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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: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (11-3-06)
Today, treatment has changed, but little else. Alzheimer's disease is estimated to affect 25 million people worldwide, and the numbers are rapidly rising as the population ages. Doctors no longer use lukewarm baths, but may try soothing them with music, aromatherapy, pet therapy or a variety of cognitive and behavioural techniques.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (11-2-06)
Now, an international fundraising appeal has been launched to commemorate his achievements. The recently formed Watson-Watt Society wants to raise £50,000 to build a memorial statue in his home town, Brechin in Scotland, to the man who is officially credited with creating the first workable radar system.
A descendant of James Watt, the engineer and inventor of the steam engine, Watson-Watt's method of using radio waves to detect objects helped tilt the balance of air superiority in 1940 when the overstretched RAF was able to intercept enemy bombers in all weathers and at night. Without it, Britain would have probably lost the battle and perhaps the war.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (11-1-06)
The family were said to be bitterly divided over whether the body should remain in the family tomb in the Adriatic Sea town of Predappio, or moved to a grander location in Rome.
The row came less than two months after an unrelated argument pitted members of the clan against each other over whether the body should be exhumed for clues as to who killed him. The woman behind the initiative to move Mussolini is Carla Puccini, widow of Romano Mussolini, the jazz pianist who died earlier this year.
Name of source: Robert Schmuhl in the CS Monitor
SOURCE: Robert Schmuhl in the CS Monitor (11-2-06)
Following the ins and outs of this year's midterm elections can make a voter feel trapped in a time warp.
Parallels to 1994 abound with great frequency: dissatisfaction with one-party control in Washington, anemic approval marks for Congress and the president, nagging worry about the country's direction, and generally a foul mood.
It's almost as though, come Nov. 8, the political landscape for Democrats might change as dramatically as it did for Republicans in that earlier contest.
What always seems to be missing in remembering 1994 is a story that broke the weekend before Americans went to the polls that year. Its precise impact on the GOP landslide - gaining 52 House, 8 Senate, and 10 gubernatorial seats - was never measured by opinion researchers and will forever be a mystery. But as a historical footnote to a momentous time, the revelation is so politically intriguing it merits speculation.
On Nov. 5, 1994, the Saturday prior to Election Day, former President Ronald Reagan announced in a handwritten letter that he was "one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer's disease." By using the future tense in the first sentence and later saying "At the moment I feel just fine," the hero of Republicans, then just hours away from their stunning victory, was characteristically upbeat - and deliberately keeping future darkness at bay.
Near the end of his letter, the words are vintage Reagan, a combination of personal humility and national reverence: "When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future. I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead."
The letter, with its sympathy-provoking individual disclosure and stirringly sunny larger sentiments, became big news instantaneously. Television networks either led weekend broadcasts with the announcement or carried reports near the top of their programs. What Reagan revealed and wrote appeared on the front pages of Sunday's newspapers across the country.
Despite the 1994 campaign's cacophonous climax, Reagan's letter wasn't a one-day story. Numerous follow-up dispatches applauded his candor and his ability, through the sensitivity of his prose, to acquaint Americans with the cruelty of Alzheimer's....
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (11-3-06)
That such a powerful individual could be so daunted by the city, like so many ordinary newcomers, makes it all the sweeter that Douglass will be properly welcomed next summer at Harlem’s gateway. His statue likeness, noble and powerful as the man, will peer forth at the skyline. The setting includes a 60-foot-long, laser-lit fountain, flowing with the waters of freedom, and an array of the quilted code symbols that were one of the ingenious secrets of the slaves’ escape north.
They knew it wasn’t going to happen any time soon, but they were quite determined,” Ms. Hotson said. The object of their interest was a long out-of-print cookbook, “Pillsbury’s Best 1000 Recipes: Best of the Bake-Off Collection,” published in 1959. Ms. Hotson received her copy, including recipes for Chocolate Pixie Cookies and Orange Kiss-Me Cake, as a wedding present in 1962.
“There are very few recipes in that book I haven’t made, and all my girls make their Christmas cookies from it,” said Ms. Hotson, who lives in Victoria, British Columbia. “The flavors are very distinctive.”
Ms. Hotson said she has trouble finding recipes for baking from scratch. “It seems like they all begin, ‘Take one box white cake mix,’ ” she said.
The expectations were not terribly high at an annual séance held on Halloween, the day on which Houdini died in 1926. Teller, the quieter half of Penn and Teller, showed up, saying, “I’d be stunned if Houdini showed up, and so would he.”
So the question was whether Houdini — the master escape artist, the man who could slip out of handcuffs and arise from tomblike burials — would escape the afterlife.
There was an empty chair waiting for him on the stage in the auditorium at the Center for Jewish History, on West 16th Street in Manhattan. The chair was a hard wooden one provided by Anna Crankshaw, the great-granddaughter of the Boston medium known as Margery. Houdini had tangled with Margery. Maybe he would prefer one of the more comfortable padded seats in the audience.
But why would someone who was as famous as a movie star sit there? And what’s with that “famous as a” line? He was a movie star. And he appealed to women, no matter how carefully his earliest biographers airbrushed the record.
The society has approached the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which must approve changes to the exterior of the society’s austere neoclassical palazzo between 76th and 77th Streets, across from the American Museum of Natural History.
The society is seeking a developer who would provide financing and construct not only the apartment tower and an extra floor atop its four-story building, but also a five-story annex that would rise above an adjacent empty lot it owns at 7-13 West 76th Street.
Name of source: Times Online (UK)
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (11-2-06)
Yesterday the crew of a new Tamar Class lifeboat off Padstow, Cornwall, scattered the remains of Ellen Walker, who died, aged 92, in October last year.
The tragic story of the love affair between her parents, Henry Morley, 37, a married Worcester shopkeeper, and Katy Phillips, a 19-year-old shop assistant, is thought to have inspired the characters of Jack and Rose, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in the Hollywood film.
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (11-1-06)
The change is stirring unusual controversy among business leaders, who argue that Bangalore is a respected international brand and that tampering with it is a waste of time and money.
An additional dispute has erupted over whether its pre- colonial name should be spelt Bengaluru, Bengaloru or Bengalooru. It is the latest evidence of the tension between India’s desire to integrate with the global economy and its concerns about globalisation.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (11-1-06)
Wistful longtime employees and loyal gamblers gathered for a last farewell to the iconic 48-year-old institution, which is to be razed early next year to make way for Boyd Gaming Corp.'s planned $4 billion Echelon Place resort.
SOURCE: AP (10-31-06)
A team of forensic anthropologists from the United States and Canada confirmed that the skull of a man buried on the island over the winter of 1604-05 showed evidence of having undergone an autopsy, scientists said.
Name of source: Hartford Courant
SOURCE: Hartford Courant (11-1-06)
"I think there was some feeling on our part that, well, a lot has happened in 225 years; `I can't imagine we are going to find anything that remotely resembles anything the French would have seen'," she said.
But as the 225th anniversary year of the passage of the French army through Connecticut comes to a close, historians are surprised - shocked, Donohue says - at how much evidence of the old route they were able to find in recent years.
Name of source: Discovery Channel
SOURCE: Discovery Channel (11-3-06)
Indeed, nothing is left of the painter, engineer, mathematician, philosopher and naturalist. The remains of Leonardo, who died in 1519 in Amboise, France, were dispersed in the 16th century during religious wars.
The research began in 2002, following the discovery of hundreds of fingerprints in the master's notebooks and drawings.
"Not all belonged to Leonardo. There was a mixture of traces, with marks also left by his apprentices," said Alessandro Vezzosi, director of the Museo Ideale in the Tuscan town of Vinci, where the artist was born in 1452 and where the fingerprints are collected.
Capasso and colleagues at the University of Chieti first worked on isolating and extracting the real Leonardo's fingerprints.
Through nondestructive spectrometry, they examined about 200 fingerprints from about 52 papers and found that only in a few cases had Leonardo left a complete fingerprint.
In most cases, the partial fingerprints consisted of the radial half of the left thumb, indicating that left-handed Leonardo was just moving and leafing through the papers.
"But when we examined the 'Portrait of a Lady with an Ermine', we noticed that the artist used his finger when applying the finishing touches to the necklace's shadow," Capasso said.
After scouring manuscripts and notebooks, the researchers found two other fingerprints that matched and completed the Ermine markings. The result was an entire fingertip, possibly belonging to the left forefinger.
Fingerprints are unique and don't change over a lifetime. Analysis of the skin's arches, loops and whorls — a science known as dermatoglyphics — has shown that there is a link between fingerprints and populations.
In the case of Leonardo's fingertip, patterns and ridges pointed to the Middle East, the researchers concluded.
"The fingerprint features patterns such as the central whorl that are dominant in the Middle East. About 60 percent of the Middle Eastern population display the same dermatoglyphic structure found in the fingerprint," Capasso said.
The discovery would support Vezzosi's claim that Leonardo's mother was not a local peasant girl as previously thought, but a Middle Eastern slave.
According to Vezzosi, records unearthed in Vinci offer substantial evidence that Leonardo's father, a craftsman called Ser Piero Da Vinci, owned a Middle-Eastern female slave named Caterina.
"It was common in 15th century Tuscany to own slaves from the Middle East," said Vezzosi.
Indeed, in 1452, the same year of Leonardo's birth, a law was passed in Florence that gave slave owners greater rights over their slaves.
Shortly after the law was passed, Ser Piero married Caterina off to one of his workers. The woman had just given birth to a boy called Leonardo.
Pictures and details of the dermatoglyphic study will be shown on Sunday at an exhibition at the museum of history of biomedical science at Chieti University.
Name of source: Salon
SOURCE: Salon (11-2-06)
Styron's daughter, Alexandra, said the author died of pneumonia at a hospital in Martha's Vineyard, Mass. Styron, who had homes in Martha's Vineyard and Connecticut, had been in failing health for a long time.
"This is terrible," said Kurt Vonnegut, a longtime friend."He was dramatic, he was fun. He was strong and proud and he was awfully good with the language. I hated to see him end this way."
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (11-2-06)
"Les Bienveillantes" ("The Kindly Ones") by Jonathan Littell has been hailed as"the phenomenon of the literary season", selling over 200,000 copies and attracting the kind of reviews that most writers can only dream of.
Littell, 39, has been compared to the great Russian writers Tolstoy and Vassily Grossmann by critics weary of the minimalist style of many French novels and praised for an epic sweep not seen since the days of Victor Hugo.
"Les Bienveillantes" tells the story of Maximilian Aue, a former SS official who recounts his career at the heart of the Nazi Holocaust in a tone of philosophical detachment that contrasts sharply with the horrors he was involved in."I regret nothing. I did my job, that's all," he says.
SOURCE: Reuters (11-1-06)
Iran's best-selling newspaper, Hamshahri, launched a competition in February to find the best cartoon about the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis.
The contest was a retaliation for last year's publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in Danish and other European newspapers that angered Muslims worldwide.
Presenting a prize to a representative of Moroccan cartoonist Abdellah Derkaoui, Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hossein Saffar-Harandi praised Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has described the Holocaust as a"myth".
"Our president was the brave and freedom-seeking person who started this debate without being concerned about its consequences," Saffar-Harandi said.
Derkaoui's cartoon shows a crane with a Star of David sign, putting up blocks making a wall separating the Muslim shrine, the Dome of the Rock, from Jerusalem. The wall has a gate, shown in the distance, that looks like one at the Auschwitz concentration camp, where Jews were incarcerated and killed.
Name of source: Peoples Daily Online
SOURCE: Peoples Daily Online (11-2-06)
"The underground passages are the first ever discovered in the ruins of an ancient Chinese capital," said Liu Qingzhu, a researcher with the Chinese Institute of Archaeology in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
"The tunnels were mostly discovered under the palaces where the royal women lived, including the emperor's mother, the empress and the emperor's concubines," Liu said.
Historical records show the emperors in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 25 AD) relied partly on the families of the imperial females to consolidate their rule.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (10-30-06)
In The Long Walk, Slavomir Rawicz described how, during the Second World War, he and a group of prisoners broke out of a gulag in the Soviet Union in 1941. They walked thousands of miles south from Siberia, through Mongolia, Tibet, across the Himalayas, to the safety of British India.
The only question is: is it true? From the start, a ferocious controversy has raged about whether anyone really could achieve this superhuman feat. Critics particularly questioned one chapter in the book where the walkers apparently see a pair of yetis.
SOURCE: BBC (7-24-06)
The conventional verdict on the Suez operation is given by historian Corelli Barnett, who wrote about Suez in his book, The Collapse of British Power.
"It was the last thrash of empire," he told me. "A last attempt by a British government to do the old imperial thing in defence of far-off interests. It was a complete folly."
It is not easy these days to cast back 50 years to 1956. Britain still had an empire. Memories of World War II were fresh and English schoolboys were taught that Britain (England more like) had won the war.
There was some understanding that the Americans had come in, but at a late stage and almost no mention of the Soviet Union at all. We were told: "British is best."
Underneath, though, all was not well.
SOURCE: BBC (10-30-06)
The research team has dated six bones found in the Pestera Muierii cave, Romania, to 30,000 years ago.
The finds also raise questions about the possible place of Neanderthals in modern human ancestry.
SOURCE: BBC (11-1-06)
While in Britain, the 50 years since the airborne invasion of the canal zone are being marked with reams of hefty analysis and a three-part BBC drama documentary called "A very British crisis", in France the occasion is being passed by in almost total silence.
The prime reason, according to historian Philippe Vial, is that Suez - for France - got buried by the rush of other cataclysmic events:
"In Britain, Suez became the symbol of the end of imperial destiny. It had huge resonance. But in France there was too much else going on. The government had just hardened its line against the insurrection in Algeria, and then in January began the battle of Algiers. Suez got squeezed out of the national memory."
On top of that, in 1958 Charles de Gaulle swept to power in the wake of the Algeria crisis. With the new Fifth Republic, events and politicians associated with the discredited ancien regime disappeared from public consciousness. History started all over again.
The irony, says Mr Vial, is that the French were in fact much more gung-ho than the British were about the co-ordinated plan - with Israel - to retake the recently nationalised canal and if possible topple President Gamal Abdel Nasser.
At the time France was closely allied to Israel, which was fearful of the emerging Egyptian strongman.
Largely thanks to the work of a young emissary called Shimon Peres, Paris had supplied the young state with Mirage jets as well as technology for a nuclear bomb.
To mark the anniversary, the defence ministry in Paris is in fact hosting a three-day seminar in the conflict which Vial hopes will challenge some long-held preconceptions.
One of the problems of French neglect of Suez, he says, is that historical interpretation has been almost entirely carried out by "les Anglo-Saxons".
"When you read the literature, you get the impression that this was - to quote the BBC series - a very British crisis.
"But that is not accurate. It was a very French affair too."
Indeed for many historians, the impact of Suez on France and its perception of the world was even greater - if less direct - than on Britain.
The French emerged from the crisis convinced that they had been betrayed and humiliated by the British who - under pressure from the Americans - had simply stopped fighting.
"So there was a complete reassessment of the relationship with the US," says Robert Tombs, Cambridge historian and author of That Sweet Enemy on Franco-British relations.
"The feeling was: We can never trust them again, and we have to find new ways of making ourselves secure.
"At the same time, it affected attitudes to Europe. Famously, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, on learning of the disaster, told the French foreign minister 'Europe will be your revenge'.
"Suez convinced French leaders - and after 1958 that meant de Gaulle - that Europe was the future."
In the 1960s, de Gaulle translated the new policy into action: withdrawing from the military command of Nato in 1966, and twice vetoing British entry into the European Economic Community - mainly out of fears that Britain would adulterate Europe's vocation.
Ambivalence towards "les Anglo-Saxons" of course predated Suez.
But from the late 1950s, suspicion of Britain and the US became semi-official Gaullist policy, as France sought to project an independent voice in the world via Europe. Much followed.
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (11-1-06)
The home secretary, speaking at the launch of new anti-terror search technology, described "the struggle against Islamist terrorism" as a constant fight to stay one step ahead and compared it to the technological battle to "beat the Nazis" in the second world war. "In a sense it is a recall of the innovators of the past. Just as in the past innovators such as Barnes Wallis, Alan Turing and Tommy Flowers [who built the first digital computer as a codebreaking device in 1943], were vital in our battle to beat the Nazis, so now we must be able to use the skills and expertise of all in our battle against terror."
Name of source: Pasadena Star News
SOURCE: Pasadena Star News (10-31-06)
The seven men test fired a rocket in the Arroyo Seco at a site not far from the present-day Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
That first test more closely resembled a Keystone Kops episode than today's sophisticated launches, but it paved the way for space exploration.
Name of source: NPR
SOURCE: NPR (11-1-06)
Swails was a member of the famous 54th Massachusetts Regiment, one of the country's first black fighting units, famous for storming Fort Wagner in South Carolina. The unit's story was told in the Hollywood film Glory.
Ten years ago, Billy Jenkinson, an attorney and amateur historian in the village of Kingstree, S.C., came into contact with a trunk full of Swails' personal documents. The trunk had been abandoned and was on the way to the dump. Jenkinson had known Swails was a war hero, but the trunk revealed a whole other side to the story.
Name of source: Stone Pages
SOURCE: Stone Pages (10-29-06)
Name of source: Cliopatria
SOURCE: Cliopatria (10-31-06)
Nominations for six Awards are open throughout November and can be made in Comments at the links available here:
Name of source: Inside Higher Ed
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (10-31-06)
In a report released today that is largely a summary of previous findings, PIRG accuses publishers of undermining the used book market and unnecessarily inflating prices. Studies show that the cost of textbooks is rising faster than the rate of inflation, and the price issue has gained traction with at least one lawmaker this year.
“Required Reading: A Look at the Worst Publishing Tactics at Work,” and a preceding report, released in August, are part of the Make Textbooks Affordable Campaign. The latest report draws on anecdotal information from bookstore managers and faculty members across the country, and includes examples (identifying colleges, publisher names and book titles) of practices that PIRG says drive up textbook costs for students.