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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: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-25-08)
The general's coffin was then taken to a laboratory to undergo tests as part of a criminal investigation to determine whether General Sikorski, who was prime minister of Poland's government in exile and commander of its armed forces, was murdered or died when his RAF Liberator crashed into the sea seconds after taking off from Gibraltar in July 1943.
Prosecutors from Poland's Institute of National Remembrance, the body charged with investigating Poland's wartime and communist past, are especially keen to examine the skull to see if the general was shot dead before the aircraft plunged into the sea, killing all on board except the Czech pilot.
Although a British inquiry attributed the crash to a technical malfunction, speculation has abounded that the general was assassinated, with various conspiracy theories accusing Stalin, Churchill or even fellow Poles of his murder.
The giant complex of hotels in the Prora resort on the country's biggest island in the Baltic Sea was designed to house 20,000 tourists as part of Adolf Hitler's Strength Through Joy program to keep the German nation healthy. The construction of the mammoth project began in 1936 but was abandoned in 1943 due to the war, and the five six-storey concrete buildings on Ruegen's beautiful sandy beach were never opened to the public.
Prince Charles met a member of the "Kinder" - now elderly citizens - and their families over tea at a reunion in north west London, to mark the 70th anniversary of the decision to allow thousands of children into Britain from Nazi-occupied Europe.
In a short speech to the gathering, he told how his paternal grandmother, Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece, took in a Jewish family when she was living in Athens.
He said: "That's one reason why I wanted to be with you today because my grandmother would have approved. She was a very remarkable lady."
He said he was "incredibly proud a member of my family did the right thing.
Research published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology suggests that brown rats, the biggest and most common rats in Europe, may now be carrying the bacteria.
Since the early 1990s, more than 20 species of Bartonella bacteria have been discovered. They are considered to be emerging pathogens, because they can cause serious illness in humans worldwide from heart disease to infection of the spleen and nervous system.
"A new species called Bartonella rochalimae was recently discovered in a patient with an enlarged spleen who had travelled to South America," said Professor Chao-Chin Chang from the National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-22-08)
The 73-mile long Roman wall, built in AD 122 to defend the Roman Empire from hostile Celtic tribes, created a thriving economy to serve the occupying army, according to aerial surveys.
Farmers, traders, craftsmen, labourers and prostitutes seized the occasion to make money from the presence of hundreds of Roman troops.
However, Taro Aso, Japan's prime minister, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, have agreed to produce "concrete" measures to resolve the six-decade dispute in a bid to normalise relations in the region.
During a private meeting during the Asia-Pacific leader summit in Lima, Mr Aso told his Russian counterpart: "We have to define the border otherwise this problem will remain an element of destabilisation in the region.
"I know you're a lawyer so you know about this. I would like to normalise Russian-Japanese relations."
As part of the drive to resolve the territorial issue, "intensive, political dialogue" will take place between leaders while Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will visit Japan early next year.
It was at the end of the Second World War that Russia's Red Army seized control of the four islands jutting out of the Pacific off Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido.
The secret order reads: "Rendezvous No 99 - Twelve leagues due West from Cape Corse. To be added to the list of Rendezvous."
It is addressed from "Victory at the Madalina Islands, 13th February 1804" and sent to Sir Richard Bickerton bart, Rear Admiral of the White" aboard HMS Kent.
Nelson set up a supply base at what are now called the Maddelena Islands off the Northern tip of Sardinia after the Napoleonic war resumed in May 1803.
His secret order is significant because it shows how he was operating an open blockade of the French.
The four-storey pagoda, which is almost four feet high and one-and-a-half feet wide, is thought by archaeologists to be one of the 84,000 pagodas commissioned by Ashoka the Great in the second century BC to house the remains of the Buddha.
Ashoka, one of India's greatest emperors, converted to Buddhism after waging a bloody war in the eastern state of Orissa. He is widely credited with spreading Buddhism throughout Asia, and across his kingdom, which stretched from Pakistan through Afghanistan and into Iran.
The pagoda found in Nanjing is crafted from wood, gilded with silver and inlaid with gold, coloured glass and amber. It matches a description of another of Ashoka's pagodas which used to be housed underneath the Changgan Buddhist temple in Nanjing.
A description of the contents of the pagoda was also found: a gold coffin bearing part of Buddha's skull inside a silver box. Although scans have confirmed that there are two small metal boxes inside the pagoda, experts have not yet peered inside. The pagoda is currently on display in the museum.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-22-08)
Mr Trushyochkin served in a mixed Soviet-North Vietnamese missile unit during the Vietnam war, which was guarding the bridge near a power plant under attack from a 20-strong strike force whose pilots included Mr McCain. The Soviet-made missile blew off a part of one wing of Mr McCain's plane and he ejected upside down moments before it crashed - suffering injuries which have plagued him ever since.
"This sincere Cold War hero is now living in St Petersburg and thinks he simply did his duty," the St Petersburg Communist group declared. "But in reality he defended the USSR and Russia, helping to guard socialism in Vietnam and teach a lesson to the future Number One enemy of Russia."
In an interview last week Mr Trushyochkin told a tabloid newspaper that he had been responsible for firing the missile, and had glimpsed Mr McCain soon after he was pulled from the lake in which he landed. "His hands were covered in blood and he was in a state of shock," he said.
The American, who failed in his attempted to run for the White House earlier this month, spent more than five years as a prisoner of war, and Mr Trushyochkin said he was glad he lost to Barack Obama.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-21-08)
The Neolithic-era finds were discovered during work to lay a gas pipe near the village of Vassili in Thessaly, 170 miles north of Athens.
Thessaly's fertile plains attracted some of Greece's first farmers, and the ruins of more than 300 settlements - including what at the time would have been major towns - have been discovered in the area.
"Thessaly had a very dense pattern of settlement during Neolithic times," said Giorgos Toufexis, the archaeologist who headed the excavation at Vassili.
Name of source: BBC
The party also wants parents to buy cribs, clothes and food with the money.
The cash incentive is available in five areas of southern Italy and is designed to help the region's low birth rate.
Together the names Benito and Rachele mean only one thing to Italians - they signify their former dictator and his wife.
It commemorates some of many thousands of people who lost their lives when the ruling shoguns were attempting to wipe out Christianity in Japan.
Today, fewer than 1% of Japanese people identify themselves as Christian; most follow Buddhist or Shinto faith.
About 30,000 people, including a Vatican envoy, were expected to attend the event in a baseball stadium in Nagasaki, southern Japan, making it the largest beatification ceremony ever held in Asia.
Beatification is a step on the way to Catholic sainthood.
The court in Stuttgart said there were no grounds to keep him in custody.
The group, also known as the Baader-Meinhof gang, targeted bankers, businessmen, judges and US servicemen.
More than 30 people were killed by the gang, before it disbanded 10 years ago.
SOURCE: BBC (11-23-08)
RAF Sealand in Flintshire, shut in 2006, bringing to end an association with air force planes which stretched back to the World War I.
Now Carl Mann, who worked there until his retirement, is gathering support for a permanent museum on the site.
He said: "It has a long, important history that will simply be forgotten if we can't get a museum built."
He added: "The Officers' Mess would be an ideal place for a museum because so many important people have dined there, including Montgomery and Churchill."
The site includes paintings, photos, films, books, maps and manuscripts from 1,000 museums, national libraries and archives across Europe.
It is expected to reopen in December after technological improvements.
The revisionist historian was accused of publishing anti-Semitic material on the internet.
The German authorities have now dropped an appeal to the High Court after Britain refused to hand him over.
The case against him is now closed and Mr Toben is waiting to get his passport back from the British authorities.
Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany and offenders can face up to five years in jail. It is not a crime in Britain.
Libya paid $1.5bn (£1bn) in October into a fund for victims of the 1988 bombing, which killed 270 people.
It cleared the last hurdle to restoring full diplomatic relations with the US.
"Until today, Libyan officials claimed it had long fulfilled justice to the families," said Ms Weipz, whose brother was killed on the flight.
"For many years, we were the forgotten victims of terrorism. Today is historic because Libya has finally fulfilled 100% justice to the Pan Am 103 families."
Senator Frank Lautenberg, who has acted as a representative for relatives of the victims, praised Tripoli's transfer of the final payment.
"We're proud to announce we won, and Libya has been held accountable," he said.
BBC News correspondent Mike McKimm joined a Greek scientific expedition and dived to the Britannic to bring back dramatic footage of one of the world's biggest wrecks.
And the expedition also set out to try to discover what sank the vessel. Was it a torpedo or a mine?
The Britannic was bigger, better and safer than its ill-fated sister. But before it could carry a single fare-paying passenger across the Atlantic it was commandeered as a hospital ship.
And so, in its white livery with huge red crosses, His Majesty's Hospital Ship Britannic plied to and forth from Southampton to the eastern Mediterranean, bringing home thousands of wounded service men.
Just after breakfast, on 21 November 1916, off Greece, there was an explosion near the bow and within 55 minutes the ship had sunk.
Thirty lives were lost when two lifeboats were smashed by a still-rotating propeller. It was wartime and the loss of the ship was soon forgotten - until Frenchman Jacques Cousteau found it in 1975. It lay just over two miles off the island of Kea in just over 100 metres of water.
Using a mini-sub belonging to the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Mike McKimm was able to dive and film much of the ship for a BBC documentary. The pictures will also form part of a special website which already offers considerable underwater footage of the Titanic, also filmed by Mike.
"The Britannic is an important ship for historians," said Mike.
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (11-24-08)
Parents must be admonished for making jokey greetings like "How" or calling the performers "Chief," "Squaw," or "Indian." Just last week, an adult chaperone of a school group had to be corrected for asking Tim Turner, a staff interpreter who is a member of the Cherokee Nation, where he bought his alcohol.
"I told him straight out that wasn't appropriate, especially not in front of children," said Turner, who wore traditional native dress of breechcloth, moccasins, and skunk pelt while talking to tour groups last week. "I don't have a problem making people feel stupid if that's what's necessary."
Visitors' gaffes - deliberate or accidental - are not laughed off or ignored here, especially during Thanksgiving season, when 70,000 visitors are expected during the month of November. Confrontation and reeducation is a near-daily chore at one of the state's top tourist attrac tions for many of the homesite's approximately 15 staff members all of whom are Native American, or as they prefer to be called, Native people.
Plimoth Plantation now makes these requests for "cultural sensitivity" explicit in five languages on its website, and a main thrust of the revamped orientation film watched by the nearly 400,000 guests who tour the site, and the nearby Mayflower II, each year.
SOURCE: Boston Globe (11-24-08)
The heart of the memorial will be the track used to deport Jews and others from 1943 to 1945. It has remained untouched since. "It's a ruin, an archeological find," said architect Guido Morpurgo, and his design, with the track as the memorial's heart, reflects this.
SOURCE: Boston Globe (11-23-08)
Now, Huntsberry, 80, has reached a $3.35 million deal with Civil War preservation groups to protect the land and with it, the little-known legacy of a decisive event in the war.
The sale will preserve 209 acres of woods and hayfields on one of Northern Virginia's most significant battle sites, where Yankee and Rebel forces waged brutal hand-to-hand combat for control of the Shenandoah Valley. Preservation groups will add the land to their holdings to create a 575-acre park with trails, interpretive signs and free public access.
Name of source: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (11-21-08)
In the Bible young David, a future king, is described as battling Goliath in the Elah Valley near Sha'arayim.
The fortified gate at the Elah Fortress—the second to be found at the site—proves the existence of Sha'arayim, which means "two gates" in Hebrew, said Hebrew University archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel.
"All the sites from this period uncovered so far had only one gate. We have two gates and this is very unusual," Garfinkel said.
The gate, constructed of stones weighing up to ten tons, is located on the site's eastern side, facing Jerusalem.
SOURCE: National Geographic News (11-21-08)
Now the 2,900-year-old structure lives again, thanks to a digital recreation following a painstaking survey by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.
The Iron Age hill fort in central Wales was a major feat of civil engineering, researchers say.
"Because Gaer Fawr is densely wooded, it's been little understood in the past," said Royal Commission archaeologist Toby Driver.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (11-23-08)
Mohammed Zakaria Ghoneim deposited the 3,200-year-old relic in a warehouse at Saqqara, where he meticulously documented his discovery. Seven years later, in 1959, Egyptian records show it was still in the same storeroom.
What happened to the burial mask of Ka Nefer Nefer in the four decades that followed is a mystery.
It resurfaced in 1998 when the St. Louis Art Museum acquired it. And now it is at the center of one of the most acrimonious fights in the antiquities world.
But the solemn events were overshadowed by fierce opposition from Russia. The Kremlin is resisting Ukraine's campaign to win international recognition of the 1932-33 tragedy as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation, saying other ethnic groups also suffered.
The anniversary of Holodomor — or Death by Hunger as it is known here — is traditionally marked in late November, when the food shortages began.
President-elect Barack Obama has often been compared for his lofty ideals and charisma to the late JFK, who was shot dead in Dallas, Texas in 1963.
But Obama's appeal and his historic election as the first African-American US president have many people worried about potential threats to his life.
SOURCE: AP (11-20-08)
"It's unavoidable," says Paul Light, a New York University professor and expert on presidential transitions.
It may happen because a nominee has lied about his or her background to Obama's team, or because something that was dismissed as minor turns out to be a big deal.
Whatever the reason, "These things are likely to pop up at any time — even though they are trying their darndest to make sure that doesn't happen," says George Mason University Professor James Pfiffner, another expert on transitions.
St. Elijah's Monastery, with its main fortress-like structure looming atop a barren hillside, sits inside a sprawling U. S. military base. Its bloody history makes clear why the monastery needs protection. In 2003, it was damaged during the U. S.-led invasion of Iraq. Some 250 years earlier, it was nearly levelled by a Persian ruler who ordered its monks slain.
Below the thick-walled compound lies the embattled city of Mosul, dotted with mosques but also churches. The city, Iraq's third largest, has seen a recent exodus of Christians reportedly sparked by killings and intimidation from Islamic militants.
But historians argue that Lincoln's model, described in the best-selling book "Team of Rivals," by Doris Kearns Goodwin, is a high-risk strategy for Obama, one that could alienate his allies and sow dysfunction inside the White House. Few modern presidents have made political adversaries Cabinet appointees, in this view, and even fewer could make the arrangement work.
"I question the entire concept of 'Team of Rivals' being sound," said Douglas Brinkley, a Rice University historian and author. In Obama's case, he said, "It's not organic, and it's not realistic. It's a very ethereal idea being played on a high level, and it's based on a false historical analogy."
Indeed, one historian argued in a newspaper column that Goodwin's book sidesteps the rancor inside Lincoln's Cabinet and does not mention that the president himself struggled to control the turmoil.
"The Cabinet dynamics were kind of poisonous," said Matthew Pinsker, a Civil War specialist at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa. "It's nothing I think President Obama would want to emulate in his administration."
Goodwin said yesterday that there is no question the dissent Lincoln faced at times bordered on dysfunction, but added: "I think the most important thing to realize about the outcome of Lincoln's decision is that it produced the three goals that mattered the most: He won the war, he saved the union, and he ended slavery. That's the fun part that I enjoyed, to see how complicated it was in that inner circle."
The bronze-plated wooden chariot is decorated with scenes from Thracian mythology, including figures of a jumping panther and the carving of a mythological animal with the body of a panther and the tail of a dolphin, Ignatov said.
He said the chariot, with wheels measuring 1.2 meters (four feet) across, was found during excavations in a funerary mound that archaeologists believe was the grave of a wealthy Thracian aristocrat, as he was buried along with his belongings.
Name of source: Peter Steinfels in the NYT
SOURCE: Peter Steinfels in the NYT (11-21-08)
Earlier, he had received accolades and awards from France, Britain, Russia, the Ottoman sultan, the papacy and President Abraham Lincoln, who sent him not a medal but, in quintessentially American fashion, a matched pair of fancy Colt pistols.
The man being honored was Abd el-Kader, a learned and fervent Muslim, who for 15 years had organized and led a jihad against a Western power.
After he ceased hostilities, his four-year detention, in violation of a promise of safe passage into exile, became an international cause célèbre. Released and feted, even by his captors, he came to live in Damascus.
There, in July 1860, el-Kader braved mobs and saved thousands of Christians from a murderous rampage through the city’s Christian quarter.
In this, the bicentennial of his birth, el-Kader’s name is known to only a tiny fraction of Americans. That fraction includes those knowledgeable about modern Algeria, where his resistance to French colonization places him among the founding figures of an independent nation....
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (11-23-08)
Professor Angelo Bottini, Superintendent of Archeology in Rome, said the underground area of black marble paving stone or "Lapis Niger" marking the spot where Romulus is traditionally said to have been killed and dismembered, had been covered over with cement in the 1950s and surrounded by iron railings to protect it.
However recent heavy rain had damaged the covering, and he had decided to remove it. A canopy would be erected over the exposed "murder site" - first discovered in 1899 - so that archeologists could work on it while visitors to the Forum watched.
According to legend the twins Romulus and Remus, sons of the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia and Mars, the god of war, jointly founded Rome in the eighth century BC. Romulus became sole ruler after killing Remus in a dispute over omens indicating which of them had the support of the gods.
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (11-22-08)
In an article praising The Beatles, L'Osservatore Romano said Lennon had just been showing off.
Lennon told a British newspaper in 1966 - at the height of Beatlemania - that he did not know which would die out first, Christianity or rock and roll.
At the time, the comparison sparked controversy in the US.
The semi-official Vatican newspaper marked the 40th anniversary of The Beatles' "White Album" with an article praising Lennon and the Fab Four from Liverpool...
The paper described the remark as "showing off, bragging by a young English working-class musician who had grown up in the age of Elvis Presley and rock and roll and had enjoyed unexpected success".
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (11-21-08)
Mr. Kirsch, a professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland, saw a way to ensure that the next generation of entrepreneurs could avoid the problems of that bubble, or “at least make new mistakes”: He would document what did and didn’t work during the flurry of business activity around the new technology called the Internet.
In June of that year, he started the Digital Archive of the Birth of the Dot Com Era, usually called the Dot Com Archive (dotcomarchive.org). Shortly thereafter, a partner of a venture capital firm that was closing its doors donated every business plan that the firm had received from 1999 to 2002 — documents covering some 1,100 companies.
Today, Mr. Kirsch says, the archive contains some 6.4 million e-mail messages, memos, slide presentations, photographs, marketing materials and databases representing thousands of companies. These data have begun to reveal interesting insights into the dot-com bubble.
Azi Gera, a Ph.D. candidate who works with Mr. Kirsch, used the archive to reveal the key role that social networks play in venture capital financing. Looking at a data set of 1,018 companies, Mr. Gera determined that not a single entrepreneur received venture capital funding by submitting a business plan “over the transom.” By contrast, about 5 percent of entrepreneurs who knew the venture capitalist or gained a personal introduction received funding.
SOURCE: NYT (11-22-08)
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that he will use nontraditional venues for taking his case to the people, and that’s all fine, but it’s still going to be a rough ride,” said George C. Edwards III, a political scientist at Texas A&M University and the author of “On Deaf Ears: The Limits of the Bully Pulpit.” “There’s a great myth out there about the bully pulpit. Presidents can rarely move public opinion, and that’s true across all presidents at all times.”
To begin with, it can be difficult to command attention; even F.D.R. had trouble. Despite the popular impression that Americans spent the Roosevelt era riveted to their radios, Mr. Edwards cites a poll in April 1939 that found 37 percent of the public had never listened to the fireside chats, 39 percent said they listened only sometimes, while 24 percent said they usually listened.
SOURCE: NYT (11-22-08)
Few are predicting that this new relationship born of mutual respect and self-interest will grow into a tight bond between the new president and the woman who will be the public face of his foreign policy around the world, though some say it is not impossible. They argue that a close friendship between those in those powerful roles is useful but not essential, and is not a predictor of the success of the nation’s chief diplomat.
While James A. Baker III was extraordinarily close to the first President Bush and is widely considered one of the most successful recent secretaries of state, Dean Acheson was not a friend of President Harry S. Truman and Henry A. Kissinger did not particularly like Richard M. Nixon.
“Two of the nation’s greatest secretaries of state in the modern period, Dean Acheson and Henry Kissinger, were not personally close but were intellectually bonded to their presidents,” said Walter Isaacson, the author of a biography of Mr. Kissinger and of the book “The Wise Men,” a history of America’s postwar foreign policy establishment. “I think that Obama and Clinton could form a perfect partnership based on respect for each other’s view of the world.”
Colin L. Powell, President Bush’s first-term celebrity secretary of state, would appear to be a cautionary tale for Mrs. Clinton since his relationship with the president was strained, and he left office an unhappy man. But Condoleezza Rice, Mr. Bush’s second-term secretary of state, is generally not viewed as having the success her unusually tight bond with the president might have engendered.
In the Obama-Clinton relationship, advisers say, the relatively smooth nature of their talks about the secretary of state job indicate that both, for now, have a working chemistry. The advisers say that Mr. Obama was clearly interested in bringing a rival under his wing, and that he also recognized that Mrs. Clinton had far more discipline and focus than her husband.
Tom Friedman: Madam Secretary?
SOURCE: NYT (11-20-08)
“Lame-duck sessions are poor excuses for sloppy, secretive legislation,” John B. Oakes wrote in an Op-Ed in The New York Times after the 1982 session. “The latest was not only unnecessary but degrading and dangerous.”
In recent years, Congressional leaders have often held postelection sessions hoping to wrap up unfinished business.
“Somehow there is this thought that when you come back after an election that politics is over with and everybody is just going to tackle the issues,” said Donald K. Ritchie of the Senate Historical Office. “But the politics are the same, and people are now counting heads as to whether I’ll do better or worse in the next Congress. So it’s often not a very productive period.”
Mr. Ritchie added, “Whatever problems they have during the regular session, they are compounded during a lame-duck session.”
Name of source: National Parks Traveler Online
SOURCE: National Parks Traveler Online (11-20-08)
On January 20 as many as four million people are expected to descend on the National Mall & Memorial Parks to witness Barack Obama's inauguration as the 44th President of the United States. Hordes of spectators will cram the National Mall to witness the swearing-in ceremony that will take place on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Vast numbers will line Pennsylvania Avenue to see the ensuing Inaugural Parade, an event that moves the new president, physically and symbolically, from the Capitol, home of the legislative branch of the federal government, to the White House, home of the executive branch.
Having huge numbers of Americans and people from all over the world personally witness the peaceful transition of power in the world's most important democracy is a proud tradition. However, it is also a gargantuan logistical headache for the National Park Service. If the projections of three-four million visitors prove accurate, the crowds will dwarf the previous largest events in the history of the National Mall by three or four times. And no matter the size of the crowd, a huge amount of work will have been done before, during, and after the event by National Mall & Memorial Parks and the Park Police.
Name of source: Sky News
SOURCE: Sky News (11-23-08)
The Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull, better known as The Skull of Doom, is made from a block of clear quartz with a detachable jaw and is the size of a small head.
It has gone on show in Edinburgh as part of the Histories and Mysteries conference at the Hub in the city.
English adventurer Frederick Albert Mitchell-Hedges, described as the real Indiana Jones, is said to have found it under a collapsed altar inside a temple in British Honduras, now Belize, in the 1920s.
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (11-23-08)
The gigantic building in the Baltic Sea resort of Prora on the island of Ruegen was part of Hitler's so-called "Strength Through Joy" program to keep Germans fit and healthy.
Never used by vacationers
It was to house 20,000 vacationers in 8,000 rooms as part of the Nazi program to make soldiers fit for war and workers strong for production.
No holiday-makers ever stayed at Prora. Work on the complex, which began in 1936, slowed in 1939 with the outbreak of war when Germany attacked Poland and was finally halted in 1943.
The only Germans to live in the half-built resort were refugees from bombed-out cities and those fleeing the invading Soviet Red Army. After the end of the war, the communist East German military used one of the five 550-meter (1,800-foot) blocks as a convalescence home.
The sweeping six-storey concrete complex is situated on one of Ruegen's most beautiful beaches and was closed to the public with barbed wire and guards armed with sub-machine guns.
Following German reunification in 1990 it was taken over by the federal government. Saddled with this unwelcome legacy, officials had been scratching their heads for years over what to do with Prora.
Now, 18 years after unification, a major reconstruction project is about to be launched to turn the site into a huge holiday complex.
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (11-22-08)
Financed by the German lottery, the university in Berlin and the state of Brandenburg's memorial trust, which is located in the town of Brandenburg, have decided to lead the one year project because they feel the issue of euthanasia during Hitler's reign has not received the proper attention it deserves.
"We have wanted to do this for years, but the state archives and many of the necessary information sources only became available after German re-unification," said Guenter Morsch, a researcher at the Brandenburg memorial trust.
Name of source: Brown Daily Herald (RI)
SOURCE: Brown Daily Herald (RI) (11-20-08)
A standard-bearer marched to the beat of a snare drum as four young men carried the artifact on two support beams, as if carrying a ritual sacrifice to an altar.
The torpedo - in reality, a time capsule - was ceremoniously buried Wednesday morning beneath Rhode Island Hall, which is currently undergoing major renovations. The ritual antics, organized by the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, which will occupy the revitalized building, were meant to lighten the mood of what is usually an austere ceremony.
"We've been treating the renovation of Rhode Island Hall very much as an archaeological project," said Susan Alcock, professor of classics and director of the institute. When the project manager of the renovations, which will not be finished for another year, brought up the idea of burying a time capsule, "our eyes lit up immediately," Alcock added.
Name of source: FoxNews.com
SOURCE: FoxNews.com (11-21-08)
The Geneva-based Committee against Torture says China should also conduct an investigation into what happened around the Tiananmen Square protests and release any dissidents still being held.
In a 15-page report published Friday, the panel says torture and other forms of ill-treatment are still practiced by police and that other officials in China go unpunished.
Name of source: Slate
SOURCE: Slate (11-21-08)
Name of source: http://www.wyff4.com
SOURCE: http://www.wyff4.com (11-21-08)
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (11-21-08)
Sir Bernard Lovell, the man behind the pioneering Jodrell Bank observatory, said he had acted as a secret adviser to the British military and was prevented from leaving the Soviet Union during a landmark visit in the 1960s.
And the 95-year-old revealed in an interview that he secretly modified the design of the iconic Lovell radio telescope at the Cheshire observatory to function as an early warning system for a ballistic missile attack.
The celebrated astronomer and physicist said he had to plead with his hosts to secure his safe return - and suffered from a strange and violent illness on his return.
He said: 'The evidence is that the Soviets did try to keep me in the Soviet Union. I was extremely ill when I came back.'
Asked if he believed he had been drugged or brainwashed, he would say only that his full account of the ordeal would be published after his death.
Sir Bernard was one of the first westerners to be shown the country's space facilities when he was a guest of the Soviet Academy of Science in June and July 1963.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (11-21-08)
Pvt. Ronald Gray has been on the military's death row at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, since 1988. A court-martial panel sitting at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, unanimously convicted him of committing two murders and other crimes in the Fayetteville, North Carolina, area, and sentenced him to death.
Gray's execution by injection will be carried out by Fort Leavenworth soldiers at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, the Army said in a news release.
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (11-21-08)
Leading scholars at the library are at a loss to explain why Farhad Hakimzadeh, a Harvard-educated businessman, publisher and intellectual, took a scalpel to the leaves of 150 books that have been in the nation's collection for centuries. The monetary damage he caused over seven years is in the region of £400,000 but Dr Kristian Jensen, head of the British and early printed collections at the library, said no price could be placed upon the books and maps that he had defaced and stolen.
"These are historic objects which have been damaged forever," said Jensen. "You cannot undo what he has done and it has compromised a piece of historical evidence which charts the early engagement of Europeans with what we now know as the Middle East and China.
"It makes me extremely angry. This is someone who is extremely rich who has damaged and destroyed something that belongs to everybody."
Hakimzadeh, 60, faces a jail sentence today when he appears at Wood Green magistrates court in London. The Iranian-born academic fled his country after the fall of the Shah and holds a US passport. He has pleaded guilty to 14 specimen charges of stealing maps, pages and illustrations from 10 books at the British Library and four from the Bodleian Library in Oxford dating back to 1998.
Name of source: Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (11-20-08)
The silver disc, included in a new 36-piece collection called 60 German Years, attracted fierce criticism from politicians due to its celebration of the union of two political parties into the grouping that ruled East Germany with an iron grip.
The Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) was formed on April 22, 1946, from the merger of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD).
The Soviet occupation authorities are widely believed to have applied great pressure on the SPD to force the parties to join. The repressive SED ruled East Germany for the next four decades but eventually lost power with the fall of communism in 1989.
SPD cabinet member Wolfgang Tiefensee, responsible for the eastern states, expressed outrage that the coin appeared to commemorate what he described as a forced union which led to many Social Democrats being thrown in jail.