification of government records and has earned the respect of many who are concerned with these issues. This last Congress, he has conducted three hearings on secrecy in government and has probably done more useful work on this issue than any other member of Congress. If fellow New Englander Patrick Leahy (D-VT) rises to become Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee there would be, in Aftergood’ s view, be “an earthquake – a good one” as there would be a significant change in direction in terms of greater government accountability and oversight in the Senate as well.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (11-8-06)
Once, the Dresslers owned 20,000 acres, but economic realities clashed with romantic ideals, and family members have sold most of the land, including large chunks for a housing development called, with a bit of paradox, Gardnerville Ranchos.
SOURCE: NYT (11-6-06)
He was 82. The cause was a heart attack, according to Tara Booth, the spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
Mr. Bowers had been ill and in the Mississippi State Penitentiary Hospital in Parchman, in the Mississippi Delta, for some time before his death, which was recorded at 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Bowers was the charismatic leader of the most violent and secretive division of the Ku Klux Klan, the Mississippi White Knights, which at its peak had up to 10,000 members by law enforcement estimates. The F.B.I. attributed nine murders and 300 beatings, burnings and bombings to Mr. Bowers and the group.
SOURCE: NYT (11-7-06)
Samuel L. Clemens (that is, Mark Twain) was its board president, and the muckraking photojournalist Jacob Riis was a fan.
“I have found going back and looking at this stuff hugely important,” said Robin Bernstein, executive director of the Alliance, which is still a secular Jewish agency on the Lower East Side, but now serves mostly Chinese and Hispanic families. “There are successes that we had at the turn of the century that kind of got lost.”
Now, 500 years after expelling its Jews and moving to hide if not eradicate all traces of their existence, Spain has begun rediscovering the Jewish culture that thrived here for centuries and that scholars say functioned as a second Jerusalem during the Middle Ages.
“We’ve gone from a period of pillaging the Jews and then suppressing and ignoring their patrimony to a period of rising curiosity and fascination,” said Ana María López, the director of the Sephardic Museum in Toledo, a hub of Jewish life before the Jews were expelled or forced to convert to Christianity in 1492 during the Inquisition.
But it has been a long time since the three former student leaders who organized the takeover — and who became reformist politicians — have participated.
In a recent interview, one, Ibrahim Asgharzadeh, 51, said political parties had been invoking the takeover to drum up anti-American feelings, and he criticized as “extremely dangerous” the confrontational political discourse of a fourth student leader: the current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
“He is head of a state,” Mr. Asgharzadeh said. “His language should be different than the language of a bunch of students.”
For starters, their forebears were inducted into America’s ruling class at roughly the same time and place: Wall Street during the waning days of the robber barons a century ago.
Over the subsequent decades, the two families co-existed in strikingly similar universes: Rockefeller and Morgan; Exeter and Andover; Yale and Harvard; progressive Republicanism in Connecticut and New York; the Round Hill Club in Greenwich; and the island haven of North Harbor off the coast of Maine.
Along the way, the two men’s political paths diverged, sharply. But that has not prevented Bushes and Lamonts from socializing today in elite circles that still value grace and civility, where personal loyalty can trump partisan patrimony.
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (11-5-06)
ON MARCH 22, 2003, two days after the start of the bombing campaign that began the US-led invasion of Iraq, more than 100,000 people took to the streets of New York City in protest. At a rally there the month before, organizers had claimed that a crowd of 350,000 had shown up, and twice in the previous six months tens of thousands of antiwar protesters had rallied on the National Mall in Washington against what already seemed an inevitable war. In mid-February, one million antiwar protesters had marched in London and another million in Rome. And in the invasion's opening weeks, American antiwar activists promised to continue their own fight with a campaign of civil disobedience: In San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston, traffic slowed to a halt as protesters blocked major intersections, waiting to be hauled away by police.
At the time, the war's opponents may have still been a minority among Americans, but they were making themselves seen and heard. The day after the March 22 demonstration in New York, the Columbia University sociologist Todd Gitlin, who as an undergraduate had helped lead protests against the Vietnam War as president of Students for a Democratic Society, wrote in an opinion piece in The Los Angeles Times that the anti-Iraq war movement had "mushroomed into a global force unprecedented in speed and scale."
That the bombs were falling in the first place showed the limits of that force, but there was nevertheless a sense of momentum.
During the Vietnam War, by comparison, the country didn't see major demonstrations until the US intervention was several years old and deeply unpopular. If millions worldwide were mobilizing at a time when polls showed 70 percent of Americans supported the invasion of Iraq, one would only expect the demonstrations to grow if the public mood shifted.
Today, of course, public anger and frustration over Iraq is the dominant issue as the country heads into Tuesday's midterm congressional elections, in which Democrats are expected to make significant gains. A USA Today/Gallup Poll released late last month showed that 58 percent of Americans now think invading Iraq was a "mistake" -- the same level of antiwar sentiment that polls found in 1968, when the country was convulsed by some of the largest antiwar demonstrations in its history.
And yet since the start of the Iraq war -- and the loss of more than 2,700 American, and untold Iraqi, lives -- the country hasn't witnessed anything analogous to the mass demonstrations of the Vietnam era. There have been rallies and marches -- including one last year in Washington that drew an estimated 100,000but nothing that captured the public attention like the march on the Pentagon, the demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and the nationwide Moratorium of 1969, or the massive protests triggered by President Nixon's decision to expand the Vietnam War into Cambodia.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (11-7-06)
The rare letter, which gives an account of the Christmas Day truce in 1914, is one of the few uncensored accounts of life in the trenches.
Nothing is known about the writer and whether he survived the horrors that were to come. Only referring to himself as "Boy," he epitomizes the spirit of the Unknown Soldier.
SOURCE: Reuters (11-6-06)
The painting from Picasso's Blue Period, "Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto," is due to be sold at Christie's in New York on Wednesday and the auction house has valued the piece at between $40 million and $60 million.
But Julius Schoeps has sued Lloyd Webber's foundation, saying he is an heir of a Jewish banker from Berlin who was forced to sell the painting in 1934 as a "consequence of Nazi persecution," court documents showed on Monday.
SOURCE: Reuters (11-6-06)
Almost a century since it opened, the Baron hotel still attracts visitors nostalgic for an age when the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo with its vast citadel attracted spies, explorers and colonialists.
The Baron has been buffeted by the political and financial swells of an unstable region but it still holds a special place in some visitors' hearts.
Name of source: Alastair Northedge in The Art newspaper
SOURCE: Alastair Northedge in The Art newspaper (11-2-06)
At the end of August, The Art Newspaper revealed the stunning news that Donny George, president of the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage in Iraq, had been forced to flee the country in fear of his life and take refuge in Damascus. In recent months, Dr George sealed up the treasures of the National Museum in Baghdad behind concrete walls, as it was too dangerous to leave them exposed. He was replaced by a relation of the Minister of Tourism, who comes from the party of Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia cleric and leader of the resistance movement.
Quite rightly, the world reacted with horror to this new threat to Iraq’s antiquities. No technically competent director is left to protect one of the world’s finest archaeological heritages. A situation with catastrophic potential, such as a new pillage of the museum could take place or objects could be sold off en masse.
It is worth deconstructing this event, in order to understand what has really happened and what the dangers are.
Dr George has worked tirelessly since the invasion in 2003, to protect and recover the antiquities then pillaged from the museum. I have the highest admiration for what he has done. He was and is the right person to interface with Western archaeologists, for the recovery of smuggled artefacts and getting help from Western institutions. I suspect that relations with his own government were by no means so warm. The problem is not that he is a Christian, or that he was a Ba’th party official. In my experience, he did not have a great interest in the Islamic heritage, and no doubt this communicated itself to superiors, whose main interest is indeed Islam.
Frequently, archaeologists in Arab countries follow the role models provided by their Western counterparts. Dr George is one of them. Overwhelmingly, Western archaeologists in the Middle East concentrate on the ancient cultures—Egypt, Mesopotamia, Biblical archaeology, etc.—no doubt seen as the ancestors of their own culture. Medieval Islam is of little interest. In a recent meeting in Paris, intended to relaunch French excavations in Iran, there were 23 ancient expeditions, and one Islamic. Not an untypical example. Many of my colleagues have a genuine goodwill towards more recent studies, but others have no interest at all, and it shows.
It would not be surprising if less well-informed Muslims—I do not speak of the cultivated middle classes, who have a genuine interest in their past—were to see the archaeology of the Middle East as in some way belonging to the foreigners and not to themselves. In some cases, they are right: Hellenism and Rome in the East were colonial empires. In others they are not; a modern Shi’i Iraqi probably has the DNA of a Babylonian. In addition, of course, Islam has a revolutionary tradition, that is, Islam replaced earlier civilisations which were considered to be decadent. Islam has a high appreciation of Jesus, but his prophecy was succeeded by that of Muhammad.
Islamist governments, that is, governments of people with more or less fundamentalist Islamic opinions, are a fact of life in the Middle East these days. There may be more tomorrow. Some effort has to be made to deal with them, in order to protect the archaeological heritages of the countries they govern. Simply giving up on contact is not an option. The archaeological heritage cannot be replaced once it has disappeared. ...
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (11-6-06)
But winter that year came early and hard, and St. Croix Island proved to be a prison. The men were stuck, trapped by dangerous ice floes moving on the tremendous tides from the nearby Bay of Fundy. By February, they began to die of scurvy; in all, 35 of 79 colonists perished.
The disease was known, but not its cause. In his desperation to find out what was happening to his men, Champlain took the unusual step of ordering autopsies.
"We could find no remedies to cure these maladies," Champlain wrote in his memoirs in 1613. "We opened several of them to determine the cause of their illness."
Now forensic anthropologists studying the St. Croix burial ground have found a cranium with the skullcap cleanly sawed off, along with shallow cut marks they say would have been made by the expedition's barber-surgeon while removing the scalp. Although there are written records of earlier autopsies by European settlers in the New World, the St. Croix find is the earliest skeletal evidence of one.
Name of source: http://www.jp.dk/english
SOURCE: http://www.jp.dk/english (11-6-06)
The researchers have found seven stones in all, which they believe date from the 10th century. Jellinge stones tell of the founding of Denmark and of Christianity's arrival in the country.
Even if the stones do not yield a true Jellinge stone, the find is still significant.
Name of source: Times Online (UK)
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (11-6-06)
“I am sorry, gentlemen,” he said. “I have been hanging your cooks.” The entrance was typical of the Irishman who crushed the Mutiny, earning a reputation as one of the most brilliant but brutal figures of the British Raj.
Hailed at the time as the “Hero of Delhi”, he was more recently described as an “imperial psychopath” by the author William Dalrymple.
Yet as India prepares for the 150th anniversary of the Mutiny next year, the British Government has backed a project to renovate the Nicholson Cemetery in Delhi, where he was buried.
The renovation has drawn attention to the dire state of Indian historical monuments, 35 of which have simply disappeared because of unregulated property development.
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (11-4-06)
“One can exist without art, but one cannot live without it,” the flamboyant author wrote in 1882, the year he embarked on a grand lecture tour of America.
Having ventured into the Wild West in his pantaloons and velvets to discuss art and aesthetics, he scribbled the previously unseen words in ink on a scrap of paper, apparently for an adoring autograph-hunter of the day.
Name of source: LAT
SOURCE: LAT (11-5-06)
The American is all grim determination; his jaw is clenched as he lunges right, extending his arm like a ramrod into the face of the intruder. Resolute in the crush of bodies, he is a bulwark in the bedlam of a turbulent era's violent finale.
The caption accompanying the UPI photo identified him only as an American official, but he was actually a charter pilot hired by the State Department to move Americans from the countryside to Saigon.
In 1985, after People magazine ran the photo with a story on the 10th anniversary of Saigon's fall, some of his war-era buddies identified him: He was Robert D. Hedrix, a North Dakota native and veteran of World War II and the Korean War who spent most of the 1950s, '60s and '70s in and around Southeast Asia as a pilot for the Air Force, the CIA and various commercial outfits.
Click here for a photo.
Name of source: Observer
SOURCE: Observer (11-5-06)
A new book on who owns the land of this planet has found that it is the state rather than private Irish individuals which has ultimate control over the ground where homes stand.
Who Owns the World [subtitled The Hidden Facts behind Landownership; published November 2 by Mainstream] is the first compilation of landowners and landownership in every one of the world's 197 states and 66 territories. It reveals that the Queen, as head of 31 Commonwealth states as well as the UK, is the legal owner of approximately 6,600 million acres of land - one sixth of the earth's non-ocean surface. According to the book the value of the Queen's holdings is approximately £17,600,000,000,000 making her the richest individual on Earth. However, there is no way to easily value her real estate because there is no current market in the land of entire countries.
Its author, Kevin Cahill, an Irish-born Sandhurst-educated ex-army officer, points to the Irish Law Reform Commission's attempts to change the legal status of land ownership as evidence of the 'serf-like status' of Irish citizens. He contends it is the British who are to blame.
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (11-4-06)
Rumours have circulated for decades that Eden, who was Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957 and was suffering from a debilitating illness at the height of the crisis in 1956, was taking addictive, painkilling drugs that could have clouded his judgement.
Private papers just uncovered in the Eden family archives provide a definitive answer, disclosing that he had been prescribed a powerful combination of amphetamines and barbiturates called drinamyl.
Better known in post-war Britain as "purple hearts", they can impair judgement, cause paranoia and even make the person taking them lose contact with reality. Drinamyl was banned in 1978.
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (11-4-06)
Now, seven years later, documentation on preparations for the games and detailed After Action records have surfaced in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the National Security Archive, which is posting the materials on its Web site today.
"The conventional wisdom is the U.S. mistake in Iraq was not enough troops," commented National Security Archive director Thomas Blanton, "but the Desert Crossing war game in 1999 suggests we would have ended up with a failed state even with 400,000 troops on the ground."
Desert Crossing, which amounted to a feasibility study for part of the main war plan for Iraq -- OPLAN 1003-98 -- tested "worst case" and "most likely" scenarios of a post-war, post-Saddam, Iraq. The After Action Report presented its recommendations for further planning regarding regime change in Iraq. The results drew some pessimistic conclusions regarding the immediate possible outcomes of an invasion. A number of these mirror the events which actually occurred after Saddam was overthrown.
* "When the crisis occurs, policy makers will have to deal with a large number of critical issues nearly simultaneously, including demonstrating U.S. leadership and resolve, managing Iraq's neighbors, and rapid policy formulation."
* "A change in regimes does not guarantee stability. A number of factors including aggressive neighbors, fragmentation along religious and/or ethnic lines, and chaos created by rival forces bidding for power could adversely affect regional stability."
* "Iran's anti-Americanism could be enflamed by a U.S.-led intervention in Iraq. ... The influx of U.S. and other western forces into Iraq would exacerbate worries in Tehran ... More than any other country in the region, the principals were most concerned by how Iran would respond to a U.S.-led intervention in Iraq."
* "Iraqi exile opposition weaknesses are significant ... The debate on post-Saddam Iraq [during the war game] also reveals the paucity of information about the potential and capabilities of the external Iraqi opposition groups ... [T]here was no dispute that if the United States were to support them, much must be done in order for these groups to be politically credible within Iraq."
Name of source: Stone Pages
SOURCE: Stone Pages (11-5-06)
SOURCE: Stone Pages (11-5-06)
Name of source: Chicago Sun-Times
SOURCE: Chicago Sun-Times (11-6-06)
Researchers from Denmark and the U.S. Virgin Islands want to unearth up to 50 skeletons next year, hoping to learn about their diet, illnesses and causes of death.
Descendants of slaves could discover ancestors through DNA tests. At public meetings, Virgin Islanders have also embraced the excavations as a way for Europeans to recognize their historic role in the slave trade -- and perhaps to make amends.
Most slaves in the Americas were buried in unmarked graves, and studies of slave graveyards ''are rarer than hen's teeth. The science that will come out of it will just be extraordinary,'' said David Brewer, an archeologist with the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The slaves are buried in shallow graves beneath mounds of stones and conch shells, some marked by small, illegible headstones. Brewer stressed that the bones will be disturbed as little as possible and reburied exactly as they were found.
One fingernail-sized shaving will be taken from each skeleton for a database of African DNA that could reveal links to other slave populations.
''This is the closest we can possibly get to telling the story of their lives as they knew it,'' said Pia Bennike, an anthropologist leading the team from the University of Copenhagen.
More than 100,000 enslaved Africans, mostly from what is now Ghana, arrived in the Danish West Indies from 1617 to 1807.
Many were sold at slave markets and shipped to the American colonies while thousands remained as the property of Danish colonists.
David Brion Davis, a Yale University historian, notes that Caribbean slaves died much faster than those on the mainland.
''Sugar production was a very, very taxing -- almost lethal -- kind of occupation,'' he said.
The Danes outlawed slavery in 1848. The United States bought the three-island territory from Denmark in 1917. An island group is hoping the project will boost its case for reparations from Denmark.
Davis said he is particularly interested in whether the genetic testing shows how often blacks and whites interbred.
He said the study holds great potential. ''There are probably gaps we don't even know about that will be filled in.''
Name of source: CanWest News Service
SOURCE: CanWest News Service (11-6-06)
Anywhere from 700 to 2,500 people, including babies, would have been held in internment camps before being shipped off to more permanent detention facilities.
Cold War historian John Clearwater obtained the records through the Access to Information Act while researching his book, Just Dummies: Cruise Missile Testing in Canada, which is being released today.
Clearwater said the federal government was shaken by the widespread opposition to cruise missile testing.
Although he knew the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service kept close tabs on peace groups during that period, Clearwater said he was surprised by the extent of the government's plans during the Cold War to round up citizens it saw as subversive.
"It's really about the fear," he said in an interview. "The government feared people who disagreed with it during a time of a national emergency."
Government plans to detain individuals were developed in the late 1940s and updated annually until the early 1980s, Clearwater noted. The first discussion of such a plan appears in 1948 when, on Dec. 15 of that year, the cabinet's defence committee discussed the detainment of 2,500 people.
The Canadian military was given the job of transporting the prisoners to camps but the RCMP was the main organization in charge of rounding up political prisoners and organizing the program.
At one point, it was decided that children of internees would be separated from their families and placed in foster homes or with relatives if the RCMP felt the relatives were not a political threat.
Plans and detainment orders, as well as numbers of people to be imprisoned, changed over the decades, said Clearwater. The 1969 version of the plan called for the immediate arrest of 611 men and 189 women in the event of a national emergency, according to the records. A further 279 people were on a secondary internment list.
In 1970, the list was narrowed to 588 men and 174 women. The prisoners would be held in camps before being sent to federal prisons. That year, the Penitentiary Service of Canada notified the RCMP it required at least seven days between the notice of a national emergency and the receipt of the first prisoner.
This was to allow for the actual criminal prisoners to be processed and released to make room for the political detainees. To do that, the government planned to "release all inmates in medium and minimum security with less than one year of sentence to serve," the records note.
Name of source: Washington Times
SOURCE: Washington Times (11-2-06)
New, more detailed, markers are filled with tales of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and the organizations behind them want to ensure that their groups get recognized for their contributions to our collective history.
"We want to tell more of the story," says Scott Arnold, author of "A Guidebook to Virginia's Historical Markers: Third Edition," to be released by the University of Virginia Press early next year.
As manager of the historical highway marker program at the Virginia Department of Historic Resources from 1999 to 2005, Mr. Arnold saw the replacement of 400 old signs with new ones that "tell more of the story" -- among them the "illegal duel" marker on Route 120 -- and the installation of more than 900 additional markers.
Name of source: Newsweek
SOURCE: Newsweek (11-6-06)
Name of source: San Francisco Chronicle
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (11-3-06)
But critics say the process remains so slow that tens of thousands -- now in their 80s and 90s -- will never see a dime.
Jack Terry, a 76-year-old retired psychiatrist from New York City, waited almost six years for information about his father, Chaim Szabmacher, an inmate of Poland's Maidanek death camp in 1942. "I wanted to know what information was available about his fate," said Terry, who is the sole survivor of a Polish-Jewish family. "In 2004, I finally received a very brief note saying he had 'died' in 1943."
Critics point to a lack of manpower, obsolete record keeping -- materials are filed only by individual names, not by concentration camps, weapons factories, ghettos or Nazi SS units -- an inadequate budget, and knotted red tape.
Name of source: Scotsman.com
SOURCE: Scotsman.com (11-3-06)
In a survey of the world's best-known heritage sites, the magazine described the famous Megalithic attraction in the south-west of England as a "mess", lacking "charm and magic".
Instead, the magazine recommends the unspoilt stone circles in the north of Scotland which, despite growing visitor numbers, remain unspoiled by noise and intrusion.
The researchers' verdict on Stonehenge said: "What a mess! Compelling... over-loved... certainly the current experience lacks magic. Crowd control is a good thing, but over-regulation has made the visitor's experience rather disappointing; charm is gone.