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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: NBC
SOURCE: NBC (4-12-10)
Susan Stein is the Senior Curator at Monticello and said the foundation only examines items that have a historical connection to Monticello.
Each year, the curators investigate about 50 artifacts. Stein said roughly 1 in every 20 items they examine was once owned by Jefferson and his family.
To authenticate items, the curators will try to trace its ownership leading back to Jefferson. They also try to determine when an object was made. Once missing from Monticello, a wall bracket was located and proven to be original to the home.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (4-12-10)
Numerous historical references to Christ's shroud exist but the only reliable records for the one today housed in Turin Cathedral begin in the 16th Century. The herringbone woven cloth measuring 1.21m by 4.42m (4ftx14ft), is stained with human blood and appears to show the imprint of a crucified man. The most iconic aspect - the apparent image of Jesus's bearded face - is not easily distinguishable to the naked eye, and was only noticed at the end of the 19th Century in an amateur photograph.
But in 1988 the subject seemed to be closed. Carbon dating experts from universities in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona "proved" that the shroud originated in the 14th Century and thus could not be an imprint of Jesus.
And yet many now argue that process was flawed.
SOURCE: BBC (4-12-10)
David Boyce, 63, told the High Court in Edinburgh he thought the transaction to return the painting was "unusual", but it was not suspicious.
He is one of five men who deny conspiring to extort £4.25m for the return of the painting in October 2007.
The Madonna of the Yarnwinder was stolen from Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfriesshire in 2003.
He died in Moscow on Tuesday at the age of 90.
Dobrynin was Russia's ambassador in Washington from 1962-1984, becoming a trusted intermediary between the two Cold War superpowers.
In a Kremlin statement, President Dmitry Medvedev called Dobrynin a "legend" of Russian diplomacy.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Dobrynin's career was a "a paragon of dedicated service to the Fatherland".
SOURCE: BBC (4-8-10)
The book was found by librarians at the National Trust's Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire, where Kipling's eldest daughter, Elsie, lived.
The author wrote the inscription to his daughter Josephine, who died in 1899 aged six, said Trust officials.
The book is on display at Wimpole Hall, where Elsie lived from 1938 to 1976.
The inscription reads: "This book belongs to Josephine Kipling for whom it was written by her father, May 1894."
Anders Hogstrom arrived in Warsaw before being taken to Krakow, not far from Auschwitz, for questioning, the BBC's Adam Easton reports.
Mr Hogstrom, a 34-year-old former neo-Nazi leader, denies any wrongdoing.
He told a Swedish newspaper that he was asked to take possession of the sign on behalf of an unnamed collector.
Buddhist lamas had warned it would bring bad luck, so the Sherpas behind the plan said the ashes instead would be kept at a monastery near Everest.
The world's highest mountain is considered sacred to the Buddhist Sherpas who live in the region.
Name of source: AP
The uproar caused by reports that, as an archbishop years ago in Germany and later as a Vatican cardinal, Benedict and his aides were slow to defrock abusive priests, cannot be explained as the church equivalent of Watergate with the pope in the role of U.S. president.
Past popes who quit served mostly in the church's first millennium, according to Christopher Bellitto, a church historian at Kean University in New Jersey. Pope Celestine V resigned in 1294, shortly after taking the papal office. (In his "Inferno," poet Dante Alighieri is believed to have placed Celestine inside the gate of hell for his cowardice.)
The wail of air raid sirens pierced the air for two minutes as the country came to a standstill in a yearly ritual remembering the 6 million Jews who perished in World War II. People stood at attention and traffic halted during the moment of silence, as radio stations played mournful music throughout the day.
At the memorial's opening ceremony late Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to draw parallels to the rise of Nazi Germany and the development of Iran's nuclear program.
Many marchers are wearing black armbands, and black ribbons top their white-and-blue Israeli flags, in memory of Poland's President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria who were killed Saturday with other top officials en route to WWII-era observances in western Russia.
Rep. Robert Johnson, D-Natchez, who is black, said Monday that people need to learn about the "abhorrent, violent, depraved actions of slavery."
Virginia's Republican governor, Bob McDonnell, also named April as Confederate History Month but his original proclamation didn't mention slavery. After coming under national criticism, McDonnell last week revised it to denounce slavery as "evil and inhumane."
Name of source: The Washington Post
SOURCE: The Washington Post (4-12-10)
Pulitzers also went to the writers of the Broadway hit "Next to Normal" for drama; first-time novelist Paul Harding for "Tinkers" for fiction; poet Rae Armantrout for a collection called "Versed"; and classical composer Jennifer Higdon for her Violin Concerto. Higdon was only the third woman to win the award in music since it was first awarded in 1943.
In addition, country-music icon Hank Williams was honored posthumously with a special citation noting his indelible mark on the genre. Some 57 years after Williams died at age 29, the Pulitzer committee declared him "a songwriter who expressed universal feelings with poignant simplicity and played a pivotal role in transforming country music into a major musical and cultural force in American life."
The prize for general nonfiction when to David E. Hoffman for "The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy," which focused on the Soviet Union's response to the American arms buildup under President Ronald Reagan (the title refers to a post-apocalyptic Soviet doomsday plan). Hoffman, The Washington Post's former White House reporter and Moscow bureau chief, said the book grew out of a series he wrote for the newspaper in 1998 about the legacy of the Cold War in Russia. He worked on the book for six years while he served as the paper's foreign editor.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
Their enthusiastic pursuit of the sex, drugs and rock and roll lifestyle also did little to convince the Vatican they were anything other than a thoroughly bad influence.
But now in a move sanctioned by Pope Benedict XVI, the Catholic Church has offered the Fab Four its official seal of approval, forgiving them their various excesses and even lauding them as a “precious jewel”.
In a front page article the Vatican’s official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, offers a glowing assessment of The Beatles’ achievements 40-years after they split, heralding their “beautiful melodies” and begging the question “what would pop music have been like without the Beatles?”
In an astonishing turnaround the Church dismisses previous moral outrages including blasphemous remarks, drug taking and even the dissemination of Satanic messages through their music.
Jack Agnew belonged to the unofficial unit which operated behind enemy lines and was known for the less than respectful behaviour of its members.
Its soldiers refused to salute officers, or mop barracks, and were famed for brawling, drinking and spending time in the stockade. Some even wore Mohawk haircuts and donned war paint, inspired by their leader Jake McNiece, who was part Native American.
The l967 film, directed by Robert Aldrich, was loosely based on their exploits. It starred Lee Marvin as an Army major who recruits 12 criminals convicted of capital crimes and trains them for a top secret mission ahead of the D-Day landings.
The men are first taken on a training exercise under military guard where they become a united fighting force. At one point they resolve not to wash or shave and gain the nickname the "dirty dozen." Parachuted into France they then have to infiltrate a chateau near Rennes and assassinate German officers who have gathered for a war games exercise to counter an Allied invasion.
It was rumoured that the Princess had destroyed the black taffeta gown - but it turned up recently in a wardrobe at the studio of dress makers David and Elizabeth Emanuel.
Now the iconic dress is set to fetch up to £50,000 when it appears at Kerry Taylor Auctions in London on June 8.
The dress caused a sensation when Lady Diana Spencer, as she then was, bent down to climb out of the car. She was met with a frenzy of flash bulbs and next day's newspapers included the headline: "Daring Di sets fashion as she takes the plunge".
'Picture kept in a drawer 'is £100m da Vinci’.” That’s how the article in The Sunday Times on July 27, 2008 breathlessly reported the incredible story of how the Paris-based American dealer Peter Silverman discovered a lost masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci.
Silverman’s discovery made a thrilling story, but it was a complete fabrication, and the first of several versions of the story he told. In fact, New York art dealer Kate Ganz acquired the drawing at Christie’s in 1998 for $21,850 catalogued as “19th century, possibly German” and she sold it, with the same attribution and for the same amount, nine years later to Silverman. During the time she owned it, the many museum curators, museum directors, conservators and collectors who saw it in her gallery all concurred that the drawing could not be more than 100 years old. As for the “L-word” Mr Silverman dared not utter, when he saw the picture at Ganz’s gallery in January 2007 it was described on the label as “obviously based on a number of paintings by Leonardo da Vinci”.
A campaign is under way to publicise what Kemp is calling “the most important rediscovered work by the artist in over a century”. As part of the promotional drive, the drawing is being shown to the public for the first time – not, as you might expect, in a museum in Paris, New York or London – but in a conference centre in Gothenburg, Sweden. Watching the opening on YouTube is like watching the circus come to town. The picture arrives in an armoured van under police escort. Flashbulbs pop. A man who is handcuffed to a metal briefcase opens it with a theatrical flourish and then produces the drawing that Silverman (or the “Swiss collector” he still claims owns the work) is now saying is worth $150?million.
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) production - Such Tweet Sorrow - began this morning and continues over the next five weeks.
A cast of six RSC actors are improvising a story, loosely based on Shakespeare's classic romance, over real-time on micro-blogging site Twitter.
The actors have been asked to respond to each other, to the ''audience'' and to real events as they happen around the world.
Fidesz, Hungary's centre-Right party, won 52.77 per cent of the vote, based on 99 per cent of votes counted, in a blow to the Socialist government.
Jobbik, a far-Right party, gained entry into parliament for the first time after winning 16.71 per cent of votes, behind the ruling Socialists who took 19.29 per cent.
Hungary's largest Jewish organisation warned that the vote was "the first occasion that a movement pursuing openly anti-Semitic policies" has taken a step to power since the Nazi era.
Hungary's election gains for Jobbik follow a upsurge in support for the far-Right across Europe.
Last month, French regional elections, dominated by debates over immigration, saw electoral revival for the National Front. In June, Dutch elections could propel Geert Wilders, whose anti-Islamic, hard-right Freedom Party leads the polls, into power.
Amid rising unemployment, Hungary was the first European Union country to turn to the International Monetary Fund for an £18 billion bailout last year.
Jobbik has risen by using Hungary's deep economic crisis to revive traditional Hungarian scape-goating of Jewish and gypsy, or Roma, communities for joblessness and poverty.
It has close links with the Magyar Garda, or Hungarian Guard, a banned paramilitary group with insignia modelled on the Arrow Cross of Hungary's wartime Nazis.
Gabor Vona, Jobbik's 31-year old leader, has vowed to be sworn in as an MP wearing the banned uniform. "I will keep my promise to go into parliament on the first day in a Garda vest," he said.
The Guards, founded by Mr Vona, have polarised Hungary by staging a series of marches against "gypsy crime" through small countryside towns and villages with large Roma communities. An unprecedented series of Roma killings in 2008 and 2009 claimed six lives in several villages.
Styled as the "Movement for a better Hungary", Jobbik has campaigned to drop free-market IMF reforms and to revive the gendarmerie to police the country's gypsy minority. Hungary's Csendorség, or gendarmes, were disbanded for its role in deporting 500,000 Hungarian Jews to their deaths in Nazi concentration camps.
"Jobbik is the only party which can put the country in order," Tamas Vardai , a university student said outside a Budapest polling station.
A recent copy of the party's weekly newspaper showed a statue of Saint Gellert, a Hungarian national, holding a menorah, a ceremonial Jewish candelabrum, instead of the cross. The picture's caption said: "Is this what you want?".
The Association of Hungarian Jewish Religious Communities, without directly naming Jobbik, has pleaded with voter to turn against anti-Semitic candidates.
Turnout was slightly lower than expected, at 64.29 percent, down three points from the first round of general elections in 2006.
The election results will not be final until a second round to be held on April 25.
Lord Justice Wall said the failure of social workers in the London borough of Greenwich to support a mother trying to make changes to her life and get back her two children, who are in care, was ''quite shocking''.
The judge said what occurred would do little to dispel the perception of many that social workers were ''arrogant and enthusiastic removers of children from their parents into an unsatisfactory care system - trampling on the rights of parents and children in the process.''
In a second case, another appeal judge said the actions of Devon County Council in pursuing plans to have a baby adopted without giving the natural mother a last chance to show he was safe with her was likely to be perceived as ''more like Stalin's Russia or Mao's China than the west of England''.
The appeal court expressed appreciation for the difficult tasks social workers had to perform, and Lord Justice Wall said he recognised the fact they were ''damned if they do and damned if they do not''.
But the legal duty of social workers in care proceedings was plain, and ''their aim should be to unite families rather than separate them''.
In both cases the mothers were given more time to show they were now able to parent their children safely.
The Devon case was called on shortly after the highly critical Greenwich judgment last Friday afternoon.
The Devon lawyers soon faced a salvo of criticism from Lord Justice Wall and Lord Justice Aikens that S was apparently not being treated fairly, and they withdrew their application.
Faisal Wangita, 28, is accused of being one of eight men who beat another deportee at an immigration centre.
The 23-year-old victim, from South America, suffered multiple injuries in the attack at the Colnbrook Detention Centre, near Heathrow Airport.
Unemployed Wangita, of north London, travelled to England from Uganda with his mother as a child.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said Wangita is one of eight men charged with grievous bodily harm and false imprisonment.
Former Ugandan president Amin had more than 40 officially-recorded children from seven wives.
Up to 400,000 people are believed to have been killed under his rule in the east African state between 1971 and 1979.
Amin fled to Libya and Iraq before finally settling in Saudi Arabia, where he died of multiple organ failure in 2003.
The group will all appear in custody at Isleworth Crown Court on May 18.
The other seven defendants are: Adilson De Oliveira, 23, Julio Odjoma, 27, Robert Williams, 25, Omar Haji-Ali, 30, Ahmed Musse, 27, Steven Kadima, 22, and Marc Deborge, 33.
Fidesz, Hungary's centre-right party, is expected to sweep out the unpopular Socialist government and Jobbik, a far-right party is predicted to take second place after Sunday's elections.
Hungary's largest Jewish organisation warned that the vote was "the first occasion that a movement pursuing openly anti-Semitic policies" has taken a step to power since the Nazi era.
The declassified document revived questions about Mr Kissinger's role in curbing the secret programme of international assassinations by South American dictators known as Operation Condor.
According to the National Security Archive, a research organisation that uncovered the document, the cable ended efforts by US diplomats to warn the governments of Chile, Uruguay and Argentina against involvement in the covert plan, which targeted political opponents at home and overseas.
But voters were left with few alternatives after Mr Bashir's main challengers boycotted the race, citing widespread fraud before the voting even began.
The elections, which run through Tuesday, are supposed to be an essential step in a 2005 peace plan that ended two decades of a civil war between the north and south, a conflict that claimed some 2 million lives.
The vote was meant to kick-start a transformation to a democratically elected government that would prepare the ground for a crucial referendum next year on whether southern Sudan forms an independent nation.
There were also hopes that the first multi-party elections in nearly a quarter century would begin a process of healing in the impoverished country ripped apart by the north-south civil war and the seven-year conflict in the western region of Darfur, which left an estimated 300,000 dead and millions displaced since 2003.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-10-10)
Now, to mark the observatory's 20th anniversary, scientists at Nasa have selected the most dramatic and scientifically-important images it has taken.
Massive clouds of dust where new stars are born, the bursts of light released when stars die, beautiful structures of galaxies and even new planets in distant parts of the solar system are among the images to be singled out.
Nasa has released the images in a new book, Hubble: A Journey Through Space and Time.
Mourners came from across the country, some carrying apartheid-era South African flags and the AWB banner, which is a three-pointed swastika.
Once an unflinching opponent of black rule, Mr Terreblanche had languished in obscurity after serving a term in jail for attempted murder.
Mr Terreblanche, 69, was killed by two of his farm labourers last weekend, ostensibly over a wage dispute but at a time when a national debate over race had descended into acrimony.
An imperial white jade seal commissioned by Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty in the 18th century was sold to an Asian buyer for US$12.29 million ($8m) breaking the world auction record for both white jade and imperial seals.
The price was almost double its estimate of about US$6.4 million and reflects international interest in objects of China's glorious past.
But as her ethnic Russian minority struggles to keep its customs and traditions alive in a globalised world, the 69-year-old grandmother fears that the songs of the Lipovan could one day be lost for good.
Mitry's people left their historic homeland in around 1740, seeking refuge in a far-flung corner of the Danube delta, now a Unesco world heritage site, where they lived through Ottoman domination and a Communist dictatorship.
Also called "old believers", they were facing persecution after refusing to accept the new rituals introduced to the Christian Orthodox Church by the then Russian patriarch, Nikon, according to historian Alexandr Varona.
Nestled between freshwater lakes and the reed-covered marshes, a few kilometres from the Black Sea, Sarichioi is home to one of the oldest Lipovan communities.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (4-12-10)
The Greco-Roman tombs, in Bahariya Oasis, 300 km (190 miles) southwest of Cairo, were discovered during probes that indicated they may be part of a much larger necropolis, Egypt's Culture Ministry said in a statement Monday.
A 97-cm (38-inch) tall female mummy, found in the stair-lined interior of one of the rock-hewn tombs, was cast in colored plaster inlaid with jewelry and eyes.
Name of source: National Parks Traveler
SOURCE: National Parks Traveler (4-12-10)
The camps were in remote areas spread among seven states including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. Manzanar NHS is located in an isolated area of California’s Owens Valley, approximately 200 miles north of Los Angeles on U.S. Highway 395. It is between the small towns of Lone Pine and Independence.
This year’s pilgrimage will feature speaker Takashi Hoshizaki, a former internee of Wyoming’s Heart Mountain internment camp. The afternoon program at the Manzanar cemetery will also include a performance by UCLA’s Taiko (drum) group and an interfaith service. An evening program, Manzanar at Dusk, will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at the Lone Pine High School gymnasium. Attendees at the evening program will have an opportunity to talk with former internees who will relate their personal experiences in the camps. There is no charge to attend the afternoon and evening programs.
The Manzanar camp was closed in late 1945 after the last Japanese-American internee left with $25 and a one-way bus ticket. The U.S. government subsequently sold most of the buildings, either for scrap lumber or to be moved to private land. The original sentry posts and auditorium (currently serving as the site’s interpretive center) remain, along with building foundations and several other identifiable areas of the camp.
The interpretive center includes a variety of exhibits and each half hour shows an excellent 22-minute film about life in the Manzanar relocation camp. An NPS brochure with an artistic illustration of the recreated camp, provides background information for a self-guiding auto tour of the site.
Name of source: Deutsche Welle (Germany)
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (Germany) (4-11-10)
Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald gathered with dignitaries and US Army veterans to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the liberation of one of the largest Nazi concentration camps on German soil.
From 1937-1945, about 250,000 people were imprisoned in Buchenwald, near the eastern German city of Weimar.
Camp prisoners came from all over Europe and Russia, and worked primarily as forced labor in armament factories. When US Army forces arrived at the camp on April 11, 1945, they liberated about 21,000 people - most of them shockingly emaciated.
The anniversary of the liberation comes just one day after the Buchenwald Memorial Foundation announced it had published online a virtual memorial - a list of those killed by the Nazis at the camp.
The memorial list contains the names of 38,000 victims researchers and volunteers were able to confirm. However, the names of thousands more who died during what were known as the “death marches” toward the end of the war are still not known.
More than 56,000 people are said to have died in Buchenwald and outlying camps before the war ended in 1945 either through execution, starvation or disease. Victims included Jews, communists, gays, Roma and Sinti, and others from across central Europe.
A former prisoner from Ukraine kisses a US Army veteranBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: The Sixth Tank Division of the Third US Army was horrified by what they saw at Buchenwald
In the virtual list, a page has been dedicated to each of the known victims, carrying details like dates of birth and death.
The spokesman for the memorial appealed to relatives to send in additional information to enable them to complete the obituary for each.
It took 10 years' work and research, including the examination of more than 500,000 documents to draw up the list, which is still incomplete.
The online memorials on the Web site are currently in German, but they are expected to be posted in other languages as well.
Name of source: Science Daily
SOURCE: Science Daily (4-6-10)
The mound of Tell Zeidan in the Euphrates River Valley near Raqqa, Syria, which had not been built upon or excavated for 6,000 years, is revealing a society rich in trade, copper metallurgy and pottery production. Artifacts recently found there are providing more support for the view that Tell Zeidan was among the first societies in the Middle East to develop social classes according to power and wealth.
Tell Zeidan dates from between 6000 and 4000 B.C., and immediately preceded the world's first urban civilizations in the ancient Middle East. It is one of the largest sites of the Ubaid culture in northern Mesopotamia.
Thus far, archaeologists have unearthed evidence of this society's trade in obsidian and production and development of copper processing, as well as the existence of a social elite that used stone seals to mark ownership of goods and culturally significant items.
SOURCE: Science Daily (4-9-10)
The text books tell us that transcription factors recognise the genes that they regulate by binding to short, sequence-specific lengths of DNA upstream or downstream of their target genes. It was widely assumed that, like the sequences of the genes themselves, these transcription factor binding sites would be highly conserved throughout evolution. However, this turns out not to be the case in mammals.
Reporting in the journal Science, the authors traced the evolution of gene regulation by comparing the binding of evolutionarily conserved transcription factors in the genomes of five vertebrate species -- human, dog, mouse, short-tailed opossum and chicken -- spanning 300 million years.
SOURCE: Science Daily (4-9-10)
"Was Patagonia a desert?" Using this question as its starting point, the Argentinean-Spanish research team has studied the development of ethnicity in Patagonia, one of the last regions of the world to be occupied by human beings, around 13,000 years ago according to radio carbon dating of archaeological remains in the region. The study, published in the journal Arctic Anthropology, overturns the traditional view of these societies.
Documentary evidence to date has held that the region was occupied by primitive hunter-gatherers who started to "die out" and disappeared leaving behind a "desert." However, even though the indigenous population subsists in marginal populations today, this study shows that it has a history of its own.
Using ethnographic documents containing the life stories of old people who lived as nomadic hunter-gatherers as children, as well as information sources from travellers and naturalists in the 19th Century, the social scientists used specially-created computer programmes to study the dynamics of indigenous populations.
SOURCE: Science Daily (4-8-10)
Cerrejonemys wayuunaiki takes its genus name from Cerrejón, and emys -- Greek for turtle. Its species name is the language spoken by the Wayuu people who live on the Guajira Peninsula in northeastern Colombia near the mine.
About as thick as a standard dictionary, this turtle's shell may have warded off attacks by the Titanoboa, thought to have been the world's biggest snake, and by other, crocodile-like creatures living in its neighborhood 60 million years ago.
SOURCE: Science Daily (4-10-10)
The 43 by 28 centimetre tablet -- known as the Vassal Treaties of Esarhaddon -- contains about 650 lines and is in a very fragile state. "It will take months of further work before the document will be fully legible," added Harrison. "These tablets are like a very complex puzzle, involving hundreds of pieces, some missing. It is not just a matter of pulling the tablet out, sitting down and reading. We expect to learn much more as we restore and analyze the document."
The researchers hope to glean information about Assyria's imperial relations with the west during a critical period, the early 7th century BCE. It marked the rise of the Phrygians and other rival powers in highland Anatolia -- now modern-day Turkey -- along the northwestern frontier of the Assyrian empire, and coincided with the divided monarchy of Biblical Israel, as well as an era of increased contact between the Levantine peoples of the Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt, as well as the Greeks of the Aegean world.
The cache of tablets -- which date back to the Iron Age -- were unearthed in August 2009 during excavations at the site of an ancient temple at Tell Tayinat, located in southeastern Turkey. A wealth of religious paraphernalia -- including gold, bronze and iron implements, libation vessels and ornately decorated ritual objects -- was also uncovered.
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (4-11-10)
The Virginia governor took heat for his declaration from a slew of top officials, including President Obama and former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder -- the first black elected governor and a grandson of slaves.
Under pressure, McDonnell on Wednesday apologized, acknowledging a "major omission" and adding in a paragraph condemning slavery. That helped ease the tension over the matter, but Barbour said Sunday that McDonnell did not do anything wrong in the first place.
SOURCE: Fox News (4-9-10)
On April 9, 1945, 65 years ago today, just a few weeks before an allied offensive brought Germany to its knees and ended World War II in Europe, a young, mild-mannered Lutheran theologian was hanged by the Nazis in Flossenburg Concentration Camp.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a theological genius of the 20th century, is now emerging as a war hero, martyr and spy.
But the legacy that Bonhoeffer leaves future generations is of the untold dangers of idolizing politicians as messianic figures. Not just in the 1930s and '40s, but today as well.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (4-11-10)
Soldiers in perfect step carried the casket from the plane that transported onto the tarmac, where mourners were waiting. Catholic priests recited prayers at the military airport before Kaczynski's daughter and twin brother, followed by others, took turns kneeling before the flag-draped casket.
People lined up along the streets along where Kaczynski's body would pass on its way to the presidential palace.
Tens of thousands of Poles across the country observed a two-minute-long moment of silence to remember their president and 95 others killed in the plane crash.
SOURCE: CNN (4-11-10)
About two million people -- including Pope Benedict XVI -- are expected to view the shroud while it's on view at the Turin Cathedral for the next six weeks.
The shroud, which bears the image of a face that some Christians say is Jesus', was restored eight years ago to remove a patchwork repair done by 16th-century nuns after the cloth was damaged in a fire.
Many scholars contest the shroud's authenticity, saying it dates to the Middle Ages, when purported biblical relics -- like splinters from Jesus' cross -- surfaced across Europe.
SOURCE: CNN (4-9-10)
The new language added to the proclamation says that "it is important for all Virginians to understand that the institution of slavery led to this war and was an evil and inhumane practice that deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights."
McDonnell's statement noted that while Virginia was home to the capital of the Confederacy, it was also the first state in the nation to elect an African-American governor, L. Douglas Wilder, whom McDonnell called "my friend."
SOURCE: CNN (4-9-10)
After joining the court in 1975, the choice of President Gerald Ford, a Republican, Stevens went on to become "an unexpected liberal -- someone who moved to the left as the court moved to the right," said Jeffrey Toobin, CNN senior legal analyst.
Stevens "became the leader of the liberals on the court," a staunch defender of abortion rights and affirmative action, said Toobin. One decision he'll most likely be remembered for is striking down the Bush administration's treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, said Toobin. Also a memorable part of Steven's legacy is the lead dissenting opinion he wrote in Bush v. Gore -- the case that ended the contested presidential election of 2000.
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (4-10-10)
Russian and Polish officials said there were no survivors on the Soviet-era Tupolev, which was taking the president, his wife and staff to events marking the 70th anniversary of the massacre of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police.
On board were the army chief of staff, national bank president, deputy foreign minister, army chaplain, head of the National Security Office, deputy parliament speaker, civil rights commissioner and at least two presidential aides and three lawmakers, the Polish foreign ministry said....
Polish-Russian relations had been improving of late after being poisoned for decades over the Katyn massacre.
Russia never has formally apologized for the murders of some 22,000 Polish officers, but Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's decision to attend a memorial ceremony earlier this week in the forest near Katyn was seen as a gesture of goodwill toward reconciliation. Rossiya-24 showed hundreds of people around the Katyn monument, many holding Polish flags, some weeping....
Name of source: The Daily Star
SOURCE: The Daily Star (4-10-10)
Director of the excavation team Ecological Archaeology Group Asst Prof Swadhin Sen of JU believes that the monasteries belong to the Pala dynasty when the region -- Rajshahi, Bogra, Pabna and Dinajpur (both in India and Bangladesh) -- was known as Varendra.
He said assemblages of pottery found during the excavations have been compared to the stratigraphically indexed pottery from Mahasthan and Maldah in West Bengal. The well and brick structures also indicate that these Buddhist ruins belong tentatively to the 10th -11th century AD.
He said this is the first time in Bangladesh that three monasteries within the proximity of six square miles have been excavated in the northern part of the country.
Name of source: Discovery News
SOURCE: Discovery News (4-9-10)
The Dartmoor megaliths, which were recently carbon-dated to around 3500 B.C., could predate Stonehenge, but both sites feature large standing stones that are aligned to mark the rising of the midsummer sun and the setting of the midwinter sun. Yet another Dartmoor stone monument, called Drizzlecombe, shares the same orientation.
The Dartmoor megaliths, described in a separate study in the current issue of the journal Antiquity, are now lying flat, since the stones in a row fell, or were individually pushed, over. The toppling was fortuitous for historians, however, since peat above and the below the stones permitted the carbon dating, which is extremely rare for such monuments.
Tom Greeves, who discovered the Dartmoor stones at a site called Cut Hill and is co-author of the Antiquity paper, said it is "remarkable that a previously unrecorded stone row with very large stones has been noted for the first time on one of Dartmoor's highest and remotest hills."
Name of source: North Hampton
SOURCE: North Hampton (4-9-10)
A survey of land underneath Kebabish and The Bear public House, both in Sheep Street, Northampton, has found what experts estimate could be the remains of an ancient synagogue, dating back hundreds of years.
The finds, which include brick walls and what appears to be a staircase, were confirmed using a state-of-the-art ground-penetrating radar.
Name of source: UPI
SOURCE: UPI (4-8-10)
The find follows the unearthing Wednesday of 20 other objects that could be human remains in what was once the Fresh Kills landfill on New York's Staten Island.
Forensic anthropologists will determine if DNA tests on the potential remains, found in debris excavated around Ground Zero, are warranted, officials said.
Officials hope to turn up traces of some of the 797 of the 2,752 victims of the terrorist attacks whose remains never were found.
Name of source: Ottowa Citizen (Canada)
SOURCE: Ottowa Citizen (Canada) (4-8-10)
The tablet, dating from about 670 BC, is a treaty between the powerful Assyrian king and his weaker vassal states, written in a highly formulaic language very similar in form and style to the story of Abraham's covenant with God in the Hebrew Bible, says University of Toronto archeologist Timothy Harrison.
Although biblical scholarship differs, it is widely accepted that the Hebrew Bible was being assembled around the same time as this treaty, the seventh century BC.
"Those documents ... seem to reflect very closely the formulaic structure of these treaty documents," he told about 50 guests at the residence of the Turkish ambassador Rafet Akgunay.
He was not necessarily saying the Hebrews copied the Assyrian text, substituting their own story about how God liberated them from slavery in Egypt on the condition that they worship only Him and follow his commandments.
But it will be interesting for scholars to have this parallel document.
"The language in the (Assyrian) texts is (very similar) and now we have a treaty document just a few miles up the road from Jerusalem."
It was the first public announcement about the importance of the Ottawa-made tablet as Harrison tries to pitch an international consortium for creating a public park at Tell Tayinat, the archeological site in southeast Turkey.
"Many of our modern social values have ancient roots," he said. "It is important to illuminate this ancient history to discover who we are and where we might be going."
King Esarhaddon was nearing the end of his reign in Assyria when he drafted this treaty, trying to ensure a peaceful succession to the throne, Harrison said. "It was remarkable the kind of the intrigue went on." One of the reasons they made these treaties is that Esarhaddon's father was assassinated by a brother.
"So he brought together all the rulers in the Assyrian empire and essentially bound them to these treaties (to) avoid political crisis. It's a very complex document to deal with, sophisticated and intricate ... anticipating all the possibilities that might arise."
Harrison's dig at Tell Tayinat revealed tens of thousands of items last summer, including the tablet. It measured 43x28 centimetres, with 650 and 700 tiny lines of script -- and was smashed to pieces. Still, at least the pieces were all in one place. Dozens of similar smashed tablets were scattered.
The excavation, near the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea about 300 kilometres north of Damascus, has exposed a temple or religious sanctuary with ornately carved columns, monumental staircases and other remnants of a powerful kingdom destroyed by Assyrian invaders in 738 BC. The team plans to return to the site this summer.
Meanwhile, work will continue on the restoration and translation of the tablet.
Name of source: Indiana University News
SOURCE: Indiana University News (4-7-10)
Over the centuries various landscaping efforts have obscured and buried features of the original Monticello landscape, so today, members of the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology at Indiana University Bloomington are working with Monticello archaeological staff to help restore Monticello to its appearance as it was during Jefferson's lifetime.
During a March 2010 research trip, a Glenn Black Laboratory team, led by Interim Director G. William Monaghan and funded by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, helped document 18th-century landscape modifications undertaken by Jefferson during and after the construction of Monticello.
Monaghan, an associate research scientist and geoarchaeologist, was assisted by IU Bloomington undergraduate students Joel Marshall and Luke Walker. The team conducted a landscape study to find evidence of two lost roads: a "kitchen road" that serviced the Monticello kitchen, and a formal carriageway that circled along the Ellipse Fence marking the edge of the East Lawn and the formal landscape in front of Monticello.
"This latest research at Monticello continues a tradition of innovative archaeological uses of remote sensing that was started by Glenn Black himself," said Geoffrey Conrad, associate vice provost for research at IU Bloomington and director of the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. "The Glenn Black Laboratory is a leader in this field, not just in Indiana and the Midwest, but across the country."
The team used Glenn Black Lab equipment, including a 72-probe Syscal Electrical Resistivity profiler, a geophysical instrument used to map subsurface soil variations. The team also used a GeoProbe hydraulic coring machine to collect small-diameter continuous solid-earth cores.
"The coring machine is particularly useful because it actually shows the properties and layers of the fills and natural sediments that make up the landscape created by Jefferson," Monaghan said. "In many cases, we could clearly see the ground surface that existed before Jefferson built Monticello, buried under several feet of the 'fill' that Jefferson brought in to shape the landscape."
During the project the thickness and characteristics of the historic fills that underlie the southern end of the East Lawn were documented. The IU research team determined that four to six feet of fill underlies the East Lawn. "This was a surprise because it is two to three times thicker and much more extensive than previously believed," Monaghan noted.
The Monticello Plantation Survey, to which IU's team has contributed, is part of a long-term effort to complete an inventory of the archaeological resources located on the 2,000-acre tract currently owned by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. The 1,000-acre Monticello home farm has been the focus of survey fieldwork to date. By examining road traces, sediment deposits, and more, Monticello archaeologists are building a cumulative record of land use that reveals a more complete historical picture of Monticello than the documentary record left by Thomas Jefferson.
"The results of our research will be used by the Monticello archaeological and restoration staff to document the changes made by Jefferson to the Monticello landscape," Monaghan said. "Analysis of samples of the fill also may allow them to accurately reconstruct what the area looked like before Jefferson arrived."
In recent years the Glenn Black Laboratory and Monaghan have undertaken other Plantation Survey projects with Monticello archaeologists, including investigating questions about the types of vegetation that existed at Monticello prior to Jefferson's arrival, the timing of when he cleared the forests on Monticello Mountain, and what crops he grew. The Glenn Black Lab staff plans to continue working with Monticello archaeologists to document landscaping on the entire East Lawn as well as to address questions related to clay sources and manufacturing technologies for the bricks used in Jefferson's home.
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (4-9-10)
Verena Becker, 57, was arrested last August for her suspected role in the ambush of Siegfried Buback. Two men escorting him were also shot dead.
Ms Becker is accused of being an accessory to the murder - one of the RAF's most notorious attacks.
The RAF, also called the Baader-Meinhof gang, killed more than 30 people.
DNA evidence implicating Ms Becker was found on a letter in which her group claimed responsibility, police said.
The three victims were shot dead by two people on a motorcycle as their car stopped at traffic lights en route to a Karlsruhe court.
Although Ms Becker was arrested the month after the Buback assassination, after a shoot-out with police, there was insufficient evidence at the time to convict her of his murder.
She was sentenced to life imprisonment for her involvement in six other murders, but was pardoned by then President Richard von Weizsaecker in 1989 and released.
The RAF broke up 10 years ago. It targeted bankers, businessmen, judges and US servicemen. Bodyguards and drivers were also gunned down in the gang's attacks.
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (4-8-10)
It's no surprise when works by famous artists sell for prices in the tens of thousands. Perhaps more surprising is the fact that drawings and watercolors by Adolf Hitler have commanded similar prices at recent auctions.
The British auction house Mullock's offered 15 pieces by Hitler in an auction last April, drawing a sales total of about 140,000 euros ($187,000). Next week, Mullock's will host another auction featuring 22 pieces by Hitler alongside other objects from the World War II era. Price estimates on the items from Hitler range from about 4,500 to 17,000 euros.
Mullock's is not the only venue for buying the infamous dictator's works. A Nuremberg auction house sparked protest last year by selling two Hitler works for a combined 32,000 euros, while the American collector Charles Snyder, Jr. has dealt in Hitler's artwork for decades. His Web site lists items including a $70,000 watercolor titled "Arc of Triumph in Munich 1914."
A watercolor painting of a country scene painted by HitlerBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: This watercolor was among the pieces auctioned last year by Mullock's
"These prices are clearly much too high when considered just in terms of the works' artistic value," curator for 20th-century art Stephan Diederich told Deutsche Welle. "I would guess that - for whatever reasons - the buyers are less interested in art and more interested in pieces that recall Hitler."
But many people wrongly assume that buyers are Nazi sympathizers or Neo-Nazis, said Richard Westwood-Brookes of the Mullock's auction house.
"Our buyers last year were interested either from a historical or from an artistic point of view - and in the latter case, I mean they were interested in acquiring the work of such a well-known failed artist," he explained
The works auctioned last year were brought to Mullock's by a man who had bought them for virtually nothing decades before. He hoped to earn enough from the 15 pieces to cover the costs of some home repairs. Both he and Westwood-Brookes were stunned when the works fetched five to 10 times their estimated value.
Since news of last year's sale spread, Westwood-Brookes said he has been contacted by three sellers interested in auctioning their own pieces. They include an Austrian man who discovered the pieces in a chest after buying a complete estate in Austria as well as an artist living in France who was interested in examining the drawings' deficiencies.
Given the steady increase in price on works attributed to Hitler, some buyers may even approach their purchases as an investment.
A picture of a black automobile used by Hitler and later auctionedBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Other objects like this car once belonging to Hitler have also brought high bids
Thus far, the pieces at Mullock's seem to have been bought and sold exclusively by private individuals rather than museums or galleries. Russian collectors were particularly interested in buying works at auction, according to Westwood-Brookes.
But the apparent demand for Hitler's art combined with its often shadowy provenance has also led to a proliferation in fakes. In an interview with Germany's Die Welt, Westwood-Brookes acknowledged that it is impossible to be completely certain that the works are authentic.
"We can put together as many expert opinions as we like, but at the end of the day, you have to decide whether you believe them," he said. "We can only make these objects available for public scrutiny and give as much information about them as we have."
As such, the question remains open not only about the works' authenticity but about how much buyers can expect to pay for them in the future.