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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: Telegraph (UK)
Crowds who flock to Predappio – many of them skinheads and black-shirted supporters of Italy's far-right – visit Mussolini's stone mausoleum, which is presided over by a stern-looking marble bust of Il Duce.
They then converge on shops offering a large and imaginative selection of fascist-themed memorabilia, from swastika-decorated knives and bottles of beer bearing Mussolini's portrait to flags, SS insignia and CDs of fascist-era songs.
But the town in Emilio-Romagna in northern Italy, where Mussolini was born in 1883, has now decided that the souvenirs are bad for its image.
The secret correspondence, discovered on the Italian island of Lipari, has inspired Marcello Sorgi’s new book: “Edda Ciano and the Communist. The unspeakable passion of the Duce’s Daughter”.
The letters, dated from September 1945 to April 1947, chart the affair between Mussolini’s eldest child and Leonida Bongiorno, a regional communist leader and son of an influential anti-fascist.
Prosecutors attached to Poland's Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), the body charged with investigating crimes committed during the war, have announced that they intend to bring the men to justice for their apparent involvement in the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising while serving with the SS Dirlewanger Brigade.
The unit, named after its leader Oscar Dirlewanger, comprised of criminals, the criminally insane and volunteers from Nazi-occupied Europe, and developed a reputation for rape, torture and murder, vicious even by the Nazi's bloody standards.
The three, who live in Germany, were found after the Austrian Red Cross gave a Polish museum a card index containing the names and address of those who served in the unit.
Investigators claim to have tracked them down, but the ex-soldiers refused to speak on the phone about the war.
Boguslaw Czerwinski, a prosecutor with the IPN, said that they had now asked for German assistance in bringing the three men to justice and were awaiting a reply.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-15-09)
The 1871 wedding caused outrage among the Royals, especially the Prince of Wales, because it was the first Royal marriage to someone deemed a commoner since 1515.
But Queen Victoria pushed the marriage through for one of the most lavish ceremonies ever seen in the belief that a wedding outside the traditional royal houses would strengthen the throne both morally and physically.
The cake was originally over five feet tall but the surviving slice is an inch wide, about the size of a small key, and would have given its recipient the smallest of mouthfuls.
It goes on sale this week at the spring Antiques for Everyone fair, held at the NEC in Birmingham, for £145.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (4-16-09)
Unfired musket balls, bayonets and cavalry ornaments were found in rows in an area about 20 yards wide and 200 yards long near an NRG Energy power plant about 20 miles east of Houston.
The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday that the heavily wooded area was long suspected to be a gold mine for artifacts from the Battle of San Jacinto, which sealed Texas' independence from Mexico on April 21, 1836.
SOURCE: AP (4-17-09)
James Spirek will led a team Friday in search for the remains of the U.S.S. Patasco, a Union ironclad that was torpedoed and sank in 1865.
Friday's search is part of Spirek's efforts to create the first comprehensive historical map of the Charleston harbor bottom. The University of South Carolina archaeologist hopes to record everything from fortifications to sunken ships.
Perry called his supporters patriots. Later, answering news reporters' questions, Perry suggested Texans might at some point get so fed up they would want to secede from the union, though he said he sees no reason why Texas should do that...
He said when Texas entered the union in 1845 it was with the understanding it could pull out. However, according to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Texas negotiated the power to divide into four additional states at some point if it wanted to but not the right to secede...
Perry is running for re-election against U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a fellow Republican. His anti-Washington remarks have become more strident the past few weeks...
NYT: Nothing Secedes Like Secession
There was no official North Korean response to the international criticism Wednesday, which was celebrated nationwide as the "Day of the Sun" — a holiday honoring Kim Il Sung's birth 97 years ago.
Kim Il Sung ruled North Korea for more than four decades until his death from heart failure in 1994. Known as the "Great Leader," he remains the country's "eternal president" even while his son now leads.
John Demjanjuk was released from federal custody late Tuesday, just hours after immigration officers took him from his Ohio home in a wheelchair. He'd been scheduled for deportation to Germany to face a possible war crimes trial.
An appeals court is giving the 89-year-old another chance to argue that deportation would amount to torture, due to medical conditions that include kidney disease. His German attorney also says Demjanjuk has a kidney tumor.
The 1842 book, the first volume of W.F.P. Napier's four-volume "History of the War in the Peninsula and in the South of France From the Year 1807 to the Year 1814," was returned recently by a friend of one of the soldier's descendants to the Lexington school's Leyburn Library.
Mistakenly thinking he was at adjoining Virginia Military Institute, soldier C.S. Gates pilfered the book on June 11, 1864, from the library of what was then Washington College, university officials said this week. The theft took place when Army of West Virginia Gen. David Hunter's troops raided the area and looted the college's buildings. No other details about Gates were available from the university.
Archaeologists looking for the tombs of the celebrated queen of Egypt and the Roman general, who committed suicide in 31 B.C., will begin excavating three sites at a temple where tombs may be located, Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities said in a statement Wednesday.
"These Air America documents are essential to understanding a large untold history of America's involvement in Southeast Asia," said Paul Oelkrug, a coordinator at UT-Dallas' special collections department. He said they speak to "the covert side of the Cold War."
The records consist mainly of firsthand accounts of Air America missions and commendation letters from government officials, said Timothy N. Castle, a historian at the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence.
Name of source: Foxnews
SOURCE: Foxnews (4-17-09)
The government said in a letter released on Friday that it plans to ask a federal appeals court in Ohio to dismiss a stay that on Tuesday stopped the deportation of Demjanjuk a few hours after immigration officers took him from his home.
In a letter to the clerk of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Heyer wrote that the government won't remove Demjanjuk for five days after a dismissal order, up to and including April 30.
SOURCE: Foxnews (4-17-09)
Proponents cited Christopher Columbus' enslavement and violent treatment of Native Americans, and argued the name of the Italian explorer should be expunged from the day of celebration....
The commission also called on the university last month to re-examine how to teach this history at the 8,000-student institution. But those recommendations did not include the possibility of renaming Brown University, something critics blast as hypocritical.
"If you're going to get rid of the day honoring Columbus because he was involved in slavery, I don't see how you can bypass the Brown problem," said John Leo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. "They have to be consistent with their message on slavery. And if they’re not willing to do that, then there's no reason to take them seriously."
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (4-17-09)
The response came days after President Obama lifted all restrictions on the ability of American citizens to visit relatives in Cuba as well as to send them remittances. Travel restrictions for Americans of non-Cuban descent will remain in place.
This week's move represents a significant shift in a U.S. policy that had remained largely unchanged for nearly half a century. The U.S. government instituted the embargo three years after Fidel Castro came to power in 1959.
SOURCE: CNN (4-16-09)
Also on Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder said that CIA officials will not be prosecuted for waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics that had been sanctioned during the Bush administration.
The memos, written by a top Justice Department lawyer, provided legal guidance to the entire executive branch, including the intelligence agencies, on permissible "enhanced interrogation techniques" that could be used against suspected terrorists taken into custody.
The move was greeted with praise from organizations and individuals including the ACLU and House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr.
SOURCE: CNN (4-14-09)
Since 1974, scientists at the American Museum of Natural History have been digging beneath the Santa Catalina de Guale Mission, a remote outpost of the Spanish empire on St. Catherines Island off the coast of Georgia and "the largest repository ever from Spanish Florida," museum spokeswoman Kristin Phillips said.
"The mission was a major source of grain for Spanish Florida and a provincial capital until 1680, when the mission was abandoned after a British attack," Phillips added.
SOURCE: CNN (4-14-09)
Former first lady Nancy Reagan will join House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader John Boehner, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at the statue's unveiling on June 3.
California is putting Reagan on a pedestal
SOURCE: CNN (4-15-09)
In Massachusetts, hundreds cheered as people dressed in 18th-century style wigs and clothes tossed crates of tea into Boston Harbor, harkening back to pre-Revolutionary War protests in that city against British taxation policies.
Conservatives borrowed a page from President Obama's Web-savvy style to promote the gatherings on videos and blogs.
Along with concerns over too many taxes and excessive bailouts, a common theme that emerged from the demonstrations was the threat of big government on the lives of individual citizens.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (4-17-09)
She would have been 79 this year, turning 80.
Had she survived, Miss Frank would still be able to see the horse chestnut tree by which she measured the seasons of life during her two years of hiding from the Nazis, not just behind the building in Amsterdam from which she and her family were taken by the Gestapo in 1944 but — if the plans of the Anne Frank Center USA are realized — at 10 sites around this country, including New York City.
SOURCE: NYT (4-17-09)
Name of source: The Fix--WaPo Blog
SOURCE: The Fix--WaPo Blog (4-17-09)
Since Jimmy Carter scored an average of 69 percent approval rating in his first 90 days in office, the ratings for the subsequent presidents have steadily declined from Ronald Reagan (60 percent), to George H.W. Bush (57 percent), to Bill Clinton (55 percent). George W. Bush's 58 percent average in the Gallup poll for his first quarter in office was only a slight improvement over his direct predecessors.
Put in a broader perspective -- all president since World War II -- Obama's numbers are slightly less stratospheric.
John F. Kennedy led the way in the modern era with the approval of 72 percent of Americans during his first 90 days in office and Dwight D. Eisenhower also crested the 70 percent mark (71 percent) during his early days in office. Heck, even Richard Nixon was at 62 percent job approval in the Gallup survey in his first quarter in office.
Name of source: Secrecy News, written by Steven Aftergood, is published by the Federation of American Scientists
The disclosure of four Bush-era Office of Legal Counsel opinions on interrogation and torture is likely to have significant political and perhaps legal consequences. But their release is also a landmark in national security classification policy.
These OLC memos, released by the Justice Department yesterday, were among the most urgently sought and the most fiercely protected classified records of recent years. They addressed fundamental questions of national policy and yet they were off limits to public review and discussion by virtue of their classification status.
“The interrogation techniques described in these memos have already been widely reported,” President Obama said in a statement explaining his decision to declassify the memos. “Withholding these memos would only serve to deny facts that have been in the public domain for some time.”
But remarkably, this sensible view — that information which has reached the public domain should not remain classified — does not characterize or dictate classification policy.
“Classified information shall not be declassified automatically as a result of any unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar information,” according to Executive Order 12958, as amended.
Nor can judicial review reliably compel disclosure of such information. In order to win declassification and disclosure of previously released information, a FOIA plaintiff must show that each of the following conditions is met: 1) the information previously released is as specific as the information that is being requested; 2) the information requested matches the information previously released; and 3) the information requested has been made public through an official and documented disclosure (Fitzgibbon v. CIA, D.C. Circuit, 1990).
The new release does not alter this non-disclosure policy, which lends credence to the statement of former CIA director Michael Hayden that the government could have successfully argued against disclosure of the OLC memos in court, as he favored.
But the four newly declassified memos are now themselves “an official and documented disclosure.” This means that not only have their combined 124 pages been published (with limited redactions) but also that an obstacle to the release of a related body of legal and intelligence information has now been removed. Such material can no longer legitimately remain classified. Furthermore, the new release will also enable participants and other officials to speak publicly about the issues involved.
The memos are shocking in their calculated brutality and in their likely violation of categorical legal prohibitions against torture. They are, as President Obama stated, evidence of a “dark and painful chapter in our history” involving practices that should “never take place again.” But they also provide abundant food for thought as well as new insight into their authors’ thinking, and their predicament.
The authorization for coercive interrogation of al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah was predicated on the “certain” belief that “he is withholding information regarding terrorist networks in the United States… and information regarding plans to conduct attacks within the United States” and that “he refuses to divulge” the information. Furthermore, there was an estimated threat level “equal to that which preceded the September 11 attacks.” “This opinion is limited to these facts. If these facts were to change, this advice would not necessarily apply.” (“Interrogation of al Qaeda Operative” [pdf], August 1, 2002, at page 1).
In other words, it appears that the OLC authors proceeded not out of sadism or indifference, but out of desperation.
They recognized that under other circumstances (such as law enforcement), the coercive practices that they were authorizing could be thought to “shock the conscience.” But they concluded that coercive interrogation by the CIA did not violate that standard since it was only being used where the detainee had “knowledge of imminent terrorist threats against the USA” and that it had already proved effective in producing “critical, actionable intelligence.” (“Application of U.S. Obligations Under Article 16″ [pdf], May 30, 2005, at pp. 3, 29ff).
The development of the OLC memos suggests that if torture is to be permanently abolished, alternatives to coercive interrogation that are at least as effective need to be identified, or else the occasional prospect of an “imminent terrorist threat” threatening thousands of lives must be accepted in principle as preferable to the extreme violations of human dignity authorized by OLC.
A couple of other points. Both President Obama and Attorney General Holder noted that the OLC memos were released as a consequence of ongoing litigation. In other words, their release is thanks to the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the ACLU and its co-plaintiffs, and the resonance that the lawsuit found in the press, the blogosphere and the public. Congressional oversight did not get the job done (despite a Senate Judiciary Committee subpoena for these records). This reflects a significant and dangerous weakness on the part of Congress.
Yesterday, former CIA Director Michael Hayden told MSNBC that the CIA interrogation program “began life as a covert action.” If that is true, it means that there should be a Presidential “finding” authorizing the program, and that such a finding should have been provided to Congressional overseers. As a covert action, the program may also have entailed active deception. It’s one more loose end that remains to be tied.
Michael Hayden and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey criticized the release of the OLC memos in “The President Ties His Own Hands on Terror,” Wall Street Journal, April 17.
The ACLU called for appointment of an independent prosecutor to investigate torture under the Bush Administration, in an April 16 release.
Name of source: Christian Science Monitor
SOURCE: Christian Science Monitor (4-14-09)
Reporting from Iraq for McClatchy Newspapers, Corinne Reilly writes that throughout Iraq, “Libraries and schools are understocked, and many bookstores are closed…. College-level texts, books on specialized subjects and recent editions are the hardest to come by. Most elementary and high school students use decades-old materials.”
“You could say we are starving for textbooks,” May Youssef Saour, a microbiology professor at Baghdad University’s al-Kindy College of Medicine, told Reilly.
Name of source: BBC
The faded photograph was found by a parishioner of St Thomas Church in Exeter, where it had been gathering dust at the back of the building.
It shows the mayor and town clerk outside Exeter Guildhall reading the proclamation surrounded by dignitaries.
The picture has been restored by Exeter photographer and author, Peter Thomas.
It is believed the hand-coloured picture was specially commissioned for the event, on 22 January 1901, and has remained in the church since then.
About 1,000 people perished in the city as a result of the attacks by German planes during April and May 1941.
On Thursday, a 5ft high bronze structure by Carolyn Mulholland symbolising the devastation will be officially dedicated at the Northern Ireland War Memorial Hall.
The removal of John Demjanjuk was halted by the court shortly after he was removed by federal marshals from his Cleveland, Ohio home.
The Justice Department now has until 23 April to tell the court how it decided Mr Demjanjuk was fit to travel.
The request for health information was made by the 6th Circuit US Court of Appeals two days after Mr Demjanjuk had been arrested at his home and taken to a federal building in Cleveland.
SOURCE: BBC (8-14-09)
The fascination is such that recently an enthusiast wrote to [Millvina Dean ], offering 100 pounds for a lock of hair. Even she - a veteran of the Titanic convention circuit since 1985 - is somewhat bemused.
"The girls chopped a bit of hair off and put some red ribbon around it and said: 'that's the last you'll hear from him'," she says, a smile spreading across her face.
"But he sent the cheque. I wrote back to say he'd restored my faith in people's honesty."
This anecdote has a more serious side. The spinster is struggling with monthly bills of about £3,000 and is in danger of losing her room at her Southampton nursing home.
Included in the £2m project by the National Library of Wales will be first-hand accounts from the Chartist march on Newport and the Rebecca riots.
Up to 300 titles will be available at the click of a button by 2012.
Last October, the library began digitising its collection of books, historical documents and works of art.
The initiative to bring old newspapers and magazines that pre-date the digital age to the web will be a great asset to researchers, local historians, genealogists, teachers and television researchers, it is claimed.
But the information will not be available online until 2012 because 2m pages have to be digitised.
The Titanic, built in the Belfast shipyard of Harland and Wolff, sank on its maiden voyage in April 1912, with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.
The Balmoral, operated by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, whose parent company now owns H&W, will recreate the voyage.
The 97th anniversary of the sinking was marked with a ceremony in Belfast.
Wreaths were laid at the memorial in the grounds of the City Hall, followed by a minute's silence.
Excavation at the sites, which are near a temple west of the coastal city of Alexandria, is due to begin next week.
Teams working in the area said the recent discovery of tombs containing 10 mummies suggested that Anthony and Cleopatra might be buried close by.
The teams also found a bust of Cleopatra and coins carrying her image.
Name of source: The Daily Beast
SOURCE: The Daily Beast (4-16-09)
Name of source: Belfast Telegraph
SOURCE: Belfast Telegraph (4-16-09)
An inquest was held yesterday in Belfast at which the item, which would have belonged to an important warrior or priest, was officially classified as treasure.
Under the law, a ‘treasure trove’ inquest must be held by the coroner to determine the significance of such finds. The finder of the item, as well as the landowner, are often then entitled to a discretionary reward.
According to the National Museum of Ireland, a similar piece dating between 900-700BC was found around 300 years ago in Killymoon, Co Tyrone, although unlike the find at Killymoon, which was a plain design, this recent discovery is highly decorative.
The Coroner also ruled yesterday that a separate find of a gold Bronze Age purse or ‘bulla’ should be considered a treasure.
The item, which is around the size of a 50 pence piece and dates from 950 to 800 BC, was discovered by Bangor man Glen McCamley, using a metal detector on land belonging to farmer John Kennedy at Inch in Downpatrick.
Name of source: Science Daily
SOURCE: Science Daily (4-16-09)
Uncovered by the University of Toronto's Tayinat Archaeological Project (TAP) in the summer of 2008, the discovery casts doubt upon the traditional view that the transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age was violent, sudden and culturally disruptive.
Ancient sources — such as the Homeric epics and the Hebrew Bible — depict an era of widespread famine, ethnic conflict and population movement, most famously including the migrations of the Sea Peoples (or biblical Philistines) and the Israelites. This is thought to have precipitated a prolonged Dark Age marked by cultural decline and ethnic strife during the early centuries of the Iron Age. But recent discoveries — including the Tayinat excavations — have revealed that some ruling dynasties survived the collapse of the great Bronze Age powers.
The temple’s inner sanctuary — also know as its 'holy of holies' — will be the focus of the 2009 field season which begins on July 1.
Name of source: The Daily Star (Lebanon)
SOURCE: The Daily Star (Lebanon) (4-16-09)
More than 670 Egyptians have been killed and 7,500 injured by land mines in this underdeveloped region during the last 20 years, according to the Landmines Struggle Center (LSC), a Cairo-based NGO that collects data on mine victims. "There are dozens of casualties every year, most of which go unreported," said Sami Abada, the center's director.
The Allied and Axis armies that fought pitched battles in northern Egypt in the summer of 1942 left behind vast quantities of mines and shells. Some 16.7 million land mines and unexploded ordinance (UXO) contaminate the coastal plain between Alexandria and the Libyan border, posing a threat to local bedouin residents and an obstacle to the region's economic development.
In 2006 Egypt's government and UNDP initiated a joint program to fund and implement the development mega-project, breaking it down into bite-sized chunks more appealing to foreign donors. The first phase is a pilot project to establish an administrative unit, procure equipment and de-mine 13,000 hectares of land. The government and UNDP covered 27 percent of the phase's $3.2 million cost. Foreign donors supplied the rest.
The team has also conducted field surveys and reviewed existing case files to create a comprehensive database of land-mine incidents and casualties. So far, 647 land-mine survivors, including 206 amputees, have been identified. "Whenever we identify new survivors who were not available when we made the survey we add them," he added.
While Egypt's development drive promises to rid the North West Coast of its deadly legacy, it could be over a decade before the funding is in place to complete the mine action program. In the meantime, efforts should be made to improve medical facilities in mine-infested areas, and secure the welfare of land-mine victims and their families, argues LSC's Abada, who accuses Cairo of neglecting these victims because they are generally poor and marginalized people living far from the policymakers in the capital.
Name of source: Spiegel
SOURCE: Spiegel (4-14-09)
The Central Office for the Prosecution of National Socialist Crimes (ZSTL) in Ludwigsburg, near Stuttgart, already has its sights set on four other men who may have committed murder or been accessories to murder on behalf of the Germans, and who, like Demjanjuk, subsequently emigrated to the United States.
A preliminary investigation is now under way against Ivan Kalymon, 87, who lives in Michigan. Kalymon once worked for the Germans in Lemberg, now Lviv, Ukraine, as a member of the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police. In August 1942, he wrote a short-handwritten note to his superiors to report on a mission. The document reads: "I employed my weapon in the line of duty during the 'Jewish Action' on 8/14/1942, at 7 p.m., using four rounds of ammunition, wounding one person and killing another."
US authorities consistently limit their actions to revoking the US citizenship of suspected Nazi war criminals and then deporting them to European countries. The legal hurdles for taking these steps are relatively low: All it takes is proof that a suspected war criminal lied about his past upon immigration to the United States.
The Americans have never put any suspected Nazi war criminals on trial, even though the Nazis' victims included American Jews who lived in Europe or happened to be there at the time. Otherwise, US courts could have faced a large number of cases. Historians and legal experts estimate that up to 10,000 Nazi collaborators emigrated to the United States during the chaos of the first few postwar years.
The Americans are not the only ones to have shown little interest in bringing Hitler's helpers to trial. There has also been a lack of commitment on the part of Europeans. For instance, the United States would have extradited suspected concentration camp guard Demjanjuk to Ukraine or Poland long ago if those countries had shown an interest in prosecuting him.
The failures of the German judiciary have been the most grievous, however. Even as German investigators are now focusing their attention on the Nazis' foreign henchmen, German accessories to murder were more or less allowed to escape punishment for years. Since the end of the war, German courts have investigated more than 100,000 cases, but only 6,500 of the accused were ever sentenced. "While senior government officials, officers and commanders enjoyed their retirements in peace," says Christiaan F. Rüter, an Amsterdam criminal law professor, "this old man is now expected to pay for everything." Rüter is referring to Demjanjuk.
Name of source: National Parks Traveler website
SOURCE: National Parks Traveler website (4-14-09)
Park crews last week started replanting four more historic orchards in major battle action areas on the battlefield. The goal is to replant 30 acres of orchards with hardy varieties of apple so visitors can better understand the fighting and see the battlefield through the eyes of the soldiers fighting in 1863.
According to the National Park Service, "the project includes replanting the largest orchard in the park – the McMillan Orchard, which is 26 acres along both sides of West Confederate Avenue. In addition, the park is replanting the orchards at the Timbers Farm, Klingel farm and at the Spangler farm at East Cavalry Battlefield."
Name of source: Stone Pages Archaeo News
SOURCE: Stone Pages Archaeo News (4-14-09)
The excavation proved one of the biggest breakthroughs in South Asian history and is now listed for World Heritage status conferred by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). It is an extraordinary archaeological finding. A big housing complex that matured during the Harappan era was discovered by these archaeologists who have been working in this little known village for the past three years.
Name of source: The Art Newspaper
SOURCE: The Art Newspaper (4-15-09)
The village of Trowulan in Mojokerto was added to Unesco’s World Heritage Site’s tentative list in 1995. Although it was first excavated in 1815 by Sir Stamford Raffles, much of its history is still shrouded in mystery. First established in 1292 when Majapahit king Raden Wijaya conquered Java with the help of a fleet sent from China by Kublai Khan, the empire was at its greatest during the rule of Hayam Wuruk from 1350 to 1389, finally dissolving by the early 16th century as Muslim rulers and European trading companies seized control of the region.
Name of source: Newsweek
SOURCE: Newsweek (4-20-09)
Name of source: 4-15-09
SOURCE: 4-15-09 (12-31-69)
The anniversary is seen as the start of an ultra-sensitive period for Beijing, in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
It was Hu's death that set in motion the chain of events leading to the 4 June crackdown.
Meanwhile students in Hong Kong are holding a vote on whether China should apologise for the Tiananmen killings.
Name of source: Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (4-15-09)
"It's inappropriate and out of place," Rainer Klemke, the Berlin city official in charge of managing public memorial sites, told the mass-circulation Bild newspaper.
Michael Braun, the cultural affairs spokesman of the conservative Christian Democrats, said the fake soldiers were turning the area into "Disneyland."
"Such soldiers never stood there," he told the paper. "It's a falsification of history."
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (4-16-09)
Yesterday's demonstrations, styled on the 1773 revolt against British colonial taxes when cases of tea leaves were tipped into Boston harbour, were billed a "new day for the freedom movement". Although they featured cups of tea, iced tea - and even tea bags being thrown over the White House fence - support appeared to be lukewarm in many cities.
Mr Obama pre-empted the demonstrations by marking deadline day for filing tax returns with a promise to simplify what he described as a "monstrous" system and ensure the issue cannot be "used as a wedge to scare people" into supporting policies against their real interests.
SOURCE: Times (UK) (4-16-09)
Mr Druon, who broadcast to France from wartime London, died on Tuesday just short of his 91st birthday.
President Sarkozy, whose colloqial French appalled Mr Druon, paid tribute to him as “a great writer, Resistance fighter, political figure, wordsmith and a great spirit”.
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (4-14-09)
Li said that 60 years ago, when the People's Republic was founded following decades of civil war and revolution, there were 50 groups practising this music in Shaanxi.
Now, after the ravages of the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s which sought to wipe out China's ancient traditions, only 12 groups remain throughout the country, totalling 200 people.
Name of source: UCA News
SOURCE: UCA News (4-14-09)
Morales announced his discovery today at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Atlanta and plans to submit a manuscript about his discovery, New Rock Art at Old Machu Picchu, to a scholarly journal.
Dr. Jeff Young, chair of the Department of Art, said he believes Morales' discovery could be a significant contribution to the research at Machu Picchu as well as a great step for UCA's department.
Morales discovered the painting in 2000 while on a three-day graduate school research trip. The painting is located on a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site, Machu Picchu, which has been the subject of scientific study for nearly 100 years.
However, after trying to find research on the painting over the past eight years, Morales said he has not found any mention of this particular painting even though the nearly 50-foot rock on which it appears is a popular tourist attraction passed by approximately 70,000 tourists in 2007 alone.
Name of source: Live Science
SOURCE: Live Science (4-14-09)
The termination of that royal lineage may be the result of frequent inbreeding of the line, which may have left Charles II ill and infertile, a new study suggests.
The House of Habsburg was one of the major royal houses of Europe for many centuries. The Habsburgs ruled over Austria for more than six centuries, eventually coming to rule (through marriages) over Bohemia, Hungary and Spain.
But, historical data show that "in order to keep their heritage in their own hands, the Spanish Habsburgs began to intermarry more and more frequently among themselves," the authors of the new study wrote.
Records show that the Spanish Habsburg kings frequently engaged in consanguineous marriage (or marriage between biological relatives); nine of the 11 marriages that occurred over the dynasty's 200-year reign were consanguineous, with two uncle-niece marriages and one first-cousin marriage.
Gonzalo Alvarez and his colleagues at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain calculated what is called the inbreeding coefficient for each individual across 16 generations of the Habsburgs, using genealogical information for Charles II and 3,000 of his relatives and ancestors. The inbreeding coefficient indicates the likelihood that an individual would receive two identical genes at a given position on a chromosome because of the relatedness of their parents.
Name of source: Time Magazine
SOURCE: Time Magazine (4-14-09)
Name of source: WSJ
SOURCE: WSJ (4-15-09)
These people cautioned that President Barack Obama is still reviewing internal arguments over the release of Justice Department memorandums related to CIA interrogations, and how much information will be made public is in flux.
Among the details in the still-classified memos is approval for a technique in which a prisoner's head could be struck against a wall as long as the head was being held and the force of the blow was controlled by the interrogator, according to people familiar with the memos. Another approved tactic was waterboarding, or simulated drowning.
Name of source: Richmond Times-Dispatch
SOURCE: Richmond Times-Dispatch (4-14-09)
Meeting beneath a portrait of the Virginian in the state Capitol he designed more than 200 years ago, the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society today made the case against claims the nation's third president had an affair with slave Sally Hemings and with her, had several children after his wife's death.
But it wasn't just business for these Jefferson devotees. Led by the organization's president, Dr. William McKenzie Wallenborn of Charlottesville, they squeezed out three hearty "huzzahs" for the Sage of Monticello.
Three authors and researchers, addressing about 40 in the Capitol's yellow-green-and-white Jefferson Room, refuted DNA evidence from nearly a decade ago that has led some scholars and Jefferson buffs to conclude he and Hemings had a continuing liaison.