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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: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (7-8-08)
The judge, Alvin K. Hellerstein of Federal District Court in Manhattan, had hinted strongly at an emotional hearing in February that he would deny the request, praising the city for undertaking the “herculean job of repairing the gaping hole in our society,” and saying that nothing — not even the upheaval of 1.8 million tons of landfill debris — would ever return the dead to their families.
In his ruling on Monday, which he said he was making reluctantly, Judge Hellerstein wrote: “Not every wrong can be addressed through the judicial process. The grave harm suffered by the plaintiffs in this case is undeniable. But the jurisdiction of a court is limited.”
SOURCE: NYT (7-7-08)
“He challenged me on whether we could teach him anything,” Mr. Kellman recalled. “He wanted to know things like ‘How are you going to train me?’ and ‘What am I going to learn?’ ”
Mr. Obama’s three-year stretch as a grass-roots organizer has figured prominently, if not profoundly, in his own narrative of his life. Campaigning in Iowa, Mr. Obama called it “the best education I ever had, better than anything I got at Harvard Law School,” an education that he said was “seared into my brain.” He devoted about one-third of the 442 pages in his memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” to chronicling that Chicago organizing period.
SOURCE: NYT (7-7-08)
As an author, Mr. Bugliosi has written three No. 1 best sellers and won three Edgar Allan Poe awards, the top honor for crime writers. More than 30 years ago he co-wrote the best seller “Helter Skelter,” about the Manson case.
So Mr. Bugliosi could be forgiven for perhaps thinking that a new book would generate considerable interest, among reviewers and on the broadcast talk-show circuit.
But if he thought that, he would have been mistaken: his latest, a polemic with the provocative title “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder,” has risen to best-seller status with nary a peep from the usual outlets that help sell books: cable television and book reviews in major daily newspapers.
Internet advertising has been abundant, but ABC Radio refused to accept an advertisement for the book during the Don Imus show, said Roger Cooper, the publisher of Vanguard Press, which put out the book.
A draft of the Declaration of Independence, written in Thomas Jefferson’s own hand, suggests that the man who became the third president of the United States was unhappy with Congress in the days after July 4, 1776, when the Declaration was ratified.
On June 11, 1776, Jefferson, the primary author of the Declaration, was one of five men asked by the Second Continental Congress to create a draft of the document that would shape the future of the young nation.
SOURCE: NYT (7-6-08)
The youthful Mr. Castro — he was only 32 — hired a public relations firm, held news conferences, answered questions, ate hot dogs. He repeatedly disavowed Communism. But he was refused a meeting with President Dwight Eisenhower, and after leaving the United States he returned to Cuba and joined forces with the Soviet Union and Nikita Khrushchev.
As Senators Barack Obama and John McCain continue their bickering about whether the next president should talk to Iran, the Castro example poses the utmost tantalizing “what if?” question: What if Mr. Eisenhower had made nice with Mr. Castro on his maiden trip to Washington? Or, more precisely, could the United States have avoided 50 years of enmity — including a brush with nuclear annihilation — if Mr. Eisenhower had just given the young revolutionary a big hug?
Not likely. Most historians say that both men needed each other too much as adversaries to see significant political benefit in early rapprochement: Mr. Eisenhower needed to show that he was standing up to the new Cuban government, which was bent on nationalizing American assets, while Mr. Castro’s own legitimacy, in many ways, was based on his anti-Americanism.
Mr. Weiner, a Queens Democrat who represents parts of Queens and Brooklyn, provided reporters with copies of a request for bids that the National Park Service sent out in June for a study to determine if the crown can be safely reopened.
Liberty Island was closed after the 9/11 attacks and the statue’s base reopened to the public on Aug. 3, 2004, after a $20 million effort to enhance fire safety, security and evacuation routes. But the crown remained closed because the Park Service said there was no way to safely evacuate visitors in an emergency.
SOURCE: NYT (7-6-08)
If such a messianic description really is there, it will contribute to a developing re-evaluation of both popular and scholarly views of Jesus, since it suggests that the story of his death and resurrection was not unique but part of a recognized Jewish tradition at the time.
The tablet, probably found near the Dead Sea in Jordan according to some scholars who have studied it, is a rare example of a stone with ink writings from that era — in essence, a Dead Sea Scroll on stone.
SOURCE: NYT (7-3-08)
But just as with America’s expansion West, the Japanese pushed north in the late 19th century in the first sign of their imperialist ambitions. Japanese settlers decimated the Ainu population, seized their land and renamed it Hokkaido, or North Sea Road.
And yet it was only a few weeks ago that the Japanese government finally, and unexpectedly, recognized the Ainu as an “indigenous people.” Parliament introduced and quickly passed a resolution stating that the Ainu had a “distinct language, religion and culture,” setting aside the belief, long expressed by conservatives, that Japan is an ethnically homogeneous nation.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (7-8-08)
The tug-of-war you played with friends at school? That could have been worth a podium spot at six Games. A gym class favorite like the rope climb and a game that looked like hopscotch — the standing hop, step, jump — also were once medal events.
Long before the corporate sponsorships and billion-dollar(euro) television deals, the Olympic Games were more like games kids might play in the backyard. Some of the events may seem a bit strange — club swinging, anyone? — but there was certainly a fun factor to the early days of the Olympics.
"It's was a different thing, kind of catch as catch can, particularly the very early days before it got formalized," said David Wallechinsky, vice president of the International Society of Olympic Historians."Eventually, as it got bigger, they had to take it a lot more serious."
SOURCE: AP (7-4-08)
In the early days of the Korean War, other American officers observed, photographed and confidentially reported on such wholesale executions by their South Korean ally, a secretive slaughter believed to have killed 100,000 or more leftists and supposed sympathizers, usually without charge or trial, in a few weeks in mid-1950.
Extensive archival research by The Associated Press has found no indication Far East commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur took action to stem the summary mass killing, knowledge of which reached top levels of the Pentagon and State Department in Washington, where it was classified "secret" and filed away.
Now, a half-century later, the South Korean government's Truth and Reconciliation Commission is investigating what happened in that summer of terror, a political bloodbath largely hidden from history, unlike the communist invaders' executions of southern rightists, which were widely publicized and denounced at the time.
SOURCE: AP (7-6-08)
Many slave descendants trace the arrival of slavery in the United States in 1619 to Old Point Comfort, the hatchet-shaped peninsula where Fort Monroe sits, and where slavery would be ushered into its final stages nearly 250 years later.
“When you look at how immigrants went to Ellis Island, our people couldn’t do this,” said Gerri L. Hollins, who counts a fugitive slave among her ancestors. “This is our Ellis Island.”
SOURCE: AP (7-7-08)
Now, a half-century later, the South Korean government's Truth and Reconciliation Commission is investigating what happened in that summer of terror, a political bloodbath largely hidden from history, unlike the communist invaders' executions of southern rightists, which were widely publicized and denounced at the time.
The American colonel, troubled by what he was hearing, tried to stall at first. But the declassified record shows he finally told his South Korean counterpart it "would be permitted" to machine-gun 3,500 political prisoners, to keep them from joining approaching enemy forces.
In the now-declassified record at the U.S. National Archives and other repositories, the Korean investigators will find an ambivalent U.S. attitude in 1950 -- at times hands-off, at times disapproving.
"The most important thing is that they did not stop the executions," historian Jung Byung-joon, a member of the 2-year-old commission, said of the Americans. "They were at the crime scene, and took pictures and wrote reports."
SOURCE: AP (7-3-08)
Indianapolis residents watched in 1911 as two trains purposely collided at full speed, the locomotive personnel bailing out before the crash.
The gray-haired, bespectacled academic has chronicled just about everything there is to know about commemorating the birth of the United States. His 360-page, factoid-packed book, "The Fourth of July Encyclopedia," was published last year, and he's now moved on to researching a book about Fourth-related music. He has a weighty Web site on the Fourth, making him a resource for TV shows, politicians, re-enactors and even high school students writing term papers.
Heintze, a 65-year-old retired librarian at American University in Washington, has dedicated more than a dozen years to researching the history of this single day — a passion that began with his interest in Independence Day music. He found himself spending long days reading microfilms of articles and rare documents, at times taking verbal notes on a voice recorder in libraries that prohibited pencils and pens.
SOURCE: AP (7-3-08)
The likeness of the Nazi leader, hunched over a desk in a dimly lit bunker just before he committed suicide at the end of World War II, was one of dozens unveiled Thursday at the opening of the British wax museum's latest branch.
The waxworks here are showcased in chronological and thematic order, highlighting Europe's postwar history.
Name of source: Yahoo
SOURCE: Yahoo (7-8-08)
The Constitutional Court ruled 8-1 that a communique approved by the cabinet in June backing Cambodia's bid to list the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple had required the approval of parliament.
UNESCO, the U.N. agency for culture and education, voted on Monday to approve Cambodia's request to register the temple, which has been at the centre of a bitter 50-year dispute on the Thai-Cambodian border.
Name of source: http://www.wnky.net
SOURCE: http://www.wnky.net (7-7-08)
“These grants help safeguard and preserve American battlefield lands,” said Mary A. Bomar, Director of the National Park Service. “It is important to protect these lands as symbols of individual sacrifice and national heritage for present and future generations.”
This year’s grants provide funding for projects at endangered battlefields from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Second Seminole War, Civil War, World War II and various Indian Wars. Awards were given to projects in 24 states or territories entailing archeology, mapping, cultural resource survey work, documentation, planning, education and interpretation.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (7-8-08)
English Heritage has identified 45 wrecks on a new list of important cultural sites that are "at risk", and in urgent need of protection and regeneration.
Many have been damaged by unauthorised divers during clumsy explorations and fishermen as they dredge the seabeds, while others have been allowed to decay.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (7-6-08)
A tourism officer will be appointed in every diocese of the country to encourage more people to look around the historic buildings.
It is hoped the move will raise money for cash-strapped churches, but may also result in casual visitors learning more about religion and becoming worshippers.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (7-2-08)
William Hargood was captain of HMS Belleisle, which was at the heart of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 when Admiral Lord Nelson defeated the Franco-Spanish fleet.
Around a quarter of his vessel's men were killed or injured as they staged an often lone fight against the enemy before finally being "dismasted".
Now what is believed to be Hargood's own log of the battle is up for auction after being discovered gathering dust in a loft of a house in Loughborough, Leics.
Name of source: News24 (South Africa)
SOURCE: News24 (South Africa) (7-8-08)
A cabinet statement said it would appoint a special commissioner for Pompeii, the ancient Roman city buried by an eruption of the Vesuvius volcano in AD 79 and now a Unesco World Heritage site.
A report in daily Corriere della Sera this week said most of the 1 500 houses at the site are closed to the public, its frescoes have faded to become almost invisible and restoration work that began in 1978 has yet to be completed.
The "state of emergency", which the government said would last for a year, allows for extra funds and special measures to be taken to protect the site.
Name of source: Telegraph
SOURCE: Telegraph (7-8-08)
The conservation organisation warned that battlefields, sites of special archaeological interest and scheduled monuments are at a much greater risk than listed buildings because local authorities often view them as a loss-making "burden". \
The Heritage at Risk (HAR) register published today lists eight of England's 43 registered battlefields as "at high risk of loss of historic significance," and a further 10 at moderate risk.
SOURCE: Telegraph (7-6-08)
In June of 1945, after the war with Germany had ended, an American Army officer arriving in Frankfurt was told to look for a place to live within a part of the city which the Allies had enclosed with barbed wire. He found an abandoned apartment and did what he could to make it livable. Opening a closet door, he discovered an album of photographs. It had 31 pages, and 116 black-and-white images, the bulk of them a little smaller than a playing card, nearly all of them portraying German officers - at a picnic, at shooting practice, at a resort among fir trees and hills, at the dedication of a hospital, dressed as miners and visiting a coal mine, at a dinner at a long table with a white tablecloth, wine bottles and waiters, lighting candles on a Christmas tree, at a funeral in the snow where the coffins are draped with Nazi flags.
Eventually, the officer returned to America. He took a job with the government, in Washington, D.C., and he and his wife lived in Virginia. In December 2006, the officer, elderly and disposing of his possessions, wrote to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, offering it an opportunity to look at the album. The images, he wrote, appeared to depict 'activities in and around Auschwitz, Poland'.
His letter was delivered to Rebecca Erbelding, a young archivist there. Erbelding examines nearly all texts and photographs offered to the museum. The most common are liberation photographs - scenes from concentration camps set free by the Americans or the British, usually made by army photographers, and given to soldiers so that they could take them home and show what they had seen. Erbelding assumed that the album consisted of these, and that, given the abundance of them in the museum's collection, she would recommend another home for it. She also assumed that the officer was mistaken about Auschwitz.
Auschwitz, in southern Poland, was the largest of the Nazi concentration camps. It enclosed 15 square miles and was divided into three parts: Auschwitz I contained the camp offices; Auschwitz II, also called Birkenau, contained the gas chambers and the crematoriums; and Auschwitz III had a synthetic-rubber-and-oil factory, operated by forced labour.
Auschwitz was also the camp where the most people died: approximately 1.1 million. There was a photography studio, where portraits were made of certain prisoners, but, except for official purposes, such as documenting construction or a dignitary's visit, photography was forbidden; what went on at Auschwitz, as in all the camps, was a state secret. There was only one album known to portray life at Auschwitz, and it came to light years ago. Originally, it included about 200 photographs, taken on 26 May, 1944, depicting the arrival of a train of prisoners and their dispersal. Often called the Lili Jacob album, after the young woman who found it, it is now at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. In addition, there are three photographs, at the Auschwitz Museum, of bodies being burnt and women being sent to the gas chambers, which were taken clandestinely, probably in August or early September 1944, by inmates with a camera apparently discovered among the belongings of arriving prisoners.
Name of source: United Jewish Communities
SOURCE: United Jewish Communities (7-8-08)
The controversial theory of Professor Israel Knohl, citing his new reading of a tablet inscribed in the 1st century BC discovered nearly 10 years ago, is expected to trigger a new Judaeo-Christian debate over the meaning and origin of the most central tenet of Christianity, the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Professor Knohl, a professor of biblical studies at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, will unveil his interpretation of the text at an Israel Museum conference of scholars, saying that it quotes the Archangel Gabriel telling an earlier "Prince of Princes" that: "In three days you shall live, I Gabriel, command you."
The tablet, known as Gabriel's Vision of Revelations because it contains an apocalyptic text ascribed to the angel, has attracted the intense interest of scholars. It came to light after it was bought from a Jordanian antiquities dealer by an Israeli-Swiss collector, David Jeselsohn, who kept it in his Zurich home. The location of the original discovery is not clear, though it may have been in Jordan on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea.
Name of source: Evansville Courier & Press
SOURCE: Evansville Courier & Press (7-6-08)
Past the "Arbeit macht frei" (Work will make you free) sign at the front gate of the former Nazi concentration camp that's a 20-minute train ride from Munich.
Past the 10-meter-by-100-meter rows of gravel that once held the wooden barracks where the enslaved were kept between 1933 and 1945 and where an estimated 32,000 persons lost their lives.
Past the guard towers and barbed-wire fence.
Past the gardens and religious shrines — present-day memorials on neatly trimmed ground atop heaps of dead from generations past.
It's early, and there are few visitors to the ovens. The silence is an appropriate companion while viewing the solid brick reminder of man's inhumanity to man.
The concentration camp was established in the buildings of an unused munitions factory. The first inmates were political prisoners and those of mixed ancestry. After 1936, the proportion of Jews rose dramatically.
They were brutally beaten and inadequately fed. For medical experiments, they were injected with pus and made to drink seawater.
Some inmates were used for slave labor. Others were sent to gas chambers in the East, mostly in Poland.
Dachau became the model for other Germany concentration camps. It was where top-ranking Nazis learned the secrets of mass killings.
In all, more than 200,000 prisoners from more than 30 countries were housed at Dachau. An epidemic of typhus in early 1945 claimed hundreds of the already weakened victims. More died in a forced march during a hasty evacuation not long before the arrival of Allied troops.
After the war, Dachau was converted into an internment camp operated by the American military. Persons suspected of war crimes were held in separate units.
The memorial site was opened on May 9, 1965, on the 20th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp. More than 800,000 people visit every year.
You can stand on the roll-call parade ground. Twice a day, the entire camp population stood here at attention until everyone was accounted for. If someone was missing, everyone had to remain on their feet until the inmate was found (often dead).
You can tour an old building that's been converted into a museum. Individual stories of some of the victims are told here. You also meet some of the persecutors.
You can walk through a reconstructed barracks and see mock-ups of the stacked bunks. If brutalizing their charges wasn't enough, the Nazi guards had exacting standards on how the housing units were to be maintained and now the prisoners were to display their belongings. Punishment was meted out for the slightest infraction.
I spent most of my time at the crematorium.
Only when you understand the twisted logistics can you fully grasp the horror.
There were many more people to kill than Hitler's minions could handle with just standard cruelty. Simply put, the inferior ones took up too much room. They not only had to be exterminated efficiently, they had to be reduced in size so the next wave of victims on the next wave of trains could be duly processed.
So the Nazis burned the bodies. Ashes take up less space than flesh and bones. Problem solved.
What makes this place even more sorrowful is the knowledge that this double-shot of sadism and terrorism didn't take place in the dusty back pages of our history books.
People are still breathing who were on the receiving end at places such as Dachau.
The solid brick reminder of that evil — that recent evil — weighs heavily on our collective psyche.
As it should.
Name of source: Norwich Evening News 24
SOURCE: Norwich Evening News 24 (7-7-08)
Max Farrow wants to be an archaeologist when he grows up and was, in his mother Joanna's words's “digging for tombs” in his back garden when he made his debut discovery.
He found a broken clay tobacco pipe which he was so pleased with he popped it into his toy box - where it remained for a year until he showed it to experts who revealed it was up to 300 years old.
Mrs Farrow, who lives in Elizabeth Fry Road, Norwich, with Max, his two-year-old sister Francesca and husband David, said her son was thrilled to learn it was so old.
She said: “He was digging around for Egyptian tombs in the back garden when he found it. He is obsessed with it and is always doing things like that. He wants to be an archaeologist when he grows up.
“It was about a year ago when he found it and it had been in his toy box ever since until we were up at the Castle Museum and he was pointing at some of the pipes they have on display there saying they were like his one.
“We took it to the museum study centre and they have told him it is between 250 and 300 years old, dating back to about 1750. He is really pleased with himself.”
The family plan to have the pipe framed and Mrs Farrow said her son, who visits the Castle Museum every week, hoped to make many more discoveries.
“We took him to see the Indiana Jones film the other week and he absolutely loved it. We took him to Egypt earlier this year to see the pyramids, which he had been going on about for about a year.”
The young explorer himself, who is now five-years-old and goes to Nelson Infant School in Northumberland Street, told the Evening News: “I want to be an Egyptologist when I grow up. The next thing I will be looking for in my back garden is for some pottery.”
Dr Adrian Marsden, finds officer based at the Shirehall in Norwich, dated Max's pipe to the middle of the 18th century. He said: “Once Walter Raleigh brought tobacco to England pipe production started in the 1600s. You can date them according to their size, because at first tobacco was very expensive so the pipes were quite small. They then got bigger as tobacco became cheaper.
“They turn up all over the country, and the one Max found could have been from somebody who went out into their garden for a smoke in the mid 18th century.
“We have a lot of keen youngsters in the county who often come to us to get their finds dated, but Max is among the youngest we have seen.”
Name of source: TurkishPress.com
SOURCE: TurkishPress.com (7-3-08)
The rare books, confiscated during the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, were rescued from US bombing at the start of the 2003 war and then sent to the United States for restoration but later wound up in Israel instead.
At a press briefing at the National Museum in Baghdad, Iraqi Minister of Tourism and Archaeology Mohammad Abbas al-Oraibi said that a working group"will investigate in the US to find out if this is true or not."
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (7-8-08)
"We want people to touch a bit of Madiba [Mandela], to share the love and leadership as the coin goes around," Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said at a ceremonial minting of one of the coins in Johannesburg yesterday.
Name of source: http://www.9news.com
SOURCE: http://www.9news.com (7-4-08)
"This conference will explore: What does it mean today to be an American?" said Irene Hirano, longtime president and CEO of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.
Hirano just stepped down and now serves as an executive advisor for the organization which purposefully held their national conference over the holiday weekend entitled "Whose America? Who's American?"
"It's time to celebrate what our collective history has been," said Hirano. "A deep understanding of what it means to be an American, all the good and the bad."
Hirano and Dr. Daryl Maeda believe that schools at all levels do not teach enough about Japanese American history. Maeda is an assistant professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado. He says schools often ignore topics such as the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans nationwide in internment camps including Camp Amache in Granada, Colorado.
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (7-6-08)
Attacks this summer on monks and shopkeepers belonging to Egypt's Coptic Christian minority, and scattered clashes between Muslims and Christians, have compelled many of Egypt's estimated 6 million to 8 million Copts to isolate themselves in a nation with more than 70 million Muslims.
To a degree, the separation will stand as the legacy of one of the longest-serving leaders in the church's history, Pope Shenouda III, some Copts say. Shenouda has strengthened the church as the center of daily Coptic life, making it a bulwark for Christians, during a papacy that has spanned 36 years. Now 85, Shenouda is facing health problems, including a broken leg last month that was repaired in the United States.
SOURCE: WaPo (7-6-08)
No, not Sen. Barack Obama, who took to a flag-adorned stage to orate on patriotism last week. The candidate in question was William McKinley, whose campaign manager, Mark Hanna, draped the Civil War veteran in the Stars and Stripes during the presidential election of 1896. In McKinley's contest against Democrat William Jennings Bryan, the Republicans handed out hundreds of thousands of flags at rallies across the country. Hanna's "Patriotic Heroes Battalion," a group led by revered Civil War generals, toured the Midwest and West aboard a train bedecked with oceans of bunting. At countless stops, campaign workers unfurled the Stars and Stripes on two 30-foot, collapsible flagpoles that sat atop one of the train's flatcars. It was a veritable Patriotism Express. And it worked.
The American flag has been used by virtually every candidate in every presidential election since then. But the tactic was relatively novel in McKinley's day; before 1861, it was almost unheard of for individual Americans to fly the flag. Today, wherever we see a would-be officeholder, we also see a sea of flags, as well as audiences sporting T-shirts, baseball caps, earrings and halter tops in red, white and blue.
Name of source: LiveScience
SOURCE: LiveScience (7-7-08)
Analyzing the famous, ochre-splashed cave walls of southwestern France, the most densely painted areas were also those with the best acoustics, the scientists found.
Humming into some bends in the wall even produced sounds mimicking the animals painted there.
The Upper Paleolithic people responsible for the paintings had likely fine-tuned their hearing to recognize the sound qualities in certain parts of the cave and chose to do their artwork there as a kind of landmark, perhaps as part of a singing ritual, said researcher Iegor Reznikoff, a specialist in ancient music at the University of Paris X in Nanterre.
SOURCE: LiveScience (7-3-08)
As we all stand around waiting for the fire to die down so that we can make s'mores, it's also a time to ponder the notion that the barbecue is a ritual 700,000 years old or more, and it might have something to do with our big brains.
Human ancestors started out eating whatever they could; berries, bark, fruit and bits of small animals were probably the main fare. Anthropologists know these early proto-humans had an eclectic, mostly vegetarian, diet 3 million years ago because of the shape and size of their teeth. These folks had small front teeth and with short canines and giant flat molars, a mouth built for grinding, not for ripping apart hunks of flesh.
Around 2.5 million years ago, meat became a big deal.
Name of source: http://www.catholicnews.com
SOURCE: http://www.catholicnews.com (7-3-08)
In addition to strengthening local government's power to expel undocumented foreigners, the Berlusconi government has focused its crime-fighting efforts on the estimated 140,000 Roma and Sinti -- Gypsies -- who live in the country.
At least half the Gypsies are Italian citizens.
Within a month of his election, Berlusconi's government was promising to dismantle unauthorized Roma camps, leading to expressions of concern by Vatican officials and a variety of religious leaders in Italy.
The concern became outrage in late June when Interior Minister Roberto Maroni announced plans to fingerprint every Gypsy in Italy, including children.
Maroni said the plan would enable the government to identify each person and check whether he or she was in Italy legally. Children were included in the plan, he said, because it was the only way to keep track of whether their parents were sending them to school or were forcing them out on the streets to beg or steal.
Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, described his reaction as one of "surprise, unease and sadness."
While he said he supported efforts to protect children from exploitation and to send them to school, he said he was convinced there were other ways to accomplish that.
"In Catholic morality," he said, "not only must the aim be good, but the means for reaching it must be."
The fingerprinting plan is blatantly discriminatory, he said.
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (7-6-08)
The Archaeological Site of Al-Hijr, the largest conserved site of the civilization of the Nabataeans south of Petra in Jordan, is the first World Heritage site in Saudi Arabia.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization also chose the Morne Cultural Landscape, a rugged mountain jutting into the Indian Ocean in southwestern Mauritius that was used as a shelter by runaway slaves, maroons, through the 18th and early years of the 19th centuries.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (7-7-08)
Heim, who kept the skull of a man he decapitated as a paperweight, is the most wanted Nazi war criminal still thought to be alive. He would be 94 and his family says he died in 1993.
"We are not here thinking that his capture is imminent, but we have to bolster a campaign that we launched a few months ago," Sergio Widder, of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Buenos Aires, told Reuters on his arrival in Santiago.
Name of source: IHT
SOURCE: IHT (7-7-08)
The cyclorama, which a 19th-century poster promoted as a "sublime spectacle" presenting "glorious Gettysburg in all the awful splendor of real war," had become less than that over the decades. The U.S. National Park Service and its private partner, the Gettysburg Foundation, have been reconstructing the diorama and other elements of the colossal artwork to bring back the ensemble that made veterans cry when the cyclorama opened in 1884.
Conservators are now dabbing final brushstrokes onto the canvas and setting up the pieces of the diorama. When its $15 million restoration is completed, the cyclorama will be displayed in the Gettysburg National Military Park's new museum and visitor center here, filling a building that evokes a Pennsylvania round barn.
With all illusion-making machinery in place, the effect should be like putting on special glasses at a 3-D movie. The restored oil painting - now larger at 377 feet in circumference and 42 feet tall (about 115 meters and 13 meters) - combined with the recreated diorama, an elevated viewing platform and other features, can once again exert its visual trickery.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (7-7-08)
Fleeing slaves used settlements in the mountain's caves and on its summit in the 18th and 19th Centuries.
At the time, Mauritius was an important stopover in the eastern slave trade.
SOURCE: BBC (7-6-08)
The tomb in Ucupe, 670km (416 miles) from the capital Lima, contained well-preserved human remains along with jewellery and ceramics.
The finds suggested the tomb related to nobility, experts said. The Moche Indians thrived from 100-800 AD and were famed for their ceramics, architecture and irrigation.
SOURCE: BBC (7-4-08)
Ministers intend to appoint a special commissioner to oversee the site, and have earmarked extra funding for it.
According to analysts, the ruins have suffered from lack of investment, mismanagement, litter and looting.
SOURCE: BBC (7-4-08)
The 47-storey third tower, known as Tower Seven, collapsed seven hours after the twin towers.
Investigators are expected to say ordinary fires on several different floors caused the collapse.
Conspiracy theorists have argued that the third tower was brought down in a controlled demolition.
Unlike the twin towers, Tower Seven was not hit by a plane.
SOURCE: BBC (7-2-08)
They were whispered in the back shops of the Scottish Italian community or muttered quickly in the hope that they would never need to be mentioned again.
I thought everybody knew the story of the boat which sank off the Irish coast with the loss of nearly 700 lives - the majority of them Italian nationals.
As I got older, however, I realised this was not the case.
Indeed, there were only puzzled looks when you mentioned the name of the liner which sank during World War 2 while carrying hundreds of Italian and German internees.
Yet 2 July 1940 is a date which carries a terrible echo for descendants of the many immigrants who died.
Name of source: LAT
SOURCE: LAT (7-5-08)
Then, relying on a cut-and-paste technique, he reassembled the excerpts into what he believed was a more coherent narrative and pasted them onto blank paper -- alongside translations in French, Greek and Latin.
In a letter sent from Monticello to John Adams in 1813, Jefferson said his "wee little book" of 46 pages was based on a lifetime of inquiry and reflection and contained "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man."
Name of source: Tim Weiner in the NYT
SOURCE: Tim Weiner in the NYT (7-6-08)
The technique was called “brainwashing.” And suddenly it’s worth recalling what brainwashing was about. Because now we know, from an article in The New York Times last week, that in a new time of anxiety America’s own interrogators drew lessons from China’s treatment of American prisoners of war for their treatment of prisoners in the war on terror.
The concept of brainwashing was the brainchild of Edward Hunter, a newspaperman born in 1902, who had covered the rise of fascism in Europe before joining the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner to the Central Intelligence Agency, during World War II. The Korean War had just begun in 1950 when The Miami News published his article, “ ‘Brain-Washing’ Tactics Force Chinese Into Ranks of Communist Party.”
Name of source: Press Release
SOURCE: Press Release (7-2-08)
Through a partnership between the Maryland State Archives and the C.V. Starr Center for the American Experience at Washington College, a team of four student researchers under the direction of State Archivist Dr. Edward Papenfuse, is spending the summer carefully inventorying, transcribing, and cataloguing these priceless resources. The Poplar Grove papers will eventually be accessible to researchers through the Maryland State Archives.
The project has aroused quite a bit of public interest. To share its findings with all those following the story, the Poplar Grove team has created a blog that will be updated throughout the summer, and will include scans of some of the more interesting finds: HYPERLINK "http://poplargroveproject.blogspot.com/" http://poplargroveproject.blogspot.com/ The team welcomes postings of comments and questions on the blog site.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (7-4-08)
Not pleased, a majority of Americans recently polled said.
According to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey, 69 percent of adult Americans who responded to a poll June 26-29 said the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be disappointed by the way the nation has turned out overall.
Twenty-nine percent responded "pleased," the only other choice given to the 1,026 respondents of the telephone poll.
Name of source: Fox News.com
SOURCE: Fox News.com (7-4-08)
SCRANTON, Pa. — Few of the 3,000 historic postcards in Jack Hiddlestone's collection are as veiled in mystery as the one with Abraham Lincoln on the front.
The postcard, from 1909, depicts an ornate stone pillar decked out with bronze eagles and lions and topped by an enormous bronze bust of the nation's 16th president. Along the bottom of the card are the words "Lincoln Monument, Nay Aug Park."
Here's the mystery: Sometime in the early decades of the 20th century, the 16-foot-tall structure — which had been dedicated with great fanfare on July 4, 1909, the centennial year of Lincoln's birth — simply vanished.
And no one still living seems to know where it went.
As Scranton prepares to celebrate Lincoln's bicentennial next year, Hiddlestone and other local historians — who only recently confirmed the memorial's existence — are now trying to find out what happened to it. Their dream: to locate Lincoln and bring him back to Nay Aug Park by Independence Day, 2009.
"Ideally, someone would say, 'I know where that is,' said Mary Ann Moran-Savakinus, executive director of the Lackawanna County Historical Society. "Someone from the Midwest would call us and say, 'We purchased it and moved it out here."'
No such luck so far. The historical society has looked through its records and taken inventory of its holdings but has found no reference to the memorial or its fate.
"It's just depressing," Moran-Savakinus said. "It's very unfortunate that it's not documented somewhere. Things like that just don't disappear."
Hiddlestone stumbled on the Lincoln postcard while browsing at a postcard show in Allentown a decade ago. He was baffled by its reference to Nay Aug Park, one of his favorite haunts as a boy growing up in the 1930s and '40s.
Hiddlestone, 79, often swam or went ice skating at Nay Aug and didn't remember ever seeing a Lincoln bust, certainly not one as large and elaborate as the monument on the postcard. He asked around and none of his fellow history buffs knew anything about it, either. The historical society queried its members and got no response.
Hiddlestone, who has published several booklets on local history and lore, came to doubt the postcard's veracity. The subject was dropped.
But not for good.
As it happens, a reporter for The Times-Tribune of Scranton spotted a photo of that very same monument while rummaging through the paper's archives last month.
The photo, in which more than a dozen men, women and children are seen posing with the monument, appeared in the July 3, 1909 edition with a caption that said the bust was to be presented to the city as part of the Independence Day dedication of Lake Lincoln, a manmade lake at Nay Aug Park.
A few days later, on July 6, 1909, the paper reported that 20,000 people were in attendance as Scranton's Italian consul, Fortunato Tiscar, presented the monument to Mayor John Von Bergen Jr., who proclaimed it "that magnificent bust of the immortal Lincoln."
With that kind of documentary evidence, there's no longer any doubt that Honest Abe occupied a place of honor at the city-owned park.
"Now the question is, why isn't it there today?" Hiddlestone said.
A clue might be found in one of Hiddlestone's own booklets. There, on page 26, is a reproduction of a 1921 postcard titled "Merry Bathers, Lake Lincoln" that shows the monument along a distant shore of the lake, next to a bathhouse. The image is blurry, but unmistakable. A reader spotted it a few weeks ago and alerted the newspaper.
Hiddlestone was sheepish.
"I know my collection really well, but I never put a (magnifying) glass on that shoreline and looked at it," he said.
Since the monument was situated along the water, one promising theory holds that when Lake Lincoln was renovated and expanded in the '20s, officials realized it was in the way and took it down.
If that's true, there's little hope that the memorial's intricately carved stone base has survived.
But Charles Spano, who chairs Lackawanna County's Lincoln bicentennial commission, said the bronze bust may still be out there, perhaps in storage at a museum somewhere.
"Maybe somebody in that museum will look in their collection and there might be some provenance" to indicate that it came from Scranton, he said.
There's one thing he's sure about: "You just didn't walk up, stick it under your coat and take it home."
Name of source: History Today
SOURCE: History Today (7-3-08)
Name of source: Time
SOURCE: Time (7-3-08)
Short of wearing a stars and stripes onesie, the flag lapel pin is the quickest sartorial method for a politician to telegraph his or her patriotism. The origin of the flag lapel pin is murky, though it is by necessity linked the history of the American flag as a commonly used symbol. According to Mark Leepson's Flag: An American Biography, the "near religious reverence many Americans have" for our national symbol dates only to the Civil War era (not back to the Revolutionary War, as many assume) . Prior to that, few private citizens possessed or flew their own flags — it was limited to military and federal facilities. When the Confederates started winning battles early on in the War Between the States, Northerners began to fly the flag as a sign of pride.
Since then, flag imagery has been intricately tied to moments of crisis or conflict. Over the past four decades, Kit Hinrichs, one of the nation's top graphic designers, has collected more than 5,000 pieces of stars and stripes–related memorabilia. He says the flag lapel pins in his collection don't really date back before mid-century. "I don't think it was a common thing for men and women to wear before the Second World War," he says. "I certainly have jewelry from before then with flags on it — cufflinks and stick pins and tuxedo buttons and brooches — but not [many flag pins] before the '50s."