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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: LAT
SOURCE: LAT (1-7-07)
It has long been a sore point with Armenian Americans that the U.S. government does not refer to the killings that began in 1915 as genocide, and Evans' use of the word did not signal a change in that policy. It did set off a slow-boiling controversy that eventually cost him his job.
Now, the issue is preparing to boil over again, setting up a clash between the Democratic-controlled Congress and the Republican White House. The dispute has stalled the confirmation of Evans' successor and strained U.S. relations with Turkey, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East.
"Based on what I've seen, this is headed to a confrontation," said a senior Democratic congressional aide. "It's an issue that's a flashpoint of controversy for both parties."
SOURCE: LAT (1-6-07)
The portrayal of Judas as a favored apostle who handed Jesus over to the Romans at his master's request made National Geographic's publication of "The Gospel of Judas" — and the companion TV documentary — a worldwide media event.
When the gospel was released last spring, another book appeared, "The Secrets of Judas," which sneered at the notion that the new gospel was revolutionary or that it revealed anything new about Jesus. Author James M. Robinson, a giant in the world of early Christian studies, also accused National Geographic of sensationalizing the gospel "in order to make as large a profit as possible."
Robinson, who had long railed against scholars who tried to restrict access to biblical texts, was especially dismayed that the Judas project was conducted largely in secret with the help of Marvin Meyer, Robinson's friend and former student at Claremont Graduate University.
Without directly invoking the payment Judas received from the Romans, Robinson made his point: National Geographic and its team of translators had received their 30 pieces of silver.
In the months to come, the specialized field of Coptic translation dissolved into public bickering and dark whispers by scholars who spoke of the jealous graybeard with a tender ego or the younger, irresponsible grandstander seduced by the prospect of celebrity.
Meyer, 58, felt misunderstood. Robinson, 82, felt betrayed....
SOURCE: LAT (1-3-07)
The 7 1/2 -foot figure had a placid marble face and delicately carved limestone gown. It was thought to depict Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Some who came to see it believed that the sculpture would become the greatest piece in the museum's antiquities collection.
One man, however, saw trouble.
Luis Monreal, director of the Getty Conservation Institute, saw signs that the object had been looted. There was dirt in the folds of the gown, and the torso had what appeared to be new fractures, suggesting that the statue had been recently unearthed and broken apart for easy smuggling.
"Any museum professional looking at an archeological piece in those conditions had to suspect it came from an illicit origin," Monreal recalled in a recent interview.
He said he warned the museum's director not to buy the statue and asked him to test the pollen in the dirt, which might indicate where the work had been found. The test was never done.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (1-8-07)
There is no direct evidence that Bishop Wielgus spied on any of his fellow clergy members. But the revelation and the resignation have shaken one of Europe’s largest concentrations of Catholics and refocused scrutiny on collaboration with the Communist government by some of the clergy in Poland even as the church was supporting dissidents trying to free themselves from that political system.
Moments before he was to symbolically ascend to his new place in the church hierarchy by taking his seat on the archbishop’s throne at St. John’s Cathedral in Warsaw, Bishop Wielgus read from a letter he had sent Pope Benedict XVI earlier in the day offering his resignation “after reflecting deeply and assessing my personal situation.”
A roar of shock arose from the crowd inside the cathedral and stunned many people watching the proceedings live on television. The Vatican had announced the resignation a half hour earlier, though few had heard the news.
“Stay with us, we want you here!” people in the church shouted as a clearly troubled Bishop Wielgus removed his glasses and sat down beside Warsaw’s departing archbishop, Cardinal Jozef Glemp.
SOURCE: NYT (1-7-07)
Many Venezuelans had a good laugh at the names and went on with their business. What’s so odd, after all, about the occasional Nixon or Stalin in a nation where bestowing bizarre names on newborns has become a whimsically colorful tradition?
A glance through a phone book or the government’s voter registry reveals names like Taj-Mahal Sánchez, Elvis Presley Gomez Morillo, Darwin Lenin Jimenez, even Hitler Eufemio Mayora. Other Venezuelan first names, which roll off the tongue about as easily in Spanish as in English, include Yusmairobis, Nefertitis, Yaxilany, Riubalkis, Debraska, as well as Yesaidú and Juan Jondre — transliterations of “Yes, I do” and “One hundred.”
SOURCE: NYT (1-7-07)
Or so go accounts by some of the executioners. Videotape shown on Romanian television in the aftermath records scenes from a farcical tribunal but stops as the couple are led away after they’re condemned, picking up again only after the deed is done, the bullet-pocked bodies cooling where they fell.
The event did not need cellphones and YouTube to peel back the veneer of civility.
But while there is no manual for such occasions — modern history gives us relatively few instances of absolute rulers being deposed, tried and executed — all the talk last week after the hanging of Saddam Hussein suggests that we viewers thought there was some greater codification of the protocols and proprieties than was apparent in the mocking scene that unfolded.
SOURCE: NYT (1-4-07)
The cause was a stroke, his wife, Sydnee, said.
Mr. Lipset’s convictions were shaped early, in the cauldron of leftist politics in New York City in the 1930s, a time when his poor immigrant family urged him to study dentistry in order to take over his uncle’s lucrative practice. Instead, as a young Trotskyist at City College, he became fascinated with the question of why the United States never had a major socialist party.
As he metamorphosed from political partisan to social scientist, his quest for an answer to that question — as well as the many others that logically followed — resulted in dozens of books and hundreds of articles. He became known for his argument that America’s ideology of individualism precluded socialism in the European form.
Francis Fukuyama, the political philosopher, wrote in 1997 in The New York Times Book Review that Mr. Lipset’s insights into ways that America was different from other nations made him “the most thoughtful contemporary authority on American exceptionalism.”
SOURCE: NYT (1-3-06)
“Amid all the turmoil, Gerald Ford was a rock of stability,” President Bush told the gathering of generations of Washington’s powerful at Washington National Cathedral. “And when he put his hand on his family Bible to take the presidential oath of office, he brought grace to a moment of great doubt.”
The cathedral’s grand setting and the pomp of a state funeral provided a counterpoint for the unassuming character praised by the eulogists.
President Bush’s father called Mr. Ford “a Norman Rockwell painting come to life”; Tom Brokaw, the former television anchor, described “Citizen Ford” as a “champion of Main Street values”; and Henry A. Kissinger said the man he served as secretary of state “had the virtues of small-town America.”
Name of source: Times Online (UK)
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (1-6-07)
This, after all, was no conventional marital betrayal — no fling with a neighbour or office romance. Every halfway political conversation, every dinner with friends became the subject of a report to the Stasi.
“Now we have to see if he wants to meet me again,” she said. We are sitting in a corner of the high-walled Hohenschönhausen prison in Berlin, one of the most notorious of Stasi jails that is now an open museum. Ms Lengsfeld has just shown me her old cell and the exercise yard, seven paces long, five paces wide. Prisoners were deliberately subjected to radiation. “Thousands were psychologically destroyed,” she added.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-6-07)
"We had to act immediately or face a red alert," said Annamaria Pandolfi, the head of an 18-man team that aims to restore Gian Lorenzo Bernini's largest outdoor sculpture to its proper glory.
Giant figures representing the world's four great rivers, the Plate, the Nile, the Ganges and the Danube, were carved by Bernini in marble between 1648 and 1651 and set on a bed of travertine, a local stone. An obelisk rises from the top of the fountain.
"There is a problem with the stone being corroded," said Miss Pandolfi yesterday. "Under the armpit and knee of River Plate you can see that the marble is still smooth as it once was. But the amazing and enormous head is rough and lined like an old man."
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-3-07)
A Foreign Office file released by the National Archives after 30 years reveals the animosity he aroused as he planned the Transglobe expedition that made his name.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ tenacity led him to take on the elements but won him few friends at the outset
Sir Wally Herbert, the first man to walk to the North Pole, and Sir Vivian Fuchs, leader of a Trans-Antarctic expedition in 1955-58 and director of the British Antarctic Survey were among his critics.
In 1976 Sir Ranulph, 32, a captain in the 21st SAS Regiment, planned to lead a team to the North Pole and follow that with a round-the-world trip along the Greenwich Meridian, crossing both polar ice caps.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (1-6-07)
The country has been at peace since 1992, but the 12-year civil war left 76,000 dead, thousands injured and a violent legacy that some tourists find fascinating.
For a fee, former guerrillas will take visitors on tours of former battlefields or mountain hideouts, while museums display war memorabilia. The government has applauded the effort as a way to draw more tourists to El Salvador.
The former Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, or FMLN, which led the guerrilla uprising, has teamed up with local business leaders to create the so-called "peace route".
SOURCE: AP (1-4-07)
The Constitution does not outline how the House should be organized other than to say it should choose its speaker and other officers, determine its rules and publish a journal of its business.
In the first Congress, Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania was chosen the speaker on April 1, 1789, the first day a quorum was reached. It was not until days later that the House approved the form of the oath to be taken by members.
One reason is that the office of the speaker was modeled after the British parliamentary system, where it is the parties that choose who lead their caucuses and, if they are in the majority, the government.
SOURCE: AP (1-2-07)
The gilt-framed oil painting, about 26 inches high and 21 inches wide, will be the showcase piece of the museum's exhibit marking Lee's birthday on Jan. 19. American artist Thomas B. Welch painted Lee during the general's lifetime, but museum officials said the portrait wasn't based on any known photograph, and there are no records that Lee sat for such a work.
SOURCE: AP (1-3-07)
The secretive Imperial Household Agency has until now refused to let the public, and even scholars, enter the old tombs, saying the spirits of past emperors should not be disturbed.
But after a petition by the Japanese Archaeological Association and other scholars in 2005, the government has agreed to grant them limited access to the graves, according to a report in the mass-circulation daily, Yomiuri Shimbun.
SOURCE: AP (1-3-07)
The Navy had not planned to make the announcement yet, but Donald H. Rumsfeld, the former defense secretary who served in the Ford administration, divulged the news during his eulogy at the funeral.
"How fitting it would be that the name Gerald R. Ford will patrol the high seas for decades to come in defense of the nation he loved so much," he said.
SOURCE: AP (1-4-07)
first term, President Nixon said he wanted to "ruin
the Foreign Service" before leaving office, according
to newly released State Department documents.
Days after his re-election on Nov. 7, 1972, Nixon
vented his frustrations about the diplomatic corps
during a meeting with his national security adviser,
Just before saying he was going "to take the
responsibility for cleaning up" the department, the
president told Kissinger on Nov. 13 that he was
determined that his "one legacy is to ruin the Foreign
Service. I mean ruin it ˜ the old Foreign Service ˜
and to build a new one. I'm going to do it."
Months later, Kissinger would become the chief U.S.
diplomat as secretary of state, and major changes were
never made to the Foreign Service.
SOURCE: AP (1-4-06)
"This is an historic moment - for the Congress, and for the women of this country. It is a moment for which we have waited more than 200 years," Pelosi planned to say in prepared remarks for the House. "Never losing faith, we waited through the many years of struggle to achieve our rights."
The symbolism of her triumph for women was center stage.
Outside a brunch Thursday at the Library of Congress, leaders from the National Organization for Women planned to greet her with a giant congratulation card. The message: Way to Go!
"This is a historic moment for women everywhere," said NOW President Kim Gandy. "Nancy Pelosi has broken through the marble ceiling."
Pelosi always has said she wants to be judged by her abilities, not her gender, but she happily acknowledged the importance of her achievement.
"Becoming the first woman speaker will send a message to young girls and women across the country that anything is possible for them," she said Wednesday.
Pelosi was raised in Baltimore, the daughter of New Deal Maryland congressman Thomas D'Alesandro, who later became the city's mayor. She didn't run for the House herself until 1987 after marrying wealthy businessman Paul Pelosi, moving to San Francisco and raising her children. She now has six grandchildren.
In Congress Pelosi displayed the tough politicking of her childhood environment. She wrung loyalties, counted votes and muscled aside Hoyer to become Democrats' second-in-command, and then Democratic leader in 2002.
Personal loyalty is key to Pelosi. She tried to block Hoyer's bid in November to become Democratic majority leader, suffering an embarrassing defeat when her preferred candidate, Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha, lost badly.
Pelosi wins re-election by huge margins and stays true to her San Francisco constituency, voting against the Iraq war resolution and co-sponsoring legislation to end federal prohibitions against medical marijuana. Her liberalism makes some moderate Democrats leery, and she's avoided campaigning in some conservative districts.
SOURCE: AP (1-4-06)
Now, forensic and toxicology experts at the University of Florence report evidence of arsenic poisoning in a new study published in the British Medical Journal.
As rulers, art connoisseurs and financiers of kings, the Medici family flourished for centuries in the rough and tumble alliances of old Europe, providing four popes and ruling first Florence then Tuscany from about 1430 to 1737.
Its most famous members include Lorenzo de' Medici, or Lorenzo the Magnificent, who supported Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Sandro Botticelli. At least two Medici women — Catherine and Maria, who was Francesco's daughter — married kings of France, and the Medicis' former home, Pitti Palace, now houses an important art gallery.
Among nobles, deaths by poisoning were common, and deadly concoctions of the day had such deceptively pretty names as “Secreta Secretissima,'' and “La Cantrella.''
“When a Medici dies, the first assumption is arsenic,'' said Richard J. Hamilton, a medical toxicologist at Drexel University who was not involved in the study.
Francesco de' Medici ruled from 1574 until his death at age 46 on Oct. 17, 1587, 11 days after he fell ill and a few hours before his wife, who by all accounts had been his mistress while he was married to his first wife — who is also believed to have died of poisoning.
“Immediately after their deaths, rumors began to circulate that they had been poisoned,'' Donatella Lippi, a professor of history of medicine and a co-author of the study, told The Associated Press. It “was a lethal dose, but progressive, and the symptoms were compatible with arsenic poisoning.''
From the outset, Ferdinando de' Medici's behavior was suspicious and fueled rumors, the study says. Among other things, he took charge of his brother's illness, compiling medical bulletins and minimizing the gravity of his brother's condition in dispatches to the Vatican.
After the deaths, he ordered immediate autopsies — an unusual step, apparently taken to protect himself from future accusations.
More importantly, the symptoms reported by doctors treating Francesco — nausea, violent vomiting, cold sweats, gastric burning — were typical of arsenic poisoning and not of malaria, the study says.
“There was always a suspicion (of murder), but there wasn't scientific proof,'' said Marcello Fantoni, who teaches Renaissance history at Kent State University.
Lippi and three other scientists — Francesco Mari, Aldo Polettini and Elisabetta Bertol — tested a fragment of femur and beard hairs with skin tissue still attached taken from Francesco's tomb in the Medici Chapels in Florence. Bianca's grave was never found.
They also tested organ remains found in broken terra-cotta jars buried under the crypt in the Church of Santa Maria a Bonistallo, near Francesco's villa.
Lippi said DNA tests showed it was “highly probable'' that one set belonged to Francesco. The other, which also showed evidence of arsenic poisoning, was female, Lippi said.
“They were inside a hole,'' she said. “There was a bunch of dirt and then I found two metal crucifixes, then pieces of what seemed to me like soft tissue.''
Tests showed the beard hair had a low concentration of arsenic inconsistent with chronic exposure. However, tests on liver samples taken from the jars showed acute arsenic poisoning, the researchers said.
Angelo Moretto, a clinical and experimental toxicologist with the International Center for Pesticides in Milan, said the study was solid, though he would have been more cautious given the low concentrations of arsenic in the beard hairs.
“They make accusations that are quite strong. I would have been more low key about it,'' he said.
According to the study, the concentrations of arsenic are consistent with the fact that the couple survived for 11 days.
“These important findings, in addition to the historical data collected on the events before and after the almost simultaneous deaths of the grand ducal couple, allow us to rewrite the historical reconstruction of those events and to affirm that acute poisoning with arsenic was the cause of death of Francesco I de' Medici and Bianca Cappello,'' the study says.
“It sounds pretty reasonable,'' said Hamilton. “They've done an efficient job of matching the DNA and they've done a good job of establishing that the arsenic was not contaminated.''
The only surprise, he said, is that Francesco could have been poisoned so easily.
“He was a notorious poisoner, and the symptoms were classic, and Francesco would have been quick to recognize them,'' Hamilton said.
As for who did it, “I think it was Ferdinando,'' Lippi said. “He was the one who benefited. He was eliminating his brother, and he eliminated the hated Bianca.''
Name of source: AFP at Yahoo News
SOURCE: AFP at Yahoo News (1-4-07)
It did not say where the statue would be placed.
The official JANA news agency added the Saddam statue will be put up at the same time as another representing Omar al-Mukhtar, the Libyan resistance leader who fought the Italian military occupation and who was executed in 1931, also by hanging.
SOURCE: AFP at Yahoo News (1-3-07)
"We have there the oldest example of an offensive war," said Clemens Reichel, who is leading an archaeological dig in the ancient city of Hamoukar, on the border with Iraq, for the University of Chicago.
Reichel said that the city, whose fortifications were three metres (10 feet) thick, was besieged and reduced to ashes probably by attackers from southern Mesopotamia.
Name of source: Pascale Combelles Siege at the website of Foreign Policy in Focus
SOURCE: Pascale Combelles Siege at the website of Foreign Policy in Focus (1-4-07)
The first prize went to Moroccan cartoonist Abdellah Derkaoui. His caricature features an Israeli crane building a high wall around Jerusalem. In the background, half hidden by the wall, lies the dome of the Al-Aqsa mosque. Painted on the wall is a picture of the entrance to a death camp.
The choice of Derkaoui's cartoon is somewhat surprising. The cartoon does not deny the Holocaust, for it uses the best-known symbol of the Nazi genocide to criticize current Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. This is not denial. The cartoon acknowledges that the Nazi genocide actually took place, that it was wrong, and that it remains an indisputable reality of Middle Eastern politics.
One might have expected much worse from the Iranian government. Since his election, Ahmadinejad has made a number of provocative statements, casting doubt on the awful realities of the genocide and reiterating the old Arab view that if the genocide occurred in Europe, then Europe should have offered the Jews reparation in Europe and not made the Palestinians suffer the consequences of its tragic policies.
However, the Iranian government refrained from choosing one of the rabidly anti-Semitic cartoons that drew on 20th-century European caricatures of Jews. Nor did it choose a cartoon that equated Israeli policies with the Nazis' quest for world domination. Nor did it choose a cartoon depicting Israel and the United States in cahoots to exploit the Palestinians. All these themes were depicted in various entries to the contest. The rejection of these more extreme representations might be a sign of moderation from an Iranian government seeking to change its strategic relationship with the U.S. government.
Of course, Derkaoui's acknowledgement of the Nazis' Holocaust does not represent an ideological epiphany. It is designed to draw a moral equivalence between what happened to the Jews in Europe under Nazi domination and what is happening to the Palestinians at the hands of Israel now....
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (1-4-07)
The idol found in Staraya (old) Maina village dates back to VII-X century AD. Staraya Maina village in Ulyanovsk region was a highly populated city 1700 years ago, much older than Kiev, so far believed to be the mother of all Russian cities.
“We may consider it incredible, but we have ground to assert that Middle-Volga region was the original land of Ancient Rus. This is a hypothesis, but a hypothesis, which requires thorough research,” Reader of Ulyanovsk State University’s archaeology department Dr Alexander Kozhevin told state-run television Vesti .
Name of source: Coventry Telegraph
SOURCE: Coventry Telegraph (1-5-07)
An appeal to raise up to £3.25 million to repair the crumbling Holy Trinity Church has been launched by the Friends of Shakespeare Church.
Campaign group Stratford Voice say there is no need for the cycle bridge across the river Avon and say it will spoil the beauty spot.
They say the cash should instead be ploughed into preserving the 13th century church where the Bard worshipped with his family.
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (1-5-07)
Residents of hamlets and villages with names such as Hopeulikit, Po Biddy Crossroads, Roosterville and Bill Arp were outraged when the state's transport department announced it was "decluttering" its map for its next reprinting this summer.
But in a victory for community activism, transport officials have been forced into an embarrassing U-turn that will see the names of 488 of Georgia's smallest communities restored.
SOURCE: Guardian (1-5-07)
Some call that period in Peru's history a successful counter-insurgency. Others call it a cautionary tale about the cost to democracy of fighting terrorism. Others simply call it a nightmare. Whatever you call it, however, there is no denying one thing: it is a great story.
Now, more than a decade after the waning of the Shining Path rebellion, the conflict's legacy is fuelling a literary renaissance. Peruvian writers are blazing a trail through Spanish and English language publishing with books exploring a saga as fascinating as it is painful.
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (1-5-07)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (1-4-07)
Folens, who died in 2003 at 86, had not denied working for the Germans but minimised his part in the war. But his involvement with both the Gestapo and Waffen SS is to be revealed.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (1-5-07)
Plans include the construction of a half-size replica of Cordoba's eighth century great mosque, according to the head of Cordoba's Muslim Association. Funds for the project are being sought from the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, and Muslim organisations in Morocco and Egypt.Other big mosques are reportedly planned for Medina Azahara near Cordoba, Seville and Granada.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (1-3-07)
Top-secret papers released on New Year's Day reveal the true extent of the ignorance and incompetence at the heart of the then government and the intelligence services during one of the most serious breaches of security in British history. The classified notes, innocuously entitled "Foreign Office officials", were written by the cabinet secretary, Sir Norman Brook, on 11 June 1951.
Three weeks earlier, Donald Maclean, head of the US department in the diplomatic service in London, and Guy Burgess, a diplomat formerly based in Washington, had quietly deserted their posts and left Britain for Russia.
But the cabinet notes show that the prime minister Clement Attlee and the foreign secretary Herbert Morrison appeared more concerned with Donald Maclean's drinking and an allegation of attempted rape.
Name of source: http://www.tri-cityherald.com
SOURCE: http://www.tri-cityherald.com (1-4-07)
The ruling could lead to more careful excavation and study of the site by archaeologists as the pits are emptied as part of the cleanup of the Hanford nuclear reservation.
The burn pits have the "potential to provide important information otherwise unrepresented about the people who lived and worked at the Hanford Construction Camp during its period of significance -- 1943-1946 -- and about World War II-era culture and consumer culture and behavior," according to a report by archaeologist Erika Martin Seibert for the National Register of Historic Places.
Name of source: PR Newswire
SOURCE: PR Newswire (1-5-07)
Fort Smith, located in the western part of the state, was chosen as the future home for the new museum over the other finalist city, Staunton, Virginia. "This was a tough decision, as we were very pleased with the enthusiasm of both finalists," said Director Clark. "Now that we have selected Fort Smith, we are excited about this new opportunity to tell the story of the U.S. Marshals Service's 217-year history to the country."
Name of source: Jewish Exponent
SOURCE: Jewish Exponent (1-4-07)
The Raab Collection, which moved last month from Ardmore to Center City, is a family business that deals in historical letters, autographs and documents, often acting as the conduit between buyer and seller. The business made headlines last month when it facilitated the sale of more than 140 letters written by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to his brother Edgar to a private collector who founded the Web site Americanhistory.org.
Name of source: http://movies.monstersandcritics.com
SOURCE: http://movies.monstersandcritics.com (1-4-07)
One of the world's three top film festivals, Berlin festival organisers said this year's line-up of films will include entries from the US, South Korea and Germany and star a raft of big names in the movie business.
This includes America's George Clooney, Robert De Niro, Matt Damon Tobey Maguire and Angelina Jolie as well as Britain's Joseph Fiennes and Australia's Cate Blanchett.
Name of source: Science and Development Network
SOURCE: Science and Development Network (1-4-07)
Name of source: http://www.pittsburghlive.com
SOURCE: http://www.pittsburghlive.com (1-4-07)
By now, the illicit video of Saddam's execution, reportedly recorded on a camera phone, has spread throughout the Internet and aired internationally, including on American television stations.
It alternately has caused outrage, celebration and offense, and led to the Iraqi government arresting two guards and a supervisor who were present at the hanging, as part of an investigation into how Saddam's death was filmed.
But it also marks a cultural truth: Anyone can now capture history.
Name of source: UPI
SOURCE: UPI (1-5-07)
When Rehnquist, then an associate justice, was hospitalized and taken off Placidyl, he suffered such severe withdrawal symptoms that he became delusional and thought the CIA was plotting against him, the Washington Post reported. Doctors then put him back on the drug and weaned him off it successfully by early 1982.
The FBI released the more than 1,500 pages of documents to a number of journalists and scholars under a Freedom of Information Act request. The documenets could not be released before Rehnquist's death in 2005.
SOURCE: UPI (1-3-07)
U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden, the incoming leader of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is concerned that the delayed release is interfering with Holocaust survivors' search for closure, Deutsche Welle reported Wednesday. Approximately 50 million documents are archived in Bad Arolsen, Germany.
An 11-nation panel International Red Cross' International Tracing Service supervises the archive but each individual nation has not agreed to release the papers. Germany, the United States, Israel, Britain, France, Luxembourg, Greece, Italy, Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands are the nations represented on the panel.
SOURCE: UPI (1-2-07)
The documents, which include memoirs and letters, describe multiple meetings at the Vatican compound in Istanbul between Roncalli, who at the time was a diplomat for the Vatican, and Chaim Barlas, a Jewish man sent to Istanbul on behalf of the Jewish Agency Rescue Committee, an organization dedicated to saving Jews from the Nazis, The Washington Times reported Tuesday.
Tel Aviv University Professor Dina Porat, who examined the documents, said the two men composed letters to Pope Pius XII, who has frequently been accused of not doing enough to prevent the Holocaust, and obtained false papers to help Hungarian Jews escape Nazi-occupied areas.
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Education
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (1-5-07)
In a November 30 letter to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee -- a response to a series of questions that committee members issued after a hearing last May -- the Department of Justice said that "at this time the FBI is not seeking to reclaim any documents" from the archive, which is now held at George Washington University.
Anderson, who died in 2005, investigated, hassled, wrote about, and sparred with government agents and officials throughout his career. One of his many nemeses was J. Edgar Hoover himself.
The news from the Justice Department was in keeping with the journalist's legacy, said friends and family members. ...
Name of source: Asia News International
SOURCE: Asia News International (1-4-07)
The decision has however caused controversy and criticism. Professional historians but also the Catholic Church have said that the project is unscientific; instead, they view it as another attempt by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to impose its Hindutva-centred nationalism.
Under the plan, called Aapno Dharti, Aapno Log (our land, our people), starting January 4 school teachers are to talk to village leaders and elders to check for any errors in the histories of local villages, towns and cities.
Name of source: Seattle Times
SOURCE: Seattle Times (1-3-07)
Arabella Grayson knows what it was like for children to take in those images. And it is what led her to begin collecting paper dolls, black ones, and trying to understand their place in history. Her efforts are on display at the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum in "Two Hundred Years of Black Paper Dolls: The Collection of Arabella Grayson."
The show, on view through April 29, traces the emergence of the paper dolls. There are dolls that date to the 1800s and others of current well-known faces.
The dolls produced from the 1800s to the 1960s show black people in subservient roles. The mammies, the butlers, the pickaninnies in torn clothing, grinning with their paper-doll smiles. There is Topsey, based on the stereotypical character in "Uncle Tom's Cabin." And Aunt Jemima, and Little Black Sambo....
Name of source: icCoventry
SOURCE: icCoventry (1-3-07)
The Holy Trinity Church attracts thousands of visitors annually but needs the cash to stop the oldest church in the town from crumbling.
It dates back to the 13th century and was where Shakespeare was baptised, where he worshipped with his family and where he lies buried in the chancel.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (1-3-07)
The papers belong to Ben Tottenham, a relation by marriage of William Hope Meiklejohn, who commanded British and Indian troops at the Malakand garrison, which was besieged by thousands of tribesmen for 10 days before it was successfully relieved.
Colonel Meiklejohn's four-year-old daughter, Meg - Mr Tottenham's mother-in-law - was in the garrison throughout the siege in the scorching heat of the high summer of 1897. She would almost certainly have been killed by the tribesmen - not renowned for taking prisoners - if it had fallen.
SOURCE: BBC (1-3-07)
But who was the original Gordon Bennett, and how did he come to be immortalised in the English language?
No one knows for sure, which is why the country's leading language experts are consulting the public on the origins of this and dozens of other vexing words and phrases.
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (1-3-07)
Yet the holy book at tomorrow's ceremony has an unassailably all-American provenance. We've learned that the new congressman -- in a savvy bit of political symbolism -- will hold the personal copy once owned by Thomas Jefferson.
"He wanted to use a Koran that was special," said Mark Dimunation, chief of the rare book and special collections division at the Library of Congress, who was contacted by the Minnesota Dem early in December. Dimunation, who grew up in Ellison's 5th District, was happy to help.
Jefferson's copy is an English translation by George Sale published in the 1750s; it survived the 1851 fire that destroyed most of Jefferson's collection and has his customary initialing on the pages. This isn't the first historic book used for swearing-in ceremonies -- the Library has allowed VIPs to use rare Bibles for inaugurations and other special occasions.
SOURCE: WaPo (1-2-07)
It's not that the books are checked out. They're just gone. No one was reading them, so librarians took them off the shelves and dumped them.
Along with those classics, thousands of novels and nonfiction works have been eliminated from the Fairfax County collection after a new computer software program showed that no one had checked them out in at least 24 months.
Public libraries have always weeded out old or unpopular books to make way for newer titles. But the region's largest library system is taking turnover to a new level.
Like Borders and Barnes & Noble, Fairfax is responding aggressively to market preferences, calculating the system's return on its investment by each foot of space on the library shelves -- and figuring out which products will generate the biggest buzz. So books that people actually want are easy to find, but many books that no one is reading are gone -- even if they are classics.
"We're being very ruthless," said Sam Clay, director of the 21-branch system since 1982. "A book is not forever. If you have 40 feet of shelf space taken up by books on tulips and you find that only one is checked out, that's a cost."
SOURCE: WaPo (1-3-07)
Dozens of mourners became hundreds and then thousands. An hour's wait became two, then four, then six. Soon, the numbers and the time grew beyond counting as citizens young and old turned out Tuesday night to honor a president who had once lived among them.
Name of source: Baltimore Sun
SOURCE: Baltimore Sun (12-26-06)
The owner of the lease to operate the 72-year-old ship and her 365-room on-board hotel was forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year in a dispute over $3.4 million in back rent with the city of Long Beach. The city purchased the Queen Mary in 1967 to help it compete for visitors.
Now, a court-appointed trustee is trying to sell the 66-year lease and rights to develop 45 acres of land near the ship, which once carried Winston Churchill, Fred Astaire and Bob Hope in Art Deco elegance across the North Atlantic.
"The ship has been pilfered," said Traci Wilson-Kleekamp, a former Long Beach activist. "It's falling apart."
Name of source: Live Science
SOURCE: Live Science (1-3-06)
In a new study, three researchers say they have discovered the outdoor latrine used by the ancient residents of Qumran, on the barren banks of the Dead Sea. They say the find proves the people living here two millennia ago were Essenes, an ascetic Jewish sect that left Jerusalem to seek proximity to God in the desert.
Qumran and its environs have already yielded many treasures: the remains of a settlement with an aqueduct and ritual baths, ancient sandals and pottery, and the Dead Sea Scrolls — perhaps the greatest archaeological find of the 20th century.
The scrolls, which include fragments of the books of the Old Testament and treatises on communal living and apocalyptic war, have shed important light on Judaism and the origins of Christianity.
Thanks to an Israeli anthropologist, an American textual scholar and a French paleo-parasitologist, researchers can now add another find: human excrement.
The discovery is more significant than it may seem. The nature of the settlement at Qumran is the subject of a lively academic debate.
The traditional view, supported by a majority of scholars since the site was first excavated in the 1950s, is that the settlement was inhabited by Essene monks who observed strict rules of ritual purity and celibacy and who wrote many of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The second school says the people living at Qumran were farmers, potters or soldiers, and had nothing to do with the Essenes. The scrolls, according to this view, were written in Jerusalem and stashed in caves at Qumran by Jewish refugees fleeing the Roman conquest of the city in the first century.
The researchers behind the latrine finding, which is being published in the scholarly journal “Revue de Qumran,'' say it supports the traditional view linking the residents of Qumran with the Essenes.
A description of Essene practice by the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius in the first century notes that Essene rules required them to distance themselves from inhabited areas to defecate and “dig a trench a foot deep'' which was to then be covered with soil.
Joe Zias, a Jerusalem-based anthropologist, and James Tabor, a Dead Sea Scrolls expert from the University of North Carolina, decided to look for the Qumran latrine. If it was far from the settlement ruins and if the excrement was buried, it would offer evidence the people living at the site were Essenes.
Zias and Tabor identified an area behind a rock outcropping, took soil samples and sent them to Stephanie Harter-Lailheugue, a French scientist specializing in ancient parasites. The samples tested positive for pinworms and two other intestinal parasites found only in human feces. Samples from locations nearer the settlement tested negative.
The excrement traces were found underground — meaning the feces had been buried, as required by Essene law — a nine-minute walk uphill from the settlement.
“A lot of people were concerned with what went into the body, but the Essenes were perhaps the only group in antiquity concerned with what came out,'' Zias said. “No one else would have gone to the trouble of walking this far.''
Still, there is no way to date the fecal parasites, which could have been left by Bedouin who are known to have inhabited the area. To counter this, the paper quotes a Bedouin scholar as saying the nomadic tribespeople do not bury their feces.
Another problem is that archaeologists have already identified a toilet at Qumran — inside the settlement. But Zias believes it was for emergencies: In some cases, divine commandments notwithstanding, nine minutes outside the camp was too far to go.
Norman Golb, a history professor at the University of Chicago and a critic of the link between Qumran and the Essenes, called the new paper “an outrageous claim.''
“There's no plausible connection between what they found and the conclusion that the Essenes lived at Qumran,'' Golb said. “Anyone living at the site would have done the same.''
Golb maintains that Qumran's residents had nothing to do with the Essenes or the Dead Sea Scrolls. Those who claim a connection do so because “they're committed in their writings to it,'' Golb said.
Dead Sea Scrolls scholar Stephen Pfann, of the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem, said questions about the parasites' age have to be cleared up, but the find is potentially significant.
Qumran, he says, could have been inhabited at different times by different groups: first by Jews of the Hasmonean dynasty in the second century, then by a monastic group of Essenes who left after an earthquake and were replaced by a lay group of Essene date farmers, then again by Essene ascetics, before being finally taken over by Jewish rebels fighting the Roman legions and abandoned when Judea fell.
“Qumran isn't one thing, it's many things,'' Pfann said. “This makes it more exciting, but also more complicated to understand.''