Breaking NewsFollow Breaking News updates on RSS and Twitter
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: The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University
SOURCE: The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University (4-27-09)
During his first 50 days in office, the three broadcast network evening news shows devoted 1021 stories lasting 27 hours 44 minutes to Barack Obama’s presidency. The daily average of seven stories and over 11 minutes of airtime represents about half of the entire newscasts. By contrast, at this point in their presidencies George W. Bush had received 7 hours 42 minutes and Bill Clinton garnered 15 hours 2 minutes of coverage, for a combined total airtime five hours less than Mr. Obama’s.
The networks varied in their attention to the Obama administration. CBS led the coverage with 365 stories and 10 hours 46 minutes of airtime, followed by NBC with 327 stories and 9 hours 38 minutes, and ABC with 329 stories and 7 hours 20 minutes. Thus, CBS has given more coverage to the Obama administration than all three networks combined gave to the first 50 days of George W. Bush’s presidency.
In addition, the first half hour of Fox News “Special Report” (which most closely resembles the broadcast network newscasts) devoted 10 hours 24 minutes to the Obama administration, nearly as much airtime as CBS gave him. And the New York Times devoted 115 front-page stories running 3385 column inches, the equivalent of over 28 full pages of text, to the Obama presidency.
Mr. Obama has received not only more press but also better press than his immediate predecessors. On the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news, fifty-eight percent of all evaluations of the president and his policies have been favorable, and 42 percent were unfavorable. CMPA’s previous studies of network news found that George W. Bush received only 33 percent positive evaluations by sources and reporters during the first 50 days of his administration in 2001, and Bill Clinton received only 44 percent positive evaluations during his first ten weeks (70 days) in office in 1993. (As noted above, these figures are based on judgments by reporters and sources not affiliated with either political party.)
The three networks have evaluated Mr. Obama very similarly – 57% positive comments on ABC, 58% positive on CBS, and 61% positive on NBC. But he fared far better in New York Times stories, where nearly three out of four evaluative comments (73%) by sources and reporters were favorable. And he fared far worse on Fox News, where only one out of eight such comments (13%) were favorable. Examples:
Positive Example: “I was blown away by President Obama’s grasp of the subject. How he connected the dots. How he answered the questions without any script.” -- George Stephanopoulos, ABC, March 5
Positive Example: “President Obama has done more in one week to reduce oil dependence and global warming than George Bush did in eight years.” -- Environmentalist, New York Times, Jan. 26
Negative Example: “The [employment] numbers the Obama administration is throwing around are absolutely inaccurate… a gross exaggeration.” -- Economist, Fox, Feb. 20
While Mr. Obama’s personal qualities and leadership abilities have drawn mostly praise from the mainstream media, his policies have not fared so well. On the broadcast networks fewer than two out of five evaluative soundbites (39%) praised his policies and proposals. ABC’s policy coverage was relatively balanced (48% positive), while source and reporter comments ran over two to one negative at both CBS (32% positive) and NBC (31% positive).
TV news coverage of the president’s economic policies, which focused mainly on the economic stimulus and the various proposed and enacted industry bailouts, garnered support from only 37% of evaluative soundbites. He fared better on domestic issues other than the economy, where praise for his health care proposals and new stem cell research policy brought balanced coverage overall (50% positive). But only one out of four comments (24%) praised his foreign policy decisions, including the war on terror.
Negative Example: “The Obama administration is paying too much money to the wrong people.” – Economist, CBS, March 20
The New York Times policy coverage, while less positive than its personal coverage of Mr. Obama, was about evenly divided between praise and criticism (48% positive). Although similar to the broadcast networks in its treatment of economic policy (40% positive), the Times portrayed other domestic policy areas relatively favorably (60% positive), and its 39% positive coverage of foreign policy domains was still more favorable than the networks’ 24% positive coverage.
Positive Example: Mr. Obama’s actions “reaffirmed American values and are a ray of light after eight long, dark years.” – ACLU executive, New York Times, Jan. 22
By contrast, Fox News coverage was even more negative toward Mr. Obama’s policies than the Times was positive. Only one out of twelve evaluative soundbites (8%) praised any of the president’s policies, including six percent positive judgments on the economic matters, seven percent on other domestic issues, and 17% on foreign affairs.
Negative Example: “It’s easy to spend someone else’s money…. It’s not only irresponsible, it’s unethical.” President, Peterson Foundation, Fox, February 20
Across all outlets, the ten most frequently debated issues were: 1. Economic stimulus -- 287 stories; 2. Industry bailouts – 114 stories; 3. Budget/deficit – 74 stories; 4. Terrorism -- 64 stories; 5. Healthcare – 61 stories; 6. Taxes – 45 stories; 7. Economic conditions – 38 stories; 8. Afghanistan – 31 stories; 9. Defense – 16 stories; 10. Iraq – 12 stories.
Name of source: Inside Higher Ed
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (4-28-09)
It appears, however, that Oberlin officials are ready to literally sidestep the controversy that the arch provokes on graduation day. Administrators recently decided to change the commencement processional route, bypassing the arch altogether, The Oberlin Review first reported.
The Memorial Arch was erected in 1903 to recognize Oberlin graduates who were killed during the Boxer Rebellion while serving as missionaries in China. Critics have long charged that the arch honors questionable acts of American imperialism, while at the same time doing little to recognize the deaths of Chinese people killed in the uprising. Students who hold that view have made their disdain clear on graduation day, walking around the monument or -- in one case -- climbing over it with the aid of a rope.
Name of source: Arkansas News Bureau
SOURCE: Arkansas News Bureau (4-27-09)
That distinction belongs to the sinking of the paddle-wheeled steamboat Sultana on the Mississippi River near Memphis on April 27, 1865, Snyder said. His speech, posted on YouTube, was in support of a resolution he introduced to recognize the anniversary of the Sultana’s sinking.
The House voted 393-0 to approve the resolution.
Although an estimated 1,800 lives were lost in the accident, compared to 1,500 who died when the Titanic sank in the Atlantic Ocean in 1912 after hitting an iceberg, the sinking of the Sultana received little attention even at the time, Snyder said.
That’s largely because of timing, he said. The incident happened just a few weeks after the end of the Civil War, 13 days after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and one day after Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was shot and killed by federal troops.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (4-27-09)
Yet as they consider whether to cut off one of the great legal legacies of the civil rights era, the justices may be asking themselves the inevitable question: Is a law rooted in the age of Jim Crow still needed in the Obama era?
The main beneficiary is accused of scheming with others to drain the estate. The deceased, it is alleged, did not have the mental capacity to execute the will. Document experts have been asked to examine the authenticity of the will, the credibility of the witnesses to its signing has been questioned and the court fight has been a headline-grabbing sensation.
It might. But this probably is not the case you are thinking of.
The year was 1959. John Jacob Astor VI accused Brooke Russell Astor of using “improper conduct and undue influence” to persuade her husband, Vincent Astor, who had died from a heart attack at 67, to change his will. When Vincent signed off on his will, he “was mentally deficient,” claimed John Jacob, his half brother.
In Reagan’s Debt
By LOU CANNON
Obama, too, is misunderstood by critics as an ideologue.
Think Big, Even in Defeat
By ROBERT DALLEK
Memories of L.B.J. have faded, but his stamp on society remains.
New Address, Same Politician
By ROGER MORRIS
Nixon was done in by character: his and that of those around him.
Changing the American Mind
By JEAN EDWARD SMITH
Obama has led people to re-think their assumptions. Just like F.D.R.
Saved by the Cold War
By RICHARD REEVES
When it comes to mistakes, it’s hard to top J.F.K.’s early days.
Lincoln was a lifelong Bardolater and serial Shakespeare-quoter, as Mr. Obama noted in remarks at the recent reopening of Ford’s Theater. Lincoln regarded Shakespeare, whose 445th birthday was last week, as many things: an oracle to be consulted for wisdom; a pastor with whom to share confidences and from whom to seek comfort, a friend. He kept a “Complete Works” close at hand in the White House.
Sitting for one official portrait, for instance, Lincoln fought the tedium with a spontaneous performance of the opening soliloquy from “Richard III,” along with running commentary on how most actors he’d seen play the role had botched it.
He knew much of “Hamlet” by heart, and shared with one correspondent his still unorthodox view that the best speech by the villain Claudius, “the soliloquy commencing, ‘O, my offense is rank’ surpasses that commencing ‘To be or not to be.’ ” It was “Macbeth,” though, that seemed to haunt Lincoln. He quoted from it countless times, and the “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” soliloquy gripped his imagination with unusual power.
Those same factors, for better or worse, have turned him into a one-of-a-kind former vice president. In a sharp break with long-standing practice, Mr. Cheney has emerged as the highest-profile critic of the new administration....
His role appears all the more striking because it defies normal tidal rhythms of presidential politics. Protocol decrees that when a new administration arrives the old one quietly departs and, at least for a while, defers to its successor by remaining inconspicuous. That pattern has generally held even through dramatic transitions of ideology and political style, as happened when the Democratic incumbent, Jimmy Carter, lost decisively to Ronald Reagan in 1981.
In the first months of the Reagan Revolution, Mr. Carter and his vice president, Walter Mondale, “never attacked us,” Martin Anderson, the White House domestic policy chief under Mr. Reagan, recalled. Such etiquette flowed in no small measure from political realities. Mr. Reagan’s decisive victory in 1980 made it clear that American voters wanted to turn the page.
Former vice presidents often have other reasons for keeping quiet. Mr. Mondale was contemplating his own run for the White House and was intent on presenting himself as a viable candidate, rather than on defending the president he had served. The same held for other former vice presidents eying the presidency: Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, George H. W. Bush, Al Gore.
But Mr. Cheney is an altogether different case. No one expects another campaign from him, freeing him to speak his mind.
Name of source: Time
SOURCE: Time (4-27-09)
Medical historians and epidemiologists say there are many differences between the relatively benign 1976 outbreak and the current strain of swine flu that is spreading across the globe. But they also say the decisions made in the wake of the '76 outbreak — and the public's response to them — provide a cautionary tale for public health officials, who may soon have to consider whether to institute draconian measures to combat the disease. (See pictures of the swine flu outbreak in Mexico.)
"I think 1976 provides an example of how not to handle a flu outbreak, but what's interesting is that it made a good deal of sense at the time," says Hugh Pennington, an emeritus professor of virology at Britain's University of Aberdeen. Pennington points out that conventional wisdom in 1976 held that the 1918 flu pandemic — which started among soldiers and eventually killed as many as 40 million — was the result of swine flu (scientists now know it was in fact a strain of bird flu). Despite modern advances in microbiology, today's health officials still make decisions in a "cloud of uncertainty," Pennington says. "At the moment, our understanding of the current outbreak is similarly limited. For example, we don't yet understand why people are dying in Mexico but not elsewhere." (See pictures of bird flu.)
Name of source: UPI
SOURCE: UPI (4-24-09)
Stockholm County Museum runic expert Lars Andersson said a rock used to help mark the lot's boundaries is thought to date back to the Viking Age in Sweden, The Local said Friday.
Andersson said in a museum statement the discovery of runic inscriptions on the rock thanks to rainy weather was akin to a "religious experience."
Name of source: The Daily Star (Bangladesh)
SOURCE: The Daily Star (Bangladesh) (4-25-09)
The Monastery, one of the most important archeological sites in South Asia, was declared as a protected site dates back to 1919 during the British colonial rule.
Custodian of the ancient site Abdul Latif Pramanik said lack of proper maintenance, shortage of manpower, fund constraint, soil salinity and heavy rainfall contributed to the decay of rare terracotta artworks.
A total of 595 terracotta sculptures of the temple completely eroded due to high salinity of the soil, lack of proper maintenance, heavy rainfall and negligence, said a high official of the department.
At least 1810 rare terracotta figures in the storeroom of the site are now a pile of ruins due to lack of preservation, sources said.
Name of source: Peterborough. Net (UK)
SOURCE: Peterborough. Net (UK) (4-28-09)
One of the buildings, which probably stood until the 17th Century, may be part of the old Butter Cross – a building in the market place where butter, eggs and meat were sold.
Up to six archaeologists a day have been working on the site for several weeks in preparation for the main square improvement works, which are being delivered by Opportunity Peterborough and Peterborough City Council.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-28-09)
More than 70 Yeomen - resplendent in their distinctive red and gold tunics, large white ruffled collars, scarlet stockings and flat brimmed black Tudor hats - gathered in Westminster Abbey in tribute to King Henry VII.
Henry VII created the Queen's Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth.
To mark the 500th anniversary of his death, the Queen placed a posy at his tomb in the Abbey's Lady Chapel.
The monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh sat for a group photograph with the entire corps of Yeomen in the Nave, and met with them after the service.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-28-09)
The combined camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau saw the biggest loss of life in the Second World War, with hundreds of thousands of prisoners, the majority Jewish, killed in gas chambers between 1940 and 1945.
In 2005, as Chancellor, Mr Brown announced funding for two pupils a year from every school in the country to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.
So far, 7,000 pupils and teachers have visited the camp.
Speaking in a packed St Peter's Square, the Pope praised each of the five as a model for the faithful, saying their lives and works were as relevant today as when they were alive.
The Pontiff singled out the Rev Arcangelo Tadini, who lived at the turn of the last century and founded an order of nuns to tend to factory workers – something of a scandal at the time, since factories were considered immoral and dangerous places. Tadini also created an association to provide emergency loans to workers experiencing financial difficulties.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-29-09)
George Lewis, director of the Centre for American Studies and a reader in American History at the University of Leicester, said there had been an "Obama bounce" in applications for the subject in Britain this year.
A 22 per cent rise in the number of applicants nationally and a 60 per cent increase at Leicester came after a depression in applications throughout George Bush's time in the Oval Office, he said.
He said: "I think the idea of spending a year in Obama's America is probably more appealing to many students than doing so under the Bush regime.
"He is perhaps the first intellectual American president we have had since Woodrow Wilson.
The Princess Taiping - meaning "peace" in Chinese - was within sight of shore off Su Ao harbour in northeast Taiwan when it was sliced in two after a collision with a Liberian-registered cargo vessel.
The 53ft, three-masted junk was built over six years by 30 traditional Chinese shipwrights in Fujian, southeast China using axes, chisels and models of the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). "We built it from the descriptions in an official Qing manuscript, right down to the handmade nails. It was a small warship, probably used for coastal voyages, and it would have carried 30 soldiers and a crew.
Captain Liu's almost-completed voyage appeared to prove that it was technically possible that China's greatest admiral and explorer, Zheng He, could have sailed to North America some 600 years ago. Despite the sinking, Mr Peng of the Chinese Maritime Development Society, said he believed the ship had "accomplished its mission".
King Arthur Pendragon, a druid formerly known as John Rothwell, set up camp on the edge of the site last June, believing that people should be allowed to walk around and touch the stones, which have been roped off since 1977.
Pendragon, 55, who changed his name by deed poll in 1976, has been living in a caravan on the A344 near Stonehenge since last June.
The former soldier and Hell's Angel has now been banned from entering the site after Wiltshire County Council objected on the ground of trespass and launched legal proceedings.
Mr Pendragon however has refused to accept the ban despite and vowed to maintain his vigil, with the full support of the Council of British Druid Orders. He could face forcible eviction if he fails to leave the site by May 3.
The National Trust has erected information boards to explain the positions of the clumps of beech, maple and hawthorn in the Wiltshire Countryside, each of which represents a British or French ship.
The Nile Clumps, as they are called, were thought to have been planted nearly 200 years ago to mark Nelson's death after Capt Thomas Hardy and Nelson's mistress, Lady Emma Hamilton, persuaded Lord Douglas of Amesbury to put them on his estate.
"Each clump is said to represent the position of a French or British ship during one of Nelson's most significant clashes with Napoleon, the Battle of the Nile in 1798," said Stephen Fisher, one of the trust's volunteers involved in the board's creation.
Each clump, as shown on a Google Maps image, carries the name of a different vessel, including the Vanguard, Goliath and Bellerophon.
The decision to make public the images sought in a legal action by the American Civil Liberties Union comes amid a political firestorm over alleged torture of detainees under President George W. Bush.
Some of the photographs, which will be released before May 28, are said to show American service personnel humiliating prisoners, according to officials.
The images relate to more than 400 separate cases involving alleged prisoner abuse between 2001 and 2005.
There is that wonderful line in Kubrick's Dr Strangelove when the American president admonishes the Soviet ambassador and one of his Air Force generals for wrestling over a spy camera: "Gentlemen! You can't fight in here – this is the War Room."
It was Ken Adam who came up with the design for that simple but unforgettable set: a dark, oppressive, cavernous chamber dominated by a huge, circular conference table and giant, glowing wall maps marking the approach of nuclear Armageddon.
Adam, 88, is the only German to have served as a pilot in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. As a Sergeant Pilot in 609 Squadron, flying Typhoon fighter-bombers on low-level strikes across northern France, he would have been put in front of a firing squad if captured and identified. Jewish-born but still the holder of a German passport, he was to the Nazis a traitor.
Some 10,000 men and women from Germany and Austria, Jews and other opponents of the Nazi regime, fought in British uniform. As "friendly enemy aliens" they could not be compelled to join up. All were volunteers, representing almost one in eight of the 78,000 German and Austrian nationals who fled to Britain before September 1939.
The King's uniform did not confer British nationality. Those who wanted to make Britain their permanent home were granted passports only after the war. Hated and persecuted in their homeland and treated with suspicion in their adopted country, they lived out the war in a kind of limbo, uncertain as to what the future held. What drove them was an absolute detestation of Nazism.
Sir Ken is one of a handful of veterans featured in Churchill's German Army, a documentary chronicling this most curious of Allied contingents. It is 75 years since he left Germany but he still speaks with a soft German accent.
The George W.Bush Foundation, which is responsible for setting up the library as well as his policy institute, is looking for an executive director who has the support of the Bush family and also the necessary academic credentials.
Last week he invited former aides to a brainstorming dinner and a day-long discussion about his think tank - known by some backers as the Freedom Institute - which he hopes will burnish his legacy.
It was the first such gathering since he left the White House, and those present included Condoleezza Rice, his former Secretary of State, and Karen Hughes, his longest-standing media adviser. Conspicuous by his absence was the former vice president, Dick Cheney. Mr Cheney has fallen out with his old boss over Mr Bush's refusal to pardon his former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, convicted of perjury over the leak of the covert identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame.
Academics at SMU have mostly welcomed the plan to host Mr Bush's presidential library, which will eventually house all the documents from his eight-year administration and be run impartially by the National Archive. But they fear that the George W.Bush Policy Institute - whose goal is to "further the domestic and international goals of the Bush administration" - will become a vehicle for propaganda, not least about the Iraq war.
Foundation officials plan a $300 million fundraising campaign to raise money for the library complex, due to open in 2013.
Name of source: China View
SOURCE: China View (4-28-09)
The fossilized grey figurine, which is 2.1 centimeters long, 1.2 centimeters high and 0.6 centimeters thick, was found in Xuchang County in China's central Henan Province in March.
It is made from evenly-heated antler, and vividly carved with amicrolithic cutting tool.
"The carving technique is more exquisite than the western carvings of its time," said Li Zhanyang, head of the archeological team in Xuchang, and a researcher with the Henan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archeology.
Li said the bird carving might have been left by hunters when they were very active in Henan Province around the Last Glacial Maximum period, which started about 25,000 years ago. It could have been a totem to represent good luck and freedom.
If the bird carving could be exactly dated, it would provide important background for the research on the techniques, aesthetic and expression, as well as inter-regional migration and communication of human beings of that time, said Gao Xing, head of National Natural Science Foundation of China.
Name of source: JoongAng Daily (Korea)
SOURCE: JoongAng Daily (Korea) (4-29-09)
“They are believed to be either North or South Korean troops,” an official in the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, adding that the remains of four South Korean marines were among the 79 discovered on a mountain in Pohang, a port city about 370 kilometers (230 miles) southeast of Seoul.
In January, South Korea opened a lab in Seoul to lead the excavation and identify those discovered. Fewer than 100 South Korean soldiers have been identified so far. The latest discovery came after a retired Marine tipped off the military to where he buried his fallen comrades in 1950, the JCS official said. Marines conducted an excavation lasting nearly two months in the area. In addition to the remains, they found roughly 800 personal items believed to have belonged to fallen soldiers, the official said. Yonhap
Name of source: United Press International
SOURCE: United Press International (4-28-09)
Police were immediately called to the site in Waterford, where they determined the skulls and bones were too old to be of forensic interest, The Irish Times reported.
Jack Burchill, a Waterford historian, said the area where Egan's, a historic pub, stood until recently was once a Dominican abbey. The abbey, like many others in Ireland and England, was shut down by King Henry VIII when he rejected the authority of the pope in 1540.
The bones probably date from the abbey era, Burchill said. Local people may also have continued to use the site as a burial ground after the abbey was closed.
SOURCE: United Press International (4-24-09)
Stockholm County Museum runic expert Lars Andersson said a rock used to help mark the lot's boundaries is thought to date back to the Viking Age in Sweden, The Local said Friday.
Andersson said in a museum statement the discovery of runic inscriptions on the rock thanks to rainy weather was akin to a "religious experience."
Name of source: Macedonian International News Agency
SOURCE: Macedonian International News Agency (4-27-09)
The coins contained in two ceramic bowls have made one of the largest and most important mediaeval findings so far, according to Archaeologist Zoran Rujak, the head of the ongoing archaeological excavations.
Coins dating from different historical periods have been found at the site. The oldest one dates back to 350 B.C. (period under Philip II).
Name of source: Science Daily
SOURCE: Science Daily (4-25-09)
The excavation is being carried out on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, under the direction of Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa and Eli Shukron of the IAA, and is sponsored by the ‘Ir David Foundation.
The stone fragment dates to the eighth century BCE and this is based on the numerous pottery sherds that were discovered together with it, as well as the shape of the Hebrew letters that are engraved in the inscription.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (4-26-09)
A team of excavators who have already spent two summers at the Richarson property, digging up everything from Chinese porcelain to animal bones, will return this summer to complete their work at the site.
The researchers are hoping to uncover a large distillery they believe Richardson's slaves used to make rum. The alcohol was produced in copious quantities in colonial Newport, helping make the city a commercial hub, and was a key element of the so-called triangular trade that carried slaves, rum, molasses and other goods and supplies between Africa, the Caribbean and New England.
SOURCE: AP (4-27-09)
The attorney general and his staff took a tour of the Tower of London, home of The Bloody Tower, and also the site where Guy Fawkes was put on the rack in 1605 to name those plotting with him to blow up Parliament.
The tower visit is standard fare for tourists, but one loaded with extra meaning for Holder, who listened quietly to tales of torture, execution, and palace intrigue.
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (4-27-09)
The Sinn Fein president has revealed that he has not gone to confession “in years”, preferring to speak directly to God.
In an interview with Gay Byrne for his new Meaning of Life show on Ireland's RTE1, which aired last night, the republican leader also told how he had to run from his own wedding, spent most of his time living in other people’s homes from the 1970s to the 1990s and missed the first four years of his son’s life.
Name of source: BBC
Megrahi, 57, will not be present at the appeal in Edinburgh, which is expected to last at least four weeks.
A total of 270 people died when the plane exploded over Lockerbie in 1988.
At least two survived the Nazi camp, an Auschwitz museum official said.
The bottle was buried in a concrete wall in a school that prisoners had been compelled to reinforce.
The school's buildings, a few hundred metres from the camp, were used as warehouses by the Nazis, who wanted them protected against air raids.
Students are following the original timetable, including the strict outdoors regime for which the school was known.
Gordonstoun was founded in 1933 by Kurt Hahn, who also founded the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and Outward Bound.
The school is famous for its connections to the Royal Family, with Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward among its former pupils.
SOURCE: BBC (4-26-09)
A statement announcing the temporary ban singled out a programme it said amounted to blatant denial of genocide against the Tutsi and moderate Hutu.
The editor of the BBC programme denied that there had been any bias.
He said that the programme had offered to include a government spokesman in the programme, but it had declined.
SOURCE: BBC (4-24-09)
Students and experts from Bournemouth University have worked for two years on the wreck site, in an area off Poole Harbour known as The Swash Channel.
The ship, which lies about 23ft (7m) down, is thought to date from the 1620s but its country of origin is unknown.
Name of source: BBC (audio report)
SOURCE: BBC (audio report) (4-24-09)
The hope is that they will teach the military to behave in more 'culturally appropriate' ways and reduce the need for lethal force. However, three young academics have died during the 18 months that the policy has been operation, and the American Anthropological Association has condemned the initiative as unethical.
Name of source: Bloomberg
SOURCE: Bloomberg (4-24-09)
The soldiers arrested a gang of seven thieves who were preparing to smuggle the objects outside of Iraq, according to a statement e-mailed today by the U.S. military in Baghdad. They were tipped off by residents in the southern Iraqi towns of Abu al-Kahsib, Bab al-Tawael and al-Amir.
Name of source: Foxnews
SOURCE: Foxnews (4-26-09)
He's communicated regularly with his constituents via YouTube and the White House Web site, and he's traveled abroad to rebuild America's image.
Nearly 100 days into his administration, Obama has locked down his reputation as a skilled communicator and has even scheduled a press conference Wednesday night to review his first 100 days.
Obama's communications skills are an asset historians say has not ebbed since the 2008 campaign and have allowed him to push economic policies that many voters and lawmakers consider drastic.
SOURCE: Foxnews (4-27-09)
Dated Sept. 9, 1944, the note bears the names, camp numbers and hometowns of the seven prisoners — six from Poland and one from France.
Workmen were tearing out a wall in the basement of a college building in the town of Oswiecim — which was called Auschwitz by the Nazis during World War II — on April 20 when they discovered the bottle, college spokeswoman Monika Bartosz said.
SOURCE: Foxnews (4-26-09)
Poe was born in Boston on Jan. 19, 1809. But the author of "The Raven" and "The Fall of the House of Usher" had an often bitter relationship with his hometown. He sometimes lied about his birthplace and voiced his distaste for its literary elite.
But Boston has tried recently to show more love for Poe. The mayor declared January Edgar Allan Poe Appreciation Month.
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (4-26-09)
More than 70,000 people have been killed since the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) took up arms in 1972 to fight for their own homeland in the northeast of the Sinhalese-majority island.
The British colonial regime, which ended with independence in 1948, was marked by a policy of "divide and rule" among the Sinhalese and ethnic Tamil minority which now comprises 12.6 percent of the island's 20 million population.
The Sinhalese are mostly Buddhists while the Tamils are Hindus, but religion was never the divisive issue.
SOURCE: AFP (4-25-09)
"Today we remember with profound sadness those heroes who fought against the nuclear storm and sacrificed themselves for us and our children," President Viktor Yushchenko said in an address published by his press service.
Some 100 Ukrainians, including Yushchenko and other top officials, laid wreaths overnight before the monument to Chernobyl's victims in Kiev and lit candles during a religious service dedicated to the tragedy, an AFP photographer reported.
Name of source: WSJ
SOURCE: WSJ (4-28-09)
Former Vice President Dick Cheney has requested that the administration declassify additional CIA memos that he said would show the tactics worked.
Mr. Gibbs said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that the review process would take about three weeks.
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (4-26-09)
ALLAN J. LICHTMAN
Author of "The Keys to the White House" and "White Protestant Nation"; history professor at American University
Forget about the first 100 days of a president's term. Since Franklin Roosevelt established that artificial benchmark in 1933, newly elected presidents have accomplished more in their second 100 days than in their first.
Dwight Eisenhower signed the armistice ending the Korean War on July 27, 1953. Ronald Reagan steered his landmark 25 percent across-the-board tax cuts through Congress on Aug. 4, 1981, and George W. Bush gained passage of his signature $1.35 trillion tax cut on May 26, 2001.
It takes time for a president to put his team in place, formulate policies, steer legislation through Congress and conduct foreign negotiations. Roosevelt, in 1933, was the last president inaugurated on March 4, rather than Jan. 20, which gave him an additional six weeks of preparation time.
President Obama accomplished much in his first 100 days. He won congressional approval of his budget and a $787 billion stimulus bill, and he changed policy on stem cell research, abortion, the environment, labor rights and national security through executive orders.
Obama will be more sternly tested in his second 100 days, when Congress considers proposals for overhauling financial regulations, fixing the health-care system and controlling global warming, arguably humanity's greatest challenge. He will face intense opposition from interest groups and cannot presume unified Democratic support or cooperation from Republicans.
Obama will not enact his full agenda during his second 100 days, but he needs to make significant progress. In foreign policy he needs to show results from controlling nuclear arms, negotiating with Iran and expanding a dubious war in Afghanistan that could become his Vietnam. Check in again on Aug. 6.
Author of "Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life"
President Obama enters his second 100 days with an advantage over many previous occupants of the White House. He insists upon keeping his eyes on the prize -- the big issues of governance that helped get him elected.
Many presidents quickly lose their sense of political direction. The distractible Bill Clinton got derailed by the explosive issue of gays in the military, which savvy conservatives threw in his way early on. Likewise, Jimmy Carter lost hold of party unity while micromanaging the White House tennis court schedules.
What are the potential distractions out there now? Although questions about torture prosecutions are in the news, the quagmire of Afghanistan and the dangers in Pakistan are more likely to give Obama what Lyndon Johnson got -- a foreign mess to ruin even the best domestic agenda. Moreover, presidential focus can be especially difficult during hard economic times, which tend to bring out unruly and irrational forces. Think of how Roosevelt had to face down demagogue Huey Long, pitchfork anarchists and would-be anti-government conspirators.
But Obama brings to the job a fierce determination unequaled in recent presidential history. He plans to fight hard to win universal health care, clean energy and education reform. And, so far, he is undaunted by critics and crazies alike.
Name of source: Secrecy News, written by Steven Aftergood, is published by the Federation of American Scientists
The first bill (S.875) would instruct courts not to rely on a presidential signing statement when interpreting the meaning of any statute. (Similar legislation was introduced in previous sessions of Congress, but was not passed.) President Bush used signing statements "in a way that threatened to render the legislative process a virtual nullity, making it completely unpredictable how certain laws will be enforced," said Sen. Specter. "As outrageous as these signing statements are,... it is even more outrageous that Congress has done nothing to protect its constitutional powers," he said.
The second bill (S.876) would substitute the United States as the defendant in place of telecommunications companies in pending lawsuits alleging unlawful surveillance. (Sen. Specter also introduced such a bill in 2008.)
"It is not too late to provide for judicial review of controversial post-9/11 intelligence surveillance activities," Sen. Specter said. "The cases before Judge Vaughn Walker [alleging unlawful surveillance] are still pending and, even if he were to dismiss them under the statutory defenses dubbed 'retroactive immunity', Congress can and should permit the cases to be refiled against the Government, standing in the shoes of the carriers."
"The legislation also establishes a limited waiver of sovereign immunity... to prevent the Government from asserting immunity in the event it is substituted for the current defendants," Sen. Specter explained. (As for the likelihood that the Government would assert the “state secrets privilege” to abort such litigation, that is addressed in another pending bill.)
The third bill (S.877), which is new, would require the Supreme Court to review certain cases concerning the constitutionality of intelligence surveillance, statutory immunity for telecommunications providers, and other communications intelligence activities, and would eliminate the Court's discretion as to whether or not to grant "certiorari." The bill was necessitated, he said, by the Supreme Court's refusal to review an appeals court decision that overturned a 2006 ruling by Judge Anna Diggs Taylor which found the Terrorist Surveillance Program to be unconstitutional.
Sen. Specter discussed his approach to these matters in "The Need to Roll Back Presidential Power Grabs," New York Review of Books, May 14, 2009.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (4-25-09)
Mr. Duke was detained Friday on suspicion of denying the Holocaust, an offense punishable by up to three years in prison if a violator is convicted under Czech law.
Name of source: Newsweek
SOURCE: Newsweek (4-25-09)
In the next few months there will be all sorts of commemorations of communism's end, particularly of the demolition of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. To Americans it was a glorious moment, emblematic of the West's victory in the Cold War. But if you watched the East bloc's disintegration from the ground, as I did, you know that the process was far longer and more complex than many people realize. Most modern histories pay little notice to the bold plot that set the whole thing in motion and would ultimately redraw the map of Europe.
As Honecker luxuriated in a cloudless May Day, Miklós Németh trudged through a sullen rain 400 miles away in Budapest. Responding to rising discontent, Hungary's ruling communists had canceled their parade in favor of a People's Picnic. As prime minister, Németh had no choice but to attend—the proverbial skunk at a lawn party. The reform-minded economist stood in the chilly drizzle and listened as the Communist Party boss, a former typesetter named Károly Grósz, castigated him for his progressive policies. Németh, Grósz said in scathing tones, wanted to wreck the country with democracy and free elections—free markets and capitalism, too. Grósz all but spat upon him, Németh would later recall. "This may be your day," the prime minister told the party boss as they went their separate ways. "But my day is not far off!"
He spoke the truth. The next day, on May 2, Németh and his government did the unthinkable: they cut a hole in the Iron Curtain.
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (4-23-09)
Kennedy's memo, written less than a month after his brother's assassination in Dallas, argues that the travel ban imposed by the Kennedy administration was a violation of American freedoms and impractical in terms of law enforcement. Among his "principal arguments" for removing the restrictions on travel to Cuba was that freedom to travel "is more consistent with our views as a free society and would contrast with such things as the Berlin Wall and Communist controls on such travel."
This document, and others relating to the first internal debate over lifting the Cuba travel ban, are quoted in an opinion piece in the Washington Post today, written by Robert Kennedy's daughter, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Her article argued that President Obama should consider her father's position and support the Free Travel To Cuba Act that has been introduced in the U.S. Congress.
Kennedy Townsend's article is available here: