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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: China Daily
SOURCE: China Daily (12-28-07)
Fukuda made the statement when meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. China and Japan have a long-standing disagreement over wartime history.
While speaking at the Peking University in the afternoon, Fukuda said Wen Jiabao stressed during his trip to Japan in April that the principle of "taking history as a mirror and looking forward to the future" was not meant to prolong hatred but to make a better future.
"I took the words of Premier Wen seriously," Fukuda told students.
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (12-31-07)
For more than 130 years the Red October chocolate factory in Moscow has been churning out bars for sweet-toothed Russians. But next week the factory, one of the capital's most recognisable central landmarks, is to close.
To the dismay of conservationists, the 19th-century redbrick building on the banks of the Moscow river, close to the Kremlin, is to be converted into luxury flats.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (12-31-07)
Bureau spokeswoman Felicia Ponce said she had no details on why Moore was let out. But she said that with good behavior, inmates sentenced to life can apply for parole after 10 years.
Moore was 40 feet away from Ford outside a hotel in San Francisco when she fired a shot at him on Sept. 22, 1975. As she raised her .38-caliber revolver and pulled the trigger, Oliver Sipple, a disabled former Marine standing next to her, pushed up her arm. The bullet flew over Ford's head by several feet.
Two weeks earlier, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, a follower of Manson's, tried to kill the president in Sacramento.
In recent interviews, Moore said she regretted her actions, saying she was blinded by her radical political views and convinced that the government had declared war on the left.
SOURCE: AP (12-31-07)
Homer Noble Farm, a former Frost residence that's now a historic landmark, was ransacked late Friday night during a party attended by up to 50 people, Sgt. Lee Hodsden said Monday.
The intruders broke a window to get into the two-story wood frame building — a furnished residence open in the summer — before destroying tables and chairs, pictures, windows, light fixtures and dishes. Wicker furniture and dressers were smashed and thrown into a fireplace and burned, apparently to provide heat in the unheated building, he said.
SOURCE: AP (12-26-07)
In "The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bell's Secret," journalist Seth Shulman argues that Bell — aided by aggressive lawyers and a corrupt patent examiner — got an improper peek at patent documents Gray had filed, and that Bell was erroneously credited with filing first.
Shulman believes the smoking gun is Bell's lab notebook, which was restricted by Bell's family until 1976, then digitized and made widely available in 1999.
The notebook details the false starts Bell encountered as he and assistant Thomas Watson tried transmitting sound electromagnetically over a wire. Then, after a 12-day gap in 1876 — when Bell went to Washington to sort out patent questions about his work — he suddenly began trying another kind of voice transmitter. That method was the one that proved successful.
SOURCE: AP (12-25-07)
SOURCE: AP (12-21-07)
The Nanhai No. 1, which means "South China Sea No. 1," sank off the south China coast with some 60,000 to 80,000 items on board, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing Wu Jiancheng, head of the excavation project.
Archaeologists built a steel basket around the 100-foot vessel, and it took about two hours for a crane to lift the ship and surrounding silt to the surface, Xinhua said. The basket was as large as a basketball court and as tall as a three-story building.
SOURCE: AP (12-21-07)
J. Russell Coffey was the last WWI vet in the state, according to the Veterans Affairs Department. He died Thursday at the age of 109, said the Smith-Crates Funeral Home in North Baltimore, about 35 miles south of Toledo.
SOURCE: AP (12-20-07)
The 19,375-square-foot complex, dating from the second to fourth centuries, features well-preserved mosaic and marble floors, bathtubs and collapsed walls that archaeologists believe belonged to a domus — the richly decorated residences of Rome's wealthy and noble families.
SOURCE: AP (12-19-07)
Halsey Minor purchased the property, which includes a Georgian style mansion and 400 acres that are subject to a conservation easement, as well as 76 acres adjoining the property.
Minor says he'll use the site as a residence and center for a thoroughbred horse breeding program.
SOURCE: AP (12-20-07)
Officials said an estimated €3,000 (US$4,300) worth of damage was done to the glass memorial in the city center of Villach, which lists the names of local residents who perished in World War II.
Name of source: People's Daily Online
SOURCE: People's Daily Online (12-31-07)
"The names of the martyrs were discovered during the information collection process ahead of the establishment of a memorial hall for the deceased aviators," said Wang Jian, vice president of the Nanjing Aviation Association, which is based in the eastern province of Jiangsu.
"These include 404 Americans and more than 500 Chinese," Wang said. "Their identities have been verified by Chinese and American experts."
On Aug. 1, 1941, the American Volunteer Group, which later cameto be known as the Flying Tigers, was formed under the leadership of U.S. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault to help China drive out invading Japanese troops.
Name of source: Deutsche Presse-Agentur
SOURCE: Deutsche Presse-Agentur (12-30-07)
Buildings in a radius of 1 kilometre were cleared by police and fire officers, beginning at around 8.00 am. The operation was expected to be concluded by mid-afternoon.
The bomb is believed to be a 1,000-pounder (500 kilograms) and is lying at the unusually deep level of 8.5 metres below the surface.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (12-31-07)
Ultimately those German immigrants made history, launching the first American satellite, Explorer I, into orbit in January 1958 and putting astronauts on the moon in 1969. The crackpot, Wernher von Braun, was celebrated as a visionary.
Far less attention, though, has been given to the space program’s permanent transformation of Huntsville, now a city of 170,000 with one of the country’s highest concentrations of scientists and engineers. The area is full of high-tech giants like Siemens, LG and Boeing, and a new biotech center.
SOURCE: NYT (12-30-07)
SOURCE: NYT (12-26-07)
SOURCE: NYT (12-27-07)
SOURCE: NYT (12-25-07)
The professor, Susan Pace Hamill, is an expert at tax avoidance for small businesses and teaches at the University of Alabama Law School. She also holds a degree in divinity from a conservative evangelical seminary, where her master’s thesis explored how Alabama’s tax-and-spend policies comport with the Bible.
Professor Hamill says that since Judeo-Christian ethics “is the moral compass chosen by most Americans” it is vital that these policies be compared with the texts on which they are based. Another professor says she is the first to address this head on, inspiring work by others.
SOURCE: NYT (12-29-07)
SOURCE: NYT (12-23-07)
It took decades for the federal government to acknowledge that it exposed thousands of workers around the country to dangerous levels of radiation in factories handling nuclear materials, starting with the Manhattan Project in the 1940s and continuing, in some cases, into the 1970s.
SOURCE: NYT (12-23-07)
Hoover sent his plan to the White House on July 7, 1950, 12 days after the Korean War began. It envisioned putting suspect Americans in military prisons.
Hoover wanted President Harry S. Truman to proclaim the mass arrests necessary to “protect the country against treason, espionage and sabotage.” The F.B.I would “apprehend all individuals potentially dangerous” to national security, Hoover’s proposal said. The arrests would be carried out under “a master warrant attached to a list of names” provided by the bureau.
SOURCE: NYT (12-21-07)
Landing in Tokyo, he asked how a previous session, conducted by his boss, Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, had gone. Not well, Mr. Richardson learned. Dr. Albright’s Japanese counterpart requested permission to smoke, she lectured him on the dangers of tobacco, and things never improved from there.
So Mr. Richardson began his meeting with a question.
“Mind if I smoke?” he asked, pulling out the cigar he had tucked into his jacket a moment before. He left Japan with the assurances for which he had come.
Now Mr. Richardson, 60, is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, running not only on his years as an elected official — he was a congressman from New Mexico and is now governor — but also on his parallel career, as a self-appointed and official diplomat.
SOURCE: NYT (12-21-07)
Then there was the endorsement Mr. Romney claimed on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last Sunday that he received from the National Rifle Association while running for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, when it turned out the group had never endorsed him.
Mr. Romney’s latest concession is that he only “figuratively” saw his late father, George, march with Martin Luther King Jr., something he claimed in his highly publicized speech about his Mormon faith earlier this month. Some publications have raised doubts that the event ever happened at all.
SOURCE: NYT (12-20-07)
Mr. LeClerc consulted experts, who told him that pollution and moisture were corroding the statuary ornament and wearing away the marble surface. Precious detail on the neo-Classical Carrère & Hastings building was disappearing, like the edges of elegant cornices and the features of carved faces.
Today, the library is to announce a plan of action: a three-year restoration of the facade, stairs and plaza that is to be completed in time for the building’s centennial in 2011. Already some of the building is shrouded with netting; the first scaffolding is to appear in February on the Bryant Park side of the building.
SOURCE: NYT (12-20-07)
The machine, known as a cyclotron, sits in the basement of Pupin Hall, home of Columbia’s physics department. Covered by dust and graffiti, it weighs 30 tons and stands seven feet tall and 12 feet wide, its giant arms holding aloft a huge electromagnet that once helped guide subatomic particles and split atoms.
Its breakthroughs led to the secretive race for the atom bomb in World War II and, afterward, to Pupin Hall’s designation as a national historic landmark.
Name of source: Ascribe
SOURCE: Ascribe (12-26-07)
"Anthropologists ponder the significance of all sorts of human behavior, and this is certainly one obviously quirky tradition worthy of analysis," says Raybeck. "This is even more the case, now that the practice is being emulated throughout the country where, at New Year's, different communities drop an assortment of oversized objects ranging from a hog (Fayetteville, Ark.), to oranges (both Orlando, Fla. and Orange County. Calif.), to a live opossum in a cage (Brasstown, N.C.), to a carp (Prairie du Chien, Wis.). These various dropped objects both celebrate their respective locales and say goodbye to the expiring year."
"Humans like divisions and patterns. Where they are absent, we tend to supply them. It is significant that the Times Square ball comes down rather than going up. The descending ball signifies the end of the old year at least as much as the start of a new one. It brings that year to a highly visible conclusion and prepares the way for the New Year and, as many of us hope, a fresh start."
"New Year's Day serves as a marker, a beginning. It is the threshold for all the potential and threats of the future, the perfect time to make promises to ourselves, and perhaps God, to become something other than what we are. Thus New Year's is also a sociologically and psychologically auspicious occasion to see transformation, and many of us do wish to alter our circumstances."
"Our resolutions are an expression of our faith in our own perfectibility - however poorly justified. Americans place a fundamental social and cultural value on their ability to create a unique self. The making of resolutions is part of the quest for our individuality, as well as a testimony to its importance to us."
"New Year's resolutions about denial - eat less, spend less, stop ---ing (fill in the blank) - illustrate the dynamic conflict between the capitalist social context of our daily lives and what we think it means to be a good human being. Most of us will fail in our attempts at improvement, but the hope is always refreshing and the self-deception harmless. Besides, we can always look forward to the next New Year's Eve when we will really get serious about our plans for improvement... Ahem."
Hamilton College anthropology professor Douglas Raybeck is the author of "Looking Down the Road: A Systems Approach to Future Studies," a vision of the future of American culture.
Name of source: Russia Today
SOURCE: Russia Today (12-27-07)
It took a year of tireless work to sort and scan the records. Before scanning, the documents needed to be smoothed out to guarantee no information was lost.
Now, the website www.obd-memorial.ru allows people looking for their lost friends and relatives to carry out their own investigations into what happened.
Name of source: Der Spiegel
SOURCE: Der Spiegel (12-21-07)
He changes the world wherever he goes, and yet he takes pains to keep as low a profile as possible. He builds new cities from scratch in China. As an advisor to Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, he is planning an entire neighborhood for the Russian capital. He has dreamed up a magnificent waterfront promenade for the Azerbaijani capital Baku, bringing the city's downtown area closer to the water. And in Nigeria he is designing an entire city to house half a million residents.
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (12-26-07)
Armed bandits and looters rule in the region and no one can visit the southern desert around Ain Tamur unescorted, local officials say.
But 1,500 years ago, the first eastern Christians knelt and prayed in this barren land, their faces turned towards Jerusalem.
The remains of Al-Aqiser church lie in the windswept sand dunes of Ain Tamur, around 70 kilometres (40 miles) southwest of the Shiite shrine city of Karbala, forgotten by most.
Name of source: Press Release: David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies
SOURCE: Press Release: David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies (12-27-07)
The year-end report, Holocaust Denial: A Global Survey - 2007, is published by The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, which is based in Washington, D.C. The report’s co-authors are Holocaust scholars Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the Wyman Institute, and Dr. Alex Grobman, coauthor of the book Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It?
The report found that Holocaust-denial activity increased worldwide in 2007, following a lull in 2006 due to the imprisonment of leading denier David Irving, in Austria. In 2007, Irving returned to the lecture circuit, and other deniers continued their efforts in various countries, including holding a conference in Italy to defend Holocaust-denial. At the same time, however, efforts by some European governments, especially Germany and Austria, to prosecute Holocaust-deniers helped curb the extent of denial activity.
The report also found that in the Middle East, some Arab and Muslim regimes continued to sponsor Holocaust denial and sought to impede UN resolutions opposing denial.” The government of Iran went so far as to organize a conference of Holocaust deniers in Teheran. In addition, a poll found a substantial level of Holocaust denial among Israeli Arabs.
At the same time, the report cited several hopeful developments: a prominent Muslim figure, the former prime minister of Indonesia, condemned Holocaust denial; the United Nations General Assembly and UNESCO both passed resolutions opposing Holocaust denial; and the European Union urged all its member-states to adopt legislation prohibiting Holocaust denial.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (12-27-07)
Mexican archeologists found the ruins, which are about 36 feet high, in the central Tlatelolco area, once a major religious and political centre for the Aztec elite.
Since the discovery of another pyramid at the site 15 years ago, historians have thought Tlatelolco was founded by the Aztecs in 1325, the same year as the twin city of Tenochtitlan nearby, the capital of the Aztec empire, which the Spanish razed in 1521 to found Mexico City, conquering the Aztecs.
Name of source: Chicago Tribune
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune (12-25-07)
But Hamburg's boosters wish to direct your attention to a new, entirely more wholesome waterfront attraction: The BallinStadt Museum, which opened its doors over the summer and offers visitors a glimpse into the remarkable story of how Hamburg evolved from an insignificant port on the Elbe River into the European continent's main conveyor of immigrants to the New World.
Like the Ellis Island Immigration Museum in the U.S., which opened in 1990, the Hamburg project is long overdue and a little hard to get to, but it is a worthy counterpart to its American predecessor.
Name of source: Secrecy News, written by Steven Aftergood, is published by the Federation of American Scientists
Secrecy News was too hasty in writing the December 20 headline that"Foreign Relations in the U.S. [was] Not Published in 2007." That turned out to be wrong.
On December 21, 2007 the State Department published two print volumes of the Foreign Relations of the United States series, along with an electronic document collection.
In addition to the Intelligence Community volume, the State Historian's Office released a FRUS volume on"Greece, Cyprus, Turkey 1973-1976"
and an online collection of documents on South Asia, 1973-1976.
It is possible to detect signs of haste in the new publications as well. For example, the South Asia online collection includes two documents (Chapter 3, documents 56 and 61) dated April 27, 1973 and August 1, 1973 that are attributed to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. But Kissinger did not assume the role of Secretary of State until September 22, 1973.
This week marks one full year since publication of the latest print volume of the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, the official documentary record of U.S. foreign policy which dates back to the Abraham Lincoln Administration.
Publication of FRUS is required by law (Public Law 102-138) and is supposed to occur "not more than 30 years after the events recorded."
But while FRUS has long lagged behind its 30 year deadline, the failure to publish even a single print volume all year is extraordinary and unprecedented in living memory.
"Let's just say that it didn't happen on my watch that a year would pass without a volume published," said one former State Department official. (Two electronic document collections were posted on the State Department web site earlier this year.)
As recently as June 2007, the State Department was still indicating that "10, possibly 11, volumes were scheduled for publication by the end of the year." But that didn't happen.
In September, FRUS General Editor Edward C. Keefer "expressed regret that this number [of published FRUS volumes] fell short of earlier projections of 2007 volume production due to a series of problems and in spite of the best efforts of the staff to solve them," according to the minutes of a September 2007 meeting of the State Department Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation.
According to one outside source, the situation has been complicated by staff turnover, "indifferent management," and even a pending Inspector General complaint.
In response to an email inquiry from Secrecy News, however, FRUS Editor Keefer wrote that "It is not quite as bad as you think."
"We have two print volumes ready to go," Dr. Keefer said. "The books are overdue from the printer, but we will try to release them before the end of the year."
Dr. Keefer said he would provide a fuller response after the holidays.
An online collection of many of the FRUS volumes dating from 1861 to 1960 has been established at the University of Wisconsin. More recent volumes are posted on the State Department web site.
Due to CIA classification restrictions, a new State Department documentary collection on The Intelligence Community, 1950-1955 suffers from significant, basic omissions.
"Between the fiscal years ended June 30, 1947 and 1955 the total budget has increased from approximately [dollar figures not declassified]," the official history states (in document 192, the Doolittle report).
Similarly,"The number of civilian employees of the Agency under personnel ceilings has increased from [number not declassified] at June 30, 1947, to an estimated [number not declassified] for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1955."
Thus, the official government history of U.S. intelligence from 1950-1955 does not include either the budget or the size of the CIA. Instead, this half-century old information remains classified, which indicates that CIA thinks its disclosure would damage national security.
That, of course, is too silly to require refutation. All it means is that CIA's views on classification policy can safely be ignored by anyone who is not legally obliged to comply with them.
Fortunately, a good deal of the historical CIA budget information that was withheld from the State Department volume can be found in David M. Barrett's book"The CIA and Congress" (University Press of Kansas, 2005) at pages 154-156.
Name of source: Newsday
SOURCE: Newsday (12-16-07)
While scattered comments have been made against the proposed $100-million Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Museum and Research Center on Firemen's Field, adjacent to the railroad station, the opposition has been ratcheted up a notch with the formation of Save Firemen's Field.
The group takes its name from the 3.5-acre tract of open land -- now a town parking lot -- where the museum would be built.
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (12-25-07)
America's magazine editors seemed to think so. They kept finding excuses to publish stories about other years. U.S. News & World Report ran a cover story on 1957. Rolling Stone published an entire issue devoted to 1967. Newsweek ran a cover story on 1968. And Spin ran a package of stories about 1977.
Why? Well, 1957 was 50 years ago. And 1967 was the year Rolling Stone was founded. And 1968 was, Newsweek declared, "the year that made us who we are." And 1977 was, Spin announced, "The Year Punk Exploded!"
And 2007 was . . . the year American magazines published cover stories about other years. It was also a year when American magazines published the bizarre, the goofy, the dubious, the ridiculous and the completely absurd. For instance:
Name of source: Lee White at the website of the National Coalition for History (NCH)
SOURCE: Lee White at the website of the National Coalition for History (NCH) (12-21-07)
The legislation improves transparency in the Federal Government’s FOIA process by:
Restoring meaningful deadlines for agency action under FOIA;
Imposing real consequences on federal agencies for missing FOIA’s 20-day statutory deadline;
Clarifying that FOIA applies to government records held by outside private contractors;
Establishing a FOIA hotline service for all federal agencies; and
Creating a FOIA Ombudsman to provide FOIA requestors and federal agencies with a meaningful alternative to costly litigation.
Earlier this year, NCH issued a legislative alert urging passage of the FOIA bill and was involved in a broad-based coalition that worked towards passage of the legislation.
SOURCE: Lee White at the website of the National Coalition for History (NCH) (12-21-07)
According to the on-line publication The Secrecy File, published by the Cox News Service, Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT) intends to “smoke out” whoever put the hold on the bill when the Senate returns in January. Republican Senator John Corynyn of Texas, a co-sponsor of the bill, is quoted in the article as saying, “Our democracy is based on a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and I believe sealing presidential records indefinitely goes against that philosophy.”
Since the White House has not rescinded its veto threat, its reasonable to assume that whoever is holding up the bill in the Senate is doing so at the behest of the Administration. While this is disappointing, we should take heart in the fact that the lobbying efforts of the broad-based coalition of groups supporting the bill has been able to convince two Republican senators to lift their holds on the bill.
Passage of the bill is even more important given the recent ruling by a federal judge invalidating the section of Executive Order 13233 that allowed former presidents to indefinitely delay the release of records. And the uncertainty over the impact of the federal lawsuit has once again generated controversy over former-President Clinton’s assertions that he is not blocking release of records from his presidential library.
In November 2001, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13233, which gave current and former presidents and vice presidents broad authority to withhold presidential records or delay their release indefinitely. The “Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2007” would nullify the Bush executive order and re-establish procedures to ensure the timely release of presidential records.
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (12-21-07)
The collaboration, which became officially known as "Operation Condor," drew on cross-border kidnapping, secret detention centers, torture, and disappearance of prisoners—rendition, interrogation and detention techniques that some human rights advocates are comparing to those used today in the Bush administration's counterterrorism campaign.
"These documents provide a historic passkey into the horror chambers of the Southern Cone military regimes," said Carlos Osorio, who directs the Southern Cone Documentation Project at the National Security Archive. "The atrocities they record from the past remain relevant to the debate over the conduct of counterterrorism operations today, and in the future."
The National Security Archive also posted a series of other records from the Paraguayan archive to inaugurate a new website of 60,000 records of repression. The website, created in collaboration with the Paraguayan Supreme Court, and the George Washington University, is believed to be the largest internet site of spanish-language military and secret police records relating to abuses that took place during the military regime in Paraguay and elsewhere in the Southern Cone. It is designed to facilitate research and international legal efforts to prosecute human rights violators.
Name of source: ABC News
SOURCE: ABC News (12-16-07)
During a three-day rampage, looters pillaged and burned the building, stealing hundreds of rare, centuries-old Islamic documents and texts. Fire, smoke and water damaged much of what remained.
Mounir Bouchenaki, the deputy director-general of the U.N. cultural body Unesco called it "a catastrophe for the cultural heritage of Iraq."
Now, on the brink of the first anniversary of Saddam Hussein's death, and some four years since it was looted, the library's recovery is exceeding even the most optimistic predictions.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (12-21-07)
The priceless sketches, which date from 1904 and 1909, were probably done during the lecture tours given by the pair after they returned from their Antarctic voyages.
Name of source: http://www.dailypress.com
SOURCE: http://www.dailypress.com (12-20-07)
First uncovered in mid-2006, the puzzling dark-stained patch of ground initially resembled a nearby well so richly packed with early artifacts, it required a summer of digging to explore. But as archaeologists probed farther into the slumping soil, the feature expanded dramatically in depth and size, revealing at least three successive floor levels of a large two-chamber cellar dating to the earliest days of the settlement.
SOURCE: http://www.dailypress.com (12-18-07)
First uncovered in mid-2006, the sinking, dark-stained patch of soil originally looked like a nearby well so richly packed with artifacts that it had required a summer of digging. But as archaeologists probed deeper, the feature expanded dramatically in size, revealing at least three successive cellar floor levels that dated to the earliest days of the settlement.
Name of source: Haaretz
SOURCE: Haaretz (12-18-07)
are among the findings of a first-of-its-kind study conducted among the Jews of Russia and Ukraine over the last year by the Institute for Jewish Studies in the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States).
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (12-20-07)
Traveling along the 450-odd kilometers, or about 280 miles, of the border - from the German town of Zittau in the south, where the German and Polish dividing line ends at the border of the Czech Republic, to the Polish port city of Szczecin in the north - what is most striking is the relative indifference along the way to the change.
For centuries Poland was Europe's marching ground - when it was not dismembered and wiped off the map entirely by some combination of Germany, Austria and Russia. The Kingdom of Poland battled the Teutonic Knights as far back as the Middle Ages and memories of Hitler's Blitzkrieg storming into the country in September 1939 are still alive in the minds of the elderly and the imaginations of the young.
Once Hitler's army was defeated, millions of Germans were forced out of major cities now in Polish territory, like Breslau, now known as Wroclaw. Cities along the rivers Neisse and Oder that form most of the border became divided towns like Frankfurt-Slubice or Görlitz-Zgorzelec.
That the peaceful dismantling of border posts is largely a ceremonial nonevent testifies to the quiet success of the often-criticized project of European integration. But historical grudges linger under the surface as distance and distrust are still discernible. Communities on the two sides of the rivers that form almost the entire border remain culturally and linguistically apart.
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (12-19-07)
"Your government needs your food," she remembers the armed men shouting. "Then they took iron bars and poked in the walls and the floors, looking for anything they could find."
But they didn't have any food. Kira, now 85 and living in an apartment in Manhattan, was living through one of the worst periods of Stalin's brutal reign in the Soviet Union.
Name of source: Times (London)
SOURCE: Times (London) (12-20-07)
Written by the Princess in October 1996, she told of her belief that the Prince of Wales wanted her dead so he could marry Tiggy Legge-Bourke, a nanny to Princes William and Harry.
The Princess, who mistakenly believed that Legge-Bourke was having an affair with Prince Charles and had been made pregnant by him, wrote that Camilla Parker Bowles was "nothing but a decoy."
She gave the letter to her butler Paul Burrell, who revealed its existence in a book in 2003.
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (12-20-07)
"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,'' long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means said.
A delegation of Lakota leaders has delivered a message to the State Department, and said they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the U.S., some of them more than 150 years old.
The group also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and would continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months.
Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.
The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free - provided residents renounce their U.S. citizenship, Mr Means said.
Name of source: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (12-17-07)
The new finds include ancient ceremonial baths, a pharaoh's private entry ramp, and the remains of a massive wall built some 3,000 years ago to reinforce what was then the bank of the Nile River.
A host of other artifacts, including hundreds of bronze coins, has also been found. Together the discoveries are causing experts to reconsider the history of the largest religious complex from ancient Egyptian times.
Archaeologists are particularly intrigued by the discovery of the embankment wall, which they say is the first evidence that the Nile once ran alongside the temple.
Name of source: http://www.physorg.com
SOURCE: http://www.physorg.com (12-18-07)
The skull was discovered more than 50 years ago near the town of Hofmeyr in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. It is thought to be 36,000 years old, according to a study published in the journal Science in January 2007. The finding by Oxford researchers in collaboration with Stony Brook University, New York, supports a growing body of genetic evidence which suggests that humans originated in sub-Saharan Africa and migrated into the Old World around this date.
The international team used a new application of dating methods developed by Dr Richard Bailey and his colleagues from the School of Geography and the Environment, the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the Department of Earth Science. Traditional radiocarbon dating of the Hofmeyr skull was not possible because so much carbon had been leached from the bone while it lay buried in sediment. ...