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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)
According to a report in the New York Times, citing court lawyers and diplomats, judges in the Hague will formally announce the decision over the next few days.
It said precise charges cited by the judges against Bashir had not been not disclosed.
Last year, ICC's chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked the court for an arrest warrant for Bashir on 10 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.
His masterpiece On The Origin of Species, published in 1859, transformed the way science was understood, with his theories on evolution forming the basis of modern biology.
Darwin's theory, proposing that life evolves by natural selection over millions of years, caused uproar in the worlds of science, religion and art and is viewed as one of the most important texts of the last 200 years.
The esteem in which Darwin is held will be celebrated at more than 100 venues including zoos, museums, theatres and galleries across the UK.
Buckingham Palace has also released from the Royal Archive film footage of a dashing young Duke of Edinburgh in a cinema advertisement for the Playing Fields Association in 1951. The Duke makes a guest appearance as "the boss" in a short film in which group of children, who have been banned from playing cricket in the streets and the local park, appeal to him for help.
There is also a black and white video film of people queuing for a glimpse of the wedding cake of the future Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother to the future George VI in 1923.
The Queen, 82, who visited Google last year, is determined to make her website more user friendly and relevant to modern-day society. The website, first launched 12 years ago, has been significantly improved and expanded and will link up for the first time with Google, the world's most popular search engine.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-11-09)
Gandhi gave his metal rimmed, circular lensed glasses to an army colonel with the words: "These gave me the vision to free India."
His Zenith pocket watch was given to his grand niece, Abha Gandhi, his assistant of six years, in whose arms he died after being shot in 1948.
As Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, commonly known as Mahatma, had few possessions these items are of huge interest and are expected to well exceed the estimate of £30,000.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-10-09)
They danced on the rooftops and they danced in the streets when back in 1979 national radio announced that the Shah of Iran had left the country. Even though it was ostensibly only for a holiday, no one believed he would be back.
He was the 78-year-old Ayatollah, Ruhollah Khomeini, who was credited with leading a "cassette revolution" by which his vitriolic pronouncements against the Shah were distributed throughout the country via a network of mosques and shrines. His main call was for a government with its basis in Islamic ideology and an end to foreign influence, particularly American, in his country.
And that was exactly what he got but not before much blood had been shed and the civil rights activists and Marxists had been quashed.
He had also to organise his return to Tehran from Paris. This happened on Feb 1 and immediately brought him into conflict with the then prime minister, Dr Shahpour Bakhtiar, who had been appointed by the Shah, to rule in his absence.
Rapidly the violence spread as local civilians joined in the clamour for Khomeini to take over the controls of the country, though Dr Bakhtiar threatened to bomb the area if they persisted. But they did and the premier fled the capital and then the country, turning up in Paris where he was to be assassinated in 1991.
Meanwhile revolutionary committees were springing up in Khomeini's support around the country and they enforced Islamic tenets, like a total ban on alcohol and the stoning to death of women found guilty of adultery.
In some places there were so many cases that tipper trucks were brought in to pile rubble on the heads of women buried in the ground up to their necks. In many cases their degree of guilt was questionable.
Opposition to Khomeini arose in many of the tribal areas, particularly in the oil fields of the Arab dominated south west where neighbouring Iraq was actively stirring up sentiments, jeopardising the main source of income for Iran.
But despite all opposition, Khomeini managed to ride rough shod over all his opponents and push through a new constitution which gave him unfettered powers as president for life and to set his country on an irrevocable path as the Islamic Republic of Iran, which it remains to this day.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-8-09)
By the end of the year around one in five of the country's 7,000 archaeologists are expected to have lost their jobs, experts believe.
The profession has expanded rapidly in recent years thanks to legislation that forced developers to pay for digs.
But now jobs are going because so many construction projects are being put on hold.
In the last quarter of 2008, 345 lost their jobs, according to to the Institute for Archaeologists.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-8-09)
Ahead of the 200th anniversary of the pioneering naturalist's birth on Thursday, they warn that militant atheists are turning people away from evolution by using it as a weapon with which to attack religion.
However, in a letter published in The Daily Telegraph, they also urge believers in creationism to acknowledge the overwhelming body of evidence that now exists to back up Darwin's theory of how life on Earth has developed.
It comes after a survey of 2,000 people conducted by Theos, the religion think tank, found that half believe the theory of evolution cannot explain the complexity of the natural world. One in three said they thought God created the Earth within the past 10,000 years.
The influential signatories of the letter include two Church of England bishops, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain and a member of the Evangelical Alliance, as well as Professor Lord Winston, the fertility pioneer, and Professor Sir Martin Evans, winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (2-12-09)
The pope met with about 60 American Jewish leaders on Thursday and assured them the Catholic Church was "profoundly and irrevocably committed to reject all anti-Semitism," issuing his strongest condemnation yet of Holocaust denial.
The furor blew up after Benedict lifted the excommunication of a traditionalist bishop who denied the Holocaust, sparking outrage among Jews and Catholics alike. The Vatican said Benedict did not know about the views of Bishop Richard Williamson when he agreed to lift the excommunication.
Jewish leaders applauded his comments, saying the crisis with the church that had been sparked by Bishop Richard Williamson's comments was over.
The Vatican also said that the pope's visit to Israel — the second official visit by a pope —would take place in May. Its date had not previously been announced, and as the outrage over Williamson increased, some had questioned whether the trip would take place.
The ruling set the stage for the return of the entire collection of thousands of posters taken by the Nazis, which are now worth at least euro4.5 million ($5.85 million).
The Berlin administrative court ruled that Hans Sachs never gave up ownership of the collection of 12,500 posters taken from his home on the orders of Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Tuesday that residents living near the site in Raleigh said they found property records that show it was once owned by a family that operated a plantation.
They said headstones on the land indicate more graves are on the site and plan to present their findings to Wake County school officials this week.
The hours were grueling - 16 hours a day, seven days a week. The pay was poor and the work menial at best. Porters cleaned toilets, made beds and satisfied the whims of passengers who sometimes called them "boy" or worse.
Still, Pullman porters saw the country, met famous people and supported families.
On Tuesday, Amtrak honored the legacy of Pullman porters, who formed the first black labor union in the country in 1925.
SOURCE: AP (2-8-09)
Beginning Thursday, the national Lincoln Bicentennial exhibit at the Library of Congress, "With Malice Toward None," will showcase the Bible, along with the first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, what may be the original Gettysburg Address and even the grammar book Lincoln used to master English.
The three-month display is among dozens of events and exhibits in the nation's capital celebrating Lincoln's Feb. 12 birthday...After the free exhibit closes in May, it will travel to The California Museum in Sacramento, Calif., and museums in Chicago, Indianapolis, Atlanta and Omaha, Neb., through 2011.
SOURCE: AP (2-9-09)
On March 2, 1955, the 15-year-old schoolgirl from Montgomery, Ala., was dragged off the bus by police, handcuffed and jailed. But her bold act drew little support from classmates — many of whom shunned her — or from the city's black leadership.
She went to court the following year as a plaintiff in a landmark lawsuit that struck down the legal underpinnings for segregated buses in the Jim Crow South and ended the bus boycott that kick-started the civil rights movement.
But even then she won scant recognition and had remained a footnote to history.
Author Phillip Hoose stumbled upon Colvin's story during research for a book on the role of young people in U.S. history. It took him more than six years to track down Colvin, who was living in the Bronx, N.Y., for a series of interviews that led to his book, "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice," which was released last month.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (2-12-09)
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield also opened its doors Thursday for a special celebration, featuring original documents including the Gettysburg Address.
Meanwhile, the Library of Congress marks the bicentennial Thursday by opening a special exhibit featuring Lincoln's handwritten speeches and artifacts, including the Bible used last month by Obama during his swearing-in.
"This exhibit, in a little more than 200 items, presents Lincoln, the man and the politician," said John Sellers, curator of the exhibit, which runs through May 9.
SOURCE: CNN (2-10-09)
As we witness a new leader take office and celebrate past commanders-in-chief on President's Day this month, CNN asked William Clotworthy, author of "Homes and Libraries of the Presidents," to recommend five places for travelers to see a very human side of history's presidents.
There's more than split rails at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site in Hodgenville, Kentucky. The site, run by the National Park Service, offers exhibits and walking tours so the visitor can experience a little of the frontier life that shaped the nation's 16th president.
Ronald Reagan's final resting place can also be an excellent starting point for those curious about his life. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California, not only houses all Reagan's official presidential papers and records, but also includes such personal objects as his college letter sweater, movie memorabilia from his film career and even a glass jelly bean jar.
Home to George Washington for most of his adult life, Mount Vernon in Virginia has been open to a curious public since 1860. Nearly 80 million visitors have toured the first president's home since then, making it the most popular historic home in the United States. On Presidents' Day, admission is free.
Name of source: University of Liverpool (UK)
SOURCE: University of Liverpool (UK) (1-28-09)
As records detailing the grammatical construction of the language are rare, expert Jennifer Kewley Draskau, at the University’s Centre for Manx Studies, used texts dating back to the 15th Century as well as unstructured, informal conversations between fluent native speakers on the Isle on Man. She also studied the 18th Century Manx Bible and modern poetry to produce the handbook, called Practical Manx, a guide to the grammar and morphology of the language.
Manx Gaelic – an off-shoot of Old Irish – virtually died out as community speech when English became the language of trade in the 19th Century. Manx is experiencing a revival and more than 600 people now claim to speak the language. The new study is the first attempt to record and describe the language, and the first time in more than a century that a grammar of Manx has been produced.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (2-12-09)
Almost nothing of the original interior remains, but the building has been painstakingly restored using crime scene pictures taken at the time by the famous Civil War photographer Mathew Brady.
The theatre is as much a shrine as a place of entertainment and has drawn about a million visitors a year.
The refurbishment comes not only as the US marks the bicentenary of Lincoln's birth on 12 February 1809, but as the 16th president gains renewed prominence, being frequently quoted and praised by the 44th president, Barack Obama.
Speaking on the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran, he said Iran would welcome change from the US as long as it was "fundamental".
Mr Ahmadinejad has previously said the US must apologise for past "crimes" against Iran.
The two nations cut ties in 1979 after the US-backed Shah was overthrown.
The two are accused of involvement in shooting down the plane carrying the Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, which triggered the 1994 genocide.
Rwanda has set up its own commission of inquiry into its charges that France backed the militias who slaughtered some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
Rwanda has convinced other African countries not to implement the indictment and the African Union has asked for the charges to be dropped.
He is wanted by the UN to face war crimes charges in connection with the Bosnian conflict of the 1990s.
Local police and Nato troops joined the latest search, raiding homes belonging to the former general's sister and sister-in-law near Sarajevo.
The BBC correspondent in Belgrade, Helen Fawkes, says a number of items have been taken away for examination.
Prosecutors at The Hague believe he directed some of the worst atrocities of the Bosnian war, including the siege of Sarajevo and the massacre at Srebrenica, in which at least 7,500 unarmed Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed.
For three seconds ETV News ran a moving banner headline across the screen saying "George Bush is dead".
The "misbroadcast" happened when a technician pressed the "broadcast live for transmission" button instead of the one for a test-run.
The mistake happened when a senior staff member wanted to see how a rolling banner headline looked.
The mistake was first reported on by the Afrikaans language newspaper Beeld, and on the media group's website, News24.com.
George Bush was well-known for making mistakes when speaking, leading to the phrase "Bushism".
SOURCE: BBC (2-7-09)
Jewish groups and commentators have questioned the project's historic value, claiming that the reprints of the Nazi-era newspapers will play into the hands of far-right groups who could use the papers for their own propaganda purposes.
The authorities in the state Bavaria went one step further and announced that they would press criminal proceedings against the publisher of Zeitungszeugen.
The authorities confiscated more than 3,200 reprints of an edition of the Nazi newspaper, Voelkischer Beobachter (People's Observer), in the second issue of Zeitungszeugen in Bavaria.
SOURCE: BBC (2-9-09)
Olaudah Equiano, also known by his slave name Gustavus Vassa, will be honoured with a memorial in St Margaret's Church at Westminster Abbey.
Despite his enslavement as a young man, he purchased his freedom and worked as a seaman, merchant and explorer.
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (2-12-09)
A statement released by the center's Jerusalem office said findings by The New York Times and German public broadcaster ZDF proved that Heim, known as "Dr. Death," submitted an application to extend his stay in Egypt in 1981.
"It is clear that representatives of the German Embassy in Cairo most likely were aware of the Nazi war criminal's residence in Egypt as early as that year, but apparently failed to report this fact to the German judicial authorities, despite the existing arrest warrant for Heim's arrest," the statement said.
The New York Times and ZDF reported earlier this month that Heim died of cancer in Cairo on Aug. 10, 1992.
A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday Berlin was taking the issue "very seriously" and that there would be a "thorough investigation."
Name of source: The Cutting Edge
SOURCE: The Cutting Edge (2-11-09)
The books and papers were plundered and fell from the movement’s control in Europe during the war-torn decades of the last century. The story of how Russia came to control the historic collections is nothing less than a chronicle of the mystical Lubavitch Jews of Poland and Russia during the tempestuous events of Czarist repression, the Bolshevik Revolution, World Wars I and II, the Cold War period, the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the rise of the modern Russian Federation. The story of Chabad’s efforts to reclaim their papers is a bitter saga spanning all those periods.
Remarkably, Chabad has achieved a stunning legal victory—for now, thanks to the persistent efforts of a legal team headed by the Washington law firm of Lewin and Lewin, LLP. Known for championing Jewish causes— Nathan Lewin and Alyza Lewin -- sometimes called “attorneys for the Tribe,” worked together with attorneys from Howrey LLP and Bingham McCutchen LLP to obtained a rare federal court decision commanding Russia to preserve the books and documents and instructing Russia to provide the Court with a written description of the steps it is taking to preserve the books and manuscripts.
The Court issued the unusual order after Chabad submitted evidence showing that 12 extremely valuable and sacred handwritten documents written by the Third Lubavitcher Rebbe were removed from the Russian Military Archive and transported to Jerusalem -- possibly for sale to collectors of Judaica. But few in the case are confident. Pyrrhic victories in this case have been piling up for almost a century.
The disputed collection goes back to the Jewish movement’s origin in the 18th Century when the first “Lubavitcher Rebbe” emerged. The first Lubavitch Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, attracted followers in the much-disputed Eastern European regions, now known in the main as Poland and Russia. Six successor Rebbes have continued his philosophy and spiritual devotions, stressing mind over emotion. Their collected wisdom is largely enshrined in 381 manuscripts, 12,000 rare books and 25,000 handwritten archival documents at heart of the dispute. The Lubavitch group is now represented by the Hassidic organization known as Agudas Chasidei Chabad. Chabad argues that these collections represent “the most central wisdom, comprehension and knowledge” of the Lubavitch Rebbes, or spiritual leaders. Without those documents, Chabad is without its spiritual soul. Indeed, the word “Chabad” itself is an acronym for the Hebrew words for “central wisdom, comprehension and knowledge.”...
Name of source: Tehran Times
SOURCE: Tehran Times (2-11-09)
Chief guest, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Labor and Manpower Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah along with ambassador of Iran Mashaallah Shakeri cut the cake to begin the celebrations.
A number of diplomats attended the function.
Name of source: Nicholas Wade in the NYT
SOURCE: Nicholas Wade in the NYT (2-9-09)
It is a testament to Darwin’s extraordinary insight that it took almost a century for biologists to understand the essential correctness of his views.
Biologists quickly accepted the idea of evolution, but for decades they rejected natural selection, the mechanism Darwin proposed for the evolutionary process. Until the mid-20th century they largely ignored sexual selection, a special aspect of natural selection that Darwin proposed to account for male ornaments like the peacock’s tail.
And biologists are still arguing about group-level selection, the idea that natural selection can operate at the level of groups as well as on individuals. Darwin proposed group selection — or something like it; scholars differ as to what he meant — to account for castes in ant societies and morality in people.
Name of source: IHT
SOURCE: IHT (2-8-09)
Darwin held back the book to avoid offending his wife, said Ruth Padel, the naturalist's great-great-granddaughter. "She said he seemed to be putting God further and further off," Padel said in her north London home. "But they talked it through, and she said, "Don't change any of your ideas for fear of hurting me.'"
More than 300 birthday celebrations are planned in Britain alone, where Darwin's face graces the 10-pound bill along with that of Queen Elizabeth II. Shrewsbury, the central England town where Darwin was born and raised, is holding a monthlong festival for its most famous son. And a permanent exhibition re-creating some of his most famous experiments is opening at Down House, his former home near London.
Many more events are planned worldwide, including the Second World Summit on evolution in the Galapagos islands in August. In Australia, the Perth Mint is putting out a special commemorative silver coin.
Bob Bloomfield, special projects director at London's Museum of Natural History, said Darwin was cautious not only because he didn't want to offend his wife, but also because he understood that the concept of man's evolution from other animals was controversial. He didn't want to present it simply as a hypothesis, but as an explanation buttressed by many observations and facts.
Darwin's small, handwritten diaries are on display at a major exhibit at the Museum of Natural History, as well as thousands of specimens he collected. Some came from his fabled five-year trip to South America aboard the Beagle, when he visited the remote Galapagos Islands and saw how some species had adapted to its strange, demanding environment.
The diaries offer insights into Darwin's meticulous, analytical approach. He even lists the pros and cons of getting married.
SOURCE: IHT (2-9-09)
This 1938 village, along with Greenbelt, Maryland, and Greendale, Wisconsin, was created to move struggling families out of nearby cities and into a healthier environment, with shopping, recreation and nearly 200 small modernist apartment buildings and houses surrounded by a forest
Yet change has come. Over protests from residents, officials tore down 52 apartments on the National Register of Historic Places, saying they made the village look down-at-the-heel. Now, signs saying, "Not for Sale" and "Keep Your Hands Off My House" are taped to frosty windows.
Hundreds of buildings commissioned by the Works Progress Administration and Franklin D. Roosevelt's other "alphabet" agencies are being demolished or threatened with destruction, mourned or fought over by small groups of citizens in a new national movement to save the architecture of the New Deal.
Professors, authors and architects have formed the National New Deal Preservation Association. State governments from Arkansas to California are compiling lists of WPA-era projects still standing.
SOURCE: IHT (2-8-09)
Richard Williamson is one of four bishops from the ultraconservative Society of St. Pius X whose excommunication was lifted by the Vatican last month. The decision sparked outrage because Williamson had said in a television interview last month that he did not believe any Jews were gassed during the Holocaust.
On Wednesday, the Vatican demanded that Williamson recant his denial before he be admitted as a bishop into the Roman Catholic Church.
Williamson made clear that he did not plan to comply immediately, and rejected a suggestion to visit Auschwitz, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported.
"Since I see that there are many honest and intelligent people who think differently, I must look again at the historical evidence," the British bishop was quoted as saying.
The magazine suggested that he could make a personal visit to Auschwitz, a death camp set up by the Nazis in occupied Poland, where more than one million people died, most of them Jews. "I will not go to Auschwitz," said Williamson, who lives in Argentina.
Williamson has apologized to Pope Benedict XVI for having stirred up controversy, but he has not repudiated his comments, in which he also asserted that only 200,000 to 300,000 Jews were killed in all of World War II and that none of them were gassed.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (2-7-09)
Literature, film, scientific journals, newspapers, court records, corporate documents and other material, accumulated over centuries, needed to be adapted for computer databases. Once there, it had to be arranged — along with newer, born-digital material — in a way that would let people find what they needed and keep finding it well into the future.
The people entrusted to find a place for this wealth of information are known as digital asset managers, or sometimes as digital archivists and digital preservation officers. Whatever they are called, demand for them is expanding.
SOURCE: NYT (2-9-09)
Consider the institution that is Representative John D. Dingell, a Democrat who has represented Detroit since 1955 and who this week becomes the longest-serving House member in history.
Mr. Dingell applauds President Obama’s drive to expand health care coverage, a cause that he and his congressman father before him have championed since Franklin D. Roosevelt occupied the Oval Office. He has less interest in Mr. Obama’s quest to purify the political processes of Pennsylvania Avenue, which last week helped trip up the administration’s choice to lead health care reform.
“I’m not one who thinks Washington is an evil place,” Mr. Dingell said in his suite at the Rayburn House Office Building. “Bad people do bad things here, but they do them everywhere.”
Rather than trying to change the capital, Mr. Dingell concluded, Mr. Obama stands the greatest chance of succeeding “if he were to try to make substantive change that would help people.”
SOURCE: NYT (2-9-09)
“We’re moving precipitously close to what I would call a savior-based economy,” Sanford also said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
The South Carolina Republican said such an economy is “what you see in Russia or Venezuela or Zimbabwe or places like that where it matters not how good your product is to the consumer but what your political connection is to those in power.”
“That is quite different than a market-based economy where some rise and some fall but there’s a consequence to making a stupid decision,” Sanford said after pointing to the powers granted to the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve to help deal with the current economic crisis.
HNN Hot Topics: Barack Obama Is Like ... ?
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (2-10-09)
Secret correspondence from 1978 released by the National Archives shows that Sir Anthony Parsons was desperate to reassure the British Government that its interests would be safe under the weakening rule of the Shah.
He was distracted, however, by Mrs Thatcher, the Leader of the Opposition, who was due to visit Iran in the spring of 1978 and wrote in advance to request a “good local hairdresser” who “should bring Carmen rollers” to prepare her trademark bouffant.
Sir Anthony’s priorities should, perhaps, have been elsewhere.
Name of source: Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (2-9-09)
SPIEGEL: The Vatican is demanding that you retract your denial of the Holocaust, and it is threatening to not allow you to resume your activities as a bishop. How will you react?
Williamson: Throughout my life, I have always sought the truth. That is why I converted to Catholicism and became a priest. And now I can only say something, the truth of which I am convinced. Because I realize that there are many honest and intelligent people who think differently, I must now review the historical evidence once again. I said the same thing in my interview with Swedish television: Historical evidence is at issue, not emotions. And if I find this evidence, I will correct myself. But that will take time.
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (2-10-09)
SPIEGEL has seen the contents of a document written in 1924 in which the secretary of the German Oriental Company (DOG) gave an account of a meeting on Jan. 20, 1913 between a senior Egyptian official and German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt, who found the bust during a dig in 1912.
The secretary had been present at the meeting which was called to divide up the spoils of the dig between Germany and Egypt on a 50-50 basis. Borchardt, the witness noted, "wanted to save the bust for us" and to that end presented a photograph that didn't show Nefertiti in her best light.
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (2-9-09)
To honor the 16th US president -- emancipator of the slaves, savior of the Union and victor of the Civil War -- the library is showcasing a collection of his letters, speeches and other miscellaneous items.
Kicking off the exhibit is an audiovisual history of Lincoln's legacy, concluding with images of the nation's 44th president, Barack Obama.
"What better legacy for Lincoln's actions than the first African-American president 200 years later," said Kim Curry, the exhibition's spokeswoman.
The collection is entitled "With Malice Toward None" a nod to Lincoln's now lauded second inaugural address.
Name of source: Politico.com
SOURCE: Politico.com (2-8-09)
That would mean American forces would remain in danger past President Obama’s terms, into his second term if he wins reelection or the 45th presidency if he doesn’t.
Ricks, author of the bestselling “Fiasco,” offers that grim forecast in a new book being published Tuesday, “The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008” (394 pages, The Penguin Press, $27.95).
Name of source: Time Magazine
SOURCE: Time Magazine (2-4-09)
Inevitably, the main focus of all this attention is Lincoln's views on race and equality, and his leadership during the cataclysmic Civil War. Yet given the fix we're in, Lincoln's economic ideas deserve some attention too. Long before he gave his first speeches about Union or slavery, Lincoln was a crusader on questions of economic development and banking. He cut his political teeth on conditions painfully topical for us today: an economic crash that left the young legislator struggling to shore up a failing bank while arguing for government spending on public works.
Name of source: The Sunday times (Sri Lanka)
SOURCE: The Sunday times (Sri Lanka) (2-8-09)
The vessel - 23 metres long and six metres wide - was discovered two months ago. It is located 26 km off Kirinda, and lies at a depth of six metres. Iron, brass and brick props have been used to support the vessel, whose woodwork has deteriorated over the years. Nine types of bottles of varying size, shape and colours, including several unopened bottles containing a carbonated lemon beverage, were found among the recovered items.
The trade-marked bottles indicate they were manufactured by Clarke Romer & Co. Ceylon in 1840. The company had branches in Colombo and Kandy. Advertisements appearing in the “Examiner” of 1846.10.07 and “Prodens Fone Selanika” on display at the Colombo Museum suggest that the company’s product was in demand during a cholera epidemic.
Name of source: LiveScience
SOURCE: LiveScience (2-9-09)
Ancient Greeks first worshipped the omnipotent Zeus at a remote altar on Mount Lykaion, a team of Greek and American archaeologists now think. During a recent dig at the site, the researchers found ceremonial goods commonly used in cult activity and dated at over three millennia old, making them the earliest known "appearance" of Zeus in Greece.
The discovery challenges the idea that Zeus worship began on the Greek island of Crete, which at least one classical historian names as the god's mythic birthplace. The latest finds on Mount Lykaion, in the mainland province of Arcadia, are as old as the idea of Zeus himself, said the project's senior research scientist David Romano, of the University of Pennsylvania.
"This new evidence strongly suggests that there were drinking (and perhaps feasting) parties taking place on the top of the mountain in the Late Helladic period, around 3,300 or 3,400 years ago," Romano said.
Name of source: National Geographic
SOURCE: National Geographic (2-6-09)
Researchers discovered the rock-hard hyena dung near the Sterkfontein caves, where many early human ancestor fossils have been found.
Until now, the oldest known human hair was from a 9,000-year-old Chilean mummy.
The sizes and shapes of the coprolites and their location suggest they came from brown hyenas, which still live in the region's caves today.
It's not clear which species the newfound human hairs are from, since the human fossil record for this time span is exceedingly limited, the researchers say.
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (2-9-09)
Mr Heim says that his father’s body was buried in an anonymous common grave, although he did get a death certificate, a copy of which was recently obtained from the Egyptian authorities and shown to the world last week.
However, there are some who think that the evidence is far from conclusive. Chief among them is Dr Efraim Zuroff, the Israeli director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre — the charitable organisation that tracks down surviving Nazi criminals.
Some have speculated that the story is simply a way for Rüdiger to gain control of his father’s estimated £1 million investments, which were frozen by the German authorities in the Seventies.
And there are good reasons why Heim, knowing investigators were closing in, might have conspired in a last, desperate attempt to elude them. For he may have been part of a whole network of Nazi sympathisers and survivors who have found shelter in the Middle East.
That suggestion is raised by Rüdiger’s admission that one of the reasons why he had helped protect his parent’s new identity was that he did not wish to ‘bring trouble’ for his father’s friends in Egypt.
Whatever the truth, Heim’s case draws attention to the fact that while the global hunt for Nazi war criminals focused on South America — where sympathisers are known to have sheltered men such as Josef Mengele, the ‘Angel of Death’ — many, in fact, were given sanctuary far closer to home, in the Middle East.
The truth is that countries such as Egypt and Syria welcomed perhaps hundreds of such ‘guests’ in the aftermath of World War II.
Most controversial of all, though, are the rumours that the former Egyptian President Colonel Nasser not only offered sanctuary to Nazi war criminals, but actively employed them to help him develop arms that could be used against Israel itself.
The suspicions may, in part, be down to the sheer embarrassment of the Simon Wiesenthal organisation who have devoted years and considerable funds, without success, in the attempt to trace their most wanted man.
Just seven months ago, the Wiesenthal Centre announced fresh leads that Heim was in South America and that it could reveal his hiding place ‘within a couple of weeks’.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (2-9-09)
The meetings, the first since the controversy over Bishop Richard Williamson, who denies the extent of the Holocaust, began last month, took place three days before Pope Benedict is due to address a group of American Jewish leaders.
Catholic-Jewish relations have been extremely tense since January 24, when Benedict lifted excommunications of four renegade traditionalist bishops, including Williamson, in an attempt to heal a schism that began in 1988 when they were ordained without Vatican permission.
Among those who have condemned Williamson and the pope's decision are Holocaust survivors, progressive Catholics, U.S. legislators, Israeli leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Jewish writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel.
Name of source: Telegraph(UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph(UK) (2-9-09)
They found the chamber in the desert on the western side of the Step Pyramid of Saqqara, one of the earliest large stone structures in the world, dating from about 2,650BC.
The mummies appear to vary in age. One dates from about 640BC while the unopened sarcophagus, which is made of limestone and sealed with plaster, is probably much older.
"We think it is Old Kingdom, maybe Fifth Dynasty," archaeologist Abdel Hakim Karar told Reuters. The Fifth Dynasty ruled Egypt from about 2,494BC to 2,345BC.
It is unusual to find intact burials in well-known necropolises such as Saqqara, which served the nearby city of Memphis, because thieves scoured the area in ancient times.
The archaeologists expect to open it later this week and they may find amulets among the mummy wrappings.
SOURCE: Telegraph(UK) (2-9-09)
Richard Williamson, who at the weekend defied the Pope's demand that he recant his views, was forced out as director of the seminary in Argentina by the breakaway Catholic faction of which he is a member, the Society of St. Pius X.
The Cambridge-educated cleric attracted global condemnation last month when he publicly dismissed the fact that the Nazis used gas chambers and insisted that rather than murdering six million Jews, they killed at most 300,000.
The society's South America head, Father Christian Bouchacourt, called Williamson's remarks "inopportune".
Name of source: Press Release--Montpelier
SOURCE: Press Release--Montpelier (2-9-09)
It has often been stated in print, that when Mrs. Madison escaped from the White House, she cut out from the frame the large portrait of Washington (now in one of the parlors there), and carried it off. This is totally false. She had no time for doing it. It would have required a ladder to get it down. All she carried off was the silver in her reticule, as the British were thought to be but a few squares off, and were expected every moment. John Susè [Jean-Pierre Sioussat] (a Frenchman, then door-keeper, and still living) and Magraw, the President’s gardener, took it down and sent it off on a wagon, with some large silver urns and such other valuables as could be hastily got hold of.
Source: North Carolina Museum of History
James Madison’s Montpelier will present a lecture entitled “Paul Jennings: Enamoured with Freedom” on Thursday, February 12, 2009, at the Montpelier Visitors Center in Orange, Virginia. The lecture, presented by Beth Taylor, Montpelier’s director of education, will present newly discovered historical facts and images about this fascinating man and a newly developed family tree tracing genealogy from Jennings to today’s descendants. The event, which is free and open to the public, will mark both Lincoln’s birthday and African-American History Month. Around thirty Jennings family descendants will also be in attendance.
In conjunction with the lecture, a mural by William Woodward will be unveiled. The painting, approximately 2’ x 11’, portrays Dolley Madison and Paul Jennings rescuing the famed Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington just before the White House was burned in the War of 1812.
Paul Jennings was James Madison’s enslaved manservant. He attended Madison before his presidency, at the White House, and at his death at Montpelier. Jennings began his life as a slave on the Virginia plantation of a U.S. president and Father of the Constitution, and ended it as a free man, employed by the U.S. government, and living in a thriving, primarily black community in the nation’s capital city.
Along the way he was freed by Senator Daniel Webster, helped rescue the portrait of George Washington before the British burned the White House, became an abolitionist, gave an aged and impoverished Dolley Madison, his former owner, money from his own pocket, saw his sons fight with the Union Army in the Civil War, and died a man of property in northwest Washington at age 75. Paul Jennings also left us that rarest of documents, an early, personal account of his life in the White House in “A Colored Man’s Reminiscences of James Madison,” published in 1865.
Bringing the story full circle, one of his current descendants attended James Madison University, works for the U.S. government, and still lives in the same house in Georgetown where Jennings’ granddaughter and only namesake, Pauline, lived—the fourth generation to live in that house.
On Lincoln’s birthday, Montpelier will host Jennings’ descendants and share the newly discovered history of this fascinating Montpelier resident which will be published in an upcoming book.
The life of Paul Jennings shows us a remarkable piece of previously unknown American history. It is a story of the first White House memoirist, slaves in the White House, the journey from slavery to citizenship, and the complicated nature of the relationship between slave owners and their slaves—particularly between an enslaved black man and James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution” and one of the greatest political theorists.
Having just completed the architectural restoration of James Madison’s home, The Montpelier Foundation is now embarking on the second phase of the restoration, discovering more about the daily lives of the people who lived at Montpelier through the objects and furnishings that tell their story. Along with this second phase will be an increased focus on research— of furnishings and décor, but also of the individuals who made the Montpelier plantation home. Research here is often difficult as most slaves did not read or write, and written documentation is scarce—sometimes only a bill of sale or a will with a first name leaves clues to those who lived and worked at Montpelier. Paul Jennings is unique in that he left a written record. This record, plus family oral history and photographs, tells us a compelling piece of previously unknown history of Montpelier, the White House, and America.
The mural "Dolley Madison Directing the Rescue of George Washington's Portrait, August 24, 1814" by William Woodward will be unveiled at James Madison’s Montpelier on Thursday, February 12, during the lecture.
The mural was generously commissioned and donated by Mr. & Mrs. Robert H. Smith. It was painted by renowned artist William Woodward, a Washington, D.C. native. Woodward took his graduate and undergraduate degrees at American University, and went on to study at the Corcoran and at L’Academia di Belli Arti in Florence. He currently teaches at George Washington University as director of the painting program. Woodward has created murals for the Town Hall in Rockville, Maryland, a conference center at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Clyde’s restaurant in McLean, and “The Greatest Show on Earth” at the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey corporate headquarters in Tyson’s Corner. Although a recognized muralist, Woodward also created the design for the silver dollar coin to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Congress.
The mural represents the famous scene of Dolley Madison directing the removal of the Gilbert Stuart painting before the British arrive to burn the White House during the War of 1812. The mural depicts Jean-Pierre Sioussat, also known as “French John,” the Madisons’ White House steward and doorkeeper; Paul Jennings, Montpelier slave, at this time a footman for the Madisons’ White House household; “Magraw the gardener”; Jacob Barker; Dolley Madison; Robert De Peyster; and Sukey, a household slave and Dolley’s personal maid.
• Thursday, 12 February 2009
Oral History Interviews with Jennings Family Descendants
Enslaved Community Tour of Montpelier
Matthew Reeves, Ph.D. Director of Archaeology
Sites include the South Yard, the slave cemetery, the mansion cellar rooms including the kitchens and “servants’ hall,” and the mansion.
“Paul Jennings: Enamoured with Freedom”
Beth Taylor, Ph.D., Director of Education
Grand Salon of the Visitor Center at James Madison’s Montpelier
5:00 p.m. Wine and Cheese Reception
• Friday, 13 February 2009
Driving Tour of Orange County for the Jennings descendants
Recalls the time and landscape of ancestors’ period in Orange County, including visits to two other former plantations and the Gilmore Cabin.
Montpelier is the lifelong home of James Madison, Father of the Constitution, architect of the Bill of Rights, and fourth president of the United States. Visitors can witness the home’s recent $24 million restoration through daily guided tours, and leisurely stroll the garden, forests, and many other attractions on the property’s 2,650 acres. Nestled in the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Montpelier is located in the heart of Virginia’s wine country on Route 20, four miles south of Orange, Virginia. Montpelier is a National Trust Historic site. To learn more, visit www.montpelier.org
Name of source: Stone Pages Archaeo News
SOURCE: Stone Pages Archaeo News (2-8-09)
The three-year project, which cost about 5 million euros (US$6.4 million), was carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. "We are working like crazy at the moment," says project leader Svante Pääbo, adding that his Max Planck colleague, computational biologist Richard Green, is coordinating the analysis of the genome's 3 billion base pairs.
Name of source: CBS News
SOURCE: CBS News (2-8-09)
Cast in bronze, he stares pensively out over what would have been the terrible aftermath of three monstrous days of fighting and killing - seven thousand soldiers died here between July 1 and 3, 1863.
About a mile away, Lincoln presides over the place where the Union dead were reburied later that year.
"There were coffins stacked off to the side," remarked James McPherson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Lincoln scholar. "The smell of death was still in the air because they were still in the process of disinterring some of the soldiers.
"And on the high ground at that hillside you would have seen a large speaker stand with all kinds of dignitaries sitting up there."
Lincoln, invited to say a few words at the dedication of the cemetery, delivered the Gettysburg Address.
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (2-9-09)
The images, which go on display for the first time today at Chicago's Oriental Institute Museum, show the remains of Meresamun - a singer priestess at a temple in Thebes in 800BC. The scans may help settle a debate among Egyptologists about the sex lives of such singers.
Meresamun was buried in an elaborately decorated casket which has never been opened. It bears her name, her role as a singer and the inscription "she lives for Amun" (an Egyptian god).
Dr Emily Teeter, from the museum, said: "There is ongoing scholarly debate about whether women who held the title Singer in the Interior of the Temple were, on account of their temple duties, celibate. One specific goal of the most recent CT examination was to determine whether Meresamun had given birth. The evidence was inconclusive."