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: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (4-26-09)
When the order came to storm the single-storey property, dozens of heavily armed men in masks and camouflage uniforms - unmarked to conceal their identity - had no difficulty in overwhelming the three women inside. Their captives were driven to a military base.
The soldiers were responding to a tip-off that the eldest of the three, who was in her forties, had been indoctrinating women to sacrifice themselves in Chechnya’s ferocious war between Islamic militants and the Russians. The others captured with her were her latest recruits. One was barely 15.
“At first the older one denied everything,” said a senior special forces officer last week. “Then we roughed her up and gave her electric shocks. She provided us with good information. Once we were done with her we shot her in the head.
“We disposed of her body in a field. We placed an artillery shell between her legs and one over her chest, added several 200-gram TNT blocks and blew her to smithereens. The trick is to make sure absolutely nothing is left. No body, no proof, no problem.” The technique was known as pulverisation.
SOURCE: Times (UK) (4-23-09)
He called for a battle to be waged against militant Islam similar to that fought against revolutionary communism.
In an address last night to a forum on religion and politics in Chicago, Mr Blair said that the world today faced a struggle posed by "an extreme and misguided form of Islam", which threatened the majority of Muslims as well as non-Muslims.
"Our job is simple: it is to support and partner those Muslims who believe deeply in Islam but also who believe in peaceful co-existence, in taking on and defeating the extremists who don't."
The struggle could not be won "without our active and wholehearted participation," he said.
Mr Blair was speaking almost ten years to the day since he gave an address in Chicago at the height of the Kosovo crisis when he set out what he described as a "doctrine of international community" that sought to justify intervention, including military intervention, not only when a nation's interests are directly engaged but also where there exists a humanitarian crisis or gross oppression of a civilian population.
SOURCE: Times (UK) (4-25-09)
The Dickin medal, known as the “animal VC”, was presented to Rip in 1945, five years after he was found bedraggled and starving by ARP warden Edward King after a heavy raid in Poplar, East London.
The friendly mongrel was adopted as the post’s mascot and was trained to sniff out casualties of German air raids. He proved so successful at locating victims trapped under buildings that he was awarded the medal, which he wore on his collar until his death in 1948.
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (4-26-09)
Megrahi, who has terminal cancer, is serving 27 years in Greenock prison for the bombing.
Appeal hearings are due to begin on Tuesday, and Megrahi's lawyers insisted this weekend they will go ahead as planned, despite speculation that he may be returned to Libya under the terms of a controversial prisoner transfer agreement, due to be ratified tomorrow.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (4-24-09)
The photos are being made public in response to a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) five years ago.
The court order had been contested by the Bush administration.
The US defence department said the Pentagon had agreed to release a "substantial" number of previously unseen photographs by May 28.
SOURCE: BBC (4-23-09)
Memos released last week show that he and another key detainee were subjected to waterboarding 266 times.
Former Vice-President Dick Cheney has said the techniques produced results.
The latest details were revealed in a timeline of the CIA's interrogation programme produced by the US Senate Intelligence Committee.
SOURCE: BBC (4-23-09)
The work on the site of the former Nazi labour camp of Lieberose, near Jamlitz in Brandenburg state, follows a decade-long battle with the former landowner.
More than 750 sick Jewish men and women are believed to have been killed there by the Waffen SS on 2 February 1945.
The remains of 589 victims shot the next day were uncovered nearby in 1971.
Initial excavations began on Wednesday in the garden of a two-storey house, 120km (75 miles) south-east of Berlin, where experts believe the bodies of some 753 Polish and Hungarian Jews are buried.
The bodies of 589 people thought to have been shot dead there on 3 February 1945 were found in a nearby village in 1971. The others are believed to have been killed the day before, but their bodies have never been found.
Investigators were forbidden from excavating the site under communist rule in East Germany because a Soviet camp, where thousands also lost their lives, operated there after the war. Houses were later built on the land.
But after unification, the owner of the land refused to allow any investigations to take place. It was only last year, after a lengthy court battle, that the local authorities reached an agreement with him to buy it.
The excavations are expected to take three weeks. If remains are discovered, the local authorities hope to erect a memorial.
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (4-25-09)
A spokesman for Berlin police said a 300-metre radius including Chancellor Angela Merkel's flat was evacuated as part of a precautionary measure around the museum which is part of Berlin's Museum Island complex of buildings that was heavily damaged during WWII.
While bomb experts worked on the device, a rail line carrying express and suburban trains was closed and streets were blocked, causing major traffic jams, police said.
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (4-24-09)
"Vaclav Havel is a big name in the European democracy movement," said Steinmeier. "The peaceful developments in Central and Eastern Europe would be unimaginable without his work," Steinmeier said.
"The award is in recognition of Vaclav Havel’s courageous efforts to promote democracy, freedom and peace in his country, as well boosting relations between his country and Germany and Europe," said Deutsche Welle's Director General Erik Bettermann, chairman of the Association of the International Democracy Prize Bonn.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-26-09)
The military document described forms of extreme questioning as torture 13 times in two pages, just a month before government lawyers said the techniques did not reach that threshold and interrogators first used waterboarding against a captive.
The overview on "the use of physical/psychological coercion in interrogation" was sent in July 2002 by the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA), which runs the programme to train US military personnel to resist torture if captured.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-25-09)
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.
Mr Bush left office with the lowest poll ratings of any president for 60 years, but remains popular in Dallas. When he first arrived at the Highland Park neighbourhood which has become his new home - and adjoins SMU - he was greeted with signs reading, "Welcome Home, George and Laura," and bearing an image of the flag of Texas.
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.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-25-09)
"Unless you came all the way up with the Eighth Army from El Alamein and through Italy, you didn't do much more than lads (in Afghanistan) are having to do now", the minister said.
His comments came after it emerged that the Royal Marines' 45 Commando, who returned from a six month tour in Helmand last week, suffered a fatality or serious injury every three days.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-24-09)
In The Rescuers: Heroes of the Holocaust, Prince Charles praises the "very remarkable" mother of the Duke of Edinburgh, who hid Jews in the royal palace in Athens and withstood interrogations by German officials.
The film, which says the 12 gentiles helped to save an estimated 200,000 European Jews, has been produced by Sir Martin Gilbert, the historian, Michael King, a film maker, and Stephanie Nyombayire, a Rwandan human rights activist.
Name of source: AP
Conference organizers said overwhelming public interest in the conference underscores a national hunger to better grasp the reasons why 620,000 neighbors, family and friends fought and died during the Civil War.
Edward L. Ayers, a pre-eminent Civil War historian who organized the inaugural conference, said the goal is "to put people in the moment" and set aside preconceived notions. He said voices overlooked in past war narratives are being welcomed and future conferences will probe the role of African-Americans, the home front and even a global view of the conflict.
SOURCE: AP (4-25-09)
Obama on Friday refrained from branding the WWI-era massacre of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey a "genocide," and instead referred to the killings that began in 1915 as "one of the great atrocities of the 20th century."
Turkish President Abdullah Gul said, however, that Obama should also have expressed sympathy toward the "hundreds of thousands of Turks and Muslims" killed around the same period, according to comments reported by the state-run Anatolia news agency.
SOURCE: AP (4-23-09)
Yes, Landau is both human and an adult - a 60-year-old author, presidential historian, former White House protocol officer and memorabilia collector. But so enamored is he of dogs, and so well connected to a succession of presidents, that he had an appointment for a South Lawn romp one day with Buddy, Bill Clinton's Labrador retriever.
Logistics got in the way, though, and hence Clinton secretary Betty Currie's apologetic voice mail left at the Smithsonian Institution, where Landau was doing research: "I'm sorry, but we'll have to reschedule Mr. Landau's play date with Buddy."
Armenia and Turkey said Thursday they are close to restoring full relations and reopening their border after 15 years. But neither side has indicated how they might resolve the dispute over the killings.
Friday's procession began with a burning of Turkish flags, and many carried placards blaming Turkey for spilling the "blood of millions" and calling on Ankara to acknowledge the killings as genocide.
Among the 15 pictures is a portrait of solitary figure dressed in brown peering into wine-colored waters. The date is 1910, the signature reads "A. Hitler" and scribbled just over the mysterious figure are the letters: "A.H."
Westwood-Brookes acknowledged that the pieces were "hardly Picasso," but — concerns over authenticity aside — Hitler's works had a track record of attracting high bids. In 2006 watercolors and sketches attributed to the Nazi leader raised more than 100,000 pounds at an auction in the small town of Lostwithiel in southwestern England. Another batch of purported Hitler paintings is due to come up for auction in the German city of Nuremberg later this month.
SOURCE: AP (4-23-09)
Combined with tallies based on hospital sources and media reports since the beginning of the war and an in-depth review of available evidence by The Associated Press, the figures show that more than 110,600 Iraqis have died in violence since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (4-24-09)
To hear the White House tell it, Mr. Obama never much cared for the idea of marking his 100th day in office, next Wednesday. A trumped-up journalistic convention, senior aides called it. (O.K., they have a point.)
“Not a ton different than the 99th,” declared Mr. Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs. “A Hallmark holiday,” said a senior adviser, David Axelrod.
But even as they professed their disdain for the pseudomilestone, Mr. Obama’s advisers have quietly embraced it.
The statement’s timing seemed calculated to dampen enthusiasm in the United States for passing a resolution in Congress to recognize the Armenian killings as genocide. In a trip to Turkey this month, President Obama praised the two countries’ efforts to overcome their differences and refrained from using the word “genocide” when pressed to reiterate his position on the matter.
“I’m not interested in the U.S. tilting these negotiations one way or another while they are having a useful discussion,” he said.
American presidential administrations typically oppose the passage of such a resolution because it would anger Turkey.
The House of Representatives came close to voting on a genocide bill in 2007, but Turkey, a NATO member and an ally in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, vehemently protested, and the bill never reached the floor. Niyazi Oktem, a law professor at Bilgi University in Istanbul, said the statement appeared to be aimed at supporting Mr. Obama’s position to give dialogue a chance.
Other former vice presidents have kept a much lower profile, at least this early after leaving office. Al Gore was supportive of Mr. Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, but in September 2002 delivered a speech critical of Mr. Bush’s plans for the Iraq war. After John F. Kennedy bungled the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961, Richard M. Nixon, the former vice president who lost to Mr. Kennedy, visited the new president at the White House and said the nation should support him.
But some conservatives, feeling beleaguered these days, are grateful that Mr. Cheney is speaking out. John R. Bolton, a former ambassador to the United Nations and a close ally of his, said that after having to hew publicly to Mr. Bush’s views, Mr. Cheney might be feeling liberated. “It’s about time he had a chance to get his voice back,” Mr. Bolton said. “There’s no cone of silence now.”
On Tuesday, Mr. Aso made an offering of a potted tree worth about $500 to commemorate a spring festival at the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japanese soldiers who have died during wars in the last 150 years. The honored soldiers include 14 “Class A” war criminals convicted in trials established under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur after World War II. On Wednesday, dozens of Japanese lawmakers visited the shrine. Mr. Aso did not go there himself.
Name of source: United Press International
SOURCE: United Press International (4-23-09)
Ministry spokesman Abdulzahra al-Talaqani said the artifacts were located by municipal workers laying down pipes in the city, which had a large Christian population until the late 12th century, the Iraqi newspaper Azzaman reported Thursday.
Saood al-Azzawi, the city's Antiquities Department representative, said among the discovered items are frankincense burners, silver rings and perfume vessels.
A number of them bear cross engravings, while others contain precious stones, Azzawi added.
Name of source: Gold Coast Mail (Australia)
SOURCE: Gold Coast Mail (Australia) (4-23-09)
Lambis Englezos led Australian army officials to the spot of the mass grave on the outskirts of the rural town of Fromelles, near Lille in northern France, after years of painstaking research.
A team of archaeologists uncovered what were believed to be the remains of about 400 Australian and British soldiers in a series of pits on the edge of Pheasant Wood last May.
Work to exhume the bodies and rebury them in a new cemetery being built nearby is due to begin in May.
But Englezos has been told by Australian army officials he will be granted special access to the excavation site only once during the five-month project.
A team of 32 archaeologists will begin excavating the bodies on May 5 amid tight security around the grave site.
They want access to the site limited so as to prevent any contamination of DNA samples they plan to collect from the soldiers' remains in the hope that some of them can be identified.
Veterans' Affairs Minister Alan Griffin, who is in France for an Anzac Day dawn service on Saturday, visited the Fromelles site on Wednesday and said he hoped Englezos would be able to play a role in the recovery of the diggers' bodies.
Name of source: ABC News
SOURCE: ABC News (4-23-09)
The Old North Church is best known for the pivotal role it played in the American Revolution. It's the site of the famous "One if by land and two if by sea" warning: On April 18, 1775, after Paul Revere's ride, two lanterns hung in the church steeple signaled the advancement of the British troops to Lexington.
But the church also has a few skeletons in its closet. Deep in the basement of the Old North Church lay the remains of more than 1,100 Bostonians. It's a dark and dusty final resting place that's been mostly forgotten for generations.
Jane Lynden Rousseau has spent hundreds of hours in the old basement studying the crypts -- some dating back to the 1730s.
Now a funerary archaeologist from Harvard's Peabody Museum is working find out who is buried there and to tell their stories.
Today, the public is free to walk through the church, but few are allowed to see what's underneath the sanctuary.
Rousseau has been studying the condition of the tombs as well as old church records to learn more about the people who are buried there. Through her work, she has discovered that the basement is the final resting place to all classes of Bostonians -- from those at society's lowest rungs to leaders of the American Revolution.
One's location in the crypt was mostly determined by social status.
For instance, there's a single crypt marked for "strangers."
While there are no plans to open the vaults, Pignone said a study is underway to look at the possibility of opening the basement to public tours.
Name of source: Stone Pages Archaeo News
SOURCE: Stone Pages Archaeo News (4-19-09)
SOURCE: Stone Pages Archaeo News (4-19-09)
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (4-25-09)
The collection of 47 letters are hand-written copies made 250 years ago, when Franklin lived in London. That they were filed under the copyist's name, not Franklin's, may explain why they were overlooked by historians until now, said a curator at the British Library, where the letters are held.
The letters are important in large part because they offer a "wealth of new details" that affect modern understanding of Franklin, writes Alan Houston, the political science professor who discovered the letters in the spring of 2007.
They also raise the question of how many other documents remain waiting to be found on Franklin and his life.
SOURCE: CNN (4-23-09)
While the men dig up the site, U.S. soldiers investigating war crimes stand over them. Two crosses with helmets placed atop them -- the sign of a fallen soldier -- are visible. Two Germans are knee deep in mud. Another, with a handlebar mustache, has the look of a defeated man. The bodies of 22 American soldiers were found in at least seven graves, according to the photographer.
On the back of the photo is written, "Nazi Party members digging up American bodies at Berga."
It was on this day six decades ago, April 23, 1945, when most of the slave labor camp soldiers were liberated by advancing U.S. troops. The emaciated soldiers, many weighing just 80 pounds, had been forced by Nazi commanders to march more than 150 miles before their rescue.
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (4-23-09)
Name of source: National Journal (subscribers only)
SOURCE: National Journal (subscribers only) (4-24-09)
It is a milestone whose importance the president played down while he sought the office, but one he cannot escape.
"The first hundred days is going to be important," Obama told a Colorado radio interviewer last October. "But it's probably going to be more like the first thousand days that makes a difference." In lowering expectations for the first 100 days, Obama was savvy enough to ignore the examples of some predecessors who rushed incomplete initiatives or championed phony measures to inflate their early resumes. Instead, he was taking a page from John F. Kennedy, though it would be difficult to lower expectations as much as Kennedy did.
Kennedy noted in his Inaugural address that his agenda "will not be finished in the first hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first thousand days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet."
Kennedy, of course, was right to worry about the early grading. His 87th Day was one of his worst as president, as the Bay of Pigs invasion he approved collapsed in failure.
"Presidents evolve, and that is particularly true of young presidents," said William A. Galston, President Bill Clinton's top domestic adviser and a critic of the whole rush to judgment after 100 days. "If somebody had judged what kind of president John F. Kennedy was or could be based on his first few months, they would not have come to a very happy conclusion. He had a steep learning curve ... and was clearly a much better president in the middle of 1962 than he was in April of 1961."
Name of source: CBS News
SOURCE: CBS News (4-24-09)
Name of source: Foxnews
The 317-page "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent" has been identified on the syllabi of at least 20 U.S. colleges and universities since 2003, and it's been taught for decades on American campuses.
The virulently anti-American book tells how for 500 years Europe and then the U.S. exploited Latin America, leaving it impoverished and governed by corrupt leaders.
Napolitano retracted her claim on Thursday after Canadian officials chided her for the remark, calling it an unfortunate misconception. Napolitano admitted Thursday that she made a mistake -- since the 9/11 Commission concluded that the hijackers entered the U.S. from overseas.
But when asked about the gaffe on FOX News Friday, McCain said: "Well, some of the 9/11 hijackers did come through Canada, as you know."
This drew an instant retort from the Canadian embassy, which re-issued Canadian Ambassador Michael Wilson's public comments from Tuesday, in which he said:
"Unfortunately, misconceptions arise on something as fundamental as where the 9/11 terrorists came from. As the 9/11 Commission reported in July 2004, all of the 9/11 terrorists arrived in the U.S. from outside North America. They flew to major U.S. airports. They entered the U.S. with documents issued to them by the U.S. government. No 9/11 terrorists came from Canada."
President Obama faces a dilemma as he prepares to issue an annual presidential statement Friday on the World War I-era killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks.
Referring to the killings as genocide could upend recent pledges of a closer partnership with Turkey, a vital U.S. ally in a critical region. Steering around the word would break his unequivocal campaign pledges to recognize the killings as genocide.
The decision follows an announcement by Turkey and Armenia on Wednesday that they were nearing a historic reconciliation after years of tension. The Obama administration is wary of upsetting that development and closely coordinated a statement Wednesday about the apparent breakthrough with the Turkish government and Swiss mediators.
Name of source: Wired
SOURCE: Wired (4-23-09)
Computational analysis of symbols used 4,000 years ago by a long-lost Indus Valley civilization suggests they represent a spoken language. Some frustrated linguists thought the symbols were merely pretty pictures.
"The underlying grammatical structure seems similar to what's found in many languages," said University of Washington computer scientist Rajesh Rao.
Name of source: LAT
SOURCE: LAT (4-24-09)
The decision will make public for the first time photos obtained in military investigations at facilities other than the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Forty-four photos that the American Civil Liberties Union was seeking in a court case, plus a "substantial number" of other images, will be released by May 28.
Name of source: Politico.com
SOURCE: Politico.com (4-24-09)
But emphasis on personality and style obscures one of the biggest things that look different now than three months ago: the familiar categories that had classified Democrats for a generation. When Obama took office, a raft of stories talked about how he had relied heavily on Clinton veterans to staff the administration and how he seemed likely to govern with a “centrist” ideology.
Three months later, this seems absurd. The reality is that the size and speed of Obama’s agenda is as stark a departure from the defensive-minded incrementalism of Bill Clinton as it is from the conservatism of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
His proposals for health care for all, easier student loans, restrictions on carbon emissions and unabashed income redistribution from the top to the lower and middle classes represent the most focused and far-reaching argument for activist government of any Democratic president for at least two generations.
Obama aides always insist the president is a pragmatist, not an ideologue. But this is disingenuous: What is ideology except an argument about the role of government? A more precise way of putting it is that Obama is bored by, or even contemptuous of, the debates between liberal “traditional Democrats” and centrist “New Democrats” that once consumed the party. The convergence of Obama’s agenda and the economic crisis has for the moment made both labels seem like relics.
SOURCE: Politico.com (4-23-09)
Obama is a promise-keeper.
The White House is pushing back against what it realizes is a dangerous perception that Obama may be trying to do too much, too fast — and cynically exploiting the economic crisis to push through unrelated agenda items. Aides are urging reporters to reread his campaign speeches, dating back to 2006, to see that Obama was upfront with voters on his big ambitions. They are basically right.
Of course, there was never talk of a $787 billion stimulus plan or a $3.6 trillion budget or $1 trillion-plus deficits during those campaign speeches. Look for the 100 days stories to be loaded with full-throated defenses of Obama’s swing-for-the-fences approach.
Obama is a game-changer.
The White House is worried that the public does not sufficiently grasp Obama’s view that his ideas fit together in a coherent strategy to force massive change in government, the financial sector and, ultimately, people’s lives. Obama took a crack at telling this story himself in a recent speech at Georgetown.
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (4-24-09)
But as these pictures claim to show, the 89-year-old is fit to be extradited to Germany where is he accused of more than 29,000 counts of accessory to murder.
Demjanjuk's lawyers claimed earlier this month the extradition amounted to torture because of his ill health.
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (4-24-09)
However, the US president did describe the killing of hundreds of thousands of Armenians as "one of the great atrocities of the 20th century".
He appealed for Turks and Armenians to "address the facts of the past as a part of their efforts to move forward".
The two countries agreed this week on a roadmap for normalising relations.
Name of source: Inside Higher Ed
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (4-23-09)
Name of source: ALI SOUFAN in an op ed in the NYT
SOURCE: ALI SOUFAN in an op ed in the NYT (4-22-09)
It is inaccurate, however, to say that Abu Zubaydah had been uncooperative. Along with another F.B.I. agent, and with several C.I.A. officers present, I questioned him from March to June 2002, before the harsh techniques were introduced later in August. Under traditional interrogation methods, he provided us with important actionable intelligence.
We discovered, for example, that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Abu Zubaydah also told us about Jose Padilla, the so-called dirty bomber. This experience fit what I had found throughout my counterterrorism career: traditional interrogation techniques are successful in identifying operatives, uncovering plots and saving lives.
Name of source: Politico (Mike Allen)
SOURCE: Politico (Mike Allen) (4-23-09)
Name of source: http://www.ynetnews.com
SOURCE: http://www.ynetnews.com (4-21-09)
The incident was captured on film by Sergio Wider of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The video features the Iranian official repeatedly screaming at Wiesel, who chose to remain silent and ignore the reprehensible comments.
Name of source: http://www.thisissomerset.co.uk
SOURCE: http://www.thisissomerset.co.uk (4-22-09)
Bomb disposal experts had to carry out a controlled explosion after keen amateur archaeologists made the shocking discovery of the Second World War mortar bomb last Tuesday.
The group of four from Charterhouse Historic and Environmental Research Team (CHERT), led by archaeologist Steve Tofts, was carrying out surveying work near Cheddar Gorge.
Eagle-eyed CHERT member Brian Corney looked into a crevice and spotted something he assumed to be a old bottle.
Name of source: LiveScience
SOURCE: LiveScience (4-22-09)
The specimen, discovered in 2003 in Indonesia, is hotly debated among scientists. Some claim it represents a new diminutive hominin species, while others argue it is simply a modern human dwarfed by some medical condition.
All agree the original Hobbit was extremely compact compared to us.
"I really had no idea how small it was until now," said Stony Brook undergraduate student Jennifer Kamb, who came to see the skeleton with some other Anthropology majors. "Wow, that skull would fit in my hand."
Name of source: Newsweek
SOURCE: Newsweek (4-21-09)
It's widely debated how exactly it started, but the roots of the modern environmental movement trace back to the 1960s. Early in the decade, Rachel Carson published her nonfiction work"Silent Spring" as a wake-up call to current and impending environmental concerns. Several years later, U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson (of Wisconsin), one of the government's first eco warriors, sought to harvest general awareness and turn it into a movement. He hit on the idea of an event, modeled after the anti-Vietnam war teach-ins of the day, to raise eco consciousness nationwide. The event that turned into the first"Earth Day" took place on April 22, 1970, and became the catalyst for a series of nature-based legislation and eventually the emergence of a mainstream environmental movement.
Back then, the issues were only broadly understood. There was some talk about extinctions of wildlife, scarce groundwater supplies and a niche-but-growing theory about something called climate change (Was the Earth, NEWSWEEK wondered in the 1970s, getting colder—or was it getting warmer?). Still, there was an emerging consensus that our planet's resources are not infinite, and if the exploitation of them remained unaddressed, bigger problems awaited. The takeaway for the 20 million people who participated that first Earth Day in 1970 was simple: we all live on the same rock; let's not foul our nest.
The first Earth Day was like the sounding of a bullhorn for the people to unite and get moving, which worked. But this year, 39 years later, the original intent has long eroded. The one-day demonstration that started a movement lost most of its luster decades ago. Yet we still have it—and that has alarming implications for our environmental progress. What was originally intended as the sounding of an alarm has been reproduced each year in the exact same way. The problem is, it's hard to be motivated by a screeching alarm when you've been hitting the snooze button for the last four decades. Even worse, maintaining an old solution to a problem that changes by the minute seems to compartmentalize a movement that, by now, should be much broader, more frequent and much more inclusive....
Name of source: McClatchy
SOURCE: McClatchy (4-21-09)
Such information would've provided a foundation for one of former President George W. Bush's main arguments for invading Iraq in 2003. In fact, no evidence has ever been found of operational ties between Osama bin Laden's terrorist network and Saddam's regime.
The use of abusive interrogation — widely considered torture — as part of Bush's quest for a rationale to invade Iraq came to light as the Senate issued a major report tracing the origin of the abuses and President Barack Obama opened the door to prosecuting former U.S. officials for approving them.