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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: Daily Star (Cairo)
SOURCE: Daily Star (Cairo) (4-22-07)
Hosni revealed that the wall was accidentally found by Egyptian excavators during an archeological inspection of the site undertaken as part of a development project aimed at removing encroachments accumulated over the years on the temple’s different sides.
Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), explained that the newly-discovered wall is only 400 km long and 7m in height [sic].
More excavations will reveal more relevant structures, said Hawass.
The wall was originally built of huge sandstone blocks brought from Al-Selsela area in Aswan to stop the water from reaching the temple during the annual Nile floods.
Name of source: Aiken (S.C.) Standard
SOURCE: Aiken (S.C.) Standard (4-24-07)
The official name is now Pine Lawn Cemetery located on Florence Street and serves as the resting ground of slaves, prominent leaders, educators, doctors and ministers...
The cemetery was founded in 1852 with originally four acres of land that the City of Aiken purchased and later gave to five colored churches in the area, Friendship Baptist Church, Second Baptist Church, Wesley United Methodist, Cumberland A.M.E. Church and Emanuel Presbyterian Church
[Cemetery board member Colleen] Reed said there are a lot of veterans buried there from the Spanish American War, World War I and II, Korean War, Vietnam War and possibly the Civil War...
With 9.5 acres, the cemetery is still being used today. The group in currently in the process of documenting the cemetery to find all persons that are buried there.
Name of source: CBC News
SOURCE: CBC News (4-24-07)
A portion of a ship's timber hull washed up on a beach near Cavendish last week. Jean Ronahan, who lives in nearby French River, suspects it may have broken loose following erosion near a breakwater in Cavendish...
"Right along our whole coastline here there was a lot of shipwrecks; there was the Marco Polo and there was another from the Yankee Gale. It's just part of our marine history" [Ronahan said].
Officials from the Green Park Shipbuilding Museum have inspected the artifact. David Keenlyside, executive director of the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation, has also looked at the wreck, and is excited by the find.
Keenlyside, an expert in Atlantic archeology, agrees the wreck could have gone down in the Yankee Gale, which was in 1851, but says further investigations are necessary.
The wreck has wooden-peg construction and other evidence of being put together with hand tools.
Name of source: AP
They include the loved and the loathed, the tragic and the triumphant.
Boris Yeltsin, who was buried there Wednesday, was all of these.
He was laid to rest far from Lenin's Tomb in Red Square. Yeltsin's burial at the Kremlin wall, where top Communist officials were interred, would have been unthinkable for the man who helped bring down the Soviet Union.
Former military President Jorge Videla and Navy chief Eduardo Massera were leading members of the 1976-1983 military junta that waged a "dirty war" against political opponents, seizing and killing about 9,000 people, according to official records. Human rights groups put the death toll closer to 30,000.
Sentenced to life terms in 1985 following Argentina's return to democracy, Videla and Massera were granted amnesties five years later by President Carlos Menem, who freed them from a military prison in what he called a gesture of national reconciliation.
Wednesday's decision, read to The Associated Press by a clerk for the Federal Criminal Court, declared the amnesties to be unconstitutional. It is likely to be appealed.
Two scientists concluded in a long-awaited report that the house was built around 1679, and not 1636 as the historical society has claimed.
Beverly Historical Society director Stephen Hall said the organization will probably drop the claim...[but] said he was not disappointed by the revelation. "I’m never disappointed in the truth."
The historical society commissioned the dating study in February 2006 after officials with the Fairbanks House in Dedham questioned the Balch House’s status as the oldest wood-frame house in the nation. The Fairbanks House makes the same claim and backs it up with scientific evidence that dates the house to 1637/8.
Two scientists from the Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory in England determined the age of the Balch House through tree-ring dating on the home’s timbers.
The mural was painted in 1940 and depicts the lynching of an American Indian at the hands of white frontiersman.
For decades, it's been on display at the former Ada County Courthouse.
Its presence is now an issue for some because the courthouse will be the temporary home for state government and lawmakers during the state Capitol renovation.
Earlier this year, tribal leaders said the murals should be preserved but moved to a less prominent location or accompanied by interpretative signs.
But Republican Senator Mike Jorgenson, of Hayden Lake, says the Indian Affairs Committee voted against taking any action.
Overhauling the Japanese constitution, which was penned by U.S. occupation forces after World War II in 1947, has been a key push of the nationalistic Abe, who wants to expand the role of the country's military and bolster patriotism at home.
At a tree planting ceremony near parliament to celebrate the document's anniversary, Abe reiterated the need for change.
"Under the current circumstances, I strongly hope that debate on a Constitution that describes how the country should be and establishes a new nation is actively carried out with the people," Abe said.
The Quanjude Qianamen off Tiananmen Square in Beijing has kept its wood-fired ovens operating continuously since it opened in 1864, Xinhua News Agency reported.
The renovations are part of a larger redevelopment of Qianmen Street.
The restaurant has had many famous guests including George Bush senior, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, former German chancellor Helmut Kohl and retired football star Pele.
The memorial marks the massacre of nearly 160 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians by at least 700 volunteers of a Colorado regiment in an early morning raid on Nov. 29, 1864. Many of those killed in the unprovoked attack were elderly, women and children.
[The 12,500-acre site is] in Kiowa County, on the plains 180 miles southeast of Denver...
Col. John Chivington, a lay Methodist minister, led the attack on the village on the banks of Big Sand Creek, a spot the Indians were told to go by the U.S. Cavalry.
Colorado Territorial Gov. John Evans, who authorized the attack, was fired by President Lincoln, and Congress condemned the attack. Chivington and others involved were never punished.
DePhillips, a Trinity College chemistry professor, is among a cadre of specialists using cutting-edge science to solve the color mysteries of paintings and other cultural treasures often several centuries old.
Art collectors and museums...increasingly are turning to DePhillips and other experts to analyze artwork that has deteriorated over time.
With tiny samples invisible to the naked eye, they use special microscopes and other equipment to sleuth out the compounds that comprise the color pigments and materials.
The result: a glimpse into the long-ago artist's materials and methods, and a road map to preserve or restore the piece as close to its original state as possible.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (4-25-07)
Clutching red tulips and carnations, local families mingled with members of Armenia's diaspora who flew in from Europe and the United States to remember loved ones who perished between 1915 and 1923.
"We are Armenians and we have to send an important message to Turkey to acknowledge our genocide," said Carla Garapedian, a film director who travelled from the United States.
The killings during the chaotic disintegration of the Ottoman Empire should be declared a genocide, Armenia insists.
Turkey rejects this view, arguing instead that Armenians were victims of a partisan war that also claimed many Muslim Turkish lives.
"I was at the bad place at the bad moment," he told the court on the second day of his trial.
Ntuyahaga is charged with murdering the Belgians and Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana, who they were trying to protect, on the day after the Rwandan president's plane was shot down on in 1994.
Prosecutors say he took them from Uwilingiyimana's residence in a minibus to the Rwandan army camp in Kigali where they were beaten to death, shot or slain with machetes.
The ex-major has said he was passing the residence by chance and gave the Belgians a ride at their request.
The ruling against Reynaldo Bignone marks the first time a member of Argentina's military junta will be tried publicly since military rulers were put on trial in 1985 on charges of human rights abuses.
Bignone and six other high-ranking officers will face prosecution in a case investigating allegations that some children of slain dissidents were handed over to members of the military, federal judge Guillermo Montenegro ruled.
The charges include "taking, retaining and hiding minors and changing their identities," according to the ruling. No formal court date was set.
Mon Apr 23, 1:09 PM ET
ROME (Reuters) - Italy can return to Libya an ancient statue of Venus taken to Rome during Italian colonial rule in 1912, after a court ruled on Monday it was not part of Italy's cultural heritage.
The headless "Venus of Cyrene" was carried away from the town of Cyrene -- an ancient Greek colony -- by Italian troops and put on display in Rome.
Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's promise to return it on a visit to Libyan leader
Muammar Gaddafi in 2002 was blocked by legal action lodged by a group called "Our Italy," whose aim is to keep Italy's cultural treasures in Italian ownership...
Some Italians oppose the return of such works of art, with National Alliance deputy Fabio Rampelli lamenting "the systematic looting of Italy's 'naturalized' artistic heritage."
He hoped the Venus would not "suffer the same fate" as the ancient Axum obelisk which troops of dictator Benito Mussolini took from what was then Abyssinia in 1937. It was returned to Ethiopia to be "abandoned on a rooftop," according to Rampelli.
The book, to be published by Alfred A. Knopf, is called "A Woman in Charge: the Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton" and will have a first printing of 350,000 copies in the United States, a Knopf spokesman said.
He added that the size of the first printing was very high indicating that Knopf expected the book to be a best-seller at a time when Clinton, a Democratic U.S. senator from New York and wife of former President Bill Clinton, is one of the front-runners in the battle to win the Democratic presidential nomination.
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (4-24-07)
This lost landscape, where hunter-gatherer communities once lived, was swallowed by rising water levels at the end of the last ice age.
University of Birmingham researchers are heralding "stunning" findings as they map the "best-preserved prehistoric landscape in Europe"...
The Birmingham researchers have been using oil exploration technology to build a map of the once-inhabited area that now lies below the North Sea -- stretching from the east coast of Britain up to the Shetland Islands and across to Scandinavia...
"In 10,000 BC, hunter-gatherers were living on the land in the middle of the North Sea. By 6,000 BC, Britain was an island. The area we have mapped was wiped out in the space of 4,000 years," explains Professor [Vince] Gaffney...
So far, the team has examined a 23,000-sq-km area of the sea bed -- mapping out coastlines, rivers, hills, sandbanks and salt marshes as they would have appeared about 12,000 years ago.
And once the physical features have been established, Professor Gaffney says it will be possible to narrow the search for sites that could yield more evidence of how these prehistoric people lived.
[Story includes two maps.]
SOURCE: BBC News (4-23-07)
The Guanghe Theatre, in Beijing's historic Qianmen district, will be replaced with a more modern venue.
The theatre, constructed in the final years of the Ming Dynasty, continued to stage opera until the 1970s...
"It appears that yet another of the country's cultural heirlooms is doomed," the state-run news agency [Xinjua] said...
The city was once home to some 40 opera houses.
SOURCE: BBC News (4-23-07)
This lost landscape, where hunter gatherer communities once lived, was swallowed by rising water levels at the end of the last ice age.
University of Birmingham researchers are heralding "stunning" findings as they map the "best-preserved prehistoric landscape in Europe".
This large plain had disappeared below the water more than 8,000 years ago.
Scientists at the University of Birmingham have been using oil exploration technology to build a map of the once-inhabited area that now lies below the North Sea - stretching from the east coast of Britain up to the Shetland Islands and across to Scandinavia.
"It's like finding another country," says Professor Vince Gaffney, chair in Landscape Archaeology and Geomatics....
"In 10,000 BC hunter gatherers were living on the land in the middle of the North Sea. By 6,000 BC, Britain was an island. The area we have mapped was wiped out in the space of 4,000 years," says Professor Gaffney.
Name of source: IndyStar/Indianapolis Star
SOURCE: IndyStar/Indianapolis Star (4-19-07)
The emblem? A Confederate battle flag.
Buckner, a 73-year-old Greensboro, N.C., native who moved to Indiana 30 years ago, said he's had the flag stolen from his house eight times since February 2006 and that Carmel police aren't doing enough to catch the culprits. He lives north of 106th Street, between Keystone Avenue and Gray Road.
Name of source: New York Times
SOURCE: New York Times (4-25-07)
President George W. Bush took his predecessor, Junichiro Koizumi, to Graceland in Memphis, where Mr. Koizumi put on Elvis Presley’s shades and played air guitar while mugging for the camera.
By contrast, Mr. Abe is expected to make a low-key visit ...
In his seven months in office, Mr. Abe has reassured Washington by smoothing relations with China. Relations between the two countries had grown dangerously tense under Mr. Koizumi.
But relations between the United States and Japan have grown slightly strained because of differences over two issues intimately tied to Mr. Abe’s nationalist ideology: North Korea and his revisionist views on history.
American officials took the rare step recently of publicly rebuking Mr. Abe for denying that the Japanese military had coerced women into sex slavery in World War II. While the United States still wants Japan to become more assertive in Asia, even American conservative voices have recently urged caution about being too closely tied to Japan’s nationalist leaders.
SOURCE: New York Times (4-24-07)
The phrase was coined by Gen. John P. Abizaid before he retired as head of the Central Command. It was intended to signal to the American public that the country was involved in a lengthy struggle that went well beyond the war in Iraq and was political as well as military...
After taking over last month as the head of Central Command, Adm. William J. Fallon quietly retired the phrase...
It is far from clear whether the White House and Pentagon will eventually follow Admiral Fallon’s lead...
An earlier push to change the way the Bush administration describes its strategy against terrorism was notably unsuccessful. In 2005, the Pentagon argued that the phrase “war on terror” should be replaced by “global struggle against violent extremism.”
SOURCE: New York Times (4-24-07)
The name of the neighborhood came along only in the 20th century, after several lesser labels — St. Marks, Brower Park, Grant Square — for the inner Brooklyn sweep of farmland, mansions, brownstones and carriage houses had faded. The new name invoked a promise of grandeur that the neighborhood’s architects strived to deliver with bell towers and movie palaces, terra-cotta and bronze.
Crown Heights. The images that clung to that name changed horribly in August 1991, when a Hasidic motorist fatally struck a black boy on the sidewalk. The accident led to days of violence and chaos in which a Hasidic student was killed. The neighborhood with the grand name joined a grim fraternity of American areas, like Watts and, eight months later, South Central Los Angeles, that would be known for a riot.
But in a meeting this morning, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission is expected to designate a long swath of 472 buildings as landmarks. The designation, in effect, freezes the look of the area. Any significant changes to the facades of those buildings must meet commission approval.
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Education
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (4-24-07)
Name of source: Christian Science Monitor
SOURCE: Christian Science Monitor (4-25-07)
But many Russians were appalled.
"When I heard [then US President Bill] Clinton describing Yeltsin's actions as 'a triumph for democracy,' I was horrified," says Viktor Kremeniuk, deputy director of the official Institute of USA-Canada Studies in Moscow. "The president shelled parliament, killed lawmakers, and destroyed the only elected branch of government capable of challenging him. That had nothing to do with democracy."
Such contradictory perceptions have been made abundantly clear following the death Monday of Yeltsin –- a man who brought down the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, shaped an independent Russia, and handpicked former KGB agent Vladimir Putin, who has led the country into what many regard as a new era of autocracy. The reflections on Yeltsin's legacy that have poured in from around the world point to a collision of Western and Russian narratives over the place of all three leaders in history. And the most controversial figure is Boris Yeltsin.
Name of source: Times (of London)
Brian Coleman, chairman of the London Assembly, claimed that the former Prime Minister curbed his behaviour after he was warned that it would harm his career.
Asked to substantiate his claims, Mr Coleman told The Times: “I have this on very good authority. There were many stories about Ted Heath. I did not know him well myself, but have been told this by people who did.
“It was certainly not a secret that he was an old queen. I have been told that he was warned about his behaviour and then stopped.”
In a column for the online edition of the New Statesman, Mr Coleman wrote that Sir Edward was one of a number of gay men who have thrived in government.
He wrote: “The late Ted Heath managed to obtain the highest Office of State after he was supposedly advised to cease his cottaging activities in the 1950s when he became a Privy Counsellor”...
The claim prompted an outcry from Sir Edward’s friends.
Sir Edward, Prime Minister between 1970 and 1974, never commented on his sexuality.
Experts have hailed the high-quality paintings, found beneath Lime Street in what was the most prestigious area of Roman London, as a sensational find and the most significant for two decades.
About a thousand fragments thought to date from around 120 AD have been recovered. Experts hope that the entire decorative scheme, believed to have been part of a building demolished after a fire, may eventually be reconstructed.
The ban on eight books that examined sensitive events in recent Chinese history resulted in a wave of anger on the internet, prompting the authorities to allow the books to remain on sale until stocks ran out.
New print runs, however, have been prohibited and the publishing houses punished. Zhang Yihe, one of the most prominent authors, who applied to a Beijing court last week to overturn the ban on her book about stars of Peking Opera, told The Times she could not be sure that there was any link to Mr Long [Xinmin]’s effective dismissal.
The problem is that the piece, known as the Royal March, has no official words. One set of lyrics was used during the reign of King Alfonso XIII, which ended in 1931. Schoolchildren then sang another during the four-decade dictatorship of General Franco.
When he died in 1975, his lyrics went with him, and no one has since been able to agree on new ones.
A generation of Spanish football fans have been condemned either to standing mutely or imitating the anthem’s brass bombast, using nonsensical sounds such as “chunda chunda ta-chunda chunda”. Schoolchildren have often filled the void with their own lyrics — not always to the liking of their elders...
The [conservative] Ermua Forum has decided to do something about the situation. [Its secretary] said that a panel of experts had written new verses for the anthem and planned to release them after next month’s local elections.
[T]he former Prime Minister, José MarÍa Aznar, had asked a group of poets to write some lyrics for the anthem during his Government. But the effort apparently foundered after no one agreed on a text.
“The worst thing you can do is ask a group of poets to agree on a verse,” Jon Juaristi, a writer and historian, who was part of the group, said.
[Times story includes two previous sets of lyrics.]
Name of source: Daily Star (Beirut)
SOURCE: Daily Star (Beirut) (4-24-07)
[The project] focuses on restoring 200- to 300-year-old buildings around downtown Baalbek and...includes a third, smaller, contract committed to the restoration of mud brick houses. There are currently five such houses receiving restoration under the contract with hopes of the traditional habitats becoming touristy treasures...
Three large mosaics have been discovered nearly intact, and then recovered until archaeologists figure out how to move them without damaging or exposing the ancient artworks to excess sunlight.
Roman sarcophaguses, bones and pottery pieces have been found, as well as Roman pathways, irrigation systems and old foundations from houses over the last three centuries...
[The World Bank] is also operating development projects in Jbeil, Sidon, Tyre and Tripoli.
Name of source: University of Leicester in Science Daily
SOURCE: University of Leicester in Science Daily (4-24-07)
Until recently archaeologists working on Pompeian artefacts have tended to concentrate on examples of art, some of it erotic, from the town that was suddenly destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in August 79 AD. But Dr Allison's recently published book, The Insula of the Menander in Pompeii, Vol 3: The Finds, a Contextual Study, has changed this emphasis.
"I am looking at pots and pans and how houses actually functioned," she said. "I am interested in revealing the utilitarian side of life rather than its glamorous side; in slaves and servants and how they lived side by side with their masters. We always assume that servants were kept out of sight, but this is a 19th century view.
"If we look at the distribution of domestic material in Pompeii houses, such as the cupboards where pots and pans were kept, we find they were in the main front hall, the atrium where visitors would be received. The same is true of the main household water supply. Slaves would be coming to get these things all the time and would be far from invisible."
Dr. Allison has been working on Pompeii for over 20 years. Her previous study was to look at 30 houses in the light of the everyday objects that had been largely ignored in favour of more exotic finds. She became fascinated by what the actual objects might have been used for and who might have used them.
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (4-24-07)
Mr Clinton and several other "prominent political figures" will pay their respects to Yeltsin, Russia's first democratically elected president, who died yesterday of heart failure at the age of 76, the Kremlin said.
Members of the public will also be able to pay their respects to Yeltsin later today at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The church, near the Kremlin, was blown up by the communists and rebuilt under Yeltsin's presidency...
After a funeral service in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Yeltsin will be buried in Moscow's Novodevichy Cemetery, the Kremlin said. The cemetery, close to the Moscow river, and next door to a baroque 16th and 17th century convent, has been the traditional burial place for Russia's elite during both Soviet and non-communist times.
SOURCE: Guardian (4-24-07)
A former member of the Red Army Faction, also known as the Baader-Meinhof gang, which terrorised Germany throughout the 1970s and 80s with murders, kidnappings and bank robberies, said Lagerfeld was viewed as a perfect target because of his personal wealth.
Convicted terrorist Peter-Jürgen Boock, who is out of prison having served 17 years, said the designer was the most prominent of "an array of people with a large fortune on whom we collected information with a view to kidnapping them"...[and securing] a ransom, which it wanted to use to rent flats and obtain cars and weapons to free gang members Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin and Jan-Carl Raspe, who were standing trial, from jail.
Name of source: Islamic Republic News Agency (Tehran)
SOURCE: Islamic Republic News Agency (Tehran) (4-23-07)
The statement was made in an exclusive interview with the Spanish television broadcast, in response to the question about holocaust.
"I just raised two questions on the issue. Does EU consider questions as a crime. Today, anywhere in the world, one can raise questions about God, prophets, existence and any other issue.
"Why historical events should not be clarified?" asked the chief executive.
Turning to his first question, he said, "If a historical event has taken place, why do you not allow research to be conducted on it. What is the mystery behind it, given that even fresh research is conducted on definite rules of mathematics and physics.?"
Ahmadinejad referred to his first question, "If such an event has actually taken place, where did it happen? Why should the Palestinian people become homeless (because of this)?
"Why should Palestinian children, women and mothers be killed on streets every day for 60 years?"
The president said that these innocent people losing their lives had no role in World War II.
"All of them had been killed in Europe and Palestinian people were not involved in it," he added.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (4-24-07)
Lynch testified that after her vehicle was attacked in Iraq in March 2003, she suffered a mangled spinal column, broken arm, crushed foot, shattered femur and even a sexual assault.
But it only added insult to injury, literally, when she returned to her parents' home in West Virginia, which "was under siege by media all repeating the story of the little girl 'Rambo' from the hills of West Virginia who went down fighting," Lynch said.
"It was not true," she said before gently chiding the military. "The truth is always more heroic than the hype."
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform invited the two to testify on how the Pentagon spread false stories about Tillman and Lynch. The committee chairman, Henry Waxman, D-California, went as far as to say that the military "invented" tales.
"The bare minimum we owe our soldiers and their families is the truth," Waxman said. "That didn't happen for two of the most famous soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars."
An equally blunt Kevin Tillman, Pat Tillman's brother, told the panel that the military tried to spin his brother's 2004 death to deflect attention from emerging failings in the Afghanistan war...
Lynch became a celebrity after U.S. troops filmed what they said was a daring raid on the hospital. Lynch, the Army claimed, was shot and stabbed during a fierce gunbattle with Iraqi troops that left 11 of her comrades dead.
"The American people are capable of determining their own ideals for heroes, and they don't need to be told elaborate lies," she said. "I had the good fortune to come home and to tell the truth. Many soldiers, like Pat Tillman, did not have that opportunity.
"The truth of war is not always easy. The truth is always more heroic than the hype," she said.
Jessica Lynch prepared statement
Name of source: Sabah (Turkey)
SOURCE: Sabah (Turkey) (4-24-07)
The full page add which said 'Let's reveal together what really happened back in 1915' was published on New York Times, Herald Tribune and Los Angeles Times and Washington Times as well.
The challenging proposal was first made by the Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan in 2005 to Armenian government.
In 2005, Erdoğan had suggested Turkish and Armenian historians to investigate the 1915 events together for a healthy resolution.
Name of source: IHT
SOURCE: IHT (4-24-07)
Two Asian governments even offered their own money to discourage more women from taking Japan's.
The central problem was that the Japanese government had set up the fund as a private one and made clear that the "atonement" payments came from ordinary citizens. Critics inside and outside Japan saw the fund as another tortured attempt by Tokyo to avoid taking full responsibility for one of the ugliest aspects of the war.
"It was not directly from the Japanese government - that is why I did not accept it," said Ellen van der Ploeg, 84, a Dutchwoman who was taken from a prisoner of war camp in Indonesia and forced to work in a Japanese military brothel for three months in 1944. "If you have made mistakes in life, you must have the courage to say, 'I'm sorry, please forgive me.' But the Japanese government to this day has never taken full responsibility."
"If this were a pure government fund, I could have accepted it," Van der Ploeg said by telephone from Houten, the Netherlands. "Why should I accept money from private Japanese people? They were also victims during the war."
Name of source: China Daily (Beijing)
SOURCE: China Daily (Beijing) (4-24-07)
In China's territorial sea, there are thousands of sunken ships carrying ancient treasures, mostly priceless porcelain.
Shan Jixiang, director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, told China Daily that the illegal foreign salvage ships were often equipped with the most advanced technology, in contrast with rudimentary ships and equipment used by Chinese archaeologists and conservationists, who are trying to protect China's underwater heritage...
Besides underwater heritage artefacts, cultural items from ethnic minority groups, such as costumes and musical instruments, are also a favorite among international dealers and smugglers, Shan said...
China's underwater heritage has been pursued by art collectors and dealers since the beginning of 2005, when about 15,000 pieces, mainly blue-and-white porcelain about 300 years old, were found in a 13.5 meter sunken ship off the coast of East China's Fujian Province.
Previously, rock carvings were largely targeted in the illicit heritage goods trade, but activities have been curtailed since the Chinese government took more effective protective measures.
Name of source: Press Association
SOURCE: Press Association (4-24-07)
Among the objects is a Bronze Age razor -- the first to be found in the county -- which suggests men living in the area between about 1000 and 800BC were clean-shaven. Also found were gold lock rings, believed to have been hair decorations, as well as bracelets, rings, pins and axe heads.
John Minns...uncovered the historic find while on holiday near Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, two years ago. Mr Minns, from Arbroath in Scotland, had only just taken up metal detecting when he went on holiday in April 2005. He was given permission by a local farmer to take the detector on to his land.
"At first I made a couple of small finds, a copper coin and a spindle whorl, just odds and ends," Mr Minns said. "The only reason I found the hoard was that I got a nice signal from the detector, but when I dug away the soil, all I found was a yoghurt pot with a foil lid."
But, keen to follow good metal-detecting practice, Mr Minns re-checked the hole, and to his surprise found half an axe head, followed by another axe. When he spotted the gold rings, Mr Minns sensed immediately that he had stumbled across a major find...
"Hoards from the late Bronze Age containing such a variety of objects in such good condition are very rare in the north of England, so this is an extremely important find," said Lindsay Allason-Jones, director of Archaeological Museums at Newcastle University.
The "Collette Hoard" will be on display at Newcastle University's Museum of Antiquities from now until the end of June. It is intended that it will go on permanent display from 2009 at the forthcoming Great North Museum.
Name of source: Telegraph
SOURCE: Telegraph (4-24-07)
The appeal came after mounting criticism by members of the public about the "outrageous" entrance fees being charged by a number of cathedrals.
Daily Telegraph readers quoted Jesus's expulsion of the money lenders in support of their objections to the fees, which are now mandatory at four cathedrals, including St Paul's in London and Westminster Abbey.
In a letter to the newspaper yesterday, one reader contrasted the fees at St Paul's, where a family ticket costs £22.50, with the free entry to the Tate Modern nearby. "The cathedral is supposed to be a place of worship, a national masterpiece of architecture, yet my children were denied entry because of a money-making scheme," she said.
"When Jesus expelled the merchants from the Temple, he said, 'My Father's house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves'."
Other cathedrals, such as Salisbury, suggest a sum to be donated, but visitors often say that they feel intimidated by staff near the entrance.
Name of source: http://www.haaretz.com
SOURCE: http://www.haaretz.com (4-23-07)
In May 1967, one of the U.S. commands was charged with the task of removing the plan from the safe, refreshing it and preparing for an order to go into action.
This unknown aspect of the war was revealed in what was originally a top-secret study conducted by the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington. The full story is detailed in Haaretz' Independence Day Supplement.
In February 1968, an institute expert, L. Weinstein, wrote an article called "Critical Incident No. 14," about the U.S. involvement in the Middle East crisis of May-June 1967.Only 30 copies of his study were printed for distribution. Years later the material was declassified and can now be read by everyone, although details that are liable to give away sources' identities and operational ideas have remained censored.
Name of source: San Francisco Chronicle
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (4-23-07)
Hidden in a metal cabinet against a back wall were 4,000 meticulously preserved children's paintings and collages.
But instead of children's typical renderings of rainbows, cheerful family scenes, animals or make-believe worlds, there were menacing portraits of Hitler, burning airplanes nose-diving into the ocean, a sad-looking girl with long black braids next to a Star of David, empty houses and dozens of intricately detailed battleships -- some with guns blazing, others sinking.
The paintings, done by children in the Kaiser shipyard child care centers, tell the story of World War II with the simplicity and poignancy of a child's perspective...
These were the children who spent 12 hours a day in day care while their parents were fighting the war. Their moms were models for Rosie the Riveter, toiling long hours in the shipyards, while many of their dads were battling German fascism and Japanese imperialism overseas...
In all, 27,000 of the 90,000 Kaiser shipyard workers were women, so organized child care was imperative.
"This is a remarkably vivid part of the home-front story," said Lucy Lawliss, resource director at Rosie the Riveter National Historic Park in Richmond. "These children were seeing the home front and were able to record it from their perspective."
Name of source: Americans United for Separation of Church and State press release
SOURCE: Americans United for Separation of Church and State press release (4-23-07)
Wicca is a nature-based religion grounded in pre-Christian beliefs. Circle Sanctuary says the Wiccan religion honors the Divine as both Mother and Father, encompasses love and respect of Nature, celebrates the cycles of Sun and Moon, and encourages adherents to live in harmony with other humans and the greater Circle of Life.
The settlement agreement, filed today with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, brings to a successful conclusion a lawsuit Americans United [for Separation of Church and State] brought against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in November.
The litigation charged that denying a pentacle to deceased Wiccan service personnel, while granting religious symbols to those of other traditions, violated the U.S. Constitution...
AU noted that the VA's list of 38 approved symbols for government gravestones, markers and plaques includes emblems for Christians, Muslims, Atheists, Hindus, Humanists, and members of the Eckankar, Serbian Orthodox, and United Moravian faiths.
Name of source: University of Pennsylvania press release
SOURCE: University of Pennsylvania press release (4-23-07)
Jaap Jacobs, a senior fellow at Penn's McNeil Center for Early American Studies, detailed his findings in a paper, "Truffle Hunting with an Iron Hog: The First Dutch Voyage up the Delaware River," presented to the McNeil Center Seminar Series on April 20...
Historians acknowledge that while earlier European explorers may have sighted the mouth of the Delaware Bay, Henry Hudson became the first European to actually enter it in August 1609. European exploration of the Delaware River had long been presumed to have occurred sometime during 1614-1616. The document Jacobs found now pinpoints the year as 1616.
"The document I found provides the missing link in the early cartography of the Delaware River," Jacobs said. "This document is evidence that the Dutch voyaged to America in 1616 and explored a large section of the coastline, claiming it for the Dutch Republic in the process."...
Sometime between 1993 and 1994 while doing research for his dissertation, Jacobs copied a summary of a document he found at the Gemeentearchief Amsterdam, the Amsterdam notarial archives. He said that the summary didn't indicate that the document was important, so he didn't look at the original until July 2000. At that point it became clear to him that the document referred to the Delaware River rather than the Hudson River, as he had originally thought. Years later, in 2007, while preparing his paper on early Dutch exploration of the Delaware and Hudson rivers, he revisited the historiography and realized that the document pertained to the first voyage up the Delaware by Europeans.
The document he had found was a deposition of the sworn testimony of sailor Jan Jacobsz Bens. At the request of an Amsterdam merchant, Bens had testified about a trip he took on one of the earliest recorded ships built in North America, the Iron Hog. He stated that the trip occurred in 1616.
Name of source: Azzaman (Baghdad, Basra, London)
SOURCE: Azzaman (Baghdad, Basra, London) (4-18-07)
Attacks on Yazidis have surged recently and almost all Yazidi families living outside the autonomous Kurdish region have fled the country...
Most of the killings were perpetrated on religious grounds as fundamentalist and Islamist groups see them as infidels who either have to convert or be killed.
The Yazidi religion is a conglomeration of different faiths and includes traces of Christianity, Islam and Zorastrianism. They worship the fallen Angel abhorred by Muslims, Christians and Jews.
They have their main sanctuaries in Iraq close to the northern city of Mosul but currently are situated within the semi-independent territory Iraqi Kurds have carved up for themselves.
There are nearly half a million Yazidis in Iraq and most of them live in two major localities –- in Shaikhan north of Mosul and Sinjar to the west.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (4-22-07)
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said the previous record for the amount paid for memorabilia from the liner was 57,000 [pounds].
SOURCE: BBC (4-20-07)
Until about 3,500 years ago, a spectacular ancient civilisation was flourishing in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The ancient Minoans were building palaces, paved streets and sewers, while most Europeans were still living in primitive huts.
But around 1500BC the people who spawned the myths of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth abruptly disappeared. Now the mystery of their cataclysmic end may finally have been solved.
A group of scientists have uncovered new evidence that the island of Crete was hit by a massive tsunami at the same time that Minoan culture disappeared.
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (4-21-07)
The four minutemen -- Samuel Cook Jr., Benjamin Deland Jr., Ebenezer Goldthwaite and George Southwick Jr. -- grabbed their muskets and marched toward Concord, only to be killed by the retreating British troops on the first day of the war, April 19, 1775. On Saturday, they were honored in a headstone dedication ceremony at the Old South Burying Ground in Peabody.
"I was really proud," said Janet Briggs Lettich, 55, who attended the ceremony to honor her ancestor, Goldthwaite. "They walked away from their families and their plows and did what they had to do."
Name of source: Washington Post
SOURCE: Washington Post (4-19-07)
It was found three years ago when Alexandria archaeologists started digging beneath the surface of a gas station that had been sitting for decades at the busy intersection of South Washington and Church streets.
The button, from a dead person's clothing, was evidence of what lay there more than a century ago: Freedmen's Cemetery, a burial ground that opened in 1864 to accommodate the flood of former slaves who lived -- and died -- in Alexandria during the Civil War.
The discovery in 2004, along with other evidence of graves, was part of an $8 million project that has been 10 years in the making: to rededicate the site and commemorate the 1,800 people buried on the 1.5-acre plot.
Name of source: National Post (Don Mills, Ontario)
SOURCE: National Post (Don Mills, Ontario) (4-21-07)
William I. Miller, author of an acclaimed book on the topic, The Mystery of Courage, believes that for most of us, the answer to those questions is no."That's just classic grand, heroic behaviour," Prof. Miller, a historian and law professor at the University of Michigan, said of Mr. Librescu's deeds. Such heroic acts are"pretty rare," he said.
He wonders whether such acts will be come only rarer, whether Western society has become so risk-averse that we are increasingly incapable of heroism. He despairs when he sees kids in his Michigan neighbourhood wearing"armour at the level of a medieval knight" as they learn to ride a bicycle and hears that touch football has been banned at the local elementary school because the ball is pointed.
"We so shield our children and ourselves from any encounter where we're called on to deliver," he said.
His research into courage led him to study soldiers' memoirs, particularly from the U.S. Civil War, and what he found is that it is difficult to predict who will behave courageously under fire."One of the things that features very prominently in these memoirs is that people are always sizing up everyone else in the unit: 'Who's the courageous guy, and who's the coward?' There are some tendencies but they can never quite predict. The little nerdy accountant turns out to be a great soldier and the barroom brawler turns out to just crack when he hears gunfire."
Students recount the minutes of terror in Norris Hall