Breaking NewsFollow Breaking News updates on RSS and Twitter
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: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-1-11)
'Décadence Mandchoue', written by Sir Edmund Trelawny Backhouse, a homosexual British sinologist who claimed to have slept with Oscar Wilde and raised money to fund the writer's legal defence, paints a pornographic portrait of Manchu officials, court eunuchs and the bordellos and bathhouses they frequented during the Qing Dynasty before its collapse in 1911.
Among Backhouse's more outrageous claims is that he conducted a six-year sexual liaison with the Empress Dowager Cixi which he relates in graphic detail, telling how he was ushered into the 69-year-old's bedchamber and ordered to perform a variety of sexual services for her....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-2-11)
The images of the Queen's teeth, as well as those of her mother and father, King George VI, were taken between 1942 and 1946. They were found by Alastair Sealy in a house he bought in Surrey.
The property was packed full of items hoarded by the previous owner, a dental nurse called Betty Jacques, deceased....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-1-11)
From their Hyannis Port compound, where the rambunctious Kennedy children would play touch football and go sailing while Joseph Kennedy planned world political domination for his talented children, they seemed a family blessed with ambition, intelligence, athleticism and good looks.
They embodied the American dream: an Irish immigrant family that in a mere two generations achieved the most powerful position in the world by the time John F Kennedy became President in 1961.
But most importantly, it was the family's tragedies that kept the American public – and the Western world at large -fascinated.
Seemingly, no family in the public eye had ever been besieged by so much misfortune. It is still believed by some that the family was cursed.
First there was Rosemary Kennedy, whowas lobotomised in 1941 at the request of her father, Joseph. Her parents were told the treatment would help calm her mood swings....
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (4-2-11)
Jim Swire noted Saturday that Koussa had not been accused in Britain of playing any role in the Lockerbie bombing but could help Scottish investigators look again at the conviction of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.
Koussa defected to Britain from Libya last week. Scottish prosecutors are already planning to interview Koussa about the attack that killed 270 people....
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (3-30-11)
Taken just minutes after he had bitten down on a cyanide capsule, this previously unseen picture shows the still warm body of Heinrich Himmler, head of the dreaded SS and the twisted mastermind of the Holocaust.
It was taken by Corporal Guy Adderley of the Intelligence Corps in May 1945, one of the team who interrogated Himmler after his arrest at a British checkpoint in northern Germany as he tried to flee in disguise following the fall of the Third Reich.
He was transferred to a British interrogation centre in the town of Luneburg, and was due to be questioned over war crimes the following day, when he poisoned himself.
After his death, propaganda photographs of Himmler’s corpse slumped on a makeshift bed were released. But Adderley kept this grainy photograph among his wartime mementoes, which have remained hidden from the world for decades.
Adderley’s family planned to sell the picture at auction in Bristol yesterday. It was estimated to fetch thousands of pounds, a startling sum that reveals the historical value of such an image....
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (3-31-11)
But in reality his soldiers were taking addictive and damaging chemicals to make them fight longer and more fiercely.
A study of medicines used by the Third Reich exposes how Nazi doctors and officers issued recruits with pills to help them fight longer and without rest.
The German army's drug of choice as it overran Poland, Holland, Belgium and France was Pervitin - pills made from methamphetamine, commonly known today as crystal meth.
By the time the invasion of the Soviet Union was launched in 1941, hundreds of thousands of soldiers were doped up on it. Records of the Wehrmacht, the German army, show that some 200 million Pervitin pills were doled out to the troops between 1939 and 1945....
Name of source: Hurriyet (Turkey)
SOURCE: Hurriyet (Turkey) (3-31-11)
Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay attended the ceremony at his ministry's opera building on the occasion of the return of 1,865 artifacts that had been illegally transported to Serbia, as well as 17 others that had been taken to Britain.
Günay said his ministry attached great importance to culture and arts, especially archaeology.
The minister said Turkey had brought back 3,609 historical artifacts between 2007 and 2011....
Name of source: National Geographic
SOURCE: National Geographic (3-30-11)
Considered "magical or mysterious" in its time, the writing survives only because a trash heap caught fire some 3,500 years ago, according to researchers.
Found in an olive grove in what's now the village of Iklaina (map), the tablet was created by a Greek-speaking Mycenaean scribe between 1450 and 1350 B.C., archaeologists say.
The Mycenaeans—made legendary in part by Homer's Iliad, which fictionalizes their war with Troy—dominated much of Greece from about 1600 B.C. to 1100 B.C. (See "Is Troy True? The Evidence Behind Movie Myth.")
So far, excavations at Iklaina have yielded evidence of an early Mycenaean palace, giant terrace walls, murals, and a surprisingly advanced drainage system, according to dig director Michael Cosmopoulos.
But the tablet, found last summer, is the biggest surprise of the multiyear project, Cosmopoulos said....
Name of source: Bloomberg
SOURCE: Bloomberg (3-30-11)
The project, to run through 2013, includes renovating the station building, revamping the main exhibition, adding a new display on the Holocaust and creating a “room of names” to commemorate the camp’s victims, the Austrian Interior Ministry said in a statement on its website today.
“We are demonstrating that the Republic of Austria is aware of its national and international responsibility to remember the victims of the Nazi regime,” Interior Minister Maria Fekter said in the statement. “We are also taking a stance against racism and anti-Semitism.”
Mauthausen is Austria’s biggest memorial against the crimes of the Nazis and is visited by about 200,000 people a year. Between 1938 and 1945, about half of the 200,000 Mauthausen prisoners died there, the memorial’s website says....
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (4-1-11)
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague said it could not examine Georgia's complaint because negotiations had not taken place.
Georgia said Russia and the rebels had used ethnic violence against Georgians in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Russia took control of the two Georgian regions in a brief war in August 2008.
Thousands of ethnic Georgians fled the regions during the conflict and many remain internally displaced in Georgia.
In a 10-6 vote on Friday the ICJ judges upheld Russia's argument that the court did not have jurisdiction to examine the Georgian complaint, because the two sides had not tried to resolve the dispute through negotiations....
SOURCE: BBC News (4-1-11)
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Joseph Lelyveld said the book was banned on the basis of newspaper reviews.
He said the reviews had sensationalised his account of Gandhi's friendship with a German man, who may have been homosexual.
Although legal, homosexuality still carries a stigma in India.
Gujarat's state assembly voted unanimously on Wednesday to ban Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India with immediate effect, even though it has not yet been released in India and few people will have read it.
"In a country (India) that calls itself a democracy, it is shameful to ban a book that no one has read, including the people who are doing the banning," Mr Lelyveld was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India news agency....
Name of source: ColorLines
SOURCE: ColorLines (3-30-11)
“More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Alexander, an Ohio State law professor, recently told listeners at the Pasadena Branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Alexander’s seminal book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” argues that prisons have become the latest form of economic and social disenfranchisement for young folks of color, particularly black men. In it, she grapples with a central question: If crime rates have fluctuated over the years and are now at historical lows, then why have rates of incarcerated men of color skyrocketed over the past 30 years?
The answer to that question doesn’t require a lot of digging.
“Most of that increase is due to the War on Drugs, a war waged almost exclusively in poor communities of color,” she said. LA Progressive reported that even though studies have proven that whites use and sell illegal drugs at rates equal to or higher than black, four of five black youth in some inner-city communities can expect to be incarcerated in their lifetimes....
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (4-1-11)
That tradition was exploded Thursday as the Watergate Gallery opened here at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. The unveiling ended a nearly yearlong struggle between national archivists and the Richard Nixon Foundation, a group of Nixon loyalists who controlled the former president’s papers until ceding them to the National Archives four years ago. The fight was over how to portray the scandal that led to Nixon’s resignation.
From the first words a visitor sees entering the gallery — a quotation from Nixon, “This is a conspiracy” — the exhibit offers a searing and often unforgiving account of one of the most painful chapters of the nation’s history. The timeline methodically chronicles the stream of misdeeds leading up to the Watergate break-in, followed by the attempts to cover it up, which led to Nixon’s resignation.
It is a far cry from the library’s original Watergate exhibition, “The Last Campaign,” created by the Nixon Foundation with the former president’s direct involvement. That installment portrayed Watergate as an orchestrated effort by Democrats to overturn the 1972 election....
SOURCE: NYT (3-31-11)
The problem, say those who have fanned the flames of popular outrage this week, is that the book suggests that the father of modern India was bisexual.
The book’s author, Joseph Lelyveld, does write extensively about the close relationship Mohandas K. Gandhi had with a German architect, but he denies that the book, “Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India,” makes any such argument.
In an interview Mr. Lelyveld, a former executive editor of The New York Times and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, said he thought he had “treaded very carefully” with the information, which he knew was delicate....
The crux of the controversy seems to be the intersection of two subjects on which Indians have strong views: sexuality and Gandhi.
On the first point India is quite conservative, but the recent rapid growth of its economy has helped loosen attitudes, especially among the large youth population. In 2009 the Delhi High Court struck down a British-era law against sodomy, a ruling seen as a watershed for gay rights. Nevertheless most gay Indians would not feel comfortable coming out.
On the second, Gandhi is revered even by the young, but there is little significant understanding of the nuances of his philosophy and life. He has been mostly reduced to an idol. Young Indians don’t spend much time studying him. And many of his ideas, like the development of small-scale village industries, have faded....
The controversy appears to have started because of reviews in publications in the United States and Britain, including one in The Wall Street Journal, asserting that the book provides evidence that Gandhi was “a sexual weirdo, a political incompetent and a fanatical faddist.”
That review, by Andrew Roberts, a British historian, argued that Gandhi was in love with Hermann Kallenbach, the German-Jewish architect with whom Gandhi lived in Johannesburg, and it cited letters from Gandhi to Mr. Kallenbach, which are quoted in “Great Soul.”...