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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: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (5-23-09)
Which raises some questions: How long do most civil wars last? What is a civil war, anyway? And how, finally, are they ended?
According to Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations, a civil war is one fought within a society, but there are two kinds. In one, rebels seek to take over a region (as in Sri Lanka); in the other, they aim to control the whole state (like the FARC in Colombia). But as Mr. Boot points out, the distinction has been contentious throughout history because inclusion in the first category depends on whether you think the society is a single entity — not the point of view of rebels seeking to carve out an independent territory.
“If you had asked the Confederates in the American Civil War, that’s not what they called it,” Mr. Boot said. “For them it was a war of Northern aggression. They saw themselves as an independent state being assaulted by another independent state.”
But if you accept the general definition of a civil war as one fought within internationally recognized borders, then throughout history civil conflicts have tended to outlast international wars by a factor of about 20, according to Paul Collier, a professor at Oxford University and author of “Wars, Guns and Votes.”
SOURCE: NYT (5-24-09)
Robert M. Smith, a former Times reporter, says that two months after the burglary, over lunch at a Washington restaurant, the acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, L. Patrick Gray, disclosed explosive aspects of the case, including the culpability of the former attorney general, John Mitchell, and hinted at White House involvement.
Mr. Smith rushed back to The Times’s bureau in Washington to repeat the story to Robert H. Phelps, an editor there, who took notes and tape-recorded the conversation, according to both men. But then Mr. Smith had to hand off the story — he had quit The Times and was leaving town the next day to attend Yale Law School.
Mr. Smith kept the events to himself for more than three decades, but decided to go public after learning that Mr. Phelps planned to include it in his memoir.
The book is the posthumous memoir by Mr. Bao’s boss, Zhao Ziyang, the Communist Party chief fired in 1989 for opposing the use of troops to quash pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square. Before his death in 2005, Mr. Zhao furtively recorded his account of that period.
When the memoir became public last week, Mr. Bao, the most senior Communist Party official imprisoned after the crackdown, quickly claimed responsibility. In a string of interviews with the foreign press that security officials did not initially seek to prevent, he said he had collaborated with other liberal party elders to slip the cassette recordings out of the country for publication.
“In the past, the minute these things appear, the party would say, ‘This is turmoil; we must crack down,’ ” he said in one telephone conversation early this week. “But if the party can maintain this current calm, then maybe it can eventually be saved.”
By Friday, though, the government’s restraint appeared to be wearing thin.
Not a bad time, then, to be in the market for a multimillion-dollar book contract.
Mr. Cheney is actively shopping a memoir about his life in politics and service in four presidential administrations, a work that would add to what is already an unusually dense collection of post-Bush-presidency memoirs that will offer a collective rebuttal to the many harshly critical works released while the writers were in office and beyond.
Already working hard to meet publishers’ deadlines is an informal writers’ workshop of historic proportions: President George W. Bush; Laura Bush, the former first lady; former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.; former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld; and Karl Rove, the former presidential political mastermind.
But first, most insisted, Turkey must address the past.
They said that before negotiations proceeded, the Turkish government must acknowledge that 1.5 million ethnic Armenians were systematically killed under Ottoman rule in Turkey during World War I.
James A. Young, a Pentecostal minister and former county supervisor, narrowly beat the incumbent, Rayburn Waddell, in the Democratic primary. There is no Republican challenger.
The results, announced Wednesday night, were a turning point for a mostly white city of 7,300 people in east-central Mississippi still haunted by the killings, which captured front-page headlines across the nation and were featured in the 1988 film “Mississippi Burning.”
Few students had to puzzle over the meaning. Youth Day, on May 4, commemorates a 1919 student protest against foreign imperialism and China’s weakness in resisting it. Seventy years later, in 1989, students from Peking University were again massing in the center of Beijing, demanding democracy. The student movement shook the ruling Communist Party to its core and ended with a military crackdown and hundreds of deaths.
And if a student today proposed a pro-democracy protest?
“People would think he was insane,” said one Peking University history major in a recent interview. “You know where the line is drawn. You can think, maybe talk, think about the events of 1989. You just cannot do something that will have any public influence. Everybody knows that.”
Name of source: http://www.boingboing.net
SOURCE: http://www.boingboing.net (5-22-09)
"We all considered sexual abuse of minors as a moral evil, but had no understanding of its criminal nature."
Weakland, who retired in 2002 after it became known that he paid $450,000 in 1998 to a man who had accused him of date rape years earlier, said he initially "accepted naively the common view that it was not necessary to worry about the effects on the youngsters: either they would not remember or they would ‘grow out of it’."
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (5-24-09)
They say the decline was probably the result of rising population and pollution levels.
The study forms part of a series that examines the impact of humans on life beneath the waves throughout history.
The findings will be presented at a Census of Marine Life (CoML) conference in Canada, which begins on Tuesday.
SOURCE: CNN (5-24-09)
Calling for his divided party to widen its ranks, Powell declared, "I am still a Republican."
In an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, Powell responded to attacks from former Vice President Dick Cheney and talk show host Rush Limbaugh, saying they are "not members of the membership committee of the Republican Party."
SOURCE: CNN (5-23-09)
More than flowers adorn the graves in Section 60. Visitors of all faiths have picked up the ancient Jewish tradition of leaving a small stone on the headstones to show that a visitor had been to the grave. In most cases these are pebbles found near the grave. But some people have taken to leaving colored glass beads or elaborately painted stones with shamrocks or words like "hero."
Some mementos leave one to wonder about the story behind them. Like the headstone topped by a tiny bottle of Tabasco hot sauce. Or a set of dog tags with a name that didn't match the name on the headstone.
There is another topped by a small Lego toy, perhaps left by a child whose father died in a far-off land before they even knew each other. Or the grave adorned with an empty bottle of Bud Light, a rubber duck and a candle.
SOURCE: CNN (5-23-09)
He was 62.
Roh, who was president from 2003 to 2008, had gone hiking near his home with an aide about 6:30 a.m. Saturday (5:30 p.m. ET on Friday), the state-run Yonhap news agency said.
Prosecutors were investigating the former president for allegedly receiving $6 million in bribes from a South Korean businessman while in office. Roh's wife was scheduled to be questioned by prosecutors Saturday, and Roh was planning to answer a second round of questions next week.
SOURCE: CNN (5-22-09)
But Bush has been conspicuously silent on the president– and told prospective graduates Friday he was glad to be back to a lower-key existence, at a comfortable remove from the national spotlight.
No video cameras were allowed into the president's speech. He has not granted any interviews since leaving office.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (5-24-09)
Ahead of the 65th anniversary of the invasion of France in the Second World War next month, Professor Beevor claimed that an assumption the city had been evacuated had been "wishful thinking on the part of the British".
He said numerous mistakes were made by the Allies in the immediate aftermath of the invasion, and also praised the Germans for the "quite simply brilliant" defence of Normandy given their limited resources.
Mimi Beardsley Alford, now 66, a retired New York church administrator, will receive an advance believed to be worth nearly $1 million (£630,000) from Random House, the publisher, for her memoir.
Mrs Alford, who is breaking her silence after more than 45 years, maintained the secret about her relationship with the womanising president until a new Kennedy biography was published in 2003.
That book revealed that he began an affair in June 1962 with Mimi Beardsley. The 19-year-old student working in the White House press office was described as a "tall, slender, beautiful" by Kennedy's biographer, Robert Dallek.
She gave a brief statement confirming a "sexual relationship" had lasted until his assassination in November 1963, but has said nothing more since then.
David Barrie, director of The Art Fund, an independent art charity, warned that visitors to institutions like the Science Museum and the V&A may once again face entry charges as many establishments feel the effects of funding cuts.
Admission fees to 11 of the country's leading national museums and galleries were scrapped in 2001, after a four-year campaign by The Art Fund to give non-charging institutions the right to reclaim VAT from the Treasury.
Earlier this month, The Art Fund conducted a survey of more than 300 museums and galleries, including the V&A and Tate galleries together with smaller, independent organisations across the country, which found that in times of strife, more of us feel in need of cultural refreshment.
It showed an average 12 per cent increase in visitors to all museums in the six months to March, with increases of up to 40 per cent at some attractions, a trend that is expected to rise over the summer as more people choose to holiday in the UK.
But the research also found that two thirds of museums have had their budgets cut in the last six months, with most of those believing the worst is still to come.
Now, with the US economy in the midst of its greatest downturn since the 1930s, his videos of his 93-year-old grandmother have become a YouTube sensation, inspiring hundreds of thousands of Americans struggling to feed their families.
The hardships of the Depression can also be heard in her commentary, as she marinates some thin slices of steak in olive oil and lemon juice, and recalls the rare occasions when some unexpected good fortune enabled her family to eat meat.
Mrs Cannucciari, who lives in New York state, is too infirm now for more film shoots or interviews. But later this year her first cookery book, Clara's Kitchen, Wisdom and recipes from the Great Depression, will bring her homespun wisdom to a new audience.
Representatives of the country's untouchable caste have taken Google to task for using maps that date back to the feudal era on its Google Earth service.
Inhabitants of certain districts, of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, were known as burakumin, or "unclean" centuries ago. They had jobs working as grave-diggers, butchers or leather workers. Google has incorporated antique maps into its service, showing streets and districts from the 17th century that are identified as "filth town."
Old prejudices remain even though the ghettoes are now part of the modern city and burukamin descendants are no longer required to live within the same district,
Westminster City Council granted planning permission for the sculpture to be erected outside the US embassy in Grosvenor Square.
To allow the statue to go ahead, the council has changed its usual policy of allowing memorials only to people who have been dead for 10 or more years.
Steve Summers, chairman of Westminster City Council's planning applications sub committee, said: "Regardless of politics, nobody can dispute that President Reagan was a true ally of this country
Monte Cassino's sixth century monastery was wrested from its stubborn German defenders in May 1944 after five months of savage fighting, but two weeks later the bloody victory was eclipsed by the success of the D-Day landings.
Sixty five years on, the dwindling band of British and Allied survivors of the campaign are calling for their sacrifices, and those of the 4,600 Allied soldiers who died in the battle, to finally be recognised.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (5-21-09)
The Foreign Secretary mentioned the Iraq conflict in the same breath as the Crusades and 20th century imperialism as he delivered a strikingly self-critical speech.
Addressing the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Mr Miliband called British history"baggage that we have to acknowledge" and accepted the truth of Muslim grievances against the West. These were"perceived to keep Muslims down – and in fact do", he said.
As for Britain's past, the Foreign Secretary said:"It is as well to be clear about the prejudices that British history generates, not just in Muslim majority countries, but elsewhere too. Decisions taken many years ago in King Charles Street are still felt on the landscape of the Middle East and South Asia. Ruined Crusader castles remain as poignant monuments to the religious violence of the Middle Ages."
Name of source: BBC
Others were injured, and dozens of arrests were made. Reports say the police used tear gas and live rounds.
Protests were over poor living standards and alleged discrimination against southern Yemen by the authorities in the north.
Yemen is marking the anniversary of its historic unification in 1990.
Analysts say there has been rising tension throughout the south in the past two years, as the southern independence movement has gained strength.
It began two years ago when former southern military officials, forced into compulsory retirement, demanded higher pension payments.
SOURCE: BBC (5-23-09)
Visitors to Party at the Palace are to be given a taste of life as it would have been in 1503.
This was a momentous year, with James IV marrying Margaret Tudor - and Scotland signing "the Treaty of Perpetual Peace" with England.
Celebrations include an 80-strong procession escorting the "king and his new queen" to Linlithgow Palace.
SOURCE: BBC (5-23-09)
The short section of track was discovered by a metal detector enthusiast and archaeologists have now dated it to around 4,000 years ago.
Woven from narrow branches of oak and alder the structure was covered in a thin layer of brushwood to provide a level walking-surface.
It was found in March when it was uncovered by storms but has since disappeared back under the marine clay.
SOURCE: BBC (5-22-09)
The trial of Desire Munyaneza, 42, heard from 66 witnesses over two years.
He was accused of leading a militia who raped and killed dozens of Tutsis, and orchestrating a massacre of 300 to 400 Tutsis in a church.
Munyaneza, who faces a life sentence, is the first person to be convicted under Canada's 2000 War Crimes Act.
He referred (although not by name) to former Secretary of State Colin Powell and quoted two Republican senators, Lindsey Graham and John McCain.
And he emphasised that this had been a bipartisan rejection, by referring to the nomination by the American people of presidential candidates from both parties who wanted to turn the page on harsh interrogation techniques.
In a phrase that his political opponents are certain to seize on, Mr Obama said the techniques that were used were "not America".
It comes after a high-profile campaign by Joanna Lumley and other supporters of Gurkha rights - and an embarrassing Commons defeat for the government.
Some 36,000 Gurkhas who left before 1997 had been denied UK residency.
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (5-24-09)
“I got my revenge,” she said. “Jack Kennedy wanted a quickie, and I gave him a quickie.”
This happened, apparently, when the Nivens went to the White House for President Kennedy’s 46th birthday celebrations in May 1963, six months before he was shot.
Hjördis said: “He gave me a disease. Chlamydia. It taught me that revenge is not the solution. After that I just got worse. Drinking more; rejecting David. I felt like I was tumbling downward and didn’t know how to get back up.”
SOURCE: Times (UK) (5-22-09)
The 950 x 458mm parchment, bearing 81 red wax seals encased in tin caskets, is a key document in events leading to the schism between Rome and the Church in England. The reproduction, which is likely to cost €50,000 a copy, is being made by Scrinium, a Venice-based publisher.
The facsimile, to be unveiled in Rome next month, was this week shown in advance to Vatican-accredited journalists, including The Times, together with the rarely seen priceless original, which is kept in a purpose-built display cabinet in the office of Monsignor Sergio Pagano, the Prefect of the Secret Archives.
Name of source: The New York Times
SOURCE: The New York Times (5-22-09)
So far, she has been both amazed and relieved to find that the two rickety structures known as the Freeman houses have indeed survived on their adjacent 161-year-old foundations.
Thought to be the state’s oldest remaining houses built by African-Americans, the boarded-up homes are the only remnants of a south-end community of free blacks and runaway slaves who thrived here before the Civil War.
Lately, Ms. Witkowski, head of historical collections at the Bridgeport Public Library, has also begun to wonder whether the houses can outlast a tax dispute that has kept them in a legal limbo for more than two years.
The city foreclosed on the historic houses in May 2007 for unpaid property taxes. Their owner, ABCD Inc., a social service agency for the poor, does not have the funds to pay the full amount owed, but has fought to keep the city from gaining title
Name of source: Sunday Times
SOURCE: Sunday Times (5-22-09)
After a five-year investigation he had received a shocking insight into the mechanics of genocide — and strong indications that historians may have to raise their estimate of how many Jews were killed.
Working with a ballistics expert, the 53-year-old French priest dug up the mass graves of Ukraine.
"Every village was a crime scene,” he says, “and each case was different because the heads of the killing squads had to take in all the different factors — the geography, the transport available, the proximity of partisans — before organising the most efficient massacre.”
As his work in the Nazi killing fields continues, he is convinced that the figure for the number of Jewish dead will have to be revised upwards.
Name of source: PEW study
SOURCE: PEW study (5-22-09)
Name of source: Foxnews
SOURCE: Foxnews (5-22-09)
The $5.6 billion housing assistance program that provided temporary trailers and hotel rooms to victims was supposed to end in 2007. But the deadline was extended by two years to May 1 of this year to help the more than 5,000 individuals and families still struggling to rebuild their lives. (At its peak, 143,000 households along the Gulf Coast were located in temporary housing units.)
But the Obama administration says they have to go by the end of the month or face eviction.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (5-20-09)
The Carabinieri art squad showed off the delicate frescos and other artifacts recovered by Italy as part of its crackdown on illicit antiquities trafficking. In all, police say they recovered more than euro3 million ($4 million) worth of stolen statues, busts, and ancient pots.
Police say the frescos were discovered as part of investigations into Marion True, a former curator of the John Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. True is on trial in Rome with art dealer Robert Hecht, accused of knowingly acquiring dozens of allegedly looted ancient artifacts. Both deny wrongdoing.
SOURCE: AP (5-21-09)
The bust of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine, was snatched from Albania's Butrinti Archaeological museum and recovered by Italian police from a private home in 2004.
SOURCE: AP (2-21-09)
Gorbachev accused Russia's current government of trying to consolidate its grip on power and stifle opposition voices, but avoided specific mention of President Dmitry Medvedev or his predecessor Vladimir Putin, who is now prime minister.
Gorbachev says Russia's tightly orchestrated politics now evoke the Soviet era, when lists of parliament members were compiled by the Communist Party leadership for rubber-stamp elections.
Name of source: Xinhua News Agency (China)
SOURCE: Xinhua News Agency (China) (5-22-09)
The footprints, the smallest of which were believed to belong to children around six years old, were found last week along vehicle tracks on China's first interprovincial road, a 700-km dirt road built under the reign of the "First Emperor", said Zhang Zaiming, a researcher with Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archeology, based in the ancient capital Xi'an.
Zhang therefore restored a chaotic scene, with men trying to fight back enemies and women running after panic-stricken children. "There was no blacktop road back then, and the footprints they left on the muddy route remained intact even today."
Near the footprints, unearthed in Huashugou Village of Fuxian County on the outskirts of Yan'an City, Zhang and his colleagues also found primitive buildings, which they believed were barracks or military service stations.
Name of source: The Seattle Times
SOURCE: The Seattle Times (5-22-09)
Sure, Depression-era America was enamored with the love-struck outlaws, but Hollywood hype, intense media interest and time have ways of distorting reality.
Their life on the run, for the most part, was far from glamorous, historians say.
They were clumsy criminals. They didn't always rob banks, often resorting to stealing small sums of cash from gasoline stations and food stores, while living out of their stolen cars.
Name of source: LiveScience
SOURCE: LiveScience (5-20-09)
A new 47-million year old primate fossil unveiled to the world Tuesday has made waves among scientists and non-scientists. Google responded by working an image of the fossil into the logo of its search page.
The discovery was presented with much fanfare at a press conference at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where researchers called the finding a "missing link" and a publisher from Little, Brown (which put out a related book called "The Link") called it "a scientific discovery that will undoubtedly revolutionize how we understand our own evolution." Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the finding an "astonishing breakthrough."
The mayor's enthusiasm aside, some scientists aren't convinced.
Name of source: McClatchy
SOURCE: McClatchy (5-21-09)
In his address to the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative policy organization in Washington, Cheney said that the techniques the Bush administration approved, including waterboarding — simulated drowning that's considered a form of torture — forced nakedness and sleep deprivation, were "legal" and produced information that "prevented the violent death of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent people."
He quoted the Director of National Intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, as saying that the information gave U.S. officials a "deeper understanding of the al Qaida organization that was attacking this country."
In a statement April 21, however, Blair said the information "was valuable in some instances" but that "there is no way of knowing whether the same information could have been obtained through other means. The bottom line is that these techniques hurt our image around the world, the damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security."
Name of source: Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (5-21-09)
This week, though, Kaczynski has found his old form again -- with the unexpected help of SPIEGEL."The Germans are attempting to shake off the guilt for a giant crime," he said, commenting on the latest SPIEGEL cover story," The Dark Continent: Hitler's European Holocaust Helpers."
The feature describes how foreigners aided the Germans during World War II in the killing of 6 million Jews. Some of the accomplices -- who represented a small minority in each of their countries -- were forced into their roles, others denounced Jews in exchange for money. And some shared the Nazi's anti-Semitic beliefs and joined in out of conviction.
The reference to this particular aspect of the Holocaust is seen in Poland as an attempt by"the Germans" to shift the burden for at least part of the responsibility for the mass murder onto others. If Poland allows"such practices" to happen in Germany, Kaczynski added, then his country shouldn't be surprised one day if Berlin demands reparations for the German soldiers who died during the bloody crushing of the Warsaw Uprising.
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (5-22-09)
Some who survived time in the stalags and officers' camps such as Colditz spoke of torture, forced route marches, meagre daily rations of bread and soup...
In contrast, daily life for Germans held in PoW camps in Britain seems to have been almost relaxed, if these astonishing images are anything to go by.
One shows a group in white dinner jackets, playing clarinet, accordion, drums, guitar and violin in a dance band.
In another scene, they appear relaxed as they are marched along a country lane towards the village church for a Sunday morning service.
Others show a model village and fountain built by the PoWs, who pose happily by their tents.
The remarkable scenes come from rare film footage chronicling the friendly, orderly atmosphere at No 633 (German) Prisoner of War Company in Nottinghamshire.
The film is going on public display for the first time at a new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester.
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (5-22-09)
The 83-year-old will make a brief protocol visit to the Vatican and has been afforded time to see the Pope face to face. She did not seek the private audience, but agreed to its being arranged by her old friend Carla Powell, whose husband, Charles, was a key foreign policy advisor to her Conservative government. Lady Thatcher will be staying with Lord and Lady Powell at their villa on the outskirts of Rome.
Lady Thatcher's visit to the Vatican follows that of both Gordon Brown who met the Pope in February, and Tony Blair who saw him in June 2007. But Lady Thatcher can claim a certain one-up-manship in the Papal stakes: she has met two of Pope Benedict's predecessors as well.
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (5-21-09)
In reports published separately on Thursday by ZDF public television network and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper and based on the historians' findings, Kurras had been in the service of the Stasi secret police since 1955 and had been charged with spying on the West Berlin police.
Documents change a chapter in German history
The documents found in the archives of the Birthler Agency – the authority which manages files from the former East Germany – also contained a message radioed to Kurras by the MfS after the fatal shooting of Ohnesorg, which read: "Destroy all material. Cease work for now. View events as very regrettable accident."
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (5-20-09)
Berlusconi was speaking at a joint news conference on Tuesday with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who said the priority should be to avoid humanitarian disasters at sea but stressed that the rights of asylum seekers should be respected.
Human rights groups, Catholic organisations and the Vatican have strongly criticised the deportations, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says the new Italian policy breaks international conventions on the rights of asylum seekers. The hundreds of people deported in recent weeks, the UNHCR says, included asylum seekers that Italy should accept.
Name of source: Newsweek
SOURCE: Newsweek (5-25-09)
"He is in home territory for sure, no question about it. And that's where he wants to be," says Bruce Buchanan, a presidential scholar at the University of Texas at Austin. "He doesn't enjoy naysayers and critics and opposition. Never has. And right now, he needs that nurturing cocoon that he is in. He is not calling people who didn't support him. He is calling people who supported him, those 14-year-olds."
"But we will see how serious he wants to get in being a participant in the debate over his legacy, beyond writing his side of the story," Buchanan continues. "He may decide, forget it. Or he may decide to become his own version of the Jimmy Carter model. Or he might just stay on the lecture circuit and make money. He has all those options."
Name of source: VOA
SOURCE: VOA (5-19-09)
The Kremlin Web site posted a decree Tuesday signed by President Dimitry Medvedev on May 15 that authorizes the establishment of a presidential commission to counter what are described as attempts to falsify history.
Writing on his Internet blog on May 7, Mr. Medvedev said Russia is being increasingly confronted with determined, malicious and aggressive historical falsifications. He said the number of interpretations of wartime history, some controversial, is also increasing.
The Kremlin leader acknowledges that every field of knowledge can have its own analysis, but he says perhaps the reason for reinterpretation of the war is because there are fewer and fewer people who fought in it and saw it with their own eyes. He says the vacuum being created, either through ignorance or to some extent deliberately, is being filled by a new vision and new interpretations of the war.
The president of Russia's Academy of Military Sciences, Makhmut Gareyev, told VOA there has been what he called an endless stream of suggestions in Russian media that the Soviet Union did not win the war, or that it would have been better had Hitler won.
Gareyev mentioned in particular Russian journalist Alexei Pivovarov who recently aired a controversial nationwide TV documentary on the 1942 Battle of Rzhev on the Volga River. The Nazi-Soviet encounter is little-known in Russia, though it claimed the lives of an estimated 1.5 million people, two-thirds of them Soviets.
Pivovarov's account of what historians call the Rzhev meat grinder strayed from typical Russian accounts of noble heroism and wise Kremlin leadership.
Veterans have since branded Pivovarov a traitor. Makhmut Gareyev also rejects the contention of many historians in Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics that they were occupied by Soviet forces.
Gareyev asks how was it possible for Soviet forces to destroy Hitler's armies and to liberate the Baltics or Poland without entering their territory. He notes that American troops remain in Germany and wonders why they are not considered occupiers, but Soviets in Eastern Europe were.
Most Western historians argue that British and American troops were not occupiers, but liberators who advanced from the west to destroy Nazi power and liberate German-captured territories.
In Kyiv, the director of the History Institute at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Stanislav Kulchytsky, notes that Ukrainians and other nationalities fought in the Soviet Army with Russians and therefore share a common history. But Kulchytsky told VOA each country has a different interpretation of the events.
Kulchytsky says Russian media, particularly television, are currently showing many historical features with various interpretations of Ukrainian and Russian history. He says negative portrayals of Ukrainians create a wall of misunderstanding, indeed lack of understanding, which results in an image of Ukraine as a nation with a very negative attitude toward Russia, which he rejects as not true.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko stirred controversy in 2007 when he posthumously decorated Roman Shukhevych, the leader of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, or UPA, which struggled for an independent Ukraine during World War II. Moscow portrays the UPA as Nazi collaborators. The unit, which fought Soviet forces, initially welcomed the Germans as liberators, but soon waged war against them as well. UPA resisted Soviet rule into the 1950s.
Moscow and Kyiv are also at odds over the Holodomor, an event described in Ukraine as artificial famine perpetrated by the Kremlin, which claimed the lives of millions in the early 1930's. Ukrainians consider it an act of genocide. Russia says it was not genocide, because peasants of various ethnicities, not just Ukrainians, were also victimized.
Moscow was also outraged two years ago when Estonia relocated the statue of a Red Army soldier from a central location in Tallinn.
Meanwhile, Russian Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu has introduced legislation in Parliament that would make it a crime to deny the Soviet victory in World War II. Foreigners deemed guilty would be banned from entering Russia. Historians have expressed concern the measure could also create a climate of fear that would further close access to already limited Russian archives.
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Ed
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Ed (5-21-09)
In the brief, filed yesterday in state court, the university’s lawyers note that the jury that found last month that Mr. Churchill had been fired unjustly, in violation of his free-speech rights, also determined that he was due only $1 in damages. The jury’s decision to award Mr. Churchill such a nominal sum “can be seen only as a complete repudiation of Professor Churchill’s scholarship and the jury’s ultimate conclusion that he destroyed his own reputation.”
Name of source: ABA Journal
SOURCE: ABA Journal (5-21-09)
Souter warned that the republic "can be lost, it is being lost, it is lost, if it is not understood,” the National Law Journal reports. He cited surveys showing about two-thirds of Americans can’t even name the three branches of government, one of the basic lessons he learned as a youth at town hall meetings in Weare, N.H., according to the Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.