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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: AP
SOURCE: AP (4-15-10)
They met at her home in Washington, D.C., where the former first lady discussed her marriage, her White House years, election-year campaigning and her husband's thoughts about a second term.
The interview is part of what became the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library's Oral History and, at Jacqueline Kennedy's request, was kept sealed. She died in 1994.
SOURCE: AP (4-15-10)
That's the gist of "King Philip's War," a board game based on a bloody and violent clash of the same name between colonists and Indian tribes in 17th-century New England, and developed by a company partly owned by former major league pitcher Curt Schilling.
The game's designer says he hopes to educate children and others about a war that cost thousands of lives but receives scant attention in history books. But some Native Americans want the game blocked from release, saying it trivializes the conflict and insensitively perpetuates a stereotype of Indian tribes as bellicose savages.
Tribe members protested the game in Providence last month, and a Facebook group with more than 260 members urges a Millersville, Md.-based company, MultiManPublishing, to halt production.
"From what I've seen right now: totally inappropriate, highly offensive, nowhere near ready to be in production," said Annawon Weeden, a member of the Mashpee Wampanoags in Massachusetts, who says there are better ways to educate people about the war. "It's just a way to have fun reliving a tragedy."...
SOURCE: AP (4-13-10)
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the volunteer nonprofit group Friends of Old Economy Village completed a revised licensing agreement that will allow the volunteers to operate tours at Old Economy Village in Ambridge. The site has been closed for a few months....
SOURCE: AP (4-14-10)
Robert Zoellick said the global economic crisis of 2009 showed that the categorizations of First and Third Worlds, donor and supplicant, leader and led, no longer fit.
He said Wednesday that big international issues cannot be solved without the involvement of developing countries and nations in Asia, Latin America and Africa whose economies are evolving rapidly.
SOURCE: AP (4-11-10)
When Poland lost its president and top military brass Saturday in a plane crash that killed 96, it also lost much of its living history and other elite members of society.
It is a supreme bitterness that they died near, of all places, Russia's Katyn forest, where thousands of Polish officers were slain by Soviet forces in World War II in an attempt to eliminate some of the country's brightest.
"This is so very much like Katyn, where our head was cut off," former President Lech Walesa said....
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
Until now the author of Le Bateau Ivre and Illuminations has been best remembered as an angelic adolescent as all other portraits of him were blurred or silhouettes.
But Jacques Desse and Alban Causse made their extraordinary find when they came across a black and white photo taken circa 1880 among postcards and bric-a-brac in a market "somewhere in France".
The photo showed a group of mustachioed bourgeois Frenchmen and one woman in white and was signed Hotel de l'Univers on the back. Rimbaud enthusiasts would know this was the hotel in Aden, Abyssinia, where Rimbaud spent the last years of his life before dying of cancer aged 37.
The self-proclaimed literary "bounty hunters" were convinced the man staring defiantly at the camera was the flamboyant and libertine poet himself.
But Michel Onfray has accused the champion of the unconscious mind of lying about the success of his treatment and being a misogynist homophobe obsessed with sexual abuse.
He goes on to attack the whole exercise of psychoanalysis as the last untouchable religion revered by "stars and footballers."
"Who else would still have the time to pay in cash to lie on a couch twice a week before some guy who's half-asleep?," Mr Onfray said as his controversial book Twilight of an Idol, the Freudian Fabrication was published....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-14-10)
Tell el-Maskhuta was a settlement in the Ismailia governorate containing a garrison that supplied and armed the ancient Egyptian army before the troops went on military campaigns east of the border.
Ken-Amun's tomb is that first Ramesside tomb to be discovered in Lower Egypt and is built from mud brick, consisting of a rectangular room with a stone-domed ceiling. Hawass said the inscriptions would aid in the understanding of Egypt's relationships with its neighbors to the east.
Inside the tomb, the walls are decorated with reliefs of funerary scenes, including Chapter 12 of the Book of Dead _ an ancient text intended to help the deceased in the afterlife _ and a scene of women mourning.
The wall's inscriptions tell that the scribe's wife was called Isis and worked as a musician for the God Atum....
But these were the allegorical twists injected into classic fairy tales re-fashioned by Nazi propaganda chiefs to recruit German children to support the Third Reich.
In the Nazi film version of "Little Red Riding Hood", the child wears a swastika-emblazoned cloak as she skips through the woods and is saved from the Big Bad Wolf by a man wearing an SS uniform in a style favoured by the Führer.
Snow White's father, a minor character in the Brothers Grimm tale, is portrayed in the Nazi film as the leader of a mighty army advancing on the "eastern" enemy. The film's premier, in October 1939, came one month after Germany launched its attack on Poland.
Josef Goebbels, the propaganda genius of the regime, was quick to seize on the potential to promote Hitler to a hero and plant the seeds of racial superiority in the minds of German children, according to a new study "Red Riding Hood in the Third Reich: German fairy tale movies between 1933 and 1945".
The incredible sketch, signed on the reverse by the two dictators, was drawn by Emma Lowenstramm, the Fuhrer’s then Jewish art teacher in Vienna in 1909.
Mrs Lowenstramm witnessed the momentous game, played at a house belonging to a prominent Jewish family, at a time when Hitler was a jobbing artist in the city and Lenin was in exile.
The house was well known as a meeting place for budding politicians.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-14-10)
"Operation Last Chance" was launched eight years ago by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, the international Jewish rights group, to put pressure on governments to bring remaining suspected Nazi war criminals to justice before they die.
As the world marked the annual Holocaust memorial day on Monday, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre on Monday praised Germany for bringing accused Nazi war criminals John Demanjuk and Heinrich Boere to trial over the past year, but said a "lack of political will" continues to be the major obstacle to punishing others, particularly in post-communist Eastern Europe.
1. Dr Sandor Kepiro, 95, lives freely in Hungary, accordingt to the group, but in wartime served in Serbia, where he took part in a massacre in Novi Sad in 1942.
Scores were shot along the Danube and dumped into the freezing water. Kepiro was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1944, but was set free by Hungary’s fascist regime and fled to Argentina. Two years later, Hungary’s communist government convicted him of war crimes in absentia, but the Simon Wiesenthal Centre claims he returned to Hungary in 1996.
2. Milijov Asner, 96, a Croatian police chief who allegedly collaborated with the Nazis. He is accused of sending hundreds of Jews, gipsies and Serbs to death camps. By 1942, the entire Jewish community in Asner’s town, Pozega, was wiped out.
After the war, Asner moved to Austria, where he was granted citizenship. Some five decades later, he returned to Pozega, where he was discovered by a young historian. Asner promptly returned to Austria.
In 2005, Croatia requested extradition, but Austria denied the request on the basis of Asner’s citizenship. When it was discovered that he had lost his citizenship, Austria denied extradition on medical grounds.
3. Samuel Kunz, 89, lives in Germany and is accused of having served in the extermination camp of Belzec in occupied Poland, where 500,000 Jews were gassed. Kunz is alleged to have participated in the murders of 434,000 people during his time there as a guard.
4 Adolf Storms, an former SS officer, is accused of killing 58 Jews in March 1945 in the village of Deutsche Schuetzen in Austria.
Now 90, he allegedly forced victims to kneel beside an open pit before they were shot and tumbled into the mass grave. Charged in Duisburg, Germany, with the crime, the Wiesenthal Centre wants the process speeded up as ill health threatens to claim Storms’ life before he has answered for his actions in court.
5 Klaas Carl Faber, 88, is a Dutch national who served in the German Sicherheitsdienst, the Nazi SS intelligence service, in the Netherlands.
He was sentenced to death in Holland for murders of prisoners at the Westerbork transit camp; the staging post for Jews en-route to extermination centres in occupied Poland.
6. Karoly (Charles) Zentai, 98, a Hungarian-born resident of Australia, is fighting extradition to Budapest to face charges of the massacre of Jews there in 1944.
7 Soren Kam, 98, is accused of being responsible for the death of a Danish journalist and the round up of Danish Jews after her stole their registration books in Copenhagen. .
While in Germany, Kam has regularly attended veterans’ rallies of SS men. He has also been closely associated with Heinrich Himmler’s daughter Gudrun Burwitz and her network Stille Hilfe - “Silent Help” - set up to support arrested, condemned or fugitive former SS men.
8 Peter Egner, 98, is suspected of being a member of the mobile killing units operating in occupied Belgrade. The Simon Wiesenthal Centre believes he is connected to the deaths of 17,444 Jews, gypsies and communists. Serbia wants him tried there. He is currently fighting deportation from America, where he has lived since the 1950s.
9 Algimantas Dalide, 98, was extradited from America to Lithuania for his alleged part in the rounding up of the country’s Jews for murder during the Second World War. But he was spared prison on account of his age and health.
10 Michail Gorschkow, 96, a former Gestapo official in Estonia during the war, is accused of participating in the murders of 3,000 Jews in Russia.
He moved to America after the war, but left before being stripped of his citizenship in 2002. Since then, Estonia has been investigating his wartime activities without saying where he is.
In Germany this year Heinrich Boere, an 88-year-old Dutchman who murdered resistance men in The Netherlands in wartime was sentenced to life imprisonment in Germany. Currently underway in Germany is the trial of another former list entrant, John Demjanjuk, 89, who is accused of aiding in the murders of 27,900 Jews at the Sobibor death camp in Poland.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-13-10)
The emergency check list from Apollo 13 and a flight emblem worn by Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins which sold for $85,400
The page, sold at Bonhams auction house, is inscribed with the words Armstrong says he uttered after he became the first person to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969.
Armstrong signed the flight plan sheet and gave it to the head of Nasa's public information office while he was quarantined at the Johnson Space Center after returning to Earth.
Armstrong's words are often quoted as "That's one small step for man... one giant leap for mankind." But Armstrong has always insisted he said "one small step for a man."
In 2006, a computer analysis of the audio recording found evidence that Armstrong did say the missing "a."
Other lots sold at Bonhams' space history sale included a flight emblem worn by Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins and signed by Collins, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. It sold for $85,400 after being consigned by Collins himself.
The sale also included an emergency checklist from the Apollo 13 aborted moon landing the following year.
That mission suffered an oxygen tank rupture on April 13, 1970, 40 years ago Tuesday. The three-man crew famously radioed "Houston, we've had a problem" and then stabilized the spacecraft while saving enough power and oxygen to survive the voyage home.
The radio transmission about the oxygen tank emergency has been widely misquoted as "Houston, we have a problem."
The checklist from the flight, used and marked by the crew, sold for $45,750.
The sale prices all exceeded Bonhams' pre-sale estimates and included the auction house's commission. The names of the buyers weren't released.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-9-10)
But now academics are warning that many people who take up genealogy might uncover more than they bargained for.
Delving into one's ancestry can open up "a Pandora's box" of secrets that can lead to serious family rows, according to sociologists who have studied the popular passtime.
It can reopen old wounds and shatter illusions about a family's "respectable" history.
Illegitimate children, hidden affairs, troubled finances and deceit all await those determined to piece together their family's past, found Dr Anne-Marie Kramer of Warwick University....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-6-10)
Although little remains of the property, the team, led by Birmingham Archaeology, believes it has identified a rubbish tip or cesspit used by the 16th century poet.
Fragments of pottery and broken clay pipe have already been retrieved from a muddy hole on the site, which they claim could yield some of the most significant discoveries about Shakespeare in decades.
The dig focuses on three areas of the property, which Shakespeare bought in 1597 when he returned to his home town from London having achieved fame – including the so-called knot garden at the rear of the building.
Dr Diana Owen, Director of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which owns the site, said: “We do not know if the knot garden was an area used by Shakespeare – it may have been a yard simply used by his servants....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-12-10)
Mr Straw has refused a Freedom of Information request to reveal the advice given to the then Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, who gave the 2005 royal wedding the go-ahead.
Doubts about the legality of the marriage persist because of the Marriage Act of 1836, which prohibited Royals from marrying in register offices.
Lord Falconer insists the subsequent 1949 Marriage Act “clearly intended to allow Royals to take part in civil weddings” but the information on which he based his final judgement has never been made public.
The Information Commissioner has refused an appeal against the Justice Secretary’s decision because of what he described as the “sensitivity and significance” of the information “given that it relates to the legality of the marriage of the heir to the Throne”.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-13-10)
Time was spent assessing the damage from the iceberg when nearby ships could have been steaming to the rescue, research from author Tim Maltin said.
His work - 101 Things You Thought You Knew About The Titanic... But Didn't - is published on Thursday and claims no alert was sent from the ailing vessel for 47 minutes because the ships' officers wanted to keep the disaster quiet.
Mr Maltin said: ''They (the ship's authorities) may have been considering the public relations aspect of it and was it going to sink or not because then they would have rather kept it quiet, there may have been a slight bit of delay.''
He said the order to go to the lifeboats was given at the same time as the distress signal.
The writer added: ''It may be that it took them that long to look at the damage but it seems likely to me that they were unwilling to send out a distress message.''
He said it was a moot point whether lives could have been saved but added the relatively nearby Californian vessel could have been at the scene earlier had the alert gone out before midnight when key crew were awake.
When it eventually received the alert it was after midnight and the Californian waited until 5.30am to respond.
He spent two years researching the book and studied the results of American and British inquiries into the disaster and worked with some of the main Titanic experts around the world.
It claimed Captain Edward Smith, despite being the most experienced seaman in the north Atlantic, was accident-prone and not used to that size of ship (50,000 tonnes).
As the Titanic left the docks in Southampton it missed the New York boat by two feet because the channel was narrow with ships moored alongside due to a coal strike.
Its wash dragged in the other vessel, snapping some of its mooring ropes and leaving the gangway crashing into the sea.
Mr Maltin said: ''The collision was avoided by about 2ft, something which obviously is an indicator of the disaster (to come).''
He said the captain was used to boats half the size of the Titanic and had crashed its sister ship the Olympic into the dock in New York.
The Titanic was doing around 22 knots at the time of the accident. At the time it was common but not universal practice to maintain normal speed in areas where icebergs were expected.
Relying on remarks from the captain overheard by a passenger the author said: ''They were trying to beat the Olympic's maiden voyage time. They were trying to surprise everyone and get in on Tuesday night.''
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (4-15-10)
The three-member investigative panel issued a scathing report Thursday afternoon, concluding that the suicide bombing that killed Bhutto "could have been prevented" and that police deliberately failed to pursue an effective investigation into the killings.
Bhutto had returned from a self-imposed, eight-year exile to run in the country's general elections two months before her assassination and had already escaped one attempt on her life. She was killed by a 15-year-old suicide bomber while campaigning in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, the seat of the country's military, in December 2007.
SOURCE: CNN (4-15-10)
The cause of death was not immediately known, the NAACP's Leila McDowell said Thursday.
Hooks was "a vocal campaigner for civil rights in the United States," said the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1925, Hooks grew up in the segregated South.
SOURCE: CNN (4-14-10)
The 3-foot-tall female mummy was discovered by Egyptian archaeologists. The figure was found covered with plaster decorated to resemble Roman dress and jewelry, said Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities in a press release Monday.
In addition to the female mummy, the Supreme Council of Antiquities said archaeologists found clay and glass vessels, coins, anthropoid masks and 14 Greco-Roman tombs.
Director of Cairo and Giza Antiquities Mahmoud Affifi, the archaeologist who led the dig, said the tomb has a unique design with stairways and corridors, and could date to 300 B.C.
Bahariya Oasis is not new to archaeological investigations. In 1996, a team of Egyptian archaeologists found 17 tombs and 254 mummies at the site.
This most recent find came as a result of excavation work for the construction of a youth center. The Supreme Council of Antiquities has halted the construction work.
Efforts Tuesday by CNN to reach the archaeologists and Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, were unsuccessful.
SOURCE: CNN (4-13-10)
The leader of the 1994 Republican Revolution is a smart man and a historian, so he must know better. But he's also exploring a run for president, an action that frequently suspends good judgment in pursuit of sound bites. Perspective is the first thing abandoned in hyper-partisan attacks.
So here is a look at five presidents who, it could be argued, exceed Obama in the "radical" sweepstakes.
• Franklin D. Roosevelt
• John Adams
• Andrew Jackson
SOURCE: CNN (4-12-10)
In a tribute published to mark the 40th anniversary of the breakup of the band, who singer John Lennon once claimed were "more popular than Jesus," the Vatican newspaper "L'Osservatore Romano" said it had forgiven them and called them a "precious jewel."
But Starr told CNN: "Didn't the Vatican say we were satanic or possibly satanic -- and they've still forgiven us? I think the Vatican, they've got more to talk about than the Beatles."
Starr was speaking to CNN's Becky Anderson about the launch of his latest solo album called "Y Not," which was released in January.
Did you know McCartney had trouble learning the guitar? Find out why in our interactive
"I was sitting around in LA and I went on the synth and just got some rhythm patterns with some chords I enjoyed and then drummed to that," Starr said.
"We had no song and we just played something and kept it moving and that's how it all happened."
The album is Starr's 15th album as a solo artist.
Starr also responded to allegations that he had asked his fans to "back off" and explained why he no longer signs autographs.
"I just said to fans that I'm not signing anymore," Starr said.
"That what it was, it wasn't back off, I'm not a vicious man. I don't sign anymore, people say sign this and I just say no."
Name of source: Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (4-14-10)
Twenty years may have passed since German reunification, but a certain amount of prejudice and suspicion persists between those who lived on either side of the Berlin Wall. But does being an eastern or western German constitute having a different ethnic identity?
That is what a woman born in the former East Germany is claiming. She says she was discriminated against on the basis of that identity when she sought a job in western Germany. A labor court in the western city of Stuttgart is set to rule on Thursday whether being an Ossi -- as Easterners are frequently called in Germany, often disparagingly -- indeed constitutes belonging to a separate ethnic group.
Born in East Berlin, Gabriele S. secured an exit visa for West Germany in 1988 and has since lived in Stuttgart. In the summer of 2009, the 49-year-old applied for a job at a window manufacturer in the city. She failed to get the job and when her application was returned to her, as is customary in Germany, she found that someone had scribbled "Ossi" and a minus sign across her resume....
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (4-6-10)
SPIEGEL: Mr. President, in 2008, you attended a football match between your two countries together with your Turkish counterpart. It was a sensation at the time. Do you regret having invited the president of Turkey to your capital?
Sarkisian: No. I am convinced there is no other alternative but for Turks and Armenians to cooperate. We wanted to break through centuries of hostility. It was clear to me from the beginning that it wouldn't be an easy process.
SPIEGEL: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told SPIEGEL that on the topic of Armenians killed by Ottoman troops during World War I, "There can be no talk of genocide against the Armenians." Why does your neighbor have such difficulty with its own history?
Sarkisian: Mr. Erdogan has also said that Turks are not capable of committing genocide, and that Turkish history is "as clean and clear as the sun." Turkey resists classifying the massacre as genocide. But no matter how great Turkish resistance may be, this is not a question that is up to Ankara to decide.
SPIEGEL: Now Erdogan is even threatening to expel thousands of Armenians living illegally in Turkey.
Sarkisian: For my people, such unacceptable comments evoke memories of the genocide. Unfortunately, these comments don't surprise me, coming from the mouth of a Turkish politician. We don't need to look very far back in history to find comparable declarations. Similar voices got loud in 1988 in what is today Azerbaijan. Dozens of Armenians died in the resulting pogroms in Azerbaijani cities like Sumgait and Baku....
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (4-13-10)
Unknowingly, Lehman was also sending home something that wouldn't be useful until decades later — his own DNA.
DNA lifted from the envelopes he licked has helped the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command positively identify Lehman's remains more than 68 years after he was killed on Dec. 7, 1941.
Lehman had been buried as an "unknown" here at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. His remains will receive a military escort from Hawaii to Michigan in June, according to his niece, Peggy Germain....
Name of source: Discovery News
SOURCE: Discovery News (4-15-10)
Detailed analysis of the bones instead found that the 84 Donner Party members consumed a family dog, "Uno," along with cattle, deer and horses. Cattle, likely eaten after the animals themselves died of starvation, appear to have been their mainstay.
The study is the first to show that the Donner members successfully hunted deer, despite the approximately 30 feet of snow on the ground during the winter of 1846-1847. The horses are thought to have come from relief parties that arrived in February and could have left a few of their animals behind.
The paper, which will be published in the July issue of the journal American Antiquity, is also the first to prove the theory that the stranded individuals ate their pet dog....
"Racism might have played a part," Robbins said. "Keseberg was from Poland, and negative sentiment toward Polish immigrants existed then."...
Name of source: San Antonio Current
SOURCE: San Antonio Current (4-15-10)
Obviously, voting is one way to make a preference known. San Antonians have two possibilities to vote come Nov. 2. To the north, one-term conservative SBOE representative Ken Mercer up against re-election against Democrat opponent, Texas State professor Rebecca Bell-Metereau. To the south, the elusive Rick Agosto slips out of his seat, and we’ve yet to see any qualified contenders step up to the race.
The problem with the Nov. 2 elections? They’re in November. Meanwhile, on May 19-21, the SBOE votes on the social studies curriculum standards that has alarmed so many here and nationally. The actions taken at that meeting could affect textbook and testing subject matter for the next decade....
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (4-15-10)
A major eruption in 1695 saw large parts of the country affected by a "sulphurous fog".
Prof Alastair Dawson, writing in the latest Scottish Environment Protection Agency magazine, said it came at a time of climatic change.
Dust in the atmosphere dimmed sunlight causing crops to fail.
SOURCE: BBC (4-15-10)
Morwellham Quay has been bought by Simon and Valerie Lister, who run Bicton Park Botanical Gardens near Budleigh Salterton in Devon.
The open-air mining museum went into administration in September 2009, after Devon County Council withdrew its funding.
The new owners now hope to reopen the World Heritage site by September.
SOURCE: BBC (4-13-10)
Speaking outside an extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court, Ejup Ganic said he was "not happy" with his treatment by the UK authorities.
Mr Ganic was detained at Heathrow on 1 March at the request of Serbia.
A Home Office spokeswoman said the "legal process" was valid under the Extradition Act 2003.
Name of source: Chicago Breaking News Center
SOURCE: Chicago Breaking News Center (4-13-10)
"When Lincoln Paid," a 30-minute film about the mother of a dead Union solider asking Lincoln to pardon a Confederate soldier whom she had initially turned in, stars the brother of John Ford, director of "The Grapes of Wrath," ''The Quiet Man," and other classics.
"I was up in the attic space, and shoved away over in a corner was the film and a silent movie projector, as well," Peter Massie, a movie buff, said of his discovery in the western New Hampshire town of Nelson. "I thought it was really cool."
It was the summer of 2006, and the film canisters sat in his basement for a while before Massie thought of contacting nearby Keene State College, where film professor Larry Benaquist thought it was a rare find.
After working with the George Eastman House film preservation museum in Rochester, New York, the college determined that the film, directed by and starring Francis Ford, did not exist in film archives. In fact, it was one of eight silent films starring Ford as Lincoln; there are no known surviving copies of the others.
"The vast majority of silent films, particularly from the early period -- the first decade of the 20th century -- are gone," said Caroline Frick Page, curator of motion pictures at George Eastman House. "That's what makes these stories so incredibly special."...
Name of source: CNN.com
SOURCE: CNN.com (4-9-10)
"Well, you know, I'm a big history buff. And I think that understanding the history of the Confederacy and understanding the history of the Civil War is something that every American and every young American should be a part of," he told ABC in an interview taped Thursday.
"Now, I don't think you can understand the Confederacy and the Civil War unless you understand slavery. And so, I think that was a -- an unacceptable omission. I think the governor's now acknowledged that."
Obama was referring to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who apologized Wednesday for leaving out any reference to slavery in his recent proclamation designating April as Confederate History Month, calling it a "major omission."...
SOURCE: CNN.com (4-12-10)
Here's a look at some highs and lows in the sometimes rocky relationship between the U.S. and China.
• President Richard Nixon sought to improve relations with China in the late 1960s. Observers say a big reason behind the move was to rally the Chinese against the Soviet Union's encroaching power.
Nixon's historic 1972 visit to China, many say, helped improve relations with the communist country....
• The U.S. instituted a "containment" policy toward communist superpowers China and the Soviet Union for their involvement in the Korean War in the 1950s.
The countries' providing of support and resources for the North Koreans strained relations with the U.S. It also put an apparent freeze on diplomatic relations with China for nearly 20 years....
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (4-10-10)
"We know the wreck is going to disappear again under the sand, and it may not resurface again in our lifetimes," said William P. Burke, the historian at the Cape Cod National Seashore, noting that the last time any part of the HMS Somerset III had been sighted was 37 years ago.
"Somewhere down the road, if someone's researching the Somerset, or the effects of ocean currents on shipwrecks, or anything like that, they will have this record," he said. "We're in the forever business. We're looking at tomorrow, but we're also looking ahead indefinitely."
The Somerset fought in the American Revolution and had a crew of more than 400. In 1775, Paul Revere slipped through Boston Harbor past the ship before beginning his ride to warn the colonials the British were on the move. In his poem "Paul Revere's Ride," Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called it "a phantom ship, with each mast and spar/Across the moon like a prison bar." The ship sank on Nov. 2, 1778 off the Cape.
After erosion from recent storms, about a dozen of the Somerset's timbers were found poking through the wet sand at low tide in the national seashore in Provincetown. Park officials called on Harry R. Feldman Inc., a land surveying company from Boston, to make the three-dimensional rendering....
Name of source: CS Monitor
SOURCE: CS Monitor (4-8-10)
Theories abound. Some argue that poorly designed government policies and artificially low interest rates created a bubble, while others blame Wall Street's reckless lending practices.
Almost all, however, look to current or recent developments, not long-term historical trends. Yet the real story of the massive meltdown of 2008 starts not in the late 20th century but in the early 17th.
It was in the 1630s that the Puritan migration to America set the cornerstone for US economic prosperity â€“ and it was our falling away from Puritan values in the 1970s that sowed the seeds of destruction.
This migration endowed the Bay Colony of Massachusetts with four core beliefs: (1) a conviction that the purpose of life, however vaguely conceived, was to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth; (2) an aptitude for the exercise of mechanical skills; (3) a moral outlook that subordinated the interests of the individual to the group; and (4) an ability to assemble and use financial, material, and human resources to a single purpose, on a massive or a lesser scale.
These four beliefs created a powerhouse. The genius of America's inherited "hands-on," "can-do," "up-the-ladder" managerial culture cannot be overstated. In the course of three centuries, it turned a handful of small colonies into the greatest economic and political power on earth.
Name of source: LA Times
SOURCE: LA Times (4-13-10)
The "proto-urban center," which researchers have not yet named, sat on volcanic rock on the shores of Lake Pátzcuaro in the central Mexican state of Michoacan, now a tourist destination. It supported as many as 40,000 people until the consolidation of the Purépecha empire about AD 1350 led most of its inhabitants to relocate to the new capital of Tzintzuntzan, six miles away.
Finding that the urban center's population fell as the capital, Tzintzuntzan, grew will also help rewrite the history of the Purépecha, who were also known as Tarascans, said archaeologist Gary Feinman of Chicago's Field Museum, who was not involved in the research.
Name of source:
President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, Maria Kaczynska, were among 96 people killed Saturday in a plane crash in western Russia. Investigators are pointing at human error as the cause.
Stanislaw Kracik, Krakow province governor, said the presidential couple will receive a funeral at 2 p.m. (1200 GMT) Sunday in the 1,000-year-old cathedral -- the main burial site of Polish monarchs since the 14th century.
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (4-13-10)
Maple Shade Township School Superintendent Michael Livengood said the show, which had been scheduled for Friday at Maude Wilkins Elementary School, has been canceled.
In a 16-page packet sent home with students, teacher Tonya Uibel alerted parents that all students in her third grade class would have to participate in the activity, since it would be graded as an "end of unit" assignment. The packet also included suggestions of how students may dress, including fashions from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s like bellbottoms, poodle skirts and cheerleader outfits. Photographs of fashion icons like Twiggy and Madonna are also included.
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (4-13-10)
Absolving the British group of their excesses involving 'drugs and blasphemy', the Vatican's newspaper L'Osservatore Romano hailed them as a 'precious jewel'.
In a front-page article, it said: 'It's true they took drugs, lived life to excess because of their success, even said they were bigger than Jesus and put out mysterious messages, that were possibly even Satanic.
'They may not have been the best example for the youth of the day but they were by no means the worse. Their beautiful melodies changed music and continue to give pleasure....
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (3-13-10)
The team had been using remote operated vehicles (ROVs) to scour modern wrecks for radioactive materials.
They were amazed to come across the remains of a Roman galley which sank off the coast of Italy thousands of years ago.
The crew from energy company Hallin Marine International, based in Aberdeen, found a number of ancient pots lying in the mud 1,640ft below the waves.
After the first sighting the crew worked around the clock for two days to bring them to the surface without damaging them.
Supervisor Dougie Combe said the team managed to recover five of the 2,000 year-old vessels intact. They cleared debris off them using water jets.
They were then handed over to an archaeology museum in the historic Graeco-Roman city of Paestum, in northern Italy.
Mr Combe, from Speyside, Scotland, said: 'They would have probably been loaded on some kind of merchant ship which sank all those years ago.'
He added: 'It was a big surprise when we came across the pots as we were looking for modern wrecks from the last 20 years or so.
'It's certainly the oldest thing we've come across on the seabed.
'We managed to get five up altogether, but there must have been hundreds of them there.'
The Mare Oceano was searching for low-grade radioactive material alongside Italian company GeoLab when they made the discovery.
They were trawling off the coast of Capo Palinuro, near Policastro, Italy.
The jars that were found are believed to be ancient Greek or Roman and are thought to date back at least 2,000 years.
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (4-13-10)
It is unclear whether the 84-year-old who fiercely guards her privacy still lives here today, but Lana Peters has lived at several addresses in southern Wisconsin in the last 20 years.
And in the summer of 2007, a determined film maker tracked her down at an apartment at a retirement home in an undisclosed Wisconsin town for a rare interview that could be the last she ever grants.
A documentary based on the interview, 'Svetlana About Svetlana,' tells her complex life story, which is probably most noted for her defection to the U.S. in 1967. On April 18, the film will be shown at the Wisconsin Film Festival in Madison.
The film explores Alliluyeva's life and how she managed to 'disappear' while living in near Madison, Wisconsin.
On March 6, 1967, she first visited the Soviet embassy in New Delhi, and then went to the U.S. embassy and formally petitioned Ambassador Chester Bowles for political asylum.
This was granted. However, because the Indian government feared the potential ill-will of the Soviet Union, it was arranged for her to leave India immediately for Rome.
When the Alitalia flight arrived in Rome, Alliluyeva immediately went to Geneva. There the Swiss government arranged a tourist visa and accommodation in Switzerland for six weeks. Alliluyeva then went on to the U.S.
Upon her arrival in April 1967 in New York City, Alliluyeva gave a press conference denouncing her father's regime and the Soviet government.
Her intention to publish her autobiography, Twenty Letters To A Friend, on the 50th anniversary of the Soviet revolution caused an uproar in the USSR, and the Soviet government there threatened to release an unauthorised version.
Alliluyeva moved to Princeton, New Jersey, and later to nearby Pennington.
In 1970, Alliluyeva answered an invitation from Frank Lloyd Wright's widow, Olgivanna Lloyd Wright, to visit Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Olgivanna believed in mysticism and had become convinced that Alliluyeva was a spiritual replacement for her own daughter Svetlana, who had married Wright's chief apprentice William Wesley Peters, and who had died in a car crash years before.
Alliluyeva came to Arizona, and agreed to marry Peters within a matter of weeks.
Peters was a member of the Taliesin Fellowship, a group of architects and designers who had been Wright's apprentices and acolytes, and remained dedicated to his work.
Alliluyeva became part of the Fellowship community, adopted the name Lana Peters, and migrated with them back and forth between the Scottsdale studio and Taliesin om Spring Green, Wisconsin.
The couple had a daughter, Olga. By her own account Alliluyeva retained respect and affection for Wes Peters, but their marriage dissolved under the pressure of Mrs. Wright's influence.
In 1982, she moved with her daughter to Cambridge in England.
In 1984, she returned to the Soviet Union, where she and her daughter were granted citizenship, and settled in Tbilisi, Georgia. In 1986, Alliluyeva returned to the U.S. In the 1990s she moved to Bristol, England.
As of 2009, she is living in Madison, Wisconsin.
Peters initially refused to talk to film maker Parshina. She has dodged the media and the public eye for several years. But after several of Parshina's attempts and hours of conversation, Peters eventually trusted Parshina enough to allow her an interview.
'People say, 'Stalin's daughter, Stalin's daughter', meaning I'm supposed to walk around with a rifle and shoot the Americans. Or they say, 'no, she came here. She is an American citizen,' Peters said, reports the AP. 'No, I'm neither one. I'm somewhere in between. That 'somewhere in between' they can't understand.'
This brief but insightful look into the life of Svetlana will be screened April 18 at the Wisconsin Film Festival in Madison.
But don't expect to find Lana Peters there. Or in Madison in general.
According to Parshina and others, Peters moved on after the interview. She moved out of the retirement home apartment and changed her phone number.
Name of source: BBC Magazine
SOURCE: BBC Magazine (4-13-10)
Hitler is angry.
Very angry indeed. Angry enough to order all but his most senior generals out of the room so he can vent his rage.
He is angry because Cristiano Ronaldo has been sold to Real Madrid. Or because the ending of Watchmen has been changed. Or that Hillary Clinton has lost the Democratic presidential nomination. Or that Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift at an awards show.
It's become one of the best known "internet memes" around, a comic construct that has spread inexorably on YouTube and other platforms like a cultural version of Japanese knotweed.
In the original movie, the climax for many viewers might be the moment in the bunker when Hitler is told of the failure of General Felix Steiner to gather enough troops for an attack to ward off the Soviet advance on Berlin.
In this three-minute, 50 second scene, Hitler, played by Bruno Ganz, plunges between frothing vitriol and terrifying suppressed emotion as he confronts his top generals. The rest of the staff, standing in the corridor outside, listen rapt to the exchange.
But the parody makers have taken this clip, put it through a programme like Movie Maker or iMovie, and added their own subtitles, synced as closely as possible to the audio.
In some parodies, Hitler is being the public figure that is lampooned - Hitler becomes Hillary Clinton losing the nomination, or BBC chief Mark Thompson having to face Jeremy Paxman. But in many of the parodies, Hitler is simply reacting to events, the relegation of Sheffield Utd or Usain Bolt breaking the 100m record.
It is not an obvious subject for humour. Yet for millions of internet users there is something hilarious about this scene being turned on its head.
There is no clear explanation why this category of parody should have proved such a hardy internet meme, says technology writer Bill Thompson.
"It was just lucky. There is no particular reason why Downfall should have taken off."
Every day in bedrooms all over the world there are bedroom comedians dreaming of creating something that will spread like wildfire. Most of their work goes unregarded, but to Thompson, they are the inheritors of the punk ethos.
"Maybe Downfall was in the right place at the right time. It coincided with the launch of YouTube.
"Once it becomes successful it is unstoppable. It is by word of mouth, or word of tweet. The internet does what it was designed to do. It enables two-way communication."
As with any internet meme, the precise origins are unclear. But the credit for perhaps the most popular version, Hitler gets banned from Xbox Live, which has racked up more than 4.2 million users, was claimed by British student Chris Bowley.
Since then the range of topics covered has been too numerous to list.
And the film company behind Downfall, perhaps understandably, prefers to focus on the acclaim for the movie and the $100m it grossed at the box office.
"The impact of the movie has been tremendous, both on a commercial and on an artistic level," says Martin Moszkowicz, an executive at Constantin Film.
The parodies have caused some issues.
"We as a corporation have a bit of an ambivalent view of it. On the one hand we are proud the picture has such a huge fanbase and that people are using it for parody. On the other hand we are trying to protect the artists."
As such Constantin Film has caused many of the parodies to be removed from YouTube and elsewhere.
"It is a task that can never be completed. They are popping up whenever we are taking one down," Mr Moszkowicz admits.
But while many people who have seen the parodies before seeing the film may have a strange feeling of deja vu when they get to the climactic scene, it won't ruin things for them, says Daily Telegraph film critic David Gritten.
"Some of them [the parodies] are absolutely wonderful. [But] I can't imagine it would ruin anyone's enjoyment of it.
"Ganz's portrayal of Hitler is so entirely full-on, so entirely convincing. He sears himself on your eyeballs."
And the Downfall parody meme has gone so far, that there are numerous versions sending up the whole meme itself.
In What does Hitler think of the Downfall meme?, Hitler rants: "This joke stopped being funny in 2008. This was only half-way clever the first time around."
"It's really the nature of the internet that once something reaches a critical mass it starts perpetuating itself out of its own momentum," says creator Andy Nordvall, who uses the name Masters of Humility. "The sheer randomness and seeming arbitrary nature of what goes viral becomes part of the viral-ness itself."
And at the heart of the craze is the ease of joining the bandwagon.
"Just find the clip online, subtitle it, and voila, you're a filmmaker. It's intoxicating just how easy it is to make your own Downfall parody."
Of course, some of the parodies are inevitably controversial.
A Hebrew-subtitle version bemoaning the lack of parking in Tel Aviv caused some consternation in Israel last year. But it shows the international appeal of the meme.
There have been parodies everywhere from Poland to Malaysia.
And some may draw positive conclusions from the idea of young people now feeling comfortable lampooning Hitler.
Downfall director Oliver Hirschbiegel told a magazine earlier this year that he had seen many of the parodies and could see the merits of the idea.
In many ways the parodies take things full circle. Allied propagandists at the beginning of World War II tried to paint Hitler as an undignified, cartoonish and flawed character, thinking this would better serve morale than the image of a remorseless, evil mastermind.
And the creation of a human but still evil Hitler is what Downfall was setting out to achieve.
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (4-13-10)
Mr Demjanjuk was "forcibly deported to Germany" and used as "slave labour" he said in a statement read out in court.
The family of the Ukrainian-born former US carworker says he is in poor health and is unlikely to survive the trial.
Mr Demjanjuk, who is 89, denies being a camp guard at Sobibor, in Nazi-occupied Poland.
"I find it an unbearable injustice that Germany is trying to make me, a prisoner of war, into a war criminal with this trial," Mr Demjanjuk said in a statement read out by his lawyer to the court in the southern city of Munich.
"I am grateful to my medical staff who have helped to reduce the worst pain and allowed me to get through this trial which I feel is torture."
The statement went on: "Germany is to blame for the fact that I have lost my whole reason for living, my family, my happiness and any future or hope."
The statement is his first since the trial began in November 2009.
Mr Demjanjuk lay motionless on a stretcher while the statement was read out.
Doctors say he is fit to stand trial but have asked for limited hearings.
This is the second time John Demjanjuk has appeared in court.
Two decades ago, he was sentenced to death in Israel, convicted of being Ivan the Terrible, a notoriously sadistic guard at the Treblinka death camp.
But that ruling was overturned after new evidence showed that another Ukrainian was probably responsible.
SOURCE: BBC News (4-13-10)
The first witness is Ahmet Zulic, who was a prisoner in a Serb detention camp in north-western Bosnia.
Mr Karadzic, who has been conducting his own defence, is expected to cross-examine him.
Mr Karadzic denies 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
All charges relate to the conflict in Bosnia-Hercegovina during the early 1990s.
The prosecution is expected to present evidence from some 410 witnesses, over a period of several months.
Mr Zulic, who was a prisoner in a detention camp near Sanski Most, has given evidence to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on three previous occasions, including in the trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.
Mr Milosevic died of a heart attack in 2006 before the trial was concluded.
Mr Zulic's evidence will last about an hour and it is expected that he will then be cross-examined by Mr Karadzic.
Although Mr Karadzic has said he wants to defend himself, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has ordered that British lawyer Richard Harvey be present in court to represent him if that becomes necessary.
Mr Karadzic boycotted court proceedings last October when the prosecution first laid out the case against him.
He has consistently asked for more time to prepare his defence. His last attempt to have the trial postponed was dismissed earlier this month.
Mr Karadzic has been in custody for nearly two years and judges are determined that the hearings should get under way without further delay, says the BBC's Peter Biles in The Hague.
Mr Karadzic was arrested in Belgrade in 2008 after nearly 13 years on the run.
Prosecutors say he orchestrated a campaign of "ethnic cleansing" against Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) and Croats in eastern Bosnia, to create an ethnically pure Serbian state.
However, in March Mr Karadzic used his opening statement to dismiss some of the worst alleged atrocities of the 1992-95 Bosnian war as myths.
Name of source: Thomas Bartlett at the Percolator (Blog)
SOURCE: Thomas Bartlett at the Percolator (Blog) (4-12-10)
He doesn't think Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare.
He believes it was Edward de Vere, the 17th earl of Oxford. That puts him in league with the Oxfordians, a group of Shakespeare doubters sufficiently well-organized to have their own society; last year the group selected Stevens as the Oxfordian of the year....
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (4-9-10)
A smattering of voices suggest that Pope Benedict XVI can, and should, as outrage has built in recent weeks over clerical abuses in the Catholic Church. The calls — from some lay Catholics, bloggers, secular publications like the German magazine Der Spiegel and street protesters — have been fueled by reports that laid blame at his doorstep, citing his response both as a bishop long ago in Germany and as a cardinal heading the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles these cases. In the most recent disclosure, on Friday, the news emerged that in 1985, when Benedict was Cardinal Ratzinger, he signed a letter putting off efforts to defrock a convicted child-molesting priest. He cited the priest’s relative youth but also the good of the church.
Vatican officials and experts who follow the papacy closely dismiss the idea of stepping down. “There is no objective motive to think in terms of resignation, absolutely no motive,” said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, in an interview before Friday’s disclosure. “It’s a completely unfounded idea.”...
Most analysts reject the possibility of resignation. “A lot of foreign newspapers are saying it, but the answer is absolutely no,” said Emma Fattorini, a professor of history at the University of Rome. “The church is not a party, a movement, a newspaper, a government.”
Of course, popes have resigned before — the last a mere 595 years ago, when Gregory XII stepped down to heal a schism. Before that, Celestine V, a fiercely ascetic former hermit who wore his temporal power heavily, resigned in 1294 (Dante consigned him to hell for cowardice, some interpreters of the “Inferno” believe)....
SOURCE: NYT (4-12-10)
Far from aggravating frictions in Russian-Polish relations, as initially feared, the plane crash that killed Poland’s president and a swath of the upper echelon of politicians and military leaders on Saturday appears to have achieved the opposite effect, encouraging kindness and understanding on both sides.
Whether the sympathy develops into an era of cooperation or evaporates with the first concrete dispute, it is a chance that politicians say must be seized.
“I don’t know whether there will be a political breakthrough, because we have many opposing interests with Russia,” Radoslaw Sikorski, Poland’s foreign minister, said Monday in an interview on a Polish radio station. “But we already have an emotional breakthrough. And that is already a great deal.”
In the aftermath of the crash, two countries defined by their differences found their commonalities instead. “I must emphasize that the Russian side is behaving with extraordinary openness,” Mr. Sikorski said. “And even more, with a Slavic openness and kindness.”...
SOURCE: NYT (4-13-10)
Name of source: NPR
SOURCE: NPR (4-11-10)
Susan Secakuku, a former archaeologist at Homolovi and a member of the Hopi tribe, says it's hard to believe visitors are no longer allowed to see this stunning view from inside the park. They're also not allowed to see the archaeological treasures that are found there.
Arizona closed Homolovi earlier this year, along with four other state parks. In the past three years, the Legislature has cut state-park funding by roughly 80 percent. About half of all the state's park employees have been laid off.
That has led volunteers and nonprofit groups to step in. The Arizona Historical Society is paying to keep a historic mansion in Flagstaff open temporarily. And the city of Camp Verde is doing the same with a historic fort. Even individuals are getting ready to pitch in at some of the state's shuttered parks.
Name of source: Live Science
SOURCE: Live Science (4-12-10)
This new species, dubbed Australopithecus sediba, was accidentally discovered in South Africa by the 9-year-old son of a scientist. Two members of this hominid were introduced to the world last week - a juvenile male and an adult female, who might have known each other in life and who could have met their demise by falling into the remains of the cave where they were discovered.
Preliminary results from scans of the extraordinarily preserved male skull now show the presence of what could be fossilized insect eggs and a brain remnant.
Name of source: The Guardian
SOURCE: The Guardian (4-11-10)
The Home Office has sparked outrage by allowing Roman bronzes, Etruscan gold and other treasures to be placed on the market by liquidators acting for the government in an attempt to recover unpaid taxes from the former owner, Robin Symes, a dealer with alleged links to the smuggling trade and a UK prison record.
Lord Renfrew, a Cambridge archaeologist, described the handling of the case as a "scandal" and called for action to end London's reputation as "a clearing-house for looted antiquities".