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This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used. Because most of our readers read the NYT we usually do not include the paper's stories in HIGHLIGHTS.
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (11-10-08)
Now a major new biography pins a further damning indictment on Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig: late into the final year of the First World War, it argues, he was agitating for a compromise peace that would have left Germany as the real winner of the war.
According to Dr J. P. Harris, a senior lecturer in war studies at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, Haig was not quite the uncaring monster of popular myth but nor was he, as some recent studies have suggested, a clear-sighted and imperturbable leader who deserves to take the credit for the ultimate British victory.
Rather, he [Haig] was a poor battlefield commander who “didn’t have the sort of intellect that could penetrate the fog of war”.
In Douglas Haig and the First World War, published tommorow, on the 90th anniversary of the Armistice, Dr Harris argues that Haig’s failings led him repeatedly to misread the strength of the German armies, counselling aggression when they were at their strongest in the middle of the war and caution as they weakened spectacularly in its final weeks.
SOURCE: Times (UK) (11-9-08)
It is also the tale of a lifelong love between Gladys Tayler, the first graduate in Chinese from Oxford, and Yang Xianyi, whose wealthy family sent him to study there in the 1930s. The two returned to China and stayed on as admirers of the revolution after most foreigners left in 1949, the year the People’s Republic was founded.
Underground copies and internet editions of a biography of Yang Xianyi, published in Chinese in Hong Kong, are circulating widely among young readers in Beijing and Shanghai.
The couple, who were imprisoned during the cultural revolution and late in life bravely spoke out against the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, paid a high price for their commitment. Because of their defiance, the biography is officially banned in China and web censors are trying to delete sections of it from the internet.
Gladys died in 1999 but 93-year-old Yang is still alive in Beijing. In a telephone interview last week he said his wife had regretted almost nothing.
SOURCE: Times (UK) (11-8-08)
"I saw the brown shirts marching from our window but my mother pulled me inside. I heard them shouting 'Jews go to hell'. There was screaming, shouting, the synagogues were set on fire. Many people committed suicide," recalled Mrs Suschny, who was evacuated to Britain but returned to Vienna where she lives with her husband, Otto.
Thousands of Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps on Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass, a harbinger of the destruction to come.
The dazzling era of Jewish Vienna, that brought the world the psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, the writer Arthur Schnitzler and the composer Gusztav Mahler, soon evaporated in the crematoria of the Nazi concentration camps. Of the city's 185,000 Jews, one third perished in the Holocaust and the remainder emigrated.
Pogroms erupted across the Third Reich that night but the onslaught against Vienna's Jews was especially ferocious. Annexed by Nazi Germany in March 1938, Hitler's homeland was his most devoted disciple. Vienna was a "laboratory for anti-Jewish violence", writes the historian Mark Mazower, in Hitler's Empire.
This weekend Austria and its neighbours commemorate the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht.
SOURCE: Times (UK) (11-7-08)
Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi’s lawyers told the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh that there was a “compelling case” for letting the former Libyan agent, 56, live with his family in Scotland. Prosecutors say the gravity of the offence means that he should stay in Greenock prison, where he is serving at least 27 years for blowing up Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988, causing 270 deaths. The judges’ ruling will be given later.
SOURCE: Times (UK) (11-7-08)
Now the 35.56 carat stone, the second largest blue diamond in the world, has turned up again, offered for sale at Christie's by an anonymous seller. The guide price of £9 million is modest, given that a 13.39 carat blue diamond fetched $8.9 million (£5.6 million) at auction in May.
Collectors, convinced that diamonds are a recession-proof investment, are expected to beat a path to the London auction house, which will put the Wittelsbach Blue up for sale next month. “You cannot put a price on a diamond with a provenance like this,” said Hannah Schmidt of Christie's.
Its history is traced back to the 17th century, when King Philip IV of Spain chose it as part of the dowry for his 15-year-old daughter, the Infanta Margarita Teresa who married Leopold I of Austria, later to become the Holy Roman Emperor.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (11-8-08)
And who better to turn to than the popular chronicler Mr. Galbraith? His theories often ruffled the establishment economists, but few could have exhumed the financial apocalypse with more wit and panache than he did in his book “The Great Crash, 1929.” Continuously in print, the well-respected if sometimes controversial history dealt with the consequences of high interest rates and lack of regulation, foolish adherence to gold standards and a maldistribution of income akin to today’s.
But the book is perhaps most intriguing for its depiction of the delusion that swept the culture, and the ways financiers and bankers, wishful academics and supine regulators willfully ignored reality and in the process encouraged the epic collapse of the stock market.
No dreadful year is the same as another, particularly when that year is an epochal disaster. But similarities can be discerned and parallels drawn between the culture of that time and the modern day, when bubble followed bubble even as champions of the market insisted that all was fine.
Mr. Galbraith wrote his book while the crash remained branded on the national consciousness. Quite a few Americans still feared stock bubbles and speculators, shared a desire to regulate the financial sphere and harbored the inchoate conviction that a financier’s wealth should not be conflated with wisdom. Mr. Galbraith offered his account as a sort of warning against regarding the manias of 1929 as ancient history.
“It is worth hoping,” Mr. Galbraith wrote, “that a history such as this will keep bright that immunizing memory for a little longer.”
SOURCE: NYT (11-8-08)
As appealing as the prospect of that scene is, it is also a poignant reminder of how long it took for African-Americans to feel they had an equal place in that home.
In a pre-election conference call, Mr. Obama referred to the powerful symbolism of his daughters playing on the South Lawn of the White House, a building built with slave labor. And John McCain, in his concession speech Tuesday night, alluded to a private dinner that Theodore Roosevelt had with Booker T. Washington in 1901 that set off a poisonous controversy.
Responding to that dinner at the time, The Memphis Scimitar called it “the most damnable outrage which has ever been perpetrated by any citizen of the United States.” A former Democratic president, Grover Cleveland, wrote a letter to the House of Representatives, read on the floor in the election year of 1904, declaring that he had never done such a thing as invite a black man to dinner in that house.
John Stauffer, author of “Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln,” observed, “The racial history of the White House is a wonderful symbol of the racial history of the nation as a whole.”
The house itself was built by crews of black laborers — both slave and free. In 1801, a year after it opened, Thomas Jefferson brought nearly a dozen slaves from Monticello, and slaves would constitute much of the house’s staff until the death in 1850 of Zachary Taylor, the last slaveholder to be president.
Many lived in the servants’ quarters on the first floor, but some slept on the first family’s second floor — an intimacy that was a frequent source of tensions with non-slave servants.
SOURCE: NYT (11-6-08)
So how does Mr. Obama’s 364, which could go as high as 376, measure up?
“It’s a normal win,” said John C. Fortier, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, who edited “After the People Vote: A Guide to the Electoral College.” Mr. Fortier called it a respectable, solid mandate.
“It was not a blowout and not a really close election,” he said. “We got a little bit used to these close elections. Until 2005, we were legitimately talking about a 50-50 nation, where everything was close.”...
For a real blowout, think of the 523 electoral votes that President Franklin D. Roosevelt won in 1936, when he ran against Alf Landon, who won eight. Or more recently the 525 electoral votes President Ronald Reagan won in 1984, when Walter F. Mondale won only 13. Or the 520 President Richard M. Nixon won in 1972 against George McGovern, who won 17. Those were the widest electoral vote margins.
The disputed 2000 election, by the way — in which George W. Bush ended up with 271 electoral votes — was not the closest on record. The 1800 election produced an electoral-vote tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, and was decided by the House of Representatives. And the election of 1876 was a real squeaker: after the disputed election was put before a special commission of lawmakers and Supreme Court justices, Rutherford B. Hayes beat Samuel J. Tilden by a single electoral vote.
Mr. Obama’s victory was more along the lines of Bill Clinton’s in 1992, when he won 370 electoral votes to the first President George Bush’s 168.
SOURCE: NYT (11-6-08)
His name was Jose Ramon Sanchez and he was a private first class with the First Battalion, Fourth Regiment of the Third Marine Division, Headquarters and Support Company. On June 6 — D-Day — of 1968, his CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter was sent to extract a team of fellow grunts who were pinned down by the enemy in the mountains seven miles southwest of Khe Sahn. The craft took small-arms fire from a hillside. It crashed and burned. Private Sanchez and four others were D.O.I. Dead on impact.
For the next four decades, his death was no mystery but his remains were never formally identified — until, that is, last month. The military said this week that investigators from the Joint P.O.W./M.I.A. Accounting Command, working with bone fragments and wreckage from the crash, managed to officially certify his remains and those of three other servicemen on the flight.
SOURCE: NYT (11-7-08)
An aspiring American professor turned spy for the N.K.V.D., Stalin’s intelligence service, Mr. Oggins had been convicted of treason and espionage by the Soviet Union and completed an eight-year sentence in the gulag.
It was the summer of 1947. He was past due for release. A few months before in New York, his wife and young son had pleaded with George C. Marshall, then the secretary of state, to seek Mr. Oggins’s freedom from the Soviet Union’s grip.
By then a picture of frailty, Mr. Oggins was taken to a medical examination in a Moscow clinic, where a doctor prepared an injection. But this was not a treatment to dress up a mistreated inmate for display. It was a blacker art: the injection contained the neurotoxin curare.
Isaiah Oggins was soon dead, by Stalin’s order and a doctor’s hand. His secrets from Soviet netherworlds — the foreign spy service and the labor camps — had been hushed. His family would be told the necessary lies, including a death certificate mentioning “sclerosis” and a place of burial, the Jewish cemetery in Penza, where his grave has never been found.
More than six decades later, Mr. Oggins’s only child, Robin, now 77 and a retired associate professor of Medieval History at Binghamton University, sat at home in upstate New York on a recent morning, contemplating the enduring puzzle of his father’s dark journey.
After years of investigative work by Andrew Meier, an American journalist and former correspondent for Time magazine, much about Isaiah Oggins — a leftist academic killed by the very system that once had attracted him — had been dragged into the light.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (11-7-08)
January 30 1972 - forever Bloody Sunday in the annals of the Troubles in Northern Ireland - was not the bloodiest day, but perhaps the most significant in helping to decide the direction and progress of the bitter conflict in the decades that followed.
Nearly 37 years later and at a cost of £172m and still counting, the most definitive inquiry and re-examination of what really happened is still on hold.
Lord Saville's officials have confirmed it will be autumn 2009, five years after the investigation ended, before the final report is released.
SOURCE: BBC (11-9-08)
The original owner of Llwynywermod in Carmarthenshire was related to the second wife of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn.
Mark Baker, of Prestatyn, Denbighshire, unravelled the history of what was once one of Wales' finest homes.
A Royal Home in Wales - Llwynywermod is being published to coincide with Prince Charles's 60th birthday on Thursday.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall stayed at their new Welsh farmhouse home near Llandovery for the first time this summer, and threw open the doors to more than 100 guests.
SOURCE: BBC (11-7-08)
Wolfson said he was "fortunate to have found a place as appropriate for my books as Shakespeare's Globe".
Chief executive Peter Kyle said the Bankside theatre was "delighted" to be bequeathed the "wonderful" collection.
In addition to the Shakespeare works, the archive includes plays from the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries, as well as texts by writers who are thought to have influenced the Bard.
It will be housed in a new research centre at the Globe.
SOURCE: BBC (11-6-08)
The forests around Verdun, where so many died, are still and silent.
Nature has smoothed countryside torn up by shellfire, and undermined by the men who sheltered from it.
Ahead on the carpet of brightly coloured autumn leaves, Christina Holstein forced her way through low hanging branches to follow a trail she knows well.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
Among the patients whose files are to be disclosed, as the psychiatric hospital opens its archives to public view for the first time, is Thomas Hayne Cutbush, who was identified at the time as a leading suspect in the killing and mutilation of at least 11 women in the East End of London between 1888 and 1891.
Cutbush, who is described by one author writing a book about the Ripper murders as the "number one suspect", was sent to Lambeth Infirmary in 1891 suffering delusions thought to have been caused by syphilis. But he immediately escaped and stabbed one woman then attempted to stab a second.
He was pronounced insane and committed to Broadmoor in 1891 where he remained until his death in 1903. From the day he was detained, the Ripper murders ceased.
The Broadmoor file on Cutbush is understood to contain about 20 documents which provide fresh clues which could link him further to the killings.
The Republican vice presidential candidate attracted criticism for accusing Mr Obama of "palling around with terrorists", citing his association with the sixties radical William Ayers.
The attacks provoked a near lynch mob atmosphere at her rallies, with supporters yelling "terrorist" and "kill him" until the McCain campaign ordered her to tone down the rhetoric.
But it has now emerged that her demagogic tone may have unintentionally encouraged white supremacists to go even further.
The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin's attacks.
The survey of the dugout, named Vampire, has shed fascinating new light on the experiences of the tens of thousands of soldiers who lived in similar subterranean workings, from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier, with dozens of poignant items of everyday life recovered.
After unearthing the entrance to the original shaft, used 90 years ago to create the structure, the group, led by academics from the University of Glasgow, followed it down 50ft below ground, after pumping out hundreds of tonnes of mud and water.
At the bottom, they discovered a 30ft long section, with a concrete floor, accessed by two staircases back to the surface, and with recesses for bunk beds to provide accommodation for around 60 men.
The section is connected to other subterranean chambers, but because of collapsed workings and the discovery of unexploded shells, these cannot currently be safely excavated.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-7-08)
Its survival is a token of the courage of its members, who have been harassed, imprisoned and beaten as they taken up difficult cases and attempt to promote legal reform.
"Twenty years after China ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1988, all are routinely practiced by government personnel," said the submission. It was just one of a number being put before a two-day hearing by the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva.
It remains unclear whether the group's survival so far is in spite of government attempts to target individual members, or because Beijing is bowing to international pressure to allow more space for home-grown activism.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-7-08)
Sir Henry was later honorary surgeon to Kings Edward and George.
The album, which was given to Sir Henry by his wife Mina in 1868, for his birthday, includes photographs of female witch doctors, Zulu warriors, British camps, ships, and landscapes.
It has remained in the Dorset-based family of Sir Henry and is being sold at George Kidner Auctions, Lymington, Hants, on Nov 20.
"Mr Delacroix, perfectly aware of what his actions would mean for him, has decided to resign from his post as president of the National Front," the party said in a statement, underlining that his act was "inadmissible."
In a video on public RTBF television's midday news Thursday, Delacroix was seen singing a song to the tune of "l'eau vive" by Jewish singer Guy Beart, but with the lyrics changed to tell the story of a Jewish woman sent to the gas chamber in Dachau.
Their stories are documented on the National Roll of the Great War, set up after the end of hostilities with the aim of recording the contribution of every person - civilian and military - to Britain's war effort.
But instead of being bureaucratic files of state, many are the tributes of family, friends and comrades who witnessed their efforts - and their sacrifice - at first hand.
The exhumation of eight bodies from the mass tomb has been ordered by Judge Baltasar Garzón, who last month launched a criminal investigation into the fate of tens of thousands of those who "disappeared" during the Spanish Civil War and ensuing dictatorship.
The Valley of the Fallen, a basilica with a 500 ft cross in the hills a few miles north of Madrid, serves as a mausoleum to the fascist dictator and a memorial to those who died fighting for his cause during the conflict of 1936-9.
The self-confessed "dilettante" antique dealer has publicly denied stealing the work, which police believe was taken in 1998 from a library at Durham University.
A Durham Police spokesman said: "A 51-year-old man at the centre of the inquiry into the stolen Shakespeare folio was re-arrested today.
"The move follows the discovery of new evidence by detectives involved in the case. The man was taken to Durham City police station where he is likely to be questioned throughout the day."
Mr Scott was arrested earlier this year and bailed while police made inquiries.
He was due to answer bail on November 11.
The 400-year-old book was returned to the UK from America last month, escorted by two detectives who had been carrying out transatlantic inquiries.
The 1623 folio surfaced in June when a man walked into the renowned Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC, claiming to have discovered the book in Cuba, and asked for it to be verified as genuine.
The Bletchley Park Trust spent £100,000 starting repairs on the Victorian roof this summer but ran out of money.
Simon Greenish, director of the trust, said the work was the "first really big step" in saving the building and turning it into a "world class" £10 million education and heritage centre.
He said of Bletchley Park: "Only the Cabinet War Rooms are of equal importance. It was in these two places that the outcome of World War Two was decided."
The grant will make the building water-tight and ensure its interior features - such as decorative plaster work, painted ceilings and timber panelling - do not deteriorate further.
Despite its critical importance to modern British history, Bletchley Park is not funded directly by the government. It was in a very poor state of repair when the trust took it on in 1992, turning it into a museum.
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (11-9-08)
It printed three architect's drawings on yellowing paper from the batch of 28 pages of blueprints it obtained.
One has an 11.66 metre by 11.20 metre room marked "Gaskammer" (gas chamber) that was part of a "delousing facility".
No one from the federal government's archives was immediately available for comment on the authenticity or importance of the documents.
The plans also include a crematorium and a"L. Keller" -- an abbreviation for"Leichenkeller" or corpse cellar.
A drawing of the building for Auschwitz's main gate was also found in the documents that Bild said were believed to have been discovered when a Berlin flat was cleaned out.
The newspaper quoted Hans-Dieter Kreikamp, head of the federal archives office in Berlin, as saying the blueprints offered"authentic evidence of the systematically planned genocide of European Jews."
There were mass killings of about one million Jews before the Nazi's"Final Solution" was formulated in late 1941. The decision to kill Europe's 11 million Jews was made at the Wannsee Conference in January 1942.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (11-9-08)
Merkel has stressed that it is not enough to remember the events of November 9, 1938 through memorials and ceremonies but "we must always think how it was that it could come to this singular event, the Holocaust."
The chancellor is taking part in an official ceremony later Sunday along with the head of the Central Council of German Jews Charlotte Knobloch.
A memorial concert and other events are also being held to mark the anniversary of the Nazi-incited riots that killed more than 91 Jews and damaged some 1,000 synagogues.
SOURCE: AP (11-7-08)
Edwin Heerema, founder of the company that has commissioned the $1.7 billion vessel, wants to name it the Pieter Schelte after his late father, Pieter Schelte Heerema, who was renowned as a maritime engineer but was condemned for his service in the murderous Nazi Waffen SS.
The choice of name has provoked outcry from politicians and Jewish groups, and revived painful questions about Dutch collaboration with the country's World War II occupiers.
SOURCE: AP (11-7-08)
SOURCE: AP (11-6-08)
The current visitor's center — across the harbor from the submerged battleship — is sinking because it was built on reclaimed land, causing water to seep into its basement. Engineers estimate the building will last only a few more years.
The center is where visitors board ferries taking them to the white memorial straddling the sunken hull of the Arizona. It's also where they learn about the attack through exhibits and films, making it vital for conveying the history of the day that launched the United States into World War II.
SOURCE: AP (11-5-08)
The Department of Defense said Wednesday that Lance Cpl. Luis Palacios will be buried Friday in Bellflower, about 10 miles south of Los Angeles, with full military honors.
Palacios was killed with 11 other military personnel in 1968 when their helicopter was hit by ground fire and crashed into mountains in South Vietnam. The unit was trying to evacuate troops engaged in a firefight.
SOURCE: AP (11-5-08)
During the campaign, Obama often said he was grateful to the so-called Little Rock Nine and other veterans of the civil rights movement. Wednesday, members of the group said the incoming president was more than welcome.
"I'm so happy today. You can't get anything out of me except for how happy and proud I am," said Gloria Ray Karlmark of Stockholm, Sweden, one of the nine black teenagers escorted by federal troops into the all-white school.
The granddaughter of a slave, Ray Karlmark and the others endured ridicule and threats from white crowds enraged by the Supreme Court's order to desegregate the nation's schools.
Name of source: http://www.thenational.ae
SOURCE: http://www.thenational.ae (11-6-08)
Above ground, the Istanbul suburb of Yenikapi is a normal, modern-day bustling port on the Marmaris Sea. But beneath the waters, its newly discovered treasures are rewriting the history books.
So far, 32 wooden ships, Stone Age skeletons, coins, amphorae and even a basket full of ancient cherries have been uncovered in an area that is thought to have been the first Byzantine port of the ancient city of Constantinople.
Name of source: LiveScience
SOURCE: LiveScience (11-6-08)
Some researchers think the phenomenon of celebrity was born with the 19th-century Romantic movement in art, music and literature (think of works by Chopin, J.M.W. Turner and Edgar Allen Poe). Instead, Elizabeth Barry of the University of Warwick in England claims the modern public fascination with celebrities can be traced back to the rise of newspapers and magazines and the popularity of the obituaries in the 18th century.
"Different kinds of deaths came to be commemorated and you didn't have to be something like a military hero or be a political player or be some sort of high person in society to get public commemoration on your death," Barry told LiveScience. "I was interested in looking at that process."
Name of source: FoxNews.com
SOURCE: FoxNews.com (11-7-08)
Student Maurice Bavaud, 25, who was from the western Swiss town of Neuchatel, was executed in Berlin's notorious Ploetzensee prison after failing in his attempt to shoot Hitler at a Nazi parade in Munich on Nov. 9, 1938.
By coincidence, Bavaud made his attempt just hours before Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, when Nazis destroyed synagogues and Jewish businesses across Germany and Austria.
SOURCE: FoxNews.com (11-6-08)
Slowly built from the minerals in dripping water over 1,810 years, chemicals in the stone tell a tale of strong and weak cycles of the monsoon, the life-giving rains that water crops to feed millions of people.
Dry periods coincided with the demise of the Tang, Yuan and Ming dynasties, researchers report in Friday's edition of the journal Science.
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (11-6-08)
People did not lie — to pollsters or to themselves — about whether they would vote for a black man. The polls, national and statewide, generally predicted the results with accuracy.
"The unambiguous answer is that there was no Bradley effect," said Mark Blumenthal, the editor and publisher of Pollster.com, a Web site that publishes and analyzes poll results.
A different question, of course, is whether race was a factor in how people voted, and for a small group of voters — 19 percent — it was, according to surveys of voters leaving the polls. But race turned out to be less of an issue than predicted even three months ago, when twice that percentage in a CNN poll said it would be at least a small factor in their vote.
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (11-8-08)
A pair of Bavarian tourists photographed the paintings during a 2007 visit to Ukraine's Crimea province and sent copies of the shots to the Aachen museum after finding the paintings listed as "whereabouts unknown" on the Aachen museum website.
The art works, reportedly mostly by Western European artists, had been transferred from Aachen to the German city of Meissen for safekeeping in 1942 and had been thought to have been lost or destroyed during the later Allied invasion of Germany.
"They (the paintings) can no longer be put on display, because the question of restitution (of the paintings to Germany) has not been resolved on the governmental level."
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (11-8-08)
The late November 9, 1938 pogrom, a precursor to the Holocaust, ultimately led to more than 1,300 deaths from injuries, by suicide or in concentration camps, official historians add.
Merkel, in a weekly video podcast, said Sunday would be a day of mourning for "the most terrible events in German history" as well as memories of more hopeful events on another November 9 -- in 1989 -- when the Berlin Wall parted.
The commemoration of 1938 "obliges Germans to act decisively against racism and particularly anti-Semitism, jointly and throughout society," Merkel said.
Name of source: History Today
SOURCE: History Today (11-7-08)
In Chile, new tests on members of an ancient pre-Hispanic civilisation are showing clear signs of drug use. Graves of the Tiwanaku are often found to contain equipment for using hallucinogens, such as pipes. Recent experiments by the University of Tarapaca on the remains of an adult male buried with an elaborate snuffing kit have shown that his body contained significant samples of a hallucinogenic plant.
Professor Ogalde who led the project said that:
The presence of harmine suggests the Tiwanaku travelled in search of exotic hallucinogens, and brought the Banisteriopsis vine from as far as the Amazon rainforest, some 300 miles away
An answer to the question of why the drugs were used is more complex. Prof Ogalde suggested a therapeutic use. However traces of the chemical were also found in the body of an infant, clouding any clearly-defined explanation.
In a seperate discovery, as reported in the Sunday Times, bowls and pipes for mixing and inhaling hallucinogens were uncovered in a Stone Age grave on the Carribbean island of Carriacou. The North Carolina State University researchers who happened upon the equipment came to the conclusion that it originated in South America, over 400 miles away.
Name of source: NYT blog
SOURCE: NYT blog (11-7-08)
“President-elect Barack Obama called Nancy Reagan today to apologize for the careless and off-handed remark he made during today’s press conference. The President-elect expressed his admiration and affection for Mrs. Reagan that so many Americans share and they had a warm conversation,” said Stephanie Cutter, transition team spokeswoman.
One of the odder moments in President-elect Obama’s first news conference on Friday came when he was asked whether he had spoken to any “living ex-presidents” to prepare himself for the job.
“In terms of speaking to former presidents, I’ve spoken to all of them that are living,’’ Mr. Obama said, before zeroing in on that fact that he had been asked whether he had spoken to living people. “Obviously, President Clinton — I didn’t want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any séances.’’
Mrs. Reagan was famous for consulting an astrologer, Joan Quigley, while in the White House. Ms. Quigley declined to comment on the president-elect’s remarks, said her sister, Ruth, who added, “My sister is not a medium; she’s an astrologer.’’
A spokeswoman for Mrs. Reagan, 87, who was hospitalized this fall when she fractured her pelvis, did not immediately return a call for comment.
Ms. Quigley described her work for the Reagans in a 1990 memoir called “What Does Joan Say?”...
Name of source: Huffington Post (Blog)
SOURCE: Huffington Post (Blog) (11-5-08)
However, perhaps one of the most astounding and previously unknown tidbits about Sarah Palin has to do with her already dubious grasp of geography. According to Fox News Chief Political Correspondent Carl Cameron, there was great concern within the McCain campaign that Palin lacked "a degree of knowledgeability necessary to be a running mate, a vice president, a heartbeat away from the presidency," in part because she didn't know which countries were in NAFTA, and she "didn't understand that Africa was a continent, rather than a series, a country just in itself."
Name of source: Times (of London)
SOURCE: Times (of London) (11-8-08)
The Silver War Badge was issued posthumously to Alfred Gibbins, who was seriously injured during the battle of Passchendaele in 1917. Mr Gibbins denied even to his own family that he had fought in the war, claiming that his injuries were sustained in childhood and had kept him out of the Army.
The truth came to light when his son, Peter, born long after his father's war service, began to research his family history. He discovered that his father had fought in the mud of Flanders, where he was seriously injured by a mortar shell. He lay in no man's land for five days before he was rescued by Canadian troops and taken to a field hospital.
Peter Gibbins believes that his father, who died in 1956, was so traumatised by his experiences in France that he blanked them out of his mind. Mr Gibbins applied to the MoD for the service medal that his father had never claimed and exactly 90 years after the guns fell silent he received it in a ceremony at Olympia, West London.
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (11-7-08)
Confidence that the nation will resolve its racial problems rose to a historic level. Two-thirds of Americans predict that relations between blacks and whites "will eventually be worked out" in the United States, by far the highest number since Gallup first asked the question in the midst of the civil rights struggle in 1963.
Optimism jumped most among blacks. Five months ago, half of African Americans predicted the nation eventually would solve its racial problems. Now, two-thirds do.
"Barack didn't elect himself; we Americans elected him," says Roger Wilkins, a civil rights leader and professor of history and American culture at George Mason University in suburban Virginia. "And I think that there are lots and lots of people who say, 'Damn, we're not as racist as we thought we were,' so they're pleased."
Name of source: Wil Haygood in the WaPo
SOURCE: Wil Haygood in the WaPo (11-6-08)
At the White House, he worked closer to the dirty dishes than the large desk in the Oval Office. Helene didn't care; she just beamed with pride.
President Truman called him Gene. President Ford liked to talk golf with him.
He saw eight presidential administrations come and go, often working six days a week. "I never missed a day of work," Allen says.
His is a story from the back pages of history. A figure in the tiniest of print. The man in the kitchen.
He was there while America's racial history was being remade: Brown v. Board of Education, the Little Rock school crisis, the 1963 March on Washington, the cities burning, the civil rights bills, the assassinations.
When he started at the White House in 1952, he couldn't even use the public restrooms when he ventured back to his native Virginia. "We had never had anything," Allen, 89, recalls of black America at the time. "I was always hoping things would get better."
In its long history, the White House — just note the name — has had a complex and vexing relationship with black Americans....
Interviewed at their home last week, Gene and Helene speculated about what it would mean if a black man were actually elected president.
"Just imagine," she said.
"It'd be really something," he said.
On Monday, Helene had a doctor's appointment. Gene woke and nudged her once, then again. He shuffled around to her side of the bed. He nudged Helene again. He was all alone.
"I woke up, and my wife didn't," he said later.
The lady he married 65 years ago will be buried today.
The butler cast his vote for Obama on Tuesday. He so missed telling his Helene about the black man bound for the Oval Office.
Name of source: http://www.birminghampost.net
SOURCE: http://www.birminghampost.net (11-5-08)
Professor John Hunter, from the University of Birmingham, cast doubt on the theory after testing soil from an area near to the Rednal cemetery from which Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman was exhumed.
The ancient history and archaeology professor said it would be "unusual" to find a body buried in 1890 so decayed that no human remains were left.
He said the soil tested was "not particularly acidic" and that he found it "difficult to believe" soil conditions near the grave were so extreme.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (11-6-08)
"Right now there is not a lot of good will among historians. Most see him as a combination of many negative factors," said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School.
"He is seen as incompetent in terms of how he handled domestic and foreign policy. He is seen as pushing for an agenda to the right of the nation and doing so through executive power that ignored the popular will," he added.
But like so many presidents before him, Bush's reputation could change with time.
Harvard University political history scholar Barbara Kellerman said when President-elect Barack Obama takes over in January, people may view Bush in a new light.
Name of source: http://nycitynewsservice.com
SOURCE: http://nycitynewsservice.com (11-6-08)
The feds appear to have paid particular attention to Halberstam in the mid 1960s when he was a New York Times correspondent in Poland during the Cold War – when that nation was closely aligned with the Soviet Union.
Halberstam married one of Poland’s top actresses, Elzbieta Czyzewska. He was expelled in 1967 for his coverage, including stories that cast doubt on public support for Poland’s Communist leaders.
Name of source: Slate
SOURCE: Slate (11-6-08)
If a candidate dies after Dec. 15 but before Jan. 6, Congress, when it convenes, has to decide whether to count the votes cast for him. (In 1872, three electoral votes cast for the late Horace Greeley were discounted by Congress, but it's unclear whether votes cast for a living candidate who subsequently dies would be treated the same way.)
If Congress decides the votes are valid, then the laws of presidential succession kick in, and that candidate's running mate moves up the ladder. If Congress decides to throw out the votes, then the question becomes whether the living candidate can be said to have a majority of the overall electoral votes—if not, then, according to the 12th Amendment, the House of Representatives must elect the president from among the three candidates with the most votes.
Name of source: HNN Staff
SOURCE: HNN Staff (11-6-08)
FOUNDRY MINIATURES COMPENDIUM - PIRATES TO DARKEST AFRICA
Rules, Campaigns, Painting Guides and Terrain-making Ideas
Wargames Foundry & Paul Sawyer & Adrian Garbett & Gary Chalk & Ian Heath & Chris Peers & Steve Saleh
This book is packed with rules, painting advice and ideas for making great-looking terrain. It will appeal to anyone interested in playing games such as exploration in Darkest Africa, fighting for survival and glory in Rome's gladiatorial arenas and plundering the West African coast with your band of cutthroat pirates.
Over the past twenty years or so, Foundry has published many articles on different subjects in many different magazines, some of which you may have seen but most of which I am sure you haven't.
Our guest Editor, Paul Sawyer, has sifted through those articles and has pulled a selection of them together in a nicely balanced book, themed to concentrate on Pirates and Darkest Africa, but covering other historical periods too; Aztecs, Gladiators, Greeks and Romans.
So, if you want some simple fun rules to play, some ideas on terrain making and painting then this book is for you. Enjoy.
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (11-6-08)
"Do not grieve for me too much," he wrote. "Death is only an incident, and not the most important that happens to us in this state of being. On the whole, especially since I met you, my darling one, I have been happy and you have taught me how noble a woman's heart can be.
"If there is anything else I shall be on the look out for you. Meanwhile look forward, feel free, rejoice in life, cherish the children, guard my memory. God bless you, goodbye, W."
The letter, still among his papers when he died 40 years later, is on public display for the first time - in facsimile form, as the fragile original is preserved at the Churchill Archive in Cambridge - in a poignant exhibition at the Cabinet War Rooms museum in London.