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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: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (8-16-10)
Sen Robert Menendez issued a public plea for people with inside knowledge of talks between BP and Libyan and British authorities to speak up.
Some US lawmakers suspect that BP had lobbied for the bomber's release, suggesting that it aided the energy giant's oil exploration in Libya.
The inquiry comes amid US anger over the BP oil spill in Louisiana....
SOURCE: BBC (8-15-10)
Mentioned mostly parenthetically is the relentless war to eradicate a 60-year-old insurgency among the Karen, the country's second largest ethnic minority, by cutting it off from the general population. Although the regime denies it, the U.N. and international human rights groups have documented executions, gang rape, torture, forced labor and mass relocations of civilians after their communities are torched.
Families are financially ruined, many refugees say, because the military demands "taxes" — sometimes nearly half a villager's already minuscule income — for avoiding the draft or forced labor, or for no reason at all.
Farmers are kept from their fields doing long stretches of unpaid labor, hauling supplies, building military bases and repairing roads. Khwe Say Hto says in his village of Palodu, men and sometimes women also served as human minesweepers. Two were killed and others wounded in the most recent incident, a few months back.
The Karen insurgency, dating back to 1949, is considered the world's oldest, and the adage that "old soldiers never die" seems true enough in the figure of Lt. Col. Saw Doo, at 82 possibly the world's oldest recruit still on active duty in an army with no pensions or retirement age....
SOURCE: BBC (8-15-10)
It is the first time an entire cabinet has not attended ceremonies at the Yasukuni shrine in at least 25 years.
Government ministers paying respects at the Tokyo shrine, which honours Japan's war dead, including war criminals, have in the past angered Japan's neighbours.
The new DPJ-led government had promised to be more considerate.
Other lawmakers, including opposition leaders, did attend ceremonies at the Yasukuni shrine....
The US federal judge ruled that RMS Titanic Inc, which displays the artefacts in museums across the world, is entitled to their full market value.
The court will decide whether to grant the company ownership of the objects or sell them and give it the proceeds....
Asif Ali Zardari will instead spend the day touring affected regions in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces.
He has been heavily criticised at home for not taking a more direct role.
The region's worst flooding in 80 years has affected 14 million and killed 1,600, according to the UN....
SOURCE: BBC (8-12-10)
The judge sanctioned Courtenay Griffiths after he lost his temper in an argument and referred to one prosecution lawyer as a boy.
Mr Griffiths later apologised and was allowed to resume speaking....
While golfer Tiger Woods was heralded last year as the first athlete to earn over $1 billion, the figure would apparently have been small beer for the fearless entertainers of the Circus Maximus.
One charioteer, named Gaius Appuleius Diocles, amassed a fortune 35,863,120 sesterces in prize money – the equivalent of $15 billion (£9.6 billion), claims Peter Struck, a professor of classical studies.
The 2nd century “champion of all charioteers” made his fortune even without the sponsorship and marketing fees that bolster the pay of his modern counterparts in the sporting world.
The extent of his riches is recorded on a monumental inscription erected in Rome in 146AD by his fellow charioteers and fans....
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-16-10)
Presley died at his Graceland mansion Aug 16, 1977. The procession is the highlight of a week-long series of fan club meetings, film screenings and Elvis impersonator contests. Elvis purchased the 13-acre Graceland property in 1957 for $100,000.
Dozens of multi-colored but empty chairs lined the walls of Graceland on Sunday afternoon, their early-arriving owners seeking refuge from 100F (38-Celsius) temperatures at water stations.
The procession usually attracts several thousand fans and runs into the morning hours. Fans leave flowers, teddy bears and other items at the grave site, which also is the resting place of Presley's father Vernon, his mother Gladys and grandmother Minnie Mae....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-16-10)
Mr Bloomberg has been a constant supporter of the plan to built an Islamic centre and mosque two blocks from where the World Trade Center stood.
On Friday, President Barack Obama also backed the right for the developers to build a mosque there....
Mr Taylor, who is currently on trial in The Hague for war crimes, was so impressed by the "most delightful" evening spent in the company of the supermodel at a dinner held by Nelson Mandela, that he is thought to have framed the picture of them standing together and hung it prominently at his home in Monrovia.
In it, a smiling Miss Campbell is standing next to the former Liberian president, who is holding out one hand towards the camera and grinning.
He is alleged to have had two men deliver a pouch of three small diamonds to Miss Campbell's room later that night. The prosecution in his trial allege that Mr Taylor provided rebel fighters in Sierra Leone's civil war with arms in return for "blood diamonds"....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-15-10)
But a new discovery appears to reveal the real-life inspiration behind the character from Hugo's seminal novel, which tells the story of the deaf bell-ringer of Notre Dame and his unrequited love for the gipsy girl Esmeralda.
Clues suggesting that Quasimodo is based on a historical figure have been uncovered in the memoirs of Henry Sibson, a 19th-century British sculptor who was employed at the cathedral at around the time the book was written and who describes a hunched back stonemason also working there.
The documents were acquired by the Tate Archive in 1999 after they were discovered in the attic of a house in Penzance, Cornwall, as the owner prepared to move out.
However, the references to a "hunchback sculptor" working at Notre Dame have only just been discovered, as the memoirs are catalogued ahead of the archive's 40th anniversary this year....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-15-10)
President Barack Obama
The decision to build an 15-storey Islamic centre in Manhattan, including a mosque, two blocks from the Ground Zero site of the September 11th terrorist attacks has incensed many Americans, with polls indicating that more than two-thirds oppose it.
Speaking at an iftar dinner held at the White House on Friday to mark the breaking of the Ramadan fast, Mr Obama abandoned his administration's previous stance that there would be no comment on the "local" issue.
These comments heartened many on the Left, though they drew a sharp rebuke from centrist Democrats fighting uphill battles to retain seats in the November mid-term elections....
Sam Buckley had placed 86 Jacob Wrey Mould drawings with Christie’s auction house for potential sale, while keeping at least 41 more himself, according to court papers.
Mr Buckley, a New Jersey real estate broker, says his dead father found them in the trash more than 50 years ago.
But New York City has now filed a lawsuit, asking the court to either order the drawings turned over or award at least $1 million (£640,000) in damages....
Following accepted climbing practice, the first person to tackle a route has the right to name it.
However, concerns have been raised after it was revealed that routes in the popular Järfälla climbing area outside Stockholm had been given names inspired by the Third Reich.
Between 1987 and 2001, climbers christened new routes "Kristallnacht", "Crematorium" and "Little Hitler".
Another was named "Zyklon B", after the cyanide gas the Nazis used to murder the Jews.
"I thought it rather unpleasant to climb through the 'Crematorium' or say that 'now I am going to do 'Kristallnacht'," Cordelia Hess, a climber, told Stockholm's Dagens Nyheter newspaper.
Christofer Urby, of the Swedish Climbing Association, said he was aware of the controversial names, but said his body could not authorise changes.
"It is the first climber who sets out a route and makes it available to others, who has the right to name it," he explained.
"It becomes a kind of footprint, but I personally think it is childish and disrespectful to put this type of name."
The routes on the range near the Swedish capital were named at various times and it is unclear whether the mountaineers who christened the rocky outcrops were politically-motivated....
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (8-16-10)
The issue has been simmering for years. The Florence mayor's office said the debate began in the early 1990, and the city's various mayors have brought it up from time to time.
While tourism brings money to Florence, it also brings a lot of costs, such as cleaning and security, said the press officer. The mayor does not feel it's fair that the burden of maintaining the city and its centuries-old buildings should fall solely on its citizens.
Following the request, the Heritage Ministry commissioned a study to determine who is the rightful owner of David....
SOURCE: CNN (8-15-10)
Cameron will lay a wreath on behalf of the British government, the statement said.
On August 14, 1945, Japan surrendered to Allied forces, effectively ending World War II....
SOURCE: CNN (8-13-10)
But when Bulgarian archaeologists declared they had found relics of John the Baptist, one of the most significant early Christian saints, their discovery became the subject of rather more interest -- prompting angry exchanges in the local media and even calls for a government minister's resignation.
The claim is based on a reliquary -- a container for holy relics -- found on July 28 under the altar of a fifth century basilica on Sveti Ivan, a Black Sea island off Sozopol on Bulgaria's southern coast. Inside, archaeologists found eight pieces of bone, including fragments of skull and face bone and a tooth.
A later monastery on the island was dedicated to John the Baptist; indirect evidence, according to excavation leader Kazimir Popkonstantinov, that the relics under the altar were those of the church's saint....
Name of source: The Truth About Cars
SOURCE: The Truth About Cars (8-16-10)
Chrysler was incorporated on June 6, 1925. Over the following decades, the automaker centralized and organized its archives, records dating back to the very beginnings of the American automobile industry. And then the company’s new owners decided history is bunk. Cerberus eliminated its archivist position. They stopped funding the documents’ maintenance. The company limited access to their archives and then stopped it altogether.
Worse was to follow.
With little notice and no planning, Cerberus literally abandoned the engineering library at the Chrysler Technical Center. The library was shuttered and the librarian laid off. And then the real crime: all the library’s books and materials were offered to anyone who could carry them away. I repeat: the documents were free for the taking. Within a week, a collection spanning decades was scattered to the winds; the books and other materials will never again be available in any coherent, comprehensive form.
The rest of Chrysler’s historical archives remain intact in a central location. Intense work by dedicated archivists has, over the years, provided organization and access to historians. Will FIAT consider these archives worth preserving? Do they even know they exist?...
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (8-16-10)
After 70 years that wait has now ended. This year the National Jazz Museum in Harlem acquired the entire set of nearly 1,000 discs, made at the height of the swing era, and has begun digitizing recordings of inspired performances by Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Bunny Berigan, Harry James and others that had been thought to be lost forever. Some of these remarkable long-form performances simply could not be captured by the standard recording technology of the time. (Mr. Savory used a different format.) The Savory collection also contains examples of underappreciated musicians playing at peak creative levels not heard anywhere else, putting them in a new light for jazz fans and scholars....
SOURCE: NYT (8-13-10)
In an acknowledgment that the top jobs have become ever more intellectually challenging, physically exhausting and politically bruising, senior officers confirm that the armed services are looking to exactly this broader set of skills as they fit their future four-stars with the mask of command worn by Washington and Grant, Marshall and Eisenhower....
Which is not to say that past commanders of major theaters of war had it easy.
When Eisenhower was European commander in World War II, he had alliance politics to manage, as well as the enormous egos of his subordinates.
But, said Kori Schake, a Hoover Institution research fellow who has held senior policy positions at the National Security Council and at the Departments of State and Defense, Eisenhower’s mission was far more straightforward....
“His orders were to invade Europe, conquer Germany,” she said. “He was asked to defeat another uniformed, organized national army. In comparison, part of the reason we are struggling with the wars today is that military force cannot so easily achieve the complicated, sophisticated set of second-order effects we are asking it to achieve.”...
SOURCE: NYT (8-12-10)
But none of that troubled an elderly diver, who watched with approval as a new generation of Kuwaiti men embraced the sea, trimming sails and clapping their hands as they sang the old pearl diver’s songs. For the diver, Khalifa al-Rashid, 74, the young men represented a hope that in a country transformed by oil — into a land of sprawling shopping malls, luxury cars and subsidized lives, where citizenship has long been a ticket to privilege — there was still room for something old and difficult....
The trips also serve another purpose, some observers say. In a nation racked by arguments about who truly belongs, the pearl expeditions celebrate the history of the country’s most prominent families, recalling the days when they were merchants who made their livings from the sea....
It has been decades since Kuwaitis made their living from the sea. The trade, practiced throughout the Persian Gulf, was crippled by the Great Depression, the emergence of cultured pearls from Japan and the discovery of oil.
The divers themselves were probably indentured servants, according to people who have studied the trade, living on money they borrowed from boat captains. They dove to pay their debts, and if they died before repaying the loans, those debts were passed on to their sons or brothers.
“Many people don’t even know about the economy of Kuwait before the oil age,” said Anh Nga Longva, a professor at the University of Bergen, in Norway, who has studied similarities between the economic conditions facing the divers and those facing migrants in Kuwait today....
SOURCE: NYT (8-12-10)
As early as 1918 Soviet engineers drained swamps to supply peat for electrical power stations. That approach was abandoned in the late 1950s, after natural gas was discovered in Siberia, but the bogs were never reflooded, though the authorities are currently weighing the idea....
Name of source: WaPo
Thousands of Elvis admirers from around the world flocked to Graceland to attend the annual candlelight vigil and procession, which runs into the morning hours. Presley died at age 42 at his Graceland mansion on Aug. 16, 1977. Memorials started the following year.
Elvis ballads like "If I Can Dream" and "Fools Rush In" played as participants solemnly filed in through the gates. Flowers and photos lined the entrance to the grave site, which also is the resting place of Presley's father Vernon, his mother Gladys and grandmother Minnie Mae. Some people wiped tears from their faces as they walked past.
Thomas Hollis, 52, said he thought of his wife, who passed away in May from cancer. It's his sixth Elvis vigil, but the first without his wife. Sunday was the couple's 13th wedding anniversary....
"On October 16, 1972, United States House of Representatives Majority Leader Thomas Hale Boggs and United States Representative Nicholas J. Begich boarded an airplane in Anchorage en route to Juneau," read a few short paragraphs alongside photos of the congressmen. "The aircraft disappeared amidst turbulent conditions, and no trace of the men or the airplane was found."
A vanishing that seared the political establishment in Washington and caused a 40-year shift in Alaska's balance of power has itself largely faded from memory. On Monday night, the nation received an eerie reminder when another small-engine plane went down in southwestern Alaska near Aleknagik Lake, killing former senator Ted Stevens (R), whose first wife died in a 1978 crash that he survived. For the Boggs and Begich families, the Stevens tragedy is something more than a data point to demonstrate that Alaska is a state plagued by plane crashes. It is yet another haunting echo of a mystery that has defined and bound two of the nation's most politically prominent, and different, clans for decades....
For years -- no, make that millennia -- the public has chosen white bread over its darker, grainier counterpart. In 77 A.D., Pliny noted in his Naturalis Historia that his fellow Romans preferred to mix the "swarthy" wheat of Cyprus with the "white wheat of Alexandria" to produce a lighter loaf. As humanity marched forth into the supermarket era, its tastes remained unchanged, and white bread commanded far more shelf space than wheat. To overcome such entrenched consumer preferences required more than just a superior supply of fiber and antioxidants. It required superior marketing, too.
Indeed, it's not as if we've only recently learned that bread made from refined white flour -- which includes the starchy endosperm of the wheat berry but not the nutrient-packed bran and germ -- is not as healthy as bread made with whole-wheat flour. In the 1830s, the furiously chaste Presbyterian minister and baker Sylvester Graham railed against the evils of refined white flour....
The couples were re-enacting the famous Life magazine photograph of a nurse being passionately kissed by a sailor at the end of the war. A 26-foot statue replicating the original photo was also erected for the celebration.
World War II veterans and their children on hand for the kiss said they want today's generation to remember the sacrifices of those who fought in the war.
"I want to keep that day alive," said Rocco Moretto, 86, a retired infantry staff sergeant now living in Queens....
Name of source: Salon
SOURCE: Salon (8-16-10)
Steven Schwarzman is one of the richest men in America. The chairman and cofounder of the Blackstone Group, one of the largest private equity funds in the world, enjoys a net worth estimated at around $8 billion. It's fair to say that if key elements of the Obama tax agenda become reality, Schwarzman will be forking over a lot more money to the federal government.
Which naturally puts Schwarzman in the same position as a European country in the 1930s about to be overrun by panzer tanks.
According to Newsweek, Schwarzman saw fit to invoke the Third Reich while addressing board members of a non-profit in July.
"It's a war," Schwarzman said of the struggle with the administration over increasing taxes on private-equity firms."It's like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939."
Name of source: Live Science
SOURCE: Live Science (8-13-10)
The robot explorer, built by researchers at the Leeds University, England, in collaboration with French aviation company Dessault and British robotics company Scoutek, will incorporate a small fiber optic camera for looking around corners, an ultrasonic probe for testing the quality of the rock and a releasable mini-robot that can fit through spaces as small as 0.7 inches in diameter.
Additionally, the robot uses special nylon and carbon fiber wheels that won't deface the pyramid's sensitive rock.
"All the robots were designed from scratch to do as little damage to the shafts as possible," Shaun Whitehead, Systems engineer and mission manager, told TechNewsDaily. "The previous robots both used tracks that scrubbed away at the floor and ceiling as they moved. We use soft brace pads to grip the walls, like an inchworm or the technique that rock climbers use for ascending 'chimneys.' The wheels don't need to grip, they need to slip as much as possible."
Whitehead designed the robot so that the team could easily swap out different components, depending on what they find down the shaft. To create the different components, Whitehead and his team used 3-D software provided by Dessault, and then "printed" out the parts on a 3-D fabricator at Leeds University....
Name of source: Jakarta Post (Indonesia)
SOURCE: Jakarta Post (Indonesia) (8-14-10)
Yogyakarta Police chief Sr. Comr. Atang Heradi said Friday his office was investigating Tuesday night’s theft at the museum and had questioned four museum officials, including head curator Martono.
“This case is a challenge for the police. We will thoroughly investigate this case,” he said.
Eighty-seven pieces from the museum’s collections, including gold jewelry and statues, were stolen from three of the museum’s glass display cabinets on Tuesday night.
Martono said after the questioning that the stolen collections were originals, not replicas.
The gold collections, he said, were placed and displayed in the room, which were not accessible to museum visitors without permission.
Even with permission, a security guard would accompany visitors to view the collections, he added.
Martono said that the room was also equipped with a CCTV camera, but that it was 10 years old.
“The camera was a manual one, not a digital one. It cannot cover the entire room,” he said.
The museum, set up in 1935 and located close to the Yogyakarta Palace, sees 100 visitors during weekdays and up to 2,000 on holidays.
Responding to the case, Yogyakarta Cultural Agency head Djoko Dwiyanto voiced his suspicion that the burglary might involve both professional art thieves and collectors....
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (8-16-10)
"Talk to any veteran, he will tell you it is a terrible thing. It's disrespectful," said retired Marine Sgt. Craig "Gunny" Donor, who served two tours in Vietnam and is bent on getting the soldier's remains moved.
Pvt. James Sumner, who was awarded the nation's highest military honor for gallant actions after a band of Apache Indians kidnapped a settler's child, died in 1912 and he was buried in what was then St. Mary's Cemetery.
Most of the flat grave markers have been hauled away, but a few dozen markers still pepper the 7-acre Cemetery Memorial Park that was home to about 3,000 permanent residents. Most were never relocated.
The lush, well-manicured hillside patch of green on Main Street just a few blocks east of downtown Ventura has pine, thickets of overgrown junipers and a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean and Ventura Pier....
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (8-15-10)
Working for a Hollywood studio should carry a warning: Comedy can seriously damage your health. It certainly damaged mine when, in 1985, I was employed as a house writer at Paramount Studios on a new television comedy series.
There wasn't much to laugh about. In true Hollywood tradition I could have hit the bottle, or worse, but I sought solace in shopping. And it was on one summer afternoon as I was wandering along Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, that my eye was caught by a tray of what Americans call estate watches. Here they are known simply as second-hand, although I prefer 'previously used'.
I was drawn to a small, simple and beautiful Longines Art Deco wristwatch. I was in a buying mood. Could this watch cheer me up? Would it take my mind off having to return to Paramount Studios on Monday morning to spend the week with a group of American comedy writers who were driving me nuts? Who said Hollywood was glamorous?
The watch was $200. I tried it on. It suited me. I left the shop 20 minutes later with the watch on my wrist and a smile on my face. I couldn't stop staring at it although never once did I wonder whom it might have belonged to, or how it came to be in the shop window. What I did wonder was whether it would lift my spirits during what was becoming the loneliest time of my life.
I wore the watch for the rest of my time in Hollywood and long after I escaped and returned to Britain. Friends commented on it: 'They don't make watches like that any more.' Then in 1993, I treated myself to a modern chronograph and put the Longines in a bank deposit box, where it lay for nearly ten years.
In 2002 I started wearing the Longines again. I had forgotten how simple and beautiful it was. But I quickly realised it was losing between eight and ten minutes each day. I decided to take it to a City of London watch repairer.
Had I not done so I would never have discovered the watch's provenance; a discovery that made me look into my soul and ask myself, what kind of person am I?...
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (8-15-10)
Al-Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds from a Scottish prison in August 2009, and allowed to return home to Libya, where he continues to be treated for prostate cancer.
Three other experts provided an opinion for the Libyan government on al-Megrahi's condition. While those assessments were shared with Scottish authorities, officials insist those opinions were not taken into account when deciding to release the bomber....
SOURCE: AP (8-15-10)
Members of the now-opposition Liberal Democratic Party, which ruled Japan nearly continuously since the end of the war, made a point by carrying out their own trip to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II.
The Shinto shrine — a spectacular building with sweeping roofs and a museum in its grounds that glorifies kamikaze pilots — has set off controversy by honoring the 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including Class A war criminals such as Hideki Tojo, Japan's wartime prime minister who was executed in 1948....
The crate, recovered from the Antarctic hut of renowned explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton after it was found there in 2006, has been thawed very slowly in recent weeks at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island.
Though the crate was frozen solid when it was retrieved earlier this year, the whisky inside could be heard sloshing around in the bottles. Antarctica's minus 22 Fahrenheit (-30 Celsius) temperature was not enough to freeze the liquor, dating from 1896 or 1897 and described as being in remarkably good condition....
On Thursday, Peres publicly thanked Romania for helping 400,000 Romanian Jews emigrate to Israel during the communist regime that ended in 1989. Peres did that while making the first visit to Romania by an Israeli head of state since 1948 when Israel was formed.
Peres was speaking at a news conference with Romanian President Traian Basescu, who said that Romania would be a loyal partner of Israel and NATO, if there was a conflict with Iran. During that event, Peres did not mention Romania's role in the Holocaust....
Southern Sudan is eagerly awaiting the vote, which could turn the arid region into the world's newest nation and split Africa's largest country in two. A 2005 peace agreement that ended four decades of on-and-off war between Sudan's north and south called for the referendum for southern Sudanese. But negotiations have barely begun and tensions are rising.
It took months of talks between the north and south before the commission charged with organizing the vote was in place. Now it's deadlocked over the appointment of the secretary general of the commission....
Culture Minister Ertugrul Gunay described the discovery near the town of Milas, in western Turkey, as an "important archaeological find" and ordered digs in surrounding areas, Haber Turk newspaper reported.
Looting of ancient artifacts is common in Turkey, and the country has imposed heavy penalties to deter illegal digs. But the Milas discovery is the first time in years that authorities have found what could be an important archaeological site while chasing looters.
The 2,800-year-old carved coffin, decorated with reliefs of a bearded reclining man, probably belonged to Hecatomnus, who ruled over Milas, according to Turkey's Culture Ministry.
Several treasures that would have been placed in the underground tomb were most likely looted by the treasure hunters and sold in the illegal antiquities trade, the ministry said.
A court has arrested and charged five of 10 people detained in the raid, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.
Anatolia, which was allowed to enter the tomb, said the suspects had dug two tunnels — 6 and 8 meters (yards) long, from the house and an adjacent barn, leading to the tomb that is buried some 10 meters (yards) deep.
They used sophisticated equipment to drill through the thick marble walls of the tomb and were working to remove the coffin from the underground chamber when they were detained, according to the Culture Ministry....
SOURCE: AP (8-11-10)
The bones appear to have been cut and smashed some 3.4 million years ago, the first evidence of stone tool use by Australopithecus afarensis, the species best known for the fossil dubbed "Lucy," says researcher Zeresenay Alemseged.
The study authors said the bones indicate the human ancestor used sharp stones to carve meat from the carcasses of large animals and other stones to smash bones to get at the marrow. One bone is a rib from a creature the size of a cow, and the other a leg bone from something the size of a goat. No stone tools were found at the site....
SOURCE: AP (8-11-10)
The 2,200-year-old coin weighs an ounce (28 grams) and was found at the Tel Kedesh site near the Lebanon border on June 22, according to Wednesday's statement from the antiquities authority.
It said this coin is six times the weight of most others from that era....
Name of source: CS Monitor
SOURCE: CS Monitor (8-15-10)
"What we are facing is something America faced from its foundation. If you have a non-homogenous population, a multicultural nation, what unifying thing have you got?" says Graham Bartram, chief vexillologist of the Flag Institute in London. "The two things we've got are the queen and the flag."
He sees India facing similar challenges.
"Young nations face from the start the problems that Britain is facing now, and that is you have a group of people who are not necessarily feeling that they belong to each other. But you need them to feel that way in order for your country work."...
Name of source: Oxford Mail
SOURCE: Oxford Mail (8-13-10)
The comprehensive notes and photos recording the find by archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922, were donated to Oxford University’s first Professor of Egyptology, Frank Griffith, by the Carter family.
In turn, this archive became the Griffith Institute, attached to Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, and it is the institute’s Keeper of the Archives Dr Jaromir Malek, 66, along with his assistant Elizabeth Fleming, who have diligently been loading the mass of information on to the Internet in their spare time.
Yet one of the real curses of Tutankhamun, from Dr Malek’s point of view, was the failure of Egyptologists to publish the discovery in its entirety....
Name of source: Hurriyet (Turkey)
SOURCE: Hurriyet (Turkey) (8-12-10)
“It is a crime by law to enter protected areas with heavy-duty vehicles. Before the rock broke, there were cracks but the necessary precautions were not taken,” said archaeologist Ercan Alpay, a member of the committee formed by the Initiative to Revive Hasankeyf to investigate the death of a man killed July 13 when a rock fell from a tower in the area.
After the fatal incident, the road to the ancient bazaar and tents located near the Tigris River were closed to vehicle and passenger traffic.
“Excavating with vehicles in a historical site has nothing to do with scientific research,” Alpay said, adding that such work can do massive damage to a fragile site such as Hasankeyf.
The committee, which includes archaeologists, architects and building and geology engineers, found in its report that caves used as dwellings as early as 800 B.C. had been damaged. It concluded that the ancient city is at risk of collapse....
Name of source: National Parks Traveler
SOURCE: National Parks Traveler (8-13-10)
The ship is owned by the State of Pennsylvania’s Erie Historic Maritime Museum, "a nonprofit educational association striving to preserve and further the education of historic sailing techniques, environmental stewardship, and outreach education programs." It visited Isle Royale under terms of a special use permit that included some specific conditions: the ship would be free of aquatic invasive species, especially the zebra mussel.
As previous articles on the Traveler have explained, zebra mussels—and their relatives named quaggas—pose a serious threat to any body of water where they become established, and they have already caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage in other parts of the country. Information from Isle Royale notes,
Name of source: Xinhua
SOURCE: Xinhua (8-13-10)
"I still remember the day my mother took me to a small restaurant to meet my new Chinese mother," says Gao Fengqin, now 70.
"I had noodles and when I finished, she stood up to leave. I gripped her leg, crying for her not to go."
It was 65 years ago that Gao's Japanese mother, Kobayasi, gave her away to the Chinese couple who raised her into adulthood.
Gao was one of thousands of Japanese children abandoned in China and adopted by Chinese families in the aftermath of the war.
In late 1931, Japan started its armed colonization of northeast China, which had fallen under its control earlier that year.
Gao's birth father died shortly after the family arrived in China, when Gao was too young to remember. Later Kobayasi remarried to a Chinese man, and, for an unknown reason, gave her birth daughter away....
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (8-13-10)
The aluminium replica of a MKVb Supermarine Spitfire was built in 2008 by members of the Ripon branch of the Royal British Legion.
Since it was built, the aircraft has been used at a variety of events including the 70th birthday of RAF Leeming events.
The auction takes place on September 17.
The spitfire took 10 months and 11,000 man hours to construct and represents aircraft number W3850 which was flown by Pilot Officer Atkinson, now Sir Joe Atkinson, over France on 13th October 1941 in an attempt to protect Blenheim bombers attacking port installations.
Atkinson, in formation with other aircraft from 609 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Airforce (West Riding of Yorkshire), engaged and damaged a number of German Messerschmitt 109s during this flight. He was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross....
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (8-12-10)
A U.S. judge last week ruled against the Russian government for its refusal to return thousands of manuscripts that once belonged to a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi. The library was seized by Red Army in Nazi Germany as war booty....
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (8-11-10)
In the journal Current Anthropology, a team led by archaeologist Eudald Carbonell of Spain's University of Rovira and Virgili, report fossil evidence of continuous cannibalism - cut marks and butchering remains - as a way of life among the Homo antecessor inhabitants of the Atapuerca Mountains archeological site.
Modern humans did not arrive in Spain until around 30,000 years ago. An "archaic" human species, H. Antecessor possessed a brain about two-thirds the size of modern humans. They are thought to be ancestral to both modern humans and our Neanderthal cousins, who disappeared from the fossil record about the time of the first modern-looking humans in Europe.
The cannibalized bones from the Spanish site, tossed in with the bones of animals butchered for food, suggest that cannibalism was just another dietary option for these early cavemen, one with neither symbolic meaning or pursued solely as a survival strategy during famine....
SOURCE: USA Today (8-11-10)
In the current European Journal of Archaeology, archaeologist Chris Scarre of the United Kingdom's Durham University, looks at the latest dating of "megalithic" prehistoric tombs stretching from Sweden to Spain. The mound-shaped burial sites are better known as "barrows" in Great Britain, or "passage tombs" for their intersecting halls of corbel stones....
Name of source: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (8-10-10)
Members of a pre-Aztec civilization used human bones—likely from their freshly dead relatives—to make buttons, combs, needles, spatulas, and dozens of other everyday utensils, Mexican archeologists say.
The discovery comes from a new analysis of 5,000 bone fragments found in the ancient city of Teotihuacan, a large archaeological site about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Mexico City (see map).
Femurs (thigh bones), tibias (shinbones), and human skulls were transformed into household items shortly after death, noted team leader Abigail Meza Peñaloza of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)....
Name of source: National Geographic
SOURCE: National Geographic (8-10-10)
Using fire-starting rock such as flint, Stone Age people originally created the stones to serve as axes. But the Vikings, whose Iron Age heyday lasted from about A.D. 800 to 1050, saw the primitive tools as lightning repellent.
Because the axes predate the Viking age by thousands of years, archaeologists have long seen the stones as random artifacts, perhaps stirred up from earlier, lower burials or dropped in centuries after the Viking era.
To solve the thunderstone mystery, Thäte and fellow archaeologist Olle Hemdorff excavated Viking graves in Scandinavia and trawled through catalogs of grave goods from hundreds of Viking burials—all dating to the Iron Age (about 600 A.D. to 1000 A.D.).
For example, in Scandinavia the researchers found about ten Viking burials that held thunderstones up to 5,000 years older than the graves themselves—including a thunderstone in a previously untouched, fifth-century A.D. stone coffin....