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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
SOURCE: AP (12-13-06)
During their meeting at the Vatican, Benedict told Prime Minister Ehud Olmert he would consider the request, which followed an Iranian conference questioning the Nazi genocide against the Jews.
Benedict met with Olmert alone for 35 minutes, longer than the 10 minutes expected, and praised Israel's restraint in Gaza, Israeli spokesman Jacob Galanti said. In response to an invitation from Olmert, Benedict said he wants to visit Israel "when things calm down," the Israeli officials said.
SOURCE: AP (12-13-06)
In a statement posted on the ministry's Web site, spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said Russia had condemned Tehran and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the past for threatening Israel and denying the systematic killing of 6 million Jews by the Nazis during World War II.
Russia opposes "the distortion of historic events, the concealment of the truth about the monstrous crimes of the Nazis, and revision of results of humanity's most difficult struggle against Nazism," he said.
"Russia shares the determination of the UN general assembly not to allow the denial of the Holocaust."
SOURCE: AP (12-11-06)
The whirlwind historical research project _ which started in August _ involves a team of researchers from the University of Michigan and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who combed through health records, newspaper clippings and other documents from 45 cities.
"This is a Manhattan Project of history," said Michigan's Dr. Howard Markel, one of the lead researchers, in a presentation at a pandemic flu planning meeting of health officials in Atlanta.
SOURCE: AP (12-12-06)
Scoville and fellow explorer Jim Kennard located the schooner in the summer of 2005 off the southern shore of the lake. They videotaped the 93-foot-long, square-stern vessel this year using an unmanned submersible built with the help of college students.
The ship sits upright on the lake bed at a depth of more than 200 feet. Its masts extend 70 feet upward in the dark waters.
"At those depths, and the water being so cold, there's not a lot of oxygen" Scoville said."It basically helps preserve the wood. If a shipwreck is in shallow, fresh water, the ice will get it or storms will beat it up."
SOURCE: AP (12-12-06)
The island of Antikythera lies 18 miles north of Crete, where the Aegean Sea meets the Mediterranean. Currents there can make shipping treacherous — and one ship bound for ancient Rome never made it.
The ship that sank there was a giant cargo vessel measuring nearly 500 feet long. It came to rest about 200 feet below the surface, where it stayed for more than 2,000 years until divers looking for sponges discovered the wreck a little more than a century ago.
Inside the hull were a number of bronze and marble statues. From the look of things, the ship seemed to be carrying luxury items, probably made in various Greek islands and bound for wealthy patrons in the growing Roman Empire. The statues were retrieved, along with a lot of other unimportant stuff, and stored.
Nine months later, an enterprising archaeologist cleared off a layer of organic material from one of the pieces of junk and found that it looked like a gearwheel. It had inscriptions in Greek characters and seemed to have something to do with astronomy.
That piece of "junk" went on to become the most celebrated find from the shipwreck; it is displayed at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Research has shown that the wheel was part of a device so sophisticated that its complexity would not be matched for a thousand years — it was also the world's first known analog computer.
The device is so famous that an international conference organized in Athens a couple of weeks ago had only one subject: the Antikythera Mechanism.
Every discovery about the device has raised new questions. Who built the device, and for what purpose? Why did the technology behind it disappear for the next thousand years? What does the device tell us about ancient Greek culture? And does the marvelous construction, and the precise knowledge of the movement of the sun and moon and Earth that it implies, tell us how the ancients grappled with ideas about determinism and human destiny?
"We have gear trains from the 9th century in Baghdad used for simpler displays of the solar and lunar motions relative to one another — they use eight gears," said Frangois Charette, a historian of science in Germany who wrote an editorial accompanying a new study of the mechanism two weeks ago in the journal Nature. "In this case, we have more than 30 gears. To see it on a computer animation makes it mind-boggling."
The device was probably built between 100 and 140 B.C., and the understanding of astronomy it displays seems to have been based on knowledge developed by the Babylonians around 300-700 B.C., said Mike Edmunds, a professor of astrophysics at Cardiff University in Britain. He led a research team that reconstructed what the gear mechanism would have looked like by using advanced imaging technology.
The mechanism explores the relationship between lunar months — the time it takes for the moon to cycle through its phases, say, full moon to full moon — and calendar years. The gears had to be cut precisely to reflect this complex relationship; 19 calendar years equal 235 lunar months.
Building it would have been expensive and required the interaction of astronomers, engineers, intellectuals and craftspeople.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (12-13-06)
Matthew Goldstein, the chancellor, called the designation of the room as the Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Community and Student Center “unauthorized and inappropriate.”
Ms. Shakur — once known as Joanne Chesimard — was a member of the Black Liberation Army convicted in the 1973 killing of a New Jersey state trooper. She is currently a federal fugitive living in Cuba. Mr. Morales, also in Cuba, was a leader of the Puerto Rican independence group known as the F.A.L.N., which claimed responsibility for a tavern bombing in Lower Manhattan that killed four people and injured others. Both were students at City College.
Students at the center yesterday said the names had been posted there for 17 years, since a student group won the right to use the lounge in the aftermath of a campus shutdown over proposed tuition increases in 1989.
That question misses the point. Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, portrays participants like David Duke, the former Louisiana Klan leader, and Robert Faurisson of France, who has devoted his life to trying to prove that the Nazi gas chambers were a myth, as silenced truth-tellers whose stories expose Western leaders as the hypocrites he considers them to be.
Just as Soviet leaders used to invite Americans who suffered racial or political discrimination to Moscow to embarrass Washington, Mr. Ahmadinejad seems to enjoy pointing out that countries like Germany, France and Austria claim to champion free debate yet have made Holocaust denial illegal.
He has also repeatedly tried to draw a moral equivalency between questioning the Holocaust and the decision in Europe last year to publish cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad. It wins him favor at home and across the Arab world for standing up to the West and allows him to present himself as morally superior to the West.
But there is another important point. Mr. Ahmadinejad actually seems to believe that the volumes of documentation, testimony and living memory of the Nazi genocide are at best exaggerated and part of a Zionist conspiracy to falsify history so as to create the case for Israel. As a former member of the Revolutionary Guards, he was indoctrinated with such thinking, a political analyst in Tehran said, and as a radical student leader, he championed such a view.
According to information from the Senate historian cited on CQ.com, at least nine senators have taken extended absences from the Senate for health reasons since 1942. Robert F. Wagner, Democrat of New York, was unable to attend any sessions of the 80th or 81st Congress from 1947 to 1949 because of a heart ailment. Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware, missed about seven months in 1988 after surgery for a brain aneurysm. And David Pryor, Democrat of Arkansas, suffered a heart attack in April 1991 and returned to the Senate in September that year.
[HNN: In 1969 South Dakota Sen. Karl Mundt (R) suffered an incapacitating stroke. He continued to hold the office until the end of his term in 1973.]
Painstakingly collected over a lifetime by Mayme Agnew Clayton — a retired university librarian who died in October at 83 and whose interest in African-American history consumed her for most of her adult life — the massive collection of books, films, documents and other precious pieces of America’s past has remained essentially hidden for decades, most of it piled from floor to ceiling in a ramshackle garage behind Ms. Clayton’s home in the West Adams district of Los Angeles.
Only now is her son Avery Clayton close to forming a museum and research institute that would bring her collection out of the garage and into public view. Just days before Ms. Clayton died, he rented a former courthouse in nearby Culver City for $1 a year to become the treasures’ home, leaving him to scrape together $565,000 to move the thousands of items and put them on display for the first year.
In a speech delivered at the Truman Presidential Museum and Library in Independence, Mo., billed as his last address to an American audience as secretary general, Mr. Annan said, “You Americans did so much, in the last century, to build an effective multilateral system, with the United Nations at its heart. Do you need it less today, and does it need you less than 60 years ago?”
Mr. Annan did not directly cite the Bush administration, with which he has had a fraught relationship, but he made his rebuke of current American foreign policy clear by urging a return to “far-sighted American leadership, in the Truman tradition.”...
He reminded his audience that Mr. Truman had once said, “We all have to recognize, no matter how great our strength, that we must deny ourselves the license to do always as we please.”
Mr. Annan also cited President Truman’s statement that “the responsibility of great states is to serve and not dominate the peoples of the world,” and noted approvingly how Mr. Truman had used American power to face down a threat to international order during his administration.
“He believed strongly that henceforth security must be collective and indivisible,” Mr. Annan said. “That was why, for instance, that he insisted, when faced with aggression by North Korea against the South in 1950, on bringing the issue to the United Nations and placing U.S. troops under the U.N. flag, at the head of a multinational force.”
Now, more than 60 years later, a leader of the group says he has uncovered records proving the claim is not accurate.
Air Force records show that at least a few bombers escorted by the red-tailed fighters of the Tuskegee Airmen were shot down by enemy planes, the man, William F. Holton, historian of Tuskegee Airmen Inc., said in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. And the group’s losses may have been much greater, Mr. Holton said.
He said his research, first reported on Sunday by The Montgomery Advertiser, showed that though the group’s record was stellar, it was not perfect, as long believed.
Some surviving members of the group are offended by the findings of Mr. Holton and Daniel Haulman of the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base here, who came to the same conclusion.
A former Tuskegee airman, Carrol Woods of Montgomery, called their claims outrageous.
The hail of criticism came as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told participants of the conference in Tehran today that a committee should be set up to investigate whether the Holocaust occurred. Among the more than 60 participants in the conference was the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who asserted today that Israel feared an inquiry into the Holocaust more than it did the prospect of Iranian nuclear weapons.
The Vatican today called the Holocaust an “immense tragedy” for all humanity, and it issued a statement that there was no doubt that the Holocaust took place and that it must serve as a warning for people to respect the rights of others. The statement used the Hebrew word for the Holocaust, Shoah, and expressed “great compassion” for what happened to the Jews during World War II, according to Agence France-Presse.
SOURCE: NYT (12-10-06)
SOURCE: NYT (12-10-06)
The finding is a striking example of a cultural practice — the raising of dairy cattle — feeding back into the human genome. It also seems to be one of the first instances of convergent human evolution to be documented at the genetic level. Convergent evolution refers to two or more populations acquiring the same trait independently.
Throughout most of human history, the ability to digest lactose, the principal sugar of milk, has been switched off after weaning because there is no further need for the lactase enzyme that breaks the sugar apart. But when cattle were first domesticated 9,000 years ago and people later started to consume their milk as well as their meat, natural selection would have favored anyone with a mutation that kept the lactase gene switched on.
Such a mutation is known to have arisen among an early cattle-raising people, the Funnel Beaker culture, which flourished some 5,000 to 6,000 years ago in north-central Europe. People with a persistently active lactase gene have no problem digesting milk and are said to be lactose tolerant.
Name of source: Salon
SOURCE: Salon (12-13-06)
The assassination of Orlando Letelier and his American assistant two miles from the White House prompted demands for explanations and helped expose what President Nixon, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and a series of CIA officials tried for years to conceal: U.S support for a military dictatorship that was killing thousands of its own citizens.
In the wake of the former leader's Sunday death, officials at the think tank where Letelier and Ronni Moffitt worked said they are sending U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales a letter asking for the release of the remaining information.
In 1998, the Clinton administration declassified more than 16,000 documents related to Chile, but withheld documents on the Letelier bombing, citing an ongoing investigation.
SOURCE: Salon (12-13-06)
The visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where convicted Japanese war criminals are honored, have become a sticking point in relations between Beijing and Tokyo.
Lu Yunfei, Web master for the Patriots League, a nationalist Web site, called the planned exhibition"a silent protest and strong condemnation of the Japanese government."
Repeated trips to the shrine by former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi severely strained ties, but relations have improved since Shinzo Abe succeeded him in September.
Name of source: Breitbart
SOURCE: Breitbart (12-13-06)
Patrick Agin, 17, belongs to the Society for Creative Anachronism, an international organization that researches and recreates medieval history. He submitted the photo in September for the Portsmouth High School yearbook.
But the school's principal refused to allow the portrait as Agin's official yearbook photo because he said it violated a policy against weapons and violence in schools, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by the Rhode Island branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.
SOURCE: Breitbart (12-13-06)
"The idea was good, the execution was bad," he was quoted as saying in an advance German transcript of the interview.
"We should have agreed on a post-war Iraqi leadership" but were thwarted by opposition at the US State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency, Perle said.
"We should have marched into Baghdad with an Iraqi De Gaulle," he said.
"I do not believe that Father Christmas should be part of church services any more than Santa's grotto should have a manger and a baby Jesus present," Storey said in a statement.
But Cuff labelled the move"political correctness gone mad."
Another cast will be displayed at New York's natural history museum and a third is already there for all to see at the Sterkfontein caves.
Little Foot generated huge excitement when it was found in the 1990s at the Sterkfontein caves north of Johannesburg as it was first dated to between 3.0 and 3.5 million-years-old.
"We have no tangible leads as to what happened," Normunds Sulcs of the Rujiena police told AFP.
"Accused numbers one to 12 are found guilty of all charges," Justice Medhin Kiros told a packed courtroom in Addis Ababa, reading from a unanimous verdict by the three-judge panel hearing the case.
Mengistu, who was ousted in 1991 and now lives in exile in Zimbabwe, was known as"defendant number one" in the case against himself and other senior members of his so-called Derg (Committee) regime.
"The gathering of Holocaust deniers in Tehran is an affront to the entire civilized world, as well as to the traditional Iranian values of tolerance and mutual respect," she said.
"While people around the world mark International Human Rights Week and renew the solemn pledges of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which was drafted in the wake of the atrocities of World War II, the Iranian regime perversely seeks to call the historical fact of those atrocities into question and provide a platform for hatred," she said.
Her comments came as Iran pressed on with its controversial conference, even as international outrage mounted over its hosting of revisionist historians who cast doubt on the mass slaughter of six million Jews in World War II.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (12-13-06)
Pinochet's grandson, also called Augusto, was roundly criticized for his funeral speech on Tuesday, in which he praised Pinochet for overthrowing the socialist government of Salvador Allende in 1973, and attacked prosecutors who tried to bring the ex-dictator to trial for human rights abuses.
SOURCE: Reuters (12-13-06)
Samardzic had been sentenced in April for abetting and aiding persecution, rape and torture of Muslims in an eastern Bosnian town early in the 1992-95 war but the appeals chamber then ordered a re-trail because of procedural errors.
In Wednesday's verdict, the chamber said Samardzic took part in persecution of Muslim population, forced sexual slavery, rape and other crimes against humanity in the town of Foca.
SOURCE: Reuters (12-12-06)
Of course they won't: their kind of exploration of the southern continent ended nearly a century ago. But this remote, snow-shrouded shelter hut appears eerily intact.
Prefabricated in New Zealand in 1910, transported by ship and reassembled on a spit of land on McMurdo Sound in January 1911, the hut was built for the final expedition led by Britain's Scott, whose ill-fated race to reach the South Pole has become the stuff of legend....
Now accessible only with permission and a key, the hut was restored as a shrine to Scott and his men in 1960.
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (12-8-06)
Currently spoken by fewer than 2 percent in Scotland, Gaelic is enjoying a revival here that has blossomed since the country held elections in 1999 to create a Scottish Parliament for the first time in almost 300 years.
Last year, the Parliament passed a Gaelic Language Act that recognized Gaelic as an official language of Scotland and granted it equal respect with English. In August, the Parliament introduced a National Plan for Gaelic under which public bodies are obliged to offer provisions for Gaelic speakers.
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (12-8-06)
Kohl admitted to taking illegal cash payments, which shredded his reputation. Schröder, 62, took a job as chairman of a Russian-German pipeline venture and was roundly condemned by critics who said he had championed the pipeline while in office and was improperly cashing inon his friendship with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.
Now Schröder is back in the news, and on the offensive, with a memoir in which he defends Putin, the pipeline deal and many other things he did in his seven years as chancellor.
The book, "Decisions: My Life in Politics," has been a best seller here since it was published in October and was lavishly excerpted in Der Spiegel, suggesting that Germans have a soft spot for, or at least a residual fascination with, their canny former leader.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (12-13-06)
The excavation of St Paul's tomb at the church of St Paul's Outside-the-Walls in Rome is now complete, and the sarcophagus will be on view from the beginning of next year.
However, three feet below the floor of the enormous church, which is the second-largest in the city, the project's team came across a surprise from the Renaissance.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (12-12-06)
But the presidential candidate's book has become as much part of the race for the White House as the wooing of wealthy donors in Manhattan, trudging through the snows of New Hampshire and endless stump speeches in Iowa.
With the 2008 election arguably the most open contest since 1928 – the last time no sitting president or vice-president ran for their party's nomination – a record number of turgid tomes are on offer.
Today sees the re-release of Hillary Clinton's It Takes a Village, 10 years after it was published when she was First Lady. Among its insights is that "our village has changed over the last decade" in ways ranging from "the impact of the internet to new research in early child development".
Al Gore is due to publish The Assault on Reason, billed as an examination of how "the public arena has grown more hostile to reason", while Senator John McCain is working on Hard Call, his fifth book, which will explore historic decisions in politics, history and science.
Name of source: Media Matters
SOURCE: Media Matters (12-14-06)
The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: "When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct." The Constitution does not address the ability of a Senator to carry out his or her duties. In contrast, the 25th Amendment deals specifically with "Presidential Disability" and provides a mechanism for people other than the president to determine that the president is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office" and appoint a replacement without the president's permission.
South Dakota state law echoes the 17th Amendment: "Pursuant to the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, the Governor may fill by temporary appointment, until a special election is held pursuant to this chapter, vacancies in the office of senator in the Senate of the United States."
As USA Today reported on December 14, there exists no legal precedent for declaring a senator unable to serve, and senators have continued to serve in spite of infirmities:
Political scientist David Brady of Stanford University's Hoover Institution said history is filled with examples of lawmakers remaining in office no matter how severe their disabilities. Brady recalled Sen. Clair Engle of California [D], unable to speak because of a brain tumor, casting an "aye" vote for the 1964 Civil Rights Act by pointing to his eye.
More recently, 100-year-old Strom Thurmond [R] completed his last term as a South Carolina senator while living at Walter Reed Army Hospital.
There is no legal provision for declaring a member of Congress too infirm to serve, Brady said.
"The Constitution also does not provide an effective way for filling temporary vacancies that occur when members are incapacitated," said a May 2003 report by a government panel convened to determine how Congress would continue in the wake of a terrorist attack.
MSNBC.com offered other "examples of a senator being incapacitated for years and remaining in office":
Most recently, Sen. Karl Mundt [R] (coincidentally, also from South Dakota) suffered a stroke in 1969 and was incapacitated, but he refused to step down. He remained in office until January 1973, when his term expired. Mundt was pressured repeatedly to step down during his illness, but he demanded that the governor promise to appoint his wife. The governor refused, and Mundt remained in office.
Another example was Sen. Carter Glass, D-Va. Glass had a heart condition that prevented him from working for most of his last term after his re-election in 1942. Yet Glass refused to resign, and finally died of congestive heart failure in May 1946, in his apartment at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington.
Name of source: Newsday
SOURCE: Newsday (12-14-06)
George, an antiquities expert recently recruited for the faculty of Stony Brook University, said the letter threatened to kidnap and behead his son Martin, 17, for allegedly "cursing Islam and teasing Muslim girls," unless he apologized and paid a $1,000 fine.
"The letter also mentioned his father was working with the Americans," said George.
George already was disenchanted with what he said was his diminishing authority as director general of the National Museum in Baghdad and president of the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, so he decided it was time to leave. He retired in August from his positions, and he and his family fled to Damascus, Syria.
George, 56, accompanied by his wife, Najat Daniel Sarkees and Martin, his youngest son, has now settled in Port Jefferson Station. He will shortly assume his duties as a visiting professor at Stony Brook.
Name of source: Inside Higher Ed
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (12-14-06)
“I express my shock and regret that the name of St. Francis Xavier University has been associated with the recent ‘conference’ in Tehran due to the presence of a member of university faculty,” said the statement from Sean Riley, president of the institution, in Nova Scotia. “The gathering, in its origins and focus, contained elements that are deeply abhorrent to the St. Francis Xavier University community and the traditions of our 153 years of history. Given previous statements and actions from key personalities in Iranian authority, and given the focus on the subject of the Holocaust and the well-known positions of many participants, it is no surprise that the conference revealed unmistakable and deplorable anti-Semitism.”
Shiraz Dossa, a professor of political science at St. Francis Xavier, confirmed his attendance to The Globe and Mail and told that newspaper that he was surprised to find that the conference attracted Holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis, among others. Dossa’s attendance has been criticized by Canadian Jewish leaders, among others, who have noted that statements from Iranian leaders questioning the reality of the Holocaust have been widely publicized, as has their desire to use the conference to legitimize such views.
In the interview with the Globe and Mail, Dossa said that he did not doubt the Holocaust and said that he had not been pressured to alter his views. He said his paper was about the abuse of imagery of the Holocaust....
Name of source: http://www.columbiatribune.com
SOURCE: http://www.columbiatribune.com (12-10-06)
He was never seen alive again. But was he never forgotten in the black community, his death affecting the people of Live Oak in sometimes unexpected ways.
“We need what really happened to come out. Everybody needs to know the truth,” said Beasley, a former councilman who was elected as the first black to serve on the council since Reconstruction.
To appreciate the legacy of Willie James is to understand how three men — a cousin of the dead boy, a funeral director and a Miami historian — men without much in common beyond a deep sense of loss, have come to demand justice.
Eleven years before Emmett Till was lynched for whistling at a white woman in Mississippi, an atrocity that helped launch the civil rights movement, the Willie James Howard story became a cautionary tale about what happens when blacks cross the line. Under the patina of good race relations, progress and Southern hospitality, the story, in all its layers, still resonates in this sawmill town.
Name of source: Letter to the editor of the Murfreesboro Post (TN)
SOURCE: Letter to the editor of the Murfreesboro Post (TN) (12-12-06)
The university annually receives numerous resolutions from the Student Government Association. While non-binding on the university, these resolutions are an expression of the sense of the Student Government Association and the students represented by that body. The administration values these resolutions and takes seriously its responsibility to review them. The university also reserves the right to take action, or to take no action, based upon the administration’s best understanding of state law, Tennessee Board of Regents policy and university policy.
The university has never taken a position on the appropriateness of the name Nathan Bedford Forrest and whether it should remain on the building in question. The building in question houses the Military Science Department and was named to honor the military accomplishments of Forrest. The original program for the naming of the building said, in part, “It is appropriate that the instructional unit devoted to military science and tactics be named in honor of the intrepid Confederate cavalry leader who won fame with his brilliant raids.” In every military conflict there are great generals who accomplish great things, but who are not necessarily great men. The original resolution by the SGA has been rescinded, which means there is no pending request for action.
When the matter first became an item of public discussion, it was my recommendation to President McPhee that we view this as an opportunity for a public airing of the issues. We have argued that issues being raised on both sides have legitimacy and are matters for open discussion. A university is supposed to be a “Marketplace of Ideas,” where competing notions can be considered through rational discourse. We believe that the best response to a situation like this is to provide a forum through which accurate information can be disseminated and opposing views heard.
As a result of the primary arguments voiced in a variety of forums, a group of faculty, staff and students has identified three basic issues for our initial discussions. Those issues include, but are not limited to: (1) the history of how the name and image of Nathan Bedford Forrest has been used on campus; (2) the development of the Ku Klux Klan and Forrest’s involvement with the organization; and (3) a discussion of the battle of Fort Pillow. I believe we will also want to discuss the wisdom of changing names of public buildings based upon current politics.
We expect to engage recognized scholars from across the South for these discussions. We expect these forums to be open to both the university and local communities. We will identify places in the community where we can host these discussions in order to make them more accessible. Because we expect that new issues for discussion will be identified throughout this process, these forums may extend over several semesters. They will be widely announced and publicized.
As we work to develop these discussions, we will appreciate the patience of everyone on both sides of the issues. While we know this may not be the resolution for which either side was hoping, we believe it is a good university response. You are always welcome to share your thoughts and opinions. My office will act as a conduit throughout this process. You may contact me at 898-2440 or at email@example.com.
Robert K. Glenn, Ph. D.
Vice President for Student Affairs and
Vice Provost for Enrollment Management
Middle Tennessee State University
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (12-12-06)
A handful of Orthodox Jews have attended Iran's controversial conference questioning the Nazi genocide of the Jews - not because they deny the Holocaust but because they object to using it as justification for the existence of Israel.
With their distinctive hats, beards and side locks, these men may, to the untrained eye, look like any other Orthodox believers in Jerusalem or New York. But the Jews who went to Tehran are different.
Some of them belong to Neturei Karta (Guardians of the City), a group of a few thousand people which views Zionism - the movement to establish a Jewish national home or state in what was Palestine - as a "poison" threatening "true Jews".
Name of source: http://www.stltoday.com/
SOURCE: http://www.stltoday.com/ (12-5-06)
The litigation has produced countless reams of important documents, which are difficult and time-consuming to find and search through. To remedy the problem — and preserve a critical part of our nation's history — a team of professors and students at the Washington University School of Law has created a free electronic library that opened to the public for the first time last month. The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, the brainchild of law professor Margo Schlanger, houses thousands of documents including settlements, court orders, opinions, case study research, key filings and other papers related to more than 1,000 civil rights cases. It can be accessed at clearinghouse.wustl.edu.
The clearinghouse is impressive. Cases in the collection address issues as wide-ranging as immigration, policing, child welfare, disability rights, election and voting rights, jail and prison conditions, juvenile institutions, nursing homes, mental health facilities and school desegregation. The documents are of particular interest to historians, sociologists, judges, students, lawyers, policymakers and journalists.
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (12-12-06)
In his house overlooking the silvery Mattaponi River, Ken Custalow said the words over and over until it drove his wife crazy. Until she yelled from the next room: Have you memorized that thing yet?
Custalow, 70, a member of the Mattaponi tribe, was preparing to give a blessing at a powwow for Virginia Indians in England, part of the events commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown Colony. He was nervous. He would be speaking -- and some of the audience would be hearing -- his native language for the first time.
Muh-shay-wah-NUH-toe, he began the salutation. "Great Spirit . . ." Then: Chess-kay-dah-KAY-wak. "All nations . . ."
The words came from a language that once dominated coastal Virginia, including part of what is now suburban Washington. Pocahontas spoke it. Tongue-tied colonists littered our maps with mispronunciations of it: Potomac, Anacostia, Chesapeake. Then, sometime around 1800, it died out.
But now, in a story with starring roles for a university linguist, sloppy 17th-century scribes and a perfectionist Hollywood director making a movie about Jamestown, the language that scholars call Virginia Algonquian has come back from the dead.
Name of source: Newsweek
SOURCE: Newsweek (12-18-06)
If the story ended there, it would be an ordinary drama about a family in crisis, one familiar in many times and many places. But this story was only beginning. The righteous man, Joseph, goes to sleep and receives a visit from an angel. "Joseph, son of David," the angel says, "do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus for he will save his people from their sins." Like all good Jews who had received visits from God or angels before him—Abraham, Moses—Joseph does as he is told. The baby is born in Bethlehem; his human parents name him Jesus.
As the world's 2 billion Christians prepare to commemorate the birth of the figure they believe to be the Son of God, it is important to note that Christianity's origins lie more in the image of the empty tomb on the Sunday after the crucifixion than they do at the crèche. It was their fervent belief in the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth that convinced his followers he was, as Peter put it, "the Christ, the son of the living God" who had told them of a new way of salvation: that he would die and rise again, thus effecting the forgiveness of sins and offering a portal to eternal life.
But whatever one's personal beliefs, no student of religion or culture should overlook the significance of the world of the Nativity, for the milieu into which Jesus was born—and in which he was raised—has fundamentally shaped the manners and morals of the ensuing two millennia. The Jewish family values that were prevalent in first-century Judea—the values of Mary and Joseph and of the young Jesus—became the values of Christianity, and of the regions of the world in which Christianity has long been a critical force.
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (12-11-06)
Among many important details, the new collection shows that although a crackdown of some kind against the union had long been feared and anticipated (ever since Solidarity's founding in August 1980), it nonetheless took most observers outside of Poland, especially the United States, by surprise. U.S. officials also misread the Polish leadership, concluding earlier in 1981 that they would use martial law only as a way to "maximize deterrence" against Moscow, whereas internal Polish and Soviet records make clear that Poland's leaders were intent on reasserting control over society, a goal they fully shared with the Kremlin.
Name of source: Jeff Spurr in the IraqCrisis newsletter
SOURCE: Jeff Spurr in the IraqCrisis newsletter (12-12-06)
Jeffrey B. Spurr
Islamic and Middle East Specialist
Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture
Fine Arts Library, Harvard University
Name of source: Asian History Carnival
SOURCE: Asian History Carnival (12-12-06)
Name of source: Secrecy News, written by Steven Aftergood, is published by the Federation of American Scientists
In 1944 at the University of Rochester in New York,"tracer amounts of radioactive polonium-210 were injected into four hospitalized humans and ingested by a fifth," according to a 1995 retrospective account.
Four men and one women who were already suffering from a variety of cancers reportedly volunteered for the dangerous experiment. One patient died from his cancer six days after the injection.
See"Polonium Human-Injection Experiments," Los Alamos Science, Number 23, 1995:
That polonium article appeared as a sidebar in a larger paper called"The Human Plutonium Injection Experiments" by William Moss and Roger Eckhardt, which follows on the work of reporter Eileen Welsome, builds on the declassification activities of Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary and complements the research of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments. See the Moss and Eckhardt paper from Los Alamos Science here:
Polonium was classified in July 1945, the authors note, and given the code name"postum."
The basic chemistry and physics of polonium were declassified in 1946. The fact that polonium-210 was used in nuclear weapon initiators was declassified in 1967, according to a Department of Energy historical account.
Name of source: HNN summary of CBS report
SOURCE: HNN summary of CBS report (12-12-06)
At the height of the Vietnam War in 1973 only 60 percent said it was a mistake to send troops to Vietnam, according to a Gallup Poll.
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (12-12-06)
The conference -- organized by the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (BPB) -- is seen by many as a response to a two-day conference on the Holocaust, which started in Teheran on Monday.
US historian Raul Hilberg, the author of "Destruction of the European Jews," which is widely considered one of the standard texts on the Holocaust, said he wanted to make "a statement" by attending the Berlin conference.
"I don't think a dialogue is possible with people who deny the Holocaust," Hilberg said.
BPB president Thomas Krüger said the Berlin conference was designed to respond to the "absurd arguments" of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who has questioned the existence of the Holocaust and said Israel should be wiped off the map.
"Doubting the Holocaust and questioning the existence of Israel are fundamental attacks on the democratic values of Western societies," Krüger said.
Peter Longerich from the Research Center for the Holocaust and 20th Century History at London University, however, said that seeing the Berlin as a reaction to the gathering in Iran was a connection being made largely by the media.
"As somebody who is actively doing research in this area, I would say that our debate and our discussion are not influenced by systematic approaches to deny the Holocaust," Longerich said. "I don't think that this conference is intellectually a reaction to what is going on somewhere else in the world."
Name of source: Newport News Daily Press
SOURCE: Newport News Daily Press (12-10-06)
They said the 400-acre property's view of the James River, its archaeological sites and other treasures would remain protected in any sale. Restrictions will prohibit residential and commercial development, the foundation said.
Officials said the decision to sell to a private buyer was largely based on Carter's Grove not fitting into CW's mission. That mission is to "tell the story of citizenship and becoming America in the 18th century," they said.
"This is best accomplished in the Historic Area, where we present and interpret Revolutionary War-era Williamsburg," the foundation's president, Colin Campbell, said in a statement. "Carter's Grove, with its multiple stories to tell, does not support this strategic focus."
Name of source: IHT
SOURCE: IHT (12-11-06)
Bolden was born Aug. 15, 1890, according to the Gerontology Research Group, a Los Angeles-based organization that tracks the ages of the world's oldest people.
Guinness World Records recognized Bolden as the oldest person in August after the death of Maria Ester de Capovilla of Ecuador, who previously was listed as the oldest.
Name of source: Times Online (UK)
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (12-11-06)
Never has the hardline leader faced such open hostility at a public event, which came as Iran opened a conference questioning whether Nazi Germany murdered six million Jews.
One student activist said that the protest was against the “shameful” Holocaust conference and the “fact that many activists have not been allowed to attend university”. The conference “has brought to our country Nazis and racists from around the world”, he added.
Mr Ahmadinejad responded by saying: “Everyone should know that Ahmadinejad is prepared to be burnt in the path of true freedom, independence and justice”, according to an Iranian students’ news agency. He accused the protesters of being “Americanised”.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (12-11-06)
One such group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, planned to counter the event with a teleconference showcasing stories from Holocaust survivors.
Manouchehr Mohammadi, Iran's deputy foreign minister for research, told Iran's state-run news agency, IRNA, that Tehran's leaders would accept that the Holocaust occurred if scholars attending the conference could prove that the Nazi regime exterminated 6 million Jews during World War II.
But Mohammadi said Iran does not deny the murders and damages caused by Hitler's genocide, nor that 50 million people were the victims of his racism, according to IRNA.
He said the conference is to be held in response to international outrage at Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repeated assertion that the Holocaust is a myth. (Full story)
"If the Holocaust is a historical event, then is it not warranted to be looked into and researched?" Mohammadi asked rhetorically.