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: NBC News
SOURCE: NBC News (10-5-11)
SOURCE: NBC News (10-4-11)
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (10-5-11)
Name of source: Yahoo News
SOURCE: Yahoo News (10-5-11)
JERUSALEM (AP) — Precious Bible manuscripts originating in the Jewish community of Damascus, Syria, went on display for several hours Wednesday, offering a rare glimpse at a collection that includes books spirited to Israel in clandestine operations before the ancient community disappeared at the end of the 20th century.
The books are held at Israel's national library. Because of security and conservation concerns, most of the collection has been on display just once before, also for just a few hours, more than a decade ago.
The collection includes 11 volumes. Three, including the oldest and most important book in the collection, were brought out of the library's vaults and displayed during a symposium Wednesday evening....
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (10-2-11)
PEANUT ISLAND, Fla. — A nuclear bomb shelter was a must-have in the 1950s and ’60s.
Magazines displayed backyard do-it-yourself versions. Castro Convertibles pitched its foldaway “jet beds” as bunker-ready. And a pair of publicity-savvy newlyweds actually spent their honeymoon inside one for 14 days.
President John F. Kennedy, who was facing a series of nail-biting face-offs with the Soviets, even recommended a fallout shelter for all Americans “as rapidly as possible” in an October 1961 speech. Two months later, Kennedy was presented with his own top-secret tropical bomb shelter off Palm Beach, Fla., on an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean.
Few even know it is here, but some area residents believe that the bunker is a must-see attraction that could put Peanut Island, a manmade islet, on the map....
Name of source: The Age (AU)
SOURCE: The Age (AU) (10-5-11)
A SIMPLE Ottoman kitchen - complete with brick oven - discovered during a survey of Gallipoli has highlighted the extremes of life on the 1915 battlefield.
While the Anzac Diggers were surviving on bully beef and other canned and processed food, their Turkish opponents ate fresh produce prepared in a terraced kitchen.
The field kitchen, where researchers also found ceramic roof tiles as evidence of other permanent structures, was built much closer to the front line than the allied food area, which was littered with tins and jam jars. Located during the second phase of a five-year joint Australian, New Zealand and Turkish project to survey the famous battlefield for the first time ahead of the 2015 centenary, the Ottoman kitchen was among the most revealing discoveries made last month, according to survey archaeologist Tony Sagona, from Melbourne University....
Name of source: Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press
SOURCE: Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press (10-3-11)
An amendment to Connecticut open record laws now allows state agencies to refuse to release records which are covered by a legal confidentiality privilege, regardless of whether such a privilege existed when the materials were created. For example, agencies may refuse to release records containing communications which are protected from disclosure by the doctor-patient or therapist-patient privileges.
Previously, Exemption 10 to the Connecticut open records law allowed agencies to withhold, among other things, records which are covered by only one privilege: the one between attorneys and their clients. The amendment expands this language to include records which fall under other privileges, such as those existing between doctor-patient and therapist-patient. However, the amendment also exempts records covered by “any other privilege established by the common law or the general statutes,” and even those “made prior to the establishment of the applicable privilege.”
“It’s an avalanche on historical study,” said Matthew Warshauer, Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University and co-chair of the Connecticut Civil War Commemoration Commission.“Every historian will not gain access to certain information because of that amendment because it’s so broadly worded. It will hit every social historian, religious historian, legal historian, medical historian.”...
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (10-5-11)
MIAMI (AP) — Programs such as NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" and PBS' "Faces of America" are helping fueling the trend in genealogy. But for many Hispanics, tracing the family tree hasn't been so easy.
Now that's changing for America's largest minority group as a wealth of genealogical data, including a landmark 1930 census in Mexico, is going online. Discovering information about one's great-great grandparents and other relatives could be keystrokes away for many of the nearly 32 million Mexican-Americans — a group long left out of the sleuthing done largely by European-Americans and some African-Americans.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, long America's largest aggregator of genealogical records, this year completed its more than three-year-old project to create a searchable digital index of Mexico's massive 1930 census. It has also made the information available to the Internet genealogy company, Ancestry.com....
SOURCE: AP (10-2-11)
YORK, Pa. (AP) — A replica of a Civil War-era train could be rolling through central Pennsylvania in time for the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg, if members of a York County nonprofit have their way.
Backers point out that President Abraham Lincoln traveled on a train through the county to deliver the Gettysburg Address, and two years later, his funeral train chugged along the same Northern Central Railway....
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (10-5-11)
Prosecutors in Germany have reopened hundreds of investigations of former Nazi death camp guards and others who might now be charged under a precedent set by the conviction of John Demjanjuk, a guard at Sobibor camp in Poland in 1943.
Given the advanced age of the suspects – the youngest is in his 80s – the head of the German prosecutors' office dedicated to investigating Nazi war crimes said authorities would not wait for the Demjanjuk appeal process to finish. "We don't want to wait too long, so we've already begun our investigations," Kurt Schrimm said.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre's chief Nazi-hunter, Efraim Zuroff, said he would launch a campaign in the next two months – a successor to his Operation Last Chance – to track down the remaining war criminals.
He added that the Demjanjuk conviction had opened the door to prosecutions that were never thought possible. "It could be a very interesting final chapter," he said by telephone from Jerusalem. "This has tremendous implications, even at this late date."...
Name of source: Ottawa Citizen
SOURCE: Ottawa Citizen (10-2-11)
...The enigmatic work, which hangs in the Louvre in Paris, has been the subject of speculation for centuries. Now Donato Pezzutto, a Canadian doctor and amateur art historian, has come up with a startling theory about the work’s background.
He maintains if the right and left halves of the painting are reversed and aligned, the landscape that emerges is a scene from central Italy which corresponds to the da Vinci’s own map of the area....
Name of source: LiveScience
SOURCE: LiveScience (10-3-11)
The face of a 14th-century former Archbishop of Canterbury has been revealed 630 years after he was beheaded by angry peasants.
Resembling a character out of a science fiction movie, the medieval cleric Simon of Sudbury now stares at visitors in St. Gregory's Church at Sudbury in Suffolk, where the 3-D model is on permanent display alongside the original skull.
"There was a gasp when people saw what he looked like as his sculpture was unveiled. He was compared to characters such as Spock and Shrek, and some were surprised by the size of him. Indeed, he is quite a big guy," forensic artist Adrienne Barker from the University of Dundee told Discovery News.
Simon of Sudbury, who was Chancellor of Salisbury and Bishop of London before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury in 1375, crowned King Richard II at Westminster Abbey in 1377....
SOURCE: LiveScience (10-3-11)
Historically, changes in climate have not only been tied to increased food prices, but also economic crises, social upset and wars, new research suggests.
"Climate is the ultimate cause, and economy is the direct cause, of large-scale human crises," study researcher David Zhang, of the University of Hong Kong, told LiveScience in an email. "The issue of environmental change is one that involves our daily life, such as food, health and savings."
Zhang has studied the effect of climate change on humans, specifically on cultural turmoil and wars. His previous work found that swings in temperature were correlated with times of war in eastern China between 1000 and 1911, and also correlated with climate swings and war records worldwide.
Now, he has taken these studies several steps further by looking at all major aspects of human society during times of climate shift. This work also was able to draw a direct link between climate and social factors. [Top 10 Ways Weather Changed History]...
SOURCE: LiveScience (10-1-11)
Instead of Neanderthals being dim-witted hunters who only dined on big game, new findings suggest they had more balanced diets, with broad menus that may have included birds, fish and plants.
Neanderthals are currently our closest known extinct relatives, near enough to modern humans to interbreed, with Neanderthal DNA making up 1 percent to 4 percent of modern Eurasian genomes. A host of recent findings suggest they were not only close genetically, but may have shared many other traits with us, such as creating art.
Still, the term "Neanderthal" has long been synonymous with "stupid."
"Since they went extinct, conventional wisdom says they were dumber than us," said researcher Bruce Hardy, a paleoanthropologist at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio....
Name of source: San Jose Mercury News
SOURCE: San Jose Mercury News (10-3-11)
SAN FRANCISCO—California's largest gay rights group on Monday accused the backers of a ballot measure seeking to repeal a law requiring gay history to be taught in public schools of deliberately hiding the size and source of campaign contributions.
Two conservative groups behind the Stop SB 48 campaign "may have engaged in an unlawful scheme" to violate campaign reporting rules, Equality California Executive Director Roland Palencia said in a complaint filed with the state Fair Political Practices Commission.
Palencia's group accuses Capitol Resource Institute and Pacific Justice Institute, the organizations that have taken the lead on undoing the first-of-its kind law, of raising and spending money to qualify the repeal referendum for the June 2012 ballot without registering as campaign committees.
Under California's strict campaign finance laws, political entities that receive more than $1,000 in contributions are required to register with the secretary of state, said Cary Davidson, an election law lawyer on the Equality California board....
Name of source: Windsor Star
SOURCE: Windsor Star (10-4-11)
...You might call it, "The Inevitability of the Second Place Elephant." Simply stated, here's how it works. You may not have noticed, but Republicans ALWAYS nominate the candidate who finished second in the last great nomination struggle.
This has been the case throughout the modern era. Flash back to 1976, when presi-dent Gerald Ford narrowly held off Ronald Reagan, in the last time a nomination was decided at a convention.
Four years later, the party turned to Reagan, after he fought off a spirited challenge from former CIA director George H.W. Bush.
Bush served loyally as Mr. Reagan's vice-president for eight years, then won the nomination for himself - after overcoming a challenge from Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. Eight years later, in 1996, it was Bob Dole's turn. That race was different in that Dole didn't really have a major challenger for that nomination; the other two men in the race, Pat Buchanan and Steve Forbes, were not major figures in the Republican Party. So four years later, the GOP did the next best thing: They turned to a familiar name, if not face: George W. Bush, the son of the former president. After losing some early primaries, including Michigan's, he managed to overcome John McCain.
Guess who got the nomination eight years later?...
Name of source: Miami Herald
SOURCE: Miami Herald (10-3-11)
PHILADELPHIA - Nearly a year after its celebrity-packed opening, the National Museum of American Jewish History has sharply reduced its attendance expectations and stepped up the call for donations to support its day-to-day operations.
The slumping economy and a cold, snowy launch season combined to depress ticket sales at the $142 million gallery overlooking Independence Mall. In addition, officials say, the initial projection of 250,000 visitors annually was unrealistic. They have set a new benchmark of 125,000, which they anticipate reaching by the first anniversary on Nov. 26....
At the same time, though, Rosenzweig noted in an interview how precarious those successes may be, given the institution's unusually heavy reliance on philanthropy, large and small, to keep the doors open. Half of its $10 million operating budget has come from donations - well above the national average of 37 percent, according to a 2009 survey by the American Association of Museums....
Name of source: CNN.com
SOURCE: CNN.com (9-30-11)
Washington (CNN) - Standing over the letter, one would never know its unique story. Worth millions at auction, reading it unveils that it stands as a testament to religious freedom in America. But as it stares up, idly sitting there, the stories of “erotic” behavior, twisted ownership and historic encounters are lost on those lucky enough to see it.
The primary spirit of the letter is clear – the United States government will assure religious freedom, giving “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”
George Washington wrote those words in a 1790 letter to the the congregation of a synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island. He was hoping to reassure the congregation that the budding government of the United States would allow free expression to all religions. Since then, Jews in America have flourished.
The letter is addressed “To the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island,” but it is kept from public view, which hurts and angers those who think private ownership defies the letter’s original sentiment.
Name of source: LA Times
SOURCE: LA Times (10-3-11)
LOS ANGELES - Ten months after World War I ended, a 30-year-old German army veteran wrote a two-page letter in which he explained the "Jewish question" on a “rational” and “scientific” basis.
“An anti-semitism based on reason must lead to a systematic combating and elimination of the privileges of the Jews,” he wrote. “The ultimate objective must be the irrevocable removal of Jews in general.”
Signed “Respectfully, Adolf Hitler,” the letter received high marks for the author from his superiors in a military propaganda unit bitterly opposed to the newly established Weimar Republic as the perceived handiwork of Bolsheviks, Socialists and Jews.
As the first written political statement of the future Fuehrer, the letter is considered a document of immense historical value.
It will be shown to the public for the first time on October 4 by the Simon Wiesenthal Center at its Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles....