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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: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (6-9-10)
A perfectly preserved shoe, 1,000 years older than Egypt's Great Pyramid and 400 years older than Stonehenge, has been found -- buried in sheep dung in a cave in Armenia.
The 5,500 year-old shoe was discovered by a team of archaeologists in a cave in the Vayotz Dzor province of Armenia, on the Iranian and Turkish borders. The shoe is the oldest piece of leather footwear in the world, a fact that came as a shock to the discoverers....
SOURCE: Fox News (6-10-10)
A video posted on YouTube shows LA social studies teacher Jose Lara interviewing teachers and students on May 28 at the headquarters of an organization calling for a Mexican revolution on U.S. soil. Soon after he shot the video, many in the group left for an overnight "freedom ride" to Phoenix to protest what Lara tells the camera is a "racist and outrageous" law.
Four days later, the school board president implored the superintendent of schools to ensure that students in the district be taught that Arizona's law is "un-American" and Jim Crow-like. The law, passed in April, empowers law enforcement officials to question the immigration status of people they think may be in the country illegally....
SOURCE: Fox News (6-10-10)
Thomas' alma mater, Wayne State University, has already made its decision. The school announced Wednesday that it will keep the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in the Media award, despite what it described as her "wholly inappropriate comments."
But the Society of Professional Journalists has not decided what to do with its Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement. President Kevin Smith said board members will likely consider whether to strip her name at their July meeting.
He said it would not be an easy decision....
Name of source: Live Science
SOURCE: Live Science (6-9-10)
Archaeologists identified the remains of honeybees — including workers, drones, pupae, and larvae — inside about 30 clay cylinders thought to have been used as beehives at the site of Tel Rehov in the Jordan valley in northern Israel. This is the first such discovery from ancient times.
The hives have a small hole on one side for the bees to come and go, and on the other side is a lid for the beekeeper to use to access the honeycomb. The archeologists used carbon dating on grains that had spilled from a broken storage jar next to the hives to estimate that they were about 3,000 years old....
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (6-4-10)
Officers from Thames Valley Police were called to the 3,000-year-old chalk monument at about 2200 BST on Thursday.
They found the head and eye of the horse had been sprayed with purple paint. A banner that read "fathers 4 justice stop the secret family courts" was recovered from the scene.
New Fathers 4 Justice and Real Fathers for Justice both denied responsibility....
SOURCE: BBC (6-9-10)
Some 90% of them were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust. Today there are only a few thousand Jews left in Poland to look after the country's 1,400-or-so Jewish cemeteries, most of which are overgrown or in ruins.
But now prisoners have volunteered to take part in a nationwide programme organised by the prison service and the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland.
Anti-Semitic incidents are on the decline in Poland, but the country has a reputation for being hostile to Jews.
It largely stems from the war when the Nazis built many of their death camps in Poland and rewarded Poles financially to inform on their Jewish neighbours....
SOURCE: BBC (6-10-10)
Thirteen people were shot dead by paratroops in Londonderry on 30 January 1972. A 14th person died later.
The Guardian says Lord Saville's report - which has taken 12 years to compile and is due to be published on Tuesday - will say some were unlawfully killed.
The government said such speculation added to the stress of those involved....
SOURCE: BBC (6-10-10)
Maddie Matthews, 15, of Dyffryn Ardudwy, Gwynedd, was shocked to learn Barmouth has no plaque to mark the sailor's efforts to rescue survivors.
Fifth Officer Lowe, played by Hollywood actor Ioan Gruffudd in the 1997 film, rowed a lifeboat back to pull four people from the freezing water.
Maddie wants the memorial up in time for the tragedy's centenary in 2012....
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (6-7-10)
In the current Journal of Archaeological Science, a team led by Ruth Blasco of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Spain, describes lion bones found at the Gran Dolina site in Sierra de Atapuerca. The cave contains hundreds of animal bones, largely red deer and horses, but also a few carnivores in rock layers dating to 250,000 to 350,000 years ago.
One set of lion bones stands out among the other carnivores like foxes and bears. "The relatively high occurrence of cutmarks on lion bones (11.76%) indicates an association between hominids (humans) and this predator," says the study, adding, "cutmarks related to the skinning and defleshing are identified and the human use of bone marrow is documented by diagnostic elements of anthropogenic (man-made) breakage. All these evidences suggest that the lion was used for food."...
Name of source: Press and Journal (UK)
SOURCE: Press and Journal (UK) (6-10-10)
The experts want to excavate the home of the Book of Deer, which was written by Scottish monks around the 10th century.
The gospel book contains the earliest examples of Gaelic literature and is thought to be the oldest-surviving manuscript in Scotland.
It is now on display at Cambridge University and is held up as a highly-significant volume which gives an insight into pre-Norman culture and society in the area previously known as Pictland.
The book contains seven handwritten passages of Gaelic text, written in the margins....
Name of source: CNN
The investigation culminated in a change in leadership at the historic cemetery that has been home to U.S. veterans since 1864.
McHugh launched the Army inspector general's investigation last fall after reports of cremated remains being buried in the wrong gravesites, according to Army officials. It was an expansion of an ongoing investigation into cemetery management issues launched by previous Secretary Peter Geren.
The investigation cited missing burial records, unmarked graves and burial urns put in a spillage pile, where dirt dug up for gravesites is left. Inaccurate burial maps are a "systemic problem," investigators said....
Sixteen years after the killings in which an estimated 800,000 to one million Rwandan Tutsis and moderate Hutus died, Paul Rusesabagina says lessons have not been learned from past mistakes.
During the genocide, Rusesabagina, the real-life inspiration for the 2004 film "Hotel Rwanda," helped to shelter more than 1,200 people at the Milles Collines hotel, where he was assistant manager and used many of his business and political connections to help keep the building safe.
A spokesman from the country's foreign ministry declined to comment on Rusesabagina's claims, telling CNN: "We have nothing to say about this."
His comments come amid growing international concern over the arrests of Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire, an ethnic Hutu and her U.S. lawyer....
The men were found guilty of a range of crimes including genocide, extermination, murder, and persecution, according to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
The trial was the largest one to date held at the tribunal, the ICTY said.
More than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were killed in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in 1995 when ethnic Serb troops overran a United Nations safe area. The five-day slaughter was the worst European massacre since World War II and was described by the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal as "the triumph of evil."
The Serbian Parliament officially condemned the massacre in March....
The protests were to have taken place Saturday. Iranians went to the polls a year ago on that day, and when word of fraud surfaced, so did public outrage. Widespread unrest gripped the Islamic republic as protesters clashed with police.
But the hard-line government's crackdown on the opposition -- known as the Green Movement and led by former presidential candidates Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karrubi -- has been, at times, brutal.
And the government has steadily been tightening its grip throughout the year, said a report issued Thursday by Human Right Watch, which has been monitoring the situation through interviews with people in Iran....
SOURCE: CNN (6-8-10)
Soccer can affect lives on a national and international scale, inspiring revolutions and causing wars as well as having the capability to create peace and lift entire nations.
The "Football War" between Honduras and El Salvador in 1969 is perhaps the most famous example of the sport's wider implications. The two Central American nations famously came to blows following their qualification match for the 1970 World Cup....
SOURCE: CNN (6-7-10)
Former army Capt. Brian Freeman, an expert on the Kokoda Trail – a 60-mile trek through rugged mountainous country and rainforest of the island – said Monday he was led to the Eora Creek battle site where he found the remains of the soldiers.
The site about half a mile from the village of Eora Creek was believed to be the location of the last major battle that was pivotal in Australia’s campaign against the Japanese in Papau New Guinea.
Although the site was known to local villages, jungles reclaimed it after the battle of Eora Creek. Although locals hunted on the plateau surrounding the site, they avoided the 600-square-meter battle ground because of a belief that spirits of the dead were still present in the "lost battlefield."
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (6-10-10)
Scientists examining the saint's mummified body now say she had a congenital heart defect that may have ultimately killed her as a teenager.
Ruggero D'Anastasio of the G. d'Annunzio University in Chieti, Italy, and colleagues analyzed pictures and X-rays of the medieval saint's preserved heart, which looks like a petrified lump of rock....
SOURCE: AP (6-9-10)
The Coast Guard was trying to locate the two military shells, which the crew tossed overboard in about 60 feet of water about 45 miles south of Long Island, said Coast Guard Petty Officer James Rhodes. He acknowledged finding the shells will be difficult.
The military used the ocean as a dumping ground for munitions from after World War II through 1970. While the tons of old chemical weapons in offshore waters present a danger to fishermen, experts don't believe they are a possible source of weapons for terrorists.
The Atlantic City, N.J.-based vessel was fishing Sunday in a charted munitions dumping zone, but the designation is just a warning and carries no fishing restrictions, Rhodes said....
SOURCE: AP (6-10-10)
The strapless, silk taffeta dress' revealing cut and striking black color caused a minor scandal when Diana was pictured wearing it to a charity event in 1981. But while some thought it too daring, it helped turn the 19-year-old royal bride-to-be into an overnight fashion icon....
The [Museo de la Moda in Santiago] purchased the garment Tuesday for nearly 200,000 pounds (more than $275,000) — several times the original estimated value....
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
After months of renegotiations, New York city's insurer, the WTC Captive Insurance Company, has agreed to increase the payout, up from the original settlement which was between $575 million and $657 million.
The victims' lawyers have also agreed to reduce their fees to a maximum of a quarter of the settlement amount, down from a third. Plaintiffs will therefore get to keep an additional $50 million....
The accusations against Lars Goran Wahlstrom were made by Anders Hoegstrom, 34, who is in custody in Poland for his alleged role in the robbery.
Polish prosecutors investigating the crime made no comment about Mr Hoegstrom’s allegations but confirmed they had asked Sweden for additional help....
The most advanced civilisations are believed to have centred around the near East.
They would rise early with the sun to tend their crops or feed their livestock.
Diets were healthy. Meals would consist of milk, fruit, fish and meat – usually lamb or goat. Barley and bread was also available....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (6-9-10)
But the landmark skyscraper's owners have declined to illuminate the building in honour of the late Mother Teresa, in a decision that has angered some Catholics.
The building's owners have not commented to the media.
In New York, Mother Teresa helped open a pioneering hospice for AIDS patients in Manhattan's Greenwich Village....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (6-9-10)
Cpl Roberts, who stood two feet below him at 5ft 6ins, had the daunting job of frisking the German lance corporal for weapons before taking him prisoner.
Out of shot of the photo, Cpl Robert's comrades and even the captured German soldiers sniggered together at the sight of the little and large encounter.
It was a moment of lightness during the grim duty of war.
For just a few minutes before the picture was taken, Cpl Roberts faced a life-or-death duel with another German soldier who pulled out a pistol as he pretended to surrender.
Luckily, he raised his gun in the nick of time and shot the enemy soldier dead....
Holding the picture, Cpl Roberts said: "I didn't take a lot of notice of this guy at the time because I was so focused on what the Germans were doing after what had happened to me.
"I just passed the prisoners on one after the other after searching them.
"But my mates who were watching the rest of the men saw this giant of a guy approach me and I was aware they and the Germans were having a good laugh.
"The Germans were saying that he was the tallest man in the German army, he was 7ft 6ins tall....
Name of source: NPR
SOURCE: NPR (6-10-10)
Art historians believe it's an extremely rare Civil War-era photograph of children who were either slaves at the time or recently emancipated.
The photo, which may have been taken in the early 1860s, was a testament to a dark part of American history, said Will Stapp, a photographic historian and founding curator of the National Portrait Gallery's photographs department at the Smithsonian Institution.
In April, the photo was found at a moving sale in Charlotte, accompanied by a document detailing the sale of John for $1,150, not a small sum in 1854....
Name of source: Washington Post
SOURCE: Washington Post (6-10-10)
Eight months later, Floyd is still looking for work but has volunteered to reopen the museum for tours several Sundays a month through the summer to make sure the 18th-century property and its history remain in the public eye.
Although museum President John Walton said in September that he hoped to raise the $100,000 needed to continue operating within six months to a year, he is now less optimistic....
Name of source: New York Daily News
SOURCE: New York Daily News (6-10-10)
Neighborhood activists hope an archaeological excavation will unearth Revolutionary War artifacts beneath Clove Road, a tiny, crumbling street.
The dig will be launched this summer - despite a study that was lukewarm on whether the street was an American outpost from the 1776 Battle of Brooklyn.
The 2002 report by the RBA Group, a private engineering and architectural firm hired by the city, found that 800 American soldiers guarded the road - then known as the Bedford Pass - in August 1776 before retreating from advancing British forces.
Even though evidence was thin that important archeological objects would be found, the report concluded the dig should go forward because it "would enhance our understanding of American defenses in Brooklyn" and "provide a glimpse" of how camp life was for the troops.
The city Transportation Department wanted to reconstruct Clove Road - a one-block stretch of cobblestones, cracked pavement and potholes - but halted its plans to wait to see what the 2002 study would find.
The project languished until Councilwoman Letitia James (WFP-Prospect Heights) provided $200,000 to fund it last year.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (6-8-10)
Held every four to five weeks at different venues around the capital, Blitz Party is billed as a 1940s evening with community spirit, where people have the chance to escape the drab safety of the modern world for a time when Londoners defied Hitler's Luftwaffe bombers from behind the blackout curtains.
"This seems to have hit the ticket," said Blitz Party founder and organiser Mark Holdstock, who launched the club night last year. "We get people that know how to have a party and have probably been going to parties and clubs for quite a while -- older than your new, younger clubbers....
The first Blitz Party was held in a small bar for 80 people but the more recent June event held to tie in with D-Day landings sold out its 1,000 capacity weeks in advance.
"We've been very true and good value," he added. "People have seen that we make an effort and it's been paid back to us ten times over."
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (6-10-10)
The court jailed five other defendants for between five and 35 years.
The case is the largest yet at the tribunal, set up to deal with war crimes in the Balkans during the 1990s.
Up to 8,000 Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) were killed in one week in July 1995 around the town of Srebrenica, where a UN safe haven had been declared two years earlier.
It was the worst massacre of the Bosnian war.
If the judgements against Popovic and Beara are upheld, they will be the first suspects to be definitively convicted for committing genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Both men, chiefs of security in parts of the Bosnian Serb army, were found guilty of genocide, extermination, murder and persecution....
Name of source: ABC 7 News
SOURCE: ABC 7 News (6-7-10)
But one proposed location just a half-mile from the historic Gettysburg Civil War battlefield is sparking an outcry from preservationists.
"It's incredibly disrespectful," says Susan Paddock, who lives within a mile of the park and opposes the casino being built at the site of a convention center. "It has no redeeming social value and it's going to hurt Gettysburg and it's going to hurt our family-friendly, diverse small town atmosphere--our rural community. It just doesn't belong here."
The proposed Mason Dixon Casino would include 600 slots and 50 table games. Proponents say it will bring 375 jobs to Adams County, Pennsylvania....
Name of source: FOX News
SOURCE: FOX News (6-9-10)
Wilder Publications warns readers of its reprints of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, Common Sense, the Articles of Confederation, and the Federalist Papers, among others, that “This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today.”
The disclaimer goes on to tell parents that they "might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work."...
SOURCE: FOX News (6-9-10)
The information comes from a “Summary of OCS (Outer Continental Shelf) Spills” on the website of the U.S. Minerals Management Service.
The summary further divides these accidents into spills of 1–thousand barrels or greater. There were 46 of these “medium” and “major” spills in the same 35 year period, with 495, 284 barrels lost (20,801,928 gallons). Eight of these spills were caused by blowouts and eight reached shore. Hurricanes are a very common cause of oil spills. Hurricanes caused 15 of these larger spills (many resulting from Hurricane Katrina), and many more that were smaller than 1-thousand barrels.
As for injuries and fatalities, there were two particularly deadly accidents in the period covered by these statistics. In May of 1970, 11 miles off the Louisiana coast, the Chambers and Kennedy Platform A exploded and burned in 58 feet of water, killing 9 workers. Human error was listed as the cause. 100 barrels were spilled....
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (6-8-10)
Jack Harrison, one of the last of those involved in the 'Great Escape', has passed away, peacefully and quietly, at the age of 97.
It has been 66 years since the dark night when he waited with bated breath, preparing to crawl through ‘Harry’ and under the wire of Stalag Luft III.
Many years after the war the former RAF pilot, and his brave and resourceful comrades, would be immortalised by the iconic 1963 film - starring Richard Attenborough and Steve McQueen - which remains the staple fare of every Christmas Day celebration.
But, by then, the most audacious - and tragic - prisoner-of-war break out of the Second World War was only a memory to the Scots veteran, who had long since returned to his ‘real life’ as a husband, father and classics teacher....
Mr Harrison would go on to live a long and fruitful life, spending the last two-and-a-half years of it in the veterans' hospital at Erskine, in Bishopton, Renfrewshire.
Yesterday a spokesman for the charity that runs the hospital said: ‘It is with the greatest of sadness that we announce the passing of Great Escape veteran Jack Harrison.
‘Mr Harrison, thought to be the last survivor of the escape, passed away with his son, Chris, and daughter, Jane, by his side.’
The success of the film The Great Escape may have elevated the humble Latin teacher to the status of a war hero. But to his family, he will forever be ‘dad’. In a joint statement yesterday, his two children paid tribute to him.
They said: ‘To others, he was considered a war hero, but to us he was much more than that. ‘He was a family man first and foremost. He was also a church elder, a Rotarian, scholar, traveller and athlete. He took up marathon running in his 70s to raise money for charity.
Name of source: Time.com
SOURCE: Time.com (6-9-10)
Most examples of political profanity come from the 20th century and later. Earlier politicians didn't have better manners, they just had fewer of their unofficial remarks recorded. For all we know, Thomas Jefferson could have cursed up a blue streak when he debated the possible revisions to the Declaration of Independence with the Second Continental Congress. We'll never know; the drafting committee didn't keep notes on its meetings. Abraham Lincoln was never caught on tape insulting anyone — mainly because audiotape hadn't been invented yet.
Until recently, vulgar outbursts were often cleaned up before they were reported to the public. Jack Garner, Franklin D. Roosevelt's Vice President from 1933 to 1941, once said the job of VP was "not worth a pitcher of warm piss." In news reports, however, his last word was often changed to spit. After the recording of interviews and speeches became an everyday occurrence, word substitution largely vanished and political discourse was never the same. In 1973, journalist Merle Miller published a collection of taped conversations and interviews with Harry S. Truman, in which the deceased former President was quoted calling General MacArthur a "dumb son of a bitch." (John F. Kennedy used the same term to refer to Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker.)...
Name of source: Dig Triad
SOURCE: Dig Triad (6-9-10)
Proudly on show in the Galileo room are the recently discovered two fingers and a tooth, belonging to the man considered to be the father of modern science. They are now reunited with a better preserved finger that has been on display for many years.
An art collector recently found the tooth, thumb and finger belonging to the Italian scientist Galileo Galilei who died in the 17th century, at an auction selling reliquaries, or relic holders.
The body parts, along with another finger and a vertebrae, were cut from Galileo's corpse by scientists and historians during a burial ceremony held 95 years after his death in 1642.
The relics were passed from collector to collector until they went missing in 1905. The remaining finger and the vertebrae have been conserved since 1737 in a mummified state in museums in Florence and Padua....
Name of source: Press Release
SOURCE: Press Release (6-9-10)
The Museum wishes to express its gratitude for the tremendous outpouring of support it has received from around the world in the wake of this tragedy, particularly the thousands of individuals and organizations who so generously contributed to the special fund established to benefit the Johns family. (This fund was closed in October 2009.)...
Name of source: Medieval News
SOURCE: Medieval News (6-2-10)
The Institute of Medieval Studies will focus on promoting the research activities of graduate students, and will be organizing conferences and an annual colloquium. Moulin adds that they aim "to recreate a “civitas philosophorum” taken in a broad sense, in memory of the development of the University of Paris in the Late Middle Ages. The Institute wishes to promote strong interdisciplinary discussions among scholars and is not devoted solely to philosophers, but is open to theologians, historians, and art specialists. Its members and its invited scholars are welcome to build strong regular and a relationship within the Institute; as well as with the international community and the diverse institutions to which they belong."
L’Institut Catholique de Paris, located in the Latin Quarter of the French capital, teaches about 14 500 students a year and has a faculty of 750. The university was founded in 1875.
Name of source: Medieval News
SOURCE: Medieval News (6-6-10)
Graham Keevil, who is leading the archaeological investigation, believes that the building would have been the home for the warden of the infirmary. The window or door was located after digging about six feet below ground.
He told the BBC, ""We know about the cathedral and the way that developed. We know a bit about the cloister where the monks who worked in the cathedral went about their everyday lives.
"But everything else that goes on in the precinct we really do not know very much about. So to get a major building like this, even from such a relatively small pit, the implications of that window or door are massive in terms of then our understanding of the entire precinct."
In May the archaeologists began working on the grounds of the Cathedral to preserve sectiosn of the wall that once surrounded and protected the Roman town of Durobrivae. They plan to do more trial archaeological pits, survey the wall and carry out emergency repairs.
The wall was probably built in the first half of the third century AD, and was used until the 13th century, when new walls extended the city limits southwards.
SOURCE: Medieval News (6-7-10)
Mason’s Marks refer to marks made on the blocks of walling stone and on moulded stone as part of the construction process, and have been in use for centuries. Academics studying the use of the marks at the University of Warwick claim self-assembly furniture manufacturers could learn a lot from the ancient system and save thousands of pounds in production costs.
The marks are a sophisticated series of symbols which operated outside literacy and enabled instructions to be transferred between the designers and the constructors of buildings across the building world . The system is universal and different versions of Masons’ Marks have been found in use at various sites across the world, over a 4,000 year period. Dr Jenny Alexander from the University of Warwick’s History of Art department said the marks were used for a variety of reasons.
She said: “Each stonemason had his own mark when they were working on part of a specific project, and the mark would identify their work to make sure they got paid. While you can’t use the marks to trace itinerant masons from site to site, as there are too many co-incidences, you can use the marks to tell the story of the building in which they are found. Systems of marks of a related type are still used to identify the grade of stone in quarries today.”
Dr Alexander said the marks were also used to help assemble pieces if they had been carved and then transported to the site of construction.
She said: “Masons’ assembly marks were used to show which piece of stone needed to go alongside another. It was a very simple system that has been replicated across the world for centuries. I think companies who manufacture flat-pack furniture could learn a lot from this system. If they used a system similar to Masons’ assembly marks to show which pieces went together, it could remove the need for the complex and often impenetrable instruction booklets they currently issue in many different languages.”
Dr Alexander’s research is concerned with the architectural history of the great churches and cathedrals of the medieval period, and of the ways in which those buildings were constructed and used. She is interested in the ways in which the medieval, and early-modern construction industry was organised, how masons were trained, how buildings were designed and how the materials used were chosen, supplied, and worked. Dr Alexander is currently working on a book about Mason’s Marks which is due to be published in 2010, and has just gained funding to look at Mason’s Marks in Santiago de Compostela cathedral in Spain.
Name of source: Catholic.net
SOURCE: Catholic.net (6-6-10)
"The Pope also came here truly as a pilgrim to continue the itinerary that he followed in the Holy Land and that he also followed in Malta on the Pauline anniversary," he added.
"So," the priest said, "it is a place of great suggestiveness and density of inspiration for all the themes of evangelization in the world, because the world that Paul evangelized was not a Christian world; it was a pagan world."
Even in the current world, he pointed out, "we feel in many ways the need to return to the root of the spirit of evangelization, for a world that truly does not accept or does not know the Gospel's message well and to which we must still bring it."...
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (6-8-10)
According to reports, the curiously titled Dear Friend Hitler will centre on the relationships between the Nazi dictator and those who were close to him, including Braun, his long-term lover who he married in his final days in the Berlin bunker. "It aims to take the viewer into close quarters with the enigmatic personality that Hitler was and give a glimpse into his insecurities, his charisma, his paranoia and his sheer genius," a source told the Mumbai Mirror newspaper.
Kher, who was chosen by the film's director, Rakesh Ranjan Kumar, for his apparent resemblance to Hitler, told reporters on Sunday that he was looking forward to the challenge. "I already have an image, I am a known actor, so it will be doubly hard work for me to take away that image," he said. "He's one of the most interesting characters of our times."...
Name of source: The News and Advance (VA)
SOURCE: The News and Advance (VA) (6-6-10)
In fact, the dictator who ruled the Soviet Union with an iron fist for three decades until his death in 1953 is rightly regarded as one of the three most evil, bloody-handed dictators in world history. Standing beside Mao Zedong of Communist China and Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany, it would be difficult to rank one more evil than the other.
All three have the blood of millions upon millions of innocent lives on their hands, all in pursuit of their own narcissistic goals of power.
But there’s one thing that can’t be ignored, and that’s the fact that, were it not for Stalin and the punishing attacks the Red Army inflicted on Nazi Germany during World War II, Hitler may very well have conquered the world.
Stalin’s back in the news after last week’s dedication of a statue of the dictator at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford. Lynchburg College art professor and sculptor Richard Pumphrey created a bust of the dictator for the memorial. It’s part of an installation of busts of the Allied leaders: Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Harry Truman....
Name of source: Lee White at the National Coalition for History
The National Archives recently released for public comment a draft prioritization plan for the National Declassification Center (NDC) . The plan focuses on moving the approximately 408 million pages of accessioned Federal records to the open stacks and clearing referrals in the Presidential Libraries Remote Archives Capture (RAC) program. A copy of the draft plan may be found by clicking here.
On December 30, 2009, Archivist of the United States David Ferriero announced the establishment of the National Declassification Center (NDC) within the National Archives and Records Administration. The creation of the NDC was mandated in Executive Order 13526 on Classified National Security Information signed by President Obama on December 29. Specifically, the NDC is charged with streamlining declassification processes, facilitating quality assurance measures, and implementing standard training for declassification reviewers. The executive order requires NARA to completely eliminate the 400+ million page backlog by December 31, 2013.
To achieve the NDC goal of making declassified records available to the public, the draft plan identifies three factors affecting how records will be prioritized:
1) High Public Interest – The NDC will use a variety of sources, including public input through a variety of social media technologies, and information about records requested in the NARA research rooms, and by the public through the Freedom of Information Act, the Presidential Records Act and Mandatory Declassification Review provisions of E.O. 13526.
2) Likelihood of Declassification – Factors include complexity of information, volume of tabs (exemptions, exclusions, referrals) and age of material. There are a number of lower level classified records which may lend themselves to quick turnaround, while other records contain classified information that must be protected under E.O. 13526 and will not result in significant public release.
3) Resources Required to Complete Declassification – Some Record Groups (RGs) are have information that must be protected under the provisions established in E.O. 13526, and contain multiple referrals to other equity agencies. Addressing interagency referrals is labor intensive for the NDC and the agencies in the current process. Performing declassification is more difficult on records with multiple referrals and would slow down the process. Researcher interest would determine how these records fit into the prioritization plan.
To apply these criteria to classified records, the NDC developed a matrix that places classified records in one of four categories:
- Category 1 (High Interest, Easy to process) – 1% of the backlog
- Category 2 (High Interest, Difficult to process) – 90% of the backlog of Federal records and 100% of Presidential materials referred through the RAC.
- Category 3 (Low Interest, Easy to process) – 2% of the backlog
- Category 4 (Low Interest, Difficult to process) – 7% of the backlog
Initially the NDC proposes that it will devote the majority of resources to the records in categories 1 and 2, with fewer resources devoted to categories 3 and 4.
The NDC is soliciting public comment via a blog (http://blogs.archives.gov/ndc) specifically devoted to the prioritization plan. Interested parties can also submit their comments on the plan via e-mail to the NDC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, on Wednesday, June 23 at 2:00 p.m., the National Archives will hold an open public forum to discuss the draft NDC prioritization plan. The meeting will take place in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building, 700 Constitution Avenue, NW, DC. Attendees should use the Special Events Entrance at 7th Street and Constitution Avenue.
Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero will serve as moderator. Public comments submitted prior to June 23 will be summarized at the meeting.
This forum is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. Attendees should register by June 18, 2010, by calling 301-837-0587. Leave your name, e-mail address, and phone number or email email@example.com.
On June 4, the William Clinton Presidential Library opened approximately 46,500 pages of files relating to U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s tenure at the White House Domestic Policy Council. The additional release of papers from the approximately 160,000 pages of material will be made available on the Clinton Library website in batches as soon as the records are processed.
The Clinton Library has already released records from Kagan’s Domestic Policy Council files and the files of Bruce Reed, Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy.
Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has expressed frustration over the pace of the release of Kagan’s records. Ironically, Sessions has been identified as the Senator who placed a hold blocking Senate floor consideration for over a year of the Presidential Records Reform Act (H.R. 35), which would streamline the release of presidential records. The bill overwhelmingly passed the House in January 2009, and cleared the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in May 2009.
This is the first of three oversight hearings the Subcommittee will hold in June on the programs and activities of the National Archives and Records Administration.
A hearing is tentatively scheduled for June 17 to review federal agency compliance with their records management responsibilities under the Federal Records Act. The third hearing is tentatively scheduled for June 24 on NARA’s National Declassification Center.
At its spring meeting, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) awarded 88 grants of $7,038,063 for projects in 36 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A list of the grantees by category is available by clicking here.
Grants totaling $3.5 million were awarded for 38 archival projects. Twenty-five went to basic projects, including a project to process records of the territorial era in Idaho; the papers of S.J. Perelman, the screenwriter for the Marx Brothers, at Brown University; the records of the American Field Service, the volunteer ambulance corps that served in both World Wars; and many others. Thirteen detailed processing projects support the records of the American Civil Liberty Union at Princeton University; salvaging the records of Baltimore from 1729 to the present; and the American Heritage Center’s collections relating to the Great Depression.
Grants totaling $2.8 million were awarded for 24 documentary editing projects—from the Dolley Madison Digital Edition to the Papers of Ulysses S. Grant. Seven subventions were awarded to university presses to defray the cost of publishing volumes of the papers of James Madison, George Washington, John Jay, Andrew Jackson, Samuel Gompers, Marcus Garvey, and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Three grants were awarded for Professional Development projects and one Strategies and Tools project to support an open-source crowd-sourcing tool at George Mason University that will allow researchers to contribute online transcriptions and annotations to the Papers of the War Department. Fifteen State and National Archival Partnership grants will go to help state archives and historical records advisory boards carry out statewide initiatives, including several regrant projects to small and mid-sized archives. A complete list of all grants is attached.
Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero recently announced the appointment of Sheryl Jasielum Shenberger as the first director of the National Archives National Declassification Center (NDC). Her appointment is effective June 7, 2010.
On December 30, 2009, Archivist Ferriero announced the establishment of the National Declassification Center (NDC) within the National Archives and Records Administration. The creation of the NDC was mandated in Executive Order 13526 on Classified National Security Information signed by President Obama on December 29. Specifically, the NDC is charged with streamlining declassification processes, facilitating quality assurance measures, and implementing standard training for declassification reviewers. The executive order requires NARA to completely eliminate the approximately 408 million page backlog of records awaiting declassification by December 31, 2013.
Ms. Shenberger comes to the National Archives from the intelligence community where she served both as an analyst and desk officer. She has also worked closely with the National Archives, the intelligence community, and Department of Defense agencies to coordinate review of historically valuable records that contain CIA information. She also led the CIA’s declassification review efforts at the National Archives. As a declassification program manager at the CIA, she spearheaded efforts to improve processes that resulted in a more efficient release of information.
Ms. Shenberger is currently a Branch Chief of the CIA Declassification Center and is responsible for its 25-year review and referral program and for coordinating government-wide review of Presidential Library referrals through the Remote Archives Capture (RAC) project. From 2003 through 2006, she served as team chief for the CIA declassification efforts at NARA, where she was responsible for directing CIA review efforts with NARA and collaborating with NARA to improve declassification processes.
Prior to working in the declassification field, Ms. Shenberger served as a Branch Chief in the CIA Counter Terrorism Center between 2001 and 2003, as a Desk Officer with the CIA Crime and Narcotics Center between 2000 and 2001, and as a Senior Imagery Analyst for the National Imagery and Mapping Agency between 1996 and 2000.
Ms. Shenberger is a graduate of Villanova University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1979, and of North Carolina State University where she received a Master of Arts degree in English in 1983.
The National Park Service (NPS) recently awarded 23 grants totaling $2.9 million to help preserve and interpret historic locations, where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. To see a list of the 2010 grantees click here.
In the program’s second year, the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grants will help fund projects in a dozen states, including the restoration of a historic railroad depot in Arkansas that will house an exhibit about that state’s two confinement sites, and an educational outreach program to engage youth in preserving confinement sites through art, conversation, and community service.
Congress established the Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program in 2006 to preserve and interpret the places where Japanese Americans were sequestered after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. The law authorizes up to $38 million in grants for the life of the program to identify, research, evaluate, interpret, protect, restore, repair, and acquire historic confinement sites. The program aims to teach present and future generations about the injustice of the World War II confinement.
Congress appropriated $3 million for grants in the current fiscal year. They were awarded in a competitive process, matching $2 in federal money for every $1 in non-federal funds and “in-kind” contributions raised by groups working to preserve the sites and their histories. Congress appropriated $1 million for fiscal year 2009, the first year of the grants.
Locations eligible for the grants include the 10 War Relocation Authority camps that were set up in 1942 in seven states: Gila River and Poston, AZ; Amache, CO; Heart Mountain, WY; Jerome and Rohwer, AR; Manzanar and Tule Lake, CA; Minidoka, ID, and Topaz, UT. Also eligible are more than 40 other locations in 16 states, including civilian and military-run assembly, relocation and isolation centers.
The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) recently unveiled its annual report on the status of the nation’s historic battlegrounds. The report, entitled History Under Siege: A Guide to America’s Most Endangered Civil War Battlefields, identifies the most threatened Civil War sites in the United States and what can be done to save them.
History Under Siege is composed of two parts; one identifying the 10 most endangered battlefields in the nation, and a second section lists 15 additional “at risk” sites also confronted by serious threats. Sites discussed in the report range from the famous to the nearly forgotten, but at least part of each site is in danger of being lost forever. Battlefields were chosen based on geographic location, military significance, and the immediacy of current threats.
The Civil War Preservation Trust is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promoting appreciation of these hallowed grounds through education and heritage tourism. CWPT has preserved more than 29,000 acres of battlefield land across the nation. The CWPT is a member of the National Coalition for History.
Donaldson currently serves as the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) for the state of California. The SHPO serves as chief administrative officer of the Office of Historic Preservation in Sacramento and as Executive Secretary of the State Historical Resources Commission. Prior to his appointment as SHPO in 2004, Donaldson served as president of the award winning firm ―Architect Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA‖ since 1978, specializing in historic preservation services. He is licensed to practice architecture in California, Nevada and Arizona and holds a certified license from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.
Donaldson will serve a four-year term as chairman of the ACHP. Donaldson succeeds outgoing Chairman John L. Nau, III, who served two full terms as ACHP chairman following his appointment by President George W. Bush.