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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: ABC News
SOURCE: ABC News (3-18-09)
The work, titled "Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)," is by celebrated African-American sculptor Charles Alston -- the first African-American instructor at the Art Students League -- who died in 1977....
When the Smithsonian lent the bust to the President Bill Clinton's White House in 2000 to be displayed in the White House Library, that marked, believe it or not, the very first time that the image of an African-American was displayed in a public space in the White House.
Name of source: http://c-ville.com
SOURCE: http://c-ville.com (3-17-09)
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (3-19-09)
The Western Weald in West Sussex is one of the last remaining areas in the country to have retained field patterns from the early Medieval period. It is also home to the rarest bat in Europe as well as swathes of ancient woodland and a range of endangered birds and butterflies.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (3-18-09)
The Essenes are said to have lived in the 1st Century, in mountains in Palestine, where they recorded religious practices on parchments.
But Rachel Elior, a professor of Jewish philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, claims the 930 scrolls were written by the Sadducees, a group of Jewish priests living in Jerusalem, and that the Essenes did not exist.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (3-16-09)
The 853ft (260m) long construction is thought to have been built 1,000 years ago, around the time of the Domesday Book, using large rocks placed on a river bed.
Name of source: AP
The 4,317,119 births, reported by federal researchers Wednesday, topped a record first set in 1957 at the height of the baby boom.
Behind the number is both good and bad news. While it shows the U.S. population is more than replacing itself, a healthy trend, the teen birth rate was up for a second year in a row....
While the number of births in the U.S. reached nearly 4.3 million in 2006, mainly due to a larger population, especially a growing number of Hispanics, it's not clear the boomlet will last. Some experts think birth rates are already declining because of the economic recession that began in late 2007.
"I expect they'll go back down. The lowest birth rates recorded in the United States occurred during the Great Depression — and that was before modern contraception," said Dr. Carol Hogue, an Emory University professor of maternal and child health.
SOURCE: AP (3-19-09)
Court documents show that Nathan Murphy has reached a plea deal on a federal charge that he stole bones from public land near Malta. He had faced up to 10 years in prison.
The 51-year-old Murphy is a self-taught dinosaur expert who spent much of the last two decades searching for bones in the rocky wastelands of central Montana. He rose to fame in 2000 with his discovery of Leonardo _ a mummified, 77-million-year-old duck-billed hadrosaur considered the world's best preserved dinosaur.
The National Security Archive, a Washington D.C.-based institute that requests and publishes declassified government documents, obtained diplomatic and intelligence reports from the U.S. State Department under the Freedom of Information Act and posted them on its Web site on Wednesday.
Guatemala's U.S.-backed army battled leftist guerrillas in a 1960-1996 civil war that left more than 200,000 people dead or missing. Most were Mayan Indians.
The U.S. and local police files show that disappearances and executions were part of a deliberate strategy to crush leftist rebels, said Jesse Franzblau, a researcher at the Archive.
Kidnappings became "institutionalized" as the insurgency swelled in the 1970s and peaked during 1983-1986 government of Oscar Mejia Victores, "particularly in urban areas and against labor leaders, students, academics and political opposition leaders," a 1986 State Department report said.
Many innocent people were wrongly accused of involvement by "vengeful neighbors or others eager to eliminate personal, business or political rivals by proxy," it added.
Bush also said he plans to write a book that will ask people to consider what they would do if they had to protect the United States as president. "It's going to be (about) the 12 toughest decisions I had to make," he said.
"I want people to understand what it was like to sit in the Oval Office and have them come in and say we have captured Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, the alleged killer of a guy named Danny Pearl because he was simply Jewish, and we think we have information on further attacks on the United States," Bush said.
Bush didn't specify what the 12 hardest decisions were but said Iraq is better off without Saddam Hussein in power.
In bearing witness about his role in the military crackdown on the 1989 student demonstrations in Beijing, Zhang says he hopes to add momentum to calls for an investigation and reassessment of the protest movement — and to further its ultimate goal of a democratic China.
"I feel like my spirit is stuck there on the night of June 3," Zhang, 40, said in an interview at his home in the dusty northern city of Tengzhou, referring to the date in 1989 on which the final assault began.
The director of the local human rights commission, Mahdi al-Timimi, says local villagers found two skulls, bones and old clothes in the oil-rich Nahran Omar area northeast of Basra.
He told reporters Wednesday that excavation for more remains will start the following day.
The victims are believed to have been killed in 1991, when Saddam's forces brutally crushed a Shiite uprising following the Gulf War.
SOURCE: AP (3-16-09)
The vandalism occurred at the Peers House, an 1850s structure now used primarily by park workers as housing.
Park Superintendent Reed Johnson said intruders entered the structure and cut water lines, which flooded the house. He said the vandals did not take anything.
Name of source: Baltimore Sun
SOURCE: Baltimore Sun (3-19-09)
A proposed trash incinerator and a planned natural gas plant threaten to encroach on two Civil War battlefield sites in Western Maryland, a preservation group warned yesterday.
The Washington-based Civil War Preservation Trust said recent developments have put the Monocacy National Battlefield near Frederick and South Mountain near Middletown on its list of the nation's most endangered battlefields from that war.
Frederick County officials are weighing whether to build a $527 million waste-to-energy incinerator across the Monocacy River from the site of an 1864 clash when Confederate forces marched on Washington. The 350-foot smokestack from the incinerator, which would burn trash from Frederick and Carroll counties, would loom over the National Park Service site. A bill introduced in the Maryland Senate to bar incinerators within a mile of a national park has yet to be heard.
Name of source: The Journal (West Virginia)
SOURCE: The Journal (West Virginia) (3-19-09)
The building is along Shenandoah Street in the park's old town area and it was built in 1806, said Marsha Wassel, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service. The structure served as one of two major arsenals in the area, and it housed thousands of weapons.
The match, of course, was John Brown's failed 1859 raid. Brown hoped to obtain the weapons that were stored in the arsenal, Wassel said.
Within a couple of years, the building again became the site of conflict. Early during the Civil War, Confederate troops made off with machinery that was housed in the buildings, and then burned the structures.
In the years that followed, only the ruins of the buildings remained. A new version of the two-story arsenal's foundation is now being built on the site.
Wassel said Park Service officials decided to partially reconstruct the building to enable visitors to learn more about the area and its history. She said the actual foundation remains nearly two feet below ground level.
However, in this instance the Park Service determined that it in order to keep the original foundation safe, it would be better to build a new foundation on top of the old one.
Weather was not the only challenge that workers faced as they prepared the building's new foundation. Water table stones, which stand at the structure's corners, were chiseled by hand.
Significant work was invested in the project even before construction got under way, officials noted. The building's construction was based on the findings of a 1959 archaeological dig performed at the site, said Mia Parsons, supervisory archaeologist at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
Archives were also combed to determine more details about how the arsenal looked during its heyday, Parsons said.
Rudley said it was important to everyone involved in the project that the building be as accurate as possible.
Name of source: KBIA (Missouri)
SOURCE: KBIA (Missouri) (3-18-09)
Construction workers in Kirksville were working outside of a historical museum on Wednesday when they found some artifacts of their own.
Workers were digging for a water main outside of the Washington Museum of Natural History when museum director Charles Tharp decided to take a closer
The numerous fragments included arrowheads, flint chips, primitive tools, and pottery which were found four feet underground.
Adair County Historical Society expert Pat Ellebracht says the artifacts were a rare find with only two prominent tribes once calling Missouri home, the Sac and the Fox.
Name of source: Yemen News Agency
SOURCE: Yemen News Agency (3-18-09)
The archaeologists also found other relics including a stone board with faith signs engraved on it.
Two pulls separated by a tree were carved on the stone board, a symbol that was know as "Life's Tree" in ancient Yemeni civilization, director of the authority Ali al-Sanabani said.
The discoveries were revealed during excavations at a site in Dhamar province where the team found buildings that were used to give sacrifices.
Name of source: LAT
SOURCE: LAT (3-19-09)
The photograph of the 74-year-old cult leader was taken at Corcoran State Prison, where he is serving a life sentence, and is part of periodic updates of inmate images by prison officials, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (3-19-09)
"My fellow citizens," he began his four-minute speech, "at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people, and to defend the world from grave danger."
Six years later, the conflict in Iraq drags on -- with war-fatigued Americans shoving the military operation to the deep recesses of their psyches as they grapple with an economic crisis at home.
Only 10 percent of voters questioned in exit polls during the November presidential elections picked the war as their top issue. Sixty-two percent said the economy was.
"This is already one of the longest wars in American history. There's nothing new in Iraq," said Steven Roberts, a professor of media studies at the George Washington University. "We've read the stories of instability in the government a hundred times. Every single possible story has been told, and so there is enormous fatigue about Iraq."
SOURCE: CNN (3-18-09)
While the former vice president has been highly critical of the new administration — most recently in an interview with CNN's John King — the president has refrained from disparaging his successor, and is mostly ducking the national spotlight altogether.
Tuesday night, in his first appearance of any kind in more than eight weeks, Bush told a friendly audience in Calgary, Alberta it would not be productive to criticize President Obama right now, saying the new commander-in-chief "deserves my silence."
Bush's first public appearance comes three days after his former No. 2 appeared on CNN's State of The Union, holding little back in sharply criticizing President Obama's national security polices and declaring the country has been made less safe.
Cheney, who still maintains an office in the outskirts of Washington, DC, has also publicly aired grievances with his former boss — specifically Bush's decision not to issue a pardon to former Cheney aide Scooter Libby.
Name of source: Huffington Post (Blog)
SOURCE: Huffington Post (Blog) (3-19-09)
Obama reached a deal in early January, shortly before his inauguration, for an abridged version of "Dreams From My Father" that would suitable for middle school or young adult readers. Crown Publishing Group is giving him a $500,000 advance plus 15 percent of the U.S. sales price for hardcover book sales and up to 10 percent for the domestic price for paperback sales.
As part of the deal, he also will deliver a new nonfiction book after he leaves office. Obama didn't indicate how much his deal for the new book might be worth. Terms likely would be negotiated at the end of his term. Former President Bill Clinton got $15 million for his book, "My Life."
Name of source: Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (3-18-09)
One man died and another was seriously injured in the incident which took place in the small town of Niemegk, near Berlin. On Wednesday, Christoph Lange, spokesman for the public prosecutor's office in Potsdam, told reporters that the explosion had probably been caused by a World War II shell. However, the police have still not confirmed exactly what type of explosive was involved in the deadly blast.
Many Germans have made a hobby of searching for and collecting World War II relics scattered across the country. The victims, two good friends, are reported to have acquired a metal detector for just that purpose.
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (3-17-09)
Secular Turks are outraged and the world is watching. Did Tubitak, which publishes Bilim ve Teknik, censor a feature about the theory of evolution under pressure from the conservative Islamic-oriented AKP-led government because it couldn't be reconciled with Muslim religious beliefs?
A senior Tubitak official has blamed the editor for removing the story, according to Turkish daily Hürriyet, saying changes were made at the last minute and rushed. But Atakuman has denied the allegation, saying the deputy head of the council, Ömer Cebeci, told her the cover story was too controversial and that he no longer trusted her to responsibly perform her duties. The paper claims the incident has been reduced to a case of "one person's word against the other's."
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (3-17-09)
Supporters regard the Latvians who fought in the Waffen SS as liberators from the Soviet occupation in the war. Russia and many ethnic Russians in Latvia regard the annual commemorative marches as a glorification of fascism.
The demonstration went ahead in defiance of a ban by the city. Dozens of protestors jeered at the veterans as they carried flowers to the base of the Freedom Monument in the Latvian capital.
Name of source: Tehran Times
SOURCE: Tehran Times (3-18-09)
From 22 to 24 March, 1940, the All India Muslim League held its annual session at Minto Park, Lahore. The session proved to be historical.
On the first day of the session, father of the Pakistani nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah narrated the events of the last few months. And then in an off the cuff speech he presented his own solution of the Muslim problem in India. He said that the problem of India was not of an inter-communal nature, but clearly an international one and must be treated as such.
Name of source: Sky News
SOURCE: Sky News (3-18-09)
But, according to the man who took the photo, it also captures Mr Putin disguised as a tourist.
Pete Souza, now President Obama's official photographer, captured the moment when he worked for President Reagan during the political thaw that soon ended the Cold War.
Mr Reagan took a stroll around Red Square accompanied by the Russian leader, who then introduced him to a group of tourists.
In an interview, Mr Souza recounted being surprised at the "pointed" questions these supposed tourists asked the US leader.
They included searching enquiries on the state of human rights in the US.
The identity of the man on the left of the photo - complete with camera round his neck - was later revealed and "verified" to Mr Souza as none other than Mr Putin.
The planting of KGB officers as bystanders was a common practice in Soviet times.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (3-19-09)
It is decorated with hundreds of precious stones, including diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds.
Bidding is expected to start at about $5m but experts say its eventual selling price could be far higher.
Tradition has it that the Pearl Carpet of Baroda was commissioned by India's wealthy Maharaja of Baroda as a gift to sit at the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad.
The maharaja's death meant it was never delivered and remained in India, being exhibited as a highlight of the Delhi Exhibition more than 100 years ago.
SOURCE: BBC (3-18-09)
Previously, experts thought the first feathered dinosaurs appeared about 150 million years ago, but the find suggests feathers evolved much earlier.
This has raised the question of whether many more of the creatures may have been covered with similar bristles, or "dino-fuzz".
Hai-Lu You, a researcher from the Insitute of Geology in Beijing, was part of the team that discovered the fossil.
He described the filaments seen on the body of the new dinosaur, which the team has named Tianyulong confuciusi, as "protofeathers" - the precursors of modern feathers.
SOURCE: BBC (3-17-09)
Appeals Chamber judges overturned Krajisnik's convictions for the murder, extermination and persecution of non-Serbs during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.
But he must still serve 20 years in jail for the deportation, forcible transfer and persecution of civilians.
Krajisnik was a close aide to ex-Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic.
Although the court said there was "insufficient evidence" to prove charges of genocide and complicity in genocide, it found him to have been part of a joint criminal enterprise that carried out the extermination, murder, persecution and deportation of non-Serbs.
But on Tuesday, the ICTY Appeals Chamber at The Hague quashed the convictions of "murder, extermination and persecution, other than that based on deportation and forcible transfer".
It said the testimony given by Mr Karadzic in defence of his former aide had not been "sufficient to undermine the extensive evidence" of the seniority and control he had exercised during the conflict.
The new sentence, which Judge Pocar described as "severe and proportionate", will take into account time Krajisnik has spent in custody since April 2000.
Name of source: Brown University press release
SOURCE: Brown University press release (3-16-09)
The commission was established in response to recommendations made by the Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, appointed in 2003 by Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons. The steering committee, which included faculty members, students, and administrators, was charged to investigate and to prepare a report about the University’s historical relationship to slavery. The final report, presented in October 2006, concluded that some of the University’s early benefactors were involved in the slave trade and that the University benefited from that involvement. In February 2007, the Brown Corporation endorsed a set of initiatives in response to the Committee’s report. Among the recommendations was that the University memorialize the history revealed by the Committee by creating a “living site of memory, inviting reflection and fresh discovery without provoking paralysis or shame.”
Established in 2007, the Commission on Memorials is composed of members of the Brown Community as well as individuals nominated by the governor of Rhode Island and the mayor of Providence. The 10-member group includes historians, individuals with expertise in memorialization, public art, and community and government affairs. They met on several occasions throughout 2007-08, studying many types of memorials around the world, visiting local monuments and museums, and hearing from individuals who have led similar memorialization efforts.
The commission recommends:
that the Public Arts Committee of the University be asked to commission a memorial that recognizes the University’s ties to slave trading, and as part of the process, the Committee should engage with the wider campus and Rhode Island communities;
that the commission request a meeting with the mayor and governor to urge that they lead a process to explore how the city and state will similarly memorialize the place of slavery in the city and state’s past;
that the director of the Center for Slavery and Justice, when appointed, undertake a discussion of how this history should be represented in the Brown curriculum and how this curriculum can be used to further teaching at the K-12 level;
that the University, through the center, provide funds for ongoing public events, seminars, and lectures on issues that help the community reflect on the history of slavery in Rhode Island and on the importance of similar atrocities around the world;
that a prize be created to recognize research on this subject;
and that this project inform how the University should address the need to memorialize Native American heritage in this region. The Bristol property may provide opportunities in this regard.
The commission agreed that any memorial be designed to inform people about this history and to engage the broader public in an ongoing discussion of its meaning. Members also felt that the emphasis of the project should be “uplifting” and offer access to reconciliation, rather than resurrect shame or pain. The group also asserted several points of importance to the mission and purpose of any memorial project, including “capturing the full extent of the history and the present-day implications of that history,” and “addressing the lingering effects of slavery that manifest themselves in disparate social and economic conditions.” Additionally, the group discussed how to locate a memorial, which will be considered by the University, city, state, and various agencies and organizations during the project’s next phases.
Other actions taken by Brown in response to the Slavery and Justice Report include initiatives to improve public education in the Providence area. The University created a $10-million target for an endowment for Providence Public Schools, called the Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence, and launched the Urban Education Fellows program, which forgives tuition for Brown graduate students who agree to serve Providence-area schools for at least three years after they earn a Master of Arts in Brown’s Urban Education Policy Program or a Master of Arts in Teaching.
Additionally, the University is committed to exploring how best to carry out a major research and teaching initiative on issues of slavery and justice; to recruiting a director of a Center for Slavery and Justice; to making copies of the report and its materials readily available to the public; and to continuing other projects approved by the Corporation in response to the steering Committee’s report.
The full Report of the Commission on Memorials is available online (pdf).
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (3-17-09)
To move the money, businessmen here in this city in northern China opened banks, the first in the nation’s history. Soon branches sprang up across the country, and they began making loans. Money flowed this way and that.
Then, as quickly as it started, the entire system crumbled. The banks shut down and the city fell into ruin.
So went the history of China’s first banking capital, which bloomed here in dusty Shanxi Province in the mid-19th century, during the Qing dynasty. With the global economy now reeling from the banking crisis that began in the United States, and as the explosive economic growth of China begins to slow, the rise and fall of Pingyao could be read by some as a cautionary tale.
But the present-day financial crisis has reinforced the sense of nostalgia surrounding Pingyao, which with its 33-feet-tall Ming dynasty walls is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the country.
“The banks tell a history of Chinese financial development, like how China started to transform from feudalism to capitalism,” said Ruan Yisan, a retired professor from the architecture department of Tongji University in Shanghai who has been instrumental in the restoration of Pingyao. “The staffs of the banks were trained to be objective and highly responsible to the accounting of the banks. Now, corruption is common and people don’t place much value in moral qualities.”
Name of source: McClatchy
SOURCE: McClatchy (3-18-09)
The fossils are from about 100 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.
SOURCE: McClatchy (3-17-09)
Peter Orszag, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said the Obama administration would prefer not to use the budget "reconciliation" process that allows measures to pass the Senate on simple majority votes.
Orszag said he wouldn't rule it out, however. The legislative tactic is being considered to push through Obama's global warming and health care programs, and perhaps his proposals to raise taxes on the wealthy.
HNN Hot Topics: Filibusters
Name of source: http://www.tampabay.com
SOURCE: http://www.tampabay.com (3-18-09)
As today's economic crisis stirs discussion about the Depression, what better way to teach a younger generation about those dire times than to tap into those firsthand accounts?
That's the thought behind the educational partnership evolving between residents of Atria Baypoint Village in Hudson and students in Eric Johnson's history classes at Hudson High.
"These wonderful residents have so much to share with young people," said Lynne Schroeder, the Engage Life director at Atria Baypoint Village. "My experience is that there aren't grandparents living close to their grandchildren, and my thought was that we could highlight these seniors and we could bring out the wonderful experiences from the residents that live here."
Name of source: SCNow (South Carolina)
SOURCE: SCNow (South Carolina) (3-17-09)
The team is preparing to raise three Confederate cannons — each weighing more than 15 tons — from the watery resting places some 150 years after they were sunk by Confederate troops as Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s troops bared down on the Pee Dee, said state underwater archaeologist Christopher Amer.
Amer is leading the team of researchers from the University of South Carolina’s Institute for Archaeology and Anthropology who are conducting the project, which is funded in part by a $200,000 grant from the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation.
The cannons are from the CSS Pee Dee, a 170-foot gunboat constructed at the Confederate Mars Bluff Naval Yard, which was located on the east side of the Pee Dee River. The vessel was launched from the yard in 1865.
Researchers are surveying the river this week to determine the exact location of the cannons, Amer said.
Hopefully, the cannons will be recovered later this year or next spring at a water depth and time that would be ideal for raising the artifacts, he said.
Name of source: The Times (UK)
SOURCE: The Times (UK) (3-17-09)
The burial chamber, or cist, was discovered intact, in a field near Oykel Bridge in Sutherland. The area is rich in Bronze Age remains, but this find was of huge importance to archaeologists. Unlike the vast chambered cairns of the earlier Neolithic period, burials from the metal-working people of the Bronze Age are modest affairs with artefacts such as pottery most commonly found.
Inside the cist was a skeleton in the foetal position, an unusual “crouched burial”, and - rarer still - the chamber contained well-preserved items made of woven materials.
Oblivious to the importance of the site - described as unique by one authority - police removed bones and other materials from the grave for forensic analysis, in actions which were described as “clumsy and “incompetent” by critics.
As soon as a mechanical digger pulled back a slab, he realised he was looking into a 4,000-year-old tomb. After punching the air in delight, he secured the site and covered it with a tarpaulin, before contacting National Museums of Scotland and Historic Scotland and, fatefully, notifying the police.
Historic Scotland defended the police actions, and said the force had “an obligation to investigate an unexplained death”, adding that the site was not a scheduled monument, and so was not subject to the heritage organisation's protection.
Name of source: Ethiopian Review
SOURCE: Ethiopian Review (3-17-09)
"We knew we might have something special, but we also kept thinking, 'OK, these could be from a baboon,'" Braun said.
Turns out all that caution was unnecessary. Over three summers, Braun and his colleagues unearthed a bit of archaeological gold: what's believed to be the first known footprints of Homo erectus, an ancestor to modern humans. The finding was reported Friday in the journal Science.
The researchers, who included Rutgers professor John W.K. Harris and a team of international experts, determined the feet that left those prints 1.5 million years ago were almost exactly like ours, with nearly identical heels, insteps and toes. Significantly, the big toe ran parallel with the other toes, suggesting a modern upright gait.
The footprints also indicated that those who left them took long strides like modern humans, allowing them to run and travel long distances. That squares with the fossil record, which shows that Homo erectus began migrating out of Africa about 1.8 million years ago.
Only one cluster of older pre-human footprints has ever been found. They were discovered in 1978 in Laetoli, Tanzania, and had been left 3.7 million years ago by Australopithecus afarensis, the small, apelike species to which the famous skeleton "Lucy" belonged.
It was in the summer of 2005 that the researchers made their discovery a few miles east of Lake Turkana, though they didn't know initially how big it would be. The group was cutting into the wall of a bluff to examine the geology of the area when they noticed deformations in the sediment.
"It was odd-looking," said Braun, the son of a Star-Ledger columnist, Bob Braun. "We were looking at it from the side, and it wasn't until we excavated from the top that we realized these were footprints."
A fuller excavation began in the summer of 2006, followed by two more in 2007 and 2008. Their excitement growing, Harris and Braun turned to other experts for help.
Matthew R. Bennett, a professor from Bournemouth University in England, used a digital laser scanner to create three-dimensional images of the footprints in 2007, showing them in detail.
In all, the group found more than a dozen prints on two layers of sediment separated by about 10,000 years. In one layer, they found two trails of two footprints each and one that included seven prints. Three prints were found on the lower layer.
Name of source: New York Times
SOURCE: New York Times (3-17-09)
The agreement, signed on Jan. 14, covers all of China’s cultural heritage from the Paleolithic period, beginning 75,000 B.C., through the Tang period, ending A.D. 907, in addition to monumental sculpture and wall art that is at least 250 years old. Materials subject to import restrictions include art, furniture, textiles, ceramics, weapons, tools, ornaments, jewelry, coins and musical instruments.
The accord was widely praised in the archaeological community in the United States and elsewhere as an important measure to deter looting of ancient sites and the illicit trade in stolen artifacts. But among Chinese art dealers and museum professionals in the United States there is a widespread belief not only that the agreement is unlikely to achieve its stated goal of stopping looting in China, but also that it will harm legitimate collecting and study of this material.
James J. Lally, a New York dealer in Asian art, also suggested that the agreement would be detrimental to collecting by American museums, and said that because the content of the new regulations and their practical application were not well explained or understood, dealers at home and abroad had become fearful of the “unpredictable power” of individual United States Customs agents to seize objects.
Fine Chinese art held by Japanese or European dealers will not be shown to U.S. museums because the dealers will not wish to risk the chance of problems at Customs,” Mr. Lally said. “A positive cultural activity will be turned into a source of problems.”
But not all collecting of Chinese artifacts by American museums will be affected by the accord, which mostly excludes the last 1,000 years of Chinese history. Acquisitions for the Chinese art collection of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., for instance, are primarily post-Tang Dynasty, meaning after A.D. 907, so the agreement has little direct impact.
The agreement comes with mutual obligations. In return for the United States’ restricting its imports, China has agreed to take greater measures to crack down on looting and the illicit market for these items within China, believed to be huge, as well as to facilitate greater cooperation with American museums, including more exhibitions, cultural exchanges and long-term loans of archaeological material.
Name of source: Washington Post/House Divided (blog)
SOURCE: Washington Post/House Divided (blog) (3-18-09)
Although being named most endangered might be considered a negative, it actually is embraced by the various sites because the Trust has a proven ability to bring media attention to what are often little known sites or unrecognized threats. A place on the annual list also means the Trust will most likely help raise huge amounts of money in an effort to rescue a battlefield.
Gettysburg, the best known of the country's battlefields, has often been on the Trust's list and each time the threat has either been removed or reduced.
The Trust does not rank the list; the threat follows the name of each site:
Gettysburg, Pa: expanding commercial development including hotels.
Wilderness, Va: proposed Wal-Mart super center.
New Market Heights, Va: none of the land is protected by any preservation group.
Cedar Creek, Va: approval of expanded limestone mining operations.
Monocacy, Md: proposed trash facility.
South Mountain, Md: proposed construction of natural gas compression plant.
Sabine, Texas: damage from two hurricanes and lack of state money for repair
Fort Gaines, Al: land erosion by Gulf of Mexico
Spring Hill, Tn: commercial development
Port Gibson, Ms: proposed road widening through center of the town
Name of source: IHT
SOURCE: IHT (3-18-09)
Now, in a move leading up to that hearing, a coalition of academic and civil liberties groups is calling on the Obama administration to break with the Bush administration’s policies on blocking visas of some foreign scholars, writers and activists.
In a letter being released Wednesday, the coalition says so-called ideological exclusion ‘‘compromises the vitality of academic and political debate in the United States at a time when that debate is exceptionally important.’’
The government initially barred Mr. Ramadan by invoking a provision of the chief anti-terrorism law, the USA Patriot Act, that allows the authorities to exclude foreigners who use ‘‘a position of prominence within any country to endorse or espouse terrorist activity.’’ Then, after the suit was filed, the government argued that from 1998 to 2002, Mr. Ramadan contributed about $1,300 to a charity in Switzerland that the Treasury Department later categorized as a terrorist organization. The charity, Association de Secours Palestinien, was a contributor to Hamas.
Barring entry to the United States in similar cases is not new: during the Cold War, the writers Gabriel García Márquez, Pablo Neruda and Doris Lessing, among others, were kept out. Congress largely repealed a law allowing ideological exclusion in 1990, but the USA Patriot Act, adopted in 2001 and reauthorized in 2006, permits the government to block entry on anti-terrorism grounds.
SOURCE: IHT (3-17-09)
Talks with the Glyptotek have dragged on for months, even though "the presuppositions for the negotiations are identical to those that were carried out with the Americans," said Maurizio Fiorilli, a lawyer for the Italian state involved in the negotiations. The Glyptotek, however, has "adopted a very different attitude," he said.
At the core of the dispute are Etruscan and Greco-Roman objects that the Glyptotek bought from Robert Hecht, an American antiquities dealer now on trial in Rome, where he is accused of receiving and selling stolen artifacts and conspiracy in the antiquities trade. He denies any wrongdoing.
The Italians have used evidence from Mr. Hecht's trial, and from the trial of the antiquities dealer Giacomo Medici, who was convicted of receiving and smuggling archeological artifacts, to persuade several American institutions — including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles — to return objects to Italy on the suspicion that they were illicitly excavated. (Mr. Medici is appealing his conviction.)
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (3-17-09)
The study was written by historian Manfred Pohl and entitled M. DuMont Schauberg: A Newspaper Publisher's Fight for Independence Under the Nazi Dictatorship.
Commissioned by Dumont itself, the study was officially launched in Berlin on Monday, March 16.
The book focuses on the then head of the family-owned publishing company, Kurt Neven DuMont. The author Pohl concludes that DuMont, although a Nazi Party member as of 1937, did not actively support Hitler's regime and indeed tried to help employees threatened by Nazi oppression.
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (3-18-09)
It is, frankly, inconceivable to imagine anything as big or audacious as D-Day being attempted ever again: more than 300,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen in a bloody dawn attack which liberated France and Europe and changed the world.
These days, their average age is 84. But the people they liberated from Nazi rule will never forget them - which is why, to this day, the veterans of the D-Day landings find it extremely hard to pay for so much as a drink when they set foot on the Normandy beaches.
For many, this year - the 65th anniversary of the Allied invasion of France - will be the last hurrah, the final pilgrimage.
The D-Day chaps are a matter-of-fact bunch. 'We're not getting any younger,' they say with a shrug. Hence, they have decided to close the Normandy Veterans Association later this year. But hundreds of them are determined to go out with a bang, to give June 2009 their best shot, and to get themselves over to France by whatever means possible.
Once there, they will not be disappointed. Led by President Nicolas Sarkozy, the French will make the liberators feel more honoured and appreciated than ever, with parades and medal presentations spread over several days.
Sadly, though, that sort of gratitude is not being reciprocated on this side of the Channel.
While the U.S. and Canadian governments are also organising events for their own D-Day veterans, both in France and at home, the official British position is so curmudgeonly that it is almost hilarious: there will be no further national commemoration of D-Day until the centenary.
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (3-18-09)
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (3-18-09)
The house at 278A Remuera Road went to the bid of Auckland estate agent Graham Wall, who purchased it on behalf of clients he would not name.
The selling price of $1.9m was just below the house's government valuation of $1.93m. Planning restrictions allow only one unit to be built on the 1738sq m site.
The 198sq m house was built in 1957 by Sir Edmund, four years after he and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay conquered Mt Everest. Sir Edmund died in January last year.
Name of source: History Today
SOURCE: History Today (3-17-09)
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (3-17-09)
The dormant case was brought back to life earlier this month when Guatemalan authorities used evidence found in the massive archives of the former National Police to arrest a two police officers (one active duty, one retired), charging them with kidnapping, illegal detention and abuse of duty. Arrest warrants have also been issued for two more suspects, ex-officers with the infamous Special Operations Brigade (BROE), a police unit linked to death squad activities during the 1980s by human rights groups.
The arrests are a testament to the important work being done by investigators in the police archive. Since the discovery of the vast, deteriorating archive in 2005, the files have proven to contain a treasure trove of evidence in some of Guatemala's most notorious cases of human rights atrocities stemming from the country's 36-year brutal civil conflict. According to the Historical Clarification Commission, 200,000 unarmed civilians died in the war, and 40,000 were estimated to have "disappeared."
The U.S. records published today provide illuminating details on the government campaign of terror designed to destroy Guatemala's urban and rural social movements during the 1980s that led to abduction of hundreds of labor leaders, including Fernando García. The posting also includes information on one of Guatemala's first human rights organizations, the Mutual Support Group (GAM), which itself became a target of government violence after its creation in 1984.
The posting also bring attention to the lingering question over Guatemala's missing military archives, which the President ordered released over a year ago. It also provides links to the National Security Archive's Guatemala Project homepage, with information on the death squad dossier, the police archives, and the investigative efforts to provide evidence in international and domestic human rights legal prosecution.
Name of source: Politico.com
SOURCE: Politico.com (3-17-09)
In a 20-minute speech in the lobby of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Biden said President Obama "has inherited the most difficult first 100 days of any president, I would argue, including Franklin Roosevelt."
“Let me explain what I mean by that," he added. "It was clear the problem Roosevelt inherited. This is a more complicated economic [problem]. We’ve never ever been here before – here or in the world. Never ever been here before."
Name of source: http://www.gettysburgtimes.com
SOURCE: http://www.gettysburgtimes.com (3-13-09)
Non-historic trees were removed near Colgrove Avenue just south of town, adjacent to the new Battlefield Visitor Center.
The project is part of a multi-year plan to transform the 6,000-acre Gettysburg National Military Park to its Civil War-era appearance.
Name of source: http://www.presstv.ir
SOURCE: http://www.presstv.ir (3-8-09)
“Archeological excavations and precise date recognition at the historical site of Gohar Tappeh revealed urbanism had entered the region about 4,500 years ago,” says Ali Mahforouzi, head of the excavation team of Gohar Tappeh of Mazandaran.
The discovery has also led archeologists to believe that powerful political and economic systems in the region were established around 5,600 years ago.
Name of source: http://qconline.com
SOURCE: http://qconline.com (3-11-09)
Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States, was elected in 1868 while a resident of Galena, Illinois and visitors to that town may still tour his fully restored home. His two terms in office, spanning the years 1869 – 1877, saw some of the most important civil rights activity the nation would experience for nearly 80 years and have caused some historians to re-evaluate his presidency.
A new book by presidential scholar Alvin S. Felzenberg, The Leaders We Deserved (and a Few We Didn"t): Rethinking the Presidential Rating Game places Grant in a tie for seventh place among Presidents Zachary Taylor, William McKinley, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy. Felzenberg argues that Grant "was the last president before Dwight D. Eisenhower to send federal troops to the South to protect the right of blacks to vote." He also destroyed the earliest version of the Ku Klux Klan, Felzenberg says, and signed the Civil Rights Act of 1875.