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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
SOURCE: AP (8-14-08)
"I am fighting for my heritage and my rights as a Southerner and an American," said the lanky DeFoe, 18, during a break in his trial.
DeFoe says his great-great uncle served in the Confederate army and "died for the South" in the Civil War.
But heritage was not the issue for Anderson County school officials who suspended DeFoe more than 40 times before he received his certificate of completion from the county vocational school last fall.
DeFoe's trial, which began Monday and is being heard by an all-white jury, is the latest in a string of cases across the South since the 1990s challenging dress codes that banned Confederate flag apparel: a prom gown in Kentucky, purses in Texas, T-shirts in Kentucky, South Carolina and Georgia.
It is unusual for such cases to go to a jury trial, however. Most were settled with a payment to the plaintiffs, said DeFoe attorney Kirk Lyons, who has been involved in many of the cases as chief trial lawyer for the North Carolina-based Southern Legal Resource Center. Others were thrown out by the judge.
DeFoe's lawyers claim the issue is whether the school system can ban the Confederate flag, a symbol of racism to some, if it causes no substantial disruption, Lyons said...
SOURCE: AP (8-14-08)
Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago and colleagues were searching for the remains of dinosaurs in the African country of Niger when they came across the startling find, detailed at a news conference Thursday at the National Geographic Society.
"Part of discovery is finding things that you least expect," he said. "When you come across something like that in the middle of the desert it sends a tingle down your spine."
Some 200 graves of humans were found during fieldwork at the site in 2005 and 2006, as well as remains of animals, large fish and crocodiles.
"Everywhere you turned, there were bones belonging to animals that don't live in the desert," said Sereno. "I realized we were in the green Sahara."
The graveyard, uncovered by hot desert winds, is near what would have been a lake at the time people lived there. It's in a region called Gobero, hidden away in Niger's forbidding Tenere Desert, known to Tuareg nomads as a "desert within a desert."
The human remains dated from two distinct populations that lived there during wet times, with a dry period in between.
The researchers used radiocarbon dating to determine when these ancient people lived there. Even the most recent were some 1,000 years before the building of the pyramids in Egypt.
The first group, known as the Kiffian, hunted wild animals and speared huge perch with harpoons. They colonized the region when the Sahara was at its wettest, between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago.
The researchers said the Kiffians were tall, sometimes reaching well over 6 feet.
The second group lived in the region between 7,000 and 4,500 years ago. The Tenerians were smaller and had a mixed economy of hunting, fishing and cattle herding...
SOURCE: AP (12-31-69)
The Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has offered the $100,000 art work to the American Civil War Center. The center's board is expected to act Wednesday on the gift.
The heritage group said the offer of the life-sized bronze casting is intended to mark the bicentennial of Davis' birth in Kentucky.
The group's spokesman, Brag Bowling, has said the Davis statue is not payback for a statue of Abraham Lincoln that was dedicated at the site of the Civil War center in 2003 amid protests from staunch defenders of the South's role in the war.
SOURCE: AP (8-13-08)
Excerpts from the approximately 20 pages written by Tojo in the final days of the war and held by the National Archives of Japan were published for the first time in several newspapers Tuesday.
"The notes show Tojo kept his dyed-in-the-wool militarist mentality until the very end," said Kazufumi Takayama, the archives curator, who confirmed the accuracy of the published excerpts. "They are extremely valuable."
Tojo, executed in 1948 after being convicted of war crimes by the Allies, was prime minister during much of the war. The notes buttress other evidence that Tojo was fiercely opposed to surrender despite the hopelessness of Japan's war effort.
"We now have to see our country surrender to the enemy without demonstrating our power up to 120 percent," Tojo wrote on Aug. 13, 1945, just two days before Japan gave up. "We are now on a course for a humiliating peace, or rather a humiliating surrender."
Tojo also criticized his colleagues, accusing government leaders of "being scared of enemy threats and easily throwing their hands up." Surrender proponents were "frightened by 'the new type of bomb' and terrified by the Soviet Union's entry into the war," he wrote.
The stridency of the writings is remarkable considering they were penned just days after the U.S. atomic bombs incinerated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing some 200,000 people and posing the threat of the complete destruction of Japan. At the time, Japan had begun arming children, women and the elderly with bamboo spears, in addition to the aircraft and other forces it had marshaled, to defend the homeland against a ground invasion.
The notes first came to the notice of the government when Tojo's defense lawyer, Ichiro Kiyose, gave them to the Justice Ministry. The ministry transferred the papers in 1999 to the National Archives, which made them available to researchers last year...
SOURCE: AP (8-12-08)
But Lincoln's Confederate counterpart, Jefferson Davis, is experiencing a similar resurgence. Kentucky, which claims both men as native sons and has statues of both in its Capitol Rotunda, isn't the only place experiencing a Davis boost.
"It'll be hard for anyone to approach the level of attention that Abraham Lincoln gets because he's always classified as one of our greatest presidents," said Paul Bradshaw, manager of a Davis historic site in Georgia. "But I think there's a trend to learn more about the other side."
Interest in both Civil War presidents seems on the rise, amid a two-year blitz surrounding Lincoln's 200th birthday next February. This June marked 200 years since the birth of Davis, who served as president of the Confederacy.
Attendance at Kentucky's Lincoln sites has increased about 18.1 percent, officials say. Lincoln's birthplace and boyhood home in Hodgenville, for example, had more than 105,000 visitors in the first six months this year, compared with about 89,000 during the same period last year.
In addition to the Lincoln museum, birthplace and boyhood home in Hodgenville, Kentucky has eight other museums and historic sites related to Lincoln, his family and associates. Together the sites have had more than 159,000 visitors this year. Mary Todd Lincoln's home in Lexington had more than 1,100 extra visitors this year while nearly 1,700 additional people went to the museum in Hodgenville, according to the Kentucky Historical Society.
Davis' memorial in Fairview, in southwestern Kentucky, meanwhile, has seen an increase in visitors by about 12 percent overall for the year, and a nearly 30 percent jump in June, the month he was born, said Mark Doss, the Davis memorial park manager. Doss said the park, which includes a 351-feet tall obelisk honoring Davis, had its "biggest month of June in the history of the park," tallying about 4,000 visitors.
"It's to be expected," Doss said. "There's a lot of people that study Jefferson Davis and in the last few years there's been a lot more interest in his role not just in the war, but in his experience before the war."
The Davis site in Georgia marks the place where Davis was captured by Union troops. Bradshaw, the manager, said he expects about 20,000 people or more will visit this year, compared with the normal attendance of between 12,000 and 15,000 people annually...
Name of source: History Today
SOURCE: History Today (8-14-08)
SOURCE: History Today (8-11-08)
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (8-6-08)
The discovery, at the ancient site of Sagalassos, is thought to show Faustina the Elder, wife of Roman emperor Antoninus Pius.
Sagalassos was once an important urban centre.
It was abandoned after being hit by several strong earthquakes.
A team led by Marc Waelkens, from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, has been excavating the site since 1990.
The head of Faustina was lying face down in rubble that fills the ruins of a bath house that was partially destroyed by an earthquake between AD 540 and AD 620.
It was unearthed just 6m from the spot where the Hadrian statue was found, but was sitting higher up in the rubble...
SOURCE: BBC (8-13-08)
A small hardcore are experienced terrorists, previously members of the Provisional IRA.
The majority are believed to be committed to the dissident cause but lack operational experience.
There are small but relatively strong elements in Londonderry, Tyrone, Fermanagh and north Armagh.
It is estimated there could be about 250-300 others willing to lend support and some assistance, while not wanting to become active terrorists.
PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde has said the threat from dissident republicans remains high "in certain parts of Northern Ireland"...
SOURCE: BBC (8-13-08)
Agreement came when envoys of the two states, which have no diplomatic ties, met in China as part of broader talks on North Korea's nuclear programme.
In 2002, North Korea admitted that it had kidnapped 13 Japanese citizens to help train its spies in Japanese ways.
It said five had been returned to their families and the other eight had died.
But Japan insists that North Korea abducted more people than it acknowledges, and wants more proof of the eight deaths...
SOURCE: BBC (8-12-08)
The temple walls were plundered in ancient times and little more than its foundations now remain.
Coins minted in the town suggest Roman gods Zeus and Tyche may have been worshipped at the site.
The building is located south of the "decumanus" (colonnaded street) which ran east to west through the town and served as the main thoroughfare in Roman and Byzantine times.
It was discovered during a dig led by Professor Zeev Weiss from the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Name of source: The Times
SOURCE: The Times (8-14-08)
Conservationists in Livorno have appealed to the Tuscan regional authorities to preserve the Villa Dupouy where Byron stayed for three months until his friend Shelley's death by drowning in the nearby Gulf of La Spezia in July 1822.
A year later Byron stopped again at Livorno while sailing from Genoa to join the fight for independence in Greece, where he died in 1824. A local road, Via Giorgio Byron, was named after the poet in 1900 to commemorate his association with Livorno.
Fabio Roggiolani, a Green Party councillor in Livorno, said that the Villa Dupouy - formerly owned by Count Pietro Dupouy, a wealthy banker and also known as the Casa Rossa, or Red House - had been allowed to fall into disrepair and was nearly derelict. The 17th century two-storey villa boasts a once elegant facade with niches for statues. It has interior and exterior stone staircases and ceilings frescoed with cherubs and classical scenes. However the property, long uninhabited, has been subdivided into 15 apartments.
Mr Roggiolani said that it was "part of the historic patrimony" of Livorno, and has appealed to Claudio Martini, the president of the Tuscan region, to step in and buy it with regional funds to prevent it from being put up for auction.
However Federico Gelli, the deputy president of Tuscany, said that while the regional council regarded preservation of its heritage as a priority, it could not afford the Euro 2 million (£ 1.6 million) price sought by its owners.
"The most we can do is to offer our collaboration to whoever buys the villa to enure that its memories are preserved," he said.
Partisan groups joined the preservation campaign, pointing out that the villa had been used during the Second World War as the local headquarters of the Committee for National Liberation, the anti-Fascist partisans' guiding body. Garibaldo Benifei, a former partisan aged 96, said that it would be "marvellous to be able to use the villa as a museum explaining to young people what happened in the war".
The frescoed villa is to be put up for auction in October, giving campaigners three months to acquire it. According to some, the villa is believed to be haunted - not by the ghost of Byron, but by Count Dupouy's daughter, whose lover he had decapitated with his sword, banishing his daughter to a convent. It is said that local people swore they had seen the ghost of the girl "desperately seeking her dead lover and holding his head in her hand".
Riccardo Ciorli, an architectural historian in Livorno, said that it was "one of the most beautiful and important villas on the hills of Livorno". He said that Pietro Dupouy, who was of Basque origin, acquired it in 1793, when Livorno was known to the British as Leghorn...
Name of source: Telegraph
SOURCE: Telegraph (8-14-08)
But the academy, known as Karl Marx university in honour of the socialist philosopher until 1991, later mothballed the vast installation.
Plans to reinstall it unveiled earlier this year prompted fierce debate between fans of the monument and those who believe that the tribute to Marx ought to remain under wraps.
This week however, Marx fans celebrated as Leipzig University's dean, Franz Häuser, announced that the metalwork piece would be reinstalled.
But he added that rather than serving as a propaganda piece, the work would now be accompanied by a plaque explaining Marx's huge impact on political thought, for both good and bad.
SOURCE: Telegraph (8-13-08)
In a handwritten note sent from prison and obtained by The Smoking Gun website, Kaczynski attacks the US government for releasing the cabin - from where he conducted his mail bombing campaign - to the museum.
The mathematics professor, who is currently serving a life term with no possibility of parole at the high security Florence prison in Colorado, says that he read about the exhibition at Washington DC’s Newseum in an advert in the Washington Post newspaper.
“Since the advertisement states that the cabin is “FROM FBI VAULT”, it is clear that the government is responsible for the public exhibition of the cabin.
“This has obvious relevance to the victims’ objection to publicity connected with the Unabom case”.
The three-page letter was dated July 15 and stamped as received by the appeal court on July 28...
SOURCE: Telegraph (8-12-08)
The journal, found in the National Archives of Japan, covers the two-week period from Aug 10, 1945, a day after the second atomic bomb had struck Nagasaki.
"The Japanese government has accepted the notion that Japan is the loser and it appears to be going to accept unconditional surrender," Tojo wrote. "Such a position frustrates the officers and soldiers of the imperial armed forces.
"Without fully employing its abilities even at the final moment, the imperial nation is surrendering to the enemies' propaganda," he wrote. "I never imagined such torpor in the nation's leaders and its people."
Tojo ordered the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into the Second World War. But he was forced out as premier in 1944 as the tide of the conflict turned.
He was hanged in December 1948 as a Class-A war criminal after being found guilty at the Tokyo war crimes tribunal.
The journal, published in the Nikkei newspaper in the run-up to Friday's 63rd anniversary of Japan's surrender, provoked a strong reaction in Japan. Professor Tsuyoshi Amemiya, a military historian, said that Tojo's bitterness at the people and leaders aware that there was no hope of withstanding the Allies' onslaught was misplaced.
SOURCE: Telegraph (8-14-08)
SOURCE: Telegraph (8-11-08)
Although his life was spared, the soldier witnessed the gruesome killings of his comrades, doctors and nurses who were either bayoneted, shot or suffocated to death.
After being taken prisoner, Pte Haines, 24, managed to jot down the bloody episode on a four page letter.
In it he wrote of the moment a private waved the white flag to Japanese troops only to be fatally bayoneted.
Others who desperately pointed to the red cross to the marauding enemy were also dispatched in similar fashion while one captain played dead in order to survive.
And the soldier wrote of hearing the piercing screams of a group of his captured colleagues who were taken into a courtyard and systematically killed.
The document, along with Pte Haines' other wartime mementoes such as his medals and photographs, were handed down to his daughter who has now sold them at auction.
Name of source: Independent
SOURCE: Independent (8-14-08)
The ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will leave the rights in the hands of Penguin Group Inc. and the heirs of John Steinbeck's widow, Elaine. Author John Steinbeck died in 1968; his wife in 2003.
The appeals court said a lower court judge misapplied copyright law in awarding the rights in 2006 to the son, Thomas Steinbeck, and granddaughter Blake Smyle. Both already receive a portion of the proceeds of sales.
The case was returned to the lower court with instructions to leave the rights with various individuals and organizations, including the publisher Penguin and Elaine Steinbeck's heirs. The heirs include her sister, four children and grandchildren.
SOURCE: Independent (8-14-08)
But now Berlin's landmark Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church, nicknamed the "Hollow Tooth" by Berliners, is threatened with closure unless at least €4m (£3.2m) can be found to restore its rapidly disintegrating neo-gothic facades.
City officials admitted yesterday that the 113-year-old building, which is a top tourist attraction, was crumbling so badly as a result of traffic vibration that chunks of it threatened to drop off and hit pedestrians.
"The tower is very badly damaged," said Marko Rosteck, a spokesman for Berlin's urban development office. Church officials have admitted being "stunned" by the findings of a recent surveyor's report on the state of the building.
SOURCE: Independent (8-11-08)
In a nation that endured three years of civil war and 40 years of dictatorship, this is a revolutionary move comparable to Germany opening up the Stasi secret police files. Ms Chacon's motive is similar: to provide public access for historians and those who suffered for decades because of the arbitrary decisions taken by a military regime against which no appeal was possible.
"We will take measures to declassify Defence Ministry documents that will permit free access to documentation inaccessible up to now, and which has a high scientific and also, of course, sentimental value for many people," Ms Chacon said.
Spain never declassifies official documents, even decades after the events to which they refer. There is nothing comparable to Britain's 30-year rule and there is no freedom of information act entitling interested parties to obtain details of past military or intelligence operations.
Millions of documents which record the fate of generations of Spaniards during the 1936-39 conflict and General Franco's subsequent dictatorship, remain hermetically sealed unless opened individually by judicial order.
Ms Chacon's initiative forms part of the Socialist government's plan to restore justice to Franco's victims, in accordance with a historic memory law passed last year. What is the point, Ms Chacon asks, of digging up the bones of those thrown anonymously into mass graves after being shot at dawn, when all the documentation is locked up in army files?
The problem is to find a way round the Official Secrets Law of 1968, passed at the height of Franco's dictatorship to prevent thousands of victims or their families from questioning the dubious legality of their jail terms or execution orders. The law was modified in 1978 – after Franco's death, but before Spain's democratic constitution was approved – making it impossible for anybody other than the armed forces or cabinet ministers to authorise the opening of individual secret files. "Many of these documents are in the defence archives, but we are not the only ones competent to decide what should be declassified or not," Ms Chacon told El Pais. "We know the solution will be complex and not particularly rapid. But we are clear that we want to open up a new phase, and achieve declassification for scientific, historical and emotional reasons."
Partial access to defence files was achieved for the first time in 1998, but a military archives regulation explicitly excluded classified documents, "which would be governed by specific legislation". All efforts to abolish the Official Secrets Law have failed so far, apparently out of fear of what the press may do with the findings. Historians and others seeking to consult specific files have to rely on the goodwill of archivists...
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (8-14-08)
The secret comes out Thursday — all of the names and previously classified files identifying nearly 24,000 spies who formed the first centralized intelligence effort by the United States. The National Archives, which this week released a list of the names found in the records, will make available for the first time all 750,000 pages identifying the vast spy network of military and civilian operatives.
They were soldiers, actors, historians, lawyers, athletes, professors, reporters. But for several years during World War II, they were known simply as the OSS. They studied military plans, created propaganda, infiltrated enemy ranks and stirred resistance among foreign troops.
Among the more than 35,000 OSS personnel files are applications, commendations and handwritten notes identifying young recruits who, like Child, Goldberg and Berg, earned greater acclaim in other fields — Arthur Schlesinger Jr., a historian and special assistant to President Kennedy; Sterling Hayden, a film and television actor whose work included a role in "The Godfather"; and Thomas Braden, an author whose "Eight Is Enough" book inspired the 1970s television series.
Other notables identified in the files include John Hemingway, son of author Ernest Hemingway; Quentin and Kermit Roosevelt, sons of President Theodore Roosevelt, and Miles Copeland, father of Stewart Copeland, drummer for the band The Police.
The release of the OSS personnel files uncloaks one of the last secrets from the short-lived wartime intelligence agency, which for the most part later was folded into the CIA after President Truman disbanded it in 1945...
Name of source: Farragut Press
SOURCE: Farragut Press (8-14-08)
At 7:08 p.m., Knox County Sheriff’s Office dispatch received a call from Sink, who had found what he believed to be a piece of mortar in the park.
Sink had retrieved the shell from the creek, carried it up the hill toward the Farragut Library, and then decided to call 9-1-1.
The bomb squad responded only to find that the mortar was in fact a live, unexploded ordnance left over from the Civil War.
“Our bomb squad was dispatched and they determined it was a Civil war-era cannon ball, and it was a live ordnance, and they had to render it safe. They did so at 8:48 p.m.,” said KCSO spokesman Ashley Carrigan.
To render it safe, KCSO’s bomb squad detonated the more than 150 year-old piece of artillery at the site.
The bomb squad also performed a check of the area but did not turn up any more shells or ordnances.
However, that doesn’t mean they’re not there...
Name of source: Civil War Interactive
SOURCE: Civil War Interactive (8-14-08)
“More than one hundred years ago America invented the national park idea with the designation of Yellowstone as the first national park,” said Commission Co-Chair Senator Baker, former Senate Majority Leader. “Guided by that founding idea, this Commission will examine the role of the national parks today and articulate a bold vision of a future where national parks continue to enrich and ennoble this nation and its citizens.”
The Commission is made up of close to 30 national leaders, experts and thinkers drawn from a broad range of backgrounds, including scientists, historians, conservationists, academics, business leaders, policy experts, and retired National Park Service executives.
“Never before has a group of this caliber, independent and non-partisan, convened to conduct a comprehensive examination of the state of the national parks today, and their potential for the future,” said Commission Co-Chair Senator Johnston, former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. “I’m honored to serve with my colleague Senator Baker, and this extraordinary group of Commissioners.”...
SOURCE: Civil War Interactive (8-13-08)
The position Elder assumes was recently created, as the Ford's Theatre site is now a separate, stand-alone unit of the National Park System. Prior to this change, Ford's Theatre National Historic Site had been managed as a part of the National Mall & Memorial Parks. Ford's Theatre National Historic Site also includes the Petersen House, located across 10th Street from Ford's Theatre, and the site where President Abraham Lincoln died...
Name of source: Times
SOURCE: Times (8-14-08)
The OSS, which evolved into the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) after the war, was created virtually from scratch in 1942, and swiftly evolved into a wide intelligence-gathering network, employing soldiers, lawyers, actors, sportsmen, academics and many others.
The full extent of the spy network will be revealed when the National Archives in Washington declassifies the names and personnel files of around 24,000 people who worked for the secret organisation between 1942 and 1945.
SOURCE: Times (8-14-08)
In their every day lives they had nothing in common but Arthur Schlesinger Jr, Julia Childs and Miles Copeland shared a secret life - serving in an international spy ring at a time when Hitler was threatening the world.
Their work and that of thousands of other members of the Office of Strategic Services, an early version of the CIA, will be revealed today when previously classified files are opened by the National Archives in the USA. For the first time, the files identifiying nearly 24,000 spies who formed the first centralised intelligence agency will be released and the vast spy network of military and civilian operatives exposed.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (8-13-08)
The U.N.-assisted tribunal said in a Tuesday statement its investigating judges issued the indictment after ending their investigation of Kaing Guek Eav -- also known as Duch -- whose Phnom Penh prison was used as a torture center.
Duch, accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes, is the first suspect to be indicted by the tribunal. He and four other former senior members of the Khmer Rouge, who held power in the late 1970s, were taken into custody last year.
The 45-page indictment -- posted on the tribunal's Web site -- came in a closing order announced Tuesday by the investigating judges at the end of yearlong inquiries.
The indictment documents now go to the tribunal judges who will decide on a trial date.
You Bun Leng, a Cambodian investigating judge, said Duch will face two specific charges but declined to give details.
The radical policies of the communist Khmer Rouge are considered responsible for the deaths of 1.7 million people from starvation, disease, overwork and execution. No senior member of the group has ever stood trial for the atrocities...
SOURCE: CNN (8-12-08)
The New York State Division of Parole issued a release saying Chapman's request was denied "due to concern for the public safety and welfare."
Chapman, 53, is serving a sentence of 20 years to life in prison for shooting to death the former Beatle outside his New York City apartment on December 8, 1980.
The killer has served 24 years of his sentence at the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility and was previously turned down by the New York State division of parole in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006.
Chapman is held in a building with other prisoners who are not considered to pose a threat to him, according to officials with the state Department of Correctional Services. He has his own prison cell but spends most of his day outside the cell working on housekeeping and in the library.
For the past 16 years he has received conjugal visits with his wife, Gloria. The visits are part of a state program called "family reunion" that allows inmates to spend up to 44 hours at a time with family members...
Name of source: LAT
SOURCE: LAT (8-13-08)
Twenty kayakers, mostly tourists from the Pacific Northwest, paddled along, letting the steady current do most of the work. They coasted past mule deer grazing on the shore, coyotes stalking the sandy beaches and cliff swallows buzzing the nearby white bluffs.
But the main attraction was on the western shore: several bland, industrial-gray structures and towering smokestacks, a collection of buildings that gave birth to America's atomic age.
Welcome to the Hanford Reach, where one of the last free-flowing stretches of the Columbia River encounters America's most contaminated nuclear site. Along this flat, mostly treeless scrubland, the U.S. government built nine reactors between 1943 and 1963, including the historic "B" plant that produced the world's first weapons-grade plutonium for the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in World War II.
The reactors have leaked so much radioactivity into the air, land and water that the contamination caused by the Three Mile Island nuclear accident seems trivial by comparison. Yet merchants and tourism directors here in southern Washington state see the river and the shuttered reactors as a growing tourist draw.
Imagine a theme park next to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
As odd as it may sound, the idea seems to be working at Hanford...
SOURCE: LAT (8-12-08)
But the convicted drug dealer, Talal Nasser al Sabah, was no ordinary Kuwaiti -- he was a member of the Persian Gulf kingdom's ruling family.
Now everyone is watching to see whether the authorities will follow through on the ruling by the independent-minded judiciary or grant Talal the immunity considered a right by royal families throughout the gulf region...
...In June, Kuwait's supreme court upheld the death sentence against Talal, who is in his 50s. His conviction late last year by a lower criminal court was the first such case against a member of the royal family in Kuwait.
Talal "deserves the death sentence . . . for dealing with drugs and narcotics that threaten the security of society and lead its youth into the mire of addiction," the ruling said.
Despite the ruling, Talal still could benefit from the amnesty of Kuwait's ruler, Sabah al Ahmed al Jabbar al Sabah. The emir has the authority to call off the execution.
Although the emir, or prince, enjoys vast political powers, they are not unchecked: A National Assembly elected by the people every four years has the authority to hold the government accountable. Women have been allowed to vote and to run for office since 2005.
Several ministers, some members of the royal family, were forced to resign under popular pressure.
The democratic steps have raised eyebrows in the rest of the Persian Gulf. During one regional meeting, heads of state were shocked when the Kuwaiti delegation had to return home to answer to parliament on a sensitive issue, said a Kuwaiti political analyst who asked that his name not be published....
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (8-13-08)
The Kristang have been part of this part of the world since 1511, when Alfonso de Albuquerque, the governor-general of Portugal's expanding empire, seized Malacca from the local sultan and ordered his men to marry local women.
Albuquerque's purpose was to breed a population that would then serve as sailors and administrators for Lisbon's string of trading posts, which was soon to extend from the west coast of Africa to Japan, with Goa, Malacca and Macao as stops along the way.
And the Portuguese commander succeeded, even though Portugal itself was to fade as an imperial power. The Kristangs, as the Portuguese-Malay mixture came to be called, established a hybrid identity, speaking a kind of archaic Portuguese, going to Mass at the various Roman Catholic churches and cathedrals of Malacca while creating distinctive cuisine, music and festivals.
"We've lasted for all these centuries," said Martin Theseira, a Kristang activist in Malacca, "and we've done it without schools and without any connection to Portugal."
He meant that Kristang children might have exotic Iberian features, but they have always gone to government schools where the medium of instruction has been English or Malaysian. And because Malacca has not been a Portuguese colony since the Dutch took it over in the seventeenth century, the Kristangs were effectively severed from what used to be the mother country for more than 350 years.
Just three years from now, the Kristang community will be 500 years old, a remarkable record of longevity - especially given that there have never been more than a few thousand of them, mostly in Malacca but with branches in Penang, another seacoast trading town, and elsewhere in what is now Malaysia.
But although five centuries would certainly seem something to celebrate, Theseira is not optimistic that the Kristangs are going to last another generation or two, much less another 500 years.
He cites a kind of perfect storm of current conditions, all of them tending to erase their identity, to force them to meld with the Malaysian majority...
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (8-13-08)
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (8-13-08)
The looting of the National Museum garnered headlines in April 2003. But the widespread pillaging of archaeological sites — 10,548 sites are registered, with perhaps 100,000 actually buried there — bewilders and saddens scholars. They believe they are witnessing the ransacking of the cradle of civilization, a calamity "almost impossible to overstate for the destruction of history that has taken place," says Patty Gerstenblith of DePaul University College of Law in Chicago.
The Iraqi government employs about 1,200 guards to keep an eye on all its sites, according to a July 18 Iraqi Crisis Report.
A satellite image analysis, published earlier this year in the journal Antiquity by Stone, concluded that since 2003, looters have dug 6 square miles of holes in archaeological sites across Iraq. The looting "must have yielded tablets, coins, cylinder seals, statues, terra cotta, bronzes and other objects in the hundreds of thousands," Stone reported.
But where are these treasures? Scholars and customs officials have only murky notions about where the looted artifacts have been transported.
"That's the really big question," says archaeologist McGuire Gibson of the University of Chicago. Archaeologists widely believe artifacts are traveling to collections in Gulf States, Iran and Lebanon, he adds. "I suspect dealers are warehousing items for later sales," he says. "We've seen cases of looted objects turning up for sale decades later."
In April, the U.S. outlawed sales of archaeological treasures from Iraq. And in recent months, customs officials worldwide have made high-profile returns:
• In June, U.S. customs officials returned 11 looted agate and alabaster seals to Iraq after discovering them in Philadelphia.
• Jordan returned 2,466 looted items, gold coins, jewelry and manuscripts to Iraq that same month.
• Syria returned 40 items looted from the National Museum in April, following the return of about 700 smaller items the month before.
In Europe, the online auction website eBay has moved to quash sales of suspect artifacts, although Gerstenblith warns that sales of Sumerian or Mesopotamian items have increased as dealers try to evade sanctions. The Sumerians were the ancient people who lived in Mesopotamia, now known as Iraq.
"The customs announcements are helpful, but the key thing is keeping law enforcement interested in protecting antiquities," Gerstenblith says. Abdel-Amir Hamdani, an Iraq antiquities inspector, told Science magazine in July that two Iraqi villages, El Fajir and Albhagir, still serve as centers of a thriving black market...
Name of source: Columbus Dispatch
SOURCE: Columbus Dispatch (8-13-08)
It calls for more parks for children and parkways to link neighborhoods, as well as more public art and an effort to beautify the Scioto River's banks.
It's a comprehensive plan to rebuild the central city.
It's also 100 years old.
The 1908 "City Beautiful" plan discusses ideas that planners, civic leaders and residents are talking about now to make Columbus more livable: bikeways, Scioto Mile park, more green space, more public art.
"Many of the issues discussed in the plan 100 years ago are issues that remain topics of discussion today," Kathy Mast Kane, executive director of the Columbus Landmarks Foundation, said in an e-mail.
The foundation helped create a small, three-panel exhibit of the 1908 plan -- now in the lobby of City Hall -- that it wants to expand and display at other locations through the end of the year.
It also is working with the Columbus Metropolitan Club on a forum Sept. 24 at the Columbus Athletic Club Downtown to discuss what can be learned from the plan, Kane said.
"It is also our hope that learning about the 1908 plan, and the visionaries who authored it, will inspire forward thinking by our leadership and the public at large today," she said.
The 1908 vision sprang from a less ambitious idea. In 1904, then-Mayor Robert H. Jeffrey appointed a committee to look into creating a better park system.
At the time, America's cities were exploding with growth, thanks to industrialization. People moved from farms to cities to find work. Immigrants, many of them from eastern and southern Europe, filled central-city neighborhoods.
This led to crowded, dirty cities plagued by inadequate sanitary-sewer systems and lacking clean water.
Business leaders pressed for better public services. The introduction of the study mentions the "humiliating position" Columbus found itself in because of the lack of parks and playgrounds.
At the same time, a "City Beautiful" movement was sweeping the country. The new, classically inspired buildings hosting exhibits at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago had provided a vision of what America's cities could become...
Name of source: New Zealand Herald
SOURCE: New Zealand Herald (8-14-08)
The federal government has confirmed the remains from a grave discovered in 2006 at Westhoek, in Belgium, are those of 21-year-old farmhand Private George Storey, from Perth.
Private Storey's nephew David Storey says he was first contacted by the Army history unit 18 months ago, but it has taken all that time to confirm the identification.
"They said they had found the bodies and ... they were pretty sure who the bodies were," Storey said at his home in Menora yesterday. "They wanted to do DNA testing to prove them. "But unfortunately at the time the DNA tests that were available, they had to have someone [from the] female line available ... [but] there was no female line, so they couldn't do it.
"Since then they've developed a new test that works on the male line and that worked."
A swab was taken from Storey in April this year and federal authorities contacted him on Tuesday to confirm the identity. Storey said the news was still sinking in.
Name of source: Tehran Times
SOURCE: Tehran Times (8-14-08)
A flag-hoisting ceremony will also be held in Tehran, where Pakistan’s ambassador to Iran, Mr. Shafkat Saeed, will perform the ritual.
After the Independence Day function, the ambassador will address a press conference.
Pakistan and India gained independence from Great Britain in August 1947. The splitting of the South Asian countries brought about one of history’s largest mass migrations, with 10 million people crossing borders into Muslim Pakistan and Hindu-majority India.
Name of source: China Daily
SOURCE: China Daily (8-12-08)
"It's South America's most important discovery in 60 years," Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Investigation paleontologist Ascanio Rincon said on Monday.
He said fossils of six scimitar cats, or Homotherium, were found along with those of panthers, wolves, camels, condors, ducks and horses, all from about 1.8 million years ago, by a Petroleos de Venezuela team looking for oil in Monagas state in 2006.
The most important find, he said, was the complete skull of a scimitar cat, an animal never before found in South America.
"For us it's a milestone and opens a window to the past."
The scimitar cat, a smaller version of the saber-toothed tiger with a hyena-like appearance and smaller, crenelated teeth, was believed to have only inhabited Africa, Eurasia and North America between five million and 10,000 years ago.
Rincon estimated the scimitar cat became extinct in South America about 500,000 years ago.
Name of source: Washington Post
SOURCE: Washington Post (8-12-08)
Snake's Impact on Guam Appears to Extend to Flora
Transcript: Science: Impact of Tree Snakes in Guam
Knocking a Forest Off Balance
The virtual extermination of Guam's birds has been bemoaned for decades, but new research suggests that the damage to the ecology of the narrow, 30-mile-long island did not stop there.
The hundreds of thousands of snakes, researchers say, are now changing the way Guam's forest grows and will most likely cause substantial thinning and clumping of trees in the years ahead. In addition, the snakes appear to be indirectly responsible for an explosion in the spider population.
Guam, which is 3,800 miles west of Hawaii, did not have predatory snakes before the brown tree snakes arrived, and as a result the birds were not afraid of such creatures and not prepared for the onslaught. The snakes have few natural predators on the island and have at times climbed electric poles in their search for young birds, causing power outages.
"The brown tree snake has often been used as a textbook example for the negative impacts of invasive species, but after the loss of birds no one has looked at the snake's indirect effects," said Haldre Rogers, a University of Washington doctoral student in biology who presented her findings last week at the Ecological Society of America's annual meeting.
Rogers, who first went to Guam in 2002 as part of a U.S. Geological Survey "rapid response team" in a bid to keep the snakes from spreading, said she has studied tree growth on Guam and neighboring islands and has found "amazing" differences.
Without birds, which eat the seeds of certain trees and then spread them in their droppings, those trees are losing out to others that do not depend as much on bird middlemen. The seeds of the trees that relied on birds are now falling mostly near the trunks of the parent trees, where they are more likely to be spoiled by fungus and less likely to grow into healthy trees. The result, Rogers said, will either be the loss of some tree species or the clumping of those trees in isolated patches...
Name of source: Knoxville News Sentinel
SOURCE: Knoxville News Sentinel (8-12-08)
It will be up to an all-white jury to decide if the free speech rights of Tom Defoe, then a senior at Anderson County High School, were violated by the ban on a flag that to some symbolize Southern heritage and to others racial hate.
There were no black jurors in the pool summoned to appear today in U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan’s courtroom. During jury selection, two people who expressed support of the display of the flag were booted off the panel as was a member of a Civil War club and an Alabama educator who acknowledged the flag “can inflame” others but “I don’t really know why blacks see it as a racist symbol.”
Defoe contends through attorney Van R. Irion that he is a descendant of a Civil War soldier who fought for the Confederacy.
In the fall of 2006, he wore to school a T-shirt with a Confederate flag, also known as the “Rebel” flag on it. He was ordered to either take it off or turn it inside out. He refused and was suspended. A few days later, he wore a belt buckle with the flag on it. He again refused to cover or remove it and again was suspended.
Irion told jurors in opening statements today that there was no racial strife at Anderson County High School, where there are only a handful of minority students, and no proof display of the Confederate flag was “disruptive” to the educational process...
Name of source: UPI
SOURCE: UPI (8-11-08)
Pvt. Jacob Pfeiffer of New York has a new tombstone and was honored Saturday by about a dozen Civil War buffs and others in Raleigh's Oakwood cemetery, reported the Raleigh News & Observer Sunday.
Pfeiffer grew up on a farm in east Manhattan and was 21 when he died from wounds incurred during the Battle of Gettysburg. He was believed to be a North Carolina soldier until Civil War historian Charles Purser of Raleigh uncovered his true identity. The stone formerly standing over Pfeiffer's grave carried the name of Confederate Pvt. George Piper. The burial location of Piper's body is unknown.
Purser has authored a book about the cemetery's Confederate section entitled, "A Story Behind Every Stone." He thanked the Internet and a New York historian with helping him confirm Pfeiffer's true identity.
"It's such a wealth of information," Purser said about the Internet."Ten years ago I couldn't have found him."
Name of source: Top News
SOURCE: Top News (8-11-08)
A team of scholars working for TV’s History Channel compiled the list for a five-part television series called 50 Things You Need To Know About British History, but omitted the likes of Churchill, Queen Victoria, Florence Nightingale, Captain Cook and Sir Walter Raleigh from their list.
Though the list included Shakespeare, Charles Darwin, and explorer David Livingstone.
It also included events like the building of the Red House in 1859 that was key to the development of British arts and crafts, the gin drinking craze of 1729, and the completion of the Channel Tunnel.
Television presenter and historian David Starkey has dubbed the list “just silly”.
“World politics would be very different today were it not for Winston Churchill,” British tabloid The Sun quoted him as saying.
“Victoria is a more interesting one. She was not the most important figure of the Victorian era but she was its greatest symbol,” he added.
Professor Bernard Capp, a leading historian from the University of Warwick was also stunned to discover the omission of Churchill from the list of Britain’s most important people.
“I think it is most astonishing that Winston Churchill has been omitted,” said Capp.
The team failed to include a single Welsh person or event on their “British” list.
Laurence Westgaph, one of the historians who helped in compiling the list admitted: “I did lobby for Wales. I don’t think you can talk about Britishness without including Wales.”
He also said that he had argued they needed more traditional elements in the list, people contended it saying that was a “dead white males” view of history.
Capp said: “And as for the Welsh being left out, I would argue that David Lloyd George was a fairly important part of British history.”
Name of source: Daytona Beach News-Journal
SOURCE: Daytona Beach News-Journal (8-9-08)
Once upon a time, robes of Franciscan friars swept the sands of Volusia County west of New Smyrna Beach. They moved past palmettos and through the shade of ancient oaks to pray behind arched coquina windows as they sought to save souls of heathen Jororo Indians.
Chants and song resonated from the mission of San Josef de Jororo as its bell tolled the faithful to the altar of the chapel built by followers of Columbus on his second voyage in 1496. It was one of several holy outposts along the Halifax River.
"The ruins of these missions stand as monuments to the Franciscan friars," wrote Pleasant Daniel Gold, the area's most prominent historian in the late 1920s, "who, for over 100 years, worked among the savages of this coastal region as the vanguard of civilization."
Mission ruins of coquina dot Volusia and Flagler counties' coast, he wrote.
Balderdash. Poppycock. Fiddlesticks.
All of it. Mission, monks, chapel, chants and tolling bell. They were fairy tales, fabricated whole cloth, told and retold, printed and reprinted in decades of books, pamphlets, newspapers and postcards.
The ruins west of New Smyrna Beach are what's left of a 19th-century sugar mill. Just like several others in Volusia and Flagler counties.
Two New Yorkers, Henry Cruger and William DePeyster, established a slave-labor plantation about 1832 with $10,000 in borrowed money. Three years later, Seminoles burned the factory and captured or loosed the slaves...
Name of source: Muskogee Phoenix
SOURCE: Muskogee Phoenix (8-11-08)
The building is the oldest municipal building in the state.
The restoration is one of several planned by the Cherokee Nation’s cultural tourism department. The building is to become a museum with pre-statehood photographs and artifacts. Completion is expected in July 2009.
The original courthouse was built in 1844 and was the only Cherokee government structure to survive the Civil War.
In addition to hosting supreme and district court sessions, , it also was home to the Cherokee Advocate, the first newspaper in the state.
The building burned in 1875 and was rebuilt at the same location, using the surviving walls.
The building was sold in 1911 and used as office space by Cherokee County until the Cherokee Nation regained ownership in 1979.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (8-11-08)
Using a different criterion, that of when herds first show signs of human management, Dr. Zeder finds that goats and sheep were first domesticated about 11,000 years ago, much earlier than previously thought, with pigs and cattle following shortly afterwards. The map, from her article in the August 11 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows the regions and dates where the four species were first domesticated. Other dates, color-coded as to species, show where domesticated animals first appear elsewhere in the Fertile Crescent.
The earlier dates mean that animals were domesticated at much the same time as crop plants, and bear on the issue of how this ensemble of new agricultural species – the farming package known as the Neolithic revolution – spread from the Near East to Europe.
Some experts say the technology spread by cultural diffusion, others that the first farmers themselves moved into Europe, bringing their new technology with them and displacing the resident hunter gatherers.
Dr. Zeder concludes that both processes were involved. A test case is the island of Cyprus, where the four domesticated species of livestock appear as early as 10,500 years ago, replacing native fauna such as pygmy elephants and pygmy hippopotamuses (large animals often get downsized in island settings).
Since Cyprus lies 60 kilometers off the Turkish coast, the suite of agricultural species must have been brought there on boats by the new farmers. That establishes one episode of colonization, and Dr. Zeder sees evidence for several others. The second map shows, in red circles, the dates when farming colonists' enclaves were set up around the Mediterranean.
Dr. Zeder believes that in France and Spain the indigenous hunter gatherers adopted the new farming technology by cultural diffusion (shown as green dots). The farmers themselves settled the regions that are now Turkey and the Balkans (red dots) but in surrounding areas they integrated with indigenous peoples (blue dots).
Dr. Zeder says her evidence indicates that several waves of settlers spread the new farming technology through the Mediterranean. It's yet not known what drove the expansion, or what the relationship was between the colonists and the native inhabitants. Studies of ancient DNA, she said, may help test her thesis that farming spread through a mix of colonization and cultural diffusion.
Name of source: Salon
The Nobel Prize-winning author had settled in Cavendish when he sought refuge in the West and was looking for a place whose forests and harsh winters reminded him of his homeland.
He wound up spending 18 years in Cavendish before returning to Russia.
The former exile who had exposed the horrors of Soviet slave labor camps died Aug. 3 and was buried with honor in Moscow.
The town of some 1,500 people will honor him with a memorial service on Aug. 17.
The move comes after the fort lost the support of billionaire Forrest E. Mars Jr. amid disagreements with Fort Ticonderoga's longtime executive director, Nicholas Westbrook.
Besides being a privately owned tourist attraction operated as a not-for-profit, Fort Ticonderoga is also a state-chartered museum. Museum charters are granted by regents who must approve any sale of artifacts or artwork.
Peter Paine Jr., the new president of the board of trustees for the Fort Ticonderoga Association, sent a memo last month to board members outlining the financial crunch and listing several options to try to erase about $2.5 million in debt. Among them was closing next year and selling "Gelyna, View Near Ticonderoga," painted by Thomas Cole after he visited Ticonderoga in the 1820s. Other Cole works have sold for more than $1 million.
Fort Ticonderoga, a National Historic Landmark, played a key role in North American history from its construction by the French in 1755 through the American Revolution, when it changed hands three times. The bloodiest battle of the French and Indian War was fought there 250 years ago, and Benedict Arnold, along with Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys, famously captured the fort from the British in 1775 without firing a shot.
Now, shaky finances — not warring nations — threaten one of America's earliest tourist destinations. Annual attendance has declined by 33 percent from 2001 to 2007.
The drop-off in attendance had been countered by millions in financial support given by Forrest Mars, former chief executive of Mars Inc. and heir to the family's candy fortune, and his wife, Deborah, president of the fort's board of trustees.
With museums everywhere scrambling for benefactors of any kind, the fort had a big home-field advantage: Deb Mars was born in Ticonderoga.
But in February, Forrest Mars sent an e-mail to Westbrook, telling him the couple would no longer support the fort...
Ford, still a congressman at the time, also told a senior FBI official about internal panel disputes over hiring staff, Chief Justice Earl Warren's timetable for completing the final report on the assassination and what panel members said about the FBI.
In turn, Assistant FBI Director Cartha "Deke" DeLoach confidentially advised Ford of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's position on panel disputes; discussed where leaks were coming from; and, with Hoover's personal approval, loaned him a bureau briefcase with a lock so he could securely take the FBI report on the 1963 assassination with him on a ski trip.
The new details were included in 500 pages of the FBI's large file on Ford, released in part this past week in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act that The Associated Press and others made on the day Ford died in December 2006. The FBI intends to release additional documents about Ford in several batches, all with parts censored for law enforcement and privacy reasons.
That Ford served as the FBI's eyes and ears inside the commission has been known for years. Long ago, the government released a 1963 FBI memo that said Ford, then a Republican congressman from Michigan, had volunteered to keep the FBI informed about the panel's private deliberations, but only if that relationship remained confidential. The bureau agreed.
It was also well-known Ford was an outspoken proponent of the bureau's conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy acting alone.
A newly released memorandum provides more details about Ford's role as the FBI's informant. DeLoach wrote on Dec. 17, 1963, to outline what Ford told him in the congressman's office about the commission meeting the day before.
Two members of the commission brought up the fact that they still were not convinced that the President had been shot from the sixth floor window of the Texas Book Depository," DeLoach wrote. "These members failed to understand the trajectory of the slugs that killed the President. He stated he felt this point would be discussed further but, of course, would represent no problem."
There was no explanation of what Ford meant by "no problem."
Warren Commission records released in 1997 revealed that in the final report Ford changed the staff's original description of one of Kennedy's wounds. Ford said then he only made the description more precise. Skeptics said Ford's wording falsely made the wound seem higher on the body to make the panel's conclusion that one bullet hit both Kennedy and Texas Gov. John Connally more plausible.
DeLoach also wrote that Ford wanted to take the FBI's confidential assassination report on a ski vacation but had no way to do so "in complete safety." DeLoach recommended lending Ford a bureau briefcase with a lock. The bottom of the memo contains a handwritten "OK" over Hoover's distinctive initial "H," which he regularly used in commenting on memos...
Name of source: Mephis Commercial Appeal
SOURCE: Mephis Commercial Appeal (8-10-08)
"People were just sobbing. It was a sad, sad moment," says Dr. Noel Florendo, a pathology intern assigned to help perform the autopsy of the 42-year-old man on the table at Baptist Memorial Hospital.
Florendo says he and another intern followed instructions from his former professor, Dr. Jerry Francisco, as they began the postmortem on the biggest legend in music history. Elvis Presley, the world's first rock star, had outraged much of America at first, and controversy was about to follow him to the grave.
In 1961, Francisco had become Shelby County's first medical examiner. He was the last word in Memphis on how people died. A pathology professor at the University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences, he had helped train pathologists at almost every hospital in the region.
Francisco had "seen more dead people" than anyone else in the room, says Florendo.
Yet, what happened Aug.16, 1977, would become one of the most highly publicized cliffhangers since the deaths of the Romanovs in Russia, the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa or conspiracy theories about a Marilyn Monroe murder.
Even now, Elvis' death could be classified as a medical "mystery," says Maurice Elliott, former vice president of Baptist Hospital and former chief executive officer of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. Francisco would attribute the death to "cardiac arrhythmia due to undetermined causes," or, in layman's terms, a heart attack.
The rest of the pathology team suspected "polypharmacy." Elvis had a history of drug abuse, and most of those in the room did not see enough evidence of heart disease to justify calling the death a heart attack...
Name of source: The Grand Rapids Press
SOURCE: The Grand Rapids Press (8-10-08)
Even if he had, Jefferson wouldn't have been cramming clippings into plastic bags destined for a landfill.
Jefferson was "green" well before the term was popular. Today, his 5,000-acre estate in Charlottesville, Va., remains eco-friendly.
Healthy soil, proper plant selection and preservation of natural resources were just as important to Jefferson as, say, authoring the Declaration of Independence.
Legions of gardeners have declared their independence from chemical warfare, indirectly taking a page from Jefferson's more than 200-year-old playbook.
Among them is Rick Vuyst, president and CEO of Fruit Basket Flowerland, who recently visited Jefferson's beloved homestead, Monticello.
In addition to green gardening, Jefferson was on the cutting edge in design; he was willing to work with informal lines in the landscape.
"At the time, the straight formal lines of European influence were the norm," Vuyst said. "Jefferson understood both the practical and aesthetic benefits of diversity in the landscape."
Vuyst, a great fan of American history, is downright giddy about the upcoming visit to Grand Rapids by Peter J. Hatch, author of "The Gardens of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello," published by the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation. Vuyst will be master of ceremonies for Hatch's appearance Thursday at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
Jefferson's gardening philosophy, ranging from plant selection to garden design, are back in vogue as more people return to gardening with an emphasis on organic...
Name of source: Victorian Times-Colonist
SOURCE: Victorian Times-Colonist (8-10-08)
Both Judge F.W. Howay and a former Speaker D.W. Higgins tell the story of Victoria's only documented duel resulting in death on an 1858 afternoon, but with different gunmen in the lead roles -- and different backdrops to the event.
Howay, in his scholarly history British Columbia, tells the story of the shootout between Vancouver Street and Kanaka Row (now Penwell Street) in less than a dozen paragraphs.
He writes about two men -- John Collins and "Tip the Boatman" William Morris -- who "had a misunderstanding at the cricket ground at Beacon Hill."
Words led to blows, Morris punched Collins, a challenge to a duel followed, and the pair met later armed with six-shooters and ready to fight. Friends tried to persuade them to shake hands and go home but to no avail.
Howay tells us "three shots were fired ... at the third Collins fell mortally wounded."
Morris fled town, crossed the Juan de Fuca Strait to Port Townsend and made his way to San Francisco, where he was later arrested for complicity in a Nevada Stage Coach murder...