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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: NYT (subscribers only)
SOURCE: NYT (subscribers only) (4-8-07)
[Now that his city government is in the red, he's having to sell off the archive.]
Name of source: Telegraph
SOURCE: Telegraph (4-7-07)
Instead of improving the lower galleries, trustees have decided to boost a fighting fund that will be used should any of up 40 famous paintings lent to the gallery be removed and put up for sale.
The collection, estimated to be worth up to £1 billion, is vulnerable because a number of private owners, who were previously happy to lend works, want to take advantage of the buoyant art market.
The Earl of Halifax has already removed Titian's A Portrait of a Young Man, lent to the gallery 14 years ago, and sources fear that the Duke of Rutland is considering taking back five works by Poussin, the 17th-century French artist, which have been with the National Gallery since 2002.
SOURCE: Telegraph (4-7-07)
He is in Hohenschönhausen, a district in East Berlin once reserved for the top echelons of the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, or Stasi, the notorious secret service of the former German Democratic Republic. The district is widely known as Stasiville.
"The dormitory for their recruits is now a conference hotel," says Mr Knabe, the director of the memorial centre that was once a secret prison complex at the heart of Stasiville. "Those apartment blocks were for lower-ranking officers; the top brass lived a bit to the left, in the two-storey houses."
A lot has changed since the Stasi was abolished in 1990, but not in Stasiville. "They are still here, of course," he says. The guardians of a regime that ceased to exist almost two decades ago are now living in retirement in the place where they once worked.
The Stasi is back in the spotlight thanks to an Oscar-winning German film, The Life of Others, which opens this week in the UK. It tells the fictional story of a Stasi officer who obsessively monitors a prominent artistic couple, but ultimately risks his life to help them.
Emomali Rakhmonov made the call after visiting the location where he believes the priceless Persian artifacts from the 5th to 4th century BC were found...
A museum spokesman said that trustees had received no formal request from the Tajik government to return the 170-odd artifacts -- including model chariots, armlets and a scabbard -- that make up the treasure.
Mr Rakhmonov's quest seems unlikely to succeed, not least because his case is generally regarded as flimsy. As the treasure is Persian, the Iranian government would have a stronger claim. Historians are not even certain whether the treasure was found in what constitutes present-day Tajikistan.
Gian Lorenzo Bernini was also a playwright to the popes and led a troupe of actors in Renaissance Italy. The play, Truth Uncovered by Time, is a farce in which a genius sculptor called Graziano Magnifico struggles against a rival for the patronage of Pope Innocent X.
It was written in 1644 and performed by Bernini, his brother Luigi and probably Costanza Bonarelli, the wife of a fellow sculptor and Bernini's mistress.
Commander John Bythesea's honour was presented for his bravery during the Crimean War when he led a raid to capture important dispatches sent by the Tsar of Russia.
In August 1854 Commander Bythesea, later a rear-admiral, was serving on the frigate Arrogant stationed in the Baltic when he volunteered to take on the mission.
He convinced the ship's captain, Hastings Yelverton, that a large force would attract too much attention and jeopardise the mission. So he recruited a lone stoker, William Johnstone, to help him.
The two went ashore to an island and, after enlisting the help of a farmer, ambushed the Russian couriers. They captured the dispatches armed with a single pistol...
The medals [Britain's highest military honor] are made from bronze taken from cannon captured at Sebastopol during the Crimean war.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (4-8-07)
As with many of Richardson's freelance diplomatic missions, this one benefits from fortunate timing. Endorsed by President George W. Bush's Republican administration, it comes days before a crucial deadline in a landmark nuclear accord the North agreed to in February, four months after testing a nuclear weapon.
Many will be watching to see whether Richardson brings back any new details on potential progress on a North Korean pledge to close down and seal its main nuclear plant and allow in U.N. nuclear inspectors by April 14.
"The Khmer Rouge tribunal is really the opportunity for Cambodia to show the international community how far it's advanced," said Eric G. John, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs.
"And it would be a shame not to be able to show how far it's advanced by letting this (tribunal) get hung up on what is a relatively down-in-the-weeds monetary issue," he said at a press conference ending a four-day visit to Cambodia.
On Friday, Cambodian judges for the U.N.-backed genocidal tribunal blamed their international peers for delaying the long-awaited trials.
Foreign judges decided earlier this week to boycott an April 30 meeting meant to adopt rules that will guide the trials. Their decision was prompted by the refusal of the Cambodian Bar Association to reverse a decision to impose high legal fees on foreign lawyers wishing to serve at the tribunal.
He has transformed the library, burned and looted in the aftermath of Saddam Hussein's ouster in 2003, into a symbol of hope in a country mired in sectarian violence, crime and political bickering.
The three-story, tan-brick building has been restored, new furniture procured, computer and book restoration departments established, and some 100 young university graduates hired to inject new blood into the stodgy organization.
The result: For the first time since 2003, the library is fully accessible to the public -- at least those Iraqis brave enough to visit.
As state lawmakers debate issuing an official apology for slavery similar to those passed by the Virginia Legislature and the North Carolina Senate, an Associated Press review of 19th-century records kept by the Digital Library of Georgia at the University of Georgia shows the state's role went beyond regulating and taxing slave owners. Georgia bought and sold slaves as well.
Knowing this might sway some legislators who have been reluctant to support an apology for the sins of long-dead Southern planters and industrialists, said state Sen. Eric Johnson, the top-ranking Republican in the GOP-controlled Senate.
"Some resist expressing any sort of apology because they or their family weren't involved," said Johnson, the Senate's president pro-tem. "If the state actually did buy and sell and own slaves, that may make it more comfortable for people in the state to express regret over slavery."
Needing workers to build roads and improve river transportation in 1829, Georgia lawmakers authorized spending $50,000 to buy a state-owned labor force of 190 "able bodied" slaves.
SOURCE: AP (4-6-07)
Pasteur Bizimungu was freed after serving two years of a 15-year term as an act of clemency by President Paul Kagame to build national unity, an official said. His release came on the 13th anniversary of the start of the 1994 genocide in which 500,000 were killed.
"It's a good gesture, it's done in good faith, it's done for the good," Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama told The Associated Press by telephone from the Rwandan capital, Kigali.
The defense appealed for Anton Lekaj, 26, to be sent back to Kosovo -- a United Nations and NATO protectorate since 1999. But the court confirmed an earlier verdict that found him guilty of war crimes.
SOURCE: AP (4-6-07)
Meanwhile, a stepson of Hiss said his chief accuser invented the spy allegations after his sexual advances were rejected.
The two claims, presented at the daylong symposium "Alger Hiss & History" at New York University, provided startling new information that, if true, could point toward a posthumous vindication of Hiss, who was accused of feeding U.S. secrets to Moscow and spent nearly five years in prison for perjury before his death in 1996 at age 92.
Kai Bird, an author who has done new research on the 60-year-old case, said that although Hiss was accused of feeding secrets to the Soviet military intelligence agency GRU under the code name Ales, there was new evidence to suggest the real spy was another U.S. official named Wilder Foote...
Foote, a member of a well-known Boston family, died in 1974 after a career as a diplomat and owner of a string of newspapers. During World War II he was involved with U.S. lend-lease operations supplying the Soviets.
Following the lead of lawmakers in neighboring Virginia, the Senate unanimously backed a resolution acknowledging its "profound contrition for the official acts that sanctioned and perpetuated the denial of basic human rights and dignity to fellow humans."
Dozens of McCoy descendants apparently have the [Von Hippel-Lindau] disease, which causes high blood pressure, racing hearts, severe headaches and too much adrenaline and other "fight or flight" stress hormones...
"This condition can certainly make anybody short-tempered, and if they are prone because of their personality, it can add fuel to the fire," said Dr. Revi Mathew, a Vanderbilt University endocrinologist treating one of the family members.
The Hatfields and McCoys have a storied and deadly history dating to Civil War times. Their generations of fighting over land, timber rights and even a pig are the subject of dozens of books, songs and countless jokes. Unfortunately for Appalachia, the feud is one of its greatest sources of fame.
Several genetic experts have known about the disease plaguing some of the McCoys for decades, but kept it secret...One doctor who had researched the family for decades called them the "McC kindred" in a 1998 medical journal article tracing the disease through four generations.
In a speech to be delivered at a New York University symposium Thursday, Svetlana A. Chervonnaya says neither Hiss' name nor his alleged spy moniker, Ales, appears in any of dozens of documents from Soviet archives that she has reviewed since the early 1990s...
Calling her efforts "proving the negative," Chervonnaya says "a thorough combing of all the said archives combined has not produced a shred of evidence that Alger Hiss had ever been a member of the (American) Communist Party and was engaged in any behind-the-scenes interactions with the Soviets."...
Soviet defectors, retired KGB agents and U.S. officials, some claiming to have documentary proof, have come down on both sides of what remains one of the Cold War's most enduring controversies.
In 1995-96, U.S. intelligence agencies released the Venona Files, a series of decoded Soviet diplomatic cables on espionage matters during World War II. They mentioned a U.S. contact called Ales, who already had been identified by a defecting Soviet agent as Hiss.
It was written in 1900, and Roosevelt, then governor of New York, is pleased he convinced Republicans to reject a reappointment: "I have always been fond of the West African proverb: 'Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.' If I had not carried the big stick ... I would not have had 10 votes. But I was entirely good natured, kept perfectly cool ..."
Less than two years later he was president. The letter comes from a dealer; a carbon copy is in the Library of Congress.
SOURCE: AP (4-4-07)
Denning McTague, who worked at a National Archives and Records Administration facility in the city last summer as an unpaid intern, pleaded guilty to one federal count of stealing government property.
The stolen documents are valued at about $30,000 and all but three have been recovered, prosecutors said. McTague put about 150 of them for sale online and had shipped about half of them before he was caught, prosecutors said.
McTague, who holds master's degrees in history and library science, told investigators that he took the documents out of the building hidden inside a yellow notepad.
Name of source: New York Times
SOURCE: New York Times (4-8-07)
Mr. Haradinaj and two other men began to stand trial at the United Nations tribunal in The Hague in March, charged with killing 40 people in 1998, during the conflict between the Kosovo Liberation Army guerrilla group and Serbian-dominated security forces.
But the prosecution’s leading witness, Tahir Zemaj, and his son and nephew were shot dead during the investigation. Another witness, Kjutim Berisha, died two weeks before the trial when he was hit by a car in Podgorica, the Montenegrin capital.
More than a third of those giving evidence for the prosecution are allowed to conceal their identities, more than in any other case at the tribunal, according to the prosecution.
The case has created a stark divide between prosecutors at the tribunal and in Kosovo and diplomats from the United Nations and Western governments...
SOURCE: New York Times (4-4-07)
In a way, he was. Just two days before, Mr. Samper, 41, had been catapulted from director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History to acting secretary of the entire Smithsonian Institution. He was the emergency replacement for Lawrence M. Small, 65, who resigned after a tumultuous seven-year tenure that concluded with an internal audit showing that the museum complex had paid for his extravagant personal expenses.
In addition, just before Mr. Small resigned, an external review committee identified some major problems facing the Smithsonian, concluding: “The Smithsonian’s art institutions have reached a critical point. Drastically underfunded, they are unable to lead the nation during a time when their creativity and high visibility give them vast potential to affect the lives of our citizens.”
As a result, over the next few months the Smithsonian will be grappling with fundamental questions far beyond just issues of governance and oversight. The institution will also consider how to tackle buildings in dire need of repair, questionable collections at some of its art museums, a lack of money that makes it difficult to compete and the need to improve fund-raising strategies.
SOURCE: New York Times (4-4-07)
The owner of an Atlanta auction house, Paul Brown, said he was given the papers by an elderly Maryland woman who wished to remain anonymous.
Mr. Brown said the woman told him she had accepted a large file folder of Dr. King’s letters, speeches and other writings to settle a debt she was owed by a radio station in Atlanta, where she once lived.
Mr. Brown said his auction house, Gallery 63, planned to put them up for bid on April 15.
Dr. King’s heirs say the papers belong to his estate, and they want the auction stopped.
“You can’t auction off what’s not yours,” Isaac Newton Farris, Dr. King’s nephew and the chief executive of the King Center in Atlanta, said Tuesday. “There could potentially be something improper or illegal about to happen.”
Name of source: Times (of London)
SOURCE: Times (of London) (4-8-07)
The RSC Shakespeare Complete Works, to be published this month, will break with the literary consensus of more than three centuries to produce a version that it claims will be closer to the playwright’s intentions.
It will use as its text Shakespeare’s First Folio of 1623 —- the version authorised by John Hemings and Henry Condell, his fellow actors.
Even minor changes in punctuation can change the meaning of key scenes. In the usual version of the play, Lady Macbeth appears to reassure her husband that there is nothing to fear and that he will get away with the murder of Duncan, the king of Scotland.
In the new edition, a question mark removes the Machiavellian undercurrent, so that she is simply asking him: what do we fear? She also loses her title in the new version and is known as the wife or lady of Macbeth...
The new edition is the work of an international team of academic experts and directors, led by Jonathan Bate, professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance literature at the University of Warwick, and Eric Rasmussen, professor of English at the University of Nevada.
SOURCE: Times (of London) (4-5-07)
More than 180,000 copies have been sold of De La Rey, a tribute to Koos de la Rey, regarded as the most powerful and unyielding of the Boer generals who fought against the British.
Wherever young Afrikaners now gather —- at rugby matches, cultural festivals or barbeques —- they stand moist-eyed, hands over hearts and belt out “De La Rey, De La Rey”. One rugby ground tried to ban it but such was the public outcry it had to reverse its decision.
Many worried commentators have written about how the song is a call to Afrikaners to mobilise against black people in general and the government in particular. The singer Bok van Blerk says, however, it is no more than a vehicle with which to express Afrikaner pride.
SOURCE: Times (of London) (4-5-07)
To these stubborn acts of courage can be be added those of the ship’s five postmen.
This month the keys and chain of the postmaster of the Titanic mail room, prised from his frozen body, emerged for auction, and with them a bewildering story of postal heroism...
[Postmaster Oscar Woody] had no intention of letting the holing of the vessel by a giant iceberg stand in the way of their safe delivery...
They rushed down to the mail storage room in the forward hold of G deck, where the bitterly cold seawater was already two feet deep. For several hours the five struggled up four flights of steps, carrying 100lb (45kg) sacks of sopping mail...
Alfred Thessinger, a bedroom steward who survived the ordeal, was one of the last to see the men alive. “I urged them to leave their work,” he said. “They shook their heads and continued. I saw them no more.”
[The keys and chain are expected to fetch about £50,000 when they are auctioned by Henry Aldridge and Sons in Wiltshire on April 21.]
Name of source: Islamic Republic News Agencty (Tehran)
SOURCE: Islamic Republic News Agencty (Tehran) (4-7-07)
He made the remark at a ceremony marking the auspicious birth anniversary of the holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and Imam Jafar Sadeq (AS), which was attended by a number of Iranian expatriates residing in Spain.
"The special attention of Spain's government to safeguard the country's ancient Islamic centers and buildings shows that the initiative of dialogue among civilizations and respecting other culture has materialized."
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (4-5-07)
Having lost many of his relatives to the terror, during which 1.7 million people died, Panh, 42, has returned repeatedly to the personal dramas of national decimation. "Un Soir Après La Guerre" (1998), a feature set among the detritus of postwar Phnom Penh, charts the attempts of a returning soldier to forge a new life in a decimated moral and physical landscape.
The documentary "Bophana: A Cambodian Tragedy" (1996) tells the story of a couple separated and fatally tortured at S21, the regime's notorious detention center in Phnom Penh. Panh uses the victims' love letters and extracted confessions as voiceover. "When shall we two meet again," writes Sothy to his wife in a touching misquote of Shakespeare's "Macbeth."
The same high school-turned-torture center is the subject of Panh's multi-award-winning "S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine" (2003)...
"Most of those men still don't understand how they became killers," Panh said. "It's not simply a question of judgment. We need to find answers to these questions."
Pol Pot is dead, but so far not a single person has been tried or convicted for crimes committed during that period. Panh welcomes the upcoming UN-sponsored Khmer Rouge trial, but shares his compatriots' skepticism.
Name of source: Independent
SOURCE: Independent (4-7-07)
The move, which will make it possible to walk all 9,040 miles around the coast of Great Britain and create the first ever right of access to thousands of beaches, is provoking a bitter backlash from landowners and celebrities with expensive seaside properties, who will not be compensated.
It will also boost the profile of the fast-rising Secretary of State for the Environment, David Miliband, whose decision to push through the measure will win him new friends among Labour traditionalists, since access to the countryside is one of their most totemic issues.
Until now, the public has only had a right of access to about half of the country's coastline, mainly along paths, and - despite a popular misconception - none at all to most beaches.
Name of source: Sports Illustrated
SOURCE: Sports Illustrated (4-5-07)
What became of it? Some said it was stowed beneath the auditorium stage and destroyed in a fire. Some said that a black janitor threw it away along with four decades of other team photos from that hallway because no black faces appeared in them. No, others claimed, it was a black principal who decreed that the school's history began the day that all people became welcome there and that no image from its prehistoric past would ever be displayed.
Not even this one, the 1957 Little Rock Central Tigers, the best high school football team in America that year.
This story shouldn't be told. No one wants to hear it. They're all too busy celebrating another group at Central High that year -- the nine black kids. Too busy planning their 50th anniversary, building their museum across the street, getting ready for the crowds and the network news reporters and the two presidents, Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton, who will fill the school's front yard on Sept. 25 to commemorate them.
No one wants to tell this story. Not even the white boys who lived it. It reeks of political incorrectness. It's sure to be misconstrued. They can't ask you to feel for them: They're Southern Caucasian males on the other side of 65, for goodness' sake. Born and bred not to feel for themselves.
Just 42 of the white faces on the wrong side of the saga of the Little Rock 9.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (4-6-07)
Public broadcaster Radio-Canada found numerous mistakes in interpretive panels at Vimy Ridge in France, where more than 10,000 Canadian soldiers were killed or wounded in April 1917 during World War One.
"I have just been made aware of this situation and it is totally unacceptable. As soon as the errors were confirmed, it was obvious the only solution was to remove the panels," Thompson said in a statement. The panels will be replaced.
The issue is an embarrassment for Ottawa, since Canada has been officially bilingual for 40 years and millions of French-speakers are very sensitive about their fate in a country where most people speak English.
Name of source: UPI
SOURCE: UPI (4-6-07)
Venice -- which is built on mud islands in a lagoon at the top of the Adriatic Sea -- "is destined to disappear" if current climate trends continue, said Osvaldo Canziani of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Canziani said rainfall in the northern Mediterranean is expected to increase 10 percent to 20 percent over the next 30 years, ANSA reported.
Experts say flooding in Venice is caused by the rising silt in the lagoon, the extraction of methane gas in the area off Venice and the overall increase in sea levels caused by global warming.
A barrier system is being built that will block the lagoon from the Adriatic Sea when high tides are forecast. ANSA said the project is scheduled for completion in 2011.
WFF report: Climate change threatens world's wonders
SOURCE: UPI (4-5-07)
No other country is willing to accept the 87-year-old, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported...
Demjanjuk was sentenced to death in Israel for being a notorious guard at the Treblinka death camp known as Ivan the Terrible. But he eventually won an appeal and returned to the United States.
A federal judge ordered him deported in 2005. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to make a final decision next year.
Name of source: GSA via PRNewswire
SOURCE: GSA via PRNewswire (4-6-07)
"GSA takes its stewardship responsibilities very seriously," said David L. Winstead, Commissioner of GSA's Public Buildings Service. "We recognize
the cultural, recreational and educational value associated with these historic lighthouses and are committed to working with our federal partners and other interested stakeholders to preserve these treasured assets."
GSA, the federal government's property management and procurement agency, will work with the Departments of Homeland Security's U.S. Coast Guard and Interior's National Park Service to facilitate the transfer of excess historic lighthouses. These lighthouses are transferred at no cost to qualified federal agencies, state and local governments or non-profit organizations under the authority of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 (NHLPA)... GSA [has] transferred 35 historic light stations out of Coast Guard ownership through the NHLPA.
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (4-5-07)
It was so long ago, the winter of 1937, when Hobson was 10 years old and had a routine childhood injury that would confine him and make him a witness to history. Though he couldn't have known it then, this was no ordinary home. It was, instead, a place where routine acts of espionage allegedly were committed when his stepfather, Alger Hiss, brought home stolen State Department documents for handoff to a fellow Communist and spy named Whittaker Chambers.
That's the commonly accepted story line of the still-contested Hiss case. But Hobson and his half brother, Tony Hiss, don't believe it, never have. Hiss, 65, has written a couple of books about his father, lives in his father's old Greenwich Village apartment and has made his father's vindication a focus of his life. Hobson, in his twilight, now has joined in, both brothers driven by the heartache of their family history.
The last living link to the events on 30th Street -- and a witness who was never allowed to testify at Alger Hiss's 1949 and 1950 perjury trials -- Hobson returned on Tuesday to the Georgetown house, to refresh his memory in advance of a conference today at New York University, where he will speak in public about the case for the first time....
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (4-4-07)
Mr Paisley said it would show "how far we have come when we can celebrate and learn from the past".
He was speaking after talks with the taoiseach in Dublin when the pair shook hands publicly for the first time.
Mr Paisley said he hoped "old suspicions and discord can be buried forever" through mutual co-operation.
The Battle of the Boyne was fought between William of Orange and Catholic King James II in 1690. The Protestant Orange Order celebrate William's victory every year on 12 July.
Mr Paisley said: "We both look forward to visiting the battle site at the Boyne, but not to re-fight it. I don't want Mr Ahern to have home advantage."
Name of source: MSNBC
SOURCE: MSNBC (4-6-07)
The unusual crime began to unravel last September, when Dean Thomas of Gettysburg, Pa., had the sensation of déjà vu while reading an eBay offer for three Civil War documents from 1861 and 1862 that his brother was bidding on for him. Thomas, who publishes Civil War and American Revolution history books, got up from his desk and looked into one of his many black binders, the one that holds the letters he photocopied some 20 years earlier at the Philly National Archives. There, he found the same ones he was seeing on eBay, being sold by a private seller, “hchapel.” His brother won the bid on a Sunday night and the purchase went through for $298.88. Payment was to be delivered to Denning McTague of Philadelphia; his full address and contact information clearly printed. “It wasn’t very secretive,” says Thomas.
The next morning he called up an acquaintance at the archives and asked if there was a sale of original documents under way. There wasn’t, so Thomas called up the Archives’ Inspector General’s office. A quick search revealed that 164 documents were missing, and soon the National Archives Archival Recovery Team (ART) got to work. Like most of McTague’s other eBay clients, Thomas quickly returned his letters. Only three documents are still missing.
Name of source: IHT
SOURCE: IHT (4-6-07)
Stephane Dudoignon was arrested in southeastern Iran on Jan. 30 and has since been prevented from leaving the Iranian capital, Tehran.
A French Foreign Ministry official said Iran's ambassador to Paris had "quite encouraging comments" about the possibility that Dudoignon would be allowed to leave Iran shortly.
"We hope a solution can be found quickly to fix this administrative problem," spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said.
Dudoignon, a historian with France's prestigious CNRS Institute, has said he was detained over his research into Iran's Sunni minority.
Name of source: HNN Staff
SOURCE: HNN Staff (4-6-07)
Name of source: Secrecy News, written by Steven Aftergood, is published by the Federation of American Scientists
Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1967 have now been
The hearings feature testimony by Director of Central
Intelligence Richard Helms and other Johnson Administration
officials on Soviet nuclear weapons policy, anti-ballistic
missiles, Vietnam, the Middle East, and other topics of
See "Executive Sessions of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee Together with Joint Sessions with the Senate Armed
Services Committee (Historical Series)," Volume XIX, 1967,
made public in 2007.
declassified version of its closely-held internal history of
the Berlin Tunnel Operation, which was an effort in the
mid-1950s to tap into Soviet communications through a tunnel
constructed in the Soviet sector of Berlin. The operation was
famously compromised by a Soviet mole in British intelligence
before it even began.
The official CIA history of the operation was prepared in 1968
and published -- in two copies. A declassified version was
finally approved for release in February 2007.
See "Clandestine Services History: The Berlin Tunnel Operation,
1952-1956," 24 June 1968:
CIA internal histories are a largely untapped resource since
the Agency has been slow to declassify and release them.
A previously published CIA account of the Berlin Tunnel
operation, which includes links to excerpts from other
internal histories of the episode, is here:
A clandestine services history of the 1953 coup in Iran was
leaked to the New York Times in 2000, after the CIA refused to
declassify it. The document is available from the National
Security Archive here:
Name of source: Peter Popham in The Independent
SOURCE: Peter Popham in The Independent (4-5-07)
Then comes the Cairo ring road and the undistinguished modern hotels that line it; the road itself is solid with traffic. Forty-five centuries of history -- that's how long the oldest of these pyramids has held sway here -- look down on our contribution and are not, one suspects, greatly impressed...
It's unforgettable, all right. But apart from the papyrus workshops and the like, the experience is strangely lacking in depth. What are the pyramids all about? Who built them and how and why, and what came next? You can ask your guide as you plod along on horse or camel, but don't expect much enlightenment.
All that is about to change. On a desert site within view of the pyramids, an immense museum, built by the Chinese-American architect Shih-Fu Peng, is about to rise which will transform the Giza experience. The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) will be the biggest museum of Egyptology in the world, and (it is claimed) the largest archaeological museum of any sort. It is designed to become the modern complement the pyramids have always lacked.
Name of source: Edward Rothstein in New York Times
SOURCE: Edward Rothstein in New York Times (4-6-07)
Colonial Williamsburg, where all this took place (about 150 miles south of Washington), is variously called a historical village or a living museum. But that means much more now than it once did. Aside from dramatizing historical controversies, the town is also caught up in living ones: debates about who writes history and how it is told, about what historical realism is and how it should be portrayed, even about what aspects of our past are to be celebrated in this strange combination of education and entertainment...
Name of source: Novinite/Sofia News Agency
SOURCE: Novinite/Sofia News Agency (4-5-07)
The museum will be founded in the town of Petrich as the government announced it donated a municipal property for the cause. The exposition will include many of Vanga's belongings and many photos...
Baba Vanga (Grandma Vanga), a blind peasant whose clairvoyant powers gave her saint-like status across Bulgaria, died at 84. Born in neighbouring Macedonia in 1911, Vanga lost her sight at age 12 in a windstorm.
She claimed to derive her powers from an ancient city buried under her village in southwestern Bulgaria.
Over 1 million people had consulted her, whose fame stretched across the Balkans. Many of Bulgaria's most respected intellectuals and notable politicians sought Vanga's advice, usually uttered in a trance.
Name of source: Asia Times (Hong Kong)
SOURCE: Asia Times (Hong Kong) (4-6-07)
Looking around from Jingshan hill, however, it is difficult to conjure up visions of these ghosts. What you do see radiating out in all directions from the nucleus of the Forbidden City are construction sites, monstrously large earth-moving machines, and predatory cranes rearing up their mechanical heads high into the sky.
As Beijing gears up to host the Summer Olympic Games next year, it is anxious to project itself as a modern world-class capital. However, wrong-footed conceptions of modernity combined with a weak legal system and corrupt collusion between real-estate developers and local officials has resulted in the wanton demolition of large swaths of the historical city. In the process, not only have up to half of the physical neighborhoods that once comprised the capital's center been destroyed, but so has much of the city's social fabric.
The primary object of Beijing's demolition spree has been the hutongs, the narrow tree-lined alleyways that used to make up the entire 62-square-kilometer area surrounding the Forbidden City. Hutongs have been both the arteries and the lifeblood of Beijing since Mongol times, in the 13th century. They represent a long-lasting organic connection between the present and multi-layered past of China's capital city.
Name of source: The Acorn (Agoura Hills, Calif.)
SOURCE: The Acorn (Agoura Hills, Calif.) (4-5-07)
The four-bedroom, three-bath home sitting atop a 1.38-acre hilly lot offers some unique amenities- a 14-foot statue of an Indian sculpted by Count Jean de Strelecki, a Polish immigrant and artist; caves once used as an outpost for weary travelers; a stone mask either engraved or embedded in the side of the hill and possibly other artifacts dating back to the days when Chumash Indians resided in the area.
A legend claims one of the largest caves was used as a hideout for the bandit Joaquin Murrieta.
Hidden treasure is also said to be buried on or near the site, possibly by Murrieta, but owners Scott and Donna Sava and their twin 4-year-old sons have yet to discover any stashed gold...
[A town plannern said the Polish count] unwittingly fashioned the statue of Chief White Eagle after the Seminole Indians in Florida rather than the Chumash Indians who lived in the Conejo Valley for centuries. [The statue base was later signed by Native American actors Jay 'Tonto' Silverheels and Iron Eyes Cody.]
Name of source: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (4-5-07)
But the findings, based on a reconstructed 1.9-million-year-old skull, are highly controversial among the anthropological community.
New computer-generated reconstructions suggest that the specimen had a smaller brain than scientists had believed as well as a distinctly protruding jaw.
"We see in this new reconstruction primitive features that are carryovers from what may be its Australopithecus ancestor," said study author Timothy Bromage, an adjunct professor at New York University College of Dentistry...
But other experts expressed skepticism about Bromage's argument that the repositioning of the specimen's face means its brain size must have been smaller.
"It's probably right that the face should stick far more forward. But to say that because they've changed the angle of the face, the brain size has to get smaller doesn't make any sense," said Robert Martin, a biological anthropologist at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois.
Name of source: Discovery News
SOURCE: Discovery News (4-5-07)
The letter, along with her official affidavit during a subsequent legal inquiry and her life preserver, will be sold at a Christie's auction on May 16. The life preserver was signed by men and women aboard the lifeboat...
[After finally boarding an emergency lifeboat] she wrote, "...we went down into the blackness of the water. Which never shall I forget. There wasn't a light, or a lamp in the boat...We rowed away from the ship, which was sinking fast so to get away from the swell or suction. Then all the rest is too terrible for me to write. The screams of the hundreds of dear women, children and the bravest of men fighting in the icy cold waves, I still hear."
The letter continued, "Oh, you cannot imagine anything more terrible, than a ship wreck at the dead of night that most beautiful and wonderful boat like a floating town sinking so quickly. I watched the whole of it from our little boat and saw all the lights go out, and the very last of her, then the terrible explosion of rumbling, followed by the cries and screams of the hundreds all in the water..."
[The 95th Titanic Memorial Weekend will be in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from April 13-15.]
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (4-4-07)
Leading opposition is the Orthodox church, which says the book waters down the severity of Turkish brutality towards Greece over the centuries...
"There won't be any clear identity of what the Greek fights were all about and why did we want to rebel against the Turks," Jeni Tutsis, a teacher, told the BBC...
But theologian George Mustakis says it's essential to remove bigotry and extreme nationalism from accounts of the country's recent history.
"The book tries to eliminate the words which challenge and brings in front of us the bitter memories. It's a good thing, but we are not mature (enough) to accept such a book", George Mustakis said.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (4-4-07)
Memories of the rancorous 1995 budget fight between President Clinton and leaders of the Republican revolution are casting a distinct shadow over the current impasse between President Bush and Congressional Democrats on Iraq. Each side believes it can apply lessons learned from that earlier battle to its strategy in the current showdown.
The 1995 budget fight grew out of the push by Republicans — riding their historic House takeover the year before — for cuts in federal spending, with Medicare as their poster child for a bloated federal program. When Mr. Clinton refused to go along with trimming the program, budget talks collapsed, and the resulting 21-day shutdown put nearly 300,000 federal workers on furlough and disrupted public services.
Name of source: Salt Lake Tribune
SOURCE: Salt Lake Tribune (4-4-07)
The Interior Department announced Wednesday that the Topaz Camp, near Delta about 140 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, will be recognized as a National Historic Landmark...
The camp, now mainly a windswept field, was used during the war to jail Japanese-Americans and recent immigrants as racial fears increased; nine other camps also held those of Japanese descent during the war and five of those have earned a similar historic designation...
Topaz [internees], mostly legal citizens at the time, spent three or so years living in 20-foot by 20-foot barracks with thin walls; they slept on Army cots.
Residents of nearby Delta have campaigned for some 15 years to raise funds to preserve and partially restore the site, buying up some 624 acres. The Topaz Museum Board currently is attempting to buy the last 16 acres that are privately owned.
Name of source: Honolulu Advertiser
SOURCE: Honolulu Advertiser (4-4-07)
The former home of Queen Lili'oukalani — the last reigning monarch of the Hawaiian kingdom — is among one dozen new national historic landmarks recognized for their importance in interpreting the heritage and history of the United States.
The others established today are in Massachusetts, Ohio, California, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, South Carolina, Missouri and Illinois...
Washington Place is nationally significant for its close association with the life of Queen Lili'oukalani. It was her home from the time of her marriage in 1862 to John Owen Dominis, son of the original builder, to her death in 1917. Her constitutional monarchy was overthrown in an 1893 coup d'etat, and, in 1898, Hawaii was annexed to the United States. Two years later, it formally became a territory.
Built in 1844-1847, Washington Place also is significant for its service as the executive mansion for the territorial governors from 1918 to 1959, and, after Hawaii became the 50th state, the state governor's mansion, from 1959 to 2002.