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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: Bloomberg News
SOURCE: Bloomberg News (6-19-08)
``It's the first candidate I've been excited about since Kennedy,'' Minow says, turning to Mikva. ``What about you?'' ``Same here,'' says Mikva, patting his friend's hand. Over the past 50 years, the two men sitting in Minow's Chicago office have dominated the city's political and legal scene. Mikva was a state legislator and U.S. congressman before serving as a federal judge and counsel to President Bill Clinton. Minow was chairman of the Federal Communications Commission under John F. Kennedy and a Democratic activist stretching back to 1950s Illinois governor and presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson.
The two men have known Illinois Senator Obama, the 46- year-old presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, for more than two decades, and don't pretend to be objective about him. Mikva has manned phone banks, sits on his finance committee and has gone door-to-door campaigning in three states. Minow's children and grandchildren are involved with the campaign; great-nephew Adam Frankel is an Obama speechwriter.
For both, their first contact with Obama came while he was a student at Harvard Law School in the 1980s.
Name of source: military.com
SOURCE: military.com (6-16-08)
Emma Boston, his wife of 60 years, told Military.com that Boston had been sick for about six weeks before his death and had been hospitalized. She said he ultimately died of pneumonia, which he contracted in the hospital.
"He was sharp as a tack right up until they put him under sedation" because of his difficulty breathing, she said.
In 1967, Boston was a Navy lawyer and assigned as the legal adviser to the board, which was convened within days of the June 8 attack by Israeli air and naval forces on the USS Liberty, an American surveillance ship floating in international waters in the Mediterranean....
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (6-17-08)
The Bureau of Land Management announced the find Monday, calling the quarry near Hanksville "a major dinosaur fossil discovery."
An excavation revealed at least four sauropods, which are long-necked, long-tailed plant-eating dinosaurs, and two carnivorous ones, according to the bureau. It may have also uncovered an herbivorous stegosaurus.
SOURCE: AP (6-16-08)
Schwartz, 84, died Sunday at his Manhattan home, said his daughter Kayla Schwartz-Burridge. He had been suffering from heart valve stenosis.
Schwartz, who started his career as a graphic designer, collaborated with a team from the Doyle Dean Bernbach ad agency to create the spot featuring a little girl counting aloud as she removed the petals of a daisy.
The scene then changed into a countdown to an atomic blast. President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Democratic incumbent seeking re-election, did the voiceover with the line, "We must either love each other, or we must die" _ a paraphrase of a famous W.H. Auden poem written to mark the start of World War II.
KC Johnson: The Daisy Ad
SOURCE: AP (6-16-08)
The federal Board of Immigration Appeals upheld a deportation order issued in January 2007 against 83-year-old Josias Kumpf of Racine, who had served as a guard at the Trawniki training camp in Nazi-occupied Poland and the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin. The Board of Immigration Appeals is part of the Justice Department.
Last year's deportation order, issued by Chicago-based immigration Judge Jennie Giambastiani, called for Kumpf's removal to Germany, Austria or Serbia. Kumpf can still appeal the deportation order in the federal court system.
SOURCE: AP (6-15-08)
Stamps, an observer who was sympathetic to anti-war demonstrators, was struck in the lower back on May 4, 1970 while fleeing tear gas and gunfire during a protest against the U.S. invasion of Cambodia. He rode in the same ambulance as Allison Krause and Jeffrey Miller, both of whom died from their wounds.
Stamps, 58, passed away Wednesday night, Teresa Sumrall said in an e-mail. He's the second of the nine wounded students to die. James Russell died last year at the age of 60, said Alan Canfora, another student who was wounded.
SOURCE: AP (6-13-08)
Shipwreck enthusiasts Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville used side-scanning sonar and an unmanned submersible to locate the HMS Ontario, which was lost with barely a trace and as many as 130 people aboard during a gale in 1780.
The 80-foot sloop of war is the oldest shipwreck and the only fully intact British warship ever found in the Great Lakes, Scoville and Kennard said.
Name of source: Earth Times
SOURCE: Earth Times (6-17-08)
SOURCE: Earth Times (6-18-08)
The pieces were seized by the Jordanian customs authorities in 22 anti-smuggling operations, Khatib said.
Jordan has actively cooperated with the Interpol which supplied the Jordanian government with adequate information about the Iraqi antiquities which were stolen from museums inside Iraq after the downfall of the former Iraqi regime of President Saddam Hussein, she added.
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (6-18-08)
The precise location of the Soviet nuclear storage bunkers at Bejucal and Managua is revealed for the first time in a new book by Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs based on interviews with Soviet veterans and raw U.S. intelligence film obtained from the National Archives. Declassified CIA documents show that U.S. intelligence analysts at the time concluded that the sites could not be used for the storage of nuclear weapons because of the lack of visible security measures such as guard posts and extra fencing.
This is the third of five postings looking at the new material in One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War, which draws on the National Security Archive's long-standing documentary work on the Cuban missile crisis. As part of this posting, Dobbs also tracks the dispersal of nuclear warheads from the Bejucal bunker to other sites in Cuba on the night of October 26-27, 1962, at the height of the crisis.
In coming weeks, the National Security Archive will publish more of the key primary sources behind One Minute to Midnight, including documents and other evidence on the "Eyeball to Eyeball" confrontation between U.S. and Soviet ships that never happened.
Name of source: http://www.montanasnewsstation.com
SOURCE: http://www.montanasnewsstation.com (6-17-08)
The Capital Hill Mall in Helena will be the location for the new Montana History Center.
Governor Brian Schweitzer announced in May that he signed a letter of intent to buy the Mall property for $6.5 million, but before the state writes any checks, a massive amount of funds need to be raised. He's challenged supporters of the museum to raise $13 million for the project by November 15th.
Name of source: http://www.abc.net.au
SOURCE: http://www.abc.net.au (6-18-08)
Launching its report in London, the UN agency said 67 million people have been forced out of their homes by conflict, persecution and natural disasters.
In recent years, resettlement in Afghanistan had seen numbers drop, but in 2007 the total cared for by the UNHCR jumped by 3 million people, and the UN says the number is likely to rise.
Name of source: china.org.cn
SOURCE: china.org.cn (6-18-08)
Archaeologists have hailed the excavation as the most important archaeological find from the Jinsha Ruins since 2001, based on discussions and preliminary assessments by well-known archaeologists affiliated with the Chinese Society of Archaeology, Peking University and Sichuan University.
The newly excavated site dates to the same era as other ruins of ancient palaces discovered in 1999 and 2006-2007. They have similar structures and they are adjacent to each other, so researchers speculate that they all belong to the same large group of ancient palace buildings. All these buildings were well organized on a large scale, which implies that they were all available for the supreme rulers of the area during ancient times.
"We can identify the site of large ruined palaces in the Jinsha area based on this excavation," said Zhang Qing, an archeologist with the Chengdu Institute of Archaeology. The Huangzhong Village is 700 meters north of the sacrificial site of the Jinsha Ruins. Up to now, ten sites of large ancient buildings have been found in an area of 130 meters long and 90 meters wide of the Jinsha Ruins.
It is learned that the excavation at the Huangzhong began in April 2007, and has so far unearthed seven sites containing ancient buildings of the Shang and Western Zhou dynasties and four sites housing ancient kilns along with pottery pieces and jade wares.
The discovery aids in studying the conditions of the ancient kingdoms in the Jinsha area, according to Zhang Qing.
"The palaces found in Huangzhong Village will be restored," he said, "and archaeologists will also make comparative study of the palaces and others of the Shang and Zhou dynasties."
Name of source: Armenian News Network
SOURCE: Armenian News Network (6-18-08)
Tuesday that Turkey opened to researchers its most secret archives regarding the incidents of 1915.
"Keeping record of history is not a business of politicians and/or parliaments. It should be a business of historians and scholars,"
Gul told the 11th International Congress on "Social and Economic History of Turkey" held at Ankara's Bilkent University.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (6-18-08)
Officials say it was only discovered they were missing when the government handed over important artefacts to the national archive in April.
The documents were drafted on behalf of imprisoned Bangladeshi independence leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1971.
Some former government officials say that the independence promulgations could have been lost, removed or destroyed by the military government which seized power in the country in 1975.
SOURCE: BBC (6-13-08)
The late 16th Century shipwreck hails from a pivotal point in England's military history.
The raised haul includes a 2m-long (7ft) cannon, which will give archaeologists an insight into Elizabeth I's naval might.
The wreck, discovered 30 years ago, is situated off the coast of Alderney.
Dr Mensun Bound, excavation leader and marine archaeologist from Oxford University, said: "This boat is really grade A in terms of archaeology - it is hard to find anything that really compares with it."
The excavation of the Elizabethan warship is being filmed for the BBC's Timewatch series.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (6-18-08)
They are trying to raise €3 million (£2.4m) to save the dilapidated Belgian farmhouse where the 1st Duke of Wellington's men staged a brave defence that swung the famous 1815 battle in favour of the Allied forces.
They want to turn the Hougoumont farmhouse near Waterloo into an education centre that will permanently commemorate the battle which helped end Napoleon Bonaparte's imperial ambitions.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (6-17-08)
Milivoj Asner is wanted by Interpol for alleged genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during his service as a police chief in Croatia during the Second World War, when the country was ruled by a Nazi puppet regime.
But Mr Asner, 95, who now lives a quiet and undisturbed life in Klagenfurt, Austria, has been seen taking leisurely walks, sipping wine with his wife Edeltrat and mingling with Croatian football fans prior to the matches of his country’s national team.
He is the number four on the most wanted list of the Nazi-hunters and Croatia has demanded his extradition.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (6-16-08)
Scottish, English and British monarchs have been crowned on the ancient coronation stone since the ninth century.
It spent 700 years under the chair in Westminster Abbey after it was seized in 1296 by King Edward I, and was finally returned to Scotland 12 years ago.
It has since been viewed at Edinburgh Castle by tens of thousands of people, and is regarded as a symbol of Scottish independence.
The council has 29 members including Saudi Arabia, Cuba and Sri Lanka.
It was the Sri Lankan envoy who raised concerns over the British monarchy.
In June 1908, tea dealer Mr Sullivan was sending samples to potential customers when, to cut costs, he put a few pinches of loose leaves in several small silk pouches.
The confused clients received the samples and, unsure of the instructions, reputedly dunked them into hot water, and the tea bag was born.
Previously, all tea had to be painstakingly strained before it could comfortably be drunk.
Two British Army buttons, a collar fastener and a British matchbox have been unearthed at the site of the grave in Fromelles, the British ministry of defence has announced.
Name of source: Salon
SOURCE: Salon (6-18-08)
The 1543 copy of Copernicus' "De revolutionibus orbium coelestium" (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres) was among more than 300 books offered Tuesday at Christie's auction. It was expected to sell for up to $1.2 million.
Name of source: http://www.cronaca.com
SOURCE: http://www.cronaca.com (6-17-08)
Second generation Brazilian-Japanese are known as Nisei
Numbering an estimated 1.5 million, there are more people of Japanese descent in Brazil than anywhere in the world outside of Japan itself.
The celebrations are a chance to pay tribute to the pioneering immigrants that first arrived at the port of Santos near to Sao Paulo - and, the organisers say, to thank Brazilian society for making them welcome.
The 165 families who arrived here on 18 June 1908 came to escape poverty and lack of job opportunities in Japan, and to meet the demand for workers in Brazil's coffee plantations.
But there is plenty of evidence at the Museum of Japanese Immigration in Sao Paulo that this was not always a comfortable story.
Name of source: Politico.com
SOURCE: Politico.com (6-16-08)
Bush backer pens pro-Obama book - Yahoo! News
Name of source: LAT
SOURCE: LAT (6-18-08)
"For what I've done, I should be treated like a king," he said outside a cramped, low-rent apartment he shares with his family.
Instead, the Iraqi informant code-named Curveball has flipped burgers at McDonald's and Burger King, washed dishes in a Chinese restaurant and baked pretzels in an all-night bakery. He also has faced withering international scorn for peddling discredited intelligence that helped spur an invasion of his native country.
Now, in his first public comments, the 41-year-old engineer from Baghdad complains that the CIA and other spy agencies are blaming him for their mistakes.
I'm not guilty," Alwan said, insisting that he made no false claims. "Believe me, I'm not guilty."
It was intelligence attributed to Alwan -- as Curveball -- that the White House used in making its case that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. He described what turned out to be fictional mobile germ factories. The CIA belatedly branded him a liar.
After Curveball's role in the pre-invasion intelligence fiasco was disclosed by the Los Angeles Times four years ago, the con man behind the code name remained in the shadows. His security was protected and his identity concealed by the BND, Germany's Federal Intelligence Service.
But when a reporter knocked on his door one Sunday morning this year, Alwan seemed neither alarmed nor surprised. In a series of sometimes reluctant interviews that followed, he emerged as a defiant and pugnacious defender of his intelligence contributions and reputation.
"Everything that's been written about me isn't true," Alwan repeated.
Along with confirmation of Curveball's identity, however, have come fresh disclosures raising doubts about his honesty -- much of that new detail coming from friends, associates and past employers.
SOURCE: LAT (6-14-08)
Actress Sharon Tate, 8 1/2 months pregnant with the son of director Roman Polanski, begged one of the knife-wielding killers to spare her life. The attacker was Susan Atkins, and her response was cold and unequivocal.
"She asked me to let her baby live," Atkins told parole officials in 1993. "I told her I didn't have mercy for her."
Almost 40 years later, it's Atkins who is asking for mercy.
Diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and confined to state prison on a life sentence, the 59-year-old is asking to be released from state prison on "compassionate" grounds.
By most accounts, Atkins, a former topless dancer who used to sing in her church choir, was one of Manson's fiercest disciples. After stabbing and killing Tate, prosecutors said Atkins tasted the actress' blood and used it to write "PIG" on the front door. During her trial, which took more than nine months, Atkins showed no remorse and maintained utter devotion to Manson, whom she called "Jesus Christ," "the devil" and "the soul." During sentencing, she taunted the court by saying, "You'd best lock your doors and watch your own kids."
Name of source: Harris Poll
SOURCE: Harris Poll (6-17-08)
But this does not seem to help the Democrats. The Democratically-controlled Congress gets even worse ratings than the President and Vice-President, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ratings have also fallen to their lowest point.
These are some of the results from the latest Harris Poll of 1,001 U.S. adults surveyed by telephone between June 4 and 8, 2008 by Harris Interactive (registered copyright).
Some key findings are:
President Bush’s latest ratings are 24 percent positive and fully 75 percent negative. Previously, his worst numbers were 26 percent positive and 72 percent negative in April of this year. His ratings are substantially worse than those of any president, except for Jimmy Carter (22%-77% in July 1980), since Harris first started measuring themin 1963.
Vice President Cheney’s ratings are even worse, 18 percent positive and 74 percent negative, compared to his previous low of 21 percent positive, 74 percent negative last July.
Secretary of State Rice’s ratings are much better than those of the President and Vice President, but also have fallen to their lowest point ever, 39 percent positive and 54 percent negative, compared to 42 percent positive and 51 percent negative last October.
Only 14 percent of the public think the things in the country are going in the right direction and fully 80 percent think they are on the wrong track. These compare to the previous worst numbers in President George W. Bush’s term, 75 percent thought things were on the wrong track in April. The highest number of people who said the country was on the wrong track was 81 percent in June of 1992 during the term of the first President Bush.
However, this dismal news for the administration has done nothing to help the Democrats. Most people seem to wish "a plague on all your houses". Congress, which of course is controlled by the Democrats, gets its worst ratings ever, only 13 percent positive and fully 83 percent negative. Its previous low point was in December of last year when it was rated 17 percent positive and 79 percent negative. And, Speaker Pelosi’s ratings have fallen to 24 percent positive, 57 percent negative compared to her previous low of 25 percent positive and 61 percent negative in February.
Clearly the economy and record gas prices are a big part of the problem. When asked, without being prompted or shown a list, which are the two most important issues for the government to address, the economy (38%) gets the most mentions, followed by the war (25%, but another 9% mention Iraq) and gas and oil prices (20%) Those mentioning gas and oil prices have jumped from only 1 percent in February and 10 percent in April to 20 percent now. The only other issue mentioned by more than 9 percent is health care (17%).
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (6-17-08)
But a Senate investigation is tracking the rot to its source. And its findings add to the mounting evidence that the sometimes systematic torture of detainees at American hands was the result of decisions made at the highest levels of government -- and particularly within the office of the vice president.
Warren P. Strobel writes for McClatchy Newspapers: "A senior Pentagon official in July 2002 sought the advice of military psychologists to help design aggressive detainee interrogation techniques that would later be linked with prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and Abu Ghraib in Iraq, a Senate investigation has found.
"The revelation, part of a probe by the Senate Armed Services Committee that is to be unveiled during hearings Tuesday, provides dramatic new evidence that the use of the aggressive techniques was planned at the top levels of the Bush administration and were not the work of out-of-control, lower-ranking troops."
Senator Carl Levin, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, released new documentary evidence on the origins of the techniques at a hearing this morning.
In his opening statement, Levin asked: "[H]ow did it come about that American military personnel stripped detainees naked, put them in stress positions, used dogs to scare them, put leashes around their necks to humiliate them, hooded them, deprived them of sleep, and blasted music at them. Were these actions the result of 'a few bad apples' acting on their own? It would be a lot easier to accept if it were. But that's not the case. The truth is that senior officials in the United States government sought information on aggressive techniques, twisted the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees. In the process, they damaged our ability to collect intelligence that could save lives."
The investigation appears to refute a key aspect of the administration's story.
SOURCE: WaPo (6-17-08)
In a 39-page opinion, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said that the White House's Office of Administration is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), even though its top officials had complied with the public records law for more than two decades.
The Office of Administration, which performs a variety of services for the Executive Office of the President, announced it would no longer comply with the FOIA last August, three months after an independent watchdog group filed a lawsuit seeking to discover what happened to the e-mails, which may have vanished from White House computer archives.
SOURCE: WaPo (6-14-08)
"We tried to convince people that they needed to come out and meet with this senator from Chicago, who on top of everything else was African American," Brown, a circuit court clerk, said of the 1997 gathering. "We had people looking at us strangely."
As Sen. Barack Obama emerges as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, worries linger in his party over whether he can improve on his poor showing among many rural and blue-collar voters in the primaries. Clues to that question lie here, outside metro Chicago, in a 400-mile-long swath of corn and soybean fields that, in the coal country of its southern reaches, shares more with Kentucky and Missouri than Chicago.
Obama's courting of the region began soon after he was elected to the legislature in 1996. Southern Illinoisans interpreted the visits as a sign that he was already thinking about a future run for statewide office, but they also served as a self-education in the middle-American milieu that his Kansan grandparents hailed from but that he knew little of, having grown up in Hawaii and Indonesia and spent his adult years in big cities. Before mostly white audiences, Obama would joke about his name -- rhyming it with "yo mama" -- and test out his message about getting past divisions to solve problems.
SOURCE: WaPo (6-14-08)
He had studied the 4,000-year-old classical Indian language at school for six years. He knew its grammar and could chant the ancient hymns. But he could not converse in it. During a two-week course at the camp, Sanskrit Samvad Shala, he had no choice: He was forbidden to speak any other language.
"At first I thought it was impossible. The teachers and attendants spoke to us only in Sanskrit, and I did not understand anything," said Hemant, one of the 150 students gathered inside a Hindu temple on the outskirts of New Delhi. "I knew big, heavy bookish words before, but not the simple ones. But now Sanskrit feels like an everyday language."
Such camps, run by volunteers from Hindu nationalist groups, are designed to promote a language long dismissed as dead, and to instill in Hindus religious and cultural pride. Many Sanskrit speakers, though, believe that the camps are a steppingstone to a higher goal: turning back the clock and making Sanskrit modern India's spoken language.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (6-17-08)
For Ly Monysar, even that would not be enough. “Only killing them will make me feel calm,” he said. “I want them to suffer the way I suffered. I say this from the heart.”
Sok Chear, an office worker, and Ly Monysar, a security guard, are two of the millions of Cambodians who suffered for four years in the late 1970s under the brutal Communist Khmer Rouge, which caused the deaths of 1.7 million people.
Three decades later, five aging former Khmer Rouge leaders are in custody and awaiting trial. And Sok Chear and Ly Monysar have an innovative role to play in the tribunal, where the first case is expected to begin this autumn.
They are two of hundreds of people who have applied to the court to be recognized officially as victims of the Khmer Rouge and to bring parallel civil cases against them.
He and other experts caution against overstating the comparison between 2008 and 1973. Europe, they say, is better equipped to absorb these kinds of shocks than it was 35 years ago — with a sturdy, shared currency, an independent central bank, and more flexible, open economies.
Still, with growth slowing at the same time that wages and prices rise, there are unsettling similarities.
“There is unrest among workers, who today, as in the 1970s, feel they have been shortchanged,” said Holger Schmieding, chief European economist at Bank of America in London. “They have to spend more money on fuel, so they have less to spend on other things, and they want to be compensated.”
And never is the court more reluctant to act than when faced with a challenge to the president during wartime. Consider the historical record.
The court has ruled against a president in a time of armed conflict no more than a handful of times, most famously in Youngstown Sheet and Tube v. Sawyer, when it held that Harry S. Truman lacked the constitutional authority to seize the nation’s steel mills to avert a strike during the Korean War. The invocation of two words — military necessity — by a commander in chief was usually all it took to silence a majority of the justices.
So it is extraordinary that during the Bush administration’s seven years, nearly all of them a time of war that began on Sept. 11, 2001, the court has been prompted to push back four times. Last week’s decision in Boumediene v. Bush, in which the court ruled that prisoners at Guantánamo Bay have a right to challenge their detentions in the federal courts, marks only the most recent rebuke.
“When viewed through the lens of history, it’s astounding,” says Neal Katyal, a law professor at Georgetown who argued against the government in one of those cases, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. So how are we to explain this shift from decades of deference to a willingness to check the president?
Mr. McCain blamed American politics.
“The biggest factor in a man’s ability to perform credibly as a prisoner of war is a strong belief in the correctness of his nation’s foreign policy,” Mr. McCain wrote in a 1974 essay submitted to the National War College and never released to the public. Prisoners who questioned “the legality of the war” were “extremely easy marks for Communist propaganda,” he wrote.
Americans captured after 1968 had proven to be more susceptible to North Vietnamese pressure, he argued, because they “had been exposed to the divisive forces which had come into focus as a result of the antiwar movement in the United States.”
To insulate against such doubts, he recommended that the military should teach its recruits not only how to fight but also the reasons for American foreign policies like the containment of Southeast Asian communism — even though, Mr. McCain acknowledged, “a program of this nature could be construed as ‘brainwashing’ or ‘thought control’ and could come in for a great deal of criticism.”
SOURCE: NYT (6-14-08)
In return, Japan announced that it had agreed to lift some sanctions imposed on the North for its nuclear program, including the ban on travel between the countries, but that more serious sanctions would stay in place.
The Japanese announcement, which followed two days of bilateral talks in Beijing this week, was the first sign in years of even a slight thaw between the countries. Although both sides made very minor concessions, they offered a possible way to resolve the abductions dispute, which has long complicated the six-nation talks over the North’s nuclear weapons program and has strained the relations between the governments in Tokyo and Washington....
For decades, the North denied responsibility for the disappearance of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s, despite Japanese news reports that agents had been spotted on Japanese soil.
But during a visit to Pyongyang in 2002 by former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, the North’s leader, Kim Jong-il, admitted that North Korean agents had kidnapped 13 Japanese as part of a program to train Japanese-speaking spies.
Name of source: http://www.scoop.co.nz
SOURCE: http://www.scoop.co.nz (6-16-08)
"This is not intended to be a mere discussion of violations of law that have occurred," said convener Lawrence Velvel, dean and cofounder of the school. "It is, rather, intended to be a planning conference at which plans will be laid and necessary organizational structures set up, to pursue the guilty as long as necessary and, if need be, to the ends of the Earth."
"We must try to hold Bush administration leaders accountable in courts of justice," Velvel said. "And we must insist on appropriate punishments, including, if guilt is found, the hangings visited upon top German and Japanese war-criminals in the 1940s."
Velvel said past practice has been to allow U.S. officials responsible for war crimes in Viet Nam and elsewhere to enjoy immunity from prosecution upon leaving office. "President Johnson retired to his Texas ranch and his Defense Secretary Robert McNamara was named to head the World Bank; Richard Nixon retired to San Clemente and his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was allowed to grow richer and richer," Velvel said.
Name of source: Andina
SOURCE: Andina (6-8-08)
These relics have been unearthed in the archeological site of Vichama, or "hidden city", a place that belongs to the same civilization of Caral and which is located 159 kilometers north of Lima. Caral is considered the oldest city of America with around 5000 years old.
The figures represent a woman nursing and a person of high social status. It was reported that Carbon 14 dating will soon determine how old these relics are.
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (6-14-08)
Built from polished blue basalt to transport the king's earthly remains to the next world, the elaborately decorated vessel lay hidden inside the third-largest of Giza's renowned Pyramids for more than 4,000 years. In 1837 the British colonel Richard William Howard Vyse blasted his way into Menkaure's sepulchral chamber using gunpowder and discovered the stone casket.
The mummy was missing by that time — ancient Arabic graffiti indicated that the colonel was not the first to find the chamber — and he realised that his discovery could open the way for a new generation of grave robbers. "As the sarcophagus would have been destroyed had it remained in the Pyramid," he noted in his diaries, "I resolved to send it to the British Museum."
In a twist worthy of an Indiana Jones film, the sarcophagus was lost again the following year before it could reach British shores. The merchant ship Beatrice, which was carrying it and other antiquities found by the archaeologist, sank while sailing from Malta to Gibraltar — reportedly off the coast of Spain, near Alicante.
Now the Egyptian Government wants to recover it with the aid of underwater robots. Zahi Hawass, who heads Egypt's Supreme Council for Antiquities, told Spanish journalists that he was seeking financing from the National Geographic Society for the search.
To locate the Beatrice he has lined up the services of Robert Ballard, who found the Titanic using high-tech submersibles. The Egyptians have also privately suggested Franck Goddio, the French marine archaeologist who has discovered hundreds of artefacts from submerged parts of Alexandria.
Name of source: Press Release--Bradley Foundation
SOURCE: Press Release--Bradley Foundation (6-3-08)
The report finds that America is facing an identity crisis and calls for a national dialogue on America’s national identity. According to James Ceaser, professor of politics at the University of Virginia and a participant in the project, America’s understanding and appreciation of diversity is important but must be balanced by an emphasis on what we share. “In selecting the title E Pluribus Unum, the Project embraces the conviction that plurality and unity are not necessarily in tension with one another, but are supporting ideas of the same national experiment,” Ceaser said. “Plurality is only made safe when it when it is grounded in a deeper commitment to national unity. Unity is the precondition for healthy diversity.”
To inform its work, the Bradley Project asked HarrisInteractive to conduct a study on Americans’ views on national identity. The good news is that most U.S. citizens believe there is a unique national identity that defines what it means to be an American. The troubling news is that over six in ten believe our national identity is getting weaker. And “even more troubling is that younger Americans – on whom our continued national identity depends – are less likely than older Americans to believe in a unique national identity or in a unique American culture.” Indeed only 45 percent of 18-34 year old Americans believe that the U.S. Constitution
should trump international law in instances where there is a conflict.
According to Professor Ceaser, “The weight of all this evidence suggests mounting confusion about the meaning of American national identity and a loss of commitment to its promotion.”
“The findings from the report are sobering and significant. They raise subjects that are vital to our future, transcend partisanship, and clearly resonate with the American people,” said Rick O’Donnell, Executive Director of the Bradley Project. O’Donnell continued: “Our intention is that the report be the starting point for a national conversation on these important issues. Silent Spring in 1962 started a conversation that brought about significant changes in our environment. A Nation at Risk in 1983 launched an ongoing national conversation that continues to reshape American education. It is in that tradition that we release E Pluribus Unum.”
A number of notable scholars have already joined this conversation and commented on the Bradley Project report.
Walter A. McDougall, Pulitzer-prize winning historian and professor at the University of Pennsylvania calls the report: “An eloquent defense of America’s intellectual, civic, and moral identity that deserves wide circulation, especially among American youth.”
Harry Lewis, former Dean at Harvard College, says of the report: “A stirring reminder that America is more than the union of our differences, and a rational program for preserving the nation by passing American ideals on to the next generation of citizens.”
Amy A. Kass, of the University of Chicago, writes: “The Bradley Project’s report addresses the urgent problem of American identity in our global and multicultural age, and its wise recommendations for promoting civic consciousness and civic understanding couldn’t be more timely or more fitting.”
James C. Rees, Executive Director of Mount Vernon, said: “This report confirms what we experience at Mount Vernon every day – that most Americans know precious little about their own history. George Washington’s face is still familiar to most Americans, because we see it each day on the dollar bill. But when asked about Washington’s character and leadership, which made all the difference in the world to the founding of our nation, the average citizen is rendered speechless.”
The report makes clear that we didn’t get to this point overnight, and that addressing our challenges is a long-term imperative. In addition to its call for an immediate and comprehensive national dialogue on America’s national identity, it recommends:
■ a renewed focus on the teaching of American history,
■ embracing America’s heroes and historic landmarks,
■ affirming the benefits of diversity, but not adopting policies that perpetuate divisions or compromise our national identity,
■ inaugurating an initiative to ensure immigrants learn English, understand democratic institutions, and participate fully in the American way of life,
■ and creating an annual Presidential Award for American Citizenship for students and new citizens who demonstrate exemplary understanding of and commitment to American ideals and institutions.
Professor Ceaser concludes: “The report speaks of a nation ‘founded not on a common ethnicity,’ but ‘on an idea.’ And it argues that ‘a nation founded on an idea starts anew with each generation and with each new group of immigrants.’” “Knowing what America stands for is not a genetic inheritance,” said Ceaser. “It must be learned, both by the next generation and by those who come to this country. From this premise follow many of the recommendations to strengthen the serious study of American principles and the American founding at all levels of education, including college.”
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (6-13-08)
European and US scientists have proved for the first time that two bits of genetic coding, called nucleobases, contained in the meteor fragment, are truly extraterrestrial.
Previous studies had suggested that the space rocks, which hit Earth some 40 years ago, might have been contaminated upon impact.
Both of the molecules identified, uracil and xanthine, "are present in our DNA and RNA," said lead author Zita Martins, a researcher at Imperial College London.
Name of source: Daily Mail
SOURCE: Daily Mail (3-23-08)
On October 26, 1967, Mai Van On ran from the safety of a bomb shelter at the height of an air raid and swam out into the lake where Lieutenant Commander McCain was drowning, tangled in his parachute cord after ejecting when his Skyhawk bomber was hit by a missile.
In an extraordinary act of compassion at a time when Vietnamese citizens were being killed by US aerial bombardments, he pulled a barely conscious McCain to the lake surface and, with the help of a neighbour, dragged him towards the shore.
And when a furious mob at the water's edge began to beat and stab the captured pilot, Mr On drove them back.
Nearly three decades later, a Vietnamese government commission confirmed he was indeed the rescuer and, in a 1996 meeting in Hanoi, McCain embraced and thanked Mr On and presented him with a Senate memento.
From that brief encounter to his death at the age of 88 two years ago, Mr On never heard from the senator again, and three years after their meeting, McCain published an autobiography that makes no mention of his apparent debt to Mr On.
It is a snub Mr On took to his death.
Name of source: McClatchy
SOURCE: McClatchy (6-14-08)
Except for a handful of businesses named in his honor, few markers alert visitors that the revolutionary leader was born here exactly 80 years ago before becoming one of the most mythic figures of the 20th century.
That changed Saturday when civic leaders inaugurated the first official monument honoring the revolutionary leader in Argentina , ending decades of government silence about the controversial figure.
A 13-foot-high bronze statue unveiled before hundreds of cheering admirers depicts the beret-wearing Guevara standing defiantly while facing toward Santa Clara , Cuba , where another statue of Guevara faces toward Argentina .
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (6-15-08)
As Catherine Donnelly climbed the stairs to her dorm room at Princeton University over a quarter-century ago, the Louisiana freshman felt ready for whatever lay ahead. But then she met Michelle.
Her full name was Michelle LaVaughn Robinson. She was so tall that her head seemed to brush the sloping ceiling of the cramped fourth-floor room. She was Donnelly's new roommate. And she was black.
Well, this was new.
Growing up in the South, Donnelly had gone to school with a handful of black classmates, but living together was quite another thing. Donnelly quickly warmed to Robinson, with her big sense of humor and riveting stories. But she was worried that her mother, who Donnelly said had grown up in a racist family, would not react well. She was right.
When Donnelly's mother, now 71, learned the race of her daughter's roommate , she was beside herself. She called alumni friends to object. And the next morning she marched into the student housing office.
"I said I need to get my daughter's room changed right away," recalled Alice Brown, a retired schoolteacher, who has since come to regret her reaction. "I called my own mother and she said, 'Take Catherine out of school immediately. Bring her home.' I was very upset about the whole thing."
For 17-year-old Robinson - who is now Michelle Obama and the first African-American woman to face the real prospect of becoming first lady - the incident was a stunning beginning to a formative chapter in her life. It was a time when her views on race and American culture began to coalesce - views that have helped make her a compelling figure but also somewhat of a lightning rod during the campaign. Just last week the Barack Obama campaign took on an apparently baseless rumor that she had once been taped talking of white Americans as "whitey."
Name of source: Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (6-11-08)
Name of source: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun
SOURCE: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun (6-12-08)
Half of the horses were buried in pairs, whilst two human skeletons were also discovered in a dig near Lithohori, in the Kavala region.
Near to the remains of six of the horses archaeologists found a shield, weapons and various other accessories.
Name of source: LiveScience
SOURCE: LiveScience (6-13-08)
The new sapling was sprouted from a 2,000-year-old date palm excavated in Masada, the site of a cliff-side fortress in Israel where ancient Jews are said to have killed themselves to avoid capture by Roman invaders.
Dubbed the "Methuselah Tree" after the oldest person in the Bible, the new plant has been growing steadily, and after 26 months, the tree was nearly four feet (1.2 meters) tall.
The species of tree, called the Judean date, (Phoenix dactylifera L.), is now extinct in Israel, but researchers are hoping that by reviving the plant they may be able to study its medicinal uses.
Name of source: Editor & Publisher
SOURCE: Editor & Publisher (6-13-08)
She adds: "It is unquestionable that Bush has made this country safe by keeping Islamic lunatics pinned down fighting our troops in Iraq.... Our servicemen must be baffled by the constant nay-saying coming from their own country....
"Monthly casualties in Iraq now come in slightly lower than a weekend with Anna Nicole Smith. According to a CNN report last week, for the entire month of May, there were only 19 troop deaths in Iraq. (Last year, five people on average were shot every day in Chicago.) With Iraqi deaths at an all-time low, Iraq is safer than Detroit -- although the Middle Eastern food is still better in Detroit."
Name of source: Independent Online (South Africa)
SOURCE: Independent Online (South Africa) (6-12-08)
The group planned to take the remains late Wednesday back to Vancouver Island in Canada's British Columbia. An interment is planned for Friday, Chief Vern Jacks said.
"Our people don't belong in boxes in a museum," he said. "This is our life, we still respect our dead."
The tribe said it was pleased with the New York museum's reaction to its request.
Charles McLean, senior vice president for communications and marketing at the museum, said a process was already in place to address repatriation issues. He said there had been at least one other occasion where the museum had returned remains.