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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: Email from Andrew J. Weaver
SOURCE: Email from Andrew J. Weaver (5-21-08)
Thank you for your support
Contributors to our legal fund have all given permission to use their donations to design and implement a professional educational and advocacy campaign opposing the Bush institute at SMU. The campaign will seek to raise public awareness during the next several weeks about plans to create a partisan institute having no oversight by the university and being planned under the guidance of Bush political operative Karl Rove.
Our goal is to persuade South Central Jurisdiction delegates to reject the SMU/Bush foundation lease proposal when they meet in Dallas at the Hilton Anatole Hotel, July 15-19. We will also seek to convince the “court of public opinion” through the media that the SMU-Bush linkage is injurious to both SMU and the United Methodist Church (UMC) that owns the university.
The campaign will entail an intensive public relations effort incorporating print, internet, fax, radio, TV and advertising. It will include designing and uploading a high-quality website with blog and interactive capability. It will also involve creating and circulating a media kit for print and broadcast distribution as well as a quality delegate information kit.
The campaign is being designed and implemented by P&S Associates of Maine LLC (PSA), publication and communications specialists whose CEO is Stephen Swecker. Mr. Swecker is a United Methodist clergyman and award-winning religious journalist and editor. PSA provides publication services for The Progressive Christian (recently named North America's best general interest religious magazine by the Associated Church Press) and United Methodist NeXus, an online newsletter and recipient of ACP's Award of Merit.
If you wish to make a donation to the educational and advocacy campaign fund, please send it to Rev. Bob Weathers, 2420 Willington Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas 76110. Rev. Weathers is a highly regarded member of the Central Texas Conference and a former District Superintendent. Please make checks to “Protect SMU Fund.” The more money we have available, the more robust the campaign can be.
Growing the Petition
Finally, please continue to encourage your friends and colleagues to sign the petition. Each name is important. We need to tell officials of the UMC at every level that we find that a partisan institute honoring George W. Bush at SMU to be “utterly unacceptable.”
With best regards,
Rev. Andrew J. Weaver, Ph.D.
Name of source: Jonathan Alter in Newsweek
SOURCE: Jonathan Alter in Newsweek (5-26-08)
As C-Span viewers of the weekly British Question Time can attest, this would be revolutionary, even if our version proved far tamer. (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden use this approach, too.) By moving us a bit closer to a parliamentary system, McCain would strike a major blow for real debate and democracy. A pointed question from an opposition leader (e.g., "Why is talking to the leader of a major country like Iran appeasement?") would make a much bigger splash than the same question from a reporter. Imagine this being televised a year from now. Question Time would be great theater that would strengthen ties between the branches.
Name of source: http://www.prweb.com
SOURCE: http://www.prweb.com (5-20-08)
Excavation director Mensun Bound of St Peter's College, Oxford, says, "We are not just bringing up cannon, but also muskets, grenades, swords, rapiers, body armour and helmets. This was a ship that was supplying an English army fighting in France to prevent a second Armada-style invasion by Spain."
Name of source: http://obsentinel.womacknewspapers.com
SOURCE: http://obsentinel.womacknewspapers.com (5-21-08)
Last week, First Colony Foundation (FCF) teamed up with scholars and the premier production of Time Team America to excavate grounds in hopes of finding artifacts that would answer any of the numerous questions surrounding the mystery.
Fort Raleigh is the first of five sites for Time Team America's series and the team only had three days to complete the excavation. Thus, they worked from sun-up to sun-down, ensuring not a minute was wasted. The team consists of archaeologists, geophysicists, sketch artists, and graphic artists along with the several in the production field. Lead digger Chelsea Rose explained the teams are "looking for artifacts or evidence of features of buildings" including post-holes relative to structures.
Name of source: http://discovermagazine.com
SOURCE: http://discovermagazine.com (5-20-08)
The little “tree” in my hand is a dart head fashioned from creamy-brown chert and bristling with tiny barbs designed to lodge in the flesh of marine prey. Erlandson recently collected dozens of these little stemmed points from San Miguel Island, a scrap of land 27 miles off the coast of California. Radiocarbon dating of marine shells and burned twigs at the site shows that humans first landed on San Miguel at least 12,000 years ago, and the dart head in my hand holds clues to the ancestry of those seafarers. Archaeologists have recovered similar items scattered along the rim of the North Pacific, and some have even been found in coastal Peru and Chile. The oldest appeared 15,600 years ago in coastal Japan. To Erlandson, these miniature trees look like a trail left by mariners who voyaged along the stormy northern coasts of the Pacific Ocean from Japan to the Americas during the last Ice Age. “We haven’t published the evidence for this hypothesis yet, and I’m kind of nervous about it,” he says. “But we are getting very close.”
Name of source: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate
SOURCE: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate (5-20-08)
That's the good news.
The bad news is that more than 1,000 acres of the 6,000-acre Gettysburg National Military Park remain in private hands and unprotected from development. Congress has not appropriated any money for land acquisition or easement purchases since 2001.
If not for organizations like the Foundation and others, and for private citizens who donate easements, preservation at the historic park would be at a standstill.
Name of source: http://www.galesburg.com
SOURCE: http://www.galesburg.com (5-20-08)
Rep. Raymond Poe, R-Springfield, sponsored House Bill 4665, which advances to the Senate. No one spoke against the legislation, which still needs to pass in the Senate and be signed by the governor before becoming law.
The secretary of state’s office would decide on the design and color of the license plates, which would cost more than the typical Illinois license plate.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (5-21-08)
Now, after more than two years of passionate negotiations, the different factions have finally streamlined the many versions of their language to create a new Standard Written Form.
The resolution means the path has been cleared for Cornish to get official acceptance and funding, with support from the EU. It will be used in education, on brochures, pamphlets and on street signs....
A thousand years ago Cornish, which is closely linked to Welsh and Breton, was spoken by most of the population in Cornwall. Its decline began in 1549 when the Latin prayer book was replaced by an English version, provoking a revolt.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (5-21-08)
The Archdiocese of New York announced this morning that a donor had come forward with an “unexpected but very welcome gift” after a private meeting with Cardinal Edward M. Egan, the archbishop of New York.
The gift includes $10 million to restore the building, at 119 Avenue B; $2 million to establish an endowment for the parish “so that it might best meet the religious and spiritual needs of the people living in the community”; and $8 million to support the St. Brigid’s School and other Catholic schools in need.
SOURCE: NYT (5-21-08)
Mr. Jordan was surrounded by friends and family — including his son Hamilton Jr., who was able to make it from Europe to his father’s bedside — when he lost a long battle with cancer, according to a statement from the Carter Center.
SOURCE: NYT (5-20-08)
On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the historic, American-led airlift to supply the besieged capital, the mayor is going ahead with plans to close the airport by year’s end. How sad. A last-minute campaign by his political opponents to save it through a citywide referendum late last month won a majority, but not enough Berliners turned out to make the vote official.
Now, talk about twists of fate, a big international air show opening here in a few days will celebrate the airlift’s anniversary — but not at Tempelhof. It will take place at Schönefeld airport, in the former East Berlin, whose pending expansion is the immediate cause of Tempelhof’s demise.
SOURCE: NYT (5-20-08)
On Tuesday, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a private nonprofit organization, will announce that the Statler Hilton and 10 other sites have made its 2008 list of the country’s most endangered historic places.
“Historic buildings in cities all over the country, they are being changed and destroyed,” said the trust’s president, Richard Moe, noting that scores of other sites could have been added to the list.
The Statler was chosen because it represents an important moment in the history of Dallas, a time of growth and success, the trust said. Buildings of midcentury modern design are at risk of demolition around the country. The Statler, designed by William Tabler, was the first glass-and-steel hotel in America.
SOURCE: NYT (5-19-08)
And after an investigation by the Department of the Interior a year later found no merit to the claim by the professors, Lisa Austin and Madis Pihlak, that the winning design by Paul Murdoch, an architect based in Los Angeles, contained some of their ideas, most of those involved thought the debate over the design of the $58 million first phase of the memorial to be built near Shanksville, Pa., was over.
But the debate and rancor has been reignited in anticipation of Ms. Austin and Mr. Pihlak’s presentation of a paper on the issue on Tuesday at the “Designing the Parks” conference in Charlottesville, Va.
SOURCE: NYT (5-18-08)
The United States Commission of Fine Arts, which must sign off on every inch of the $100 million memorial, from typeface to tree variety to color scheme, said in a letter that “the colossal scale and Social Realist style of the proposed sculpture recalls a genre of political sculpture that has recently been pulled down in other countries.”
In a flourish that the commission secretary now says he regrets, the letter also said that the statue made Dr. King look “confrontational.”
From the Washington Monument on, no memorial has been erected on the Mall without a bruising debate. But there is something about Dr. King that makes the simple act of commemoration a thicket of controversy.
Mr. Oe’s eyes lit up behind his trademark round glasses as he spoke of striking a new approach in what he declared would be his final novel. If Mr. Oe (pronounced OH-ay), 73, kept his pace of writing two hours every morning, it would take two years to finish....
Perhaps Mr. Oe felt an urgency to make up for the time — two and a half years — he had lost defending himself and his writing in court. In late March, a district court rejected an attempt by plaintiffs backed by Japanese rightists to suppress a 1970 book that he had written on Japanese military atrocities in Okinawa during World War II. For Mr. Oe, it was the latest battle in a half-century struggle against the right. This time, he won.
Victory, though, came at great cost. He had written no fiction during the trial’s two and half years. And instead of spending his afternoons reading literature, he had devoted them to girding for battle by devouring hundreds of accounts on Okinawa and books written by right-wing authors, books that he “had never had any intention of ever reading.”
“Nothing could have been as boring and painful as reading those books,” Mr. Oe said, though he added that they had helped him understand his enemies’ “weaknesses and strengths.”
WITH the trial over, he sold all those books to a second-hand bookstore for $500.
SOURCE: NYT (5-18-08)
A letter the physicist wrote in 1954 to the philosopher Eric Gutkind, in which he described the Bible as “pretty childish” and scoffed at the notion that the Jews could be a “chosen people,” sold for $404,000 at an auction in London. That was 25 times the presale estimate.
The Associated Press quoted Rupert Powell, the managing director of Bloomsbury Auctions, as describing the unidentified buyer as having “a passion for theoretical physics and all that that entails.” Among the unsuccessful bidders, according to The Guardian newspaper, was Oxford evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, an outspoken atheist.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (5-21-08)
Zelma Henderson died Tuesday in Topeka, six weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
In 1950 she signed onto the litigation on behalf of her children challenging Topeka's segregated schools. In all, 13 black parents, including the Rev. Oliver Brown, took part in the federal court case.
Oliver Brown was involved in the lawsuit on behalf of his oldest daughter, Linda. He wanted her to attend an all-white school five blocks from home rather than an all-black school 20 blocks away.
In a speech Thursday to the Israeli Knesset, Bush mentioned the president of Iran, and said:"Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along."
Bush then recalled a comment attributed to Borah in 1939 following Germany's invasion of Poland.
"As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939," Bush told Israeli lawmakers,"an American senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."
Obama has said he would pursue talks with Iran without insisting on"preconditions" that could prompt Iranian leaders to spurn the request.
The comments have touched off back-and-forth salvos from the various camps, with Obama lashing out at President Bush and at Republican presidential rival John McCain for"dishonest, divisive" attacks in intimating the Democratic presidential hopeful would be soft on terrorists.
Did Borah say it?
SOURCE: AP (5-14-08)
But the Ugandan president, who is in Jerusalem to attend Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations, wanted to know about the more distant past.
He grilled Israeli opposition-leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his historian father on Israel's history — including the Jewish presence in the Holy Land.
He asked the Netanyahus when Jewish people first lived in what is now Israel. He also wanted to know what other communities lived in the area throughout the centuries, and if Jewish people displaced those communities.
Ambassador William Timken told reporters Monday that the embassy's return to Pariser Platz will be officially marked on the Fourth of July with speeches by Chancellor Angela Merkel and former President George H.W. Bush, followed by traditional Independence Day fireworks over the Brandenburg Gate.
The actual move, however, comes this weekend and the building will be opened Tuesday, the day after Memorial Day, Timken said.
"This is the closing of a long circle dating back to before 1940..." Timken told reporters. "This is not simply turning a key on a new facility — this is history in the making."
Also on the list were the Grand Canyon, Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Preserve, Washington D.C.'s National Mall, and the Saturn V moon rocket at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration in Huntsville, Ala. Huntsville is nicknamed Rocket City because the U.S. space exploration program began there in the late 1940s.
The show assembled a panel of experts to choose the seven destinations, which included manmade as well as natural wonders. The places were announced one at a time over seven shows, with the final one airing May 14.
The late 16th or early 17th century grooming tool, which weighs only about an ounce, was located Sunday by Blue Water Ventures diver Chris Rackley as he searched the area about 22 feet below the surface and 40 miles west of Key West. He says its value could exceed $100,000.
The divers, who are searching the shipwreck trail of the Spanish galleon Santa Margarita that sank in a 1622 hurricane, also recovered ceramic pieces, spikes, ships' fittings, rigging elements and two skeleton keys.
In an era when the world's armies are hard pressed to fill their ranks, the Gurkhas are a recruiter's dream: Last year 17,349 applied to join the British military, and after grueling physical, medical and mental tests 230 were accepted — just one in 75.
These warriors could be regarded as Britain's mercenaries: good money and adventure are major attractions. But ask almost any Gurkha soldier, and he is also likely to talk of history and upholding a tradition of being among the world's finest infantrymen.
This reputation was first acquired in the 19th century, after the British thought it wiser to recruit rather than fight foes who bloodied them badly when they moved northward out of colonial India into Nepal.
SOURCE: AP (5-18-08)
The bomb was believed to have been dropped by the U.S. military during World War II.
The rusty bomb was defused by a team from Japan's Self-Defense Force in Chofu, on the outskirts of Tokyo, said Tokyo Fire Department official Shigeru Ishikawa.
SOURCE: AP (5-18-08)
With U.S. military officers sometimes present, and as North Korean invaders pushed down the peninsula, the southern army and police emptied South Korean prisons, lined up detainees and shot them in the head, dumping the bodies into hastily dug trenches. Others were thrown into abandoned mines or into the sea. Women and children were among those killed. Many victims never faced charges or trial.
A 15,000-strong British army sailed up Lake George 250 years ago this summer, intent on taking Fort Ticonderoga, France's southernmost outpost in the region. The French, outnumbered nearly five to one but well fortified, hastily built 8-foot-high log barriers as the enemy approached.
The name Ticonderoga still resonates among veterans of Scotland's most revered military regiment, the Black Watch, but not because the fight went well for their predecessors.
Hacking through brush, felled trees and sharpened tree limbs that slowed their advance to a desperate crawl, the 42nd Highland Regiment and other redcoats were easy targets for French gunners firing from behind the barriers.
"They go in 1,000 strong and lose 500," British author Stephen Brumwell said of the Black Watch casualties as he stood on the fort's wind-swept ramparts, not far from where hundreds of his countrymen are buried.
Name of source: Newsweek
SOURCE: Newsweek (5-21-08)
Name of source: Matt Bai in the NYT Magazine
SOURCE: Matt Bai in the NYT Magazine (5-18-08)
There is a feeling among some of McCain’s fellow veterans that his break with them on Iraq can be traced, at least partly, to his markedly different experience in Vietnam. McCain’s comrades in the Senate will not talk about this publicly. They are wary of seeming to denigrate McCain’s service, marked by his legendary endurance in a Hanoi prison camp, when in fact they remain, to this day, in awe of it. And yet in private discussions with friends and colleagues, some of them have pointed out that McCain, who was shot down and captured in 1967, spent the worst and most costly years of the war sealed away, both from the rice paddies of Indochina and from the outside world. During those years, McCain did not share the disillusioning and morally jarring experiences of soldiers like Kerry, Webb and Hagel, who found themselves unable to recognize their enemy in the confusion of the jungle; he never underwent the conversion that caused Kerry, for one, to toss away some of his war decorations during a protest at the Capitol. Whatever anger McCain felt remained focused on his captors, not on his own superiors back in Washington.
Not all of McCain’s fellow veterans subscribe to the theory that the singularity of his war experience has anything to do with his intransigence on Iraq. (Bob Kerrey, for one, told me that while he was aware of this argument, he has never believed it.)
Name of source: WaPo
"She's a hypocrite," Doris B. Walker, 89, who was a member of the American Communist Party, said in an interview last week. "She had to know who we were and what kinds of cases we were handling. We had a very left-wing reputation, including civil rights, constitutional law, racist problems."
Malcolm Burnstein, 74, a partner at the firm who worked closely with Clinton during her internship, said he was traveling in Pennsylvania in April when Clinton attacked Obama for his past interactions with William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, members of Students for a Democratic Society who went on to found the bomb-making Weather Underground.
"Given her background, it was quite hypocritical," Burnstein said. "I almost called the Philadelphia Inquirer. I saw what she and her campaign were saying about Ayers and I thought, 'Well, if you're going to talk about that totally bit of irrelevant nonsense, I'll talk about your career with us.' "
The pen in his left hand is gone, too, replaced by a scroll. His hands seemed etched in more detail, down to the creases in his knuckles and the bones under the skin. There are buttons on his coat sleeves.
The sculpture of the civil rights leader, destined for a memorial on Washington's Tidal Basin, began undergoing these subtle yet noticeable changes even before a federal arts commission expressed its criticism of the model last month. Now it will probably be altered even more.
Ed Jackson Jr., the executive architect on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial project, said last week that he is sending more modifications to the sculptor in China, who is building a full-scale clay model of the 28-foot sculpture, known as the Stone of Hope.
That would mean, according to the memo, that the information requires safeguarding because "the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure would create risk of substantial harm."
Bush's memorandum, signed on the eve of his daughter Jenna's wedding, introduced "Controlled Unclassified Information" as a new government category that will replace "Sensitive but Unclassified."
Such information -- though it does not merit the well-known national security classifications "confidential," "secret" or "top secret" -- is nonetheless "pertinent" to U.S. "national interests" or to "important interests of entities outside the federal government," the memo says.
SOURCE: WaPo (5-18-08)
And she remembers the American airplanes, part of the Berlin Airlift, that flew over once every three minutes in 1948 to bring food and other supplies to the city enduring a Russian army blockade.
"The war was only over three years and we were hungry," Johnson said yesterday from the cockpit of the C-54 "Spirit of Freedom," a Berlin Airlift plane on display yesterday at Andrews Air Force Base's annual open house. "It brings back memories."
Name of source: Wire News Network
SOURCE: Wire News Network (5-19-08)
On May 19-21, 2008 friends, family, former LBJ staffers and colleagues, along with the U.S. Congress, will pay tribute to the native Texan who served as our nation's President and Vice President, Majority Leader of the United States Senate and U.S. Congressman. Many of Johnson's closest advisors will be in attendance to share first-hand accounts from their interactions with President Johnson.
Name of source: http://www.dispatch.co.za
SOURCE: http://www.dispatch.co.za (5-15-08)
He was speaking at a march at Port Shepstone .
About 2000 party supporters took to the streets to call for the immediate withdrawal of the book.
Mncwango said it was untrue that the IFP and its leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi were perpetrating violence in the province as depicted in the book.
The book has a cartoon showing Buthelezi signing a document with a pen dripping with blood.
Mncwango said the cartoon implied the IFP was involved in violence.
Name of source: White House letter to NBC News
SOURCE: White House letter to NBC News (5-19-08)
President, NBC News
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10112
This e-mail is to formally request that NBC Nightly News and The Today Show air for their viewers President Bush's actual answer to correspondent Richard Engel's question about Iran policy and "appeasement," rather than the deceptively edited version of the President's answer that was aired last night on the Nightly News and this morning on The Today Show.
In the interview, Engel asked the President: "You said that negotiating with Iran is pointless, and then you went further. You said that it was appeasement. Were you referring to Senator Barack Obama?"
The President responded: "You know, my policies haven't changed, but evidently the political calendar has. People need to read the speech. You didn't get it exactly right, either. What I said was is that we need to take the words of people seriously. And when, you know, a leader of Iran says that they want to destroy Israel, you've got to take those words seriously. And if you don't take them seriously, then it harkens back to a day when we didn't take other words seriously. It was fitting that I talked about not taking the words of Adolph Hitler seriously on the floor of the Knesset. But I also talked about the need to defend Israel, the need to not negotiate with the likes of al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas. And the need to make sure Iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon."
This answer makes clear: (1). The President's remarks before the Knesset were not different from past policy statements, but are now being looked at through a political prism, (2). Corrects the inaccurate premise of Engel's question by putting the "appeasement" line in the proper context of taking the words of leaders seriously, not "negotiating with Iran," (3). Restates the U.S.'s long-standing policy positions against negotiating with al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas, and not allowing Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.
Engel's immediate follow-up question was, "Repeatedly you've talked about Iran and that you don't want to see Iran develop a nuclear weapon. How far away do you think Iran is from developing a nuclear capability?"
The President replied, "You know, Richard, I don't want to speculate – and there's a lot of speculation. But one thing is for certain – we need to prevent them from learning how to enrich uranium. And I have made it clear to the Iranians that there is a seat at the table for them if they would verifiably suspend their enrichment. And if not, we'll continue to rally the world to isolate them."
This response reiterates another long-standing policy, which is that if Iran verifiably suspends its uranium enrichment program the U.S. government would engage in talks with the Iranian government.
NBC's selective editing of the President's response is clearly intended to give viewers the impression that he agreed with Engel's characterization of his remarks when he explicitly challenged it. Furthermore, omitted the references to al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas and ignored the clarifying point in the President's follow-up response that U.S. policy is to require Iran to suspend its nuclear enrichment program before coming to the table, not that "negotiating with Iran is pointless" and amounts to "appeasement."
This deceitful editing to further a media-manufactured storyline is utterly misleading and irresponsible and I hereby request in the interest of fairness and accuracy that the network air the President's responses to both initial questions in full on the two programs that used the excerpts.
As long as I am making this formal request, please allow me to take this opportunity to ask if your network has reconsidered its position that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war, especially in light of the fact that the unity government in Baghdad recently rooted out illegal, extremist groups in Basra and reclaimed the port there for the people of Iraq, among other significant signs of progress.
On November 27, 2006, NBC News made a decision to no longer just cover the news in Iraq, but to make an analytical and editorial judgment that Iraq was in a civil war. As you know, both the United States government and the Government of Iraq disputed your account at that time. As Matt Lauer said that morning on The Today Show: "We should mention, we didn't just wake up on a Monday morning and say, 'Let's call this a civil war.' This took careful deliberation.'"
I noticed that around September of 2007, your network quietly stopped referring to conditions in Iraq as a "civil war." Is it still NBC News's carefully deliberated opinion that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war? If not, will the network publicly declare that the civil war has ended, or that it was wrong to declare it in the first place?
Lastly, when the Commerce Department on April 30 released the GDP numbers for the first quarter of 2007, Brian Williams reported it this way: "If you go by the government number, the figure that came out today stops just short of the official declaration of a recession."
The GDP estimate was a positive 0.6% for the first quarter. Slow growth, but growth nonetheless. This followed a slow but growing fourth quarter in 2007. Consequently, even if the first quarter GDP estimate had been negative, it still would not have signaled a recession – neither by the unofficial rule-of-thumb of two consecutive quarters of negative growth, nor the more robust definition by the National Bureau of Economic Research (the group that officially marks the beginnings and ends of business cycles).
Furthermore, never in our nation's history have we characterized economic conditions as a "recession" with unemployment so low – in fact, when this rate of unemployment was eventually reached in the 1990s, it was hailed as the sign of a strong economy. This rate of unemployment is lower than the average of the past three decades.
Are there numbers besides the "government number" to go by? Is there reason to believe "the government number" is suspect? How does the release of positive economic growth for two consecutive quarters, albeit limited, stop "just short of the official declaration of a recession"?
Mr. Capus, I'm sure you don't want people to conclude that there is really no distinction between the "news" as reported on NBC and the "opinion" as reported on MSNBC, despite the increasing blurring of those lines. I welcome your response to this letter, and hope it is one that reassures your broadcast network's viewers that blatantly partisan talk show hosts like Christopher Matthews and Keith Olbermann at MSNBC don't hold editorial sway over the NBC network news division.
Counselor to the President
Name of source: Scotsman
SOURCE: Scotsman (5-7-08)
But Sami Abu Shehadi, a member of Israel's Arab minority, is in no mood for tomorrow's festivities across Israel. As he likes to remind visitors, until 1948 this was a thriving Arab city, a cultural capital known for its writers and newspapers and a commercial centre with an ancient port. As part of what Palestinians view as the nakba, or catastrophe, of Israel's creation, Jaffa was conquered in April 1948 by the Irgun Jewish underground group and nearly vanished, with all but 3,000 of its 80,000 residents fleeing under Israeli pressure and becoming refugees in Lebanon, Gaza and elsewhere.
Scratch an Israeli name, or glimpse under a flag and you will find Palestinian history, Mr Shehadi, whose grandfather was one of the few Jaffans to stay, says on his alternative city tours.
Name of source: http://www.civilwarinteractive.com
SOURCE: http://www.civilwarinteractive.com (5-20-08)
Under the plan, an enclosed theater seating 200 people would be built at the base of Last Stand Hill, site of the climax of the 1876 battle in which General George Armstrong Custer and five companies of the 7th Cavalry were wiped out. On April 23, 2008, the National Park Service cleared the project for construction, slated to begin as early as this summer.
Although the site is now occupied in part by a patio attached to the current visitor center, the expansion has drawn heavyweight opposition, led by former NPS Chief Historian Robert Utley, because it would –
Name of source: Tampa Tribune
SOURCE: Tampa Tribune (5-19-08)
To the untrained eye, the barnacle-encrusted wood appears to be nothing more than a neglected boat mooring.
"It looks like an old dock," said Tom Wagner, spokesman for the Florida Aquarium in downtown Tampa.
The beams could be part of something far more interesting.
The planks are the remains of a ship between 80 and 100 feet long, Wagner said. A team of divers and underwater archaeologists from the aquarium that discovered the wreck near Lowry Park Zoo think it could be a sunken Confederate vessel.
Archaeologists are taking measurements and checking nautical records. Wagner said the find could be the first Confederate blockade runner, a ship designed to outrun the Union blockade of Tampa Bay, found in Florida.
Name of source: http://www.eveningsun.com
SOURCE: http://www.eveningsun.com (5-17-08)
"This building's actually McDonald's," he says. "That's a good marker."
Seconds later, an outstretched arm points toward the modern-day structure as it stands in real life on Emmitsburg Road - across the street from where Smith stands on Cemetery Ridge, a chunk of land on which hundreds were killed and wounded during the Battle of Gettysburg.
The use of 20th-century developments as reference points is one way Smith said he has been able to help visitors better understand what happened here in 1863.
But it's a teaching method that could someday be considered passé.
For Gettysburg National Military Park Ranger Karlton Smith stands on the ground of Cemetery Ridge on the Gettysburg battlefield, the chunk of land the National Park Service wants to rehabilitate with federal dollars sometime next year. (Evening Sun Photo by Brett Berwager)
Purchase reprints of Evening Sun Photos at EveningSunPhotos.Com.
several years now, the Gettysburg National Military Park has been carrying out plans to "rehabilitate" some of the land within its 6,000-acre boundary.
Name of source: http://www.charlotte.com
SOURCE: http://www.charlotte.com (5-18-08)
The dispute centers on a former textile mill and 130 acres of forest just north of this Rowan County railroad town near the Yadkin River.
Here, former Boston investment banker Dave Risdon, now of Huntersville, is clearing land to build a 2.15-mile "country club" raceway for amateur drivers of souped-up sports cars and motorcycles. The raceway would include a clubhouse and 120 townhomes lining the track.
But for preservationists, the land is sacred. They claim it as part of a Civil War battlefield where Confederates won their last victory in the Carolinas on April 12, 1865 -- three days after Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox, but two weeks before N.C. troops surrendered.
Name of source: Chicago Tribune
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune (5-18-08)
Among the treasures unearthed by archeologist Rebecca Graff and some of her students are rusty nails, broken crockery, pieces of glass bottles, clumps of gravel and metallic slag, now all neatly labeled in kitchen storage bags.
Graff is thrilled with what she and her crew of 20 undergraduates have been pulling out of the park during their Friday and Saturday all-day digs. If she is right, much if not most of it is from the grounds of the World's Columbian Exposition, the fabled World's Fair that for six months in 1893 made Chicago the center of the world.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (5-19-08)
John Demjanjuk, 88, migrated to the US in the 1950s. He was extradited to Israel and sentenced to death for war crimes, but the ruling was overturned.
He returned to the US but was accused of lying on his immigration application about working for the Nazis.
The US Supreme Court has now rejected his appeal against deportation.
Name of source: Economist
SOURCE: Economist (5-8-08)
Southern Utah is one of the archaeologically richest parts of America. The Anasazi Indians who lived there until the 14th century left pottery, the remains of houses and thousands of mysterious images painted on or chipped into rock, much of it fortunately preserved by the region's parched climate. Less fortunately, the Anasazi tended to settle in areas that have plenty of water—just the sort of spots where developers like to build pseudo-Tuscan villas.
And they do, here more than almost anywhere else. The population of St George, the biggest town in south-west Utah, swelled from 90,000 to 126,000 between 2000 and 2006—a growth rate of 16 people a day. Kanab, 90 minutes' drive to the east, seems poised for a similar explosion. It lies near spectacular Zion Canyon, luring retired folk who know the area from their holidays. And the high birth rate in a heavily Mormon area means houses are always in demand, even now.
Under Utah law developers are under no obligation to preserve, or even reveal the existence of, archaeological remains.
Name of source: Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (5-15-08)
Name of source: Daily Star (Lebanon)
SOURCE: Daily Star (Lebanon) (5-16-08)
The robber groups are highly organized, sometimes heavily armed, often numbering 200-300 men, and, archaeological experts say, often financed by unscrupulous foreign dealers. They are ripping apart these sites, some of which had not even been officially excavated. Some of these illicit digs are family affairs, with impoverished Iraqis seeking to make a few dollars from pottery shards and other relics.
Most are massive quarrying operations with bulldozers, mechanical diggers and dump trucks. They are operating in broad daylight with virtual impunity since protecting these sites is low on US security priorities. Many of the plundered sites are now barren, cratered moonscapes because of the holes dug by the looters.
Name of source: Huffington Post (Blog)
SOURCE: Huffington Post (Blog) (5-18-08)
Fifty-eight years ago, at the outbreak of the Korean War, South Korean authorities secretively executed, usually without legal process, tens of thousands of southern leftists and others rightly or wrongly identified as sympathizers. Today a government Truth and Reconciliation Commission is working to dig up the facts, and the remains of victims.
How could such a bloodbath have been hidden from history?
Among the Koreans who witnessed, took part in or lost family members to the mass killings, the events were hardly hidden, but they became a "public secret," barely whispered about through four decades of right-wing dictatorship here.
Name of source: Yahoo News
SOURCE: Yahoo News (5-17-08)
millions of New Yorkers, 44 of the city's subway cars
are now home to millions of fish.
The worn-out cars were dumped on Friday into the
Atlantic Ocean, 21 miles off the Maryland coast, to
create an artificial reef, designed to attract fish
for the state's lucrative sport-fishing industry.
"These reefs provide quality habitat for marine life
off our coast which benefits not only the environment
but also local businesses," said Ocean City Mayor Rick
The 18-ton stainless steel cars -- minus wheels,
windows and doors -- were stacked two-high on a barge
where a bucket crane with a specially designed
hydraulic lift picked them up one by one and dropped
them into 90 feet of water.
Name of source: Slate
SOURCE: Slate (4-16-08)