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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: Time.com
SOURCE: Time.com (1-14-11)
He also numbered among the first corsairs to fly a black flag with bones on it. And, according to some accounts, he had a habit of lighting fuses beneath his hat, a halo of smoke giving the bristly sea dog a decidedly demonic aspect....
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-14-11)
The letter has languished there, in the Leibniz library, for more than 250 years as nobody could read it. But historians who have spent three years examining the document have now unravelled its contents.
Amid the valuable gems and flowery language, King Alaungphaya confirms his permission for a harbour to be built in the city of Pathein to encourage trading co-operation between the two countries. Written in Burmese script, it is addressed to "the most meritorious and supreme [king] master of all the parasol-bearing kings … lord of ruby, gold, silver, copper, iron, amber and precious stone mines, lord of white elephants, red elephants and elephants of various colours"....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-13-11)
The Los Angeles-based Nazi-hunting organisation said in its report for 2010 that Germany had joined the United States as the only countries to earn an "A" grade and that German policy changes had resulted in two convictions, three indictments and more than 100 new investigations.
Although the United States obtained no convictions during the year, the centre said that was largely because of its vigour in the past, adding that it had charged two suspects and launched fresh investigations into five more.
At the other end of the scale, the centre gave fail grades to nine countries it said had underperformed, splitting them into two groups.
It listed Syria as ideologically unwilling to prosecute former Nazis, while Norway and Sweden were bound by statutes of limitation....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-13-11)
Previous efforts in the 1990s to recover nuclei in cells from the skin and muscle tissue from mammoths found in the Siberian permafrost failed because they had been too badly damaged by the extreme cold.
But a technique pioneered in 2008 by Dr. Teruhiko Wakayama, of the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology, was successful in cloning a mouse from the cells of another mouse that had been frozen for 16 years.
Now that hurdle has been overcome, Akira Iritani, a professor at Kyoto University, is reactivating his campaign to resurrect the species that died out 5,000 years ago....
Name of source: Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (1-14-11)
The end was in sight, with Allied troops already on the outskirts of the city. Nevertheless, a number of citizens of Celle in north-central Germany became murderers on April 8, 1945.
They participated in the hunt for hundreds of concentration camp prisoners who, during an American bombing attack on the city and its train station, had fled from the freight cars, some of them in flames, in which they were being transported. Local police officers, guards and members of the Volkssturm national militia and the Hitler Youth executed their victims in a nearby forest.
The prisoners were "killed like animals," many of them execution style, according to a British military report. Up to 300 people died in the massacre, with the leader of a Hitler Youth group in Celle killing more than 20 alone. The Allies captured the city four days later.
The outbreak of violence in this part of the state of Lower Saxony is described in detail in a book by Daniel Blatman, "The Death Marches: The Final Phase of Nazi Genocide," which comes out in German translation this week. The book addresses the broader issue of the death marches of concentration camp prisoners in 1944 and 1945, during the waning months of the war....
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (1-12-11)
The sidewalks of Pétionville used to be Officer Jean Calas' pride and joy -- a last bit of order in a life that was drowning in chaos even then. The rules for the sidewalks were clear, he says: They were for pedestrians and nothing else. People respected those rules -- and they respected him. That, though, was before the earthquake.
Calas turns onto Rue Lambert, a street once lined with exclusive shops, a street he describes as Port-au-Prince's Fifth Avenue. Now the sidewalks are full of street vendors catering to the poor, who lost not only their houses but also their markets to the quake with entire slums disappearing under the rubble. The destruction has driven them into the city's wealthier quarter. So now they're here, in Pétionville's open spaces -- in front of the police station, in Parc Sainte Thérèse and on Rue Lambert.
Calas reaches for his whistle. His chest displays his badge number, 00708, and four gold stripes on his shoulder indicate his rank. Now 42, Calas had envisioned more for himself. He would prefer to be "Monsieur l'Inspecteur" rather than a beat cop, especially given all the new problems police officers in Haiti face.
There is more theft and kidnapping now because many Haitians believe that donations from the United States and Europe have made a few locals into millionaires, and that these people are living in Pétionville's villas. There are also more instances of rape, with armed and masked men attacking women and girls in the overcrowded tent camps at night....
Name of source: NJ.com
SOURCE: NJ.com (1-14-11)
Something is dreadfully wrong when an institution cannibalizes itself to survive. It’s fair to ask whether the society correctly managed its meager resources over the years, and whether corporate and other donors could have been more generous, too....
Name of source: The Australian
SOURCE: The Australian (1-17-11)
The previously confidential records show a leader whose work deteriorated and whose character suffered because of years of stress that left him with "an intolerance of criticism and bad temper".
Churchill's decline was exacerbated because he "never nursed his physique" and failed to "listen to advice", according to Charles Moran, his doctor for 25 years.
Historians believe a fitter Churchill might arguably have been able to stand up more persuasively to Josef Stalin, the Soviet leader, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, the US president, on the future of Europe after the war -- by keeping Poland free of Soviet domination, for example....
Name of source: The Local (DE)
SOURCE: The Local (DE) (1-15-11)
Barbie fled to Bolivia after the war, in which he had served as the head of the SS in Lyon, and lived there under the name Klaus Altmann from 1951. It was there that he was recruited by the BND intelligence service, the magazine reported on Saturday.
A file on Barbie, whose codename was Eagle, says he was of ‘complete German attitude’ and a ‘committed anti-Communist’. He delivered at least 35 reports and was seen as a political source, although it is not yet known what kind of information he gave the agents.
Payments for his work were made to him via a branch of the Chartered Bank of London in San Francisco....
Name of source: Lee P Ruddin
SOURCE: Lee P Ruddin (1-17-11)
Rating presidential performance across five categories, 47 UK-based, US specialists ranked Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945) first and James Buchanan (1857-1861) 40th. George W. Bush (2001-2009) is in 31st place, putting him in the bottom 10.
The UK Survey of US Presidents was conducted by the United States Presidency Centre of the Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London, and is the first UK scholarly survey of 40 US presidents since George Washington.
An hour after the results went live on the USPC website at 17:00 (GMT) on Monday, Professor Iwan Morgan, USPC director, provided analysis at Senate House.
Name of source: BBC News
Mr Holbrooke, a diplomatic veteran, was President Barack Obama's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Mourners included Mr Obama, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton.
Mr Holbrooke was credited in part with ending war in the Balkans in the 1990s.
The ceremony took place on Friday afternoon at the Kennedy Center in Washington.
Mr Obama, who had previously hailed Mr Holbrooke as a "true giant of American foreign policy", addressed the memorial service.
"Richard is gone now, but we carry with us his thirst to know, to grasp and heal the world around us," Mr Obama said during a speech at the centre....
SOURCE: BBC News (1-17-11)
Mr Campbell, former Downing Street director of communications, makes the claim in extracts from his diaries published in the Guardian.
He said Prince Charles's press secretary was sent to ask William to walk with his father.
Clarence House said it would not be commenting on Mr Campbell's claims.
Mr Campbell wrote in his book, Power and The People, that concerns over the Prince of Wales' safety following his ex-wife's death emerged during a conference call on 4 September 1997.
This was conducted with courtiers who were with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Balmoral....
SOURCE: BBC News (1-17-11)
No other book, or indeed any piece of culture, seems to have influenced the English language as much as the King James Bible. Its turns of phrase have permeated the everyday language of English speakers, whether or not they've ever opened a copy.
The Sun says Aston Villa "refused to give up the ghost". Wendy Richard calls her EastEnders character Pauline Fowler "the salt of the earth". The England cricket coach tells reporters, "You can't put words in my mouth." Daily Mirror fashion pages call Tilda Swinton "a law unto herself".
Though each of those phrases was begotten of the loins of the English Bible, it's safe to say that none of those speakers was deliberately quoting the Bible to people they expected to be familiar with its contents....
A team of researchers based their findings on data from 9,000 wooden artifacts from the past 2,500 years.
They found that periods of warm, wet summers coincided with prosperity, while political turmoil occurred during times of climate instability.
The findings have been published online by the journal Science.
"Looking back on 2,500 years, there are examples where climate change impacted human history," co-author Ulf Buntgen, a paleoclimatologist at the Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape, told the Science website.
The team capitalised on a system used to date material unearthed during excavations....
The process of beatification, or declaring the late pontiff to be "blessed", is a crucial step towards making him a saint.
John Paul II died in 2005 after a papacy of nearly 27 years.
The Vatican credits him with the miraculous cure of a nun said to have had Parkinson's Disease.
Church officials believe that the Polish pope, who himself suffered from the condition, interceded for the miraculous cure of Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, a Frenchwoman in her late forties.
She has said her illness inexplicably disappeared two months after John Paul II's death, after she and her fellow nuns had prayed to him....
SOURCE: BBC News (1-12-11)
As part of the deal, New York artist Shepard Fairey has agreed not to use another AP photo in his work without first obtaining a licence.
The two sides have also reached a financial settlement, the terms of which have not been disclosed.
The case relates to a picture of the US president taken in 2006.
Street artist Fairey used the photo, taken by Mannie Garcia, when he created his Hope artwork during Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.
Fairey sued AP in 2009, seeking a declaration he did not violate its copyright with his iconic image.
AP then counter-sued, saying he did through his uncredited and uncompensated use of its picture....
The project is the largest undertaken by one of the 13 presidential library.
Materials already digitised include secret phone conversations about the Cuban missile crisis.
There are also recordings of meetings discussing Vietnam, civil rights and the space race, school report cards and letters from JFK to his mother.
"We are scanning every single piece of paper, movie and audio tape we have in our possession," Tom Putnam, JFK library director told BBC News.
"Unlike other libraries there is no archivist making a decision about what they think you would like to see," he said. "We are showing everything we have."
To date more than 200,000 pages have been digitised along with 1,500 photos, 72 reels of film and 300 reels of audio tape containing 1,245 individual recordings of telephone conversations, speeches and meetings....
From April 2009 to March 2010 there were 852 investigations being conducted worldwide, compared with 706 during the same period in 2008/09.
The SWC also awarded Germany an A-grade for its efforts to prosecute ex-Nazis.
This is the first time its top grade has been given to any country other than the United States.
The period 2009-10 is the second consecutive year that the number of investigations into suspected Nazis has risen - there were 608 in 2007-08.
According to Efraim Zuroff, head of the SWC's Jerusalem branch, which investigates suspected WWII Nazi criminals, two cases were under investigation in Britain during 2009-10, but Scotland Yard has not yet confirmed this.
Mr Zuroff is also author of the SWC's annual report and said the rise in prosecutions was down to two developments....
Swedish author Fredrik Colting reached a settlement with Salinger's estate to end a lengthy copyright dispute over the book, Publishers Weekly said.
As part of the deal, the book cannot be published in the US or Canada. But it can be sold in other countries.
Colting must also stop calling his work 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye.
Prior to his death one year ago, Salinger had taken legal action against Colting, who wrote his work under the pseudonym John David California.
According to the late author's lawyers, the book - published in the UK in June 2009 - was "a rip-off, pure and simple".
The Swedish author claimed his book - which features a character based on Salinger's anti-hero Holden Caulfield - was a literary commentary and not a sequel....
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (1-16-11)
Absolutely, Sharp replied. He was the guy who at his own expense sculpted, cast and was shipping in carpet-lined crates his 60-pound statues of King to President Obama and 16 other destinations across the country.
The White House was "direct," but pleasant, Sharp said of the conversation a week or so ago, and the caller seemed to know everything about him. Apparently satisfied, "they said, 'thank you very much,' " and bade him good day.
Sharp asked whether his sculpture would reach the president: "They said they didn't know."...
SOURCE: WaPo (1-12-11)
"Based upon the recent information about the number and scope of errors identified in the Grade 4 Social Studies textbook, Our Virginia: Past and Present, Arlington Public Schools (APS) officials announced today their decision to remove all print copies of the textbooks from circulation and use in Grade 4 classrooms," officials wrote in an email to parents....
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (1-17-11)
“You could hear it rip,” said Ms. Hansen, 29, still cringing at the memory. She stopped pulling. But enough of the map, browned with age and dry and crisp as a stale chip, was open to reveal a name: Ratzer.
“We have a Ratzer map,” said James Rossman, chairman of the society, who happened to be in the building that Monday last May. That statement, despite the reverence in its delivery, meant little to the others in the room, but it would soon reverberate in cartography circles and among map scholars....
SOURCE: NYT (1-17-11)
Haitian television and radio stations reported that Mr. Duvalier, dressed in a blue suit, landed shortly after 6 p.m. in Port-au-Prince on an Air France flight and told reporters that he had simply come to help Haiti, moved by images of the first anniversary of the earthquake that devastated the country.
The Associated Press reported that he would give a news conference on Monday and that he planned to stay in the country for three days.
The sudden appearance of Mr. Duvalier, 59, who ruled Haiti with brutality and corruption for nearly 15 years, threatened to further convulse a country struggling to recover from the earthquake and a lingering cholera epidemic....
Name of source: AOL News
SOURCE: AOL News (1-15-11)
National Geographic published photos released by the team, which has been excavating the sunken ship off the coast of North Carolina since 1997. The Queen Anne's Revenge was the flagship of Edward Teach, known as Blackbeard, until it ran aground in an inlet in 1718.
The sword hilt was found in pieces, but reassembled for the picture released by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. The fragments of the hilt and pommel are ornamental and possibly of French design, Time reported.
The department does not directly claim that the hilt belonged to Blackbeard, but speculates the hilt may have been discarded after the shipwreck....
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (1-15-10)
The 1623 first edition of the bard's work was stolen from the university in 1998. Its bindings and some pages were removed to try to disguise its origins.
Visitors to the exhibition at the new Wolfson Gallery at the university can view it in its current condition.
It will be conserved to protect it from damage after the exhibition. It is one of the earliest examples of a gathering together of the playwright's work....
Last year six people, including five leaders of the Islamic Jamaat-e-Islami party, were charged with war crimes.
Thousands of people are believed to have died in the 1971 war, which culminated in the country's independence from Pakistan....
SOURCE: BBC (1-12-11)
The dilapidated 'Chateau d'Hardricourt' was bought by an anonymous bidder at an auction in Versailles.
Bokassa spent several years living in the mansion in the western Paris suburb of Hardricourt after he was overthrown as leader of the Central African Republic (CAR) in 1979.
It has since fallen into disrepair and needs major refurbishment....
Eighteen similar panels designed by architect William Burges are on display at Castell Coch and Cardiff Castle.
The whereabouts of the remaining two was a mystery until they failed to sell at an auction last year.
Welsh heritage organisation Cadw is trying to bring the panels back to their Welsh home....
Museum supporters have set themselves a £4,850 goal to buy the uniform of an officer serving with the Peeblesshire Local Militia.
Such units were set up to protect the population in the event of an invasion from French military leader Napoleon.
The Supporters of the Chambers Institution Peebles (SCIP) have a 6 February deadline on their rescue plan.
There are virtually no traces left of the militia group - formed in 1808 but disbanded in 1816....
Name of source: CNN
The issue is especially sensitive in King's home state of Georgia, where administrators in two rural districts - Fannin and Gilmer counties - have canceled the school holiday.
Both districts are considering canceling Presidents Day (February 21) and part or all of spring break as well, the administrators said.
State-mandated standardized testing weighs heavily on administrators' decision-making....
Even the CIA commemorates the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. It was one of several agencies remembering the civil rights hero in advance of the federal King holiday on Monday.
Director Leon Panetta told the intelligence officers it is just as important today that all Americans follow the message of King, that "unless we provide equality to all, regardless of race, regardless of color or creed or gender or disability or sexual orientation, that none of us truly can be free."
Panetta recounted his own lifelong commitment to the civil rights movement, from his days on Capitol Hill working on landmark civil rights legislation, to his service as the director of the U.S. Civil Rights office, to his time as President Clinton's chief of staff trying to protect affirmative action....
Former president Reagan disclosed he had Alzheimer's disease in 1994, five years after he left the White House. Questions have been raised in the past about whether he developed the disease while he was still in office, but suggestions that he did have been widely dismissed.
In an effort to set the record straight, four of the president's White House doctors spoke to the New York Times in 1997 to say the president didn't show evidence of the disease until 1993 and that he was mentally sound while in office. The newspaper reported the doctors said, "they had taken the unusual step of discussing their former patient's medical history publicly because neither they nor Mr. Reagan had covered up any illness, and because they did not want history to see them as having done so."
Reagan biographer Lou Cannon who interviewed the former president more than 100 times said he interviewed him after he left the White House and did not see a difference....
SOURCE: CNN (1-13-11)
When Petraeus, probably the best-known military man in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, returns to answer questions, the television lights will shine on the four stars he wears on each shoulder.
Now a new debate is swirling in Washington, thanks to an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal pushing for Petraeus to get a fifth star, like military giants of the past.
"The U.S. war against terrorism is now the longest war in U.S. history, and Gen. Petraeus has clearly distinguished himself as a leader worthy of the rank held by Gens.
MacArthur, Marshall and Nimitz," Pete Hegseth and Wade Zirkle, of the group Vets for Freedom, wrote in the Wall Street Journal....
The absence of humans has seen nature seemingly flourish in the town's deserted streets, squares and buildings, apparently defying the radiation that leaked out when reactor number four exploded on April 26 1986.
But how true is this picture?
New research is showing that some plant species appear to be able to adapt, despite high levels of toxicity.
Scientists studying the seeds harvested from soybean and flax plants grown inside (five kilometers from the power plant) the exclusion zone found them to be relatively unaffected by radiation.
Martin Hajduch from the Institute of Plant Genetics and Biotechnology at the Slovak Academy of Sciences said: "We detected very low radioactivity in the seeds. In the stem or leaves there is radioactivity, but it is somehow blocked and doesn't come to the seeds."...
SOURCE: CNN (1-13-11)
So far, 2011 has been a good year for Babylon. Work funded by a $2 million U.S. State Department grant to restore two major structures has begun and one of two museums on the site damaged in the aftermath of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion is re-opening.
Home to several other ancient sites, including Ur -- the capital of the ancient civilization of Sumeria -- Iraq faces a race against time to protect its heritage against looters, environmental hazards and the ravages of modern life.
It is hoped the project at Babylon, whose legendary Hanging Gardens were one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, will help foster the skills needed to transform Iraq's other renowned archaeological sites into a major draw for academics and tourists....
Name of source: Wall Street Journal
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal (1-12-11)
Pompeii is, of course, a uniquely important archaeological site: a 160-acre time capsule sealed by volcanic ash in A.D. 79, at the height of the Roman empire, until its rediscovery almost 1,700 years later. Yet experts and activists say that the city's perilous current state is just one dramatic example of a widespread national emergency.
A continuing study by the preservationist group Our Italy has already identified more than 80 major monuments and archaeological sites nationwide at grave risk of collapse, including Bologna's two great medieval towers, the ancient Aurelian walls around Rome, and Capua's Roman amphitheater, second in size only to the Colosseum.
Recent events have thus revived a long-running national debate over why Italy cannot take better care of its rich cultural heritage. Many commentators have stressed funding shortages, noting that governments of both the right and the left have cut culture spending over the past decade. Italy's leading financial newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore, has even suggested that Pompeii turn to corporate sponsors like Ferrari and Coca-Cola, which might pay for the chance to associate their brands with the ruins they help preserve. Later this month, the Italian government is expected to approve tens of millions of euros in emergency funds to address the Pompeii crisis....
Name of source: National Parks Traveler
SOURCE: National Parks Traveler (1-14-11)
“Saving critically important landscapes like this is precisely why this organization exists,” said Civil War Preservation Trust President James Lighthizer. “Generations of Americans will now have the opportunity to walk this hallowed landscape and gain a fuller understanding of the horrors of war experienced by the soldiers fighting in the Wilderness.”
On May 5 and 6, 1864, the land known as Saunders Field, today surrounded by the military park, was the backdrop for fevered fighting waged both close and yet at times blindly at what has become known as the Wilderness Battlefield, according to reports made by those involved....
SOURCE: National Parks Traveler (1-13-11)
It was fascinating to hear the Cataloochee residents, in their own words, discuss the coming of the national park and life as they knew it in the valley.
Now, thanks to a $10,000 grant from the National Park Foundation, a cultural resource specialist at Blue Ridge Parkway will be able to interview some of the workers who helped build the parkway back in the 1930s and 1940s....
Name of source: Stuff
SOURCE: Stuff (1-13-11)
Wing Commander Henry Ramsbottom-Isherwood, who was born in Petone in 1905, led a RAF fighter wing from inside the Arctic circle at Murmansk after Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941.
Russian state television company Rossiya-1, which broadcasts to up to 140 million Russians, is making a documentary and book that will include his story as part of a section on how New Zealand helped the Soviet Union during World War II.
Correspondent Kirill Kiryanov said Mr Ramsbottom-Isherwood "did a lot" for Russia.
"Russians don't know about him ... He destroyed many German planes."
The wing's mission was to train Russian pilots and ground crew in how to fly and maintain British Hurricanes, the BBC has reported.
The Hurricanes, flown by both British and Russian pilots, engaged the Luftwaffe's Me 109s and JU 88s above Murmansk.
Most of the aircraft went on to fight in the defence of Leningrad.
Cousin David Ramsbottom-Isherwood, 85, from Christchurch, said his cousin was a good man....
Name of source: Live Science
SOURCE: Live Science (1-13-11)
The dog-sized mini-predator would've made its future relatives proud as it fed on small dinosaurs and the young of other reptiles, and is now shaking up what scientists had previously learned about the evolution of those extinct giants.
The small, lanky, two-legged carnivore named Eodromaeus murphi -- Eodromaeus being Greek for "dawn runner," murphi in honor of field volunteer Jim Murphy -- weighed only 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 6.8 kilograms) and measured about 4 feet (1.2 meters) in length from snout to tail. The skeletons of two specimens were discovered side-by-side in 230-million-year-old iron-rich stone in the "Valley of the Moon" at the foothills of the Andes in northeastern Argentina, which was once the southwest corner of the supercontinent Pangaea.
"With a hike across the valley, you literally walk over the graveyard of the earliest dinosaurs to a time when they ultimately dominate," said researcher Ricardo Martinez, a paleontologist at the National University of San Juan in Argentina....
Name of source: Commercial Appeal
SOURCE: Commercial Appeal (1-13-11)
Regarding education, the material they distributed said, “Neglect and outright ill will have distorted the teaching of the history and character of the United States. We seek to compel the teaching of students in Tennessee the truth regarding the history of our nation and the nature of its government.”
That would include, the documents say, that “the Constitution created a Republic, not a Democracy.”
The material calls for lawmakers to amend state laws governing school curriculums, and for textbook selection criteria to say that “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”...
Name of source: The Atlantic
SOURCE: The Atlantic (1-13-11)
The Archive contains 200,000 scanned document, 1,245 recordings of telephone conversations and speeches, 72 reels of movies, and 1,500 photos. It's the country's largest digital presidential collection, and opens up the details of the life of the former President to a wider audience than could ever touch the physical collection. It's available at http://www.jfklibrary.org.
We got an early look at the library's photographic archives and picked out some iconic pictures of the President's life that we can all access online now....
Name of source: Huffington Post
SOURCE: Huffington Post (1-12-11)
Palin released a statement and gave extended remarks about the weekend shooting in Arizona, first sending her condolences to the families of the victims and then fiercely responding to those blaming her campaign map -- which contained a bullseye over Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' congressional district -- for inspiring Jared Lee Loughner's shooting.
Palin shot back at "journalists and pundits" for "manufacturing a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn," remarks that immediately raised eyebrows in the Jewish community.
Blood libel refers to a rumor that has fueled anti-semitism and the persecution of Jews for nearly 900 years. According to ReligiousTolerance.org, blood libel began as "an unfounded rumor began in eastern England, that Jews had kidnapped a Christian child, tied him to a cross, stabbed his head to simulate Jesus' crown of thorns, killed him, drained his body completely of blood, and mixed the blood into matzos (unleavened bread) at time of Passover."...
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (1-13-11)
For a century it was a name to inspire schoolchildren: Julio Argentino Roca, the military hero and statesman who tamed Patagonia's wilderness and made Argentina a modern nation.
He was George Washington and Abraham Lincoln rolled into one, a founding father who gazed from banknotes, adorned plinths and gave his name to avenues from Buenos Aires to Santa Cruz.
But maybe not for much longer. Avenues are being renamed and there is a campaign to topple the former president's statues, erase him from banknotes and teach children a new version: that Roca was a genocidal murderer who brought shame to Argentina.
The man portrayed for generations as a talented visionary has been recast, according to revisionist history, as a villain who exterminated indigenous communities and their culture from much of South America.
Writers, academics and indigenous groups are lobbying for Roca, an army general who served as president from 1880-86 and 1898-1904, to be branded a criminal who slaughtered Indians and shared out their land with cronies.
In recent weeks, two cities – Santa Cruz and Tucumán – have renamed Julio Argentino Roca avenues after Néstor Kirchner, a former president who died in October aged 60. His wife and successor, Cristina, has supported the prosecution of more recent human rights abusers from the 1970s dictatorship....
Name of source: Newsweek
SOURCE: Newsweek (1-13-11)
A casino could soon sit near the Gettysburg battlefield, the bloodiest encounter on American soil. A Walmart supercenter may shadow the Wilderness battlefield in Virginia where Gen. U. S. Grant kept his headquarters when he first fought Gen. Robert E. Lee. And Washington, D.C.’s suburban sprawl is slowly strangling the rural lands where the Civil War’s first crucial battles were fought. It’s an ironic situation: as battlefield sites across the country prepare for an expected onslaught of visitors connected to the Civil War’s 150th anniversary, many of them are shrinking away, acre by acre.
April 12 will mark the sesquicentennial of the start of the war, and governments and citizens across the country are gearing up to commemorate it. Visitation at Civil War–related national parks has already been on the rise, increasing 6.4 percent between 2008 and 2009 after mostly flat numbers in prior years. The National Park Service has reworked its approach to teaching the war’s history to make it more focused on causes and effects. In anticipation of the anniversary, PBS plans to re-air Ken Burns’s landmark documentary on the war, and The New York Times and The Washington Post have already launched special commemorative blogs and news coverage. All the while, however, development at sites around the country is destroying Civil War battlefields at a frantic rate—30 acres a day, according to the Civil War Trust (CWT), a leading heritage conservation group—fast enough to eat up what’s left of the Gettysburg battlefield park in just seven months. “[Battlefield visitors] don’t want to see the parking lot where their ancestors once fought that’s now a shopping center,” says Jim Campi, policy director of CWT. “They want to walk through the woods and see the cannon and the fence lines.”
This month, two high-profile conflicts over further development on the sites of major battles will come to a head. Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board officials are expected to decide whether to allow a casino several miles southwest of the Gettysburg battlefield.. The Mason-Dixon Resort and Casino has become a cause célèbre for Civil War buffs, who have held it up as the best example of crass commercialism making inroads into the “hallowed ground” where more than 51,000 soldiers died. And in Virginia, a judge will hear arguments in a suit that aims to prevent the planned Walmart that is—depending on whom you ask—either adjacent to or on the Wilderness battlefield. These two standoffs are part of a larger debate that raises many of the same questions as the mosque controversy in lower Manhattan: What constitutes hallowed ground, what can you build near or on it, and how soon is too soon?....
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (1-13-11)
Italian news media have been reporting that in recent weeks Vatican-sponsored panels confirmed that a young French nun was miraculously cured of Parkinson's disease after praying to the Polish-born John Paul.
Pope Benedict XVI now must sign off on the miracle and set a date for the beatification, the first major step to possible sainthood....
Name of source: Toronto Star
SOURCE: Toronto Star (1-13-11)
“We were very surprised,” Jon Cassar said Tuesday night at a Fox network press event for TV critics. “The actual product takes no political stance one way or the other.”
Cassar, who was raised near Ottawa, was an executive producer on the Fox series 24....
Name of source: Haaretz
SOURCE: Haaretz (1-12-11)
The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) President and CEO David A. Harris said in a statement. "Perhaps Sarah Palin honestly does not know what a blood libel is, or does not know of their horrific history; that is perhaps the most charitable explanation we can arrive at in explaining her rhetoric today."
"This [blood libel] is of course a particularly heinous term for American Jews, given that the repeated fiction of blood libels are directly responsible for the murder of so many Jews across centuries -- and given that blood libels are so directly intertwined with deeply ingrained anti-Semitism around the globe, even today", Harris added....
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (1-13-11)
Barbour urged the state's legislature during an annual address to build the $50 million museum in a state that became notorious during the 1950s and 1960s for violent enforcement of racial segregation and opposition to civil and voting rights.
Barbour, the chairman of the Republican Governor's Association, says he is mulling a bid to be his party's nominee in 2012 where he would likely face President Barack Obama vying for a second term in the White House....
Name of source: Yahoo News
SOURCE: Yahoo News (1-13-11)
Now, 41 years after Dennany's plane was shot down over Laos, his remains have been identified and he will finally be buried, along with those of the other Michigan airman who disappeared with him.
The Defense Department's POW/Missing Personnel Office announced Wednesday that it had identified Dennany's remains and those of fellow Michigan resident Maj. Robert L. Tucci.
A funeral with full military honors is scheduled Friday for both airmen at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery....