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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: DPA (German Press Agency)
SOURCE: DPA (German Press Agency) (4-30-07)
According to BT, Messerschimdt, who has been previously convicted for racist offences, resigned in order to spare his party any further aggravation...
BT reported the previous week that at a celebration to mark the opening of Copenhagen's Tivoli amusement park, Messerschimdt drunkenly sang a Nazi song and made the Nazi salute, saying "Heil Hitler" and "Sieg Heil" with his right arm raised.
The member of parliament denied the report, saying that he was so drunk that he remembered nothing.
Name of source: Threat Level blog (Wired)
SOURCE: Threat Level blog (Wired) (4-30-07)
Now that essay, SIGINT and the Fall of Saigon, April 1975, has been (mostly) declassified in a Mandatory Declassification Review initiated by attorney and journalist Michael Ravnitzky. Here's the NSA's side of the story...
Name of source: Herald-Sun (Melbourne, Australia)
SOURCE: Herald-Sun (Melbourne, Australia) (5-1-07)
Research shows humans tens of thousands of years ago may have been having sex for fun as well as for procreation...
Bondage, group sex, transvestism and the use of sex toys were common in primitive societies as a way of building up social bonds, says archeologist Timothy Taylor of Bradford University.
A 30,000-year-old statue of a naked woman -- the Venus of Willendorf -- and an equally ancient stone phallus found in a German cave challenge the widespread belief that sex was mostly heterosexual and about making babies...
Mr Taylor is publishing his views in his book Handbook of the Evolution of Human Sexuality.
Name of source: BBC News
The Napier Report was written following a study into the lives of crofters in the Highlands and Islands in the 1880s...
It was a response to demonstrations against high rents, lack of security of tenure on land that had been in families for generations and the forced evictions of crofters.
The report's four volumes and appendices have gone live on http://www.highland-elibrary.com ...
The project has been bitterly opposed by environmental campaigners.
They are opposed to the route because of its proximity to the historic sites of Tara and Skryne.
The find is thought to be the size of several football fields and is a circular structure used possibly for ceremonies in ancient times.
On Monday, Irish Transport Minister Martin Cullen turned the first sod on the huge motorway project.
However, only one day later it has been halted by Environment Minister Dick Roche.
Environmentalists and historians warned that the Hill of Tara and its ancient burial site in County Meath was too important to be tampered with.
Hill of Tara activists site
At a girls high school in Ramallah in the West Bank a civics class concentrates on the birth of Palestinian nationalism. Asked what they know about the history of the Jewish people on the other side of the security barrier, few show much interest or understanding.
In the 1980s a new generation of Israeli historians started writing about some of the more brutal aspects of their country's origins including expulsions and violence against Arab villagers.
But most of that still hasn't made it into the mainstream narrative.
And today, young people on either side of the conflict have little chance to find out more about each other's present lives let alone the past.
Apart from a few official school exchanges youngsters from the two sides have virtually no contact at all.
Name of source: Times (of London)
SOURCE: Times (of London) (5-2-07)
Considered to be a masterpiece by Peter Lely [1618-1680], official artist to Charles II, the painting is believed to have been concealed behind a secret sliding panel for the monarch’s private enjoyment in the royal bedchamber at the Palace of Whitehall...
Research undertaken by Christie’s, which will be auctioning the painting with an estimate of £2 million on July 5 -– has thrown new light on the sitter...
[Story includes photo of painting.]
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (5-1-07)
Last week, the Cambodian Bar Association -- which had claimed an affront to its sovereignty -- lowered the fee to $500, and on Monday the foreign judges at the trial said they were satisfied...
But it remained unclear how long it would then be before the first indictments are brought. And even if all goes smoothly, it is likely to be months before the first defendant is brought into a courtroom to face charges.
"It comes down to time," said Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, which has been gathering potential evidence for a trial.
"We need to use time wisely in order to catch up with the aging Khmer Rouge leaders," said Youk Chhang, who is a survivor of the Khmer Rouge years, from 1975 to 1979...
Name of source: Telegraph
SOURCE: Telegraph (5-2-07)
However, the history books might have to be rewritten. A letter discovered in a London attic appears to exonerate the Old Etonian baronet and fencing champion of either cowardice or callousness.
Travelling with Sir Cosmo and his wife, Lucy was Mabel Francatelli, Lady Duff Gordon's secretary. In a long letter written by Miss Francatelli from New York a few days after the sinking, she gives a vivid account of their escape and rescue. She also says that Sir Cosmo behaved with complete generosity and integrity.
Sir Cosmo, his wife and the secretary abandoned the Titanic with two other American passengers and seven stokers in an emergency lifeboat designed for 40 people...
Thomas Mitchell, 75, a music teacher, and his son Stuart, 41, a pianist and composer, say they became intrigued by the markings on the chapel's arches more than 20 years ago.
Thomas was particularly struck by the 213 carved cubes in the Lady Chapel...
"After scratching our brains for years the whole thing just came together in a eureka moment. We believe this is the Holy Grail of music and, unlike The Da Vinci Code, it is absolutely factual." Mr Mitchell realised the patterns on the cubes seem to match a phenomenon called cymatics or Chladni patterns. These form when a note is used to vibrate a sheet of metal or glass covered in powder.
Different frequencies produce different patterns such as flowers, diamonds and hexagons -- shapes all present on the cubes.
The two men have brought the music back to life using instruments from the Middle Ages, adding words from a contemporary hymn to finish the piece, called The Rosslyn Motet.
The mosaic was found as Italian researchers carried out work on the spectacular Villa dei Quintili, south of Rome and home to the sports-loving Emperor Commodus.
Commodus...was known to enjoy gladiatorial combat and had a small amphitheatre in which fighters would train, near the villa, which Commodus had seized after having its owners executed on a trumped-up charge of treason. It was nearby that the mosaic was found -- picturing a gladiator named Montanus holding a trident alongside a referee who appears to be pronouncing him the victor over a prone opponent.
[Story includes photo of mosaic.]
Historians said his idea to write a common "British story" that would reflect the major events and themes of the country's past was "too little, too late" following a decade in which the teaching of history in schools had become increasingly marginalised.
The comments came after Mr Straw, Leader of the Commons, said that Britain should mimic America by retelling historic stories of how the country was formed.
Children should be aware of key events such as the Magna Carta, the Civil War, the Bill of Rights, the fight for votes and the Second World War to shape their understanding of Britain -- and unite different racial groups, he said.
But the claims provoked anger among historians who accused the Government of allowing British history to be eroded in schools.
Name of source: AP
"The evidence speaks for itself," said Alan Canfora, 58, one of nine students wounded during the 1970 shooting.
Canfora released two versions of a 20-second clip -- the original and an amplified version -- in which he says a Guard officer issues the command, "Right here! Get Set! Point! Fire!"
The tape begins with static in the background and then screams from protesters. The word "point" can be heard followed by the sound of shots being fired. There is no indication on the tape of who said the word.
Daily Kent Stater story, with raw audio
The environmentalist prince told a business conference at his St. James's Palace residence that "the crisis of climate change is far too urgent and discussion simply isn't enough."
"I do not want my children and grandchildren, or anyone for that matter, saying to me, 'Why didn't you do something when it was possible to make a difference and when you knew what was happening?'" he said.
"We can do it, just think what they did in the last war. Things that seemed impossible were achieved almost overnight."
While a bill ordering troops home from an ongoing military mission is not unprecedented -- legislation aimed at conflicts in Somalia and Haiti are other examples -- the Iraq bill is an unusually swift feat by a Congress forcefully challenging a war involving thousands of U.S. troops.
''Congress is not shy usually about attempting to create problems for a president when a war becomes unpopular,'' said Julian Zelizer, a congressional historian and professor at Boston University. ''But I think the significance here is that in a big war, they were able to at least get the legislation to the president's desk pretty early from a historical perspective.''
The state school board approved curriculum in March for teaching the Bible in Georgia's high schools, but there hasn't been a rush of schools to start up the classes. Only a handful of the state's 180 school districts have agreed to offer the elective classes so far...
The Bible already is incorporated into comparative religion and other public school classes in many states, but those classes are funded by the local districts, not with money from state government.
The Georgia law allowing the state-funded Bible classes won overwhelming approval last year from both Democrat and Republican lawmakers. The classes must be taught "in an objective and nondevotional manner with no attempt made to indoctrinate students."
"It struck a chord and became an immediate best-seller," he recalled. On the 50th anniversary of the book's publication, Frommer is still being credited with helping to change leisure travel by showing average Americans that they could afford a trip to Europe. And while the dollar-a-day series is finally ending this year after selling millions of copies, the Frommer brand remains strong, with a new series from Arthur's daughter Pauline carrying on the tradition.
The exhibit, originally set to open April 9, was postponed after a Turkish diplomat complained about the mention of the Armenian killings. The section now uses the term "mass killings" instead of "murders," does not include the number of people killed, and replaces "Turkey" with "Ottoman Empire."
Armen Martirosyan, Armenia's U.N. ambassador, said the reference still reflects the truth, "to some extent."...
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who opened the exhibit, said it was intended to focus on the genocide in Rwanda...
David Brown, spokesman for the British-based Aegis Trust, which works to prevent genocide and helped organize the exhibit, said his organization feels the reference to the Armenian killings is still "quite strong."
Fire Chief Dennis L. Rubin said there was absolutely no suspicion that the fires were related.
The first blaze tore through the southern half of the Eastern Market, a Capitol Hill landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The city-owned building [a produce market with weekend flea market] was empty at the time and there were no injuries, Rubin said.
Hours later, a blaze rushed through the D.C. Public Library's Georgetown branch. The building, in the Georgetown National Register Historic District, was undergoing renovations. There were no injuries.
Many library employees cried at the sight of the flames, including Jerry McCoy, the archivist who oversees the Peabody collection of artifacts. "This is stuff nobody else has, not even the Library of Congress," McCoy said, weeping with his head against a tree.
Library of Congress historians say the world map, completed by German-born cleric and cartographer Martin Waldseemueller in 1507, is the first known document to use the name America, the first to depict the Western Hemisphere and the first to show separate Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The New World territories were named for Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
Merkel...recalled that the map is sometimes referred to as "America's birth certificate," and Waldseemueller and Vespucci can justifiably be called the "godfathers" of America.
Waldseemueller's work recognizes the voyages of Christopher Columbus but chooses to honor Vespucci, who made several voyages along the South American coast shortly after Columbus and concluded that he had found a New World unknown to Europe...
Waldseemueller, who worked out of a school in St. Die in northeastern France, did not use the name "America" in several subsequent maps, but by 1520 several other cartographers had adopted the appellation and it came into common usage.
The German prince who owned the map, the only known surviving copy of the original print of 1,000, agreed in 2001 to sell it to the Library of Congress for $10 million (now worth euro7.4 million). Congress provided half the money, with the rest coming from private contributors.
The deal was completed in 2003 and the map has been at the Library of Congress since then, but the two sides had been unable to arrange an official transfer, required because the map was on Germany's national culture list until now.
The map that named America (LOC paper)
Name of source: ABC News
SOURCE: ABC News (5-1-07)
He kept the diaries diligently, using clear orderly handwriting to take note of his daily events and activities and to shed a human light on the most dramatic chapters of his time in office.
"What the style tells you more than anything that … here is a man who is comfortable in his own skin," said Reagan biographer Lou Cannon.
Vanity Fair has published excerpts from Douglas Brinkley's forthcoming book, The Reagan Diaries, which include an entry days after he took office in 1981. The new president made it clear he would play to win the Cold War.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (5-1-07)
The centerpiece of the 18-month commemoration of the 400th anniversary of America's first permanent English settlement finally is almost here after a decade of planning, and visits by those dignitaries will give organizers two of their biggest wishes.
But the "America's Anniversary Weekend" extravaganza May 11-13 now will be taking place less than a month after a gunman killed 32 people, then himself, 270 miles across the state on the campus of Virginia Tech. And the weekend coincides with Virginia Tech's commencement on May 11, so the tragedy still will feel very fresh.
Name of source: Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
SOURCE: Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) (5-2-07)
''There are nearly 100,000 historical sites in the Kingdom and we have already identified and registered 3,700 main sites. Some of these have 80 to 100 related sites in different localities,'' Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper quoted Ruwaished as saying.
Name of source: New York Times
SOURCE: New York Times (5-1-07)
That story line is true, but so are others. A new generation of historians is exploring some of the untold stories of the civil rights movement and its legacies: the experiences not of heroes or murderous villains, but of ordinary Southern whites. And their research is challenging some long-held beliefs about the nation’s political realignment and the origins of modern conservatism.
"You want to pry below these great narratives of good and evil and black and white,” said Jason Sokol, 29, who wrote There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945-1975 (Alfred A. Knopf). "For those of us who didn’t live through it, there's more of an effort to not simply celebrate the civil rights movement and how extraordinary it was, but to place it within the broader arc of the 20th century."
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (5-1-07)
Now, 18 years on, Neumann and his team of workers are putting the finishing touches to their biggest commission yet -- a 7.5 mile long, 2.5-metre (8ft) high steel fence topped with barbed wire, video monitors and sensors to detect movement. The daunting construction snakes through fields of rapeseed and contains enough steel -- 500 tonnes - to make a ship.
This barrier is transforming the elegant 18th century beach resort of Heiligendamm on Germany's Baltic coast into the tightest high-security zone the country has known for the G8 summit on June 6-8...
Its trademark white classical villas, modelled on those of British resorts, once played host to the Russian tsar and his family, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, Queen Luise of Prussia and even dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, who came here on the advice of their doctors...
The Kempinski Grand Hotel [was] renovated for €200m to house the likes of George Bush, Angela Merkel, Tony Blair and Vladimir Putin [and] €100m [is] being spent on security, including 16,000 policemen...
Conservationists also joined the fray after an 1854 villa -- once the summer residence of the Russian Tsar Nicholas I -- was torn down to make way for a press centre.
Name of source: Los Angeles Times
SOURCE: Los Angeles Times (5-1-07)
A lot has happened since, to her and to Jamestown.
On Friday, when the queen returns for the 400th anniversary of the settlement's founding, she will see a much different representation of the colony, complete with Indians and blacks whose fortunes crossed there.
"She got the sanitized version in 1957," said Peter Wallenstein, a Virginia Tech historian whose book Cradle of America focused on the convergence of Europeans, American Indians and black slaves at Jamestown. "Now she'll see a more inclusive view of all three of the great racial groups that met there. Jamestown represents the origins of democracy and slavery."
From myth to history -- uncovering the real Jamestown
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (5-1-07)
"We've never really come to terms with the history of the Philharmonic Orchestra under National Socialism," general manager Pamela Rosenberg said.
A book is to be published this year by Mischa Aster with the cooperation of the 125-year-old orchestra on the period between 1933 and 1945 and above all on the complex relationship that legendary conductor [1922-45, 1952-54] Wilhelm Furtwaengler had with top Nazis...
During the Nazi years, he was able to retain his position with an often deferential attitude toward the regime, which used him as a propaganda tool, while still working to protect his Jewish musicians...
The conductor was cleared on all charges but his reputation remained tainted by his proximity to the regime.
Name of source: UPI
SOURCE: UPI (5-1-07)
The University of Granada study of Gorham's cave on Gibraltar shows the Neanderthal extinction could have been determined by environmental and climate changes, and not by competitiveness with modern humans.
Professor Miguel Ortega Huertas, who led the research, said the findings of the multi-disciplinary research are an important contribution to the understanding of the Neanderthal extinction and the colonization of the European continent by Homo sapiens.
The study -- based on climate reconstructions -- suggests Neanderthal populations suffered fluctuations related to climate changes before the first Homo sapiens arrived on the Iberian Peninsula. The study found Neanderthals, 24,000 years ago, had to face the worst weather conditions of the last 250,000 years.
SOURCE: UPI (4-30-07)
The Renault FT-17 tank was displayed in Nitro, W.Va., from 1987 when Jack Moody acquired it from a VFW post in Virginia until his death in 2005, The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette reported Monday. But his family apparently sold it to the Ropkey Armor Museum near Crawfordsville, Ind., the newspaper said.
Nitro Mayor Rusty Casto says he's spent months tracking down what happened to the tank and wants it back..."I hope the Moody family has a good lawyer because the federal government gave that tank to the city of Nitro."
Name of source: Toronto Star
SOURCE: Toronto Star (4-30-07)
Or so you might think.
"They forbid us to ride around the pyramids," grouses the owner of the TWA Stable ("Camel and Horse Riding"), one of countless such tourist-dependent operations clustered in the shadows of the brooding Sphinx and the three celebrated Pyramids of Giza. "They accuse of us being terrorists. They say we are going to bomb the pyramids."
"They" are high officials at Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities –- the government body responsible for administering the Pyramids of Giza along with the rest of this country's innumerable ancient monuments –- and they have not actually accused el-Ghabri and his ilk of being terrorists, although perhaps they might as well have.
Name of source: http://www.presstv.ir
SOURCE: http://www.presstv.ir (4-29-07)
Archeologist digging at the 7,000 year-old site named the Pardis Mound south of Tehran have unearthed dozens of brick kilns, pottery wheels and hand-made spindles, said Hassan Fazeli Nashli, the head of Iran's Archeology Research Center.
Ceramic jars and necklaces were also among the ancient artifacts discovered, Nashli said.
Pardis Mound is located in the city of Varamin and is one of the most archeologically rich sites in Iran.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (4-30-07)
But Buckingham Palace officials failed to prevent "tasteless" memorabilia marking her marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947 going on sale.
The Home Office ruled the hankies were acceptable, since buyers were unlikely to blow their noses on them.
Their correspondence has been released by the National Archives in London.
Name of source: Independent
SOURCE: Independent (5-1-07)
Authorities re-erected the Bronze Soldier at the Defense Forces burial ground -- which also holds remains of British, Estonian and German troops - three days after removing it from a downtown square, provoking protests by ethnic Russians.
In the next step of its contentious plan, the government plans to move the remains of Soviet soldiers believed to be buried near the statue's original site. Archeologists excavating the grave said they had found nine coffins, but had not yet opened them.
[The AP reported: A delegation of Russian MPs arrived in Estonia yesterday to try to defuse tensions between the two countries, which have traded harsh words, including Russian officials speaking of"blasphemous" acts, and Estonia accusing Russian media of spreading lies."The main purpose of the visit is to create dialogue," said an Estonian foreign ministry official.]
Name of source: Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, Armed Forces Journal
SOURCE: Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, Armed Forces Journal (5-1-07)
These debacles are not attributable to individual failures, but rather to a crisis in an entire institution: America's general officer corps...
[Conclusion] America's generals have been checked by a form of war that they did not prepare for and do not understand. They spent the years following the 1991 Gulf War mastering a system of war without thinking deeply about the ever changing nature of war. They marched into Iraq having assumed without much reflection that the wars of the future would look much like the wars of the past. Those few who saw clearly our vulnerability to insurgent tactics said and did little to prepare for these dangers. As at Valmy [Prussian defeat by France, 1792], this one debacle, however humiliating, will not in itself signal national disaster. The hour is late, but not too late to prepare for the challenges of the Long War. We still have time to select as our generals those who possess the intelligence to visualize future conflicts and the moral courage to advise civilian policymakers on the preparations needed for our security. The power and the responsibility to identify such generals lie with the U.S. Congress. If Congress does not act, our Jena [final Prussian defeat by France, 1806] awaits us.