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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: Times
SOURCE: Times (9-9-08)
The fossil remains represent the first rainforests grown on the planet and their demise more than 300million years ago “points to the future” of the modern-day Amazon.
Six petrified forests, dating from 303.9 million to 309 million years ago, have been discovered in coalmines in the United States. Because they straddle a period of intense global warming researchers have been able to see the effects of climate change on an ancient landscape.
One forest that stretched 10,000 hectares (100 sq km) is the largest fossil forest yet found, dwarfing a 1,000ha forest that was announced last year as the biggest.
Howard Falcon-Lang, of the University of Bristol, said that the forests were frozen in time and show changes in the tree cover before and after the global warming began.
Fossils reveal that the landscape now deep beneath Illinois and Kentucky was covered in huge club moss trees, horsetails and ferns 309 million years ago. Once global warming had taken place 306.5 million years ago, the landscape altered enormously and the trees were replaced with “weedy ferns”.
“These are the remains of the first rainforests to evolve on our planet,” Dr Falcon-Lang said at the British Association yesterday. “They had lush rainforest vegetation, not dissimilar to the Amazonian rainforest. These are the largest fossil forests in the world. It's quite extraordinary to find a forest landscape preserved for miles.”
SOURCE: Times (9-7-08)
Plans to endow a Charlie Wilson chair in Pakistan studies at the University of Texas have riled the college’s liberal academics, who feel he is too “gung-ho” to be a role model for students.
They say Wilson’s support for Afghans fighting Soviet occupiers during the 1980s, when he covertly funnelled American government aid to the mujaheddin, led to the rise of the Taliban and its allies in al-Qaeda. “ It is outrageous,” said Dana Cloud, professor of communications at the university. “I thought it was a joke.”
Cloud, who is spearheading a global online petition against the chair, said that if the university did not abandon the plan, she would organise demonstrations by professors with placards. “A Charlie Wilson chair brings our university into ridicule,” she said. “I do not know one serious scholar who would take such a post.”
SOURCE: Times (9-7-08)
Tommy Sneum lay in ambush in occupied Copenhagen armed with a bow and arrows to kill Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS. He planned to strike from a penthouse that belonged to a Danish film starlet he had seduced. Sneum chose a longbow because he did not want the sound of a bullet to be traced back to her flat.
The exploits of Sneum are told in a book published this week by Mark Ryan, who interviewed Sneum at length before the former spy died last year aged 89.
“He was a real-life 007, getting through a tremendous number of women and doing all kinds of spectacular stunts to evade the Nazis,” said Ryan, the author of The Hornet’s Sting, published by Piatkus. “When he was holed up in Copenhagen he was sleeping with both the mother and daughter of the house, without either knowing.”
SOURCE: Times (9-5-08)
Name of source: History Today
SOURCE: History Today (9-8-08)
SOURCE: History Today (9-5-08)
Name of source: Telegraph
SOURCE: Telegraph (9-9-08)
The minister, Ignazio La Russa, was speaking at an event marking the 65th anniversary of Rome's resistance to Nazi occupation in 1943 and the role played by anti-fascist partisans.
But he also recalled the "Nembo" parachute division from Mussolini's fascist "Salo Republic" who fought alongside the Germans against the Allies.
"I would betray my conscience if I did not recall that other men in uniform, such as the Nembo from the Italian Social Republic army, also, from their point of view, fought in the belief they were defending their country," the minister said.
Hundreds of Italian soldiers and civilians died in September 1943, shortly after an armistice was signed between the Allies and Italy, attempting to stop the Germans from occupying Rome.
The inflammatory remarks, which were condemned by left-wing politicians, intensified a row over comments by Rome's mayor, Gianni Alemanno, who said that while racial laws passed by Mussolini in 1938 were wrong, it would be too simplistic to condemn fascism as a whole, as an "absolute evil".
SOURCE: Telegraph (9-8-08)
They say it shows that music is one of the most powerful triggers of memory, and Beatles music in particular is more than mere “auditory cheesecake”.
The online research was the biggest ever survey into the links between memory and music, and scientists believe its findings will be replicated among millions of other music fans throughout the world.
More than 3,000 people of all ages from 69 different countries took part in the study by the University of Leeds, called the Magical Memory Tour, which asked respondents to write about their memories surrounding Beatles songs.
Most responses were from “silver surfers” between the ages of 55 and 65, who would have been in their teens during the Beatles hey day in the 1960s.
The song that emerged overall as generating the most memories - from first kiss to funerals to hot summer nights - was She Loves You, followed by I Saw Her Standing There, Imagine and In My life. However, for Americans, I Want to Hold Your Hand evoked more memories.
The study was devised by psychologists Professor Martin Conway and Dr Catriona Morrison from the Institute of Psychological Sciences, who discussed their findings as part of the BA Festival of Science in Liverpool.
Dr Morrison said: “We are so impressed with how vividly people could recall memories sometimes from more than 40 years ago, especially when many eloquent and vivid memories appear to have been little recalled in decades.
SOURCE: Telegraph (9-6-08)
Details of how the state's former leader, Erich Honecker, cheated at shooting parties have been revealed out as a unique collection of guns owned by him and other top party officials has come up for sale.
The 31 rifles, shotguns and pistols which once belonged to Honecker and other Communist officials, including the hated Stasi secret police chief Erich Mielke, are expected to fetch more than their estimated half million euros (£400,000) value at auction next month.
SOURCE: Telegraph (9-3-08)
Nowadays, if they wanted to treat themselves, Page and Brin could probably just buy Burger King. Their start-up has become a multi-billion-dollar, era-defining colossus. More than three quarters of online searches in Britain go through Google, 100 million queries a day. To Google is not just a verb, but a lifestyle, a gateway to an unprecedented hoard of information.
Google succeeded for one simple reason: it, more than any other site, found you what you were looking for. At the time, the internet was exploding in size. The dominant site, Yahoo, offered a manually updated directory, and was being swamped. Other search engines, such as AltaVista, could map the web, but had problems sorting the results.
SOURCE: Telegraph (9-4-08)
The black ink prints are on a gun permit application for the state of California, completed by the singer in 1970.
The form, signed Elvis A Presley, requests permission to carry a Colt 38 revolver and a Beretta 7.6 automatic.
It contains confirmation of his sex, hair and eye colour, height, weight and date of birth and a full set of fingerprints from both hands.
Such documentation was required in every state Mr Presley visited, because he always insisted on being armed.
It is a particularly rare piece of memorabilia because gun license forms are normally destroyed after the applicant's death, in Mr Presley's case in 1977. It also has what are believed to be the only full set of authentic prints from Mr Presley.
SOURCE: Telegraph (9-5-08)
The Madonna With The Yarnwinder was taken from Drumlanrig Castle, near Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway, in August 2003.
Robert Graham, 56, John Doyle, 59, and Marshall Ronald, 52, all from Lancashire, appeared at the High Court in Glasgow along with Calum Jones, 43, from Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire, and David Boyce, 61, from Airdrie in Lanarkshire.
The men are accused of conspiring to extort or attempting to extort money by demanding the safe return of the masterpiece.
They are also charged with attempting to defeat the ends of justice.
Four of the men - Graham and Doyle, who are both from Ormskirk, Jones and Boyce - pleaded not guilty to the offences.
Ronald, of Skelmersdale, made no plea.
It is alleged the offences happened between July 18 and October 4 last year.
The men are accused of contacting a loss adjuster whom they believed to be acting for the insurers of the painting and stated that they could return the artwork within 72 hours.
It is alleged they said the masterpiece would not be returned unless £2 million was deposited in an account at Marshall Solicitors, formerly known as Marshall Gilby Solicitors, and a further £2.25 million was placed in a Swiss Bank account.
Judge Lord Brailsford continued the case until November 10 for a further preliminary hearing.
The picture, which has been valued at over £30 million, belonged to the Duke of Buccleuch, who died last September after a short illness, at the age of 83.
Painted in oils on a small panel, it had been in his family for two centuries and was admired by thousands of visitors to the castle every year.
The picture depicts the Madonna with the infant Jesus holding a cross-shaped yarnwinder and is believed to have been painted between 1500 and 1510.
Its disappearance from the stately home became the UK's biggest art theft.
SOURCE: Telegraph (9-5-08)
The message, which translates as "Lenin is 100", was cut into a forest in a remote region of Siberia. Each letter is around 80 metres high, and the entire message stretches for 600 metres.
It was created by Russian woodcutters in 1970 to mark the centenary of the Communist leader's birth, according to EnglishRussia, the blog which spotted the image.
Despite the passing of 38 years it has kept its coherent shape, and is now clearly visible on Google Maps and Earth, the internet giant's satellite mapping services.
Name of source: Ottawa Citizen
SOURCE: Ottawa Citizen (9-8-08)
The latest find comes from a British army officer's memoir of his years in what was then the colony of Upper Canada.
"During the winter, the skating on Chippewa Creek was excellent and added not a little to our amusement," writes Col. Richard Levigne, referring to the present-day Welland River. "Large parties contested games of hockey on ice, some 40 or 50 being ranged on each side."
Col. Levigne's description is the earliest known reference to hockey being played anywhere in southern Canada, where Halifax, Montreal and Windsor, N.S., have long battled for the right to be called the sport's "birthplace."
Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin's description of his men playing hockey on a small lake near Deline, N.W.T. remains the oldest known document in the sport's history.
Name of source: LAT
SOURCE: LAT (9-8-08)
In a preemptive move, several of them have agreed to join the advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in asking a federal judge to declare that Cheney's records are covered by the Presidential Records Act of 1978 and cannot be destroyed, taken or withheld without proper review.
The group expects to file the lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It will name Cheney, the executive offices of the president and vice president, and the National Archives and chief archivist Allen Weinstein as defendants.
The goal, they say, is to protect a trove of information about national security, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, domestic wiretapping, energy policy and other major issues that could be hidden from the public if Cheney adheres to his view that he is not part of the executive branch and is not required to make his papers public after leaving office.
Access to the documents is crucial because he is widely considered to be the most influential vice president in U.S. history, they say.
SOURCE: LAT (9-7-08)
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (9-8-08)
The Framers didn't know what to do with the backup executive. He was conjured very late in the summer of 1787, as the Constitutional Convention was winding down. He had no power at all, initially -- he was just a body, a seat-warmer, ready to step forward if the president were impeached or keeled over. Eventually the Framers gave him a busywork job:
"The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote" -- you can see them winging it here -- "unless they be equally divided."
SOURCE: WaPo (9-5-08)
Rather, Woodward reports, "groundbreaking" new covert techniques, beginning in 2007, enabled U.S. military and intelligence officials to locate, target and kill insurgent leaders and key individuals in extremist groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Woodward does not disclose the code names of these covert programs or provide much detail about them, saying in the book that White House and other officials had cited national security concerns in asking him to withhold specifics.
Overall, Woodward writes, four factors combined to reduce the violence: the covert operations; the influx of troops; the decision by militant cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to rein in his powerful Mahdi Army; and the so-called Anbar Awakening, in which tens of thousands of Sunnis turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq and allied with U.S. forces.
SOURCE: WaPo (8-31-08)
But a witness had called authorities. Hearing that some of the young men appeared to be in the distinctive dress blues of midshipmen, the authorities notified the Navy's Shore Patrol, whose duties included rounding up midshipmen misbehaving away from campus. Detaining McCain and his buddies, the Shore Patrol contacted McCain's father, a naval officer who, living in Washington with McCain's mother, was rousted from bed to pick up his son and at least one other midshipman involved in the incident.
Arriving in uniform, with his trademark cigar in his mouth, Jack McCain came to get the boys and drove home. Midshipman Walt Ryan sat sheepishly in the back seat, staring at silent father and son for a few moments. "It was 2 in the morning or so, and it seemed like John's father had been sleeping before it happened," he said. "He got to the point pretty quickly after we got moving."
"Gentlemen, this will not happen again," Capt. McCain said.
"Yes, sir," his son responded.
Name of source: Australian
SOURCE: Australian (9-5-08)
Hikers on the famed Kokoda Track, site of a brutal 1942 battle between Japanese and Australian troops, reported they had discovered what appeared to be the suspended skeleton of a flyer tangled in parachute cords two weeks ago.
But the Australian Defence Force said it had sent staff from Canberra's embassy in Port Moresby to inspect the remote site, only to discover that the suspected human skeleton was simply a tree limb tangled in vines.
Name of source: NYT
The president, Abdullah Gul, was invited by the Armenian president, Serge Sargsyan, to attend a soccer game in Yerevan, the capital, between the national teams.
The trip was widely seen as a symbolic gesture to normalize relations between the countries, which have recognized each other but have not established diplomatic relations.
The two nations have deeply held disagreements about what is widely referred to as the Armenian genocide, in which more than one million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Army in the early 1900s.
The firm isn’t Bear Stearns — it was Long-Term Capital Management, the hedge fund based in Greenwich, Conn., and the rescue occurred 10 years ago this month.
The Long-Term Capital fiasco momentarily shocked Wall Street out of its complacent trust in financial models, and was replete with lessons, for Washington as well as for Wall Street. But the lessons were ignored, and in this decade, the mistakes were repeated with far more harmful consequences. Instead of learning from the past, Wall Street has re-enacted it in larger form, in the mortgage debacle cum credit crisis.
In the wake of Long-Term Capital’s failure, Wall Street professed to have learned that even models designed by “geniuses” were subject to error and to the uncertainties that inevitably afflict human forecasts. It also professed a newfound respect for the perils of borrowing. Whether this wisdom endured may be judged by events of the past year, when not only Bear Stearns but also scores of banks and financial institutions have written off hundreds of billions of dollars — a result of blithe faith in models of the housing industry, not to mention a voracious hunger to do business on credit.
What was there to fear from this pitiful giant? In my left-wing, antiwar, social democratic hothouse world, anti-Communism seemed almost as absurd as Communism. John Kennedy’s call in 1961 to “bear any burden” in the struggle between two world systems was as remote to us as the sectarian debates of the 1930s between Trotskyites, Shachtmanites and so on.
We were, unlike an older generation of “cold war liberals,” anti-anti-Communists. Fear of the spread of Communism had gotten us into Vietnam, and rationalized American support for right-wing dictators across the third world. That fear, to us, was thus a far more dangerous force in the world than the thing that we as a country were afraid of — Soviet and Chinese expansionism.
The effort to save Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is only the latest in a series of financial maneuvers by the government that stretch back to the rescue of the military contractor Lockheed Aircraft Corporation and the Penn Central Railroad under President Richard M. Nixon, the shoring up of Chrysler in the waning days of the Carter administration and the salvage of the savings and loan system in the late 1980s.
More recently, after airplanes were grounded because of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Congress approved $15 billion in subsidies and loan guarantees to the faltering airlines.
He died in his sleep at Seabrook Village, an independent-living center, a niece, Kathleen Mulvehill, said.
If the flamboyant Roger Straus presented the public face of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, presiding over the business end, Mr. Giroux made his mark on the inside, as editor in chief, shaping the house’s book list and establishing himself as the gold standard of literary taste. The publisher Charles Scribner Jr., in his memoir, “In the Company of Writers” (1991), wrote, “Giroux is a great man of letters, a great editor and a great publisher.”
Mr. Giroux was T. S. Eliot’s American editor and published the American edition of George Orwell’s “1984,” accepting it despite the objection of his immediate superior, whose wife had found some of the novel’s passages distasteful.
In the United States, judges have been less attached to such grand garb. Robes were not even a necessary part of their attire in the decades after the Revolutionary War, though it eventually became the accepted fashion. But even today, New York does not require judges to wear robes, and various judges spurn them altogether from time to time, or at least try to wear them with a bit of flair.
When Judge ShawnDya L. Simpson of Manhattan does don her black robe, for example, she rarely fastens all the buttons and often accents it with a scarf or necklace. But on one day recently, she was an even brighter figure, wielding the gavel in a lime-green suit.
“It’s a different era,” said Judge Simpson, 42, a Criminal Court judge. “I think some judges, you just kind of bring your personality to the bench.”
For a visitor to the court, a judge without a black robe might prompt a double take. But on any given day in New York City’s courthouses, it is common to see judges on the bench with unzipped or unbuttoned robes; accessories like scarves, jewelry or collars hanging outside of a robe; and, in some cases, no robe at all.
SOURCE: NYT (9-4-08)
But after intense lobbying by Japan, the Iwami Silver Mine here, which many Japanese had never heard of, was improbably named a Unesco World Heritage site last year. Having joined the ranks of the Pyramids, the Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, not to mention Japan’s own Kyoto and Nara, Omori — population 413 — has been flooded with hundreds of thousands of tourists....
The World Heritage designation has been a godsend for Omori’s home prefecture of Shimane, which, like most other economically depressed areas in rural Japan, has been trying to raise revenues through tourism. Not surprisingly, some regional governments are now pushing 40 of their own World Heritage contenders, ranging from Mount Fuji to sites of varying degrees of obscurity.
Still, the designation of this relatively unknown site has raised eyebrows, not least among locals and visitors. It is also likely to deepen the larger debate over whether the World Heritage label is being diluted through an ever-growing list of locations — now standing at 878 worldwide — and whether inclusion can do more harm than good in preserving a place unprepared for the inevitable influx of tourism.
SOURCE: NYT (9-2-08)
“May God kill the one who killed him,” an old woman says, wiping tears from her eyes as she stares through the glass.
The dead man being shown such veneration is Imad Mugniyah, the shadowy Hezbollah commander. Until his death in a car bombing in Syria in February he was virtually unknown here, his role in the militant Shiite group clothed in secrecy. But since then Hezbollah has hailed him as one of its great military leaders in the struggle against Israel....
The presentation, which opened Aug. 15, is Hezbollah’s most ambitious multimedia exhibit to date, meant to dramatize the group’s bitter conflict with Israel on the second anniversary of their latest war. Schoolchildren pour in throughout the day, absorbing the carefully honed message of heroic resistance.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (9-6-08)
Instead, he and his shipmates became pawns in a Cold War sideshow when North Korea captured the Navy spy ship and imprisoned its 82 crew members. Some still suffer the physical effects of torture or malnutrition they suffered in 11 months of captivity.
McClintock is proud of his service as a 24-year-old communications technician and the bonds he made with his crew mates, but that pride is tinged with bitterness.
"We were treated as heroes when we got back, but what the Navy, the institution of the Navy really wanted, in my opinion, is the Pueblo to have sunk," McClintock said at his Jericho home. "When we came back, the Navy now has to look at itself and they don't like to look at themselves."
On Wednesday, 40 of the 69 surviving crew members will gather in neighboring Essex for a four-day reunion featuring exhibits and speeches by experts on U.S.-Korean relations.
SOURCE: AP (9-7-08)
What happened seven years ago colors the country's life today. There are the two wars, of course. But in smaller ways, too: People sing"God Bless America" at the ballpark. They weigh"evil" as a campaign issue. They slip off their shoes at airport security, buy the zip-top bag for liquids and gels.
And yet there is an unmistakable distance now. No one speaks of the"new normal" anymore. All of those things are just normal.
Name of source: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (9-3-08)
Dubbed Eva de Naharon, or Eve of Naharon, the female skeleton has been dated at 13,600 years old. If that age is accurate, the skeleton—along with three others found in underwater caves along the Caribbean coast of the Yucatán Peninsula—could provide new clues to how the Americas were first populated.
The remains have been excavated over the past four years near the town of Tulum, about 80 miles southwest of Cancún, by a team of scientists led by Arturo González, director of the Desert Museum in Saltillo, Mexico (see map of Mexico).
Name of source: Observer
SOURCE: Observer (9-7-08)
Computer-aided comparisons made between a series of portraits of British monarchs and the self-portraits of the artists who painted them prove that there has always been a hidden agenda in top-level portraiture, argues the art historian Simon Abrahams.
After lengthy research and the examination of hundreds of famous paintings from new angles, Abrahams has launched his contentious theory through his website, ArtScholar.org. He believes it is clear that many portraitists, painters who were often doing this kind of work just for money, chose to assert themselves by reproducing their own facial characteristics within those of their powerful sitters.
The practice, which Abrahams has called 'face fusion', is evident as early as the 1600s in the work of Nicholas Hilliard and Isaac Oliver, who both painted Queen Elizabeth I, and it continues to this day. He even offers visual evidence that the portrait of the current Queen completed in 2001 by Lucian Freud bears more than a passing resemblance to Freud himself.
'These royal images were never intended by the artist as historical records of an actual sitter, but as depictions of the artist's alter ego. No doubt they pretended otherwise to their patrons but they, and their peers, knew better; the evidence is overwhelming,' he writes.
Abrahams's argument is made most strongly by looking at an engraving of William III by the artist Sir Godfrey Kneller alongside his near-identical self-portrait, by Sir Joshua Reynolds's portrait of George IV and his self-portrait, or perhaps by looking at Sir Peter Lely's portrait of James II next to the artist's version of his own features.
'At least two contemporaries of Peter Lely complained that the faces in his portraits resembled each other,' writes Abrahams, 'one even suggesting that he was too fond of studying his own features.'
While a couple of art historians have noted similarities between painters and the painted in the past, Abrahams points out, the issue has always been either ignored or brushed over by academia. 'The assumption has been that there were some painters who were good at painting the world "as it is" and then those who were "poetic" and painted what was in their mind,' Abrahams told The Observer
Name of source: The Forward
SOURCE: The Forward (9-4-08)
Michelle Obama, wife of the Democratic presidential nominee, is a first cousin once removed of Rabbi Capers Funnye, spiritual leader of a mostly black synagogue on Chicago’s South Side. Funnye’s mother, Verdelle Robinson Funnye, and Michelle Obama’s paternal grandfather, Frasier Robinson Jr., were brother and sister.
Funnye (pronounced fuh-NAY) is the chief rabbi of the Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in southwest Chicago. He is well known in Jewish circles for acting as a bridge between mainstream Jewry and the much smaller, and largely separate, world of black Jewish congregations, sometimes known as black Hebrews, or Israelites. He has often urged the larger Jewish community to be more accepting of Jews who are not white.
Name of source: Independent
SOURCE: Independent (9-7-08)
The papers, from the archives of Bulgaria's National Intelligence Service reveal how discussions about the assassination took place between the KGB and the Bulgarian intelligence services. They show how the suspected killer, Francesco Gulino (also spelt Gullino and Giullino), referred to as Agent Piccadilly, was given the mission and later decorated for his services. Among the documents is a secret agreement between Bulgarian intelligence and the KGB, whereby Russia would provide fast-acting poisons and devices for their delivery.
Several classified documents relating to the assassination, secured after a three-year legal battle by the Bulgarian journalist Hristo Hristov, are to be published in Bulgaria's Dnevnik newspaper this week.
Other revelations in the Bulgarian newspaper Sofia Echo suggest parallels with the case of Alexander Litvinenko, the critic of the Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, who was fatally poisoned in London in 2006.
While the Bulgarian authorities are preparing to shelve their investigations, under a 30-year statute of limitations, the Metropolitan Police remain on the case. Several visits have been made by Scotland Yard in the past two years to gain access to classified documents and interview dozens of people.
Name of source: Observer (UK)
SOURCE: Observer (UK) (9-7-08)
The team behind the Northumberland Lights project are to announce plans this week to set up lights along the 73 miles of the wall for three days to draw visitors to the site at night.
'This will be a way of getting people to see the landscape in a different way,' said Zoe Bottrell, director of the Northumberland Lights festival.
Name of source: National Parks Traveler Online
SOURCE: National Parks Traveler Online (9-6-08)
Consider the special treatment that President George W. Bush received during his Friday, September 5, afternoon tour of Gettysburg National Military Park.
You and I will have to wait until the grand opening on September 26 before we can finally tour the park’s new Museum and Visitor Center. But you just don’t keep the prez waiting. He saw it all – the restored Gettysburg Cyclorama, the galleries and artifacts, the Gettysburg film, the whole shebang -- and he didn’t pay that noxious admission fee we’ve been threatened with, either.
You and I have to dig down deep for the $55 needed to hire a licensed guide for our battlefield tour. No such problem for the prez (who never carries cash or credit cards, anyway), because he was supplied with the no-charge guide services of Gabor Boritt, the Robert Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies and Director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College. (Professor Boritt, who has written 16 books about Lincoln and the Civil War, knows a thing or two about Gettysburg, you betcha; if he ever offered to give me a personal tour of Gettysburg, I’d ask him if it would be OK to bring along 500 of my closest friends.)
SOURCE: National Parks Traveler Online (9-3-08)
An ancillary question, of course, is whether only officially designated wilderness meets the bill, or whether de facto wilderness is just as beneficial a salve?
Enacted September 3, 1964, the Wilderness Act (attached below) was written by Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society. Its passage created the National Wilderness Preservation System to"assure that an increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization, does not occupy and modify all areas within the United States and its possessions, leaving no lands designated for preservation and protection in their natural condition, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the Congress to secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness."
Congress's intentions certainly were good, but how successful where they? Forty-four years later we've set aside more than 106 million acres of officially designated wilderness. That sounds somewhat impressive, until you realize the United States spans 2,379,400,323.67 acres. Too, while 44 million of the 106 million wilderness acres are found within the borders of national parks, there are hundreds of thousands of more acres within the park system that meet wilderness qualities but which are not preserved officially as wilderness.
SOURCE: National Parks Traveler Online (9-4-08)
The historical roots of Native American displeasure with Black Hills developments like the Mount Rushmore National Memorial run very deep. The Black Hills of southwestern South Dakota were sacred to the Lakota and other plains Indians long before rapid economic exploitation of this landscape got underway with the gold rush of the 1870s.
It is highly germane that this incursion was illegal, and that Indians were wantonly killed or driven from land that had been treaty-promised to them in perpetuity. The Indian viewpoint is now, and for over a century has been, that the Black Hills were stolen and should be returned to the Lakota. (The UNA website link provided above portrays this viewpoint quite stridently.)
In the 1960s and 1970s, some Native American groups became quite confrontational as they asserted perceived rights to reclaim lands taken long ago by chicanery or outright theft that was condoned (if not sanctioned) by the state and federal governments.
Name of source: http://www.mdcoastdispatch.com
SOURCE: http://www.mdcoastdispatch.com (9-5-08)
The roughly 25-foot long, L-shaped artifact was first discovered in the surf by swimmers in the 43rd Street area on Monday. Ocean City Beach Patrol staffers tried to remove the unknown object from the water, but quickly realized it was something much larger than they were capable of moving. The town’s Public Works department was called in and was eventually able to haul the giant piece of history from a bygone era from the water using a front-end loader and other equipment.
“People were reporting to us they kept bumping into something in the water below the surface,” said Beach Patrol Lieutenant Ward Kovacs. “The lifeguards tried to get it out, but they knew right away it was something beyond the scope of their abilities.”
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (9-6-08)
Ruling in the four-year-old case, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said that John Ivan Kalymon had lied about his involvement with the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police (UAP) when he emigrated to the US from Germany in 1949, US justice officials said Friday, Sept. 5.
The Troy, Michigan, resident became a US citizen in 1955. US investigators charged that as a member of the UAP, Kalymon had helped round up Jews, imprison them in a ghetto, terrorize them and supervise their forced labor, kill those trying to escape and lead survivors to extermination and forced labor camps, including Belzec in Poland.
Evidence of personal involvement
He allegedly committed the crimes in Lviv, formerly in Poland and now part of Ukraine, from 1941 to 1944.
The court decision from Thursday was announced Friday by acting assistant attorney general Matthew Friedrich of the US justice department's criminal division.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (9-5-08)
It is thought that Jack the Ripper killed and mutilated at least five prostitutes in the East End between August and November 1888.
But Trevor Marriott says he may have struck in 1863 and 1872.
Mr Marriott will be presenting his findings at the Docklands Museum which is hosting an exhibition on the killer.
The body of 28-year-old prostitute Emma Jackson was found in a brothel in St Giles, central London, in April 1863.
She had five wounds to the throat and had not been robbed. The case was never solved.
Mr Marriott also uncovered a second case he believes may have been committed by the Ripper.
Nine years after the Jackson murder, on Christmas Day 1872, Harriet Buswell was found with her throat slit at her lodgings in nearby Great Coram Street, after returning home the previous evening with a male guest.
Both cases remain unsolved.
SOURCE: BBC (9-5-08)
The ancient wetlands, believed by some to be the site of the Garden of Eden, were drained and virtually destroyed by Saddam Hussein's government.
But more than half of the area has been restored in a UN project over the past four years.
The Iraqi Environment Minister Narmin Othman welcomed the plans.
She said the marshlands and centuries-old culture of the Marsh Arabs had been in danger of disappearing in an ecological and human tragedy.
The United Nations Environment Programme, Unep, said the soonest Iraq could realistically put its case to the World Heritage Committee was 2010.
If approved, the marshlands could be listed the following year.
SOURCE: BBC (9-4-08)
Back in 1948, Sir Ludwig Guttman, a neurologist who was working with World War II veterans with spinal injuries at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, began using sport as part of the rehabilitation programmes of his patients.
He set up a competition with other hospitals to coincide with the London Olympics in that year.
Over the next decade Guttman's care plan was adopted by other spinal injury units in Britain and competition grew.
In 1960, the Olympics were held in Rome, and Guttmann brought 400 wheelchair athletes to the Olympic city to compete. The modern Parallel Olympics (or"Paralympics") were born.
Name of source: Politico.com
SOURCE: Politico.com (9-5-08)
The statement is extremely surprising because it was issued by National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley, who shepherded Woodward’s interaction with the West Wing and encouraged top administration officials to grant interviews to the celebrity investigator.
President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and a host of underlings gave interviews to Woodward. The White House had been optimistic that the book would reflect glowingly on the president, although that optimism waned when the book’s title was announced last month.
Hadley does not quarrel with Woodward’s facts — only his interpretation. Specifically, he argues that the surge policy helped calm down Iraq, while the book says other factors were at play.
“Because of the President's decision, Iraq is a much more stable and secure country today,” Hadley says in the statement. “Because of this success, the President announced earlier this year that five brigade combat teams would return home, a policy of ‘return on success.’ The President is now weighing options to bring more troops home based on the improved conditions on the ground, but without sacrificing the hard fought gains of the last year.”
Name of source: Time
SOURCE: Time (9-5-08)
Says in a statement: “I’ve never heard that term used in a racially derogatory sense. It is important to note that the dictionary definition of ‘uppity’ is ‘affecting an air of inflated self-esteem — snobbish.’”
Name of source: Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (9-3-08)
It is a monument visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year. On Sundays, some travel from nearby Madrid to lay wreaths at the site. But just what the memorial, known as the Valley of the Fallen, stands for is not entirely clear.
Officially, it commemorates everyone who died in the Spanish Civil War, fought from 1936 to 1939. But the Valley of the Fallen monument, a vast complex dominated by an enormous granite cross, also contains the mausoleum in which the body of General Francisco Franco, Spain's fascist dictator, is buried. It was built using the slave labor of political prisoners.
Indeed, the Valley of the Fallen has recently come to symbolize a Spain still scarred by its civil war and almost four decades of Franco's iron-fisted regime. Some, though, have begun picking at that scab. This week, a Spanish judge began collecting information with an eye toward creating an accurate list of those killed during Franco's dictatorship. In doing so, he has turned up the heat on a long-simmering national debate.
Name of source: LAT profile
SOURCE: LAT profile (8-31-08)
It is easy to see why McCain was drawn to her; their political resumes have much in common. The 44-year-old Republican has sold herself as a political maverick willing to buck her party over principle, an ethics reformer who quit a lucrative job rather than play ball with the old boys' network and a pragmatist who will reach across the aisle to get her agenda enacted. Like McCain, she has at times been a black sheep in her own party. Also like McCain, she has been accused of overstepping ethical bounds on occasion.
Name of source: Media Matters (liberal watchdog group)
SOURCE: Media Matters (liberal watchdog group) (9-4-08)
The German phrase "arbeit macht frei" translates to "work makes one free" and was written on the gate at the entrance to Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps.
Name of source: Catholic News Service
SOURCE: Catholic News Service (9-3-08)
At a Sept. 3 press conference archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority said locating the two city walls corroborates their theory about the southern expansion of the city during these two periods.
The two separate wall segments had been discovered and excavated at the end of the 19th century by American archaeologist Frederick Jones Bliss and British archaeologist Archibald Dickie. However, after mapping out the site they filled in the site, and the walls were covered for 150 years.