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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: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (6-30-07)
The tooth, a pre-molar, was discovered on Wednesday at the Atapuerca site in northern Spain's Burgos Province.
It represented western Europe's "oldest human fossil remain", a statement from the Atapuerca Foundation said.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-7-07)
Some 32 years after his death, the man who became synonymous with the island's split with mainland China has been thrust back into the political spotlight, as Taiwan's two main political parties seek an issue to galvanise public opinion before presidential elections next year.
To the opposition nationalist Kuomintang party, whose original members Chiang led to Taiwan after they were driven from the mainland in 1949 by Mao Tse-tung's communists, he remains a symbol of eventual reunification. To the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which draws much of its support from the indigenous Taiwanese population and favours formal independence, he was a brutal dictator who spent his 25 years at the helm engaged in a reign of terror.
Name of source: http://www.radio.cz
SOURCE: http://www.radio.cz (6-29-07)
The dispute was set in motion by the deputy mayor of Brno, Rene Pelan, who took it upon himself to remove the hammer and sickle symbols from a monument built to commemorate 326 soldiers of the Red Army, who lost their lives liberating Brno from Nazi occupation. He made the decision without consulting the town hall authorities and paid a firm to grind off the symbols under cover of the night. The police are now investigating the incident to see whether he committed a criminal offense by interfering with the memorial. The deputy mayor claims that a criminal offense would have been to leave them there since - as he sees it - the hammer and sickle are symbols of a totalitarian regime just like the Nazis' swastika. However, Czech legislation does not ban communist symbols and Brno police spokeswoman Andrea Prochazkova says Mr Pelan is on very thin ice with his interpretation of the law.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (6-26-07)
Authorities had to sort out a complex money trail before awarding the money, some two years after the death of the soldier's last named beneficiary, a grandchild.
"Who would have thought that in 2007, you'd get a gift from a Civil War veteran?" asked Mark Stubis, a spokesman for KidsPeace, the children's advocacy group that announced the gift Monday.
Adam Brinker -- who was born in 1846 and joined the Pennsylvania Infantry at age 16 -- was mustered at Harrisburg in September 1862 and served in the Army of the Potomac. He was honorably discharged in July 1863.
Brinker, who once lived in Forks Township, amassed a small fortune after the war as a harness maker in South Bethlehem. He was also active with local organizations.
SOURCE: AP (6-30-07)
"I understand that the bombing ended the war, and I think that it couldn't be helped," Kyodo News agency quoted Kyuma as saying in a speech at a university in Chiba, just east of Tokyo.
Kyuma's remarks drew immediate criticism from Japanese atomic bomb survivors.
"The U.S. justifies the bombings saying they saved many American lives," said Nobuo Miyake, 78, director-general of a group of victims living in Tokyo. "It's outrageous for a Japanese politician to voice such thinking. Japan is a victim."
Name of source: http://www.wbaltv.com
SOURCE: http://www.wbaltv.com (6-29-07)
The pre-Civil War ambrotype, which came from a collector, was created with a photographic process that was used in the early 1850s, experts said. The photo can be traced back to the home of Union Civil War Gen. Joshua Chamberlain.
The image is directly on the glass and can be viewed because of the black paper behind it in the frame.
Name of source: http://www.kath.net
SOURCE: http://www.kath.net (6-29-07)
Name of source: Times Dispatch
SOURCE: Times Dispatch (6-29-07)
But racially, according to Haley's son, little has changed since the author shared his story of African-born Kunta Kinte, his daughter, Kizzie, and her son, Chicken George -- the first freed slave in Haley's family.
"There has been a change as far as what 'Roots' did," said William Alexan der Haley, the chief operations officer of Carolina Pinnacle Studios in Yanceyville, N.C. "It changed the impression of people about how the African-American people came through that period. They had values, they had a culture, and both black and white people identified with that culture."
Despite the attention paid to African-American life and cultural history, racial bias is still one of America's most pressing issues, and both blacks and whites are responsible, William Haley said in a phone interview from his home in North Carolina.
"There's that impression, that feeling, that idea that it's now ended. But show me a place in America today where a black man can go and not be discriminated against," he said. "And what's sad about it is that blacks by and large accommodate that behavior.
Name of source: HNN Staff
SOURCE: HNN Staff (7-1-07)
Timing really is everything. By March 2003, this White House knew its hype of Saddam's nonexistent nuclear arsenal was in grave danger of being exposed. The order allowed Mr. Bush to keep his own fingerprints off the nitty-gritty of any jihad against whistle-blowers by giving Mr. Cheney the authority to pick his own shots and handle the specifics. The president could have plausible deniability and was free to deliver non-denial denials like"If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is." Mr. Cheney in turn could delegate the actual dirty work to Mr. Libby, who obstructed justice to help throw a smoke screen over the vice president's own role in the effort to destroy Mr. Wilson.
Name of source: NYT
As the “family jewels” make clear, this web of intrigue began in the Kennedy White House.
Another treasure trove, however, was already in public view — tapes that President John F. Kennedy himself recorded in the Oval Office. Here are edited transcripts — and a link to the tapes themselves — of two August 1962 conversations in which Kennedy took steps to spy on the national security reporter for The New York Times, Hanson Baldwin. The president was furious. He wanted to stop secrets from leaking.
These Oval Office transcripts were published in October 2001 by the Miller Center of Public Affairs. But that was the month after 9/11, and they went largely unnoticed — until last week, when the more closely guarded “family jewels” were released.
The lawyers who won the Supreme Court case predicted that it would have as dramatic an effect on American society as the original Brown case did. “These are the most important decisions on the use of race since Brown v. Board of Education,” Sharon Browne, the principal lawyer for the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, declared in a press release. “With these decisions, an estimated 1,000 school districts around the country that are sending the wrong message about race to kids will have to stop.”
But some legal scholars on both sides of the political spectrum, and of the affirmative action debate, question this assessment. They doubt that this case will transform society as dramatically as Brown did. And some of them question whether even Brown was as singularly influential in transforming society as many have claimed during the last half-century.
If the Smithsonian Institution knows what it does not want in its next secretary, it seems less sure of the kind of leader it should be seeking, particularly now that the job description is changing.
Should it be an experienced arts manager, comfortable balancing the interests of museum directors, donors and boards? A business executive steeped in management? Or perhaps a university president adept at dealing with influential alumni, educators and government officials?
The opening at the Smithsonian is a result of the rocky tenure of Larry M. Small, former president and chief operating officer of Fannie Mae, who resigned in March after disclosures about lavish spending. Two lacerating reports — one internal, another from an outside review committee — describe a chief executive run amok, devoting much of his time to corporate boards.
Name of source: Adam Goodheart in the NYT
SOURCE: Adam Goodheart in the NYT (7-1-07)
Most recently, a book by Cullen Murphy, titled, plainly enough, “Are We Rome?” begins with an extended comparison of President Bush to the emperor Diocletian from the third century A.D. Everything from their respective foreign policies to their retinues of courtiers comes under scrutiny. (It’s a bit of puckish humor that the author, whose sympathies are decidedly of the liberal sort, chooses that particular Roman ruler, who was famous for feeding Christians to the lions.)...
Meanwhile, other commentators have their own comparisons. Conservative bloggers thunder about illegal Mexican immigrants as latter-day versions of the Vandals and Ostrogoths. Fundamentalist pastors like Pat Robertson warn of Neronian moral decay — pornography, abortion, gay marriage — that, they say, is hollowing out our society from within. And it seems as if everyone who watched the HBO series “Rome” has a pet theory on which ancient warlord resembles which modern pol (Pompey as Al Gore, anyone?).
Even Middle Eastern jihadists have joined in. Last November, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, released an audiotape in which he vowed: “We will not rest from our jihad until we are under the olive trees of Rumieh and we have destroyed the dirty black house — which is called the White House.” The reference to “Rumieh” puzzled translators at first. It is Arabic for the Roman Empire.
What few remember is that America has always been compared to Rome. It’s only the nature of the comparisons that are constantly changing. Nearly a half-century ago, in the aftermath of the McCarthy era, Stanley Kubrick’s “Spartacus” was a thinly veiled attack on the Hollywood blacklist. In 1979, Tinto Brass’s notorious “Caligula” gave us ancient Rome as a Saturday night at Studio 54, with togas.
But it all started long before that, and the comparisons began as positive ones. America’s early leaders thought about Rome quite a lot, comparing themselves to statesmen whose names, unlike those of Nero and Caligula, are all but forgotten today: the noble freedom fighters like the Gracchus brothers, or the virtuous legislators like Cato the Younger. Their emphasis was usually not on the Roman Empire, but rather on the republic that preceded it.
In fact, George Washington’s favorite literary work was a play about Cato by the 18th-century English author Joseph Addison. So fond was he of Addison’s “Cato” that one of the first things he did at the end of the winter of 1778, when his men had scarcely recovered from the frozen misery of Valley Forge, was to arrange a performance by his troops. In the 19th century, an immense marble statue of Washington in the guise of a Roman god — naked except for some strategically placed drapery — actually stood in the rotunda of the United States Capitol. Thomas Jefferson, meanwhile, was painted in a Roman laurel crown by his friend and fellow Revolutionary hero Thaddeus Kosciuszko.