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This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used. Because most of our readers read the NYT we usually do not include the paper's stories in HIGHLIGHTS.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (12-4-08)
The recordings cover the last months of Johnson's presidency in late 1968 and early 1969. Johnson can be heard expressing his condolences to Sen. Edward Kennedy after the assassination of Sen. Robert Kennedy. He also voiced worry over problems with the Vietnam War peace talks and said associates of Richard Nixon were acting treasonous in their attempts to influence South Vietnamese officials.
LBJ Library officials released the recordings Thursday, making them available for the first time to the public and researchers. They're part of a series of secretly recorded Johnson conversations that have been released over several years.
SOURCE: AP (12-4-08)
Progress on peace in Vietnam before the election might have given Hubert H. Humphrey, the Democratic presidential nominee and Johnson’s vice president, support among voters.
Accusations of Nixon’s influence in the peace conference have been reported before, but the tapes provide a look at how Johnson handled the issue, said Bruce Buchanan, a government professor and an expert on the presidency at the University of Texas, Austin.
During a conversation with Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois, Johnson, referring to people close to Nixon, and said, “This is treason.” Dirksen was the Republican leader in the Senate.
Unlike scores of others connected with the Kreisau Circle of plotters who were executed, the German aristocrat was eventually released — but not before he had signed away ownership of his family's estates on the order of Gestapo and SS chief Heinrich Himmler.
Now, some 60 years later, Solms-Baruth's grandson is continuing the family's fight for compensation for the millions of dollars (euros) in lost property, taking his case to court.
"My father did it for his father, and unfortunately didn't live to the day to see justice served ... therefore I am virtually making this a life's quest," Friedrich zu Solms-Baruth, who shares his grandfather's name, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Barcelona, Spain, ahead of a Thursday hearing.
Willacy County District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra had accused Cheney and the other defendants of responsibility for prisoner abuse. The judge's order ended two weeks of sometimes-bizarre court proceedings.
The National Archives opened nearly 200 hours of White House tape recordings and 90,000 pages of documents.
A newly declassified memo to Nixon from his secretary of defense at the time reflects just how much the administration felt and discussed public pressure — even as it weighed U.S. geopolitical strategy — in anguished internal debate over war policy.
The seven-page document cautions the president against a proposal from military brass to conduct a high-intensity air and naval campaign against North Vietnam.
Then-Defense Secretary Melvin Laird said such a plan would involve the United States in "expanded costs and risks with no clear resultant military or political benefits."
Name of source: CBS News
SOURCE: CBS News (12-4-08)
It was Sen. Daniel Inouye, who was awarded a silver star in World War II, and who lost an arm in battle.
"He answers Vietnam with that empty sleeve. He answers your problems with Nixon with that empty sleeve. He has that brown face," Johnson said.
Humphrey, though he was one of the Senate's foremost liberals, balked.
"I guess maybe, it's just taking me a little too far, too fast," Humphrey said. "Old, conservative Humphrey."
Name of source: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (12-3-08)
The tools were uncovered in the 1970s at the archaeological site of Gademotta, in the Ethiopian Rift Valley. But it was not until this year that new dating techniques revealed the tools to be far older than the oldest known Homo sapien bones, which are around 195,000 years old.
Using argon-argon dating—a technique that compares different isotopes of the element argon—researchers determined that the volcanic ash layers entombing the tools at Gademotta date back at least 276,000 years.
Name of source: Politico.com
SOURCE: Politico.com (12-3-08)
Clinton could be named as a sort of super-ambassador on a specific issue like India, or on a broad topic like restoring goodwill for the United States abroad. He was deferential to President George W. Bush, accepting assignments on hurricane and tsunami relief in conjunction with the president’s father, former President George H.W. Bush.
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (12-4-08)
"If somebody's going to be with these kids other than their parents, it better be me," she told The Boston Globe.
It isn't clear whether Robinson will move into the White House; neither she nor Michelle Obama would comment....
If Robinson moves in this January, she won't be the first. Several mothers-in-law and fathers-in-law have hauled their steamer trunks up the stairs of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. over the past 200 years or so. But if Robinson aspires to be the Most Outrageous White House In-Law, she had better take a number.
The in-laws through history
It turns out that the Kennedyesque notion of a small, attractive nuclear family living in the White House is so late-20th-century. Before that, presidents routinely invited extended family members to stay at the White House for a month or two or longer, says William Bushong, staff historian for the non-profit White House Historical Association.
Andrew Jackson "brought just about everybody in his family with him from Tennessee to Washington," he says.
In his more than 12 years in office, Franklin D. Roosevelt practically used the White House as a hotel, Bushong says. "He just loved company." To accommodate their 13 grandchildren, Eleanor Roosevelt had slides, swings and sandboxes built on the South Lawn.
Historians likely would dub Frederick Dent the first extended-stay in-law. Dent, father of Julia Grant and father-in-law of Ulysses S. Grant, was a former planter and was for several years "a fixture at the White House," Bushong says, where he was mostly known for "promising people things he couldn't deliver," such as government contracts.
Name of source: Time
SOURCE: Time (12-4-08)
The closest Senate race in history — for an open New Hampshire seat in 1974 — was so tight that the candidates had to hold a second election. After Republican Louis Wyman beat Democrat John Durkin by just 355 votes, a recount gave Durkin the lead — but by only 10 votes, which meant another recount. This count gave the election back to Wyman — by two votes. Durkin asked the Senate — which had a convenient 60-vote Democratic majority — for a review of the results. Despite six weeks of debate, the Senate couldn't resolve the matter, and the two candidates agreed to run all over again. With record turnout, Durkin won by some 27,000 votes — showing how recounts can and do overturn election results.
As for Minnesota history, one notable recount case stands above all others. In the state's 1962 gubernatorial race, incumbent Elmer L. Andersen lost by a narrow margin of less than 200 votes to challenger Karl Rolvaag (out of 1.26 million votes cast). Andersen asked for a recount, which required some 100 teams of ballot reviewers to fan out across the state. The recount took 139 days, and the final tally gave the election to Rolvaag by 91 votes, but not before Andersen had already been sworn in as governor — albeit provisionally. Fortunately for Rolvaag, and for the state, Andersen let his opponent in on official business during the recount waiting period so when Rolvaag took over the reins in March 1963, the transition was smooth and drama-free.
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (12-4-08)
The nationwide ban on the manufacture, sale, transportation, import and export of intoxicating beverages was brought into law by conservatives for moral and health reasons, and repealed in 1933 on economic grounds.
But to this day, pockets of Prohibition exist in the United States, with entire counties still "dry" and bootleggers still running liquor.
Name of source: NYT Editorial
SOURCE: NYT Editorial (12-4-08)
As with any huge undertaking, the census requires years of planning, but preparations have been systematically sidetracked during the Bush years. The most plausible explanation, beyond incompetence, is that the administration aimed to make it even more difficult than usual to count hard-to-count groups, like minorities, immigrants and the poor, who tilt Democratic. Their numbers, if accurately gauged, could reshape electoral maps.
The White House, with the early support of a Republican-led Congress, shortchanged and delayed financing for the Census Bureau. The administration left top bureau positions unfilled for long stretches and allowed political judgment to dominate bureau management, which damaged morale and impaired performance.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (12-3-08)
Mr. Mukasey told reporters that there was “absolutely no evidence” that anyone involved in developing the policies “did so for any reason other than to protect the security in the country and in the belief that he or she was doing something lawful.”
SOURCE: NYT (12-1-08)
The original copy of that note hangs today in a small alcove just outside the office of Robert P. Kelly, the chairman and chief executive of the bank, who, much like those before him, is elaborately entangled in the nation’s financial fate. Just six weeks ago, in fact, the Treasury Department named his bank — now called the Bank of New York Mellon — the master custodian of the Troubled Assets Relief Program (known in the vernacular as the Massive Wall Street Bailout). Given Mr. Kelly’s centrality to the economy, one wonders what is — literally — on his desk.
Beyond a clock, a cloisonné pen jar and a surprisingly empty outbox, there are hastily scribbled notes on a monogrammed pad from a meeting with a certain “Tim G.” (Timothy F. Geithner, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Barack Obama’s pick to run the Treasury?). The notes make reference to “ad com updates” and “FVA’s,” and contain the jotted notion that the current situation may not be a “pushback issue” after all.
“I can’t tell you how many people have come to me recently and said, ‘I hope you’re keeping notes,’ ” Mr. Kelly, a self-described history buff, confessed. “But it’s not like this is stuff that you forget. I always have a sense of gravitas and of history in the making.”
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (12-3-08)
But the pictures helps to mark the reptile as the oldest animal on the planet.
Jonathan, the tortoise, is believed to be 176-years-old and was about 70 at the time the black and white picture was taken.
He was photographed during the Boer War around 1900, and his life has spanned eight British monarchs from George IV to Elizabeth II, and 50 prime ministers.
It was taken on the South Atlantic island of St Helena, where Jonathan still lives today, along with five other tortoises David, Speedy, Emma, Fredricka and Myrtle, in a plantation.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (12-2-08)
The findings were aired at the world's first international conference on French denunciation in the Second World War, in Caen.
They challenge some of the popular misconceptions about denunciation in wartime France.
Historians now say only a very small percentage related to Jews and a large proportion – around a quarter – of the letters were about French family dramas often involving husbands, wives, lovers and village rivals.
"Denunciation was a very easy way of getting rid of someone," said Laurent Joly, the historian who organised the conference.
Name of source: FoxNews.com
SOURCE: FoxNews.com (12-4-08)
Mitterer, who worked at Hitler's Bavarian mountain retreat alongside her sister Anni before the start of World War II, said she only knew him as a kind employer.
"I remember so clearly the first day I spoke to him in the kitchen," Mitterer told the Daily Mail."I said I was Anni's sister and that made him smile, because Anni was his favorite. I only ever knew Hitler as a kindly man who was good to me."
In fact, his gut remains contained six different mosses, a new analysis shows. The unappetizing plants shed light on the Neolithic man's lifestyle and travels during the last few days of his life.
The remains of the Iceman (also called Ötzi, Frozen Fritz and Similaun Man) were discovered accidentally in 1991 by German tourists in the Eastern Alps. Since then, a suite of tests has opened a window into the guy's life and death.
American Atheists Inc. sued in state court over a 2002 law that stresses God's role in Kentucky's homeland security alongside the military, police agencies and health departments.
Of particular concern is a 2006 clause requiring the Office of Homeland Security to post a plaque that says the safety and security of the state" cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon almighty God" and to stress that fact through training and educational materials.
Instead, it could be the U.S. Constitution.
According to an emolument clause in the Constitution, no lawmaker can be appointed to any civil position that was created or received a wage increase during the lawmaker's time in office.
President Bush ordered Cabinet salaries raised to $191,300 from $186,600 by executive order early this year, while Clinton was senator.
"My understanding is that does prohibit her unless they can find some way around it and I gather that they have in the past," former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger told FOX News.
"This isn't the first time this has come up," he said, referring to appointees of other presidents. "Maybe she has to renounce the salary increase but I'm sure they'll find a way around it."
Name of source: Juan Cole at his blog, Informed Comment
SOURCE: Juan Cole at his blog, Informed Comment (12-4-08)
Now comes exciting news that a joint Italian and Iranian archeological team has found Parsa, the gritty working-class district that lay outside the palace walls, where the artisans lived. The Iranian director, Alireza Askari, said:
" two trial trenches brought to light important evidence which suggests that in the Achaemenid and post-Achaemenid periods the area was dedicated to craft activities. In fact, one of the trial trenches yielded a kiln for pottery making, while the other was characterized by the presence of a large number of successive dump pits extremely rich in pottery shards, bricks, charcoal, and bones. Also for this area, the very promising results of the trial trenches suggest that extensive excavations will be carried out in the next season. Being one of the few stratigraphic excavations to have been carried out in the area of Persepolis for the historic period, this activity will allow a comprehensive and fundamental study of the pottery as well as of the other classes of materials recovered for the historic period from the Achaemenid through the Islamic periods, and thus bring a relevant contribution to the knowledge of everyday life in ancient Fars . . .” '
Name of source: http://www.onenewsnow.com
SOURCE: http://www.onenewsnow.com (12-4-08)
The new $621 billion Capitol Visitor Center features an exhibition hall that is dominated by a very large marble wall called "The Wall of Aspirations." Dr. Matthew Spalding of The Heritage Foundation says the exhibit is not about the Constitution's limits on powers delegated to the government, but instead lists aspirations such as unity, freedom, common defense, knowledge, exploration, and general welfare, and then points back to where they are found in the Constitution.
Spalding, director of the Simon Center for American Studies at Heritage, notes those words all appear in the Constitution, but argues they were taken out of context and used to justify much larger activities by Congress.
"The job of Congress, according to the exhibit, is to achieve these aspirations. So the old notion that says Article 1, Section 8 [of the Constitution] lists the powers that Congress has -- these are the things that Congress can do. [But] that old notion is set aside," he contends. "In its place we have this kind of open-ended 'aspirations' which Congress is going to define and achieve. And to get there, they do very selective quoting and...mangle many phrases in the Constitution to get them where they want to go."
The new Visitor Center project was overseen by the Capitol Preservation Commission, which mostly consists of elected officials like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Spalding says it is unclear who actually designed the exhibit and wrote the text for it, but he is advising people with complaints about the Visitor Center to contact the Architect of the Capitol, the officer charged with upkeep of the Center and its programs.
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (12-5-08)
Wei Jingsheng was 28, invigorated by the tide of optimism and unprecedented freedom of expression that followed the death of Chairman Mao in 1976, but angry at signals that Deng Xiaoping wanted public discussion to end. He made his way to the focus of the debate, a brick wall dubbed “Democracy Wall”, beside a bus station just west of Tiananmen Square on the Boulevard of Eternal Peace.
There he pasted up a paper demanding an addition to Deng's drive to bring Four Modernisations to China after the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. Mr Wei called for a “Fifth Modernisation”: democracy.
Three decades later, speaking from Prague, where is was attending a ceremony to honour his action, Mr Wei has no regrets. “My years in prison were tough, but I was happy. It was worth it, and I would do it again.”
SOURCE: Times (UK) (12-5-08)
A high proportion of Spanish and Portuguese males have a genetic profile indicative of North African or Jewish ancestry, according to research that sheds light on the region’s history. As many as one in five has a Y chromosome of apparently Jewish origin, while one in ten has a Y chromosome showing a North African heritage.
“These proportions attest to a high level of religious conversion, whether voluntary or enforced, driven by historical episodes of social and religious intolerance, that ultimately led to the integration of descendants,” said Professor Mark Jobling, of the University of Leicester, who led the research.
Name of source: BBC
The discovery was made by members of a government-appointed commission during excavation at a military base outside the capital, Kabul.
Daud Khan overthrew the last king of Afghanistan, Zahir Shah, in 1973.
His death five years later ushered in a decade of Soviet occupation followed by the rise of the Taleban.
Daud Khan overthrew the last king of Afghanistan, Zahir Shah, in 1973.
His death five years later ushered in a decade of Soviet occupation followed by the rise of the Taleban.
The former president is to be given a special funeral ceremony by the government.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Health told the Associated Press news agency that the former president's body was among dozens discovered at two mass graves in the Pul-e-Charkhi area, east of Kabul, six months ago.
The spokesman said that Mr Khan and 17 family members and associates were executed inside the presidential palace in Kabul during a communist-inspired coup in 1978.
He said that teeth moulds were used to identify the late president's body but the determining factor was a small golden Koran that was found with his remains.
Now the supernova recorded by Tycho Brahe has been glimpsed again, by Max Planck Institute scientists.
They used telescopes in Hawaii and Spain to capture faint light echoes of the original explosion, reflected by interstellar dust.
This"fossil imprint" of Tycho's famous supernova is reported in Nature.
The study will help solve a 400-year-old mystery over the nature of the celestial event which captivated observers across the globe.
Elders from London's Congolese community have begun a scheme to teach teenagers about Sir Henry Morton Stanley.
He was one of the Victorian age's greatest adventurers and helped to open up the Congo basin.
The scheme hopes to give children with Congolese backgrounds a sense of identity and stop them getting involved in gangs.
SOURCE: BBC (12-3-08)
Campaigners are hailing the treaty as a major breakthrough.
More than 100 countries are expected to sign, but some of the biggest stockpilers, including the US, Russia and China will not be among them.
First developed during World War II, cluster bombs contain a number of smaller bomblets designed to cover a large area and deter an advancing army.
But campaigners, including some in the military, have long argued they are outmoded and immoral because of the dangers posed to civilians from bombs that do not explode and litter the ground like landmines.
The bodies of 241 soldiers, most of them Iraqis, were handed over at a border crossing near Basra.
It is the first time remains were exchanged since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
The actor Paul Michael Glaser, who presents a Radio 2 documentary on the subject on Tuesday, has no doubt it has had a tremendous impact at a personal level.
Best known as Starsky in the long-running television show"Starsky & Hutch," Glaser said:"Aids had a huge impact on my life and on hundreds of thousands of my fellow Americans."
Glaser's own wife, Elizabeth contracted the HIV, which causes Aids, from a blood tranfusion in 1981 - the year Aids was first reported in the US.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (12-4-08)
Richard Holbrooke first visited Bosnia in 1992 as a private citizen.
Three years later, he would become one of the most influential U.S. figures working to end a war that had introduced a new euphemism for genocide: ethnic cleansing.
Holbrooke, who had worked as a diplomat, journalist and investment banker, was intrigued, disgusted and challenged by what he saw in the early days of the war in Bosnia.
A month before his first visit, reporters had learned of Bosnian Serb concentration camps where Muslim prisoners were tortured, sexually mutilated and executed. The news photographs and footage seemed like an echo of the Holocaust.
SOURCE: CNN (12-3-08)
"I wanted to make sure I never lived like that again," says McIntosh, who turns 77 on Saturday."We all worked hard and we all had good jobs and we all stayed with it. When we got a home, we stayed with it."
McIntosh is the girl to the left of her mother when you look at the photograph. The picture is best known as"Migrant Mother," a black-and-white photo taken in February or March 1936 by Dorothea Lange of Florence Owens Thompson, then 32, and her children.
Slate: She was an icon of the Great Depression
SOURCE: CNN (12-3-08)
Cheryl Katzmarzyk wants to be able to put a name to the remains, and to those of hundreds of other bodies stacked around her in a building in Lukavac, near Tuzla in the northeast of Bosnia.
The bones are from more than 8,000 men and boys slaughtered in 1995 during the Bosnian war at Srebrenica in the worst massacre in Europe since World War II.
The killers -- Serbs seeking to drive out Bosnian Muslims in a policy of"ethnic cleansing" -- executed the region's fighting-age males, then used bulldozers to dump them into mass graves.
The Reagan White House saw it as a ruthless attempt to put down a rebellion by a minority ethnic group fighting for independence and allied with Iraq's enemy, Iran.
But Peter Galbraith thought it was something worse.
"A light went off in my head, and I said, 'Saddam Hussein is committing genocide,'" said Galbraith, who was on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the time.
An unabashed idealist, Galbraith was known for tackling unconventional issues.
"If you're going to be idealistic in life, you're going to be disappointed," he said."But that's not a reason to abandon idealism."
Galbraith was one of the first Westerners to witness the effects of the slaughter. During a fact-finding trip for the Senate in 1987, he saw something troubling.
"As Anthony Acevedo, one of the soldiers chosen, recently described to CNN, the Nazis picked those soldiers who looked Jewish, had a Jewish name or were considered 'undesirable,'" Reps. Joe Baca, D-California, and Spencer Bachus, R-Alabama, said in a later sent to Geren last week.
"The trials and sacrifices made by those detained have largely gone unrecognized even to this day. As proud Americans, we wish to recognize and honor them for their service."
Twelve American presidents owned slaves and eight of them, starting with Washington, owned slaves while they lived in the White House. Almost from the very start, slaves were a common sight in the executive mansion. A list of construction workers building the White House in 1795 includes five slaves - named Tom, Peter, Ben, Harry and Daniel -- all put to work as carpenters. Other slaves worked as masons in the government quarries, cutting the stone for early government buildings, including the White House and U.S. Capitol. According to records kept by the White House Historical Association, slaves often worked seven days a week -- even in the hot and humid Washington summers.
In 1800, John Adams was the first president to live in the White House, moving in before it was finished. Adams was a staunch opponent of slavery, and kept no slaves. Future presidents, however, didn't follow his lead. Thomas Jefferson, who succeeded Adams, wrote that slavery was an"assemblage of horrors" and yet he brought his slaves with him. Early presidents were expected to pay their household expenses themselves, and many who came from the so-called"slave states" simply brought their slaves with them.
SOURCE: CNN (12-1-08)
Saturday's Mass honored Friar Jose Olallo Valdes, known as the father of the poor. It was the first beatification ceremony on the island.
"From here on, let him be called blessed," said the pope's representative, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican.
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (12-4-08)
Friedrich zu Solms-Baruth was swept up by the Gestapo the day after a failed 1944 bombing attempt on Hitler and thrown into the secret police's notorious Prinz Albrecht Strasse prison in Berlin.
Unlike scores of others connected with the Kreisau Circle of plotters who were executed, the German aristocrat was eventually released - but not before he had signed away ownership of his family's estates on the order of Gestapo and SS chief Heinrich Himmler.
Now, some 60 years later, Mr Solms-Baruth's grandson is continuing the family's fight for compensation for the millions of euro in lost property, with a hearing that begins today.
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (12-3-08)
The citadel comprises fortifications, parts of which are covered in rock paintings, stone houses and large platforms believed to be used to grind seeds and plants for food and medicine.
It sits atop a chasm that may have been used as a lookout, said archaeologist Benedict Goicochea Perez.
The encampment is thought to belong to the ancient Chachapoyas civilisation whose glory days occurred over a thousand years ago, pre-dating the powerful Incas, he said.
It was discovered under five acres of overgrown jungle in the remote Jamalca district of Utcubamba province, part of the northern Amazonas department and about 800 kilometres north east of Lima.
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (12-3-08)
The timing could hardly have been worse: on November 9th next year, the country will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall.
However, this wasn't the only gap in the nation's knowledge of history. Only 35 percent of the 1001 Germans surveyed knew that the Federal Republic and the former GDR were formed in 1949. And despite the Second World War still being very present in the German media, only 61 percent knew it began in 1939.
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (12-4-08)
An Austrian university student interested in the March 29, 1945 atrocity knew the names of a trio of Waffen SS members said to have gunned down the group of Hungarian Jewish slave laborers.
Professor conducted interviews
The student located the 89-year-old by simply looking up his name in a German telephone directory. The student's professor, Walter Manoschek, then conducted a series of interviews with the man.
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (12-1-08)
The agency's greatest achievements include compiling evidence between 1963 and 1965 to prosecute the key surviving commanders and guards from the Auschwitz death camp.
At Ludwigsburg in south-western Germany, where the agency has its office, German President Horst Koehler highlighted its contribution to restoring German honor in the world by ensuring that Nazis were duly punished for Holocaust crimes.
"We can thank these efforts to punish Nazi crimes for the fact that our nation is once again a respected member of the family of nations and is friends with former enemies," he said.
Knobloch, president of the Central Council of Jews, praised the agency but said the German justice system had not done enough.
"The race against time has been lost," she said. "An unknown number of grave crimes remain unpunished."
She accused Germany of not giving the Ludwigsburg agency sufficient powers to act fast against former Nazis.
Name of source: NPR
SOURCE: NPR (12-4-08)
For instance, Rove said that President Bush probably would not have gone to war in Iraq if he had known the truth about Saddam Hussein's military capacity. "Absent weapons of mass destruction," Rove said, "I don't think there would have been an invasion."
And when Rove was asked why Osama bin Laden remains at large, Rove replied, "Because he is hiding in a deep, dark cave in a very dark corner of, in all likelihood, Pakistan. And to suggest that not every effort has been made to get him is inaccurate. Every effort has been made to get him, to get at his communications, to get at his allies, to get at his subordinates, to get at his inner circle."
Name of source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk
SOURCE: http://www.walesonline.co.uk (12-1-08)
Over thousands of years the blood spilled in wars between the ruling classes “artificially” created Wales, Scotland, Ireland and England, not the DNA in our blood.
DNA studies show that anyone with a few generations of ancestors who lived in any part of the British Isles is descended from the original inhabitants of Britain.
These people arrived in small numbers from the Iberian peninsular (modern Spain and Portugal), some 8,000 to 9,000 years ago. They provided the bedrock of our modern genetic makeup from John O’Groats to Lands End and from Anglesey to Norwich. The infusions of DNA from Danish, Saxon, Norman and others over the last 2,000 years are now almost insignificant.
Whether we call ourselves English, Welsh, Irish or Scottish, the DNA of the invaders has been diluted by generations of breeding with the native stock, people directly descended from the pioneering Iberian settlers who arrived here after the last Ice Age.
Juan Cole commentary
Name of source: Times (of London)
SOURCE: Times (of London) (12-3-08)
The bottle of Ballantine Scotch was one of about 240,000 that sank with the SS Politician in the Outer Hebrides in 1941. For weeks the islanders celebrated on the spirits they had looted from the wreck, hiding the bottles from government officials.
The incident inspired a novel by Compton Mackenzie and the 1949 Ealing comedy film.
The bottle was sold at Gorringes auctioneers in Lewes, East Sussex, to the family of Tam Burt, an 18-year-old student, from Dollar, Clackmannanshire. He said: “I like to drink whisky but this one will stay untouched.”
SOURCE: Times (of London) (12-3-08)
Hussein Onyango Obama, Mr Obama’s paternal grandfather, became involved in the Kenyan independence movement while working as a cook for a British army officer after the war. He was arrested in 1949 and jailed for two years in a high-security prison where, according to his family, he was subjected to horrific violence to extract information about the growing insurgency.
“The African warders were instructed by the white soldiers to whip him every morning and evening till he confessed,” said Sarah Onyango, Hussein Onyango’s third wife, the woman Mr Obama refers to as “Granny Sarah”.
Mrs Onyango, 87, described how “white soldiers” visited the prison every two or three days to carry out “disciplinary action” on the inmates suspected of subversive activities.
“He said they would sometimes squeeze his testicles with parallel metallic rods. They also pierced his nails and buttocks with a sharp pin, with his hands and legs tied together with his head facing down,” she said The alleged torture was said to have left Mr Onyango permanently scarred, and bitterly antiBritish. “That was the time we realised that the British were actually not friends but, instead, enemies,” Mrs Onyango said. “My husband had worked so diligently for them, only to be arrested and detained.”
Name of source: MSNBC First Read (blog)
SOURCE: MSNBC First Read (blog) (12-2-08)
Again and again, Nixon comes across as ruthless, cynical and profane in conversations with staff members.
Here are some examples:
-- On July 1, 1971, Nixon instructs Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman to have someone break into the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.:
"I can't have a high-minded lawyer ... I want a son-of-a-b----. I want someone just as tough as I am. ... We're up against an enemy, a conspiracy that will use any means. We are going to use any means... . Get it done. I want it done. I want the Brookings Institution cleaned out and have it cleaned out in a way that has somebody else take the blame."...
-- On May 18, 1972, Nixon talks to Henry Kissinger about the National Security Adviser's meeting with Ivy League college presidents regarding the war in Vietnam:
NIXON: "The Ivy League presidents? Why, I'll never let those sons-of-b------ in the White House again. Never, never, never. They're finished. The Ivy League schools are finished ... Henry, I would never have had them in. Don't do that again ... They came out against us when it was tough ... Don't ever go to an Ivy League school again, ever. Never, never, never."
AP: Nixon records show aides dishing dirt on critics
Name of source: Dr. Luke A. Nichter at nixontapes.org
SOURCE: Dr. Luke A. Nichter at nixontapes.org (12-2-08)
The topics discussed on these "Fifth Chron" tapes include the 1972 presidential election, Vietnam peace talks and the "Christmas bombing", foreign policy including the Soviet Union and China, Nixon's cabinet reshuffle in advance of the beginning of his second term, Nixon's interest in renaming or even abolishing the Republican Party and supporting prominent Democrat and former Nixon Secretary of the Treasury John B. Connally as the 1976 Republican presidential nominee, plans for the 1973 policy "the Year of Europe", domestic policy, and others.
nixontapes.org has obtained a copy of this new tape release, and will be soon adding the complete audio, finding aids, and analysis. For those who cannot wait to hear some of the real "gems" in this release, the following are a few samples.
- Sample conversation 1: December 10, 1972
- In advance of the collapse in peace talks on December 13, President Nixon calls Soviet Ambassador to Washington D.C. Anatoly Dobrynin. Nixon leans heavily on Dobrynin to get a message to Moscow. Nixon requests Soviet intervention with ally North Vietnam in order to save the jeopardized peace talks. Nixon argues that it is in both American and Soviet interests to "remove this irritant" of the Vietnam War. To listen to the audio, click here (mp3, 2.4m).
- Sample conversation 2: December 12, 1972
- In the Oval Office, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Alexander M. Haig briefs President Nixon on the Paris peace talks, which were in the midst of collapse. Nixon appreciates the tough approach national security advisor Henry Kissinger was taking in the peace talks, noting that the impasse could continue until the end of the month. The following day, Nixon issues an ultimatum that peace negotiations must resume within 72 hours. To listen to the audio, click here (mp3, 2.9m).
- Sample conversation 3: December 14, 1972
- In the first part of a long Oval Office conversation that included President Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and Alexander Haig, Nixon provides the rationale for the Christmas bombing, a.k.a. Operation Linebacker II, which would begin on December 18. To listen to the audio, click here (mp3, 815k).
- Sample conversation 4: December 14, 1972
- In a second excerpt of this same Oval Office conversation, Nixon notes the need to demonstrate toughness with the North Vietnamese, and not to give in to "the other side." To listen to the audio, click here (mp3, 461k).
- Sample conversation 5: December 14, 1972
- In this final excerpt from this critical conversation, Nixon admonishes Henry Kissinger, that "the press are the enemy, the professors are the enemy." Kissinger points out that he is a professor. When Nixon seems not to notice Kisinger's rebuttal, Kissinger quickly agrees with Nixon about his views on the press. To listen to the audio, click here (mp3, 479k).
- Sample conversation 6: December 28, 1972
- In a telephone conversation between President Nixon and Henry Kissinger, after ten days of the heaviest bombing since World War II, both men agree that the North Vietnamese were eager to return to the negotiating table. Nixon agrees to cease bombing within 36 hours, which did end the following day. Nixon notes to Kissinger that if necessary, new negotiations should take place with North Vietnam only, and that any agreement reached would then be promulgated with South Vietnam. To listen to the audio, click here (mp3, 9.7m).
Name of source: Philip Kennicott in the WaPo
SOURCE: Philip Kennicott in the WaPo (12-2-08)
This duality -- grandeur and authority vs. simplicity and openness -- also expressed an ideal of government. To survive, a republic must have authority, tradition and ceremonies. But it must also have its yeoman side, which allows the people to wander the halls of power as equals with their legislators.
The "truth to power" side of the Capitol, the East face, has been demolished by the new Visitor Center, a tragically misconceived and overscale addition, which opens today. The East face has become something entirely new, with a false and slick pomposity created by an impressive promenade over an imposing bridge, which seems to cross a kind of moat. It is a historical and aesthetic jumble, a nonsensical place and a gross disfigurement of one of this country's most important and iconic buildings.