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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: LAT
SOURCE: LAT (3-28-09)
With the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War coming up in 2011, efforts are underway in statehouses, small towns and counties across the South to push for proclamations or legislation promoting Confederate history.
Alabama, Virginia, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana and Florida observe Confederate History Month in April. Georgia has recognized it by proclamation since 1995, and the state Senate recently passed a bill that would make it official -- assuming the measure passes muster in the state House, which could be problematic.
Name of source: Anasa
SOURCE: Anasa (3-27-09)
''Few of those who expound on Gioacchino da Fiore (Joachim of Fiore, 1130-1202 AD) on the Internet know, or go to the trouble of finding out, what this character really said,'' said Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the Pontifical Household.
According to the most ''vogueish'' interpretations, Cantalmessa said, the utopian mystic proposed a new liberal and spiritual Church able to move beyond dogmas and hierarchies.
This was a ''false and heretical'' view, Cantalamessa said, because believers must be guided not only by the spirit but also by the laws of the Church.
''It can be fatal to do without one or the other of these guides''. Gioacchino da Fiore, whose theories were confuted by St Thomas Aquinas, inspired several heretical and esoteric theologists and thinkers including Francis Bacon.
In his campaign speeches, Obama referred to Gioacchino da Fiore as a ''master of contemporary civilisation'' and someone who wanted to create a fairer world. Italy's most famous literary figure, Dante Alighieri, referred to Gioacchino da Fiore as a ''gifted prophet'' in his famous work The Divine Comedy.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (3-30-09)
But as the metabolism of the culture has sped up in the digital age, pockets of the publishing industry are prodding themselves out of their Paleolithic ways and joining the rush, with more books on current events coming out faster than ever before.
For generations the publishing industry has worked on a fairly standard schedule, taking nine months to a year after an author delivered a manuscript to put finished books in stores. Now, enabled in part by e-book technology and fueled by a convergence of spectacularly dramatic news events, publishers are hitting the fast-forward button.
In December the FT Press released an e-book edition of “Barack, Inc: Winning Business Lessons of the Obama Campaign” a month after the authors delivered a manuscript. Last month Free Press, a unit of Simon & Schuster, published an e-book version of “Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation” just three weeks after Daniel Gross, a writer for Newsweek magazine, completed the book.
And as the financial crisis was deepening last March, George Soros submitted a manuscript to the publisher PublicAffairs. Ten days later the e-book of “The New Paradigm for Financial Markets” went on sale.
SOURCE: NYT (3-28-09)
On April 4, 1609, the English navigator Henry Hudson left Amsterdam harbor to search for a shortcut to Asia. Hudson’s instructions from the Dutch East India Company were to sail east, as he had on two earlier voyages that were thwarted by Arctic ice.
Instead, inspired by insights gleaned from other explorers, Hudson steered his triple-masted ship toward the New World in hopes of discovering a Northwest Passage to Asia.
The 400th anniversary of Hudson’s departure will be celebrated this week in Amsterdam and in Manhattan, where the Museum of the City of New York opens “Amsterdam/New Amsterdam: The Worlds of Henry Hudson.”
SOURCE: NYT (3-28-09)
They have good reason to fret: If Democrats successfully invoke reconciliation, such major bills could pass by a simple majority vote, denying Republicans the filibuster, their sole remaining weapon to influence federal policy given the Democratic grip on government.
“It stinks,” Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, said as he pondered the prospect of Democrats pulling the trigger on reconciliation.
But there are a couple of problems for Republicans as they push back furiously against the idea, chief of which is the fact that they used the process themselves on several occasions, notably when enacting more than $1 trillion in tax cuts in 2001.
SOURCE: NYT (3-30-09)
But directing the fate of a vast manufacturing company, one that still looms over the Midwest, is an entirely different kind of enterprise. And at a time when economists are debating the merits of nationalizing sick banks and pouring more taxpayer money into the economy, it raised the question of whether deteriorating circumstances were leading the administration down a path to deeper intervention in the private sector....
Mr. Obama did not nationalize the company, at least in any technical sense. In that respect, his action on Monday differed significantly from Harry Truman’s decision in 1952 to take over the nation’s steel makers, at the end of the Korean War, rather than allow a United Steelworkers strike to bring production to a halt. That action was quickly overturned by the Supreme Court, which ruled that Mr. Truman did not have the authority to order the takeover.
But Mr. Obama is not relying on a statute. His powers derive from the fact that the White House and the Treasury control the last piles of cash available to keep G.M. a going concern.
SOURCE: NYT (3-25-09)
Now, with backing from an anonymous donor, the University of California, Berkeley, where ’60s-era students stood atop a police car and ignited free-speech protests, is creating a Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements. According to experts in the field it is the first of its kind in higher education.
“This is unique,” said Paola Bacchetta, an associate professor at Berkeley and an editor of the collection “Right-Wing Women: From Conservatives to Extremists Around the World.” “There are no other centers that I know of.”
Scheduled to open in the fall, the new center, which Lawrence Rosenthal will oversee, is affiliated with Berkeley’s Institute for the Study of Social Change. “Part of the motivation is that it is an understudied area,” Mr. Rosenthal said.
SOURCE: NYT (3-27-09)
Within the prison walls stood a synagogue, a tiny room created from exercise yards by volunteers from Philadelphia’s Jewish community who believed that Jewish convicts should be able to practice their faith, regardless of their crimes.
The synagogue was built in 1924 and was used until the prison closed in 1970. It was then abandoned and suffered severe water damage that rotted the timbers of the ark and benches and destroyed plasterwork, including a large Star of David affixed to the ceiling.
Now the synagogue, the Alfred W. Fleisher Memorial Synagogue, has been restored as a vital part of the 142-year history of the prison, which is a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public.
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (3-30-09)
As early as the mid-1950s, decades before the clergy sexual-abuse crisis broke publicly across the U.S. Catholic landscape, the founder of a religious order that dealt regularly with priest sex abusers was so convinced of their inability to change that he searched for an island to purchase with the intent of using it as a place to isolate such offenders, according to documents recently obtained by NCR.
Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, founder of the Servants of the Paracletes, an order established in 1947 to deal with problem priests, wrote regularly to bishops in the United States and to Vatican officials, including the pope, of his opinion that many sexual abusers in the priesthood should be laicized immediately.
Fitzgerald was a prolific correspondent who wrote regularly of his frustration with and disdain for priests"who have seduced or attempted to seduce little boys or girls." His views are contained in letters and other correspondence that had previously been under court seal and were made available to NCR by a California law firm in February.
Fitzgerald's convictions appear to significantly contradict the claims of contemporary bishops that the hierarchy was unaware until recent years of the danger in shuffling priests from one parish to another and in concealing the priests' problems from those they served.
It is clear, too, in letters between Fitzgerald and a range of bishops, among bishops themselves, and between Fitzgerald and the Vatican, that the hierarchy was aware of the problem and its implications well before the problem surfaced as a national story in the mid-1980s."
Name of source: McClatchy
SOURCE: McClatchy (3-30-09)
Guatemalan human rights authorities recently opened a vast archive of police records that could contain information about Bustamante's brother, Emil, and thousands of other victims of state repression during the country's 36-year civil war.
"Like every family member of a detained/disappeared person, you have no idea how much I long to find the truth," said Bustamante, who arrived at the archive building holding a large portrait of Emil, whom she described as a "university intellectual."
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (3-28-09)
Human rights lawyers brought the case before leading anti-terror judge Baltasar Garzon, who agreed to send it on to prosecutors to decide whether it had merit, Gonzalo Boye, one of the lawyers who brought the charges, told The Associated Press.
The ex-Bush officials are Gonzales; former undersecretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith; former Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff David Addington; Justice Department officials John Yoo and Jay S. Bybee; and Pentagon lawyer William Haynes.
SOURCE: AP (3-31-09)
"At the beginning I only prayed to ask for forgiveness from my parents, but later I prayed to ask forgiveness from the whole nation," Kaing Guek Eav — better known as Duch — recounted on the second day of his trial before Cambodia's genocide tribunal.
The hundreds of spectators seated on the other side of a glass wall in the courtroom — including relatives of the regime's victims — listened intently to the gripping testimony.
Duch betrayed no emotion as he listened to allegations that his prisoners were beaten, electrocuted, smothered with plastic bags or had water poured into their noses, and that children were taken from parents and dropped to their deaths or that some prisoners were bled to death.
He got his first public opportunity to speak after prosecutors gave opening arguments Tuesday.
Duch said he tried to avoid becoming commander of Tuol Sleng, but once in the job, he feared for his family's lives if he did not carry out his duty to extract confessions from supposed enemies of the regime.
Nevertheless, he took responsibility "for crimes committed at S-21, especially the tortures and executions of the people there." He said he wanted "to express my deep regretfulness and my heartfelt sorrow" for all the crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge.
SOURCE: AP (3-1-09)
Nor does it stop tourists from picking clean the bones and ashes from the Khmer Rouge leader's burial ground in this remote town in northwestern Cambodia.
The grave is among a slew of Khmer Rouge landmarks in Anlong Veng, where the movement's guerrillas made their last stand in 1998 just as Pol Pot lay dying. A $1 million tourism master plan is being finalized to preserve and protect 15 of the sites, and charge admission.
Included on the tour will be the houses and hideouts of the Khmer Rouge leaders, an execution site and places associated with Ta Mok, a brutal commander and Anlong Veng's last boss.
"People want to see the last stronghold of the Khmer Rouge and places where they committed atrocities," says Seang Sokheng, who heads the district tourism office and himself an ex-Khmer Rouge soldier.
SOURCE: AP (3-1-09)
Adnan Hindi of the Jenin camp called the Holocaust a ‘‘political issue’’ and accused the orchestra’s conductor, Wafaa Younis, of unknowingly dragging the children into a political dispute.
He added that Ms. Younis had been barred from the camp and that the apartment where she taught the 13-member Strings of Freedom orchestra had been boarded up.
‘‘She exploited the children,’’ said Mr. Hindi, the head of the camp’s ‘‘popular committee,’’ which takes on municipal duties.
The move highlights the sensitivity of many Palestinians over acknowledging Jewish suffering, fearing it would weaken their own historical grievances against Israel.
The camp’s residents are descendants of Palestinians who were displaced during Israel’s war of independence.
SOURCE: AP (2-28-09)
The entombed Ta Mok, known to his victims as "The Butcher," remains a revered figure in Anlong Veng because practically everyone here _ from the district chief to the tourism promoter, from the wealthiest businessmen to dirt-poor farmers _ was once Khmer Rouge.
This remote, rough-and-ready town is no aberration. Thirty years after the fall of their Maoist regime, former Khmer Rouge officials still run extensive enclaves across northwestern and northern Cambodia. After Anlong Veng, their last holdout, fell in 1998, Khmer Rouge officials abandoned their savage policies and took posts in the new power structure.
Only five are expected to face trial. The first, Kaing Guek Eav _ better known as Comrade Duch _ headed Phnom Penh's notorious S-21 torture center. He is scheduled to testify at the end of the month before a joint international and Cambodian tribunal.
"It's clear that not every Khmer Rouge cadre who carried out killings and crimes is going to come before the tribunal. We don't believe it should stop at the top five most notorious figures. We could do more to bring justice to Cambodians," says Sara Colm of the New York-based Human Rights Watch, echoing criticism of many Cambodians and foreign prosecutors.
Nhem Sarath, with the non-governmental Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association, says villagers outside Khmer Rouge areas often ask why the court doesn't try the many Khmer Rouge suspected of atrocities.
"They also ask us why the powerful leaders now running the country are also not arrested," he says.
Prime Minister Hun Sen, Senate President Chea Sim and National Assembly Chairman Heng Samrin were all Khmer Rouge commanders or officials, and now are unchallenged in their power. Other top positions are filled by their one-time comrades, including Foreign Minister Hor Nam Hong and deputy prime ministers Men Sam On and Keat Chhun, who also holds the finance and economy portfolio.
Name of source: IHT
SOURCE: IHT (3-26-09)
Philip S. Goldberg, who was part of the team led by Richard C. Holbrooke, issued a statement saying that "at no time during the negotiations in Belgrade or elsewhere in the region was an immunity agreement made or contemplated."
The Times article reported that a new study published by Purdue University said that Mr. Karadzic had been promised that he would not be pursued by the war crimes tribunal in The Hague if he left politics.
SOURCE: IHT (2-27-09)
The longstanding debate came to a head Thursday, when a Tokyo court rejected a lawsuit filed by teachers who say they were unjustly punished for refusing to salute and sing the national anthem at school functions.
Since 2003, the Tokyo Board of Education has required public school teachers to stand and face the rising-sun flag and sing the national anthem, which expresses reverence for the emperor of Japan.
A group of 172 teachers and staff members said the board breached the Japanese Constitution when it censured them for refusing to follow the directives. They demanded damages of nearly $5,600, each.
One plaintiff was required to undergo ‘‘special retraining’’ and write a self-examination. The Japanese Constitution, drafted by U.S. occupying forces after World War II, guarantees freedom of thought.
But Shigeru Nakanishi, the presiding judge of the Tokyo District Court, rejected the plaintiffs’ assertions, saying the board acted within constitutional boundaries.
Toru Kondo, a teacher who led the lawsuit, said, ‘‘The ruling is blatantly unjust,’’ and added that the plaintiffs would appeal the decision.
SOURCE: IHT (2-28-09)
March 28 marks the date when China ended the 1959 Tibetan uprising, sending Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama over the Himalayas into exile in India and placing Tibet under its direct rule for the first time.
In China's official version of events, Tibet in mid-century was a remote medieval backwater where most people lived in servitude to the Buddhist theocracy and nobility until the Communist government stepped in. To support that contention, China commemorated a new political holiday Saturday — "Serfs Liberation Day."
The Tibetan government-in-exile said on its Web site that the new holiday is aggravating problems in the region and would be a day of mourning for Tibetans around the world.
SOURCE: IHT (2-28-09)
But near one knobby end was a bit of writing that sent Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer of the Franklin Institute here, into rapture.
The tube's focal length is "piedi 3," the inscription said, or 3 feet. It was in the hand of Galileo, one of history's great troublemakers. "Absolutely amazing," Mr. Pitts said.
Thus did Galileo Galilei, the astronomer and mathematician, come to America.
Only two of the dozens of telescopes Galileo built in his lifetime survive. Neither of them have ever been out of Florence since Galileo's time, until this week, when Giorgio Strano, curator at the Instituto e Museo Nazionale di Storia della Scienza, escorted this humble tube to the Franklin Institute.
Scholars do not know when Galileo built this particular telescope, or what he saw with it, but it still has its original optics.
The telescope will be the centerpiece of "Galileo, the Medici and the Age of Astronomy," which opens April 4 at the Franklin Institute. The show runs until September.
Name of source: United Press International
SOURCE: United Press International (3-28-09)
The well-preserved skeleton was found by a group of local residents in the foothills near the Tajik village of Tudakavsh, ITAR-TASS reported Saturday.
The Russian news service reported that experts said the skeleton's face-down posture indicates the man was not buried, but likely died in battle.
Yusuf Yakubov of the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences said the remains and the artifacts found next to it most probably date back to the Bronze Age, about 2,500 years B.C.
Name of source: National Geograhpic News
SOURCE: National Geograhpic News (3-30-09)
Some of the newfound relics add to evidence that the ship belonged to the pirate. ""We feel pretty comfortable that that's what this is," said Marke Wilde-Ramsing, director of the Queen Anne's Revenge project for the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology.
Underwater archaeologists from the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources have been excavating the wreck—which lies 22 feet (7 meters) underwater a few miles off Beaufort, North Carolina—since 1997.
On March 26, 2009, two fleurs-de-lis (iris flowers)—the royal symbol of France—were revealed on an apothecary weight from a shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina, archaeologists said in March 2009.
Originally stuck to other nested weights but separated via an electrolysis process, the weight and a fleur-de-lis-shaped keg spigot found in the shipwreck are among the strongest evidence that the ship was originally French—a key to tying the ship to Blackbeard.
The pirate captured the French ship Le Concorde and renamed it Queen Anne's Revenge in 1717.
Le Concorde's surgeon, who was forced to serve briefly in Blackbeard's crew, may have owned the weights, designed for pharmaceuticals. Pirates could have also used the weights to measure gold dust, experts say.
Name of source: Brisbane Times (France)
SOURCE: Brisbane Times (France) (3-31-09)
Located in a park in the city of Le Mans, the graves contain the bodies of about 30 people, including several women, two male teenagers and a child, the INRA archaeology institute said on Monday.
All were identified as victims of a massacre on December 12 and 13, 1793, as republican forces repelled royalist Catholic rebels from the city of Le Mans, during the first War of the Vendee.
The first grave contained nine or 10 bodies, some still wearing shirt buttons and boot buckles, or carrying knives, while the second, sealed shut with a thick layer of lime, contained about 20 bodies.
All bore the signs of an extremely violent attack, with broken leg, jaw and shoulder bones, according to INRA.
The graves were discovered during a dig to make way for a new cultural centre.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (3-31-09)
A decade on from the Kosovo War, that last great exercise in 20th-century European blood-letting, Dren Caka, 20, is a casualty still.
“I have nightmares a lot,” he says, looking out over Vancouver’s glistening waterfront. “I can’t sleep at night and feel constantly tired; I usually have bags under my eyes.”
Dren Caka is the sole survivor - the miraculous survivor - of one of the most notorious episodes of the war: the massacre of 19 women and children, including his mother and three sisters, by Serb police. Kosovo has already faded from the popular memory, overtaken by the seismic events of September 11 2001 and their aftermath. Slobodan Milosevic is dead and many of the henchmen responsible for the ethnic cleansing of the former Serbian province have stood trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, but the war continues to cast a shadow over people like Dren.
He was 10 years old in March 1999 when the Serbs began their campaign of deportation and murder against the predominantly ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo. On the night of April 1, a week after Nato began bombing Serb forces, the paramilitary police arrived in Milosa Galica Street.
The conflict refuses to leave him alone. He has testified twice before the tribunal in The Hague, the first time as a protected (anonymous) witness in the trial of Milosevic. During his second appearance as a witness, in the trial of senior Serb politicians and officers indicted for war crimes, he shed his title of Witness K13 and used his own name. He may be soon be going to The Hague again.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (3-30-09)
The £28 million project in Southampton, from where the liner set sail in 1912 on her maiden voyage, is set to feature a climb-aboard replica of the ship.
Many of the ship's crew also came from the city.
If successful, the city council's Civic Centre will be converted with the main exhibition hall turned into a scene of the dockside in Southampton with the Titanic about to depart.
The story of the disaster – when the ship hit an iceberg causing the loss of 1523 lives – and the finding of the wreck will be part of the exhibition.
About 4,000 items from the ship are also set to be displayed within galleries.
Councillor John Hannides, said: "This museum will be of international significance and could attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
Millvina Dean, 97, from the New Forest, Hampshire, is now the last living survivor of the disaster. She was just nine weeks old when the liner sank on April 15 1912.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (3-30-09)
Speaking shortly before the launch of a new Channel 4 series to mark the 500th anniversary of the Tudor monarch's accession to the throne, Dr Starkey said he found it "bizarre" that so much historical effort was now focused on the monarch's wives.
But he warned that the "soap opera" of Henry's personal life should come second to the political consequences of his rule, such as the Reformation and the break with Rome.
Dr Starkey went further, by saying that modern attempts to paint many women in history as "power players" was to falsify the facts.
Earlier this month Dr Starkey said he believed Henry VIII's handwriting showed he had an "emotionally incontinent" personality because he was brought up in a female-dominated household.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (3-29-09)
Perched on a hill commanding views across the whole of London to the South Downs beyond, the building is revered as the nerve centre of the Battle of Britain.
It is seen as the spiritual home of "the Few" – the World War II fighter pilots who fought off the German aerial invasion in 1940 against all the odds.
VSM Estates, a developer, had planned to sell the site for conversion into apartments and a museum by 2010.
Its deal with a housebuilder however, has now collapsed and the museum's trustees say the building will be moth-balled until the middle of next year.
There is a real risk that the last remaining pilots who fought in the battle will not be alive to see the opening of the museum.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (3-27-09)
But had the changes taken place just over a century ago, some experts believe they would have led to Britain becoming part of Germany's Second Reich and ending up on the other side in the Great War.
Queen Victoria's eldest child was female, but because of the rule of male primogeniture, she was bypassed as heir to the throne and the throne was eventually passed to the Queen's eldest son, who became Edward VII.
The Princess Royal, born in 1840, fell in love as a teenager with Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia and married him when she was just 17. He died not long after becoming Emperor in 1888.
If female members of the Royal family had been given equal opportunity to succeed to the throne as their male siblings at that time, however, the Princess Royal would have been heir.
She herself died just a few months after her mother in 1901, meaning that had she become Queen the crown would have passed to her eldest child, Wilhelm.
By that date he had become Emperor of Germany and so would have extended his empire to Great Britain and the British Empire.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-28-09)
He was a founder member of the SAS, was one of the most decorated officers of the Second World War, and has been hailed as a "legend among fighting men".
The heroism on the battlefield of Major Roy Farran, who died in 2006, earned him a Distinguished Service Order, three Military Crosses, the Croix de Guerre and the American Legion of Merit.
Now, however, his reputation is posthumously at risk again from a fresh investigation into the ugly incident, and friends fear that it may be tarnished for ever by the claim that Major Farran was the killer.
Steve Rambam, a private investigator from New York, has been hired by an unnamed Israeli living in America to reopen the case. He hopes to find Rubowitz's body, so that he can be given a proper burial, and discover more about who was responsible for the boy's murder.
He will soon visit Britain, where he hopes that five surviving members of the Palestine Police whom he has identified as members of the covert units might be willing to "clear their consciences" and reveal the burial place of their alleged victim. "There are people in the UK who have personal knowledge of the operations of these so-called 'snatch squads' because they were participants," Mr Rambam told The Sunday Telegraph.
Suspicions of Major Farran's involvement were first raised after his grey trilby hat, with his name written inside, was found near the Jerusalem street corner where witnesses said that Rubowitz was bundled into a car by a man carrying a pistol.
Major Farran commanded one of the police squads, while Rubowitz distributed fliers and posters for Lehi - the Jewish organisation nicknamed "The Stern Gang", which killed and wounded dozens of British officers as part of the campaign to drive Britain from Palestine.
Documents released recently by the Public Records Office appear to implicate Major Farran. A written statement from a more senior officer claims that Major Farran had confessed to having killed the boy during an interrogation, by "bashing his head in with a stone". However, Major Farran was tried for murder in 1947 and was acquitted for lack of evidence, a fact which has led some to accuse the British authorities of a cover-up.
Afterwards, he emigrated to Canada, where he maintained his innocence until his death. His family declined to comment to The Sunday Telegraph but Gerald Green, 80, a close friend who served alongside him in the Palestine Police, said he was innocent and the documents were a deliberate effort, perhaps concocted by a superior officer, to frame him.
In October 1947, the entire investigation file was burned by the British authorities in Palestine. Mr Rambam believes this was an officially sanctioned cover-up. But copies of some documents had been already sent to London, where they were kept secret for almost 60 years until being disclosed in 2005.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-27-09)
The great sweep of Bamburi beach, its sands lapped by the Indian Ocean north of the Kenyan port of Mombasa, is a world away from the hills and valleys of Bosnia.
Outwardly there is little to suggest that the Blue Lagoon watersports centre, which offers glass-bottomed-boat excursions and snorkelling trips, might double as a refuge for a genocidal Balkan fugitive, despite a sign above the counter proclaiming: "No Smoking. Violators will be shot, survivors will be shot again."
But earlier this week he was arrested by Kenyan police following a tip-off, and reports emerged that he was suspected of being either Mladic or Goran Hadzic, a Croatian Serb leader who is the only other person still being sought by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
There were several problems with the watersports-manager-as-clandestine-mass-murderer theory. For one, Mr Mejaski was described as having been there for more than two decades, since long before the Srebrenica atrocity.
For another, he had willingly spoken to journalists in the past, and for a third, no-one desperate to remain anonymous and hidden from the West would be likely to choose an occupation that exposed them to thousands of European visitors every year.
But last night Mr Mejaski was released after the episode was confirmed as a case of mistaken identity when Interpol announced that his fingerprints did not match Mladic's, and the tribunal's spokesman said he was not Hadzic either.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (3-27-09)
Mrs Kirchner was elected with a pledge to gain the sovereignty of the islands more than 25 years after Argentina staged an unsuccessful invasion.
Name of source: BBC
Guinness World Record holder Florence Emily Baldwin, known as Florrie, was born in the city on 31 March 1896.
Mrs Baldwin, whose husband Clifford died in 1973, once met Queen Victoria in Leeds, was 16 when the Titanic sank and 73 when man landed on the moon.
Her only contact with the medical world had been a cataract operation when she was in her 80s.
Charlotte Hughes was 115 years and 228 days when she died in 1993, and is still the oldest Briton ever.
Last Sunday, World War 1 veteran Henry Allingham became the oldest ever British man, after clocking up 112 years and 296 days.
The Homeland-Faithful German Youth (HDJ) taught children as young as six that foreigners and Jews were a threat to the "German nation", officials said.
Police have also raided the offices and houses of the group's leaders in four states in connection with the ban.
The HDJ said it was a "youth group for environment, community and homeland".
But at its special holiday camps, children were taught elements of "racial ideology", including the "purity of blood" and "the continuation of the German race", with the aim of forming a neo-Nazi elite, the interior ministry said.
Doctors say Mr Alfonsin, 82, has pneumonia and lung cancer. His son Ricardo says he is "very fragile".
He was the first democratically-elected president after the military regime that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983.
Mr Alfonsin was president from 1983, when the generals lost power after British troops drove invading Argentinian forces out of the Falkland Islands, or Malvinas. He left power in 1989.
Under the generals' rule, thousands of suspected left-wingers were killed or disappeared.
SOURCE: BBC (3-30-09)
He is accused of crimes against humanity, torture and premeditated murder for his alleged role in the deaths of more than 10,000 people.
The Khmer Rouge killed up to two million people in less than four years.
SOURCE: BBC (3-1-09)
Henry Allingham has lived longer than Welshman John Evans, who died in 1990 aged 112 years and 295 days.
Mr Allingham is one of two surviving World War I veterans in the UK and is also the oldest Royal Navy veteran.
He is spending the day quietly at St Dunstan's care home for blind ex-service personnel near Brighton.
Mr Allingham, who has dedicated much of his time in recent years to giving talks to schoolchildren about his experiences, will be 113 years old on 6 June.
On Monday Mr Allingham will be made an honorary member of the Royal Naval Association during a low-key presentation at St Dunstan's.
SOURCE: BBC (2-27-09)
James Otis said the money raised from the auction would go to groups promoting Gandhian values.
He said the items had not arrived in India because of a row over taxes.
"I need to apologise because it hurt me that anyone would see my name and think I was doing it for profit," Mr Otis said in the Indian capital.
"I couldn't have dreamt of the worldwide attention that [the sale of] the belongings has sparked. I never intended to come out openly to discuss what I had done by selling the items, but when I heard my name was being hated by many in India I needed to speak out."
Before the auction went ahead Mr Otis offered to withdraw the items and donate them to India if the Indian government allocated 5% of its budgetary spending for the poor. India rejected his conditions.
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (3-31-09)
Now, the carvings have been logged and translated, finally answering the question that has perplexed generations of visitors to Europe's jewel of Muslim architecture: "What are these walls telling me?"
Researchers have produced an interactive DVD that decodes, dates and identifies 3,116 of some 10,000 inscriptions carved on the building that symbolises centuries of Muslim rule in Spain and is today the country's top tourist landmark.
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Ed
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Ed (4-3-09)
Name of source: US News & World Report
SOURCE: US News & World Report (3-26-09)
A year ago, Mrs. Obama, a Harvard-trained lawyer, was one of the most controversial figures in public life, and not in a good way. Her remarks about how her husband's political success had finally made her proud of her country offended many Americans who thought she wasn't patriotic enough. Campaign aides tried to contain the damage, arguing that she meant to say she was finally proud of the political system and was always proud of America, but many voters were put off.
Today's Michelle Obama has become what a senior Democratic strategist calls "a superstar." Sixty-three percent of Americans have a positive view of her, with 43 percent "very positive" and only 8 percent negative. These favorability ratings have been increasing steadily as Americans have gotten to know her. In March 2008, her positive rating was only 32 percent, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. "She's really opened up to the public," says Democratic pollster Geoff Garin, "and the American people have embraced her. On a very human level, they relate to her as a great mom and as someone who is strong and smart and very caring."
Her outreach to the military is an important part of her appeal, partly because it was unexpected and has important political implications. "It's so counterintuitive of the notion that Democrats are antimilitary," says historian Richard Norton Smith. "What better way to display pride in your country than by honoring those who wear the uniform and who have suffered in the service of their country?" Smith adds that, while he doesn't doubt Mrs. Obama's sincerity, "you can be sincere and shrewd at the same time." [Read '10 Things You Didn't Know about Michelle Obama.']
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (3-30-09)
After three decades behind bars, Manson family members Atkins, Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten have repeatedly been described as model prisoners who have accepted responsibility for their crimes.
Parole boards, however, continue to reject their bids for release, and a debate rages over whether the four should ever be freed.
The Manson family members were initially sentenced to death, only to have their sentences commuted to life in prison when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down death penalty laws in 1972, establishing a four-year moratorium on executions.
SOURCE: CNN (3-1-09)
He is also -- prosecutors contend -- a former prison chief with Cambodia's ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge movement who oversaw the torture and killing of more than 15,000 men, women and children three decades ago.
The trial of the 66-year-old man, better known as Duch, resumes Monday in front of a U.N.-backed tribunal just outside the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.
He faces charges that include crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture and murder....
The tribunal, which is made up of Cambodian and international judges, does not have the power to impose the death penalty. If convicted, Duch faces from five years to life in prison.
The trial is expected to last three or four months.
Name of source: Latin American Herald Tribune
SOURCE: Latin American Herald Tribune (3-29-09)
“More Catholics died than Jews in the Holocaust, but that is never mentioned because Jews run the world’s propaganda,” the prelate said in an interview published Friday in the final edition of the Brazilian trade publication Press & Advertising.
Grings, born 72 years ago to a family of German origin and considered a representative of the moderate wing of the Catholic Church, also justified the Crusades against the Muslims during the Middle Ages, defended the celibacy of the clergy and condemned stem-cell research, among other controversial subjects.
The archbishop’s statement was refuted by the Jewish community of Rio Grande do Sul, whose capital is Porto Alegre, which published a harsh response to Grings on its Web site.
The missive, signed by the president of the Israeli Federation of Rio Grande do Sul, Henry Chmelnitsky, said that “this is not the first time the clergy has referred to the Holocaust in a distorted way.”
“Minimizing the Holocaust or making it relative offends the memory of millions who died in a war spawned by fanaticism and intolerance,” he said.
Deborah Lipstadt: More Soft Core Denial
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (3-28-09)
But this is the inside of the Turing Bombe, the part-electronic, part-mechanical code-breaking machine and forerunner of the modern computer, which cracked 3,000 messages a day sent on Nazi Enigma machines during the Second World War.
There were 210 such bookcase-like Bombes that gave Britain advance warning of Hitler’s plans and shortened the conflict by two years.
All were destroyed for security reasons on Churchill’s orders after the war. This is a replica, built by 60 volunteers, which was fired up last Tuesday.
Name of source: Mail on Sunday (UK)
SOURCE: Mail on Sunday (UK) (3-29-09)
The soldiers in these photographs are all long dead – some meeting their fate only minutes after the pictures were taken. But now, thanks to a lipreader, we know what the Tommies were saying.
The stills are taken from a silent movie shot at the bloody Battle of the Somme in 1916, which on its opening day, July 1, alone claimed the lives of 20,000 British and Empire troops.
One wounded soldier swears. Another voices deep foreboding about an imminent attack. Others, away from the Front, smile and shout greetings to their mothers.
Their comments have been revealed for the first time in more than 90 years by lipreader Jessica Rees who, with three historians, has been analysing the film held in the Imperial War Museum – likely to have been one of many shown as newsreels in cinemas back home at the time.
One clip shows a company of Lancashire Fusiliers about to go ‘over the top’ on that first day.
One Tommy, operating a mortar, is now known to have been saying to his second lieutenant: ‘I hope we are in the right place this time because if not, I’m going to bomb ’em all and then bugger off.’
Name of source: Fredericksburg.com
SOURCE: Fredericksburg.com (3-25-09)
Speaking at Slaughter Pen Farm--epicenter of the Fredericksburg battlefield--Kaine praised the public-private work that is protecting some of these unique historic resources.
In terms of sheer dollars, Virginia leads the United States in its battlefield preservation efforts, according to the national, nonprofit Civil War Preservation Trust. The state has committed $9.3 million to the work since 2001--with $5.9 million of that coming through a bipartisan project begun by Kaine, House Speaker Bill Howell and state Sen. Edd Houck, CWPT officials said yesterday.
Name of source: History Today
SOURCE: History Today (3-27-09)
Name of source: Civil War News
SOURCE: Civil War News (4-1-09)
The Maritime Research Division (MRD) of the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA) at the University of South Carolina is running the project, supported by a $28,348 grant from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program.
The grant, one of 32 projects totaling $1,367,144, was funded last summer. Jim Spirek, an underwater archaeologist with the SCIAA, is the project leader. He knows the Charleston Harbor area because of his prior work on the submarine H.L. Hunley recovery team and some other work to identify wrecks in the harbor.
A number of Civil War-era ships sank in Charleston Harbor, both accidentally and deliberately. “We’re trying to precisely locate where the shipwrecks are and other features,” Spirek said.
Something that sets this project apart from others is how it views what happened in Charleston Harbor during the war.
As a battlefield, the harbor saw fighting almost continuously for four years, something not claimed for any battlefield on land.
Following some preliminary archival research, Spirek’s team took their boat into Charleston Harbor on March 9 to begin the remote sensing phase of the project. Spirek said they would spend about three weeks on the water, with some time ashore reviewing the data collected. The boat work will be concluded in April.
They are using a cesium magnetometer, which detects slight changes in strength and direction of magnetic fields, to search for the presence of ferromagnetic material such as iron anchors and cannons.
They will also deploy a sub-bottom profiler, which uses narrow acoustic beams, as in sonar, to penetrate below the muddy bottom of the harbor and obtain further data on the presence of objects of interest.
Among the wrecks Spirek’s team will be searching for are three Union ironclads.
After the work in the harbor by boat is concluded, the next phase of the mapping project will move to land and include searching for four of these buried blockade runners using ground-penetrating radar. Spirek said this should take place in May.
There will be viewshed analysis as well. Spirek said certain parts of the harbor visible from a fixed vantage point, and of historic significance, will be compared with their appearance during the Civil War to document any changes.
This will also serve as a baseline when assessing the impact of future development on the preservation of the historic viewsheds in the area.
Spirek said the mapping project will be finished after he has completed a detailed report on his findings. There will be extremely precise, GPS-labeled information on the location of the wrecks they find.
To prevent this data from being used by scavengers, there will be two versions of the final report. One will be for use by governmental or other organizations involved with the Charleston Harbor area, such as the Army Corps of Engineers, the NPS and the SCIAA, and will have the full data.
A second version for public release will have less detailed information on exact shipwreck locations. The report will be printed and also posted on a project Web site.
The project will conclude by the end of the year.
Name of source: The Hindu News (India)
SOURCE: The Hindu News (India) (2-27-09)
Archaeologists from the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan excavated the 5-centimetre piece at the Kaman-Kalehoyuk archaeological site in Turkey, about 100 kilometers southeast of Ankara, in 2000. The ironware piece is believed to be a part of a knife from a stratum about 4,000 years old, or 2100-1950 B.C., according to them.
An analysis at the Iwate Prefectural Museum in Morioka showed that the ironware piece was about 200 years older than one that was excavated from the same site in 1994 and was believed to be the oldest steel so far made in 20th-18th centuries B.C.
The ironware is highly likely to have been produced near the Kaman-Kalehoyuk site as a 2-cm-diameter slag and two iron-containing stones have also been excavated, Kyodo news agency quoted the archaeologists as saying.
Name of source: http://www.wtvr.com
SOURCE: http://www.wtvr.com (3-25-09)
"Thousands and thousands of shells were fired during the siege of Petersburg," says Jimmy Blankenship, Historian-Curator of Petersburg National Battlefield.
More than 140 years later.
"I would easily say, probably hundreds if not thousands are still out there," says Blakenship.
Tuesday, a frequent visitor to the park, found an unexploded cannonball.
Name of source: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk
SOURCE: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk (3-26-09)
Described as a “military historian's Aladdin's cave”, it includes a German .47 mm Pak 32 field gun which was used throughout the Second World War.