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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: New York Times
SOURCE: New York Times (4-20-07)
“I’ve been in politics long enough to know that polls just go poof at times,” President Bush said on Thursday.
Speaking at a 90-minute, town-hall-style meeting in a high school gymnasium, Mr. Bush said he would not buckle to polls showing opinion cutting against him on a variety of issues, and conveyed his belief that he would be vindicated by history.
“Let me put it to you this way,” Mr. Bush said. “When it’s all said and done, when Laura and I head back home —- which at this moment will be Crawford, Tex. —- I will get there and look in the mirror, and I will say, ‘I came with a set of principles and I didn’t try to change my principles to make me popular.’”...
And he concluded with a thought about what historians would say about him. Last year, he said, he read three biographies of George Washington. “If they’re still writing about 1,” he said, “43 doesn’t have to worry about it.”
SOURCE: New York Times (4-18-07)
The reports, based partly on interrogations of Japanese prisoners, were originally submitted to the Tokyo war crimes trials, which ended in 1948, as evidence of atrocities by Japan during its wartime expansion across Asia. The reports include accounts of Japanese soldiers and sailors rounding up foreign women for use as sex slaves, euphemistically known here as comfort women.
Mr. Abe and other conservatives have repeatedly said there was no evidence that Japan’s military had a direct hand in forcing women into sexual slavery. Many Japanese conservatives have cited the lack of corroborating official documents to dismiss the testimony of former sex slaves, who started coming forward in the 1990s to tell their stories.
SOURCE: New York Times (4-19-07)
But it was a trial in a most unlikely place that proved to be deadly. On Monday, Professor Librescu faced danger when a student armed with pistols and the determination to kill approached the room where the professor was teaching a class in solid mechanics.
Professor Librescu never moved from the door of Room 204 in Norris Hall at Virginia Tech, witnesses said, even as the gunman, Cho Seung-Hui, was shooting. Directing his students to escape through windows, Professor Librescu was fatally shot...
SOURCE: New York Times (4-17-07)
By the time officials there grasped the threat of the virus, it was too late. The disease was rampaging through the population, partly because the city had allowed large public gatherings, including a citywide parade in support of a World War I loan drive, to go on as planned. In four months, more than 12,000 Philadelphians died, an excess death rate of 719 people for every 100,000 inhabitants....
Scientists are still studying the 1918 pandemic, the deadliest of the 20th century, looking for lessons for future outbreaks —- including the possibility that H5N1, the avian influenza virus, could mutate into a form spread easily from human to human. This month, researchers published two new studies in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences comparing public-health responses in cities like St. Louis and Philadelphia.
Using mathematical models, they reported that such large differences in death rates could be explained by the ways the cities carried out prevention measures, especially in their timing. Cities that instituted quarantine, school closings, bans on public gatherings and other such procedures early in the epidemic had peak death rates 30 percent to 50 percent lower than those that did not.
Name of source: Times (of London)
SOURCE: Times (of London) (4-20-07)
The 64-mile (103km) tunnel would connect the far east of Russia with Alaska, opening up the prospect of the ultimate rail trip across three quarters of the globe from London to New York. The link would be twice as long as the Channel Tunnel connecting Britain and France.
The $65 billion (£33 billion) mega-project aims to transform trade links between Russia and its former Cold War enemies across some of the world’s most desolate terrain. It would create a high-speed railway line, energy links and a fibreoptic cable network.
Proposals for a tunnel under the Bering Strait were first advanced a century ago under Czar Nicholas II but foundered with the outbreak of the First World War and the Russian Revolution. The idea was revived after the collapse of the Soviet Union but was shelved once again in Russia’s financial meltdown of 1998.
SOURCE: Times (of London) (4-20-07)
The rare DH9 was originally based at the airfield, now part of the Imperial War Museum, and widely used over the Western Front.
A total of 2,000 were built by Warings of Hammersmith, West London, a furniture manufacturer, but only six are known to survive worldwide and the aircraft is the only one in a British national collection. It was sent to India as part of the Imperial Gift Scheme, designed to give countries within the Empire a chance to start or develop their own air forces in the 1920s.
In 2000 the estate of the late Maharajah of Bikaner agreed to dispose of it but the woodwork was substantially damaged by long-term storage. A two-year programme of restoration has been carried out and the aircraft will go on display at the museum’s new £25 million exhibition hangar.
SOURCE: Times (of London) (4-19-07)
Neil MacGregor, its director, said that, like any object in its collection, a loan would be possible if the Greek Government acknowledged the museum’s ownership of the sculptures.
The Greek authorities hailed his comments as unprecedented. One source told The Times: “This is the first time they’ve ever said they’d let them out of the museum. We’ve said we’re not disputing the ownership.”
The Marbles, now known as the Parthenon Marbles, have been the subject of a bitter dispute since the 19th century, when Lord Elgin, as the British Ambassador, removed them from the Acropolis in Athens.
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Mr MacGregor appeared to open the door to a compromise. Asked whether the trustees would consider a request from Athens to borrow the Marbles, he said: “There is no reason why any object in the museum, if it is fit to travel, shouldn’t spend three months, six months, somewhere else. So, in principle, absolutely yes.
“The difficulty at the moment is that the Greek Government has formally, and recently, refused to acknowledge that the trustees are the owners of the objects.” He said the Greek Government had never officially asked to borrow the treasures. “The issue has always been about the permanent removal of all the Parthenon material in the BM collection to Athens,” he said.
Victoria Solomonidis, the cultural counsellor at the Greek Embassy in London, said: “The words of Neil MacGregor are most welcome news. The Greek side is interested in the reunification of the Parthenon and the issue of ownership does not come into it.”
SOURCE: Times (of London) (4-19-07)
Ekklesia, the influential theological think-tank, today calls for St. George, who appeared to the Crusader army at Antioch in the 11th century and was adopted as the patron saint of soldiers, to be given a makeover.
Out must go the dragon, the crusades and the associations with patriotism and Empire.
Instead St. George’s Day should become [a national holiday and] a “day of dissent” when England celebrates its noble, alternative tradition of rebellion against the abuse of power, Ekklesia says.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (4-20-07)
The buyer was...the Conservative Party's millionaire chairman Lord Ashcroft. He owns the world's largest collection of Victoria Crosses.
The medal sold on Thursday was awarded to Lieutenant John Bythesea who volunteered with William Johnstone in 1854 to intercept a crucial dispatch from the Tsar to the Baltic fortress Bomarsund, which was a Russian military stronghold.
In 1857, both men received the Cross in a special ceremony from Queen Victoria. Johnstone's medal is on display [at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County].
SOURCE: Reuters (4-19-07)
The previously unseen letter from Padraig Pearse listing his final requests to the commander of the British forces in Ireland had been expected to fetch 80,000 to 120,000 euros ($162,500) when it went under the hammer in Dublin earlier this week.
"The National Museum of Ireland ... has acquired the letter sent to General Maxwell, Commander of the British Forces in Ireland," the museum said of the document written at Kilmainham Gaol on May 2, 1916, on the eve of Pearse's execution.
SOURCE: Reuters (4-19-07)
Controversial, unsold 'Jane Austen' portrait
Name of source: San Francisco Chronicle
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (4-19-07)
The measure, AB576, would create a 2.5-mile buffer zone around Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, a site of a Tulare County town founded by African Americans nearly 100 years ago.
Supported by Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, D-Los Angeles, and the California Legislative Black Caucus, the bill was approved by the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife committee in a 9-3 vote.
The measure was introduced in response to last month's decision by Tulare County's Board of Supervisors to approve the final environmental impact report and special-use permit to allow Etchegaray Dairies to build and operate large dairy feed lots on lands adjacent to the park...
[O]pponents, including the California State Association of Counties and Tulare County officials, have argued that the state has no business meddling with local land-use decisions and the bill restricts private property rights.
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (4-18-07)
As recently as last year, a dozen survivors were on hand at Lotta's Fountain at Market and Kearny streets for the early morning ceremony. This year there was only one -- Herbert Hamrol, who is 104-years-old. Hamrol said he took a day off work and got up at 2:30 a.m. to be on for the pre-dawn ceremony.
Name of source: Ariella Budick, Newsday
SOURCE: Ariella Budick, Newsday (4-22-07)
The centerpiece of the new galleries is a soaring, glass-covered court with a fountain gurgling at its center. Torsos and heads perch on gray basalt plinths, all beautifully arrayed around the patterned marble floors. The space is meant to evoke a Roman courtyard without slavishly imitating one, and the effect is simultaneously austere and deluxe, more pared-down modernist than authentically ancient...
The galleries resurrect a plan for the space that dates back to 1912, when the architecture firm of McKim, Mead and White extended the museum southward. Edward Robinson, then director of the museum (and the first trained classicist ever to work for the Met), determined that the new wing would gather the entire collection of Greek and Roman art under one section of the museum's already immense roof. The idea was to narrate the evolution of antique art from Etruscan through Greek to the end of Roman, and for many years, this chronological approach largely prevailed.
But Robinson's plan, which was never fully put into practice, was essentially scrapped in 1948...
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (4-19-07)
The government says the Sivand dam in the Bolaghi gorge is needed by farmers in an area that has become desert.
Heritage activists have appealed to the president to postpone the flooding by some years so excavation can continue.
Archaeologists have discovered ancient wine making vessels, clay kilns and prehistoric caves in the area.
Many relics have been removed to be placed in a museum, but the site itself will be flooded which conservationists argue will be a huge loss.
But the government's going ahead with the inauguration of the dam because farmers in the area desperately need water for irrigation.
SOURCE: BBC News (4-18-07)
...What Henry does care about is trying to give young people a flavour of his incredible memories.
And he certainly managed that at Wilnecote High School in Tamworth.
I was quite surprised to see the group of around 40 pupils aged 13 and 14 quite so enthralled by the words of a man nearly a century older.
But they were fascinated by his tales of giving two small German children a Christmas gift of two Jaffa oranges."They were not gold-dust then," he said."They were platinum dust."
The students also enjoyed hearing how a young Henry used to chat up women in his uniform. We never found out if it worked.
But it was when one young girl asked what he most remembered about World War I that Henry painted his most vivid picture.
He told us how he had fallen into a rain-filled shell hole one night.
"Dead rats in that shell hole, human flesh, all rotting, who knows what in there...it was terrible," he said.
What textbook could give you that kind of details?
SOURCE: BBC News (4-19-07)
The government cannot function properly, as officials like the army chief-of-staff are unable to travel abroad, says Rwanda's justice minister.
The warrants were issued in November after a French judge implicated Mr Kagame in his predecessor's killing.
Former President Juvenal Habyarimana's death sparked the 1994 genocide. More than 800,000 people died in the 100-day massacres of Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
SOURCE: BBC News (4-17-07)
The false suggestion is that the action has been taken by the government to avoid offending Muslim communities.
The source of the rumour may be a report that some history teachers were uncomfortable with sensitive subjects.
In fact the government has reaffirmed that in England, teaching children about the Holocaust is compulsory, and it is not banned elsewhere in the UK...
A spokesman for England's Department for Education and Skills added: "Teaching of the Holocaust is already compulsory in schools at Key Stage 3 [ages 11 to 14]...
The report that may have given rise to the alarm was...from the Historical Association, which promotes the study and teaching of history.
It said: "Teachers and schools avoid emotive and controversial history for a variety of reasons, some of which are well-intentioned.
"Staff may wish to avoid causing offence or appearing insensitive to individuals or groups in their classes.
"In particular settings, teachers of history are unwilling to challenge highly contentious or charged versions of history in which pupils are steeped at home, in their community or in a place of worship."
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (4-19-07)
Posada was released from a New Mexico jail after posting bond and will stay at his wife's house in Miami...There, he will receive an electronic monitoring device...
The 79-year-old former CIA operative is awaiting a May 11 trial on allegations that he lied to immigration authorities while trying to become a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Earlier this week, an appeals court in New Orleans rejected the federal government's bid to keep Posada jailed until his trial. The release order puts him under 24-hour house arrest and an electronic monitoring device.
Posada is wanted in his native Cuba and in Venezuela, where he is accused of plotting the 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner that killed 73 people.
The submarine was used to film the Harrison Ford movie “K-19: The Widowmaker,” a Cold War thriller.
But salvage experts yesterday discovered that water had flooded the back quarter of the Juliett 484 submarine...
The ship sits in only a few feet of water, so there’s no danger it will completely submerge...
The Soviet Navy built the diesel-powered Juliett 484 during the 1960s to target cities along the U.S. coast. It was later equipped to hunt other warships.
The complaint accused Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu of defamation after he told an ultra-Orthodox radio station last week that the Holocaust was punishment for Reform Judaism's liberalization of the religion. Israeli media reported his remarks on Wednesday.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed that an official complaint was lodged and said police would look into it.
Asked by a radio interviewer what was the sin of the 6 million Jews who were killed by the Nazis, Eliyahu quoted a biblical verse about divine punishment for altering a ritual and added, "Those people (victims) were not to blame, but the Reform movement began in Germany. Those tinkerers with the faith got their start in Germany."
Divine wrath, Eliyahu added, "doesn't distinguish between the virtuous and the evil." The lesson, he said, was not to make "even the slightest change" to Jewish practice.
Republican Sen. Wayne Allard reintroduced a resolution Wednesday demanding that North Korea return the Pueblo, and he sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggesting she look into his proposed exchange.
"Since the USS Pueblo bears the name of the town of Pueblo, Colorado, many in our state want to see the vessel returned to its proper home," Allard wrote. "North Korea continues to hint at the possible return of the captured U.S. Navy ship, and I ask that you take action at this opportune time."
The Pueblo is the only active-duty U.S. warship in the hands of a foreign power. It was taken Jan. 23, 1968, after being sent defenseless on an intelligence-gathering mission off the North Korean coast.
Allard said Colorado veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars suggested exchanging the flag. It was captured from Korean Gen. Uh Je-yeon in an 1871 battle after American ships attempting to open Korea to trade invaded Kanghwa Island, outside Seoul. The flag is on display at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland.
A criminal law court on Tuesday rejected Germany's extradition request for Videla, wanted in the March 1977 kidnapping and killing of activist Elisabeth Kaesemann. The court ruled crimes committed in Argentina are first subject to its judiciary.
In the past, denying extradition effectively thwarted prosecution, but the repeal in 2005 of long-standing amnesty laws opened the door to a landslide of cases.
Prosecutors say Kaesemann, a 30-year-old sociologist, was abducted by state agents acting at the behest of the military. She was reportedly active in student and human rights issues early in the 1976-1983 dictatorship as the state waged a Dirty War against dissent.
Nearly 13,000 people are reported officially as dead or missing from seven years of junta rule, but human rights
SOURCE: AP (4-17-07)
Academy Award-nominated director Michele Ohayon said the letters of Jack and Ina Polak, collected in a book in 2000 by the same name as the film, "put a face" on the Holocaust for her...
SOURCE: AP (4-17-07)
The chair, made of gold and enamel by the Russian jeweler Carl Faberge, was included in a two-day Russian art sale that totaled $50.9 million, slightly higher than the $48.7 million presale estimate.
Sotheby's auction house said Faberge miniature furniture, such as the empire-style chair, is among the rarest of the artist's creations and is not often auctioned.
Name of source: Daily Kent Stater
SOURCE: Daily Kent Stater (4-19-07)
Rove spoke for about 45 minutes about the rich presidential history of the White House.
"I'm really here to talk about presidential leadership," Rove said. Slides behind Rove showed images of the Oval Office, Abraham Lincoln's bedroom and the East Room. Rove described the impact that former presidents, such as George Washington and Lincoln, had on the White House. He noted how Thomas Jefferson used to hang his laundry to dry in the East room, and how Ronald Reagan made an addition for the presidential desk in order to make it stand taller.
"Presidents must keep the office and the country strong," Rove said. "I have been at the White House for 2,280 days and counting. I have seen a lot."
Rove went on to describe the reaction of world leaders and diplomats upon entering the Oval Office.
"Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, walked through those doors and his first words were 'Oh my God.' Every room is filled with significant history," he said.
Rove's visit to the campus was also surrounded by speculation and rumors. Many of the students didn't even know he was speaking until yesterday morning.
Rove discusses U.S. history, war (Canton Repository)
Name of source: Aftenposten (Oslo, Norway)
SOURCE: Aftenposten (Oslo, Norway) (4-19-07)
Most of the films were made on assignment from the National Socialist authorities for propaganda purposes. [Nazi puppet president Vidkun] Quisling's role in the German occupation is toned down in the series, and he appears far less often than other members of the occupation government.
Film historian Tore Helseth believes that one possible reason for this is that Quisling was so unpopular that he had very little propaganda value...
Helseth has written commentaries to the 13 films from 1941 that will soon be available via the website http://www.filmarkivet.no
The films date from August to Christmas 1941 and were used as shorts before feature films at cinemas.
Name of source: UTV (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
SOURCE: UTV (Belfast, Northern Ireland) (4-18-07)
It is the latest in a series of remarkable meetings signalling an apparently new-found neighbourliness between the hard-line Democratic Unionist Party and the Irish Republic...
Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern will guide the junior minister-designate in the restored Stormont power-sharing executive in Belfast around Collins Barracks tomorrow.
The former military base handed over by the British Army to the newly-founded Irish Free State in 1922 was later transferred to the National Museum...
[Two weeks ago the Irish prime minister] invited the 81-year-old anti-Catholic evangelical preacher to visit the Battle of the Boyne site with him later this year.
The historic site in the Republic marks where King William of Orange defeated the army of King James in 1690, a victory celebrated every year by many Protestants in Northern Ireland.
Name of source: Live Science
SOURCE: Live Science (4-19-07)
These findings illustrate a way that archaeologists can recreate the past even when looters have destroyed the valuable artifacts that would ordinarily be relied upon to reveal historical secrets. For instance, the new research hints at a tax imposed on local villages by ancient Inca rulers to force a switch from production of copper to silver.
Pre-Colonial bronze artifacts have previously been found in the central Peruvian Andes dating back to about 1000 AD, after the fall of the Wari or Huari civilization , the largest empire in the Andes before the Incas . However, it has been unclear how metallurgy had developed there, or whether or not these artifacts even came from the Andes, instead perhaps coming from trading with coastal villages.
Name of source: Tim Howard, Brisbane Times (Australia)
SOURCE: Tim Howard, Brisbane Times (Australia) (4-18-07)
This golden age saw funerary violinists such as Bulstrode Whycherly and Pierre Dubuisson usher thousands of people, including royalty, to their eternal rest. Sadly, by the mid-19th century funerary violin was coming under increasing attack from extremist Catholic groups. Eventually its practitioners were terrorised into silence, or forced to withdraw into clandestine societies through whose agency the tradition has managed to survive, albeit greatly reduced, to the present day.
An Incomplete History of the Art of Funerary Violin is a detailed, thought-provoking account of this forgotten musical genre. It is also a work of fiction...
Name of source: DPA (German Press Agency)
SOURCE: DPA (German Press Agency) (4-18-07)
The miniature artifacts were handed over to the Ancient Agora's museum following the death of Robertson, the author of A History of Greek Art. The British scholar, who died in 2004, had acquired the items from American archaeologist Luy Talcott, the recording secretary of the Agora excavations in the 1930s and '40s.
The artifacts were presented by one of Robertson's sons, Stephen, at a special ceremony, who stressed that he was bringing a gift by his father to 'his beloved Greece.'...
It is the eighth time over the past year that artifacts taken from Acropolis-related sites have been repatriated to Greece.
Name of source: Washington Post
SOURCE: Washington Post (4-19-07)
Small used his property for Smithsonian events only four times in the past four years and had not used it since 2005.
SOURCE: Washington Post (4-19-07)
Programming chief John Wilson, seeking to clarify PBS's earlier statements, said yesterday that Burns's 14 1/2 -hour documentary, "The War," is complete. That statement, however, leaves unresolved the complaints from some Latino and American Indian organizations, which have been pressing Burns and PBS for months to incorporate into the film material about Latino and American Indian service members...
Burns has resisted any suggestion that he is changing "The War," despite his agreement to film additional material to try to address advocates' concerns. A spokesman for Burns insisted yesterday that the filmmaker isn't "reediting" his work, as The Washington Post reported yesterday...
Some of the disagreement over Burns's -- and PBS's -- intentions turns on small but critical semantic distinctions, particularly whether the unproduced new material will be a "part" of "The War," or instead air as a supplement.
Name of source: Telegraph
SOURCE: Telegraph (4-19-07)
The charges against the 83-year-old ex-soldier, who was Polish president for most of the 1980s, came after the Institute of National Remembrance, the office charged with investigating Poland's communist past, passed documents to a Warsaw court. Eight other former high-ranking communists face similar charges.
"Our aim is to fulfil an obligation to the nation and the Polish state, as well as to all those who suffered injustice and humiliation during the period of martial law," said Andrzej Drogon, an official of the remembrance institute.
If found guilty Gen Jaruzelski could face 10 years in prison for his role in suppressing the Lech Walesa-led Solidarity movement, which had become the Soviet bloc's first free trade union and had directly challenged the communist order.
SOURCE: Telegraph (4-16-07)
The Home Guard was a very different organisation from the bumbling and badly-led eccentrics of the Walmington-on-Sea unit [fictional location of BBC comedy series"Dad's Army"], one in which women played a surprisingly large part, according to a new study.
Women were so prominent in protecting Britain's shores against imminent invasion that they were required to sign papers showing they understood that they could be shot as guerrillas if the Germans captured them.
After 1940, no woman was allowed to wear uniform but, especially on the south coast, where the Germans were expected to arrive, they demanded to be allowed to bear arms against the invader.
Prof Penny Summerfield [of Manchester University], joint author of a new book [Contesting Home Defence; Men, Women and the Home Guard in the Second World War], has discovered that some were required to sign indemnity forms.
Name of source: Independent
SOURCE: Independent (4-19-07)
After six years of negotiation, the agreement is likely to be sealed, despite pressure from Baltic states for the crimes committed by Stalin to be brought into the scope of the law...
Consensus over the deal has been achieved by whittling away at the impact of the legislation, leaving a great deal of discretion to individual countries to implement their own law...
The latest draft text would criminalise those guilty of "publicly condoning or grossly trivialising" crimes of genocide recognised by the International Criminal Court "when the conduct is carried out in a manner likely to incite violence or hatred".
There will be no Europe-wide ban on the use of Nazi symbols -- one of the original objectives of the law's drafters. National legislation in many nations, including Germany and Austria, already goes much further and will remain in force in those countries. All 27 EU nations will have to ensure that maximum jail terms of one to three years are at the disposal of their courts. Britain's most severe tariff for such offences is already seven years.
Name of source: AHA Blog
SOURCE: AHA Blog (4-18-07)
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-17-07)
Le Dinh Hung, 60, underwent surgery at a Hanoi hospital on Friday and is recovering quickly, said Dr Nguyen Sinh Hien, who spent three hours operating on the patient.
"It is the strangest case that I have ever seen," Dr Hien said. "Normally a person with a bullet in his heart would die immediately if they didn't have surgery right away."
Mr Hung said he now feels much better now and the pain in his chest has eased.
"I was very lucky to survive," he said from his hospital bed. "People believe in their fate and I do too."
Name of source: Der Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Der Spiegel Online (4-17-07)
It took Günther Oettinger, governor of the south-western German state Baden-Württemberg, almost a week, but on Monday, he finally withdrew his comments delivered at the funeral for former Baden-Württemberg governor and ex-Nazi Hans Filbinger.
"I no longer adhere to my formulation," Oettinger said at a meeting of the Christian Democrat party leadership on Monday. "Rather, I am distancing myself from it."
In his eulogy last Wednesday, Oettinger had said that Filbinger -- a judge with the German navy during World War II -- had not actually been a Nazi and had even been against the National Socialist ideology. He also said that no one had died as a result of verdicts handed down by Filbinger.
The storm of protest was immediate and intense. Historians trotted out proof that Filbinger had not only supported the system, but had also sentenced a deserter to death just days before the end of the war. He also sentenced two others to death in absentia -- sentences which were never carried out. Politicians of many stripes called for his resignation. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- like Oettinger a member of the Christian Democrat party -- saw fit to censure him.
Name of source: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (4-18-07)
In an escalating conflict over a famous 3,400-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti, the head of Egypt's antiquities authority has threatened to ban exhibitions and tours of Egyptian artifacts from Germany.
Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, had requested the sculpture for a temporary exhibition. But German officials say the iconic artwork is too fragile to travel.
Upping the ante, Hawass on Sunday told his country's parliament that he "will never again organize antiquities exhibitions in Germany if it refuses a request, to be issued next week, to allow the bust of Nefertiti to be displayed in Egypt for three months."...
The painted limestone likeness of Egypt's most famous queen has been in Germany since 1913, a year after it was discovered by a German archaeological team at an ancient sculpture workshop at Tell el 'Amârna, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) south of Cairo.
Name of source: Newark Star-Ledger
SOURCE: Newark Star-Ledger (4-18-07)
Masses of newly arrived immigrants queued up in long lines that stretched the length of the cavernous hall.
It seemed to be an ordinary day in an era of mass immigration, but officials processing the mostly European hoard had no way of knowing it would, in fact, be memorable.
One hundred years ago yesterday -- April 17, 1907 --11,747 American newcomers passed though the Great Hall at Ellis Island. It was the busiest single day in the 62-year history of the nation's portal, which admitted 17 million immigrants during its service...
Ellis Island's record-breaking day occurred in what would long stand as the busiest year for American immigration, 1907, when almost 1.3 million newcomers arrived at America's shores. More than 1 million of those immigrants arrived through Ellis Island, which closed in 1954.
It would remain the record year for U.S. immigration until 1990 and 1991, when the collapse of the Soviet Union and civil war in El Salvador produced larger waves of 1.5 million and 1.8 million immigrant arrivals, respectively.
Name of source: Gothamist
SOURCE: Gothamist (4-18-07)
The redesign comes more than 80 years after the opening of McKim, Mead & White’s 1926 gallery featuring “single-story peristyle court with Doric columns.”...
According to the Times, the new courtyard has a two-story peristyle with Ionic columns and a tessera floor modeled after the Pantheon, with alternating green-and-red marble that was cut and shaped in Italy and laid sans grouting...The original black-and-white mosaic tile floor that borders the gallery is still intact...
The renovated wing is the work of architect Kevin Roche...There was the question of which moment in Roman architecture to honor.
“We decided to go from BC to AD, when the Roman republic was drifting into becoming an empire,” Mr. Roche said. “It was also the time of Augustus and a great time for culture –- Horace and Virgil and Ovid.”
So how does an architect prepare for a redesign influenced by Rome? By studying Roman buildings, of course -- namely the Theater of Marcellus, the Coliseum and the Basilica. He looked at Etruscan architecture from the period and the work of 16th-century architect Vignola (designer of the Villa Giulia) as well.
Name of source: Savannah Morning News
SOURCE: Savannah Morning News (4-18-07)
Research by Theodore Kornweibel of San Diego State University surfaced Tuesday as a proposal for the state to apologize for slavery remains stalled...
Kornweibel's research follows other reports that the state bought -- and later sold -- about 190 slaves who worked on road and river projects.
Kornweibel, a professor emeritus in SDSU's Department of Africana Studies, cited dozens of documents from the state-owned Western & Atlantic Railroad.
The documents span the period 1847-1864, but Kornweibel said the arrangements they describe continued until the end of the Civil War in 1865.
"There's plenty of very detailed evidence of the hiring of slaves by the W & A," he said, "down to the names of specific slave owners and specific -- first name only -- slaves."
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (4-18-07)
Explorers of the human odyssey have been squabbling bitterly since the fossilized skeletons of tiny hominids, dubbed after the diminutive hobbits in J.R.R. Tolkien's tale, were found on the island of Flores in 2003...
If [the claims are] true, it would mean that H. sapiens, which has been around for around 150,000-200,000 years, would have shared the planet with rival humans far more recently than thought...
In a study that appears on Wednesday in the British journal Biology Letters, evolutionary zoologists at Imperial College London believe the hobbits may well have achieved their tininess naturally, through evolutionary pressure.
The principle under scrutiny here is called the "island rule." It stipulates that because food on a small island is limited, smaller species do well and get bigger over time, sometimes becoming relatively gargantuan.
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Education
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (4-17-07)
Virginia Tech, April 16, 2007: At least 33 dead as of Monday afternoon, including the gunman; 26 injured. The gunman opened fire in a dormitory and a classroom building, killing at least 30 people and injuring many others. (Chronicle article.)
University of Texas at Austin, August 1, 1966: 16 dead, including the gunman; 31 injured. From atop a 27-story tower, Charles J. Whitman shot and killed 13 people and wounded 31 others before he was shot dead by police. The night before, Mr. Whitman shot and killed his mother and his wife. During an autopsy, it was discovered that he suffered from a brain tumor that was affecting his limbic system, part of the brain involved with emotion and motivation. (Chronicle article.)...
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Name of source: Charlotte Observer
SOURCE: Charlotte Observer (4-15-07)
Using ground-penetrating radar, experts searched Saturday in Lincolnton for traces of a mass grave where 70 to 100 soldiers were buried after the Battle of Ramsour's Mill on June 20, 1780.
Terry Ferguson, program director for the geology department at Wofford College in Spartanburg sat on the stump of an oak tree old enough to have been around at the time of the battle. He watched thin, wavelike streaks crawl across a monitor screen....
"This is the most historic site in Lincoln County," said Bill Beam, who chairs the county's Historic Properties Commission. "We have so much growth in this county, and we need to make people aware of its history. They're part of the community now, and it's their history."
Name of source: People's Daily Online (Beijing)
SOURCE: People's Daily Online (Beijing) (4-4-07)
"According to Vietnam's Ministry of Defense's Technology Center on Unexploded Ordnance and Landmine Disposal, around 600,000 tons of war-era ordnance remain in the ground throughout Vietnam... It is estimated that from the end of the Vietnam-American war in 1975 to the year 2000, 42,135 people were killed by landmines and UXO and a further 62,163 additional people were injured," the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said in a press release.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (4-17-07)
It was taken to King David's School in Crumpsall after a governor became one of hundreds of people to make a request to the Chief Rabbinate in Israel.
The 120-year-old parchment tells the story of the Old Testament in Hebrew.
The scroll was one of 48 scrolls confiscated from the large Jewish community living in Lithuania's capital, Vilnius.
After its capture, the parchment was thrown into a pit by German troops as an act of desecration.
Name of source: This Is Lancashire
SOURCE: This Is Lancashire (4-13-07)
The 1940s Wartime Weekend has become one of the biggest events of its type in the country and attracts thousands of visitors each May.
But last year the Jewish community was left angered when visitors turned up dressed as Nazi officers.
Directors of the East Lancs Railway (ELR), which runs the event, have banned the uniforms to prevent causing further offence.
Name of source: PBS, Library of Congress
SOURCE: PBS, Library of Congress (4-17-07)
The Veterans History Project (VHP), a major program of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center, is an oral history program created by Congress in 2000. VHP depends on volunteer interviewers -- family and friends of veterans, community members and a wide variety of organizations and institutes -- to record one-of-a-kind interviews with wartime veterans and send them to VHP, where they are housed in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress. To date, VHP has collected more than 45,000 individual stories...
WETA Washington, DC, and the Veterans History Project have developed a field guide with a"how-to" conduct an oral history interview, which includes pointers from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on lighting and shooting the video. Additional information provides tips on how to send recorded interviews to the Veterans History Project.
Veterans History Project