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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: Los Angeles Times
SOURCE: Los Angeles Times (3-4-07)
Workers tried concrete drills and jackhammers, and even tried to lever him out with a crane wielding 20,000 pounds of force. About 20 people attended his departure ceremony Tuesday — but Leif remained in place.
"He's just not going anywhere," said Kristine Leander, president of the Seattle-based Leif Erikson International Foundation, three days into the effort.
"Maybe they should try to lure him down with some lutefisk."
Leif Erikson was the Viking explorer whom many credit with being the first European to land in North America, in Newfoundland, possibly as early as 985.
Leander's nonprofit foundation, which formed in 1994 and presented duplicates of the Seattle statue to Norway in 1997 and Greenland in 2000, is working with the Port of Seattle and the local Scandinavian community in a marina renovation to memorialize Scandinavian immigrants. The statue is the centerpiece of the new memorial.
SOURCE: Los Angeles Times (3-2-07)
But Abe also said the government would not revise or reopen debate on its 1993 apology to the victims, in which it acknowledged the Japanese military's role in forcibly recruiting women and holding them in "comfort stations" against their will.
A group of about 120 lawmakers from Abe's governing party want the prime minister to revise the official apology, which has become a pillar of Japanese diplomacy and a litmus test of its sincerity about atonement for war crimes.
Name of source: by Jackie Wullschlager, Financial Times-Deutschland
SOURCE: by Jackie Wullschlager, Financial Times-Deutschland (2-8-07)
In the summer of 1906, Pablo Picasso retreated from Paris to a village in the Spanish Pyrenees. Had he died there, he would be remembered as a gifted symbolist, painter of pink and blue harlequins. But, says his biographer John Richardson,"there in the isolation of a mountain wilderness the artist, who sometimes chose to identify with Christ, decided that his time had come. He was finally ready to establish that he - as opposed to Matisse - would be the Mahdi of modern art."
During the next year, working in solitude, Picasso flung his energy, knowledge and courage into 800 studies for"Les demoiselles d'Avignon". No painting has ever been so weightily considered, so lengthily elaborated, so consciously created in order to turn art on its axis. Even if Picasso had died in 1907, he would still be remembered as the founder of modern art.
Yet when he showed the painting his avant-garde friends, it was so revolutionary that they all fell silent or, like Matisse, brayed with defensive laughter. Picasso rolled up the canvas and kept it in his studio like some illicit lover. There were no possible buyers. In 1916 the painting made a brief excursion to a private salon organised by Salmon, who prudishly changed the name from"Le bordel d'Avignon" to"Les demoiselles". It was not exhibited again until 1937; two years later New York's Museum of Modern Art bought it and, almost instantly, private masterpiece became public icon. [Image and caption at MOMA here.]
Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon Turns 100 (NPR, audio)
Name of source: Xinhua/ChinaView
SOURCE: Xinhua/ChinaView (3-3-07)
For centuries the Miao ethnic group in southwestern China extracted herbal remedies to combat cold, cough and pneumonia from a type of grass called "guanyin cao".
But their failure to patent their traditional knowledge has seen them deprived of the chance to profit from their traditional knowledge, said An Shouhai, vice head of the Guizhou provincial bureau of intellectual property rights.
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (3-4-07)
"It's like saying the 'N-word' to a black person," says Bernal, a member of the Shoshone-Bannock, one of five tribes with reservations in Idaho.
"To me, it's a slap in the face. It belittles me and it belittles all Indian women."
Bernal is among Native Americans across the West fighting to excise "squaw" from the names of region's waterways, peaks and river valleys.
The 55 tribes of the Pacific Northwest say the "S-word," once commonly used when referring to an American Indian woman, is demeaning and never uttered on reservations.
They claim the term evokes the painful chapter in American history when Indian lands were confiscated and native peoples were subjugated by whites.
Yet the word litters the national map, with more than 800 place names including the word "squaw" and some resistance from local officials who object to what they say is a push to be politically correct.
SOURCE: AFP (3-4-07)
A symbol of both the excesses of Cambodia's golden age and the apocalypse that followed, the long abandoned -- some say ghostly -- hotel and casino is now only haunted by curious tourists wandering among its dank rooms and tiny hallways.
A group of foreigners, perhaps looking for something tangible to link this old shell to the horrors they imagine have been committed here, talked excitedly during a recent visit about "bullet holes in the walls"...
Indeed, a bricked up window at the rear entrance to the hotel does appear riddled with bullet holes. But whether this is grim evidence of an execution, or merely the result of repeated looting will never be known.
The truth is forever lost under a shroud of mystery that is part of Bokor's appeal to those willing to make the three-hour climb to the top of this 1,000-metre (3,000-foot) rocky outcrop overlooking the sea in Cambodia's Elephant Mountains.
Name of source: Deutsche-Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche-Welle (3-2-07)
At the meeting in Heidelberg, German Minister of Education and Research Annette Schavan said"education is one of Europe's most important resources for power and prosperity."
She also said that education is essential for shaping identity and for social cohesion in Europe. The minister called on her colleagues in EU nations and neighboring countries to stress the shared values and cultural perspectives among Europeans.
One way of highlighting common European culture would be the creation of a pan-European history book for pupils.
A Franco-German school history book was already launched last year -- a project which Schavan said had been a success and could be a model for a European version.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (3-4-07)
A study last year on political dynasties in the U.S. Congress found that politicians who held office for more than one term were 40 percent more likely to have a relative in Congress in the future than other members.
"Being in power for longer has a causal impact on the chances that someone from the family would access a position of political authority," said Ernesto Dal Bo, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley and one of the authors of the study.
Name of source: AP
In Saturday's special election, more than 76 percent of voters decided to amend the Cherokee Nation's constitution to remove the estimated 2,800 freedmen descendants from the tribal rolls, according to results posted Sunday on the tribe's Web site.
Marilyn Vann, president of the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, said the election results undoubtedly will be challenged.
"We will pursue the legal remedies that are available to us to stop people from not only losing their voting rights, but to receiving medical care and other services to which they are entitled under law," Vann said Sunday.
He was sitting in his home office in Orem, Utah. Four of the cousins were in England. One was in Australia, another in South Africa. A few more joined in from other parts of North America.
Drew is one of a new breed of genealogists who are doing things that would have been impossible in the not-so-distant era of dusty archives and whirring microfilm readers. He has found so many of his relatives that he needs a computer database to keep track of them all -- all 1.7 million of them.
Just as modern equipment has made it possible for any reasonably motivated person to climb Mount Everest or dive to the Andrea Doria, new technologies have made it possible to achieve incredible genealogical feats with relatively modest effort.
Now, it takes nothing more than casual curiosity and a few hours of research to discover that civil rights activist Al Sharpton is descended from slaves who were owned by ancestors of the late South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond, a staunch opponent of desegregation.
That feat was accomplished by the commercial genealogy Web site ancestry.com, which boasts of having the largest online family history database in the world, with more than 4 billion records. Among the company's 725,000 subscribers there are people who have discovered they descend from royalty, or Mayflower passengers, or that Butch Cassidy is their seventh cousin.
But while King Peter II [who died in Denver in 1970, age 43] personally chose St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery as his final resting place, his son, Crown Prince Alexander, is upsetting some Serbian-Americans by planning to take his father's remains back to the land of his birth.
"The plan is -- and that is a solid plan -- that he'll be brought here," the prince said in a recent phone interview from his palace in Belgrade, the Serbian capital...
Peter II was just 11 when he became king after the assassination of his father, King Alexander I. During World War II, the young king refused to ally Yugoslavia with the Nazis, prompting Hitler to invade and drive him into exile. After the war, communists seized control and confiscated his wealth.
Zviad Gamsakhurdia was elected as Georgia's first president in 1991 but was overthrown in a popular uprising in January 1992. He fled to
Chechnya, where he was friends with local leaders, then returned to Georgia where he led an unsuccessful rebellion aimed at returning to power
At the time of this death in 1993, his widow said her husband committed suicide after being surrounded by troops loyal to his archrival, Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze. Georgian officials contended that Gamsakhurdia was shot by his own supporters during a quarrel. Recently his relatives have alleged he was murdered, according to Russian media reports.
With all 32 precincts reporting, 76.6 percent had voted in favor of an amendment to the tribal constitution that would limit citizenship to descendants of "by blood" tribe members as listed on the federal Dawes Commission's rolls from more than 100 years ago.
The commission, set up by a Congress bent on breaking up Indians' collective lands and parceling them out to tribal citizens, drew up two rolls, one listing Cherokees by blood and the other listing freedmen, a roll of blacks regardless of whether they had Indian blood...
The petition drive for the ballot measure followed a March 2006 ruling by the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court that said an 1866 treaty assured freedmen descendants of tribal citizenship. Since then, more than 2,000 freedmen descendants have enrolled as citizens of the tribe.
To some, the Leflore County grand jury's decision not to return an indictment in the case following an exhaustive three-year federal investigation was a sign that not much has changed in Mississippi in the last 52 years.
But others, including the prosecutor herself, felt it showed the opposite — a maturing of racial justice in this part of the South...
"That's really our target," Steve Claggett, the state archaeologist, said Friday while discussing 10 years of research that has been conducted since the shipwreck was found just off Atlantic Beach.
The ship ran aground in 1718, and some researchers believe it was a French slave ship Blackbeard captured in 1717 and renamed Queen Anne's Revenge.
"It is a very large complex," the ministry said. "It was a site of rich financial and religious activity, which was most probably a marketplace."...
Archaeologists believe the complex belonged to the municipality of Aexonides Halai, among the largest settlements surrounding ancient Athens.
The main building was a hollow square with a rock-cut reservoir in the center. The building had 12 rooms —- probably shops —- and a small temple with an open-air altar.
Women's rights activists in the Philippines and a group of lawmakers in South Korea also denounced the remarks by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday that there was no proof that so-called "comfort women" were forced into prostitution during the war...
Historians say some 200,000 women -- mostly from Korea and China -- served in the Japanese military brothels throughout Asia in the 1930s and 1940s. Witnesses, victims and even some former Japanese soldiers say many of the women were kidnapped or otherwise forced into brothels, where they could be raped by scores of soldiers a day.
Abe on Thursday said there is no proof the women were forced into prostitution: "The fact is, there is no evidence to prove there was coercion."
Peles castle was built in the mountain resort of Sinaia in the late 19th century by Romania's first German-born king, Carol of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. It was confiscated by the former Communist regime after Michael abdicated in 1947. The nearby Pelisor and Foisor palaces also will be returned.
Michael, 85, hailed the return of his castle, a place where he spent most of his childhood.
"This is not just about returning a possession, but also an act of moral and historical reparation," he said in a statement. He added that the castle, which is well preserved and is one of Romania's top tourist attractions, would remain forever a museum, and would never be used for commercial purposes.
The former king is the last living European leader who was in power during WWII.
The headless marble statue was discovered last year during excavations in the ruins of ancient Dion, some 50 miles southwest of Thessaloniki.
Archaeologist Dimitris Pantermalis said the life-sized statue had been used by the early Christian inhabitants of the city of Dion as filling for a defensive wall.
He said the 2nd century-B.C. find appeared to have originally stood in a temple of Zeus, leader of the ancient Greek gods, whose statue was found in the building's ruins in 2003. The statue of Hera stood next to that of Zeus in the temple, said Pantermalis...
U.S. Sens. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Bob Casey, D-Pa., have introduced legislation in the Senate and Rep. Mike Doyle has introduced a companion bill in the House that would designate the Steel Heritage National Historic Site in Pittsburgh. The area would include an old blast furnace, the site of a former steel mill and historic worker uprising, and a bridge over the Monongahela River that connects the two...
Smoke-spewing mills lined the city's three rivers for generations, producing steel used in the Empire State Building and other iconic structures ...The city's economy revolved around steel until a collapse of the industry in the 1980s. Most of the mills are gone, replaced by office buildings, shopping malls and even a training center for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Efforts have been under way since the 1980s to preserve some of the city's steel past. In 1996, the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area was created by Congress to help preserve places related to the history of steel...Last year, two blast furnaces at the 122-year-old Carrie Furnace in Homestead were designated historic landmarks.
"Big John," as the aircraft carrier is called, will stay in Boston for five days before heading to Mayport, Fla., for decommissioning. It will be maintained on inactive status in Philadelphia.
About 500 people braved a chill to watch the Kennedy cruise into Boston Harbor with sailors lining its deck. Fireboats sent huge plumes of water into the air as tugs guided the ship into port...
The ship was christened in 1967 by John F. Kennedy's then-9-year-old daughter Caroline, and it entered Navy service the following year.
One of two fossil fuel powered carriers left in the Navy, the Kennedy supported Operation Desert Shield in 1990 and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2002 and 2004.
Sandor Kepiro, 93, was convicted but never punished for his role in killings committed by Hungarian forces in Novi Sad, Serbia, during the Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia in World War II, according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center...
The Budapest Municipal Court issued a statement saying the 1944 ruling by a Hungarian military court cannot be enforced because a retrial shortly afterward annulled the sentence.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (3-4-07)
On Monday, Mr. Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, said that “it is possible we can get a recession in the latter months of 2007.” His musings, to a group of executives in Hong Kong, were followed over the next 48 hours by a break in the frothy Chinese market and poor numbers on United States home sales and durable-goods orders. Together, the events contributed to a swift downdraft in the United States stock market, and led to renewed concerns about the health of the long-running economic expansion.
By Thursday, Mr. Greenspan was backtracking. Noting that while a recession in 2007 is possible, he elaborated: “I don’t think it’s probable.” But his comments — and the global reaction — raise a larger question: If a recession were imminent, would Mr. Greenspan, or any less august economist, be able to forecast it?
The answer, based on recent experience, is a resounding no. “I don’t think we, as a profession, ever had an ability to forecast recessions,” said Jeffrey A. Frankel, professor of economics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee, the official arbiter of recessions. “It’s hard enough to know when a recession has started, looking at it with hindsight.”...
SOURCE: NYT (3-1-07)
The comments by Shinzo Abe, a member of a group of lawmakers pushing to roll back a 1993 apology to the sex slaves, were his clearest statement as prime minister on military brothels known in Japan as ''comfort stations.''
Historians say some 200,000 women -- mostly from Korea and China -- served in the Japanese military brothels throughout Asia in the 1930s and 1940s. Many victims say they were kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery by Japanese troops.
But Abe, who since taking office in September has promoted patriotism in Japan's schools and a more assertive foreign policy, told reporters there was no proof the women were forced into prostitution.
''The fact is, there is no evidence to prove there was coercion,'' Abe said.
Name of source: Washington Post
SOURCE: Washington Post (3-4-07)
In an interview yesterday, Lewis reflected on how history might dignify politics -- and whether politics could cheapen history.-- David Montgomery
Q. Can this annual pilgrimage to keep the memory of Bloody Sunday alive inform the political discourse of today?
A.It is important to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge again...People must never forget that 42 years ago, all across the South, people of color could not participate in the democratic process. It was very hard, almost impossible, to become a registered voter. In Selma, 2.1 percent of African Americans were registered to vote...The journey is to remind us what happened and how it happened. And to try to get the nation to take lessons from the past and build on those lessons and go forward...
SOURCE: Washington Post (3-2-07)
The House measure, introduced yesterday, would overturn President Bush's 2001 executive order. Bush's order "gave current and former presidents and vice presidents broad authority to withhold presidential records or delay their release indefinitely," Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and a bill sponsor, said in a statement yesterday...
Bush issued the order after the White House held up the release of 68,000 pages of Ronald Reagan Presidential Library documents in 2001. Under the previous system, the president, former presidents or designees had 30 days to review documents and lodge objections. Bush added reviews by the families of former presidents to the process, and removed the 30-day deadline. He also broadened the rules to encompass vice presidential papers.
Elizabeth Redden: Open Up Mr. President!
Name of source: Times (of London)
SOURCE: Times (of London) (3-4-07)
Churchill, then nearing his eighties, had an elaborate desktop loudspeaker system installed at No 10 during his second premiership in the early 1950s.
Files released at the National Archives in Kew show that Roger Hollis, then deputy director-general of MI5, warned Downing Street about the risk of continuing to employ Alexander Poliakoff, a Russian émigré, to service the unit.
SOURCE: Times (of London) (3-2-07)
SOURCE: Times (of London) (3-2-07)
A tribunal backed by the United Nations to examine the crimes of the Khmer Rouge is due to get under way later this year after a decade of foot-dragging, political obstruction and prevarication.
Yet with thousands of killers still living freely, including some of the most important figures from the old regime, there is so far only one accused of crimes against humanity: a former maths teacher-turned-torturer called Duch.
He survived the fall of the regime to become a born-again Christian, although it has never been established exactly how repentant he is.
The man born Kak Kek lev in 1941 or 1942 was never a top party leader, but he did head the internal security organisation, Santebal. He ran a notorious interrogation and torture centre called Tuol Sleng in a converted Phnom Penh school, which sent about 14,000 men, women and children to their deaths.
Name of source: Telegraph
SOURCE: Telegraph (3-4-07)
Now the Palace of Westminster has joined a list of heritage sites that ministers are accused of failing to protect.
A United Nations body overseeing "world heritage sites" is threatening to put several British areas on its Heritage in Danger List, a register of 31 historic places whose futures are in jeopardy, according to documents released under Freedom of Information...
The International Council on Monuments and Sites UK, acting on behalf of the UN, has condemned the decision by John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, to approve the 50-storey Vauxhall Tower in south London...
The council has complained...about three other high-rise buildings in London...and it is also fighting skyscrapers in Edinburgh, Liverpool and Bath...[and has urged] officials to call in an application for high-rise development in the centre of Bath, which was granted heritage site status in 1987.
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (3-3-07)
But he may soon make his first trip to Paris, after he was visited by a relative of Prince Philip, who told him that he is the first in line to the lost French throne.
This Indian father-of-three is being feted as the long-lost descendent of the Bourbon kings who ruled France from the 16th century to the French revolution. A distant cousin of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, he is alleged to be not only related to the current Bourbon king of Spain and the Bourbon descendants still in France, but to have more claim than any of them to the French crown.
The story of a potential Asian dauphin to one of the most important royal houses of Europe appears to be a poke in the eye for colonial history, and has sparked a rush of interest among royals in Europe.
Prince Michael of Greece, the cousin of Prince Philip, this week published a historical novel called Le Rajah de Bourbon, which traces the swashbuckling story of Mr Bourbon's first royal ancestor in India...
SOURCE: Guardian (3-2-07)
The suspicion was triggered by reports from a Reuters journalist that Burgess had tried to call his friend Auden the day before he left England. Investigators thought Burgess may have been planning to flee to Auden's holiday villa on the island of Ischia off Italy, near Naples.
But MI5 files released in the National Archives show that Auden evaded the security services' attempts to make him explain the incident, and ignored a request for an interview.
MI5's investigation into Britain's biggest breach of national security pitched its straitlaced agents back into the hedonistic, homosexual and often drunken left-wing 1930s literary world...
In Britain MI5's efforts to reconstruct Burgess's social network led to Anthony Blunt, who named the poet Christopher Isherwood and three others.
Name of source: Live Science
SOURCE: Live Science (3-3-07)
No one had tested the theory until recently.
A team sailed the Arctic Ocean aboard the Swedish icebreaker Oden and found that sunstones could indeed light the way in foggy and cloudy conditions.
Crystals such as cordierite, calcite or turmaline work like polarizing filters, changing in brightness and color as they detect the angle of sunlight. From these changes, Vikings could have accurately determined where the polarized sky light was coming from and pinpointed the direction of the sun, said biophysicist Gabor Horvath.
Name of source: Press Release -- ABFFE
SOURCE: Press Release -- ABFFE (3-1-07)
The challenged books are used in 11th grade English class in Howell and many other schools around the country. On February 12, the Howell Board of Education voted 5-2 to retain the books challenged by the Livingston Organization for Values in Education (LOVE), a group of parents and other community members that charged that the books are inappropriate for minors because they contain sexual themes and profanity. When the LOVE challenge failed, one of its members, Vicki Fyke, filed a complaint with the Livingston County prosecutor, the Attorney General of Michigan and the U.S. Attorney alleging that the Morison, Wright and Vonnegut books are legally obscene and also violate the laws against child pornography and child sexual abuse. (The Bluest Eye describes the rape of a child.) LOVE also asked for a ruling on the legality of Augusten Burroughs’ Running with Scissors, another book used in the Howell schools.
Newspapers in the Detroit area confirmed today that Murphy had referred the books to the FBI. “Absolutely. We’re looking into it,” Gina Bilaya, a spokesman for Murphy’s office, told the Daily Press & Argus. “We do it with all complaints,” she said. The local prosecutor and the Michigan Attorney General are also reported to be conducting investigations.
In early February, ABFFE and NCAC joined a number of free speech advocates in sending a letter to the school board opposing the censorship of the books targeted by LOVE. A copy of the letter is online at http://www.ncac.org.
Founded in 1974, NCAC is an alliance of 50 national non-profit organizations, including literary, artistic, religious, educational, professional, labor, and civil liberties groups. ABFFE is the bookseller's voice in the fight against censorship. It was founded in 1990 by the American Booksellers Association.
Name of source: Mother Jones
SOURCE: Mother Jones (3-1-07)
It has happened with particular frequency in Charleston County [South Carolina], where the coast is lined with old plantations and as many as 2,000 parcels of heirs' property. ...
Name of source: Baltimore Sun
SOURCE: Baltimore Sun (3-2-07)
But an intriguing sliver of his family history has received almost no attention until now: It appears that forebears of his white mother owned slaves, according to genealogical research and census records.
The records - which had never been addressed publicly by the Illinois senator or his relatives - were first noted in an ancestry report compiled by William Addams Reitwiesner, who works at the Library of Congress and practices genealogy in his spare time. The report, on Reitwiesner's Web site, carries a disclaimer that it is a "first draft" - one likely to be examined more closely if Obama is nominated.
According to the research, one of Obama's great-great-great-great grandfathers, George Washington Overall, owned two slaves who were recorded in the 1850 census in Nelson County, Ky. The same records show that one of Obama's great-great-great-great-great-grandmothers, Mary Duvall, also owned two slaves.
The Sun retraced much of Reitwiesner's work, using census information available on the Web site ancestry.com and documents retrieved by the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, among other sources. The records show that Overall, then 30, owned a 15-year-old black female and a 25-year-old black male, while Mary Duvall, his mother-in-law, owned a 60-year-old black man and a 58-year-old black woman. (Slaves are listed in the 1850 census by owner, age, "sex," and "colour," not by name.)
An Obama spokesman did not dispute the information and said that the senator's ancestors "are representative of America."...
Reitwiesner's research identifies two other presidential candidates, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Democratic Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, as descendants of slave owners. Three of McCain's great-great-grandfathers in Mississippi owned slaves, including one who owned 52 in 1860. Two ancestors of Edwards owned one slave each in Georgia in 1860.
It was unclear last night whether Obama was aware of any slave-holding ancestors, but he makes no mention of them in his 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Education
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (3-2-07)
Drawing largely on oral history, Ms. Kerr traces color prejudice -- "or the belief in color prejudice" -- at Howard back to the 1887 election of a valedictorian for the institution's medical school. As she tells it, the small number of white students enrolled at Howard at the time nominated "a fair-complexioned" black man who could not be distinguished from white. Black students protested that the nominee's complexion was "too light," and nominated instead someone who "white and fair students" said was too dark. The issue was referred to the faculty, which chose a woman who identified herself as white.
Complexion became a factor for membership in campus organizations, says Ms. Kerr. According to several student accounts that she provides, certain sororities subjected their pledges to skin-color tests. In the "paper bag" test, for instance, a pledge's skin tone was compared to a brown paper bag. If her skin was darker than the bag, she was not admitted.
"Colorism" also played a role in the admissions process, says Ms. Kerr. She notes how, during the early 20th century, it was customary for students to attach pictures of themselves to their applications. "The common legend," she writes, "was that a prospective student's skin tone was 'evaluated' and was a key factor in whether or not one would be accepted."
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (3-2-07)
The university did not disclose the amount of the donation, but said the building would be named the Jeffrey Loria Center for the History of Art. It is part of the university’s Arts Area Plan, a $500-million effort involving renovation and new construction for Yale’s fine-arts schools, departments, and collections.
Mr. Loria majored in art history at Yale and has also donated prominent works of art to his alma mater.
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (3-1-07)
According to the study -- which was based on the responses of 1,112 international-relations professors -- experts across the ideological spectrum "agree far more on current policy and future threats than they disagree." That consensus is especially striking when it comes to the Iraq war: Eighty-nine percent of scholars say the war will ultimately damage security in the United States. Eighty-seven percent consider the conflict unjust, and 85 percent are pessimistic that a stable democracy will be possible in Iraq in the next 10 to 15 years.
Only 1 percent of the respondents ranked George W. Bush among the past century's most effective foreign-policy presidents. The researchers say that low figure may be because 70 percent of respondents identified themselves as liberal, whereas just 13 percent were conservative. But, they write, "this liberal bent alone does not explain the scholarly consensus," because majorities from both parties agreed on several other issues. For example, scholars "overwhelmingly" pointed to international terrorism, weapons proliferation, and the rise of China as a world power as the biggest foreign-policy challenges for America during the next 10 years.
The study was conducted by Daniel Maliniak, a research associate in international relations; Amy Oakes, an assistant professor of government; Susan Peterson, dean for educational policy in arts and sciences and a professor of government; and Michael J. Tierney, an assistant professor of government....
Name of source: Lee White in the newsletter of the National Coalition for History
SOURCE: Lee White in the newsletter of the National Coalition for History (3-2-07)
On March 1, Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) introduced legislation (H.R. 1254) to require presidential library foundations to disclose the identity of their donors to Congress and the National Archives while the President is in office and up to such time as the foundation officially turns the facility over to the National Archives. The minimum reporting period would be four years after the end of a president’s term, and requires the amount and date of each contribution in excess of $200 to be disclosed. If the contributor is an individual, the occupation of the contributor must also be disclosed. Chairman Waxman stated that he plans to markup the bill next week.
Ms. Fawcett, stated that the Administration had no official comment to make on Waxman’s proposal. She said the Archives appreciated Waxman’s requirement to end disclosure at the point when the facility is turned over to the government as opposed to a longer period of time. Ms. Fawcett questioned whether NARA was the proper agency to police the disclosure requirement since it would require additional financial resources and the agency lacks the expertise in this regard. She also expressed concerns about possible conflicts of interest since the presidential libraries are a partnership between NARA and the foundations that support them.
A link to the testimony presented at the hearing, and the legislation, is available at the Committee’s website at: http://oversight.house.gov
Name of source: The Australian
SOURCE: The Australian (3-2-07)
London's Natural History Museum has offered to try mediation in the dispute over its plans to conduct DNA and other tests on the remains of 17 Tasmanian Aborigines.
Yesterday, Aboriginal representatives responded to the offer with caution and surprise, while federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough flagged a role for the commonwealth.
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Ed
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Ed (3-2-07)
At a hearing of the Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives, witness after witness told lawmakers that public access to those records was in serious jeopardy. The hearing had been convened to assess how the executive branch has complied with the Presidential Records Act of 1978.
Thomas S. Blanton, director of George Washington University's National Security Archive, called the act "one of the glories of our democracy," and said it was facing a "crisis."
Two leading historians, Anna K. Nelson and Robert Dallek, talked about the importance of access to presidential records. "We need to think of presidential records as raw material, like iron ore," Ms. Nelson, a distinguished historian in residence at American University, said.
Name of source: Independent
SOURCE: Independent (3-2-07)
Shakespeare was probably sent from Stratford Grammar School to Prescot by his father at a dangerous time for Catholic families like his own, in which the government of the day feared Papist plots and used spies to root out suspects.
The teenager seems to have arrived in service at the nearby Knowsley Hall, where the fifth Earl, Ferdinando Stanley, maintained a talented group of professional players for the Prescot venue, which was built within 10 years of Shakespeare's arrival.
Knowsley borough council has enlisted the veteran Shakespeare director, David Thacker, to lead its Shakespeare in the North project, in which £20m of lottery money is being sought to recreate the cockpit theatre. Mr Thacker said: "This project will recognise the deep and important relationship between the Bard and the north of England."
Although some in the literary establishment have been somewhat sniffy about the idea of the playwright being a Catholic whose formative experiences were in the industrial north, Lancashire has been seeking to understand more about its Shakespeare heritage.
Richard Wilson, Professor of Renaissance Studies at Lancaster University, has led research into Shakespeare's so-called "lost years" in Lancashire, including time at Hoghton Tower near Preston. This has prompted ideas for a Renaissance library, theatre and annual conference. Liverpool architects, Austin-Smith, has developed plans for a theatre called Shakespeare North at the Cockpit.
SOURCE: Independent (3-1-07)
The abolitionist's great-great-great-grandson, also called William Wilberforce, was among a team of modern-day anti-slavery campaigners dressed in yokes and chains who embarked on the 250-mile walk, beginning in Hull and finishing in London, together with his great-great-great-granddaughter, Lady Kate Davson.
The journey was part of an effort to apologise for the trade -- which thrived for three centuries in Britain -- and to call for an end to all forms of modern-day slavery.
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (2-28-07)
The statement said the government, which Serbs refer to as Republika Srpska, believed it was "essential that a deepest apology be extended to the victims, their families and friends, regardless of their ethnicity."
"The government of the Republika Srpska expresses its deepest regret for the crimes committed against non- Serbs during the recent war in Bosnia and condemns all persons who took part in these crimes," it added.
The statement also called on the Muslim-Croat Federation, which controls the other half of Bosnia's two-state federation, to issue a similar apology.
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (3-1-07)
Hoping to lure ever-increasing numbers of Chinese tourists and investors, the local government here in Incheon, just outside Seoul, transformed a dilapidated Chinese toehold here into the country's first Chinatown four years ago.
In no time, officials in half a dozen other cities across the country announced plans to build their own Chinatowns, despite a host of obstacles ranging from a lack of capital to, well, a shortage of Chinese residents.
China's rise, as well as the growing wealth of both Chinese and overseas Chinese, has given birth to new Chinatowns in places as varied as Las Vegas, Dubai, Belgrade and Dobroiesti, Romania. But for South Koreans, Chinatown plans are fraught with historical subtexts.
Sitting on the rim of the Middle Kingdom, Koreans warily kept the Chinese out of their peninsula for centuries. If Korean officials traveled to Beijing to pay tribute to China's emperor, they at least took pride in the fact that there was no Chinatown back home.
Name of source: Der Spiegel
SOURCE: Der Spiegel (3-1-07)
The Ancient Greeks and Romans liked to keep records of top achievements in sport, nature, anatomy and sex. Not long after the birth of Christ, when the most debauched phase of Roman history began, the wife of Emperor Claudius -- Messalina, 34 years his junior -- made a name for herself by challenging the city's best known whore to a sex marathon. Who can keep going for longer, the licentious wife wanted to know. She won by holding out for "25 rounds."
Details on the wanton competition can be found in the "Book of Ancient Records," compiled by Allan and Cecilia Klynne and published in Germany by the C.H. Beck publishing house. How fat was the fattest snail? What was the price of the most expensive slave? Swedish archaeologists Cecilia and Allan Klynne provide the answers, free of "academic commentary and lengthy footnotes."
The scientists combed through hundreds of old texts in their search for superlatives. Here are some of the results: The tallest man in the ancient world measured 288 centimeters (9 foot 5 inches), while the shortest (60 centimeters -- 2 feet) was barely as tall as a bedside table...
Even the Ancient Greeks kept records of top achievements in the areas of sports, nature and anatomy, according to the book. The most resilient runner covered 238 kilometers (176 miles) in a day. A soldier from Alexander's army drank 13.5 liters (3.6 gallons) of wine during a drinking competition -- and then fell over dead...
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (2-21-07)
For that, Salem Poor was honored in 1975 with his image on a 10-cent postage stamp. Details of Poor's life after the Revolution -- his troubled marriage, his death as a pauper -- were unknown, however, until Lambert pieced them together over the past decade.
Lambert, 37, online genealogist at the New England Historic Genealogical Society on Newbury Street, claims no blood relation to Poor, who shares his grandmother's maiden name. He is, however, descended from the Massachusetts family that owned Poor in Andover. Ever since an uncle gave him a first-day cover of Poor's stamp, he's been interested in his story.
"He was one of the first American heroes," says Lambert. "I'm glad to have found the final chapter."
Poor purchased his freedom in 1769 for 27 pounds -- almost $5,600 in today's dollars. He is believed to have killed British Lieutenant Colonel James Abercrombie in Charlestown and fought, too, at Saratoga and Valley Forge. Fourteen officers present at Bunker Hill sought recognition for Poor, saying, "Wee Would Only begg leave to say in the Person of this said Negro Centers a brave and gallant soldier."
In 1780, Poor married his second wife , the widow Mary Twing, described, like Poor, as a "free negro." The couple moved to Providence, where, according to city records Lambert found, they were ordered to leave, presumably because they could not support themselves. In 1785, Poor placed an ad in the Boston Gazette to disavow his wife's debts and "forewarn all Persons from trusting MARY, the Wife of the Subscriber."...
Name of source: by Brian Lowery, Variety
SOURCE: by Brian Lowery, Variety (3-1-07)
Readers of"The Da Vinci Code" will doubtless enjoy the implications contained in this special...Meticulously building the case, writer-producer-director Simcha Jacobovici enlists archaeologists, statisticians, and experts in ancient languages and DNA testing to help decipher the scrawl on the tombs...
Despite the explosive subject matter, however, the special itself is a bit of a slog...All told, the net effect is much like one of those old"In Search Of" movies, which claimed to find Noah's Ark or ancient Aztecs or alien landings...
Of course, for biblical scholars, conspiracy buffs and the Catholic Church, whether Jesus had a large extended family and was buried with them in the heart of Jerusalem is very big news. As presented here, the evidence appears pretty compelling, though perhaps it's just a layman's eyes, but some of the moments that excite the scientists seem less than overwhelming...
"CSI: Jesus?" Seriously, how the hell did CBS overlook that one?
Name of source: Space.com
SOURCE: Space.com (3-1-07)
Researchers excavated the solar observatory between 2000 and 2003. They found buildings-in exact mirror position of each other-to the east and west of the towers with observation points for watching the Sun rise and set over the toothed horizon...
As viewed from the two observing points of Chankillo, the spread of towers along the horizon corresponds very closely to the range of movement of the rising and setting positions of the Sun over the year, the authors write in the March 2 issue of the journal Science.
Once the Sun started to move away from any of its extreme positions, like the solstices or equinoxes, the towers and gaps between them provided a means to track the progress of the Sun up and down the horizon, to within a couple of days accuracy.
'Chankillo is arguably the oldest solar calendar that can be identified as such with confidence within the Americas,' said lead study author Ivan Ghezzi from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru.
Tree-ring samples dated these structures back to the fourth century B.C.