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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: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-19-10)
Christian Niemeyer, the publisher, said he wanted to clear the revered thinker's reputation by showing the "criminally scandalous" forgeries by his sister had tainted his reputation ever since.
"Förster-Nietzsche did everything she could – such as telling stories about Nietzsche, writing false letters in the name of her brother, and so on – to make it seem that Nietzsche had been a right-wing thinker like herself," he told The Daily Telegraph....
The Nazis selectively used Nietzsche's writings to bolster their ideology and built a museum in Weimar to celebrate the philosopher, though it is unlikely Hitler himself read much, if any, of Nietzsche's work....
While it has been known to Nietzsche scholars that Förster-Nietzsche meddled with her brother's work, particular after his death, the new encyclopedia – consisting of entries by about 150 scholars – shows the sheer breadth and depth of her forgeries as never before....
While acknowledging some of Nietzsche's early writings could be interpreted as fascist and he shared an early friendship with the anti-Semitic composer Richard Wagner – a relationship that later broke down – the philosopher was never a fascist or anything like it, Niemeyer said....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-18-10)
Intelligence on Saddam's WMD was not the pivotal factor in Tony Blair's decision to go to war in Iraq, Mr Powell, the former chief of staff to Mr Blair, has told the Chilcot Inquiry.
Mr Powell said there was a long-standing "assumption" that Saddam had WMD because of the fact that he had used them in the past.
Without any concrete evidence that Saddam had destroyed his stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons the Government remained "confident" that he still had them in 2003, he added.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-18-10)
Agca has promised to explain his motives for the failed assassination attempt in 1981 but questions about his mental state and outlandish claims have raised doubts over whether the mystery will ever be solved.
He was taken to a Turkish military hospital where doctors concluded that he was unfit for compulsory military service because of a “severe anti-social personality disorder,” said his lawyer, Yilmaz Abosoglu.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-17-10)
Although it is meant to be an 'entente cordiale', the relationship between the English and the French has been anything but neighbourly.
When the two nations have not been clashing on the battlefield or the sporting pitch they have been trading insults from 'frogs' to 'rosbifs'.
Written between 1180 and 1194, a century after the Norman Conquest united England and Normandy against a common enemy in France, the 396-line poem was part of a propaganda war between London and Paris.
Poet Andrew de Coutances, an Anglo-Norman cleric, describes the French as godless, arrogant and lazy dogs. Even more stingingly, he accuses French people of being cowardly, and calls them heretics and rapists.
It has taken David Crouch, a professor of medieval history at Hull University, months to complete the translation of what is one of the earliest examples of anti-French diatribe.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-16-10)
The Russian Prosecutor-General has formally closed a criminal investigation into the shooting because too much time had elapsed since the crime and because those responsible had died.
But monarchists said a resumption of the criminal case was essential if Russia as finally to come to terms with its brutal past.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-17-10)
Families of victims in court cheered when the judge handed down the guilty verdict against Ali Hassan al-Majid in a trial for one of the worst poisonous gas attacks against civilians.
He has already received three previous death sentences for atrocities committed during Saddam's rule, particularly in the government's campaigns against the Shiites and Kurds in the 1980s and 1990s.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-16-10)
Mrs Green, who turns 109 next month and is a great-grandmother-of-seven, worked as a waitress in the officers' mess during the war at RAF Marham and Narborough Airfield, both in Norfolk....
Before the discovery of Mrs Green's service history, it was believed that British-born Gladys Powers, who died in Canada in 2008, was the last female veteran.
Harry Patch, from Somerset, was previously the last surviving World War one veteran and died in 2009 aged 111.
The penultimate survivor was Henry Allingham, who also died last year aged 113, and famously survived the Battle of Jutland.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-15-09)
Prince William will visit Australia for three days next week, after an official trip to New Zealand. It will be the first time the Prince has set foot in Australia since visiting as a baby with his parents in 1983.
Elder Michael Mundine of the Aboriginal Housing Company said he believed the Prince “has his mother’s heart” and would understand his request to recover the remains of the warrior Pemulwuy.
Pemulwuy was shot dead in 1802, 14 years after the arrival of the First Fleet, and his head was sent to England in a glass jar.
Many believe the head is still in England with the remains of an estimated 3000 indigenous people whose body parts were bottled in the name of scientific research. However, the exact location of the jar and its contents remains a mystery.
When it first arrived in England, the skull was reportedly kept at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, and later may have been moved to the Natural History Museum. However, the museum has no record of it.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-14-10)
The timepiece in New York is supposed to represent how close humanity is to catastrophic destruction – represented by midnight.
Created by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 1947 - two years after the US dropped the first atomic bombs on Japan in World War II - it was first set at seven minutes to midnight.
Since then the Bulletin's scientific board, which includes Professor Stephen Hawking and 18 other Nobel laureates, has been changed 18 times.
The latest recorded time was two minutes to midnight in 1953 as the Cold War between the US and Soviet Union escalated. In 2007 it was wound on to five minutes to midnight, to reflect the failure to solve problems posed by nuclear weapons.
The clock's earliest setting was in 1991 when it was wound back to 17 minutes to midnight after the US and Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
On Friday the public will be able to watch the change for the first time via a live web feed.
It has not yet been revealed whether the clock is being moved closer to midnight or further away.
A spokesman for the BAS said: “Factors influencing the latest Doomsday Clock change include international negotiations on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, expansion of civilian nuclear power, the possibilities of nuclear terrorism, and climate change.”
Name of source: The Independent (UK)
SOURCE: The Independent (UK) (1-19-10)
Dr. Zahi Hawass said the remains discovered are 60 meters by 15 meters, and extend under Ismail Fahmy street. About 600 Ptolemaic statues - amongst which are beautiful depictions of the cat goddess Bastet - were also unearthed....
Early studies on site revealed that the temple’s foundation can be dated to the reign of Queen Berenike - the wife of King Ptolemy III Euergetes (246-222 BC) - making this the first Ptolemaic temple discovered in Alexandria to be dedicated to Bastet. It also indicates that her worship continued in Egypt after the decline of the ancient Egyptian era....
According to Dr [Mohamed Abdel] Maqsoud, it is very possible that this find - made during routine excavations at the Kom el Dikka area - is the first trace of the real location of Alexandria's royal quarter.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (1-18-10)
However, scholars say Poe looked far more vigorous, perhaps even dashing, in his earlier years than he does in the well-known series of daguerreotypes taken in the final years of his life.
The more robust Poe is captured in a small watercolor by A.C. Smith, one of just three surviving portraits of the author, which will be shown publicly for the first time Saturday and is expected to fetch tens of thousands of dollars at auction.
SOURCE: AP (1-17-10)
Last February, the U.S. said it would pay a lump sum — $9,000 or $15,000 — to veterans like Sotio in lieu of pensions it had promised Filipino soldiers during the war but reneged on paying.
Since then, more than 11,000 surviving veterans now in their 80s and 90s received this much delayed monetary recognition of their service and sacrifice. But thousands of others are still waiting to receive their money as the federal government wades through a backlog of applications....
SOURCE: AP (1-16-10)
These old American soldiers recovered from the physical scars of combat long ago. But last week, they visited a place where people still have fresh wounds from the Vietnam War, which ended nearly 35 years ago.
They came to Quang Tri Province, which is still littered with landmines and unexploded ordinance that routinely kill and maim people trying to scratch out a living in the rice fields. Their visit was organized by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which built the Washington, D.C., monument that commemorates the lives of the 58,000 Americans who died in Vietnam.
VVMF sponsors Project RENEW, a non-profit organization that helps Quang Tri residents like Pham Quy Tuan, 41, whose left hand and right arm were blown off by a leftover American projectile he found in a rice paddy four months ago....
SOURCE: AP (1-15-10)
But officials are reeling from the immensity of a recent gift from the widow of a lifelong collector. A semi-trailer truck was needed to haul in the roughly 1,700 items, most of them related to the ferocious machine guns of that era.
“It was like getting a whole other museum,” said Eli Paul, vice president of museum programs at Liberty Memorial.
It will take months, if not years, to fully absorb the material....
...[T]hey are greatly impressed by the collection amassed over the years by the late Carl H. Hauber, whose father served in the Great War.
“He collected like a curator,” Paul said. “He was collecting the world of the machine gun. Not just the object but the context.”...
SOURCE: AP (1-15-10)
But a year after 155 people lived through the water landing of the incapacitated US Airways Flight 1549 in the middle of the frigid Hudson River, many of them are gathering to celebrate the anniversary of their unlikely survival.
On Friday, Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger is expected to join other crew and passengers to revisit the site where he deftly set down his Airbus A320 on Jan. 15, 2009, after it crossed paths with a flock of Canada geese that disabled its engines.
The group, which will include First Officer Jeffrey Skiles and the plane's three flight attendants, is to gather in the morning for a breakfast to thank first responders and the Greater New York and Northern New Jersey chapters of the American Red Cross.
In the afternoon, they will meet with boat crews and other rescuers to board one of the passenger ferries that plucked them from the icy water. Together, they'll return to the place where they made their escape.
At 3:31 p.m., the moment of impact, they'll raise glasses in a toast to life.
The return to the water has brought up mixed feelings for some of the survivors. But many are eager to reunite with the others who shared in the harrowing experience. Some say they consider the group to be a kind of family.
"It does bring back memories of being out there and what we went through," Ben Bostic said of the reunion. "But with those memories, it also reinforces that gratitude we have."
In the months since the crash, Bostic and another survivor, Laura Zych, have begun dating and fallen in love.
Both say they walked away from the experience with a determination to live their lives more boldly and without letting opportunities pass them by. After finding how much they had in common, they say they realized: How better to satisfy their renewed passion for life than with each other?
Whether it's traveling together or just spending quiet time with each other, Bostic says he's intent on making sure he doesn't miss out on anything. After all, there could be another encounter with death at any time.
"If it happens," he said, "it's going to happen this time without any regrets."
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (1-18-10)
Found by a farmer in 2005, the 1,459-year-old statue was carved on Meng Mountain near Taiyuan, Shanxi province.
But the huge form was now in danger of collapsing into abandoned coal mines, Xinhua news agency said.
Seven coal mines in the area had been closed in 2007 to protect the ancient stone statue, Xinhua said.
SOURCE: BBC (1-18-10)
People are being asked to log on to a BBC website to upload their own entries and build a picture of the impact of Wales on the world.
It will coincide with television and radio programmes looking at artefacts in museums across the UK.
The History of the World will be shown on BBC Wales in the spring.
SOURCE: BBC (1-16-10)
"With just a few hundred miles of ocean between us and a long history that binds us together, Haitians are our neighbours in the Americas and here at home," he said....
Both countries were born out of a struggle against European colonisers.
The US declared independence from Britain in 1776 - the first to do so in the Western Hemisphere - followed by Haiti, which broke away from France in 1804.
But there the similarities end. While the American War of Independence was driven by a white elite unwilling to continue paying taxes to its colonial masters, the Haitian revolution was led by a freed slave, Toussaint Louverture....
Between 1888 and 1915, no Haitian president completed his seven-year term.
Ten were killed or overthrown, including seven in the four years to the US invasion of 1915. Only one died of natural causes....
The assassination of the Haitian president a year later finally prompted President Wilson to invade Haiti with the aim of protecting US assets and preventing the further strengthening of German influence in the region.
After failing to make the new Haitian legislature adopt a constitution which would allow foreign land ownership, the Wilson administration forced the legislature to dissolve in 1917. It would not meet again until 1929.
The US finally withdrew from Haiti in 1934 as part of President Franklin Roosevelt's "Good Neighbour Policy", which stressed co-operation and trade over military force to maintain stability in the Americas....
SOURCE: BBC (1-17-10)
On a landmark visit to Rome's main synagogue, the Pope said the Vatican helped Jews and "provided assistance, often in a hidden and discreet way".
The pontiff responded after an Italian Jewish leader spoke of the painful "silence" of wartime Pope Pius XII.
SOURCE: BBC (1-16-10)
Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (Guard) said it may have been dropped by a hunter.
It added that it may have arrived from elsewhere and then been lost by a local collector or a teacher at the former parish school in Durness.
SOURCE: BBC (1-15-10)
The defences, which date from at least the 16th Century, were discovered by archaeologists during foundation works for new Military Tattoo stands.
Service trenches were opened which revealed two structures about 2m beneath the esplanade.
Archaeologists will record the remains before they are reburied.
SOURCE: BBC (1-15-10)
The text in gothic lettering, thought to be more than 350 years old, was found behind the Henry Hyde monument.
The discovery was made when the conservators moved the Henry Hyde monument from the south aisle wall to repair and clean it.
SOURCE: BBC (1-15-09)
Rebuilding Ground Zero will chronicle the engineering and building of the skyscraper being built on the site of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers.
It will also pay tribute to those who died in the 11 September 2001 attacks.
Name of source: LA Times
SOURCE: LA Times (1-18-10)
Finding evidence of a shipwreck beneath the ocean would finally prove a theory that Rogers, an amateur historian, has been promoting for decades. He thinks a handful of Spanish and Dutch ships visited Hawaii in the centuries before Captain Cook landed there in 1778. Some Europeans came ashore after shipwrecks, like the characters in "The Swiss Family Robinson," he claims, and eventually integrated into the local society. That early European influence in the 16th and 17th centuries forever changed Hawaiian culture, Rogers says.
Rogers is following in the footsteps of others with no formal training who have tried to convince scholars that they've stumbled across great historical discoveries, correct or not. They include German businessman Heinrich Schliemann, who boasted he'd found archaeological proof that Troy actually existed, and adventurer Gene Savoy, who said he'd found dozens of Inca settlements in Peru while on the hunt for El Dorado, the fabled city of gold.
To prove his theory, Rogers has spent countless hours poring over ancient maps, tracking down artifacts in the dusty storage rooms of disorganized museums and combing Hawaii's jagged coastline. The onetime Army salvage diver has done much of his work off the Pilialoha, a baby-blue Navy launch he bought in 1986 and loaded with equipment and maps, as well as an assortment of sleeping bags and cushions.
The work is not for fame or money, Rogers said, but rather for the satisfaction of knowing that after all these years, he was right.
He's battled historians and archaeologists -- most with many more degrees on their walls than he has -- who say he has no proof to back up his theory. They, like the history books, stick to the idea that Cook was the first European to step onto Hawaii, two centuries after Rogers thinks other Europeans landed here. Some politely concede his version of history could have happened, but that there's no proof. Others are more blunt.
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (1-18-10)
Sergei Trifonov, however, believes he has solved the riddle, and that the treasure -- ornately carved panels of glowing amber, formed from fossilized resin -- lies underneath a bunker in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.
To test his theory, Trifonov has begun to probe the soil under the bunker using a ground-penetrating radar, and pump out water. He has already unearthed a brick-lined room.
Name of source: LA TTimes
SOURCE: LA TTimes (1-17-10)
At first glance, the photo-copied documents simply looked like government forms and applications.
But when Susanne Mori read more closely, she found the story of her grandfather's life as he made his way in America more than five decades ago.
The documents came from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which runs a little-known genealogy service for relatives wanting to learn more about their family history.
The records include naturalization files, visa applications and citizenship tests, and may reveal family secrets and mysteries, said Marian Smith, the agency's historian.
In the past, genealogy researchers had to file document requests under the Freedom of Information Act and sometimes waited years for a response.
Under the genealogy program, which started in 2008, requests are usually completed within 90 days. For $20, the government will run a search of the name, as long as the person is deceased. If there are records available, the government charges additional fees for the files.
In fiscal year 2009, more than 5,300 requests were made, fewer than expected. In addition to relatives, historians or researchers can also request files.
Name of source: Times Online (UK)
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (1-19-10)
But hopes that Mehmet Ali Agca would reveal details of an alleged Soviet-era plot behind the St Peter’s Square assassination attempt receded after he issued a statement calling himself “the Christ eternal”.
His lawyer, Haci Ali Ozhan, said that more than 50 foreign publishers and film-makers had offered to buy his story. He is said to have asked for as much as $2 million (£1.2 million).
Mr Agca spent last night at the Sheraton hotel in Ankara. There were hopes that he would shed light on questions that remain unanswered from his initial trial and subsequent investigations — among them the extent of his contacts with Italian organised crime. However, his eccentric actions yesterday appear to have further undermined his credibility. “After his endless accounts and retractions, it appears useless to ask him to shed light on what really happened,” wrote L’Unità, the left-wing Italian paper.
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (1-18-10)
The 4in long stub was left by the Prime Minister before he dashed off for a Cabinet meeting on August 22, 1941 - the day German troops reached Leningrad.
Whitehall valet Nellie Goble found it when cleaning and sent it to a friend, with a note on No10 paper reading: 'Just a small souvenir to remind you at some future date of one of the greatest men that ever lived in England.'
The friend gave it to her daughter - now a pensioner - who kept it at her home in Norfolk and is now selling it.
She said: 'It rarely came out of the drawer, so it seemed better to sell it to someone who will truly appreciate it.'
Andrew Bullock, from auctioneers Keys in Aylsham, said: 'It was rare for Churchill not to finish a cigar, so it must have been something very urgent in the Cabinet room.'
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (1-18-10)
An 18th-century account of how Newton developed the theory of gravity was posted to the Web Monday, making the fragile paper manuscript widely available to the public for the first time.
Newton's encounter with the apple ranks among science's most celebrated anecdotes, and it can now be read in the faded cursive script in which it was recorded by William Stukeley, Newton's contemporary.
Royal Society librarian Keith Moore said the apple story has resonated for centuries because it packs in so much — an illustration of how modern science works, an implicit reference to the solar system and even an allusion to the Bible.
When Newton describes the process of observing a falling apple and guessing at the principle behind it "he's talking about the scientific method," Moore said.
"Also the shape of the apple recalls the planet — it's round — and of course the apple falling from the tree does indeed hark back to the story of Adam and Eve, and Newton as a religious man would have found that quite apt."
The incident occurred in the mid-1660s, when Newton retreated to his family home in northern England after an outbreak of the plague closed the University of Cambridge, where he had been studying.
Stukeley's manuscript recounts a spring afternoon in 1726 when the famous scientist shared the story over tea "under the shade of some apple trees."
Stukeley wrote that Newton told him the notion of gravity popped into the scientist's mind as he was sitting in the same situation.
"It was occasion'd by the fall of an apple, as he sat in contemplative mood. Why should that apple always descend perpendicularly to the ground, thought he to himself ... Why should it not go sideways, or upwards? But constantly to the earth's center?" Stukeley wrote. "Assuredly, the reason is, that the earth draws it. There must be a drawing power in matter."
Stukeley's account on the Royal Society's Web site joins notes from Newton's 17th-century scientific rival Robert Hooke — documents that were lost for several hundred years before their recent discovery in a house in England. Users can flip through both documents using the same page-turning software used to browse Leonardo's sketches and Jane Austen's early work on the British Library's site.
The Royal Society, an academy of scientists founded in 1660 to discuss and spread scientific knowledge, is marking its 350th anniversary this year by putting more than 60 of its most important scientific papers online.
SOURCE: Fox News (1-16-10)
Both men were in the Fox Company in the U.S. Marine Corps. In 1969, Valenzuela believed that Benson died in a rocket attack, the site reported.
This turned out to be a very fortunate mistake.
SOURCE: Fox News (1-14-10)
Ritter, 48, allegedly masturbated in front of a Web camera while he was engaged in conversation in an Internet chat room with an undercover cop posing as the teenage girl. He declined to discuss the charges Thursday when reporters visited his New York residence.
"I said there would be no comment," Ritter said, according to the Albany Times Union. "Why don't you guys just go away?"
The chief U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991-98 and harsh critic of the war in Iraq, Ritter is accused of contacting the "girl" while using the handle "delmarm4fun" last February.
Ritter, of Delmar, N.Y., allegedly told the girl, "Emily," that he was a 44-year-old man from Albany, N.Y., according to an affidavit of probable cause.
The undercover officer then told Ritter he was a 15-year-old girl from the Poconos region of Pennsylvania, at which point Ritter asked for a picture in addition to one "Emily" had posted on her account, according to the affidavit prepared by Barrett Township Police Det. Ryan Venneman.
Ritter then sent a link to his Web camera and began to masturbate while it was focused on his genitals, according to the affidavit. The former U.N. official then allegedly provided his cell phone number.
"He then continued to masturbate on web cam and he again asked how old I was," the affidavit continued. "He was advised again that I was 15 years old. He said he didn't realize that I was 15 years old and turned off his web camera. He stated that he didn't want to get in trouble."
Ritter then allegedly told the "girl" that he fantasized about having sex with her, to which the officer replied, "guess u turned it off [no problem]."
Ritter then asked the girl if she "want[ed] to see it finish" before reactivating his Web camera and ejaculating, the affidavit read.
The conversation with the girl allegedly took place on Feb. 7, 2009, but the police investigation investigation lasted until November. Ritter was arrested on Nov. 9 and charged with unlawful contact with a minor, criminal use of a communications facility, corruption of minors, indecent exposure, possessing instruments of crime, criminal attempt and criminal solicitation.
Ritter appeared for his preliminary hearing on Dec. 17 and waived the felony charge of unlawful contact with a minor. He remains free on $25,000 bail.
Ritter's attorney, Todd Henry, of Philadelphia, did not return several calls seeking comment Thursday.
Ritter — born William Scott Ritter Jr. — is a former Marine who reportedly met his second wife, Marina, while working as a counterintelligence officer in the former Soviet Union.
"I came to Delmar ... to put roots down, to raise a family and live a normal middle-class American life," Ritter told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2002.
A press conference on the matter to be held by the Barrett Township Police Department is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday. Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Michael Rakaczewski will prosecute the case.
A press release issued in November by the Barrett Township police noted that the incident wasn't the first time Ritter had been arrested on similar charges, but that he had not been formally charged.
Ritter was reportedly charged in a June 2001 sex sting in New York, but the case was dismissed. He had been charged with attempted child endangerment after arranging to meet a person he thought was a 16-year-old girl at a fast-food restaurant. The girl was actually an undercover police officer.
The New York Post reported Ritter was caught in a similar case in April 2001 involving a 14-year-old girl, but he was never charged.
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (1-18-10)
Julio Alberto Poch, 57, an airline pilot, has been in custody in Madrid since his arrest last month.
He is wanted in Argentina for allegedly flying planes used to dump opponents of the military regime into the sea - known as "death flights".
Some 30,000 people disappeared or died during the junta's 1976-1983 rule. He denies the allegations.
Mr Poch was held during a short stopover at Valencia's Manises airport on 22 September, while flying an aircraft for Dutch Transavia airlines, a subsidiary of Air France-KLM.
The court said in its ruling there were sufficient guarantees to ensure that Mr Poch would have a fair trial in Argentina.
In October last year, a judge rejected a request by Mr Poch's lawyer to secure his release.
He argued that his client denied ever having been based at the Naval Mechanics School.
In 2005, Argentina's Supreme Court struck down amnesty laws which had shielded alleged human rights abusers from prosecution.
SOURCE: BBC News (1-18-10)
Mehmet Ali Agca served 19 years in an Italian prison for shooting John Paul, and another 10 years in Turkey for the earlier murder of a newspaper editor.
Agca's motives for attempting to kill the Pope remain a mystery, although when he was arrested he said he was acting alone.
In 1983 John Paul announced he had forgiven Agca after meeting him.
There have been long-standing questions about the mental health of Agca, based on his frequent outbursts and statements that he was a new messiah.
In a statement issued on his release, he said: "I proclaim the end of the world. All the world will be destroyed in this century. Every human being will die in this century... I am the Christ eternal."
Turkish media say Agca is now to be taken to a military facility and then to a hospital to be assessed for compulsory military service.
Agca, 52, had been a member of a Turkish ultra-nationalist group who fled Turkey after killing a newspaper editor.
He opened fire on Pope John Paul as he was being driven through St Peter's Square in Rome in an open vehicle on 13 May, 1981.
The Pope was seriously injured in the attack and Agca spent the next 19 years in prison in Italy.
He had once claimed, for example, that he was under the orders of the Bulgarian secret service.
A trial lasting 22 months was held in Rome during the 1980s about the alleged Bulgarian connection.
The accused were all acquitted for lack of proof.
One of 'great mysteries'
The BBC's Jonathan Head in Istanbul says that Agca will now have the chance to clear up one of the great mysteries of the last century - what was it that drove him to attempt the assassination of the most influential pope of modern times?
Agca's lawyers say he has been offered multi-million-dollar deals to tell his story.
Our correspondent says that after all the bizarre statements he has issued from jail, that story - if he tells it - is unlikely to be convincing.
He adds that few people believe he could have acted alone, but that whatever he says now, the real story behind the shooting of the Pope will in all likelihood never be known.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (1-17-10)
The problem is, the step forward comes immediately after he took one step back last month by moving his Holocaust-era predecessor closer toward sainthood.
In fact, much of Benedict's papacy has seen swings back and forth in the Vatican's relationship with the Jewish world.
The visit to Rome's synagogue is part of what should be an annual Catholic Day of Dialogue With Judaism, but it didn't happen last year. The Vatican had recently reinstated an ancient prayer calling for the conversion of the Jews, decades after it was shelved as part of 1960s-era reforms. Italy's Jewish community pulled out of the 2009 Day of Dialogue in protest.
Name of source: New York Daily News
SOURCE: New York Daily News (1-17-10)
For months now, King's family has been nervous about "Selma." Produced by Brad Pitt and "Slumdog Millionaire" Oscar-winner Christian Colson, the project's script portrays King (r.) as the tireless martyr of America's civil rights movement. But Paul Webb's screenplay also shows him to be a flesh-and-blood man who had, as his colleague Ralph Abernathy wrote, a "weakness for women."
Still, King's heirs are trying to keep his dalliances out of "Selma." Last week, a rep for Martin Luther King 3rd told us, "Our attorneys are reviewing the script."
Name of source: WSJ
SOURCE: WSJ (1-16-10)
But as the nation's death toll and governance challenges mount in the wake of Tuesday's earthquake, many Latin America specialists and leaders said the lone superpower across the sea will have little choice but to play an extended administrative role in Port-au-Prince.
Already, U.S. naval and air power are proving the only tools capable of bringing order to a decimated Haitian capital in a country long known for vigilantism and political disorder. Much of the Haitian government's infrastructure is destroyed and many of its leaders are missing.
An extended U.S. mission in Haiti would tax U.S. coffers and military capabilities already stretched by the Pentagon's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Mr. Obama has also committed the U.S. in recent weeks to ambitious new stabilization campaigns for Yemen and Pakistan in a bid to curb mounting al Qaeda terrorism threats....
Name of source: Hawaii News Now
SOURCE: Hawaii News Now (1-15-10)
"Right now all the indications are it leans to a plane that was lost in 1945," Brad Varney said.
The Maui scuba tour operator found the wreckage Wednesday, acting on a tip.
"A local fisherman happened to come into the shop and mention that he was trying to catch some fish under the wings of a plane. I'm like, 'What plane?'" Varney said.
He's a history buff. He said the plane appears to be a World War II U.S. Navy dive bomber. The Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless saved America during the Battle of Midway.
"We were on the ropes. We were behind. We were losing. This aircraft turned the tide," said Scotty Scott of the Pacific Aviation Museum.
A replica hangs at the museum.
The single-engine two-man bomber could reach speeds of 250 mph, carrying ammunition and a 1,000-pound payload.
The United States had over 2,000 of them.
In June the wreckage of another Dauntless was pulled from Lake Michigan. Now this one has been found.
"It's fascinating that it's there and nobody has found it before now and there's more out there," Scott said.
Varney said the plane is off the beaten path. That may explain why it's gone undiscovered.
The Navy is investigating how it got there so he has been ordered not to divulge its exact location.
He said it appears the pilot and gunner got out safely.
"There's still gauges in there Most of the controls are still in there. The cowling's pushed back where the pilot got out. But it's in pretty good shape," he said.
Name of source: The Daily Beast
SOURCE: The Daily Beast (1-15-10)
Reclusive former Haitian ruler Jean-Claude Duvalier has lived in France since he fled his homeland nearly a quarter-century ago. But Duvalier, famously known as “Baby Doc,” emerged from the shadows via email late Friday night. In an exclusive email to The Daily Beast’s Eric Pape, Duvalier offered comforting words in the aftermath of the earthquake that leveled the country he once led, lauding the international “wave of solidarity,” and asking Swiss authorities to direct $8 million to emergency relief efforts....
“Baby Doc” was installed in power in 1971 following the death of his father, François Duvalier. (“Papa Doc” projected an all-powerful aura, winning elections by absurd margins, and he later proclaimed himself president for life. His strongman regime was blamed for many thousands of deaths.)
His son held power until 1986, when, faced with a popular revolt over corruption and a crumbling economy—which stood in stark contrast to Baby Doc's decadent lifestyle—the Reagan administration facilitated his flight into exile and he settled in France (although he never gained formal asylum). Initially, “Baby Doc’s” presence here spurred numerous reports about the exiled leader’s high life—and his wife’s spend-friendly ways, but their bitter divorce in the mid-1990s is said to have cost him his fortune. He reportedly now stays in an inexpensive Parisian apartment with another wife.
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (1-16-10)
Dutchman Jacobus Petrus Besteman testified on Friday by video link from the Netherlands.
"All those who participated were afraid of not following orders. It was very dangerous," he told the state court in the western German border city of Aachen.
Besteman added, however, that he never witnessed officers being punished for not following execution orders.
Name of source: Spiegel Online (Germany)
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (Germany) (1-15-10)
Dawn was breaking as Howard Carter took up a crowbar to pry open the sealed tomb door in Egypt's Valley of the Kings. With shaking hands, he held a candle to the fissure, now wafting out 3,300-year-old air. What did he see, those behind him wanted to know. The archaeologist could do no more than stammer, "Wonderful things!"...
The discoveries in that tomb set in motion a power struggle that has been only partially uncovered. Carter wanted to send as much of the treasure as possible to England and the United States. This plan quickly met with resistance. Egypt had been a British protectorate since 1914, but the administration of antiques lay in the hands of a particularly intractable Frenchman.
In the end, Carter's entire scheme went awry and the pharaoh's golden treasures remained in Cairo, marking the end of an era of ruthless appropriation of cultural assets. Carter and his team went away empty-handed....
Or at least, that was the official word. Secretly, however, the Carter team helped themselves, despite lacking authorization. Objects in several museums have now been revealed to belong to Tutankhamun's treasures.
The most recent example is a small ushabti, or servant for the dead, made of white faience and standing in the Louvre. On a recent visit to the Paris museum, Egyptologist Christian Loeben couldn't believe his eyes. "Tutankhamun's throne name is written on the figure," he explains. "It can only have come from his tomb."...
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (Germany) (1-13-10)
It was a greatly delayed homecoming. But on Tuesday, the remains of five Kawesqar Indians, kidnapped in 1881 and brought to Europe for display in zoos, were returned to Chile for burial in their ancestral homeland in Tierra del Fuego in the country's far south....
Known as "human zoos," the shows involved the abduction of indigenous peoples from around the world, particularly Africa. Often they were displayed in villages built in zoos specifically for the show, but they were also made to perform on stage for the amusement of a paying public.
One of the most prominent of the human zoo operators was the Hamburg animal trader Carl Hagenbeck, whose name still graces the zoo in Hamburg. Indeed, it was a Hagenbeck expedition which brought the five Kawesqars to Europe (along with six others, five of whom were allowed to return with the sixth dying on the way home). They took part in Hagenbeck shows in Berlin, Munich, Leipzig, Stuttgart, Nuremberg and Zurich in addition to Hamburg. In Paris, the show, called "The Savages from the Land of Fire," attracted a half-million visitors.
Name of source: Dallas Morning News
SOURCE: Dallas Morning News (1-15-10)
Name of source: ABC News
SOURCE: ABC News (1-15-09)
The intricately carved statues and reliefs are some of the best preserved in Indonesia, but the dig is being conducted under tight security to protect the site from well-organised relic thieves.
The temple was found on the grounds of Yogyakarta's Islamic University as workers probed the ground to lay foundations for a new library, and they realised the earth beneath their feet was not stable.
A few weeks into the excavation, archaeologists are declaring the temple and its rare and beautiful statues an important discovery that could provide insights into Indonesia's pre-Islamic culture.
SOURCE: ABC News (1-14-10)
"The police found the tablet last December on the Marktplaats auction site," the culture ministry said in a statement. "The owner voluntarily gave it up after being informed that it was illegal to trade in Iraqi cultural artefacts."
The tablet, 7cm by 4.5cm, has been dated to 2040 BC, and comes from the ancient city of Ur. It is inscribed with an administrative list with numbers, names and payments for services rendered.
The tablet would be presented to Iraqi ambassador Siamand Banaa at a ceremony in Leiden, a ministry spokesperson said.
It would then be transferred to the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden for a special exhibition with another 69 archaeological objects from Iraq.
These objects, including terracotta sculptures and clay tiles with inscriptions in cuneiform writing, had all been recovered by Dutch customs authorities from the illegal art circuit.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (1-14-10)
This changed after a Chicago philanthropist named Julius Rosenwald, the president of Sears, Roebuck, took up the cause of long-neglected education for blacks at the urging of Booker T. Washington, the proponent of black self-help. By the late 1920s, one in three rural black pupils in 15 states were attending a new school built with seed money, architectural advice and supplies from the Rosenwald Fund....
Today, this hard-used wooden building, which narrowly escaped demolition, is one of several dozen Rosenwald schools being restored as landmarks — newly appreciated relics of important chapters in philanthropy and black education. The schools were a turning point, sparking improved, if still unequal, education for much of the South, historians say.
The Smithsonian Institution’s new National Museum of African-American History and Culture is acquiring desks and other artifacts, as well as oral histories, from another Rosenwald school in South Carolina, said Jacquelyn D. Serwer, chief curator....
Name of source: Clarion Ledger
SOURCE: Clarion Ledger (1-15-10)
Kerry said the bill, which failed in 2006, can pass this year in honor of King. "I want the world to know what he stood for," Kerry said. "And I want his personal history preserved and examined by releasing all of his records."
The bill calls for creating a Martin Luther King Records Collection at the National Archives that would include all government records related to King. The bill also would create a five-member independent review board that would identify and make public all documents from agencies including the FBI - just as a review board in 1992 made public documents related to the 1963 John F. Kennedy assassination.
"This is personal for someone who came of age in the civil rights movement and was inspired by Dr. King," Kerry said. "He challenged the conscience of my generation and still moves a new generation of volunteers and activists to speak out against prejudice and suffering, wherever they might take place."...
Name of source: PR Newwswire
SOURCE: PR Newwswire (1-14-10)
Mengele, who escaped capture until his death by drowning in 1979, proves himself an unrepentant racist. Ironically penned on over 180 pages in a children's zoological workbook, the unrepentant Nazi incredibly wavers between describing his rescue of a cow trapped in a mud bog, to demanding the extermination of "inferior morons". He claims: "We have to make sure that nature's suspended eradication will continue through human arrangements...the real problem is to define when human life is worth living and when it has to be eradicated...birth control can be done by sterilizing those with deficient genes...". Also included in the sale is a war-date letter written by Mengele while at Auschwitz to his wife looking forward to their "imaginary reunion" and hoping for a transfer to a "combat unit".
When asked if he felt any qualms about offering material signed by such despicable individuals, auction house president Bill Panagopulos replied: "Make no mistake about it – I have no sympathy for these monsters. My father's home town was wiped-out by the Nazis in a reprisal action. But it is of vital importance that such documents remain available as tangible evidence of the evil deeds of the past, as well as to provide further pieces of history's puzzle".
Also coming to the block will be a handwritten document signed by Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower and British Gen. Bernard Law Montgomery in which Ike bets Monty five pounds that the "war with Germany will end before Xmas 1944". Of course, Eisenhower would lose his wager: Christmas, 1944 saw the bitterest fighting of the Battle of the Bulge!
Other militaria to be offered in the sale includes a signed photograph in silver presentation frame from Adolf Hitler to Gen. Gerd von Rundstedt, an original Hitler watercolor, a photo signed by George Patton to Eisenhower's chief aide, a letter from Erwin Rommel congratulating his Afrika Korps, rare New Orleans-made Confederate swords, a W. T. Sherman letter denying he had burned Atlanta, a Confederate naval commission, and much more.
As always, bidders can choose from all kinds of other historic autographs in all price ranges, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and dozens of other presidents, John Hancock, Mao Tse Tung, Hirohito, Napoleon, Ivan Pavlov, Walt Disney, Ferdinand & Isabella, Albert Einstein, Charles Lindbergh, Davey Crockett, J.R.R. Tolkien, Bat Masterson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Michael Jackson, and hundreds of others.
Name of source: AAP
SOURCE: AAP (1-14-10)
The soldiers' bodies were unearthed from the series of unmarked pits on the outskirts of the village of Fromelles by a team of archaeologists in late 2009.
Their remains laid undiscovered until an amateur historian from Melbourne tracked down their mystery resting place, paving the way for their bodies to be recovered.
While DNA tests are being carried out to try and determine the identities of as many of the soldiers as possible, their remains will start being reinterred at a new military cemetery being built in Fromelles on January 30.
Just one of the soldiers is expected to buried on the day in an official ceremony expected to be attended by Australian, British and French government officials and much of the townsfolk of Fromelles.
The gradual process of burying the rest of the soldiers will begin in February, with each one to be reinterred with full military honours.
The final soldier will be reinterred during the cemetery's official opening on July 19 - the 94th anniversary of the notorious Battle of Fromelles when the men lost their lives.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission spokesman Pete Francis said large crowds were expected to attend the first reburial.
"We're holding it on a Saturday so as many people from the village as possible can attend," he said.
"We're hoping the entire village will be there.
"We've also had a number of phone calls from members of the public, mainly from the UK and some from Australia, asking if it's a public event and if they can come.
"So it should be quite a crowd."
The archaeological team spent four months delicately removing the bodies and 1,200 artefacts found with them including badges, boots and pieces of army-issue uniforms.
The soldiers were buried by German troops after the Battle of Fromelles, when Australian forces suffered 5,533 casualties in just 24 hours - the country's heaviest military casualty rate.
Britain recorded 1,547 soldiers killed, wounded or missing.
Initially, it was believed the mass grave site could contain about 400 bodies.
But a careful excavation of the eight pits dug by German soldiers revealed the remains of 250 troops, most of whom are believed to be Australian.
DNA samples have been taken from each of the bodies in the hope that some of the soldiers can be identified.
The whereabouts of the mass grave was officially confirmed in May 2008 after years of research by Melbourne amateur historian Lambis Englezos who pinpointed the exact location alongside Pheasant Wood, on Fromelles' outskirts.
Name of source: The Star (Malaysia)
SOURCE: The Star (Malaysia) (1-13-10)
And there is concern that workers at the site and the public may have been quietly digging up these items to sell.
Site manager Omar Mahmod said many items might have been sold before he realised that his worksite contained buried treasures when he uncovered a porcelain vase that he believed was from ancient China.
He questioned his workers and discovered that many items had been found at the site.
“Many of these artefacts were found when we started earth excavation in February last year, but the workers concealed their find from us at first,” he said yesterday.
Realising that the items were being sold off on the quiet, he directed the workers to declare any artefacts found from the site.
He also directed his colleagues to comb the area to search and hand over the relics to museum authorities.
“Those who comb the area after a heavy downpour can be sure of finding such artefacts,” he said.
Since discovering the porcelain vase, Omar has dug out coins with early Jawi writing, Arabic script and ancient Chinese emblems, ancient Indian ornaments and Chinese jars, plates and vases.
An Indonesian worker from the site who requested anonymity said he surrendered most of the artefacts to his superior but admitted he had sold some to collectors.
“Such coins are collectors’ items some of which I will take back to Surabaya,” he said.
State MCA chief Toh Chin Yaw said the items were priceless and part of the state’s history. He said the contractor had been asked to declare any future discovery of artefacts. “We want to preserve valuable items extracted at the site for our future generations,” he said.
Toh said he had informed the relevant authorities to visit the site and claim any artefacts found.
Name of source: Kyiv Post (Ukraine)
SOURCE: Kyiv Post (Ukraine) (1-15-10)
Since I am convinced that it was the Americans who brought Yuschenko to power in order to ruin Russian-Ukrainian relations as much as possible, I see his initiative to set up an international tribunal as political death throes," said Alexei Ostrovsky, chairman of the Duma Committee on the Commonwealth of Independent States and Liaison with Compatriots.
"Descendants of present-day Ukrainians will set up another tribunal, one to investigate Yuschenko's crimes against his own people, whom he has brought to complete poverty for his five years of presidency," Ostrovsky said.
Another Duma deputy, Vladimir Kashin, deputy leader of the Communist Party, spoke in the same vein.
"Viktor Yuschenko, who is in his last days of presidency, should himself be put on trial for numerous crimes against his own people," Kashin told Interfax.
"Getting into a fever now that the presidential election is drawing near, Mr. Yuschenko, in the hope of earning extra points, either puts pressure on a court that has described the famine of the Ukrainian people in the USSR in the 30s of last century as 'genocide' or puts forward a strange proposal to set up an international tribunal to judge the former Soviet regime," Kashin said.
He called Yuschenko's tribunal initiative "a purely populist, public relations move aimed at winning over voters who hold nationalist positions and those who supported the Bandera movement [anti-Soviet guerrilla movement in western Ukraine in the 1940s led by Stepan Bandera] or even collaborated with the fascists."
"These feverish moves of the outgoing Ukrainian president aren't worth taking seriously," Kashin said. "All his so-called initiatives will sink into oblivion quite soon. But I am convinced that Mr. Yuschenko himself must be put on trial for driving his country into chaos and poverty and setting the Ukrainians and Russians against each other for his five years of presidency."