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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: Live Science
SOURCE: Live Science (10-5-09)
Now, a group of historians has used caches of buried coins to provide an answer to this question.
During the Republican period of Rome (about the fifth to the first centuries B.C), adult male citizens of Rome could be taxed and conscribed into the army and were also given the right to vote. To keep track of this section of the population (and their taxable assets), the Roman state conducted periodic censuses...
... To help put an end to the debate, University of Connecticut theoretical biologist Peter Turchin and Stanford University ancient historian Walter Scheidel focused on the region's prevalence of coin hoards, those bundles of buried treasure that people hid to protect their savings during times of great violence and political strife. If the people who hid these bundles were killed or driven off, they wouldn't have been able to retrieve them, leaving them for archaeologists to find.
According to the researchers, mapping out the times when the coins were buried is a good indirect method for measuring the intensity of internal warfare and unrest, and therefore a key indicator of population demographics.
Name of source: Truthout
SOURCE: Truthout (10-5-09)
Rovere is charged with 120 counts of kidnapping and four homicides for his involvement in Argentina's "Dirty War." After the military coup on March 24, 1976, thousands of people were "disappeared" by Argentina's regime: kidnapped from their homes and offices, taken to clandestine prisons and tortured for information. Many were executed and what happened to their remains is unknown.
During 1976, Rovere was in charge of "anti-subversive" operations for the army in the city of Buenos Aires. The military took power amidst violence between paramilitaries, security forces and leftist guerilla organizations, promising to end violence and fight "subversion." In the army hierarchy, Rovere was two ranks below the ruling general, Jorge Videla.
Rovere was first indicted in 1985, shortly after democracy returned. His case was suspended when former President Carlos Menem pardoned Rovere and other senior officers in 1989 before the trial reached a verdict. In April 2004, however, a federal judge reopened Rovere's case, declaring that the pardon was unconstitutional under international law.
Since February, the court has heard from hundreds of witnesses in the case, meeting twice a week. Beginning in early September, federal prosecutor Felix Crous spent four days summarizing the evidence against Rovere and four of his subordinates who are also charged in the case: Bernardo José Menéndez, Teófilo Saa, Humberto Lobaiza and Felipe Alespeiti. Though no witnesses identified Rovere as their torturer or kidnapper, Crous has argued that Rovere was an essential component of the "anti-subversive" operations in Buenos Aires, coordinating activities of the police, the navy and the army. He has argued that Rovere's rank and circumstantial evidence "convincingly" establish Rovere's guilt. Crous spent two days summarizing more than 200 cases of kidnapping and disappearances that happened in Buenos Aires during Rovere's command.
Yesterday was the defense's turn.
Rovere's lawyers - father and son Norberto and Nicolas Giletta - took turns reading a prepared closing statement for four hours, in a mix of ideological, political, legal and factual arguments. Norberto Giletta, the father, was a judge during the dictatorship and a fierce defender of the military regime. While he was a judge, he ordered the arrest of Robert Cox, the former editor of the English-language Buenos Aires Herald, one of the few papers in Argentina that refused to cave to government threats and censorship. Human rights groups here have accused him of complicity in the violence of the 1970's for his role as a judge.
Norberto Giletta opened the defense with a charged, full frontal assault on victims in the case, telling the court that "we are here today because of leftist forces, national and international." To discredit the testimony against Rovere, he said that the vast majority of witnesses belonged to or had family members in "terrorist" organizations...
Name of source: CNSNews.com
SOURCE: CNSNews.com (10-2-09)
“On behalf of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), we write to ask that you immediately terminate all Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) under the 287(g) program and cease to establish such agreements,” reads the letter to President Obama.
“These agreements are the subject of serious concern as local law enforcement agencies have used the new powers to target communities of color, including a disproportionate number of Latinos, for arrest,” says the letter. “The 287(g) program, which was significantly expanded throughout the Bush Administration, relinquishes the power to enforce federal immigration laws to local law enforcement and corrections agencies. … The misuse of the 287(g) program by its current participants has rendered it ineffective and dangerous to community safety.”
The program, the 287 (g) section added to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, created a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security’s ICE and state and local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws.
Name of source: WSJ
SOURCE: WSJ (10-6-09)
The court's decision Monday effectively lifts a stay that has delayed the release of the documents since 2006, when four newspapers persuaded a Connecticut court to unseal them.
The materials were filed in 23 lawsuits against the Catholic diocese by parishioners during the 1990s, alleging that the church failed to supervise its priests and reassigned those suspected of abusing children. The cases were settled in 2001, as the Catholic abuse scandal grew in national prominence.
The sealed documents are said to include transcripts of depositions of church officials, including Cardinal Edward Egan, and files from the investigation of priests accused of abuse during the 1960s and 1970s. A 2002 article in the Hartford (Conn.) Courant described some of the documents, which the newspaper said it obtained from sources it didn't name.
The other newspaper plaintiffs were the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Washington Post.
Name of source: Department of Foreign Affairs
SOURCE: Department of Foreign Affairs (10-5-09)
Philippine Consul General to San Francisco Marciano A. Paynor, Jr. and Fil-Am Board of Education Commissioner Hydra Mendoza, representing San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, cut the ceremonial ribbon officially marking the start of Filipino American History Month.
Earlier in the program, California State Senator Leland Yee spoke on his long years of collaboration and friendship with the Bay Area Filipino American community. Last month, Senator Yee authored and steered in the California State Legislature the passage of a bill that gave recognition to the role played by Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the history and development of the United States.
Name of source: DeSoto Times Tribune
SOURCE: DeSoto Times Tribune (10-4-09)
Tom Ronk, of Jefferson City, Mo., presided over the 55-foot replica of the keelboat that carried Lewis and Clark as far as they could navigate on river before embarking overland.
The replica was trucked to the site from St. Charles, Mo., where it stays dry-docked for most of the year.
"I've always loved history," Ronk said. "What better way to educate young people than something like this which they can see, feel and touch and hopefully learn about."
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (10-4-09)
But the general’s closest associates say that underneath the surface of good relations, the celebrity commander faces a new reality in Mr. Obama’s White House: He is still at the table, but in a very different seat.
No longer does the man who oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have one of the biggest voices at National Security Council meetings, as he did when Mr. Bush gave him 20 minutes during hourlong weekly sessions to present his views in live video feeds from Baghdad. No longer is the general, with the Capitol Hill contacts and web of e-mail relationships throughout Washington’s journalism establishment, testifying in media explosions before Congress, as he did in September 2007, when he gave 34 interviews in three days...
SOURCE: NYT (10-3-09)
... Barry Bowlus, a lifelong Chicagoan, likened the Olympic defeat to the city’s fire of 1871, which, while enormously devastating at the time, also made way for the re-creation of Chicago. “We’ll rise from the ashes this time, too,” Mr. Bowlus said.
“I like our status as Second City,” he added. “It’s more humble. That’s where we should be.”
In fact, the city (the nation’s third most populous, behind New York and Los Angeles) had made failed bids for the Olympics before, even being awarded the Games in 1904 only for them to be held, ultimately, in St. Louis. (St. Louis, the host of a world’s fair that same year, apparently worried that two international events in the Midwest would dilute the fair’s draw and pressed Olympic organizers to move it.) Even then, said Peter Alter, a curator at the Chicago History Museum, “Chicago moved on from that without a problem, without really noticing.”...
SOURCE: NYT (10-3-09)
But, Mr. Railton went on, “men of color only infrequently made it to positions of responsibility.” Usually they ended their voyages with little to show for their work.
William A. Martin was an exception. The grandson of a woman once kept as a slave in Chilmark, he went to sea as a boy and, according to accounts from the time, immediately stood out for his skill and pluck, and for being literate. By 1878, he was a ship’s master, the only African-American whaling captain from the island and, historians say, one of the few anywhere in the United States. By 1890, when he returned to land for good, he had commanded three whaling ships.
Today, though, his story is little known. His gravestone in an old burial ground on the island of Chappaquiddick, at the east end of Martha’s Vineyard, says nothing of his eminence at sea. The nearby house where he lived stands empty. Though it is only a few yards from Chappaquiddick’s only paved road, the house is so well hidden by cedar trees and bushes that few people notice it.
Now, its future is uncertain.
Tom Doyle said he and his wife, Amy Goldberg, physicians in Providence, R.I., bought the house and its quarter-acre lot for $350,000 in 2006, in hopes of restoring it and getting it listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
“It was a small house that needed a lot of work, and the price started to be within reach,” Dr. Doyle said. “I am not African-American, and I have never been on a whaling ship — but I like history, and it had this evocative feel.”
But on a recent visit to the house, he recalled what happened when he brought a contractor to look at the place. Restoration plans were “pie in the sky,” the builder declared. “He said, ‘I could take this thing down and put it in the dump for 25 grand,’ ” Dr. Doyle said.
Meanwhile, the couple had their second child. Their work schedules, his at the Veterans Affairs hospital and hers at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, were arduous. And they realized that family members and friends were not necessarily enthusiastic about the inconvenience of getting to Chappaquiddick, which is reachable only by a small ferry.
So they put the house on the market. The question is, will its next owner rise to the restoration challenge or, as may be more likely, take the contractor’s approach and use the lot for a new house?
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (10-4-09)
Digital literature, online scientific research and internet journalism that should have been saved in the nation's main libraries over the past five years may have been lost because ministers have failed to give them the legal power to copy and archive websites, the Guardian has learned.
Senior executives at the British Library and the National Library of Scotland (NLS) are dismayed that legislation giving them the right to collect online and digital material is still not in force, more than six years after it was passed by parliament.
The omission has meant the libraries – which are legally required to archive books, newspapers and journals – have failed to record online coverage of major events such as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the release of the Lockerbie bomber and the MPs' expenses scandal.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (10-5-09)
The museum has collected a selection of personal stories from veterans from Northern Ireland, describing their experiences in prison camps in Germany and the Far East.
Also on display is a large-scale model of the notorious Colditz Castle, the place where troublesome Allied officers who had escaped from other prisons were held.
The curators have also recreated a version of the famous "wooden horse" escape tunnel, which helped three British POWs break free from the Stalag Luft III camp in 1943.
But he said the developed world continued to export materialism - which he called "toxic spiritual rubbish" - to the continent.
Almost 200 bishops from 53 African states have gathered to discuss how the Catholic Church can help resolve the continent's social injustices and wars.
The Pope says he will attend as many of the working sessions of the synod as possible, his other duties permitting.
SOURCE: BBC (10-5-09)
The history was written by Professor Christopher Andrew, who insisted he was given complete access to MI5's files.
The Defence Of The Realm also reveals numerous attempts by politicians to use MI5 for their own ends.
Prof Andrew said it was not until 1971, when 100 Soviet diplomats were expelled from Britain, that MI5 contained KGB and Soviet bloc intelligence activities in the UK.
SOURCE: BBC (10-2-09)
In more recent times the red brick building has been used as a farm machinery workshop and store.
Prospective buyers have until Wednesday to submit sealed tenders with offers invited over £45,000.
SOURCE: BBC (10-2-09)
The denial came in a letter to the New York Times which had published the claim by US professor Dirk Vandewalle.
Meanwhile Megrahi, who still protests his innocence despite dropping his appeal against conviction, has put more material online in a bid to clear his name
On his website, Megrahi concentrates on the crucial evidence of a Maltese shopkeeper who said he sold the Libyan clothes which were later found wrapped around the bomb which destroyed Pan Am Flight 103
Operation Chariot, in 1942, took out vital German facilities in the French port of St Nazaire and played an important role in winning World War II.
The crew of HMS Cambeltown, filled with explosives, sailed from Falmouth and rammed the dry dock gates.
Five Victoria crosses were awarded for the attack.
They came from all generations of the military - veterans of World War II, serving men and women, and young military cadets - all gathered on London's South Bank to see the new memorial officially unveiled.
The bust gazing out across the Thames depicts Violette Szabo, one of Britain's more extraordinary under-cover agents.
Daughter of a French mother and English father, Violette grew up in Brixton, South London.
But when her husband was killed fighting in North Africa, she volunteered for under-cover operations in France.
SOURCE: BBC (10-1-09)
A car bomb hit a Jewish community centre, known as the AMIA, killing 85.
In a written statement, the judge said Mr Menem covered up what was called at the time "the Syrian connection". He has previously denied any wrongdoing.
At the start of the investigation, the spotlight had turned on an Argentine Syrian friend of the Menem family.
The judge accused Mr Menem of covering up and destroying evidence, and abusing his authority.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-5-09)
Auctioneers had hoped bids would top $6 million (£3.8 million) but the highest offer was only $3.7 million (£2.3 million).
Samson was the star attraction in a huge dinosaur auction at the Venetian hotel and casino.
About 50 other lots, including a duck-billed dinosaur, a pair of Einiosaurus skeletons and a 5-metre long fossilised fish, fetched $1.76 million (£1.1 million).
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-5-09)
"Lyuba" was sucked to her death in a muddy river bed. She was so well preserved that traces of her mother's milk remained in her belly when she was discovered three years ago by nomadic reindeer herders.
Lyuba is to be the star of a mammoths-and-mastodons exhibition at Chicago's Field Museum, due to open in March.
Lyuba appeared to be in perfect health when she died and researchers found sediment and mud in her mouth, trunk and throat which indicates that she suffocated while struggling to free herself from a mud hole or slurry.
She is intact enough to yield DNA, but "no one is on the threshold of cloning at this point", said Prof Fisher.
When the exhibition closes in Septmber 2010 Lubya will embark on a 10-city tour whose final stop is scheduled for London's Natural History Museum in 2014.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-3-09)
A photograph of the Iranian president holding up his identity card during elections in March 2008 clearly shows his family has Jewish roots.
A close-up of the document reveals he was previously known as Sabourjian – a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver.
The short note scrawled on the card suggests his family changed its name to Ahmadinejad when they converted to embrace Islam after his birth.
The Sabourjians traditionally hail from Aradan, Mr Ahmadinejad's birthplace, and the name derives from "weaver of the Sabour", the name for the Jewish Tallit shawl in Persia. The name is even on the list of reserved names for Iranian Jews compiled by Iran's Ministry of the Interior.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-3-09)
Officials revealed they had given permission for the film Indian Summer, starring Hugh Grant and Cate Blanchett, to be filmed on location in India on the condition that scenes showing the couple in bed, kissing, and dancing, are deleted.
Another in which Nehru declares his love for Lady Mountbatten is also understood to have been deleted.
The film, which is due for release in 2011, is based on Alex Von Tunzelmann's book Indian Summer, The Secret History of the End of Empire, which tells the story of Nehru and Lady Mountbatten's "intense and clandestine love affair" during the Mountbattens' return to India for the handover and partition in 1947.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-2-09)
Petra Hoffmann, 55, saw her daughter Mandy Reinhardt, 38, for the first time this week since the agents of the hard line Communist regime took her away shortly after she was born.
Mandy was born to Petra in 1971 when she was just 16 and worked in a government cafeteria. But the father was a man the state disapproved of – a dissident who had served prison time for speaking out against the imperfections of life in totalitarian East Germany.
She badgered authorities, placed notices in newspapers, appealed among old friends. But the Stasi had destroyed most of the paperwork and the hunt came to nothing.
Then, six weeks ago, as Germany prepared massive celebrations for next month marking 20 years since the Berlin Wall fell, a letter came from Berlin to Petra which read: "You don't know me at all, but I believe you are my mother." Mandy, a mother-of-two herself, had searched since 1992 to find her mother after the foster parents she was given to told her that she was adopted.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (10-4-09)
With help of a donated backhoe, Patty Henken recently tore up a vacant lot in Springfield, Ill., where a typewritten note signed by "Chauncey Wolcott" — found in an old chair she bought at auction last November — suggested she would find a chest containing more than $250 in U.S. gold coins.
The dig turned up nothing but bricks and old bottles. Henken planned to return Tuesday with the donated services of a man with ground-penetrating radar meant to detect any buried items, but the treasure note's promise may already be debunked.
SOURCE: AP (9-26-09)
A formal excavation of the original Fort Edward was called after crews dredging PCB-contaminated sediment from the Hudson River last month accidentally ripped out wooden beams thought to have been part of the original fort, which was built in the 1750s. Redcoats, rangers, American Indians and settlers mingled at the site as England and France fought for control of North America.
Archaeologists, after spending two weeks scraping away layers of soil from the river's steep east bank, have uncovered more evidence of the foundation of what was once Britain's largest fortification on this continent.
SOURCE: AP (10-2-09)
The Post and Courier of Charleston reports a 10-by-7-foot flag with a large white Palmetto tree and a white crescent on a red field has been located in storage at an Iowa museum.
Researchers think it is the same flag that flew over Morris Island when cadets fired on the supply ship Star of the West, forcing the ship to turn away, in January of 1861.
SOURCE: AP (10-4-09)
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference's board of directors will consider the Rev. Bernice King and Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Wendell Griffen for the organization's top spot. They will succeed the Rev. Byron Clay, who has served as interim president since February, when Charles Steele resigned after five years in the position.
The SCLC will hold elections to select the next president Oct. 29 at the group's Atlanta headquarters. The two finalists were chosen from a list of five candidates
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (10-5-09)
John Ging, the UN Relief and Works Agency's (UNRWA) director of operations in Gaza, told The Independent that he was "confident and determined" that the Holocaust would feature for the first time in a wide-ranging curriculum that is being drafted.
Mr Ging, a passionate advocate for Palestinian civilians in Gaza who has recently faced increasingly personal criticism and even threats by elements in the Islamic faction, added: "No human-rights curriculum is complete without the inclusion of the facts of the Holocaust, and its lessons."
The draft, to be completed within weeks and then put out for consultation with parents and the public, is built on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was agreed by the UN General Assembly in 1948 in the shadow of what it called the "barbarous acts" committed by the Nazis during the Second World War.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (10-5-09)
The deal, worth £500m today, was part of a package of compensation measures to appease the Libyan leader and help open up trade with the North African state during the late 1970s.
Discovery of the secret offer, detailed in a letter sent by the then Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, raises fresh questions about whether Britain has ever paid Gaddafi compensation.
Name of source: Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (10-1-09)
Pass the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart and continue across Porsche Square, you'll come to a factory gate. Behind it stands a barrack, its wooden slats still bearing the faded lettering "Reutter" -- a company which once provided Porsche with its first car bodies.
"This is where it all began in 1950," declares company historian Dieter Landenberger. Yet Porsche's history is older -- and bitterer -- than that.
Jan Karolczak, for example, worked for the automobile manufacturer starting in 1942 -- as a forced laborer.
Name of source: Yahoo News
SOURCE: Yahoo News (10-3-09)
Three years after her discovery by nomadic reindeer herders, Lyuba will head to Chicago as the star of a mammoths and mastodons exhibit at the world-famous Field Museum.
The exhibition, announced at mid-week, opens March 5 and will run through September 6. The Field Museum is the first US museum to display the prehistoric specimen.
Name of source: The Oakland Tribune
SOURCE: The Oakland Tribune (10-4-09)
The message, they said, is simple: Those who broke stereotypes after the Civil War by breaking horses in the West deserve to be honored and remembered.
"Twenty-five to 30 percent of working cowboys were people of color," said Wilbert McAllister, 68. "We know the truth. We're not fake."
McAllister is president of the Oakland Black Cowboys Association, which held its 35th annual parade Saturday in the streets surrounding DeFremery Park. Dozens of horsemen and horsewomen from across the state participated, their steeds clomping along city streets.
"I didn't want to be no damn cowboy when I was a kid," said McAllister, who grew up in Madera County. He went to Western movies on the weekends — no one on the screen looked like him.
"I didn't see the image of the black male," he said. "History got left out."
Now, he stables his horses in Fremont and wants to keep knocking down stereotypes. So does Titus Taylor, an evidence technician for the Oakland Police Department.
Replete in knee-high riding boots and a stunning blue tunic with a sword swinging on his hip, Taylor paid homage Saturday to the famed "Buffalo Soldiers," the all-black regiments formed in 1866.
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (10-5-09)
By the spring of 1980, MI5’s F Branch, responsible for counter-terrorism, “possessed conclusive evidence that the Libyan embassy in London — renamed the Libyan People’s Bureau — was directing operational and intelligence-gathering activities against Libyan dissidents”.
In The Defence of the Realm, published today, Christopher Andrew highlights the killings authorised by Tripoli. The first was Muhammad Ramadan, shot dead outside the Regent’s Park mosque in April 1980. Two Libyans were arrested. Two weeks later “another of Gaddafi’s assassins” murdered the dissident lawyer Mahmoud Abbu Nafa in his Kensington office.
Colonel Gaddafi, who is now courted by Britain after his renunciation of weapons of mass destruction, is portrayed in MI5’s official history as running a vain and “vicious” leadership. “Its more vicious side was shown by a determination to hunt down critics of his personal dictatorship who had taken refuge abroad.”
SOURCE: Times (UK) (10-5-09)
A label on the helmet suggests it was fished out of the River Derwent at Stamford Bridge, where King Harold Godwinson defeated Viking invaders in 1066 before he was beaten by William the Conqueror at Hastings.
Historians speculate that Harold, England’s last Anglo-Saxon king, may have halted the Norman Conquest had he not had to fight at Stamford Bridge, near York. He not only had to beat the 10,000-strong Vikings, but march to Yorkshire and back at a punishing pace.
SOURCE: Times (UK) (10-3-09)
Until now, however, one plan has remained unknown: an 18th-century plot to invade with an American army during that country’s War of Independence.
Drawn up by a French general, the scheme was to bring over an American force of 10,000 that would find a Britain so distracted by the war on the other side of the Atlantic, that victory would seem certain. Just to make sure, however, the general suggested that the force include a corps of Native Americans, or “sauvages”, as he termed them, who would strike such fear in British troops that any resistance would collapse immediately.
The plan, which is being sold at auctioneers Bonhams in London next week as part of a lot of books, was drawn up by Charles-François Dumouriez when commander at Cherbourg.
Name of source: Discovery News
SOURCE: Discovery News (9-28-09)
Dating to the 1st century A.D., the cave was used as a swimming pool by the Emperor Tiberius (42 B.C. - 37 A.D.), and the statues are probably depictions of sea gods.
Carried out in collaboration with the archaeological superintendency of Pompeii, the Marevivo project aims at returning the Blue Grotto to its ancient glory by placing identical copies of Tiberius' statues where they originally stood.
Name of source: Media Research Center (Conservative media watchdog group)
SOURCE: Media Research Center (Conservative media watchdog group) (10-1-09)
Under Obama reporters have gone to great lengths to spin rising unemployment by finding “positive trends” in the job losses, even focusing on as few as 25 jobs being “saved” by the economic stimulus package. But when Reagan was president journalists showed unemployed families living out of their cars under a bridge in Texas and quoted Democrats or union leaders’ attacks on the president’s “wicked” and “sadistic” fiscal policies.
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos looked on the bright side for Obama Sept. 4, 2009, telling viewers, “the unemployment rate nears 10 percent, but the numbers aren’t all bad.” Rewind to May 7, 1982, when unemployment hit 9.4 percent – three-tenths of a percentage point lower than it would be in August 2009. That night, NBC found people in Seattle in dire straights.
“The lines for free food at food banks are four times what they were six months ago,” NBC’s Don Oliver told “Nightly News” viewers. Oliver’s report focused on the “new poor” and the emotional effects of unemployment, including suicide and battering.
Name of source: The Christian Science Monitor
SOURCE: The Christian Science Monitor (10-2-09)
The 1976 Olympics left Montreal with a $1 billion debt, which the province of Quebec fully paid off only in 2006. Australian taxpayers pay $32 million a year to maintain Sydney Olympic venues that now go largely unused. The projected budget for London 2012 was $3.9 billion; it's now $15.1 billion and climbing.
The bid cities of Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, and Madrid had many hopes going into the International Olympic Committee meeting Friday in Copenhagen, Denmark, at which the IOC will choose the 2016 host city. Chicago is hoping for international prestige to pip New York and Los Angeles. Rio hopes it will boost commerce and industry in the city. Yet Olympic historians say the cities can be certain of only one thing: a massive jolt to the municipal ego.
"It's civic pride," says Ed Hula, publisher of Around the Rings, a newsletter that follows the Olympic bid process."It's the idea that 'we can do this' – that it's important and part of the city's history."
From pride to promotion
This notion of civic pride has often veered toward global promotion. Salt Lake City was eager to prove the falsity of stereotypes that portrayed Utah's Mormon community as insular and odd. Turin sought the Olympic spotlight to reinvent itself, saying it was more than the"Detroit of Italy" – it was an equal of Rome, Milan, or Florence. And Beijing's Olympics were nothing less than an astounding attempt to announce China's arrival as a world power.
At least two of the bid cities have had similar motivations: South America has never held an Olympics, and Chicago has always been America's so-called"second city."
"You don't realize the importance, the global importance that Chicago will receive," Mayor Richard Daley told the Chicago Sun-Times."
Chicago's bid is unusual because of the high-profile involvement of Mayor Daley, who is"a far more powerful and engaging figure than any other person on the US Olympic Committee," says Mr. Hula.
Though President Obama and the first lady are part of an 11th-hour show of official support, Chicago's bid is most intertwined with Daley's will and legacy."He's the only one who got the Olympics bug," Hula says."You can't do anything in that city without his support or his involvement. He has been the person out front politically all along."
But history has proved that prestige comes with a significant cost to the public, says Jeffrey Segrave, an Olympic historian at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The economics of the Games are"extraordinarily elusive" because they involve "indirect expenses that are always difficult and cantankerous to deal with."
Some expenses can be leveraged to bring more permanent gains. Salt Lake City used the Olympics to expedite federal funding for the reconstruction and widening of a key stretch of Interstate 15.
But many expenses are largely sunk costs. Beijing spent $423 million on its national stadium but has had little use for it since."The history and tradition of these facilities is that they lie unused and the public is paying the bill for [them]," says Mr. Segrave.
In Chicago, public opinion has fractured in the weeks leading up to the Copenhagen IOC summit. Fears about budget overruns and corruption loom, particularly in a recession. Wary Chicagoans need only look at Vancouver, British Columbia, host of February's Winter Games, to confirm their worries. The city had its credit lowered after experiencing difficulties funding its $800 million housing facility for athletes.
Windy City, cold feet
A poll conducted by the Chicago Tribune and WGN-TV in late August reported that 45 percent of Chicagoans do not want the Games in Chicago, with 47 percent supporting them. The results are a reversal of the results from February, when 64 percent wanted the Games and 28 percent did not.
Tom Tresser, a Chicago college professor, cofounded No Games Chicago, a citizen advocacy group. He is in Copenhagen to lobby the IOC against choosing his city. He cites public concerns about corruption and incompetence.<
"We're trying to tell them it's very unstable here, and the people don't want this," Mr. Tresser said in the days before his departure."The mayor has one vision to give prosperity to this city, which is building parties that are all about contracts and concrete. If it's not about high-priced stuff that we can build," he accuses Daley of reasoning,"it doesn't appear on the economic-development agenda."
Public worry over spending is"a legitimate concern," says Olympic historian David Wallechinsky. The US government does not provide federal funds to cover the Games beyond providing security, and sponsorship money is not as secure as it once was, due to the economy. That means cities can be left on shaky ground as expenses rise.
"There's no guarantee" that preliminary budgets will be right. Bidding organizations will"always tell you it's only going to cost this much, but as soon as they get the bid, it's 'Oh, we forgot this,'" says Mr. Wallechinsky."That happens, always."
This doesn't mean that bidding for the Games is not worthwhile, Wallechinsky adds. But"a city should never bid for an Olympics thinking it will turn a profit,"; he says."If they try to tell you that, it's a stab in the dark."...
... But history has proved that prestige comes with a significant cost to the public, says Jeffrey Segrave, an Olympic historian at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The economics of the Games are"extraordinarily elusive" because they involve"indirect expenses that are always difficult and cantankerous to deal with."
Name of source: Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Network of Education and Academic Rights (NEAR)
Dr Lerner, also the former rector of the Catholic University of Peru and current president of the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, reported that on 5 September 2009 his dogs, which were on his property, were poisoned and killed. On 23 September 2009 anonymous calls were made to his home and his office at the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights warning that “What we did to your dogs, we will do to you.”
According to Human Rights Watch, Dr. Lerner has previously been a victim of harassment and repeated threats by telephone and email. A prominent public figure in Peru, he is currently vice-president of a commission to establish a memorial museum to commemorate the victims of the civil violence in the last two decades of the twentieth century.
The Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos in Peru (an umbrella organisation of most Peruvian human rights NGOs) has condemned the “persistent campaign” against Dr Lerner and has called on the government to take action. The Catholic University of Peru has also issued a statement of solidarity with Dr Lerner.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up in 2001 to examine human rights violations and acts of violence committed by terrorist groups and the military during the 1980s and 1990s in Peru. Since the Commission issued its report in 2003, Lerner has been a victim of several incidents of harassment and has received repeated threats by phone and email. According to Human Rights Watch, the carefully collated information gathered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has led to an increase in the number of prosecutions of former military and police officers for human rights abuses.
Peru is a signatory to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights which states in Article 17 that everyone has the right to the protection of the law against unlawful interference with his privacy, family or correspondence.
ADDITIONAL NEWS FROM HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH (1 October 2009):
The Peruvian authorities should provide immediate protection to the president of the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Human Rights Watch said today. Salomón Lerner, the president of the commission, has recently received death threats and insulting, anti-Semitic e-mails. Human Rights Watch said that the Peruvian government should also undertake an immediate and thorough investigation to find out who is responsible for the threats. “The Peruvian government must respond firmly to these vicious threats before Lerner or another human rights defender is hurt,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “And the people responsible for the threats must be promptly found and brought to justice.”
Lerner told the Peruvian newspaper Peru21 that a few days ago, when he was out of the country, an anonymous caller called his office at the Catholic University in Lima. The caller told his secretary that Lerner should “consider himself dead.” Over the last few weeks, Lerner, whose father was Jewish, has also received insulting and crudely anti-Semitic e-mails that accuse him of attacking the Peruvian armed forces. Other members of the commission have also received insulting messages. Most have been sent by a writer calling himself “Pachacútec,” which was the name of an Inca emperor.
Peru’s truth commission published its report on human rights violations in the country’s 20-year armed conflict on August 28, 2003. This year, on the second anniversary of publication, the commission came under fierce attack in the press from retired military officers and politicians. Largely due to the commission’s careful collection of evidence, the number of former military and police officers under prosecution for human rights violations has climbed steeply in the past year. At the last count 378 were facing charges, including 273 from the army. Lerner and other commissioners are now facing nine legal suits filed by military officers and one civilian for allegedly misrepresenting the facts and making baseless accusations against them. Human Rights Watch urged the Peruvian government to issue a public declaration of support for the commission and renew its pledge to carry out the commission’s recommendations in full.
In an interview published yesterday in Peru21, Lerner commented: “In our report we condemned the subversion. But we also said that there were people in the armed forces who applied a bad understanding of the strategy of combat, and thought that it was legitimate and moral to pay collateral costs to combat terrorism, that innocent people should die. That’s unacceptable.”
ACTION RECOMMENDED BY NEAR:
Please send appeals: **Calling on the Peruvian authorities to begin immediate and thorough investigations into the alleged threats made to Dr. Salomón Lerner Febres. **Reminding the authorities that Peru is a signatory to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, which requires (in Article 17) that everyone has the right to the protection of the law against unlawful interference with his privacy, family or correspondence.
Appeals to: President of Peru **Presidente Alan García **2009 Despacho Presidencial **Jr. de la Unión 300 s/n 1era cuadra **Lima, Perú
Mayor of Lima **Luis Castañeda Lossio **Alcalde de Lima Metropolitana **Municipalidad Metropolitana de Lima **Jr. de la Unión 300 / Jr. Conde de Superunda 177 **Lima, Perú
Please also send copies of your appeals to: Jonathan Travis **Programme Officer, Network for Education and Academic Rights **90 London Road, **SE1 9LN London, UK **email@example.com
Name of source: OpEdNews.com (via USA Today)
SOURCE: OpEdNews.com (via USA Today) (10-3-09)
German luxury penmaker Montblanc launched a limited-edition commemorative fountain pen in honor of Gandhi this week, just in time for the 140th anniversary of the birth of the Mahatma — or "Great Soul" — on Friday.
The price? $24,763.
Name of source: http://www.nowpublic.com
SOURCE: http://www.nowpublic.com (10-3-09)
It was taken in 1941 and is the only film footage of Anne that has ever been known to exist. It is a video of a neighbor's wedding and nine seconds in to the footage, a 13-year-old Anne can be seen leaning over the balcony above to get a look at the bridge and groom. The wedding is thought to have taken place at No 37 Merwedeplein, and the Franks lived at No 39.
It was taken on July 22 1941, just one year before the Franks had to go in to hiding and Anne's contribution to history began. They were discovered in 1944 and Anne was finally taken to Bergen Belsen concentration camp where she died in March 1945.
Name of source: The Washington Times
SOURCE: The Washington Times (10-2-09)
The officials, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because they were discussing private conversations, said Mr. Obama pledged to maintain the agreement when he first hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in May.
Under the understanding, the U.S. has not pressured Israel to disclose its nuclear weapons or to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which could require Israel to give up its estimated several hundred nuclear bombs.
Israel had been nervous that Mr. Obama would not continue the 1969 understanding because of his strong support for nonproliferation and priority on preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The U.S. and five other world powers made progress during talks with Iran in Geneva on Thursday as Iran agreed in principle to transfer some potential bomb fuel out of the country and to open a recently disclosed facility to international inspection.
Name of source: Azstarnet.com
SOURCE: Azstarnet.com (9-27-09)
"What we're looking at is, perhaps, the earliest sedentary village life in the Southwest with people depending on agriculture as a primary food source," said project director Jim Vint.
For more than 3,000 years, an elaborate ancient irrigation system has remained hidden deep beneath the sand in Marana.
In January, excavation at the Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Facility at Ina Road and Interstate 10 revealed the ancient irrigation system. It is said to be the most intricate system of its kind uncovered in North America.
"We've uncovered dozens of these fields. We can see the actual holes where they planted the corn in many instances" geologist Fred Nials said. "We can completely reconstruct their irrigation system."
Name of source: ThisisHampshire.net
SOURCE: ThisisHampshire.net (9-27-09)
While it might have been dismissed as underwater junk by the untrained eye, the archaeologists soon realised they had discovered a vital clue to a lost civilisation.
The timber was not isolated. In fact they found another 23 pieces of all shapes and sizes intersecting throughout the underwater cliff off Bouldnor, on the north coast of the Isle of Wight.
They are now convinced the timber is evidence of a huge wooden structure built about 8,000 years ago by our Mesolithic ancestors.
Name of source: Latin American Herald Tribune
SOURCE: Latin American Herald Tribune (9-28-09)
The Valdes Navarro family found the relics of the Bato culture on Saturday in Con-Con, a municipality located about 130 kilometers (81 miles) west of Santiago.
Francisco Allendes, an archaeologist, historian and former director of the Con-Con Museum, said that locating the skeletons about 80 centimeters (2 1/2 feet) beneath the ground “is a relevant find, because it serves to confirm the presence of this group (the Batos) in a super-dense way in demographic terms in this area.”
Name of source: ISRIA
SOURCE: ISRIA (9-30-09)
Research undertaken in 2005 on the north side of the hill where the site is installed was completed. The aim of this research was to determine the outline of the walls, which constituted the successive boundaries of the settlement.
The results obtained have, in many points, profoundly altered our view of the site of Choirokoitia and, more widely, our knowledge concerning the recent phase of the Neolithic Aceramic period of Cyprus.
Research of previous years has shown that the expansion of the built area on the south side occurred simultaneously with the abandonment of the north side. Therefore, the history of the settlement needed to be reconsidered: it must be interpreted as a rearrangement of the built environment rather than the expansion of the village.
Name of source: Daily Yomiuri Online
SOURCE: Daily Yomiuri Online (9-30-09)
According to a team of experts, led by Prof. Kazuto Matsufuji of Doshisha University, that has researched the Sunabara remains, the tools are tens of thousands years older than any previously discovered.
The existence of stone tools dating back to the early and mid-Paleolithic period in this country was thrown into question in 2000, when a former deputy director of the disbanded Tohoku Paleolithic Institute buried stone tools and later recovered them, claiming they were unearthed from 700,000-year-old archeological remains in Kurihara, Miyagi Prefecture, and other sites.
Archeologists say the latest discovery could change the way the era is studied.
Name of source: Independent.ie
SOURCE: Independent.ie (10-1-09)
It is understandable that visitors might want to create their own version of the ancient portal tomb.
But those tourists were yesterday accused of unwittingly engaging in vandalism by erecting hundreds of mini-dolmens across the protected landscape. The trend began a decade ago but has recently re-emerged.
Two miles from the Poulnabrone dolmen, the project manager with the Burren Connect Project, Carol Gleeson, observed hundreds of mini-dolmens inside a roadside wall.
She said: "The tourists erecting the dolmens are engaging in a form of vandalism. This is a wonderful ecosystem and the erection of these dolmens is like scribbling on a masterpiece."
Name of source: The Japan Times
SOURCE: The Japan Times (10-2-09)
The dogu are humanoid forms shaped in clay, large and small, richly decorated or homely and unadorned. Some 18,000 of them have been unearthed to date, in Jomon-period settlements stretching from Kyushu, north through Tohoku to Hokkaido. The oldest are nearly 10,000 years old, the youngest a mere 2,300. Yet despite their advanced age, they're on the move.
Sixty-seven dogu, loaned from collections across Japan, have taken up temporary residence in the British Museum, London, for a new exhibition: "The Power of Dogu." In December, they return home for three months' display at Tokyo National Museum...
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (10-2-09)
The ruins were uncovered in three years of digging by the British team from Southampton and Cambridge Universities in cooperation with the British School at Rome, an archaeological academy.
Italian archaeologist Rodolfo Lanciani determined the approximate location of the site in 1868, but more systematic research finally led to its discovery 140 years later.