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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: Observer (UK)
SOURCE: Observer (UK) (1-21-07)
This has infuriated forces veterans, who view the move as a failure to acknowledge a campaign in which 255 British troops died, almost a third more than the casualties sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
The MoD said the archipelago's 'unpleasant' and 'chilly' weather during the summer had meant they had decided not to send veterans' minister Derek Twigg. He will stay 8,000 miles away in London.
The absence of the royal family at anniversary events planned for the islands' capital, Port Stanley, has particularly distressed some veterans, given that the Duke of York saw active service as a Sea King helicopter pilot during the conflict.
SOURCE: Observer (UK) (1-21-07)
But he tells a story of betrayal, of himself and 15,000 other veterans of the 1982 war with Britain. In a voice made automatic by repetition, he says: 'A little help please, I am a veteran of the Malvinas, I have been repeatedly denied jobs simply for being a veteran, my pension is not always enough, I have been forgotten by my country for a long time.' He has been saying it for 25 years. It is a story repeated by most veterans.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-21-07)
But Carl-Friedrich Wentzel has accused today's German authorities of "stonewalling" after museums refused to allow him access to their vaults and archives, where he believes some of the 200 paintings, sculptures and antique furniture that belonged to his grand-father may be stored.
"My grandfather was murdered by the Nazis, his family imprisoned and his art treasures stolen," Mr Wentzel, 56, said.
"I find it unbelievable that more than 60 years after these crimes were committed, I am unable to get the family's paintings back. The authorities are stonewalling."
Name of source: UPI
SOURCE: UPI (1-20-07)
The university will not allow Demme to film Carter's upcoming speech, which the Oscar-winning filmmaker said he intended to use in a documentary about Carter, the Boston Globe reported.
The school's decision angered Demme and added another wrinkle to Carter's controversial visit to the university.
"When I heard that we had been denied permission, I was kind of incredulous," Demme said. "They have in a way diminished everyone's ability to add to the debate, including the Brandeis students themselves."
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (1-23-07)
Yet in a lively new book on the Supreme Court, the ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenberg argues that in one area President Bush has succeeded where his father, as well as Ronald Reagan and Richard M. Nixon, did not, achieving a longtime conservative goal: he has moved the Supreme Court decisively to the right and shaped its direction for the next three to four decades.
In appointing Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to the court, Ms. Greenburg writes, the president gave Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas solid conservative support, placing on the bench two “collegial and savvy” allies who “can help keep moderate” Justice Anthony Kennedy (now the key swing vote) “in check.”
SOURCE: NYT (1-23-07)
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York became the first candidate since the program began in 1976 to forgo public financing for both the primary and the general election because of the spending limits that come with the federal money. By declaring her confidence that she could raise far more than the roughly $150 million the system would provide for the 2008 presidential primaries and general election, Mrs. Clinton makes it difficult for other serious candidates to participate in the system without putting themselves at a significant disadvantage.
Officials of the Federal Election Commission and advisers to several campaigns say they expect the two candidates who reach Election Day 2008 will raise more than $500 million apiece. Including money raised by other primary candidates, the total spent on the presidential election could easily exceed $1 billion....
he system is financed by taxpayers who check a box on their returns to allocate $3 to an election fund, with about 33 million people a year in recent years directing a total of about $400 million to each quadrennial presidential election.
But the fund has faced chronic shortfalls as the percentage of taxpayers contributing has declined to less than 10 percent last year from over 30 percent in the 1970s. Those who could tap wealthy supporters began looking for ways to outmaneuver it almost from the beginning.
In the 1980 Republican primary, for example, John B. Connally, the former Texas governor, became the first candidate to reject public money and outraise his rivals, but his candidacy failed to catch on.
By the mid-1980s, candidates and donors were circumventing the spending limits by raising unlimited “soft money” donations to party committees from corporations, unions and wealthy individuals. The party committees used the money to help support a candidate’s presidential campaign or to attack his opponent.
In 2002, Congress changed the campaign finance laws to ban soft money contributions to party committees, and donors turned instead to so-called 527 groups, which could still spend unlimited contributions.
By 2000, two Republican candidates, the billionaire Steve Forbes and Mr. Bush, had turned down public money for the primary campaign. Mr. Bush became the first major-party nominee to do so. And in 2004, for the first time, both the Democratic and the Republican nominees turned down public financing for the primaries.
SOURCE: NYT (1-21-07)
In taking the first steps toward a presidential candidacy last week, Mr. Obama, who was born in 1961 and considers himself a member of the post-boomer generation, said Americans hungered for “a different kind of politics,” one that moved beyond the tired ideological battles of the 1960s.
To make his point, Mr. Obama, a Democrat from Illinois in his first term in the Senate, announced the formation of his presidential exploratory committee in a video streamed on his Web site. He is tieless and relaxed and oh so cool.
Mr. Obama calculates that Americans of all ages are sick of the feuding boomers and ready to turn to the generation that came of age after Vietnam, after the campus culture wars between freaks and straights, and after young people had given up on what überboomer Hillary Rodham Clinton (who made her own announcement on the Web yesterday) called in a 1969 commencement address a search for “a more immediate, ecstatic and penetrating mode of living.”
SOURCE: NYT (1-22-07)
On Sunday, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, held her first campaign event, highlighting her focus on health care a day after declaring her plans to run. Another Democrat, Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, entered the fray, the eighth member of his party to do so. And the day was not terribly different in its pace of activity from many others in recent weeks....
While presidential campaigns have been getting gradually longer over the past few decades, the acceleration in the 2008 cycle is particularly pronounced. The first President Bush announced his candidacy for the 1988 Republican nomination in October 1987; the eventual Democratic nominee in that election, Gov. Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts, had declared six months earlier.
Bill Clinton formally announced his candidacy for the 1992 Democratic presidential nomination on Oct. 3, 1991, about three and a half months before the Iowa caucuses. George W. Bush announced his exploratory committee for the 2000 presidential race in March 1999 and began his campaign in June 1999.
By comparison, Mr. Edwards of North Carolina, the 2004 vice-presidential nominee, has traveled to Iowa 16 times since the beginning of last year, building his organization there in hopes of scoring an early triumph that carries him into the next contests.
SOURCE: NYT (1-19-07)
Six to nine granite stair treads would be left in their original location near Vesey Street. Other elements of the staircase might be embedded in the trade center memorial plaza and displayed in the memorial museum.
The 21-foot-high staircase, which led to the elevated plaza around the twin towers, offered an escape route for an untold number of people on Sept. 11, 2001. It is seen by some, including the W.T.C. Survivors’ Network, as a symbolic and authentic remnant of survival in the face of a devastating attack.
But it is in the way of the future Tower 2, whose lobby would cover much of the 17-by-64-foot site now occupied by the badly battered staircase. The staircase will have to be moved to permit excavation and construction on the Tower 2 site.
Name of source: http://www.onlineathens.com
SOURCE: http://www.onlineathens.com (1-20-07)
"I don't think the Carter administration was a failure," Vanderbilt University political scientist Erwin Hargrove said. "I don't think it was a successful administration, either."
Panelists called Carter a transitional figure who moved the Democratic Party to the right in the wake of liberal George McGovern's disastrous 1972 presidential bid and paved the way for the conservatism of Ronald Reagan and the centrist New Democrat politics of Bill Clinton.
"You can argue he was Clinton without too much sex appeal," said Leo Ribuffo, a history professor at George Washington University.
Academics cited the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt as Carter's crowning success, and said he also courageously tackled other tough issues like control of the Panama Canal, energy, urban renewal and environmental protection. They also said he brought a sense of morality and fairness toward Third World countries to U.S. foreign policy for the first time, though they disagreed on whether that was a good thing.
But Carter's ambition was his undoing. He set lofty goals, but lacked the long-term political strategy to carry them out, and he had a poor relationship with Congress, scholars said.
Mondale explained Carter's penchant for taking on unpopular and hard-to-solve issues like Middle East peace and nuclear nonproliferation treaties with the Soviet Union as a desire to get the difficult tasks out of the way, rather than take the typical political route - the path of least resistance.
"Carter liked to front-load pain and back-load pleasure," Mondale said.
Though Carter faced many problems, not all of them could be laid at his feet. Rapid inflation, perhaps the biggest domestic issue during Carter's administration, was more an after-effect of the Vietnam War than the result of his economic policies, panelists said.
One historian said Carter's biggest mistake was hiring Jody Powell as press secretary.
"Jody had one drink too many in a Washington tavern and told the killer rabbit story," said Stanly Godbold, a Mississippi State University history professor emeritus....
Name of source: Dallas Morning News
SOURCE: Dallas Morning News (1-22-07)
UD leaders played up the positives.
"It's not a failure. Instead, we think this is a tremendous success story for us," UD President Frank Lazarus said at a news conference. "This process has propelled us onto the national stage, and our university is now characterized by a new vision and a very bright future."
Name of source: Richmond Times-Dispatch
SOURCE: Richmond Times-Dispatch (1-23-06)
furnace found in Chesterfield County is believed to be
the first ironworks in English North America and the
earliest known evidence of heavy industry in the New
World, county officials said Friday.
County public utilities employee Ralph Lovern, an
amateur archaeologist who often searches the area for
Indian artifacts, uncovered the furnace along the
banks of Falling Creek.
Historians say the furnace was built around 1619 by
the Virginia Company of England.
Archaeologists and historians have known for years
that an ironworks operated in the area. Heavy rains
late last year caused flooding that cut a new channel
along the creek's banks that exposed the ruins.
The base of the furnace is submerged in several feet
of water and can be seen at low tide, officials said.
Name of source: Inside Higher Ed
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (1-22-07)
A new study being released today aims to debunk all of those studies. “The ‘Faculty Bias’ Studies: Science or Propaganda,” takes eight of the recent studies on faculty politics and judges them by five general tests of social science research. Today’s study finds that the eight all come up short in adhering to research standards. The new study was sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers and the work was conducted by John B. Lee, an education researcher and consultant who said that once the AFT commissioned the work, it did not restrict his approach or findings in any way.
Name of source: http://www.travelandleisure.com
SOURCE: http://www.travelandleisure.com (2-1-07)
The Babylon of Hammurabi, a city that flourished around 1800 B.C., is still underground. On top of it is the city of Nebuchadnezzar II, from the sixth century B.C. The southern part is mostly an older version of what was left after about 20 years of meticulous excavation by the Germans between 1899 and 1917: a scruffy graveyard of trenches and crumbling brick walls. In a cool vault 15 feet underground there is a group of chambers believed by the Germans to have housed the waterworks for the city’s Hanging Gardens—the second wonder of the ancient world. The Iraqi archaeologists at Babylon no longer have the time, manpower, or funds for much new digging; their effort is mostly given to maintaining and protecting what has already been uncovered. On a wall underground, a Salvadoran soldier has written his name and the words ZAPATOR DE COMBATE. Nearby there are used packets from the Americans’ ready-to-eat meals, promising delights such as Menu No. 4: Country Captain Chicken. As I turned on my flashlight and moved deeper into the cool vault, one of the excavators cautioned me to go no farther. "Snakes," he said, "and scorpions." Indiana Jones, eat your heart out, I thought. But only a pair of doves flew out past me in a frightening flurry of beating wings.
Name of source: Secrecy News, written by Steven Aftergood, is published by the Federation of American Scientists
"CRS staff must report within 24 hours all on-the-record interactions with any media to their supervisor, including the name of the reporter, media affiliation, date, time, and detailed notes on the matters discussed or to be discussed," the new policy states.
"Violations of the media policy will be addressed promptly," wrote CRS director Daniel P. Mulhollan.
A copy of the CRS policy on"Interacting with the Media" was obtained by Secrecy News.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/crs011607.pdf The new policy"will obviously have a chilling effect on staff," said one CRS analyst on a not-for-attribution basis."That's what it is intended to do."
The CRS has gained increasing prominence in the news media in recent years. The number of citations to CRS in the Nexis news database rose from 2,076 in 2004 to 3,101 in 2005 to 4,179 in 2006.
This growing public attention is a source of anxiety for CRS management, which fears that the agency may come to be perceived as having an institutional agenda of its own or that its impartiality will be questioned by members of Congress.
"We have all seen the way in which portions of products can be misquoted and taken out of context, potentially damaging the image of our colleagues and the Service in the eyes of some of our clients," CRS director Mulhollan wrote.
"To assist CRS in refuting misstatements or misquotations, staff must keep detailed notes of media interactions and report promptly to their supervisor," he instructed.
But the relative impartiality of the CRS and its analysts' quasi-official standing make it an attractive resource for reporters covering all kinds of domestic and foreign policy matters.
The new restrictions on CRS contacts with the press will therefore be a blow first of all to reporters and others who rely on CRS expertise.
Over time, however, the new policy may also backfire against CRS itself. If analysts cannot publish or freely comment on subjects of their expertise, some will conclude that CRS is not a hospitable venue for their professional development and they will go elsewhere.
"From my personal perspective CRS is being managed without respect and trust for the staff," said Dennis M. Roth, president of Congressional Research Employees Association, the CRS employees' union, in July 27, 2006 testimony to the House Administration Committee.
"Leadership can be accomplished in many ways, and we believe that CRS currently practices a style inappropriate, damaging, and destructive for a professional service organization.... It is autocratic, centralized, and secretive," he said.
Name of source: Bloomberg News
SOURCE: Bloomberg News (1-22-07)
That's the view of a number of historians and presidential scholars, who say that unless Bush's decision to inject some 20,000 more troops succeeds in quelling sectarian violence, he risks joining the ranks of such poorly regarded American leaders as James Buchanan and Warren G. Harding.
``Iraq has done enormous damage'' to Bush's standing, says Robert Dallek, the biographer of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Bush, he says, will rank ``somewhere at the bottom.'' Bruce Buchanan, a political scientist at the University of Texas in Austin, says Bush's effort to reverse the course of events in the war is ``his last chance to avoid the dustbin of history.''
As Bush puts the finishing touches on tomorrow's State of the Union address, the chaos in Iraq is emboldening political opponents and putting his presidency under siege. In a Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll conducted Jan. 13-16, 49 percent of respondents said Bush will be remembered as a poor or below- average president, with 28 percent ranking him as average. Only 22 percent said Bush will be judged a success....
Name of source: Payvand's Iran News
SOURCE: Payvand's Iran News (1-22-07)
According to William Harms, the press contact of Chicago University, the results of Federal Court Case Jan. 19 on the Persian Tablets involving the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago were as follows:
The government of Iran, through its attorney, Thomas Corcoran, asserted ownership of the tablets and pointed out that its position is supported by the U.S. government;
The plaintiff's attorney, David J. Strachman, sought more materials from the University and Iran related to the case; and
The judge took the matter under advisement and did not immediately issue a ruling.
The chaos started when an American Federal Judge ordered to confiscate the invaluable collection of Persian tablets loaned to Chicago University's Oriental Institute and put them on auction to compensate Israeli victims of the1997 Jerusalem bombing. Since then, the government of Iran and authorities of University of Chicago have tried in a collective effort to redeem the Persian tablets.
Thousands of ancient tablets made of clay and impressed in cuneiform containing administrative details of the Persian heartland from about 500 BC were discovered in Persepolis, Iran, in 1933 by archeologists of the Oriental Institute of Chicago University and were lent to this institute four years later due to its request to carry out more studies on them.
According to Harms, in addition to administrative information on the Empire and its governance, the texts also contain seal impressions that indicate the existence of some otherwise-unknown administrative offices. The texts identify for the first time leaders of various portions of the Empire and expand on material in other non-Persian texts.
Furthermore, the tablets recording information about the life and languages of the people of the Persian Empire gave historians detailed information about the lifestyle of the people who lived in Ancient Persia centuries ago.
A group of 179 complete tablets was returned in 1948, and another group of more than 37,000 tablet fragments was returned in 1951. In addition, two years ago 300 pieces of these tablets were repatriated upon mutual agreement between Iranian cultural heritage authorities and the Oriental Institute of Chicago University. Yet there are still large numbers of tablets and clay fragments at Chicago University which Iran is trying to bring back home.
Name of source: AZ Daily Sun
SOURCE: AZ Daily Sun (1-22-07)
Opponents use the vocabulary of the Vietnam War as they talk of opposing an escalation that they consider as divisive as those pushed by Presidents Johnson and Nixon in the 1960s and early 1970s. And supporters of the president warn of repeating other mistakes of that conflict by withdrawing support for American soldiers while they remain in harm's way.
Capitol Hill even witnessed the recent return of one of the Vietnam era's iconic figures when former Sen. George S. McGovern of South Dakota, the 1972 Democratic presidential nominee, came to Washington to offer lawmakers advice about ending this war.
Analogies between the two conflicts are as old as the Iraq war itself -- and fraught with some peril, said Vassar College historian Robert K. Brigham, author of the recent book "Is Iraq Another Vietnam?"
"When you say 'escalation' like Vietnam, you are in a sense saying there is an escalation that has no end ... and phased withdrawal rings of a retreat from Vietnam," Brigham said. "One thing we have to be careful of is that a lot of the references to Vietnam are intellectual shorthand ... . Vietnam is a very complicated war to understand."
Just as Iraq and Vietnam are vastly different, the American military commitments in the two conflicts have striking differences.
At the peak of the Vietnam War, there were nearly 540,000 American troops in Vietnam. In Iraq, troop levels have remained relatively stable at about 130,000, and more than 3,000 have died.
Nonetheless, the president's proposal seems to have rekindled a spirited debate on Capitol Hill about America's last prolonged war and what lessons can be drawn from it.
For critics of the Bush plan, Vietnam has provided ammunition to bolster their calls for congressional intervention to end the current conflict and to push for a political rather than a military solution.
"If the lesson in Iraq teaches anything, it is that military might has very great limitations," Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., said on the floor of the Senate recently. "But then that is a lesson we should have learned many years ago from Vietnam."
Byrd, a longtime war opponent who has been in the Senate since 1959, is one of seven current senators who were elected before the end of the Vietnam War.
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., D-Del., who joined the Senate in 1973 as the last U.S. troops were being withdrawn from Vietnam and is now a vocal Iraq war opponent, also touched on Vietnam as he opened Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the president's plan.
"I think we all learned a lesson, whether we went or didn't go, whether we were for it or against it, (that) no foreign policy can be sustained in this country without the informed consent of the American people," Biden said. "They've got to sign on."
At the same committee meeting, Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., an Army infantryman in Vietnam in 1968, was even more critical of the president's proposal, calling it "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam."
Biden and Hagel have introduced a resolution opposing Bush's plan.
The president has consistently rejected the Vietnam analogies, arguing that the conditions in Iraq and in the United States bear little resemblance to the Vietnam era.
"Iraq, after the overthrow of the tyrant, voted on a constitution that is intended to unite the whole country. And then they had elections under that constitution where nearly 12 million people voted for this unity government ... which is different from Vietnam," the president said before he visited Vietnam in November.
At a recent briefing, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow dismissed Hagel's Vietnam reference as little more than "a pretty good line."
Several of the president's congressional allies also have argued more recently that the price of leaving Iraq would be much higher than that of leaving Vietnam.
"We were able to walk away from Vietnam," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a former Navy fighter pilot who spent seven years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. "If we walk away from Iraq, we'll be back, possibly in the context of a wider war in the world's most volatile region."
Meanwhile, other congressional Republicans, including several more Vietnam veterans, have drawn on their own experiences during the war to challenge proposals that Congress should use its budgetary authority to stop the deployment of additional troops.
"I served at a time when we saw the Congress reduce funding for the military," Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., said last week while unveiling a resolution opposing any cut-off of funds to troops.
"We served at a time when the military did not have the support of the people, the press or the Congress," said Kline, who flew Marine Corps helicopters during the Vietnam War. "I don't ever want to see that again."
Name of source: LAT
SOURCE: LAT (1-11-07)
The U.S. so far has found it impossible to secure the sprawling city. But by focusing an increased number of troops in selected neighborhoods, the military hopes it can create islands of security segregated from the chaos beyond.
The gated communities plan has been tried — with mixed success — in other wars. In Vietnam, the enclaves were called "strategic hamlets" and were a spectacular failure. But counterinsurgency experts say such zones can work if, after the barriers are established, the military follows up with neighborhood sweeps designed to flush out insurgents and militia fighters....
Counterinsurgency experts say the gated communities technique could work in any neighborhood. Some argue that focusing first on a less violent area could give U.S. forces a much-needed win, as well as momentum that could help in tackling the most violent areas.
"You want to start where you will be successful," said Conrad Crane, one of the authors of the military's counterinsurgency manual. "You want to get some success and build from there."
The gated communities model is an updated version of the strategic hamlets model used in Vietnam. There, people were moved to villages the military thought it could defend, or were moved to entirely new villages.
"It didn't work," Crane said. "They ended up locking up the insurgents with the population in these new hamlets…. It actually helped the Viet Cong with recruiting."
But the strategy worked when used by the British in Malaya in the 1950s, successfully cutting off the insurgents from the population and from their supplies, Crane said. It also was used by the French in fighting insurgents in Algiers in the 1950s, and by the British in ensuing decades in Northern Ireland, said Marine Lt. Col. Lance A. McDaniel, another author of the military counterinsurgency manual.
In Iraq, Crane said, the strategy could work because it would not involve moving people, but rather providing security so they could remain in their neighborhoods.
"It would be done with much more cultural sensitivity," Crane said. "You are trying to identify who belongs and who doesn't. You need to know who is supposed to be there and who is not. When someone outside the area shows up, they are often the ones creating the problems."
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (1-19-07)
The primate elect's plea for the repeal of the 1701 Act of Settlement and the disestablishment of the Church of England revives a thorny constitutional controversy and sets him at odds with his Anglican colleagues over the water.
Name of source: AP
The activists signed the statement blasting the Iranian government and paying homage to victims of the Nazi regime. The activists expressed frustration over the relative silence on the subject from the Iranian diaspora.
The statement, which began circulating last month, is to be printed next week in The New York Review of Books. The Associated Press recently obtained a copy.
Bertrand, born Sept. 16, 1891, in the Quebec town of Coaticook, passed away in her sleep early Thursday at the nursing home where she has lived for the last 35 years, her nephew told The Gazette in Montreal.
"She just stopped breathing," said Andre Bertrand, 73. "That's a nice way to go."
Many Western European governments paid restitution for only a fraction of the stolen real estate, investments, businesses and household items, while Eastern European countries under Soviet control paid almost nothing at all, according to the study.
Even the highly publicized campaigns over the past decade for more complete compensation barely made a dent in the problem, said the study, compiled by economist Sidney Zabludoff, a former CIA and U.S. Treasury official.
SOURCE: AP (1-18-07)
Chirac paid tribute to members of a group, known as the "Righteous of France," who risked their own lives to help Jews escape the death camps. Twelve years ago Chirac became France's first president to recognize the French government's role in the mass deportation of Jews during the Holocaust.
"Thousands of French men and women, from all social classes and professions, and from throughout the political spectrum, made -- without questioning it -- the right choice," Chirac said at the ceremony in the hallowed Pantheon, where some of France's most honored figures are buried.
SOURCE: AP (1-18-07)
The petition, on a newly created Web site,
http://www.protectsmu.org, says that "as United Methodists, we believe that the linking of his presidency with a university bearing the Methodist name is utterly inappropriate."
SOURCE: AP (1-17-07)
The men who killed Bishop, four Cabinet ministers and six of their supporters have said they do not know the whereabouts of the remains, but Prime Minister Keith Mitchell said Tuesday he believes they could help solve the mystery.
The slain prime minister's mother, Alimenta Bishop, has repeatedly called for the bodies to be located for proper burial.
"They should have a conscience and come forward and release the pain of the families," Mitchell told reporters.
Name of source: AFP at Yahoo News
SOURCE: AFP at Yahoo News (1-19-07)
Giuseppe Pallanti found a death notice in the archives of a church in Florence that referred to "the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, deceased July 15, 1542, and buried at Sant'Orsola," the Italian press reported Friday.
Born Lisa Gherardini in May 1479, she is thought to have been the second wife of Del Giocondo, a wealthy silk merchant, with whom she had five children.
While intrigue has surrounded the identity of the woman in the famous unsigned, undated Leonardo da Vinci painting housed at the Louvre in Paris, Lisa Gherardini is widely accepted to have been the subject.
Name of source: Star-Telegram
SOURCE: Star-Telegram (1-19-07)
The ongoing flash points this week highlight the raw emotions conjured up by the mere mention of the Confederacy or the iconic red, white and blue battle flag.
For many descendants of Confederate war veterans, including Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, Confederate Heroes Day -- established by the Legislature in 1973 -- will be celebrated today.
"We should memorialize and commemorate all of our soldiers who served honorably," Patterson said.
Name of source: WSJ Opinion Page
SOURCE: WSJ Opinion Page (1-19-07)
Recently, Bloom's heirs have been hammering on the closed door, trying to reopen the American mind a bit. Their latest door-opening move has been an effort to create scholarly centers on campuses around the country: These centers would be devoted to the great books of Western civilization and the study of the American Founding, and they would be conducted in a rigorous, pre-1960s classroom style.
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Education
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (1-19-07)
Begun in 1801 with money from his wealthy father — Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the only Roman Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence — the Federal-style home has near-perfect proportions and airy rooms. It boasts exquisite plasterwork, faux-marble baseboards, and, above its doorways, spectacular fan windows that usher light into the middle of the house. Even the privy is a gem, with chestnut paneling and a domed ceiling.
The house is called Homewood. In the early 1900s, after the Johns Hopkins University was given what had once been the younger Carroll's 130-acre estate, Homewood set the architectural tone for the university's new campus, to which the house lent its name.
There's just one problem, says Catherine Rogers Arthur, Homewood's curator: Hopkins students rarely venture inside, even though Homewood is now a museum that attracts tourists six days a week — and even though the house stands right next to the university library, and the privy is in plain view of several freshman dorms.
Now Ms. Arthur and a donor whose father paid for Homewood's renovation in the 1980s are working to make the house "an academic resource for students." Last fall Ms. Arthur and S. William Leslie, a professor of the history of science and technology, welcomed a group of undergraduates to Homewood's wine cellar for a full-credit course in which they researched and planned an exhibit that opened in the house this month: "Feathers, Fins, and Fur: the Pet in Early Maryland."
The show is rich with the bounty of the students' research.
Name of source: David Jacobs in the newsletter of the American Revolution Roundtable
SOURCE: David Jacobs in the newsletter of the American Revolution Roundtable (1-19-07)
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (1-19-07)
Sanitation received 15.8% of the votes, beating other advances including the discovery of antibiotics and the development of vaccines.
Inadequate sanitation remains a problem in the developing world, contributing to millions of deaths.
The contest was run by the British Medical Journal.
SOURCE: BBC (1-17-07)
Ramesh Kallidai of the Hindu Forum of Britain said the swastika had been a symbol of peace for thousands of years before the Nazis adopted it.
He said a ban on the symbol would discriminate against Hindus.
Germany, holder of the EU presidency, wants to make Holocaust denial and the display of Nazi symbols a crime.
Mr Kallidai said his organisation was writing to European lawmakers to highlight the issue.
SOURCE: BBC (1-18-07)
The reason for the lethal nature of the 1918 flu was never fully understood.
But the experts behind this test say they have found a human gene which may help explain its unusual virulence.
SOURCE: BBC (1-19-07)
The historian says she had seen out the last years of her life there.
After poring through thousands of official records from the time, Mr Pallanti believes Lisa Gherardini was widowed and ill when she died.
He says the documents also show that she was still a famous figure in Florentine society: the whole parish turned out for her funeral.
Even in death, it would seem, the woman who helped give the world the Mona Lisa was recognised as having something very special about her.
For centuries art lovers have pondered the mystery of Mona Lisa's smile.
They have been arguing whether she was smiling at her lover; was smug at the prospect of becoming - or having just become - a mother; or was enjoying a very private joke that would be wasted on the rest of us.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (1-19-07)
Hrant Dink, a frequent target of nationalist anger for his comments on the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War One, was shot in the head as he left his weekly newspaper Agos around 1300 GMT in the center of the city.
"A bullet has been fired at democracy and freedom of expression. I condemn the traitorous hands behind this disgraceful murder," Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said.
"This was an attack on our peace and stability."
Turkey's main stock market index fell sharply on the news.
SOURCE: Reuters (1-18-07)
Badges and photographs of Saddam once displayed across the country he ruled with an iron fist made their way to the museum through a former South African army officer who showed up in Iraq after the 2003 war.
It is not clear how Colonel William Endley collected the medals. After Saddam was toppled, his palaces were invaded and looted and some of the goods made their way to markets.
SOURCE: Reuters (1-18-07)
The relics were discovered at 10 different venues and included about 700 tombs dating from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Xinhua news agency said, citing Shu Xiaofeng, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Cultural Relics.
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (1-19-07)
It's the 200th birthday of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general who is revered by some and reviled by others. Commemorations and protests are planned across Virginia and other Southern states, proving that more than 140 years after the end of the Civil War, Lee is still a pivotal, controversial and complicated figure in American history and continuing race and culture wars.
In Virginia, where Lee was born, fought in the Civil War and died -- no matter whether he's viewed as a hero who fought brilliantly and valiantly for state's rights or as a traitor bent on protecting his state's right to own slaves -- his legacy looms large. Lee highways crisscross the state, including in the Washington region, Lee bridges cross rivers, high schools are named for him and the phone book lists hundreds of Robert E. Lees.
But beyond the heat and noise created by Lee's 21st-century defenders and detractors, there is a new move to reevaluate Lee and his legacy.
The premise of the new look is perhaps as controversial as Lee's image: As the South has become more racially and ethnically diverse and has prospered economically, perhaps the South doesn't need Lee so much anymore. Or at least not in the same way. Perhaps it is time to let him pass from marble icon and touchstone of white Southern identity into the annals of history as a charismatic and important human figure....
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (1-15-07)
"If I were a state legislator, I'd vote for it to move off the grounds -- out of the state," the Delaware senator said before the civil rights group held a march and rally at the Statehouse here to support its boycott of the state.
In Chicago, Sen. Barack Obama, also prominently mentioned in speculation about the White House sweepstakes in 2008, was a hit at a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition breakfast honoring King, even if he didn't deliver what much of the crowd clearly wanted: a declaration that he will run for president.
Name of source: WSJ
SOURCE: WSJ (1-19-07)
When Ms. Rice talks about the challenges the U.S. faces across the Mideast, she points, somewhat surprisingly, to Europe after World War II and to the West's decades-long face-off against the Soviet Union, which happens to be her area of expertise. It is a penchant that has scholars scratching their heads.
Citing the Cold War's denouement as context for today's bloodshed and tumult may seem far-fetched to some. But Ms. Rice uses the analogy both to beg for patience -- the Cold War, after all, consumed decades -- and to try to elucidate a diplomatic strategy that is increasingly assailed for its lack of assertiveness.
While traveling this week through the Middle East and Europe, Ms. Rice engaged in several long historical tutorials with reporters in tow. Her point in referring back to the Cold War, she said, isn't to argue that history repeats itself or that the analogy is exact.
"The reason that I cite some of these other times, like Europe, is that it is so clear in everybody's mind that the United States and its allies came out victorious at the end of the Cold War," she said in Kuwait. "But if you...look at the events that ultimately lead to that, you would have thought that this was failing every single day between 1945-1946 and probably 1987 or 1988."
Her contention is while things may look bad now in Iraq and elsewhere in the region, history is on the administration's side. She pushed a similar argument to reporters last month. The Middle East is "moving toward something that I am quite certain will not have a full resolution and that you will not be able to fully judge for decades," she said....
Name of source: Jerusalem Post
SOURCE: Jerusalem Post (1-15-07)
The cliff, uncovered during a year-long excavation at the western edge of the Western Wall Plaza, was one of several important finds that include the remains of a colonnaded street called the Eastern Cardo, dating from the Roman-Byzantine period; a section of the Lower Aqueduct that conveyed water from Solomon's Pools to the Temple Mount; and a damaged rock-hewn and plastered Jewish mikve (ritual bath) that dates back to the Second Temple period, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced at a press conference.
The dig, which was conducted in an area that had not been excavated before due to plans for construction, also served to clarify the height of an immense bedrock cliff that separated the Upper City from the Temple Mount area. It in itself is "the most impressive" find, said Shlomit Wexler-Bedolah, the excavation director.
Name of source: Tom Zeller Jr. in the NYT blog
SOURCE: Tom Zeller Jr. in the NYT blog (1-17-07)
Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler’s foreign minister, was the first to go. From an Oct. 28, 1946 dispatch in Time magazine headlined “Night Without Dawn” (the ellipses are in the original):
At 1:11 a.m. he entered the gymnasium, and all officers, official witnesses and correspondents rose to attention. Ribbentrop’s manacles were removed and he mounted the steps (there were 13) to the gallows. With the noose around his neck, he said: “My last wish … is an understanding between East and West. …” All present removed their hats. The executioner tightened the noose. A chaplain standing beside him prayed. The assistant executioner pulled the lever, the trap dropped open with a rumbling noise, and Ribbentrop’s hooded figure disappeared. The rope was suddenly taut, and swung back & forth, creaking audibly.
The executioner was U.S. Master Sergeant John C. Woods, 43, of San Antonio, a short, chunky man who in his 15 years as U.S. Army executioner has hanged 347 people. Said he afterwards: “I hanged those ten Nazis … and I am proud of it. … I wasn’t nervous. … A fellow can’t afford to have nerves in this business. … I want to put in a good word for those G.I.s who helped me … they all did swell. … I am trying to get [them] a promotion. … The way I look at this hanging job, somebody has to do it. I got into it kind of by accident, years ago in the States “
Ten more executions would follow that evening, but for all of Sergeant Woods’ experience (and for all of the collected wisdom the military had at its disposal on proper hanging techniques), the Nuremberg executions were, it seems, a ghoulishly untidy affair.
Donald E. Wilkes, Jr., a professor of law at the University of Georgia Law School, noted that many of the executed Nazis fell from the gallows with insufficient force to snap their necks, resulting in a macabre, suffocating death struggle that in some cases lasted many, many minutes:
Name of source: Sau Landau at Counterpunch
SOURCE: Sau Landau at Counterpunch (1-15-07)
On December 12, at the University of Havana, Vidal dismissed “our little President” (“presidentcito,” said the interpreter) and mocked him into proper perspective – the worst and most dangerous president in US history: “I’m a wartime president.” The audience of students and professors laughed at Vidal’s imitation.
Three days before, on the evening of December 9, Culture Vice Minister Ismael Gonzalez and Book Institute President Iroel Sanchez greeted met Vidal at the Jose Marti International Airport. His entourage included former South Dakota Senator James Abourezk (D) and former President of the California Senate, John Burton (D) as well as San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, myself and a small group of Gore’s friends and admirers. The Cuban press quickly grabbed him.
“What brings you to Cuba?” a Prensa Latina reporter inquired.
“I came to Cuba with my broken knee to help break 40 years of embargo.” He had not accepted previous invitations because “I lost one of my knees the last time and I almost sent my knee to you, and it would have been more interesting than myself.”
A few reporters giggled. “But I have an artificial one,” Vidal became serious, “and could come here to see the beginning of the end of colonialism in the Western Hemisphere.”
He told the media that he “worried about the collapse of the Republic. We have lost habeas corpus and the Constitution that we inherited from England 700 years ago. Suddenly, we were robbed of it. The current regime has done it, and the legal bases of our Republic have gone with it, and as I am one of the historians of that Republic, I am not happy.”
How did he see Cuban reality as opposed to what the US government reported? “They never told us why we should hate the Cubans. I think Kennedy and his compatriots were motivated [in their aggressive anti-Castro policies] by vanity.” He said, “My friend John F. Kennedy was running for president,” (1960) and he foolishly allowed the CIA’s Bay of Pigs invasion to take place. “Vanity has played a large role in the relationship,” he added, referring to the terrorist war aged by the brothers Kennedy against Cuba after the April 1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco.
Vidal paused and jumped backward in time. “When we invaded Cuba [in 1898] it was only a pretext to start the war against Spain and end up taking the Philippines, as we did in the end.” The Cuban reporters taped and wrote. “I hate to say it,” Vidal continued with a smile, “but you were just a step for the United States to reach Asia, although we always had our eyes on the Caribbean.”
Vidal the historian recalled how after World War II, Harry Truman began to say: “‘the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming.’” At the onset of the Cold War, the Russians having suffered 20 million dead, “there was barely anybody to come. Even so, the decision was made: the only way to rule the country is by terrorizing everybody. Bush is trying it – with some success.”...
Part 2 of this article.
Name of source: Kyodo.com
SOURCE: Kyodo.com (1-19-07)
The court upheld a lower court ruling terminating a retrial for the five -- Toru Kimura, Eizaburo Kobayashi, Hiroshi Yoshida, Kenjiro Takagi and Toshio Hiradate -- who their families say were falsely charged after investigators tortured them to gain confessions.
The families had repeatedly sought a retrial and the Yokohama District Court accepted their third petition in 2003. The high court upheld its decision in 2005.
The district court, however, handed down a ruling on Feb. 9 last year to terminate the trial, saying the five were given general amnesty after World War II and that the Peace Preservation Law under which they were found guilty has been abolished.
The families filed an appeal against the ruling, saying they can only accept not-guilty verdicts for the men.
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (1-19-07)
German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said she would like to see Holocaust denial -- already a crime in some European countries -- become punishable by up to three years in prison in all 27 of the bloc's member states.
"We have always said that it should not still be acceptable in Europe to say the Holocaust never existed and that six million Jews were never killed," Zypries said recently. "I am optimistic that over the next six months we will manage to get a result," she said.
Germany's timing could not be better given the recent formation in the European Parliament of Identity, Sovereignty and Tradition, a far-right group headed by Mussolini's grand-daughter Alessandra and French National Front leader Jean-Marie le Pen.
The group's founder, French politician Bruno Gollnisch, was found guilty this week of questioning the Holocaust by a French court. In its ruling the court said Gollnisch had called into question the number of Jews killed during World War Two and whether gas chambers had been used to kill them.
The European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs, Franco Frattini, pledged immediate support for the German proposal.
"While preserving freedom of expression, we have to criminalize concrete incitement," he said.
Name of source: http://www.washingtonian.com
SOURCE: http://www.washingtonian.com (1-18-07)
"I'm scared of you," joked Nathans owner, former journalist Carol Joynt, as she introduced her guest. That didn’t stop Joynt from inviting Woodward to one of her weekly Q&A Cafes, a formal three-course lunch featuring an informal interview with a Washington newsmaker.
Flatscreen TVs allowed an overflow crowd squeezed into the bar a closed-circuit broadcast of the interview—as well as, before that, video of Woodward polishing off potato chips and scratching his nose.
But there were other pre-interview events to amuse diners: the deliveries of a small green salad, a plate of cheese tortellini with tomato cream sauce, and a lined blue notecard upon which diners could write questions for Ms. Joynt to ask.
The interview, structured as a fireside chat between Joynt and Woodward, revealed a side rarely seen of the famed Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who, with Carl Bernstein, was the force behind Watergate and three decades of insider Washington reportage. His latest book, "State of Denial," remains on best-seller lists....
Name of source: Yahoo
SOURCE: Yahoo (1-18-07)
Contest founder Bernard Weber presented Jordan's Queen Rania with Petra's official candidacy at the event that included a presentation on the way the city's first inhabitants lived.
The New 7 Wonders of the World contest was launched in 2001 by Weber's Geneva-based NewOpenWorld Foundation, which aims to promote cultural diversity by supporting, preserving and restoring monuments. It relies on private donations and revenue from selling broadcasting rights. Twenty-one sites around the globe are vying to be declared wonders of the world.
Petra, located 162 miles south of the Jordanian capital Amman, is built on a terrace around the Wadi Musa or Valley of Moses. It was the capital of the Arab kingdom of the Nabateans, a center of caravan trade, and continued to flourish under Roman rule after the Nabateans' defeat in A.D. 106.
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (1-18-07)
So it may have come as little surprise to his publishers, who had paid Coleridge an advance of £100 that year to translate Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's seminal poem, Faust, from its original German into English, when nothing was produced by the mercurial, and infamously unreliable poet.
It had been at least a decade since Coleridge's most fruitful years when he had risen to literary fame, and infamy, with groundbreaking poems such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan - composed as a result of an opium dream.
By the early part of the 19th century, Coleridge was beset by marital problems, increased opium dependency and a dampening of confidence in his creative powers. So the publishers shelved the Goethe project and the translation work has been long forgotten since Coleridge's death in 1834.
But now, nearly 200 years later, an American academic claims to have discovered that astonishingly, the poet may well have fulfilled his promise to complete a meticulous translation of the classical German tale - but could not put his name to it due to his dubious financial dealings.
Name of source: Times Online (UK)
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (1-18-07)
Two reports published yesterday show how finds by people walking, gardening, farming or actively searching for treasure provide a wealth of information about our past.
David Lammy, the Culture Minister, described metal detector users as “the unsung heroes of the UK’s heritage”.
The Treasure Act 1996 requires the reporting of all gold and silver objects more than 300 years old, and groups of coins that are more than 300 years old and found on the same site.