Breaking NewsFollow Breaking News updates on RSS and Twitter
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used. Because most of our readers read the NYT we usually do not include the paper's stories in HIGHLIGHTS.
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (2-23-10)
The widely held view among contemporary historians is that the charges brought against Anne – that she committed adultery with five lovers, including her brother – are too preposterous to be true, and were either trumped up by one political faction to do down another, or invented by Henry as a result of his desire to marry Jane Seymour, after Anne had failed to give him a son. But George Bernard, professor of early modern history at Southampton University and editor of the English Historical Review, believes that the queen could well have been guilty of some of the charges laid against her – or at the very least that her behaviour was such that it was reasonable for Henry to assume she had committed adultery.
Examining a 1545 poem by Lancelot de Carles, who was then serving the French ambassador to Henry's court, Bernard concludes that the poem, entitled "A letter containing the criminal charges laid against Queen Anne Boleyn of England," offers strong evidence that Anne did, in fact, commit adultery. She was accused of "despising her marriage" and "entertaining malice against the king", with her indictment claiming that "by base conversations and kisses, touchings, gifts, and other infamous incitations" she seduced men including the musician Mark Smeaton, chief gentleman of the privy chamber Henry Norris and her brother George, Viscount Rochford, "alluring him with her tongue in his mouth and his in hers". All five men, and Anne, were executed.
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (2-22-10)
Port ignited a storm, quickly drawing almost 300 comments to his post on the popular political blog SayAnythingBlog.com, and a rash of links across the internet. "I wonder if the liberals who mock conservatives who refer to Obama as a socialist still find it funny?" wrote All American Blogger. "By itself, this wouldn't be that big of a deal. But [in] the context of Obama's economic policies? Well, I'll let you make your own call," wrote Port, a self-styled bibliophile.
Some commenters were just as scandalised by the books' presence in the White House library as Port. Others were more cynical. "Fortunately, most of us live in a world where we're allowed to have books besides the Bible and a sticky copy of Going Rogue," wrote one. "I have a copy of Mein Kampf on my shelf (next to Winston Churchill, incidentally). Does that make me a Nazi?" asked another, while a third sarcastically suggested dealing with the "filthy socialists" by starting an organisation. "Perhaps call it the National Anti-Socialism Institute, or NASI (perhaps change the 's' to a 'z' to give it a little edge?), and go around removing this unconscionable literature from our country in the interest of protecting and promoting our pure culture."
The only problem, the Washington Post reveals, is that the books have been in the library since 1963, after Jackie Kennedy asked a Yale University librarian to oversee a committee that would select books for the library.
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (2-23-10)
The news was announced by Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, who said: "Some of the most defining sounds of the 20th century were created within the walls of the Abbey Road studios. English Heritage has long recognised the cultural importance of Abbey Road – it contains, quite simply, the most famous recording studios in the world and acts as a modern day monument to the history of recorded sound and music."
Fears for the future of a pop music pilgrimage site for tourists from all over the world were eased at the weekend, with the announcement by EMI that it has no immediate plans to sell the building.
Its long-term viability, however, remains in question through seismic changes in the music industry, with micro-studios increasingly replacing large high-maintenance centralised facilities. EMI says it is holding preliminary discussions for the revitalisation of Abbey Road, which has been losing money for years.
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Education
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (2-25-10)
The find, made last month by a Dutch researcher, Erik-Jan Bos of Utrecht University, prompted Mr. Bos to quote another great thinker.
"Eureka," he said he yelled on opening a digital image of the letter that Haverford had scanned from its special collections and e-mailed to him. At the time, nobody knew how important the letter was. In fact, few knew of its existence.
But for Haverford, the discovery was a two-edged sword. The letter, Mr. Bos said, was stolen property.
The president of the Pennsylvania college, Stephen G. Emerson, said this week that when he found out the letter had been stolen—from Paris's Institut de France about 170 years ago—he knew it must be returned. So in June, Mr. Emerson will fly to France with the letter in his carry-on bag, and give it back....
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (2-25-10)
“We want to turn the page,” Mr. Sarkozy said during a three-hour stay, during which he met with the Rwandan president, Paul Kagame.
Mr. Kagame also acknowledged that “Rwanda and France have had a difficult past. We’re here today to found a new partnership.”...
France once held enormous sway in Rwanda, a French-speaking former Belgian colony. But Mr. Kagame’s government has long accused the French of providing training and arms to the Hutu militias and former government troops who led the genocide, in which more than 800,000 Rwandans, mainly Tutsi, were killed....
SOURCE: NYT (2-24-10)
“I still struggle every day to discard my past ideas,” said Pawel, a 33-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jew and former truck driver, noting with little irony that he had to stop hating Jews in order to become one.
“When I look at an old picture of myself as a skinhead, I feel ashamed. Every day I try and do teshuvah,” he said, using the Hebrew word for repentance. “Every minute of every day. There is a lot to make up for.”
Pawel, who also uses his Hebrew name Pinchas, asked not to use his last name for fear that his old neo-Nazi friends could target him or his family.
Pawel is perhaps the most unlikely example of a Jewish revival under way in Poland in which hundreds of Poles, a majority of them raised as Catholics, are either converting to Judaism or discovering Jewish roots submerged for decades in the aftermath of World War II.
Before 1939, Poland was home to more than three million Jews; over 90 percent of them were killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. A majority of those who survived emigrated. Of the fewer than 50,000 who remained in Poland, many either abandoned or hid their Judaism during decades of Communist oppression in which political pogroms against Jews persisted.
But Rabbi Michael Schudrich, the chief rabbi of Poland, noted that 20 years after the fall of Communism, a historical reckoning was finally taking place. He said Pawel’s metamorphosis illustrated just how far the country had come.
“Before 1989 there was a feeling that it was not safe to say ‘I am a Jew,”’ he said. “But today, there is a growing feeling that Jews are a missing limb in Poland.”
Five years ago, the rabbi noted, there were about 250 families in the Jewish community in Warsaw; today there are 600. During that period, the number of rabbis serving the country has grown from one to eight. The cafes and bars of the old Jewish quarter in Krakow brim with young Jewish converts listening to Israeli hip hop music. Even several priests have decided to become Jewish.
SOURCE: NYT (2-21-10)
The dream of uniting sport and art, as they were once paired in the original Greek Olympiads, was in fact central to the mission of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the godfather of the Games. The goal was “to reunite in the bonds of legitimate wedlock a long-divorced couple — Muscle and Mind,” the baron loftily announced to an organizing committee in an early attempt to get the idea off the ground. But while the first athletic competitions got under way in Athens in 1896, it was not until the Stockholm Games in 1912 that medals would be given for architecture, sculpture, painting, music and literature....
In his appositely titled book “The Forgotten Olympic Art Competitions,” Richard Stanton relates the details of this obscure byway of cultural history in enthusiastic prose. Who knew that Walter Winans, a Russian-born aristocrat who maintained United States citizenship despite living mostly abroad, was the only Olympian to win medals in both sporting and cultural competition in the same Olympiad? In the 1912 games he took home the silver for the United States in “Team Running Deer — Single Shot” (since eliminated, we believe) and the gold medal for sculpture for “An American Trotter.”...
The dubiousness of judging aesthetic achievement by committee has been a common subject for complaint ever since awards began proliferating like wildflowers in the last half-century. The highly politicized nature of international competition only added to the problem, as becomes blindingly clear when you scan the list of arts winners from the infamous 1936 Games in Berlin....
SOURCE: NYT (2-22-10)
The senator, Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, also rejected a proposal to have his committee conduct its own assessment of the agency’s harsh interrogation methods, which included wall-slamming and waterboarding, the documents say.
But Mr. Roberts, through a spokesman, denied having approved the destruction of the videotapes, which is under criminal investigation, and defended his record in overseeing the interrogation program....
In November 2005, after nearly three years of internal debate, the agency destroyed 92 videotapes of interrogations of two people suspected of being terrorists, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri....
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (2-24-10)
The museum curator was well-known for his tall tales in the Dutch art community and was widely mocked for filling his personal collection with forgeries.
"This discovery is not an attribution but an absolute certainty," he assured his peers to guffaws.
But 25 years after his death, Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum has said the notorious fantasist was right after all.
Yesterday experts said the anonymous work he bought for for 6,500 francs from a Paris dealer was almost certainly by the Dutch master.
New research has concluded the painting Le Blute-fin Windmill which Hannema left to Zwolle's Museum de Fundatie in 1984, was in fact the genuine article and now worth millions....
SOURCE: WaPo (2-25-10)
"China's on the rise," said Wayne Nunnery, 56, a retired U.S. Air Force employee from Bexar, Tex., who was one of 1,004 randomly selected adults polled. "I don't worry about a Chinese century, but I do wonder how it's going to be for my three sons."
Asked whether this century would be more of an "American Century" or more of a "Chinese Century," Americans divide evenly in terms of the economy (41 percent say Chinese, 40 percent American) and tilt toward the Chinese in terms of world affairs (43 percent say Chinese, 38 percent American). A slim majority say the United States will play a diminished role in the world's economy this century, and nearly half see the country's position shrinking in world affairs more generally....
Analysts say the bubbling anti-China sentiment in the United States could constitute a problem for U.S. policy toward that country if the polls also coincide, as they seem to, with growing support for trade protectionism....
For Andrew Kohut, the president of the Pew Research Center, increasing public concerns with China remind him of America's reaction to another rising Asian nation three decades ago: Japan.
"This is déjà vu all over again, to quote Yogi," he said. "When a Japanese company bought Rockefeller Center, Americans went nuts. We asked questions about whether Japan was going to become No. 1 and people said yes. These two sentiments are very similar."...
SOURCE: WaPo (2-22-10)
That self-assessment comes from Oh Kil-nam, a South Korean economist who moved to North Korea a quarter-century ago, dragging along his unhappy wife and two teenage daughters. He then defected to the West, leaving his family stranded in a country his wife had called "a living hell."...
His wife and daughters -- if alive -- are believed to be prisoners in Camp No. 15, one of several sprawling political prisons in the mountains of North Korea.
Nineteen years ago, North Korean authorities, via unofficial intermediaries based in Germany, sent Oh letters that were written in his wife's hand, saying she and the girls were in the camp. There were pictures of them posing in the snow -- and a cassette tape with voices of his daughters begging to see their daddy.
High-resolution satellite images of Camp 15 and several other political prisons have been widely circulated in the past year on Google Earth, arousing increased concern about human rights abuses inside the North Korean gulag, which has existed for more than half a century -- twice as long the Soviet gulag. But documentary evidence of life inside the North's camps remains exceedingly rare....
Defectors who have been released from Camp 15 say public executions are common there, along with beatings, rapes, starvation and the disappearance of female prisoners impregnated by guards. They say that prisoners have no access to soap, underwear, socks, tampons or toilet paper -- and that most inmates die by age 50, usually of illnesses exacerbated by overwork and chronic hunger....
Name of source: IPS
SOURCE: IPS (2-24-10)
"I will not be forced out of my home without fair compensation," the village elder vows as a hydraulic hammer reduces his neighbor’s brick home to rubble. "If they try to destroy my house I will lock myself inside it."
Khodari is the patriarch of an extended family of 14 who live in the two-storey house, its exterior walls adorned with paintings of his pilgrimage to Mecca four years ago. He has defied a municipal eviction order and demands "equitable compensation" before vacating the home he claims is built on land his family has occupied for over 200 years.
"For the past month the government has cut off our water and electricity during the day to pressure us to leave," he says. "Then they came a week ago and told us we must go. Go where? Into the streets, the desert… to Israel?"
Hundreds of low-income families have lost their homes since Luxor city officials approved a controversial plan to excavate an ancient processional route and develop it as a key tourist attraction. Buried for centuries under soil and houses, the 2.7-kilometer ‘Avenue of Sphinxes’ once connected the temples of Luxor and Karnak in what was then the ancient city of Thebes.
The processional route, first used during the reign of Amenhotep III (1386-1349 BC), took its final form under the 30th Dynasty king Nectanebo I (380-362 BC). Over 1,300 stone sphinxes line the paved avenue, which fell out of use in the 5th century AD after a flood covered it in a thick layer of silt.
"It was always our dream to uncover this sacred route between Luxor and Karnak temples," says Mansour Boraik, SCA’s director of Luxor antiquities. "It is the longest and biggest religious route ever built in the ancient world. There is no parallel to it anywhere on earth."
The SCA is supervising the demolition of buildings that lay above or adjacent to the ancient route, and has cut a 100-meter-wide trench through densely populated neighborhoods and cultivated fields along its length. Two of four sections are expected to open to the public early next month.
Few doubted that archaeological treasures would be found in the process. Excavators have already uncovered ancient chapels, a Roman wine factory, and 620 sphinx statues, some in remarkably good condition. But critics say the supercharged tourism project has resulted in sloppy archaeology and unacceptable social costs.
"You don’t do archaeology with a bulldozer," said one foreign archaeologist, who preferred to remain anonymous. "It can take years to excavate and record a site. Work on the sphinx avenue is being rushed to get it ready for tourism, and several historical buildings have been deliberately destroyed."
Residents charge that the government is using archaeology as a pretext to raze low-income neighborhoods it perceives as eyesores. Over 800 families have been forcibly relocated since the project began three years ago.
"So far we have removed about 95 percent of the houses on the sphinx avenue," says Luxor governor Samir Farrag. "We give them a choice of compensation: a new flat or LE 75,000 (13,500 US dollars). The new flats [are located] just 200 meters from the old ones. If they choose the money, we give them a check and they go to the bank to receive the money."
Evicted families that IPS spoke to, however, claimed this was not the package they were offered. Some said they received as little as LE 30,000 (5,500 dollars) for their homes. Others complained that the new flats, when provided, were unfinished or in remote desert areas.
One local resident, who gave his name only as Ramadan, said he was offered a new flat in the desert beyond the city’s airport, but it was "very small and very far away." Instead, he accepted LE 40,000 (7,200 dollars) per floor for his three-storey house and moved into a rented flat on the city’s outskirts. It would cost about LE 750,000 (136,000 dollars) to purchase a new house like the old one, he estimates.
"We are eight men with our wives and children living under one roof," he explains. "The settlement money will run out in a few months, and we don’t know where we will go then."
The home demolitions are part of a government-backed master plan that ostensibly aims to protect Luxor’s ancient heritage and increase its tourism revenue. The plan calls for removing encroachments on the city’s archaeological sites and relocating residents to new planned communities. It outlines extensive infrastructure improvements and new tourist facilities with the goal of creating the world’s largest open-air museum by 2030.
But the plan has drawn fire for its aggressive gentrification. One commentator noted that "rather than encouraging the mingling of tourists with the local population, which enriches the visitors’ experience and generates valuable income for the locals, the [Egyptian government’s] policy promotes segregation of the two groups."
Meanwhile, implementation of the sphinx avenue component has caused friction between the Egyptian government and UNESCO, which monitors the bookended World Heritage sites of Luxor and Karnak temples. A joint World Heritage Center/ICOMOS mission in April 2008 reported that several historical buildings were demolished, while SCA excavations appeared both hurried and clumsy.
"It is inconceivable that such an enormous expanse of the avenue was thoroughly excavated and recorded in such a short period of time. Heavy machinery was obviously used, as betrayed by the leveling of the soil and the marks on some of the stone blocks," the mission report stated.
There is also concern that the master plan will result in the ‘Disneyfication’ of the ancient Egyptian city. Tourism developers are mulling plans for pharaonic-themed tourist villages and the reenactment of ancient processions along the sphinx avenue. Officials even flirted with the idea of a monorail to ferry around tourists.
Instead, tour buses will proceed in caravans along two lanes that run parallel to the restored avenue. Tourists will be allowed to disembark and descend several meters to the open-air exhibit.
"We will open some sectors with controlled entrances under our supervision so [tourists] can see parts of the avenue," says Boraik. "We will not build any replicas of the sphinxes, because the destruction of the sphinxes is history, but we are restoring the ones we find."
When completed, the sphinx avenue will generate tourism revenue through ticket sales, tour fees and increased hotel guest spending. While officials are reluctant to put a figure on it, one tourism expert estimates the new attraction should bring in at least 50 million dollars a year.
By contrast, the government has allocated just over 5 million dollars for one-time compensations to relocated families.
"It really makes the government’s compensation package look pathetic," says one man whose home is slated for demolition.
Name of source: Sign on San Diego
SOURCE: Sign on San Diego (2-18-10)
He wasn’t supposed to work that day, and he had been at the information center only once before. His assignment was vague; he just knew he was supposed to report for duty. The island’s radar system was in the experimental stages. When two privates at the island’s north end spotted a large blip on their scope, the call came to him on that early Sunday morning.
Mr. Tyler knew the equipment was new, and he believed a flight of American B-17s was coming in. He told the two privates, “Don’t worry about it.”
Many questioned his decision for years, and a movie portrayed him in an unflattering light, but he was vindicated when circumstances became known, and it was clear that top Army and Navy commanders shouldered much of the blame for the military’s lack of readiness for such an attack.
Mr. Tyler died of pneumonia Jan. 23 at his San Diego home. He was 86.
Daniel Martinez, Pearl Harbor historian for the National Park Service, said Mr. Tyler’s role at Pearl Harbor was misunderstood.
“Kermit Tyler took the brunt of the criticism, but that was practically his first night on the job, and he was told that if music was playing on the radio all night, it meant the B-17s were coming in.”
The music played all night so the B-17 pilots could home in on the signal, and when he heard the music as he was driving to work, Mr. Tyler figured the aircraft would be coming in soon. Though the decision he made haunted him, he believed it was the right one at the time.
In an interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune in 2000, Mr. Tyler said he and a switchboard operator were the only ones at the aircraft information center at Fort Shafter when the call came in from Pvts. Joseph Lockard and George Elliott shortly after 7 a.m. There was no one around with any training in interpreting radar plots or ordering planes into the air.
“I knew the equipment was pretty new. The people were brand-new,” Mr. Tyler said in the interview. “In fact, the guy who was on the (radar) scope, who first detected the planes, it was the first time he’d ever sat at the scope. So I figured they were pretty green and had not had any opportunity to view a flight of B-17s coming in. That added to everything else. Common sense said, well, these are the B-17s.”
Mr. Tyler and others said that if he had taken action, it would have been to notify his superior officer and that it probably wouldn’t have materially affected the outcome.
Martinez said he worked hard to persuade Mr. Tyler to speak at the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. “It was difficult to get close to him because he had been ridiculed (over his role), especially in the movie ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’ There are many who didn’t know the history.”
Friend Pat Thompson of El Cajon said Mr. Tyler was never bitter about the past. “He was a kind man and had a great sense of humor despite everything.”
Kermit Arthur Tyler was born April 21, 1913, in Oelwein, Iowa. He grew up in Long Beach and attended Long Beach Junior College. He briefly attended the University of California Berkeley before being accepted for military flight training. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force in 1961. He and his family settled in San Diego, and he earned a degree from what was then San Diego State College. He had a career in real estate and enjoyed surfing and tennis.
Mr. Tyler is survived by three children, Carol Daniels of Morro Bay, Julie Jones of La Mesa and Terry Tyler of Temecula; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. He was predeceased by his wife, Marian, and a son, Michael. Services have been held.
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (2-24-10)
On the eve of the Obama administration's most aggressive push yet to pass a national health care plan, a 50-year-old audio recording of Ronald Reagan speaking out against "socialized medicine" has become a huge YouTube sensation.
Nearly 1 million viewers have watched the video, in which the late president, speaking before he became California governor, warns that government intervention in the health care system creates a slippery slope.
"One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It's very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project," he said in the recording. But he said most people in America oppose "socialized medicine" when given the choice.
"From here, it's a short step to all the rest of socialism," Reagan said.
The video first made its way around the Internet last summer. While conservative sites hailed it, others ridiculed the recording.
Media Matters dismissed the clip, writing that "Reagan was speaking out against an early version of Medicare, which has become very popular since it was enacted," and that the late president’s "dire predictions" never came true.
Health care reform critics are on edge as President Obama convenes a bipartisan health care reform summit Thursday. The president says he wants to hear Republican ideas, but he has already introduced a blueprint for a bill and Democratic lawmakers are threatening to pass the bill using a controversial tactic known as reconciliation, which would allow the Senate to approve parts of the package with just 51 votes if it gets House approval.
SOURCE: Fox News (2-24-10)
Ret. Colonel Robert L Howard, a Medal of Honor recipient who was awarded eight Purple Hearts for his service in the Vietnam War, was to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.
Howard, who died on Dec. 23, was 70.
Howard was wounded 14 times during 54 months of combat duty — five tours — in Vietnam. He retired from the Army as a full colonel in 2006 after 36 years in the U.S. military — including more than 33 years on airborne status.
He was hailed as one of the nation's most heroic soldiers — and the most highly decorated soldier since World War II.
According to a biographical sketch issued by the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), Howard also participated in two movies starring John Wayne, making a parachute jump in "The Longest Day" and appearing as an airborne instructor in "The Green Berets."
President Richard Nixon presented the Medal of Honor to him on March 2, 1971.
SOURCE: Fox News (2-22-10)
Speaking to Fox News in an exclusive interview, Clinton said he didn't think Democrats will lose control Congress this year, as they did after his failed effort to create a nationalized health care system in 1993, because Democrats "in effect got more advanced notice" of the anger that is brewing over the debate.
But the president also warned that Congress has an added burden this midterm election year -- an economy that is recovering much more slowly than it did when his administration was digging out of a recession.
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (2-25-10)
Their single Boom Boom Pow is the third biggest seller with Lady Gaga taking the number two slot with Poker Face.
Gaga's Just Dance and Bad Romance also feature in the top 25 most downloaded songs, according to Billboard.
The person who bought the 10 billionth track won a $10,000 (£6,500) iTunes gift card.
The buyers details have not been released.
Flo Rida, Katy Perry and Rihanna are all credited with two tracks apiece in the top 25 most downloaded chart, with British artists Coldplay and Leona Lewis featuring in the top 10.
All 25 songs were released in the past five years, with the exception of the Journey's Don't Stop Believin', which has gained popularity after featuring in the hit TV show Glee.
SOURCE: BBC News (2-24-10)
A study published in the journal BioMed Central found a gene found in small dogs, IGF1, is closely related to one found in Middle Eastern wolves.
Archaeologists have found the remains of small dogs dating back 12,000 years in the region.
In Europe, older remains have been uncovered, dating from 31,000 years ago, but these are from larger dogs.
"Because all small dogs possess this variant of IGF1, it probably arose early in their history," said Dr Melissa Gray from the University of California, Los Angeles.
The team of researchers took samples from grey wolf populations around the world.
"We have a couple of individuals from North America, from Yellowstone and Alaska, several from the Middle East, Israel, Iran, India, China, Russia, Italy, Spain, Belarus and Belgium," explained Dr Gray.
The study says the similarity between the variant found in small dogs and that in the Middle Eastern grey wolf shows small size probably originated as a result of the wolf's domestication.
The scientists believe people may have preferred smaller dogs because they were easier to house in farming societies where space was at a premium.
Animals often become smaller as a result of domestication and the trend can be seen in cattle, pigs and goats.
Dr Gray believes the results could be useful for dog breeders: "Because we have this gene and that it affects body size it could possibly be used as a way to breed for small body size."
And she hopes small dog owners around the world will find the results interesting. "Maybe they can have a better understanding of the history of their pets and where they came from and how they likely dispersed out from the region."
SOURCE: BBC News (2-24-10)
The firm told the court in Kerala state it would suspend sales of the $24,000 (£16,000) pen until a ruling on whether it could continue to sell it in India.
Opponents of the pricey pen argue that it is an inappropriate way of honouring a man who was known for his austerity.
The gold and silver limited edition pen includes an engraving of Gandhi.
Mahatma Gandhi is seen as the father of Indian independence and revered as a global spiritual leader.
The Centre for Consumer Education in Kerala filed a lawsuit last autumn to try to stop the Montblanc pen being distributed.
It argues that the pen is in breach of a 1950 Indian law prohibiting the improper use of emblems and names.
While the court deliberates, the company has promised to put sales on hold.
"We have agreed to stop selling the pen until the court decides on the matter," Pankaj Shah, director of International Trading Private Limited, which distributes Montblanc pens in India, told the BBC.
Just 241 of the handmade pens will be sold, reflecting the number of miles Gandhi walked in his famous march against salt taxes in 1930.
Each pen comes with an eight-metre golden thread that can be wound around the pen, representing the spindle and cotton Gandhi used to weave simple cloth.
Mr Shah said 42 of the 70 pens "allotted" for India had already been sold since they were launched in early October.
Gandhi's great-grandson Tushar Gandhi has endorsed the idea. His charitable foundation has already received a donation of $145,000 from Montblanc and will receive between $200 and $1,000 for each pen sold.
For those who find the pen a little out of their price range, there is a more affordable version - there are 3,000 roller ball and fountain pens on sale for about $3,000 each.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
The escalating dispute came as a general strike in Greece spilled over into violent clashes between hooded youths and riot police in Athens. Chants of "burn the banks" are a foretaste of tensions once austerity measures bite in earnest later this year.
Theodoros Pangalos, deputy prime minister, said Germany had no right to reproach Greece for anything after it devastated the country under the Nazi occupation, which left 300,000 dead. "They took away the gold that was in the Bank of Greece, and they never gave it back. They shouldn't complain so much about stealing and not being very specific about economic dealings," he told the BBC.
Impractically high heels, known as chopines, were worn by upper-class women in Italy and Spain during the late Renaissance era.
The higher the heel, the longer - and therefore more expensive - the dress needed to cover them, and the more servants needed to support the wearer.
The exhibition at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto features more than 60 pairs of rare shoes, the tallest of which is a pair of Venetian chopines measuring nearly 20 inches (50cm).
But 25 years after his death, Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum has said the notorious fantasist was right after all.
Yesterday experts said the anonymous work he bought for for 6,500 francs from a Paris dealer was almost certainly by the Dutch master.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-23-10)
The 2,600 acre facility, officially known Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, is home to thousands of outdated aeroplanes and helicopters mothballed by the United States Air Force and other allied forces.
The 60 year-old facility, the size of 1,300 football pitches and sprawled across the desert in Tucson, Arizona, houses the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) and is America's only storehouse for out-of-service aircraft....
Commonly used as a final resting place for thousands of decommissioned machines, the centre, originally designed in 1946, is also is used as a spare parts resource for the United States military.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-23-10)
Many were abused in foster homes, state-run orphanages and religious institutions.
Mr Brown announced he would apologise in November, saying the "time is now right".
Name of source: Live Science
SOURCE: Live Science (2-23-10)
Scientists have even found bones from members of the human lineage bearing tooth marks from this reptile, whose scientific name, Crocodylus anthropophagus, means "man-eating crocodile."
This predator, which lived some 1.84 million years ago, possessed a deep snout that would have made it look more robust than modern crocodiles. It also had prominent triangular horns.
Name of source: Guardian(UK)
SOURCE: Guardian(UK) (2-21-10)
It remains one of the greatest human fossil discoveries of all time. The bones of a race of tiny primitive people, who used stone tools to hunt pony-sized elephants and battle huge Komodo dragons, were discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2004.
Some simply dismissed the bones as the remains of deformed modern humans with diseases that had caused them to shrink: to them, they were just pathological oddities, it was alleged. Most researchers disagreed, however. The hobbits were the descendants of a race of far larger, ancient humans who had thrived around a million years ago. These people, known as Homo erectus, had become stranded on the island and then had shrunk in an evolutionary response to the island's limited resources.
That is odd enough. However, new evidence suggests the little folk of Flores may be even stranger in origin. According to a growing number of scientists, Homo floresiensis is probably a direct descendant of some of the first apemen to evolve on the African savannah three million years ago. These primitive hominids somehow travelled half a world from their probable birthplace in the Rift Valley to make their homes among the orangutans, giant turtles and rare birds of Indonesia before eventually reaching Flores.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (2-24-10)
The castle welcomed 1,196,481 visitors through its doors in 2009, a 6% increase on the previous year.
Stirling Castle was the second most popular paid for attraction, drawing 383,293 visitors, an increase of 2%.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow was the most visited free attraction in Scotland, with 1,368,096 people passing through the doors.
SOURCE: BBC (2-24-10)
Scientists dug up a gigantic jawbone, teeth and scales belonging to the shark which lived 89 million years ago.
The bottom-dwelling predator had huge tooth plates, which it likely used to crush large shelled animals such as giant clams.
Palaeontologists already knew about the shark, but the new specimen suggests it was far bigger than previously thought.
SOURCE: BBC (2-23-10)
The power-sharing agreement in Qatar is seen as an important step towards peace, though the other main rebel group has refused to enter talks.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) last year issued a warrant for Mr Bashir's arrest for war crimes in Darfur.
But Qatar has not signed the ICC charter, which obliges member states to arrest indictees on their territory.
SOURCE: BBC (2-23-10)
The venue has been given Grade II status - the second-highest category - for its role in shaping British music.
Culture Minister Margaret Hodge listed the studios on the advice of English Heritage saying it had "produced some of the very best music in the world".
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (2-23-10)
After decades of doubt and loneliness, of searching faces in the street in hopes they might be related, Madariaga has found his son.
The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo rights group believes about 400 children were stolen at birth from women who were kidnapped and killed as part of the 1976-1983 dictatorship's "dirty war" against political dissidents, which killed as many as 30,000 people.
SOURCE: AP (2-24-10)
However, witness Alex Nagorny cast doubt on the statement by saying that the man being tried at the Munich state court didn't look like his fellow guard at the Flossenbuerg camp.
Prosecutors allege that, like Nagorny, Demjanjuk agreed to serve the Germans and was trained at the Trawniki SS camp before being sent to work as a camp guard.
Demjanjuk is accused of serving as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland, and charged as an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews there....
SOURCE: AP (2-23-10)
The discovery included two complete skulls from other types of sauropods — an extremely rare find, scientists said.
The fossils offer fresh insight into lives of dinosaurs some 105 million years ago, including the evolution of sauropod teeth, which reveal eating habits and other information, said Dan Chure, a paleontologist at the monument that straddles the Utah-Colorado border.
SOURCE: AP (2-22-10)
If the age of the wall is correct, the finding would be an indication that Jerusalem was home to a strong central government that had the resources and manpower needed to build massive fortifications in the 10th century B.C.
That's a key point of dispute among scholars, because it would match the Bible's account that the Hebrew kings David and Solomon ruled from Jerusalem around that time.
SOURCE: AP (2-18-10)
The Russian Museum exhibit, titled "Joseph R. Beyrle — A Hero of Two Nations," presents 260 artifacts from Beyrle's life and military career, including a collection of his medals, uniform and photographs.
His son, U.S. ambassador to Russia John Beyrle, attended the exhibit opening and said that though his father was called a hero by both nations he never considered himself one.
"He always used to say that real heroes were those who never came back from the war," Beyrle said in fluent Russian....
The highly decorated Staff Sgt. Beyrle parachuted into Normandy on D-Day with the U.S. 101st Airborne Division and was captured by the Germans. He escaped and joined a Soviet tank battalion before he was wounded near Berlin and sent home through Moscow. He died in 2004.
The Muskegon, Michigan, native said he raised his hands and shouted the only two words of Russian he knew when he met Soviet troops after his escape from a German POW camp in January 1945. "Amerikansky tovarishch," he called, American comrade.
Beyrle joined Soviet troops and was wounded as his unit approached Berlin. He was treated in a field hospital before being sent back to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, a mission his son now leads....
SOURCE: AP (2-22-10)
The University of Mississippi dumped the mascot — a caricature of a white plantation owner — in a 2003 effort to distance the school from Old South stereotypes. It's been without a mascot ever since. A vote Tuesday could change that.
Students will have only two choices in the online referendum: yes, replace the colonel with something else — perhaps a riverboat gambler or a colonial soldier — or no, remain the only school in the Southeastern Conference without a mascot.
In a world where football is akin to religion, and sports symbolism carries the power of a totem, this is no small matter. Stories about the upcoming vote have run prominently in the campus newspaper for weeks, along with "Save Colonel Reb" advertisements.
"We're tired of having nothing to represent us," said junior Josh Hinton, a member of the Associated Student Body, which approved a resolution calling for the vote. "We've gotten our song taken away. We want to have some kind of tradition back."
Ole Miss, with its pristine lawns and white-columned buildings, has struggled for more than a decade with how to retain that tradition while shedding symbols of the Old South. It's all part of an effort to remove past racial tensions that date back to 1962, when a deadly riot followed James Meredith's attempt to become the university's first black student.
Name of source: Deadline Hollywood
SOURCE: Deadline Hollywood (2-23-10)
Name of source: WSJ
SOURCE: WSJ (2-23-10)
Monday's 225-pound bomb went off in a car near the front security gates of the courthouse of Newry, a town near the border with the Republic of Ireland. Warnings were received by authorities giving 30 minutes' notice of the blast, but the device exploded just 17 minutes later. Local police said it was a "sheer miracle" no one was killed or hurt.
The Newry bomb, which no group has yet claimed responsibility for, is proof that "we are not quite post-conflict," said Richard English, professor of politics at Queen's University Belfast. Dissidents are going to be "more of a part of the new order in Northern Ireland than people thought would be the case," he said....
Hard-line Republican groups like the Real IRA and Continuity IRA have kept up a steady drumbeat of attacks over the past year or so. The worst month for violence was last March, when two British soldiers were shot and killed as they picked up a pizza delivery outside their barracks, and two days later a local policeman was killed....
Name of source: Newsweek
SOURCE: Newsweek (2-19-10)
Göbekli Tepe—the name in Turkish for "potbelly hill"—lays art and religion squarely at the start of that journey. After a dozen years of patient work, Schmidt has uncovered what he thinks is definitive proof that a huge ceremonial site flourished here, a "Rome of the Ice Age," as he puts it, where hunter-gatherers met to build a complex religious community. Across the hill, he has found carved and polished circles of stone, with terrazzo flooring and double benches. All the circles feature massive T-shaped pillars that evoke the monoliths of Easter Island.
Though not as large as Stonehenge—the biggest circle is 30 yards across, the tallest pillars 17 feet high—the ruins are astonishing in number. Last year Schmidt found his third and fourth examples of the temples. Ground-penetrating radar indicates that another 15 to 20 such monumental ruins lie under the surface. Schmidt's German-Turkish team has also uncovered some 50 of the huge pillars, including two found in his most recent dig season that are not just the biggest yet, but, according to carbon dating, are the oldest monumental artworks in the world.
The new discoveries are finally beginning to reshape the slow-moving consensus of archeology. Göbekli Tepe is "unbelievably big and amazing, at a ridiculously early date," according to Ian Hodder, director of Stanford's archeology program. Enthusing over the "huge great stones and fantastic, highly refined art" at Göbekli, Hodder—who has spent decades on rival Neolithic sites—says: "Many people think that it changes everything…It overturns the whole apple cart. All our theories were wrong."
Name of source: Bernama
SOURCE: Bernama (2-23-10)
The international and multidisciplinary research team, led by Oxford University in collaboration with Indian institutions, has uncovered what it calls 'Pompeii-like excavations' beneath the Toba ash.
The seven-year project examines the environment that humans lived in, their stone tools, as well as the plants and animal bones of the time.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (2-23-10)
During the catheterization, which took place at George Washington University Hospital, doctors examined blood flow to the heart and tested how well the heart was pumping.
In the procedure, a doctor inserts a catheter, a thin plastic tube, into an artery or vein in the arm or leg and threads it into the chambers of the heart or into the coronary arteries. The test can measure blood pressure within the heart and how much oxygen the blood contains.
Two sources said Tuesday that Cheney, 69, was in his hospital room, where he had lunch with family members. He also was working with them editing a chapter of a book he is writing.
Name of source: Mail on Sunday (UK)
SOURCE: Mail on Sunday (UK) (2-21-10)
The death of John Babcock leaves only two Great War veterans still alive: Britishborn Australian Claude Choules, who is 108, and American Frank Buckles, 109.
Mr Babcock was among 650,000 men and women who served in the Canadian forces during WWI.
The last remaining soldier to serve in the British Army was Harry Patch, who died in July at age 111.
Name of source: Times Online (UK)
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (2-24-10)
The French press has devoted pages to the “precursor of modernity”. At least four biographies of Turner have been published to coincide with the exhibition and the television channel Arte is to screen a documentary on him next week.
The French Union of National Museums (RMN), which is organising the exhibition at Le Grand Palais, in Paris, described Turner as “one of the greatest artists of the 19th century”, noting his “dazzling freedom” and “remarkable vision”. Pierre Wat, the French art historian, called him a “total artist”.
Name of source: Medieval News
SOURCE: Medieval News (2-20-10)
Nationally, since 2002, £123 million of grants have been awarded for more than 1,300 Ghistoric places of worship through the partnership scheme, which is the largest single source of funds to help congregations to care for historic churches, chapels, synagogues and other historic places of worship.
Dr Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said; “We are delighted with the continued success of this important national scheme which has helped to restore and preserve some of the country’s most historic places of worship.”
“Historic places of worship are at the heart of their communities. They give us beautiful public spaces where people can find peace or companionship, enjoy exhibitions and concerts or benefit from practical services such as post offices, shops, nurseries. We are thrilled to be working with the HLF to support over 150 of England’s most significant places of worship as they are repaired for the use of our generation and the enjoyment of our children and grandchildren.”...
SOURCE: Medieval News (2-23-10)
The Yorkshire Museum is closed for a £2m refurbishment. The exhibition marks the first time a regional museum has been invited to show its collections at the British Museum.
Jonathan Williams of the British Museum says, "It’s mutually beneficial. It’s a great opportunity to show things we don’t have and show to an international audience.”
One of medieval England’s most powerful cities, which rivaled London in size and importance, York was the main administrative and judicial centre for the North of England....
The display features swords, jewellery and coins from the Anglo-Saxon and Viking periods. Highlight objects include the beautiful Middleham Jewel, the York Helmet, the remarkable Gilling Sword, and the magnificent Vale of York Hoard....
Name of source: CuttingEdgeNews
SOURCE: CuttingEdgeNews (2-22-10)
However, the current discovery is the first time scientists have been able to reconstruct the 80 percent of the nuclear genome that is possible to retrieve from fossil remains. From the genomic sequences, the team has managed to construct a picture of a male individual who lived in Greenland 4,000 years ago and belonged to the first culture to settle in the New World Arctic.
The discovery was made by analysing a tuft of hair that belonged to a man from the Saqqaq culture from north-western Greenland 4,000 years ago. The scientists have named the ancient human "Inuk", which means "man" or "human" in Greenlandic. Although Inuk is more closely related to contemporary north-eastern Siberian tribes than to modern Inuits of the present day New World Arctic, the scientists wants to acknowledge that the discovery was made in Greenland....
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (2-23-10)
The burial site of the biblical patriarch Abraham, which is sacred to both Jews and Muslims, is located in Hebron, which was yesterday shut down by a general strike in protest at the move as Israeli troops clashed with local youths. One soldier was reported lightly wounded as Palestinians threw stones and bottles and troops fired tear gas and stun grenades. Israel has also placed the believed tomb of the biblical matriarch Rachel, in occupied territory in Bethlehem, on the heritage list.
Palestinian MP Hanan Ashrawi, a secular nationalist and former spokeswoman for peace negotiators, said that Israel's move "completes a whole programme of theft".
"It's stealing the land, stealing our resources and now our cultural and historical heritage," she said. "It points to a mentality of cultural genocide. It's been a mosque and been sacred to Palestinian Muslims for centuries. They have to respect that."
Palestinian Authority spokesman Ghassan Khatib termed the Israeli move "very dangerous", saying it would reinforce the religious dimension of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Name of source: Catholic.org
SOURCE: Catholic.org (2-22-10)
Located just outside the present-day walls of Jerusalem's Old City, next to the holy site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, a 231-foot long, 20 foot-high section of ancient stone wall, believed to be the city wall, was discovered....
Volunteer college students from Oklahoma, hired workers, and archaeology students from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem all participated in the dig under university professor Dr. Eilat Mazar. The excavations were privately funded by a couple in New York with an interest in Biblical Archeology, and took place over a three-month period....
The discovery of this monumental site, the most significant find of First Temple history, is important because the existence of the Hebrew monarchy spoken of in the Scriptures, and its corresponding political strength, is disputed among Holy Land archeologists. It significantly supports the growing body of archeological evidence for the Davidic Kingdom spoken of in the Old Testament, a kingdom from whence came the Christ.
Name of source: Discovery News
SOURCE: Discovery News (2-22-10)
Decorated with colorful religious scenes, the ornamented coffin contains the remains of a man called Imesy.
Zahi Hawass, the secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) had said last year that the coffin likely belongs to pharaoh Ames of the 21st Dynasty, which ruled over Egypt from 1070-945 B.C.
The nearly 5-foot-long wooden coffin was confiscated by U.S. customs officials at Miami International Airport from a Spanish merchant in 2008.
SOURCE: Discovery News (2-22-10)
But was his death cursed as well, as many believe?
Stories circulated that anyone who dared disturb Tut’s resting place would face the terrible wrath of the mummy—and some believe that nearly two dozen people mysteriously fell victim to the curse since that time. Mystery investigators such as James Randi have researched the story behind the dreaded curse of King Tut and found that there’s less than meets the eye.
As Randi notes, “When Tut’s tomb was discovered and opened in 1922, it was a major archaeological event. In order to keep the press at bay and yet allow them a sensational aspect with which to deal, the head of the excavation team, Howard Carter, put out a story that a curse had been placed upon anyone who violated the rest of the boy-king.” In fact, the tombs of all royalty—not just Tutankhamun’s—were reputed to be cursed, as part of a folkloric effort to deter looters and grave robbers. Other royal tombs with exactly the same “curse” had been opened without doom befalling their excavators, so there was no reason to think that it would be any different with King Tut. (Makes for a great story, though.)
It is true that some people involved with the excavation (however peripherally) died shortly after the Tut’s tomb was opened. The most famous victim of the curse was probably Lord Carnavon, who financed the work; he died the following year in Cairo. (Of course, his death is less mysterious when we learn that he suffered severe health problems before he even arrived in Egypt.)