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This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used. Because most of our readers read the NYT we usually do not include the paper's stories in HIGHLIGHTS.
Name of source: Times Literary Supplement (UK)
SOURCE: Times Literary Supplement (UK) (2-25-09)
Through the pages of [a new book, Paul Preston's WE SAW SPAIN DIE] stride some of the great correspondents and writers of the period: Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Arthur Koestler, Arturo Barea, Martha Gellhorn and Herbert Matthews; and a number of others, among them Ilya Ehrenburg, George Orwell, André Malraux and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, make fleeting appearances. But the correspondents who most concern Paul Preston are those whose work will be best known to readers interested in the Civil War: Jay Allen, George Steer, Louis Fischer, Mikhail Koltsov and Henry Buckley. And even these are only a few of the mainly anglophone and French newspapermen who people this work with their lively presence.
The war was certainly dangerous, but it also raised new challenges for correspondents which resonate to this day. Could journalists be partisan and still truthful? Could they openly aid the side from which they were reporting and still be objective? Were actively partisan correspondents who also reported to their national intelligence services betraying their profession? In short, was each of these a regressive step down a slippery spiral, where “truth” was ultimately sacrificed? As usual in such matters, it is advisable to consider first the circumstances in which these challenges arose.
Name of source: Newsday
SOURCE: Newsday (2-23-09)
About a dozen Vietnam veterans and other protesters picketed the theater where the 71-year-old actress is starring in the Broadway play "33 Variations," telling passersby that she had once visited their communist enemy in Hanoi, The Associated Press reports.
"Jane Fonda is a traitor," said Dan Maloney of the Gathering of Eagles, which bills itself as a national, nonpartisan veterans group. "She got on Hanoi radio and called every U.S. serviceman a war criminal."
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (3-7-09)
Tax analysts say Obama is taking a page out of the playbook of former president Bill Clinton, whose administration supplied many of the key players on Obama's economic team, including Lawrence H. Summers, director of the National Economic Council, and Gene B. Sperling, a top aide at the Treasury Department.
Clinton, like Obama, argued that the rich had benefited disproportionately from tax cuts enacted by previous Republican administrations. When he took office, Clinton raised the top tax rate on families making more than $140,000 a year from 31 to 36 percent and created a new 39.6 percent tax bracket for families earning more than $250,000 a year.
SOURCE: WaPo (3-3-09)
With passion and courage, women have taught us that when we band together to advocate for our highest ideals, we can advance our common well-being and strengthen the fabric of our Nation. Each year during Women's History Month, we remember and celebrate women from all walks of life who have shaped this great Nation. This year, in accordance with the theme, "Women Taking the Lead to Save our Planet," we pay particular tribute to the efforts of women in preserving and protecting the environment for present and future generations.
Ellen Swallow Richards is known to have been the first woman in the United States to be accepted at a scientific school. She graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1873 and went on to become a prominent chemist. In 1887, she conducted a survey of water quality in Massachusetts. This study, the first of its kind in America, led to the Nation's first state water-quality standards.
Women have also taken the lead throughout our history in preserving our natural environment. In 1900, Maria Sanford led the Minnesota Federation of Women's Groups in their efforts to protect forestland near the Mississippi River, which eventually became the Chippewa National Forest, the first Congressionally mandated national forest. Marjory Stoneman Douglas dedicated her life to protecting and restoring the Florida Everglades. Her book, The Everglades: Rivers of Grass, published in 1947, led to the preservation of the Everglades as a National Park. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993.
Rachel Carson brought even greater attention to the environment by exposing the dangers of certain pesticides to the environment and to human health. Her landmark 1962 book, Silent Spring, was fiercely criticized for its unconventional perspective. As early as 1963, however, President Kennedy acknowledged its importance and appointed a panel to investigate the book's findings. Silent Spring has emerged as a seminal work in environmental studies. Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 1980.
Grace Thorpe, another leading environmental advocate, also connected environmental protection with human well-being by emphasizing the vulnerability of certain populations to environmental hazards. In 1992, she launched a successful campaign to organize Native Americans to oppose the storage of nuclear waste on their reservations, which she said contradicted Native American principles of stewardship of the earth. She also proposed that America invest in alternative energy sources such as hydroelectricity, solar power, and wind power.
These women helped protect our environment and our people while challenging the status quo and breaking social barriers. Their achievements inspired generations of American women and men not only to save our planet, but also to overcome obstacles and pursue their interests and talents. They join a long and proud history of American women leaders, and this month we honor the contributions of all women to our Nation.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2009 as Women's History Month. I call upon all our citizens to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that honor the history, accomplishments, and contributions of American women.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.
SOURCE: WaPo (3-3-09)
Then-directorate of operations chief Jose A. Rodriguez Jr. gave an order to destroy the recordings in November 2005, as scrutiny of the CIA and its treatment of terrorism suspects intensified. The agency's then-Director Michael V. Hayden argued that the tapes posed "a serious security risk" because they contained the identities of CIA participants in al-Qaeda interrogations. Until yesterday, the exact number of destroyed tapes was not known. Agency officials have said they stopped taping detainees six years ago.
Name of source: UPI
SOURCE: UPI (3-6-09)
Camp 30 is in Bowmanville, 45 miles east of Toronto, and its 18 buildings sit on 100 acres of land owned by The Kaitlin Group of developers, the Toronto Star reported.
Some 880 German prisoners were housed at the facility during the war, one of them a top U-boat captain Adolf Hitler reportedly planned on rescuing by sending a submarine up the St. Lawrence River into Lake Ontario, the report said.
That never happened but there was a three-day uprising in October 1942 in which soldiers dropped their weapons and battled with prisoners with baseball bats to make it a fair fight, historians told the newspaper.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (3-6-09)
Mr. Mallya, an airline and liquor tycoon, bought Gandhi’s personal effects in a controversial New York auction on Thursday. He said Friday that he planned to give the items to the government of India.
“Mahatma Gandhi is the father of the nation, and there could not be anything more important historically or culturally than his belongings,” and their return home, Mr. Mallya said in a telephone interview from France.
Mr. Mallya, the chairman of the conglomerate UB Group, seems an unlikely go-between for property belonging to the teetotaling, chastity-preaching spiritual father of independent India.
SOURCE: NYT (3-6-09)
Since the start of 2008, the economy has lost jobs at a steeper rate than at any other point in 50 years. That hadn’t been true until today’s report. But the 651,000 job losses in February — together with 161,000 additional job losses in previous months, a result of Labor Department revisions announced today — means that the decline is worse than it was at any point during the deep recessions of the mid-1970s and of the early 1980s.
The economy has now lost 3.2 percent of its jobs since January 2007. It lost 3.1 percent between the summer of 1981 and the end of 1982.
The job market still is not in as bad shape as it was in 1982, because unemployment entering this downturn was somewhat lower than it was in 1981. But it’s getting close.
The government’s broadest measure of unemployment and underemployment was 14.8 percent in February. That includes some of the people who have stopped looking for work because they don’t believe they can find jobs. It also includes part-time workers who want to be working full time.
The Labor Department did not keep such a statistic in the early 1980s. But it likely would have been in the neighborhood of 17 percent then. (Awhile back, I created a similar — though slightly narrower, for reasons of historical consistency — measure, with help from Labor Department economists. It peaked in 1982 at 16.3 percent in December 1982; it was 14.1 percent last month.)
So it’s still too early to call this the worst recession since the Great Depression. But it’s bad, and it’s still getting worse at a rapid rate.
SOURCE: NYT (3-4-09)
It happens to all of them, of course — Bill Clinton still had about half a head of brown hair when he took office but was a silver fox two years later, and George W. Bush went from salt and pepper to just salt in what seemed like a blink of an eye.
But so soon? “I started noticing it toward the end of the campaign and leading up to inauguration,” says Deborah Willis, who, as co-author of “Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs,” pored through 5,000 photographs of the first head over the last year.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (3-5-09)
Next to it, stains of blood drawing four fingertips seem like grim blemishes, not at all adornments. Bolivia is unearthing this dark part of its past.
The left-wing government of Evo Morales has recently discovered what his government calls"the horror chambers" - torture cells found by chance when contractors uncovered blocked off hallways in the basement of the Ministry of the Interior.
Those hallways led to cells where around 2,000 political prisoners were held and tortured during the 1971-1978 military rule under General Hugo Banzer.
SOURCE: BBC (3-6-09)
He says the United Russia party of the current Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, behaves like the old-style Communists.
He also said Russia's judicial system was not properly constitutional and dismissed members of its parliament as not truly independent.
Mr Gorbachev was speaking as the countries of Eastern and Central Europe look towards the 20th anniversary this year of the fall of Communism in Europe, as symbolised by the smashing of the Berlin wall.
Mr Gorbachev himself now says he did not foresee that his policies of openness and reform - "glasnost" and "perestroika" - would lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
SOURCE: BBC (3-4-09)
Spurred by a 2004 investigative book, Enfants Maudits (Accursed Children), and a television documentary that came out at the same time, hundreds of men and women in their 60s have contacted the army archives department in Berlin to find out more about their lost parents.
The association was set up in 2005 following a visit by a small group of "enfants de la guerre" (war children) to the Wehrmacht Information Office for War Losses and Prisoners-of-War (WASt), where some 18 million index cards on World War II German soldiers are stored.
Today, ANEG has 335 members and has helped more than 130 of them locate paternal families in Germany. A handful have even found fathers who are still alive.
In all, it is estimated that as many as 200,000 French children were born to illicit liaisons during the German occupation between May 1940 and December 1944, though the figure is impossible to verify.
SOURCE: BBC (3-6-09)
A Chinese collector bought the heads of a rabbit and a rat for 15m euros ($19m; £13m) each, when fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent's collection was sold.
The buyer, Cai Mingchao, has refused to pay, as an "act of patriotism".
The official Xinhua news agency quoted an official as saying what Mr Cai had done was entirely a personal action.
He said his bureau did not know the identity of the bidder until Cai Mingchao, an adviser to China's National Treasures Fund that seeks to retrieve looted treasures, revealed himself.
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (3-7-09)
Still, funding shortfalls threaten public access at 69 recreation and historic sites nationwide, including the oldest building in Idaho, a sacred Native American ancestral village in Arizona and a Washington kayak launch point into the Puget Sound.
Money from the stimulus bill could help. That's what made the difference in Florida, where Gov. Charlie Crist determined planned closures of 19 sites would not be necessary if the state gets the proposed $12 billion in federal stimulus money.
Name of source: Times (UK)
Robert Morgenthau has announced that he will step down at 90 after almost 35 years in office, rather than run for a tenth term in November.
The Manhattan district attorney has brought more than three million prosecutions against everyone from the mob chieftain John Gotti to John Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman.
The chart was among 40,000 ancient documents found in a cave in Dunhuang, China, a trove compared with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
It has now been conclusively dated to the 7th century AD. It was among tens of thousands of objects acquired in China by Sir Marc Aurel Stein, the British adventurer.
Despite its bulk, the 13-volume epic Tokugawa Ieyasu, a work that charts the struggles of one of Japan's most famous historical figures, has proved an explosive commercial success in China. In Ieyasu's difficult and stressful quest, say his modern-day Chinese fans, lie the secrets to prosperity, order - and, ultimately, domination.
Sohachi Yamaoka's Tokugawa Ieyasu was written 50 years ago. The first Chinese translation appeared on bookstore shelves at the beginning of last year - since when it has shifted more than two million copies, and continues to sell at an extraordinary pace for a foreign work.
Four hundred years after Shakespeare began writing plays in the foetid backstreets of East London, the race is on to build a state-of-the-art theatre in the neighbourhood where he cut his artistic teeth.
Two companies – one professional and backed by one of the country’s leading classical actors, one venerable and amateur – are seeking funding to construct theatres on sites only a few hundred yards apart in Shoreditch, the birthplace of modern English drama.
Both claim to be heirs to The Theatre, London’s first purpose-built playhouse, where Shakespeare’s early plays were staged.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
The files include an impassioned letter from her father, Fred, who worked as a television repairman in Mitcham, Surrey, begging the Home Office for help by throwing the Romanian spy, Alexandru Ionescu, out of the country.
Neither Mr Donovan, nor his family knew that MI5 had tried to recruit the tall, tanned pilot who was brought to Britain but eventually rejected as a spy because he was regarded as "an unstable self-interested type".
But he was hailed a hero in India after vowing to donate the independence leader's spectacles, sandals and watch to the nation after buying them for $1.8 million (£1.3m) at a New York auction.
The owner of United Breweries, whose flagship brand in Kingfisher beer, and Kingfisher Airlines said that he had taken a personal decision to buy the items amid huge outrage in India over the sale.
In conflicting statements, the Indian Culture Minister Ambika Soni claimed that the Indian Government had "procured the items through the services of an Indian, Vijay Mallya." Mallya stated that his purchase of the items had had nothing to do with politicians in New Delhi.
The collection at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge explores how people around the world have viewed the human body throughout history.
The museum claims it will be the most ambitious show in its 125 years.
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (3-7-09)
On the eve of the 1984 miners' strike - or the Great Strike For Jobs, to use the romantic term he prefers - only Margaret Thatcher was better known than Arthur Scargill, then President of the mighty National Union of Mineworkers and self-anointed Chief Commissar of his own fantasy state, dubbed the Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire.
The Prime Minister, of course, was Scargill's great nemesis. Mrs Thatcher stood diametrically opposed to everything he represented and was equally intransigent
After a year-long clash of ideologies so bloody and vitriolic that it often seemed more like civil war than an industrial dispute, she defeated him - with such crushing
finality that neither he nor the courageous miners he had led so misguidedly could ever recover.
That fact, if little else in a conflict so bitter that its wounds remain unhealed in great swathes of the country, is surely beyond dispute.
When the strike was called - 25 years ago last Thursday - in response to government plans to 'streamline' the then nationalised coal industry by closing 20 uneconomical pits, Britain had 170,000 miners working in 186 collieries.
Name of source: Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (3-6-09)
Vera Demjanjuk speaks a mishmash of German and English. She looks exhausted as she explains that everything is starting over again and that, once again, she will have to fear for the fate of her 88-year-old husband, John. Her family, she says, has neither the energy nor the means for a new court case, especially not in far-off Germany. "We are poor and have no money," she says.
It was 1977 when American Nazi hunters first set their sights on her husband. At that time, the retired Ford auto worker was stripped of his US citizenship and extradited to Israel. The Israelis wanted to hang him. They accused him of being "Ivan the Terrible," the barbarous operator of the gas chambers at the Treblinka concentration camp.
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (3-6-09)
The historic images were beamed around the world and the road which lined the east-west border became an icon of the human tragedy behind the Berlin Wall. Today, despite its less than central location, Bernauer Strasse, is the site of the capital's memorial to the Wall, attracting a steady stream of visitors.
Coaches with foreign number plates stand just meters away from the grey concrete slabs of the former wall. Tourists wander through the Berlin drizzle: But those who expect a taste of the city's dramatic history often leave somewhat bemused.
"Part of visiting Berlin is finding trails of its unique recent history -- but it has been hard to find this place," said Juanjo Gonzalo, a Spanish tourist who was visiting the city for 10 days. "All we found was was a tiny sign reading 'Wall' by the metro station".
Nearby a group of British students stood around a map trying to establish which side of the road used to be the east and which was on the west.
The tourists' bewilderment has been supported by the German press which, this week, fired some sharp words at the important site. "A virtually indecipherable wasteland," ran a headline in Die Tageszeitung, while the Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote: "Here Berlin has gambled away an inheritance of international importance."
Name of source: History Today
SOURCE: History Today (3-6-09)
The British MP John Stuart Mill was the first Member of Parliament to call for women’s right to vote, in 1869.
On September 19th 1893, New Zealand was the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote.
In 1910, at the second International Conference of Working Women held in Copenhagen, a woman called Clara Zetkin, the leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany suggested, for the first time, the idea of an International Women’s Day. The conference was attended by over 100 women, from 17 different countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament. The proposal was approved almost unanimously. The following year, on March 19th, 1911, the very first International Women’s Day was celebrated in Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
The date of March 19th is believed to have been originally chosen because on March 19th, 1848, in the context of the 1848 revolution, the Prussian king recognised for the first time the threat of the proletariat uprising and issued a series of promises, including the promise to introduce the vote for women (which he incidentally did not keep). The success of the first International Women’s Day, marked by over a million people, exceeded expectations with numerous meetings organised in small towns and villages across the four countries.
In 1913, International Women’s Day was transferred to March 8th.
SOURCE: History Today (3-6-09)
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (3-6-09)
García was kidnapped by police agents in Guatemala City on February 18, 1984, during a wave of government repression targeting the left. He was never seen again. The policy of terror used by the Guatemalan security forces to intimidate and destroy perceived "subversives" during the country's 36-year civil conflict resulted in the disappearance of an estimated 45,000 civilians and the death of some 200,000, according to the Historical Clarification Commission in 1999.
Reports published today in Guatemala's Prensa Libre and EFE described the arrest of agent Héctor Roderico Ramírez Ríos, currently chief of police in Quezaltenango with 28 years of service in the former National Police and National Civil Police. Ramírez was charged with "illegal detention, kidnapping, forced disappearance, abuse of authority and failure of duty." According to Human Rights Prosecutor Sergio Morales, Ramírez was identified by human rights investigators from the recently uncovered records of the old Fourth Corps of the ex-National Police, which described how he and other agents secretly captured García and took him to an unknown location.
Kate Doyle, Director of the Archive's Guatemala Project, commented "The arrest of one of the alleged perpetrators of Fernando García's disappearance 25 years later underscores the critical importance of the archives of the Guatemalan police and military in achieving justice for the atrocities committed during the civil conflict. The government of Guatemala must do everything in its power to see that state records are made public for future human rights investigations if it truly supports accountability and justice for these crimes."
At the time of his disappearance, Edgar Fernando García was an engineering student, advisor to the San Carlos University's Labor Orientation School and union secretary of the glass workers' union, CAVISA. He was also a member of the Association of University Students (Asociación de Estudiantes Universitarios - AEU), an organization that frequently spoke out about state repression. After his abduction, García's wife Nineth Montenegro -- today a member of Congress -- launched a fruitless campaign to try and find him, and co-founded an important new human rights organization for families of the disappeared called Mutual Support Group (Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo - GAM).
Although there has been no information about his capture since he disappeared in 1984, Fernando García's name appeared in the notorious "Military Logbook," an army intelligence document listing dozens of people disappeared by security forces in the mid-1980s and released publicly by the National Security Archive in 2000. The logbook indicated that García and other young students, professors and labor leaders were the subjects of intensive police surveillance in the weeks leading up to their capture and disappearance.
Name of source: http://www.patrick.af.mil
SOURCE: http://www.patrick.af.mil (3-5-09)
Rachel Carson attempted to define the impact people have had on this beautiful blue planet in her book Silent Spring. She believed "[t]he history of life on earth has been a history of interaction between living things and their surroundings...Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species - man - acquired significant power to alter the nature of this world."
Carson was indeed a woman with a passion and determination to protect that which she loved as a child. She utilized her writing talent to convey the message that we need to do all that we can to preserve the beauty of the only known inhabitable planet in the universe.
Name of source: China View
SOURCE: China View (3-6-09)
A total of 34 million yuan (about 4.9 million U.S. dollars) will be poured into the project based at Dunhuang Academy, an institute specializing in the protection of grottoes and the restoration of murals and cultural relics, said Wang Xudong, the academy's deputy chief.
The investment will come from the Ministry of Science and Technology, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the Gansu provincial government and the academy.
China boasts a large number of ancient murals, as represented by the Mogao Grottoes frescos, but many of them have suffered damages due to natural erosion, human activities and lack of systematic protection, Wang said.
The center will focus on developing technologies and methods and training special personnel for protection of cultural heritage, according to the researcher.
With some 80 staff, the center will cooperate with other domestic research institutes such as Lanzhou University and Zhejiang University in the research.
Name of source: VOA
SOURCE: VOA (3-5-09)
The first of three volumes on the Soviet famine of the early 1930s consists of about 6,000 documents, many recently declassified by Russian authorities. The publication follows decades when the very mention of the famine was prohibited, even by those who survived it.
The book and accompanying DVD were presented by Russian historians and archivists at a Moscow news conference on February 25.
The scholars' conclusion is consistent with the Kremlin's position the famine was not limited to Ukraine and that its victims, mostly peasants and landowners, were targeted not because of their nationality, but rather their social class.
The United Nations defines genocide as acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. There is no mention of class.
Name of source: Persian Journal
SOURCE: Persian Journal (3-5-09)
Further excavations and Carbon-14 studies on the relic are expected to reveal more precise information. Oxford scientists have determined exact dates of Iran's Kelar Mound by studying ancient coal and bone samples. Although many archeologists believed that the area was not older than the Iron Age, Carbon-14 studies have dated the mound to more than 6000 years ago
Name of source: US News & World Report
SOURCE: US News & World Report (3-5-09)
Lyndon B. Johnson had a specific objective in mind that guided his presidency from the start—to out-do Franklin D. Roosevelt as the champion of everyday Americans. LBJ got off to a fast start, but the very traits that made his presidency so promising in the beginning—his big ideas and ability to bend Congress to his will—proved to be the seeds of his political destruction.
"Throughout his presidency, Lyndon B. Johnson consistently measured his record against that of his political hero, FDR," writes Cambridge University historian Anthony Badger in FDR: The First Hundred Days. "In April 1965 he pressed his congressional liaison man, Larry O'Brien, to 'jerk out every damn little bill you can and get them down here by the 12th' because 'on the 12th you'll have the best Hundred Days. Better than he [FDR] did!"
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (3-6-09)
"There's no doubt in my mind he was persecuted because of his politics," Ayers said before appearing with Churchill at a student rally on academic freedom at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Churchill was a tenured professor of ethnic studies at Colorado University until he was fired on plagiarism charges in July 2007. He denies misconduct and is soon due to go to court in an attempt to get his job back.
"I've been a nervous wreck about it," the former president said, choking back tears a day after his wife spent 2 1/2 hours getting a replacement valve from a pig at Houston's Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center.
A letter delivered three days before the attack to the management of the mausoleum of Sufi poet Rehman Baba on the outskirts of Peshawar warned against its promotion of "shrine culture," said Sahibzada Mohammad Anees, a top government official in the city.
The two statues of Amenhotep III were found while the excavation team was clearing out a temple dedicated to him on the west bank of the Nile in the southern city of Luxor, according to a statement by Zahi Hawass, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Hawass said one statue is made of black granite and shows Amenhotep wearing a traditional pharaonic headcover, while the second one depicts him in the shape of sphinx — the mythological creature with a human head and the body of a lion.
The statues were said to be "large" but no other details were provided.
New evidence, corralled in Kazakhstan, indicates the Botai culture used horses as beasts of burden — and as a source of meat and milk — about 1,000 years earlier than had been widely believed, according to the team led by Alan Outram of England's University of Exeter.
"This is significant because it changes our understanding of how these early societies developed," Outram said.
Name of source: Chicago Tribune
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune (3-6-09)
The response surprised him because Peck's historic discovery amounted to noticing a newspaper article. But he was keen enough to recognize that the article is a doozy.
Published Oct. 6, 1854, in the Missouri Republican, it is a staggering, 10,015-word account of a public exchange between Abraham Lincoln and U.S. Sen. Stephen Douglas on what some consider the key legislation that turned the United States against itself.
Although historians were aware of the Lincoln-Douglas exchange, they were unaware the article existed. Peck came across a reference to it in a footnote in a 100-year-old book he was reading while researching the origins of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. He ordered a microfilm version of the newspaper clip.
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune (3-4-09)
Yale law professor Jack Balkin called this a "theory of presidential dictatorship. They say the battlefield is everywhere. And the president can do anything he wants, so long as it involves the military and the enemy."
The criticism was not limited to liberals. "I agree with the left on this one," said Orin Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University. The approach in the memos "was simply not a plausible reading of the case law. The Bush [Office of Legal Counsel] eventually rejected [the] memos because they were wrong on the law, and they were right to do so."
Name of source: JTA
SOURCE: JTA (3-5-09)
Vatican Radio on Wednesday said a 1943 document found in a convent in Rome listed the names of 24 people who were to be sheltered by the nuns there in accordance with the pope's desire.
"The Holy Father wants to save his children, also the Jews, and orders that hospitality be given to these persecuted [people] in the monasteries," Vatican Radio quoted from the document.
Name of source: The Age (Australia)
SOURCE: The Age (Australia) (3-7-09)
And then 2009 rolls around, the bicentenary of his birth, and the sesquicentenary of Origin. It was always going to be a challenge for authors and publishers. But of course there are new ways to see Darwin. Our understanding of the past evolves with time, just like everything else on the planet.
An astonishing interpretation has emerged from the long-standing Darwin duo, biographers Adrian Desmond and James Moore, authors of the bestseller Darwin (1991). Their new book, Darwin's Sacred Cause, examines the young scientist and his strange, faltering views on evolution through the vivid context of anti-slavery. This was, unmistakably, the greatest social, political, and moral issue of Darwin's early years, of his milieu, and of his extended family.
Every biography of Darwin notes this, but Desmond and Moore see in it a new explanation for his theories.
Name of source: Bloomberg
SOURCE: Bloomberg (3-5-09)
Emergency services are seeking two people still missing after the collapse, which may have been caused by building work on the city’s subway. Treasures in the archives included medieval housing records and certificates, and manuscripts from writers including Heinrich Boell and composers such as Jacques Offenbach, German press agency DPA reported.
“Our first concern is for the human lives,” Culture Minister Bernd Neumann said today in an e-mailed statement. “The collapse is also a cultural tragedy of national importance. If it is possible to rescue some of the items, then of course the scholarship and skills of institutes financed by the government will be put into service to limit the damage.”
The Cologne City Archive was the biggest municipal archive north of the Alps, with 26 kilometers of shelves full of files, its Web site says. It includes the collections and bequests of 780 artists, writers and composers and 500,000 photos of Cologne events. A “considerable” part of the collection had been microfilmed and digitalized, Neumann said.
Name of source: Australia Network News
SOURCE: Australia Network News (3-5-09)
Lead researcher Professor Mokhtar Saidin says the discovery could lead to the rewriting of history books on the region.
He says buildings found in two palm oil plantations in northern Kedah last month appear to have been part of the ancient Hindu kingdom of Bujang, which existed in the area around 300AD, long before Cambodia's Angkor civilisation which flourished from the 12th to 14th centuries.
Professor Mokhtar says the iron smelter was a particularly surprising find, as it shows a high level of technology for such an early civilisation.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (3-6-09)
During a six-month period in 2008, Raphael Haim Golb, whose father Norman Golb is a University of Chicago professor of Jewish history, created dozens of Internet aliases in the names of individuals who were active in Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship.
Norman Golb has taken the position the scrolls were produced by multiple Jewish sects.
According to the Manhattan District Attorney's office, Mr Golb was motivated by the belief that his father's theories were not taken seriously enough.
Mr Golb did not respond to a request for comment.
Mr Golb is charged with identity theft, criminal impersonation and aggravated harassment, and faces a maximum of four years in prison if convicted.
Name of source: Library of Congress Blog
SOURCE: Library of Congress Blog (2-26-09)
A number of them are citing the Library of Congress as having definitively asserted that the car was actually invented in Germany. As is often the case, the truth is sometimes more elusive than what one might think.
The media’s likely source for this Library of Congress factoid is from our “Everyday Mysteries” site, which presents history in an engaging Q&A format.
While the answer that is given regarding who invented the car is indeed “Karl Benz,” it is more accurate to say that “it depends on how you define an automobile.”
The webpage itself has this disclaimer right beneath the given answer: “This question does not have a straightforward answer.” It also includes this less-than-definitive statement: “If we had to give credit to one inventor, it would probably be Karl Benz from Germany. Many suggest that he created the first true automobile in 1885/1886.” (Emphasis added)
The page points out that self-propelled road vehicles powered by steam or electricity in France and Scotland predated Benz’ invention. It also credits Americans with having invented the first car to combine “an internal combustion engine with a carriage,” along with having set up the first company to manufacture and sell automobiles.
Name of source: TPM (Liberal blog)
SOURCE: TPM (Liberal blog) (3-5-09)
Can you filibuster this spending bill? Yes -- because it's not a budget resolution, which is a non-binding document that sets general revenue levels for the next fiscal year. The $410 billion measure is what congressional types call"omnibus appropriations," meaning that it sets overall spending levels for various governmental departments from now until October, when the 2010 fiscal year begins.
So when you read about Mary Landrieu (LA), Ben Nelson (NE), and other Democratic centrist senators who are bridling at the high spending levels in President Obama's budget, it's important to remember that they're referring to the non-binding, filibuster-proof document that will likely come to a vote by mid-April.
Democrats can afford to lose as many as eight of their own senators on that vote, while still passing a budget with 50 votes and Vice President Joe Biden as the tie-breaker. The party can also use"budget reconciliation" rules that would allow for filibuster-proof passage of health care, climate change, or even student loan bills later in the year, provided that such legislation achieve a demonstrable reduction in the deficit.
The total savings can be small; for instance, last year the Democrats used reconciliation to pass a student-loan bill that saved $75 million, which is small potatoes compared with the overall budget but achieved meaningful reform for anyone attending college. No decision on reconciliation has been made yet, but it's safe to say that the debate is heating up.
HNN Hot Topics: Filibusters
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (3-5-09)
The buyer was identified as Vijay Mallya, an Indian liquor and airline executive who owns the company that makes Kingfisher beer. A representative for Mallya, Tony Bedhi, did the bidding and later announced that the belongings would be returned to India for public display, but it was not clear whether they would be turned over to the government, as some officials have demanded.
Indian officials had maintained that the auction - scheduled to be completed Thursday afternoon in Manhattan - was illegal, but also that they were continuing to negotiate with the owner, James Otis, over a possible resolution. Ultimately, the government and Otis were not successful in halting the auction...
The story has dominated headlines in India over several days.
Name of source: Foxnews
SOURCE: Foxnews (3-5-09)
The Discovery Institute, the main organization supporting intelligent design research, says it was shut out from presenting its views because the meeting was funded in part by the John Templeton Foundation, a major U.S. nonprofit that has criticized the intelligent design movement.
Organizers of the five-day conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University said Thursday that they barred intelligent design proponents because they wanted an intellectually rigorous conference on science, theology and philosophy to mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species."
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Ed
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Ed (3-5-09)
According to the survey, 57.8 percent of professors believe it is important to encourage undergraduates to become agents of social change, whereas only 34.7 percent said teaching them the classics is very important. Observers say the difference results from influences as diverse as conservative criticisms of curriculum and Barack Obama's call for social activism during his presidential campaign.
The survey found that, on the issue of classics and change, professors' opinions also vary by rank. Full professors are more likely than assistant professors to say teaching the classics is important, and assistant professors are more likely than full professors to say encouraging undergraduates to become socially involved is important.
Name of source: Salon
SOURCE: Salon (3-4-09)
Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, led the way, saying that it's Congress' role to provide oversight and the Justice Department's job to take care of criminal prosecutions. "It seems to me that we ought to follow a regular order here. You have a Department of Justice which is fully capable of doing an investigation,” Specter said. He also said a truth commission would end up as a "fishing expedition."
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, followed Specter's lead, saying that Congress has already provided oversight and, for that reason, a commission would be “an indictment of congressional oversight responsibilities.” He also challenged supporters of the idea who say that a commission would be non-partisan, saying asking people to believe that is like asking them to believe in the "tooth fairy."