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This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used. Because most of our readers read the NYT we usually do not include the paper's stories in HIGHLIGHTS.
Name of source: BBC
Abdelbaset al-Megrahi wore the casual clothing as he boarded a flight from Glasgow to Libya in August.
He later swapped his shellsuit and baseball cap for a formal grey suit before landing in Tripoli.
Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill revealed the security measure to a committee of MSPs.
The Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee is investigating the way Megrahi's compassionate release in August was handled.
Muntadar al-Zaidi was speaking about Iraqi war victims at a news conference in Paris, but managed to duck in time.
Media reports said the attacker was an exiled Iraqi journalist who defended US policy and accused Zaidi of "working for dictatorship in Iraq".
The AP news agency said Zaidi's brother, Maithan, chased the attacker in the Paris audience and pelted him - with a shoe - as he ran from the room.
Doherty, 30, was booed after singing "Deutschland, Deutschland ueber alles" at a concert in Munich on Saturday that was broadcast live on Bavarian radio.
A spokesperson for the singer said he was "unaware of the controversy" about the anthem's rarely used first verse.
Prosecutors said Mr Demjanjuk, 89, volunteered to join the Nazis and shared their racist ideology.
He maintains that he was a Soviet soldier who was captured by the Germans, and therefore spent most of the war in prison camps.
SOURCE: BBC (11-30-09)
Now a giant, new, state of the art library has landed - rather like a spaceship - in the dilapidated centre of Timbuktu, offering the best hope of preserving and analysing the town's literary treasures.
After several years of building and delays, the doors are finally about to open at the Ahmed Baba Institute's new home - a 200 million rand (£16,428,265) project paid for by the South African government.
When South Africa's former President, Thabo Mbeki, visited the town in 2001 he declared the documents to be among the continent's "most important cultural treasures", and promised to help conserve them as part of his vision of an "African renaissance".
Most of the manuscripts are in Arabic script, but contain many local languages.
They provide unique insights into Timbuktu's emergence as a trading post, and by the 1500s as a famous university town, full of students and scribes.
SOURCE: BBC (11-29-09)
Mr Demjanjuk, 89, denies he was a guard at Sobibor camp, in wartime Poland.
As the case began in Munich, his legal team said in previous cases Germans assigned to the camp had been cleared.
Doctors have said Mr Demjanjuk is in poor health, and asked that hearings be limited to two 90-minute sessions a day.
SOURCE: BBC (11-30-09)
Both governments said they had agreed to appoint ambassadors at the end of long negotiations.
The two nations fell out after a French judge said President Paul Kagame helped spark the genocide, and Rwanda accused France of arming the Hutu militias.
On Sunday Rwanda was also admitted to the Commonwealth.
Name of source: The Neew York Times
SOURCE: The Neew York Times (12-1-09)
Nearby, a letter and invoice show a lab director’s request for equipment totaling $7,407, which included steam engine thermometers and sewing machine motors.
There is also a 1901 letter from an alumnus, John F. O’Rourke, who helped design the Poughkeepsie Bridge, requesting an honorary Ph.D. (He was not granted one.)
At Cooper Union, these documents and more compose a treasure trove of information now on display as one of the most exclusive colleges in the nation celebrates its 150th anniversary this month. Only through some luck and historical detective work did the acquisition happen.
The materials — some, for example, document Thomas Edison’s work at the college (he was a regular visitor to Cooper Union as a member of the New York Electrical Society) and Cooper Union’s Telegraphy for Women program — will serve as rich resources for historians, said Carol Salomon, an archive librarian at Cooper Union.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (12-1-09)
The 89-year-old, who was deported from the United States in May to stand trial in Germany, rejects the charges of being an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews in the Sobibor death camp, saying he has been mistaken for someone else.
Demjanjuk showed little reaction, but put his left hand to his brow as Lutz detailed how Jews were stripped of their belongings and clothes, then led naked into the gas chambers of Sobibor.
SOURCE: AP (11-29-09)
Though you would never know it from the unremarkable view, thousands of men died here 145 years ago in one of the fiercest fights of the Civil War.
A small but growing number of Georgia archaeologists and history buffs are starting to use high-tech gear, ground-penetrating radar, metal detectors, new software programs and detective-style techniques to detail with amazing precision what happened when U.S. Gen. William T. Sherman made good on his promise to "make Georgia howl."
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (12-1-09)
Some blacks find the food company advertising character offensive because of its use as a racist stereotype.
The weekly Call & Post cartoon cast state Sen. Nina Turner as Aunt Jemima. The cartoon accompanied an editorial criticizing the Cleveland Democrat for supporting last month's successful ballot issue to overhaul county government.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (12-1-09)
"Draft Dick Cheney 2012" officially launched on Friday and unveiled a new Web site. The group hopes to follow up the on-line launch with a more formal structure, which they say will include building a database and reaching out through social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
"Why would I want to do that?" he replied. "It's been a hell of a tour. I've loved it. I have no aspirations for further office," Cheney said in an interview with Politico.
SOURCE: CNN (11-30-09)
Eighty Tutsi students perished at the hands of their teachers, fellow students and security forces. They died that day, according to the Rwandan government, because of the groundwork laid by one man: Emmanuel Uwayezu.
That he was an educator and a priest made the act that much more inhuman to his accusers.
He took refuge in his Catholicism and practiced as a priest in Italy, undetected for a dozen years, until October, when he was arrested by Interpol. His fate remains unknown -- it's unclear whether the Rwandan government will successfully extradite him for trial.
Name of source: The Local (Germany)
SOURCE: The Local (Germany) (1-12-09)
As of December 1, anyone who wants a real piece of Germany’s communist past can place their bid, property management company Marienburg Grundstücksverwaltung announced on Monday.
The original Bornholmer Straße border crossing between Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg and Wedding districts was the first checkpoint to allow uncontrolled amounts of East Germans to pass through on November 9, 1989. Thousands of German Democratic Republic citizens streamed through the checkpoint into West Berlin that night, hastening the collapse of the communist regime.
The company is currently using the 12 pieces of 35 by 5-metre arched roof to cover a Berlin business parking lot, but they used to be part of the Bornholmer Straße automobile checkpoint.
They decided to make the sale because of construction plans at the site, they said.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-12-09)
The trove, which belonged to the Romanov family, sold for £7 million, more than seven times the pre-sale estimate.
The sale included a 25th Wedding Anniversary Fabergé Imperial jewelled cigarette case, made as a present for Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, the sister-in-law of Emperor Alexander III.
It sold for £612,250 – 12 times the pre-sale valuation.
Two other cigarette cases sold for £601,250, including a diamond encrusted Fabergé containing a handwritten note in Russian from Emperor Nicholas II to his wife Alexandra. The note read: "Alix and I ask you to accept this small present as a souvenir of this day/Nicky”.
Two more cigarette cases sold for over £500,000.
A pair of jewelled Fabergé cufflinks sold for £103,250, almost double the previous record for a pair of cufflinks sold at auction. They were estimated to sell for £3,000 to £5,000.
The cigarette cases, cufflinks and snuff boxes were deposited by staff of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna at the Swedish Legation in St Petersburg (then named Petrograd) in November 1918, as the country's aristocracy fled in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution.
She ordered them to hide the jewels in pillow cases to make sure they were not confiscated en route.
However, she died in 1920 and the trove lay "unknown for 91 years", according to Sotheby's.
Olga Vaigatcheva, a Russian art specialist from Sotheby's, commented: "Successful buyers have, without doubt, acquired a piece of Russian Imperial history.”
Name of source: Culture 24
SOURCE: Culture 24 (12-31-69)
Experts from The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Birmingham Archaeology will carry out a feasibility study on New Place, the picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon house and gardens where Shakespeare died in 1616, ahead of a major archaeological excavation in 2010.
"Our purpose would be to create a modern record of New Place, providing us with a better understanding of the site, and potentially revealing new information about the house in which Shakespeare died and the way in which the family lived there," said Dr Diana Owen, Director of the Trust.
"Plans for a dig are still at a conceptual stage, but we hope that a project of this kind would present a unique opportunity for our visitors to join in an excavation as it unfolds and ultimately advance our learning and thinking about Shakespeare."
Birmingham Archaeology's Kevin Colls said the potential project was "really exciting and unique."
"As archaeologists, we rarely have the chance to investigate remains which are directly associated with a single individual, let alone one of the most important figures in history," he reflected.
"Archaeology can build up a better picture of Shakespeare's life and times."
The tests will establish how much material lies underneath the grounds and the level of decay any surviving artefacts may have suffered in a house with a colourful history.
New Place was the second largest property in the town when it was built with brick in 1483.
Owner Reverend Gastrell overhauled the building and controversially demolished it in 1759, before a Victorian antiquarian excavated the site more than a century later.
The Trust believe modern techniques could uncover original remains buried around the Place in a project they describe as "ambitious".
It will explore the backyards and garden and could form part of a larger public project.
Name of source: Mary Elise Sarotte, a professor of international relations at the University of Southern California, in an NYT op ed
Moscow has long asserted that the Soviet Union allowed Germany to unify only in return for a pledge from Washington never to expand the Atlantic alliance. Former advisers to Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have transcended partisan differences in dismissing the Russian claim. An internal State Department review during the Clinton era concluded that no legally binding prohibition on NATO enlargement emerged from the era of German unification.
Since then, however, it has become possible to reconstruct what happened from first-hand evidence. Former Chancellor Helmut Kohl of Germany released the papers of his office, which inspired the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to publish many of his own. A number of other leaders and institutions also opened files in advance of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall: the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library, Secretary of State James Baker, the German Foreign Ministry and the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office among them.
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (12-1-09)
The Benevento Missal, which was stolen from a cathedral in southern Italy soon after the Allies bombed the city during the Second World War, has been in the collection of the British Library (formerly the British Museum Library) since 1947. After a change in the law, it could be back in Italy within months, according to The Art Newspaper.
The missal’s return could also focus attention on other, more high-profile cases, such as the campaign to return the Elgin Marbles and the Benin Bronzes from the British Museum to Athens and Nigeria.
However, the new law would not affect the legal status of such items because the new Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) Act applies only to claims dating from the Nazi era.
SOURCE: Times (UK) (11-30-09)
Sir David Manning, the Prime Minister’s foreign policy adviser, said that Mr Blair asked the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to draw up options in June 2002 when he discovered that the United States was planning for war. The following month Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, offered three alternatives. The first “in-place package” involved using forces already in the region; the second “enhanced package” would provide additional maritime, aircraft and special forces; the third “discrete [separate] package” was to send 20,000 troops.
Mr Blair initially offered the “second package” when the MoD was asked to attend a planning conference with the US Central Command in September 2002.
However, after discussions between Mr Blair and Mr Hoon they decided to offer “package three” — the plan to send an army division to support the invasion — a month before the United Nations agreed resolution 1441 ordering Saddam Hussein to give up his weapons of mass destruction.
Name of source: LA Times
SOURCE: LA Times (11-30-09)
Some legal experts say President Obama was overly confident when he predicted that critics of trying Mohammed in a federal courtroom in Manhattan would be silenced "when the death penalty is applied to him." The only modern-day terrorist sentenced to death in federal court was Oklahoma City bomber Timothy J. McVeigh.
"It will be an uphill battle to get a death penalty in these cases," said Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor in New York. He helped win convictions for four acolytes of Osama bin Laden who plotted the 1998 simultaneous bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 people. Jurors in 2001 found the men guilty, but they were divided on the punishment. As a result, all four were sentenced to life in prison...
Name of source: WGN 9 News
SOURCE: WGN 9 News (12-31-69)
A crane pulled the plane out Monday at Waukegan Harbor, but the process has been going on for months.
It was back in 1945, when the F6F-3 Hellcat sank, during a training flight.
The pilot, Walter B. Elcock, now 89, barely survived the crash. While he couldn't make it to the recovery, his grandson, Hunter Brawley did.
Brawley recalls his grandfather telling him all about the plane crash as a kid and was excited to be at the recovery.
Name of source: New York Times
SOURCE: New York Times (11-29-09)
“My God, it’s Caesar!” Luc Long remembers shouting after his team of archaeologists and divers discovered the statue in 2007.
The Roman appears with little hair, a wrinkled forehead, a prominent Adam’s apple and features that, for Mr. Long, “seem carved in human flesh.” But Mr. Long did not realize at the time that he had discovered what he said was “the first portrait made of Caesar when he was alive.” The bust, which France’s Culture Ministry now dates from 46 B.C., is thought to be the only known surviving statue of Julius Caesar carved during his lifetime.
Historians say images of a contemporaneous Caesar are rare — they are generally idealized versions, produced after his assassination two years later, in 44 B.C. — so the sudden news of the bust’s emergence led some of them to question its authenticity.
Christian Goudineau, a French historian who lectures on Julius Caesar at the prestigious Collège de France in Paris, was caught off guard when Mr. Long told him of the discovery. “I was bewildered,” he recalled.
Some colleagues, he said, have suggested that the Caesar found in the Rhône does not resemble the Caesar usually shown, and that the statue might more likely portray a noble from Arles, a city founded by the Romans. One skeptic, Mary Beard, a classics professor at Cambridge, pointed out in her blog for Times Online, affiliated with The Times of London: “This style of portraiture lasted for centuries at Rome. There is nothing at all to suggest that it came from 49-46 B.C.”
Name of source: Bloomberg
SOURCE: Bloomberg (11-30-09)
Demjanjuk, 89, appeared in a Munich court today to face charges of being a Nazi guard who aided in the murder of 27,900 people in 1943 at the Sobibor death camp in then German-occupied Poland. About 35 relatives of the camps’ victims registered as co-plaintiffs. The first day of trial opened after a delay of more than an hour to handle media accommodations...
... “People are looking for the historic dimensions that transcend the narrow legal issues of the case,” Thomas Henne, a German legal historian currently teaching at Tokyo University, said in an interview. “The question is whether a criminal court is the right place to find historic answers. It’s difficult enough to judicially determine an individual’s guilt six decades after the fact.” ...
... While prosecution of Nazis in German courts started only years after the war, some prominent cases helped break the country’s “cartel of silence,” Henne said, including the Auschwitz trials during the 1960s in Frankfurt where hundreds of concentration camp survivors testified. Still, some probes led to unconvincing acquittals or allowed Nazis to all too easily claim medical reasons to avoid trials, he said.
“With Demjanjuk, the current generation of prosecutors and judges aims to show they won’t repeat these mistakes,” Henne said. “The swift handling of the case is a sort of manifest demonstration saying: ‘Yes, we’re doing better now.’”
Name of source: North Jersey
SOURCE: North Jersey (11-29-09)
But it was more than a nickname.
For more than five years, Hal Turner of North Bergen lived a double life.
The public knew him as an ultra-right-wing radio talk show host and Internet blogger with an audience of neo-Nazis and white supremacists attracted to his scorched-earth racism and bare-knuckles bashing of public figures. But to the FBI, and its expanding domestic counter-terror intelligence operations in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, Turner was "Valhalla" — his code name as an informant who spied on his own controversial followers.
Turner's clandestine past was confirmed this past summer when he was jailed on charges that he made threats on his blog against three federal judges in Chicago. In court after his arrest, federal prosecutors acknowledged Turner's FBI ties but downplayed his importance and even described him as "unproductive."
But an investigation by The Record — based on government documents, e-mails, court records and almost 20 hours of jailhouse interviews with Turner — shows that federal authorities made frequent use of Turner in its battle against domestic terrorism.
Name of source: Air Force Times
SOURCE: Air Force Times (11-28-09)
In a place called Lago Seco, pieces of pottery, many more than 800 years old, glisten in the morning sun. Stone tools and arrowheads are covered with only a thin layer of sand.
Then in the howling silence, a massive cloud of dirt and sand rises from the ground. Moments later, a concussive blast rolls out of Manned Range 4.
The bomb was dropped from a jet neither seen nor heard.
War games and live fire are expected on this military bombing range.
But there are also delicate reminders — cultural traces — of a people who lived here beginning around 10,000 B.C.
This desert, both severe and beautiful, is home to some of the best-preserved archaeological sites in the Southwest.
They remain because the military — with an arsenal of overwhelming force — practices its craft with an eye on preserving history on the nearly 3,000 square miles of desert.