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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 (7-17-12)
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Darrow are two of the most legendary outlaws in American history, thanks to their spree of murder and bank robbery in the 1930s. Now you too can own a piece of that history, as Bonnie’s .38-caliber Colt revolver and Clyde’s .45-caliber Colt pistol will join a host of other items in a Sept. 30 auction.
The couple were wearing both weapons when they were ambushed by lawmen on May 23, 1934 and gunned them down; Bonnie’s Colt was discovered taped to her inner thigh and Clyde’s weapon was nestled in his waistband. The leaders of the Barrow Gang were responsible for at least 13 murders and countless robberies during the Great Depression, but their blossoming romance and daring heists made them folk heroes....
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (7-16-12)
“John McCain ran for president and released two years of tax returns. John Kerry ran for president; you know, his wife, who has hundreds of millions of dollars, she never released her tax returns. Somehow this wasn’t an issue.”
— Mitt Romney, on Fox News, July 16, 2012
“It's standard for the last Republican nominee, the last Democratic nominee.”
— Romney senior adviser Ed Gillespie, on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” July 15, 2012, answering a question on why Romney will release only two years of tax returns.
In trying to fend off demands — from both Democrats and even some Republicans — that presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney release more than two years of tax returns, his campaign has sought to claim that releasing two years of tax returns is normal. (Romney so far has released his 2010 return and an estimate for his 2011 return.)
Is that really the case? Let’s check out Gillespie’s claim, presumably about McCain and President Obama, and Romney’s claim that the tax returns of Teresa Heinz Kerry were “not an issue.”...
SOURCE: WaPo (7-14-12)
The photograph, scratched and undated, is captioned “Brother Jordan Anderson.” He is a middle-aged black man with a long beard and a righteous stare, as if he were a preacher locking eyes with a sinner, or a judge about to dispatch a thief to the gallows.
Anderson was a former slave who was freed from a Tennessee plantation by Union troops in 1864 and spent his remaining 40 years in Ohio. He lived quietly and likely would have been forgotten, if not for a remarkable letter to his former master published in a Cincinnati newspaper shortly after the Civil War.
Treasured as a social document, praised as a masterpiece of satire, Anderson’s letter has been anthologized and published all over the world. Historians teach it, and the letter turns up occasionally on a blog or on Facebook. Humorist Andy Borowitz read the letter recently and called it, in an email to The Associated Press, “something Twain would have been proud to have written.”
Addressed to one Col. Patrick Henry Anderson, who apparently wanted Jordan to come back to the plantation east of Nashville, the letter begins cheerfully, with the former slave expressing relief that “you had not forgotten Jordon” (there are various spellings of the name) and were “promising to do better for me than anybody else can.” But, he adds, “I have often felt uneasy about you.”
He informs the colonel that he’s now making a respectable wage in Dayton, Ohio, and that his children are going to school. He tallies the monetary value of his services while on Anderson’s plantation — $11,608 — then adds, “we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you.”...
SOURCE: WaPo (7-9-12)
Repairs that could keep the earthquake-damaged Washington Monument closed into 2014 will require the exterior and part of the interior of the 555-foot structure to be shrouded in scaffolding, the National Park Service has announced.
The estimated $15 million project will necessitate the temporary removal of part of the granite plaza surrounding the monument, and the bracing of huge stone slabs that now rest on cracked supports near the structure’s to
Name of source: NPR
SOURCE: NPR (7-17-12)
While you're enjoying your coffee this morning, half a dozen scientists are already at work. They're not sitting at desks, however, but a few miles off the Florida Keys, 60 feet down on the ocean bottom.
The researchers are living and working this week at Aquarius Reef Base, the world's last undersea research laboratory. The 25-year-old facility, built by the federal government, has hosted everyone from marine biologists studying endangered coral reefs to NASA astronauts training for weightless missions in space. But the Aquarius Reef Base itself is now endangered.
Among marine researchers, there are few people more distinguished or respected than Sylvia Earle. Former chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and now explorer-in-residence at National Geographic, she's no stranger to what are called "saturation dives."
Those are dives where people spend days, or even weeks, underwater. This dive, Earle says, marks an important scientific anniversary. It's been 50 years since saturation diving was first pioneered by underwater explorers Ed Link and Jacques Cousteau.
"This is a historic event, and I was invited," Earle said. "I didn't knock on the door; they knocked on my door, and I said, 'OK.' "
In 1970, Earle led the first team of women to conduct a saturation dive — a two-week stay in an undersea lab off the Virgin Islands. She's now 76 years old, and this week marks her 10th extended stay underwater....
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (7-14-12)
It is a time capsule of Bomber Command, the unit that has seen its role overlooked since the end of the conflict.
Now following the success of the memorial to the unit which was unveiled by the Queen in central London last month, the Second World War airbase at RAF Bicester could become a permanent museum to honour the courage of the bomber crews.
The 348 acre airfield, which contains 19 Grade II listed buildings and 12 scheduled ancient monuments, has been put up for sale by the Ministry of Defence.
Among those looking to take on the airfield is Bomber Command Heritage (BCH), a group of volunteers, who are planning to convert it into one of the country's foremost aviation museums....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (7-13-12)
The surgical records detail the groundbreaking work of Dr Harold Gillies, the pioneering plastic surgeon who developed some of the world’s first successful skin grafts during the Great War.
Dr Gillies developed early plastic surgery techniques to treat seriously wounded and disfigured soldiers, allowing them to go on to live a full life as civilians.
Records relating to more than 3,000 soldiers treated at The Queen’s Hospital in Sidcup, Kent during the First World War have now been placed online for the first time.
The index of 11,000 operations reflect procedures between 1917 and 1925, including details of soldiers, their names, regiments and ranks....
Name of source: Medievalists.net
SOURCE: Medievalists.net (7-4-12)
A previously unknown version of Martin Waldseemüller’s famous world map has been disocvered in the collections of the University Library in Munich. On this map, the New World appears for the first time under the name “America”, chosen to honor the explorer Amerigo Vespucci (1451 – 1512), whom Waldseemüller erroneously regarded as the discoverer of the continent.
Waldseemüller and his colleague Matthias Ringmann created the map in their workshop in the monastery of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges around the year 1507. Four other versions of the map are known to exist, and one of them was sold at auction in 2005 for $1 million. This fifth version is created in so-called globe segments, which depict the world in twelve individual segments, or rather surface wedges, which taper to a point at each end and are printed on a single sheet, like cut-outs on construction paper. When correctly arranged, they form a small globe of about 11 cm in diameter. And in the three rightmost wedges, one sees a huge, boomerang-shaped landmass in the middle of an immense ocean. The globe places America in the remotest West, seen from Europe and Africa, on the far side of a wide, wide sea....
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (7-13-12)
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Archaeologists in Mexico City have unearthed the skulls and other bones of 15 people, most of them the children of traveling merchants during Aztec times.
Researcher Alejandra Jasso Pena says they also found ceramic flutes, bowls, incense burners, the remains of a dog that was sacrificed to accompany a child in the afterlife and other artifacts of a pre-Columbian civilization.
Jasso Pena said Friday that construction was about to start on five buildings in a Mexico City neighborhood when the National Institute of Anthropology and History asked to carry out an excavation of the site first....
SOURCE: AP (7-15-12)
Syria's 16-month bloodbath crossed an important symbolic threshold Sunday as the international Red Cross formally declared the conflict a civil war, a status with implications for potential war crimes prosecutions.
The Red Cross statement came as United Nations observers gathered new details on what happened in a village where dozens were reported killed in a regime assault. After a second visit to Tremseh on Sunday, the team said Syrian troops went door-to-door in the small farming community, checking residents' IDs and then killing some and taking others away.
According to the U.N., the attack appeared to target army defectors and activists.
"Pools of blood and brain matter were observed in a number of homes," a U.N. statement said....
The bloodshed appeared to be escalating. On Sunday, the International Committee of the Red Cross said it now considers the Syrian conflict a civil war, meaning international humanitarian law applies throughout the country.
Also known as the rules of war, humanitarian law grants all parties in a conflict the right to use appropriate force to achieve their aims. The Geneva-based group's assessment is an important reference for determining how much and what type of force can be used, and it can form the basis for war crimes prosecutions, especially if civilians are attacked or detained enemies are abused or killed.
"We are now talking about a non-international armed conflict in the country," ICRC spokesman Hicham Hassan said.
War crimes prosecutions would have been possible even without the Red Cross statement. But Sunday's pronouncement adds weight to any prosecution argument that Syria is in a state of war - a prerequisite for a war crimes case.
Previously, the Red Cross committee had restricted its assessment of the scope of the conflict to the hotspots of Idlib, Homs and Hama. But Hassan said the organization concluded that the violence was widening.
"Hostilities have spread to other areas of the country," Hassan said. "International humanitarian law applies to all areas where hostilities are taking place."
Although the armed uprising in Syria began more than a year ago, the committee had hesitated to call it a civil war - though others, including United Nations officials, have done so.
That is because the rules of war override and to some extent suspend the laws that apply in peacetime, including the universal right to life, right to free speech and right to peaceful assembly.
When the Red Cross says something "it's always very persuasive," said Louise Doswald-Beck, a professor of international law at the Geneva Graduate Institute. In legal terms, that means a court would be unlikely to decide differently....
SOURCE: AP (7-15-12)
For decades, nobody really talked about them: the thousands of Poles, mostly Roman Catholics, who risked their lives during World War II to save Jewish friends, neighbors and even strangers.
Those discovered by the Germans were executed quickly, often with their entire families. And then, under communism, there was silence. The Jewish survivors would send letters and gifts in gratitude. But the Polish state ignored the rescuers. And they themselves kept quiet, out of modesty, or shame or fear of anti-Semitism. Sometimes they worried gift packages from the West would arouse the jealousy of neighbors in a period of economic deprivation.
"It wasn't considered anything to be proud of," said Ewa Ligia Zdanowicz , an 81-year-old whose parents hid a Jewish teenage girl in their home during the war.
That era is over.
A moving gathering of dozens of the rescuers on Sunday in Warsaw shows just how much has changed in Poland in the 23 years since communism fell. Dozens of Polish rescuers were celebrated and dined over a kosher lunch in an upscale hotel where Jewish representatives took turns praising them in speeches for their heroism.
The rescuers themselves deny that they are exceptional. With each other, they discuss other things, often their failing health, avoiding memories of executions and other brutality that they witnessed and which still bring them to tears.
"We did what we had to do," said Halina Szaszkiewicz, 89. "There was nothing heroic about it."
But the Jewish officials honoring them see it differently.
"You, the righteous of the world, think your behavior was ordinary, but we all know it was something more than that. It was truly extraordinary," Stanlee Stahl, the executive vice president of the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, the group
that organized the luncheon, told them in a speech.
Those in attendance have all been recognized by Israel's Yad Vashem as "Righteous Among the Nations," non-Jews sometimes referred to colloquially as "righteous gentiles."....
SOURCE: AP (7-13-12)
Folk singer and native Oklahoman Woody Guthrie was "probably not one of the favorite sons" when he was alive, a state senator said. But Guthrie's legacy has inspired a celebration in honor of his 100th birthday this Sunday at the annual festival in his hometown of Okemah.
Guthrie, perhaps best known for his song "This Land is Your Land," was hotly political, speaking out against fascism and aligning himself with working class, influenced by his time in the Dust Bowl. Guthrie had a silly side, too, in ditties such as "Car Song." And his seemingly simple songwriting inspired countless musicians, among them Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger.
Guthrie's son, singer Arlo Guthrie, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Friday that he believes his father would find humor in the fact that his life and music are being celebrated as part of the 15th annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, referred to by fans as WoodyFest...
SOURCE: AP (7-14-12)
Polish officials unveiled a statue of former President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II on Saturday, honoring two men widely credited in this Eastern European country with helping to topple communism 23 years ago.
The statue was unveiled in Gdansk, the birthplace of Lech Walesa's Solidarity movement, in the presence of about 120 former Solidarity activists, many of whom were imprisoned in the 1980s for their roles in organizing or taking part in strikes against the communist regime.
The bronze statue, erected in the lush seaside President Ronald Reagan Park, is a slightly larger-than-life rendering of the two late leaders. It was inspired by an Associated Press photograph taken in 1987 on John Paul's second pontifical visit to the U.S.
The photographer who took the picture, Scott Stewart, expressed satisfaction that one of his pictures has helped immortalize "a wonderful moment in time between the two men."...
SOURCE: AP (7-11-12)
The pain that seared Srebrenica 17 years ago burned fresh Wednesday as tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims came to bury their dead in the town whose name is now synonymous with genocide.
In a ceremony broadcast live on television across the country, 520 coffins were placed in the ground as tears flowed like water from family and friends
On the anniversary of Europe's worst massacre since World War II, 30,000 Muslims traveled to a memorial center in Srebrenica to honor the thousands of Muslim men and boys slaughtered in July 1995 by Serb forces...
Tired of listening to political speeches every year, the families of the victims allowed only Holocaust survivor Rabbi Arthur Schneier of the Park East Synagogue in New York to address them during Wednesday's ceremony...
SOURCE: AP (7-9-12)
PARIS (AP) -- The widow of Yasser Arafat will file a legal complaint in France asking authorities to investigate her husband's death, about which she has recently raised new suspicions, her lawyer said Tuesday.
Palestinian authorities gave final approval this week for the former Palestinian leader's body to be exhumed and asked for an international investigation into his 2004 death in a French military hospital.
That came on the heels of a broadcast last week by Arab satellite TV channel Al-Jazeera, which said it had conducted a nine-month investigation into the leader's death after his widow, Suha, handed over Arafat's medical file and what she said was a duffel bag of his belongings. Included in the bag were a fur hat and a woolen cap with some of his hair, a toothbrush, and clothing with his urine and blood stains....
SOURCE: AP (7-7-12)
WASHINGTON (AP) — History repeats itself, until it doesn't.
That musty saw is worth remembering as pundits speculate on whether the lumbering economy will doom the re-election hopes of President Barack Obama, who has shown a knack for beating odds and breaking barriers.
Clearly, some important trends are working against him. The latest evidence came Friday in a lackluster jobs report that said the nation's unemployment rate was stuck at 8.2 percent.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the last president to win re-election with so much joblessness. Voters ousted Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush when the jobless rate was well under 8 percent....
Name of source: Religion News Service
SOURCE: Religion News Service (7-11-2)
(RNS) A large-scale Bible museum will open in Washington, D.C., within four years, say planners who have been touring the world with portions of their collection.
Cary Summers, chief operating officer of The Museum of the Bible, a nonprofit umbrella group for the collection of the billionaire Green family of Oklahoma, said they considered Washington, Dallas and New York but decided the nation's capital was the best location. The final name of the museum and its exact location have not been disclosed but planners hope to confirm a location later this summer.
Research they commissioned found that the general population was more willing to travel to the nation's capital for a Bible-focused museum than the other two cities, Summers said....
Name of source: Yahoo News
SOURCE: Yahoo News (7-9-12)
After classes let out one summer, Gettysburg College students took to the fields to fight in an epic battle.
That was in July 1863, however.
A prestigious liberal arts school, Gettysburg College, then-called Pennsylvania College of Gettysburg, played a pivotal role in the battle for both the Union and Confederate armies.
According to National Park Service employee and Gettysburg College alumnus John Rudy ’07, students put down their books and rose to the governor’s call for emergency troops to defend the state and the town.
The men were placed at Harrisburg as Company A of the 26th Pennsylvania Emergency Militia Regiment. By this time, the Confederate army was hot off a victory in Chancellorsville and it had to be stopped from punching a hole into Union territory. The students’ participation was vital....
SOURCE: Yahoo News (7-6-12)
BERLIN (Reuters) - Adolf Hitler personally intervened to protect a Jewish man who had been his commanding officer during World War One, according to a letter unearthed by the Jewish Voice from Germany newspaper.
The letter, composed in August 1940 by Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazis' feared paramilitary SS, said Ernst Hess, a judge, should be spared persecution or deportation "as per the Fuehrer's wishes."
Hess, a decorated World War One hero who briefly commanded Hitler's company in Flanders, worked as a judge until Nazi racial laws forced him to resign in 1936. The same year he was beaten up by Nazi thugs outside his house, the paper said.
In a petition to Hitler at that time, Hess wrote: "For us it is a kind of spiritual death to now be branded as Jews and exposed to general contempt."...
Name of source: New Kerala
SOURCE: New Kerala (7-16-12)
Washington : Tracking the impact of climate change today has been made possible by tools developed by nuclear scientists to detect radioactivity in the wake of testing of atomic bombs during the Cold War era, says a leading historian.
Their insights and research have contributed enormously to enhancing knowledge about both carbon dioxide, which warms the earth and aerosols, which cool it. Otherwise, scientists today would have been in the dark about atmospheric changes, says historian Paul Edwards from University of Michigan, US....
Name of source: Salon
SOURCE: Salon (7-17-12)
A former Hungarian police officer accused of responsibility for the deaths of nearly 16,000 Jews in World War II has been found living in Budapest.
Britain’s Sun newspaper reportedly found a man believed to be Laszlo Csizsik-Csatary, now 97, living in the Hungarian capital.
Sun reporters confronted Csatary at his apartment in an upscale suburb of Budapest about Canada revoking his citizenship in 1997.
Answering the door in a long-sleeve shirt and underwear, Csatary told the newspaper, “I don’t want to discuss it.”...
Name of source: Ocala Star-Banner
SOURCE: Ocala Star-Banner (7-8-12)
"I looked at the archaeological evidence. There is absolutely no doubt that is a De Soto contact site, and I am 99.99 percent sure this is the town of Potano, the major Indian town," said Jerald Milanich, the author of multiple books about De Soto's expedition and curator emeritus in archaeology of the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida.
"Until now, we really had no one location until all the way up to Tallahassee. Now we have a midway place."
White's initial discovery was less a product of painstaking exploration than dumb luck....
White himself had walked his family's property for two years looking for remnants of what he thought was a 17th century Spanish cattle ranch. He found little more than Indian artifacts.
Then in 2005, a series of hurricanes and storms inundated the 700-acre property owned by his wife, Michelle White, a bioarchaeologist....
Name of source: The Telegraph
SOURCE: The Telegraph (7-16-12)
The French foreign ministry has joined Nazi hunters and Jewish community groups to call on prosecutors in Hungary to arrest Laszlo Csatary, 97, for his role in organising the deportation of 15,700 Jews to their deaths in Auschwitz.
"We believe that Nazi criminals, wherever they are, must answer for their acts before justice," said a spokesman for the French foreign ministry.
Csatary, who tops the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's most-wanted list of the Nazi war criminals, was last weekend discovered living peacefully in Budapest under his own name.
He had left Canada when he was unmasked by war crimes investigators in 1995.
Csatary fled Europe at the end of the war after being sentenced to death "in absentia" in 1948 by a Czechoslovakian court for crimes committed while he was police chief from 1941 in the Slovakian city of Kosice, then part of Hungary.
While in the town, known as Kassa in Hungarian and Kaschau in German, he was renowned for his brutality, beating women with a whip he carried on his belt and forcing them to dig holes with their bare hands.
During the war, he organised deportations of thousands of Jews to death camps in Nazi occupied Eastern Europe and is accused of complicity in the killing of at least 16,000 people.
Csatary has officially been under investigation by the Hungarian authorities since 11 September 2011 and is locally reported as having been under police surveillance since April....
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (7-15-12)
The African Union has chosen South African Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its leader, making her the first woman to hold the post.
Dlamini-Zuma beat incumbent Jean Ping of Gabon after a closely fought contest for the chairmanship of the organisation.
In January, neither got the required two-thirds majority, leaving Mr Ping in office for another six months.
The dispute has overshadowed other issues, especially security and trade.
Voting had been broadly split along linguistic lines, with English-speaking countries tending to support Ms Dlamini-Zuma and French-speaking countries lining up behind Mr Ping.
Senior officials had warned that failure to resolve the leadership deadlock would divide the AU and undermine its credibility....
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (7-15-12)
TOKYO — For six years US General Douglas MacArthur was lord of all he surveyed as supreme commander of the Allied forces in occupied Japan, gazing over Tokyo from a building requisitioned from an insurance company.
Now, more than 60 years after Japan began governing itself again, his office is being opened to the public, just as he left it.
The sixth-floor room has the original seats, desk and even an armchair where MacArthur would have sat as he presided over Japan's rise from the ashes of World War II.
From the office, MacArthur oversaw the transformation of a country that waged a brutal war of acquisition across Asia into a peaceable nation that would become the economic powerhouse of the late 20th century....
SOURCE: AFP (7-11-12)
RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — Israel poisoned the late Yasser Arafat with the lethal radioactive substance polonium, a nephew of the veteran Palestinian leader alleged on Thursday, prompting an Israeli denial.
"We accuse Israel of killing Yasser Arafat by poisoning him with that lethal substance," Nasser al-Qidwa told AFP, referring to polonium, traces of which were recently found on clothing worn by Arafat when he was ailing.
"Those responsible for that assassination should be held accountable and judged," said Qidwa, who is also president of the Yasser Arafat Foundation.
Allegations that the long-time Palestinian leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate was poisoned were resurrected earlier this month after Al-Jazeera news channel broadcast an investigation in which experts said they had found high levels of polonium on his personal effects....
SOURCE: AFP (7-6-2012)
wo former Argentine dictators were handed heavy prison sentences Thursday for their involvement in the kidnapping of babies from leftist activists killed during the 1976-1983 dictatorship.
Jorge Videla, 86, was sentenced to 50 years in prison and Reynaldo Bignone, 84, was given a 15-year jail term, presiding judge Maria Roqueta said as she read the ruling before a packed courtroom in Buenos Aires.
Hundreds of people -- relatives of the victims, children reunited with their families and activists -- cheered the ruling, which they watched on a giant TV screen set up outside the courthouse. Many were in tears.
Several other defendants were handed sentences ranging from 15 to 40 years for their roles in a "systematic plan" to kidnap the babies of activists, in a trial that launched in February 2011...
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (7-13-12)
Scientists studying how North America was first settled have found stone spearheads and darts in Oregon, US, that date back more than 13,000 years.
The hunting implements, which are of the "Western Stemmed" tradition, are at least as old as the famous Clovis tools thought for a long time to belong to the continent's earliest inhabitants.
Precise carbon dating of dried human faeces discovered alongside the stone specimens tied down their antiquity.
It has published the scholarly findings of an international team investigating the Paisley Cave complex in south-central Oregon....
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (7-12-12)
Maybe the 1992 movie Brendan Fraser film Encino Man wasn’t too far from the mark?
Fossilized human feces and other evidence from a West Coast cave demonstrates the existence of a long-lost, 13,500-year-old American culture, scientists said Thursday.
The fossilized feces, known to researchers as a coprolite, from the Paisley Caves in Oregon has turned assumptions about the history of the Americas on its ear.
“Coprolites are as good as a human skeleton,” Dr. Thomas Stafford, Jr. of Stafford Research Laboratories said during a briefing for science journalists. This particular one left him stunned....
Name of source: Irish Times
SOURCE: Irish Times (7-12-12)
A 1,000-year- old hoard of gold coins has been unearthed at a famous Crusader battleground where Christian and Muslim forces once fought for control of the Holy Land, Israeli archaeologists said yesterday.
The treasure was dug up from the ruins of a castle in Arsuf, a strategic stronghold during the religious conflict waged in the 12th and 13th centuries.
The 108 coins – one of the biggest collections of ancient coins discovered in Israel – were found hidden in a ceramic jug beneath a tile floor at the clifftop coastal ruins, 15km from Tel Aviv.
“It is a rare find,” said Oren Tal, a professor at Tel Aviv University who leads the dig. “We don’t have a lot of gold that had been circulated by the Crusaders.”...
SOURCE: Irish Times (6-30-12)
NINETY YEARS ago this week, a 17-year-old Dublin boy peered through his Kodak folding brownie camera from his family home on Essex Quay, to capture smoke billowing from the Four Courts in the first act of the Civil War.
Joe Rodgers’s image remained hidden among his vast collection of snaps for decades until his family found it and transferred it to a negative about 20 years ago.
This lay in a box with old medals until it was recently digitised by his grandson, also named Joe Rodgers, a history student, who wanted to give it a public showing for the 90th anniversary. The photographer died in 1998....
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (7-11-12)
North and South America were first populated by three waves of migrants from Siberia rather than just a single migration, say researchers who have studied the whole genomes of Native Americans in South America and Canada.
Some scientists assert that the Americas were peopled in one large migration from Siberia that happened about 15,000 years ago, but the new genetic research shows that this central episode was followed by at least two smaller migrations from Siberia, one by people who became the ancestors of today’s Eskimos and Aleutians and another by people speaking Na-Dene, whose descendants are confined to North America. The research was published online Wednesday in the journal Nature.
The finding vindicates a proposal first made on linguistic grounds by Joseph Greenberg, the great classifier of the world’s languages. He asserted in 1987 that most languages spoken in North and South America were derived from the single mother tongue of the first settlers from Siberia, which he called Amerind. Two later waves, he surmised, brought speakers of Eskimo-Aleut and of Na-Dene, the language family spoken by the Apache and Navajo....
SOURCE: NYT (7-10-12)
LE THOR, France — If the French loved John F. Kennedy, there is a special spot in their hearts for Pierre Salinger, his rotund, cigar-smoking, francophone-ish press secretary whose maternal grandfather served in the Assemblée Nationale and fought to clear Capt. Alfred Dreyfus.
So it’s not surprising that here in this medieval Provençal village east of Avignon, where Mr. Salinger spent his last years with his fourth wife, there is a temple to the jovial spokesman who traded a prizewinning journalistic career for a roller-coaster life of politics, public service, comedy and tragedy.
In a memoir published nine years before his death at a local hospital in 2004 at 79, Mr. Salinger averred distaste for what he called the “Camelotization” of the Kennedys....
BAGAN, Myanmar — Fires, floods, treasure seekers and ficus trees have by turns withered this ancient royal capital, but in many ways it still looks as it might have eight centuries ago.
More than 2,200 tiered brick temples and shrines sprawl across an arid 26-square-mile plain on the eastern bank of the Irrawaddy River, remnants of a magnificent Buddhist city that reached its height in the 11th and 12th centuries.
These monuments, on a red-dirt plain thinly populated by monks and goat herders, are an unparalleled concentration of temple architecture, featuring sophisticated vaulting techniques not seen in other Asian civilizations and elaborate mural paintings whose counterparts have not survived well in India....
A long-decommissioned submarine faced an unusual adversary early Sunday — the wake from a huge cruise ship that was trying to dock at a nearby Hudson River pier.
According to a spokeswoman for the museum, a gangway leading to the Growler was damaged when the cruise ship, the Norwegian Star, fired up its thrusters. The spokeswoman did not provide further details, and the Growler was open to visitors on Sunday.
The retired aircraft carrier Intrepid, the centerpiece of the museum, was not affected....
PARIS — Fifty years to the day after Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle shook hands in a gesture of reconciliation intended to put an end to a century of war and enmity, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany came to the same place, Reims Cathedral, on Sunday to commemorate French-German friendship with François Hollande, the new French president.
The relationship has been under strain because of the Continent’s euro crisis and the effort by Mr. Hollande, together with the leaders of Spain and Italy, to push Ms. Merkel toward a greater commitment to sharing the costs of European debt and promoting growth. But on Sunday, those concerns were put aside in the name of the larger commitment of negotiation and peace in a Europe that is generally unified and free.
“At each step of European construction, the German-French friendship was the base,” said Mr. Hollande, standing with Ms. Merkel outside the cathedral, which was heavily damaged by the Germans in World War I. “I propose to you that we open a new door to even tighter friendship.”...
SOURCE: NYT (7-8-12)
“This is the one,” said Zenop Tuncer, leading the way to a corner of his car repair and restoration shop, where he had parked a rusty, aged hulk with running boards, an old-fashioned vacuum-tube radio and a history — though maybe not the history he thought.
The car is a 1942 Mercedes 320 Cabriolet D. Mr. Tuncer said it ran nicely when it arrived, but the body and the interior needed work, so he had called Mercedes-Benz to order parts. “As soon as I gave them the VIN number,” he said, using the abbreviation for vehicle identification number, “there were a lot of calls from Mercedes: ‘That’s Hitler’s car.’//” (The 10-digit number in question was actually the car’s factory number, or serial number.)
“In those years,” said Mr. Tuncer, whose shop is in Edgewater, N.J., “Mercedes was building cars for him and his staff. Mercedes was only for the top generals.” ...
But Adam Paige, a Mercedes spokesman, checked with an expert at the company’s archives in Stuttgart, Germany, who cast doubt on the Hitler connection, at least with this particular car...
TULELAKE, Calif. — Under a cloud-filled sky, the Japanese-American pilgrims sat on folding chairs facing a vast, flat and dusty landscape whose monotony was broken only by two oddly shaped mountains that rose to the east and west. For the souls of the hundreds buried in a long-vanished cemetery here, a Buddhist minister offered prayers and rang a bell, though its invocation was almost lost as a propeller plane took off from a nearby airfield.
Nearly 400 Japanese-Americans journeyed from June 30 to July 3 to this remote corner of California, where 18,789 people of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated during World War II. The turnout was one of the highest ever for the four-day pilgrimage, which occurs every other year around the Fourth of July, organizers said. They surmise that as the number of the camp’s survivors dwindles, there is a growing urgency to understand — and reinterpret — what has been a hidden subchapter in America’s history.
Of the 10 internment camps in which about 120,000 Japanese-Americans were confined during the war, it was Tule Lake that held those branded “disloyal,” the ones who answered “no” to two critical questions in a loyalty test administered by the federal government....
SOURCE: NYT (7-4-12)
ROME (AP) — Two Italian art historians are claiming to have identified dozens of drawings as those of a very young Caravaggio in a collection of works of a master painter under whom he studied in the late 1500s....
Name of source: Chattanooga Times Free-Press
SOURCE: Chattanooga Times Free-Press (7-10-12)
Organizers have canceled the 25th annual 2012 Scopes Festival, citing "unforeseen circumstances."
"We appreciate the efforts by those who have been working hard to prepare for a festival that would be both entertaining and educational and regret that we will not be able to produce the festival this year," Scopes Festival Chairman Tom Davis said in an email....
Name of source: NBC Nightly News (with video)
SOURCE: NBC Nightly News (with video) (7-10-12)
At the time, Americans worried that outer space was turning into a Cold War battleground, thanks to the Soviet Union's launch of the first-ever satellite (Sputnik in 1957) and the first human in space (Yuri Gagarin in 1961). "Only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new, terrifying theater of war," President John F. Kennedy declared in 1962.
SOURCE: NBC Nightly News (with video) (7-4-12)
She was the first of four fast battleships built during World War II, giving the name "Iowa" to her class. "The Iowas were the fastest U.S. battleships at [40 mph]," said Paul Stillwell, a naval historian who served aboard the New Jersey. And with nine 16-inch guns the Iowas were, in Stillwell's words, "beautiful, fast, awesome and inspiring."
Name of source: WSJ
SOURCE: WSJ (7-10-12)
The Pentagon reversed course Tuesday and said it may create a database to allow the public to check on the veracity of people's claims to have earned military honors—a project officials previously said was impractical.
The Supreme Court last month struck down a 2006 law that made it a federal crime to lie about receiving military medals, adding in the ruling that a database would be a better way to head off false claims.
In a 2009 report to Congress, the Pentagon concluded a database wouldn't be practical because privacy concerns would prevent the use of social security numbers or birth dates needed for an accurate public record....
Name of source: Mercury News
SOURCE: Mercury News (7-9-12)
Beginning a new chapter in one of America's oldest conservation battles, environmental groups Monday are expected to turn in enough signatures to qualify a November ballot measure in San Francisco that would require the city to draw up a plan to drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
The reservoir in Yosemite National Park and the Tuolumne River that flows into it are the main water source for 2.5 million Bay Area residents who live in San Francisco or on the Peninsula, as well as in parts of San Jose and Alameda County....
Name of source: Politico
SOURCE: Politico (7-4-12)
Every president is fascinated with presidential history.
But President Barack Obama’s interest is deeper and wider than most, and more public. He’s invoked Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and even Richard Nixon. He’s mocked Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes.
For Obama, presidential history is less textbook and more guidebook — and his shifting focus on particular presidents has both reflected and informed his shifting sense of his own presidency.
Obama came into office aiming to be a transcendent, uniting figure in the mold of Lincoln. He hoped to guide the nation with a common purpose through an economic crisis, like FDR did.
Four years later, Obama has retrenched and recalibrated, adopting more populist rhetoric to fight the forces aligned against him and to portray himself as a champion of the middle class....
Name of source: Berkeley NewsCenter
SOURCE: Berkeley NewsCenter (7-9-12)
Interviewers at the Bancroft Library’s Regional Oral History Office (ROHO) are betting there are just as many cool stories to tell about the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge as its colorful cousin across the bay.
In fact, the ROHO team at University of California, Berkeley, is issuing a widespread appeal for accounts from the people who designed, built and painted the Bay Bridge as well as its toll takers, managers and maintenance teams, engineers, painters, architects, and others involved from the early days of the span’s construction and through the 1950s.
“This is part of an oral history series that will explore the role of the iconic bridges in shaping the identity of the region, as well as their place in architectural, environmental, labor and political history,” said Sam Redman, a historian and director of ROHO’s Bridges and the San Francisco Bay Oral History Project....
Name of source: The Atlantic
SOURCE: The Atlantic (7-3-12)
The West African city of Timbuktu used to be one of Africa's richest and most important, a nexus of trade across the Sahara and a center of religious and scientific learning as far back as the 1400s. The relics of that history still stand in the form of such world heritage sites as the University of Sankore. More recently, this city in the sprawling West African country of Mali has been a tourism draw. But, on April 2, it came under new ownership: rebels from an ethnic minority known as Tuareg, who'd sought independence for years. Five days later they got it, declaring northern Mali as the independent country of Azawad. Then, on June 1, breakaway rebels with the extremist Islamist group Ansar Dine (translation: "Defenders of Faith") took control of Timbuktu.
In their first month of rule, Ansar Dine has shut down the tourism industry ("We are against tourism. They foster debauchery," a representative said), sent locals fleeing, and, over the past four days, destroyed half of the shrines that mark Timbuktu's ancient and remarkable history. The United Nations condemned the destruction and the International Criminal Court suggested it could be a war crime, but Ansar Dine insisted they won't slow down, later pulling a beautiful Gothic door off the Sidi Yahya mosque that became one of the world's great centers of learning during the 1400s. They follow an extreme form of Islam (though a relatively modern one; it emerged in late-1700s Saudi Arabia) that sees Timbuktu's shrines and mosque-universities as sacrilegious; a form of idol-worship. Their campaign is still going -- it's been compared to the Taliban's early-2001 destruction of ancient Buddha statues -- and some observers worry that many of Timbuktu's historical treasures, which have survived countless invasions and empires, won't live out the month....
Name of source: MSNBC
SOURCE: MSNBC (6-6-12)
Researchers at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library are marveling over the historical equivalent of buried treasure: an up-to-now undiscovered account of the night Lincoln was assassinated, written by the first doctor to treat him.
Dr. Charles Leale was a 23-year-old army surgeon who was in attendance at Ford's Theatre when John Wilkes Booth entered the presidential box and shot Lincoln days after the conclusion of the Civil War.
Abraham Lincoln researcher Helena Iles Papaioannou discovered Leale's account while searching the records of the surgeon general in the National Archives in Washington, DC. The 21-page report is Leale's own retelling of the tragedy, written just hours after the president died the following morning....
Name of source: Foreign Policy
SOURCE: Foreign Policy (7-5-12)
British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed in a statement to parliament today that the British Army will be slashed by 20,000 troops over the next decade as part of a new strategic plan called Army 2020. Nearly one-fifth of standing forces will be relieved of their duties as 17 major units are culled and many others shrunk in the effort to limit the army's force numbers to 82,000, its lowest level since the Napoleonic Wars.
In a video interview with the Telegraph, Hammond cited a "black hole in the defense budget" and a need for the military to contribute to "the wider package of fiscal correction." Calling Army 2020 "an army designed package to create an army fit for the future," Hammond called for a reorientation of British security policy as the country withdraws from its active combat role in Afghanistan.
"It will be one of the most effective armies in the world, best of its class supported by a defense budget that is still going to be above the four or five largest in the world," Hammond predicted, declaring that increased integration of reserve forces and heavier use of private contractors would produce an army that was "more agile...able to do all the tasks set out for it in the strategic defense and security review."...
Name of source: CS Monitor
SOURCE: CS Monitor (7-5-12)
On Thursday, Algerians marked 50 years since their country won independence from France, ending decades of colonial rule. A key question now is what role awaits young Algerians like Mr. Osmane as aging leaders enter their twilight and a generation that has a much more pragmatic view of how their country should interact with France, and with the Western world, starts to take over. The Algeria this generation will inherit is a work in progress, in apparent mid-step between the socialist anticolonialism of decades past and a turn toward free-market economics and partnership with Western countries.
France and Algeria remain closely linked by, language, migration, and a complex history. For Osmane, a Paris-educated business consultant, the country that tortured his grandfather is also the one that helped offer him a path to achievement.