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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: AP
That belief is now at the center of a struggle between the rural town of North Smithfield and a developer who wants to build a 122-lot subdivision on the land.
The town suspects the piles are burial mounds, and has filed a lawsuit asking a judge to declare the land a historic burial ground. But the developer contends the piles were left behind by farmers or loggers, and has been pushing since 2001 to build.
Then they launched it ceremoniously into the Pacific Ocean. It was the first launch of a Tao fishing boat in seven years.
For decades the Tao aborigines of Taiwan's Orchid Island have used colorful canoe-like boats to net flying fish in the warm waters of the Pacific. But now more and more Tao men are migrating to Taiwan's cities to look for work, leaving fewer to learn how to build the 23-foot boats. The tribe is also under siege from Taiwan's majority Chinese culture.
SOURCE: AP (7-18-08)
City Hall is banning all those enjoying a Roman holiday this summer from snacking near the sights in Rome's historical center with fines up to $80.
Officials say they want to preserve artistic treasures and decorum in a city that has millions of visitors every year.
The ordinance also bans the homeless from setting up makeshift beds and cracks down on drunks, litterbugs and nighttime revelers loitering in central areas.
His comments drew a sharp rebuke from the United States, whose chief trade negotiator, Susan Schwab, is the daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors. Her spokesman described the reference to Goebbels as "incredibly wrong."
The controversy threatens to overshadow next week's last-ditch effort to save seven years of frustrating talks on a new global trade pact toward alleviating poverty around the world.
SOURCE: AP (7-19-08)
The 4,500-year-old vessel is the sister ship of a similar boat removed in pieces from another pit in 1954 and painstakingly reconstructed. Experts believe the boats were meant to ferry the pharaoh who built the Great Pyramid in the afterlife.
Former Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the survey after his government was deeply embarrassed in 2006 by hundreds of thefts from the crown jewel of Russia's art world, St. Petersburg's Hermitage gallery.
Over 1,600 museums have been inspected since then, and most of them have items missing, Interior Ministry Col. Ilya Ryasnoi told The Associated Press in a phone interview.
SOURCE: AP (7-19-08)
During a visit to a chapel devoted to Mary MacKillop, who is celebrated for her work caring for children in rural towns across the country last century, nuns said Pope Benedict XVI indicated MacKillop was approaching final judgment on her canonization.
MacKillop was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1995 after the Vatican determined she miraculously cured a woman suffering from leukemia. But the Vatican needs confirmation of a second miracle in order to make her a saint.
The sculptures in Baughman Memorial Park need to be restored and repainted, said Kevin Morehouse, 35, who bought the park for $310,000 in February. A statue of Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman is missing its head, and other statues show varying degrees of wear and tear, he said.
Morehouse, who owns a logging company, said he bought the park to serve as his family's private retreat but soon realized he had no idea how to care for it.
SOURCE: AP (7-18-08)
Experts said skull and bone measurements, as well as two half-dollar coins and other artifacts found at the site of the Battle of Monterrey in northern Mexico, indicate the bodies belong to U.S. war casualties.
Mexico's national archaeological agency said the skeletal remains were uncovered in digs between 1996 and April 2008 but were apparently not announced previously. The U.S. Embassy said it had no immediate information.
In West Virginia, it was vases bolted to headstones. In Washington State, it was bronze markers on veterans' graves. In Chicago, Illinois it was nearly half a million dollars' worth of brass ornaments.
"It's a crisis of the times," said Ruth Shapleigh-Brown, executive director of the Connecticut Gravestone Network, which monitors cemeteries for theft and vandalism."People are finding a way to make money."
Name of source: New Yorker
SOURCE: New Yorker (7-25-08)
It was a homespun documentary, and it opened with a Technicolor portrait of Chairman Mao, sunbeams radiating from his head. Out of silence came an orchestral piece, thundering with drums, as a black screen flashed, in both Chinese and English, one of Mao’s mantras: “Imperialism will never abandon its intention to destroy us.” Then a cut to present-day photographs and news footage, and a fevered sprint through conspiracies and betrayals—the “farces, schemes, and disasters” confronting China today. The sinking Chinese stock market (the work of foreign speculators who “wildly manipulated” Chinese stock prices and lured rookie investors to lose their fortunes). Shoppers beset by inflation, a butcher counter where “even pork has become a luxury.” And a warning: this is the dawn of a global “currency war,” and the West intends to “make Chinese people foot the bill” for America’s financial woes. A cut, then, to another front: rioters looting stores and brawling in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital. The music crescendos as words flash across the scenes: “So-called peaceful protest!” A montage of foreign press clippings critical of China—nothing but “rumors, all speaking with one distorted voice.” The screen fills with the logos of CNN, the BBC, and other news organizations, which give way to a portrait of Joseph Goebbels. The orchestra and the rhetoric climb toward a final sequence: “Obviously, there is a scheme behind the scenes to encircle China. A new Cold War!”
The music turns triumphant with images of China’s Olympic hurdler Liu Xiang standing in Tiananmen Square, raising the Olympic torch, “a symbol of Peace and Friendship!” But, first, one final act of treachery: in Paris, protesters attempt to wrest the Olympic torch from its official carrier, forcing guards to fend them off—a “long march” for a new era. The film ends with the image of a Chinese flag, aglow in the sunlight, and a solemn promise: “We will stand up and hold together always as one family in harmony!”
Name of source: Time
SOURCE: Time (7-20-08)
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (7-21-08)
Tucked away in the heart of rural Yemen, Madar now finds itself in the limelight after a series of dinosaur prints were discovered in the village - the first such discovery on the Arabian Peninsula.
The dinosaur tracks have been lying exposed, above ground, for centuries, but scientists only recently stumbled across them following a tip-off from a local journalist.
SOURCE: BBC (7-17-08)
Four hundred Thai troops and 800 Cambodian soldiers are now stationed at Preah Vihear temple, a Cambodian military chief said.
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen urged his Thai counterpart, Samak Sundaravej, to withdraw his troops in a letter.
The two sides have agreed to hold talks on the issue early next week.
The International Court of Justice awarded Preah Vihear to Cambodia in 1962, but areas around it remain the subject of rival territorial claims.
Name of source: Salon
SOURCE: Salon (7-21-08)
Sakic — a former chief of Croatia's infamous Jasenovac camp — died in a hospital in Zagreb, Justice Ministry spokeswoman Vesna Dovranic told The Associated Press.
Sakic had heart problems and had been receiving treatment at a prison hospital, but he was recently transferred to a better-equipped hospital when his condition deteriorated, Dovranic said.
Sakic fled Croatia at the end of the war, when Croatia's pro-Nazi regime was crushed. He had lived peacefully in Argentina for decades until 1998, when he was extradited to Croatia for a trial.
In 1999, Zagreb district court sentenced him to 20 years in prison — the maximum penalty at the time — for carrying out or condoning the torture and slayings of inmates while in charge of the Jasenovac camp in 1944.
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (7-21-08)
It was Kouba who flew general Vang Pao, the CIA's top Hmong leader, out of the agency's embattled headquarters at Long Cheng. A program distributed with services explained:
"On May 14, 1975, among few of the remaining American civilian pilots in south-east Asia, Kouba and chopper pilot Jack Knotts flew the last 'up-country' special assignment to evacuate Jerry Daniels (Hog), who was a CIA case officer, and major general Vang Pao."
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (7-20-08)
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, made an eleventh hour decision to attend the ceremony, in which 500 new troops were inducted. But her decision was only made after heavy pressure from the German armed forces, which complained of a "shameful lack of interest" from politicians sensitive to the German public's notorious post-war pacifism.
German troops are currently serving in five hotspots across the globe, with more than 3,000 troops in Afghanistan, but are often unloved at home.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (7-18-08)
In a display of the city's determination to improve its air quality, officials this week vaunted the closure and relocation to the coast of its biggest polluter, the smoke-stacked mini-state of Capital Steel.
Three of its blast furnaces stand blackened and idle, along with two of its three steel mills.
A fourth furnace will shut on Sunday, when for the sake of the Olympics industrial production will be reduced across five provinces, and cars in the city restricted to alternate days.
But the shutdown, a culmination of years of work that has seen hundreds of chemical and other factories close, is also part of a drive to rediscover the city's original purpose: to be the political, financial and cultural heart of the Chinese world.
When Mao Tse-tung founded the People's Republic in 1949, he replaced many of the Ming and Qing dynasty temples, palaces and old houses with factories. He told architects he wanted to "look out from Tiananmen gate and see smokestacks".
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (7-17-08)
The work, which comprises 12,000 pages in 13 tomes, has taken academics from the military history centre of the German armed forces 30 years to finish. It says that the conflict was lost as early as 1942. However, the Führer's"suicidal urge" to enforce a final confrontation helped prolong the war.
"It will be impossible to write a history of the Second World War without reference to this work," said Col Winfried Heinemann, the head of research at the centre."It is a history of the whole of German society, not just a military account of the battles."
He said that Hitler was advised three years before the defeat in Berlin that the war was lost.
Name of source: McGuire Gibson in an email to IraqCrisis
SOURCE: McGuire Gibson in an email to IraqCrisis (7-18-08)
I have just been comparing a satellite image from February 2003, when the Antiqutities organization was excavating at Umma, with one taken within the past month, June 2008. In the 2003 image, it is quite clear that looting that had been done in the 1990s and earlier was restricted to a very small part of the site, mainly on a part of the mound across from the front entrance of the Shara temple that the Iraqis were excavating. The looted area at that time cannot have been more than 5 or 10 percent of the site. (We are in process of measuring and estimating the area.) We know for certain that the Iraqi expedition stayed at Umma until a couple of weeks before the war in April 2003; the expedition left 18 guards on the site, who prevented any looting while they were there. Those guards reported to the SBAH in Baghdad that on the day the war started, looters came out in force and drove the guards off the site. When I visited Umma on May 21, 2003 by helicopter with Ambassador Cordone, I counted over 250 looters at work, and the disturbed area was much bigger, my impressiond being that it was perhaps 5 times greater than it had been before the war. The new image, from June 2008, however shows that the ENTIRE site of Umma is riddled with holes. What proportion of the looters' holes are current or very recent we can't say from the image, nor can we know exactly when the looting of the site was stopped, if it has been. We know that because of the efforts of Abdul Amir Hamdani, the Director of the Antiquities office in Nasiriyah, and the Italian carbinieri, looting was lessened on the major sites in Dhi Qar province, including Umma. Their program to stop the sale of stolen antiquities in the small towns near the major sites must have had a chilling effect, but Abdul Amir says that the activity was shfited ot smaller sites. If you look at Google Earth images of Dhi Qar province you can find dozens of small, unidentified sites as well as major ones with differing percentages of looter holes. With Umma, as with other sites, we cannot say exactly when all illegal digging ceased without a series of images, at least yearly,from 2003 to 2008. But clearly the actions of a relatively SMALL military force, cooperating with the local Antiquities official in this one province made a difference and shows that if even a minimum of attention had been paid to antiquities sites in other provinces, much of the looting in the south may have been stopped or reduced substantially.
Elizabeth Stone has been trying to assess damage to sites all over the south of Iraq through comparison of satellite images, and she has reported some of her findings in Antiquity as well as in the catalogue for the Catastrophe exhibition at the Oriental Institute. In the recent trip, she could have directed the team of archaeologists to many sites that would have shown fresh damage, instead of to the eight sites that the group did visit. The point has been made in previous postings on this site that this was an odd set of sites to investigate. It would be surprising to find damage at Ur and Uruk, since there was plenty of evidence that no looting has been going on there. Curtis had visited Ur before, and the German expedition has been keep apprised of the condition of Uruk. It would also be surprising to find that Lagash (Al-Hiba) was being looted because I saw it in 2003 and it was intact and in satellite images as late as 2007, it was still not being dug illegally. I am a bit surprised to hear that the group found no damage at Larsa because an image from 2006 shows that part of the lower part of the mound was being erased by some kind of machine, a grader or front-end loader, leaving long parallel marks on the surface. I await the team's official report to explain what those marks were. The lack of damage at Ubaid and Eridu, as well as Tell al-Lahm, may be the result of the closeness of a large group of American troops and/or to patrolling by the Antiquities police, as is reported for Tell al-Lahm. Donny George has explained the good condition of Tell al-Oueilli by the fact that it is prehistoric and therefore of very little interest to the looters, the dealers, and collectors.
Had the group gone to Qadissiyah province (Diwaniyah) instead of Dhi Qar, they would have seen a lot of fresh holes, where there has been much less of an attempt to stop looting. As far as I can find out, the digging is still going on at Isin and in smaller sites around it. In a recent issue of the TAARII newsletter (available on-line) Carrie Hritz analyzes the progressive extent of looting at Isin and at nearby sites. Fara, Adab, and many other sites near them show clear looting in satellite images. Maybe there is nothing going on right now (which I doubt), but you can track the progressive spread of looter holes from 2003 to 2008 in images. Even without specially-ordered images, anyone can go onto Google Earth and see massive damage on many sites. I was looking at the area around Tell al-Wilayah yesterday. That site itself is in one of those dead zones, where there is poor imagery and you can make out Wilaya only if you know what to look for. But just to the north and east, going towards Kut, there is fine quality coverage, and you can see dozens of small sites with fresh looking holes on them. Nippur was looted for about a month in 2003, but it was stopped by police from Afak. Subsequent posting of Antiquities guards at the site, in a house newly built for them, and the erecting of a perimeter fence in 2005 have secured Nippur proper. There is ample evidence of continued looting of sites away from cultivation in the desert to the north and east of Nippur.
With the kind of images that are available to scholars, we can't say for sure that the illegal digging is continuing. This can be known only by comparing this years's image with one from a few months or a year ago and some from months to come. It would be great if the looting has stopped, but I doubt that it has. But maybe enough money has been spread around the south to give people jobs that are not as arduous, dangerous (tunnels can collapse), and unrewarding as the work that the local men do as looters. They get very little for the objects that they pass on to the agents of dealers and would not do the work if there were alternatives.
One last remark: It is odd that the people who want to cover up, diminish, or shift the blame for the devastating loss of cultural heritage in Iraq can find all kinds of newspaper articles in which quoted scholars can have their words twisted to serve a view that is exactly the opposite of their position, and they can find Cruikshank's wildly inaccurate and even libelous documentary to cite, but they cannot find the scholars' own articles (in print and on-line) or more responsible journalistic accounts (e.g., Andrew Lawler's August 2003 Science Magazine report on the looting of the Iraq Museum).
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (7-20-08)
They want their own Antonin Scalia. Or rather, an anti-Scalia, an individual who can easily articulate a liberal interpretation of the Constitution, offer a quick sound bite and be prepared to mix it up with conservative activists beyond the marble and red velvet of the Supreme Court.
Some have even mentioned Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for the role, although there is no evidence it would interest her or that Obama would consider his former rival for the Democratic presidential nomination for the court. But as the Supreme Court takes its traditional spot in the background of the presidential campaign, there is a longing on the left for a justice who would energize not only the court's liberal wing, but also the debate over interpreting the Constitution.
Name of source: Politico.com
SOURCE: Politico.com (7-20-08)
So after two weeks of public debate, the campaign announced Sunday morning: “On Thursday, July 24, 2008, Sen. Barack Obama will visit Berlin, Germany. Obama will give a major speech on the historic U.S.-German partnership, and the need to strengthen transatlantic relations to meet 21st-century challenges in front of the Siegessaule at the Grosser Stern in Tiergarten Park. The event is free and open to the public, and tickets are not required.”
Obama will still have a striking backdrop for the largest event of his foreign swing. The Siegessaule is translated as “victory tower” or “victory column,” commemorating the Prussian victory in the Prusso-Danish War, or German-Danish War, of 1864.
One online guide describes it as “cocky-looking triumphal column.”
SOURCE: Politico.com (7-19-08)
During his bid for the presidency, Obama has repeatedly praised the political gifts of Reagan, the modern president most revered by Republicans, and whose policies are still held in contempt by many leading liberals.
A year ago Obama compared Reagan favorably to President Bush in a primary debate while defending his pledge to meet directly with the leaders of hostile nations without preconditions. “Ronald Reagan called [Russia] an evil empire,” said Obama, but he also “spoke to the Soviet Union.”
In January, Obama came under fire from within his party after casting himself as an emotive heir to Reagan. “Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America,” Obama told a Nevada newspaper in January, noting that Reagan “tapped into what people were already feeling, which is: We want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.”
Name of source: LAT
SOURCE: LAT (7-20-08)
ANGKOR, CAMBODIA -- The ancient sandstone temples of Angkor have stood up to endless assaults down the centuries, from medieval raiders armed with clubs and spears to genocidal looters laying land mines.
These days, the onslaught begins in the early morning darkness, when invading columns of buses, taxis and sputtering tuk-tuks converge on a dirt parking lot across from Angkor Wat's broad moat.
They disgorge hundreds of camera-wielding tourists, who march through the gray light toward the awesome gates of the world's largest religious monument.
SOURCE: LAT (7-17-08)
It wasn't the first time an Obama had taken Kenya's elite to task. Forty years earlier, a rising star named Barack Obama -- tall, elegant and impeccably dressed -- attacked the nation's post-independence government, accusing leaders of betraying their ideals and replicating the nepotism of departing colonialists.
"It must be something in our family," observed a smiling Said Obama, younger brother of Obama Sr.
Although the lives of father and son scarcely intersected beyond a few letters and a 1971 visit in Hawaii when the younger Obama was 10, friends and family see similarities in the men's charisma and eloquence, even if their lives took dramatically different turns.
Both achieved success at a young age. Both advocated change. And both displayed a self-confidence that friends described as bordering on cocky.
"The father was full of life, ebullient and arrogant, but not unpleasantly so," recalled Philip Ochieng, a former drinking buddy of Obama Sr. and veteran Kenyan journalist.
"But in many ways, the son is quite the opposite. He has self-control. The ambition is controlled. And he has a more sober mind."
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (7-19-08)
The library’s extensive genealogical collection has just been enormously enhanced by the gift of 75,000 volumes, 30,000 manuscripts and 22,000 reels of microfilm from the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.
Faced with a dwindling endowment, the members-only G & B, as it is known, sold its four-story building on East 58th Street in Midtown Manhattan last year for $24 million. It bought an office condominium in Midtown where it will now focus on grant-giving, tours, lectures and other means of encouraging genealogical research. One of the first grants was about $1 million to the library for a four-person staff to process and catalog the G & B collection within two years.
“The G & B wanted a place where the members would have access and where the collection would be taken care of,” said David S. Ferriero, the Andrew W. Mellon director of the New York Public Libraries.
SOURCE: NYT (7-17-08)
SOURCE: NYT (7-20-08)
But to many of the Russians who visited the new “Crown of the Czar” exhibition in Moscow last week, these pictures of the royal family were breathtaking. Older people who grew up versed in the canon of Marx and Lenin seemed particularly grateful to see documents and other items that had been locked away in archives for so many decades.
“We know very little about this period,” said Vera Milkhina, 66. “I didn’t study this kind of history — only political science and the history of the Communist Party.”
The exhibition’s popularity underscores a nationwide renewal of interest, and even affection, for the imperial family.
SOURCE: NYT (7-18-08)
But here in Flint, the honoree is the company that both built the city and left much of it collapsed. And so, like generations of a family recognizing a controversial patriarch, people here are taking note of the centennial of the founding of General Motors with a complicated mixture of respect and anger, pride and hurt.
“It’s still good they’re doing something for Flint,” said Fred Morse, 34, a self-employed construction worker whose father worked for G.M. for 36 years. “But people need jobs more than they need entertainment and free hot dogs.”
In the 1970s, General Motors employed some 80,000 people in the Flint area, and it seems everyone here is tied to the company in one way or another. Those who did not work at G.M. rattle off the names of relatives who did. But as G.M. shed jobs and moved others abroad, its employment in Flint dwindled. Today, about 8,000 area residents work for the company.
Name of source: Chicago Tribune
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune (7-20-08)
Landon thinks the 70-year-old, three-story building, empty since 2002, would make a terrific site for a national public housing museum. So does a non-profit headed by CHA resident leader Deverra Beverly and Sunny Fischer, the executive director of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and herself a former public housing resident.
"Look at the concrete work," said Landon, of the firm Landon Bone Baker Architects, as he shone a flashlight on an exposed concrete ceiling. "Pretty nice."
The proposal for the public housing museum, which first came to public attention four years ago, is gathering steam, though "not in my backyard" opposition still could thwart it.
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (7-19-08)
The document does not hail from Basra or Baghdad, nor was it penned by the Islamists of al-Qaeda or the al-Mahdi Army. It was found in Haifa, about 60 years ago, and it was issued by the underground group led by Menachem Begin – the future Prime Minister of Israel and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
The document, which surfaced at an auction house this week, is addressed to “the soldiers of the occupation army” and aimed at British soldiers serving in Palestine, then under the British Mandate, preceding the establishment of Israel in 1948. The print has faded and the paper has discoloured since it was unearthed from a grove of trees in Haifa in the summer of 1947. Yet the language and the concerns remain current.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (7-17-08)
"I'm older than the FBI," said 101-year old Walter Walsh, who fought the mob as an FBI agent in the 1930s and '40s. The FBI says Walsh is its oldest living former special agent.
Walsh is among the thousands of special agents who contributed to the investigations and arrests upon which the FBI legend was built. Walsh personally arrested Doc Barker, son of the infamous gangster Ma Barker. Walsh was wounded in the 1937 shootout that killed Al Brady, then the nation's most wanted criminal.
Today, Walsh said that he was happy to be able to attend the festivities and that he was flattered his service is still remembered.
SOURCE: CNN (7-18-08)
Murat Hurtic, the head of the forensic team, says the last bodies were taken out Friday. The team exhumed two complete and 64 incomplete skeletons.
An ID card found in the grave supports initial information that the bodies were of Muslim men from Srebrenica who were killed in the July 1995 massacre.
Name of source: The News Tribune
SOURCE: The News Tribune (7-18-08)
Bruno Vekaric, a spokesman for the prosecutors' office, told The Associated Press that it has started gathering information about Peter Egner, 86, a native of Yugoslavia now living in U.S., in order to try him in Serbia.
"We have contacted the Americans, various archives, victims' associations to gather data," Vekaric said. "Once we collect enough material, we will launch a formal investigation and seek his extradition."
Name of source: cbs news
SOURCE: cbs news (7-10-08)
The 1932-33 famine was engineered by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin to force peasants to give up their private plots of land and join collective farms.
Ukraine, which has rich farmland, suffered the most of all Soviet regions and President Viktor Yushchenko has led efforts to win international recognition of the tragedy as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation.
In 2006, the Ukrainian parliament declared the famine a genocide. Vladislav Verstyuk, deputy head of the government's Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, said Thursday that prosecutors and the state security service will now seek to prove that in court.
Historians are divided on whether "death by hunger" _ or "Holodomor" as it is known here _ was an act of genocide.
Name of source: National Post
SOURCE: National Post (7-18-08)
Decades of neglect, millions of trampling visitors and the ravages of sunlight and rain are threatening to wipe out for good one of the world's most famous archaeological sites and Italy's top tourist attraction.
Archaeologists and art historians have long complained about the poor upkeep of the Pompeii treasures, warning that its fading frescoes, leaky roofs and crumbling walls would not survive the test of time.
The 66-hectare site, of which two thirds have been uncovered since excavations began 250 years ago, offers a unique glimpse into everyday life in an ancient Roman town, frozen in time by the Mount Vesuvius eruption in AD 79.
But little has been done over the years to stop the decay, and many of the site's once glorious artifacts -- visited by 2.5 million tourists every year -- are simply disintegrating.
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (7-18-08)
But as he celebrated his 90th birthday Friday, Nelson Mandela was anything but invisible, a figure of reverence whose nine decades have been marked and observed at a huge rock concert in Hyde Park in London, a gala dinner for his children's charity in the august, chandeliered Long Room at Lord's cricket ground, and a host of tributes.
His birthday celebration was supposed to be a quiet affair in his ancestral village, Qunu, in the southeast of his country - with a mere 500 of his closest friends in attendance, as well as a touch of wry self-deprecation:
Name of source: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (7-17-08)
As anthropologists gingerly removed the layers of ancient textiles swaddling the thirtysomething elite male last month at a Lima lab, offerings both strange and familiar came to light—slingshots, corn, a figurine in identical dress.
Taken together, the artifacts, the mummy, and the excavation site suggest that the mysterious, little-studied Chancay civilization held a surprisingly tight grip on the fertile north-central Pacific coast of Peru during the culture's heyday, between A.D. 1000 and 1500, when it finally fell to the unstoppable Inca Empire, experts say.
Name of source: msnbc
SOURCE: msnbc (7-18-08)
Over 58,000 names have come to represent one of America's most costly and divisive wars. Those are the names of the military men and women who fought and died in Vietnam. The Vietnam Veterans memorial in Washington is the permanent monument.
There is also the Moving Wall - a half-size replica that has been touring the country for more than 20 years. After a six-year absence, it is now back at Lawrence's Ft. Harrison. No matter where the wall travels, there is a universal reaction from veterans and civilians.
Name of source: Yahoo
SOURCE: Yahoo (7-3-08)
As the nation's July 4 birthday nears, 91% say they would vote for the Constitution as the fundamental law of the United States. Just 2% would vote against it.
Fifty-nine percent (59%) of voters say the 219-year-old "living document" should be left alone, while another 34% think it needs only unspecified minor changes. Just 5% suggest major changes, with 1% saying the United States should scrap it and start all over again.
Seventy-nine percent (79%) of voters rate the Constitution as good or excellent. That general level of support cuts across all partisan and demographic lines. However, there are significant gaps of enthusiasm. Only 39% of women view the document as excellent, compared to 57% of men. Forty-nine percent of white voters give it an excellent rating versus 28% of blacks.
Name of source: Moscow Times
SOURCE: Moscow Times (7-18-08)
Former President Vladimir Putin ordered the survey after his government was deeply embarrassed in 2006 by hundreds of thefts from St. Petersburg's Hermitage museum.
More than 1,600 museums have been inspected since then, and most of them have items missing, Interior Ministry official Ilya Ryasnoi said.
SOURCE: Moscow Times (7-18-08)
Pilgrims from across the country have flocked to the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg to commemorate the death of the Tsar Nicholas II and his family, whose murder months after the Bolshevik Revolution helped usher in seven decades of Communist rule.
Many made their way from a church built on the site of the house where the family was secretly shot to death by a Bolshevik firing squad in the early hours of July 17, 1918, to a wooded area where their bodies were deposited. It is now home to a church and memorials.
Name of source: Slovak Spectator
SOURCE: Slovak Spectator (7-14-08)
The World Heritage Committee added two Roman Catholic churches, three Protestant churches, and three Greek Catholic churches built between the 16th and 18th centuries.
The Roman Catholic churches are in Hervartov and Tvrdošín; the Protestant churches are in Kežmarok, Hronsek and Leštiny; and the Greek Catholic churches are in Bodružal, Ladomirová and Ruská Bystrá. They all present good examples of a rich local tradition of religious architecture, marked by the meeting of Latin and Byzantine cultures, according to UNESCO.
The churches, towns, and Slovak heritage protection officials called the decision a sign of great appreciation for Slovakia’s historical treasures and a move that could attract more international attention to the sites.
“Inscribing the wooden churches onto the list acknowledges the exceptional value of the wooden sacred architecture located in Slovakia in this part of the Carpathian Mountain Area,” Katarína Kosová, the general director of the Slovakia’s Monuments Board, told The Slovak Spectator. “The move will put Slovakia on the cultural world map.”
Name of source: AHA Blog
SOURCE: AHA Blog (7-16-08)
Within this report the National Park Service looks at 243 battlefields and 434 historic properties. Of those, 170 are considered threatened (often by development nearby).
Name of source: Jordan Times
SOURCE: Jordan Times (7-18-08)
The hill is located in Wadi Al Arab, an archaeologically rich area some 5km southwest of Um Qais where the borders of Jordan, Syria and Israel meet and where over 100 sites boast a treasure trove of diverse artefacts, telling a complex story mirroring the rise and decline of different cultures and rulers in the region.
“We have 5,000 years of cultural layers - this is really great for the region. You can’t find a site like this anywhere else in the Kingdom,” Dr Jutta Haser, director of the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology (GIPA) told The Jordan Times on Thursday.
According to the German archaeologist, the most important site is Tal Ziraa, which lies where Wadi Al Arab and Wadi Zahar meet, rising some 40 metres above the surrounding countryside areas.
The GIPA, alongside the biblical Archaeological Institute in Wuppertal and experts from nearby Um Qais, has been excavating the area every Spring and Fall of each year since 2003, as part of the organisations’ greater “Gadara-region project”.
The area was chosen because of its strategic location, leading experts to believe that the site could yield significant archaeological finds.
Instead, the hill has yielded an overwhelming wealth of historical and cultural finds, Haser said.
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (7-17-08)
A convention was signed by French Minister of State for War Veterans Jean-Marie Bockel and the Foundation for German-French Understanding in Strasbourg on Thursday, July 17. It creates a fund of 4.6 million euros ($2.9 million) from which the compensation payments will be made.
Beneficiaries are to be those survivors from the Alsace-Lorraine region who were forced to work for the Nazi German wartime authorities during the Second World War.
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (7-17-08)
The government-funded military historians who researched the series are thoroughly anti-Nazi, but at the same time were curious about the strategy and mindset that drove their grandfathers' generation.
The findings can be set alongside existing histories of the US, British and Russian military efforts to complete the picture of what happened on the battlefield during the titanic 1939-1945 conflict.
Name of source: Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (7-17-08)
During the Cold War it had been a place where West Berliners driving through East Germany could grab a cheap bite or share a beer with some East Germans before crossing the border into the US sector of the divided city.
The rest stop, with its gas station and restaurant, became a popular spot for East and West Germans to meet up with friends and family who lived on the other side of the Berlin Wall. Another attraction for West Berliners was the prices: a pork steak with herb butter, peas and fries only cost 3.95 in both deutsche marks and East German marks. (In deutsche marks, by 1989, that was about two dollars.)
Bärbel Grossmann of the local historical society in Michendorf told SPIEGEL ONLINE that they had tried to have the rest stop turned into a museum in 2000, but "it was too late." Plans to expand the A10 highway had been approved, and it was now impossible to list the site as a protected building. Local conservationists had only realized the importance of the rest stop in 1998. Marie-Luise Buchinger of the Brandenburg Protection of Historical Monuments Office told the Märkische Allgemeine newspaper that by then, "demolition plans were so far ahead that they couldn’t be revoked."
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (7-16-08)
As a major international conference on the tapestry opens at the British Museum, archaeologist Michael Lewis has named the real villain who snipped a souvenir fragment from the border of the priceless textile: the 19th-century artist and antiquarian Charles Stothard, not his wronged wife Anna Eliza.
Although the outrage occurred almost 200 years ago, sharp-sighted visitors to the museum in the small French town of Bayeux - where visitors were once assured that Eliza, bored while her husband worked, attacked the town's greatest treasure - can still see the repair where a tiny patch of new fabric was stitched.
Name of source: Murfreesboro Post
SOURCE: Murfreesboro Post (7-16-08)
Dr. Tom Nolan, director of MTSU’s Laboratory for Spatial Technology, along with archaeologist Zada Law, led the all-volunteer team on its first day of the survey, which yielded Civil War-era artifact finds such as lead shot, a minie ball and a canister shot, among other battle-related discoveries.
Some 25 selected volunteers, including MTSU anthropology and history students, as well as members of Middle Tennessee Metal Detectors, used metal detectors and GPS equipment to survey and map the area around the Harding House site, where Brig. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan’s Union division held up the Confederate advance during the first day of the Battle of Stones River on Dec. 31, 1862.