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This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used. Because most of our readers read the NYT we usually do not include the paper's stories in HIGHLIGHTS.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (5-17-10)
Supporters of the project say the planned multi-storey Islamic centre would transform both the drab lower Manhattan street and the way Americans have interacted with Muslims since nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks on September 11, 2001.
Boasting a mosque with sports facilities, a theatre and possibly day care, the centre would be open to all visitors to demonstrate that Muslims are part of their community, not some separate element.
But because of the proposed mosque's location, just around the corner from the gaping Ground Zero hole, the plan has upset some locals.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (5-16-10)
Squadron Leader Patrick Gifford spotted the German plane near Dalkeith, Midlothian, while flying a Spitfire during a patrol on October 16, 1939.
The bomber had been part of a group of 12 planes attacking Royal Navy ships in the Firth of Forth....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (5-16-10)
Sailors can note unusual sightings on the ocean waves in their ship's logs, the Navy said.
But they are not required to do so and none of the information is assembled in a central archive devoted to sea monsters.
Any sightings of strange marine animals reported to the Navy by the public are passed on to the UK Hydrographic Office, which provides charts and other navigational services for mariners.
Details of the Navy's policy on giant creatures of the deep emerged in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.
A marine biologist inquired whether the Ministry of Defence held records about ''abnormally large or dangerous sea monsters hundreds of metres under the sea'' that had not been revealed to the public....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (5-17-10)
Rima Fakih of Dearborn, Michigan, won the pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip after strutting confidently in an orange and gold bikini, wearing a strapless white gown and saying health insurance should cover birth control pills.
While it is though Miss Fakih is the first Middle Eastern woman to take the title, pagent officials said historical records were not detailed enough to show whether Miss Fakih was the first Arab American, Muslim or immigrant to win the Miss USA title. The pageant started in 1952 as a local bathing suit competition in Long Beach, California.
When asked how she felt about winning the crown, she said, "Ask me after I've had a pizza."
Miss Fakih, a Lebanese immigrant, told pageant organisers her family celebrates both Muslim and Christian faiths. She moved to the United States as a baby and was raised in New York, where she attended a Catholic school. Her family moved to Michigan in 2003.
Miss Fakih said sold her car after graduating from university in Michigan to help pay for her run in the Miss Michigan USA pageant.
She said she believed she had the title on Sunday after glancing at pageant owner Donald Trump as she awaited the results with the first runner-up, Miss Oklahoma USA Morgan Elizabeth Woolard.
"That's the same look that he gives them when he says, 'You're hired,"' on Trump's reality show "The Apprentice," she said.
"She's a great girl," said Trump, who owns the pageant with NBC in a joint venture.
In a moment that was replayed during the broadcast, Miss Fakih nearly fell while finishing her walk in her gown because of the length of its train. But she made it without a spill and went on to win.
"I did it here, I better not do it at Miss Universe," she said. "Modelling does help, after all."
Fakih replaces Miss USA 2009 Kristen Dalton and won a spot representing the United States this summer in the 2010 Miss Universe pageant. She also gets a one-year lease in a New York apartment with living expenses, an undisclosed salary, and various health, professional and beauty services.
During the interview portion, Miss Fakih was asked whether she thought birth control should be paid for by health insurance, and she said she believed it should because it's costly.
"I believe that birth control is just like every other medication even though it's a controlled substance," she said.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (5-14-10)
The 116 metre (380ft) tall landmark building is planned for The Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon, north west London, and would be almost 10 metres (33ft) taller than the famous clock tower at the Palace of Westminster.
The building, provisionally called the Battle of Britain Beacon, would be visible from the centre of London and will house a permanent exhibition about the Battle of Britain if construction goes ahead.
The Royal Air Force Museum is currently marking the 70th anniversary of the air campaign and announced its vision for the future at a fundraising dinner last night.
Development director Keith Ifould said the project would cost an estimated £80 million secured through private funding and there are several interested parties.
The distinctive design has also been well received, he said.
''We have had an amazingly positive response to it. Lots of people are saying 'this must be built'.''
It is hoped the building would allow wider public access and ensure that the museum's unique collection of Battle of Britain aircraft, memorabilia and archives is preserved for future generations.
The museum is consulting on its plans and hopes to complete the project within the lifetime of some of the surviving veterans of the Battle.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (5-13-10)
Planners at Westminster City Council approved on Thursday the proposed £3.5 million memorial, which will now be built in Green Park, central London.
Readers of The Daily Telegraph helped raised more than £1.8 million towards the cost of the monument, which should be completed by 2011.
After the meeting, Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Sir Michael Beetham, President of the Bomber Command Association, said: "This is great news, it is the news we have been waiting for, for so long and at last we will be able to recognise the sacrifice made by so many men.
"We would like to thank, once again, all of those Telegraph readers who have given us so much magnificent support."
The Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb, president of the Heritage Foundation charity, which is helping to fund the memorial, added: "It is fantastic news.”
"I've put my heart and soul into being a champion of this cause," he said.
"I had a vision of this monument becoming a reality and now I want to see it unveiled. These guys are heroes - they saved the world and they deserve the best....
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (5-16-10)
In a letter to the U.S. archivist, White House counsel Bob Bauer said he was requesting the expedited release to aid the Senate's review of Kagan's nomination. Kagan currently is the U.S. solicitor general.
Kagan has never been a judge and has only appeared in court as a litigant since becoming solicitor general, the top lawyer representing the administration in cases before the Supreme Court. As a result, she has not created a lengthy paper trail of court opinions and legal briefs that lawmakers typically examine to assess a nominee's legal acumen or ideology.
His family released a statement saying the former general and twice-president died of prostate cancer at a private hospital in Tegucigalpa.
With armed forces backing, then-Col. Lopez Arellano ousted President Ramon Villeda Morales in 1963 and two years later held a constitutional assembly that formalized his position as president of Honduras, then a banana-producing country under the sway Washington.
Obama lived in the city with his mother and Indonesian stepfather from 1967 to 1971.
Director Damien Dematra is basing his movie on a fictionalized account of Obama's childhood that he published earlier this year, using interviews with neighbors and friends of Obama and his family. The movie will be in both English and the Indonesian language.
SOURCE: AP (5-15-10)
Loyalists of rival groups Hamas and Fatah held Palestinian flags and a giant key symbolic of their hoped-for return as part of annual commemorations of what they call the "catastrophe," or "nakba" in Arabic. The names of the villages and towns emptied during the war were written across the key, alongside the slogan "We will return."
The plight of the refugees — who fled or were driven from their homes during the 1948 Israeli-Arab war — is one of the most emotionally charged issues for Palestinians and Israel to resolve.
Palestinian negotiators have demanded at least partial repatriation. Israel has refused, saying an influx of refugees would dilute Israel's Jewish majority and threaten the existence of the state....
SOURCE: AP (5-14-10)
The documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, say that in November 1969, Cronkite encouraged students at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., to invite Maine Sen. Edmund Muskie to address a protest they were planning near Cape Kennedy (now known as Cape Canaveral). Cronkite told the group's leader that Muskie would be nearby for a fundraiser on the day of the protest, and said that "CBS would rent [a] helicopter to take Muskie to and from site of rally," according to the documents.
The claims are contained in an FBI memo recounting a confidential informant's report on a November 1969 meeting of a Rollins College protest group called Youth for New America. The group was planning rallies near Cape Kennedy on Nov. 13 and 14 — the latter being day of the Apollo 12 launch from Cape Kennedy, which President Nixon would be attending — as part of a nationwide Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam. That protest action culminated in a huge march on Washington on Nov. 15....
Joan Mahurin said Bud Mahurin died of natural causes at his home in Newport Beach on Tuesday.
She said her husband kept flying small planes — and kept receiving fan mail — for most of his life.
"He would get letters from teenagers to old war veterans," Joan Mahurin said.
Doug Lantry, a historian at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Ohio, said Mahurin's name is familiar to all in the Air Force.
"Bud Mahurin was the only Air Force pilot to shoot down enemy aircraft in the European theater of operations and the Pacific and in Korea," Lantry told the Los Angeles Times. "He was known as a very courageous, skilled and tenacious fighter pilot."...
SOURCE: AP (5-14-10)
The state-run Xinhua News Agency says the four sentenced Friday were part of a 27-member gang who robbed a dozen tombs near the capital of the central province of Hunan in 2008 and 2009.
The report says some of the more than 200 stolen artifacts were under China's highest level of protection. One of the tombs dates from the Warring States period that began in 475 B.C.
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (5-17-10)
Cheney added that he believes Whitman can bring the state back from the brink of collapse while upholding conservative principles.
Cheney, who took the Tea Party route in endorsing Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul in Tuesday's primary, went more mainstream in supporting Whitman, who was a co-chair to Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. Whitman is in a three-way race for the nomination against state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and Tea Party favorite Chuck DeVore. A state assemblyman.
While Cheney noted that it was not like Reagan to speak ill of another Republican, he had no love lost for Poizner who endorsed Vice President Al Gore in the 2000 election that sent George W. Bush and Cheney to the White House and campaigned with Bush administration critic Richard Clarke when Poizner was running for the state Assembly in 2004.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (5-16-10)
Ms. Mutoni, 25, whose mother is ethnic Tutsi and whose father is Hutu, and her boyfriend, a full-blooded Tutsi, were college sweethearts at the National University of Rwanda in Butare.
“A year into the relationship, we had a big talk about me being mixed,” she said. They weathered that discussion, aided by the fact that Ms. Mutoni identifies herself as Tutsi. But as they got older, she recalls, his family and some of his friends refused to accept his dating someone of mixed parentage.
“He knew he couldn’t stay with me forever in Rwanda,” she said. “To some, I’m just a Hutu girl.”
Sixteen years after the Rwandan genocide, ethnicity remains an inescapable part of growing up for the young people who will determine the nation’s future. And if the universities, where the government has focused its efforts on building a post-ethnic society, represent the great hope of coexistence, they have so far succeeded only in burying ethnic tensions just beneath the surface.
As presidential elections approach and the nation has grown more repressive, the campuses have become tense. Students say that they are being watched, and that the laws aimed at suppressing ethnic differences have made them afraid to speak openly....
SOURCE: NYT (5-13-10)
“If the leadership we have acquired through our investment is allowed simply to fade away, other nations will surely step in where we have faltered,” Mr. Armstrong said in testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. “I do not believe that would be in our best interests.”
Mr. Armstrong; Eugene A. Cernan, the commander of Apollo 17 and the last man to walk on the moon; and James A. Lovell Jr., the commander of Apollo 13, wrote a letter last month that called the proposed changes to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration “devastating.”
Mr. Cernan also testified on Wednesday. He told the senators that the three men had carefully chosen the words in the letter: “slide to mediocrity” and “third-rate stature.”
“We did not want to be misunderstood nor did we want to be misinterpreted,” Mr. Cernan said....
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (5-15-10)
"Winnie," which also features Terrence Howard as Nelson Mandela and is based on a book by Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob, starts shooting in South Africa on May 31 and could be ready for theatres by spring next year.
Producer Andre Pieterse said Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had asked to see and approve the script before the picture went ahead, but that its backers had refused....
Name of source: University of Nottingham (UK)
SOURCE: University of Nottingham (UK) (5-10-10)
The Nottingham Caves Survey, being carried out by archaeologists from Trent & Peak Archaeology at The University of Nottingham, has already produced extraordinary, three dimensional, fly through, colour animation of caves that have been hidden from view for centuries.
Below the grounds of Nottingham Castle and across the city there is a labyrinth of medieval tunnels, dungeons, maltings and cellars — people even carved primitive living quarters out of Nottingham’s sandstone cliffs....
Name of source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
SOURCE: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (5-16-10)
That means archivists are scrambling to post information online to feed that curiosity.
Missouri State Archivist John Dougan detailed the effort to those at the St. Louis Genealogical Society's 40th annual family history conference, the largest such gathering in the Midwest, on Saturday.
Organizers said about 300 people were at the conference at the Maryland Heights Centre, and some wanted to learn what role their families had played in the Civil War
Name of source: Kitsap Sun (WA)
SOURCE: Kitsap Sun (WA) (5-15-10)
What was once a bowl depicting an ornate pattern of cherry blossoms and soaring cranes is now scattered across the forest floor. Nearby, embedded in the surface of the soil, is a brush handle made of bone, a rusted tea kettle and a black leather shoe for very small foot.
This forest overlooking Blakely Harbor is littered with artifacts from Yama, a vanished village that was once home to Bainbridge Island’s earliest Japanese immigrants. Established in the 1890s as a segregated portion of the Port Blakely mill town, Yama in its heyday boasted a general store, tea garden, hotel, bathhouse, Buddhist temple, school, and an ice-cream parlor that was so good, even non-Japanese children ventured in for a taste....
Name of source: Great Falls Tribune (MT)
SOURCE: Great Falls Tribune (MT) (5-16-10)
Boasting it's the "Birthplace of Montana," Fort Benton is one of two dozen places in the entire state to earn National Historic Landmark status.
As the westernmost steamboat stop on the Missouri River, its importance in the development of Montana and much of the West is unquestioned. However a debate over how to best preserve that history has brewed for months.
The River and Plains Society is pushing forward with plans to re-create the fourth of eight buildings that once made up the trading and eventual military fort. Once complete, the latest building could draw a legion of tourists fascinated by early Western history as well as art lovers, because the building will house premier paintings and bronzes.
But an area archeologist is upset because he believes that in digging the foundation for the new building and log palisades circling the complex, the group ignored the historical value of what remains beneath the ground.
"They're putting up a building on top of a national landmark with no regard to what's underground," Gar Wood said. "The cultural material that could have been interpreted and the knowledge that could have been gained are gone. It's completely gone."
Board members say little remains in the area of the fort that would further explain an already well-documented history. Beyond that, the area has been archeologically compromised by flooding, road and sewer construction and a park sprinkler system....
Name of source: Post Star (NY)
SOURCE: Post Star (NY) (5-15-10)
Listed in February 2009 on the National Register of Historic Places, the bridge was being pushed for an even more exalted designation - as a National Historic Engineering Landmark - when in the fall of last year state inspectors found cracks in the concrete piers that led them to declare the bridge unsafe and on Oct. 16 shut it down.
Within a month, on a schedule one preservationist called "vastly accelerated," state officials decided the bridge was too dangerous to rehabilitate and ordered it destroyed.
On Dec. 28, the Champlain Bridge, the first of its kind in the country and a model for many bridges that followed, tumbled into Lake Champlain with an explosive roar that echoed across the ice.
Its supporting structure, the struts and chords, seemed to burst into dust; its steel decks tilted and slid into the lake....
Name of source: Coloradoan
SOURCE: Coloradoan (5-15-10)
up in Germany during World War II, having little
personal freedom, using a ration card to get food
and being distrustful of anyone.
"I turned in my own father without even knowing it,"
His father, a doctor, disagreed with the Nazi
ideology and spoke about it at home. Schendel
repeated what he'd heard to Nazi officers while
training with Adolf Hitler's youth league, not
knowing it would get his father in trouble. German
soldiers came one night to take his father away, and
Schendel has never seen him since, he said.
Schendel, 78, was 7 years old when he was first
forced to become a member of the youth league,
which all German boys were forced to participate in
during the Nazi regime of World War II. He
recounted some memories to about 45 students at
Liberty Common School this week while stressing
the importance of being engaged in the political
"I give talks to sell America to Americans," Schendel
said. "You have to recognize how great it is here."
The Hitler Youth, which trained boys for military
work and taught Nazi propaganda, had about 8.7
million members in 1939, during the onset of the
war and when the government mandated
membership, according to the Encyclopedia of
Children and "Childhood in History and Society."
Boys ages 6 to 17 were forced to partake in the
youth leagues, the older boys eventually serving as
Growing up outside of Hannover, Germany,
Schendel remembers having the family radio
confiscated by Nazi soldiers after being suspected
of listening to non-German radio stations. He also
remembers having to pick up shrapnel and pieces of
aircraft after battles so the Germans could melt the
metal down and use it to build ships.
"Everything was for survival. You'd better do as
you're told," he said.
At age 13, Schendel said he became a soldier and
saw a fellow German teenager killed while hiding in
a bunker. He said that experience has stayed with
him throughout his life.
"Dead people smell like hell," he told students.
It took Schendel almost one year to find out the war
had ended. After several years of living in Hannover,
which had been destroyed by bombs, he and his
mother left the city on a freight train, eventually
reaching New Orleans by boat when he was 22.
Duane Staton, a history and economics teacher at
Liberty, said seventh-graders learn about World War
II as part of their curriculum. Staton said the school
always has a veteran speak to students, although it
was the first time students heard from someone who
fought on the other side of the war.
Tarah Vijayasaratny, 12, said she recognized the
unique perspective Schendel brought.
"We always hear it from the Allies' point of view," she
said. "It was really cool."
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (5-17-10)
Responding to a Louisville, Kentucky, lawsuit that seeks to depose top Vatican officials -- including Pope Benedict XVI -- the Holy See plans to file a motion Monday denying that the church issued a document mandating secrecy in the face of abuse allegations, as many victims allege, according to a Vatican attorney.
The Vatican's motion also will argue that bishops are not employees of the Holy See, exempting the Vatican from legal culpability in cases of alleged abuse in the U.S., said Jeffrey Lena, the Vatican's U.S.-based attorney.
Whether or not the Vatican succeeds in getting the Louisville case dismissed based on those arguments will likely have implications for church abuse lawsuits across the country -- including two other suits that target the Vatican -- at a time when allegations of abuse and cover-up are dogging the church worldwide.
Much of the litigation against the church has argued that a 1962 document -- called crimen sollicitationis in Latin, which means "crimes of solicitation" -- barred church officials from contacting civil authorities with allegations of sex abuse against the church.
Abuse victims and their attorneys have said the document is evidence of a broader church culture of secrecy and cover-up in responding to abuse allegations.
For the first time, the Vatican on Monday will challenge those charges.
"Contrary to what some plaintiffs' attorneys have contended, crimen did not mandate bishops to keep silent about sexual abuse in their dioceses," Lena said. "That is important, because many Catholics, in particular, have been saddened by the idea that the laws of their church would prevent compliance with the law, and it simply is not true."
The 1962 document primarily refers to cases involving confession. If a priest tries to solicit sex from someone who is trying to give their confession, it says, the allegation against the priest should be "pursued in a most secretive way ... under penalty of excommunication."
Church leaders argue the document had no bearing on civil or criminal law and was superseded by the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which "treats the sexual abuse of a minor (and solicitation of a penitent by confessor) as criminal behavior, which may be punished by dismissal from the clerical state."
The Vatican also plans to argue Monday for the first time that bishops are not employees of the Vatican, as a handful of U.S. lawsuits against the Holy See allege.
"We will respectfully submit that this is a fallacious theory," Lena said. "The Holy See, or the Pope, does not 'employ' bishops in the United States."
The church argues that bishops act with local autonomy in their respective dioceses.
The Louisville case was filed in 2004 by three men who allege that they were victims of priest abuse as children and who are seeking damages from the Vatican.
The men's attorney, William McMurry, did not return a call to his office on Sunday night. He is seeking to interview top Vatican officials, including the pope, in the case.
SOURCE: CNN (5-14-10)
But when the first working laser was rolled out 50 years ago this week -- developed at California's Hughes Research Laboratory -- it didn't take long for the hyperfocused beams of light to find work.
Having fascinated science-fiction fans since the origins of ray guns in the late 1800s, lasers (literally "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation") have become common in modern life.
From talking on the telephone to listening to a CD, laser technology makes a lot of what we do happen.
"Everyone has some sort of connection every single day to lasers -- even if most people have no idea what that connection is," said Mark Bronski, manager of laser production at German-based TRUMPF Inc., the largest manufacturer of industrial lasers in North America.
Regret that bad tattoo from the '80s? Want to watch a DVD or listen to a compact disc? Tired of your eyeglasses or contacts?
A laser can help.
And, remember those Pink Floyd concerts with mind-altering laser light shows?
In basic terms, a laser is any device that creates a narrow, intense beam of light, then amplifies that beam.
The atoms of a physical substance, usually a crystal, are charged up while mirrors at both ends of the laser reflect the energy back and forth to strengthen it.
The "ruby laser," so-called because physicist Theodore Maiman used a ruby rod to make it, was first used on May 16, 1960.
Maiman's first scientific article about the discovery was turned down. While the second was awaiting publication, the laboratory went to the press with the news, prompting scientists who hadn't seen his complete findings to initially dismiss the discovery as insignificant.
There's no way to list everything lasers do. (Although, we do suggest another look at the world's largest laser, currently working to save -- not destroy -- the Earth).
But here's a rundown of just a few applications for lasers, and a nod to where laser technology might go next.
From a high-tech update to the old nip-tuck to eye treatment that can eliminate the need for glasses or contacts, lasers are often used in surgery.
Carbon-dioxide lasers and others are used to remove unwanted tissue -- from tumors, warts and tattooed skin -- and create incisions that are less intrusive, less painful and leave less scarring than traditional surgery.
At planetarium domes everywhere, starry-eyed fans have enjoyed laser light displays for decades. The shows combine beam effects -- which sweep through the air -- and screen effects, which create images, patterns and shapes on a wall or other fixed object.
At Georgia's Stone Mountain Park, near Atlanta, Georgia, more than 20 million people have watched a laser show projected onto the massive granite mound.
Billed as the world's longest-running laser show, it offers a "dazzling display of neon laser lights featuring characters, stories, graphics and fireworks choreographed to popular musical scores," according to spokeswoman Jeanine Jones.
For the more active set, there's laser tag.
Adopted by the U.S. Army in the late '70s for training, laser tag was offered in crude form in toys around the same time. In 1984, two recreational laser tag centers were opened in Texas.
At most laser-tag venues, teams with laser guns scramble around an indoor course, shooting at each other in the near-dark. Technology varies somewhat, but, generally, laser tag uses infrared signaling to track lasers and determine whether they've hit their target -- usually a vest worn by the player.
Most of us probably don't think of lasers being involved in our telephone conversations or internet use. But they are.
Fiber optics -- the ultrathin, glass cables used to carry digital information for phones, computers and cable TV -- use laser-generated pulses of light to carry that data at incredibly high speeds.
For computer users, communications companies claim that fiber-optic connections can download music, videos and other files to computers 25 times faster than traditional cable -- at least in the places where it's available.
The fervor over the upcoming Google Fiber project shows that lots of folks are eager to give laser-powered, in-home fiber a try.
CDs and DVDs
Tiny lasers are at work any time you turn on a disc player.
Whether audio or video, these players focus a laser beam on a series of bumps on the disc. The way the different bumps reflect that light determines the sound and images.
And when your CD skips? That's because the laser can't read data through a dirty or scratched outer layer -- although it's probably not the laser's fault that the disc is dirty or scratched in the first place.
So, what's next?
Scientists in all sorts of fields are experimenting with more uses for lasers.
The U.S. Air Force is pondering an airborne laser defense system, albeit one with a high-flying price tag.
Lasers are also being used in technologies such as holographs, new energy sources and space exploration.
And like personal computers, says Bronski, lasers are shrinking.
"Lasers that used to fill up a small-sized room are now the size of a desk," he said. "We'll see that trend continue in the future -- things getting smaller while maintaining their outputs or increasing their outputs."
So, does that mean that handheld lasers could be around the corner? You know -- the kind Han Solo says always trump hokey religions and ancient weapons?
"Those technologies might not be so far off," Bronski said. "At some point, it might be possible to make a much smaller package for these laser devices ... like little phasers or whatever."
Name of source: Time.com
SOURCE: Time.com (5-15-10)
Most of the document is a remarkably clear and cogent account of the deeply tangled and confusing politics that divided the left from the far left a century ago. Focusing on the New York City socialists, Kagan began with a question that historians had been asking for decades: Why didn't socialism happen in the United States as it did throughout Europe?...
The crisis for American socialism, Kagan writes, came with the 1917 Bolshevik revolution in Russia. For radicals in the American movement, this seemed to be the start of something big — and they should join Russia's Leninists in a worldwide uprising to crush capitalism by violence. Their militant demands prompted years of internal warfare as factions battled factions and splinter groups splintered into smaller splinters.
If there is anything to object to in Kagan's narrative, it is that she focused so intently on the capital-S Socialists that she mostly missed what happened to the small-s socialism of Morris Hillquit. She pays only passing attention to the fact that New York's Democratic Party — then known as Tammany Hall — noticed the rising popularity of Hillquit's gradual reforms, and plucked a piece of the action. Issues such as labor rights, women's suffrage, and workplace safety were woven into the Democratic platform and helped to vault Tammany's Al Smith into the governor's office....
Name of source: Kansas City Star
SOURCE: Kansas City Star (5-11-10)
Burnt wood embedded in rock. Melted glass, scorched ceramics and discolored soil where a flaming wall fell.
As a Ph.D. candidate in archaeology at the University of Kansas, Raab is less interested in the signs of destruction than in the ordinary remnants of lives ravaged. Buttons, for example, offer clues to the kinds of coveralls western Missourians left behind when forced off their properties in 1863.
“This one says ‘Bull Dog,’ ” Raab noted of the brand name etched on a dime-size fastener in a zippered bag in her laboratory. “That gives me something to work with.”
Growing up in Clay County, she heard about the War on the Border. An ancestor supposedly galloped into Kansas with Confederate guerrilla William Quantrill, who led the bloody looting of Lawrence.
But what Raab, 42, never heard in history class was how the Union retaliated with General Order No. 11 — reducing to ash the homes and livelihoods of thousands across four Missouri counties.
Name of source: Science Daily
SOURCE: Science Daily (5-11-10)
Because it is only known from its teeth, the paleontologists who discovered it don't know what its body looked like, but the find likely represents an ancient African lineage whose discovery makes early primate evolution on that continent more complicated.
Seiffert says during the last 30 years or so, three major primate groups were established as being present in Africa some 55 to 34 million years ago: early monkeys, lemur-like primates, and an extinct group called adapiforms. But the newly discovered primate's teeth place Nosmips in Africa at the same time. What's more, its teeth suggest it could be an evolutionary oddity that is not closely related to any of these groups.
Nosmips' discoverers report the finding in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Science Foundation supported the research.
SOURCE: Science Daily (5-12-10)
We only need tiny amounts of DNA to test for disease or confirm identity, even from people who have been dead for a very long time. In the case of Tutankhamon and his family, researchers could reveal identities of up till now unknown mummies and show probable cause of death for the young king. The fact that such tests can be performed on historical persons raised enough questions for a PhD thesis.
But whose integrity and interests is it when the person is dead? According to Malin Masterton, parts of a person's identity remains after death. One way of looking at identity is as a narrative -- the story of one's life -- that both stands alone and is interwoven with other people's stories. Seen like this, the dead too have a name and a reputation worth protecting.
If the dead, to some degree like the living, have integrity and reputation, they also have moral status and we can wrong them. According to Malin Masterton, we have three duties to the dead. We have a duty of truthfulness in our description of a persons' reputation. We also have a duty to respect the personal integrity of the dead in research contexts. Finally, we have a duty to admit wrongs we have committed to the dead, like illegal archaeological digs.
SOURCE: Science Daily (5-12-10)
The results of the study confirm that Darwin had it right all along. In his 1859 book, On the Origin of Species, the British naturalist proposed that, "all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form." Over the last century and a half, qualitative evidence for this theory has steadily grown, in the numerous, surprising transitional forms found in the fossil record, for example, and in the identification of sweeping fundamental biological similarities at the molecular level.
Still, rumblings among some evolutionary biologists have recently emerged questioning whether the evolutionary relationships among living organisms are best described by a single "family tree" or rather by multiple, interconnected trees -- a "web of life." Recent molecular evidence indicates that primordial life may have undergone rampant horizontal gene transfer, which occurs frequently today when single-celled organisms swap genes using mechanisms other than usual organismal reproduction. In that case, some scientists argue, early evolutionary relationships were web-like, making it possible that life sprang up independently from many ancestors.
SOURCE: Science Daily (5-14-10)
The findings, which appear in the May 13 issue of the journal Nature, greatly expand our understanding of the sea creatures and ecosystems that existed at a crucial point in evolutionary history, when most of the animal life on the planet was found in the oceans.
The team -- led by Peter Van Roy, a Yale postdoctoral associate, and Derek Briggs, the Frederick William Beinecke Professor of Geology & Geophysics and director of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History -- uncovered more than 1,500 fossils of soft-bodied marine animals in newly discovered sites in southeastern Morocco during a field expedition last year. Many are complete fossils, and include sponges, annelid worms, mollusks and horseshoe crabs -- in particular, a species similar to today's horseshoe crab, which appeared some 30 million years earlier than previously known.
SOURCE: Science Daily (5-13-10)
The Nottingham Caves Survey, being carried out by archaeologists from Trent & Peak Archaeology at The University of Nottingham, has already produced extraordinary, three dimensional, fly through, colour animation of caves that have been hidden from view for centuries.
Below the grounds of Nottingham Castle and across the city there is a labyrinth of medieval tunnels, dungeons, maltings and cellars -- people even carved primitive living quarters out of Nottingham's sandstone cliffs.
Name of source: Latin America Herald Tribune
SOURCE: Latin America Herald Tribune (5-14-10)
The pieces include containers with geometric and animal decorations in black, pink and red, as well as small figurines made of dark or white ceramic.
The items were stolen from a Salvadoran archaeological site and sold on the Internet by a Salvadoran couple now under arrest in their homeland, authorities said.
A joint investigation by U.S. and Salvadoran police enabled authorities to recover 45 objects in all, of which 18 pieces and four bags with ceramic fragments were brought into the United States, while the rest of the items were seized in the Central American country.
Name of source: Australia's Business and World News
SOURCE: Australia's Business and World News (12-31-69)
With the passage of the ”law on historical memory” in 2000 and a lawsuit filed by a son who had lost his father, Etxeberria began to excavate in Priaranza del Bierzo in the northern province of León. The bodies of 13 civilians shot by firing squad at the start of the war were unearthed. It was the first scientific excavation of mass graves carried out in Spain, nearly 70 years after the war began.
With virtually no political or financial support, the team of experts led by the professor of forensic medicine from the University of the Basque Country in northern Spain has included dozens of volunteers from around the world.
Name of source: The Guardian
SOURCE: The Guardian (5-14-10)
Two hundred years before the storming of the Bastille and the stirrings of a revolution that would take down the monarchy, a handsome 35-year-old from the south-western city of Pau began a reign that would make France fall in love with him. Today, as the country remembers his death at the hands of a fanatical Catholic assassin, there is no sign that this love is fading.
In fact, 400 years after he drew his last breath on a Paris side-street, Henri IV is everywhere: on magazine covers, on billboards and staring benevolently from shop windows. Parisian guides are offering Henri IV walking tours; museums are hosting exhibitions; and locals in his native region near the Pyrenean foothills are hosting feasts of poule au pot and garfou – the late monarch's favourite sweet treat.
Judging by the tributes being paid to him now, Henri IV seems to be working his magic from beyond the grave. Such was the impact of his reign – and the shock of his untimely death – that he has become a martyr who is viewed almost as the personification of good leadership
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (5-13-10)
Patrick Gifford, from Castle Douglas, was killed in action in Belgium on 16 May 1940.
A plaque will be unveiled in his memory in his home town on Sunday to mark the 70th anniversary of his death.
A new biography of Mr Gifford is also being launched this week in recognition of his unique role in the conflict.
Durlston Castle, near Swanage, is being renovated and turned into a visitor centre for the Jurassic coast world heritage site.
It will form the centrepiece of the 280-acre Durlston Country Park and will house a shop and catering facilities.
A turf cutting ceremony took place earlier. The work is expected to be fully completed by July 2011.
Steve Batkin is a councillor at Stoke-on-Trent City Council and is also a governor at two secondary schools.
The image, taken in 2002 in Stone, shows Mr Batkin and saluting far-right activists with a Union Jack flag.
Mr Batkin said the men were expressing their "rebelliousness" but admitted the image was "regrettable".
Gayatri Devi, once described as one of the most beautiful women in the world, died in July 2009 at the age of 90.
But on Thursday her stepson challenged her will in court, arguing that she had been "misguided" by her grandchildren in the latter stages of her life.
She was the third wife of the Maharajah of Jaipur.
Gayatri Devi was a fashion icon who broke with tradition by winning election to parliament in 1962 and was re-elected twice.
Name of source: Packet Times (Canada)
SOURCE: Packet Times (Canada) (5-12-10)
Keesic Douglas, 36, and Kory Snache, 26, will be leaving from the Atherley Narrows on May 28 to follow the watery path of their ancestors, which hasn't been travelled as a fur trade route since the late 1800s.
"It's the most meaningful trip that I've ever done because there's so much history in it and our families used to travel it," Snache said. "This trip used to mean life or death."
The journey is expected to take three days, ending at the Hudson's Bay Company's flagship store in Toronto.
Douglas will be attempting to trade a vintage Hudson's Bay blanket for his great-grandfather's beaver pelts....
Name of source: Ancaster News (Canada)
SOURCE: Ancaster News (Canada) (5-13-10)
Two years after purchasing a property at 91 John Street, his lawyer found a deed for the land that proves the city’s founder, George Hamilton, bought the property from James Durand on Jan. 25, 1815.
It’s significant, said McKee, because it’s the first time a document has the 1815 date and ties the Hamilton’s to buying land. The property was part of a 257-acre purchase Hamilton made from Durand.
“Only a historian would understand the significance of the date,” said McKee, holding up a copy of the deed. “I think it’s fabulous. It’s indisputable evidence about Hamilton’s birth.”
It means, said McKee, that Hamilton had the idea of creating a town in 1815, rather than in 1816, when it is customarily understood that Hamilton was created....
Name of source: Virginia Gazette
SOURCE: Virginia Gazette (5-14-10)
They were members of the Patawomeck and Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) tribes; their remains date to 1580. The bones were excavated by the Smithsonian Institution during an archeological dig in Southampton County in the 1960s.
Both tribes want the museum to return the remains so their ancestors can be restored to their proper resting place.
“Their spirits are not walking free,” said Chief Walt D. “Red Hawk” Brown III of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Tribe. “Because they are in shoe boxes – not where they are supposed to be.”...
Name of source: Sublette Examiner (WY)
SOURCE: Sublette Examiner (WY) (5-10-10)
On Wednesday, May 5, at about 1 p.m. a construction crew digging a water pipeline for the town of Pinedale uncovered a dark stain in the sub-soil.
Just west of the Fremont lake lower boat dock parking lot on Forest Service land, the discovery was immediately recognized by a team from Current Archaeological Research, which was hired to monitor the pipeline project for cultural resources.
Soon after, archaeologists cordoned off the area into square-meter units where they carefully dug into the site centimeters at a time.
What they found was unmistakably human and unmistakably prehistoric: flakes caused by tool making, large flat rocks that could have been used to grind plant matter and knife-like biface tools.
It all showed evidence of a human camp that was occupied around the time of the Egyptian pharaohs, according to Current Archaeology’s David Wolfe.
“It’s a nice campsite,” he said pointing to Fremont Lake and Pine Creek. “There are probably sites like this throughout the area.”
The camp was probably a temporary home to a small band of people Wolfe described as an “extended family.” While it was too soon to determine what time of year it was inhabited, Wolfe guessed at the site’s age somewhere near 4,000 years old.
“We’ll know for sure after carbon dating,” he said.
In addition, the obsidian’s source rock will be determined using X-ray fluorescents. Wolfe said most prehistoric obsidian in the Upper Green River Valley originates from Jackson, although it’s possible the rock was collected near present-day Malad, Idaho or the obsidian cliffs in Yellowstone National Park.
Regardless of the source, highly skilled prehistoric hands fractured the obsidian into delicate, yet effective tools.
One in particular caught Wolfe’s eye. It was the broken base of a drill less than an inch wide. The artifact’s intricacy and artistry was astonishing.
“It’s just amazing the level of work,” Wolfe stared
But soon a team member requested his expert advice. For the archaeologists there is no time to waste. The site is in the path of the pipeline, which teems with huge track hoes and front-end loaders. Consequently, the archaeologists have been working 12-14 hour days to get the
It’s a process that was so captivating, a pair of Rio Verde Engineers stopped amid the din of heavy machinery to observe the excavation.
“We have to get this out of here,” Wolfe explained. “It’s a nonrenewable resource.”
He estimated the excavation would be completed by the first of the week.
Name of source: Balkan travellers
SOURCE: Balkan travellers (5-13-10)
In the chest, archaeologists found 44 gold coins and 76 Venetian coins, dating to the thirteenth century, or the Byzantine Era.
This is the most significant archaeological find at the Skopje Fortress, along with the Medieval lead stamps that were discovered several years ago at the site, Pasko Kuzman, archaeologist and Director of Cultural Heritage Protection in the Macedonian Ministry of Culture, told the Vreme newspaper.
Golden Byzantine coins have been unearthed at other sites in Macedonia, but rarely and in smaller quantities, he added. According to archaeologists, large quantities of bronze coins are often found at ancient sites around Macedonia.
The newly discovered gold coins are stamped with images of Byzantine kings and Biblical motifs, while the Venetian silver coins are stamped with the images of Venetian leaders.
The valuable pieces, according to Kuzman, were imported from lands with which the Byzantine rulers cooperated. The commercial ties are also well-known of the medieval rulers with the Venetian Republic, which is famous for its splendour and prosperity.
It is interesting that hundreds of coins were found in a small box, meaning that they were carefully kept and had great value for people of that time, Kuzman noted.
Currently, the gold and silver coins from the Skopje Fortress are being preserved in a laboratory and will soon be examined in detail by numismatic specialists.
The Skopje Fortress will be one of the archaeological sites that will be examined in Macedonia this year. Archaeologists are excavating the site’s central area and the plan is to restore and conserve the so-called Cyclopes Walls.
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (5-13-10)
Royal Mail is paying tribute to the Women's Land Army, dubbed the Land Girls, with a special 1st class stamp.
It is part of a set of eight, entitled Britain Alone, which marks the sacrifices made on the Home Front.
Former land girl, Mona McLeod, 87, launched the new stamps at the National Museum of Rural Life in Lanarkshire.
In 1940, aged just 16, she put her academic aspirations and a place at university on hold and spent the next five years ploughing, sowing and digging for victory on a dairy farm in Galloway.
She said: "I am delighted that Royal Mail has recognised the work of the Land Girls with this wonderful first class stamp.
"We were just one of the sections of British society who made sacrifices as part of the war effort."
Elaine Edwards, senior curator at the National Museum of Rural Life, has been heavily involved in the campaign to ensure the role played by Scotland's land girls and Lumber Jills, women employed to cut timber, is recognised.
She said: "This is well overdue. These girls often left home for the first time, at a very young age, and gave up, to some extent, part of their youth to contribute to feeding the country and supplying it with timber for the troops and railways, jobs that men had traditionally been doing.
"Until relatively recently their worth really has not been recognised.
"Had it not been for these girls the nation could have potentially been in very difficult times."
In 2007 the UK government announced there was to be formal recognition of the contribution made be the Women's Land Army and Women's Timber Corps with an official badge.
An ongoing exhibition at National War Museum in Edinburgh highlights their efforts and the National Farmers Union Scotland is also currently running a campaign to raise £60,000 to build a memorial to the Scottish Land Girls.
The new stamps remember the sacrifices of the British people in 1940 when the country stood isolated after the Dunkirk evacuation.
They also feature civil defence organisations like the Home Guard, women who worked in factories, air raid wardens, and young evacuees.
Ian McKay, Scottish affairs director with Royal Mail Group said: "We hope that this collection of stamps will serve as poignant reminder of how much the country was affected by the Second World War and remind later generations of the huge contribution people like Mona McLeod made to the war effort."
SOURCE: BBC News (5-14-10)
The vehicle is on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center ready to lift off at 1420 local time (1820 GMT).
Big crowds are anticipated on the roads leading to the Nasa facility and on the beaches of Florida's Space Coast, all eager to catch a piece of history.
Atlantis will be delivering a Russian module to the space station, as well as batteries and a communications antenna.
The crew of six say they are very aware of the significance of the moment but are concentrating on the job they have before them.
"In a lot of ways you can't afford to get too distracted," said Ken Ham, who will command Atlantis.
"This is the kind of thing that's going to hit all of us after the mission, when we realise what part in history we played. I think the space shuttle is the single most incredible machine humanity has ever built."
US President Barack Obama has announced a new exploration policy that would take humans beyond the International Space Station (ISS), beyond even the Moon, to asteroids and to Mars.
The shuttles, which have been working in space since 1981, are being retired to museums; and Nasa is being asked to pass the role of taxiing astronauts to and from the ISS to private companies and to concentrate its efforts on developing the vehicles to reach more distant targets.
Three more shuttle sorties remain, including Atlantis's mission.
The Discovery orbiter is aiming for a final flight in September, with the Endeavour ship scheduled currently to conclude the shuttle programme in November.
Friday's lift-off will be the 32nd for Atlantis. Notable achievements in its 25-year career have included launching interplanetary probes from orbit and leading the Shuttle-Mir programme which saw the ship visit the Russian Mir space station more times than any other ship in the fleet.
The latest mission to the ISS will require Atlantis to carry up a 7m-long (23ft) docking and storage module known as Rassvet (Russian for "dawn").
The shuttle's cargo bay will also contain a large rack structure holding six new batteries for the orbiting platform, as well as a spare communications Ku-band antenna, and a tool tray for the station's Dextre robot system.
These items will be placed on the exterior of the platform during three spacewalks.
The trickiest moment of the mission is likely to come on flight day five when the Rassvet module is attached to the underside of the station. Russian modules are normally flown into their berthing positions, not lifted into place by a robotic arm.
The Atlantis crew has to be sure they apply sufficient pressure with the arm to engage the docking mechanism on Rassvet.
The British-born US astronaut Piers Sellers will be directing robotic operations.
"We're going to be pretending to dock this like a Soyuz or Progress spacecraft," he said.
"We're going to use the arm and very carefully approach the docking cone, and we're going to fool Rassvet into thinking it's docking itself. That's how it's going to activate all its latches and hooks."
Weather forecasters say there is a 70% chance of fine conditions at lift-off time, with low cloud being the one concern.
After it returns from the 12-day mission to the ISS, Atlantis will not go straight to a museum. It will instead be prepared as a standby shuttle ready to go rescue the astronauts on November's Endeavour flight should they get into trouble.
Nasa has not excluded the possibility that it could yet fly out this standby shuttle to take additional spares and supplies to the space station.
Name of source: San Jose Mercury
SOURCE: San Jose Mercury (5-13-10)
"We had a few books in our home and I remember looking through them, seeing photos of the World War II incarceration and recognizing that if I had been born 20 years earlier that would have been me," Yogi said. "That injustice has really resonated for me throughout my life and has sparked my passion for justice and equality."
Yogi's concern for civil liberties directed him to the ACLU of Northern California where he has worked for the past 13 years. It also resulted in "Whenever There's a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California" (Heyday Books, $24.95), a sweeping history of the ongoing struggle for minority rights, which Yogi cowrote with Elaine Elinson.
Yogi met Elinson at the ACLU, where she worked as communications director and editor of the ACLU News. Another important contact was Malcolm Margolin of Heyday Books, whom Yogi had met when he was co-editor of "Highway 99: A Literary Journey through California's Great Central Valley."...
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (5-13-10)
In the aftermath of the protest leader's shooting, the Thai government has extended a state of emergency to cover 17 provinces to prevent rural protesters from joining the massive rally in the capital, according to the Associated Press. The decree gives the army broad powers to deal with protesters and places restrictions on civil liberties.
Maj. Gen. Khattya Sawasdipol, a renegade army officer whose views are regarded as extreme even by his political allies, was shot shortly after the beginning of a security operation designed to surround the sprawling, barricaded protest site in central Bangkok in an attempt to prevent support and supplies from reaching the demonstrators....
SOURCE: WaPo (5-13-10)
The gangly plant -- once a favorite of military ropemakers -- couldn't catch a break. Even as legalized medical marijuana has become more and more commonplace, the industrial hemp plant -- with its minuscule levels of the chemical that gives marijuana its kick -- has remained illegal to cultivate in the United States.
Enter the lost hemp diaries.
Found recently at a garage sale outside Buffalo but never publicly released, these journals chronicle the life of Lyster H. Dewey, a botanist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture whose long career straddled the 19th and 20th centuries. Dewey writes painstakingly about growing exotically named varieties of hemp -- Keijo, Chinamington and others -- on a tract of government land known as Arlington Farms. In effect, he was tending Uncle Sam's hemp farm.
What's gotten hemp advocates excited about the discovery is the location of that farm. A large chunk of acreage was handed over to the War Department in the 1940s for construction of the world's largest office building: the Pentagon. So now, hempsters can claim that an important piece of their legacy lies in the rich Northern Virginia soil alongside a hugely significant symbol of the government that has so enraged and befuddled them over the years.
All thanks to Lyster Dewey....
Name of source: I.H.T.
SOURCE: I.H.T. (5-13-10)
“Renaissance” had been nixed by state censors, blogged Mr. Han, who may be the most popular blogger in the world — his site on Sina.com registers more than 372 million hits, and individual entries regularly top 1 million hits. “I guess there won’t be any literary renaissance,” he quipped in his trademark laconic, yet barbed, style.
Instead, Mr. Han plans to call his magazine “Solo Chorus,” though nearly a year later it’s still not out. Now censors are unhappy about the content, he said.
More than 500 years after the Renaissance transformed Europe, challenging the rigidities of medievalism with the spirit of independent literary and scientific enquiry that is humanism, thereby putting the value and dignity of the individual at the center of a new ethical system, the very word “renaissance” can still be taboo here.
Yet Western-style humanism flourished in China a century ago, brought over by the Chinese students of Irving Babbitt, a professor of French at Harvard University who attained a cult-like following among some Chinese intellectuals for his writings and lectures on humanism.
Mr. Babbitt advocated retaining the good things from the past. He insisted on the importance of the individual, and the study of the humanities.
Humanism’s gentle, evolutionary approach clashed with the make-it-new passion of many students, intellectuals and politicians grouped around China’s early 20th-century May Fourth Movement. In 1949, the revolutionaries won the argument when the Communist Party founded the People’s Republic of China. For over three decades, humanism vanished from Chinese thinking....