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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: AP
SOURCE: AP (12-23-10)
Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, was convicted in July of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He was the first major Khmer Rouge figure to face trial more than three decades after the genocide of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians.
Duch's lawyers say he merely followed orders and was wrongfully convicted. Prosecutors say his sentence is insufficent to his crimes and want a life term....
SOURCE: AP (12-17-10)
Now scientists at the University of Oklahoma hope to extract DNA from the tiny bone chips in tests that could prove Earhart died as a castaway after failing in her 1937 quest to become the first woman to fly around the world
It could be months before scientists know for sure — and it could turn out the bones are from a turtle. The fragments were found near a hollowed-out turtle shell that might have been used to collect rain water, but there were no other turtle parts nearby....
SOURCE: AP (12-21-10)
Heinrich Boere, 89, was sentenced to life in prison earlier this year for killing Dutch civilians during World War II. His appeal was rejected by Germany's highest criminal appeals court on Monday, but he continues to live in freedom in Eschweiler, Germany, pending a procedure to have him jailed.
Amsterdam prosecution spokeswoman Ruth Gorissen said Tuesday the reporters for the television program EenVandaag were being questioned at the request of German prosecutors, though no formal charge has been filed....
SOURCE: AP (12-21-10)
Yad Vashem has made the recovery of the names a main mission in order to keep the memory of the murdered Jews alive.
In 2004, it launched a database of victims' names on its website. It had 3 million names at the time and since then has been compiling the names of other victims. It said Tuesday that the database now has 4 million names....
Name of source: AOL News
SOURCE: AOL News (12-23-10)
Booth, an actor from Maryland, shot and killed Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. Most believe he was tracked down 10 days later and shot inside a tobacco barn in rural Virginia by Union soldiers and buried in an unmarked grave in Baltimore's Green Mount Cemetery.
That, however, is not the story that has been passed down in the Booth family. According to family members, Booth escaped capture and lived for 38 more years.
That story was also made popular in the 1907 book "The Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth," written by Finis L. Bates. In the book, Bates suggested a Booth look-alike was mistakenly killed at the farm. Booth then assumed the name John St. Helen and committed suicide in 1903 in Enid, Okla.
In an effort to end the speculation, Hulme and her family want to compare DNA from Booth's brother, Edwin, to that of a bone specimen at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington. The bone is from the man who was gunned down inside the barn....
SOURCE: AOL News (12-21-10)
And the bigger question: Could the ingredients of these ancient tablets still work to help with modern illnesses?
Around 130 B.C., a ship, identified as the Relitto del Pozzino, sank off Tuscany, Italy. Among the artifacts found on board in 1989 were glass cups, a pitcher and ceramics, all of which suggested that the ship was sailing from the eastern Mediterranean area.
Its cargo also included a chest that contained various items related to the medical profession: a copper bleeding cup and 136 boxwood vials and tin containers.
Inside one of the tin vessels, archaeologists found several circular tablets, many still completely dry.
"They were less than an inch in diameter and about a third to a half inch thick," said Robert Fleischer, an evolutionary geneticist with the Smithsonian's Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics in Washington, D.C.
He told AOL News that the tablets were "very tightly compressed vegetation in a very solid pill. In fact, you had to use a scalpel to cut pieces off of it.
"But under a microscope, you could see plant fibers in it. It probably wasn't something that was taken whole.
"It was assumed the pills were medicines that the physicians were using. There were things associated with this chest that led them to believe it was a physician's chest," said Fleischer.
Using DNA sequencing, Fleischer has identified some of the plant components in the tablets: carrot, radish, parsley, celery, wild onion, cabbage, alfalfa, oak and hibiscus....
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (12-23-10)
Gov. Bill Richardson, called a Billy the Kid buff, is looking at an old promise by another governor, and not the Kid's cold-blooded reputation, in deciding whether to issue a posthumous pardon, officials said.
So far, about 220 people are in favor of the pardon, while 180 are against, Witt said.
Those interested have until December 26 to belly up to the bar and weigh in. The governor, who is also reviewing the historical record, has said he will announce a decision after Christmas but by December 31, when his term ends....
SOURCE: CNN (12-23-10)
And the lineage of that species may survive today in some people in Papua New Guinea and nearby islands, scientists say.
A report on the discovery of the finger was published in the December 23 edition of the scientific journal Nature.
Anthropologists say the 30,000- to 50,000-year-old finger is evidence of a new population of hominids they call Denisovans. The name is derived from the southern Siberian cave in which the finger bone was found.
Geneticists say the finger probably belonged to a 6- or 7-year-old girl....
SOURCE: CNN (12-22-10)
The land Saint Nicholas is originally from rarely sees snowflakes -- it is a village of palm trees and orange groves on the Mediterranean Sea in what is modern-day Turkey. Nicholas, patron saint of sailors and children, lived and died there nearly 18 centuries ago.
The legend of the 4th century bishop who gave gifts to the poor has spread since the earliest days of Christianity.
Eventually, Saint Nicholas evolved from the bald and bearded man depicted in Orthodox icons -- dressed in long robes and clutching a bible -- to the more rotund and secular character of jolly old Saint Nick.
Though Santa Claus is today inextricably intertwined with Christmas, hardly any of the residents of Saint Nicholas' hometown celebrate the holiday....
SOURCE: CNN (12-22-10)
The bill passed on a voice vote on what is expected to be the final day of the lame-duck session of Congress. It now goes to the House, which also is expected to approve it and send it to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.
Jubilant Democrats hailed the last-minute approval as a triumph for firefighters, police officers and other emergency personnel who put themselves in harm's way to help others in the 2001 terrorist attack.....
The C.S.S. Peedee, built inland between Florence and Marion, South Carolina, was unable to reach the Atlantic Ocean because Union forces had taken coastal Georgetown. The crew scuttled the wooden Peedee on March 15, 1865, leaving its remains in the Pee Dee River.
In 2009, state underwater archaeologist Chris Amer confirmed the discovery of two of three cannon that were placed on the Peedee at Mars Bluff Navy Yard.
On Tuesday, Amer announced that the University of South Carolina team had located the mostly salvaged wreckage of the Peedee, which lies a few feet below the river bottom and a field of timbers....
The release of the report, led by Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, coincided with the 22nd anniversary of the bombing, which occurred over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988, killing 259 people aboard the Boeing 747 and 11 on the ground.
Al Megrahi was released from a Scottish prison last year on the grounds that he had cancer and was not likely to live more than three more months -- a prognosis Menendez has questioned.
The report, titled "Justice Undone: The Release of the Lockerbie Bomber," was the result of a five-month investigation led by Menendez's office and was co-signed by Sens. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, and Charles Schumer, D-New York....
In the years following the attacks, health experts have noted respiratory and mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, in those who engaged in ground zero rescue and cleanup efforts.
The bill has been in legislative limbo since Thursday, when Senate Democrats failed to win a procedural vote to open debate on it....
Name of source: Bloomberg
SOURCE: Bloomberg (12-21-10)
For the first time since President Theodore Roosevelt began the quest for a national health-care system more than 100 years ago, the Democrat-led House and Senate took the biggest step toward achieving that goal by giving 32 million Americans access to insurance. Congress rewrote the rules for Wall Street in the most comprehensive way since the Great Depression. It spent more than $1.67 trillion to revive an economy on the verge of a depression, including tax cuts for most Americans, jobs for more than 3 million, construction of roads and bridges and investment in alternative energy; ended an almost two-decade ban against openly gay men and women serving in the military, and is poised today to ratify a nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia.
For all of its ambitious achievement, the 111th Congress, which may adjourn this week, also witnessed a voter-backlash driven by a 9.6-percent unemployment rate that cost Democrats control of the House and diminished their Senate majority....
Name of source: Stars and Stripes
SOURCE: Stars and Stripes (12-21-10)
“For black GIs, especially those out of the South, Germany was a breath of freedom,” Colin Powell, a former secretary of state, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and America’s most famous African-American soldier, noted in his memoir.
“They could go where they wanted, eat what they wanted and date whom they wanted. The dollar was strong, the beer good and the German people friendly. ...”
Many vowed to “never go back” to the old ways.
The occupation of Germany provided black GIs personal liberation. But it also had a monumental effect on the armed forces and, ultimately, U.S. society, according to a book by two German historians published in October....
Name of source: BBC News
The X-rays are helping to build up a 3D picture of this ferocious predator, called a pliosaur, which terrorized the oceans 150m years ago.
The 2.4m-long (7.9ft) fossil skull was recently unearthed along the UK's Jurassic coast, and is thought to belong to one of the biggest pliosaurs ever found.
The scans could establish if the giant is a species that is new to science.
Pliosaurs are aquatic reptiles belonging to the plesiosaur family. Paddle-like limbs would have powered their huge bulky bodies through the water, and they had enormous crocodile-like heads, packed full of razor-sharp teeth.
The skull, which was unearthed by a local fossil collector and then purchased by Dorset Country Council using Heritage Lottery Funds, would have belonged to one of the most fearsome beasts the seas have ever seen....
SOURCE: BBC News (12-23-10)
That is one of the many interesting facts about Christmas carols shared by expert Professor Jeremy Dibble from Durham University.
He recently appeared as an expert on the Songs of Praise 'Edwardian Christmas' programme on BBC One in December.
Jeremy believes that the carol-singing tradition is getting stronger....
Mr Obama said the law meant that tens of thousands of Americans would no longer be asked to live a lie.
He had campaigned to change the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" law, overturned by Congress last week.
More than 13,000 service members have been dismissed under the policy, enacted in 1993 as a compromise.
Opponents argue that the change will damage troop morale at a time of war.
But earlier this month, a Pentagon report said that allowing openly gay troops would have little impact on the cohesion of US forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The outgoing Senate and House of Representatives approved the new law last week, with moderate Republicans joining the Democratic majority....
Geoffrey Hoyle is often asked why he predicted everybody would be wearing jumpsuits by 2010. He envisioned a world where everybody worked a three-day week and had their electric cars delivered in tubes of liquid.
These colourful ideas from his 1972 children's book, 2010: Living in the Future, helped prompt a Facebook campaign to track him down. His work has now been reprinted with the year in the title amended to 2011.
"I've been criticised because I said people [would] wear jumpsuits," explains Hoyle, the son of noted astronomer and science fiction author Fred Hoyle. "We don't wear jumpsuits but to a certain extent the idea of the jumpsuit is the restriction of liberties."
Hoyle's book is a product of its time. The move towards a planned society with an emphasis on communal living colour it....
The ancient humans have been dubbed Denisovans after the caves in Siberia where their remains were found.
There is also evidence that this group was widespread in Eurasia.
A study in Nature journal shows that Denisovans co-existed with Neanderthals and interbred with our species - perhaps around 50,000 years ago.
An international group of researchers sequenced a complete genome from one of the ancient hominins (human-like creatures), based on nuclear DNA extracted from a finger bone.
According to the researchers, this provides confirmation there were at least four distinct types of human in existence when anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) first left their African homeland....
The season of goodwill is sandwiched, like it or not, by things: must-haves, latest crazes, always-wanteds, gadgets and treats and consumer goodies, first as gifts, then the sales.
Sorry for Go Figure's materialist turn, but it just happens that for 40 years, surveys have tracked Britain's saturation by consumer durables.
And even - maybe especially - with words like bankruptcy and debt in the air, it's worth reminding ourselves of a few material facts.
Like the two thirds of people in 1970 with no phone: no mobile - there weren't any - and no home phone either. You used a red box down the road, if it worked. In the next 20 years, phone ownership hit 90% and peaked at 95%....
The Met downgraded the painting of King Philip IV in 1973, determining it was likely done by an assistant or follower studying under the artist.
But experts reversed the decision after a year's worth of restoration.
The portrait can now be seen in the European Paintings galleries.
It is one of only just over 100 known works by Velazquez, who was the king's leading court artist and painted him throughout his reign.
The painting, which had been on display since 1914, had not been cleaned and restored since 1911 and scholars debated for years whether it was genuine.
It was among 300 disputed works all downgraded by the Met 37 years ago, despite the museum owning the artist's signed receipt of payment from the king....
Markings on the bones show the unmistakeable signs of cannibal activity, say the researchers, with the group having probably been killed by their peers.
The remains were found in a cave in the Asturias region of Northern Spain. Details of the find appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Although the highly fragmented bones of six adults and six children were found in a cave, it is thought they probably lived and died on the surface before the ground collapsed beneath them naturally after their death.
Their end was a bloody one, with distinct markings on the bones showing they fell victim to cannibalism.
"They all show signs of cannibalism. They have cut marks on many bones including skulls and mandibles," said Professor Carles Lalueza-Fox of Barcelona's Institute of Evolutionary Biology, who lead the research....
SOURCE: BBC News (12-17-10)
The 77-year-old fought back tears as he told his audience: "Thank you, and instead of Goodbye, how about So Long?"
President Barack Obama paid tribute to the star in a taped message, in which he said his show had "opened our eyes to the world beyond our living rooms".
Larry King Live has ended after more than 6,000 shows and 50,000 interviews.
Former tabloid editor and talent show judge Piers Morgan will take over his coveted time slot in January.
Thursday's edition saw former president Bill Clinton make his 29th appearance on the show via satellite from Arkansas, while crooner Tony Bennett sang The Best is Yet to Come.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared to announce he had made 16 December "Larry King Day" in his state as US TV stars Ryan Seacrest and Bill Maher joined King in his New York studio.
"This is not Larry's funeral. He's hopefully going to be in our living rooms for a lot of years to come," said comedian Maher.
"This is the end of a show, not the end of a man."...
SOURCE: BBC News (12-21-10)
Thirty-five works by Pablo Picasso, Eduardo Chillida and others were stolen from a warehouse south of Madrid on 27 November.
Police were tipped off that Chillida's bench-like 'Topos IV', worth 800,000 euros (£675,000), had been offered to a scrapyard for 30 euros (£25).
The haul was found nearby.
When the heist happened last month, the art works had just been brought back from an exhibition in Germany and were all still in the truck in a warehouse in Getafe, on the outskirts of Madrid.
Thieves broke into the warehouse and drove off with the lorry-load of art, with a combined value thought to be more than 5m euros (£4.2m)....
Name of source: Narinjara (Burma)
SOURCE: Narinjara (Burma) (12-23-10)
He said, "We submitted an appeal letter to the minister of railway three months ago, asking them not to construct the railroad over the ancient palace of Danyawaddy because it is a precious historic site for Arakanese people, but they neglected our appeal. Now the railroad is being constructed over the ancient palace," he said.
The authority started construction of the railroad in the last week and it is now passing over the site of the palace.
"There are many alternative paths for constructing the railway to bypass the ancient palace, but the authority always plans to construct the railroad over the ancient city sites in Arakan State. Every Arakanese believes the government wants to destroy the invaluable Arakanese historic sites on the pretense of the railroad," he said.
The current military government is not willing see such historic sites preserved in ethnic areas in Burma due to its plan of Burmanization. Because of this, the military authority is often trying to destroy such historic sites in Burma to remove them from public sight....
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (12-22-10)
John D Lavelle was demoted and forced to retire in April 1972 after being relieved of duty for violating presidential restrictions on aerial bombing during the Vietnam War.
He maintained his innocence during congressional hearings held after his dismissal and died in 1979.
Declassified documents and transcripts of President Richard Nixon's Oval Office audio tapes now show that more aggressive bombing in North Vietnam had been secretly authorised in early 1972....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (12-23-10)
The central panel of the triptych had over the centuries become blackened with the sprinkling of perfume that the monks use as they worship.
The hugely important and stunning painted wood panel is now visible in its original coloured glory, showing a pale-faced Jesus with black curly hair and rosy cheeks.
His hand has three digits raised and two down as if blessing the person looking at him.
He has a halo and is wearing a gown and is perched on his mother's knee and she too has a halo.
The monks at the Monastery of St Stephen on an island in Lake Hayq in the north of the African country believe the icon, known as The One Who Listens, to be miraculous....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (12-21-10)
Mr Netanyahu has decided to "accede to Jonathan Pollard's personal request and will, in the coming days, officially and publicly appeal to US President Barack Obama regarding Pollard's release," his office said.
Pollard, a former US Navy analyst, is serving a life sentence for passing thousands of secret documents about American spy activities in the Arab world to Israel between May 1984 and his arrest in November 1985.
The issue of Pollard, a US-born Jew who was given Israeli citizenship while in prison, has been a thorn in the side of relations between Israel and its main ally Washington.
His arrest sparked a crisis in ties that only ended with Israel promising to end all espionage activities on US soil.
But Israelis charge his punishment and the long-standing US refusal to commute his sentence have been particularly harsh, given that he gave information to a friendly nation....
Name of source: Life Magazine
SOURCE: Life Magazine (12-9-10)
The image is chilling, bordering on surreal: On December 18, 1941, as World War II rages and countless innocents endure the horrors of the Third Reich's "final solution" -- killing operations at the Chełmno death camp, for instance, began less than two weeks before -- Adolf Hitler presides over a Christmas party in Munich. Stark, jarring swastika armbands offset the glint of ornaments and tinsel dangling from a giant Tannenbaum; festive candles illuminate the scene. Confronted with the image, the question naturally arises: How could Nazi leaders reconcile an ideology of hatred and conquest with the peaceful, joyous spirit of the Christian holiday -- much less its celebration of the Jewish-born Christ? Here, LIFE.com presents astonishing photos from this unsettling affair, and the equally remarkable story behind them....
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (12-22-10)
SOURCE: NYT (12-23-10)
All the Denisovans have left behind are a broken finger bone and a wisdom tooth in a Siberian cave. But the scientists have succeeded in extracting the entire genome of the Denisovans from these scant remains. An analysis of this ancient DNA, published on Wednesday in Nature, reveals that the genomes of people from New Guinea contain 4.8 percent Denisovan DNA.
An earlier, incomplete analysis of Denisovan DNA had placed the group as more distant from both Neanderthals and humans. On the basis of the new findings, the scientists propose that the ancestors of Neanderthals and Denisovans emerged from Africa half a million years ago. The Neanderthals spread westward, settling in the Near East and Europe. The Denisovans headed east. Some 50,000 years ago, they interbred with humans expanding from Africa along the coast of South Asia, bequeathing some of their DNA to them....
SOURCE: NYT (12-21-10)
Today, El Sidrón is one of the most important sites on Earth for learning about Neanderthals, who thrived across Europe and Asia from about 240,000 to 30,000 years ago. Scientists have found 1,800 more Neanderthal bone fragments in the cave, some of which have yielded snippets of DNA.
But the mystery has lingered on for 16 years. What happened to the El Sidrón victims? In a paper this week in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Spanish scientists who analyzed the bones and DNA report the gruesome answer. The victims were a dozen members of an extended family, slaughtered by cannibals....
SOURCE: NYT (12-20-10)
So it was quite a shock when, in 1973, the Met, reconsidering 300 of its most treasured works, declared that the painting was not a Velázquez and was probably executed in his studio by an assistant or follower.
But in the museum world, 37 years is several lifetimes, especially considering how extraordinarily technology and scholarship have advanced. Now, after a year of examination and restoration, curators, conservators and scholars have changed their minds....
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (12-21-10)
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"We are very proud of who we are," said Chip Limehouse, a South Carolina legislator who rented a historically accurate suit and vest for the formal ball celebrating the anniversary. "This is in our DNA."
Great-great-great-granddad fought the Yankees, lost his plantation, was bathed in glory, the men and women at the ball like to say. They're proud of their ancestors, they declare, and that's why they paid $100 apiece to take part in an event touted as a "joyous night of music, dancing, food and drink."...
SOURCE: WaPo (12-21-10)
In a Weekly Standard magazine profile published Monday, Barbour said he didn't remember it "being that bad" and referred benignly to white groups called Citizens Councils, which were known to enforce segregationist policies throughout the South.
His office released a statement Tuesday morning backtracking from those remarks....
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (12-20-10)
But across the path from the engraved headstones and flower arrangements, a very different kind of grave has been discovered. The vast pit now being excavated is a burial site from Spain's civil war.
In August 1936, dozens of Republican supporters - and anyone suspected of it - were shot and flung there.
Now uncovered, their bones lie sprawled as they landed: an arm above a head, a skull face down, the soles of shoes still eerily intact on skeletons.
It is 10 years since relatives of Spain's "disappeared" uncovered the first mass burial site from the war, and broke an unwritten pact of silence over the past.
More than 150 Republican graves have been found since then - in ditches, down wells or at the edge of cemeteries. But it is just a fraction of the total....
SOURCE: BBC (12-21-10)
Buildings and artefacts dating from the 6th to 8th centuries have been uncovered at Shotton Surface Mine, on the Blagdon Estate, near Cramlington.
The site had been investigated by archaeologists before the start of open-cast mining work.
Experts said the find had provided "the first direct evidence" of Anglo-Saxon settlement in that part of the county.
A team of archaeologists from TWM Archaeology, funded by Banks Mining, undertook the excavation and discovered the settlement....
Name of source: The Boston Globe
SOURCE: The Boston Globe (12-18-10)
The wreck was spotted Nov. 29 by an airplane pilot as he and an aerial photographer flew along the coast.
At low tide, the wreckage, which appears to be made of wood, sits in 8 to 10 feet of water, but it cannot be seen from the beach, officials said. The vessel, which remains partially buried in the sand, appears to have had two or three masts. Its discovery was first reported in the Cape Cod Times. The ship’s identity remains unknown as officials take a closer look, and even then its history might be difficult to uncover, Mastone said. The best guess at the moment is that it was a cargo vessel.
Officials have discovered several other shipwrecks along the Cape recently. Planks emerged last month off of Nauset Beach in Orleans of what is believed to be the Montclair, a cargo vessel and suspected rum runner from Nova Scotia that sank in 1927....
SOURCE: The Boston Globe (12-20-10)
Research is revealing the interconnected relationship between environmental shifts and changes in prehistoric people’s tools and settlement patterns. At the end of a cold period came the end of a particular type of chipped stone point used in hunting; when surface water temperatures cooled, burial traditions shifted.
Archeologists have long debated how environmental changes shaped the lives of people. Today, big sets of data are allowing them to look more closely at possible correlations between human and ecological changes in prehistory. Research published this month found that every time the climatic needle jumped in the Northeast, so did human culture. That work builds on a 2005 study that looked closely at a 1,300-year mini ice age followed by rapid warming, and the simultaneous abrupt change in both the landscape and hunting tools.....
Name of source: Discovery News
SOURCE: Discovery News (12-13-10)
Unearthed in January only 12 inches under the grass the Yorkshire Museum’s gardens, in York, England, the bones show that the man, most likely a disgraced gladiator, met a violent and bloody death.
Analysis by experts from York Osteoarchaeology Ltd, revealed that the skeleton belonged to a powerfully-built male aged between 36 and 45, who stood around 5 feet, 10 inches tall.
The bones strongly point to a gladiator's body as they feature all the hallmarks of repetitive sword training. Moreover, the injuries are much in tune with a gladiatorial combat....
SOURCE: Discovery News (12-20-10)
The emergence of the beak on dinosaurs was "an evolutionary innovation," according to a new study that found this seemingly simple trait is like nature's Swiss Army knife because it functions as many tools in one.
Over time, many dinosaurs replaced their toothy grins with beaks to aid their transition to plant eating, according to the new study that is published in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences....
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (12-21-10)
The 7-centimeter (2 3/4-inch) watch dial was found Nov. 20 by divers from the underwater archaeology division of Mexico's National Anthropology and History Institute, at the bottom of a lake in the crater of Nevado de Toluca volcano, at 4,200 meters (13,770 feet) above sea level.
The watch is related to other objects, including a locket and some boxes bearing the name of the Spanish bank Monte de Piedad de Madrid, which were found in the same lake in the 1960s by members of Mexico's Hombres Rana (Frogmen) Club, who kept them in a private collection.
The pieces might all be related to a treasure said to have been brought to Mexico in 1939 by Republican Spaniards who brought them from Monte de Piedad de Madrid - a savings bank now known as Caja Madrid - and from the Spanish central bank to help support the exiles.
The story remained literally submerged for the following decades until this year a group of archaeologists, led by Roberto Junco, climbed Nevado de Toluca volcano and descended to the bottom of Lake of the Sun, which has a depth of 12 meters (39 feet) and a water temperature of 5 C (41 F)....
Name of source: LA Times
SOURCE: LA Times (12-19-10)
When archaeologists and Navy divers recovered the warship Monitor's steam engine from the Atlantic in 2001, the pioneering Civil War propulsion unit was enshrouded in a thick layer of marine concretion.
Sand, mud and corrosion combined with minerals in the deep waters off Cape Hatteras, N.C., to cloak every feature of Swedish American inventor John Ericsson's ingenious machine, and they continued to envelop the 30-ton artifact after nine years of desalination treatment.
This month, however, conservators at the Mariners' Museum here and its USS Monitor Center drained the 35,000-gallon solution in which the massive engine was submerged and began removing the 2- to 3-inch-thick layer of concretion with hammers, chisels and other hand tools.
Working slowly and carefully to avoid harming the engine's original surface, they stripped off more than two tons of encrustation in their first week of work, gradually revealing the details of a naval milestone that had not been seen since the historic Union ironclad sank in a storm in December 1862....
SOURCE: LA Times (12-19-10)
Nearly 130 years after the death of Henry McCarty, alias William Bonney, but better known as Billy the Kid, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson will take some of the final hours of his administration to decide whether to pardon the baby-faced gunslinger.
Richardson will review evidence that in 1881, one of his predecessors promised to pardon Bonney for killing a sheriff in return for his testimony in a murder case. The record suggests that New Mexico territorial Gov. Lew Wallace later reneged on that promise.
Richardson has promised a decision by Dec. 31, his final day in office.
Richardson, who is in North Korea for talks aimed at defusing recent tensions after that country's recent artillery barrage on a South Korean island, has also solicited comment from citizens to help him make a decision, according to spokeswoman Alarie Ray-Garcia....
Name of source: MSNBC
SOURCE: MSNBC (12-9-10)
The legend of St. Ismeria, presented in the current Journal of Medieval History, sheds light on both the Biblical Virgin Mary's family and also on religious and cultural values of 14th-century Florence.
"I don't think any other woman is mentioned" as Mary's grandmother in the Bible, Catherine Lawless, author of the paper, told Discovery News. "Mary's patrilineal lineage is the only one given."
"Mary herself is mentioned very little in the Bible," added Lawless, a lecturer in history at the University of Limerick. "The huge Marian cult that has evolved over centuries has very few scriptural sources."...
Name of source: ANA-MPA
SOURCE: ANA-MPA (12-21-10)
An announcement on Friday informed passengers that the Monastiraki-Thission section of the line will open after the conclusion of the Archaeological Service's excavations.
Name of source: Yahoo News
SOURCE: Yahoo News (12-20-10)
In an interview with the Weekly Standard's Andrew Ferguson, the GOP governor offers up some provocative comments about growing up in the racially charged deep South in the 1960s. By Barbour's account, things weren't "that bad" in his hometown of Yazoo City, Mississippi, which escaped some of the violence other nearby towns suffered during the civil rights movement.
"I just don't remember it as being that bad," Barbour, who was in high school at the time, tells Ferguson. "I remember Martin Luther King came to town, in '62. He spoke out at the old fairgrounds and it was full of people, black and white."...
Name of source: Korea Herald
SOURCE: Korea Herald (12-20-10)
Their comments came one month after President Lee Myung-bak and his French counterpart Nicholas Sarkozy agreed on the return of 297 books of “Uigwe,” or royal protocols of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) on the sidelines of the G20 Seoul Summit on Nov. 12.
Sarkozy said France would loan the 297 Uigwe books on a five-year basis to the National Museum of Korea in Seoul, after which the loan will be automatically renewed every five years.
“Following the summit, follow-up negotiations are under way at the working level, whether the royal books should be digitized before repatriation,” said an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade....
Name of source: AAP
SOURCE: AAP (12-21-10)
Arthur "Rex" Crane, 84, posed as a World War II veteran for 22 years before his deceit was finally uncovered in 2009 by a military historian who thought his story didn't add up.
Before his fraud was exposed, however, the former president of the Ex-POW Association of Australia claimed $689,491 in commonwealth war pension and disability payments.
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He was not entitled to $464,409 of that amount.
Crane pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court to defrauding the commonwealth and obtaining financial advantage by deception.
He was sentenced on Tuesday to four years' jail, but will be released on a good behaviour bond after just six months.
Judge Marshall Irwin also ordered Crane repay $413,869 which is still outstanding, but said his age meant it was unlikely the full amount would ever be recouped.
The court was told Crane started offending in 1988 as a way of maintaining a friendship he had developed with two ex-POWs....