Breaking NewsFollow Breaking News updates on RSS and Twitter
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used. Because most of our readers read the NYT we usually do not include the paper's stories in HIGHLIGHTS.
Name of source: MSNBC
SOURCE: MSNBC (9-6-09)
It's only been a week since John Piltzecker became superintendent of America's "front yard," but the 25-year park ranger and administrator understands the public outrage over the mall's current condition. Piltzecker, 52, said he'll work to marshal both public and private money to renovate the mall, which is home to the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials and the site of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.
"This has always been a special place for me," said Piltzecker, who worked as a seasonal park ranger on the mall decades ago. "I understood that there were enormous challenges but also that there were enormous opportunities."
In the next year, he will oversee the start of a major renovation of the Lincoln Memorial grounds and reflecting pool as well as repairs to a sinking seawall in front of the Jefferson Memorial — projects totaling nearly $50 million. The projects are being funded by the federal economic stimulus package, and construction will take one to two years once work begins, officials said.
SOURCE: MSNBC (9-4-09)
Waiting to greet them at London's Liverpool Street Station was Sir Nicholas Winton, 100, who organized the rail"kindertransports" that carried hundreds of mostly Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to safety in 1939.
The steam train carried 170 people, including about two dozen survivors of the evacuations and members of their families.
Winton, frail and leaning on a stick, shook hands with the former evacuees as they stepped off the train from Prague.
"It's wonderful to see you all after 70 years," he said."Don't leave it quite so long until we meet here again."
Other Holocaust survivors had gathered at the station to meet the train.
"It's amazing. It happened so many years ago yet I remember it so vividly," said Otto Deutsch, 81, who lives in Southend, southern England."I never saw my parents again or my sister. My parents were shot and what they did with my sister I really don't want to know."...
... Foster program
In late 1938, Winton, a 29-year-old clerk at the London Stock Exchange, had traveled to what was then Czechoslovakia at the invitation of a friend working at the British Embassy.
Alarmed by the influx of refugees from the Sudetenland region recently annexed by Germany, Winton immediately began organizing a way to get Jewish children out of the country. He feared, correctly, that Czechoslovakia soon would be invaded by the Nazis and Jewish residents would be sent to concentration camps.
Winton persuaded British officials to accept the children and set about fundraising and organizing the trip. He arranged eight trains that carried 669 mostly Jewish children through Germany to Britain in the months before the outbreak of World War II...
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (9-6-09)
Speaking at an outdoor Mass on Sunday in Viterbo, north of Rome, Benedict said: “We cannot forget the major events that took place during one of the most terrible conflicts in history, that left tens of millions dead and provoked so much suffering for our beloved Polish people,” he said. “It was conflict that saw the tragedy of the Holocaust and the extermination of so many other innocents.”
Just days after Poland held ceremonies marking the German invasion across its border that started the war, Benedict singled out the war’s Polish victims, but he did not specifically mention the Jewish victims other than to broadly refer to the Holocaust.
Benedict, an 83-year-old German, witnessed the Second World War firsthand, describing himself as an unwilling enlistee in the Hitler Youth and later the army. He has decried totalitarianism and anti-Semitism many times over the years. But as pope he has been criticized by Jewish groups as being insensitive at times.
With the aides as divided as their bosses on President Obama’s signature initiative, their typically tedious weekly session turned hotly spirited. So the Clinton White House veterans — John D. Podesta, a former senior adviser; Steve Ricchetti, a Congressional lobbyist; and Chris Jennings, a health policy aide — homed in on their ultimate lesson of the failure 15 years ago, that there is a political cost to doing nothing.
In 1994, Democrats’ dysfunction over fulfilling a new president’s campaign promise contributed to the party’s loss of its 40-year dominance of Congress. Now that memory is being revived, and it is the message the White House and Congressional leaders will press when lawmakers return this week, still divided and now spooked after the turbulent town-hall-style meetings, downbeat polls and distortions of August.
Republicans early on united behind the lesson they took from the past struggle, that they stand to gain politically in next year’s elections if Democrats do nothing. But the Democrats’ version similarly resonates with all party factions, giving Mr. Obama perhaps his best leverage to unify them to do something. In now-familiar financial parlance, this one is “too big to fail.”
“Certainly if you undercut your own leadership, that shortens the honeymoon and could possibly even cripple the administration,” said Representative Jim Cooper of Tennessee, a Democrat and member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition who opposed the Clinton plan and has criticized current efforts. “And no one here wants that.”
That 15-year-old lesson underscores how much the Clinton debacle has defined Mr. Obama’s drive for his domestic priority from the beginning, providing a tip sheet for what not to do. Even Mr. Obama’s decision to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night to jumpstart his health initiative left some aides wary, given the inevitable parallels with Mr. Clinton’s September address 16 years ago to introduce his ill-fated plan.
Before Mr. Obama was elected, advisers began debriefing Clinton veterans to draft “lessons learned” memorandums. According to interviews with more than a dozen participants in the debates then and now, those lessons have helped the president’s proposals progress further through Congress’s committees than the plan advocated by Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton did. All the while, the administration has held the tentative support of powerful associations for doctors, nurses, seniors, hospitals, drug makers and, as Mr. Obama recently put it, “even the insurance companies,” which did the most to defeat the Clintons.
But Mr. Obama’s performance has also raised questions about whether the administration has drawn too much from some lessons and underestimated some hurdles unique to today’s battle.
The losses of two important confidants — former Senator Tom Daschle’s withdrawal as Mr. Obama’s choice for health and human services secretary amid a tax controversy, and Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s long illness and death — have been “incalculable” setbacks for pushing legislation through Congress, said a top aide to Mr. Obama. Neither the House nor the Senate met his deadline for passing legislation before August.
Yet even if the administration did everything right, drafting legislation this complicated is never going to be easy.
“That period of defining the issue and developing the pieces and the resources to actually legislate is a relatively smooth river,” said Charles Kahn, an insurance industry lobbyist in the 1990s who now represents for-profit hospitals. Once Congress starts filling in the details, he continued, “then you hit the rapids. And they’ve hit the rapids now.”
Mr. Obama has two disadvantages that Mr. Clinton did not. The deep recession has stoked concerns about deficits, and moderate Republicans willing to cut deals are nearly extinct.
But Mr. Obama also has advantages flowing from his election by a 53 percent majority — the highest number for a Democrat since 1964 and 10 percentage points more than Mr. Clinton won. Congressional Democrats, while hardly of one mind, are still more unified behind him than they were behind Mr. Clinton, committee leaders are more respectful and Mr. Obama is richer in campaign money and grass-roots support.
Add to that, Democrats say, the benefits of the lessons of the Clinton era:
Lesson 1: Failure Is Not an Option.
As the Clinton-era veterans attest, and the Obama team is now arguing to Democrats, voting for a health bill might be difficult politically, but doing nothing at this point would be worse.
“When a party fails to govern, it fails electorally,” said Rahm Emanuel, a former Clinton aide who now is Mr. Obama’s chief of staff.
Lesson 2: Know your audience — insured taxpayers.
Even as a candidate, Mr. Obama showed that he was trying to avoid his predecessor’s mistakes...
The former trooper, James B. Fowler, was indicted in May 2007 in the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson, who was shot to death 44 years ago during a civil rights protest in western Alabama.
A trial date for Mr. Fowler seems to be nowhere in sight because of feuding between the prosecutor and the judge.
Civil rights advocates worry that delays could jeopardize the case because elderly witnesses could die...
... On Feb. 18, 1965, Mr. Fowler was one of several state troopers patrolling a night march by voting rights advocates in Marion. They were marching to the Perry County Jail to protest the arrest of one of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s lieutenants, the Rev. James Orange, for organizing blacks to try to vote.
Mr. Fowler has maintained that he fired because Mr. Jackson, who died eight days later, had hit him in the head with a bottle...
Almost 65 years later, on a recent late summer day, a 10-member Defense Department team was in the same pasture, searching through mounds of excavated mud for a trace of the airman. The group had already unearthed shreds of a parachute and part of a leather glove when one of the team’s forensic anthropologists, Allysha Powanda Winburn, found a crucial clue to the mystery: a small piece of what she called “possible osseous remains,” or potential human bone.
The real mystery, at least to the 77-year-old farmer who witnessed the crash at the age of 13, Hermann Reuter, was the group of Americans who had turned up in the pasture near his home in search of the pilot.
“Why after such a long time?” he asked, perplexed.
As nearly 200,000 United States troops fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, a little-known unit is engaged in the herculean and at times quixotic task of trying to account for more than 84,000 Americans still missing from the nation’s previous wars. Most of the effort has focused on those lost in Vietnam, but under pressure from families, the military has paid new attention in the past two years to a vast majority of the missing — some 74,000 — still unaccounted for in Europe and the Pacific during World War II.
On Thursday afternoon about 30 people gathered in Fort Greene for a bus tour of the Navy Yard, going past its gates and back in time to learn its place in American history — and hear plans for its future.
Sponsored by the Fort Greene Park Conservancy, the expedition was a two-part event: a tour of the Navy Yard, followed by a reception with poetry and music.
During the nearly two-hour bus tour, participants were able to see and hear stories about the old buildings on the property, a dry dock and the Commandant’s House, among other things...
... Started in 1801 and sitting at 300 acres, the yard was instrumental in shipbuilding during the Civil War and World Wars I and II. It was there that the USS Maine was built; it was later blown up in Havana, Cuba, helping to move public opinion in support of the Spanish-American War.
The Navy Yard was also the birthplace of the USS Connecticut, which served as the flagship for the Great White Fleet, the ships sent around the world in the early 1900s to demonstrate the nation’s naval power.
The yard was a hubbub of frantic activity during World War II, as ships were built and repaired for the war effort and the nearby waterfront was packed with ships loading and unloading troops.
Not much is known about him, much less about his murder. His body was hastily buried and has never been found. A weapon was recovered, but it vanished. The only account of the crime is secondhand, pieced together from a few witnesses, some of whom might have harbored a grudge. The chief suspects were singled out because of racial profiling but were never questioned. No one was ever prosecuted.
It was on Sept. 6, 1609 — 400 years ago Sunday — when this, the first recorded murder in what became metropolitan New York, was committed. Colman was killed only four days after the first Dutch and English sailors arrived.
“There’s a reason it’s still a cold case,” said Detective Michael J. Palladino, president of the city detectives’ union, mulling the scant evidence that remains today.
Some 300 people have been murdered in the city so far in 2009. Typically, half the homicides are solved in the first year and 20 percent the year after. Relatively few are solved decades after they occur, although some are. So it’s about time modern police brains were brought to bear on the murder of John Colman. Some detectives gamely agreed to apply their skills to the case during interviews.
In addition to Detective Palladino, they were Joseph A. Pollini, who commanded the Police Department’s cold case homicide squad and now teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and William McNeely, a Manhattan South homicide detective. A couple of historians were consulted to add context.
The facts as they are known (maybe):
Colman was an accomplished sailor, one of a handful of Englishmen in Henry Hudson’s largely Dutch crew of 16. They sailed into New York Harbor early that September on the 85-foot-long Half Moon, searching for a Northwest Passage to Asia, and anchored somewhere between Coney Island and Sandy Hook...
... “He was English, the crew was Dutch,” said Detective McNeely. “You couldn’t rule anybody out. We’d detain everybody, including the injured sailors. You couldn’t just take the word of somebody else. They could say he was attacked by Indians; it would be easy to make that up. I don’t know if that’s racial profiling, but it’s definitely scapegoating.”
Colman’s murder inspired a poem by Thomas Frost:
Then prone he fell within the boat,
A flinthead arrow through his throat!
Also, a mural in the Hudson County Courthouse in Jersey City.
“They say a picture is worth a thousand words,” Detective Palladino said. “If we could force that picture to talk, we could crack the case.”
The bill, which would designate Milk’s birthday, May 22, a day of “special significance,” was passed by both houses of the Democratic-controlled Legislature this week and immediately drew a news conference in opposition and an outpouring of phone calls, e-mail messages and faxes to Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican.
SOURCE: NYT (9-3-09)
It is a race against time. The investigators, from the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, are tapping into the memories of a dwindling number of survivors as they pursue their mission of examining some of modern Korea’s most traumatic moments. They also face the possibility that their mandate, which expires next year, could be ended or drastically curtailed under the conservative government of President Lee Myung-bak.
What they are finding as they dig up the remains at Kwangamri, 175 miles south of Seoul, is physical evidence that backs up once suppressed stories of atrocities during the 1950-53 war...
SOURCE: NYT (9-3-09)
Perched above 10,000 feet in the icy reaches of the eastern Himalayas, the town of Tawang is not only home to one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most sacred monasteries, but is also the site of a huge Indian military buildup. Convoys of army trucks haul howitzers along rutted mountain roads. Soldiers drill in muddy fields. Military bases appear every half-mile in the countryside, with watchtowers rising behind concertina wire.
A road sign on the northern edge of town helps explain the reason for all the fear and the fury: the border with China is just 23 miles away; Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, 316 miles; and Beijing, 2,676 miles...
... Though little known to the outside world, Tawang is the biggest tinderbox in relations between the world’s two most populous nations. It is the focus of China’s most delicate land-border dispute, a conflict rooted in Chinese claims of sovereignty over all of historical Tibet...
The roots of the conflict go back to China’s territorial claims to Tibet, an enduring source of friction between China and many foreign nations. China insists that this section of northeast India has historically been part of Tibet, and should be part of China.
Tawang is a thickly forested area of white stupas and steep, terraced hillsides that is home to the Monpa people, who practice Tibetan Buddhism, speak a language similar to Tibetan and once paid tribute to rulers in Lhasa. The Sixth Dalai Lama was born here in the 17th century. The Chinese Army occupied Tawang briefly in 1962, during a war with India fought over this and other territories along the 2,521-mile border.
More than 3,100 Indian soldiers and 700 Chinese soldiers were killed and thousands wounded in the border war. Memorials here highlighting Chinese aggression in Tawang are big draws for Indian tourists.
“The entire border is disputed,” said Ma Jiali, an India scholar at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, a government-supported research group in Beijing. “This problem hasn’t been solved, and it’s a huge barrier to China-India relations.”
In some ways, Tawang has become a proxy battleground, too, between China and the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of the Tibetans, who passed through this valley when he fled into exile in 1959. From his home in the distant Indian hill town of Dharamsala, he wields enormous influence over Tawang. He appoints the abbot of the powerful monastery and gives financial support to institutions throughout the area. Last year, the Dalai Lama announced for the first time that Tawang is a part of India, bolstering the India’s territorial claims and infuriating China.
Traditional Tibetan culture runs strong in Tawang. One morning in June, the monastery held a religious festival that drew hundreds from the nearby villages. As red-robed monks chanted sutras, blew horns and swung incense braziers in the monastery courtyard, the villagers jostled each other to be blessed by the senior lamas.
At the monastery, an important center of Tibetan learning, monks express rage over Chinese rule in Tibet, which the Chinese Army seized in 1951...
SOURCE: NYT (9-2-09)
Now, just in time for the centennial anniversary, a historian has found the pieces of paper that started the great Cook-Peary polar controversy: Cook’s hand-written drafts of the telegrams that he sent to the Herald and to a European observatory from Lerwick, the capital of the Shetland Islands. The papers’ discovery is being reported in the October issue of the Polar Record, by Robert M. Bryce, who describes the papers as “nothing less than the ur-text of this controversy, the literary equivalent of the ‘Face that Launched a Thousand Ships.’ ”
Mr. Bryce, the author of the 1997 book, “Cook & Peary: The Polar Controversy, Resolved,” is a research librarian with a singular knack for recovering artifacts from Cook’s expeditions. He previously found an uncropped version of a famous photograph of Cook’s purportedly taken at “the top of the continent,” the summit of Mount McKinley — but which Mr. Bryce identified as a spot 15,000 feet below the summit, at about the altitude of Denver. Mr. Bryce found more evidence of fraud at McKinley by digging up the previously unseen diary of Cook’s climbing companion. And after unearthing a copy of a diary kept by Cook on the supposed trip to the North Pole, Mr. Bryce concluded that Cook’s polar expedition was also a “premeditated hoax.”
Name of source: The Nation
SOURCE: The Nation (9-2-09)
Mileston is part of Holmes County, which happens to be the poorest county in the poorest state in the Union. Less cotton means fewer jobs at the cotton gin; alternative cash crops with shorter growing cycles have similarly reduced the need for labor in the field, much of which is now provided by migrant workers. The Mississippi Delta region is also the national epicenter of obesity, with all its attendant health complications.
But Mileston itself possesses a rich cultural history as fundamental to its identity as its red earth. It was conceived as an experiment in cooperative living during the Depression and came into its own as a result of collective action in the '60s. The wisdom accrued by past generations has informed the community's idea to grow and distribute its own food through a farmers' market program.
Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Resettlement Administration, vast tracts of land were purchased from wealthy landowners, outfitted to facilitate a communal--some might say socialist--agrarian culture and then populated with poor people. In Mileston, black sharecroppers otherwise consigned to eking out a subsistence on the land of white plantation owners were transplanted to plots as large as 100 acres, which--with hard work, technical guidance and financial assistance in the form of low-interest loans--they could eventually purchase from the government.
By the 1950s, most of the tenants had become landowners, and Mileston was firmly established as an all-black resettlement community, one of thirteen in America. Head's grandparents Robert and Pecolia were among these first landowners. His grandfather, a carpenter, built the town's community center, now in ruins.
While deteriorating economic conditions and discriminatory practices by the white power structure whittled away at black ownership of land in the decades that followed, African-Americans continue to constitute 75 percent of Mileston's population and own more than 70 percent of its land. In addition Mileston retains a community-oriented ethic that distinguishes it even from nearby Tchula. "Just four miles down the road," insists the Rev. Tom Collins, who participates in the farmers' market program and whose small congregation is based in Tchula, "and you talk to people, and their ideology is totally different from what's down here. Totally different."
Members of the West Holmes Community Development Organization (WHCDO) got together and brainstormed the idea for the farmers' market in 2000. With the cooperation of the State of Mississippi, they created a program that enlists high school students to plant and harvest vegetable crops on land donated by farmers in the area. Residents enrolled in the USDA's Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program can now redeem their vouchers for organic produce. The students learn how to assess their market, set prices and keep a tally of what's sold each day. At the end of the season, the farmers split the proceeds with the young entrepreneurs...
Name of source: Time
SOURCE: Time (9-6-09)
... Warrior Mind Training is the brainchild of Ernst and two friends, who were teaching meditation and mind-training in California. In 2005, a Marine attended a class in San Diego and suggested expanding onto military bases. Ernst and her colleagues researched the military mindset, consulting with veterans who had practiced meditation on the battlefield and back home. She also delved into the science behind mind training to analyze how meditation tactics could help treat — and maybe even help prevent — post-traumatic stress disorder.
Rooted in the ancient Samurai code of self-discipline, Warrior Mind Training draws on the image of the mythic Japanese fighter, an elite swordsman who honed his battle skills along with his mental precision. The premise? Razor-sharp attention plus razor-sharp marksmanship equals fearsome warrior...
SOURCE: Time (9-4-09)
Turkey and Armenia have been bitter enemies for almost a century, their tensions stemming from the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Armenians in 1915 at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish army. Turkey has always denied that the killings constitute genocide. The two countries briefly shared an open border when an independent Armenia emerged from post-Soviet Russia in 1991, but two years later Turkey sealed the border in solidarity with Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over the contested enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Now one of Europe's last closed frontiers may finally be reopening again. On Sept. 1, Turkey and Armenia announced a Swiss-mediated six-week negotiation period aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations. The goal is for both parliaments to ratify a deal by Oct. 14 — when the two countries are scheduled to play a World Cup soccer qualifier. The border could then reopen by the end of the year.
There is much at stake. Securing the Caucasus region, veined with oil and gas pipelines, has become a priority for both Russia and the U.S. The Obama Administration has signaled that helping to rebuild Turkish-Armenian ties is a foreign-policy priority. But history is a potent saboteur in this part of the world, and talks have collapsed before under its weight. Already hard-liners in both countries are furiously denouncing the new peace plan.
Armenian nationalists criticize their government in Yerevan for not making Turkey's recognition of the 1915 genocide a precondition for diplomatic normalization. Instead, the new plan calls for a commission of Armenian, Turkish and international experts to be established to study historical records and promote mutual dialogue.
In 1915, the Ottoman Turkish army, fighting against Russia to maintain its territories, sent the region's Armenian population, based largely in the east, on a "death march" toward Syria. Armenians say 1.5 million were killed in the genocide. But Turkey rejects the term, maintaining that the expulsion was a wartime measure necessary to quash Armenian nationalists, who sided with the Russians. Turks refer to the events as tehcir — a little-used Arabic word that means mass deportation. The recently published records of Talat Pasha, an Ottoman Turkish minister during the war, show that over the course of 1915, the Armenian population in 30 Anatolian cities decreased by 924,000 people, and in at least five eastern cities that had Armenian populations of more than 50,000, there were no Armenians left by the end of the year...
Name of source: Breitbart
SOURCE: Breitbart (9-6-09)
Retired schoolteacher Shizuko Osaki said at a press conference, "I don't think we should go nuclear way even as a deterrence. It should be abolished altogether."
"Knowing how horrible and inhumane nuclear wars are, we appeal to world powers to stop using nuclear weapons, that is the motive for us to join this voyage," said the 69-year-old atomic bomb survivor.
Osaki was a 5-year-old living less than 5 kilometers from ground zero in Nagasaki when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki.
Her father, who had gone out for several days to help search for missing persons soon after the bomb was dropped, died about eight years later.
Unlike some survivors who suffered health problems due to exposure to radiation, Osaki has not been adversely affected.
Ten survivors along with about 500 other mostly Japanese passengers and some activists of nongovernmental organizations are traveling on the Peace Boat, which set sail from Yokohama last month for a global tour covering 21 countries aimed at promoting a nuclear-free world.
Name of source: Russia Today
SOURCE: Russia Today (9-5-09)
He also elaborated on Russia–US relations, cooperation with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the Iranian nuclear program, and many other international issues concerning Russia.
RT presents the full transcript of the address.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, good day.
Welcome to our regular briefing at the Russian Foreign Ministry. We have had a short pause in connection with the summer vacations and we are now resuming our work. We will share with you our information on the most pressing issues and problems of contemporary foreign policy.
Let me start with the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War Two.
Seventy years ago on September 1, 1939, the world saw the beginning of one of the greatest tragedies – the Second World War. The death toll was more than 50 million people, servicemen and civilians, with 27 million being citizens of the Soviet Union. It was one of the cruelest and bloodiest wars in the history of humanity.
This day we commemorate those killed in this war.
And, of course, we cannot help but raise the question of why it happened in the middle of the civilized 20th century and how it can be prevented in the future.
The main cause of the conflict was the aggressive nature of Nazism and the policy of the Axis countries. The invasion plans of fascist regimes throve on the conniving attitude of the leading world powers of that time who tried to solve the problem of their own security, as the Munich agreement showed, at the expense of other countries’ security and sovereignty. The atmosphere of mutual distrust and suspicion characteristic of Europe of that time also facilitated Hitler to take advantage of the wish of Western democracies to redirect aggression to the East.
Soviet policy was part of the political picture in Europe on the eve of World War Two and should not be considered separately. The only thing that was different is that Soviet diplomacy up to 1939 was more active and consistent than that of other countries in terms of its wish to counteract the aggression jointly. And this is not Moscow’s fault that it did not work out...
SOURCE: Russia Today (8-21-09)
The Russian delegation visited the place where the final shots of the Russian-Swedish war of 1808-1809 rang out, and laid flowers on Russian soldiers’ graves.
Aleksandr Kadakin, the Russian ambassador to Sweden, said that the end of the war marked the beginning of fruitful bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (9-6-09)
The ousting of Van Jones, a Left-wing activist appointed by Mr Obama as his "special adviser for green jobs", is a victory for Republicans and a sign of growing weakness within the White House.
It was a major scalp for the Fox News host Glenn Beck, who brought Mr Jones's past to prominence and for weeks has been citing his presence in the Obama administration as evidence that the president is guided by a cadre of radical lieutenants.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (9-6-09)
Francesca, about a Romanian who dreams of moving to Italy to open a kindergarten, screened twice at the Venice film festival and was to have been shown in public cinemas in the area on Sunday and Monday.
Alessandra Mussolini, 45, lodged a complaint last week over the film, in which Francesca's father also refers to Verona Mayor Flavio Tosi as the "s--- mayor" of the northern city.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (9-4-09)
Götz Aly, the popular historian, accused black Allied soldiers of the systematic rape of German women during the Second World War.
He also dismissed their contribution to defeating the Nazis on the grounds that they were forced to fight.
Mr Aly, the author of the controversial Hitler's Beneficiaries, made the remarks during a press conference at "The Third World in the Second World War", a Berlin exhibition aimed at recognising the role of thousands of Africans and Asians in defeating Nazism.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (9-4-09)
Her parents had given her a gold pocket watch, golden bracelet, and a set of three silver knives, forks and spoons from her grandmother " so as to not send me out empty-handed".
Back in Prague her father lost his business, they were forced to wear the yellow star of St David and were eventually deported to Terezin, a concentration camp outside the city.
After the war she discovered her family's fate.
"They were gassed on arrival at Auschwitz," she said.
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (9-3-09)
But new research is showing that advanced Stone Age tools got to Europe close to the time they reached other sites outside of Africa.
In a letter published today in Nature, two archaeologists have shown that axes from southeastern Spain are from 900,000 years ago, much older than had been believed.
That would mean it took about 600,000 years for the new ax-making technique to get to Europe.
Name of source: Scotsman
SOURCE: Scotsman (9-3-09)
Last month, archaeologists working on excavations at the Links of Noltland – one of Orkney's richest ancient sites – found a tiny sandstone figurine buried in the mud. The face and its lozenge-shaped body, measuring just 3.5 x 3cm, had been carved on Westray between 4,500 and 5,000 years ago.
The excavations had been due to be wound up for the season at the end of this week. But Historic Scotland yesterday announced that, following the discovery of the figurine, it had been decided to extend this year's excavations until the end of the month.
And it was also revealed that at least one other potentially significant discovery has already been made – a line of cattle skulls found embedded in the remains of a wall of a Neolithic farmhouse.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (9-6-09)
The 422-year-old manuscript - written six hours before her execution - will go on show at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh on 15 September.
The letter, which will be displayed for seven days, was written on 8 February, 1587 to the King of France, Henri III.
The Catholic Queen told her brother-in-law she would die a religious martyr and not for purely political reasons.
SOURCE: BBC (9-6-09)
The government has been criticised for its closer ties with Libya by victims of the IRA, which was supplied with explosives by Tripoli.
Mr Brown insisted his government's priority had been to ensure Libya renounced terror and nuclear weapons.
Opposition MPs said the prime minister's "U-turn" undermined his authority and made Britain look weak.
Sir Nicholas Winton, 100, was at London's Liverpool Street station to welcome passengers at the end of their steam train journey from Prague.
It marks the 70th anniversary of trains organised by Sir Nicholas that carried 669 mostly Jewish children to the UK.
Twenty-two of the original evacuees took part in the anniversary journey.
SOURCE: BBC (9-3-09)
For five years, SS Oberscharfuehrer Rochus Misch had been part of Adolf Hitler's inner circle, as a bodyguard, a courier and telephone operator to the Fuehrer.
Rochus Misch is the last survivor of the Hitler bunker. He is the final witness of the drama that took place there on 30 April 1945. It was the day Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide.
Mr Misch fled Hitler's bunker just hours before it was seized by the Red Army. But he was quickly captured and spent the next nine years in Soviet labour camps. The captured "Fuehrerbunker" became a symbol of the Allies' victory in World War II.
Two months after the end of the war, Winston Churchill visited it. He posed for photos outside, sitting on a chair recovered from the shelter. In later years, the bunker was blown up to stop it becoming a Nazi shrine.
Gerald of Wales trekked more than 500 miles (804.5km) in 1188, primarily to recruit soldiers for the third crusade in the Middle East.
A copy of his "Journey through Wales" has been lent to The National Museum in Cardiff by The British Library.
The exhibition is about Wales' links to the Holy Land during the crusades.
SOURCE: BBC (9-3-09)
Bijan Moghbel's project saw him produce a computerised depiction of the face of William Burke, the 19th Century killer and partner of William Hare.
The pair are thought to have killed more than a dozen people before selling their bodies on for medical research.
The face was created using Burke's death mask. He was hanged in 1829 after Hare testified against him in court.
He was in Hitler's Berlin bunker when the Fuehrer committed suicide.
Brigitta only has one photograph of her father cradling her as a baby. Then, rather abruptly, his face disappears from the family album and from her childhood.
On escaping from Hitler's bunker he was captured by the Red Army. Along with hundreds of thousands of other German POWs, he was then transported east to the Soviet Gulag.
Brigitta remembers how German radio would broadcast lists of prisoners who had been released from Russia and were on their way home. Her mother would sit by the radio at night hoping to hear Rochus' name.
Father and daughter seemed to have little in common. They argued. Then Brigitta's maternal grandmother let her into an amazing secret: Brigitta's mother was Jewish.
Name of source: Foxnews
SOURCE: Foxnews (9-5-09)
Justice Secretary Jack Straw said trade, particularly a deal for oil company BP PLC, was "a very big part" of the 2007 negotiations that led to the prisoner deal. The agreement was part of a wider warming of relations between London and Tripoli.
Although he was not released under the prisoner transfer agreement, opposition politicians, and many victims' families, claim business considerations influenced the decision to free him.
Name of source: Drudge Report
SOURCE: Drudge Report (9-5-09)
Adolf Hitler sex video condemned by Aids charities
Name of source: MailOnline (Daily Mail UK)
SOURCE: MailOnline (Daily Mail UK) (9-4-09)
Occasionally, you'll see him scoop out a gunge-covered scrap and gently lay it in his bucket.
Harmless eccentric, you might think, but you'd be wrong. Sometimes, the Thames reveals some extraordinary oddities.
Most recently, it was a 17th century prisoner's ball and chain, discovered by one of the river's treasure hunters - or mudlarks.
There was no sign of the prisoner who once must have worn it, but it caused a flurry of excitement among those who specialise in uncovering the river's long-lost treasures.
Anthony Pilson knows better than most that there's more to the muddy Thames than meets the eye.
Over the past 30 years, Anthony, 76, has plucked thousands of treasures, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, from the river's silt and clay.
And now, in an unprecedented act of generosity, this humble man - home is a bedsit in Hampstead, North London - has handed his collection, delivered in a suitcase, holdall and plastic bag, to the Museum of London.
Name of source: Politico
SOURCE: Politico (9-3-09)
By extension, MSNBC, where Buchanan is a commentator, has taken heat for promoting the column on its website. In the revisionist piece -- "Did Hitler Want War?" -- Buchanan argues that other countries, such as Poland, should be held responsible for the invasion, and later escalation of World War II. Hitler, he claims, wanted peace and wasn't out for world conquest.
David A. Harris, President of the National Jewish Democratic Council, condemned MSNBC's promotion of the "deplorable" column and urged that it be removed from MSNBC.com.
Well, now the network has pulled it. (Indeed, the old link is dead).
Name of source: Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (9-4-09)
It is the moment that anyone who has ever watched "Antiques Roadshow," or one of it's many imitators around the world, has dreamed of. The moment you present the old painting you found behind some shelves in the garage and you are told by experts it is a long lost cultural treasure, worth hundreds of thousands.
This is exactly what happened recently on German television show "Kunst und Krempel" -- literally "art and junk" -- which estimates the value of antique items found by Germans. Only the news wasn't all positive. After watching the show in November, a viewer from Munich called the local police to tell them that he thought he had seen some stolen art appear on the show.
He had recognized a piece of art, valued at up to €100,000 ($143,000) that had once been stolen by the Nazis. The last known owner was most likely Adolf Hitler himself.
The art in question was a 17th century painting, named "Sermon on the Mount" by the Flemish baroque painter Frans Francken the Younger. And this week, Munich's State Office of Criminal Investigation announced that it was officially looking into the case. It was calling on members of the public who might know how the valuable piece ended up on TV to come forward...
... This is not the first time that stolen art has shown up on Antiques Roadshow-style series around the world. In 2007, in the US, a painting found in the garbage in New York was identified as a stolen masterpiece by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo worth $1 million after it featured on the American version of the show. And in the Britain, a Sotheby's auction of a painting, by American artist Winslow Homer, first spotted on "Antique Roadshow" was called off in May this year. This was due to a dispute over whether the artwork, valued at around £100,000 (€114,000), was stolen or not.
Name of source: The Wall Street Journal
SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal (9-5-09)
U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said the U.K. didn't pressure Scotland to free Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the 1988 bombing of a Pan-Am flight that killed 270 people. He has strenuously denied accusations by political opponents that a deal to release Mr. al-Megrahi was made to facilitate the U.K.'s oil interests in Libya.
Name of source: Sofia News Agency
SOURCE: Sofia News Agency (9-3-09)
The remains of human bones were found inside one of two bronze crosses as the archaeologists were excavating two churches.
One of the crosses is larger and has an life-like image of the crucified Jesus Christ on its front, and an image of Virgin Mary praying on its back. It is dated back to 10-11th century.
The second cross is smaller, with geometrical motives, dated to 5th-7th century AD, and it is inside it that the archaeologists found the remains of human bones.
"These are broken and decayed bones, most definitely of a saint. We will never learn which saint they belonged to, there are no inscriptions or signs whatsoever," Professor Ovcharov said as quoted by BGNES.
He underscored the fact that Perperikon, the ancient Thracian city, had later become one of the most important centers of Christianity in the entire region. One of the two churches discovered at Perperikon is the oldest in the region, dated back to 4th and 5th centuries, the rules of Emperor Arcadius (395-408 AD) in the Eastern Roman Empire, and Emperor Honorius (395-423 AD) in the Western Roman Empire, after the division of the Roman Empire in 395 AD.
This coincides with the mission of Bishop Niketa of Remesiana (lived 335-414 AD) who started to convert the population in the Rhodoppes to Christianity in 393-398 AD.
Ovcharov's hypothesis is that the church at Perperikon was the first church of Bishop Niketa in that region.
Name of source: CNN
Standing 8 meters (26 feet) high, the wall of huge cut stones is a marvel to archaeologists.
It was found inside the City of David, an archaeological excavation site outside the Old City of East Jerusalem on a slope of the Silwan Valley.
The wall is believed to have been built by the Canaanites, an ancient pagan people who the Bible says inhabited Jerusalem and other parts of the Middle East before the advent of monotheism.
The man, a native-born U.S. citizen who was once a college football star, was held and interrogated by the FBI for 16 days in 2003 and his travel was limited for another year, court documents said.
Abdullah al-Kidd's lawyers claimed Ashcroft developed a policy under which the FBI and Justice Department would use the federal material witness law as a pretext "to arrest and detain terrorism suspects about whom they did not have sufficient evidence to arrest on criminal charges but wished to hold preventatively or to investigate further."
It's extremely unlikely, but the Obama administration is taking its first steps along a path that could lead in that direction, with the investigation of Central Intelligence Agency interrogators involved in the war on terror.
The probe will focus on whether interrogators exceeded their instructions and broke the law when, for example, they choked a prisoner until he lost consciousness or threatened another one with a gun and a power drill.
Republicans immediately criticized the new investigation and even some Democrats said it would be unpopular.
A Treasury Department statement on Thursday said the Office of Foreign Assets Control amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations to implement President Barack Obama's April 13 initiative.
The change was made to "reach out to the Cuban people in support of their desire to freely determine their country's future, promote greater contact between separated family members in the United States and Cuba, and increase the flow of remittances and information to the Cuban people," the statement said.
Obama's move was considered a significant shift in a U.S. policy that had remained largely unchanged for nearly half a century.
Name of source: NPR
SOURCE: NPR (9-4-09)
It was the reception his story ultimately received in the United States.
"It was quite mysterious to me," Anderson says."All of a sudden, it became clear that they were going to run the article but they were going to try to bury it under a rock as much as they possibly could."
Anderson, 50, is an accomplished reporter and novelist who has written previously for Harper's Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, and Vanity Fair.
His investigative piece, published in the September American edition of GQ, challenges the official line on a series of bombings that killed hundreds of people in 1999 in Russia. It profiles a former KGB agent who spoke in great detail and on the record, at no small risk to himself. But instead of trumpeting his reporting, GQ's corporate owners went to extraordinary lengths to try to ensure no Russians will ever see it...
... A Taboo Topic
To understand why Conde Nast might have reacted the way it did, it's worth remembering the subject of the report — and the context in which it is now being written. Back in September 1999, Chechen terrorists were blamed for the attacks. The new prime minister, Vladimir Putin, emerged from the shadows and consolidated power. A crackdown ensued and a second war was launched against Chechnya. Putin took over from President Boris Yeltsin soon after the new year.
Chechen separatists have been known to commit deadly terrorist acts. Hundreds of Russians were killed after the takeover of a school in Beslan, Russia, while more than 100 other people died at a Moscow theater after a siege by Russian forces seeking to liberate it from Chechen gunmen.
But in today's Russia, says Nina Ognianova, the program director for Europe and Central Asia at the Committee to Protect Journalists, the origin of the 1999 bombings is a taboo topic. And she says Russian authorities often turn up the heat on reporters who stray into unwelcome terrain.
"You can be sued for defamation — but you don't even have to be sued. You can be audited," Ognianova says."Politicized audits are a big hurdle for publications that dare to publish sensitive topics." ...
... Anderson had never hidden his subject from editors at GQ when they approached him to write something about Russia. His ensuing six-page story centered on Mikhail Trepashkin — a former KGB agent who had investigated the bombings. Trepashkin spoke at length about the inconsistencies in the case — and about possible links between the bombings and to the security agency that Putin once headed. Trepashkin himself has ties to a controversial Russian billionaire and recently spent several years in jail before being released. But Amnesty International said he had been treated unjustly and said the charges against him appeared to be politically motivated.
"Here's a guy who spent four years in prison on a trumped-up, really rather silly charge (that) was a direct result of the investigative effort he's made on these bombings," Anderson says."Now he's out — he's certainly kind of walking around with a bullseye on his back — and yet is still willing to tell the story."
"I think it's really kind of sad," Anderson says."Here now is finally an outlet for this story to be told, and you do everything possible to throw a tarp over it."
GQ editors were also told not to promote the story, but in an act of quiet defiance, the magazine sought publicity for Anderson's article from a few news outlets, including NPR's All Things Considered...
Name of source: Rasmussen Reports
SOURCE: Rasmussen Reports (9-4-09)
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 20% say the same of Senator Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy, who died of cancer on August 25 after serving for nearly 47 years in the U.S. Senate.
Only four percent (4%) say Robert F. "Bobby" Kennedy, who served as attorney general in his brother's Cabinet and was a U.S. senator when he was assassinated in 1968 while running for president, had the most positive and lasting impact of the three brothers.
But of the three, Bobby earns the highest favorables, with 74% of Americans expressing a positive opinion of him.
Sixty-two percent (62%) have a favorable opinion of JFK. Forty-seven percent (47%) have a positive view of youngest brother Ted.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (9-3-09)
Researchers are carrying out DNA tests on blood samples from hundreds of spear tips and arrowheads dug up with bone fragments and smashed pottery at the summit of the El Tigre pyramid in the Mayan city of El Mirador, buried beneath jungle vegetation 5 miles (8 km) from Guatemala's border with Mexico.
Many of the excavated blades are made of obsidian which the archeologists have traced to a source hundreds of miles away in the Mexican highlands. They believe the spears belonged to warriors from Teotihuacan, an ancient civilization near Mexico City and an ally of Tikal, which was an enemy city of El Mirador.
"We've found over 200 of the obsidian tips alone, as well as flint ones, indicating there was a tremendous battle," said excavation leader Richard Hansen, a senior scientist in Idaho State University's anthropology department who is pushing the pyramid battle theory.
"It looks like this was the final point of defense for a small group of inhabitants," told Reuters.
El Mirador is one of the biggest ancient cities in the Western Hemisphere and is thought to have been home to between 100,000 and 200,000 people at its height. Historians believe it was built up from around 850 BC and flourished for hundreds of years before it was mysteriously abandoned in 150 AD...
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (9-2-09)
When President Obama addresses a joint session of Congress next Wednesday to push for health care reform, the speech will come nearly 16 years after President Bill Clinton delivered his own address to Congress on the very same topic.
Clinton's push for health care reform ultimately failed, but in the short term, his speech in September 1993 succeeded: Afterward, polling showed the country somewhat open to Clinton's call for mandatory insurance coverage purchased and supplied through tightly regulated Health Maintenance Organizations.
Obama's speech, however, will occur after a summer of discontent driven by raucous town hall events, resulting in deepening public opposition to Obama's health care plans and newfound skepticism about his ability to lead.
The last thing this year's debate needs is another Obama speech, said Doug Schoen, who took over polling for Clinton after the GOP landslide of 1994 that propelled Republicans to leadership of the House and Senate for the first time in 40 years.
"I think he's out of touch with what he needs to do," Schoen said. "I don't think he needs another speech. I don't think it's a question of oration. I think it's a question of the bill, the agreement, showing presidential leadership in getting the Democrats and Republicans in Congress, and their leadership, to the White House to hammer out an agreement that works in the interest of the American people."
Clinton's address, on Sept. 22, 1993, sought to galvanize a Congress led by Democrats behind a 1,000-page bill that his White House health care task force, led by then-first lady Hillary Clinton, produced to deal with rising health care costs and 37 million uninsured residents.
The circumstances of Obama's address are similar -- but with a big difference: Clinton's speech came at the beginning of the process...
Name of source: CNSNews.com
SOURCE: CNSNews.com (9-3-09)
The flight originated in New Jersey and was bound for northern California when it was hijacked by members of the al-Qaida terrorist group.
The motorcycle caravan will retrace the flight's intended path. It leaves Newark Liberty International Airport Thursday morning and is scheduled to arrive in San Francisco on the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
SOURCE: CNSNews.com (9-3-09)
O'Malley wrote on his blog Wednesday he strongly disagrees with his critics. He notes Kennedy had written to Pope Benedict XVI to acknowledge his failure to always be a faithful Catholic and ask for prayers as he faced brain cancer.
Name of source: Truthout
SOURCE: Truthout (9-1-09)
The negotiations, set for Sept. 17, will follow the resumption in July of talks on the legal immigration of Cubans to the U.S., according to the officials. The two sides agreed on the two sets of discussions in late May, a month after President Barack Obama eased travel and financial restrictions on Americans with family members in Cuba...
... Obama wants to improve relations with Cuba and has taken several steps to gauge the Cuban leaderships' interest in doing so, including supporting a recent decision by the Organization of American States to revoke Cuba's 1962 suspension from the 34-country group.
But he has also said the U.S. embargo on the country enacted in 1960 will not be lifted until Cuba enacts democratic and economic reforms, such as freeing political prisoners and allowing freedom of speech. Several U.S. lawmakers have proposed intermediate measures, such as ending the ban on travel to Cuba by all Americans.
Name of source: The Daily Beast
SOURCE: The Daily Beast (9-3-09)