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.
A new biography by Don Fulsom, a veteran Washington reporter who covered the Nixon years, suggests the 37th U.S. President had a serious drink problem, beat his wife and — by the time he was inaugurated in 1969 — had links going back two decades to the Mafia, including with New Orleans godfather Carlos Marcello, then America's most powerful mobster.
Yet the most extraordinary claim is that the homophobic Nixon may have been gay himself. If true, it would provide a fascinating insight into the motivation and behaviour of a notoriously secretive politician.
Fulsom argues that Nixon may have had an affair with his best friend and confidant, a Mafia‑connected Florida wheeler-dealer named Charles 'Bebe' Rebozo who was even more crooked than Nixon.
LOS ANGELES — Television’s highest-earning actress and a San Francisco art museum chief are two of the key figures in the bid to establish a new museum on the Mall devoted to the history and culture of American Latinos.
But Eva Longoria, who will rally public support for a bill in Congress to create the museum, and Jonathan Yorba, chairman of the museum-lobbying group that picked her, also played key roles in the creation of a problem-plagued Los Angeles museum and cultural center focused on the contributions of Mexican Americans in Southern California.
From 2004 to 2006, Yorba was the first executive director of La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, trying to lay the groundwork for the downtown L.A. museum that opened in April and almost immediately ran into financial difficulties....
RICHMOND, Va. — A year after Virginia overhauled its review process to improve the quality of textbooks used in public schools, the publisher whose error-plagued history books helped spur the change now plans to bypass state Department of Education scrutiny.
The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/sn7tBU) says Connecticut-based Five Ponds Press plans to introduce a series of elementary-level science books that it will market directly to school systems, and is refusing to submit them for state review.
The publisher says on its website that its new “All Around Us” science series is “the first textbook series created to meet the needs of Virginia students using Virginia’s 2010 science standards.”
“Five Ponds Press has indicated to the department that it does not intend to submit science books for review,” Department of Education spokesman Charles Pyle said. The publisher’s marketing campaign “should not be interpreted to mean it has the imprimatur of the state,” Pyle said....
BERLIN — A 90-year-old man convicted last year of killing three Dutch civilians while he was part of a Nazi SS hit squad during World War II has been taken to prison to start serving his life sentence.
Robert Deller, a spokesman for prosecutors in Aachen, said Heinrich Boere was taken by ambulance Wednesday from the old-age home where he lived to a detention facility. He declined to specify the prison’s location....
WASHINGTON — With Dakota Meyer standing at attention in his dress uniform, sweat glistening on his forehead under the television lights, President Barack Obama extolled the former Marine corporal for the “extraordinary actions” that had earned him the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor.
Obama told the audience in the White House East Room on Sept. 15 that Meyer had driven into the heart of a savage ambush in eastern Afghanistan against orders. He’d killed insurgents at near-point-blank range, twice leapt from his gun turret to rescue two dozen Afghan soldiers and saved the lives of 13 U.S. service members as he fought to recover the bodies of four comrades, the president said.
But there’s a problem with this account: Crucial parts that the Marine Corps publicized and Obama described are untrue, unsubstantiated or exaggerated, according to dozens of military documents McClatchy Newspapers examined.
Sworn statements by Meyer and others who participated in the battle indicate that he didn’t save the lives of 13 U.S. service members, leave his vehicle to scoop up 24 Afghans on his first two rescue runs or lead the final push to retrieve the four dead Americans. Moreover, it’s unclear from the documents whether Meyer disobeyed orders when he entered the Ganjgal Valley on Sept. 8, 2009....
Oklahoma has always had a troubled relationship with her native son Woody Guthrie. The communist sympathies of America’s balladeer infuriated local detractors. In 1999 a wealthy donor’s objections forced the Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City to cancel a planned exhibition on Guthrie organized by the Smithsonian Institution. It wasn’t until 2006, nearly four decades after his death, that the Oklahoma Hall of Fame got around to adding him to its ranks.
But as places from California to the New York island get ready to celebrate the centennial of Guthrie’s birth, in 2012, Oklahoma is finally ready to welcome him home. The George Kaiser Family Foundation in Tulsa plans to announce this week that it is buying the Guthrie archives from his children and building an exhibition and study center to honor his legacy.
Hannibal Lecter is going away for a long time — and so are Bambi, Forrest Gump and the adorable moppet played by Jackie Coogan in a classic Charlie Chaplin feature: the movies featuring these characters are among the 25 works that have been added to the National Film Registry, the Library of Congress is to announce on Wednesday.
These films, which include Jonathan Demme’s “Silence of the Lambs,” Walt Disney’s animated feature “Bambi,” Robert Zemeckis‘s “Forrest Gump” and Chaplin’s “The Kid,” as well as Billy Wilder’s “Lost Weekend,” John Cassavetes‘ “Faces” and John Ford’s “The Iron Horse,” have been selected for preservation “because of their enduring significance to American culture,” James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, said in a statement. The 25 movies were chosen from 2,228 nominated by the public this year.
The Israeli Parliament on Monday held its first public debate on whether to commemorate the Turkish genocide of Armenians nearly a century ago, an emotionally resonant and politically fraught topic for Israel, founded on the ashes of the Holocaust and trying to salvage frayed ties with Turkey.
The session resulted from a rare confluence of political forces — an effort under way for decades by some on the left to get Israel to take a leading role in bringing attention to mass murder, combined with those on the right angry at how Turkey has criticized Israel over its policies toward the Palestinians.
Last year, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled that there were no racial overtones when a white manager at a Tyson chicken plant in Gadsden, Ala., called adult black men working there “boy.”
“The usages were conversational” and “nonracial in context,” the majority wrote in a 2-to-1 decision that overturned a jury verdict of about $1.4 million in an employment discrimination case brought by a black Tyson employee, John Hithon...
On Dec. 16, more than a year after the initial decision, the appeals court reversed course.
WASHINGTON — Newt Gingrich arrived in Washington in January 1979 as a brash congressman dreaming of a Republican revival. Not quite four years later, frustrated at the pace of change, he quietly sought counsel from a man he had once worked to defeat: Richard M. Nixon.
Mr. Gingrich entered national politics in his party’s liberal wing; as a young graduate student in 1968, he campaigned for Nixon’s opponent, Nelson A. Rockefeller. Now, over a dinner in New York, the disgraced former president instructed the impatient lawmaker to build a coalition — the noisier the better.
“He said, ‘You cannot change the country unless you are interesting and attract attention,’ ” Mr. Gingrich recalled in a speech years later. “And to do that, you have to have a group.”
Mr. Gingrich promptly founded the Conservative Opportunity Society, a band of activist lawmakers who helped usher in the 1994 Republican revolution that made him his party’s first House speaker in 40 years.
But many of the conservatives who rode to power with Mr. Gingrich ultimately deserted him, while he denounced them as “petty dictators” and “the perfectionist caucus” in the waning days of his tumultuous four-year speakership.
Today as he seeks the Republican nomination for president, Mr. Gingrich, 68, remains a paradoxical figure for conservatives to embrace — a man who can “bring us together, and alienate the hell out of us,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who as a House member tried to oust Mr. Gingrich in an unsuccessful 1997 coup. Many credit him with advancing their cause, yet many are deeply suspicious of him.
A look at Mr. Gingrich’s earliest days in politics, and the evolution of his thinking, helps explain the rocky relationship between Mr. Gingrich and the movement he once led. He emerges as more of a pragmatist than a purist, a believer in “activist government” whose raw ambition made colleagues uneasy, provoking questions about whether he was motivated by conservative ideals, personal advancement — or both.
On the campaign trail, Mr. Gingrich calls himself the “conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.” As he seeks to appeal to Tea Party voters, he often invokes a conservative icon, Ronald Reagan. But some say he more closely resembles another Republican president.
“Gingrich is more Nixonian than he is Reaganite,” said Vin Weber, a former Republican congressman and the first chairman of the Conservative Opportunity Society, who is on good terms with Mr. Gingrich but supports Mr. Romney. “Not in the Watergate sense, in the strategic sense. He is not an ideologue.”...
The whimsical secret of Audrey Hepburn’s royal status may be the heart of William Wyler‘s “Roman Holiday,” but for years the romantic comedy concealed another more troubling truth: the film was missing the screenwriting credit of Dalton Trumbo, the blacklisted writer and its original author, and instead attributed his work to Ian McLellan Hunter. Now, nearly 60 years after the 1953 release of “Roman Holiday,” the Writers Guild of America, West said it had restored Trumbo’s credit following the efforts of Trumbo’s and Hunter’s sons.
Trumbo, who died in 1976, was one of 10 filmmakers – the so-called Hollywood Ten – who were cited for contempt of Congress in 1947 when they refused to testify about their political beliefs before the House Un-American Activities Committee; he served 11 months in prison and was effectively unable to continue working in the film industry. After Trumbo wrote the screenplay for “Roman Holiday” in exile in Mexico, Hunter, who was later blacklisted himself, served as a front writer, receiving the payment for the work (which he passed along to Trumbo) as well as the writing credit (which he shared with another writer, John Dighton)....
Greek, Aramaic, Latin, Parthian, Middle Persian and Hebrew — all of these languages were used concurrently throughout the society, according to inscriptions and graffiti uncovered by archaeologists. A temple altar epitomizes the multiculturalism: The inscription is in Greek, and a man with a Latin name and a Greek-titled office in the Roman army is shown presenting an offering to Iarhibol, a god of the migrants from the old Syrian caravan city of Palmyra.
New Yorkers would have felt at home in the grid pattern of streets, where merchants lived, scribes wrote and Jews worshiped in the same block, not far from a Christian house-church as well as shrines to Greek and Palmyrene deities. Scholars said the different religious groups seemed to maintain their distinct identities.
An exhibition of prized and quotidian artifacts from Dura-Europos, “Edge of Empires: Pagans, Jews, and Christians at Roman Dura-Europos,” is on view through Jan. 8 at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. The objects — notably art from antiquity’s best-preserved synagogue, and evocative photographs of the buried city’s excavations — are on loan from the Yale University Art Gallery....
THE ultimate pleasure of taking an online dip into the entirety of the Vogue archives — every issue since 1892 has been digitally scanned, page by page, and made available through a pricey new subscription site — is the sensation that it gives of falling into a fashion time machine and being shot out into different eras at random.
Click on the issue of Oct. 1, 1950, and you will find a cover by Horst P. Horst of Margot Smyly, the silver-haired model known as Mrs. Exeter, who appealed to older readers, and the promise inside of finding easy-to-wear clothes “in sizes 10 to 44.”
Click on June 24, 1897, and you will see a drawing of a hooked fish, a reference to the sporting theme of the fashions in that issue....
SEOUL, South Korea — The unsmiling teenage girl in traditional Korean dress sits in a chair, her feet bare, her hands on her lap, her eyes fixed on the Japanese Embassy across a narrow street in central Seoul. Within a day, the life-size bronze statue had become the focal point of a simmering diplomatic dispute as President Lee Myung-bak prepared to visit Tokyo this weekend.
The statue, named the Peace Monument, was financed with citizens’ donations and installed Wednesday, when five women in their 80s and 90s, who were among thousands forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese military during World War II, protested in front of the embassy, joined by their supporters. Such protests have been held weekly for almost 20 years.
For them and for many other Koreans, the statue — placed so that Japanese diplomats see it as they leave their embassy — carries a clear message: Japan should acknowledge what it did to as many as 200,000 Asian women, mostly Koreans, who historians say were forced or lured into working as prostitutes at frontline brothels for Japanese soldiers....
PARIS — In his dark comedy of 1893, “A Woman of No Importance,” Oscar Wilde has Mrs. Arbuthnot, a respectable woman with a secret past, remark knowingly: “A kiss may ruin a human life.”
It can also, apparently, ruin the stone blocks of a tomb.
Recently, descendants of Wilde, the Irish dramatist and wit who died here in 1900, decided to have his immense gravestone cleansed of a vast accumulation of lipstick markings from kisses left by admirers, who for years have been defacing, and some say eroding, the memorial in hilly Père Lachaise Cemetery here. But the decision meant not only cleaning the stone, a flying nude angel by the sculptor Jacob Epstein, who was inspired by the British Museum’s Assyrian figures, but also erecting a seven-foot plate glass wall to keep ardent admirers at a distance.
Family members and some friendsofWilde have welcomed the step. The writer Merlin Holland, who is Wilde’s grandson, said the message was clear. “We are not saying, ‘Go away,’ but rather, ‘Try to behave sensibly,’ ” he said in a phone interview. “I’m sure there will be criticism,” he added....
But when you are the multimillionaire owner of one of the most important documents in American Jewish history — George Washington’s Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, R.I. — avoiding the limelight is not easy. Especially when that document disappeared from public view 10 years ago and you are the only man in the world with the power to bring it back.
In a series of articles and opinion columns this year, the Forward has highlighted the importance of the letter not just to the American Jewish community, but also to the American nation. “It’s the most eloquent statement, perhaps in our history, of religious tolerance,” Washington biographer Ron Chernow told this paper.
Israeli archaeologists from one of the most controversial excavation sites in the Holy Land announced a rare discovery today: a clay seal that appears to have a link to rituals performed in the Jewish Temple about 2,000 years ago. The seal reads, in Aramaic, "pure for God."
The seal is from the period between 1st century B.C. to 70 A.D., the latter year being when the second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. TheAP explains that archaeological discoveries having a direct link to the temple are rare, especially because the the site on which the temple was located (referred to by Jews as the Temple Mount) - is also the location of the Noble Sanctuary, the third holiest site in Sunni Islam.
On the evening of Oct. 4, 1990, Newt Gingrich and his then-wife, Marianne, were enjoying a VIP reception at a Republican fundraiser when they were suddenly hustled over to have their picture taken with President George H.W. Bush.
“I thought it was a bad idea,” Gingrich said in a series of interviews in 1992 that have not been previously published.
Days earlier, Gingrich had dramatically walked out of the White House and was leading a very public rebellion against a deficit reduction and tax increase deal that Bush and top congressional leaders of both parties — including, they thought, Gingrich — had signed off on after months of tedious negotiations. The House was to vote on the deal the very next day.
The earthquake-damaged Washington Monument has extensive cracking and chipped stones near its peak that make it highly vulnerable to rainfall, and inspectors found cracks and loose stones along the entire length of the 555-foot structure, according to a report released Thursday by the National Park Service.
The report was prepared by the engineering firm whose employees rappelled down the sides of the monument in September to inspect the damage. It offers the most detailed portrait yet of damage to the 127-year-old monument, which has been closed to visitors since a 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook the nation's capital Aug. 23.
The report does not estimate how long repairs will take or how much they will cost. The federal spending bill approved last week allocates $7.5 million to fix the monument, with the understanding that the park service would raise an equal amount through private donations.
PARIS — French lawmakers easily passed a measure Thursday to make it a crime to deny the mass killings of Armenians in 1915 by Ottoman Turks amounted to genocide. Turkey swiftly retaliated, ordering its ambassador home and halting official contacts, including some military cooperation.
Within hours of the lower house vote on the bill, which would penalize those who deny the Armenian genocide, Turkey meted out a severe punishment of its own.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a series of retaliatory measures, recalling the country's ambassador to France and suspending joint military maneuvers and restricting French military flights....
Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the anti-government GOP presidential candidate who is now surging in Iowa, is not a fan of Abraham Lincoln. He believes the Civil War was a "senseless" bloodbath that was the result of Lincoln's desire to "enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic."
Raphael Cosme reported to Historic City News that Archaeologist Kathleen Deagan and her team are excavating a section of grounds at the Mission of Nombre De Dios that could be the exact location where the oldest church in the nation once stood.
“This is an important find,” Deagan said. “Last summer, some of the church’s stones showed up near the surface, and then we rescued a 17th century kaolin pipe fragment at the site.”
Throughout the last four decades, in collaboration with the Florida Museum of Natural History, Deagan has followed her instincts. If she is right this time, she has found the first stone church in the United States; certainly, the largest church in Florida during the 17th century.
“We went deep, with a pit three by three meters, and found a section of the church foundation,” Degan said. “The team is opening it up, where the dividing interior walls meet the outer foundation, to try and better understand how it was constructed and when it was built.”...
The death by natural causes of Kim Jong-Il highlights a possibly unpleasant truth about repressive dictators: Many, if not most, end up living long lives and dying peacefully.
Those who live by the sword don't necessarily die by it, according to "The Great Big Book of Horrible Things: The Definitive Chronicle of History's 100 Worst Atrocities" (W. W. Norton & Company, 2011). In it, Matthew White tracked the fates of the leaders most responsible for the 100-deadliest human events. A majority, he found, lived out their natural life spans in peace.
"About 60 percent of the individual oppressors and warmongers who were most responsible for each of these multicides lived happily ever after," White wrote....
Genetic hints of extinct human lineages — and the benefits we might have received from having sex with them — were among the discoveries this year regarding the evolution of our species.
Other key findings include evidence strengthening the case that fossils in South Africa might be those of the ancestor of the human lineage. Research also suggests humans crossed what is now the desolate Arabian Desert to expand out of Africa across the world.
Sex with extinct human lineages
Although we modern humans are the only surviving members of our lineage, other kinds of humans once roamed the Earth, including familiar Neanderthals and the newfound Denisovans, who lived in what is now Siberia. Although some researchers once scoffed at the notion that our ancestors interbred with such extinct lineages, genetic analysis suggests that Neanderthal DNA makes up 1 percent to 4 percent of modern Eurasian genomes, while Denisovan DNA makes up 4 percent to 6 percent of modern Melanesian genomes....
In movies, medieval knights are portrayed as courageous and loyal heroes who will fight to the death without fear or regret.
In reality, the lives of knights were filled with a litany of stresses much like those that modern soldiers deal with.
They were often sleep-deprived, exhausted and malnourished. They slept outside on hard ground, fully exposed to whatever weather befell them. And their lives were full of horror and carnage as they regularly killed other men and watched their friends die.
Faced with the trauma inherent in a life of combat, according to a new look at ancient texts, medieval knights sometimes struggled with despair, fear, powerlessness and delusions. Some may have even suffered from post-traumatic stress or related disorders, argues a Danish researcher, just as their modern-day counterparts do....
"As a medievalist, it's a bit irritating to hear people say that the Middle Ages were just populated by brutal and mindless thugs who just wallowed in warfare," said Thomas Heebøll-Holm, a medieval historian at the University of Copenhagen. "I'm going for a nuanced picture of humans that lived in the past. They were people just like you and me, as far as we can tell."...
CLEVELAND (AP) — Convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk's bid to regain his U.S. citizenship was denied Tuesday by a judge who said he had lied about where he was during World War II.
U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster rejected the retired autoworker's citizenship claim, which was based on newly discovered documents, including one suggesting an incriminating document was a Soviet fraud.
"John Demjanjuk has admitted that he willfully lied about his whereabouts during the war on his visa and immigration applications to gain entry to the United States," the judge wrote. "Despite numerous opportunities, Demjanjuk has never provided a single, consistent accounting of his whereabouts during the war years 1942 to 1945."...
GOP presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich stirred up plenty of controversy last week when he called Palestinians an "invented people" in an interview from the campaign trail.
"I think we have an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs and historically part of the Arab community and they had the chance to go many places,' Gingrich told the Jewish Channel last week.
All of which makes the above 1993 photo of Gingrich, then House Minority Whip, embracing the late Palestinian Liberation Organization chief Yasser Arafat, published by the Huffington Post's Sam Stein, perhaps noteworthy....
An invaluable historical archive has been destroyed in clashes between protesters and the Egyptian army, reports the Associated Press. The Institute of Egypt, a research center established by Napoleon Bonaparte during France’s invasion of Egypt in the 18th century, went up in flames over the weekend. The building was on the front line of a street battle in downtown Cairo that left 14 dead and hundreds wounded....
A federal court has denied Boston College's motion to thwart a government request for sensitive oral-history records. But the court will review those records confidentially on Wednesday before it decides what, if anything, must be handed over to federal authorities.
A spokesman for the college said it was happy with the decision because the court acknowledged the need to protect confidential research.
Friday's ruling, by the U.S. District Court in Boston, rejected the college's request to quash the subpoenas for material from what's known as the Belfast Project. In the project, from 2001 to 2006, researchers and journalists conducted interviews with paramilitary fighters and others who lived through the decades-long sectarian conflict Northern Ireland, always with the promise that the talks would be confidential until they died.
Boston College holds the tapes and transcripts of the project, including interviews with two members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, Dolours Price and Brendan Hughes. They alleged that Gerry Adams, head of Sinn Fein, the IRA's political arm, ran a kidnapping ring suspected of involvement in the death of Jean McConville, a Protestant mother of 10 who was kidnapped and killed in 1972. Mr. Hughes died in 2008, and the college has turned over the records of his interviews....
A controversial effort to honor the life of fairy tale author Hans Christian Andersen with a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) festival in his native Denmark has sparked a row between local politicians and advocates.
As The Telegraph is reporting, the gay-themed, week-long Andersen celebration was the brainchild of Trine Bramsen, a member of the country's parliament, who believes the LGBT literary gala would attract more visitors to the town of Odense on the island of Funen, where the author was born in 1805. "There is so much palaver about Hans Christian Andersen's sexuality, and I think we should use it," she said, noting that she believed the event could also capitalize on the country's marriage equality law. "It should be a week where gays from all over the world can come to the island of Funen."...
Sweden will commemorate the centenary of the birth of Raoul Wallenberg in 2012 with a series of postage stamps and a touring exhibition about the World War II hero credited with rescuing tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews.
Organizers launched a photo exhibition about Wallenberg in Stockholm on Tuesday, and two new stamps that will go on sale in May. The exhibition will tour Hungary, Germany, Russia, Israel, the United States and Canada next year.
As Sweden's envoy in the Hungarian capital of Budapest from July 1944, Wallenberg saved 20,000 Jews by giving them Swedish travel documents, or moving them to safe houses. He also dissuaded German officers from massacring the 70,000 inhabitants of the city's ghetto.
However, he disappeared after being arrested by the Soviet army in Budapest in January 1945 and his fate has since remained one of the great mysteries of WWII.
The Russians have claimed Wallenberg was executed on July 17, 1947, but have never produced a reliable death certificate or his remains. Unverified witness accounts and new evidence from Russian archives suggest he was still alive years later....
For centuries, scientists and historians have argued over why Stonehenge was built and, even more puzzlingly, how.
They are now closer to cracking one aspect of the mystery after working out the exact spot where some of the rocks came from.
The 5000-year-old circle of stones - thought at various times to have been a temple of healing, a calendar, or even a royal cemetery - have been traced to an outcrop 150 miles (241km) away in north Pembrokeshire.
Dr Richard Bevins of the National Museum of Wales and Dr Robert Ixer at Leicester University narrowed down the source of the rocks - called rhyolites - to the 70m-long area called Craig Rhos-y-Felin after testing thousands of samples and finding a match.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il died of a heart attack while on a train trip, state media reported on Monday, sparking immediate concern over who is in control of the reclusive state and its nuclear program.
A tearful television announcer dressed in black said the 69-year old had died on Saturday of physical and mental over-work on his way to give "field guidance."
Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il's youngest son, is seen as the leader-in-waiting after he was appointed to senior political and military posts in 2010.
North Korea's official KCNA news agency said the elder Kim died at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday (6:30 p.m. EST on Friday) after "an advanced acute myocardial infarction, complicated with a serious heart shock." Kim had suffered a stroke in 2008, but had appeared to have recovered from that ailment.
VALENCINA DE LA CONCEPCION, Spain (Reuters) - Spain's pre-historic burial chambers have survived invasion, war, a long dictatorship and a property bubble which paved over vast tracts of the country.
But the economic crisis which ended the building boom that buried some of the country's greatest archaeological treasures under shopping malls and new housing may also be bad news for those hoping to provide lasting safeguards for Spain's remaining tholos dolmens or passage tombs.
The Aljarafe region outside the city of Seville in southern Spain, with a rich Arabic and Christian history, is believed to house Europe's most extensive grouping of tholos dolmens, dating back some 5,000 years.
Many of these archaeological treasures were buried under new construction during a decade-long building craze that swept across Spain and left 1.5 million vacant homes when it ended....
November marked the 21st anniversary of the observance of American Indian and Alaskan Native Heritage Month. President George H.W. Bush made the proclamation in 1990 and declared 1992 as the "Year of the American Indian" by way of congressional legislation.
The U.S. Military has a long and storied tradition of extraordinary contributions from American Indians and Alaska Natives. From the Revolutionary War where Gen. George Washington enlisted the skills of American Indians to liberate the colonies, to the War of 1812 where Native Americans served on state and continental ships, Native Americans have added to the strong foundation we enjoy today. Their excellence continued in World Wars I and II where nearly 35,000 American Indians fought for their country.
The most famous of these were the Navajo Code Talkers who used their native language to communicate along the front lines. This led to Maj. Howard Connor, 5th Marine Division signal officer, saying, "Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would have never taken Iwo Jima."...
PARIS: It was one of the most shameful and shady chapters of French history: the collaboration of industrialists and business owners with the Nazis during the German occupation.
A historical can of worms was reopened in a Paris court on Wednesday when the grandchildren of the inventor and car maker Louis Renault began a legal battle claiming his famous company was unfairly confiscated by the state as punishment for allegedly collaborating with the occupiers.
Mr Renault, who founded the car maker in 1898 with his brothers, died in prison while awaiting trial for collaboration in 1944, two months after the liberation of France. In January 1945 Charles de Gaulle and the provisional government signed a decree confiscating the company and nationalising it, accusing Mr Renault of working for the Germans and providing their armies with vehicles and services to help the Nazi war effort....
(JTA) -- The European Union has donated more than $5 million to preserve the site of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp.
Auschwitz authorities announced Wednesday that the $5.3 million awarded by the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, will be used to preserve the women's barracks at the Birkenau site of the camp, improve security and expand the database system....
In 1971 the US was pulling troops out of Vietnam, and its bases in Germany were full of draftees at a loose end. "You were painting shovels, picking up cigarette butts – it was a lot of busy-work," remembers former serviceman Lewis Hitt. "There was a longing by everyone, especially the draftees, to get home and go back to what you were doing before."
This was the crucible in which were formed scores of raucous funk bands made up of servicemen, four of which have just been compiled by Now-Again Records. Adoring crowd noise was crudely dubbed on top of their records, which were then distributed in recruitment centres. These bands were used by the army to present service as varied, even hip. But the songs they cover – the bitter, suspicious likes of Backstabbers and Smiling Faces Sometimes – undermine any potential propagandising.
Hitt, now 62, was a white guitarist in East of Underground, a multi-ethnic group centred around three flamboyant black singers. He's the only member of all four bands to have surfaced. "I could see a message in there," he says of the singers' song choices. "There was a lot of distrust of authority, of government, with the war going on, and Nixon in office." Dave Hollander, who compiled the release, adds that "the music wasn't censored in any way. It was understood that the path of least resistance was to let the soldiers express themselves."...
It was a rare reflection by Mitt Romney on his life as a young Mormon, offered as proof to struggling Americans that despite being born into privilege and amassing a $250 million fortune, he too had known hard times.
But the Republican presidential hopeful spent a significant portion of his 30-month mission in a Paris mansion described by fellow American missionaries to The Daily Telegraph as “palace”. It featured stained glass windows, chandeliers, and an extensive art collection. It was staffed by two servants – a Spanish chef and a houseboy....
Meryl Streep is being trumpeted as a likely Oscar winner for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, but the film worries John Campbell, on whose biography it is based.
“Like any film of that sort, it simplifies and it dramatises her as a great individual, fighting against all these things as if it was just her on her own,” says the author, who acted as a consultant and was even given a cameo role as the manager of an ice-cream company visited by Thatcher.
“It does not credit her colleagues like Geoffrey Howe, or anybody else. The other politicians are made to look wet – she bashes them....
CBS News video: Nanny's secret photography talent on display - Vivian Maier worked as a full time nanny and housekeeper in Chicago. But whenever the opportunity arose, she took to the streets to indulge in her secret talent of taking remarkable photographs. Anthony Mason reports.
You may not know his name but if you speak English and have ever visited Paris you probably know his bookshop: Shakespeare & Co.
Whitman set up the shop in 1951. He was one of a generation of Americans — mostly ex GIs on the GI bill — who went to Paris after World War II and tried to re-start the party that made the French capital the center of western culture in the ’20s and ’30s, the place where the Hemingway and Fitzgerald legends were born.
The Paris Review was started. William Styron, Norman Mailer, James Jones, George Plimpton, humorist Art Buchwald and jazz musicians too numerous to mention moved back. There were so many Americans in the city that M-G-M made a Gene Kelly musical about ex-patriot life called “An American in Paris” the year Whitman opened his shop. It won the Best Picture Oscar.
By the mid-1950′s though it was clear the party was over and New York was the place where cutting edge culture was being created. Paris was something of a perfectly preserved museum of an era comprehensively demolished by war. Most of the ex-pats headed home.
George Whitman stuck it out. In the golden days of Paris there had been an English language bookshop called Shakespeare and Company. It was run by an American woman named Sylvia Beach. It was more than a place to sell books. Beach was a patron of writers, most famously James Joyce. She effectively edited and published Ulysses. But her shop had not survived the disruption of the war....
Archaeologists have discovered mysterious stone carvings at an excavation site in Jerusalem. The carvings - which were engraved thousands of years ago - have baffled experts.
Israeli archaeologists excavating in the oldest part of the city discovered a complex of rooms with three "V" shapes carved into the floor. Yet there were no other clues as to their purpose and nothing to identity the people who made them.
Some experts believe the markings were made at least 2,800 years ago and may have helped hold up some kind of wooden structure. Others say an ancient people may have held ritual functions there.
The purpose of the complex is another aspect of the mystery....
A TV archaeologist has revealed controversial plans to excavate the battlefields of the Falklands War even though the conflict only took place 30 years ago.
Veteran groups have warned that such an exploration would be inappropriate after such a short time, with many combatants and friends and relatives of the dead still alive.
Glasgow University academic Dr Tony Pollard is preparing the major project to unearth secrets of the 1982 campaign by British forces to seize back the South Atlantic island chain from Argentinian invaders.
The presenter of the BBC series, Two Men In A Trench, believes the war is in danger of being forgotten and insists his expedition would be a fitting way to mark the 30th anniversary of the islands’ liberation....