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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: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (5-1-08)
It is Lowell's vision of Mars that has enthralled and inspired earthlings ever since.
In 1895, Lowell published a book about what he believed he saw. He wrote articles about it for Popular Astronomy and The Atlantic Monthly. He lectured widely about it. He became famous and immensely popular. He was "of medium height, slim and handsome, with an athletic build and an intense expression," his biographer, David Strauss, professor emeritus of history at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, writes in an e-mail. "His erect bearing and fastidious dress contributed to a commanding presence."
Lowell enchanted the public with his charisma and the power and conviction of his beliefs. "He was a very effective popularizer of his ideas," says Robert Millis, director of the Lowell Observatory. "He was the Carl Sagan of his day."
The scientific community was less enthusiastic than the general public about the notion of intelligent life on Mars.
No matter. Wealthy, brilliant, charming when he wanted to be, Percival Lowell was confident in his heritage and convinced of his superiority to the "ruck and rubble" from Southern and Eastern Europe flooding onto America's shores. He was also seriously inner-directed. And with what he was certain was his discovery of the canals, he had found his life's work: to promulgate his sensational belief that Mars was the home of Martians.
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (5-2-08)
t is never easy to understand what is happening in Italian politics, but the past fortnight has been uncharacteristically clear. Silvio Berlusconi, the media magnate, has been swept back to power, winning convincing majorities in both upper and lower houses. This week there have been regional and mayoral elections. The story has been the same almost everywhere: overwhelming victories for the right. They even won the mayoral contest in Rome, where the left had assumed it had a divine right to rule.
Many in Italy are deeply worried by the results. Berlusconi's coalition, they say, wasn't an ordinary rightwing movement, but instead an assortment of far-right extremists and dangerous, deluded rabble-rousers. The Popolo della Libertà coalition, for example, includes Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of you-know-who. It includes the rump of the so-called post-fascist party, the National Alliance. Its leader, Gianfranco Fini, once said that Mussolini was the greatest statesman of the 20th century.
Name of source: http://www.bellinghamherald.com
SOURCE: http://www.bellinghamherald.com (5-1-08)
No one questions the discoveries - artifacts from a 2,700-year-old Native American village excavated from the Port Angeles waterfront amid great public interest - should be exhibited, analyzed and celebrated.
But the 900 boxes of artifacts - such things as spindle whorls carved from whale vertebrae, along with animal bones and shell fragments - remain hung up in a bureaucratic no man's land. Questions about who owns and controls access to the collection are still in dispute.
And there's also another all-too-familiar problem when the government gets involved: The money to study the collection evaporated.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (5-2-08)
So concludes a Yale University physician who analyzed images of Akhenaten for an annual conference Friday at the University of Maryland School of Medicine on the deaths of historic figures.
The female form was due to a genetic mutation that caused the pharaoh's body to convert more male hormones to female hormones than needed, Dr. Irwin Braverman believes. And Akhenaten's head was misshapen because of a separate condition in which skull bones fuse at an early age.
SOURCE: AP (5-1-08)
The bill was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt. It authorizes the National Park Service to conduct a study to determine if the Newtonia sites could be made a separate unit of the park service or brought under the management of Wilson's Creek National Battlefield near Springfield.
SOURCE: AP (5-1-08)
This year’s march, the 17th, started with the blowing of the shofar, a ram’s horn, at the iron gate — crowned with the words “Arbeit Macht Frei,” or “Work Sets You Free” — that leads into the former camp of Auschwitz.
The Israeli army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, led the marchers, accompanied by some camp survivors carrying the Torah and fellow Israeli troops.
SOURCE: AP (4-25-08)
Mitchel is among hundreds of librarians from Minnesota to England making digital versions of the most fragile of the books to be included in Google Inc.'s Book Search, a portal that will eventually lead users to all the estimated 50 million to 100 million books in the world.
The manual scanning — at up to 600 pages a day — is much slower than Google's regular process.
"It's monotonous," the 24-year-old said.
Then she knit her career hopes into the work.
"But it's still something that I'm learning about — how to interact with really old materials and working with digital imaging, which is relevant to art history."
SOURCE: AP (4-30-08)
"We are turning over a new leaf in the history of the ITS," Reto Meister, director of the International Tracing Service of the Red Cross, said at a ceremony. "This opening will contribute to keeping alive the remembrance of the monstrous crimes that went on throughout Nazi era."
For more than 60 years, the information has been locked away in the secretive archive, which houses records scooped up by Allied troops from concentration camps, Nazi SS offices and postwar displaced-persons compounds.
Name of source: http://www.bitsofnews.com
SOURCE: http://www.bitsofnews.com (3-26-08)
Name of source: http://www.news4jax.com
SOURCE: http://www.news4jax.com (5-1-08)
The flag is attached to Bobby Tillett's pickup truck, which he drives to work every day. Because his employer has banned the flag from his parking lot, Tillett is forced to park far from his job.
"If I take it down, that means you know the politically correct people would have won, and that's wrong," Bobby Tillett said. "If you believe in something that strong (you) should have no problem whatsoever to fly it."
Name of source: http://mag.awn.com
SOURCE: http://mag.awn.com (5-2-08)
The latter was, of course, a German fairy tale known as Sneewittchen. Hitler despised modernity; in his heart he harkened back to the tales of the simple Aryan folk. As for the Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Hitler considered it among the greatest movies ever made. During a 1938 visit to Germany, Roy Disney sold the film to the Propaganda Ministry, one of 50 American films bought by the Nazi regime that year. The film was never shown due to growing anti-Americanism, but der Führer had a copy delivered to his private movie theater in Ubersalzberg.
What he saw embarrassed and upset him. Hitler was by no means a total fan of Disney -- he considered Mickey Mouse to be a degenerate tap-dancing idiot -- but even the leader of one of the world's mightiest nations had to bow before the technical perfection and animated wizardry of Snow White. German animation could not have produced anything like it, despite the presence of talented animators such as Kurt Lodel and Wolfgang Kaskeline. Hitler was reportedly furious about this unhappy fact. (Germany did have a studio producing animation under the direction of Joseph Goebbels known as Deutches Zeichenfilm, but the only significant film produced was a forgettable 1942 opus about a canary called Der arme Hansi.)
Name of source: The Age (Australia)
SOURCE: The Age (Australia) (5-2-08)
A German army officer, Boeselager said he obtained for the other plotters the explosive that was detonated under a table at Hitler's Wolf's Lair headquarters in present-day Poland on July 20, 1944.
A feature film about the plot, starring Tom Cruise as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, who planted the bomb, is set for release next year.
The blast only injured Hitler. Count Stauffenberg, another of the aristocratic officers who loathed the Nazis, was executed.
Name of source: Dallas Morning News
SOURCE: Dallas Morning News (4-27-08)
"His growing national stature will enable our students to be a part of history in the making," school President R. Gerald Turner said.
Two terms of rough-hewn history later, SMU's recent agreement to house the George W. Bush Presidential Library and policy institute has thrust the school into a national spotlight not seen since a football scandal stained its reputation in the late 1980s.
It also has posed an open question: How will the university's image be affected in the hyper-competitive, left-leaning world of higher education, with its ever-escalating battles for faculty, students and money?
Many around the country who are critical of the Bush administration, including some with close historical ties to the school, believe it is a risky association for SMU.
At issue, most detractors say, is not the library, to be operated by National Archives and Records Administration, but a planned independent policy institute intended to forward the president's vision and values.
SOURCE: Dallas Morning News (5-1-08)
Only problem is it isn't true. Instead of approving a petition against the library, the UMC General Conference on Wednesday voted 844-20 to refer the matter to the South Central Jurisdiction's conference scheduled for July in Dallas.
The jurisdiction's mission council gave SMU permission in March 2007 to lease out part of the campus for the library complex. The annual conference routinely passes all mission council actions, but some within the church are trying to force an open debate and vote on whether to ratify the agreement.
SOURCE: Dallas Morning News (5-1-08)
The embattled president faced a commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam who wanted more troops, a Congress that wouldn't pass his tax bill to pay for the war and political embarrassment after an obscure Minnesota senator almost beat him in the New Hampshire primary.
"I don't think we can run this war like we’re running it," Mr. Johnson told Secretary of State Dean Rusk in early March 1968, as the two men discussed sending 20,000 more soldiers to the war in Southeast Asia.
"I just don’t think we can keep on delaying and wait until a fatal day and find out we were too little, too late," the Democratic president said.
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (5-1-08)
In his Remembrance Museum in this former mining town 140 kilometers, or about 90 miles, east of Seoul, Jin is exhibiting 700 samples of what he calls "paper bombs" - the leaflets North and South Korea fired at each other in the years spanning the 1950-53 Korean War and up to 2000, when reconciliation efforts prompted a cease-fire in the propaganda contest.
In one North Korean leaflet displayed at Jin's museum, a composite photograph shows a former South Korean president in a bedroom tryst with a coquettish actress over the caption: "Kim Young Sam the libertine." Another leaflet gives a cartoon rendition of Kim's predecessor, Roh Tae Woo, kneeling to take orders from his high-seated boss - James Lilley, the U.S. ambassador in Seoul.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (4-28-08)
Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) said the axes, made from a distinctive type rock - known as picrite - had been found throughout the country.
A three-week survey at the 4,000-year-old site will start soon in Hyssington, near Welshpool, Powys.
Name of source: Discovery News
SOURCE: Discovery News (4-25-08)
The study's authors suggest that the stones that make up the examined monuments at Giza plateau, Fayum and Abydos must have been carved out of natural stone since they reveal what chunks of the sea floor must have looked like over 4,000 years ago, when the buildings were erected.
Name of source: http://www.gazette.net
SOURCE: http://www.gazette.net (4-30-08)
Archaeologists called the former home of Melinda Jackson one of the best-preserved archaeology sites ever found in Maryland. Jackson, a black woman born into slavery in 1828 who gained her freedom and raised a family, has descendants still living in the area.
Name of source: http://www.winchesterstar.com
SOURCE: http://www.winchesterstar.com (4-30-08)
"It’s a commemoration, not a celebration," said Speaker of the House of Delegates William J. Howell Jr., R-Fredericksburg, who chairs the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission.
The commission was set up two years ago to plan how the state’s role in the events of 1861-65, and those leading up to the war years, should be remembered across Virginia.
"Virginia played a central part" in a war that was significant to the entire country, Howell said on Tuesday.
The commission has plans to kick off its six-year retrospective a year from now, on April 29, 2009, with the first of seven free conferences on Civil War subjects.
"It’s an opportunity for both education and economic development," Howell said.
Name of source: http://www.examiner.com
SOURCE: http://www.examiner.com (5-30-08)
The House approved the measure this week after it passed the Senate as part of a bill involving public lands from coast to coast.
The provision was co-sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and Rep. Ray LaHood, the Peoria Republican whose congressional district includes the 11 counties Lincoln represented for one term in the U.S. House some 160 years ago.
The legislation calls for up to $15 million in federal money over 15 years to fund grants to help keep alive the story of Lincoln through the heritage area, which will include 42 counties in central Illinois.
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (5-1-08)
Dr Bahaa Mayah, a special adviser to Iraq's Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, called for an immediate global ban on the sale of at least 100,000 artefacts that have been stolen since the invasion.
Speaking at the British Museum, he said it was the responsibility of the occupying forces to retrieve the valuable artefacts that had been plundered from southern Iraq's archaeologically rich sites since 2003.
Name of source: JTA
SOURCE: JTA (4-30-08)
Stephan Kramer, the secretary general of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, has urged that a
critically annotated edition be issued online of Hitler's diatribe, which has been banned in Germany since 1945.
Kramer told Deutschlandfunk Radio that the Central Council would work on such an annotation, even for an Internet publication, of the volume Hitler wrote in prison in 1924. The book became a staple of the Nazi movement and was a required wedding gift. Today it is available on the Internet, but virtually only from far-right and Islamic extremist groups outside Germany.
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (4-30-08)
The requirement applies to former South African leader Mandela and other members of South Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC), the once-banned anti-Apartheid organization. In the 1970s and '80s, the ANC was officially designated a terrorist group by the country's ruling white minority. Other countries, including the United States, followed suit.
Because of this, Rice told a Senate committee recently, her department has to issue waivers for ANC members to travel to the USA.
"This is a country with which we now have excellent relations, South Africa, but it's frankly a rather embarrassing matter that I still have to waive in my own counterpart, the foreign minister of South Africa, not to mention the great leader Nelson Mandela," Rice said.
Name of source: http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com
SOURCE: http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com (5-1-08)
Group members, including leader Mahealani Kahau, declined to speak to media, saying they were inaccurately and unfairly portrayed regarding their actions yesterday.
The group said its action was not a protest or demonstration but a reoccupying of its legitimate seat of government, unidentified security officers told The Advertiser today.
Name of source: Bloomberg News
SOURCE: Bloomberg News (4-29-08)
But if we conclude that China created material prosperity and spawned wildly successful entrepreneurial ventures such as computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd. without constitutional democracy and its appurtenances, then we can't -- at least on purely economic grounds -- argue that Zimbabwe needs them.
Equally useless then would be the heaps of empirical evidence that economists have uncovered suggesting a causal relationship between property rights and growth.
If the most fascinating economic miracle of our times can soar in an institutional vacuum, then surely others can, too.
Now, that may only sound right to Mugabe and his cronies. So what's missing here?
The answer, according to Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Yasheng Huang, is simple: The conventional view of China is deeply flawed.
Institutions, as Huang argues in his forthcoming book, titled ``Capitalism With Chinese Characteristics,'' have mattered as much in China as elsewhere, only their effect doesn't show up as neatly....
Huang has dug into China's Ministry of Agriculture data to show that in 1985, out of the 12 million businesses classified as ``town and village enterprises,'' more than 10 million were privately owned. The conventional view that Chinese TVEs were controlled by local governments is a myth.
So what exactly changed in the relationship between the government and the people to cause this extraordinary surge in rural capitalism? And that, too, just a few years after Mao's Cultural Revolution, when private possession of a book -- let alone a business -- could get a person arrested.
``China then and now does not have well-specified property rights security,'' Huang says. ``But China in the early 1980s moved very far and fast toward establishing security of the proprietor. One should never underestimate the incentive effect of not getting arrested.''