Breaking NewsFollow Breaking News updates on RSS and Twitter
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: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (10-27-08)
Royal retainers, known as yanacona, may have been brought to the site from as far away as South America's Pacific Coast, the northern highlands, and the area around Lake Titicaca near Peru's border with Bolivia, the study says.
Determining the geographic origins of yanacona may help researchers better understand how the Inca practice of paying tributes with labor helped shape the empire's social classes.
Name of source: http://en.rian.ru/russia
SOURCE: http://en.rian.ru/russia (10-28-08)
The remains were discovered near Yekaterinburg in 1991.
"We plan to begin the excavations in June next year. We earlier thought we could start this fall, but the work was postponed due to lack of funding," Sergei Pogorelov told RIA Novosti
Name of source: Secrecy News, written by Steven Aftergood, is published by the Federation of American Scientists
The disclosure marks only the fourth time that the intelligence budget has been officially disclosed. The aggregate intelligence budget figure (including national, joint military and tactical intelligence spending) was first released in 1997 ($26.6 billion) in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Federation of American Scientists. It was voluntarily released in 1998 ($26.7 billion). The National Intelligence Program budget was next disclosed in 2007 ($43.5 billion), in response to a Congressional mandate, based on a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission. And then there was today's release for 2008.
In recent years, the most passionate opponent of intelligence budget disclosure has been none other than Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), whose own financial non-disclosure practices have recently earned him multiple felony convictions.
In an October 4, 2004 Senate floor debate, Senator Stevens usefully marshaled all of the traditional arguments against disclosure. Most of them were false at the time. Others have since been disproven.
"No other nation, friend, or ally, reveals the amount that it spends on intelligence," Sen. Stevens said then.
In fact, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands and other countries have published their intelligence budgets for many years without adverse effect.
"Determining classification is the responsibility and duty of the chief executive of the United States, the President, who is also Commander in Chief," said Sen. Stevens. "Presidents Truman through Bush has determined that the overall intelligence budget top-line figure is, and shall remain, classified, and I believe we should not overrule that judgment."
But Congress shares responsibility for defining the terms of the classification system. And as a factual historical matter, President Clinton approved disclosure of the intelligence budget total.
The hoariest myth of all, renewed by Sen. Stevens, is that "This is a slippery slope. Reveal the first number and it will be just a matter of minutes before there will be a call to reveal more information."
The notion of a "slippery slope" resulting from disclosure of the top-line budget figure has been asserted for decades even by officials who are not convicted felons. But by now, it has been conclusively disproven. Disclosure of the intelligence budget total has not led to uncontrolled further disclosures. The 9/11 Commission's 2004 recommendation that budgets for "component agencies" should also be disclosed was not accepted and such further disclosures have not occurred despite release of the total figure.
But today the intelligence budget continues to serve as a useful barometer of the incoherence of official secrecy policy. Thus, even after declassifying the FY 2007 intelligence budget figure last year, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence concluded last summer (pdf) that "The size of the National Intelligence Program budget for Fiscal Year 2006 is properly classified."
It seems unlikely that both positions are correct.
Name of source: Media Matters (liberal watchdog group)
SOURCE: Media Matters (liberal watchdog group) (10-28-08)
Distorting comments by Sen. Barack Obama from a 2001 radio interview, nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh falsely characterized Obama as"an anti-constitutional professor" who has"flatly rejected" the U.S. Constitution. Obama made the comments in a panel discussion of how the Founders addressed the issue of slavery in the Constitution; he did not reject it, as Limbaugh falsely claimed, but called it"a remarkable political document."
During his October 27 broadcast, Limbaugh said:"Obama, ladies and gentlemen, calls himself a constitutional professor or a constitutional scholar. In truth, Barack Obama was an anti-constitutional professor. He studied the Constitution, and he flatly rejected it. He doesn't like the Constitution, he thinks it is flawed, and now I understand why he was so reluctant to wear the American flag lapel pin. Why would he?" Limbaugh later added,"I don't see how he can take the oath of office" because"[h]e has rejected the Constitution."
Limbaugh's assertion that Obama"rejected the Constitution" is false, as is clear from a clip from a September 6, 2001, interview on Chicago public radio station WBEZ that Limbaugh aired later in the show. In fact, while saying that the Constitution"reflected the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day," Obama asserted that the Constitution is"a remarkable political document that paved the way for where we are now."
In a preceding portion of the WBEZ program -- titled"Slavery and the Constitution" -- Obama explained that the"fundamental flaw" was that"[t]he Africans at the time were not considered as part of the polity that was of concern to the framers," and that the framers did not"see it as a moral problem involving persons of moral worth." Without airing that part of the WBEZ program, in which Obama explained his position that the Constitution reflected the"fundamental flaw of this country," Limbaugh criticized Obama for saying that the Constitution reflected a"fundamental flaw," while falsely accusing Obama of saying the flaw cannot"be fixed":"How is he going to -- I asked this earlier -- how is he gonna place his hand on the Bible and swear that he, Barack Hussein Obama, will uphold the Constitution that he feels reflects the nation's fundamental flaw. Fundamental. When he talks about a fundamental flaw, he's not talking about a flaw that can be fixed. Fundamental means that this document is, from the get-go, wrong."
But Obama's identification of a fundamental flaw reflected in the Constitution and" continu[ing] to this day" is hardly unique; several influential Republicans, including President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, have articulated a similar view:
- At a July 19 event at the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice said:"In our first Constitution, my ancestors were three-fifths of a man. What does that say about American democracy at its outset? I've said it's a great birth defect. And we have had to overcome a birth defect. And, like any birth defect, it continues to have an impact on us. It's why we have such a hard time talking about race, and dealing with race."
- During a July 10, 2003, interview on CNN's Larry King Live, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said:"It took us a while to recognize that we could not live our Constitution truly unless we eliminated slavery, and hundreds of thousands of young men fought a civil war to end slavery and then it took us a long time to get rid of the vestiges of slavery and we're still working on it to this very day."
- In July 8, 2003, remarks made at Goree Island in Senegal, Bush said that the"moral vision" of abolitionists" caused Americans to examine our hearts, to correct our Constitution, and to teach our children the dignity and equality of every person of every race." He added:"The racial bigotry fed by slavery did not end with slavery or with segregation. And many of the issues that still trouble America have roots in the bitter experience of other times."
Additionally, in an August 5, 2006, interview with C-SPAN's Brian Lamb, Chief Justice John Roberts said of the authors of the Constitution:"They never worked out what to do about slavery and just kind of shuttled that aside and decided we're not going to talk about that. And that taint in the Constitution, took a Civil War to remove." Later in the interview, he said that the Constitution's amendment process"did allow some fundamental flaws to be addressed like slavery -- abolished in the Thirteenth Amendment."
Limbaugh also falsely asserted that during a separate 2001 interview Obama did with WBEZ, Obama said that"if he can come up for a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts, he would do it." Obama actually said that while he could likely develop a legal theory for making economic changes through the courts, he did not think it would work"as a practical matter."
Limbaugh aired an audio clip from the January 18, 2001, interview on WBEZ in which Obama asserted,"You know, the court's just not very good at it, and politically, it's just -- it's very hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard. So, I mean, I think that, although, you can craft theoretical justifications for it legally -- you know, I think you can, any three of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts." Limbaugh then added,"Right, redistribution. This is how he views the Supreme Court. This is -- he will have the power to populate it with people who believe in these very things." But Limbaugh clipped Obama's comments; Obama actually said:"I think you can, any three of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts -- I think that, as a practical matter, our institutions just are poorly equipped to do it" [emphasis added]. Indeed, earlier in the interview, Obama stated:"You know, maybe I'm showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but, you know, I'm not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn't structured that way."
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (10-28-08)
Quinlan and his childhood friends from Lexington learned at an early age to be frugal. That's why they liked double-headers - two games for the price of one, about $1.
"We had to get our money's worth," he said. "We'd go and see batting practice and 18 innings of baseball, and hang around and look for autographs afterward."
Quinlan, 92, said today's financial crisis gives him a creepy sense of déjà vu. "I don't see any resolutions coming out of it," he said. "That's the scary part."
He and other New Englanders who lived through the decade-long economic morass of the 1930s vividly recall the bank failures, bread lines, and rampant unemployment that followed the stock market crash, best remembered for Black Tuesday, which occurred 79 years ago tomorrow - Oct. 29, 1929. And they question whether a nation accustomed to getting more of everything can now make do with less. Their fears echo the results of a CNN poll released last week in which four out of 10 respondents said they believe a depression is likely within the next year.
Name of source: AP/US Senate Historical Office
SOURCE: AP/US Senate Historical Office (10-27-08)
Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska: On Monday Stevens was found guilty on seven counts of making false statements on Senate financial documents. He was indicted on July 29 for lying about free home renovations and other gifts he received from a wealthy oil contractor.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas: On Feb. 11, 1994, a judge acquitted Hutchison after the district attorney refused to present his case. A state grand jury in Austin, Texas, had indicted Hutchison on charges of official misconduct and tampering with evidence while she was state Treasurer.
Former Sen. David Durenberger, R-Minn.: On Aug. 22, 1995, Durenberger pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor charges involving the abuse of his congressional expense account. In November of that year he was sentenced to one year of probation and a $1,000 fine. He was originally indicted in 1993 on two criminal charges of conspiring to file fraudulent claims for Senate reimbursement of $3,825 in lodging expenses, but that indictment was dismissed.
Former Sen. Harrison Williams Jr., D-N.J.: On May 1, 1981, Williams was convicted on nine counts of bribery and conspiracy charges in connection with the Abscam case. He was sentenced to three years in prison. He served 21 months.
Former Sen. Edward Gurney, R-Fla.: On Oct. 27, 1976, Gurney was acquitted of charges of bribery and lying to a grand jury.
Former Sen. Burton Wheeler, D-Mont.: In 1924 Wheeler was indicted by a grand jury on charges of serving in causes in which the United States was a party while he was a senator. He was later acquitted in court.
Former Sen. Truman Newberry, R-Mich.: On March 20, 1920, Newberry was convicted on conspiracy charges for spending $3,750 to secure his election to the Senate. He was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $10,000. His conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court on May 2, 1921.
Former Sen. John Hipple Mitchell, R-Ore.: In July 1905 Mitchell was convicted of taking money in return for expediting the land claims of clients before the United States Land Commission. He died while the case was being appealed.
Former Sen. Joseph Burton, R-Kan.: He was convicted on charges of taking compensation for services rendered before a federal department. The Supreme Court upheld the conviction on May 21, 1906. He served five months in prison.
Former Sen. Charles Dietrich, R-Neb.: On Jan. 8, 1904, he was acquitted of charges of accepting a bribe in exchange for procuring a postmastership and of entering into a contract with the government while serving as a senator.
Former Sen. John Smith, R-Ohio: A jury found him not guilty of charges of conspiring to commit treason with former Vice President Aaron Burr. Smith resigned from the Senate in 1808.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-28-08)
Mr Obama received protection from the Secret Service in early 2007, the earliest ever stage of an election for a presidential candidate, after threats to his life were received. The details were never released, but a bevy of burly, well-armed agents has been at his side ever since.
Among the African American community, the murder of Martin Luther King, gunned down in 1968, still haunts Mr Obama's candidacy.
The reforms that Dr King gave his life for - the end of segregation in the south in 1964 and improved legal protection for the black community - have seen a reduction in racist violence over the years.
But there are numerous neo-Facist groups across the United States that pursue an agenda of hatred for all immigrants, Jews and African Americans. The oldest such group, the Ku Klux Klan, remains in operation.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-28-08)
Hadijatou Mani, 24, was born to a mother who was herself a slave and thus immediately became the property of her mother's master, a practice still widespread in the West African nation, according to Anti-Slavery International.
Her "owner" then sold her on to another slave master for £250 when she was 12 years old, when she started her life as an unpaid worker in the man's house and fields.
She was also regularly beaten and sexually abused and bore the man, El Hadj Soulemayne Naroua, three children, one of whom died.
She was freed in 2005, and went on to marry another man, but was at one point jailed for bigamy by Niger's court system. Her former master argued at the time that, despite being freed, she was still automatically his wife and he started court proceedings against her for bigamy. She lost her appeal and served two months of a six month prison sentence.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-25-08)
Still, Barack Obama has defied all efforts to slow the momentum of his campaign. When a family illness removed him to Hawaii, Michelle, his smart and sassy wife, effortlessly took over.
But this past week a new kind of headline has followed her: the question of her slave ancestry. This ought not to be surprising – most modern African-Americans are descended from those armies of Africans transported across the Atlantic in slave ships. But what has added spice to the debate is the link between Michelle Obama's ancestral plantation in South Carolina, and the family who later owned the property. One of their descendants is Anderson Cooper, CNN's star anchorman. It's the perfect media tie-up – made, not in heaven, but in slavery.
Slavery and its toxic by-product, racism, have not figured overtly in this presidential campaign. But, like the ghost at the banquet, they lurk in the background as the much-discussed "Bradley Effect", a reference to Tom Bradley, an African-American who lost the 1982 race for governor of California despite being ahead in polls.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-25-08)
He preserved the poppy for 66 years, pressed between the pages of his Army pay book, under a note which read: "Poppy picked by Alf Heywood, while in action, with the 2nd Bln Lanc's Fus, 78th Div, 1st Army, North Africa 1942."
The great-grandfather, from Middleton, Greater Manchester, showed the poppy to visiting soldiers from the 207 Field Hospital, Greater Manchester, who were at an Army base in Strensall, York, to launch the Poppy Appeal yesterday.
Recalling the moment he found the flower, he said: "We were patrolling through this field in North Africa. It was full of poppies. I picked one and put it in my book and thought nothing of it. I only found it again a couple of years ago."
Name of source: http://www.jacksonville.com
SOURCE: http://www.jacksonville.com (10-21-08)
The Duval County School Board decided Tuesday to vote on the issue at its monthly board meeting on Nov. 3. The meeting is open to the public and will have a public comment period.
"The board will discuss it and vote on it - the same night," Chairwoman Betty Burney said. "It's going to put it to rest completely."
Burney said the board spoke several months ago about putting the issue on an agenda, and then again during its Oct. 10 workshop, before agreeing on Tuesday to the Nov. 3 date.
The controversial push to drop the school's name began nearly two years ago and although board members wouldn't say Tuesday how they planned to vote, they did say it was time to settle the matter.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (10-28-08)
Researchers led by Thomas Levy of the University of California, San Diego, and Mohammad Najjar of Jordan's Friends of Archaeology, discovered a copper-production center in southern Jordan that dates to the 10th century B.C., the time of Solomon's reign.
The discovery occurred at Khirbat en-Nahas, which means "ruins of copper" in Arabic.
SOURCE: AP (10-27-08)
In court records unsealed Monday, federal agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target a predominantly African-American high school by two neo-Nazi skinheads. Agents said the skinheads did not identify the school by name.
Jim Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the Nashville field office for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the two men planned to shoot 88 black people and decapitate another 14. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.
The men also sought to go on a national killing spree, with Obama as its final target, Cavanaugh told The Associated Press.
SOURCE: AP (10-24-08)
The guidelines adopted Thursday by the state Council to Establish Academic Standards now go to the state Board of Education, which has final say.
Joe Enge, a former history teacher and Carson City school board member, argued that the new standards favor a thematic, big-ideas approach to history rather than teaching the subject chronologically. He said the new approach is "like constructing a roof without any walls or a foundation. It just doesn't work."
SOURCE: AP (10-25-08)
A battle re-enactment last month pushed realism to the limits: a retired New York City police officer portraying a Union soldier for a documentary film was shot in the shoulder, possibly by a Confederate re-enactor.
The shooting sent the 73-year-old to the hospital and left the Isle of Wight Sheriff's Office in rural southeastern Virginia with a Civil War-style CSI case. Investigators used film to piece together what happened and have narrowed a suspect to one re-enactor.
The Sept. 27 injury also sent ripples through the tight-knit re-enactment community, which can be understandably sensitive to public perceptions of thousands of enthusiasts toting swords and firearms in roughhewn uniforms, often on horseback.
"We were sort of freaked out because this hits the hobby hard," said Ed Hooper, editor of Camp Chase Gazette, a monthly magazine aimed at re-enactors. "It is so out of the norm."
The shooting of Thomas R. Lord Sr. in a Suffolk park violated the cardinal rule of re-enacting — no loaded weapons. Black powder brings the flash and bang to the pageantry, but even that primitive explosive is used gingerly.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (10-27-08)
W. Michael Blumenthal, the former United States treasury secretary who now is the director of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, was 12 then, but still has sharp memories of the night of Nov. 9, 1938. Looters destroyed his parents’ store in Berlin, and his father was among the 30,000 men from 16 to 60 rounded up and sent to concentration camps that night.
“The ninth of November is a symbol because it was the beginning of the end,” Mr. Blumenthal said of Kristallnacht, a Nazi euphemism meaning “night of broken glass.”
Curiously, though, physical evidence of the state-sponsored pogrom has always been extremely scarce. The Jewish Museum, for example, holds many letters describing the night. But the only other related object in its collection is a 38-second black-and-white film of a synagogue burning in Bielefeld, a university town in western Germany.
Last week, however, an Israeli researcher reported finding a trove of such evidence — piles of looted Jewish possessions — in this town 30 miles north of Berlin.
Name of source: Education Week
SOURCE: Education Week (10-28-08)
The project undertaken in Chicago as part of a high-profile national initiative reflected, however, mainstream thinking among education reformers. The Annenberg Foundation's $49.2 million grant in the city focused on three priorities: encouraging collaboration among teachers and better professional development; reducing the isolation between schools and between schools and their communities; and reducing school size to improve learning.
The other eight urban projects that received money from the foundation under the Annenberg Challenge initiative, launched in 1993 by the philanthropist Walter H. Annenberg, pursued similar aims.
And the creation of small schools has continued as a reform strategy nationwide, most recently with major funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The proposal that won Chicago the grant, which the Annenberg Foundation required be matched two-to-one by local donations, was written by William C. Ayers and Anne C. Hallett. Mr. Ayers, a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has become a prime target for Sen. Obama's foes, who point to Mr. Ayers' membership in the radical Weather Underground in the 1960s and 1970s and assert that the Democratic presidential nominee has been keeping company with an unrepentant domestic terrorist.
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (10-28-08)
42. James Buchanan
A poll of American historians recently selected Buchanan’s failure to prevent the American Civil War as the greatest single mistake made by any president and our panel agree that he was the worst ever President.
Despite being a northern man, Buchanan had strongly southern principles and he struggled to maintain the fragile peace as the southern states agitated for more freedom.He denied the legal right of states to secede from the Union but at the same time he insisted that the federal government was not legally able to prevent them.
By the time he left the White House his Democratic Party had split in two, seven slave states had rebelled and formed the Confederacy and the country was embroiled in the American Civil War....
Who's the greatest? The Times US presidential rankings
SOURCE: Times (UK) (10-28-08)
A study of children born during the Dutch “Hunger Winter”, a famine that struck at the end of the Second World War, has found that some still bear its lasting genetic legacy more than six decades on.
The results offer some of the best evidence yet for the importance of epigenetics, a process by which environmental factors can change the way genes are switched on and off in the body.
Epigenetics suggests that the genome can “remember” certain influences to which it is exposed, particularly early in life, which cause modifications to DNA that in turn alter the way it operates. On occasion, these changes may even be passed on from one generation to the next.
Name of source: Daily Telegraph (UK)
But Harry Jenkins, speaker of the house, has questioned the relevance of the prayer in an increasingly secular and religiously diverse nation.
He said MPs and members of the public had repeatedly raised the issue with him since he took office in February.
"One of the most controversial aspects of the parliamentary day ... is the prayer," he told the Herald-Sun newspaper. "On the one end of the spectrum is: Why have a prayer?" Mr Jenkins said an indigenous recognition would be in line with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's historic apology to Aboriginal Australians in January for injustices suffered during 220 years of white settlement.
Referring to the dire financial crisis of the 1930`s, which Hitler blamed on the Jews, he added;"At the time the search for scapegoats focused on the Jews; today it is the managers.
His comments immediately sparked an uproar. The secretary general of the central Jewish council of Germany, Stephan Kramer, called on Mr Sinn to apologise "unconditionally."
A caller on a popular radio talk show expressed the general incredulity at the comments: "Criticism of a few suits has, to the best of my knowledge, not led to them being rounded up and gassed."
Located in the province of Alicante, the town is a popular location for families and young people seeking a high concentration of bars and clubs.
Each year 1.5million Britons visit the Costa Blanca resort.
Professor Philippe Duhamel, a geography expert from the University of Angers in France, said: "Benidorm is the Dubai of Europe. It is unique in Europe, is known worldwide and is a remarkable site for what is understood by mass tourism.
"For many years everybody spoke badly of Benidorm, but with time it has gained value, as has happened in other examples of architectural world heritage."
Prof Duhamel told the 12th International Benidorm Tourism Forum that the resort's "unique collection of skyscrapers" were of particular cultural importance.
These include the Gran Bali Hotel, built in 2002, which is 52 storey and 186m high and the Torre Intempo – which is currently being built and will be 55 storeys.
Locals have nicknamed the town 'Beniyork' for its proliferation of high-rise buildings.
Known as Mexico's Cueva de los Cristales (Cave of Crystals) it contains some of the world's largest known natural crystals–translucent beams of gypsum as long as 36 feet and softer than human nails.
The crystals thrived in the cave's extremely rare and stable natural environment. Temperatures hovered consistently around a steamy 136 degrees Fahrenheit (58 degrees Celsius), and the cave was filled with mineral-rich water that drove the crystals' growth.
However, if a human was exposed to the scorching temperatures of the cavern, it could kill him after just 15 minutes of exposure.
The cave's deadly heat comes from the depths of the Earth. Naica sits on a set of fault lines. A magma chamber a mile-and-a-half down warms the water that flows throughout the mountain
Modern-day mining operations exposed the natural wonder by pumping water out of the 30-by-90-foot cave, which was found in 2000 near the town of Delicias.
Naica is one of the most productive lead mines in the world, and a huge supplier of the world's silver as well.
Now the mining company has been asked to preserve the caves.
The death head ring itself sold for £2,200 and a selection of Nazi daggers and swords fetched hammer prices of £200 to £800. A Nazi pin badge made as much as £180.
Mr Humbert said they also sold an original 8ft by 4ft Nazi war ensign from Second World War German pocket battleship The Admiral Graf Spee, for £550.
He said that Nazi items had poured into the auction house following a recent sale which included a range of Nazi goods recovered from a council house clearance.
He said that the popularity of the collection had surprised him.
"I was quite surprised, especially as some items sold to within the room. That's very rare, usually people bid over the phone for these kind of things.
"Some people say it's disgusting to sell this stuff, but my view is that they are all a part of our recent social history and they belong in museums.
"A lot of the people at our sales are private collectors interested in preserving the history and I don't see any harm in that."
It belonged to Himmler, who one of the most feared men in Nazi Germany, but was given away to his friend Herman Barth - who was responsible for the SS Education School in Berlin during the Second World War.
Barth once left the knife behind at the SS Headquarters after a hunting trip and Himmler returned it with a letter which read "...enclosed the hunting knife of the Reichsfuhrer which has been forgotten during your last visit".
It continued: "Because this knife was a personal present by the Reichsfuhrer to you, I take the liberty to send you the knife by a messenger.
"Again I'd like to thank you in the name of the whole Gau Baden for your visit."
Himmler was born in Munich, the son of a Roman Catholic teacher. He was old enough to serve in the German Army in 1918 and saw out the last days of World War One.
After the war, he became a salesman for a fertiliser company.
He joined the Nazi Party in 1923 and quickly developed a reputation for thoroughness and efficiency.
After January 1933, the SS was given more tasks. Its primary function was to assist in the rounding up of threats to the Nazi Party.
In April 1934, Himmler was appointed head of the Gestapo, the Nazi's secret police.
Himmler was in charge of Germany's concentration camps and eastern Europe's death camps.
It was Himmler who made sure that the trains ran on time and that each camp was run on business lines so that they paid for themselves and made profits where possible. letter, is to go under the hammer in Ludlow, Shropshire on November 6.
"There are many fake items of Third Reich memorabilia which appear on the market but this one is accompanied by a typed letter on the stationery of the Deutsche Arbeitsfront in Baden, addressed to SS Standartenfuhrer Barth in Berlin," said Richard Westwood Brookes, of Mullocks auctioneers.
"Hermann Barth was a close friend of both Himmler and Goering.
"He seems to have survived the war and died in 2005.
"We have seen references to other high status Nazis items coming from his personal possessions.
On joining the Prince George as a 13 year old midshipman in 1779, William is advised: "You are now launching into a scene of life where you either prove an Honour, or a Disgrace to your Family; it would be very unwelcoming of the love I have for my children, if I did not at this serious moment give you advice [on] how to conduct yourself...
"Though when at home a Prince, on board of the Prince George you are only a Boy learning the Naval profession; but the Prince so far accompanies you that what other Boys do, you must not:
It must never be out of your thoughts that more Obedience is necessary from You to Your superiors in the Navy, more politeness to your Equals, and more good nature to your Inferiors than from those who have not been told that these are essential for a Gentleman."
King George, an affectionate father to his 15 children, arranged for the Prince's early introduction to navy life largely to remove him from the influence of his extravagant elder brother, the future King George IV.
Fatherly advice in the 22 letters which have surfaced at auction after descending through the family of Prince William's personal secretary, Sir John Barton, includes injunctions to strive harder, at first softened by expressions of pleasure at the prince's improved conduct and the hopeful anticipation of seeing his children "turn out an ornament to their Country and a Comfort to their Parents."
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (10-28-08)
The vast copper mine lies in an arid valley in modern-day Jordan and was created in the 10th century BC - around the time Solomon is believed to have ruled over the ancient Hebrews.
The mines are enormous and would have generated a huge income for the king, who is famed for bringing extraordinary wealth and stability to the newly-united kingdom
of Israel and Judah.
The announcement will today reopen the debate about how much of the Old Testament is myth and how much is history.
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (10-25-08)
In a programme for the Belgian series 'Plat Prefere', or 'Favourite Dish', cook Jeroen Meus goes to Hitler's haunts in southern Germany to prepare trout with butter sauce, 'a succulent festive meal'. It is due to be shown next week.
Criticism was led yesterday by Michael Freilich, the editor of Joods Actueel magazine, who said it was worrying that Hitler is being turned into a banal figure, thus sending 'the wrong signal' to a younger generation.
Name of source: Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (10-28-08)
He apologized to them, but was nevertheless sacked without notice by the Vienna transport company which called his behavior "unspeakable." The Vienna state prosecutor's office said it may take legal action against him and was checking whether he broke a law banning "National Socialist re-engagement."
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (10-28-08)
Martin Luther himself noted, in two after-dinner speeches (Nos. 1681 and 3232b), that Protestantism was born in the sewer: "The spiritus sanctus imparted this creation to me on dis cloaca."
Nevertheless, historians have warmed to Luther's own admission, arguing that while the word "cloaca" could be interpreted as "lavatory," perhaps it was a more general term for "this world."
But the truth is truly as distasteful as the master once stated. Excavations in the Wittenberg Monastery have uncovered not only the remains of Luther's old study, but "a small pit latrine with a lid" in the cellar below, as archeologist Mirko Gutjahr reports.
This latest finding is the result of a major archeological dig that began in 2003 and ended a few weeks ago with a final analysis of the site. Architectural historians, ceramics specialists and zoologists have discovered the kitchen waste of the man whose theories changed the world, and who proudly referred to himself as the "doctor above all doctors in the entire papacy."
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (10-28-08)
Name of source: History Today
SOURCE: History Today (10-28-08)
These were the words last night of British politician Lord Owen, formerly Foreign Secretary David Llewellyn Owen of the Labour and Social Democratic parties. At a talk based on his new book, In Sickness & In Power: illness in heads of government during the last 100 years, Owen went on to explain:
"Kennedy had been receiving daily injections of amphetamines for a month before a key meeting with Khrushchev [in Vienna in 1961]... He received an intravenous injection only 45 minutes before the meeting itself which, the President himself admitted, was a disaster."
Doctors gradually gained control over Kennedy's level of drug-taking. He went on to handle the Cuban Missile Crisis with competence and firmness. Owen's point, however, is the then president's debilitated physical and mental condition could easily have led to nuclear devastation. Indeed, had records been made public, he may never have been elected.
Name of source: KOMO
SOURCE: KOMO (10-27-08)
So, when he retired five years ago he started to research Civil War veterans buried here at Evergreen Cemetery.
He easily points out markers for those who fought in the war, and other local historical figures such as Emma Yule, the first school principal in Everett.
Then a fellow researcher gave him a name: Rachel Wolfley.
"I had a name, I looked it up and I found her buried here," Shipman said. The simple grave marker is spelled incorrectly as "Walfley."
"How that happened nobody knows," Shipman said of the spelling error. "But in 1911, this is just another person."
But now, nearly a century later, she's not just another person. And it's not her name that makes her famous -- it's that of her great-great-great grandson.
"I pulled up Barack Obama's genealogy and there she was, floating around in the sixth generation back," Shipman said.
Wolfley lived in Everett for four years with her daughter and son-in-law and, in the nearly 100 years since her burial, the concrete marker has been here, tucked away and unnoticed.
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (10-26-08)
Conventional wisdom lies in tatters after a race which shattered glass ceilings of race and gender, obliterated fundraising records and stretched the electoral calendar to hitherto undreamed of lengths.
When voters write the final chapter of a compelling political year on November 4, either Barack Obama will become the first black president or John McCain will be set to be the oldest, at 72, inaugurated for a first term.
Vast new legions of young voters are set to be drawn into the political process for the first time -- partly attracted by Obama's generational political shift, and the electoral map is broader than for many years.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (10-24-08)
The boat is a throwback to the 1800s and the era of Mark Twain, when thousands of steam-driven paddlewheelers plied the Mississippi River system.
The Delta Queen is the last of those operating as overnight passenger boats on U.S. waterways, giving riders a 19th-century experience on cruises complete with the carnival-like sounds of the steam-whistle calliope.
But it will dock permanently if Congress doesn't grant a safety exemption.
It left Cincinnati on Tuesday on a 10-day cruise down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to Memphis, Tennessee, where it will unload what could be its final passengers.
Name of source: FoxNews.com
SOURCE: FoxNews.com (10-27-08)
Speaking to 1,500 at Eastern Carolina University, Biden compared the negative campaign against Obama to those waged against great presidents from Jefferson to JFK.
"Let me share a little bit of history with you," said the Delaware senator. "The defenders of the status quo, have always tried to tear down those who would change our nation for the better. They said Thomas Jefferson wasn't a real Christian. That was the essence of the campaign against him. Well does that sound familiar?"
"They said Abraham Lincoln, they said he wanted to take away individual rights. Ladies and gentlemen, they said Franklin Roosevelt would destroy the American system of life. Sound familiar?"
"Ladies and gentlemen, new ideas and new leaders are often met with new attacks and almost always negative attacks built on lies which are the last resort of those who have nothing new to offer. And that's where we find ourselves."
Name of source: Discovery Channel News
SOURCE: Discovery Channel News (10-24-08)
Dating from between 5920 to 5730 B.C., the ancient cereal consisted of parboiled bulgur wheat that Early Neolithic Bulgarians could refresh in minutes with hot water.
"People boiled the grain, dried it, removed the bran and ground it into coarse particles," lead author Soultana-Maria Valamoti told Discovery News.
"In this form, the cereal grain can be stored throughout the year and consumed easily, even without boiling, by merely soaking in hot water," added Valamoti, an assistant professor of archaeology at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece.
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (10-26-08)
So when Chancellor Angela Merkel went on television recently to tell Germans that their bank accounts were safe, Heinz, who at 68 still remembers the rows of canned food that his mother hoarded in the attic, decided he would rather be safe than sorry.
He converted another chunk of his savings into gold and stocked up on a six-month supply of rice, sugar, flour and a special brand of milk powder that lasts for half a century.
Heinz may be an extreme example, but he is not alone among Europeans who are looking for ways to protect themselves in the face of a financial storm that - at least so far - has affected them much less directly than it has many Americans. Indeed, his reaction reflects the history of a Continent that has weathered wars, revolutions and financial crises over the centuries, burnishing national convictions that are very different from those in the United States.
In America, wealth and retirement savings are much more tied up in the stock market, with a majority of people owning at least a modest stake. By contrast, only 13 percent of German households and 24 percent of French ones own shares, according to 2006 figures compiled by the European Savings Institute. Pensions are still largely state-driven, not 401(k)-style investment accounts. Even for the British, who look more like Americans in terms of their credit card debt and mortgage exposure, the share of those who have invested in the market is only about 20 percent.
But Europeans know that the situation can get a lot worse.
Name of source: L.A. Times
SOURCE: L.A. Times (10-27-08)
The existence of Solomon has been questioned by some scholars over the last two decades because of the paucity of archaeological evidence supporting the biblical record and the belief that there were no complex societies in Israel or Edom capable of building fortresses, monuments and other complex public works, such as large mines, in the 10th century BC.
"This is the most hotly debated period in biblical archaeology today," said archaeologist Thomas E. Levy of UC San Diego, who reported the new radiocarbon dates for the copper smelting operation in modern-day Jordan in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"We're not answering the question" of whether Solomon existed, he said. "But we've brought empirical data that shows we have to reevaluate those questions. We're back in the ballgame now."...
Critics, however, charge that Levy is overinterpreting the importance of the radiocarbon dates...
Name of source: Yahoo
SOURCE: Yahoo (10-26-08)
By analyzing flints at an archaeological site on the bank of the river Jordan, researchers at Israel's Hebrew University discovered that early civilizations had learned to light fires, a turning point that allowed them to venture into unknown lands.
A previous study of the site published in 2004 showed that man had been able to control fire -- for example transferring it by means of burning branches -- in that early time period. But researchers now say that ancient man could actually start fire, rather than relying on natural phenomena such as lightning.
That independence helped promoted migration northward, they say.
SOURCE: Yahoo (10-23-08)
A Culture Ministry statement said the discovery"provides invaluable, unique information" on late Neolithic domestic architecture and household organization."This is a very rare case where the remains have stayed undisturbed by farming or other external intervention for about 6,000 years," the ministry statement said."The household goods are in excellent condition."
Name of source: Bernard Cornwell in the Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Bernard Cornwell in the Daily Mail (UK) (10-27-08)
Laurence Olivier's film of Shakespeare's Henry V shows French knights charging on horseback, but very few men were mounted at Agincourt.
The French came on foot and the battle was reduced to men hitting other armoured men with hammers, maces and axes.
A sword would not penetrate armour and did not have the weight to knock a man off his feet, but a poleaxe (a long-handled axe or hammer, topped with a fearsome spike) would fell him fast, and then it was easy to raise the victim's visor and slide a knife through an eye. That was how hundreds of men died; their last sight on earth a dagger's point.
It is not a tale of chivalry, but rather of armoured men hacking at each other to break limbs and crush skulls. At the battle's height, when Henry V expected an attack on his rear that never materialised, he ordered the newly captured French prisoners to be killed. They were murdered.
Over the weekend, during a conference at the Medieval History Museum in Agincourt, French academics met to declare that English soldiers acted like 'war criminals' during the battle, setting fire to prisoners and killing French noblemen who had surrendered. The French 'were met with barbarism by the English', said the museum's director Christophe Gilliot...
Name of source: Sky News
SOURCE: Sky News (10-27-08)
Charles Jay of the Boston Tea Party (BTP) is a former boxing manager now punching way below his weight with another shot at the White House.
In 2004 he and Marilyn Chambers, star of epics such as 'Still Insatiable', were on the ballot in the state of Utah. This year he aims to triple his vote and stand in three states. Way to go Jay!
My excitement at seeing this rare side of alternative America is tempered only by the fact that in some respects the BTP is a serious political party. Sort of. I was hoping for a campaign platform of 'If elected President I will ban all imports from the British and demand reparations for the burning of the White House. Alas their website talks of 'reducing the size, scope and power of government'
Mind you the party has over 500 friends on Facebook. Which is 499 more than me.
Of course the BTP doesn't take itself too seriously, certainly less seriously than the 'No Nothing Party' of the 19th century which felt that dealings with the outside world were a bad idea. America has a long tradition of off the scale wackiness.
Name of source: Bloomberg News
SOURCE: Bloomberg News (10-27-08)
Whoever wins will come under intense, immediate pressure -- unmatched since Franklin D. Roosevelt's election in 1932 -- to begin participating in policy making over which he'll have no formal control for 2 1/2 months. Within days, the winner's economic advisers may be heading to the U.S. Treasury to help tackle the nation's worst financial crisis in more than seven decades.
``The situation is so serious that he has to be involved,'' says James Thurber, director of the center for congressional and presidential studies at American University in Washington. ``But he has to be very careful because he's not the president and won't be the president until he's sworn in.''
President George W. Bush's Treasury officials are encouraging the candidates to waste no time getting a grasp of the $700 billion financial-rescue effort, even saying their aides can work out of the department, according to people who have spoken with the department.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (10-25-08)
An archaeology dig and medieval re-enactments are being put on in Brymbo to encourage people to think about their local heritage. Ideas for history projects for the next three years are being sought.
Neil Oliver, the Scottish historian and archaeologist who also presents the BBC TV series Coast, is launching the event. Karen Harris from organiser Northern Marches Cymru said:"We want people's ideas about how to raise the profile of Wrexham's rural heritage."
Ms Harris described it as a"unique opportunity to become involved in this new community heritage project."These local histories can then be preserved and enjoyed by future generations, as well as providing potential tourism opportunities."
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (10-24-08)
"The release of these additional grand jury records marks an important victory for historians, archivists, and the American people," stated Meredith Fuchs, the National Security Archive's General Counsel. "It adds to the historical record on the most important espionage trial in American history, which was a defining moment of the Cold War, and helps us better understand how our society responded to the threat of Soviet espionage."
The government, through the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, had opposed the release of the Brothman/Moskowitz materials. On August 26, 2008, however, Judge Alvin Hellerstein decided they were of "substantial historical importance" and ordered them released. The government declined to appeal that ruling.
"The disclosure of the Rosenberg and Brothman/Moskowitz transcripts bears witness to the idea that historically valuable grand jury records should, after a reasonable period of time, be made public," explained David Vladeck, counsel for the Archive and the historical associations that supported the petition and a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center. "Keeping our nation's history secret serves no legitimate purpose. These records were too important to be left to gather dust on the shelves of the National Archives. Now that they have been released, historians and the American people can come to grips with their own history."
Name of source: Bruce Reed in Slate
SOURCE: Bruce Reed in Slate (10-20-08)
But reaching 60 seats won't suspend the laws of political gravity for Senate Democrats, nor will keeping Democrats in the 50s do much to ease Senate Republicans' pain. Here's why:
On tough votes, the real magic number is 50. To get around the 60-vote hurdle, the Senate long ago established the budget reconciliation process, a fast-track procedure that cannot be filibustered and requires a simple majority. Not every matter is germane under reconciliation, but the questions with the greatest fiscal consequence are.
On the most contentious economic debates of the past two decades, the pass-fail line has been 50, not 60. In 1993, Vice President Al Gore cast the deciding vote to squeak Bill Clinton's pivotal economic package through the Senate, 51-50. Senate Republicans used reconciliation to pass the Bush tax cuts.
For an Obama administration, the real benefit of getting to 60 is that on tough economic votes, it would be that much easier to get to 50. Even with 57 Senate Democrats in 1993, it took all of Clinton's powers of persuasion and a last-minute plea to then-Sen. Bob Kerrey to pass his economic plan by a single vote.
Name of source: Economist
SOURCE: Economist (10-23-08)
The ignorance is unevenly spread. Young western Germans know more of East Germany’s history. In Bavaria just 39% of schoolchildren had “little or very little” knowledge; in Brandenburg 72% were ill-informed. A third of eastern German students thought that Konrad Adenauer and Willy Brandt, two western giants, actually governed the east. The same proportion judge West Germany’s political system to have been the better; two-thirds of westerners do. Such differences persist even among children of western and eastern parents who attend the same Berlin schools.
Name of source: Belfast Telegraph
SOURCE: Belfast Telegraph (10-25-08)
Hitherto secret documents which are now in the hands of The Independent – written by Saddam Hussein's brutal security services for Saddam's eyes only – state that he had been "colluding" with the Americans and, with the help of the Egyptians and Kuwaitis, was trying to find evidence linking Saddam and al-Qa'ida.
President George Bush was to use claims of a relationship with al-Qa'ida as one of the reasons for his 2003 invasion, along with Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction. Western reports were to dismiss Iraq's claim that Abu Nidal committed suicide in August 2002, suggesting that Saddam's own security services murdered him when his presence became an embarrassment for them. The secret papers from Iraq suggest that he did indeed kill himself after confessing to the "treacherous crime of spying against this righteous country".
Name of source: Barry Goldwater Jr. at Huffington Post
SOURCE: Barry Goldwater Jr. at Huffington Post (10-24-08)
The Goldwater name carries with it the standard of modern conservatism and has shaped the Republican Party for decades, waving proudly and with the dedication my father brought to everything in his life. However, that standard recently has been hijacked and used without any grounding in reality.
Being Barry Goldwater's son and living in Arizona, one would assume that I would be voting for our state's senator, John McCain. Well, I am. The decision truly is a no-brainer.
In a previous article (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cc-goldwater/why-mccain-has-lost-our-v_b_137150.html), my niece CC implied that the Goldwater family would support Obama. I don't resent my niece's beliefs, she is after all entitled to the freedom of choice we all enjoy as Americans -- however, I do resent what she has done. When she speaks, she should speak for herself and not imply that she is a representative or spokesperson for the Goldwater name. When I speak, I represent my own thinking and never imply I speak for anyone else.
Before one can even attempt to speak for the reputation and beliefs of the Goldwater family, it might be helpful to re-read the Conscience of a Conservative that Barry Goldwater, Sr. wrote and be reminded of the principles of what it means to be a Goldwater conservative. My niece owes the family that at least if she thinks her public endorsement is so important.
Further, that endorsement should at least contain the specifics of what she thinks my father would find so appealing about Obama. Is it his tax policy on small businesses that will increase taxation for over four million people or half of the top one percent of income earners? Is it his anti wealth policy when he advocates increasing taxes and doing away with the capital gains tax? Is it his universal health care program? Who will pay for that? Is it his so-called education program that calls for free college education and offers more federal intrusion into our education process? Or maybe it is just his lack of foreign policy experience?
When anyone makes this kind of leap they at least owe specifics and not generalizations. It's this kind of blind reasoning that is helping liberal Democrats take over our government with a veto-proof Congress and allowing free control of the executive and legislative branches. I have to ask CC if she thinks her grandfather would want this. Absolutely not. He would view this as dangerous and I'm surprised she doesn't.
Barry Goldwater was one of the icons of the Republican Party and, yes, would be unhappy with many of the recent failures from within. I speak about this all the time and how mad I am that Republicans have lost their way. However, we do not find our way back by sheepishly going over to the other side. My father worked to rebuild the party in 1964 by taking it back from the liberal Establishment. He would work to do the same thing today.
CC does not help the Republican Party nor the cause by minimizing John McCain. McCain may not be everything she wants in a President or hold her exact values, but she should work within the party to promote the ideals Barry Goldwater stood for. Endorsing one of the most liberal Senators in Congress is certainly not the way to help fix any problem she sees; instead it is a betrayal of everything my father advocated government should be. My father would never endorse a candidate or a party that wanted to grow government, raise taxes or in any way step on our freedoms.
Together the Goldwaters, including CC, should work together to redefine the Republican Party and make it the model Barry Goldwater Sr. stood for.