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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: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (5-23-10)
If anyone doubts the enduring appeal of American currency, a sale completed Thursday of a sparkling 1794 silver dollar should put that to rest. The coin, believed by some experts to be the first United States dollar ever minted, was sold to a nonprofit educational group for $7.85 million, a world record for any coin.
“This is a national treasure,” said the seller, Steven L. Contursi, a California coin dealer who has owned it since 2003. He has exhibited it at a museum in Colorado and at collector events. The buyer, the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation, is expected to continue publicizing the coin....
SOURCE: NYT (5-20-10)
The scheduled vote was a preliminary tally, with the final vote by the same group planned for Friday.
The decision, expected to fall largely along the party lines — the board has 10 Republicans and 5 Democrats — followed tens of thousands of public comments, a protest rally and a daylong hearing where about 200 speakers addressed the board.
By sheer force of its population size, Texas has long held outsize influence on national textbook publishers, some of whom sent curriculum writers to take notes in the boardroom.
That influence has waned somewhat in recent years, with the digital age allowing editors to tailor versions of their textbooks to individual states.
But Texas has only increased in stature as a symbolic battleground over the politicization of education, largely because of the emergence of a conservative voting bloc on the board....
Name of source: SF Bay View
SOURCE: SF Bay View (5-23-10)
This week, as the conference dates approached, The New Times published several articles condemning it and quoting Ngoga saying, “For a few years now, some defense lawyers at the ICTR have badly deviated from their professional duties and turned into activists and advocates of genocide denial.”
Ngoga and The New Times thus drew international attention to the significance of the conference to the ongoing struggle over disputed histories of Rwanda’s 1994 tragedy and related violence in Central Africa, both before and since.
Last week Ngoga warned leading opposition presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire that she might be jailed once again if she continues speaking to the press. The election is scheduled for Aug. 9. Ingabire has not been allowed to register to formally run against Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
The ad hoc conference organizing committee also said that they are defending the right to freedom of speech and thought and expect the conference to be a non-disruptive exchange of ideas that would be subjected to public critique and historical and scientific evaluation, as the ideas exchanged at the November 2009 Hague Conference on the Legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda were....
Name of source: Lynchburg News & Advance
SOURCE: Lynchburg News & Advance (5-21-10)
“We’re getting really close,” said Sam Craghead, a public relations specialist for the museum. “The groundbreaking is in the foreseeable future.”
Most of the funding has come from private individuals and grants. Craghead said that after a public fundraising effort begins soon, construction could start this year.
The museum’s expected completion date is “early 2012” after a projected 18 months of construction.
The museum initially planned an opening in late 2011, but was delayed by fundraising issues and an expansion of the original museum plans.
The new design is 11,000 square feet and located on eight acres of land near the intersection of U.S. 460 and Virginia 24. The proposed site is a mile away from the Appomattox Court House National Park....
Name of source: KITV.com (HI)
SOURCE: KITV.com (HI) (5-22-10)
Historians said servicemen were loading ships with munitions and supplies, preparing for an invasion on the Japanese-controlled Mariana Islands. Then the unthinkable happened.
“An explosion ripped through one of the ships. The explosions obliterated the vessel and encapsulated the remains in black smoke and set off a chain reaction of explosions,” said Lt. Colonel (select) Christopher Shaw, USMC.
Shaw was the keynote speaker at the first public tribute to the servicemen who died May 21, 1944, at the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl....
Name of source: Inside Higher Ed
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (5-24-10)
Soto, associate professor of gender and women's studies and a scholar of Latino literary theory, said that she thought it was her "responsibility" at such a time to use her 10-minute address to critique the new laws. The response -- captured on YouTube -- has set off a debate over civility and over the nature of speeches at graduation events.
She was booed, jeered and heckled, with a few shouting personal comments (shouting at her to cut her hair, for example, and calling her expletives). Soto held her ground, and while pausing at times, finished her talk -- with many applauding. Soto related her critiques of these state actions to graduation by talking about how their education should prepare them to be "better public citizens." (Soto's text for her talk may be found here.)
Since the talk, Soto said she has received a barrage of e-mail messages, many of them hateful and some of them potentially threatening. Many such messages have also been posted on YouTube and on local Web sites that covered the speech....
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (5-23-10)
Tran Thi Gai, who rarely gets any sleep herself, sings them a mournful lullaby. "Can you feel my love for you? Can you feel my sorrow for you? Please don't cry."
Gai's children — both with twisted limbs and confined to wheelchairs — were born in a village that was drenched with Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. She believes their health problems were caused by dioxin, a highly toxic chemical in the herbicide, which U.S. troops used to strip communist forces of ground cover and food.
Thirty-five years after the end of the Vietnam War, its most contentious remaining legacy is Agent Orange. Eighty-two percent of Vietnamese surveyed in a recent Associated Press-GfK Poll said the United States should be doing more to help people suffering from illnesses associated with the herbicide, including children born with birth defects.
After President George W. Bush pledged to work on the issue on a Hanoi visit in 2006, the U.S. Congress has approved $9 million mostly to address environmental cleanup of Agent Orange. But while the U.S. has provided assistance to Vietnamese with disabilities — regardless of their cause — it maintains that there is no clear link between Agent Orange and health problems.
Vietnamese officials say the U.S. needs to make a much bigger financial commitment — $6 million has been allocated so far — to adequately address the environmental and health problems unleashed by Agent Orange.
"Six million dollars is nothing compared to the consequences left behind by Agent Orange," said Le Ke Son, deputy general administrator of Vietnam's Environmental Administration. "How much does one Tomahawk missile cost?"...
SOURCE: AP (5-23-10)
The oldest tombs date back to around 2750 B.C. during the period of Egypt's first and second dynasties, the council said in a statement. Twelve of the tombs belong the 18th dynasty which ruled Egypt during the second millennium B.C.
The discovery throws new light on Egypt's ancient religions, the council said.
SOURCE: AP (5-21-10)
For these actions, the 41-year-old Ingabire was arrested, charged with genocide ideology and could be sentenced to more than two decades in prison if convicted.
It's been 16 years since 800,000 Rwandans, the vast majority of them Tutsis, were slaughtered by Hutus. With the nation still grappling with ethnic divisions almost a generation later, Ingabire's case has become a test of where Rwanda stands in its effort to move past the genocide — and how much freedom the government of President Paul Kagame, a Tutsi, will allow its people.
SOURCE: AP (5-21-10)
Lee, presiding over an emergency meeting of the National Security Council, instructed related ministries to take "systematic and resolute countermeasures against North Korea so that it cannot repeat this reckless provocation," Yonhap News Agency reported.
It said the president was being quoted by his spokeswoman Kim Eun Hye.
At the same time, Lee stressed the need for prudence in responding to the "surprise military attack from North Korea while South Korean people were resting late at night."
"This case is so serious and grave that there should be not a single mistake in any of our measures, and we should be very prudent," Lee was quoted as saying....
SOURCE: AP (5-20-10)
They say the discovery proves an ancient cemetery at the site that has been at the center of protests by ultra-Orthodox Jews does not contain the graves of Jews.
Protesters claim an emergency room extension at Barzilai Hospital in the city of Ashkelon is being built on an ancient Jewish cemetery. They demonstrated there when officials began removing graves this week, and rioting erupted in ultra-Orthodox areas of Jerusalem.
SOURCE: AP (5-18-10)
Name of source: Science Daily
SOURCE: Science Daily (5-18-10)
The new analysis is published in the journal Palaeontology.
The fossil is a member of Archosauromorpha, a group that includes birds and crocodilians but not lizards, snakes, or turtles. The type specimen of the genus Azendohsaurus was a fragmentary set of teeth and jaws found in 1972 near (and named for) a village in Morocco's Atlas Mountains. The fossils on which the current research paper is based was discovered in the late 1990s in southwestern Madagascar. Named A. madagaskarensis, this specimen was uncovered by a team of U.S. and Malagasy paleontologists in a "red bed" that includes multiple individuals that probably perished together. This species was initially published as an early dinosaur in Science over a decade ago, but the completeness of the more recently unearthed and studied fossils has provided the first complete glimpse of what this animal looked like and was related to. A. madagaskarensis was not a dinosaur.
SOURCE: Science Daily (5-17-10)
Deciphering the few clues about ancient bacterial life that are seen in these poorly preserved rocks has been difficult, but researchers from MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) and the Russian Academy of Sciences may have found a way to glean new information from the fossils. Specifically, they have linked the even spacing between the thousands of tiny cones that dot the surfaces of stromatolite-forming microbial mats -- a pattern that also appears in cross-sectional slices of stromatolites that are 2.8 billion years old -- to photosynthesis.
In a paper published May 17, 2010 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the researchers suggest that the characteristic centimeter-scale spacing between neighboring cones that appears on modern microbial mats and the conical stromatolites they form occurs as a result of the daily competition for nutrients between neighboring mats.
Name of source: Sky News
SOURCE: Sky News (5-23-10)
They belong to Eadgyth, grand-daughter of Alfred the Great, who was born in 910 and died in 946 at the age of 36.
Eadgyth was also the sister of King Athelstan and therefore an important pawn in the politics games of the time.
She was married off strategically to Otto I, the Holy Roman Emperor in 929 with whom she lived in Saxony and had at least two children.
On her death, she was buried in Magdeburg, and her tomb was marked in the Cathedral by an elaborate sixteenth century monument.
The tomb was first investigated in 2008 but it was thought that it was most likely to be a monument. It was only when the lid was taken off that a lead coffin was discovered bearing the Queen's name and giving details of the transfer of her remains in 1510.
Inside the coffin, a nearly complete female skeleton aged between 30 and 40 was found, wrapped in silk.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (5-23-10)
Former nuclear physicist Dr Walter Scott's donation to the museum Edinburgh's Chambers Street brings the total funds raised to more than £44m.
Another £2m is needed for the revamp, which will see the creation of 16 new galleries and education facilities.
Dr Scott's donation will fund the Discoveries gallery, which will be at the heart of the refurbished museum.
Sir John de Stricheley died in 1341, when the English held the castle.
An investigation into the skeleton by forensic anthropologist Professor Sue Black and her team from the University of Dundee was featured on BBC Two's History Cold Case series on Thursday.
The battle-scared knight probably died from an arrow wound inflicted by the Scots.
Writing on her blog, Molly Norris said her satirical cartoon was "hijacked" and that the campaign was "offensive to Muslims".
Other people set up a page on the social networking site Facebook backing an Everybody Draw Muhammad Day.
It sparked outrage in Pakistan, where a court ordered Facebook to be blocked.
Officials have admitted the Museum of Modern Art's alarm system had not been fully functioning for several weeks.
One masked intruder was spotted by security cameras, climbing into the museum through a broken side window, having cut through a gate padlock.
The paintings are estimated to be worth just under 100m euros (£86m; $123m).
The film, Hors la Loi by French-Algerian director Rachid Bouchareb, opens at Cannes on Friday.
The demonstrators, who included right-wing politicians and French veterans, claim it is biased against France.
Algeria gained independence from France after a brutal eight-year war that ended in 1962.
SOURCE: BBC (5-20-10)
Muhammad Abu Tir was one of at least 60 top Hamas officials arrested and detained by Israel after Gilad Shalit was captured in 2006.
They were charged with belonging to an illegal organisation and associating with terrorists.
Nine other Hamas legislators have been released in recent months.
Israeli military officials told the Haaretz newspaper that their release was not connected to a prisoner swap deal for the now 23-year-old soldier.
SOURCE: BBC (5-20-10)
Researchers believe Eric Warwick is the first baby born on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour since 1927.
Anita and Trevor Warwick, the parents of the baby who was born in April, already have a daughter, Edith.
The National Trust searched the archive and initially thought it was the first birth on the island since 1905 but found a baptism record for a boy in 1927.
Brownsea Island is regarded as the home of the Scout Association after Robert Baden-Powell held the movement's first ever camp in 1907.
It is also famous for its population of red squirrels, more than 150 different types of birds and Sika Deer.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (5-23-10)
The one-of-a-kind 1855 misprint was sold to a group of buyers who asked that their identities and the winning bid be kept confidential, said auctioneer David Feldman.
He declined to disclose whether the sale matched the record it previously set in 1996 of £1.59 million, but admitted it was "still worth more than any other single stamp".
US stamp expert Robert Odenweller said it was not unusual for buyers of such valuable items to keep details of the sale secret at first, only to release information bit by bit later.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (5-21-10)
A maintenance worker spotted the cross on Sunrise Rock, the same place a 7-foot (2.13-meter) metal cross had stood for decades, said Linda Slater, spokeswoman for the Mojave National Preserve.
The cross apparently was put up during the night, but it was unclear whether it was the original or a replica, Slater said.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (5-21-10)
Yesterday it was disclosed that the multi-million pound alarm system at the Museum of Modern Art had been broken for three months.
The guards were alleged to have been "dozing" while on duty and the outside CCTV cameras were so badly positioned they only covered the roof.
The security lapses were outlined by officials at Paris City Hall, who were in charge of the permanent collection of 20th Century classics.
Carlos the Jackal - whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez -made a failed legal bid to stop the Cannes launch of the five-and-a-hour film by French director Oliver Assayas.
Shot over seven months in Lebanon, Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Hungary, it was made on a 14-million-euro budget and is screening on French television this week.
internet regulators shut down YouTube and hundreds of other websites in protest at the online contest "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day".
Students and Islamist militants marched in their thousands through the cities of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.
Any representation of the Prophet Mohammed is deemed un-Islamic and blasphemous by Muslims.
On Wednesday a Pakistani court ordered internet service providers to block customers from Facebook. The following day, most also lost access to Wikipedia, YouTube and more than 450 websites that referred to the online contest.
However, that did not stop Facebook members elsewhere in the world posting photographs and cartoons.
The 18ft high posters of the Nazi leader advertise a line of clothing for young people and adorn street corners and bus stops in Palermo, Sicily's biggest city.
The ads show the Fuhrer in a lurid pink uniform, with his swastika armband replaced with one bearing a bright red heart, above the slogan "Change Style – Don't Follow Your Leader".
Many local people say the advertising campaign is offensive and have called for the posters to be taken down.
The warning came as Lincoln Cathedral launched a public campaign to raise £2.5million to fund badly needed restoration works to its west side.
It is 100 years since the two west facing turrets were restored and last winter's freezing conditions have only led to further decay and cracking in the stone work....
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (5-23-10)
Palin said that Paul is seeing firsthand how "gotcha" politics work after the libertarian-leaning Republican spent days on defense spelling out his support for the Civil Rights Act and the government's role in regulating how private businesses can deal with their customers.
Last week, Paul went on defense, appearing on National Public Radio and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow show to say that he would've marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. in support of the Civil Rights Act, but is still critical of federal intervention in private business.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (5-21-10)
The examination of thousands of pages of documents from Kagan's years in college and from her various professional posts in academia and government are part of a ritual every high court nominee endures, as every aspect of their past is scrutinized.
Found in the papers, beyond the serious discussions of her views on hot-button issues are some lighter moments.
The material begins with her work as a cub reporter for her undergraduate newspaper. She wrote about student council meetings, football and field hockey, and various protest marches.
SOURCE: CNN (9-20-10)
She scrolled through a mental Rolodex of relatives who might flip out. Her brothers had already asked her: Why would you want to meet the family of those who held our loved ones in bondage?
Phoebe says it started out awkwardly in those first few minutes when they met. One of Betty's brothers was awfully skeptical, she says, but he "warmed up a little bit." After dinner, the families attended a screening of a documentary about Betty's life. Afterward, there was a question-and-answer session. Phoebe stood up, introduced herself and spoke of her twisted connection to the past.
SOURCE: CNN (5-20-10)
They said Campbell received rough diamonds from Taylor, and claimed her testimony would prove that the former president "used rough diamonds for personal enrichment and arms purchases," according to papers filed with the U.N.-backed court.
Campbell has said she does not want to be involved in the case, prosecutors said, forcing them to ask the court to issue a subpoena ordering her to appear.
SOURCE: CNN (5-20-10)
The paintings were stolen from the Museum of Modern Art and included works by Georges Braque, Ferdinand Leger and Amedeo Modigliani, French police said.
The artworks are worth a total of just less than 100 million euros ($123.7 million), said Christophe Girard, an aide to the mayor of Paris. The city runs the museum.
But the prosecutor's office estimated the value of the lost works at 500 million euros ($617 million.)
Name of source: The Independent
SOURCE: The Independent (5-21-10)
The pyramid was discovered at Huaca Colorada, which translates as ‘coloured hill’. Excavation leader Professor Edward Swenson, of the University of Toronto, describes how he suspected that the area may be archaeologically significant. “I knew it was more than a natural hill – this was modified.”
Swenson’s hunch paid off. With the pyramid so far only partially uncovered, archaeologists have already made remarkable discoveries. “Our biggest surprise was that at the top of this pyramid construction we found elite residences”, said Prof Swenson, who added that it is very unusual to find pyramids used in this way. The Moche are known to have used pyramids for burials and ritual activity rather than everyday living.
Name of source: Ria Novosti
SOURCE: Ria Novosti (5-19-10)
"Law enforcement officers see that no one performs unsanctioned excavations or rummaging at the plane crash site...We plan to put up a commemorative marker at the plane crash site," Sergei Antufiev said....
SOURCE: Ria Novosti (5-17-10)
Vasily Kononov, 87, who led a group of resistance fighters against Nazi Germany in the Baltic state during World War II, was jailed by Latvia in 1998 after he was convicted of ordering the killing of nine villagers in 1944. He admitted to the killings, but said the dead were Nazi collaborators who were caught in crossfire.
Earlier on Monday, the upper chamber of the European Court of Human Rights upheld the appeal by Latvia against the court's 2008 ruling that the conviction of Kononov was illegal.
"The Grand Chamber of the Court in fact has fallen in line with those who strive to revise the results of World War II and rehabilitate the Nazis and their collaborators," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"We consider the decision of the Grand Chamber... an attempt to put in doubt a range of key political and legal principles, formed on the basis of the results of the World War II and the post-war settlement in Europe," the statement said.
In an interview to RIA Novosti the veteran said he believes Latvia has deceived the Strasbourg court, by failing to submit all of the relevant documents.
"Latvia excluded a range of materials from the case. This is evidence from the country's state archives and witness statements," the veteran said.
He maintained that he did not kill civilians.
"Those civilians [of whose death Kononov is accused] were armed...They actively participated in killing partisans. They lured 12 people into a trap, shoot and burned them. The partisan tribunal investigated this case and found them guilty. They were sentenced to death," Kononov said....
Name of source: FOX News
SOURCE: FOX News (5-21-10)
Clara Barton or Ruby Bridges?
Ruby Bridges or Dolores Huerta?
Is the story of Nathan Hale too gruesome for first graders?
Will history books refer to the 44th American president as Barack Obama, Barack H. Obama or Barack Hussein Obama?
Late into the night, the Texas Board of Education considered these and other questions for the state’s social studies curriculum. The debate has set off a culture war, pitting conservatives against democrats in a battle that attracted 40,000 e mails from parents, teachers and academics from around the nation.
The curriculum covers grades kindergarten through high school, and yet after 12 hours of debate the board had only just begun talking about its biggest challenge – high school standards – at 9 p.m. Thursday.
All day long the board dropped, added and swapped the names of historical figures and events into and out of the standards. It began with 1st graders. John Smith was dropped, as was Nathan Hale, not because he wasn’t important, but because, according to one teacher, ‘the kids couldn’t get past the hanging.’...
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (5-21-10)
Since the war in which hundreds of thousands died – the exact number remains unclear – relations between the two countries have been jolted by violent incidents. The latest – the alleged sinking of a South Korean warship by a North Korean submarine – is by no means the most blatant act of aggression from Pyongyang.
In January 1968, a team of North Korean commandos crossed the demilitarised zone – one of the world's most heavily militarised areas – in an attempt to kill Park Chung-hee, the South Korean president. The 31 commandos, disguised as South Korean soldiers, were stopped 800 metres from the Blue House, the official presidential residence, by a police contingent. The North Koreans gave themselves away with their nervous replies, then shooting broke out. Only two of the 31 commandos escaped; the rest were tracked down and killed. In response, Seoul reportedly organised its own assassination squad, Unit 684, which was disbanded in 1971.
Days after the attempt on President Park, North Korea seized the USS Pueblo in international waters, leading to a diplomatic confrontation between the US and North Korea. One US sailor was killed and the other 82 were released, but only after 11 months and the US issusing an apology, a written admission that the Pueblo had been spying, and an assurance that the US would not spy in future.
The written apology, however, was preceded by a verbal statement that it was written only to secure the liberty of the crew. The USS Pueblo is still in North Korean possession, docked in Pyongyang where it is on display as a museum ship....
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (5-21-10)
Soldiers will remove the urns from a mausoleum within the monument on May 30 and carry them through the Mexican capital in a procession before handing the bones over to forensic anthropologists.
Historians have long questioned the listed identities of eight Independence War fighters whose remains were locked away along with those of the war's most famous hero, Miguel Hidalgo and three other decorated heroes.
As Mexico celebrates the bicentennial of its independence from Spain, the government has agreed to let anthropologists examine the bones so they can be properly labeled, briefly put on display to the public, and returned to the mausoleum.
Fed up with Spain dumping its financial burdens on Mexico, including its use of the colony to cover its debts from a war with Napoleonic France, Mexicans began a revolt that turned into a bloody 11-year struggle for independence....
SOURCE: Reuters (5-20-10)
Washington checked out the book from the New York Society Library at a time when the library shared a building with the federal government in lower Manhattan.
The library said in a statement that its borrowing records, or charging ledger, showed Washington took out "The Law of Nations" by Emer de Vattel on October 5, 1789.
The book was not returned, nor any overdue book fine paid -- with the overdue fee now calculated at about $300,000 (208,877 pounds).
The missing book came to light when the New York Society Library was restoring its 1789-1792 charging ledger, which features the borrowing history of Washington, John Adams, John Jay, Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton, George Clinton, and others....
Name of source: Irish Times
SOURCE: Irish Times (5-20-10)
Archaeologists said the majority were children who had died in a former workhouse on the site between 1847 and 1851. They were originally buried in unconsecrated ground as the local graveyard was filled to capacity in a city “overwhelmed by the scale of deaths in the local population arising from famine, poverty and disease”. The discovery is the largest mass grave uncovered to date in Ireland. The skeletal remains were found in 2005 during excavation works for McDonagh Junction, a new shopping centre and apartment complex. The bones were removed for analysis under the supervision of the National Museum of Ireland and have now been reinterred in a specially-built crypt in a memorial garden open to visitors.
Representatives of the Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and Church of Ireland religious denominations, accompanied by a Gospel choir, participated in a ceremony described by one observer as “a decent burial”, after 160 years. A clergyman laid a wreath on the Kilkenny limestone crypt. The State was represented by an Army colour party drawn from the 3rd Infantry Battalion, Mayor of Kilkenny Malcolm Noonan and councillors from the main parties.
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (5-19-10)
The army of thousands of life-size warriors and horses of the Qin emperor more than 2,200 years ago was discovered by chance in 1974. In 1987, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The award is aimed at rewarding "the scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanistic work performed by individuals, groups of individuals or institutions at international level."
SOURCE: AFP (5-16-10)
"You captured him, so you get rid of him," his lieutenant barked, yanking the 21-year-old soldier toward his writhing victim, only days after Japanese troops had overrun the Chinese city of Nanking in December 1937.
"I stumbled forward and thrust the blade into his body until it came out on the other side," said Sawamura, who is now 94 years old. "We were told not to waste bullets. It was training for beginners.
"I have told myself for the rest of my life that killing is wrong," said the veteran of the Imperial Japanese Army, who declined to give his surname, in an interview with AFP at his home in Kyoto.
Sawamura is one of a fast-dwindling number of Japanese former soldiers who took part in the Nanking massacre, considered by historians the worst wartime atrocity committed by the Japanese army in China.
Historians generally estimate about 150,000 people were killed, thousands of women raped and thousands of homes burned down in an orgy of violence until March 1938 in what was then the capital of the Chinese Nationalist government....
Name of source: National Geographic
SOURCE: National Geographic (5-19-10)
For the past five years archaeologists have been searching around the temple of Taposiris Magna, about 28 miles (45 kilometers) west of the port city of Alexandria (map), in hopes of finding the couple's graves.
The newfound black granite statue—which stands about 6 feet (1.8 meters) without its head—is thought to be of King Ptolemy IV, because a cartouche carved of the same stone and bearing his name was found near the figure's base.
Ptolemy IV was one of several Greek royals who ruled Egypt during the Ptolemaic period, from 332 to 30 B.C.
Name of source: Jerusalem Post
SOURCE: Jerusalem Post (5-20-10)
When a Saudi religious policeman sauntered about an amusement park in the eastern Saudi Arabian city of Al-Mubarraz looking for unmarried couples illegally socializing, he probably wasn’t expecting much opposition.
But when he approached a young, 20-something couple meandering through the park together, he received an unprecedented whooping.
A member of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the Saudi religious police known locally as the Hai’a, asked the couple to confirm their identities and relationship to one another, as it is a crime in Saudi Arabia for unmarried men and women to mix.
For unknown reasons, the young man collapsed upon being questioned by the cop.
According to the Saudi daily Okaz, the woman then allegedly laid into the religious policeman, punching him repeatedly, and leaving him to be taken to the hospital with bruises across his body and face.
“To see resistance from a woman means a lot,” Wajiha Al-Huwaidar, a Saudi women’s rights activist, told The Media Line news agency. “People are fed up with these religious police, and now they have to pay the price for the humiliation they put people through for years and years. This is just the beginning and there will be more resistance.”...
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (5-19-10)
The Vatican and Benedict are accused of "acts of neglect, cover-up, and disregard for the plight of the victims," they write. Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal is their rebuttal.
Greg Erlandson, head of the Catholic publishing company Our Sunday Visitor, and church historian Matthew Bunson, editor of The Catholic Almanac, take a long view — tracing the church's confrontations with sinful clergy back to the fourth century.
In two current examples in the headlines, the authors argue that Benedict was either unaware of the abusive priest or made a decision in favor of mercy (by declining to defrock a dying Wisconsin priest decades after he abused 200 deaf children).
However, the book also includes a compendium of speeches, letters and documents so readers can draw their own conclusions. The authors discuss their findings (replies have been edited for length and clarity):...
Name of source: Montreal Gazette
SOURCE: Montreal Gazette (5-18-10)
A dozen of scientists and David Bershad, an art history professor at St. Mary's University College, agree. The image of a man with blue eyes, long greying hair and a moustache appears to be a self-portrait of the renowned Renaissance artist, inventor and thinker.
Coming to that conclusion brought together da Vinci's own passions for art and science as experts used fingerprint analysis, carbon dating and even facial reconstruction software to answer three key questions:
- Does the painting date from the right time period?
- Is it a portrait of da Vinci?
- And, was it painted by the master himself?
"I believe it's a Leonardo," Bershad said Tuesday, the day after returning from Italy, where he was able to look at the portrait in person. "It's exciting to come to that conclusion."...
Name of source: SF Chronicle
SOURCE: SF Chronicle (5-19-10)
The changes are ideological and distort history, but conservative Board of Education argue they are correcting a long-standing liberal bias in education. Read the running history of this very interesting "culture war" here and if you want details, read the exact changes here.
One of the most controversial changes is to deny the slave trade. The Texas Board of Education wants to refer to the slave trade as the "Atlantic triangular trade". What the he** is the "Atlantic triangular trade"? What do you call the millions of African-Americans whose ancestors came here as slaves? Descendants of triangulates?
Name of source: MyFoxDC
SOURCE: MyFoxDC (5-19-10)
The Muvico theater includes a Civil-War themed bar and a mural that was painted on a wall of an outside seating area. The mural depicted a U.S. flag on one side, a Confederate flag on the other, and stars, an eagle and other adornments....