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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: Haaretz (Tel Aviv)
SOURCE: Haaretz (Tel Aviv) (2-7-07)
It is hard to know whether the the Jewish Quarter Development Company's inspiration for the rooftop walk came from Agnon, but it will link, at least to some extent, the Jewish and the Muslim quarters.
The Old City is divided into quarters more or less according to the identity of its residents - Jews, Muslims, Christians and Armenians. In the Camp David summit of 2000, Ehud Barak expressed willingness to divide the Old City between Jews and Arabs, leaving Israel the Jewish and Armenian quarters and giving the Palestinians the Muslim and Christian sections. Now, with the approval of the government, the Jewish Quarter Development Company is planning a rooftop promenade that will extend from south to north, linking the Jewish and Muslim quarters.
A million and a half tourists visit the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall annually, but only about one third visit the other quarters. The company hopes the development of the promenade will change all that, with tourists first visiting the rooftops, and eventually the quarters as well.
Name of source: Los Angeles Daily News
SOURCE: Los Angeles Daily News (2-6-07)
"With this theater's level of technology, we can go from silent film to the most extraordinary and contemporary surround sound, and we can go from the nitrate era all the way up to digital in a contemporary setting," [UCLA Dean Robert] Rosen enthuses...
With its store of more than 220,000 movies and television programs - only the Library of Congress has a larger collection - UCLA plans to program its heart out at the Wilder.
Name of source: Chicago Tribune
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune (1-31-07)
"I thought there would be buildings," he says.
The first permanent English settlement in the New World is celebrating, in a responsibly big way, its 400th birthday this year.
To put that in era-perspective: In 1607, Shakespeare's latest hit play, "Antony and Cleopatra" (follow-up to his smash "Macbeth"), was playing to standing-room crowds at the Globe.
There will be commemorative huzzahs and meaningful new stuff to see and enjoy on permanent exhibit, and we'll talk about all that.
But no, after 400 years, there are no original buildings left on the original historic settlement site, Historic Jamestowne. No original fort. No original saloon. No original slaughterhouses for your photographic pleasure. Nothing.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (2-8-07)
Archaeologists unearthed the skeletons dating back to the late Neolithic period outside Mantua, 25 miles south of Verona, the city of Shakespeare's story of doomed love.
Buried between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago, the prehistoric pair are believed to have been a man and a woman and are thought to have died young, because their teeth were found intact, said Elena Menotti, the archaeologist who led the dig.
"As far as we know, it's unique," Menotti told The Associated Press by telephone from Milan. "Double burials from the Neolithic are unheard of, and these are even hugging."
SOURCE: AP (2-7-07)
Faculty Senate President Rhonda Blair said it was defeated because the measure was too narrow, asking professors if they approved or disapproved of the partisan institute, which would report to the Bush Foundation, not SMU. The issue may be discussed again next week, Blair said.
A petition signed by 175 of SMU's 600 professors had called for the vote. Some professors have said the think tank would hurt SMU's reputation because it would further the ideas of the Bush administration.
SOURCE: AP (2-4-07)
Standing on the banks of Valley Creek near its confluence with the Schuylkill River, it is possible to see several stone fences and a pipe that were part of the grist mill that used to stand next to George Washingtons headquarters.
Deirdre Gibson, chief of planning and resource management at the park, said workers used laser technology to record the buried ruins while documenting the former village.
"Once we saw it was going to go, there wasnt much we could do about it. Now we are watching the ruins drop into the creek," Gibson said.
Groups linked to the Ku Klux Klan, skinheads and neo-Nazis grew significantly more active, holding more rallies, distributing leaflets and increasing their presence on the Internet — much of it focused on stirring anti-immigrant sentiment, a new report released by the Anti-Defamation League says.
"Extremist groups are good at seizing on whatever the hot button is of the day and twisting the message to get new members," Deborah Lauter, ADL Civil Rights director, said Monday. "This one seems to be taking hold with more of mainstream America than we'd like to see."
SOURCE: AP (2-4-07)
It would be a place where scholars and tourists could learn about lynchings, segregation and voting-rights struggles.
A bill that cleared the Mississippi House 117-3 last week would authorize the state to issue $50 million in bonds to develop a museum.
The discussion among elected officials now is not about whether a museum should be built -- but rather about where the potential tourist magnet could go.
Civil rights museums are attracting thousands of visitors each year in Memphis, Tennessee, and Birmingham, Alabama, and officials in Mississippi see the potential for revenue.
Editorial: Museum belongs in Jackson
The resolution, which details the history of Missouri slavery, says that "an apology for centuries of brutal dehumanization and injustices cannot ease the past, but confession of the wrongs can speed racial healing and reconciliation."
Rep. Talibdin El-Amin said Missouri should be one of the first states to apologize for slavery because the Dred Scott case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that black people in the United States cannot sue, originated in Missouri.
"That case set a legal precedent, and I’m looking for Missouri to set another precedent and be one of the first states to apologize for slavery," El-Amin, D-St. Louis, said yesterday.
President Bush's 2008 budget, unveiled Monday, would give the National Park Service its largest-ever funding increase in preparation for the park system's 100th birthday in 2016.
In all, Bush allots $2.4 billion for the National Park Service for 2008, $230 million more than he requested last year. His plan would add $100 million each year leading up to the centennial, and pledges another $100 million to be matched by private donations...
Combined, the public and private investments could equal a $3 billion investment over 10 years, Park Service officials said...
Other key features of the proposed budget include:
--$20.0 million for cultural and natural resource programs at 20 parks to meet specific improvement goals, such as upgrading historic structures, eradicating exotic species and restoring disturbed lands.
--$22.5 million for federal land acquisition, including completing land acquisition for the Flight 93 National Memorial and funds for Civil War battlefield grants.
Bruce Harrison, founder of the Waikoloa-based Family Forest Project, said he found links between the Democratic senator from Illinois and Presidents George Washington, James Madison, Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter.
Millisecond Publishing Co., the company that was first to establish the cousin relationship between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry in the 2004 race, traced Obama's maternal ancestors in establishing his relationship to the former presidents.
Harrison said Obama's exact relationships are calculations based on a wealth of fully sourced knowledge within the "Family Forest," his company's proprietary family history research tool.
The company searched the ancestors of Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, dating back many centuries.
He said the Family Forest shows Dunham having a number of her ancestral pathways leading back to early colonial Virginia and New England, and some extend back for many centuries into Europe.
One of her ancestral pathways leads to one of Obama's 12th great-grandfathers, the Hon. Laurence Washington, who built Sulgrave Manor in Northamptonshire, England.
Over the course of five centuries, according to recorded history, he became the ancestor of Washington, Carter, Gen. George S. Patton, Gov. Adlai Stevenson and Quincy Jones, Harrison said.
"Of course, the Honorable Laurence Washington is also the ancestor of at least a million other living people, including some very famous ones, but most are everyday folks," he said....
Crews that began removing trees on privately owned property over the weekend risk damaging pottery and other artifacts at Indian Creek, one of the most valuable archaeological sites in the Caribbean, archaeologist Reginald Murphy said.
Japan's Supreme Court upheld a Hiroshima High Court ruling last February ordering the local government to pay the three more than $24,000 each as compensation for unpaid medical expenses, court spokeswoman Rie Ueda said.
But his first public display later this year is at the heart of a growing storm — one pitting scientists against Kenya's powerful and popular evangelical Christian movement. The debate over evolution vs. creationism — once largely confined to the United States — has arrived in a country known as the cradle of mankind.
"I did not evolve from Turkana Boy or anything like it," says Bishop Boniface Adoyo, head of Kenya's 35 evangelical denominations, which he claims have 10 million followers. "These sorts of silly views are killing our faith."...
Against him is one of the planet's best-known fossil hunters, Richard Leakey, whose team unearthed the bones at Nariokotome in West Turkana, in the desolate, far northern reaches of Kenya in 1984.
"Whether the bishop likes it or not, Turkana Boy is a distant relation of his," Leakey, who founded the museum's prehistory department, told The Associated Press. "The bishop is descended from the apes and these fossils tell how he evolved."
A senior Nazi-hunter in Israel criticized the decision, saying time and old age could not erase guilt for Nazi crimes.
Soeren Kam, an 84-year-old German citizen born in Denmark, was detained at his home in Bavaria in September 2006 on a European arrest warrant. He was released from custody in October pending a ruling on his extradition.
The dig -- a few waterlogged sandbags and black buckets of earth behind aluminum walls -- is meant to prepare the way for a new pedestrian walkway up to one of the world's most explosive holy sites, the compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.
Though archaeologists insist there is no danger to the walled compound, it inflamed Muslim fears that Israel was planning to damage Islamic holy sites and briefly caused rival Palestinian factions to put aside their differences and condemn Israel together.
Workers for the Brevard County Historical Commission stumbled across the briefcase as they prepared to move the barn to make way for a planned subdivision.
The documents discovered in November were turned over to the state attorney general's office to determine their significance. None was found, so they were given to Moore's 76-year-old daughter, Evangeline Moore.
Moore and his wife, Harriette Moore, died in 1951 in a bombing at their home in Mims on Christmas Day. Harry Moore was the first NAACP official killed during the modern civil rights struggle, but it took years for investigators to determine that four now-dead Ku Klux Klan members were responsible.
The newspaper, founded in 1645 by Sweden's Queen Kristina, became a Web-only publication on Jan. 1. It's a fate, many ink-stained writers and readers fear, that may await many of the world's most venerable journals...
Queen Kristina used the publication to keep her subjects informed of the affairs of state, Holm said, and the first editions, which were more like pamphlets, were carried by courier and posted on note boards in cities and towns throughout the kingdom.
Today, Post-och Inrikes Tidningar, which means mail and domestic tidings, runs legal announcements by corporations, courts and certain government agencies -- about 1,500 a day according to Olov Vikstrom, the current editor.
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (2-7-07)
The Archive's general counsel, Meredith Fuchs, commented that, "Significant time, money, and other resources were spent by the CIA on fee disputes last year. One of those disputes involved the CIA's refusal to abide by a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals judicial decision about the Archive's fee status. Given that the Agency recouped only $4,732.80 in fees in FY 2006, those disputes served mainly to delay and obstruct FOIA requests."
The Archive recommended that the Agency change its proposed rule to: (1) eliminate the unnecessary and improper definitions of FOIA requester categories; (2) eliminate the requirement that all requesters make open-ended, written fee commitments because many FOIA requests can be processed without the requester incurring any fees and the CIA proposal would discourage requesters and add to the Agency's administrative processing time; (3) eliminate the illegal provision mandating prepayment of fees before the CIA will honor form or format requests; (4) revise the proposed duplication fees provisions so that requesters pay only those "direct costs" actually incurred in the processing of the individual request, whether for paper or electronic duplication; and (5) revise the public interest fee waiver provisions to follow the letter and intent of the FOIA to promote dissemination of information in the public interest.
The Archive has had to sue the CIA twice over FOIA fee issues, despite the D.C. Circuit's definitive 1989 ruling in the Archive's favor. The most recent case, filed in 2006, covered 42 FOIA requests that the CIA deemed not to be "newsworthy"; only after the Archive filed its legal complaint and a motion for summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia did the CIA reverse course on the 42 requests, but even then fell short of committing to abide by the judicial precedents.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (2-7-07)
For a month now, Dr. Eskander’s intermittent diary entries have been appearing on the Web site of the British Library (bl.uk/iraqdiary.html), and they detail the daily hurdles of keeping Iraq’s central library open, preserving the surviving archives and books and, oh yes, staying alive.
“We thought it would be a good opportunity to highlight the conditions Dr. Eskander and his staff are really facing and that they are risking their lives to provide this service,” said Catriona Finlayson, a spokeswoman for the British Library.
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (2-6-07)
The museum on the banks of the Seine River is shrouded in scaffolding and netting as experts paint it, rebuild corroded metal marquees and restore pollution-stained stonework.
The touchups on the facade are part of a broader renovation that will cost upward of €12.4 million (US$16 million). Instead of just cleaning up the stones, researchers have gone on a search for the building's roots.
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (2-6-07)
But even with the ground broken, 10 years after the project was first announced, few are betting on it. "In Florence, the disputes are never over," said Antonio Natali, the museum's director...
It is hard to blame him. Nearly 30 years have passed since the lower of the Uffizi's two grand floors was emptied of a mass of state archives. Thus the old Medici office complex, begun in 1560 by Vasari, was opened to a needed, if theoretical, expansion...
The need for an expansion has never been questioned: Paintings by Leonardo, Botticelli and Michelangelo, a few of the masters who make up the museum's extraordinary collection, are jammed so closely that they practically overlap. Tourists without reservations can wait outside for hours when Florence is crowded. Last year 1.5 million people visited the Uffizi, up 20 percent over the previous year.
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (2-5-07)
Along the city's northern rim, surveyors examined the sites for the main Olympic stadiums and discovered archaeological remains tracing back 2,000 years to the Han dynasty. In all, archaeologists excavated 700 ancient burial sites and recovered 1,538 artifacts, such as porcelain urns and jade jewelry, while collecting more than 6,000 ancient coins.
The subterranean Olympics cache would be considered remarkable in many countries, but in a China convulsing with demolition and construction, it amounted to just another work site. Building the new China usually entails digging up the old China. Construction zones across China are uncovering so many antiquities that it might be considered a golden era for archaeology, except that sites and antiquities are often simply demolished by bulldozers or looted.
"There are two enemies of antiquity protection," said Xu Pingfang, president of the China Archaeological Society. "Construction is one. Thieves are the others. They know what they want, and they destroy the rest."
Name of source: Washington Post
SOURCE: Washington Post (2-7-07)
The refugees were bound for Palestine, then a British territory, and, a few miles from shore, the British Royal Navy boarded the ship and eventually deported the passengers to France. When they arrived back in Marseilles, the refugees refused to disembark. They went on a hunger strike and ended up in displaced-persons camps in Germany. It wasn't until 1948, and the creation of Israel, that some passengers made the journey they had started.
Yesterday the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum announced that it was returning to the Exodus story. The ship had no passenger manifest, so the museum, along with the Central Zionist Archives in Jerusalem and other agencies, is trying to compile a complete list of passengers from survivors and their families.
"The project is about honoring the survivors," said Michael Haley Goldman, acting director of the museum's Registry of Holocaust Survivors.
SOURCE: Washington Post (2-6-07)
So perhaps it is not surprising that more than 500 years later, Phnom Bakheng has become the ideal perch from which to watch another assault on Angkor -- by marauding armies of tourists.
SOURCE: Washington Post (2-6-07)
"Blese be ye man yt spares thes stones/And curst be he yt moves my bones."...
At 2:45, a busload of Argentine students crowded around the brass railing and red velvet kneelers at the foot of the grave. Other visitors followed, eager to glimpse the final resting place of the man often called the world's greatest writer. Most paid the white-haired lady collecting the suggested (but not mandatory) $3 admission fee, $1 for students.
Money is a big issue for the 800-year-old church these days because the roof leaks, the metal in the windows is corroding and a small invasion force of deathwatch beetles is boring into the ancient timbers. It is a familiar story in England, where hundreds of centuries-old churches, left largely devoid of worshipers by a modern trend toward secularism, need hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of repairs...
Name of source: McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
SOURCE: McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (2-7-07)
Supporters of the proposed National Museum of the American Latinos still face a long road ahead, but moved a crucial step forward when the House agreed to spend $3.1 million on a commission to study the idea.
"Walk through the National Mall in Washington, D.C., visit our outstanding national museums and you can learn a lot about who Americans are and where we have been," said Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif. "Yet the official narrative still fails to recognize the significant contributions made by Latinos to the culture and history of the United States."
The proposed museum would be in Washington. Beyond that, key questions involving cost, governance, fundraising, collections and precise location remain unresolved. The museum might be folded into the Smithsonian Institution, for instance.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (2-7-07)
Poland, the biggest post-communist European Union member, is the only country from eastern Europe, besides Belarus, that has not enacted a program for the restitution of property seized after World War II. Attempts to solve the issue since the collapse of communism in 1989 have failed, mostly on the grounds that it would be too costly for the state budget.
Representatives of Jewish groups will gather here on February 27, hoping to convince the authorities to speed up legislation allowing the restitution of lost property.
Poland had Europe's biggest Jewish community until World War II, when the Nazis killed nearly 90 percent of the country's 3.3 million Jews. The post-war communist rulers seized their property as well as that of people who left or fled the country.
Name of source: Christian Broadcasting Network
SOURCE: Christian Broadcasting Network (2-6-07)
The dig is required by Israeli law before any major construction project can take place. The government plans on building a permanent replacement for a bridge near the site that collapsed a few years ago in a heavy snow storm.
The bridge is used by Christians and Jews to enter the Temple Mount via the Mugrabi Gate. Israeli police also use it when they’re called in to quell riots on the Temple Mount, which usually occur on Fridays when Moslems gather there to pray.
Tuesday, following threats of terrorist attacks inside Israel, police fanned out throughout Arab-populated East Jerusalem, where they ducked rocks thrown by rioting youth at several locations.
Name of source: CSMonitor
SOURCE: CSMonitor (1-4-07)
CAIRO –- Zahi Hawass is one part celebrity, one part investigator. Egypt's lead sleuth in the country's hunt to reclaim ancient antiquities has gained a reputation for often strong-arming curators and bullying museum directors. But while he's attracted critics in his hunt for Egypt's mummies and pharaonic masks, his hard-nosed techniques are indeed paying off.
Mr. Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, has recovered some 3,500 objects, including the Ramses I mummy from Atlanta's Michael C. Carlos Museum and an ancient sarcophagus from the chairperson of Chicago's electric utility, Exelon.
At home, his quest has broken up smuggling rings and will possibly increase punishments for illegal trading. Abroad, he's demanding that Boston's Museum of Fine Arts return the bust of Ankhaf, the Khafre pyramid builder, and the St. Louis Art Museum hand over a pharaonic mask...
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (2-6-07)
In the 1990s, DNA was taken from male relatives of Jefferson to see if he fathered a son with one of his slaves.
They found the president had a rare genetic signature found mainly in the Middle East and Africa, calling into question his claim of Welsh ancestry.
But this DNA type has now been found in two Britons with the Jefferson surname.
SOURCE: BBC News (2-5-07)
France had recently surrendered and the Luftwaffe was engaged in a concerted bombing campaign against British cities.
The United Kingdom was being cut off from the Continent, and without allies to help her, she would soon be near the limit of her productive capacity - particularly in the all important field of electronics.
On the morning of 29 August, a small team of the country's top scientists and engineers, under the direction of Sir Henry Tizard and in conditions of absolute secrecy, was about to board a converted ocean liner.
With them they carried possibly the most precious cargo of the war - a black japanned metal deed box containing all of Britain's most valuable technological secrets.
They were on their way to America - to give them away...
Name of source: HNN news story based on Press Release issued by Assemblyman DeVore
SOURCE: HNN news story based on Press Release issued by Assemblyman DeVore (1-24-07)
Assembly Bill 137 would also authorize the firing of any public employee who belongs to an "extremist terrorist network" or donates money to one.
The bill would amend an existing statute passed in the 1950s that prohibited membership in the communist party.
DeVore began thinking about the necessity of such a bill when he came across the now antiquated legislation aimed at communists. He said in a press release that "We should act to update our laws before someone uses a position of trust in state government to facilitate a dirty bomb attack on a California port, or uses a position of authority at a state university to recruit students into service of a violent and hateful cause."
Excerpts from the legislation:
Existing law prohibits a teacher from giving instruction and prohibits a school district from sponsoring any activity that reflects adversely upon a person because of his or her race, sex, color, creed, handicap, national origin, or ancestry.
This bill would additionally prohibit a teacher from giving instruction in a school or on property belonging to an agency included in the public school system from teaching untruths about extremist terror networks, as defined. The bill would delete obsolete provisions regarding communism.
(4) Under existing law, a public employee may be dismissed if he or she advocates or is knowingly a member of an organization which during the time of his or her membership the employee knows advocates overthrow of the Government of the United States or of any state by force or violence. Under existing law, a public employee is required to answer, under oath, specified questions, including, but not limited to, knowing membership in an organization advocating the forceful or violent overthrow of the Government of the United States or of any state.
This bill would additionally provide that a public employee may be dismissed if he or she advocates or is knowingly a member of an extremist terror network, as defined, or a financial supporter of an extremist terror network. The bill would require a public employee to answer, under oath, specified questions, including, but not limited to, knowing membership in, or financial support of, an extremist terror network. The bill would delete obsolete provisions regarding knowing membership in the Communist Party.
Name of source: AHA Blog
SOURCE: AHA Blog (2-5-07)
The project, “Digitizing American Imprints at the Library of Congress,” will include not only the scanning of volumes, but also the development of suitable scanning and display technologies.
Name of source: NPR
SOURCE: NPR (2-4-07)
The Sumerians built a town on the flat Mesopotamian plains here they called "Ur Bilum." Civilizations came and went. Each wave of new inhabitants — including Assyrians, Persians, Greeks and Ottomans - built on top of the other. Today, a crumbling brick citadel looms over modern-day Irbil on a giant man-made hill.
"It's the oldest continuously inhabited place in the world," says Sami Al Koja, who serves as an adviser to the citadel's board of renovation.
Many scholars contest this claim. Al Koja says that the mountain upon which the citadel sits has never been excavated or studied by archaeologists, due to decades of conflict and isolation.
Name of source: Archaeological News
SOURCE: Archaeological News (2-6-07)
your macramé snoods, readers: You are in for a wild
verbal ride through your deep, deep past.
The authors of a new book have fashioned a 16-chapter
prehistory theme park worthy of Disney, but in their
confection, lame, even egregious, past assumptions
about our past are hunted down and slain, and stars ˆ
in the form of womankind ˆ are born.
"The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women
in History" (Smithsonian Books/Collins) is a roller
coaster ride through Homo sapiens' unsteady past. No
stone tool is left unturned to bring us up on what is
ˆ and what is not ˆ probable about our long and
The authors are archaeologists J.M. Adovasio, the
founder and director of the Mercyhurst Archaeological
Institute; Olga Soffer, a professor of anthropology at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and
Jake Page, a freelance writer. Adovasio is an expert
on perishable prehistoric artifacts; Soffer is an
expert on the Paleolithic Period and peoples of the
Of greatest import in this book is the idea that women
have always been major players ˆ not simply
baby-machines who tended to the children, rustled up
roots, collected nuts and berries and relied on macho
male hunters to bring home the bacon.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (2-5-07)
Human remains thought to date back some 900 years were found in the area of the men's toilets at the Four Provinces pub in the Spon End area of the city.
SOURCE: BBC (2-6-07)
Bush representatives appear to be closing in on a post-presidency deal to build the reported half-a-billion dollar library, museum and policy institute at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas.
Libraries can play a leading role in shaping a president's legacy. But sometimes it is a legacy that people do not want to be associated with.
The SMU faculty has been forced to meet on a number of occasions in the past month to address strong protests by a number of academics and Methodist leaders to Mr Bush's plans.
Two professors kick-started the debate last November by arguing that the library would associate the university with a president who took the country to war unnecessarily, violated international law and was guilty of "misleading the American public."...
James Hollifield, a political science professor at the university, said SMU would benefit from the institute because of the discussion, debate and research prompted by the eight years of documents from the Bush administration.
"We have to set politics aside and build this library and institute and give scholars and historians a chance to do their work," Mr Hollifield said.
But Sidney Blumenthal, former Clinton aide and political journalist told the BBC News website that that"depends on whether you are talking about historians now or in 100 years' time."
"Secrecy is a fetish with the Bush administration," says Mr Blumenthal, author of How Bush Rules: Chronicles of a Radical Regime.
"Mr Bush has already shown that he wants to fight disclosure of his records. His administration has classified a tremendous amount of material as top secret - material that other administrations would not have classified in such a way."
Scott Jaschik: Broadening the Bush Library Debate
Name of source: http://www.delawareonline.com
SOURCE: http://www.delawareonline.com (2-5-07)
Woodson, a Harvard-educated son of former slaves, believed encouraging schools to spend just a single week on black history would be a first step toward instilling a sense of pride in black students, toward breaking down the edifices of racism.
He chose the second week in February to acknowledge the birthdays of Frederick Douglass, the former slave and abolitionist leader, and President Abraham Lincoln.
"Woodson went on the philosophy that he was committed to studying black people so that black people wouldn't become 'a negligible factor in the thought of the world,' " says Pero Dagbovie, a Michigan State University history professor who has a book on Woodson and the early black history movement coming out later this year.
"He wanted to make sure that blacks' contributions to American democracy and history were recognized within the broader scope of U.S. history," Dagbovie says.
And what he wanted was not just a Black History Week, designated in 1972, or a Black History Month, which it became in 1976, but the integration of black history into the history of the American people and the world.
Name of source: Dallas Morning News
SOURCE: Dallas Morning News (2-5-07)
"If the Bush folks are going to play games with the records, no self-respecting academic institution should cooperate," said Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists.
The policy triggered outrage and a still-pending lawsuit when President Bush issued it about seven weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Now, as SMU officials try to complete a deal for a Bush library, museum and policy institute, the Society of American Archivists plans a public relations offensive meant to pressure Congress and the university to force a change.
"Whether they like it or not, they have become a player in that discussion," said Mark Greene, president-elect of the archivists and director of the University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center. "There's been no indication from the Bush administration that they have in any way rethought the executive order, and it is our hope that these negotiations provide a possible pivot point."
SMU Vice President Brad Cheves said the university is well aware of the debate but is mindful that rules regarding release of presidential papers have evolved in the last 30 years. He said SMU is taking the long view as it tries to land a facility that will stand "for generations to come as a storehouse of history."
Name of source: Independent
SOURCE: Independent (2-6-07)
Himmler visited the famous Montserrat Abbey near Barcelona where he thought he would find the Grail which Jesus Christ was said to have used to consecrate the Last Supper.
According to The Desecrated Abbey, by Montserrat Rico Góngora, the Reichsführer-SS thought if he could lay claim to the Holy Grail it would help Germany win the war and give him supernatural powers...
Góngora has interviewed a former monk who was ordered by his superiors to greet Himmler during the visit in 1940.
Now a pensioner living in an old people's home near Barcelona, Andreu Ripol Noble was at the time the only German-speaker in the abbey and was asked to help Himmler with his odd quest.
Name of source: UPI
SOURCE: UPI (2-6-07)
The nine handwritten letters from Fonteyn to Robert Furse were bought by the Royal Opera House and were never made public, the Scotsman said Tuesday. They are on display at the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms in London.
The letters offer insight into the Sadlers Wells Ballet -- the future Royal Ballet -- during World War II, when it performed to boost morale, the Royal Opera House said.
SOURCE: UPI (2-5-07)
The Russian Web site that had the relics up for sale described them as the "remains of an Orthodox saint, in good condition, with an inscription on the cranium confirming the saint's name," the BBC reported.
The church called the advertisement immoral, but did not state whether it thinks the bone and skull are real.
The item's seller, Boris Georgiev,...said that the 16th-Century relic was found along with the remaining pieces from the St. Petersburg Atheism Museum that was closed after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Name of source: Times (of London)
SOURCE: Times (of London) (2-6-07)
The initial bill presented to Andrew and Gail Wallbank for restoration of St John the Baptist Church in Aston Cantlow, Warwickshire, was about £95,000...
The Wallbanks own Glebe Farm, in Aston Cantlow. The site includes a field called Clanacre, which is classified as rectorial property, making them “lay rectors” of the parish.
The couple, who also have a sheep farm in Carno, Powys, became liable for restoration costs under the Chancel Repairs Act 1932, which is based on centuries-old law.
Name of source: Xinhua (China)
SOURCE: Xinhua (China) (2-6-07)
The denouncement, made by AL Assistant Secretary General for Palestinian and the occupied Arab Lands Affairs Mohammad Sobeih, came after Israel began its digging operations under al-Magharba Gate, which is considered part of the Western Wall of al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest Islamic mosque.
Sobeih said such act represented a violation of all international legitimacy resolutions and Israel's agreements signed with the Palestinian side to preserve the heritage and religious sanctities whether Islamic or Christian.
Sobeih, who is currently in Qatar, asserted that the AL general secretariat has been following up with deep worry the Israeli acts and their recurrent aggression and damage to Islamic and Christian sanctities in Jerusalem.
He called on international organizations concerned, especially UNESCO, the UN Secretary General and the UN Security Council to immediately shoulder their responsibilities and halt the heinous Israeli aggression on one of the holiest Islamic sanctities.
Israeli excavation work started Tuesday near al-Magharba Gate, which is one of the relics of the Arab and Islamic history and its destruction would threaten the foundations of the holy mosque. The operation has stirred wide-spread anger from Arab world.
Name of source: Secrecy News, written by Steven Aftergood, is published by the Federation of American Scientists
the Vice President (OVP), the Information Security Oversight
Office (ISOO) has formally petitioned the Attorney General to
direct the OVP to comply with a requirement that executive
branch organizations disclose statistics on their classification
and declassification activity to ISOO.
For the last three years, Vice President Cheney's office has
refused to divulge its classification statistics to ISOO,
despite a seemingly explicit requirement that it do so. Prior
to 2002, such information had routinely been transmitted and
reported in ISOO's annual reports to the President.
The disclosure requirement appears in ISOO Directive 1 (at
section 2001.80): "Each agency that creates or handles
classified information shall report annually to the Director of
ISOO statistics related to its security classification program."
Such ISOO directives "shall be binding upon the agencies,"
President Bush wrote in Executive Order 13292 (section 5.1).
Significantly, an "agency" here means not only a
statutorily-defined executive branch agency (which would not
include the OVP), but also refers to "any other entity within
the executive branch that comes into the possession of
classified information" (which would include the OVP).
Last May, the Federation of American Scientists urged ISOO to
press for the Vice President's compliance. (SN, 05/31/06).
"Since the Office of the Vice President has publicly staked out a
position that openly defies the plain language of the executive
order, ISOO now has a responsibility to clarify the matter," we
wrote at that time. "Otherwise, every agency will feel free to
re-interpret the order in idiosyncratic and self-serving ways."
This week ISOO indicated that it was actively pursuing the
"With respect to the question you raised, I was unsuccessful in
achieving a common understanding with OVP," wrote ISOO director
J. William Leonard in a February 5 email message.
"Accordingly, in early January, pursuant to section 6.2(b),
Executive Order 12958, as amended, I wrote the Attorney General
requesting that he render an interpretation on the issue," he
(Section 6.2(b) of the executive order states that "The Attorney
General, upon request by the head of an agency or the Director
of the Information Security Oversight Office, shall render an
interpretation of this order with respect to any question
arising in the course of its administration.")
"I have not received a reply to this request as of yet," Mr.
He declined to provide a copy of his January letter to the
Attorney General, explaining that it is pre-decisional.
The Justice Department has been asked at least once before to
resolve a dispute over implementation of the executive order on
In 1999, the Central Intelligence Agency refused to accept the
jurisdiction of the Interagency Security Classification Appeals
Panel over Agency classification activity. But the Justice
Department Office of Legal Counsel issued a ruling in October
1999 that the CIA classification decisions were indeed subject
to ISCAP review. That state of affairs was modified by
President Bush in 2003, when he effectively gave the Director of
Central Intelligence a veto over ISCAP decisions.
Name of source: Newsweek
SOURCE: Newsweek (2-12-07)
Until recently, Lincoln furniture and a copy of the Gettysburg Address were displayed against the pale walls, curtains and carpet of a 1950s city hotel—not the vivid golds and purples, heavy fabrics and large patterns of Lincoln's era.
One reason for this mild historical fib was to focus attention on the chamber's historic objects. Another: midcentury Americans disdained Victorian décor, which they equated with the horrific house in Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho."
But now, under First Lady Laura Bush and White House curator Bill Allman, the bedroom has been impressively restored to the time of the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, which Lincoln signed there in 1863.
Name of source: San Francisco Chronicle
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (1-27-07)
The recent discovery of Willis' 152-year-old manumission record in the Solano County Archive has, along with other records from that era, stimulated a new examination of California's past that's been left out of the Gold Rush history books.
The existence of slavery in early California and the debate over whether it would enter the union as a free or slave state had momentous import. That past is featured in...[a new exhibit] at San Francisco's Museum of the African Diaspora, known as MoAD.
"As you know, slavery just tore apart so many families," said Vallejo resident Sharon McGriff-Payne, who found Willis' document in August while doing research for a book about the history of African Americans in Solano County.
Name of source: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (2-5-07)
The passages, inscribed on the subterranean walls of the pyramid of King Unas at Saqqara, reveal that the Egyptians enlisted the magical assistance of Semitic Canaanites from the ancient city of Byblos, located in what is now Lebanon. The Canaanite spells were invoked to help protect mummified kings against poisonous snakes, one of ancient Egypt's most dreaded nemeses...
The passages were first uncovered in the 19th century, but they have remained a mystery to scholars for generations...But in 2002 a colleague asked Richard Steiner, a professor of Semitic languages and literature at New York's Yeshiva University, if the texts might be Semitic.
"I immediately recognized the Semitic words for 'mother snake,'" Steiner said at a recent lecture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he presenting the findings.
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (2-5-07)
Until two years ago, the existence of this complex, variously codenamed Burlington, Stockwell, Turnstile or 3-Site, was classified. It was a huge yet very secret complex, where the government and 6,000 apparatchiks would have taken refuge for 90 days during all-out thermonuclear war. Solid yet cavernous, surrounded by 100ft-deep reinforced concrete walls within a subterranean 240-acre limestone quarry just outside Corsham, it drives one to imagine the ghosts of people who, thank God, never took refuge here...