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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: BBC
The fossil remains of the large plant-eating sauropod, nicknamed Zac, are about 97 million years old.
They were found near the town of Eromanga, in a fossil-rich area that was once covered by a vast inland sea.
Palaeontologists say the find confirms Australia's importance as a centre for dinosaur discovery.
SOURCE: BBC (8-28-09)
The reunions, begun in 2000, were shelved amid worsening relations, but talks on the issue resumed this week.
Red Cross officials from both countries reached agreement after three days of talks at the Mount Kumgang resort in North Korea - where the family reunions are to be held from 26 September to 1 October.
The families will be allowed to stay for a few days, spending time and sharing meals together, before returning to their homes.
Now a fresh appeal is being made for the establishment of a maritime museum in Belfast linked to the Titanic.
The Heritage Lottery Fund was criticised in Northern Ireland earlier this year, when it allocated £500,000 towards a new museum in Southampton which will include an element dedicated to the liner.
But the body revealed on Wednesday that it had never been asked to fund a Titanic museum in Belfast.
The find, valued at £1,082,000, was discovered in a field in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, by a father and son metal-detector team in January 2007.
After two years of fundraising, the collection has been purchased by the York Museums Trust and the British Museum in London.
It is expected to go on display at the Yorkshire Museum in York next month.
It was buried as Viking nobility fled from Yorkshire at a key moment in British history and more than a thousand years later it was discovered by two men with metal detectors in a field near Harrogate in North Yorkshire.
It is the greatest Viking hoard of treasure to be discovered in Britain for more than 150 years.
And now it's been cleaned and prepared for display in York and London - it has revealed its stories.
Written by King Henry VII, it suggests that Bristol merchant William Weston sailed to the New World in 1499.
Bristol University's Dr Evan Jones said it was "an exciting find" that gave a glimpse of a previously unknown, but epic achievement.
The document gives little detail, but makes a tantalising reference to Weston's voyage.
The ancestry.co.uk lists, accessible for a fee, were compiled by the German military authorities under the 1929 Geneva Convention.
They contain details of British and Commonwealth personnel held in Germany, Austria and Poland in WWII.
The records have only now been made public and the website claims to be the first in the world to publish them.
General Martin Agwai, who is leaving his post this week, said the vicious fighting of earlier years had subsided as rebel groups split into factions.
He says the region now suffers more from low-level disputes and banditry.
The UN says 300,000 people have died in Darfur, but the Sudanese government puts the figure at 10,000.
The alarm was raised at 0730 BST at Floors Castle near Kelso after the blaze began near a freezer and spread behind lath and plaster walls.
Roxburghe Estates manager Roddy Jackson said the "quick actions" of staff had limited the damage to one room.
It meant the castle - the family home of the Duke of Roxburghe - was able to open to the public as usual.
A sequence of 0s, Is and IIs have been found on one of the Stirling Heads - wooden medallions which would have decorated the castle's royal palace.
It is believed the music could have been played on instruments such as harps, viols, fiddles and lutes.
An experienced harpist has been trying to play the tune.
In recent years, the tone and content of disagreements between Russia and the West over interpretations of World War II have seemed reminiscent of the Cold War.
The original German-language copy of the secret protocol to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on the Nazi-Soviet division of Europe was seized by Soviet troops in 1945 and removed to Moscow.
The Soviet government understood why the document could have a devastating effect on the image of the USSR as the nation that had done - and suffered - the most for the defeat of the Nazi curse.
The teaching of history developed by the Soviet authorities in the post-war decades instead chose to portray the pact as a masterstroke of Soviet diplomacy, one that prevented an alliance between Nazi Germany and Western capitalist nations against the USSR.
Name of source: Telegraph.co.uk
SOURCE: Telegraph.co.uk (8-28-09)
The plan was contained in a memo released on Thursday by the BBC from its wartime archives. Other documents detail the corporation’s intention to hand over editorial control to the Government.
In a memo dated September 28, 1939 and headed ‘Broadcasting House: Protection’, house superintendent HL Chilman wrote to his superiors: “If we are going to have a succession of bright moonlit nights this winter, might it not be worthwhile having a ‘street’ or two and perhaps ‘cross roads’ and an odd dummy shadow or two on the south end and west face of Broadcasting House? At 2am tonight the building shone beautifully.”
The idea was dismissed as Mr Chilman’s bosses felt confident that enemy bombers could not target the building.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-28-09)
Curators at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, where the rock has attracted tens of thousands of visitors each year, discovered that the "lunar rock", valued at £308,000, was in fact petrified wood.
Xandra van Gelder, who oversaw the investigation, said the museum would continue to keep the stone as a curiosity.
The rock was given to Willem Drees, a former Dutch leader, during a global tour by Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin following their moon mission 50 years ago.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-28-09)
Only 32 per cent of the 1,005 people questioned by ICM Research said they agreed with the Scottish government's decision to free Megrahi on compassionate grounds on Aug 20, while 60 per cent of respondents said it was the wrong thing to do, according to the survey done for the BBC.
Almost 70 per cent of respondents said they believed that factors other than legal grounds influenced Scottish justice secretary Kenny MacAskill's decision, according to the poll.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-26-09)
A map drawn up by Soviet generals shows that the military had charted an armoured invasion of the city, for distribution to frontline commanders. The plans would be put into action if relations between the UK and the USSR deteriorated further.
The maps ignored one-way streets and rush hour jams, marking the lines of an assault in bold orange, the Guardian reports. According to the documents, troops would sweep into the centre past Old Trafford and the current site of the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry.
The map came to light after the collapse of the Communist system. Along with similar charts of other western and US strategic centres, it was sold by military mapmakers in the chaotic aftermath of perestroika and glasnost.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-26-09)
Iraqi police arrested a man who was planning to sell "The Naked Woman" during a raid on his house in southern Iraq, officials said on Wednesday.
The painting was apparently among the artwork looted from Kuwait by Iraqi forces, said police spokesman Maj. Muthana Khalid.
It was seized on Tuesday during a raid near the mainly Shia city of Hillah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-26-08)
Forty years ago last month, Sen Kennedy drove his car off Dyke Bridge in Chappaquiddick after a day's sailing and hard drinking with a group of married friends and young women who had worked on his brother Robert's presidential campaign.
After a carefully choreographed televised speech in which he admitted his behaviour had been "indefensible" but denied it had been alcohol-fueled, a Massachusetts court let the scion of the state's most powerful family off with a two-month suspended sentence.
The "Chappaquiddick incident" obviously did bot end his senatorial career but arguably put paid to his presidential ambitions.
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (8-27-09)
The compound is also known as the Hyannis Port Historic District, which covers six acres of waterfront property along Nantucket Sound. The property includes the homes of family patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy and two of his sons, Robert and John.
Name of source: CNSNews.com
SOURCE: CNSNews.com (8-28-09)
Lloyd made the claim in a 1998 essay he wrote while working for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. He said that two decades of Republican communications policies had eroded the gains made by the civil rights movement in minority ownership in communications.
Lloyd also said that, prior to the Reagan administration, the FCC recognized that civil rights and communications policy were linked, and he said that minority ownership of radio and television stations was necessary to correct the lack of diversity in media.
“In the late seventies, in recognition of the lack of progress made with these [equal opportunity] employment policies, the FCC ruled that minority ownership was essential to create a diverse range of messages over the public’s airwaves,” Lloyd wrote.
Among the requirements the FCC created were licensing rules that required that the public participate in the license renewal process; caps on how many radio and television stations a company could own in one city; three-year license terms; and a process called ascertainment: requiring station owners to canvas the local community to find out what the public was interested in.
Lloyd said that, starting with Reagan, the Republican-dominated FCC had rolled back these rules, and with them the gains of the civil rights community.
SOURCE: CNSNews.com (8-27-09)
Lloyd made the call in a 2007 article for the liberal Center for American Progress while he was a senior fellow there.
Entitled “Media Maneuvers: Why the Rush to Waive Cross-Ownership Bans,” the article ostensibly talks about the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to allow Chicago real estate mogul Sam Zell to purchase the then-failing Chicago Tribune Co., owner of the Chicago Tribune newspaper.
Lloyd, however, uses the Zell case, in which Zell ultimately prevailed, to make a broader argument that liberals should look to the tactics employed by FDR to combat his conservative critics in the media, saying that liberals must challenge outspoken conservatives who own media outlets.
“Progressives should take a page from FDR’s media diversity playbook,” Lloyd wrote. “[A]t the end of a second FDR administration [in 1940] when the New Dealers were still battling a conservative print media and a conservative Supreme Court to fix the great debacle of American capitalism – the Great Depression.
“FDR’s fireside chats and his ready access to radio allowed him to speak directly to Americans and continue to push a progressive agenda,” said Lloyd. “But FDR was becoming increasingly concerned about the purchase of radio operations by the newspaper publishers.”
Former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Lloyd highlights one Roosevelt tactic in particular, using the Justice Department to take his conservative media critics to court on anti-trust grounds. He highlights the case of then Chicago Tribune publisher Col. Robert R. McCormick, a stalwart Roosevelt critic.
Says Lloyd: “One of the most vehement Roosevelt-haters was Col. Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. McCormick considered it his duty to remove Roosevelt from office and he used every means at his disposal to further this aim, including his radio station WGN (AM).
“But there is little doubt that FDR understood what he was up against,” wrote Lloyd. “He understood not only how to use media effectively, but also the importance of media ownership and the rules that determined media ownership.”...
SOURCE: CNSNews.com (8-26-09)
... At a press conference Tuesday publicizing the Kids for King education initiative, which aims to get children to learn about King’s teachings, CNSNews.com asked Duncan whether he thought the content of King’s letter should be taught in public schools.
Duncan did not directly answer, saying only, “I think there is so much to learn from Dr. King.”...
... Byron Garrett, CEO of the National Parent Teacher Association also attended the event and more explicitly explained that in teaching King’s views on moral law, it was “important” to comply with the separation of church and state.
“It’s fine if you’re teaching it in the context of history,” he said, but “not to the exclusion of other religions,” Garrett said.
National Education Association President Dennis van Roekel disagreed, however, lamenting the “narrowing” of public curricula.
“I think rich history in schools is absolutely essential,” he told CNSNews.com. “It’s kind of sad right now how they’re narrowing the curriculum.”
“I think that we ought to expose people to ideas--that’s what was done for us. We heard those ideas. I think it’s just part of a good education,” he continued. “You can’t be taught one side; you have to hear all sides. That’s how you get a good education.”
The Kids for King conference was held on the west side of the Tidal Basin, where a memorial for King is planned for construction...
Name of source: Time
SOURCE: Time (8-28-09)
The letter, most likely already resealed and tucked away in the Vatican archives, was probably just a dying Catholic's request for a papal blessing. In the eyes of the traditionalist wing of the Church, however, Kennedy should have been asking the Pope for forgiveness. The Vatican's official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported Kennedy's death, praising his work on civil rights and fighting poverty, but noted that his record was marred by his stance on abortion. As of yet, unlike some other world leaders, Pope Benedict has not commented or issued an official communiqué in response to Kennedy's death. The niceties of international diplomacy do not require the Pope to issue a statement on the death of a non-head of state. Earlier in August, when the Senator's sister Eunice was dying the Papal Nuncio to the U.S. delivered a letter to her family saying the Pope was praying for her, her children and her husband...
SOURCE: Time (8-20-09)
"John, you're where I was after I decided I wouldn't run for President," Kennedy said. "You've got the seniority. You've got the network around the country. You've got all the benefits of having campaigned around the country. You've got 20 years ahead of you in the Senate if you want it, and now no one can question your motives. You can write your own ticket here."
Kerry appears to have taken that advice to heart. Over the past year, the junior Senator from Massachusetts has become the man to see. Health-care talks are stalling? Kerry's got a way to fix the financing. The climate-change bill faces an uphill battle in the Senate? Kerry's leading the negotiations. And as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, he has stepped out overseas — and across the aisle in the Senate — to get things done. In a town where second acts are rare, Kerry, 65, has found a new groove. "I think," Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana says, "at least as I have watched him, he does have a great deal more vigor and enthusiasm."...
SOURCE: Time (8-26-09)
Everybody was wrong. Ted Kennedy would never reach the White House. His weaknesses — and the long shadow of Chappaquiddick — were an obstacle that even his strengths couldn't overcome. But his failure to get to the presidency opened the way to the true fulfillment of his gifts, which was to become one of the greatest legislators in American history. When their White House years are over, most Presidents set off on the long aftermath of themselves. They give lectures, write books, play golf and make money. Jimmy Carter even won a Nobel Prize. But every one of them would tell you that elder-statesmanship is no substitute for real power.
Because Kennedy never made it to the finish line, he never had to endure a post-presidential twilight. Instead, by the time of his death on Aug. 25 in Hyannis Port at the age of 77, he had 46 working years in Congress, time enough to leave his imprint on everything from the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009, a law that expands support for national community-service programs. Over the years, Kennedy was a force behind the Freedom of Information Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. He helped Soviet dissidents and fought apartheid. Above all, he conducted a four-decade crusade for universal health coverage, a poignant one toward the end as the country watched a struggle with a brain tumor. But along the way, he vastly expanded the network of neighborhood clinics, virtually invented the COBRA system for portable insurance and helped create the laws that provide Medicare prescriptions and family leave.
And for most of that time, he went forward against great odds, the voice of progressivism in a conservative age. When people were getting tired of hearing about racism or the poor or the decay of American cities, he kept talking. When liberalism was flickering, there was Kennedy, holding the torch, insisting that "we can light those beacon fires again." In the last year of his life, with the Inauguration of Barack Obama, he had the satisfaction of seeing a big part of that dream fulfilled. In early 2008, when Obama had just begun to capture the public imagination, Kennedy bucked the party establishment. Just before Super Tuesday, the venerable Senator from Massachusetts enthusiastically endorsed the young Senator from Illinois, helping propel Obama to the Democratic nomination and ultimately the White House.
So does it matter that Kennedy never made it to the presidency? Any number of mere Presidents have been pretty much forgotten. But as the Romans understood, there can be Emperors of no consequence — and Senators whose legacies are carved in stone.
Name of source: Truthout
SOURCE: Truthout (8-27-09)
Sheehan used to pitch a peace camp near Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, becoming a symbol of the anti-war movement after her son Casey died in action in Iraq.
On Thursday, she and a band of anti-war protesters turned up outside the media center used by journalists covering Obama's vacation on the well-heeled east coast resort island of Martha's Vineyard.
"The reason I am here is because ... even though the facade has changed in Washington DC, the policies are still the same," Sheehan told a handful of journalists, against a backdrop of her "Camp Casey" banner.
Name of source: NYT
The protesters chant and shout and, inevitably, a few throw stones. Then just as inevitably, the soldiers open fire with tear gas and water jets, lately including a putrid oil-based liquid that makes the entire area stink.
It is one of the longest-running and best organized protest operations in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and it has turned this once anonymous farming village into a symbol of Palestinian civil disobedience, a model that many supporters of the Palestinian cause would like to see spread and prosper.
For that reason, a group of famous left-leaning elder statesmen, including former President Jimmy Carter — who caused controversy by suggesting that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank amounted to apartheid — came to Bilin on Thursday and told the local organizers how much they admired their work and why it was vital to keep it going.
The retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, also on the visit, said, “Just as a simple man named Gandhi led the successful nonviolent struggle in India and simple people such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King led the struggle for civil rights in the United States, simple people here in Bilin are leading a nonviolent struggle that will bring them their freedom.”
Mr. Tutu, a South African Nobel Peace Prize winner, spoke on rocky soil, surrounded by the remains of tear gas canisters and in front of coils of barbed wire, part of the barrier that Israel began building in 2002 across the West Bank as a violent Palestinian uprising was under way. Israel said its main purpose was to stop suicide bombers from crossing into Israel, but the route of the barrier — a mix of fencing, guard towers and concrete wall — dug deep into the West Bank in places, and Palestinian anger over the barrier is as much about lost land as about lost freedom.
Bilin lost half its land to the settlement of Modiin Illit and the barrier and took its complaint to Israel’s highest court. Two years ago, the court handed it an unusual victory. It ordered the settlement to stop building its new neighborhood and ordered the Israeli military to move the route of the barrier back toward Israel, thereby returning about half the lost land to the village...
That debate has simmered this summer, among politicians, historians, human rights activists and religious leaders, at dinner tables and in blogs, after a resolution passed in July by the parliamentary assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe equated Stalin with Hitler for regimes that “brought about genocide, violations of human rights and freedoms, war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
World War II, called the Great Patriotic War here, is almost sacred to many Russians. They were offended by the resolution, and it was denounced by the government. The Moscow subway system, built under Stalin by some of the best Soviet artists and architects, is seen as one of his great achievements.
One afternoon this week at the Kurskaya subway station, one of Moscow’s busiest, many commuters’ heads turned to catch both the grandness of the renovation and the words of the Soviet anthem as it was sung under Stalin when the station opened in 1950: “Stalin reared us — on loyalty to the people. He inspired us to labor and to heroism.”
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, fearing for the future of the institution, turned to a historian for help. He invited Robert A. Caro, author of the epic Lyndon B. Johnson biography, “Master of the Senate,” to speak to lawmakers about Senate traditions, and the founding fathers’ vision of it as a place for extended debate.
To Mr. Caro, Mr. Kennedy’s own knowledge of Senate history and reverence for its ideals was yet another reminder of why his host deserved a place in the pantheon of Senate greats, alongside men like Webster and Calhoun and Clay. But it was also a reminder of how much the Senate had changed during Mr. Kennedy’s 46 years there.
“Ted Kennedy was a senator out of another, very different, Senate era: an era in which senators who believed in great causes stood at their desks, year after year and decade after decade, fighting for those causes, and educating the country about them,” Mr. Caro said.
It is a tradition, he said, “that seems all but lost today.”
From physical changes to the chamber — in 1986 the lighting was brightened for television and the slouchy overstuffed couches were cleared away — to the arrival of women, to the disappearance of the conservative Southern Democrats who used their clout to strangle civil rights legislation, the Senate of today is far different from the one Mr. Kennedy joined in November 1962.
Like the nation itself, it has become coarser, more partisan and, many scholars and politicians argue, more dysfunctional. As both parties have moved to their ideological extremes, the center is all but gone.
“When Kennedy came, both political parties in the Senate were internally divided,” said Don Ritchie, the associate Senate historian. “There were as many Eisenhower Republicans as Goldwater Republicans. There were more liberal Democrats but a sizable number of conservative Democrats. There was never a party line vote on anything. There were ideological coalitions rather than partisan coalitions.”
One measure of that partisanship is the rise of the filibuster, once a rarity that was reserved for the great legislative debates of the day. Today, rare is the bill that does not face a filibuster threat. In 1963, Mr. Kennedy’s first full year in the Senate, the leaders filed just one “cloture motion,” Senate parlance for the procedure that can end a filibuster by cutting off debate. Last year, 50 cloture motions were filed.
The Senate was then, and is now, a clubby place governed by its own peculiar rules and conventions. But with the possible exception of Senator Robert C. Byrd, the West Virginia Democrat and longest-serving senator (at 91, having served for 50 years, he is frail and in failing health) today’s senators are rarely acclaimed for eloquent discourse...
... It is tempting to wax nostalgic about the good old days, but some things about the Senate have inarguably changed for the better. Today’s Senate is more diverse, with women especially represented in greater numbers. There were only two women in the Senate when Mr. Kennedy joined, while today there are 17. The women of the Senate share monthly off-the-record dinners (no aides allowed), organized by Senator Barbara Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland and the longest-serving female senator.
The Senate staff is much larger and more professional today, with deep policy expertise. Mr. Kennedy’s staff was widely considered the best and the brightest, with high-powered alumni, among them a Supreme Court justice, Stephen G. Breyer. But Adam Clymer, a Kennedy biographer and former New York Times reporter, says there is a downside to specialization: today’s senators rely more on their aides than on one another...
SOURCE: NYT (8-25-09)
But if the world thought the colonel had changed his views after 40 years in power, he proved otherwise with the hero’s welcome he gave Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the only person convicted in the Lockerbie bombing of 1988.
“He likes to rub it in to the West that he was vindicated, that he’s becoming an internationally recognized figure again,” said Dirk J. Vandewalle, associate professor of government at Dartmouth College.
It was signature Colonel Qaddafi, extracting a concession from Western powers, offering thanks, then appearing to mock them for caving in. On his visit to Paris in 2007, he lectured the French on human rights. In Rome this year, he pinned a photograph to his chest of the 1931 arrest by Italian troops of the Libyan guerrilla leader Omar al-Mokhtar, whom the Italians later hanged.
But this time, Colonel Qaddafi appears to have overreached (even if Mr. Megrahi’s homecoming, indeed his entire case, may not be as straightforward as many perceive).
Instead of enhancing Colonel Qaddafi’s standing, as he had hoped, Mr. Megrahi’s release has highlighted inherent conflicts in his re-engagement with the outside world, experts said. Colonel Qaddafi’s revolutionary ideology still clashes with Western expectations. He has failed to use his nation’s opening to make political and economic improvements at home. There may even be a degree of naïveté on the part of Colonel Qaddafi, who has expressed shock at the full-throated response from Washington and London...
... The West sees the current situation as clear-cut: Libya honoring a convicted terrorist who helped to blow up a jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland. But Libya experts said that it was far more nuanced, explaining in part why Libya acted as it did, and why it was so surprised by the reaction. There are several reasons, the experts said, chief among them that the government never accepted Mr. Megrahi’s guilt.
“When Megrahi was found guilty there was an immediate sense in Libya that a great miscarriage of justice had taken place,” said George Joffe, a lecturer at the Center of International Studies at Cambridge University. “And even on the day of the sentence, Qaddafi said that he would do everything to reverse it. Right from the beginning they did not accept the sentence.”
Still, this does not completely explain Colonel Qaddafi’s behavior...
... From the beginning, it was almost inevitable that this case would end in hostility and recriminations. For those whose relatives died in the 1988 bombing, forcing Libya to pay millions to each family and putting Mr. Megrahi in prison for life amounted to a shred of justice.
But to Libya, that money was a business deal, a small price for a ticket to re-engage with the West and attract foreign investment. Libya did not admit guilt. It assumed responsibility for “the actions of its officials.” The resolution cost Libya about $2.7 billion. The next year Libya’s foreign investment reached $8 billion...
Name of source: Yahoo News
SOURCE: Yahoo News (8-28-09)
The find in the ruins of Aigai came a few meters (yards) from last year's remarkable discovery of what could be the bones of Alexander the Great's murdered teenage son, according to one expert.
Archaeologists are puzzled because both sets of remains were buried under very unusual circumstances: Although cemeteries existed near the site, the bones were taken from an unknown first resting place and re-interred, against all ancient convention, in the heart of the city.
Excavator Chrysoula Saatsoglou-Paliadeli said in an interview that the bones found this week were inside one of two large silver vessels unearthed in the ancient city's marketplace, close to the theater where Alexander's father, King Philip II, was murdered in 336 B.C.
She said they arguably belonged to a Macedonian royal and were buried at the end of the 4th century B.C.
SOURCE: Yahoo News (8-27-09)
"There are those who deny that the Holocaust happened," Benjamin Netanyahu said as he accepted the documents as a gift to Israel's Holocaust memorial, where they will go on display next year.
"Let them come to Jerusalem and look at these plans, these plans for the factory of death."
Netanyahu lingered over the large sheets spread on a table. Stamped with the Nazi abbreviation for concentration camp "K.L. Auschwitz," one of the largest featured multi-colored sketches, with barracks and even latrines drawn in detail. Other smaller sheets showed architectural designs of individual buildings, drawn from various angles.
The Israeli leader was accompanied by his wife, Sara, whose father was the only member of his family to survive the Nazi genocide that killed 6 million Jews during the World War II. She watched somberly as the documents, which date from 1941 to 1943, were unfolded.
Also present was Yossi Peled, an Israeli Cabinet minister and former general whose father was killed by the Nazis and whose mother survived Auschwitz in one of the barracks detailed in the blueprints. Peled himself was hidden until age 7 by a family in Belgium who raised him as a Christian. He discovered his Jewish roots in 1948 and was taken to Israel two years later...
... The publisher and Germany's federal archive have confirmed the documents' authenticity.
Numbering found on the back of the plans indicates they may have been taken from an archive, possibly the collection of documents on the Third Reich kept by the Stasi.
SOURCE: Yahoo News (8-27-09)
The Dutch national museum said Thursday that one of its prized possessions, a rock supposedly brought back from the moon by U.S. astronauts, is just a piece of petrified wood.
Rijksmuseum spokeswoman Xandra van Gelder, who oversaw the investigation that proved the piece was a fake, said the museum will keep it anyway as a curiosity.
"It's a good story, with some questions that are still unanswered," she said. "We can laugh about it."
The museum acquired the rock after the death of former Prime Minister Willem Drees in 1988. Drees received it as a private gift on Oct. 9, 1969 from then-U.S. ambassador J. William Middendorf during a visit by the three Apollo 11 astronauts, part of their "Giant Leap" goodwill tour after the first moon landing.
Middendorf, who lives in Rhode Island, told Dutch broadcaster NOS news that he had gotten it from the U.S. State Department, but couldn't recall the exact details.
"I do remember that (Drees) was very interested in the little piece of stone," the NOS quoted Middendorf as saying. "But that it's not real, I don't know anything about that."
He could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.
The U.S. Embassy in the Hague said it was investigating the matter.
Name of source: The Washington Post
SOURCE: The Washington Post (8-28-09)
Suite 317, tucked along a marble-floored and white-columned corridor of the Russell Senate Office Building, was not only the liberal lion's den. It also was the finishing school for generations of Kennedy's cubs, hundreds of zealous proteges who came to work for the Massachusetts Democrat. For decades, scores of smart and ambitious Democrats flocked to Kennedy for jobs, and his staff of dozens, which swelled in size as he attained seniority, became unrivaled and widely praised across Capitol Hill.
Kennedy's alumni now hold power at the highest levels of the Obama administration and across the political, legal, media and health communities. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer was a chief counsel, as was Melody C. Barnes, President Obama's top domestic policy adviser. White House Counsel Gregory B. Craig and Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg were his foreign policy advisers, and Kenneth Feinberg, the superlawyer tapped by Obama to become compensation czar, is a former chief of staff.
Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, worked as a volunteer on Kennedy's first Senate campaign.
"Teddy's staff was the farm system for the Democratic Party for a generation," Kerry said. "He was a magnet for brilliant, creative, progressive minds and hard-charging, hard-nosed operatives. But it was bigger than that. Teddy's staff had an unparalleled loyalty to him because he was so unfailingly loyal to them."
Name of source: Politico
SOURCE: Politico (8-27-09)
The telephone survey, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican polling firm, found that 37 percent of Americans are opposed to the Obama plan compared with 25 percent who favor it.
In June of 1994 — just a few months before a White House-led health care reform push effectively died on Capitol Hill — 35 percent of Americans said they opposed the Clinton administration’s plan while 23 percent favored it, according to a survey taken in June of 1994 by the same firm.
But in 1994 as well as now, the polls showed that large numbers of Americans remain undecided about health care reform. Fifteen years ago, 42 percent of those surveyed said they had no opinion about Clinton’s plan and this August, 37 percent also had no opinion about Obama’s proposal.
The recent Public Opinion Strategies Poll surveyed 800 registered voters Aug. 11-13 and has a 3.5 percentage point margin of error. The poll asked about Obama’s plan, but in reality, there are several versions of health care reform currently working their way through Congress while Obama has been content to lay out broad guidelines for reform.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26519.html#ixzz0PX0QXbdW
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (8-28-09)
Today, Baughman said, Kennedy could still survive a Chappaquiddick -- largely because of the Kennedys' clout and because Massachusetts is so enamored with the family -- but it would be tougher with the Slate.coms and Drudge Reports of the world hounding him.
Diver John Farrar, who pulled Kopechne from the car, told media outlets she may have lived had Kennedy called police immediately, and George Killen, a detective-lieutenant with the State Police, alleged at the time that Kennedy "killed that girl the same as if he put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger."
SOURCE: CNN (8-28-09)
At that point, the group notes, a three-day march on the nation's Capitol will take place to protest health care reform and what they see as big government.
The tea party movement gained momentum this year; several parties were held across the country this summer to protest President Obama and the Democrats' economic stimulus plans, among other things.
On July 4, nearly 2,000 advocates, toting signs and chanting slogans, rallied outside Congress. Activists said the TEA Party Day -- an acronym for "Taxed Enough Already" -- was in response
SOURCE: CNN (8-27-09)
Ted, the youngest of the Kennedys, became the patriarch of the family at 36 when Bobby -- whose 1968 presidential campaign championed the sick, the poor and the elderly -- was assassinated.
He would never be president. The dream of Camelot -- as Jackie Kennedy once described her husband's brief presidency -- was over the night Kennedy conceded the primaries to President Jimmy Carter.
Even before Kennedy's death, colleagues on the right and left mourned his absence in the health care debate. Now they feel it acutely.
SOURCE: CNN (8-26-09)
President Obama, who called Kennedy an "extraordinary leader," will deliver a eulogy at the funeral, according to several sources.
Before the funeral, Kennedy's body will lie in repose Thursday afternoon and Friday in the Smith Center at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, said the source, who once worked closely with Kennedy's office. A memorial service will be held Friday evening at the Smith Center, the source said.
Name of source: Zenit
SOURCE: Zenit (8-26-09)
The message, signed by the presidents of the German and Polish bishops' conferences, respectively, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch and Archbishop Jozef Michalik, was published Tuesday.
It called on "the new generations to acquire and preserve a just evaluation" of the war.
"Despite the difficulties," the bishops pointed out, "not only do we have need of an honest evaluation of the atrocities of the past, but also of giving up the stereotypes that make a correct understanding of that time more problematic, and can undermine confidence."
In September 1939, the German Armed Forces invaded Poland, igniting World War II.
Now, the bishops of both countries came together to underline the necessity of protecting peace and the "education of men free from hatred."...
In their statement, the prelates jointly condemned "the war crimes" and the deportations in the war and post-war eras. They recalled the negative consequences of the war in both of their countries, such as subjection to communist regimes.
"In Eastern Europe, the war had the objective of destroying and enslaving whole peoples," the bishops stated.
They continued, "Poland's governing elite, among them intellectuals, academics and members of the clergy, was affected by a policy of extermination that sought to subject a whole nation."
The document appealed for good faith, forgiveness and the recognition of one's own fault.
It also called for more prayer for peace, greater cooperation between the religious institutions of Germany and Poland, unified promotion of the family and protection of life, and a joint endeavor in the evangelization of the world, especially the greater part of Africa.
The statement pointed out that "only in a climate of forgiveness and reconciliation can a culture of peace be developed that serves the common good."...
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (8-28-09)
''Do you have anybody in the Secret Service that you can get to?'' Nixon asked his aide John Ehrlichman in a stark series of Oval Office conversations about Kennedy before the 1972 election. ''Yeah, yeah,'' Ehrlichman replied.
''Plant one,'' Nixon said. ''Plant two guys on him. This could be very useful.''
Nixon made clear that the Secret Service protection afforded Kennedy before the 1972 election would be rescinded after. Then, said the president, ''If he gets shot, it's too damn bad.'' His aides disdainfully referred to Kennedy supporters as ''super swinger jet set types.''
Name of source: The National Security Archive
SOURCE: The National Security Archive (8-26-09)
* The CIA and U.S. Embassy engaged in secret diplomatic exchanges with enemy insurgents of the National Liberation Front, at first with the approval of the South Vietnamese government, a channel which collapsed in the face of deliberate obstruction by South Vietnamese officials [Document 2 pp. 58-63].
* As early as 1954 that Saigon leader Ngo Dinh Diem would ultimately fail to gain the support of the South Vietnamese people. Meanwhile the CIA crafted a case officer-source relationship with Diem's brother Ngo Dinh Nhu as early as 1952, a time when the French were still fighting for Indochina [Document 1, pp. 21-2, 31].
* CIA raids into North Vietnam took place as late as 1970, and the program authorizing them was not terminated until April 1972, despite obtaining no measurable results [Document 5, pp. 349-372].
* In 1965, a time when the South Vietnamese regime was again in conflict with the Buddhist majority, the CIA secretly funded Buddhist training programs [Document 2, p. 38].
* CIA involvement in South Vietnamese elections goes beyond what has been previously disclosed, and matches the scope of the agency's controversial 1960s political action program in Chile [Document 2, pp. 51-58].
* In the later period of the war, according to the CIA's own historian, Saigon leader Nguyen Van Thieu's mistrust of the United States increasingly focused on the CIA [Document 2, p. 87].
* The CIA historian, contrary to neo-orthodox arguments regarding progress in the Vietnam war, concedes that U.S. pacification efforts failed in Vietnam—including the so-called "Phoenix" program—and traces this failure to several causes, including South Vietnamese lack of interest and investment in this key facet of the conflict [Document 3, p. xv-xvi].
* The CIA was aware from the very early 1960s of the problems posed by Laotian drug trafficking to its Laos campaign, but not only took no action, it did not even make drug trafficking a reporting requirement until the Nixon administration declared war on drugs [Document 5, p. 535].
Name of source: Global Post
SOURCE: Global Post (8-26-09)
President Mary McAleese said he would be remembered as a “hugely important friend to the country during very difficult times,” and Prime Minister Brian Cowen commented that Ireland had lost a true friend who “worked valiantly for the cause of peace on this island.” (Read other international reactions to the senator's death here.)
The sentiments are not overblown. The Massachusetts senator was for four decades the Irish Government’s staunchest ally on Capitol Hill. He first became involved in Ireland in 1971 when he told the U.S. Senate that, “Ulster is becoming Britain’s Vietnam” and that British troops should be withdrawn.
Such statements aroused deep resentment in the British establishment. When as a reporter in London I asked Lord Hailsham, then-Lord Chancellor, what effect such interventions by Irish Americans like Senator Kennedy would have on British policy on Ireland, he retorted angrily: “Those Roman Catholic bastards, how dare they interfere!”
Kennedy grew uneasy however about being associated with Irish American groups supporting violence to achieve the same goal of a united Ireland. In 1972 he sought out John Hume in Derry for advice. As leader of the moderate nationalist party, the Social Democratic and Labour Party, in Northern Ireland, Hume was a prominent critic of pro-IRA sentiment among Irish Americans. The senator was so impressed with the former Derry schoolteacher’s impassioned argument for constitutional reform that from then on he aligned himself with Hume on Irish issues. ...
Name of source: Digital Daily
SOURCE: Digital Daily (8-27-09)
“The mass digitization of books promises to bring tremendous value to consumers, libraries, scholars, and students,” the Alliance says in its mission statement. “The Open Book Alliance will work to advance and protect this promise. And, by protecting it, we will assert that any mass book digitization and publishing effort be open and competitive. The process of achieving this promise must be undertaken in the open, grounded in sound public policy and mindful of the need to promote long-term benefits for consumers rather than isolated commercial interests. The Open Book Alliance will counter Google, the Association of American Publishers and the Authors’ Guild’s scheme to monopolize the access, distribution and pricing of the largest digital database of books in the world. To this end, we will promote fair and flexible solutions aimed at achieving a more robust and open system.”
Rallying behind that cry is an array of nonprofit author groups, library institutions, and Google (GOOG) rivals that includes the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the New York Library Association, Microsoft (MSFT), Yahoo (YHOO) and Amazon (AMZN), which only confirmed its membership in the Alliance today. All of these participants fear that the Google Book Search Settlement, which will restore access to millions of out-of-print books, could one day give the company a monopoly on the largest digital library in the world.
With a Sept. 4 deadline for submissions to the court reviewing the settlement approaching, we’re likely to hear increasingly more cries that the settlement is bad for consumers, libraries, schools, authors and publishers.
Name of source: BBCHistoryMagazine.com
SOURCE: BBCHistoryMagazine.com (8-27-09)
"Hope you like what you see. It's been substantially updated and improved, I hope, from our last site, which frankly deserved to be consigned to history some time ago. What are the plans for this site? Well, there are a few. We'll be putting up some content from the magazine itself, including certain features, book reviews, and our historic visits. You'll find much more of this in the magazine of course, which this month is a Second World War special. Hopefully you'll be tempted to pick up a copy if you haven't done so already.
"We'll also be running Web exclusive content, such as our blogs and opinions, from the likes of Dan Snow, Tracy Borman, Julian Humphrys and others. You might be inspired to offer your thoughts on these on our forum or in the comments section at the foot of each piece.
"You'll also still find our weekly round-up of what's good to watch and listen on TV and radio in the UK for anyone interested in history. We'll send round the newsletter on a Thursday afternoon or Friday morning to remind you that the new listings are up. ...
"We're also starting a weekly historical quiz which we'll put out to challenge you every Friday.
"We're still producing our twice-monthly podcasts which you can download for free and listen to top-name historians talking about all manner of history.
"If there's anything else you'd like to see on the site, you can of course air your views on the forum, and you are of course welcome to talk about anything else that takes your fancy there too."
Name of source: BCC
SOURCE: BCC (8-25-09)
He predicted that the outcome would depend entirely on whichever strategic position the USSR decided to adopt.
Should the Soviet Union form an alliance with France and Britain, he opined, Germany would be forced to abandon its territorial demands on Poland.
Many western historians believe that the Anglo-French security guarantees given to Poland effectively turned Stalin into the arbiter of Europe.
Name of source: Taegan Goddard's Political Wire
SOURCE: Taegan Goddard's Political Wire (8-27-09)
"In this historic memoir, Ted Kennedy takes us inside his family, re-creating life with his parents and brothers and explaining their profound impact on him. or the first time, he describes his heartbreak and years of struggle in the wake of their deaths. Through it all, he describes his work in the Senate on the major issues of our time -- civil rights, Vietnam, Watergate, the quest for peace in Northern Ireland -- and the cause of his life: improved health care for all Americans, a fight influenced by his own experiences in hospitals."
Name of source: Taiwan News
SOURCE: Taiwan News (8-27-09)
... The subject of settlements was sure to be raised at Netanyahu's meeting with Merkel on Thursday. Speaking Wednesday, German government spokesman Klaus Vater said that Berlin advocates that "no further settlements be built in the occupied areas."
Netanyahu's discussions with Merkel will also touch on Iran's nuclear program, which Israel sees as an existential threat and wants blocked by stronger international sanctions.
But a visit by an Israeli leader to Germany is never limited to current events. Between meetings with Merkel and the German foreign minister, Netanyahu was scheduled to visit the Wannsee House, site of a key meeting at which the Nazis planned the extermination of the Jews. And he was to visit the headquarters of a Berlin publisher to see the recently discovered blueprints for Auschwitz, the Nazis' infamous death camp in Poland.
Netanyahu is accompanied on his trip by Yossi Peled, an Israeli Cabinet minister who was hidden in Belgium by Christian parents after his parents were killed by the Nazis. Peled discovered he was Jewish at age 7, in 1948 _ the year Israel was founded _ and later moved there, eventually becoming a general in the armed forces.
Germany and Israel eventually overcame their fraught relationship to forge close ties, with West Germany paying reparations in the 1950s that helped Israel's early leaders build their country's infrastructure and military.
Netanyahu arrived in Berlin from London, where he met British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell.
His meeting with Mitchell appeared to have been inconclusive, with a joint statement afterward saying only that "good progress" was made.
Name of source: Foxnews
SOURCE: Foxnews (8-26-09)
All four living former presidents were among the many mourners Wednesday who paid tribute to the life and legacy of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.
During 47 years in the Senate, Kennedy worked with 10 presidents -- five from each political party. And despite his liberal streak, he didn't hesitate to cross party lines to achieve legislative goals.
His bipartisan efforts were reflected in the outpouring of sympathies from former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, whose relationship with Kennedy was strained last year when the Massachusetts Democrat endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton.
But Kennedy's relationship with Carter was perhaps the most difficult one after Kennedy unsuccessfully challenged the incumbent Carter in the 1980 Democratic primaries. Some blame Kennedy's bid for Carter's loss to Ronald Reagan in the general election. But Carter didn't mention any of that in a written statement Wednesday.
Name of source: The Daily Beast
SOURCE: The Daily Beast (8-25-09)
Name of source: Newsday.com
SOURCE: Newsday.com (8-25-09)
Workers have been excavating the remains of some turn-of-the-century row houses, which have been well-preserved by a parking lot on top of the site. One cellar is nearly intact. Workers have also found dinnerware fragments, architectural hardware and old trash.