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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: Telegraph
SOURCE: Telegraph (1-29-07)
Formerly top secret Cabinet documents discovered by The Daily Telegraph show that Harold Macmillan, then prime minister, organised a top-level cover-up to disguise the fact that it could not prosecute Burgess, the notorious Cambridge spy, for treason. Burgess defected in 1951 with his friend Donald Maclean, who was about to be arrested for espionage. Eight years later he wanted to come back to visit his dying mother, Evelyn, the documents discovered in the National Archives in Kew disclose...
SOURCE: Telegraph (1-26-07)
Heinrich Steinmeyer was a 20-year-old grenadier in the Waffen SS when he was captured in Normandy and taken to a prison camp in Perthshire in 1944.
He spent the last months of the war incarcerated with 4,000 others at the Cultybraggan camp near Comrie. Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy, was kept there after he crash-landed in Scotland, and the ringleaders of a 1944 plot to free PoWs from camps throughout Britain were also sent there.
Mr Steinmeyer, now 82, from Delmenhorst, near Bremen, said his experience in the camp changed his view of the war.
"Cultybraggan was a holiday camp compared to fighting or being a PoW in Russia. The whole place was so beautiful. It went straight to my heart, and I thought, 'why have I been fighting this bloody war'?
"When I finished as a prisoner of war in 1949 I stayed in Scotland for another seven years as a civilian, working in civil engineering."
He could think of no better place to have his ashes scattered.
SOURCE: Telegraph (1-26-07)
A British academic has discovered 120 unknown poems by Sara Coleridge at a university in Texas which, he says, rank her as a significant poet.
Though Dr Peter Swaab does not make extravagent claims for the Lake Poet's daughter – he ranks her as "an important minor poet" – he says that the astonishing discovery casts remarkable light on the struggles of an intellectual woman constrained by Victorian mores.
Name of source: DPA (German Press Agency)
SOURCE: DPA (German Press Agency) (1-29-07)
The China Times said that under the order of the Education Ministry, the title of the national history textbook for high school to be used after the winter vacation has been changed from 'National History' to 'China History.'
In this textbook, terms like 'our country,' 'this country' and 'the mainland' have been changed to 'China' to indicate Taiwan is not part of China, the daily said.
To distance itself from China, the textbook now uses neutral words to describe events in China's history, like describing the 1911 Wuhan Uprising that toppled the Manchu Dynasty as chishi (riot) instead of chiyi (justified uprising).
Another change is that the new textbook has condensed ancient Chinese history but included a part on Taiwan-China separation.
SOURCE: DPA (German Press Agency) (1-27-07)
Politicians led the way in the ceremonies at various Holocaust sites in marking the day set up to coincide with the January 27, 1945 liberation of the infamous Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz.
In Berlin, the Greens party laid a wreath at the Pulitzbruecke memorial, with party leader Claudia Roth saying, 'we are responsible for battling right-wing extremism, anti-Semitic and anti-foreigner attitudes.'...
At the Buchenwald memorial site in the state of Thueringen, state premier Dieter Althaus in his speech called for stronger efforts against right-wing extremism and anti-foreigner sentiment. He said this was why there should be ongoing education about the Holocaust.
At the former concentration camp site Sachsenhausen outside of Berlin, Brandenburg state Premier Matthias Platzeck urged Germany's current soldiers to visit the memorial site.
He pointed out that during World War II, a number of Wehrmacht soldiers had been held there, tortured and murdered because they had 'followed their consciences and resisted the Nazis' murderous wars.'
Name of source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com
SOURCE: http://www.sun-sentinel.com (1-26-07)
Sophomore Ilana Hostyk started a petition this week at Hollywood Hills in hopes of pressing officials to ban the symbol, considered a show of Rebel pride by some and a reminder of Southern race-based prejudice by others.
Name of source: http://www.ynetnews.com
SOURCE: http://www.ynetnews.com (1-28-07)
Freedman, who served on the council during Carter's term as president, also revealed a noted Holocaust scholar who was a Presbyterian Christian was rejected from the council's board by Carter's office because the scholar's name "sounded too Jewish."
Freedman, now a professor of law at Hofstra University, was picked by the council's chairman, author Elie Wiesel, to serve as executive director in 1980. The council, created by the Carter White House, went on to establish the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.
Freedman says he was tasked with creating a board for the council and with making recommendations to the White House on how best to memorialize the Holocaust.
He told WND he sent a memo to Carter's office containing recommendations for council board members.
He said his memo was returned with a note on the upper right hand corner that stated, "Too many Jews."
The note, Freedman said, was written in Carter's handwriting and was initialed by Carter.
Freedman said at the time the board he constructed was about 80-percent Jewish, including many Holocaust survivors.
He said at the behest of the White House he composed another board consisting of more non-Jews. But he said he was "stunned" when Carter's office objected to a non-Jew whose name sounded Jewish.
Freedman said he could not provide the historians name to WND because he did not have the man's permission.
"I got a phone call from our liaison at the White House saying this particular historian whose name sounded Jewish would not do. The liaison said he would not even take the time to present Carter with the possibility of including the historian on the board because he knew Carter would think the name sounded too Jewish. I explained the historian is Presbyterian, but the liaison said it wouldn't matter to Carter."
Freedman said he was "outraged by this absurdity."
Name of source: AP
Drinan, 86, had suffered from pneumonia and congestive heart failure during the previous 10 days, according to a statement by Georgetown University...
An internationally known human-rights advocate, Drinan represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House for 10 years during the turbulent 1970s, and he stepped down only after a worldwide directive from Pope John Paul II barring priests from holding public office.
Top Egyptian officials have criticized the popular contest that urges people around the world to vote for their top sites from a list of 21 finalists that lumps the pyramids with upstart wonders like the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower and Peru's Machu Picchu.
The pyramids are "living in the hearts of people around the globe, and don't need a vote to be among the world wonders," said the head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, according to the state-run Middle East News Agency.
Egyptian officials refused to meet with the organizer of the "New 7 Wonders of the World" contest [http://www.new7wonders.com], the Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber, when he visited Egypt earlier this month, said the contest's spokeswoman Tia B. Viering. When Weber tried to hold a press conference near the pyramids, she said, police shut it down.
Choosing a new roster of world wonders has attracted ongoing interest over the years: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites includes 830 selections.
Weber started his project in 1999, collecting nearly 200 nominations. That list was eventually narrowed to 21 by a panel of architectural experts, chaired by former UNESCO chief Federico Mayor.
But Weber wanted the masses to pick the top seven. People can vote on the Internet, by phone or by sending a cell phone text message until July 6. The seven winners will be announced on the symbolic date of July 7.
Half of the revenues raised by the campaign will go toward restoring historic sites, including the Bamiyan Buddha statue in Afghanistan, which was destroyed by the Taliban regime.
At a ceremony outside the site, Holocaust survivors and local residents listened to a letter from President Lech Kaczynski in which he said that the world has underestimated the determination of people outside the camp to save prisoners.
"World public opinion has often held that the residents of the area were completely indifferent to the fate of the prisoners," Kaczynski said in the letter, which denounced "such unjust statements."
A presidential aide, undersecretary of state Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka, pinned medals on about 40 people from the town of Oswiecim, where Auschwitz is located, and surrounding villages.
These memories pour back at an exhibit at Hanoi's Museum of Ethnology titled "Thoi Bao Cap" -- the Subsidized Period...
The show has drawn record crowds and earned praise for its frank depiction of the shortcomings of the past, when the government micromanaged even the smallest economic transactions, consumer goods were scarce, and people lined up for hours for meager rations.
Introduced following the defeat of the French colonialists at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, the system was extended to the whole of the country after the Vietnam War ended in 1975. Then, in the mid-1980s, the government began a gradual program of market-oriented reforms known as Doi Moi, or renovation.
In Lebanon, even that's a disturbing question.
It dredges up all the ghosts the country had hoped were banished for good: factions clawing for the upper hand, and freelance thugs demanding home addresses to see if the neighborhood is an ally or enemy in Lebanon's patchwork of religious and political loyalties.
Their rivalries turned the nation into a worldwide symbol of anarchy during a 1975-90 civil war that pit the majority Muslims against Christians. Now, there are hints of familiar -- and worrisome -- rumblings with different players: the Sunni Muslim-led government backed and bankrolled by the West against Shiite Muslim Hezbollah forces that have counted on support from Iran and Syria.
Sweden on Saturday began yearlong celebrations that will mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of its most famous scientist, launching festivities with music and fireworks in Linnaeus' hometown.
''He has meant an incredible amount to the world because by systematizing just about every plant and animal, he helped organize it,'' said Kajsa Eriksson, spokeswoman for the Linnaeus 2007 celebration.
Often called the father of taxonomy, Linnaeus laid the foundation for a new classification of plants and animals based on their reproductive systems. His famous book Systema Naturae, classified 4,400 species of animals and 7,700 species of plants.
He is also credited for distinguishing humans as Homo sapiens and as primates in the class of mammals.
Iran has faced widespread condemnation for hosting a conference last month that questioned whether the Holocaust took place. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called the Holocaust a "myth" and said Israel should be "wiped off the map."
The Web site was unveiled this week to coincide with Saturday's U.N. annual Holocaust remembrance day, officials said. Saturday marked the 62nd anniversary of the Auschwitz death camp's liberation by the advancing Soviet army.
President Nestor Kirchner's decree lifts the ban on former and current military, police and government officials from revealing state secrets in certain court cases...
Encouraged by Kirchner, who took office in 2003, prosecutors and judges have reactivated hundreds of cases dating to the country's "dirty war" against leftists.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Babcock suggested the plan to settle a dispute over whether the depositions should be destroyed. His proposal calls for the material to be turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration. It was not immediately clear what would happen to the depositions after 25 years.
The parents of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold gave the statements in 2003 for a civil lawsuit filed by families of victims of the 1999 massacre in Littleton, Colo. Harris and Klebold killed 12 fellow students and a teacher before taking their own lives in the April 20, 1999, shooting.
After the lawsuit was settled, a magistrate ordered the depositions destroyed, but victims' families and others argued that the documents had historical value and could contain lessons to prevent school shootings.
Brian Rohrbough, whose son Daniel was among those slain, objected to Babcock's plan. He said there is a right for the public to know, but the federal government seems to believe the release of such information "is somehow going to unravel American society."
The remains of Zazacatla are providing insight into the early arrival of advanced civilizations in central Mexico, while also providing lessons about the risks to ruins posed by modern development that now cover much of the ancient city.
Its new director is searching for ways to preserve vital evidence of Nazi crimes and update the exhibits without chipping away at Auschwitz's authenticity -- or giving fodder for Holocaust deniers.
"The biggest dilemma of this place is preserving what is authentic while also keeping it possible for people to see and to touch," said Piotr Cywinski, a 34-year-old historian who took over in September.
The sale took place despite protests from the Greek government in Athens, which at the last minute urged the London-based auction house not to sell the artifacts -- more than 850 items that originally belonged to King George I of Greece -- saying they may have been illegally exported.
However, Christie's said it saw no reason for the sale not to go ahead.
The most expensive item of the auction was a pair of massive silver Victorian pilgrim flasks, which sold Wednesday for $1.1 million, Christie's said in a statement. A gold Faberge egg sold for $546,680.
SOURCE: AP (1-24-07)
The Library of Congress Motion Picture Conservation Center, which has the original negatives of such classics as ''The Maltese Falcon'' and ''Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,'' is moving to a new facility being built in Culpeper, Va., about 90 miles southwest of Washington, D.C.
The move, which will begin in the spring and finish by September, is an effort to consolidate federal preservation and storage programs.
''Saint James the Greater,'' painted by the artist in 1661, was described by the vice chairman of Sotheby's Old Master paintings, George Wachter, as one of the most important Rembrandt works ever handled by Sotheby's.
''Over the past 20 years, the vast majority of pictures by the artist that have appeared on the market have dated to the 1630s and '40s,'' Wachter said. ''It is exceedingly rare to have one that dates to the 1660s. Works of this period, the last decade of Rembrandt's life and a time of personal turmoil, are extremely intense, soulful and introspective.''
The painting, which had a presale estimate of $18 million to $25 million, was purchased by an anonymous telephone bidder, Sotheby's said. The price includes the buyer's premium.
The sleek silver D-Type from Audi forerunner Auto Union was to be on display for two days at the car company's fancy showroom on Park Avenue. It will be auctioned as part of Christie's Retromobile auto sale on Feb. 17 in Paris and is expected to fetch $12 million to $15 million.
While Adolph Hitler gave about 500,000 reichsmarks to Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz to promote racing and technology, the car is not specifically affiliated with the Third Reich, Christie's said.
The car, one of only two in existence, is thought to be the grandfather of modern race cars. It revolutionized racing by putting the driver in front of the engine instead of behind it and reached speeds up to 185 mph.
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (1-28-07)
To survive, the library proposes to slash opening hours by more than a third and to charge researchers for admission to the reading rooms for the first time.
All public exhibitions would close, along with schools learning programmes. The permanent collection, which includes a copy of every book published in the UK, would be permanently reduced by 15 per cent. And the national newspaper archive, used by 30,000 people a year, including many researching their family trees, would close.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (1-28-07)
So is the Democratic stable too full for a dark horse presidential candidate to emerge?
The current thinking suggests that only famous candidates, Democrat or Republican, can seize their party’s nomination. But it has never been a wise bet to rule out the dark horse, a staple of American politics since James K. Polk went to the Democratic convention in 1844 and became the presidential nominee by accident after the favorite, former President Martin Van Buren, lost Southern support.
SOURCE: NYT (1-28-07)
Here, on a snow-dusted bluff overlooking the Missouri River, rests Sitting Bull. Or so it is said.
Stand before the monument and see the pocks left in the granite by bullets. Notice where the nose was replaced after vandals with chains and a truck yanked the bust from its pedestal. Spot where the headdress feather was mended after being shot off. And wonder, along with the rest of the Dakotas:
Is Sitting Bull here?
The 12-foot monument rises where Sitting Bull is supposedly buried and where he certainly once felt at home; where the steel-blue clouds of winter press down upon the hills of dormant grass; where nothing moves but a solitary bird in flight, and the whinnies of a distant horse sound almost like an old man’s rueful laughter.
It all seems fitting, even the vandalism, given how this world-famous American Indian has never received the respect in death that was often denied him in life. Now two men are trying to pay that respect, in late but earnest installments.
As one of them, Rhett Albers, collects another beer bottle discarded near the base of the monument, the other, Bryan Defender, gazes up at the bust of Sitting Bull. As always, the face of stone gives away nothing.
Maybe in the end it does not matter where the holy man actually rests, says Mr. Defender, who is Hunkpapa Sioux. Like the man whose history he honors.
Name of source: Dorothy Samuels on the editorial page of the NYT
SOURCE: Dorothy Samuels on the editorial page of the NYT (1-28-07)
But the project raises issues that are no laughing matter, touching on the writing of history, the university’s scholarly mission, governmental integrity and the rule of law.
S.M.U.’s negotiations regarding Mr. Bush’s library are bound to have a large public impact, which is why I’m hoping that the university’s president, R. Gerald Turner, and members of his board of trustees (presuming Laura Bush, the best-known trustee, has removed herself from the deliberations) can be persuaded to withhold a final go-ahead unless two basic conditions are met.
First, the university should insist that Mr. Bush rescind Executive Order 13233, his 2001 directive that reverses — illegally in the view of many leading historians, journalists and legal thinkers — the strong presumption of a public right of access to presidential papers embedded in the 1978 Presidential Records Act.
Under this early exertion of presidential power, both sitting presidents and former presidents (and even their heirs) can indefinitely postpone public release of sensitive material past the law’s usual 12-year waiting period by simply denying a request for access. No explanation is required, and there is no provision for appealing the denial to a trained professional archivist.
Instead, the executive order requires the person requesting the material to begin a costly and time-consuming lawsuit challenging the stonewalling. It’s a formula for keeping embarrassing facts secret in perpetuity and for thwarting a full and accurate accounting of a president’s time in office, which, presumably, was among S.M.U.’s prime goals in seeking to be home to the new presidential edifice, along with enhancing the university’s visibility, prestige and available financial resources.
Name of source: http://www.chron.com/
SOURCE: http://www.chron.com/ (1-28-07)
"I regret that I was not more outspoken" during the Vietnam War, the former Navy secretary said in an interview in his Capitol Hill office. "The Army generals would come in, 'Just send in another five or ten thousand.' You know, month after month. Another ten or fifteen thousand. They thought they could win it. We kept surging in those years. It didn't work."
Is that a lesson for what's going on in Iraq?
"Well, you don't forget something like that," he answers. There is a long pause, he closes his eyes and his voice gets softer. "No. You don't forget those things."
Name of source: The Guardian
SOURCE: The Guardian (1-28-07)
Last night Carne Ross, who was a member of the British mission to the United Nations, declined to comment on a letter asking him to 'reconsider' his decision to publish his book, Independent Diplomat, other than to describe it as 'unpleasant'...
Ross, who signed the Official Secrets Act, has already been forced to censor the book on the grounds of national security.
The row mirrors Foreign Office concerns over attempts by Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the British ambassador to the UN, to write his account of the war in Iraq. Greenstock, Ross's boss, subsequently dropped plans to publish his own book.
Ross's book is likely to make uncomfortable reading for ministers as it raises questions about why the government continued to support the Iraq invasion if it did not believe that Saddam Hussein was a genuine threat.
SOURCE: The Guardian (1-25-07)
"We have seen the reports," said Jiang Yu, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman.
"I think that there is irrefutable evidence for the Nanjing massacre, and international society has long ago come to a conclusion about it. Japan's taking of a correct and responsible attitude to properly deal with historical problems helps it truly win the trust of Asian neighbours and the global community."...
Tokyo's rightwing governor, Shintaro Ishihara, is one of several leading politicians to have come out in support of the film ["The Truth About Nanjing"], directed by Satoru Mizushima, who heads a nationalist satellite TV channel.
"If we remain silent, anti-Japanese propaganda will spread across the world," Mr Mizushima said at a press conference, flanked by about 40 supporters. "What is important is to correct the historical record and send the right message."
SOURCE: The Guardian (1-27-07)
Key figures such as Sir Iqbal Sacranie were desperate for the organisation to change tack, arguing that the current stance was damaging the MCB's reputation among the government and public.
A secret meeting of the ruling committee saw more than a third of its senior figures vote to join Jewish leaders and those from other religions in the commemoration, which marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. But the policy was upheld by 23 votes to 14 in a secret ballot.
SOURCE: The Guardian (1-26-07)
Name of source: The Independent
SOURCE: The Independent (1-27-07)
Now, with the 25th anniversary of the Falklands War looming, Robert Lawrence, on whose life Tumbledown was based, plans to return to the mountain top where he was nearly killed...
Mr Lawrence is leading calls for the BBC to reshow the film which, when first shown, infuriated the establishment and touched a nerve in British society. It told the true story of Mr Lawrence, who led one of the final assaults of the war, just hours before Argentina formally surrendered.
During the bloody battle for Tumbledown Hill, on 14 June 1982, Lt Lawrence, then just 21, led two platoons of the 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards against enemy positions entrenched on the rock. In the battle that followed he shot 14 Argentinian soldiers before storming the enemy's defences and stabbing three more with a broken bayonet.
SOURCE: The Independent (1-26-07)
According to a new book by Manuela Mena, a Goya specialist at the Prado museum, in Madrid, the social gulf between the two was never bridged. "It was an inequality he tried to overcome, but as an artist, not a lover," she said.
Name of source: Sunday Telegraph
SOURCE: Sunday Telegraph (1-28-07)
"It is dying in the Church. I'm not optimistic about Latin. The young priests and bishops are not studying it," said Fr Reginald Foster, 68, a Carmelite friar who was appointed the Papal Latinist 38 years ago by Pope Paul VI.
He said priests were no longer compelled to study Latin at seminaries, and now found it impossible to read vital theological tracts...
Yet even though Fr Foster, who has translated speeches and letters for four popes, says he can see no future for the language, he has just launched a new Latin Academy in Rome, near the Pantheon, in his final effort to prevent it from dying out. He hopes to attract 130 students a year, though he will not say how the new school is being funded.
Name of source: The Times (London)
SOURCE: The Times (London) (1-27-07)
The rundown, empty Waldhof estate, set in woodland 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of the city, has become a financial burden for the Berlin council, which has been contemplating the closure of opera houses and other desperate measures to avert bankruptcy...
Goebbels took over the place in 1936. A diary entry for November 6 that year records his enthusiasm: “wonderful autumn weather, the wood is so perfect . . . we have to get rid of the Jewish plague. Completely . . . Otherwise, early to bed. One sleeps so well in the woods.”
The propaganda minister, in charge of film-making, built a cinema on the premises and invited a string of film starlets to the house, including his principal mistress Lida Baarová. She enjoyed swimming in the Bogensee lake. Other glamorous visitors included the Third Reich actresses Zarah Leander and Marika Rökk.
It was not only play for Goebbels. He also wrote his most important speech, calling for Total War, in the study of the house during the winter of 1942-43. “A perfect place for creative thought,” he said.
Name of source: Washington Post
SOURCE: Washington Post (1-28-07)
It is Launch Pad 34, site of one of the first -- and worst -- disasters in space history. It was here 40 years ago this weekend, on Jan. 27, 1967, that astronauts Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee were killed within seconds when a fire swept through the capsule of Apollo 1. The cause was later found to be faulty insulation around a wire, which sparked and ignited the contents of the capsule, pressurized in an atmosphere of pure oxygen. In such an environment ordinary materials burn with blowtorch intensity...
By a twist of fate, this weekend also marks another NASA anniversary of an event in which the culture of haste resulted in tragedy. On Jan. 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after launch, killing all seven on board, including teacher Christa McAuliffe. The causes and consequences of that disaster were disconcertingly similar to those of the Apollo 1 fire...
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (1-26-07)
Michael, 85, is the last living head of state from World War II. He lunched with Hitler, shook Churchill's hand and lived briefly under Stalin's thumb. He is a quiet man, an undemanding man and, inevitably perhaps, a disappointed man. But as with many quiet, undemanding, disappointed men, he is a keen observer of the louder world around him.
"Unfortunately, I had four years with the Nazis and three years with the Soviets, and you get to the point — how should I say — you have radar in your nose," he said, smiling faintly. He speaks in a blurred mumble, an impediment from childhood that inevitably invites armchair analysis because he is a man whose life, from the beginning, has been marked by betrayal...
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (1-25-07)
If they cannot agree on procedural rules soon, analysts and officials at the tribunal say, some foreign judges could walk out, casting a further shadow over a process that some critics say is already so compromised as to be of doubtful value.
Seventeen Cambodians and 12 foreigners took office as judges and prosecutors last July, inaugurating a United Nations-sponsored process that mixes Cambodian law with international standards of justice.
It is an awkward formula made all the more questionable by the involvement of poorly trained Cambodian judges who were appointed by and are answerable to Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Pragmatists say that a flawed trial is better than none at all and that there is no choice but to proceed with the tribunal you've got rather than the tribunal you might wish to have.
Three decades have already passed since the Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia, causing the deaths of 1.7 million people through killings, torture, starvation and overwork in a regime that lasted from 1975 to 1979.
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (1-25-07)
Last year, in blessedly more peaceful times, a rich visitor from Boston took in the view from that same window. A magnificent front-row onto the Theater of Marcellus, first planned by Julius Caesar, somehow salves the stings of history. Disegni, now 78, said the visitor produced a blank check and offered to buy the apartment on the spot.
"He said, 'You write how many millions you want,'" he said.
Disegni, who is Jewish, refused. But these bookend events at his window cast light on a paradox in the city with the oldest Jewish community in Europe. High real estate prices, not violence or bias, are driving the last Jews from their homes in the old ghetto, which is slowly transforming itself into a trendy enclave for the rich and famous.
Experts say only 200 or 300 Jews remain, in a community that numbered 10,000 or more before World War II.
But there is a second paradox: Even as the number of Jews living in the ghetto drops to near nothing, Jewish life is thriving. Rome's Jewish school recently moved to the ghetto from a neighboring area. Jewish shops, including the first kosher fast food restaurants, are popular. Visits to the museum at the grand synagogue have doubled in two years.
"Even if Jews no longer live in the area, they come to open their shops," said Daniela Di Castro, director of the Jewish Museum of Rome.
"So there is always Jewish life around, to work, to go to the synagogue, to buy from the kosher market, bring their children to school," she said. "You always have a reason to come here if you are Jew."
Name of source: Daily Press
SOURCE: Daily Press (1-24-07)
Tracing the path for a new drain line, the scientists knew they might encounter the foundations of the historic Ambler House, which was constructed in the 1740s and destroyed during the Civil War. But no one expected to find the kind of complex structure that has emerged since the first brick foundations began to appear at the bottom of a 4-foot-wide trench late last year.
Uncovered by a team from the James River Institute for Archaeology, the architectural features include not only the east walls of the main house and a large rear addition but also evidence of a covered passageway that connected the dwelling with the Custom House next door.
Name of source: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (1-26-07)
The long-lost underground chamber was found beneath the remains of Emperor Augustus' palace on the Palatine, a 230-foot-tall (70-meter-tall) hill in the center of the city.
Archaeologists from the Department of Cultural Heritage of the Rome Municipality came across the 50-foot-deep (15-meter-deep) cavity while working to restore the decaying palace.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (1-26-07)
The measure, co-sponsored by more than 100 countries, including all Western nations as well as Rwanda, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, was approved by consensus, without a vote. Iran disassociated itself from the action, calling the resolution a political exercise Israel would exploit against Palestinians.
But at least 22 nations left their seats empty in the assembly hall, including Bolivia, Chile and Columbia, who were also co-sponsors. Others not attending or sponsoring included Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, and even Cambodia, itself a victim of genocide, U.S. officials said.
The resolution "condemns without any reservation any denial of the Holocaust" and "urges all member states unreservedly to reject any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part, or any activities to this end."
SOURCE: Reuters (1-26-07)
This Friday the Austrian capital will host the beginnings of a 21st century diplomatic carve-up, without swords and feathered hats and on a far more modest scale, to bury the disastrous era of Slobodan Milosevic and the last vestige of Yugoslavia.
The state created in 1918 is no more. Slovenia and Macedonia walked off in 1991. Croatia and Bosnia had to fight brutal wars with their Serb minorities, backed by Belgrade. Last year, Serbia's sister republic Montenegro also went its own way.
But for Serbia, the next cut is the deepest. The province of Kosovo, medieval birthplace of the nation and treasury of its Orthodox tradition, is destined to slip from its sovereign territory. In a stroke, 15 percent of the land will be gone.
Name of source: St. Paul, Minn., Pioneer Press
SOURCE: St. Paul, Minn., Pioneer Press (1-26-07)
The bill, backed by a group of state Assembly Democrats, is identical to one proposed in April 2005 that died when lawmakers adjourned last year. Sponsors said racial tensions rekindled by this month's homicide of a Hmong hunter could build support for passage this year...
"All of the difficulties that the Hmong face and experience in the U.S. are due to the fact that there is no formal teaching about the Hmong to the general public," said Za Blong Vang, president of the Hmong Community of Wisconsin. He spoke in Hmong but provided an English translation of his remarks.
Name of source: CBC
SOURCE: CBC (1-26-07)
The gloves, worn by Louis in his first fight with German Max Schmeling in 1936, have been in Milburn's family since then. And he wasn't going to sell them.
"The bottom line is, they're not for sale," Milburn told CBC Radio. "They could be worth two cents, they could be worth two million, who really cares?
"My aunt and uncle kept those gloves for at least 60 years. They didn't sell them," he says. "I don't believe the intent is I receive, or anyone receive, any monetary value for them. They are going where they belong."
They might have gone elsewhere.
In an interview with CBC.ca, Milburn says he phoned the International Boxing Hall of Fame three times to tell them about the gloves but "they didn't call back."
He also tried the Canadian Amateur Boxing Association, hoping they might be able to sell the gloves and use the money to help young fighters here, and they didn't call back either.
When Milburn contacted the Smithsonian they phoned right away. Once they had taken a look at them he received another call from the museum's Dr. Ellen Hughes.
"She said, 'Tell us what we can do or say to get the gloves,' " he says.
One expert on boxing memorabilia, Wally Boshyk of Toronto's Legends of the Game, estimates the gloves could bring up to $100,000 US as a base price out on the market. But if two collectors at an auction both wanted the piece, that number could go to $500,000 US.
Louis's gloves came into the family through Milburn's late uncle and aunt, Earle and Beulah Cuzzens.
Uncle Earle, who was at Yankee Stadium for the 1936 fight, was in the same business as both of Louis's managers, "known at the time as 'the numbers,' " Milburn said. "Now, the government runs the numbers [the lottery]. They call it Pick 3."
When Aunt Beulah died in 2003 at 96 years of age, she told her nephew to make sure the gloves, and some photos of Louis and her late husband, went to the right place.
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (1-26-07)
Zündel, a 67-year-old German citizen, stands accused of inciting racial hatred for disputing the historical fact that Nazi Germany systematically slaughtered six million European Jews during World War II.
German authorities say Zündel operated a website from Canada on which he expressed anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi views and presented "revisionist" history. He left Germany for Canada at the age of 19 but was deported in March 2005 on a German arrest warrant.
Denying the Holocaust is a crime in Germany and if convicted, Zündel faces up to five years in jail.
The trial began almost a year ago but has run into several legal hurdles. It follows a high-profile case in which controversial British historian David Irving spent 13 months in jail in Austria for questioning the Holocaust before being released last month.
Name of source: UPI
SOURCE: UPI (1-26-07)
Satoru Mizushima, director and producer of "Nanking No Shinjitsu," or "The Truth About Nanking," announced his project Thursday at a news conference in Tokyo. About 40 people, including two members of parliament, academics and film critics, came to the announcement to give him their support, the Japan Times reported.
Another documentary, "Nanking," was shown at the Sundance Film Festival last month in the United States. "Nanking" includes interviews with people who were living in the city in 1937.
A feature movie based on the Iris Chang book, "The Rape of Nanking," is in production.
Most historians believe the Japanese Imperial Army killed 200,000 Chinese in Nanking in 1937. Mizushima disagrees.
"I feel a huge responsibility to spread a correct understanding of history," the director said.
SOURCE: UPI (1-25-07)
The footage is scheduled to air Sunday as part of "Hannity's America," the Los Angeles Times reported. It depicts former National Security Adviser Samuel Berger refusing to approve a CIA request to attack Osama bib Laden, an episode that Berger and the Sept. 11 Commission both didn't happen.
The miniseries that aired on ABC in September retained the scene, but it was toned down following complaints from several sources, including top Democrats.
Fox News obtained the footage this month at a meeting of a local chapter of the World Affairs Council in Camarillo, Calif., at which Cyrus Nowrasteh, who wrote and produced "The Path to 9/11," was a speaker. Fox also plans to use video from the speech in Sunday's show, the newspaper said.
"This movie was a completely false piece of right-wing propaganda when it was on ABC," said Jay Carson, a spokesman for former President Bill Clinton, "and it will be exactly the same on Fox if they make the unfortunate choice to air it, though it should be right at home."
Name of source: Gay City News (NYC)
SOURCE: Gay City News (NYC) (1-25-07)
By 1925, at the northwest corner of Bleecker and MacDougal Streets, the neighborhood supported a tonier watering hole, the San Remo, that for decades to come drew what cultural historian Steven Watson has called "the younger generation of bohemians," a group that could also be thought of as perhaps proto-metrosexuals-including Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Frank O'Hara, Larry Rivers, Gore Vidal, Dorothy Day, Miles Davis, Jackson Pollack, James Agee, and Jack Kerouac.
This-and more-is part of the rich cultural stew brought together and to light in an 82-page report released two weeks ago by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Presentation and authored by Columbia University architectural historian Andrew S. Dolkart.
The report was presented to Robert Tierney, the chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), the city agency that oversees the designation of buildings, blocks, and neighborhoods worthy of protection against adverse development. The commission has created more than 80 such districts citywide, and GVSHP is seeking approval for a South Village Historic District comprised of 40 blocks and roughly 800 buildings.
If approved, the district would run from the West Fourth Street southern boundary of Washington Square Park as far south as Watts Street, and from Sixth Avenue, and in places Seventh, east to West Broadway/ LaGuardia Place.
In his introduction to the report, Andrew Berman, GVSHP's executive director, after noting that "Greenwich Village, one of New York and the world's most venerable and beloved neighborhoods, owes much of its continuing appeal to its well-preserved architecture, its palpable sense of history, its charm, and its human scale," warns that the South Village's "historic buildings could be lost at any time."
Major portions of Greenwich Village have been protected since 1969, when the LPC created the city's first "truly large-scale neighborhood historic district," in Berman's words. Since then, additional portions of the Village have also won protection, most recently last year, when the Weehawken Street Historic District was created in a relatively compact area running north and east from the corner of Christopher and West Streets, another area of critical historical significance for the LGBT community.
Name of source: Live Science
SOURCE: Live Science (1-24-07)
The Wari Empire, a society that predated the Incas, ruled over parts of Peru 1,500 to 1,000 years ago.
While exploring a Wari cemetery last summer in Peru’s Huaro Valley, archaeologists discovered what they consider to be an elite section of the graveyard when they came across llama bones arranged in a special pattern, often a marker of something special when it comes to Wari remains.
Beneath the bones, the team found a skull with several unusual holes and marks that seem to indicate it was revered. Circular holes cut at the skull’s base and back suggest it was held on poles or worn as a large pendant during special ceremonies.
A line cut across the front of the skull indicated that the scalp may have been removed either for cleaning or as a ceremonial vessel, and was later reattached with gold-alloy pins.
The archaeologists think the skull belonged to a warrior because of healed-over scars and abrasions on it. They estimate the warrior was about 30 years old when he died.
For his skull to be displayed in ceremonies, the man must have been a well-respected warrior.
“The trophy skull adds a new dimension to our understanding of the role of warriors and warfare in Wari culture,” said team leader Mary Glowacki of the Earthwatch Institute. The expedition was funded by volunteers who join Earthwatch scientists on field missions.