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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: ABC News
SOURCE: ABC News (6-30-10)
Egyptian archaeologists who have completed excavations on an unfinished ancient tunnel believe it was meant to connect a 3,300-year-old pharaoh's tomb with a secret burial site, the antiquities department said Wednesday.
Egyptian chief archaeologist Zahi Hawass said it has taken three years to excavate the 570-foot (174 meter) long tunnel in Pharaoh Seti I's ornate tomb in southern Egypt's Valley of the Kings. The pharaoah died before the project was finished.
First discovered in 1960, the tunnel has only now been completely cleared and archaeologists discovered ancient figurines, shards of pottery and instructions left by the architect for the workmen....
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
In March two amateur archaeologists presented a jaw and a femur bone to US officials, unearthed at a site in eastern Kampong Cham province, saying they believed the parts belonged to the war photographer.
The remains from the site, which some researchers believe is a mass grave for up to a dozen foreign journalists killed by Khmer Rouge fighters during Cambodia's war in the early 1970s, were sent for forensic analysis in Hawaii.
Lt Col Wayne Perry, JPAC spokesman, said that tests showed the remains were not those of Flynn, who disappeared 40 years ago while covering Cambodia's war.
Lt Col Perry said there was no match between DNA from the recovered remains and DNA samples they had on file from the Flynn family....
The medal, previously awarded to rock singer and human rights activist Bono, Nelson Mandela and former US president Jimmy Carter will be presented to Mr Blair on September 13 in Philadelphia by former President Bill Clinton.
The National Constitution Center offers history-based exhibits focused on the U.S. Constitution and gives the annual award to those whose actions represent the founding principles of the United States.
In January last year he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former US president George W Bush "in recognition of exemplary achievement and to convey the utmost esteem of the American people"....
The ruling came after the federal government abruptly dropped concerns that Mosab Hassan Yousef was a terrorist threat.
Mr Yousef, 32, was greeted by a small group of cheering supporters as he left an immigration detention center where the 15-minute hearing was held under heavy security.
He had argued that he would be killed if he was deported because he spied on Hamas for Israel's Shin Bet intelligence agency and abandoned Islam after becoming a Christian.
Prosecutors at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague argued that Miss Campbell's testimony could directly disprove claims made by ex-Liberia president Taylor during his two-year trial. Taylor is on trial for his alleged role in the civil war in Sierra Leone.
He is accused of arming rebels in return for diamonds illegally mined by kidnapped civilians, many of them children....
The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) cuts tariffs on 800 products and opens up service industries, giving a major boost to around $100 billion (£66.5 billion) in annual two-way trade.
But it covers only the easiest of potentially thousands of items targeted for tariff cuts in years ahead and euphoria could fade quickly as the two move to much tougher negotiations.
The biggest deal in 60 years between the political rivals was signed in Chongqing, the hilly, foggy wartime capital of China for the Kuomintang (KMT) party, which now rules Taiwan after losing a civil war to Mao Tse-tung's Communists in 1949....
The United Nations is leading a campaign to save the last surviving members of the Jarawa tribe amid growing calls for them to be integrated into mainstream society.
The tribe on India's tropical Andaman Islands, believed to be descendants of migrants who left Africa 65,000 years ago, have dwindled to just 350 members because they have little or no resistance to western diseases carried onto the islands by foreign tourists.
A related Andaman tribe, the Bo, became extinct last year when its last member died.
The Indian government has sought to keep them segregated from the island's growing tourist resorts amid reports of tribesmen bartering for whisky and tribal women having sexual intercourse with visitors....
The Queen of the Nile ended her life in 30BC and it has always been held that it was the bite of an asp – now called the Egyptian cobra – which caused her demise.
Now Christoph Schaefer, German historian and professor at the University of Trier, is presenting evidence that aims to prove drugs and not the reptile were the cause of death.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (6-30-10)
It was the largest known equine burial ground in Europe, although chief archaeologist Angela Simons said Wednesday that many such sites have probably existed and have been plowed up over the centuries by unwitting farmers.
The archaeological team had been looking for evidence of prehistoric human settlements in the area when they came across the unexpected find....
SOURCE: AP (6-29-10)
They'll have to find his body first.
Workers have told The Detroit News they will resume digging Tuesday beneath the statue of Stevens T. Mason in Capitol Park. Granite slabs and something that appeared to be a crypt were removed Monday.
SOURCE: AP (6-29-10)
Byrd's final appearance on the Senate floor, where he became famous for soaring oratory and record-setting speeches, will be as historic as the senator himself. A senator's casket last lay in repose there in 1959, the year Byrd joined the chamber. He was the longest-serving member of Congress ever and was third in line to the presidency.
Byrd died early Monday at 92 after being hospitalized for dehydration, his office said. Few outside his circle of family had known of his condition....
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (6-30-10)
And he says he has "thanks to a large part of the American public" that he was reunited with his father in Cuba.
Now 16, Gonzalez's first comments to foreign reporters in years came after President Raul Castro attended a state celebration Wednesday night marking the 10th anniversary of the famous ex-castaway's return to Cuba.
Wednesday marked the first time Cuba's current president stood in for its former leader, brother Fidel Castro, at an event in Gonzalez's honor....
SOURCE: Fox News (6-28-10)
The group says the yellow banner, which sports a coiled rattlesnake and its trademark motto, is the original flag of the U.S. Marine Corps and clearly fits into the section of the policy which states that the Connecticut State Capitol can fly “flags of recognized military organizations of the U.S.A.”
But Capitol Police have denied several requests to fly the flag -- which has become a favorite nationwide among the Tea Party movement and a popular alternative to the stars and stripes – saying it is not the official Marines flag....
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (6-30-10)
In keeping with the tradition of other recent high court nominees, the 50-year-old solicitor general repeatedly declined to indicate how she might rule if confirmed, leading one senator to bemoan what many observers now characterize as a confirmation process devoid of substance.
Kagan spent much of her third straight day of hearings portraying herself as someone who would be an independent voice on the high court. She told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that, if confirmed, she would not be influenced by her previous political positions in the Clinton administration and elsewhere....
In the first heated exchange of her confirmation hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kagan sparred with Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama over her role as dean of Harvard Law School in barring military recruiters from the university's Office of Career Services.
Several Republican senators have challenged Kagan's judicial experience and her ability to put aside personal politics while Democrats praised her qualifications and welcomed her possible presence on a court they criticized for what they called
Her confirmation is considered likely....
From his struggles against the racism and oppression of colonial rule in the 1950s to the fight against AIDS today, it's been an eventful life for Zambia's former leader.
But his fight for independence was not without consequence and in 1959 Kaunda was arrested and jailed for ten months.
After his release in January 1960 Kaunda became leader of the newly formed United National Independence Party (UNIP) and in 1964 after elections and much political wrangling, Zambia was finally granted independence from the British with Kaunda as its president.
It was a presidency which was to last 27 years, but under one party rule. A decision highly criticized, with many accusing Kaunda of presiding over a dictatorship....
The Navy lieutenant fought courageously, being proud to be among the U.N. troops led by Commander-in-Chief Douglas MacArthur in the blitz Incheon landing against the North Korean Army. His dream of becoming a philosopher was cut short at the precious age of 28.
Still, his noble spirit remains alive in the hearts of Koreans, who remember his sacrifice for a cause greater than his life, for the ideals most cherished by all humanity....
Name of source: Greenwich Times
SOURCE: Greenwich Times (6-30-10)
One hundred years ago to the date, two lure manufacturers competed in the first bass tournament — a contest to see which of their surface plugs could catch the most fish.
Now, Platt and Wagaman — avid collectors of antique fishing equipment — were re-creating that piece of fishing history.
Fishing on a private lake in the Kansas City area, they used the same lures that William Jamison and Ans Decker did on those three days a century ago. They even used the same type of reels and other vintage tackle that fishermen did back in the day....
Name of source: CBC News (Canada)
SOURCE: CBC News (Canada) (6-29-10)
Federal searchers say they will take sonar equipment to the waters southwest of King William Island, in the Northwest Passage, in the hopes of finding the ships underwater.Federal searchers say they will take sonar equipment to the waters southwest of King William Island, in the Northwest Passage, in the hopes of finding the ships underwater. (CBC)
Parks Canada began a three-year effort in 2008 to find the famed British explorer's ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, which went missing more than 160 years ago in the High Arctic....
Name of source: Time.com
SOURCE: Time.com (6-29-10)
Earlier this year, scientists speculated the cause of famed King Tutankhamen's death to be due to a bone disorder and a bad case of malaria, but just last week a group of German researchers overruled that diagnosis. Instead, they say the 19-year-old pharaoh suffered from sickle-cell anemia, a genetic abnormality in red blood cells that ultimately causes organ failure....
Name of source: Slate
SOURCE: Slate (6-29-10)
Name of source: Press Release
SOURCE: Press Release (6-21-10)
The USA Pavilion at Expo 2010 Shanghai today launched a virtual tour at http://pavilion.expo.cn/c5001/ssize/en/index.html, which gives a global audience a glimpse of the Pavilion and the exhibits that have already delighted more than a million guests.
"World's Fairs are about creating enduring ties, and Expo 2010 is building a stronger relationship between the United States and China. This virtual tour will enable us to share those positive energies with those who are unable to visit the Pavilion in person," said U.S. Commissioner General Jose H. Villarreal.
Expo 2010 Shanghai is the first World's Fair to host an online platform that allows viewers to take a glimpse of all of the pavilions. While not meant to be a substitute for the real experience, the U.S. virtual tour doubles as a preview of what is to come for those traveling to China and a recap of the USA presence for visitors half a world away. Moreover, from the U.S. site, visitors have the opportunity to virtually tour any of the other country pavilions that are available.
The virtual tour, a joint project from the USA Pavilion and the U.S. Department of State, closely resembles the actual USA Pavilion. Upon entering the site, visitors are"greeted" by a virtual Student Ambassador, representing the 168 Student Ambassadors who have become a favorite of guests visiting the actual Pavilion. From that point, visitors are free to examine the sights and sounds of the Pavilion on their own.
Highlights of the virtual tour:
- Act I features an abbreviated greeting from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. President Barack Obama.
- In Act II, visitors can test their knowledge of American culture, history and entertainment through a quiz, which may even challenge a few Americans. In addition, Act II features a preview of"The Garden," the inspirational story shown in the main theater of the Pavilion of an American girl who dreams of turning a vacant city lot into a garden with the help of neighbors.
- Act III showcases the many U.S. companies which have sponsored the Pavilion. Through short films, photos and displays, the companies showcase efforts on sustainability, innovation and building a sense of a global community.
The site was developed by Crystal Digital Technology Co., Ltd. (Crystal CG), a sponsor of USA Pavilion, which also launched the official Expo Shanghai Online platform http://en.expo.cn/#&c=home
At over 60,000 square feet (6,000 square meters), the USA Pavilion is one of the largest national pavilions at the Expo. With the theme of"Rising to the Challenge," the United States presence will showcase American culture, values, innovation and business in one of China's most dynamic cities, while celebrating the friendship and cooperation between the United States, China and the rest of the world.
SOURCE: Press Release (6-30-10)
The Friends of the Florissant Fossil Beds are now offering a $1000 reward for information that leads to the recovery of the six wagon wheels stolen from the Hornbek Homestead and the arrest and conviction of the thieves.
On the night of June 10, six wagon wheels were stolen from two historic wagons on display at the Hornbek Homestead at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. Two additional wheels were destroyed when the thieves attempted to remove them from the wagons. Both wagons were damaged in the process. The theft of these cultural artifacts is a significant loss to the regional history that The National Park Service attempts to preserve at Florissant Fossil Beds.
The Monument would like to thank those individuals who have contacted us with information since the theft and encourages anyone with information about this theft to contact Chief Ranger Rick Wilson at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument at (719) 748-3253 ext 131 or the Teller County Sheriff’s Office at (719)687-9652.
Name of source: Sacramento Bee
SOURCE: Sacramento Bee (6-30-10)
The Senate Transportation Committee approved the compromise that requires bidders in California's $45 billion high-speed rail project to reveal whether they transported Nazi victims to death or prison camps between 1942 and 1944.
Rail firms that admit to such wartime activity would have to disclose whether they have any records and whether they took remedial action or paid restitution to victims....
Name of source: WIStv.com
SOURCE: WIStv.com (6-27-10)
The State of Columbia reports the South Carolina Conservative Action Council organized Saturday's three-hour rally, bidding to put the flag back atop the State House dome 10 years after it was taken down....
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (6-29-10)
Efraim Zuroff, of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Israel, criticized a Riga district court decision to allow an event to be held at the central Freedom Monument on July 1.
"To celebrate the anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Riga on July 1 is to celebrate the mass murder of all those victimized by the Nazis in Latvia -- primarily Jews, but also Communists, Gypsies and the mentally ill," Zuroff said in a statement....
Name of source: MSNBC
SOURCE: MSNBC (6-29-10)
A legend begun in the Medieval Ages tells of how Archimedes used mirrors to concentrate sunlight as a defensive weapon during the siege of Syracuse, then a Greek colony on the island of Sicily, from 214 to 212 B.C. No contemporary Roman or Greek accounts tell of such a mirror device, however.
Both engineering calculations and historical evidence support use of steam cannons as "much more reasonable than the use of burning mirrors," said Cesare Rossi, a mechanical engineer at the University of Naples "Federico II," in Naples, Italy, who along with colleagues analyzed evidence of both potential weapons....
Name of source: Lee White at the National Coalition for History
On June 17, 2010, the Information Policy, Census and National Archives Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing to review the status of the management of electronic records at federal agencies, and explored ways to improve the scheduling and preservation of electronic records.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recently transmitted to Congress a report entitled: “Records Management Self-Assessment 2009: An Assessment of Records Management Programs in the Federal Government
In September 2009, NARA issued a mandatory records management self-assessment to 245 Federal cabinet-level agencies and their components, and independent agencies. The goal of the initial self-assessment was to gather data to determine how effective Federal agencies are in meeting the statutory and regulatory requirements for records management.
Ninety-one percent of agencies responded to the self-assessment; 21 agencies did not. The responses indicate that 21 percent of Federal records management programs are at low risk of improper disposition of records. However, the National Archives found that 79% of agencies are at either a High (36%) or Moderate (43%) risk of improper destruction of records. These findings indicate that Federal agencies are falling short in carrying out their records management responsibilities, particularly regarding the exponential use and growth of electronic records.
The first panel included Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero; Mr. Jason Baron, NARA’s Director of Litigation; Mr. Paul Wester, Director of NARA’s Modern Records Program; Mr. David M. Wennergren, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Information Management, Integration and Technology Deputy Chief Information Officer United States Department of Defense and Ms. Valerie C. Melvin, Director, Information Management and Human Capital Issues United States General Accountability Office (GAO).
On the second panel were Dr. Gregory S. Hunter, Associate Professor of Library and Information Science Long Island University – C.W. Post Campus; Ms. Carol Brock, Certified Records Manager, representing ARMA International; and Ms. Anne Weismann, Chief Counsel, Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW).
The main theme of the hearing was whether NARA has the legal authority necessary to regulate federal agencies records management and if it does whether the agency has been properly, and aggressively, exercising that authority.
Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) began the questioning by asking the representatives of NARA if they felt they had sufficient legal authority to carry out their statutory and legal responsibilities with regard to records management or if they felt legislation was needed to enhance their oversight capabilities. Mr. Wester responded that NARA was conducting an analysis of its authorities and policies to see what limitations exist. He felt NARA could better utilize policies and guidance to make agencies more aware of their legal responsibilities. Wester did not rule out the potential need for further statutory authority, but said NARA needed to take stock of what it had before seeking a legislative remedy.
Representative Chu went on to ask what NARA could do to make agencies more responsive. Wester stated that NARA did have the authority to conduct investigations and to report their findings to the Office of Management and Budget, senior officials at the non-complying agencies and the relevant authorizing and appropriating committees in Congress.
When asked what she thought about NARA’s records management enforcement, Ms. Melvin of the GAO stated that in the past NARA had authority but had been reticent to exercise it. Until the most recent agency self-assessment, NARA had not conducted any agency inspections since 2000. She stated NARA had been good at putting plans in place, but that its oversight had been lacking. She said NARA’s implementation of a series of GAO recommendations from 2008 was still ongoing.
Ranking Subcommittee Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC) followed a similar line of questioning. He asked Archivist Ferriero if he thought NARA had enough authority to hold agencies accountable. Ferriero replied that he thought they did. The Archivist noted that since federal agencies hadn’t been inspected in eight years, that they did not take last year’s self-assessment seriously. He said that he had been following up with senior leadership at the non-compliant agencies and had been using the self-assessment report to bring light to the problem within the administration. Mr. Wester noted that a new assessment had just begun in May 2010 and that agency response this time had been “more robust.”
Of the private sector witnesses, Ms. Weismann was highly critical of NARA’s oversight of agency records management. She noted that until quite recently NARA had interpreted its statutory responsibilities under the Federal Records Act (FRA) very narrowly. She urged Congress to amend the FRA to give the Archivist explicit and expanded oversight and enforcement responsibilities to compel agency cooperation.
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently announced $20 million in grant awards and offers for 120 humanities projects. New funding supports a wide variety of projects nationwide, including traveling exhibitions, collaborative research, scholarly editions, advanced scholarly training in digital humanities, digitization of historic newspapers, programming offered by state humanities councils, and preservation of cultural heritage collections.
Among the grants awarded are those that will advance the excavation and analysis of archeological remains of 18th-century slave communities in the Virginia Piedmont, allow for the digitization of 100,000 pages of Hawaiian newspapers dating from 1836, and support the preparation of an illustrated scholarly digital edition of the papers of Buffalo Bill Cody. Other grants will aid the development of environmental controls to protect the Folger Shakespeare Library’s valuable collection of Shakespeare and early modern European history materials, and enable scholars to collaborate on an English-language translation of a 2,000-year-old Chinese dictionary.
This award cycle, institutions and independent scholars in 43 states and the District of Columbia will receive NEH support. Complete state-by-state listings of grants are available below:
Selected projects have received a We the People designation for their efforts to strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture. In this cycle, grants were awarded in the following categories:
- Collaborative Research Grants support original research undertaken by a team of two or more scholars or research coordinated by an individual scholar that, because of its scope or complexity, requires additional staff and resources beyond the individual’s salary.
- We the People Project Grants for State Humanities Councils support programs sponsored by state humanities councils that explore significant events and themes in American history and culture, and advance knowledge of the principles that define America.
- Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities Grants provide scholars and advanced graduate students with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of advanced technology tools and methodologies relevant to the humanities and to increase the number of humanities scholars using digital technology in their research.
- National Digital Newspaper Program Grants support the creation of a national, digital resource of historically significant newspapers published between 1836 and 1922, from all states and U.S. territories.
- NEH on the Road Grants help small sites defray the cost of hosting an NEH traveling exhibition.
- Scholarly Editions and Translations Grants enable the preparation of editions and translations of significant literary, philosophical, and historical texts and documents that are currently inaccessible or available in inadequate editions.
- Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections Grants help cultural institutions meet the complex challenge of preserving large and diverse holdings of humanities materials for future generations by supporting preventative conservation measures to prolong the useful life of collections.
From 1998 until her appointment as Assistant Archivist for Information Services in 2006, Ms. Morphy was a senior member of NARA’s IT management team. Her experience in information technology has contributed to the National Archives robust presence on the web, including bringing digitization partnership projects to NARA. She was hired as the National Archives Software Architect and also has served as the Director of the Systems Development Division, responsible for IT Project Management. Her most recent position, prior to her appointment as CIO, was in the Office of Records Services in Washington, DC, supporting the National Archives digitization efforts and IT initiatives.
Prior to coming to the National Archives in 1999, Ms. Morphy worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a Software Branch Chief for major weather systems acquisitions and as a member of NOAA’s Systems Engineering Staff. She has also held various IT positions at the Departments of Education, Defense, and the Social Security Administration.
On June 28, 2010, Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), the longest-serving Member of Congress, passed away. Senator Byrd was 92 years old. Senator Byrd was considered the “father” of the Teaching American History Grants program at the U.S. Department of Education. Since its inception in fiscal year 2001, nearly $1 billion in federal dollars have been spent to raise student achievement by improving teachers’ knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of American history.
A child who was in the first grade when the program started in 2001 would now be a junior in high school. So it is no exaggeration to say Senator Byrd’s love of American history has been passed on to an entire generation of America’s school children. Among his many accomplishments, that is one of his greatest legacies.
Courtesy of the U.S. Senate Historical Office, here are some of the milestones of Senator Byrd’s career:
Beginning in 1980, and over the next ten years, Senator Byrd delivered more than one hundred floor speeches detailing the history of the U.S. Senate.
U.S. Senate Institutional Records
- Longest-serving member of Congress, with 20,996 days (57 years, 5 months, 26 days). (On November 18, 2009, Senator Byrd surpassed the service record of Carl T. Hayden to become the longest-serving member of Congress, with 20,774 days of service.)
- Longest serving U.S. Senator in history, at 18,805 days (51 years, 5 months, 26 days). (Senator Byrd had served 17,327 days in the U.S. Senate on June 12, 2006—making him the longest serving U.S. Senator in history.)
- Only person elected to nine full terms in the U.S. Senate.
- Since January 3, 1959, Senator Byrd served with a total of 424 senators.
- Presided over the shortest session of the U.S. Senate in history. (6/10ths of a second, February 27, 1989)
- Presided over the Senate for the longest continuous period in history. (21 hour, 8 minutes, March 7-8, 1960)
- Served on a U.S. Senate committee longer than any other senator in history. (U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, January 14, 1959-June 28, 2010)
U.S. Senate Voting Records
- Cast more roll-call votes than any other U.S. senator, at 18,689. (Cast record-breaking vote number 12,134 on April 27, 1990)
- Cast 4,705 consecutive votes—the third highest consecutive vote total in U.S. Senate history. (Behind Senator William Proxmire [D-WI], with 10,252 consecutive votes, and Senator Charles Grassley [R-IA], who cast his 5,400th consecutive roll call vote on Feb. 9, 2009.)
U.S. Senate Leadership
Held the most leadership positions in the U.S. Senate (secretary of the majority conference, majority whip, minority leader, majority leader, and president pro tempore.
Name of source: Lee White at the National Coaliton for History
SOURCE: Lee White at the National Coaliton for History (6-28-10)
On June 21, the Advisory Committee on the Records of Congress (ACRC) met at the U.S Capitol Visitors Center. The Advisory Committee is comprised of the officials in Congress responsible for its records (Clerk of the House, Secretary of the Senate, Senate Historian, and House Historian) and the Archivist of the United States, who is responsible for the administration of the archived records of Congress.
House and Senate leadership appoint public members of the committee, who represent historians, political scientists, congressional archivists, and other users and caretakers of legislative records. The Committee meets twice a year as required by law and continues to work actively to promote a more complete documentation of the legislative process.
Clerk of the House Lorraine Miller began the meeting by recognizing the excellent work being done by the House Office of History and Preservation. She cited numerous initiatives including an oral history project which conducts interviews with current and former Members of the House as well as selected staff, a new history of Hispanic-Americans in Congress which is currently in production, and the publication of a new booklet on Statuary Hall.
Later in the meeting, a demonstration was provided of a new service available on the Clerk’s website called “House Live” (www.houselive.gov). The website not only provides real-time video of proceedings on the House floor, but also includes a searchable database of video from the beginning of this year’s session of the 111th Congress. Expansion of the system to include video of committee hearings has been discussed, but is not expected in the near future.
Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson noted that, for the first time, both the Offices of the Majority and Minority Leader in the Senate now have archivists on their staff. She reported that the Banking Committee has become the sixth Senate committee to hire an archivist.
Archivist of the United States David Ferriero reported on his first seven months in office. He noted that he had been a witness at four congressional oversight hearings thus far. He cited changing the culture at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) remained a major challenge along with electronic records, and the constant need for more space. He reported the Clinton Library had supplied over 165,000 pages of documents relating to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s tenure during the Clinton administration to the Senate Judiciary Committee. He expressed his strong support for the Center for Legislative Archives and stated he would do all he could to ensure that it had adequate resources.
Sheryl Vogt, current president of the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress (ACSC), reported on the organization’s annual meeting that was held in Washington in May. The meeting included sessions on best practices for establishing a congressional center, reflections by former Members of Congress concerning the preservation of their records and other topics. She also reported on the creation of a new interactive ACSC website.
U.S. Senate Archivist Karen Paul said that as a result of the ACSC session with congressional correspondents, she has been reaching out to journalists to increase the awareness of the importance of them preserving records of their coverage, and finding a repository for them. She spoke about the challenges of expediting the declassification of the records of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and reported that 145 cubic feet of records from the Church Committee were candidates for declassification. Ms. Paul reported that 15% of the Senate will be retiring at the end of this Congress and that 9 Senators had settled on repositories for their records.
House Archivist Robin Reeder stated that she continues to meet with House committees and is developing recommendations to help them address electronic records preservation. She reported that the House archival staff has installed compact shelving that will increase storage capacity by 65%.
Richard Hunt, Director of the Center for Legislative Archives, presented an update on his office’s activities and provided the ACRC members with a written report. Discussion centered on the status of the Task Force on the Next Generation Finding Aids. The Task Force is charged with the development of enhanced search techniques to improve public access to the records of Congress. Hunt reported that the effort had not been proceeding as quickly as he had hoped. He said that a contract to hire a full-time team of experts would be signed soon and that he expects be able to provide the ACRC with a set of recommendations by the time it meets in December.
The meeting concluded with a presentation by William J. Bosanko, Director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) at the National Archives. He provided an update on the implementation of President Obama’s Executive Order 13526 dealing with declassification that was issued at the end of 2009. He noted that many of the requirements imposed by the EO reflected the recommendations made in a report, Improving Declassification, that was issued by the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) in 2008. Bosanko reported that the PIDB would be holding a public meeting on July 22 specifically devoted to the issue of declassification of congressional records.
Name of source: Austrian Independent
SOURCE: Austrian Independent (6-29-10)
SORA researcher Günther Ogris and historian Oliver Rathkolb said today (Tues) they found that 36.5 per cent of Austrians claimed that Austria – which was annexed by the Third Reich in March 1983 – was dictator Adolf Hitler’s first victim. Only 25 per cent dismiss this theory, they added....
Name of source: Austin American-Statesman
SOURCE: Austin American-Statesman (6-28-10)
Those were among the questions raised in a public forum Monday that drew about 45 attendees. The public discussion was the second of two public forums to gather input on whether UT should rename Simkins. The advisory committee that will make a recommendation on the matter held its last meeting, which was closed to the public, afterward.
The 21-person advisory committee will issue its recommendation to UT President William Powers Jr. this week, said Gregory Vincent, the university's vice president for diversity and community engagement. Ultimately, the UT System Board of Regents will decide whether to rename the dorm....
Name of source: Mnchester
SOURCE: Mnchester (6-28-10)
Plato was the Einstein of Greece’s Golden Age and his work founded Western culture and science. Dr Jay Kennedy’s findings are set to revolutionise the history of the origins of Western thought.
Dr Kennedy, whose findings are published in the leading US journal Apeiron, reveals that Plato used a regular pattern of symbols, inherited from the ancient followers of Pythagoras, to give his books a musical structure. A century earlier, Pythagoras had declared that the planets and stars made an inaudible music, a ‘harmony of the spheres’. Plato imitated this hidden music in his books.
The hidden codes show that Plato anticipated the Scientific Revolution 2,000 years before Isaac Newton, discovering its most important idea – the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics. The decoded messages also open up a surprising way to unite science and religion. The awe and beauty we feel in nature, Plato says, shows that it is divine; discovering the scientific order of nature is getting closer to God. This could transform today’s culture wars between science and religion....
Name of source: The Hindu
SOURCE: The Hindu (6-25-10)
Now, a freelance archaeologist, K. Venkateswara Rao, has discovered traces of existence of Neolithic civilisation atop the fortress, the first-of-its kind finding at Kondaveedu fort. Mr. Rao, who retired as deputy director in the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh, recently discovered a Megalithic menhir at Karehttp://hnn.us/blog_entry.php?blog_id=41mpudi....
Name of source: Science News
SOURCE: Science News (6-25-10)
The find extends the known record of copper smelting by about 500 years, an archaeological team headed by Miljana Radivojević and Thilo Rehren of University College London reports in an upcoming Journal of Archaeological Science. The pair were joined by Serbian researchers, led by Dušan Šljivar of the National Museum Belgrade, and German scientists directed by Ernst Pernicka of the University of Tübingen.
Chemical and microscopic analyses of previously unearthed material from Serbia’s Belovode site have identified pieces of copper slag, the residue of an intense heating process used to separate copper from other ore elements. The raw material came from nearby copper-ore deposits in Serbia or Bulgaria, they add....
Name of source: The Star (UK)
SOURCE: The Star (UK) (6-26-10)
John Gilpin, a woodlands officer in the Parks and Countryside department, stumbled upon the find in Ecclesall Woods.
He discovered a boulder with a series of markings, lines and cuts - which, after being examined by experts, has been declared a significant archaeological find.
Jim McNeil, of South Yorkshire Archaeological Service, said: "I was called in and recorded the discovery, taking photographs....
Name of source: Medieval News
SOURCE: Medieval News (6-24-10)
The archaeological records, maps, drawings and photographs focusing on the Cathedral Precincts have been compiled under a joint project by the Cathedral and Peterborough City Council.
Archaeologists and planning officers have compiled the records, which will eventually be made available online, with support from English Heritage, the Church Commissioners, the Institute for Archaeologists, the Anthony Mellows Memorial Trust and the Marc Fitch Fund.
The Dean of Peterborough, the Very Reverend Charles Taylor, said: “We are delighted that the partnership between the Cathedral and the city council means this fascinating survey is now ready to be launched into the public domain. We are grateful to all who have worked on the project and I hope that many people will now take the opportunity to find out more about Peterborough's rich history and heritage.”
City council deputy leader Councillor Matthew Lee added: “The Cathedral Precincts area contains archaeological remains dating from the establishment of the first abbey in the Anglo-Saxon era. The compilation of these historical documents brings together a valuable resource that will benefit academic and casual students of the city’s heritage.”
The project was undertaken by a team led by cathedral archaeologist Dr Jackie Hall and former city council archaeologist Dr Ben Robinson. They were helped by Matt Bradley of Oxford Archaeology, who re-surveyed the Precincts.
Dr Hall said: “For local history and archaeology enthusiasts, for students, school children and heritage professionals, this project marks a big step forwards in our knowledge and understanding of the origins and development of the abbey, the city and the cathedral.
“The project has assembled hundreds of diverse images and documents including buildings that have vanished, Victorian excavations, ancient maps or World War II bomb shelters. Some of the records are already available and they will shortly be accessible online.
Dr Rebecca Casa-Hatton, the city council’s historic environment record officer, added: “Peterborough’s origins date from the founding of an Anglo-Saxon Abbey in 655 AD on the site of what is today the cathedral so we hope people have fun investigating its origins and archaeology.”
The material examined includes medieval historical documents, photographs, engravings, archaeological and architectural drawings, newspaper cuttings and cathedral chapter minutes. When it is fully online, people will be able to conduct an armchair survey from the comfort of their home. Additional guidance will also be available from Peterborough Museum or the local studies room at Peterborough Central Library.
For more information about the project contact Dr Hall via the Peterborough Cathedral Chapter Office (Telephone: 01733 355315 or email email@example.com) or Dr Casa-Hatton (Telephone: 01733 864702 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
SOURCE: Medieval News (6-25-10)
Royal Palace of Harold Bluetooth Discovered in Denmark
Archaeologists from the University of Aarhus in Denmark have discovered a royal palace belonging to Harald Bluetooth, who ruled both Denmark and Norway during the later years of the tenth century.
Mads Dengsø Jessen, the archaeologist from Århus University who led the dig said four buildings from Harald’s time had been discovered at the site, which is in southern Jutland. The buildings are characteristic of those built at round fortresses known as Trelleborg.
Jessen explained, "Here we have found four houses of Trelleborg type from Harald Bluetooth's time which lies within the palisade and are of the same type as the barracks houses that are known from the ring fortresses Aggersborg, Fyrkat and Trelleborg. This tells us that we have uncovered a large complex, and the strict geometrical construction is a typical example of Harald’s work. The finds show that there was a royal construction of dimensions that could compare with similar building complexes on the continent, such as those by the Holy Roman Emperor in Germany."
The archaeologists also believe that Harald's royal hall is probably underneath a church on the site. The site is located in the village of Jelling, which is famous as the place where two great Tumulus mounds were erected in the late 900s. They seem to have been the burial mounds for Harald's parents. Also, Harald erected two large stones with runic inscriptions in this area, known as the Jelling Stones.
The research being done on this site is likely to change medieval historians perceptions about these Scandinavian fortresses. Jessen noted that, "The traditional interpretation is that they served only as military installations, but the identification of a large royal courtyard in Jelling with the same type of architecture that suggests ring fortresses also served as a hangout for the king when he traveled around the kingdom."
Archaeologists working in the English county of Norfolk uncovered two oyster shells in the churchyard of St. Nicholas' Church in Dereham. One of the shells contained remains of several paints, including yellow, a reddish, earthy brown colour and a small spot of black. The archaeologists believe that this shell was used as a palette for an artist working in the medieval period, perhaps the 12th or 13th centuries.
The discovery was part of a dig on the boundary wall of St. Nicholas' Church - last year a 20th century wall was removed from this spot, allowing archaeologists to dig a trench which discovered the shells, along with an ivory handle and a knife with antler handle. It is believed that these artifacts were rubbish from the church of a wealthy household living nearby. Click here to see some images from this dig on Flikr.
Workman digging in the English city of York have come across the remains of two human bodies in Lansdowne Terrance. Police determined that the remains were historical and have turned the investigation over to the York Archaeological Trust.
Martin Stockwell, field manager at the trust, told the York Press that “The builders have been doing some work there to build a new extension and located some human remains. We think this may have been part of St Edward’s Church which was located on the site. It was a medieval parish church taken down in the early 1500s.
“When they constructed Lansdowne Terrace, there is a story of the contractor who was carrying out the work finding a tonne of human remains so it looks like there was an extensive burial ground there.”
Archaeologists were surprised to discover a medieval burial ground just outside St John’s Church in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. The bodies of four people, which are at least 500 years old, were uncovered during preparations for a redevelopment in Peterborough's city centre.
Adam Yates, project manager for Northamptonshire Archaeologists, told the Peterborough Today, “Records make no reference to a grave yard next to the church, so it was a surprise all round to find burials had taken place there. The burial ground itself probably dates back to the early days of the church, in or around the 15th century. They are consistent with churchyard burials as they are all lined up.”
East Lothian, Scotland
An archaeological dig in East Lothian, Scotland has uncovered a medieval pit with a number of pottery shards dating back to the late-12th and 13th centuries. Tom Addyman, director of Addyman Archaeology, told the annual conference of the Medieval Pottery Research Group that "this is an extremely important find. The pit itself is a very odd feature. It appears to be some sort of rubbish pit or latrine but we don't know exactly what it was used for so that is being investigated at the moment."
He added, "I was very hopeful that we might find something, though I felt it might be a long shot to find anything of great significance, so I was absolutely delighted when this was uncovered. In spite of their date the pieces were most beautifully made by a potter of great competence working at a fast wheel to produce straight sided vessels whose ribbed sides are only millimetres thick."
The Ministry of Tourism and Archaeology in the Palestinian territory of Gaza has announced the discovery of a house believed to be about 800 years old. Workers digging in a street in the old center of the city of Gaza came across the remains of the building, which may have been a house or a tomb. Further digging has revealed several arches inscribed with multiple bright motifs.
SOURCE: Medieval News (6-26-10)
The University of Alberta's Sandra Garvie-Lok can't tell exactly how the victim on her table died, but she has a good idea. Given the visible previous cranial trauma on the body, the events that took place around the time of the murder and the location where his remains were found, she is willing to bet that this John Doe was murdered. Yet, no suspect will ever be tried or convicted for the crime. And she's OK with that.
That's because Garvie-Lok is an anthropologist, and her "victim" died almost 1,500 years ago in the ancient Greek city of Nemea during the Slavic invasion of Greece. Garvie-Lok, whose findings on her deceased subject were recently published in the International Journal of Historical Archaeology, suggests the victim was likely an eyewitness to Slavic invasion of Nemea. The deceased possibly used the tunnel entrance as an escape from the invaders, where he died/was killed.
"The Slavs and Avars (another group of eastern European peoples) were pretty brutal," said Garvie-Lok, a professor in the department of anthropology. "If he was hiding in that unpleasant place, he was probably in a lot of danger. So, he hid out, but he didn't make it."
A specialist in osteology—a field of anthropology that studies bones—Garvie-Lok was called in to the site to try to determine how the subject died. However, aside from the damage to the skull, which Garvie-Lok says are not related to the fatal injury that caused his death, there are no markings on the bones that would give her a definitive idea of the circumstances of the victim's final hours or days.
But, she knows from the region's history, and from how he was found, that he lived during a very turbulent time. Like a detective, she pieces together a probable scenario of what happened to around the time he succumbed to his injuries. Add into the mystery that he was found with some personal possession and several coins, and Garvie-Lok can put a bit more together about his life.
"It was common in Greece when things fell apart like this for people to bury coins under a rock or inside a wall, hoping that whoever was coming through wouldn't find it and maybe they could collect the coins and move on after things calmed down," said Garvie-Lok. "Of course, things didn't calm down for this guy."
The ancient fatality was likely just a local peasant farmer and not a soldier, she noted, since it was uncommon for the leaders of the Byzantine Empire to conscript. While it is possible that he was simply a "wrong place, wrong time" victim of a gallop-by spearing, Garvie-Lok says he may have decided to join the fight in the hopes of defending himself, his family and his community. "Or he was pressed into service because everything was just going south, we can't be sure," says Garvie-Lok. "Either way, that he was hiding with his possession when he died is a pretty clear reflection that, for him, his world was ending," she said.
If her work sounds a lot like a form of ancient-crime CSI, Garvie-Lok agrees that while there are some parallels to solving mysteries, both ancient and current-day, her job demands far more time and scrutiny than an hour-long television show depicts. Observing the surroundings of where things are found, looking for small clues and piecing together tiny bits of detail to try to put together a probable theory of what happened are traits that anthropologists have in common in with police scientists. The advantage in current crime-scene investigation is that police can formulate and hypothesize about how a crime was committed and then fill in more details when a suspect confesses. Her work, she muses, is a little more vague.
"In this job, you're always talking about likelihoods," she said."Until we develop a time machine, we can't go back and know for sure."
For the would-be forensics technician who expects that the work will be much like it is on TV—"the whole 'we've-got-the-answer-in-12-hours' thing"—as she puts it, Garvie-Lok cautions that her work is much more laborious and time-consuming. Working in often-adverse conditions and facing long hours poring over the minutiae of a site—or a body—is what it is all about. That is where the story is found, and that is what draws her to this work.
"This kind of connection to people's lives is why I got into this," said Garvie-Lok. "I really do feel while I'm studying the bones that I'm touching someone else's life, I'm reaching out to the past. That's why I like this job."
The article, "A Possible Witness to the Sixth Century Slavic Invasion of Greece from the Stadium Tunnel at Ancient Nemea," by Sandra Garvie-Lok is in International Journal of Historical Archaeology, Volume 14, Number 2 (June 2010). Click here to see the article on the SpringerLink website.
SOURCE: Medieval News (6-28-10)
The first of its kind in the country, a 50-strong team of volunteers is now in place and busy taking photographs of figurative church carvings such as gargoyles. Around 300 churches locally feature stylised or caricatured human heads and weird and wonderful imaginary beasts which so far, have failed to attract the interests of art historians or specialists.
The information collected through Project Gargoyle, led by volunteer Bob Trubshaw and supported by the County Council, will become a digital resource offering fascinating insights into medieval minds.
Mr. Trubshaw said, "Leicestershire has a wealth of wonderful medieval art decorating its churches but to date, no one knows exactly what we have. Many of these carvings are superb examples of medieval art and deserve to be much better known and understood.
"At this stage we simply do not know how many carvings there - we think there are around 10,000 ranging from gargoyles which are pulling faces or poking their tongues out, to ones depicting fantasy entities such as green men or dragons."
Byron Rhodes, County Council Cabinet Member for the historic and natural environment, added, "This innovative project is run entirely by volunteers and I'd like to thank them for helping to record an important chapter in Leicestershire's art history.
"When complete, it will be a tremendous addition to the county's archives and hopefully inspire other areas to document their medieval carvings in a similar manner."
The Diocese of Leicester, the Diocese of Peterborough and Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society are involved in the initiative which was first set up last year.
For more information on the project, please visit the County Council's website - www.leics.gov.uk/gargoyle or contact co-ordinator Bob Trubshaw on 01509 880725 or email email@example.com
Name of source: Yahoo News
SOURCE: Yahoo News (6-29-10)
She skirted questions aplenty on Day 2 of her confirmation hearings, and held her tongue when Republicans gave it to her good.
Grilled about her actions as Harvard Law dean to restrict military recruitment on campus, Kagan got emotional when one senator read aloud from an opinion piece by a Marine captain and Harvard Law graduate who wrote of her support for the military.
Kagan even poked a little fun at the justices whom she hopes to soon join. Speaking about her support for allowing cameras in the Supreme Court, Kagan called it an incredible sight to watch the justices during oral arguments, but also allowed that some cases "will put you to sleep, you know."....
SOURCE: Yahoo News (6-29-10)
There's just one problem here: Reagan went to Eureka College in Illinois from 1928 to 1932, the Alaska Dispatch reports. He didn't move to California until five years after his graduation. There's no Eureka College in California (though there's a town of Eureka that has a College of the Redwoods nearby).
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports on a more serious recent mistake of Palin's political organization. Administrators for her legal defense fund accidentally sent out a rough draft of an email to thousands of supporters that falsely claimed she faced "millions of dollars" in legal fees because of "frivolous" ethics suits against her. The corrected version of the email said the fees numbered in the hundreds of thousands, not millions.
Critics say several more claims in the email were not true. The email said 26 of 27 ethics violations against Palin were dismissed outright, which is false: Three moved into the investigative phase. One inquiry resulted in a cash settlement; another found that ethics had been abridged but declined to recommend legal proceedings because the charge involved the dismissal of the head of the Alaska state trooper force, who was an at-will employee of the governor.
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (6-29-10)
Rock engravings from the Copper Age found all over Europe in remote, hidden locations, indicate the artwork was more than mere images, researchers from Cambridge University and Sankt Poelten's university of applied sciences (FH) in Austria believe.
Cambridge University and FH Sankt Poelten have now launched a "Prehistoric Picture Project" with Weimar's Bauhaus university in Germany to recreate these films, using computer technology to establish the sequence of images and animate them like in a cartoon....
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (6-29-10)
The South Pier at Penzance harbour was already a Grade II listed building, but it has now been given Grade II* status.
It means the historical significance of the pier is of particularly importance.
The upgraded listing will be one of the factors the government will have to take into account before deciding if the harbour can be redeveloped.
SOURCE: BBC (6-29-10)
The golden age of the great Russian "illegals" - who were not just living without diplomatic cover and the protection that this provides, but were pretending to be nationalities other than Russian - lies back in the midst of time before even the dawn of the Cold War.
In the 1930s, the KGB's predecessor sent its men under deep cover into Europe, where they began recruiting young, idealistic men drawn to communism as the only force opposing fascism.
On a park bench in London a young Kim Philby, recently out of Cambridge, agreed to penetrate the British establishment.
Many of the methods used by the suspected agents arrested in the US - the "brush contacts" in train stations - would have been familiar to those who recruited and ran Philby even if others - the use of wireless networks and steganography, the art of secret writing - would not....
Name of source: Hutchinson News (Kansas)
SOURCE: Hutchinson News (Kansas) (6-26-10)
Dig deeper, Kansas researchers Leo Oliva and George Elmore say. Evidence rests below the soil, in old documents stored in Washington and in the diaries of the past.
It once was a Cheyenne and Sioux village of around 1,500, dotted by 300 lodges - a wintering spot before the spring buffalo hunts.
Until, that is, the U.S. military burned the entire village to the ground.
More than 140 years have passed since the act that historians say was a pivotal point in the Indian wars of 1864-1868. Now these historians are trying to put the spot back on the map - hoping the U.S. government will declare it a National Historic Site....
Name of source: Irish Examiner
SOURCE: Irish Examiner (6-24-10)
However, a robbery at a Roscommon pharmacy started gardaí on a hunt that ended up with the discovery of 4,000-year-old gold artefacts.
Now known as the Coggalbeg Hoard, the early Bronze Age gold dates to 2300-1800 BC and now is on display at the National Museum in Kildare Street, Dublin.
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (6-29-10)