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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: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (10-21-06)
Unesco, the UN's cultural organisation, fears that the 900-year-old Tower has become so overshadowed by skyscrapers and other modern buildings that its historic value is being damaged.
They have warned the UK to make greater efforts to protect the Tower, which is one of just 830 locations around the globe to feature on Unesco's prestigious list of World Heritage Sites.
SOURCE: Guardian (10-17-06)
Although Bonhams auction house, which will display the Sevso Hoard, insists no sale is planned, the Marquess of Northampton who bought the silver for an undisclosed sum in the 1980s recently said he "hopes" the silver will be sold, and that it has "cursed" his family. It now belongs to a trust he founded.
But the Hungarian government has written to Bonhams to protest at the exhibition and reiterate its claim that the silver was found on Hungarian soil and illegally exported from the country.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-21-06)
The two-year battle between Robert Harbord-Hamond – son of the 11th Baron of Suffield and a descendant of William the Conqueror – and the 100 villagers of Hanworth Common, Norfolk, ended with a judge deciding the people had won "hands down".
Judge Patrick O'Brien ruled at Norwich county court that not only did the villagers have title to the 34 acres but that Mr Harbord-Hamond should pay their £55,000 costs and not park his car on the common any more.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-16-06)
Nicholas Pearson, David Dixon, and Kerr Sinclair are accused of illegally diving and damaging the wreck of the Pollux, an Italian steam ship which sank off the coast of Elba in 1841.
The three men, along with five other Britons, chartered a salvage ship in 2000 and bought a £2,500 licence to retrieve tin ingots from the Glen Logan, a British merchant ship torpedoed by a U-boat in 1916 near the island of Stromboli in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
They say Sir Wally's achievements have been hugely underestimated.
Record books currently show that Robert Peary, an American, was the first to reach 90 degrees North on April 6, 1909, but at a testimonial gala in honour of Sir Wally, 71, the explorers Pen Hadow and Robin Hanbury Tenison will argue that Peary missed his mark.
Many historians now agree that Peary may have only got within 100 miles of the Geographic North Pole, the point at which all the lines of longitude on the planet meet.
Martha Holgado, 72, claims to be the product of a brief affair between Gen Perón and her mother, Maria Demerchi, reportedly a married socialite, when Gen Perón was a young army officer.
After battling objections from the Perón family for more than a decade for her claim to be recognised, forensic experts extracted DNA samples last Friday from Gen Perón's body as it was moved from the family's modest crypt where it has lain for 30 years.
The move is being considered as part of a review of diversity within the National Curriculum ordered by Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary.
Many teachers are already bringing the issue of slavery into history lessons
The development was revealed by David Lammy, the Culture Minister, in a speech highlighting preparations to mark the bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act next year.
Mr Lammy, MP for Tottenham and a descendant of slaves, said many people knew little about Britain's role in slavery. At most they might have watched Roots, the 1970s television series based on the Alex Haley novel, or heard of the role played by William Wilberforce in the abolition of slavery, he said.
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (10-21-06)
The ubiquitous black and yellow cabs crawl along congested streets, often overloaded with passengers hauling goods short distances at a starting fare of just 13 rupees (15p).
Despite offering a hot and dusty ride, often with a view of the road through gaping holes in the chassis, they are a step up from the crush of the bus or the train.
Now these relics are set for the scrapheap. They may help to define Bombay, but Bombay is trying to redefine itself, and the vehicles are to be replaced with shiny new taxis more befitting a commercial centre with ambitions to rival Singapore and Shanghai.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (10-20-06)
Forty years on from the disaster some parents, now in their seventies, still secretly hope their children will come home from school.
Others tell of the grief and trauma visited on their tiny community by the huge slag heap which slid from a hill above Pantglas junior school, killing 116 children and 28 adults.
Only 25 children survived the catastrophe. Now in their forties and fifties, many still speak of the nightmares and the psychological scarring that afflicts them. The name Aberfan remains synonymous with unspeakable grief about the death of children.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (10-20-06)
But Mr Roberts, who had a 30-year career with the Met, rising to the rank of detective sergeant, and who also contributed to the seminal film about black Britain, The Windrush Years, found himself upstaged yesterday when it was revealed that the son of a Caribbean slave walked the beat more than a century before him.
In a story that demonstrates the deep roots of British multiculturalism, it transpires that the first black police officer was actually PC John Kent, who worked in Carlisle from 1837. He was the son of, Thomas Kent, who was brought to work on the estate of a Cumberland landowner returning from duty with the colonial civil service in the West Indies.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (10-19-06)
The three young Aborigines were taken from Cape Barren Island, off the north-east coast of Tasmania, and placed in state care in Launceston, on the Tasmanian mainland. Mr Thomas, now 70, was separated from his siblings and brought up in foster families, where he was beaten and "treated like a slave", he said yesterday.
His grandmother was prevented from visiting them. "There used to be this old lady come to the gate and our foster mother would say 'that's just a silly old black woman' and take us inside," he told The Australian newspaper. "It wasn't until I was old enough to go to work that I met up with an uncle who told me that was my grandmother. She wanted to talk to us, to cuddle us, but she wasn't allowed. She died of a broken heart."
Mr Thomas is a member of the "Stolen Generation" - one of thousands of Aboriginal children forcibly removed from their families and assimilated into white society, under an official policy introduced early last century and not abandoned until 1975.
Australia's treatment of its indigenous people remains a running sore, and the plight of the Stolen Generation is a principal reason. Nine years ago, a national inquiry concluded that the policy amounted to genocide.
The Prime Minister, John Howard, who had just come to power then, has yet to apologise on behalf of his predecessors. Survivors have not received a cent in damages.
That is about to change, in Tasmania at least, following the unveiling yesterday by the state premier, Paul Lennon, of a $5m (£2m) compensation package.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (10-20-06)
Friendship means "to talk to one another quite candidly" and to listen to one another with "no attempt to dominate," French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie told the crowd that gathered Thursday to commemorate the Battle of Yorktown's 225th anniversary.
British Gen. Charles Cornwallis surrendered on Oct. 19, 1781, sealing the American colonists' victory in the Revolutionary War. French troops under Gen. Jean-Baptiste Rochambeau had joined U.S. troops under Gen. George Washington in routing the redcoats.
SOURCE: AP (9-8-06)
This was, after all, 1996.
And yet Michel Guyot set out to build his castle the hard way - the medieval way. With only hammers and chisels to carve the stones. With only horses to cart the rock. Without power tools.
Ten years later, Guedelon castle is about one-third finished, with imposing sandstone walls that rise up out of the red Burgundy soil. It's a living history lesson and a successful tourism project: Last year, 245,000 visitors admired the work of Guedelon's stonecutters, carpenters, potters, rope-makers and blacksmiths.
SOURCE: AP (10-19-06)
The skeletal remains of James B. McGovern Jr., discovered in an unmarked grave in remote northern Laos in 2002, were positively identified on September 11 by laboratory experts at the U.S. military's Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii.
They will be flown back to the mainland next week for a military funeral in New Jersey on October 28, said McGovern's nephew, James McGovern III, of Forked River, New Jersey.
SOURCE: AP (10-18-06)
He described a new, more ruthless and lethal terrorist enemy, "with no territory to defend, no treaties to honor, that measures progress in terms of decades, not days."
"With this sort of enemy, we cannot afford — and indeed could not survive — another holiday from history," Rumsfeld said.
Contending there are those who say terrorism is "somebody else's problem, or it will go away," Rumsfeld countered that United States has no choice but to go on the offensive. And he urged patience with the Iraqi and Afghan governments as they struggle to build their democracies.
SOURCE: AP (10-18-06)
SOURCE: AP (10-17-06)
The database -- accessible at http://www.kunstrestitution.at -- contains information about objects that were likely to have been expropriated between 1938 and 1945, when Austria became a part of Nazi Germany.
SOURCE: AP (10-16-06)
During the long nuclear standoff with Moscow, the nation’s super-secret nerve center was a symbol of both Cold War might and apocalyptic dread, depicted in such movies as “WarGames” in 1983.
But with the end of the Cold War, the war room is being put on “warm standy” to save money. A staff will keep it ready to resume operations at a moment’s notice if a blast-hardened command center becomes necessary, but the critical work is being shifted to Peterson Air Force Base, about 10 miles away.
SOURCE: AP (10-17-06)
As Peron's cortege traveled from downtown Buenos Aires to the new mausoleum at his former weekend estate, thousands of weeping admirers tossed carnations and confetti.
Many in the crowd at the rural mausoleum, while awaiting the caravan, scattered and at least two men were seen bleeding after the first burst of violence. Scores of riot police swarmed the estate, repulsing groups of attackers with rubber bullets and tear gas.
SOURCE: AP (10-16-06)
The commemorative plaque at Pannonhalma Abbey was dedicated to Eduard Benedek Brunschweiler, who took charge of the site in October 1944 and kept it under Red Cross protection until Soviet forces expelled him in April 1945. Some 3,000 people, mostly children, spent the end of the war in the abbey, including dozens of Jews.
Name of source: China.org
SOURCE: China.org (10-19-06)
These pottery fragments, found in the ruins of an ancient city in Huaiyang County of Henan Province, are believed to be parts of a spinning wheel, according to a report released by the county government.
A photo, posted on the local government's website, showed a piece of black pottery bearing white strokes. The fragment formed half of a round spinning wheel, with a diameter of 4.7 centimeters and a thickness of 1.1 centimeters.
Name of source: D.D. Guttenplan, who is writing a biography of Stone, in a letter to the editor of the NYT Book Review
Kalugin originally made reference to an unnamed American “agent” in the spring of 1992, when he was trying — without much luck — to peddle his memoirs. The former K.G.B. general’s remarks were soon circulated by Accuracy in Media and other pressure groups, this time with Stone’s name attached. In June 1992, Kalugin told me, “I did not recruit him [Stone] and I did not pay him money,” and later added that he “just met [Stone] in line with my official duties” as a Soviet press officer. He made the same points to Andrew Brown, who wrote an account of the affair in The New York Review of Books, and to Martin Garbus, an attorney who attended a conference with Kalugin in Moscow in September 1992. Yet Kalugin, who is well aware of the way Soviet intelligence used the word “tasks” for a variety of unsavory activities, now deploys it in conversation with MacPherson.
This controversy is really part of an argument over Venona, the National Security Agency’s program of intercepting and deciphering K.G.B. cable traffic. First declassified in 1996, the Venona decrypts tell us that a K.G.B. agent, working in Washington in 1944, tried to recruit a journalist, codenamed Blin, who might have been Stone. It is far from certain that Blin was Stone. But even if you accept that he was, all we know from Venona, as Ronald Radosh (a historian hardly likely to collude in a left-wing whitewash) told me, is “that one agent in the States says he approached Izzy and that Izzy was interested but was worried about taking the money. Even that could be attributed to [the] agent’s desire to impress his boss.”
Lunching with reporters was Kalugin’s job. Who paid generally depended on who initiated the encounter. Stone knew perfectly well his own lunches would be noticed — indeed, he told Curt Gentry, J. Edgar Hoover’s biographer, that he made a point of meeting the Russian at Harvey’s, the F.B.I. director’s “favorite restaurant.”
I. F. Stone was a mensch, not a Menshevik, and might well have been amused by the spectacle of Paul Berman, who rightly denounces all of Stalin’s works, rushing to endorse the manipulations of one of his secret policemen. Oleg Gordievsky, another ex-K.G.B. hustler, made similar charges about the British politician Michael Foot. But Gordievsky was foolish enough to make them while Foot was still alive, and his publisher had to pay substantial libel damages.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (10-21-06)
That seems to have suited him just fine, though. He liked to write, read and think. His sister left him a lot of money, and so for decades, that is exactly how he spent his days.
His bedroom is at one end of a dusty old apartment on a chaotic street in the center of the city. At the other end is his office, his desk piled high with papers. In between are books — some 30,000 of them — arranged neatly on floor-to-ceiling shelves. One section is devoted to the 100 or so books he has written and translated over the course of his lifetime.
But Mr. Banna is no longer living in his brother’s shadow. And, like the organization his brother founded, the younger Mr. Banna is no friend of the establishment, but for quite a different reason. He is a liberal thinker, a man who would like to see Islamic values and practices interpreted in the context of modern times. Egypt’s gatekeepers of religious values, the government-appointed and self-appointed arbiters of God’s word, condemn, dismiss and dispute what he says. They have also banned at least one of his books.
“Gamal al-Banna has opinions that fall outside the scope of religion,” said Sheik Omar el-Deeb, deputy in charge of Al Azhar, the centuries-old seat of Islamic learning in Cairo. “The people, of course, oppose anybody who talks about things that violate religion.”
Mr. Banna likes to wear a blue collarless suit, buttoned to the very top. He prefers sandals to shoes, and wears his thin, wiry white hair swept back. He is often laughing, a kind of knowing chuckle that seems to say he knows better, by virtue of his age and experience.
He doesn’t press his ideas, does not try to wage a contest with the institution of Al Azhar, but instead takes the long-term view, hoping to plant a few seeds that will, in time, take root and spread. He recognizes that, at the moment, the other side is winning the contest of ideas in Egypt, and the region.
“If religion was correctly understood, it would be a power of liberation,” Mr. Banna said. “But it is misunderstood, and so it is driving us backward.”
The views alleged to fall outside religion include those on women: They are not required to wear a veil, as most do in Egypt, Mr. Banna believes; they should not be forced to undergo genital cutting, as most do now in Egypt; and they should be allowed to lead men in prayer, which is forbidden in Egypt.
“My idea is that man is the aim of religion, and religion only a means,” said Mr. Banna. “What is prevalent today is the opposite.”
SOURCE: NYT (10-21-06)
The museum confirmed his death.
Mr. Strochlitz found success as a Ford dealer, but he could not and did not wish to forget his awful experience in Nazi camps. In an interview with The Hartford Courant in 2003, he said he regretted removing the number tattooed on his arm in Auschwitz.
So in 1978 he readily accepted when Mr. Wiesel asked President Carter to name him to the President’s Commission on the Holocaust. In 2003, Together, a quarterly newspaper published by the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, called him Mr. Wiesel’s “chief lieutenant, his eyes and ears.”
SOURCE: NYT (10-19-06)
The Committee on Slavery and Justice, appointed three years ago by Brown’s president, Ruth J. Simmons, a great-granddaughter of slaves who is the first black president of an Ivy League institution, said in a report: “We cannot change the past. But an institution can hold itself accountable for the past, accepting its burdens and responsibilities along with its benefits and privileges.”
The report added, “In the present instance this means acknowledging and taking responsibility for Brown’s part in grievous crimes.”
The committee did not call for outright reparations, an idea that has support among some African-Americans and was a controversial issue at Brown several years ago. But the committee’s chairman, James T. Campbell, a history professor at Brown, said he believed the recommendations “are substantive and do indeed represent a form of repair.”...
SOURCE: NYT (10-17-06)
But yesterday, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign said she was not named for Sir Edmund after all.
“It was a sweet family story her mother shared to inspire greatness in her daughter, to great results I might add,” said Jennifer Hanley, a spokeswoman for the campaign....
Even though Bill Clinton repeated the story in his 2004 autobiography, “My Life,” Hillary Clinton did not mention it in her own autobiography, “Living History,” which was published in 2003.
But one big hole has been poked in the story over the years, both in cyberspace and elsewhere: Sir Edmund became famous only after climbing Everest in 1953. Mrs. Clinton, as it happens, was born in 1947.
SOURCE: NYT (10-17-06)
Her death was confirmed by a family member.
Ms. Wang was once widely known in China as its beautiful, articulate, sophisticated first lady.
Liu Shaoqi was president from 1959 to 1967, when he became one of the first high-level officials to be denounced as a “capitalist roader” and purged by Mao during the Cultural Revolution.
Mr. Liu died in prison in 1969, after being beaten and tortured. Ms. Wang was also arrested and accused of being an American spy.
In some of the uglier scenes of the decade-long Cultural Revolution, which began in 1966, she was publicly humiliated at mass rallies by a group of Red Guards who forced her to wear a necklace of Ping-Pong balls.
Name of source: MSNBC
SOURCE: MSNBC (10-23-06)
... Last week's half-kiloton explosion was the product of an effort spanning a half century or more. It is difficult to pinpoint the precise moment Kim Il Sung decided he needed the Bomb and a ballistic-missile program to go with it. But the ambition was in keeping with his deep insecurity going back to the dubious origins of his regime.
North Korea, after all, is an invented country, a relic of the cold-war divide. After the World War II defeat of Japan, which had occupied Korea, the regime was created by Stalin in 1945 out of the northern half of the Korean Peninsula, and Moscow propped up Kim Il Sung as a strongman. The Americans, meanwhile, built their client state in the southern half. Both sides never gave up their claims to the whole peninsula, putting them on a permanent war footing. To consolidate power, Kim created a cultlike ideology of self-reliance called juche, a curdled brew of traditional Korean xenophobia and nationalism, Confucian deference to authority and utopian Marxism-Leninism. Some experts argue that Kim decided he needed a nuclear security blanket soon after the 1950-53 Korean War, which he battled to a draw. Then came the early 1970s, when he realized he was losing the economic contest against his blood enemies in Seoul, and after that the Soviet Union disintegrated—a failure that suddenly left Pyongyang without a communist patron or a nuclear umbrella to shield it. An increasingly paranoid Kim Il Sung also sponsored many acts of terrorism against the South, including the alleged sabotaging of a Korean Airlines plane in 1987, killing all 115 passengers and crew, the year before the Seoul Olympic Games. And he taught his son well.
Driven by two men with near-absolute power, North Korea's program was produced by a staggering cast of characters. They included idealistic Korean scientists educated in Imperial Japan and repatriated after World War II, their students educated in the Soviet Union and the thousands of homegrown technicians. Japan, one of the North's hardiest enemies today, gave Pyongyang the man deemed the"first father" of North Korea's nuclear program, the late scientist and inventor Lee Sung Ki, who earned a degree in chemical engineering at Kyoto Imperial University in 1931. In fact, despite its deep isolation, the Hermit Kingdom is known or suspected to have received nuclear assistance from 14 countries: Russia, China, Austria, France, Canada, Romania, Germany, Pakistan, India, Japan, Iran, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
There were privateers, too: defectors, Chinese technology firms, Japanese trading houses and front companies scattered from Thailand to Scandinavia—all provided critical technologies, components or know-how by circumventing a global nonproliferation regime designed to thwart such commerce. Even the International Atomic Energy Agency unwittingly helped: analysts say a single North Korean diplomat, Choi Hak Gun, who was posted to IAEA headquarters in Vienna from 1974 to 1978, scoured the agency's library for nuclear know-how.
The human costs of North Korea's nuclear ambitions on the nation's best and brightest were terrible. Few paid a higher price than Kimchaek University's class of '62, according to a grad who defected from North Korea several years ago and told NEWSWEEK his story. As graduation at the elite college neared more than 40 years ago, the buzz on campus was that Kim Il Sung had ordered construction of an advanced research facility to study atomic energy, and that patriotic young scientists soon would be mobilized to work there."Our professors really pushed the need for nuclear development," he recalls."The rumor circulating among students was that those of us sent there wouldn't have long to live."
The defector, spared the fate of those assigned to nuclear labs, spent his adult life watching unlucky classmates grow sick, weak and despondent. On leave, one confided a Confucian desperation to marry and sire children before radiation rendered him sterile."It was exactly what we feared," the defector says, still saddened by their sacrifice."These guys went bald. Many of them lost their eyebrows. Some of them had constant nosebleeds. They looked so weak it was hard to even face them. The thinking was, 'If one scientist falls there will always be others to take his place'." That logic not only ravaged a generation of scientists sent like worker bees into toxic nuclear labs. It cost billions in hard currency that might have fed starving people and hobbled the national economy by imposing perpetual austerity under slogans like"Military first."
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (10-20-06)
The past -- or a frightening shadow of it -- has come back to life.
Long-standing legal protections that shielded former military personnel from prosecution were removed last year, allowing a series of trials related to the "dirty war" to go forward. The first to face prosecution, an officer with the Buenos Aires provincial police, was recently convicted, and many more people are awaiting their days in court.
A witness in the officer's trial, a 77-year-old bricklayer who testified to being tortured by the military, has been missing for a month and is feared dead. In recent weeks, judges and prosecutors have received threatening letters demanding a halt to the trials.
At the same time, backers of the former military government complain that their opponents, who now control the government and its courts, are persecuting them in the name of vengeance. History hasn't been sympathetic to them, and many say that the trials represent their last chance to voice their argument: that they were the victims of the conflict, attacked by dissident terrorists bent on destroying the country they were trying to protect.
SOURCE: WaPo (10-18-06)
At least that would be the end of George W. Bush's presidency as he has known it. If Democrats win one or both houses of Congress on Nov. 7, the result will transform the remainder of Bush's time in office and dramatically shift the balance of power in Washington. Ending a dozen years basically passed in exile, congressional Democrats would have a chance to help steer the nation again -- following a campaign spent mostly assailing Bush's vision rather than detailing their own....
The most salient analogy may be the last time Congress changed hands, after the 1994 elections. President Bill Clinton was left trying to assert that "the Constitution gives me relevance" even as new House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and his Republicans seized the initiative. Clinton ultimately recovered through a mixture of confrontation with Republicans, most notably in a government shutdown, and "triangulation" in which he embraced some of their priorities, such as overhauling the welfare system.
The difference is that Clinton's presidency was still young, while Bush is heading into the twilight of his administration -- and is stuck in an unpopular war. But some Republicans think that Bush could play off overreaching Democrats as Clinton did with Gingrich. Or he could pivot to the more bipartisan mode he promised to bring from Texas and seize opportunities for progress in areas such as immigration, where his proposed guest-worker program has been blocked by his own party.
Name of source: Iverness Courier
SOURCE: Iverness Courier (10-17-06)
The find near Inverness Royal Academy was uncovered by a team who spent almost a year excavating the remains of seven large roundhouses and almost a dozen iron kilns.
Last year The Inverness Courier revealed the team from Headland Archaeology had uncovered the ancient city's "industrial estate" where iron was smelted, bronze was cast and glass was produced.
But at the weekend, at the final event of the Highland Archaeology Fortnight, archaeologist Ross Murray gave further details about what he and his colleagues had discovered so far about the city that once stood at the eastern end of the Great Glen.
Name of source: aftenposten
SOURCE: aftenposten (10-20-06)
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that archaeologists also found indications that another ship is buried in the same area.
Archaeologist Knut Paasche has been examining the area around Nordheim Farm, near Hedrum, for Vestfold County officials. He called Tuesday's discovery "important and interesting," but said it was too early to say whether the ship could be excavated intact.
Name of source: Times Online (UK)
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (10-19-06)
The Crowning with Thorns, now on display at the church of San Bartolomeo della Certosa in Genoa, has been restored by art experts who say they detect Caravaggio’s “unmistakable style” in the figure of Christ.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (10-19-06)
He died when his aircraft hit a mountainside in South Africa, close to the Mozambique border.
There has long been speculation that the crash was caused by sabotage, masterminded by the white apartheid state.
The South African authorities are currently conducting a new investigation into what happened on the night of 19 October, as President Machel and his entourage returned from a summit in Zambia.
SOURCE: BBC (10-19-06)
Surfers with MP3 players can even access downloadable audio files.
The resource is aimed at serious scholars, but can be used by anyone with an interest in Darwin and his theory on the evolution of life.
"The idea is to make these important works as accessible as possible; some people can only get at Darwin that way," said Dr John van Wyhe, the project's director.
SOURCE: BBC (10-18-06)
The veterans' journey back to the other side of the world was much more than a return to what many call a forgotten war.
These young men came from every corner of Scotland. For many, the journey to south east Asia in the 1950s was their first time on a plane, their first time out of the country, their first time away from home.
But, without exception, they proudly boast that they would not have missed their time in Malaya for the world.
The banter was free and easy among those making the return trip.
All of these men had something in common - they were back in the place where, as teenagers, the rest of their lives were formed, where they all say they became the men they are today.
Name of source: Armenian News Network
SOURCE: Armenian News Network (10-19-06)
The law has led to investigations in Switzerland against two Turks, including one historian, for allegedly denying the 1915 Armenian
Armenians say around 1.8 million of their people died as a result of a forced mass evacuation by the Turkish government during the Ottoman
Empire. Turkey puts the figure closer to 200,000.
Under Swiss law any act of denying, belittling or justifying genocide is a violation of the country's anti-racism legislation.
However, Blocher said at the time that it was ultimately up to the government, parliament and possibly the population, to decide on any changes.
According to Leuenberger, Blocher has told his cabinet colleagues that a working group at his ministry was already re-examining the law, in particular article 261bis, the cause of Blocher's headache.
The justice minister was ready to include a member of the Federal Commission Against Racism in this work, Leuenberger added, refusing to any further questions on the matter - which caused a media and
political outcry in Switzerland - saying the content of cabinet meetings was confidential.
For his part, Blocher, speaking at a different media conference earlier in the day, said he was simply waiting for the feedback from his working group by the end of the year.
"It's about making the anti-racism law clearer, more secure and unambiguous," he said.
Name of source: Bruce Craig in the newsletter of the National Coalition for History
SOURCE: Bruce Craig in the newsletter of the National Coalition for History (10-19-06)
SOURCE: Bruce Craig in the newsletter of the National Coalition for History (10-19-06)
The AMED Reading Room is the contact point for research being conducted on Africa, the Near East, Jewish and Biblical studies, ancient and modern Israel, and pre-Islamic Egypt. Typically, materials written in the vernacular of these areas are accessed through the AMED Reading Room.
The Library of Congress plans to combine the AMED Reading Room, including its Africa-related reference service, to a reading room shared with the European Division (ED). However, as both rooms contain over 20,000 volumes of reference collections, including dictionaries, handbooks, and bibliographic tools, critics of the LC proposed action assert that both collections will need to be cut in half. Dr. Mary Jane Deeb, director of the African and Middle Eastern Division at the Library of Congress, believes she may be able to find space to accommodate a separate AMED Reading Room.
Needless to say, the proposed closure is of concern, especially to historians of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. Some allege that deleting or concealing “Africa” from among the LC’s public service points “insults or denigrates Africa.” Others are merely amazed that the LC would constrain public reference support for African research at a time when public interest in the continent is at a peak. According to one insider “It goes without saying that cuts in reference collections on Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, and Palestine make absolutely no sense during this time of national awareness, involvement, and sacrifice.”
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (10-18-06)
The light cruiser HMAS Sydney II sank somewhere off Western Australia's northwest in November 1941 after it came under fire from a German raider, thought to be the Kormoran disguised as a Dutch merchant ship.
The Sydney has never been found after it sailed ablaze over the horizon at the end of a fierce 30-minute battle.
Australian defense officials said a navy team had this month exhumed the remains of an unknown sailor buried in an unmarked grave on Christmas Island, remains long thought to be those of a Sydney crewman.
SOURCE: Reuters (10-17-06)
That meal, or perhaps the way you went to work or what you saw on TV on this one day, Tuesday October 17 are wanted by a Web site hoping to create a national online archive.
The National Trust is aiming to create Britain's biggest blog as part of its History Matters campaign.
The blogs can include everyday events, but bloggers are encouraged to include an historical twist, even if it is only to describe watching a repeat of "The Two Ronnies."
October 17 has been chosen deliberately as "an ordinary' Tuesday of no particular significance."
SOURCE: Reuters (10-17-06)
Among 21 locations shortlisted for the worldwide vote is Stonehenge, the only British landmark selected.
The 5,000-year-old stones on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, will be up against sites including the Acropolis in Athens; the Statue of Liberty in New York; and the last remaining original wonder, the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo.
An original list of nearly 200 sites nominated by the public was narrowed to 21 by the organizers and experts, including the former director general of Unesco Professor Federico Mayor.
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Ed
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Ed (10-18-06)
This week Mr. Sanger announced the creation of the Citizendium, an online, interactive encyclopedia that will be open to public contributors but guided by academic editors. The site aims to give academics more authorial control -- and a less combative environment -- than they find on Wikipedia, which affords all users the same editing privileges, whether they have any proven expertise or not.
The Citizendium, whose name is derived from "citizen's compendium," will soon start a six-week pilot project to determine many of its basic rules and operating procedures.
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (10-16-06)
The declassified U.S. documents reveal CIA recruitment of agents within the upper echelons of the Mexican government between 1956 and 1969. The informants used in this secret program included President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz and future President Luis Echeverría. The documents detail the relationships cultivated between senior CIA officers, such as chief of station Winston Scott, and Mexican government officials through a secret spy network code-named "LITEMPO." Operating out of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Scott used the LITEMPO project to provide "an unofficial channel for the exchange of selected sensitive political information which each government wanted the other to receive but not through public protocol exchanges."
This posting also includes the article "The CIA's Eyes on Tlatelolco," written by Morley and published in the October 1, 2006 edition of Proceso magazine. The article uses first-hand accounts from former associates, friends and family of Winston Scott, detailing how Scott relied on his friendships with Díaz Ordaz, Echeverría and other senior Mexican officials to inform Washington about the student movement whose demands challenged the government's monopoly on power.
The newly-declassified U.S. government documents and interviews shed new light on the CIA reporting on the terrible events of 1968. Winston Scott's reliance on powerful government officials for information led to one-sided reporting on the student movement of 1968, ending in the 2 October massacre in Tlatelolco. Scott relied on the government's version of the Tlatelolco killings, reporting as "intelligence information" its fictional accounts of the events.
"When the Tlatelolco crisis exploded, the CIA's Mexico station could not deliver the goods," said Kate Doyle, Director of the Archive's Mexico Project. "Jefferson Morley's important research reveals that instead of independently collecting information and analyzing what happened, the agency served as stenographer for its friends and allies in the Mexican government. As a result, the CIA helped protect Mexico's ruling party from bearing responsibility for the massacre, and delivered a muddled and misleading account of it to Washington."
Name of source: Steven E. Moore in the WSJ
SOURCE: Steven E. Moore in the WSJ (10-18-06)
After doing survey research in Iraq for nearly two years, I was surprised to read that a study by a group from Johns Hopkins University claims that 655,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the war. Don't get me wrong, there have been far too many deaths in Iraq by anyone's measure; some of them have been friends of mine. But the Johns Hopkins tally is wildly at odds with any numbers I have seen in that country. Survey results frequently have a margin of error of plus or minus 3% or 5%--not 1200%.
The group--associated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health--employed cluster sampling for in-person interviews, which is the methodology that I and most researchers use in developing countries. Here, in the U.S., opinion surveys often use telephone polls, selecting individuals at random. But for a country lacking in telephone penetration, door-to-door interviews are required: Neighborhoods are selected at random, and then individuals are selected at random in "clusters" within each neighborhood for door-to-door interviews. Without cluster sampling, the expense and time associated with travel would make in-person interviewing virtually impossible.
However, the key to the validity of cluster sampling is to use enough cluster points. In their 2006 report, "Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional sample survey," the Johns Hopkins team says it used 47 cluster points for their sample of 1,849 interviews. This is astonishing: I wouldn't survey a junior high school, no less an entire country, using only 47 cluster points.
Neither would anyone else. For its 2004 survey of Iraq, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) used 2,200 cluster points of 10 interviews each for a total sample of 21,688. True, interviews are expensive and not everyone has the U.N.'s bank account. However, even for a similarly sized sample, that is an extraordinarily small number of cluster points. A 2005 survey conducted by ABC News, Time magazine, the BBC, NHK and Der Spiegel used 135 cluster points with a sample size of 1,711--almost three times that of the Johns Hopkins team for 93% of the sample size....
Name of source: Observer
SOURCE: Observer (10-15-06)
In his study of the writer's life published this autumn, Norman uses medical case studies to show that Christie was in the grip of a rare but increasingly acknowledged mental condition known as a 'fugue state', or a period of out-of-body amnesia induced by stress. In effect, the writer was in a kind of trance for several days, he claims.
The mystery, which has puzzled both the police and Christie fans for 80 years, is a why-dunnit, rather than a who-dunnit. It began on the evening of Friday 3 December at Styles, the Berkshire home of the crime writer, by then already an established name, with a sixth novel, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, selling well. Around 9.45pm, without warning, she drove away from the house, having first gone upstairs to kiss her sleeping daughter, Rosalind. Her abandoned Morris Cowley was later found down a slope at Newlands Corner near Guildford. There was no sign of her.
Name of source: Discovery News
SOURCE: Discovery News (10-13-06)
The structures, which appear to have been homes, date to 2,600-2,500 B.C. and were contemporary with the earliest stone settings at the site's famous megalith. They are the first house-like structures discovered there.
Julian Thomas, who worked on the project and is chair of the archaeology department at Manchester University in England, said Stonehenge could have been a key gathering place at the Neolithic era's version of a housing development.
Name of source: Turkish Daily News
SOURCE: Turkish Daily News (10-16-06)
Harran excavation team leader Nurettin Yardımcı said the excavations have been ongoing since 1983 and that recent work in the area has focused on the Harran tumulus and Ulu Cami as well as the Neolithic settlement of Tellidris.
“Our work has indicated that the first inhabitants of Harran lived in Tellidris, dating back to around 8,000 B.C. We found some stamps with different shapes and motifs as well as a bull figure dating back to 6,000 B.C. in last year's excavations. The findings showed that the people of Harran and Tellidris lived together around 9,000-10,000 years ago and that the people in Tellidris abandoned it and moved to the Harran tumulus area in later years,” he said.
Name of source: Daily India
SOURCE: Daily India (10-17-06)
The letter, written in the British trenches by a British private, details the truce when the Kaiser's soldiers and British Tommies exchanged pleasantries and celebrated Christmas together, and engaged in what was to become famous as the world's only friendly football match between enemy soldiers during a war.
Written in pencil on five pages of paper torn from an Army-issue notebook, the private he tells his "dear Mater" how on a frosty, moonlit Christmas Eve the Germans began placing "lights all along the edge of their trenches and coming over to us - wishing us Happy Christmas etc".
He says it is "the most memorable Christmas" he has ever spent or is likely to spend: "since about teatime yesterday, not a shot has been fired on either side up to now".
"They also gave us a few songs so we had quite a social party...Some of our chaps went over to their lines. I think they've all come back bar one from E Co. They no doubt kept him as a souvenir," the letter goes on to say.
"After breakfast we had a game of football at the back of our trenches! We've had a few Germans over to see us this morning. They also sent a party over to bury a sniper we shot in the week. He was about 100 yds from our trench. A few of our fellows went out and helped to bury him.
"About 10.30 we had a short church parade, held in the trench. How we did sing. O come all ye faithful".
The private identified only as a boy, further says that at night German and British soldiers had a joint Christmas dinner comprising "fried bacon and dip-bread followed by hot Xmas pudding, then muscatels and almonds, oranges, bananas, chocolate, cocoa and smokes".
"You can guess we thought of the dinners at home. Just before dinner I had the pleasure of shaking hands with several Germans: a party of them came halfway over to us. So several of us went out to them. O exchanged one of my balaclavas for a hat. I've also got a button off one of their tunics. We also exchanged smokes etc and had a decent chat. They say they won't fire tomorrow if we don't, so I suppose we shall get a bit of a holiday - perhaps," the letter says.
"After exchanging autographs and them wishing us a Happy New Year we departed and came back and had our dinner. We can hardly believe we've been firing at them for the last week or two - it all seems so strange. At present it is freezing hard and everything is covered in ice...
"There must be something in the spirit of Christmas as today we are all on top of our trenches running about. Whereas other days we have to keep out heads well down...I had a parcel from B G's Lace Dept containing a sweater, smokes, under clothes etc. We also had a card from the Queen, which I am sending back to you to look after please," he further says.
Near the end of the well-thumbed letter, he tells his mother: "As I can't explain to everyone how I spent my 25th, you might hand this round please...I never expected to shake hands with Germans between the firing lines on Christmas Day and I don't suppose you thought of us doing so".
"So after a fashion we've enjoyed? our Christmas. Hoping you spend a happy time with George Boy as well. How we thought of England during the day. Kind regards to all the neighbours. With much love from Boy," the letter concludes.
Historian Felix Pryor, manuscripts consultant to auctioneers Bonhams, who is offering the letter for sale on November 7, has termed it as "a desperately poignant - almost surreal - document".
"I have never in my career seen anything like it. To find a letter written home on the actual day of one of the most famous incidents in military history is amazing," The Times quoted him as saying.
"The envelope is missing and the intensely moving letter has long since been separated from the sender's family. It is therefore, quite literally, the work of an Unknown Soldier," Pryor added.
In the historic and unique truce, firing stopped along the entire 500 miles of the Western front. The Germans sang "Stille nacht, heilige nach" (Silent night, holy night), while the British responded with as rendition of 'O Come all ye Faithful'.
In one sector, the Germans produced a Christmas tree and staged the famous football match. In some areas, the truce lasted only one day; in others in continued until close to the New Year.
The letter was discovered in a box of otherwise undistinguished manuscripts, and is expected to fetch around 500 - 1000 pounds at auction.
Name of source: David McNeill at the website of Japan Focus
SOURCE: David McNeill at the website of Japan Focus (10-15-06)
In November 2005, as the debate on changing the Imperial Household Law to allow a female monarch raged, we had written a cover story titled “Does Japan Need its Imperial Family” (in Japanese: Koshitsu wa hontou ni hitsuyou), which explored among other things why Japan appeared to be unique among the world’s remaining monarchies in forbidding female rule. That article criticized Japan’s Big Media for stifling debate.
It is ironic then that during the translation process for the latest article, which was also projected to be a cover story, Newsweek declined to publish. The chief editor explained in an e-mail that he couldn’t run the piece as planned on September 6th, the scheduled date of Princess Kiko’s Cesarean birth. That effectively meant it would never see the light of day because after the birth it would lose all news value.
Was the chief editor surprised by the content? I had sent a detailed proposal to Newsweek before starting, and later a list of interviewees and a full copy of the article’s introduction. Throughout the week, e-mails from the commissioning editor had told me to move ahead, with specific instructions to shorten the introduction or seek out more quotes. On final delivery, she said she was very happy with the piece.
The problem, as the chief editor explained later, is that the article would have been sharply at odds with the mood of the country on the very day the new heir arrived. Yet as he also said, hinting at pressure from above, this was exactly the sort of independent niche role Newsweek had carved for itself. Moreover, support for a male heir was far from universal, as anyone who dragged his or her eyes away from the fawning TV coverage to talk to ordinary Japanese people quickly discovered. Indeed, given that one survey carried out before the Kiko pregnancy reported that 84 percent of the country supported a female emperor it is quite possible that ours was the majority view....