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  • Originally published 06/04/2013

    German tax inspectors oblivious to Holocaust

    BERLIN (Reuters) - Many low-level tax inspectors in Germany's Nazi-era finance ministry were oblivious to the Holocaust and dutifully tried to contact murdered Jews whose wealth was being plundered by the ministry's top officials, according to a new book.Germans have publicly atoned for Nazi crimes in a myriad of ways over six decades, providing scores of billions of dollars in reparations to Holocaust victims, their descendants and the state of Israel. But only recently have leading government ministries come clean on their own particular Nazi past....The finance ministry's role in assisting the Nazis was long assumed as a fact but never examined in real detail until Berlin historian Christine Kuller's book "Bureaucracy and Crime", which it commissioned....

  • Originally published 04/17/2013

    Did Byrd fly over the North Pole?

    On May 9, 1926, famed American explorer Richard Byrd took off from the Norwegian Arctic island of Spitsbergen along with his pilot, Floyd Bennett, in an attempt to be the first to fly to the North Pole. About 16 hours later, the pair returned to the island in their Fokker tri-motor airplane, the Josephine Ford, saying they had indeed accomplished the feat.Byrd submitted his navigational records to the U.S. Navy and a committee of the National Geographic Society, one of his sponsors, who confirmed the accomplishment, according to the Ohio State University Libraries. Byrd was hailed as a hero, given the Medal of Honor, and went on to fly over the South Pole, as well as achieving many other polar exploration milestones.

  • Originally published 03/27/2013

    Osama bin Laden’s death: New details surface

    There were “the Shooter” and “the Point Man.” Now a third member of SEAL Team 6 offers another account of the raid on Osama bin Laden that led to his death in 2011.The report from CNN appears to contradict Esquire’s widely circulated story, "The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden," by Phil Bronstein. The unnamed source from CNN calls the Esquire account "complete B-S."The SEAL team member in the Esquire profile, who was described simply as the Shooter, claimed that he entered the compound and found bin Laden with a gun in reach and shot him....

  • Originally published 03/25/2013

    Mussolini’s ‘most secret’ bunker discovered beneath historic Roman structure

    Workers in Rome have stumbled across a top-secret bunker once belonging to former Fascist leader Benito Mussolini, hidden underneath the historic Palazzo Venezia.The discovery is the 12th such bunker as is said to have been the “most secret” of the former strongman’s hideouts, according to the Italian publication La Stampa.And in what has become a tradition of sorts, the bunker will soon go on display for the public to tour and document, as has been done with other recently discovered Mussolini bunkers. City officials plan to install lighting, a touchscreen system and an air siren, meant to simulate the sounds of an impending air raid....

  • Originally published 03/13/2013

    Shape-shifting Jesus described in ancient Egyptian text

    A newly deciphered Egyptian text, dating back almost 1,200 years, tells part of the crucifixion story of Jesus with apocryphal plot twists, some of which have never been seen before.Written in the Coptic language, the ancient text tells of Pontius Pilate, the judge who authorized Jesus' crucifixion, having dinner with Jesus before his crucifixion and offering to sacrifice his own son in the place of Jesus. It also explains why Judas used a kiss, specifically, to betray Jesus — because Jesus had the ability to change shape, according to the text  — and it puts the day of the arrest of Jesus on Tuesday evening rather than Thursday evening, something that contravenes the Easter timeline.

  • Originally published 02/05/2013

    Hero or villain? Historians debate the legacy of King Richard III

    ...Described as "deformed" and "unfinish'd", jealous, and ambitious hunchback in Shakespeare's play, which was first performed in the 1590s, it is difficult to know if the man the playwright said battled on foot and cried out "A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!", is a true reflection of the king, or merely a creation of imagination.According to scientists at the University of Leicester, there is evidence of curvature of the spine - suggesting the unattractive quality had not been a slander by those who opposed Richard....Historian Suzannah Lipscomb wrote in a BBC online article: "It is not surprising that for centuries Richard III has been synonymous with evil tyranny and physical deformity."To argue otherwise has been to take on three of history's greats - Sir Thomas More, William Shakespeare and Winston Churchill, all of whom argued that Richard had been a man with a crooked back and a crooked life."...

  • Originally published 01/24/2013

    Ancient petroglyphs found in Mexico

    Mexico City, Jan 23 (IANS/EFE) Mexican archaeologists have discovered in the western state of Nayarit a series of petroglyphs estimated to have been carved between 850 and 1350 A.D., the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.The bas relief carvings have a symbolic character and are attributed to ancient groups from the Aztatlan cultural complex, and they were found at a site called "Cantil de las animas" (Cliff of the souls), in the mountainous portion of Nayarit's southern high plateau, an area where archaeological finds have been practically unknown....

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