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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: http://www.newsobserver.com
SOURCE: http://www.newsobserver.com (1-18-07)
Taxpayers have spent about $75,000 during the past two years on the research and other work for what was supposed to be an extensive account of the state House, as well as a separate study of its speakers since 1963.
The work was to be completed Dec. 31. His office had released nothing from or about the history since the new year began.
Black, leader of the House since 1999, said in a prepared statement Wednesday night that he would release nothing, relying on a staff opinion that such records are not public under state law.
The work was the responsibility of Ann Lassiter, 61, a career state employee with no training in history whom Black put in the new job of House historian in May 2005. Her salary was about $50,000 a year.
Lassiter's job ended Dec. 31 amid turmoil.
Disclosures in The News & Observer showed she had headed the House page program and allowed some pages to stay at the home of her son, a felon with a history of drug and alcohol troubles.
Black let her resign, then created the historian's position for her.
Name of source: http://news.newamericamedia.org
SOURCE: http://news.newamericamedia.org (1-17-07)
Though those questions are straightforward, the answers are not. Much of the history of the black press in the region and its largest city is missing, incomplete or contradictory. Copies of many early ones can not be found. Who published papers, and exactly for how long, is often hazy. The gaps persist even into the last century: No one has copies of the entire run of the region’s most influential black paper, William Monroe Trotter’s Boston Guardian.
It is clear, though, that black newspapers have been published in New England for more than 160 years. They started rolling off presses about two decades after Freedom’s Journal, based in New York City, became the first voice of African Americans in print. “We wish to plead our own cause,” its founders proclaimed.
Name of source: Roanoke Va. Times
SOURCE: Roanoke Va. Times (1-17-07)
A Hanover County lawmaker's published comments that blacks should "get over" slavery were denounced on the House floor Tuesday by two black delegates who are supporting a resolution of apology. The comments by Republican Del. Frank Hargrove lit the first spark in what figures to be an emotional debate in coming weeks.
Hargrove made the remark in a story published Tuesday by the Charlottesville Daily Progress. In explaining his opposition to the resolution, Hargrove said today's Virginia has no responsibility for slavery and added: "I personally think that our black citizens should get over it."
The same story also quoted Hargrove saying: "Are we going to force the Jews to apologize for killing Christ?
Hargrove's comments drew rebukes on the House floor from Del. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico County, the sponsor of the resolution, and from Del. Dwight Jones, D-Richmond, the chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus. Del. David Englin, D-Alexandria, also chided Hargrove for his comments about Jews.
"I am appalled that someone would take the worst institution that has ever faced Americans and tell the ancestors of those individuals that they should just get over it," said Jones, a soft-spoken Baptist minister.
Name of source: Press Association (UK)
SOURCE: Press Association (UK) (1-16-07)
His defence came as politicians north and south of the border marked the anniversary with fresh wrangling over Britain's constitutional future.
Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond said the lack of mass celebrations to mark the event showed there was little public enthusiasm for the Union.
He said in Edinburgh: "There's no popular celebrations, there's no street parties, no fireworks parties."
Name of source: NYT
They adored its sweet smell, its reddish hue, its exotic origins and its dazzling iridescence, qualities that elevated it to the category of sacred materials known as guanín. Local chieftains wore it in pendants and medallions to show their wealth, influence and connection to the supernatural realm. Elite women and children were buried with it.
What was this treasured stuff? Humble brass — specifically, the lace tags and fasteners from Spanish explorers’ shoes and clothes, for which the Taíno eagerly traded their local gold.
In 2005, 51 percent of women said they were living without a spouse, up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent in 2000.
Coupled with the fact that in 2005 married couples became a minority of all American households for the first time, the trend could ultimately shape social and workplace policies, including the ways government and employers distribute benefits....
“This is yet another of the inexorable signs that there is no going back to a world where we can assume that marriage is the main institution that organizes people’s lives,” said Prof. Stephanie Coontz, director of public education for the Council on Contemporary Families, a nonprofit research group. “Most of these women will marry, or have married. But on average, Americans now spend half their adult lives outside marriage.”
Professor Coontz said this was probably unprecedented with the possible exception of major wartime mobilizations and when black couples were separated during slavery.
On Thursday, 68 theologians, professors and other faculty members present and past, citing complaints about President Bush’s “poor marks” on civil liberties, the environment, gay rights and the war in Iraq, sent the university president a letter questioning whether visions of the library were consistent with the school’s religious and academic values.
“According to George Bush’s closest associates, the half-billion-dollar endowment will be used by the institute to hire conservative scholars to agree to ‘write papers and books favorable to the president’s policies,’ ” said the letter calling for a campuswide dialogue on the affiliation.
By last week, many Republicans on Capitol Hill had come to believe that their interests and the president’s may be diverging even wider.
On one end of Pennsylvania Avenue is a president who argues that history will judge him favorably on the war; on the other are increasingly skeptical Republicans who blame the president’s stay-the-course strategy for the loss of majority status in Congress and fear that it may cost them again in 2008.
The unusual circumstances of the 2008 election may only aggravate the situation. Congressional Republicans face high stakes, particularly in the Senate, where 21 are up for re-election, compared with just 12 Democrats. And the Democrats have already put targets on senators in the Northeast and Midwest where antiwar sentiment helped Democrats sweep into office.
The president, on the other hand, cannot run again, and has no chosen successor, leaving him unbound to electoral concerns.
Like any president, however, he is concerned with how history will judge him. Mr. Bush has frequently likened himself to Harry Truman, an unpopular president when he left office, but one applauded by history.
“To coin a phrase, he’s no Harry Truman,” said Robert Dallek, a presidential historian. “Truman is now seen as a near great president because he put in place the containment doctrine boosted by the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan and NATO, which historians now see as having been at the center of American success in the cold war.”
“If you ask yourself, what is Bush’s legacy, what is there?” Mr. Dallek asked. “What’s his larger design to meet the dangers of Islamic terrorism?”
The parallels, some historians say, are more to Lyndon Johnson.
Robert A. Caro, the Johnson biographer, says that the similarities are striking if you look at newspapers from 1967 as the nation headed into the tumultuous election year of 1968.
“You see this pouring in of the national treasure, this rise in troops against the background of failure,” he said. “The opposition to this starts to be expressed more and more on the floor of Congress. You have a president who is unbending in each case.”
[What might victory look like?]
Remember the Spanish Civil War? The best America can hope for, some experts said, would be for Iraq to turn into today’s version of the Spanish Civil War.
For readers without immediate access to Wikipedia, the Spanish Civil War lasted three years, from 1936 to 1939, when the Nationalists, led by Francisco Franco, defeated the Loyalists of the Second Spanish Republic. The death toll was huge — estimates put it between 500,000 and one million. People in just about every European country were passionate about the fight: the Loyalists got weapons and volunteers from the Soviet Union, while the Nationalists received help from Italy, Germany and Portugal.
But, in the end, the Spanish Civil War stayed Spanish. The Europeans sent money and arms and even volunteers, but they didn’t let the war engulf the continent. (Probably because the continent was busy getting engulfed in World War II, but let’s not be too technical.)
The biggest worry in Iraq is not that Iraq will descend into a civil war — most experts say that is a done deal — but that an Iraqi civil war will not stay Iraqi. ...
Germany’s justice minister, Brigitte Zypries, said Thursday night that Germany’s commitment to combating racism and xenophobia — and keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive — was both an enduring historical obligation and a present-day political necessity.
Name of source: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (1-12-07)
One of the megalithic finds is a sandstone formation that marked a ritual burial mound; the other, a group of stones at the site of an ancient timber circle.
The new discoveries suggest that many similar monuments may have been erected in the shadow of Stonehenge, possibly forming part of a much larger complex, experts say.
Name of source: Times Online (UK)
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (1-17-07)
The extension scheme, which will last between four and five years, envisages demolishing the remains of a medieval church where Dante and Boccaccio are said to have preached.
The project will increase space at the Uffizi from 8,100sq m (87,000sq ft) to 12,900sq m. Italian culture ministry officials insist that the gallery can no longer cope with its two million visitors a year.
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (1-17-07)
But, according to Richard Finlay, of the University of Strathclyde, it was there, 300 years ago yesterday, that leaders of the old Scottish Parliament signed the Act of Union.
“They were processing along the Royal Mile towards Parliament,” Professor Finlay told The Times. “In the streets there was an angry mob, hounding the politicians who had betrayed the nation, so they took refuge in a cellar. And that’s the spot where it was signed.”
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (1-17-07)
Designed by Santiago Calatrava, the Spanish engineer whose dramatic projects in cities as far apart as Dublin, Athens and Buenos Aires have changed our idea of what bridges ought to look like, the Venice bridge is very different from the works that made him famous. It is the soul of discretion: no cantilevered webs of cable, no evocations of harps, lyres or lutes - just a sleek, arrow-like flight from bank to bank, with no visible means of support.
It is exquisitely modern, but stylistically it is not at war with its environment. Helping it to blend in is the fact that it is partly built of local Istrian marble, Venice's most important raw material.
But the bridge's low profile has not kept it clear of controversy. There was the high price tag, €4m (£2.6m) climbing to €6.5m. There was the question of safety: the long, unsupported arch, according to an expert who was involved in the technical evaluation of the project, must be precise to the millimetre if it is to work, and its pressure on the banks must be adequately contained. In an article in L'Espresso last month, Professor Gianfranco Rocatagliati warned that the tramping of the tourist battalions could cause it to collapse.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (1-15-07)
"How many of you are on acid right now?" rock critic Joel Selvin asked an audience of former hippies who turned out yesterday to mark the 40th anniversary of the Human Be-in, the counterculture event that set the stage for the Summer of Love. "How many of you are on antacid right now? "
In many ways, the '60s were born on 14 January, 1967 when musicians, poets, visionaries, student radicals and wayward youth gathered in Golden Gate Park.
Those who were there agree that neither they nor San Francisco have been the same since. Part rock concert, part protest, part literary festival, the Human Be-in was billed at the time as a "Gathering of the Tribes" meant to unite and stir up the various wings of the counterculture movement.
Estimates of the number of people who cavorted on the park's Polo Fields that day range from 10,000 to 50,000.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (1-17-07)
The so-called Akaka bill is part of a seven-year push for legislation to recognize Native Hawaiians as indigenous inhabitants of the 50th state. Their legal status would be similar to that of American Indians and Alaskan Natives.
The bill provides a process to set up a Native Hawaiian government and then start negotiations to transfer power and property from state and federal authorities to Hawaiians.
SOURCE: AP (1-17-07)
The research, which found that an over-stimulated immune system killed even as it tried to fight the flu, helps explain why many of the 50 million people who died in the epidemic were healthy young adults. Conventional flu usually claims mostly the very young and very old.
This new look at an old killer gives doctors ideas on how to fight the current bird flu if it develops the ability to spreads from human-to-human, as many scientists fear it will. The 1918 virus, which was reconstructed with reverse genetics, exists today only in two labs where scientists are studying it.
Scientists said they were struck by how suddenly and overwhelmingly the 1918 flu struck seven macaques that were tested in a high-level biosafety lab in Winnipeg, Canada. The virus spread faster than a normal flu bug and triggered a "storm" response in the animal's immune systems.
Their bodies' defenses went haywire, not knowing when to stop, researchers said. The lungs became inflamed and filled with blood and other fluids.
The scientists believe the virus had the same effect on humans.
"Essentially people are drowned by themselves," said University of Wisconsin virology professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka, lead author of a study published Thursday in the journal Nature.
The experiment was supposed to last 21 days, but after eight days the monkeys were so sick - feverish, in pain and having difficulty breathing - that ethical guidelines forced the researchers to euthanize them.
"There was some surprise that it was that nasty," University of Washington virologist and study co-author Michael Katze said. "It was the robustness of the immune system that helped victimize them."
The virus was simply overwhelming, researchers said.
The anniversary Tuesday of the Scottish parliament's voting to accept the treaty is focusing attention on growing discord, with advocates of Scottish independence gaining strength in their campaign for a referendum on breaking the union.
"This treaty can and will be undone and at the moment there is a wellspring of Scottish nationalism," said Murray Ritchie, former political editor of The Herald newspaper and convener of the Scottish Independence Convention. "What we need is a referendum to settle the issue of independence."
The Union has been contested since 1707, when mobs took to the streets of Edinburgh and Glasgow as news of the vote spread.
Though Scotland's parliament dissolved, the country maintained much of its national identity, its own legal and education systems and its own religion -- Presbyterianism, although Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the Church of Scotland.
Today, next to office buildings and sitting underneath modern highways, part of Fort Pitt is surrounded by a chain-link fence. Inside, construction equipment scoops up dirt and broken chunks of concrete in preparation to cover a wall and moat that once surrounded the fort.
State officials say the renovation at Point State Park will create a flatter space that can be better used for community events. But critics say history is being buried because so little is known about what actually lies beneath the land.
"Pittsburgh is throwing away its roots if it buries this," said Richard Lang, a retired archaeologist who worked to excavate the wall in the 1960s and is part of the grass-roots Fort Pitt Preservation Society.
Archaeologists in the northern Minnesota town of Walker dug up the items, which appear to be beveled scrapers, choppers, a crude knife and several flakes that could have been used for cutting, said Colleen Wells, field director for the Leech Lake Heritage Sites Program.
"They don't look like much," Wells acknowledged. "They don't look pretty."
SOURCE: AP (1-12-07)
After failing in an effort to save the improbable site of the secret Jan. 12, 1957 wedding -- the L&L Motel -- a group of Tonopah residents has announced plans to commemorate the event by building a life-size statue of the couple.
The group led by Tonopah businessman Bob Perchetti also is pursuing plans to open a Howard Hughes Museum and Wedding Chapel across the street from where the motel stood until it was razed about 18 months ago after the town board decided it would be too expensive to restore.
SOURCE: AP (1-15-07)
Newly discovered documents in Britain's National Archives show that former French Prime Minister Guy Mollet discussed the possibility of a merger between the two countries with British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden.
'I completely fell off my seat,' said Richard Vinen, an expert in French history at King's College in London. 'It's such a bizarre thing to propose.'
Eden rejected the idea of a union but was more favorable to a French proposal to join the Commonwealth, according to the documents. One document added that Mollet 'had not thought there need be difficulty over France accepting the headship of her Majesty (Queen Elizabeth II).'
While the two nations _ separated by a thin body of water _ have been bitter rivals since the Middle Ages, the two EU partners now concentrate on trading tourists rather than arrows. What animosity remains has been relegated to world culinary name-calling, with the French and British reduced to froggies and rosbifs (roast beef) respectively.
Proposals for Anglo-French unity are not necessarily new. English royalty claimed the title of 'King (or Queen) of France' into the 19th century.
Winston Churchill, in a last-ditch attempt to keep France on the side of the Allies in World War II, appealed for a full union of the two nations in June of 1940.
After the war, Ernest Bevin, Britain's foreign secretary, also toyed with the idea of a 'Western Union,' a European and African bloc led by Britain and France.
The proposals all shared an element of desperation, said Kevin Ruane, a historian at Canterbury Christ Church University, England. 'It's so impracticable an idea that it has only been raised in extreme situations,' he said.
Threatened by an Arab revolt in French Algeria and hobbled by instability at home, France was desperate to maintain its independence from both the Soviet Union and the United States, Ruane said. Eden, who fought in France during World War I and spoke the language fluently, might have seemed particularly approachable to Mollet, a former English teacher.
But even under the circumstances, the suggestion that France accept the British queen struck historians as bizarre.
Mollet was a Socialist, and left-wing Frenchmen looked to the execution of French King Louis XVI as one of the crowning achievements of the French Revolution. They would have been unlikely to welcome a foreign monarch with open arms. 'It must have been some kind of eccentric gesture,' Vinen said.
The former French leader's memoirs showed nothing about the proposal, said Francois Lafon, a history professor at La Sorbonne in Paris and a Mollet biographer. Lafon suggested it was probably a political tactic to pressure the British to firm up their role for the imminent attack on Egypt.
A year after Britain turned down France's proposed merger, the French joined the Common Market, the European Union's predecessor. By the time Britain tried to join seven years later, the tables had turned.
Charles De Gaulle had brought a new order to French political life and largely revived its international standing, even as Britain's economy continued to stagnate. De Gaulle vetoed Britain's attempts to join the European Economic Community _ twice.
'In retrospect, the irony of this was that the losers were the British,' Vinen said. 'Maybe we'd be in a better position being ruled by Charles de Gaulle in 1965 than Harold Wilson.'
Not all Frenchmen were so sure.
'Can you imagine?' said Jose-Alain Fralon, author of 'Help, the English are invading!' 'What would the English tabloids do if they could no longer tell stories about the froggies, and what about those French who blame everything on the English?'
The British, he added, are 'our most dear enemies' and 'we would lose all of the saltiness in our relationship' had the two countries merged.
Still, he said, the two peoples complement each other marvelously.
'Roast beef and frogs don't go together in the same dish. But frogs legs as a starter and a good roast beef as the main dish _ c'est merveilleux,' he said.
The documents, which have been declassified for over twenty years, were found by a BBC producer late last month.
SOURCE: AP (1-14-07)
Civil rights leaders say the state -- which doesn't have a single black legislator -- should be ashamed of itself.
''They really should be embarrassed,'' said Jeanetta Williams, president of the Salt Lake branch of the NAACP. ''It does frustrate me -- very much.''
Lawmakers insist it's out of their hands because the Utah Constitution requires them to convene on the third Monday in January, the same day designated in 2001 as the state holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader.
Name of source: Dallas Morning News
SOURCE: Dallas Morning News (1-17-07)
"I assure you that any real or perceived fears or concerns about the institute or any part of the library in some way inhibiting this university's practice of academic freedom and diversity of opinion and practices are unfounded," SMU President Gerald Turner said....
A committee appointed to select a library site wants any institute to be separately run by a private foundation, Dr. Turner said. And he said the university would have control over any joint appointments between the institute and SMU.
"It's clear this institute will deal with the topics of interest to the president and certainly emphasize points of view compatible with his own focus," Dr. Turner said, adding that he considers that a reasonable expectation.
And he said it makes sense for that institute to be separate from SMU....
he meeting also included some sharp words from Rhonda Blair, president of the faculty senate. Some professors have said they wanted more debate on the library, but Dr. Blair said faculty have had the past six years to voice concerns, because SMU has pursued the library that long.
Dr. Blair said she questions the timing of recent concerns raised by faculty, "and what seems to be playing to the press at the 11th hour. ... There was no reason to wait this late to consider these matters more fully as a faculty, particularly if there were ethical concerns."
Interim Provost Tom Tunks said that as SMU's chief academic officer, he wanted to go on record that he strongly supports the university's bid to host the library. "In my view, the academic benefits would be immeasurable, and for us to lose this opportunity would be tragic. Furthermore, for us to allow that to happen or, worse, to cause that to happen, would be foolish."
Some professors at the meeting said they took offense at remarks by both.
History professor Alexis McCrossen said, "I'm appalled at [Dr. Blair] chastising us. ... She tried to make it sound as though this is all partisan, and the fact of the matter is it's not."
Another history professor, Ben Johnson, said he found some of Dr. Blair's and Dr. Tunks' remarks "to be incredibly intimidating."...
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (1-18-07)
A palace spokesman was quoted by state media as saying they were considering whether Starbucks would remain after a major renovation of the site.
A China state TV personality has led an online campaign to have the US coffee giant's outlet removed from the site.
Rui Chenggang said its presence "trampled over Chinese culture".
He has reportedly won the backing of more than half a million internet users, the China Daily newspaper reports.
Palace spokesman Feng Nai'en was quoted as saying that they were "working with Starbucks to find a solution by June in response to the protests."
"Whether or not Starbucks remains depends on the entire design plan that will be released in the first half of the year," he was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying.
He said a third of the shops in the 71-hectare (178-acre) Forbidden City complex had already been removed during the renovation.
The Starbucks coffee shop has caused controversy since it opened in 2000. It is one of more than 200 that have opened in the vast country since 1999.
Rui Chenggang, an anchorman for China Central Television, wrote in his blog that the shop's presence in the Forbidden City was "not globalising but trampling over Chinese culture".
Starbucks has defended its outlet, saying the firm "appreciates the deep history and culture of the Forbidden City and has operated in a respectful manner".
"We have provided a welcome place of rest for thousands of tourists, both Chinese and foreign, for more than six years," the company said in a statement.
The Forbidden City, which is also known as the Palace Museum, was built in 1420 and was home to 24 emperors until the end of imperial rule in 1911.
It is China's top tourist attraction and a Unesco World Heritage site.
SOURCE: BBC (1-12-07)
Scientists believe this face is the closest match to the poet's skull found in his tomb.
And for Dante scholars it has thrown up a few surprises. They always imagined him to have a long aquiline nose.
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (1-18-07)
Drunkenness and profanity returned with a vengeance with his son Charles II, who spent more time with Nell Gwyn and a series of mistresses than his royal spouse.
So when Sarah Poynting, of Keele University, announced she had cracked two letters written in code that revealed a bawdy, lustful side of Charles I - proposing a "swiving" to a courtier's stepdaughter - her colleagues were incredulous. Surely she meant Charles II?
While preparing a scholarly edition of the king's writings, the historian examined the letters Charles I smuggled out on scraps of paper from Carisbrooke Castle, where he was imprisoned in 1648, the year before his execution. Two were to Jane Whorwood, stepdaughter of one of the king's former courtiers; she was a tall, red-haired woman with a pock-marked face.
Previous historians have assumed that while he formed a strong bond with her that may have been tinged with mildly romantic feelings, the king's moral rectitude and famous love for his wife made a sexual liaison very improbable. Charles's letters were partly in cipher, and Dr Poynting has shown that an earlier historian decoded a key word incorrectly.
Charles wrote that Jane could easily visit him, but warned that they would not be able to speak privately without special permission. His letter then switched into cipher.
According to earlier attempts to decode the letter, the next sentence read: "Yet I imagine that there is one way possible that you may get answering from me", followed (not in cipher) by "you must excuse my plain expressions". But Dr Poynting realised that "answering" could only be correct if the king had made three separate mistakes in the cipher for one word. When she worked through the passage, a rather different meaning emerged: "I imagine that there is one way possible that you may get a swiving from me". He then described how she could have secret access to his rooms.
In the 17th century, "swiving" was a wholly obscene word for sex, found most commonly in the pornographic verses of the Earl of Rochester, who used it to describe the notorious sexual activity of Charles's son after the Restoration. It is hardly surprising to find the word in association with Charles II, but to meet it coming from the pen of his father, who, according to the royal servant the Earl of Clarendon, "could never endure any light or profane word", is astonishing, especially as he is known to have been engaged in serious reading and prayer at the time.
Dr Poynting said: "The king is known to have been devoted to his wife, Henrietta Maria, and remembered for refusing to tolerate the drunkenness and immorality that marked the court of his father, James VI and I. Charles's sexual probity has been so taken for granted that when I first told colleagues about my discovery, they didn't believe I could be right until I went step-by-step through the cipher. There is no reason, though, to find such apparent contradictions incredible; it simply means that we have begun to understand a little more about a complex man at one critical time. Charles may have been a unique captive, but there were moments when he shared the concerns of many other prisoners: self-justification, escape, and sex."
Name of source: KTVB Idaho
SOURCE: KTVB Idaho (1-18-07)
Shoshone-Bannock, Shoshone-Paiute, Nez Perce and Coeur d'Alene representatives spent 25 minutes inside the vacant Ada County Courthouse.
There are 26 murals in all, including two depicting a buckskin-clad Indian as he's apprehended by two white men who lay a noose over his neck.
None of the Indians who viewed the murals, painted in 1940 as part of a program to put unemployed artists to work, wanted them destroyed or concealed with paint.
Most suggested they be preserved -- as a reminder of history and what happened to the Indians.
Some say the murals are lousy examples of public American art, but local Idaho historians say they should stay where they are.
Name of source: DPA German Press Agency
SOURCE: DPA German Press Agency (1-18-07)
His comments follow a blast of criticism from Russia over recent legislation passed in Estonia. Last week Estonian members of parliament approved a law allowing for the removal of war graves if they are under threat from "inappropriate" behaviour.
The law applies to all graves belonging to all soldiers fallen in all wars in Estonia, but has been interpreted in Russia as being aimed at "destroying" the country's memorials to Red Army soldiers - especially one in central Tallinn known as the Bronze Soldier.
The law proves "the Estonian government's intention to continue its course of representing Nazism in a heroic light and justifying its ideology," the Russian Duma said in a statement on Wednesday.
Russia has often accused both Estonia and Latvia of "heroizing" Nazism. The two small states were occupied by the USSR in 1940, invaded by the Nazis in 1941 and annexed by the Soviets in 1945.
They have consistently maintained that the Soviet occupation was illegal, a view which Western historians support, but Moscow denies, calling any equation of Nazi and Soviet actions "blasphemy."
And the fact that tens of thousands of Baltic youths were conscripted into the Waffen-SS, and are now viewed in the Baltics as national freedom fighters, is hailed in Russia as proof that the Baltics are actively supporting a renaissance of Nazism.
There is a "trend for the weakening of global public awareness of the danger of a revival of Nazi ideology," the Duma statement ran.
"I've condemned fascism on repeated occasions myself, there's no glorification of fascism in Estonia," Ansip replied, according to Baltic News Service BNS.
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (1-18-07)
The Lyon court found Bruno Gollnisch, No. 2 in the far-right National Front party, had "disputed a crime against humanity" in remarks he made during a news conference in the eastern French city on October 11, 2004.
The judge also ordered Gollnisch to pay 55,000 euros in damages to the plaintiffs, and to pay for the judgment to be published in the newspapers that originally printed his remarks.
Gollnisch was not in court for the verdict because he was attending a session of the European Parliament, where he recently became the leader of a new far-right political group called Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty.
In its ruling the court said Gollnisch had called into question the number of Jews killed during World War Two and whether gas chambers had been used to kill them.
"Historians have the right to discuss the number of deaths and the way that they died. Fifty years after the facts we can discuss the real number of deaths," Gollnisch was quoted as saying at the time.
He also said that the "existence of the gas chambers is for historians to discuss."
Gollnisch said in a statement that he would appeal against Thursday's verdict. "This scandal goes beyond my personal case in a country that is otherwise the most advanced in the world in the area of freedom of expression," he said.
"Nothing is more unbearable than the injustice of the justice. I will naturally appeal this ruling," he added.
Gollnisch's boss in the National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen, has also run into trouble over his comments on the Holocaust.
Le Pen, who shocked France by coming second in the 2002 presidential election, was convicted and fined for inciting racial hatred in 1990, and again for saying in 1996 that the Nazi gas chambers were "merely a detail" of World War Two.
He faces another trial next year for saying in 2005 that "the German occupation was not particularly inhumane." In December he said anti-Semitism can be funny and in June he said the French soccer team had too many black players.
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (1-16-07)
Best known for building mountainous cliff-side tombs and filling them with bundled mummies, the Chachapoya (cha-cha-POY-ah) were once rulers of the northern Andes. Aside from cliff tombs and stone houses, they have left archaeologists few large ruins to study.
The ruin was first discovered in August by Peruvians, four local men, who live in the remote, heavily forested area. They got in touch with Keith Muscutt, a scholar and author they knew because he has explored the region for three decades and is godfather to some of their children. Muscutt, an expert on the Chachapoya, is the author of 1998's Warrior of the Clouds: A Lost Civilization in the Upper Amazon of Peru.
Name of source: Asia Media News Daily
SOURCE: Asia Media News Daily (1-17-07)
The original sentence was inaccurate as it insinuated that South Korea's history only began a millennium ago and ignored its Goguryeo (B.C. 37-A.D. 668) and Gojoseon (B.C. 2333-B.C. 108) periods, VANK members said on its website.
"The CIA factbook which is praised for its credibility is used by major governments, education institutes, textbooks, maps and websites all around the globe," a VANK member said, highlighting the importance of its accuracy.
Goguryeo has been at the center of a historical dispute between Korea and China for the past several years.
China has been claiming that Goguryeo, one of the three ancient Korean kingdoms, is part of its own history. It also claims old Joseon and Balhae were part of ancient China.
VANK had sent a letter of protest to the CIA for the misinformation, the members said. Although the CIA did not respond, it has changed the sentence to describe Korea's millennia-long history, they said.
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Education
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (1-16-07)
But the war crimes committed by Japan — including biological warfare, human experimentation, and massacres — have attracted much less attention in the six decades since the war's conclusion, though events such as the publication of Iris Chang's book The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II in 1997 created spikes in public interest.
Indeed, when the U.S. Congress created a commission to find and declassify records related to World War II war crimes still held by the United States in 1998, the bill was explicitly titled the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act. Only a new bill passed in 2000 formally extended the efforts of that commission — renamed as the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (or IWG) — to Japan's war crimes.
"As in World War II," says Greg Bradsher, a senior archivist at the National Archives who worked on the project, "we first tackled Germany and then Japan."
Since 1999, the working group has released eight million pages of previously classified documents on Nazi crimes. But this week, the group will release 100,000 pages of newly declassified documents related to Japanese war crimes, along with a new guide to U.S.-held materials on that topic. (A book of introductory essays, Researching Japanese War Crimes, will accompany the release.)...
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (1-15-07)
According to the letter, faculty members at the Dallas institution are concerned that an accompanying policy center for the study of Mr. Bush's presidency would be too biased in favor of Mr. Bush. Out of 609 full-time faculty members and 127 faculty emeriti, 65 signed the letter, which was circulated by Susanne Johnson, an associate professor of theology. Ms. Johnson could not be reached for comment on Sunday.
The letter acknowledges that the university's leadership champions a nonpartisan policy center that would promote objective research about Mr. Bush and his legacy. But it also expresses doubt that the policy center would fulfill such a vision, as Mr. Bush has publicly stated that he envisions the center as a partisan policy think tank, following the model of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University....
Name of source: Yahoo
SOURCE: Yahoo (1-16-07)
After being defeated by the British in 1815, the French Emperor was exiled to St. Helena--an island in the South Atlantic Ocean. Six years later, at the age of 52, Bonaparte whispered his last words, "Head of Army!"
An autopsy at the time determined that stomach cancer was the cause of his death. But some arsenic found in 1961 in the ruler's hair sparked rumors of poisoning. Had Napoleon escaped exile, he could have changed the balance of power in Europe; therefore murder speculations didn't seem outlandish.
However, a new study--combining current medical knowledge, autopsy reports, Bonaparte's physician memoirs, eyewitness accounts, and family medical histories--found that gastrointestinal bleeding was the immediate cause of death.
SOURCE: Yahoo (1-14-07)
creation museum isn't even open yet, but an expansion
is already underway in the state-of-the art lobby,
where grunting dinosaurs and animatronic humans
coexist in a Biblical paradise.
A crush of media attention and packed preview sessions
have convinced Ham that nearly half a million people a
year will come to Kentucky to see his Biblically
correct version of history.
"I think we'll be surprised at how many people come,"
Ham said as he dodged dozens of designers working to
finish exhibits in time for the May 28 opening.
The $27 million project, which also includes a
planetarium, a special-effects theater, nature trails
and a small lake, is privately funded by people who
believe the Bible's first book, Genesis, is literally
For them, a museum showing Christian schoolchildren
and skeptics alike how the earth, animals, dinosaurs
and humans were created in a six-day period about
6,000 years ago -- not over millions of years, as
evolutionary science says -- is long overdue.
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (1-16-07)
The days when secrets would be secret forever officially ended that night. Some 700 million pages of secret documents became unsecret. No longer were they classified. They became . . . public. Imagine it: Some 400 million formerly classified pages at the National Archives, another 270 million at the FBI, 30 million elsewhere, all emerging into the sunshine of open government, squinting and pale, like naked mole rats.
This would seem a victory for freedom of information, just as President Bill Clinton envisioned when he signed Executive Order 12958 in 1995 (affirmed by President Bush in 2003), which mandated that 25-year-old documents be automatically declassified unless exempted for national security or other reasons.
But it is not so simple. There is a dirty little secret about these secrets: They remain secreted away. You still can't rush down to the National Archives to check them out. In fact, it could be years before these public documents can be viewed by the public.
Fifty archivists can process 40 million pages in a year, but now they are facing 400 million. The backlog, inside the National Archives II facility in College Park, measures 160,000 cubic feet inside a massive classified vault with special lighting and climate controls to preserve old paper. Row upon row of electronically operated steel shelves, all a pale gray, hold hundreds of thousands of document boxes buffered to fight destructive acidity. The place feels like the set of a science fiction movie, all pristine and orderly and hushed.
SOURCE: WaPo (1-10-07)
The report, issued by Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), accused both agencies of inadequately investigating the theft Berger admitted had occurred on two occasions in 2003. It quoted two Archives officials as saying that they had no way of knowing whether Berger took other documents from the files during two earlier visits.
SOURCE: WaPo (1-15-07)
That's the good news.
Most of the rest surveyed thought King was advocating the abolition of slavery.
The findings indicate that years of efforts by primary and secondary schools to steep young people in the basics of the civil rights leader's life and activities have resulted in a mixed bag. Most college students know who he is -- even if they're not quite clear on what he worked to achieve.
Students and teachers say today's federal holiday marking King's birthday is the one that receives the most attention in schools, in part because the events surrounding the man it commemorates are the most recent....
The recent survey of college students, conducted by the University of Connecticut's Department of Public Policy for the nonprofit Intercollegiate Studies Institute, suggests that schools are not doing as much as they could to go beyond a cursory history lesson. More than 14,000 college freshmen and seniors at 50 colleges and universities earned an average score of 53.2 percent in the survey.
Name of source: MSNBC
SOURCE: MSNBC (1-15-07)
SOURCE: MSNBC (1-15-07)
The revelation that the French government proposed a union of Britain and France in 1956 — even offering to accept the sovereignty of the British queen — has left scholars on both sides of the Channel puzzled.
Newly discovered documents in Britain’s National Archives show that former French Prime Minister Guy Mollet discussed the possibility of a merger between the two countries with British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden.
“I completely fell off my seat,” said Richard Vinen, an expert in French history at King’s College in London. “It’s such a bizarre thing to propose.”
Eden rejected the idea of a union but was more favorable to a French proposal to join the Commonwealth, according to the documents. One document added that Mollet “had not thought there need be difficulty over France accepting the headship of her Majesty (Queen Elizabeth II).”
Name of source: San Francisco Chronicle
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (1-15-07)
A decade before her death in 2006, King's widow, Coretta Scott King, flew to San Francisco to ask Stanford Professor Clayborne Carson to examine and write about the box's contents.
The texts, which illuminate the theological foundations that America's most celebrated social activist would repeatedly return to, are revealed in a book to be released today -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- by Stanford University's King Papers Project.
The collection includes documents from 1948 to 1963 -- the years covered by the book -- and "gets us closer to King's true identity" because they shed new light on how he viewed the Bible, Carson said.
"King used to say, 'People think of me as a civil rights leader, but fundamentally, I'm a Baptist preacher,' " said Carson, editor of "Advocate of the Social Gospel," which is based on the newly disclosed writings and is the sixth book produced by the King Papers Project.
The texts are triggering a discussion about how much King's rejection of a literal reading of the Bible shaped his social activism.
Name of source: http://www.news.com.au
SOURCE: http://www.news.com.au (1-10-07)
The warrior was blond had tattoos on his body. He was wearing a felt coat with sable fur trimmings and was buried in a wooden frame containing drawings of mythological creatures with an icepick beside him, the paper said.
Local archaeologists believe the man was part of the ruling elite of a local nomadic tribe known as the Pazyryk. Numerous other Pazyryk tombs have been found in the area.
Name of source: Salt Lake Tribune
SOURCE: Salt Lake Tribune (1-13-07)
''As an item of historic interest, this is the only time the public has had a chance to look at it,'' Jarvik said of the heart first implanted by a University of Utah Health Sciences Center surgical team into the chest of Seattle-area dentist Barney Clark nearly a quarter century ago.
''Unfortunately, a lot of people who go see it would have been children at the time it was used,'' he commented in a telephone interview Thursday. ''A lot of years have gone by.''
Jarvik donated one of his newer artificial hearts to the National Museum of American History and is lending the museum the heart that kept Clark alive for 112 days.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (1-12-07)
The exhibition of 600 documents at the Atlanta History Center is the largest display of the papers since they were bought from the King family by an Atlanta consortium on behalf of Morehouse College last June for $32 million.
Displays of speeches and sermons King wrote in longhand and annotated notes on scraps of paper show how he formulated principles of nonviolence as a means to overcome the brutal system of racial segregation that prevailed in the South.
Books that King started reading in the 1950s, making notes in the margins, show how his "dream" evolved. The earliest references he made were to shattered dreams, Elizabeth Muller, the exhibition curator, said on Friday.
"There were 10 years of creation before 'I Have a Dream.' You can see all these threads come together in the speech," she said of the speech that capped the 1963 civil rights march on Washington.
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (1-13-07)
Mrs Martin knew her grandmother, Helen Duncan, as a comforting woman she could trust, the granny with a special gift: talking to spirits. But this was April 1944, at the height of the war with Germany. Mrs Duncan had just been branded by an Old Bailey jury as a witch and spy guilty of revealing wartime secrets.
Some 50 years after Mrs Duncan's death, a fresh campaign has been launched to clear her name, with a petition calling on the home secretary, John Reid, to grant a posthumous pardon. Her conviction, said Mrs Martin, was simply "ludicrous".
Name of source: The Australian
SOURCE: The Australian (1-15-07)
Germany will also seek to make denial of the Holocaust a crime punishable by up to three years' imprisonment during its six-month presidency of the EU.
German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries was expected to outline details of the proposed law, that would punish anyone in the EU who publicly rejected the Nazi slaughter of six million Jews, at an EU meeting in Dresden.
"We have always said it cannot be the case that it should still be acceptable in Europe to say that six million Jews were never killed," she said yesterday.
The push to criminalise the flaunting of the swastika gained momentum after Prince Harry was photographed in Nazi uniform at a fancy dress party.
A previous attempt to ban Nazi symbols was blocked by several governments, including Britain, while Holocaust denial was halted on the grounds of free speech by Italy, which then had the post-fascist National Alliance in its ruling coalition. Italy's change of government has given Germany hope for agreement.
But there will be extra pressure from former Soviet-bloc countries for a ban on the provocative use of the communist hammer and sickle.
Ms Zypries was expected to appeal to EU members to build a European criminal code on racism and xenophobia. The move would need unanimous support.
Laws banning the denial of the Holocaust already exist in 10 of the 27 EU states and Latvia and Estonia ban the display of communist symbols.
The revisionist historian David Irving escaped prosecution until he proclaimed his scepticism in Austria and was jailed for 13 months.
A British government spokeswoman said that a specific offence of Holocaust denial "would sit uncomfortably with existing freedom of speech legislation", but did not dismiss the German plan.
Details of the German proposal came as an Italian military court convicted 10 former Nazi SS officers and soldiers in absentia for taking part in the worst massacre committed on Italian soil during World War II.
All those convicted for the slaughter of more than 800 civilians at Marzabotto in the Appenine mountains near Bologna in 1944 are now in their 80s. None attended the hearings at La Spezia and, because of their age, none is likely to be extradited from Germany to Italy.
Lawyers and descendants of the Italian victims wept and embraced each other as the sentence was read out.
Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi voiced regret that the convictions would hold only "symbolic value".
"If (the convictions) could have been possible 40 years earlier, it would have had real value," Mr Prodi said at his home in Bologna.
Seventeen former Nazis, now aged from 81 to 88, were accused of taking part in the killings, but the court acquitted seven of them.
Major Walter Reder, the commanding officer at Marzabotto, was given a life sentence by a military court in Bologna in 1951 but was freed in 1985 and died six years later.
The residents of Marzabotto were rounded up and shot by retreating German forces at the end of September and in early October 1944, as Allied forces advanced north, and Nazism and fascism crumbled.
The operation by the 16th SS Panzergrenadier Division was ostensibly aimed at Italian partisans and local people giving them shelter and support. In reality, the killings were indiscriminate, with 300 women and 216 children - 40 under the age of 2 - among the dead, as well as five priests. Some historians put the total shot dead in the Marzabotto area at nearer 1800 than 800.
During the trial, Nicola Canestrini, one of the defence lawyers, argued that even Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, had worn a German uniform as a member of the Hitler Youth as a teenager. But prosecutor Marco De Paolis likened the SS to al-Qa'ida terrorists.
Gianfranco Lorenzini, a witness who was 13 at the time of the massacre, described how the SS troops "threw newborn babies into the air and killed them with sub-machineguns, and then raped the women".
The court ordered compensation amounting to E100million ($165million) to be paid to the victims' descendants and local authorities. It is not clear how the order can be enforced.
Name of source: Legal History (Blog run by Mary Dudziak)
SOURCE: Legal History (Blog run by Mary Dudziak) (1-15-07)
Access to the collection is through the Library's helpful website, which includes links to works on the history of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Click here. The Press Release follows:
WASHINGTON-As the Nation pauses to remember the achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) teams up with the United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) and the Thurgood Marshall Law Library, University of Maryland School of Law, to provide the American public a website of authentic Civil Rights historical publications.
"GPO is honored to be participating in this project," said Judith Russell,Superintendent of Documents. "This is an example of GPO's mission to improve service to the public and assure permanent access to digital collections."
The Thurgood Marshall Law Library, which is a GPO Federal Depository Library, has been scanning hundreds of historical Civil Rights publications to make this digital collection possible. These documents are provided by USCCR. With a couple strokes of the keyboard, Americans can access Civil Rights documents such as The Civil Rights Act. These documents are accessible at: <http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/usccr/index.asp>
"The Commission has continued to play a vital part in the efforts to combat discrimination in America. By providing access to the historical record of this important federal agency, the Thurgood Marshall Law Library will offer the public an opportunity to examine the efforts of the Commission more closely, while aiding the Commission in its role as a clearinghouse for information about civil rights," said Kenneth L. Marcus, United States Commission on Civil Rights.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (1-12-07)
"It makes me very irritated when Reagan's people pound their chests and say that because we had this big military buildup, the Kremlin collapsed," Ford told The Grand Rapids Press.
Ford contended his own negotiation of the Helsinki accords on human rights did more to win the Cold War than Reagan's military buildup.
The best president of his lifetime, Ford said, was a more moderate Republican: Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Harry Truman "would get very high marks" for his handling of foreign crises, Ford said. He also praised Richard Nixon as a foreign policy master, despite the Watergate scandal that drove him from office.
Ford considered John F. Kennedy overrated and Bill Clinton average. He admired George H.W. Bush's handling of the Persian Gulf War and had mixed opinions of Carter, who defeated Ford in 1976....