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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: Richmond Times-Dispatch
SOURCE: Richmond Times-Dispatch (2-20-08)
Children such as Speakes manned the front lines in the battle for school desegregation, in many cases unknowingly taking up the torch for a greater civil-rights movement in this country.
It's those youths who will be honored at Virginia's Civil Rights Memorial in Capitol Square, on the grounds of the former Confederate capitol.
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine noted yesterday at the groundbreaking that youngsters were involved in many pivotal moments of the civil-rights movement.
SOURCE: Richmond Times-Dispatch (2-20-08)
Taylor remembers the Civil War artifacts that made White's Chesterfield County home what he called a virtual museum. The garage was more like a Civil War ammo dump.
"He had a lot of ordnance in there. . . . I remember leaving his house thinking, 'I wouldn't want to be his neighbor,'" the mayor said yesterday.
White, 53, died Monday after a Civil War shell exploded outside his Glebe Point home. Authorities have been sorting through the relic collector's munitions and destroying them at a local dump.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (2-19-08)
Police were investigating 31 people who allegedly operated in Italy and France as part of a European art trafficking ring, a police statement said Tuesday. No arrests have been made.
SOURCE: AP (2-19-08)
The 220-pound bomb was set off by an excavator in the outskirts of Znojmo near the Austrian border, police spokesman Jan Krepela said. The worker operating the machine suffered light injuries, Krepela said.
[One worker received light injuries.]
SOURCE: AP (2-15-08)
The searchable database collects previously published material in one place to make it easier for both government and private researchers to explore Wallenberg's case, said Harald Hamrin, a retired Swedish diplomat who led the initiative.
Wallenberg, who worked as a diplomat in Budapest, is credited for having saved at least 20,000 lives during World War II. He was arrested by Soviet troops in 1945 and is believed to have died in captivity, although the time and circumstances of his death remain unclear.
SOURCE: AP (2-16-08)
Sidney Mathis and his friend had found nails, bolts and a toy car by sweeping the detector over a field near their home Thursday. But it was their other find that alarmed Sidney's father, Chris Mathis.
He arrived home Thursday to find the boys about to put the grenade into a bucket of water. Chris Mathis grabbed the grenade and dangled it outside the window of his sport utility vehicle as he drove away from the apartment complex.
SOURCE: AP (2-16-08)
The idea, floated by the president earlier this week, rankled psychologists worried about traumatizing youth and has teachers reviving debates about how France remembers World War II. But Sarkozy stood firmly by the plan in meetings with teachers over proposed reforms of France's school system.
"We must tell a child the truth," he said. "We do not traumatize children by giving them the gift of the memory of the country."
The president wants each child in the last year of French primary school, at about 10 years old, to "adopt" the memory of one of the 11,000 Jewish children in France killed in the Holocaust, learning about the selected child's background and fate.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-20-08)
The letters were written in 1952 and 1954, when Sir Winston was in his third term as prime minister, to Sir Wilfred Fish, one of Britain's most outstanding dentists.
In one letter, Sir Winston, who was then 79, said: "I am very glad it fell to me to recommend you for a well-deserved honour, I enclose one set of dentures and I should be so much obliged if you would tighten them up a little for me. The others are working very well."
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-20-08)
The exploits of famous names such as Harold Macmillan and Anthony Eden, who would both survive the battlefield to lead their country, as well as Noel Coward and Harry Patch, the last remaining "Tommy", are among the stories published online.
The records of 5.5 million troops awarded medals between 1914 and 1922 - the most comprehensive Great War collection in existence - are being released by the website, Ancestry.co.uk.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-17-08)
"Peter will renounce his place in the line of succession," says Canon Ivor Smith-Cameron, a former chaplain to the Queen. "Given that he has slipped down the line after the birth of Prince Edward's son, I'm sure that he is happy to agree to this."
Her Majesty's eldest grandson, who is 11th in line to the throne, has been forced to make the decision because Autumn was baptised a Catholic. It is a provision of the 1701 Act of Settlement, which enshrined the Protestant ascendancy, that monarchs and their heirs are forbidden to become or even marry Catholics.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-19-08)
Historians say that after a period of overblown pride in wartime resistance, the French had swung in recent decades to a national sense of guilt over the country's submission to its German occupiers.
The docu-drama, La Résistance, shown on French television, focuses on little known, often small-scale acts of resistance during four years of Nazi occupation.
Pierre Laborie, a historian, said the film clarified the fact that "an enormous number of people refused to give in (to collaborating)".
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-18-08)
The remains, which bear the hallmarks of having been hanged, drawn and quartered, are thought to be those of Sir Hugh Despenser the Younger, who was executed as a traitor in 1326.
Sir Hugh had been favourite of Edward II - who was widely believed to have been homosexual - but was brutally executed before a mob after the king was ousted from the throne.
The decapitated remains, buried at Hulton Abbey, Staffs, have intrigued experts since they were uncovered during the 1970s and now Mary Lewis, an anthropologist, says she has uncovered compelling evidence of their true identity.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-15-08)
The MP, a member of The Left party, said bringing the Stasi back could be "useful".
Christel Wegner, one of The Left's six new MPs in the state legislature in Lower Saxony following last month’s elections, said it would be "useful to have the Stasi back to deal with (conservative) reactionary forces."
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (2-19-08)
The British public broadcaster has been reducing its shortwave transmissions over the last seven years, eliminating services to North America and Australia in 2001 and South America in 2005. Last March, the BBC started reducing European transmissions, finally cutting off a transmitter on Monday that reached parts of Southern Europe.
“There comes a point where the shortwave audience in a given region becomes so small that spending money on it can no longer be justified,” the broadcaster said in a statement.
SOURCE: NYT (2-19-08)
Inside were clothing worn by Lee Harvey Oswald; a small, tooled leather holster belonging to his killer, Jack Ruby; and piles of typed, old crackling documents. But nothing that was likely to settle the longstanding dispute over President John F. Kennedy’s death.
SOURCE: NYT (2-17-08)
The “cult of personality” is used in the pejorative. But recast as a different name — call it charisma — and, as Roosevelt and other examples show, it can be a critical element of politics and its practical cousin, governance. It just can’t be the only element.
“Today, attacks on the cult of personality seem really to mean attacks on the ability to make speeches that inspire,” Mr. Caro said in an interview. “But you only have to look at crucial moments in the history of our time to see how crucial it was to have a leader who could inspire, who could rally a nation to a standard, who could infuse a country with confidence, to remind people of the justice of a cause.”
Still, Mr. Caro adds a caveat: “That doesn’t always translate into a great presidency.”
So what does it look like?
Charisma, as defined by the early sociologist Max Weber, was one of three “ideal types” of authority — the others were legal, as in a bureaucracy, and traditional, as in a tribe — and rested upon a kind of magical power and hero worship. That definition was, of course, unsuitable for modern times, as one of Weber’s many interpreters, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., wrote in “The Politics of Hope.” Its use became metaphorical, as Mr. Schlesinger wrote, “a chic synonym for heroic, or for demagogic, or even just for ‘popular.’ ”
SOURCE: NYT (2-17-08)
Or, depending on how you figure it, Mr. Obama, born in 1961, could be the third boomer in chief, following Presidents Clinton and Bush. In theory, the candidate Obama belongs in the boom, defined by the Census Bureau as births during the years 1946 to 1964.
But the practice of defining generations is more complicated than the theory. Often their labels are about as helpful as parents who imagine that if two children are 7, they should play together.
SOURCE: NYT (2-16-08)
Iran celebrated the 29th anniversary of its Islamic Revolution this month, but there are many fathers of that revolution, like Mr. Yazdi, who have not been part of any official celebration.
Name of source: Daily Mail
SOURCE: Daily Mail (2-18-08)
The far-Right group received 51 per cent of all hits to party sites last year - seven times more than the online pages run by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
It was also twice as popular as the Conservatives' main website.
The report, for the Centre for Policy Studies, claims the site has flourished because it allows visitors to leave messages and interact with one another.
Name of source: Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (2-19-08)
Treasure hunters in Germany claim they have found hidden gold in an underground cavern that they are almost certain contains the Amber Room treasure, believed by some to have been stashed away by the Nazis in a secret mission in the dying days of World War II.
The discovery of an estimated two tonnes of gold was made at the weekend when electromagnetic pulse measurements located the man-made cavern 20 meters underground near the village of Deutschneudorf on Germany's border with the Czech Republic.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (2-19-08)
The document has been acquired by the library of the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace for £72,485, with the help of heritage bodies' donations.
It faced being taken overseas by a private buyer until the government put a block on its export last year.
The Catholic Queen was executed on 8 February 1587 at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire.
Her cousin, Elizabeth I, signed the warrant but later claimed she had given no instruction for its enactment.
SOURCE: BBC (2-17-08)
There were protests and tight security around the theatre in Amersfoort where Johannes Heesters appeared.
Although Heesters insists he never espoused Nazi politics, he performed for Adolf Hitler and visited the Dachau concentration camp.
Correspondents say many Dutch people have never forgiven him.
"He kept singing for the Nazi regime, for the Wehrmacht, and he earned millions," said Piet Schouten, representative of a committee formed to protest against Saturday's performance.
SOURCE: BBC (2-18-08)
The remains have been discovered at Sisupalgarh near Bhubaneswar, capital of the eastern state of Orissa.
Researchers say the items found during the excavation point to a highly developed urban settlement.
The population of the city could have been in the region of 20,000 to 25,000, the archaeologists claim.
The excavations include 18 stone pillars, pottery, terracotta ornaments and bangles, finger rings, ear spools and pendants made of clay.
But some historians and archaeologists in Orissa have expressed reservations about the claim of the researchers - they say it is too early to say anything about the population or periodicity of the area.
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (2-19-08)
As expected, the earliest version of the document did not include the now notorious claim that Saddam Hussein could launch weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes of an order to do so.
The first draft made a series of lurid claims about the extent and danger of the Iraqi president's weapons arsenal. But those were expressed in even stronger terms by September 2002, when the official dossier on which Tony Blair based the case for war was published.
Ministers had fought a three-year battle to stop the confidential initial draft from being released, but last month lost an appeal against a ruling that it should be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (2-17-08)
In a margin he dated the list November 411. Unfortunately for the martyrs, history forgot them. At some point, this page became detached from the book it belonged to. Since 1840, the volume has been one of the treasures of the British Library. It is known only by its catalogue code: ADD 12-150
The missing page has always been a fascinating mystery for scholars and historians. Now, after an extraordinary piece of detective work, that page has been rediscovered among ancient fragments in the Deir al-Surian monastery in Egypt. It is, according to Oxford University's Dr Sebastian Brock, the leading Syriac scholar who identified the fragments, the oldest dated Christian text in existence.
Name of source: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (2-15-08)
Scientists opened the tomb—found in Dra Abul Naga, an ancient cemetery on Luxor's west bank—on Wednesday.
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (2-18-08)
Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins presented the items at a news conference Monday. Watkins says they were locked in a safe for nearly two decades and that investigators had made him aware of them after he took office in 2006.
Much of the attention focuses on the transcript purporting that Ruby and Oswald met at Ruby's nightclub on Oct. 4, 1963, less than two months before the Nov. 22 assassination. In it, they talked of killing the president because the Mafia wanted to "get rid of" his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy.
[HNN: It's believed the transcript was made for a planned movie. There is no evidence that Oswald and Ruby met.]
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (2-18-08)
The new list, which was last updated in 1930, has rocketed by more than 1.3 million, the Confucius Genealogy Compilation Committee (CGCC) said, according to a report in the China Daily.
The updated list, which includes overseas and female relatives for the first time, will be published next year to coincide with the 2,560th anniversary of the thinker's birth, the report said.
Name of source: http://www.scoop.co.nz
SOURCE: http://www.scoop.co.nz (2-17-08)
The Associate Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Mahara Okeroa, and the NZ Ambassador to France, Sarah Dennis, represented New Zealand at the opening ceremony in the weekend (Saturday evening, France local time).
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (2-15-08)
A town official said this was impossible, as Kiryat Yam was founded in 1945, while Google emphasised that their service "depends on user-generated content that reflects what people contribute, not what Google believes is accurate".
The user in question, a Palestinian from Jenin called Thameen Darby, has already made other, similar, notes, though in this specific case he said if the location is "proven wrong by reliable sources, I will be quick to reallocate it". Apparently even cyberspace is not immune from the competing claims to the landscape of Palestine/Israel.
Name of source: http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk
SOURCE: http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk (2-15-08)
In a tale which echoes the storyline of the Hollywood blockbuster film Saving Private Ryan, Brian Roote has unearthed the tragic tale of the brothers who were all killed in action during a two-and-a-half year period in the Great War.
Albert, Stephen, Charles and Frank - the sons of Elijah and Mary Ann French - are all on Croydon's Roll of Honour after dying in combat.
This was despite two of them having emigrated to Canada before the outbreak of war.
Name of source: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk
SOURCE: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk (2-16-08)
The Vampire Dugout was found by a team of archaeologists on the site of the 1917 Battle of Passchendaele.
Name of source: http://www.iol.co.za
SOURCE: http://www.iol.co.za (2-15-08)
The tomb of a 5 500-year-old man surrounded by three sacrificed humans, two dogs and exquisite ceramics were exhumed north of Khartoum by Neolithic expert Jacques Reinhold and his 66-year-old Austrian wife.
"This is the oldest proof of human sacrifice in Sudan, in Egypt, in Africa," Reinhold told reporters next to the remains in El Kadada village, a three-hour drive north of the Sudanese capital.
Name of source: Salt Lake Tribune
SOURCE: Salt Lake Tribune (2-15-08)
A Denver-based energy company's proposal to drill at least that many wells on the West Tavaputs Plateau threatens the thousand-year-old Anasazi ruins, where dust and chemicals are already corroding peerless rock art.
Name of source: http://www.theherald.co.uk/news
SOURCE: http://www.theherald.co.uk/news (2-16-08)
The mysterious rock art had been hidden by a huge tree in Forestry Commission Scotland's Achnabreac Forest, in West Argyll, until it was blown down around three weeks ago.
Name of source: http://www.smh.com.au
SOURCE: http://www.smh.com.au (2-17-08)
Divers in Milne Bay have reported seeing the remains of a twin-engined plane in the exact same spot pinpointed by documents that were recently uncovered by an aviation historian in Canberra.
Now a diving boat skipper, who has found other plane wrecks in PNG waters, is planning an expedition to find the missing plane.
Name of source: http://www.eveningsun.com
SOURCE: http://www.eveningsun.com (2-14-08)
Controversy about a potential limit - which affects the town's many ghost-tour companies - was sparked last summer, when the borough's public safety committee proposed a 15-person cap.
Objections from the owners of ghost-tour companies prompted the committee to increase that number to 26, including the tour guide.
Name of source: http://www.wjactv.com
SOURCE: http://www.wjactv.com (2-15-08)
Now, one treasure hunting team from Clearfield says it knows where the gold is [but the state of Pennsylvania won't allow him to dig it up.]
Name of source: HNN Staff
SOURCE: HNN Staff (2-18-08)
[T]oday, many years after President Nixon has died, as President Nixon’s library prepares to become fully comparable to the other Presidential libraries — because we believe that by 2009 all of President Nixon’s records will be here in Yorba Linda — we are preparing to welcome a new new Nixon. A new Nixon who will be the creature of the scholars who will come to Yorba Linda, study these records without fear, or favor, or bias, and begin to tell the truly nuanced story of the 37th President’s life and times, his statesmanship and his legacy.
So there is about to be another new Nixon, thanks to the good work of scholars who will come to Yorba Linda and do that work.
Initial comments posted on the blog were mixed. Apparently, a decision has been made not to censor critical posts. Ronald Walter wrote:"The rehabilitation of both his, and Ron Reagan’s legacies, without regard for the truth, is sickening, and dishonest in the extreme."
Name of source: AOL
SOURCE: AOL (2-17-08)
The Harris poll points out that recent presidents tend to be listed more often as both the best and the worst. In a separate poll asking Americans to name the worst commander-in-chief since World War II, Bush won in a landslide, netting 34 percent of the vote.
The online survey posed this question to 2,302 adults in the U.S.: Which one of the following presidents do you think was the best overall president in our history?
[#1: Lincoln, #2 Reagan, #3 FDR, #4 JFK, #5 GW, #6 Clinton, #7 Jefferson, #8 Truman, #9 TR, #10 GW Bush.
Name of source: IHT
SOURCE: IHT (2-18-08)
Education Minister Xavier Darcos said Monday the plan could be adjusted so that an entire class could collectively honor an individual victim.
"Is it necessary to do one by one, for each pupil? Perhaps we could find other solutions," such as choosing one victim per class, he said on RTL radio.
He said he would meet Wednesday morning with teachers and Holocaust historians to work out how best to implement the plan.
The minister confirmed that something would be in place for the next school year that would "respond to the president's intuition."
Name of source: Telegraph (London)
SOURCE: Telegraph (London) (2-18-08)
Most intriguing among the new material is a transcript perportedly recording a conversation between assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and his own killer Jack Ruby, in which the two discuss how to eliminate the president.
While the district attorney's office dismissed the document as a fictional account intended for use in the making of a movie, conspiracy theorists will leap on the new material.
Much of the attention is bound to focus on the transcript purporting that Ruby and Oswald met at Ruby's nightclub on Oct. 4, 1963, less than two months before the Nov 22 assassination.
In it, they talked of killing the president because the Mafia wanted to "get rid of" his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy.
Name of source: Beacon News (Illinois)
SOURCE: Beacon News (Illinois) (2-18-08)
Illinois State Historian Thomas Schwartz says the ax that's been part of the library's collection since 1955 was wielded by Lincoln on April 8, 1865, while he was visiting wounded Union troops at City Point, Va.
That was just one week before he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theatre.
Schwartz says Lincoln spent most of April 8 shaking hands with more than 5,000 wounded soldiers at a field hospital, and then, to show that he wasn't tired, he picked up the ax and chopped a pile of wood.
Name of source: San Francisco Chronicle
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (2-17-08)
Mayor Willi Saly is intent on finding out whether there's anything in the historical record that would provide a clue to what drove a village farmer named Josef Vallaster to become one of the most brutal concentration camp guards of World War II. The records, which surfaced last summer, show that Vallaster was a mass murderer. The data say he participated in the deaths of 250,000 Jews at the Sobibor and Belzec death camps in Poland, and of 20,000 mentally and physically disabled persons at a clinic in Nartheim, Austria.
For Saly, 62, who has been mayor of this picturesque ski resort of 900 residents for 23 years, it makes no difference that Vallaster died 65 years ago or that the Austrian media has ignored his efforts.
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (2-15-08)
Now it's over to you. Here are the contenders. Which do you think did the greatest harm to our island nation? Voting will close at midnight on Monday 18 February....
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (2-17-08)
For the next 40 years, black students in grades one through six took classes there in subjects such as domestic science, nature study and agriculture. It wasn't fancy, but for children whose parents and grandparents had been forbidden from reading under pre-Civil War Virginia laws, it was a symbol of hard-fought dignity.
Today, the Lucasville School is the last black schoolhouse in Prince William County. It opens to the public this weekend along Godwin Drive outside Manassas, not far from its original location.
Name of source: http://weekendamerica.publicradio.org
SOURCE: http://weekendamerica.publicradio.org (2-16-08)
He was a fantastic orator. Picture him with 10,000 screaming Nebraskans behind him, and you can imagine what his Republican rival was up against.
"You had William McKinley," says historian Jennifer Burns, "who knew right away that he was going to lose in any head-to-head battle if it came down to personality [and] oratory.
"[McKinley] said, 'I might as well put a trapeze on my front lawn and go against a professional gymnast if I go up against Bryan.'"
So he didn't.
While Bryan thrilling crowds with his charisma and his rousing speechifying, McKinley relied on a well-funded, highly-skilled network of political operatives and entrenched party loyalists. Then he just sat back and let the machine work for him.
"He simply sat on his front porch," says Burns, "and let people come to him."
Welcome to the world of pre-modern presidential campaigns. A time when, if you wanted to know what William McKinley or James Garfield or Benjamin Harrison thought about trade policy or international affairs, you could literally get some friends together, knock on the candidate's front door and ask him.
But he wasn't going to come to you.
"It was essentially this idea that you were trying too hard," says Burns. "If you want the presidency, there was something inherently problematic about that."
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (2-15-08)
That is far from the prevailing impression of Borden. Despite her acquittal at trial, she is commonly depicted as an ax-wielding spinster who got away with the murder of her father and stepmother in Fall River in 1892.
The photograph, which does not identify the girl, was found last month in the collection of the Swansea Historical Society by Stefani Koorey, publisher of ''The Hatchet: Journal of Lizzie Borden Studies."
“I’ve been staring at her face for about 20 years,” Koorey said yesterday from her home in Orlando, Fla. “I know those eyes.”
It would be the youngest known photograph of Borden.
Name of source: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp
SOURCE: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp (2-15-08)
Prefectures across the country reportedly have been considering making Japanese history compulsory at high schools, but Kanagawa Prefecture will be the first to do so. Japanese history is currently an elective subject, in line with the government's teaching guidelines.
The guidelines stipulate that high school students are required to study world history in a geography-history category, with students allowed to choose between Japanese history or geography.
Name of source: http://canadianpress.com
SOURCE: http://canadianpress.com (2-15-08)
Museum Director Brent Glass said the museum has received inquiries from visitors making travel plans, and wanted to provide them with a more realistic time frame for the reopening. An exact date has not been set.
The museum closed in the fall of 2006 for a $85-million renovation. Some of its most popular artifacts, such as Dorothy's ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz," are on display at the nearby National Air and Space Museum during construction.