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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: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (12-22-06)
US scientists have found the 1918 virus shares genetic mutations with the bird flu virus now circulating in Asia.
Writing in Nature, they say their work underlines the threat the current strain poses to humans worldwide.
A second paper in Science reveals another US team has successfully recreated the 1918 virus in mice.
SOURCE: BBC (12-19-06)
Every prime minister faces this problem. All live in the shadow of the great Churchill-Roosevelt duo. They have varied enormously in their response. This has not depended on their political outlook.
The Conservative Ted Heath kept his distance from the US and took Britain into Europe. Labour's Harold Wilson trod a more careful course with Lyndon Johnson over the Vietnam war.
Mr Wilson did not join that enterprise, but at the same time he refrained from criticising American policy, an approach that led his unfortunate Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart into some embarrassing verbal contortions.
Mr Blair veered towards Washington, not , however, because he thought there was something to be gained in return, though he might have wished for greater US action over the Israeli/Palestinian dispute.
SOURCE: BBC (12-19-06)
Captain Kenneth Cummins served in the Royal Navy in WWI and in the Merchant Navy in WWII.
Until his death at home in Great Bedwyn in Wiltshire on 10 December, he was one of five WWI veterans living in the UK.
Dennis Goodwin, chairman of the WWI Veterans' Association, said: "Any death of a veteran of WWI means the end of a unique and special generation."
SOURCE: BBC (12-18-06)
The photograph was taken in 1840 in the Bavarian town of Altoetting when she was 78. She died two years later.
The local authorities say detailed examination has proved the authenticity of the image, which is a copy of the original daguerreotype.
SOURCE: BBC (12-18-06)
Shoichi Nakagawa, the policy chief of the governing party, said that the use of atomic weapons was a crime.
Mr Nakagawa has attracted controversy recently, calling for a debate on whether Japan should have nuclear arms. He raised the possibility that North Koreans might try to attack Japan with their own nuclear weapons.
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (12-22-06)
That is the conclusion of a study published yesterday in the Lancet medical journal, which uses mortality records kept by governments during the time of "Spanish flu" to predict the effect of a similarly virulent outbreak in the contemporary world.
The analysis, the first of its kind, found a nearly 40-fold difference in death rates between central India, the place with the highest recorded mortality, and Denmark, the country with the lowest. The reason for the huge variation is not known, but it may reflect differences in nutrition and crowding.
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (12-19-06)
Now, after spending 60 years hidden in the dusty attic of a family-run newsagents, two rare and untouched boxes dating back to the 1940s have been unveiled for the first time.
Containing 12 crackers in each, the two boxes are sparingly decorated, with little description and few illustrations. On the lid of one - written in pencil - is the price of 8/6d.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (12-22-06)
In November, the board member, Dennis Prager, a conservative commentator and radio show host, said that Keith Ellison, the newly elected Muslim member of Congress, should give up his post if he could not take his oath on a Bible, which Mr. Prager said was the traditional religious text of the United States.
In its resolution, the council’s executive committee criticized Mr. Prager’s remarks as “antithetical to the mission of the museum as an institution promoting tolerance and respect for all peoples regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity.”
Mr. Prager, one of 68 members of the board, known as the Holocaust Memorial Council, was appointed to the unpaid post by President Bush, and is serving a five-year term, which expires in 2011, said Andrew Hollinger, a spokesman for the council.
Mr. Hollinger said Mr. Bush had the sole power to remove Mr. Prager.
SOURCE: NYT (12-21-06)
At midnight on Dec. 31, hundreds of millions of pages of secret documents will be instantly declassified, including many F.B.I. cold war files on investigations of people suspected of being Communist sympathizers. After years of extensions sought by federal agencies behaving like college students facing a term paper, the end of 2006 means the government’s first automatic declassification of records.
Secret documents 25 years old or older will lose their classified status without so much as the stroke of a pen, unless agencies have sought exemptions on the ground that the material remains secret.
Historians say the deadline, created in the Clinton administration but enforced, to the surprise of some scholars, by the secrecy-prone Bush administration, has had huge effects on public access, despite the large numbers of intelligence documents that have been exempted.
And every year from now on, millions of additional documents will be automatically declassified as they reach the 25-year limit, reversing the traditional practice of releasing just what scholars request....
SOURCE: NYT (12-20-06)
Mr. Hussein is facing charges of genocide in connection with the deaths of 50,000 Kurds in a campaign that ultimately killed 180,000 Kurds in the 1980s. He has already been convicted in a separate trial and sentenced to death by hanging for his role in the killing of 148 Shiites.
The images shown by prosecutors were some of the most graphic evidence presented against Mr. Hussein to date. Shot in April 1987 and May 1988, the videotape shows attack helicopters flying low over the mountains as villagers scatter, some in trucks, others on foot. Women cluster near tents, crying as white smoke gathers.
SOURCE: NYT (12-17-06)
The posters were on prominent display at a rally this week to call attention to Japanese abducted by North Korea three decades ago and who, Japan says, are still held there.
The people who usually show up at such events — family members, their supporters, members of right-wing organizations — waited for a special first-time guest: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “We can never compromise on the abduction issue,” Mr. Abe told the crowd. “I swear that my administration will tackle this as its top priority.”
But the accomplishments of these soldiers, better known as the Monuments Men, are finally starting to come into sharper focus. “Rescuing Da Vinci,” a lavishly illustrated book devoted to them, with dozens of pictures newly unearthed from archives, has just been published by Robert M. Edsel, a retired Texas oilman. Mr. Edsel, 49, became obsessed with the story several years ago and even established a research office in Dallas, his hometown, with the goal of telling it better.
“The regime exterminated people by assassination and deportation of hundreds of thousands of people,” Mr. Basescu told Parliament. He based his assessment on a 660-page report compiled by a presidential commission charged with analyzing the country’s Communist past.
The move, coming less than two weeks before Romania joins the European Union, represented a belated attempt by the country to make a more complete break with the Communist period than was possible in the managed revolution of 1989. After Communist authority weakened in Moscow, many of the region’s Communist officials simply changed hats and continued to participate in government when authoritarian one-party governments remade themselves, largely unchallenged, into independent free-market democracies.
When Romania’s last Communist-era dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, was overthrown and executed in 1989, he was replaced by a coalition of former Communist Party officials under the banner of the National Salvation Front.
n reality, it was something of a low-tech dungeon.
Until it closed for its biggest overhaul since John F. Kennedy settled into its wood-paneled conference room, most of the room’s monitors used — get this — picture tubes. Communications were often by fax. The computers and telephones looked like the best technology available, in 1985. There was a small kitchen, but it had no sink.
On Dec. 27 the new Situation Room is to open formally, the result of planning that reaches back to before the Sept. 11 attacks but took on added urgency afterward. The White House offered a preview to two reporters on Monday, days before its new data center is pumped full of classified information and its doors are sealed to outsiders....
The Situation Room was largely an outgrowth of the Cuban missile crisis, an event that made President Kennedy and his aides realize that they needed a central hub for information during crises.
Since then, it has been the site of critical decisions: Lyndon Johnson spent long nights picking bombing targets there; Bill Clinton used it to handle Bosnia and the Asian financial crisis. Over the years, the technology became a patchwork of fixes, as Wang word processors were replaced by personal computers, and then for portable secure video. The 9/11 commission found that on the day of the 2001 attacks, communications frayed, making it hard for Mr. Bush, flying around on Air Force One, to get a picture of what was going on.
Name of source: San Francisco Chronicle
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (12-17-06)
Yevgeny Dzhugashvili is a compact, solidly built man. His neatly trimmed mustache is white, but at age 70, his gray hair is still thick. He has a fine, broad forehead, a strong nose, large ears and dark, watchful eyes. He speaks slowly and quietly. His home is a small, working-class apartment in Tbilisi, the capital of the mountainous Republic of Georgia, which 15 years ago was a privileged part of the once-mighty Soviet Union.
Yevgeny's family name is virtually unknown beyond Tbilisi. Yet Yevgeny carries an enormous psychological burden, for he is the grandson of one Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili -- better known to the world as Joseph Stalin, one of history's most infamous mass murderers.
According to the prominent Russian human-rights group Memorial, during the time that Stalin ruled the Soviet Union, from 1928 until his death in 1953, he was responsible for the deaths of probably 14 million people, including those starved to death by his purposely launched famines of 1932-33 and 1946-47. Stalin also imprisoned 25 million people in his network of brutal Siberian work camps known as the gulags.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (12-19-06)
The only problem is that the pastures were next to a state park that pays tribute to a community founded by a freed slave, raising the ire of environmentalists and blacks who objected to the pollution and stench that would come with the cows.
As the decade-old project moved a step forward Tuesday with Tulare County supervisors tentatively approving permits to house up to 12,000 cows, opponents said the decision was an insult to the history and legacy of the landmark, Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, and those who live nearby.
"I guess they're ready to put manure on top of us," said Nettie Morrison, 72, a resident of the unincorporated community of about 120 families.
If the board makes its approval final March 20, the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, which helped mobilize Allensworth residents, will likely sue to stop the dairies, said spokeswoman Caroline Farrell.
State archivists said in February that they acquired the two-page letter to put in the city's State House, where the Revolutionary War hero resigned his commission Dec. 23, 1783. On Wednesday, the state Board of Public Works approved that purchase, along with $150,000 for an accompanying letter written by one of Washington's aides describing the event.
The letter is considered a turning point in America's formation because it established that the military should be subservient to civil authority. Washington said: "Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of Action."
"This is a momentous occasion for the state," state archivist Edward Papenfuse said.
[The state is paying $750,000, half the cost. Private donors are putting up the rest.]
The report was issued more than a year after Sandy Berger pleaded guilty and received a criminal sentence for removing the documents.
Berger took the documents in the fall of 2003 while working to prepare himself and Clinton administration witnesses for testimony to the Sept. 11 commission. Berger was authorized as the Clinton administration's representative to make sure the commission got the correct classified materials.
After refusing orders by the police chief to leave, the so-called Tougaloo Nine were arrested, charged and convicted of breaching the peace.
Their actions in March 1961 were among the first high-profile efforts to break down a stubborn, long-standing system of segregation in Mississippi.
After that, the movement for racial equality gained momentum in other Mississippi communities and the Freedom Riders' arrival in Jackson put the nation's spotlight on the city.
Because of Jackson's prominence, several leading officials here think it's appropriate that a Mississippi civil rights museum be built in the capital city.
A legislative study group on Tuesday released a list of recommendations, saying the museum should be built somewhere in Jackson and should be part of a ``trail'' to highlight historically significant civil rights sites around the state.
The group said the museum should be national in scope, focusing on how the Mississippi movement - primarily in the 1950s and '60s - helped influence the civil rights struggle in other states.
The proposed facility would add to the list of civil rights museum and memorials across the nation, including the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama, the Albany Civil Rights Movement Museum in Georgia, and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn.
Name of source: Australian
SOURCE: Australian (12-22-06)
Mark McGowan, who has inherited the state's troubled gradeless curriculum, said an assessment and possible overhaul of the state's history curriculum was a priority.
The former naval legal officer landed the state education portfolio last week from Ljiljanna Ravlich, who stumbled in attempting to introduce a system of "outcomes-based" courses into Years 11 and 12.
A proposed high school history course is among 13 new Year 11 and 12 courses that have been rewritten and their introduction delayed to 2008 as a result of mounting criticism that the courses lacked rigour and traditional instruction.
Pressure group People Lobbying Against Teaching Outcomes gained crucial union support with its campaign last year against the new method of assessing students based on eight "levels of achievement" instead of giving them a grade or a percentage, which it claims is confusing for parents, labour-intensive for teachers and does not encourage students to compete with each other.
Name of source: Time
SOURCE: Time (12-21-06)
During this particular visit the document hunters found none, but they expect other forays will turn up important contraband. The investigators are part of Operation Historic Protector, which the Archive's Inspector General's Office launched in November to combat what many fear is a growing threat to the federal government's historical repository, as well as to state archives and university libraries: the pilfering of old letters, documents, maps, photographs, books and other historical artifacts.
The National Archives has beefed up security in recent years, with video cameras and staffers watching outside researchers who review material in its reading rooms. But the Archives and other repositories around the country have suffered a number of heists in recent years.
Name of source: Atlanta Business Chronicle
SOURCE: Atlanta Business Chronicle (12-18-06)
A museum that embraces all human rights issues, not merely the historic efforts of black leaders in Atlanta and the South, is something no other city has attempted, said Central Atlanta Progress president A.J. Robinson, who led the panel.
"We debated a lot about trying to do too much," Robinson said. "But we may be missing an opportunity if we just focus narrowly on Atlanta in the '50s and '60s."
Name of source: Daily Times (Lahore)
SOURCE: Daily Times (Lahore) (12-21-06)
The curriculum has been sent to the provinces for implementation from the academic year 2007 as a compulsory subject.
The main feature of the new curriculum is that it not only highlights the political developments during Muslim rule, but also gives due importance to the cultural and social aspects with special focus on the Sufi ethos and its spread.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (12-20-06)
Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli made the demand in Rome, saying Italy would break off ties with the wealthy Los Angeles museum, which funds several restoration projects in Italy, unless it quickly returned art works, including the bronze statue, that Rome says were looted.
"Either there is an agreement or there is a breakdown," Rutelli told reporters in Rome."The time has passed when people could turn a blind eye to looting."
SOURCE: Reuters (12-21-06)
Relations between Japan and China deteriorated to their worst in decades under former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, partly because of his annual visits to the site, the Yasukuni Shrine, which is seen by critics as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism.
Bilateral ties have begun to improve under Mr. Koizumi’s successor, Shinzo Abe, who paid an official visit to China shortly after he took office in September....
The shrine authorities agreed in October to alter texts in the museum that state that the United States deliberately forced Japan into the war. The new display panels on the American role in the war will be installed next month, said the newspaper, the daily Mainichi Shimbun.
At the time, the shrine said it saw no need to change references to China, but a shrine panel has now decided that revisions are needed, the paper said.
The exhibition currently says, for example, that the Marco Polo Bridge incident — a 1937 battle near Beijing that marked the beginning of the second Sino-Japanese War — was set off by illegal attacks on the Japanese by Chinese nationalist troops, the newspaper said.
“There is no mistake in the facts, but the expressions are such that some parts could be misunderstood, so we will substitute softer expressions,” the newspaper quoted a person involved in the revisions as saying of the references to China.
Operator Clarence Glover, with 25 years on the St. Charles line, pulled out the pine green car built in 1922 with his first post-Katrina passengers, including Mayor Ray Nagin.
"It feels great, like I've been away from home for a long time and now I'm back," said Glover, 54.
The St. Charles line, long a symbol of New Orleans, opened in 1835 with steam-powered cars before using overhead electricity from 1893. Before Katrina, it carried 3 million passengers a year, including many a Mardi Gras reveler.
The Domus Aurea, or House of Gold, had attracted an average of 1,000 visitors every day until water leaks last December stoked fears that the nearly 2,000-year-old palace might collapse.
The local council of Las Condes in the Chilean capital Santiago approved a proposal from the district's right-wing mayor Francisco de la Maza by a 6-2 vote, a council source told Reuters on Tuesday.
The council will now decide where to honor the dictator, who died on December 10 aged 91.
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (12-21-06)
In his March 2003 executive order 13292, President Bush affirmed that on December 31, 2006, with certain limitations, "all classified records that (1) are more than 25 years old and (2) have been determined to have permanent historical value under title 44, United States Code, shall be automatically declassified whether or not the records have been reviewed."
That December 31 deadline is now almost here, the New York Times noted in a front page story today.
See "U.S. to Declassify Secrets at Age 25" by Scott Shane, New York Times, December 21:
The automatic declassification of 25 year old records, which will continue to apply to new records each year as they become 25 years old, is a genuine innovation in classification policy. It is a credit both to the Clinton Administration, which first adopted the proposal, and the Bush Administration, which did not abandon it.
In practice, however, the impact of the policy may not be as dramatic as one might imagine, for several reasons.
First, many agencies have sought and received exemptions for one of nine categories of information (war plans, intelligence sources, WMD information, etc.) that need not be declassified. Selected agency declassification plans may be found here:
Second, records that involve the interests ("equities") of more than one agency are not subject to this month's deadline. Rather, they are to be declassified by December 31, 2009.
Third, declassification does not imply immediate disclosure. Some declassified records may still need to be reviewed for privacy data and other exempt information.
Finally, the processing of hundreds of millions or billions of declassified pages to make them publicly accessible is a logistical challenge that may exceed the capability of the National Archives, which has faced increasing budgetary pressures.
Unless Congress chooses to provide supplemental resources for the Archives, many declassified records will remain inaccessible.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (12-13-06)
"We've been trying to live down something for 40 to 50 years," said Orange County Commissioner Beamon Minton. "Once convicted, you're a convicted felon. You can't ever put that aside."
Vidor was one of hundreds of communities in America known as "sundown towns," places where blacks were not welcome after dark. In some of these towns, signs -- handwritten or printed -- were posted, saying things like "Whites Only After Dark." But in general, sundown towns existed by reputation. Blacks knew they were places to avoid after dark.
Name of source: Indo-Asian news service
SOURCE: Indo-Asian news service (12-20-06)
The prime minister handed over the symbolic key of the fort, which was under the Indian Army since October 1948, to the state government, opening up the sprawling 50-acre complex to the public.
The fort was first built in 1760 and called Bhangian da Kila. It was later re-built by Punjab's warrior king Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who converted it into his residence and christened the fort after the last Sikh guru Gobind Singh.
It is believed that the monument once had a tunnel connecting it to Lahore in Pakistan, the erstwhile capital of Ranjit Singh. But army authorities here deny its existence.
The historical complex could accommodate a 12,000-strong army, has 25 cannons and was adequately fortified for repulsing any attack at that time.
During British rule, General Dyer converted the fort into his sprawling residence and constructed a 'Phansi ghar' (gallows) right in front of it.
It is said that Dyer derived sadistic pleasure watching the execution of Indian freedom fighters while sitting in his house.
Name of source: LAT
SOURCE: LAT (12-20-06)
The decision by I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's lawyers to call Cheney as a witness in the federal trial scheduled to begin here Jan. 16 ends months of speculation about the role senior White House officials would play.
It also sets the stage for a dramatic appearance that could offer insight into Cheney's relationship with his top aide, and for a cross-examination by special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald that could lay bare how the Bush administration responded to its critics. ...
In 1988, Vice President George H.W. Bush testified to investigators in the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages probe, but his testimony was never used.
By contrast, a number of presidents have participated in trials over the years, often by videotape.
President Clinton gave videotaped testimony in a criminal trial involving two former business partners in the Whitewater land deal.
President Ford gave a videotaped deposition in the trial of Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, who was convicted of trying to assassinate him.
And President Carter provided videotaped testimony in a grand jury investigation of financier Robert Vesco.
SOURCE: LAT (12-20-06)
Despite the fierce battle the government waged to keep the documents secret, the files contain information that is hardly shocking, just new details about Lennon's ties to New Left leaders and antiwar groups in London in the early 1970s, said the historian, Jon Wiener.
For example, in one memo, then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover wrote to H.R. Haldeman, President Nixon's chief aide, that "Lennon had taken an interest in `extreme left-wing activities in Britain' and is known to be a sympathizer of Trotskyist communists in England."
Another document that had been totally blacked out on the grounds of national security when Wiener obtained it more than 20 years ago through litigation brought under the Freedom of Information Act, said that two prominent British leftists, Tariq Ali and Robin Blackburn, had courted Lennon in hopes that he would "finance a left-wing bookshop and reading room in London."
But the newly released document adds, that Lennon apparently gave them no money "despite a long courtship by Blackburn and Ali."
Rather, the previously classified document states that Lennon was using his "tangible assets" to try to get custody of his wife Yoko Ono's child, who was in the care of her former husband.
Another surveillance report states explicitly that there was "no certain proof" that Lennon had provided money "for subversive purposes," and yet another states that there was no evidence that Lennon had any formal tie to any leftist group. Only one document alludes to Lennon's music, saying he has "encouraged the belief that he holds revolutionary views . . . by the content of some of his songs."...
Name of source: Southern Maryland Online
SOURCE: Southern Maryland Online (12-19-06)
In April 1607, three ships arrived at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay after a four-month voyage from England carrying colonists who would establish the first permanent English settlement in North America and plant the seeds of our nation and our democracy. John Smith would then travel in a small 30 foot “shallop” some 3,000 miles, reaching from present day Jamestown, Virginia, to Smith Falls on the Pennsylvania border with Maryland and from Broad Creek in Delaware to the Potomac River and Washington, DC. His journeys brought the English into contact with many Native Americans for the first time, and his observations of the region’s people and its natural wonders are still relied upon by anthropologists, historians, and ecologists to this day.
“The signing of this legislation into law marks a new beginning in highlighting the historic voyages of Captain John Smith as part of the early exploration and settling of our Nation,” said a very pleased Sarbanes.
Name of source: Houston Chronicle
SOURCE: Houston Chronicle (12-20-06)
Standing in Heft's 10-person line, a boy asked his father why they were waiting for the autograph of a man he'd never seen. The father replied that Heft — who designed America's 50-star flag — is a piece of history.
Although he'll grace the pages of history books one day for his accomplishment, Heft, 64, of Thomas Township, Mich., doesn't place himself on a pedestal.
"I never look at myself like anything special," Heft said recently. "I consider myself just a regular person."
Last fall, Heft put up the 48-year-old banner that he sewed as a high school history project on eBay and set the price at $250,000. Although the item received more than 10,000 hits during two 10-day bidding periods, Heft said he didn't get any serious offers.
A year later, he's happy that the flag — now in a glass case for preservation — still is safe with him.
"One thing I was concerned about was where it would end up," said Heft, a retired professor from Northwest State Community College in Archbold, Ohio.
Name of source: Yahoo/AP
SOURCE: Yahoo/AP (12-20-06)
"This is reality-check research," said the study's author, Lawrence Finer. "Premarital sex is normal behavior for the vast majority of Americans, and has been for decades."
Finer is a research director at the Guttmacher Institute, a private New York-based think tank that studies sexual and reproductive issues and which disagrees with government-funded programs that rely primarily on abstinence-only teachings. The study, released Tuesday, appears in the new issue of Public Health Reports.
The study, examining how sexual behavior before marriage has changed over time, was based on interviews conducted with more than 38,000 people — about 33,000 of them women — in 1982, 1988, 1995 and 2002 for the federal National Survey of Family Growth. According to Finer's analysis, 99 percent of the respondents had had sex by age 44, and 95 percent had done so before marriage.
Name of source: Breitbart
SOURCE: Breitbart (12-19-06)
"We also want to look for ways to extend assistance to people with disabilities," he told journalists in Hanoi.
Name of source: Tennessean
SOURCE: Tennessean (12-15-06)
Gene Scott, who owns four acres in the west Nashville neighborhood, brought a bulldozer up to the ridge Dec. 8 and had the driver plow through a long stretch of a stone wall.
Scott, 76, said he owns the land where that section of the wall stood, and he eventually wants to sell it.
But some neighbors and historic preservationists are fuming. They say the 4-foot-high wall wasn't just any stack of stones: It was built by slaves living and working on the Belle Meade Plantation nearly 200 years ago.
Name of source: AFP at Yahoo News
SOURCE: AFP at Yahoo News (12-17-06)
The large quartzite stone, carved with 17 lines of hieroglyphics, highlights the achievements of high priest Bak En Khonso and his contributions to the grand hall at Karnak.
SOURCE: AFP at Yahoo News (12-18-06)
"On the cultural level, the Netherlands finds itself in the spotlight this year in a positive way," said Jan Michiel Hessels, head of the "Rembrandt 400" group, the Dutch ANP news agency reported Monday.
Exhibits featuring the work of the 17th century painter attracted the lion's share of visitors -- some two million people. Others flocked to a hodge-podge of Rembrandt-related events.
Name of source: http://www.payvand.com
SOURCE: http://www.payvand.com (12-18-06)
Name of source: http://www.clarionledger.com
SOURCE: http://www.clarionledger.com (12-18-06)
The grants, administered by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, will be used to repair and restore historically significant publicly and privately owned structures that were hurricane damaged.
The largest is $1 million for the Old Hattiesburg High School. Among other significant awards was $400,000 for the Bond-Grant House in Biloxi. Other amounts ranged from $9,000 to $150,000.
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (12-18-06)
Experts from both sides will have their first meeting Dec. 26-27 in Beijing, the Japanese government announced. Each side will have 10 experts on the panel.
The meeting is part of an effort to resolve conflicts between the two nations over the interpretation of Japan's invasion and occupation of parts of China before and during World War II. Chinese have frequently claimed that Japanese schools whitewash the nation's militarist past.
But the discussions would also delve into ancient history and touch on sensitive issues in recent Chinese history, including the Cultural Revolution and Tiananmen Square protests.
"Since it covers modern history, I think there will be a broad discussion," Japanese government spokesman Yasuhisa Shiozaki said.
Name of source: Times Online (UK)
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (12-19-06)
U864 never reached her destination. She was sunk by the British in the only known case of one submarine destroying another while both were submerged. It is a remarkable tale of wartime derring-do — but one with a sting in the tail.
The wreck now lies, in two pieces, 152 metres (500ft) beneath North Sea waters off the Norwegian coast, and contains 65 tonnes of mercury in 1,857 corroding canisters. It is a toxic timebomb, and today the Norwegian Government will announce plans to entomb it in a sarcophagus 12 metres thick.
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (12-19-06)
For 64 years the remains of two young Japanese sailors have lain in their undiscovered steel coffin — a midget submarine — not far off Sydney’s crowded northern beaches.
The amateur divers who found the M24 have opened up a debate about what should be done with the remains of Sub-Lieutenant Katsuhisa Ban and his navigator, Petty Officer Mamoru Ashibe. Even their families cannot agree on whether they should be raised and returned to Japan.
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (12-19-06)
Yesterday that painting of a cherubic-looking six-year-old member of the Spanish royal family, the Infante Don Luis Maria, was displayed to the world for the first time since Francisco de Goya put paintbrush to canvas in 1783.
But just as intriguing as the painting is the subject himself - an apparently studious little boy who would go on to become a cardinal at the age of 23 and who would put an end to that most infamous institution, the Spanish Inquisition.
Name of source: Persian Journal
SOURCE: Persian Journal (12-18-06)
Kargar noted that French archeologists became pioneers of excavations in Iran after reaching an agreement with the Qajar dynasty (1787-1921 AD). However, after the 1979 revolution in Iran, they began working in Iran's neighboring countries, particularly newly formed Arab states, which provided appropriate financial opportunities, he added.
The money the Arabs spent to pay the archeological mercenaries created some expectations, one of them being the alteration of the name of the Persian Gulf, he explained.
"Most important research centers in the heart of Paris are run by France and Saudi Arabia. Several months ago, Paris played host to an exhibition of Arab civilization, which was opened by Jacques Chirac and King Abdullah of Jordan," he explained. Contradictory but not so surprisingly despite the fact that the exhibition was called "Arab civilization", majority of artifacts on show were Persian.
Name of source: ABC
SOURCE: ABC (12-17-06)
The steel beam, which is to be put in place at ground zero this week, was on display in Battery Park City a few blocks from the trade center site Sunday.
Karen Miller signed in memory of her brother, firefighter John Santore.
"I want people to remember everyone who was lost and to remember him," she said.
Name of source: Media Matters
SOURCE: Media Matters (12-18-06)
As Media Matters for America noted when Gingrich's former press secretary and current Washington Times editorial page editor Tony Blankley baselessly claimed that the investigation into Gingrich was a Clinton administration vendetta, the IRS' inquiry was first reported nine months after the ethics committee -- which is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans -- unanimously voted in December 1995 to appoint a special counsel to investigate whether Gingrich had violated tax law. The New York Times reported on December 23, 1995, that the ethics committee had selected former Justice Department prosecutor James Cole to "investigate accusations that a course Mr. Gingrich taught at two colleges in Georgia was a political effort intended to circumvent tax laws." The Washington Post also reported on December 23, 1995, that there was a "question of whether Gingrich violated tax laws by using tax-deductible contributions to finance" the college course.
The ethics committee released its final report on January 17, 1997, and voted 7-1 to recommend that the House fine and reprimand for failing to obtain adequate legal advice regarding the courses and for providing false information to the committee. The New York Times reported on January 18, 1997, that "investigators urged the full ethics committee to send the evidence it had collected to the Internal Revenue Service to assist its investigations involving Kennesaw State University and Reinhardt College, where Mr. Gingrich's college course was taught." The IRS released the findings of its investigation in early 1999. According to a February 27, 1999, Los Angeles Times article:
On its face, the IRS finding seems unequivocal. The 74-page document systematically examines the facts in the complex case and determines that the foundation "did not serve the private interests of" Gingrich or the GOP and did not play a role in any campaign.
However, in an unusual caveat, the IRS said that its conclusions were based "upon the facts available to us" and the agency did not have access to transcripts of witnesses' statements before the House Ethics Committee, which the panel refused to provide.
"It is possible that if the Ethics Committee had rendered full cooperation with our examination, the transcripts might have affected our conclusion," the IRS memorandum said.
It still is not clear why the ethics panel did not provide the IRS with the transcripts.
There also have been debates over whether IRS supervisors really examined the evidence fully or simply took a bow in hopes of heading off a clash with a powerful figure.
From the December 17 broadcast of Meet the Press:
RUSSERT: But you were reprimanded by the full House. They --
GINGRICH: For having signed a letter.
RUSSERT: -- and that you paid a fine or -- $300,000 --
GINGRICH: That's right.
RUSSERT: It's significant. It's significant.
GINGRICH: It is. I just said it's significant. And I paid the $300,000. Now, but here's the point: The rest of the stuff in that article about my -- the ethics charges are false. The Internal Revenue Service said there was nothing wrong with the course. I am a Ph.D. in history. I was teaching a college course. It's totally -- it goes back to free speech. I was allowed to teach courses. The Federal Election Commission was reprimanded by a federal judge and told that the charges against GOPAC were totally false. All in the course -- those things didn't make page one. And I fully expected my opponents -- remember, the Democrats were very mad after the '94 election. They had lost power. They -- for the first time in 40 years. They knew it couldn't be their fault, so it must be mine.
Name of source: Inside Higher Ed
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (12-18-06)
But now, as President Bush prepares to decide among SMU, Baylor University and the University of Dallas, a new issue has emerged. Professors at SMU are circulating an open letter calling for the university to have a full discussion of the implications of being host to the Bush library. Several recent press reports have quoted Bush advisers as saying that SMU has the edge and that the library’s affiliated think tank will encourage scholarship with a specific political agenda.
An article in the New York Daily News — much discussed on the SMU campus — quotes a “Bush insider” as saying that the center would hire conservative scholars and “give them money to write papers and books favorable to the president’s policies.” Other articles have said that the center will be designed to spread the president’s ideas about “compassionate conservatism.”
Faculty critics say that although many of them disagree with Preside nt Bush’s policies, they would not object to a library-oriented archive and museum — and they say that in discussions with professors, the university has discussed a vision for such a Bush center. But creating an academic center with a specific goal of boosting the Bush image and agenda strikes many professors as antithetical to a university’s academic values.