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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: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (8-2-10)
She is scheduled to take the stand against him at the Special Tribunal for Sierra Leone on Thursday.
Prosecutors say Taylor gave her a diamond during the brutal war in Sierra Leone, contradicting Taylor's testimony that he never handled the precious stones that fueled the conflict.
The defense says it hasn't seen a copy of her testimony, which interferes with Taylor's right to a fair trial. Under tribunal rules, the defense team should get advance access to prosecution witness testimony so it can prepare its arguments....
SOURCE: CNN (8-2-10)
Before 1880, Europeans had only made small incursions into Africa, with forts and trading posts mainly around the coast, according to Richard Dowden, director of the Royal African Society in Britain.
In 1884-5, the Berlin Conference was called to carve up Africa between Britain, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Germany.
After WWI, Germany's colonies were divided between Britain and France to administer on behalf of the League of Nations.
The end of colonialism came about after India's independence from Britain....
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (8-1-10)
They stand in the crowd listening closely as the costumed actors relive dramatic moments in the founding of our country. They clap loudly when an actor portraying Patrick Henry delivers his "Give me liberty or give me death" speech. They cheer and hoot when Gen. George Washington surveys the troops behind the original 18th-century courthouse. And they shout out about the tyranny of our current government during scenes depicting the nation's struggle for freedom from Britain.
"General, when is it appropriate to resort to arms to fight for our liberty?" asked a tourist on a recent weekday during "A Conversation with George Washington," a hugely popular dialogue between actor and audience in the shaded backyard of Charlton's Coffeehouse....
The tourist, a self-described conservative activist named Ismael Nieves from Elmer, N.J., nodded thoughtfully. Afterward, he said this was his fifth visit to Colonial Williamsburg.
"We live in a very dangerous time," Nieves said. "People are looking for leadership, looking for what to do. They're looking to Washington, Jefferson, Madison."
"I want to get to know our Founding Fathers," he added. "I think we've forgotten them. It's like we've almost erased them from history."...
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (8-2-10)
But with their high cheekbones, dark eyes and brown skin, they are hardly the Third Reich's Aryan ideal. A new strain of Nazism has found an unlikely home: Mongolia.
Once again, ultra-nationalists have emerged from an impoverished economy and turned upon outsiders. This time the main targets come from China, the rising power to the south.
Groups such as Tsagaan Khass, or White Swastika, portray themselves as patriots standing up for ordinary citizens in the face of foreign crime, rampant inequality, political indifference and corruption....
It is, by any standards, an extraordinary choice. Under Hitler, Soviet prisoners of war who appeared Mongolian were singled out for execution. More recently, far-right groups in Europe have attacked Mongolian migrants.
Not all ultra-nationalists use this iconography; and widespread ignorance about the Holocaust and other atrocities may help to explain why some do.
Tsagaan Khass points out that the swastika is an ancient Asian symbol – which is true, but does not explain the group's use of Nazi colours, the Nazi eagle and the Nazi salute; or the large picture of the Führer on Big Brother's cigarette case.
Nor does it seem greatly relevant, given their unabashed admiration for Hitler's racial beliefs.
"We have to make sure that as a nation our blood is pure. That's about our independence," said 23-year-old Battur, pointing out that the population is under three million.
"If we start mixing with Chinese, they will slowly swallow us up. Mongolian society is not very rich. Foreigners come with a lot of money and might start taking our women."...
Name of source: Irish Times
SOURCE: Irish Times (8-2-10)
The collection of banker Baron Mor Lipot Herzog included works by El Greco, Lucas Cranach the Elder, de Zurbaran, van Dyck, Velázquez and Monet, some of which now hang in Budapest’s finest museums. But they are tainted by the tragedy that befell Europe’s Jews, and by the bitterness of a long-running ownership battle between Hungary and the Herzogs.
When Baron Herzog died in 1934, his collection of some 2,500 pieces passed to his widow and subsequently to three children, Erzsebet, Istvan and Andras.
Andras was sent to a labour camp in 1942 and died shortly afterwards, while Istvan was deported along with more than 400,000 other Hungarian Jews to the German extermination camps. He escaped from a train on the way to Auschwitz and spent the rest of the war in hiding....
Name of source: Discovery News
SOURCE: Discovery News (7-29-10)
He and his colleagues believe at least three skeletons of this iconic dinosaur are gently weathering in 65-million-year-old rocks at the undisclosed site.
At present, Manning and his colleagues are trying to figure out how they can excavate one of the Triceratops skeletons from its rocky Hell Creek Formation tomb.
Previously, the pioneering palaeontologist and his team were known for their research work on the hadrosaur Dinomummy, helping dinosaurs ‘virtually’ walk, zapping Archaeopteryx with particle accelerators and tracking the enigmatic T. rex in the Badlands of Montana....
SOURCE: Discovery News (7-29-10)
Thanks to a never-say-die effort between a currency historian and a scholar studying John James Audubon (1785-1851), the famous artist's first published bird illustration has been discovered.
This depiction of a running grouse or Heath Hen (a relative of the greater prairie chicken) was intended for mass production on bank notes. Audubon had mentioned the drawing and the resulting engraved paper money in two diary entries, but evidence of the work was never found.
Scholars, however, believed the claim was a trick Audubon was known to use, spinning tall tales to beef up his own reputation in order to get more commissions....
SOURCE: Discovery News (7-30-10)
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson thinks so, and he's looking to pardon this outlaw of the Old West.
Shortly after slaying Billy the Kid, Sheriff Garrett published a book, "The Authentic Life of Billy, the Kid," one of the earliest accounts that solidified the legend of the outlaw of the Old West....
Name of source: Live Science
SOURCE: Live Science (7-30-10)
This was no insignificant feat; domestication of the donkey's ancestors helped these ancient cattle herders become more mobile and adapt as the Sahara Desert expanded. Donkeys also expanded over-land trade and contributed to the growth in the early Egypt state.
New research answers, and raises, questions about who these wild animals were and how humans brought them into the fold....
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (7-28-10)
The last revellers seem to have cleared up scrupulously after the final party at Marden Henge some 4,500 years ago.
They scoured the rectangular building and the smart white chalk platform on top of the earth bank, with its spectacular view towards the river Avon in one direction, and the hills from which the giant sarsen stones were brought to Stonehenge in the other.
All traces of the feast – the pig bones, the ashes and the burnt stones from the barbecue that cooked them, the broken pots and bowls – were swept neatly into a dump to one side. A few precious offerings, including an exquisitely worked flint arrowhead, were carefully laid on the clean chalk. Then they covered the whole surface with a thin layer of clay, stamped it flat, and left. Forever.
In the past fortnight, English Heritage archaeologists have peeled back the thin layer of turf covering the site, which has somehow escaped being ploughed for more than 4,000 years. They were astounded to find the undisturbed original surface just as the prehistoric Britons left it....
Name of source: Time
SOURCE: Time (7-29-10)
Nobody knows who first built the towering castle-city, but it was already famous when Alexander the Great added it to his empire in 331 B.C. Some 1,500 years later, it took an invading Mongol army two tries and a six-month siege to storm it.
The list of successive ruling cultures is a history lesson in itself — Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Sassanian and Ottoman, among many others — and each left its history behind, adding to an archaeological layer cake now 32 m high.
Despite pleas from scientists going back to the 1930s, the citadel has never been fully excavated. This is all about to change. The renovation of the ancient hilltop city has become the keystone in an ongoing campaign to turn vast archaeological treasures into tourist dollars for Kurdistan, a stable and prospering region that bills itself as "the other Iraq."...
Name of source: Inside Science News Service
SOURCE: Inside Science News Service (7-27-10)
Dooryhee and team of French physicists have spent years studying historical objects using X-rays. They shoot finely-tuned beams of X-rays from a synchrotron machine -- much stronger than a dental X-ray -- at these materials and look at the pattern of scattered X-rays coming out in order to determine the structure of the atoms inside.
The scientists have used this technology to examine Egyptian cosmetics, Roman pottery, and Renaissance paintings. They have recreated some of these ancient materials and are just beginning to learn how to borrow their strengths to make new modern "archeomimetic" materials that can stand the test of time....
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (8-1-10)
The citadel, built in the 11th century by the Viet Dynasty, became the 900th site listed as a World Heritage Property. With the other four sites added, the total increased to 904.
The new sites are the historic monuments of Dengfeng in China, the archaeological site Sarazm in Tajikistan, the Episcopal city of Albi in France and a 17th-century canal ring in Amsterdam....
SOURCE: AP (7-1-10)
But the war never really ended for the Karen tribesmen who fought with the British to drive the Japanese out of Burma, and who now live as refugees in jungle camps astride the Thai-Myanmar border or inside their ravaged homeland, impoverished and driven from their homes in a brutal insurgency.
These ethnic minority people, who were made promises by the British that were fatally broken, remain virtually forgotten and unrewarded by the outside world as the 65th anniversary of the Allied victory in Asia approaches on Aug. 15. For them, medals, parades and joyous family reunions all ring hollow....
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (7-29-10)
The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) took the decision at a meeting in Brazil’s capital Brasilia.
The archipelago of volcanic islands off the Pacific coast of Ecuador had been on the World Heritage in Danger list since 2007. A growing local population, fishing, and tourism had put pressure on natural resources there.
But the committee voted 15 to 4 in favour of Brazil’s recommendation to withdraw the islands from the list, saying Ecuador had made progress in recent years....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-1-10)
Just days after the Prime Minister won praise for his first visit to the subcontinent, it was disclosed that Mr Cameron’s great-great-grandfather was a British cavalryman who fought the Indians more than 150 years ago.
William Low left behind graphic accounts of how he slew rebels with his sabre and participated in a mass hanging of civilians during the two-year mutiny against British rule, which began in 1857.
Had the full story of his great-great-grandfather’s involvement in suppressing the mutiny become public before Mr Cameron’s recent trip to the subcontinent, it could have caused diplomatic embarrassment....