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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: Jerusalem Post
SOURCE: Jerusalem Post (4-13-07)
"People should not participate in ceremonies to remember the dead, when really we should be remembering and helping those who are still living," Nathan Lavon, director of Ken Lazaken, said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.
He said 35 percent of Israel's estimated 250,000 Holocaust survivors live below the poverty line, according to a study conducted by the JDC-Brookdale Institute.
Name of source: New Zealand Herald (Auckland)
SOURCE: New Zealand Herald (Auckland) (4-14-07)
Historians say a plan to build a desalination plant close to where Captain Cook first landed in Botany Bay is an act of cultural vandalism.
Campaigners say the plan is the latest in a long line of ventures with which New South Wales has "wiped its bum" on the historic location -- Australia's birthplace -- where the Union flag was first hoisted in Australia.
Cook and his men waded ashore in April 1770 on Botany Bay's Kurnell Peninsula, 15km south of what is now central Sydney.
Eighteen years later the First Fleet of British convicts sailed into Botany Bay, but soon abandoned the site and sailed north to Port Jackson to establish Australia's first penal settlement.
Historians say the peninsula should be cherished as the crucible of European settlement as well as a reminder of the resistance put up by Aboriginal tribes to their eventual dispossession.
Name of source: Xinhua/China View
SOURCE: Xinhua/China View (4-13-07)
Some of the tombs date from the Han dynasty (206 BC to 220), others belong to the Eastern Jin dynasty (317 to 420), the Northern Dynasties period (386 to 581) and the Tang dynasty (618 to 907).
Archaeologists unearthed more than 200 historical artifacts, including pottery utensils, china objects, bronze basins, iron items, jade articles and pearl ornaments.
All the tombs had at least one underground chamber built of brick but the shape of their ceilings were unique to their dynasties.
From two large tombs, whose occupants might have been high-ranking officials or warriors in the Eastern Han Dynasty (24 to 220), a set of terracotta animal-shaped sculptures and a rare, well-preserved bronze flatiron carved with two dragons on the handle, were discovered.
[Xinhua also reported that among the 800-year-old relics found in another excavation, in Shijiazhuang, in Hebei Province, "the most valuable relic is the 33.5 cm long, 17 cm wide and five cm thick brick, on which is painted a figure. Archaeologists say the painting was drawn in ink and features a man standing with his hair piled on top of his head. He's wearing a long gown and leather boot and is holding a sword in his right hand."]
Name of source: Sydney Morning Herald
SOURCE: Sydney Morning Herald (4-14-07)
That era of covert surveillance, spying and intrigue has been brought to life with the screening...of "The Lives of Others", the movie that won Best Foreign Film at this year's Academy Awards.
But a visit to Leipzig, now a blossoming city in the heart of the former East Germany, also allows visitors to experience just how heavy the clouds were that hung over the country during the Stasi era.
East Germany was rarely a fun place under communist rule and Leipzig's Museum in der Runden Ecke (The Round Corner Museum) shows why.
The Runden Ecke is the former headquarters of the Stasi which had a simple brief: spy on the local population and discover what they were up to...
As the Runden Ecke's exhibits explain, surveillance often involved Stasi agents dressing up in disguise -- absurd fake Groucho Marx moustaches were considered high spy fashion. State paranoia was considerably higher in East Germany than in many other former communist countries. Opened letters, eavesdropping on telephone conversations and ripped-open parcels were considered a part of life.
Name of source: AP
In a resolution passed Wednesday, the Senate urged a the international commission that controls access to the archives to speed up at its meeting next month in Amsterdam, Netherlands, a process to make them public.
Until recently the archives held in Bad Arolsen, Germany, had been kept in secrecy during the six decades since the war. The documents' importance became clearer in recent months after The Associated Press obtained extensive access to the material on condition that victims not be identified fully.
National Historic Landmarks homepage
The document, a letter from the U.S. ambassador in South Korea to the State Department in Washington, is dated the day in 1950 when U.S. troops began the No Gun Ri shootings, in which survivors say hundreds, mostly women and children, were killed.
Exclusion of the embassy letter from the Army's 2001 investigative report is the most significant among numerous omissions of documents and testimony pointing to a policy of firing on refugee groups -- undisclosed evidence uncovered by Associated Press archival research and Freedom of Information Act requests.
South Korean petitioners say hundreds more refugees died later in 1950 as a result of the U.S. practice. The Seoul government is investigating one such large-scale killing, of refugees stranded on a beach, newly confirmed via U.S. archives.
No Gun Ri survivors, who call the Army's 2001 investigation a"whitewash," are demanding a reopened investigation, compensation and a U.S. apology.
Mr. Killen, 82, was convicted in June 2005 in the deaths of the workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. He was sentenced to three consecutive 20-year prison terms.
In his appeal, Mr. Killen had argued that in the 1960s he would not have been convicted by a jury of his peers of any crime under the evidence presented in 2005.
For most of U.S. history, in most communities, such unions were taboo.
It was only 40 years ago, on June 12, 1967, that the U.S. Supreme Court knocked down a Virginia statute barring whites from marrying nonwhites. The decision also overturned similar bans in 15 other states.
Since that landmark Loving v. Virginia ruling, the number of interracial marriages has soared; for example, black-white marriages increased from 65,000 in 1970 to 422,000 in 2005, according to Census Bureau figures.
Factoring in all racial combinations, Stanford University sociologist Michael Rosenfeld calculates that more than 7 percent of America's 59 million married couples in 2005 were interracial, compared to less than 2 percent in 1970.
Health Commissioner Dr. Judith Monroe expressed regret on behalf of the state Thursday for its passing of the first such eugenics law. She also unveiled a historic marker that will stand across from the Statehouse.
"It is one (law) that we do regret but we should not forget," she said.
In 1907, then-Gov. J. Frank Hanly signed a state law widely regarded as the first in the world to permit sterilization in a misguided effort to improve the quality of the human race.
The practice was not ended until 1974. By then, Indiana had sterilized about 2,500 people; nationally, 65,000 people in 30 states were given state-authorized vasectomies, tubal ligations and other operations.
Monroe was joined by one of the last people in Indiana to be sterilized, Jamie Renae Coleman, in unveiling the historic marker. It is a reminder to lawmakers and others that decisions made with the best of intentions sometimes can have dire ramifications.
Coleman was 15 years old in 1971 when a county judge gave her mother approval to have a doctor perform a tubal ligation on her under the guise of having her appendix removed.
The legislation was passed easily because of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's majority in the chamber. The 1947 U.S.-drafted constitution has never been amended.
Answers in Genesis' Creation Museum will open by late May...
More than 10,000 square feet was added to the plans in January after study groups found that the museum would likely attract more visitors than originally expected...
The high-tech facility will include a 180-seat special-effects theater, a planetarium and a 40-foot-tall rendering of Noah's Ark. Among its displays is a portrayal of humans living among dinosaurs.
The bash was organized by Vienna's Hotel Sacher, which produces the cake -- distinguished by its chocolate seal and sold in a wooden box complete with golden corners -- from its own secret recipe.
Superintendent Sonny Da Marto ordered an 8th grade teacher to stop using"Kaffir Boy" [by Mark Mathabane, published in 1986] in her English classes even though a literature review committee composed of parents, teachers, a librarian, a student and a school board member approved the book...
Da Marto told the Burlingame school board he would allow an abridged version of Kaffir Boy to be taught, but that the paragraphs depicting child prostitution were inappropriate for 13- and 14-year-olds. The school board refused to reverse his decision...
The American Library Association included the Kaffir Boy on its list of"Outstanding Books for the College Bound." The child rape scene also gave the memoir the No. 31 spot on the association's list of the 100 most frequently banned or challenged books.
The House passed the apology resolution 117-0, along with a resolution that previously passed in the Senate apologizing for the state's Jim Crow laws and other legalized segregation.
Both resolutions recount a long history of discrimination against North Carolina's black population starting with the practices of "involuntary servitude" while a British colony in the 17th century.
"No individual is responsible for this," said Democrat Rep. Larry Womble, a primary sponsor. "The state of North Carolina, this government did this to its own people. This should not happen."
The Legislature's apologies come after Confederate neighbor Virginia voted unanimously in February to express its regret for that state's role in slavery. Maryland lawmakers approved their own apology for slavery late last month, and a similar measure is being considered by Georgia lawmakers.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Anthony Principi, former U.S. veterans affairs secretary, were greeted at the frontier between North and South by U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Alexander Vershbow and U.S. military officials...
On Wednesday, the Americans drove two hours from the North Korean capital Pyongyang along virtually empty roads, with the remains of the soldiers transported separately in small, black cases. They then walked across the North-South frontier at the truce village of Panmunjom, where the two Koreas stand face-to-face across the border that has divided the peninsula since a 1953 cease-fire ended the Korean War...
Principi said the mission to deliver the remains was one of the most emotional moments of his life...
More than 33,000 U.S. troops died in the Korean War, which began in June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea. Some 8,100 U.S. servicemen still are listed as missing.
Troops honor the GIs on their way home after 50 years
His mother had succeeded in killing herself just before he left for Germany during World War II, where he was quickly taken prisoner during the Battle of the Bulge. He was being held in Dresden when Allied bombs created a firestorm that killed an estimated tens of thousands of people in the city.
"The firebombing of Dresden explains absolutely nothing about why I write what I write and am what I am," Vonnegut wrote in Fates Worse Than Death, his 1991 autobiography of sorts.
But he spent 23 years struggling to write about the ordeal, which he survived by huddling with other POW's inside an underground meat locker labeled slaughterhouse-five.
The novel, in which Pvt. Pilgrim is transported from Dresden by time-traveling aliens from the planet Tralfamadore, was published at the height of the Vietnam War, and solidified his reputation as an iconoclast.
Burns has also agreed to hire a Latino producer to help create the additional content, PBS said.
The 14-hour documentary, "The War," is scheduled to premiere in September. PBS hopes it becomes as popular as Burns' "The Civil War" was more than a decade ago, and plans to sell a companion book and DVDs...
Burns' film, which is already done, will remain intact. Instead, he will seek out Latino veterans to interview about their experiences to run either during breaks or at the end of each hour. The details still haven't been worked out. Stories about American Indians will also be included.
"We're not changing the film," he said. "Think of it as an amendment to the Constitution."
Name of source: Haaretz (Tel Aviv)
SOURCE: Haaretz (Tel Aviv) (4-13-07)
The state-owned Company for Locating and Retrieving Assets of Holocaust Victims intends to round up the cultural treasures and attempt to restore them to their rightful claimants.
It has recently transpired that more than 5,000 Judaica items, hundreds of works of art and about half a million books, including scriptures and valuable tomes that were owned by Holocaust victims, are in Israel.
Some of these items are being held by official state institutions such as the Israel National Museum and the Jewish National and University Library, and the rest are held by private bodies like museums and synagogues throughout the country.
Name of source: ABC News
SOURCE: ABC News (4-13-07)
When Robinson took the field, he faced racist taunts, and while much has changed since that time, it's clear that much has stayed the same.
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (4-13-07)
Both governments have agreed it seems time to try to reduce the chances of the "history issue" causing problems for them.
They have set up a joint committee of Chinese and Japanese historians to study 2,000 years of their shared history and draw up a report setting out their positions and discussing why they differ.
"By asking historians to discuss these issues, the top leaders can say, 'These issues are now being discussed by historians, let's go solve the real issues before us'," says Shinichi Kitaoka, a history professor from the University of Tokyo, who is leading the Japanese team of historians.
"By bringing serious historians to the same table and having serious discussions, the real differences [between us] will become obvious," he adds.
So how likely is it that they will resolve those differences?
The professor appears to be a realist. "Probably we may be able to narrow the gap a little bit, but we are not expecting to reach the same perception for it is impossible even for scholars," he says.
Over the next few months, the group will be writing papers setting out their positions on the topics each historian has been assigned.
Then the hard part of trying to reach common ground gets under way in the autumn.
SOURCE: BBC News (4-11-07)
Morrison was charged after a concert in Miami's Coconut Grove in 1969 where he allegedly exposed himself and simulated a sex act.
Now two fans have sent a letter seeking a pardon for the Florida native so he can be remembered for his music.
Governor Charlie Crist said he was "certainly willing to review" the case.
Morrison died of a heart attack in Paris in 1971 while his case was still on appeal. He was 27.
[BBC reported in 2001 that his grave in the Pere Lachaise cemetery has been a meeting place for Doors fans for decades, and thousands attend anniversary commemoration.]
Name of source: Times (of London)
SOURCE: Times (of London) (4-14-07)
Documents recording the details of all who sailed on the ill-fated maiden voyage were previously kept under tight security at the National Archives, and could be viewed only under supervision.
But amateur historians and descendants of the 1,500 passengers and crew who died when the ship sank on April 15, 1912, can now read the hand-written lists on the internet, at http://www.ancestorsonboard.com
The lists provide details about each passenger’s occupation, nationality, age, the class in which they travelled, departure port and intended destination. They give not only insights into the lives of the victims, but are revealing about those who had a narrow escape. Some Irish passengers who bought tickets did not actually embark, while one family left the ship in Cherbourg, France...
The couple thought to have inspired the love story in the James Cameron film Titanic are listed as second-class passengers. Kate Phillips, a 19-year-old shop assistant, and Henry Morley, a shopkeeper, eloped under the assumed name of Mr and Mrs Marshall. Their baby, Ellen, was conceived on the journey. Henry died but Kate survived.
SOURCE: Times (of London) (4-14-07)
Tolstoy, Dickens and Thackeray would not have agreed with the view that 40 per cent of Anna Karenina, David Copperfield and Vanity Fair are mere “padding”, but Orion Books believes that modern readers will welcome the shorter versions.
The first six Compact Editions, billed as great reads “in half the time”, will go on sale next month, with plans for 50 to 100 more to follow...
A rival classics publisher, quoted in The Bookseller magazine, accused Orion of dumbing down. “It’s patronising to consumers. One of the striking things about a huge number of the classics is how readable and approachable they are. Just making them shorter doesn’t make them more palatable.”...
In the 1940s and 1950s Gilberton sold more than 200 million Classics Illustrated, comic-book versions of works including Ivanhoe, Moby Dick and Don Quixote. From the 1950s, Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, now called Select Editions, have combined several edited novels in one volume.
Name of source: Telegraph
SOURCE: Telegraph (4-14-07)
Michael O'Shea will cite the 1215 Magna Carta signed by King John to argue that he has the right to fish the Blackwater as he attempts to overturn a poaching conviction.
His case will question the Devonshires' entitlement to the river, which is on the border of Co Cork and Co Waterford.
The dispute will come to a climax at the end of this month when the case is heard in the Waterford Circuit Court, 40 miles from the Duke of Devonshire's fairytale Irish residence, Lismore Castle, which has been in the family since 1753.
The castle serves as a retreat for the Devonshires when they are not at the 175-room Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.
SOURCE: Telegraph (4-12-07)
The unnamed oil on canvas painting, showing five women and a little girl from Scheweningen in the Netherlands in a forest, is signed Vincent in one corner.
It was found by experts looking through the uncatalogued collection that has been stored at the Mimara Museum in the Croatian capital Zagreb for the past two decades.
Museum spokesman Darko Glavan said Dutch art expert John Sillevis had confirmed the painting was an authentic work by Vincent Van Gogh probably painted in 1882.
Mr Glavan said the museum was still carrying out tests on the painting before making an official announcement.
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (4-13-07)
A vocal group of professors, concerned about how an institute billed to be "inspired by the principles of George W. Bush's administration" might affect the university's reputation, have been working to block the library.
At a recent vote, the faculty senate split 13-13 over creating a complete divide between the institute and the university, where First Lady
Laura Bush earned a bachelor of science degree in education in 1968...
Fifteen current and retired bishops have launched an online petition saying that the "linking of his presidency with a university bearing the Methodist name is utterly inappropriate." It currently has over 10,000 signatures...
The criticism comes as university leaders enter final negotiations, which they say they hope to conclude "within weeks, rather than months."
Library planners -- including former White House chief of staff Andrew Card and Bush's brother Marvin -- have made it clear they have not ruled out Baylor University in Waco, although the president recently told a Dallas television station that he was "leaning heavily toward SMU."
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (4-12-07)
"When I hear it from someone who doesn't understand the depth of pain, they just don't have the right to say it," said Carla Lynne Hall, a singer from Harlem.
The pain goes back to slavery. Whites saw blacks' natural hair as a negative attribute, a contrast to the European standard of "ideal" beauty. As a result, even blacks started to look down on their own natural features.
"If your hair wasn't straight, it was called nappy. Nappy hair meant you weren't beautiful or desirable," said Nsenga Burton, professor of communications and media studies at Goucher College in Baltimore. "Even within the community, nappy hair for a long time was seen as a bad thing."
There are accounts of African slaves attempting to change their hair using axle grease or dirty dishwater with oil, said Neal Lester, chairman of the English department at Arizona State University. "Slaves knew the ideal of beauty didn't fit them," he said....
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (4-13-07)
Bayrou, who has narrowed the gap with frontrunners Sarkozy and Socialist Segolene Royal in recent opinion polls, said the rightist candidate was trying to lure far-right National Front voters with his comments...
"He has said things for example about Germany, imputing to the German people the responsibility for the final solution, the Shoah, the extermination of Jews, which makes one shiver in terms of future relations within the European Union," Bayrou told France 2 television.
At a rally in the southern city of Nice last month Sarkozy said France should not be ashamed of its history: "It has not carried out a genocide. It did not invent the final solution. It invented human rights and it's the country in the world which has fought the most for freedom."
SOURCE: Reuters (4-13-07)
Geneva watchmaker Romain Jerome SA billed its "Titanic-DNA" collection as among the most exclusive pieces showcased this week at Baselworld, the watch and jewellery industry's largest annual trade fair...
"So many rich people buy incredibly complicated watches without understanding how they work, because they want a story to tell," [CEO Yvan Arpa] said. "To them we offer a story."
The North Atlantic wrecksite of the Titanic, which hit an iceberg and sank on its first voyage from the English port of Southampton to New York, have been protected for more than a decade but many relics were taken in early diving expeditions...
To make the watches, which were offered for sale for the first time in Basel for between $7,800 and $173,100, the Swiss company created an alloy using the slab from the Titanic with steel being used in a Harland and Wolff replica of the vessel.
SOURCE: Reuters (4-12-07)
Archbishop Antonio Franco said he had written to the director of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum asking for the revision of a caption suggesting the wartime Pope had been apathetic to the Jews' plight.
The caption, quoted in the Israeli press, says Pope Pius XII "abstained from signing the Allied declaration condemning the extermination of the Jews" and "maintained his neutral position throughout the war".
Archbishop Franco said that in his letter he advised the Holocaust museum he "would not feel comfortable going to Yad Vashem" unless the wording was amended or the photo removed.
Name of source: Mainichi Daily News (Tokyo)
SOURCE: Mainichi Daily News (Tokyo) (4-4-07)
Nearly a century and a half later, state leaders are hoping Georgia's role in the epic conflict will have a much different impact _ drawing in millions of tourism dollars by promoting its Civil War-era sites.
With the 150th anniversary of the war's start approaching in 2011, Gov. Sonny Perdue wants to spend $5 million in this year's state budget to refurbish significant sites and begin linking and promoting them as a comprehensive "heritage tourism" package.
Name of source: Hartford Courant
SOURCE: Hartford Courant (4-11-07)
Thieves removed the 3-foot bronze sculpture of Hale, leaving behind only his shoes and the statue base, sometime between March 29 and April 4, Antiquarian and Landmarks Society officials said Tuesday.
The statue was the work of eminent New England sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt, whose pieces also adorn the Library of Congress, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Yale, Harvard, the Connecticut state Capitol and myriad other sites.
"What a shame," said Sheryl Hack, executive director of the society, which owns the Hale Homestead and eight other house museums. "Is it a prank? Is it serious? It certainly is disrespectful."
Name of source: Press Release -- National Park Service
SOURCE: Press Release -- National Park Service (4-12-07)
Their metal-detecting equipment and nearly 200 artifacts were seized. Over 450 excavated holes were found on and around park earthworks where the three had been digging.
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (4-11-07)
One such man was the remarkably colourful Sir Tatton Benvenuto Mark Sykes, one of those larger-than-life Victorians who lived in an era when great men really could, and did, change the shape of the world....
His commanding achievement in life was when, aged just 39, he skilfully directed the carve-up of the defunct Ottoman Empire after the World War I armistice in 1918 - representing the British government at the Paris Peace Conference....
But it was his death that was to bring Sir Mark what may be his longest-lived legacy.
In an extraordinary development, it is now thought that this eccentric genius may hold the key - 88 years after he died - to averting what many scientists believe is the biggest medical threat facing the world today: a bird-flu pandemic.
During the Paris peace talks, which led to the Sykes-Picot Agreement, Sir Mark contracted a nasty fever, from which he died, at the Hotel Lotti in Paris, on February 16, 1919.
In fact, Sir Mark may have been one of the very last victims of the terrible epidemic which had swept the world for more than two years, the so-called Spanish Flu. This pandemic killed far more than were slaughtered in the Great War....
But thanks to his leadlined coffin, scientists believe that there is a good chance Sir Mark's body will have been extremely well-preserved.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (4-13-07)
[Representative Henry A. Waxman, the California Democrat who is chairman of a House committee looking into the use of political e-mail accounts,] said he now had “serious concerns about the White House’s compliance with the Presidential Records Act,” a 1978 law that requires administrations to keep records of deliberations, decisions and policies. The congressman asked for an inventory of all communications by White House officials on nongovernment e-mail accounts.
Name of source: Independent
SOURCE: Independent (4-13-07)
A dark and little known aspect of East Germany emerged yesterday at a Berlin exhibition which exposes the communist state's role in creating a fertile breeding ground for anti-Semitism, right-wing violence and xenophobia.
Entitled "We never had any of that" in an ironic reference to the official Communist Party boast that East Germany was Nazi- free, the exhibition is the result of eight months' research by historians and pupils in provincial archives.
SOURCE: Independent (4-12-07)
High-ranking United Nations officials will be meet ministers from the government of Ecuador, which owns the volcanic islands 600 miles off its Pacific coast, to discuss how to protect them from the increasing threats posed by immigration, mass tourism, development, overfishing and the invasion of alien species.
The archipelago was the first location in the world to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the UN's cultural body -- 30 years ago -- and on the agenda for today's meeting in Quito, the Ecuadorian capital, will be the question of whether it should be placed on the official list of World Heritage Sites in danger.
Such a listing would be an unmistakable warning signal to the international community that one of the world's most cherished ecosystems -- and historical landmarks -- was in deep trouble.
SOURCE: Independent (4-12-07)
The rebuff comes as Russians celebrate Cosmonauts' Day today, the anniversary of Gagarin's historic flight around the Earth on 12 April 1961. That foray, which lasted just 68 minutes, was a milestone in the space race between the Soviet Union and the US. But Gagarin was destined to a short, controversial life.
On 27 March 1968, Gagarin died in a mysterious plane crash while on a routine training mission in a MiG-15 with his flight instructor, Vladimir Serugin, just outside Moscow.
The results of the official investigation that followed were hypothetical and did not explain exactly what happened and why...[and] spawned endless conspiracy theories...
But Igor Kuznetsov, an aviation engineer involved in the 1968 investigation, thinks that he and his colleagues have solved the enigma after conducting their own investigation using modern methodology.
In an interview with The Independent, he said he was convinced that Gagarin and Serugin died in a tragic accident and argued that the doomed plane's final movements differed radically from what had previously been thought.
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (4-11-07)
Having shown and struck the hours more or less continuously for nearly half a millennium, the clock tower was closed in 1997 for extensive restoration, partly financed by the Swiss watchmakers Piaget. This proved more lengthy than expected, but the clock is now in full working order again. Small groups (book in advance) can view its fascinating interior, and enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the city from the roof, where two bronze "Moors" -- bearded, half-naked, larger-than-life automatons wielding huge hammers -- mark the hours by striking the bell that crowns the edifice...
The central mechanism of the Venice clock operate two faces, one on Piazza San Marco and the other looking down the Merceria, the shopping street that links the square to the Rialto markets. Each face has a marble outer ring inscribed with the 24 hours in Roman numerals. A hand fixed to a revolving inner disc points to the hour. The San Marco face also displays the prevailing zodiacal sign, and a sphere rotating on its axis shows the phases of the moon.
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (4-12-07)
Such is the life of a young Czechoslovakian Jewish boy living in Prague in 1941, and it is a life that Petr meticulously documented in his diary until he was sent on a transport to Theresienstadt and, ultimately, to his death in an Auschwitz gas chamber two years later.
On Sunday, to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day, Atlantic Monthly Press will officially release Petr's story, "The Diary of Petr Ginz: 1941-1942."...
The publication adds another adolescent voice to the literature of the Holocaust. If Anne Frank's diary is her friend and confidante, full of flowery prose and hopes and dreams, Petr's offers an unsentimental perspective on his changing world, and one that fits his personality: half scientist, half reporter and all, still, little boy.
"I think one of the reasons Petr wrote so laconically every day what happened was more that he wanted to make a document, like a newspaper writer," said his sister, Chava Pressburger, 77, who edited the diaries and wrote the book's introduction.
Name of source: NBC
SOURCE: NBC (4-12-07)
There is no formality — the guests, usually two people, are just told when the recording starts and that they have 40 minutes to talk about anything they want. For most people the narratives are about special moments in their lives or perhaps a brush with history.
The latest project in this series is called the Griot Initiative. A Griot is the West African name given to someone who is a community poet or storyteller. For StoryCorps, the Griot initiative is recording African-American voices and experiences, eventually to become an oral history of black life in the 20th century.
Both StoryCorps and NPR agreed to premiere Project Griot a bit earlier than originally planned. It will air beginning on Friday's "Morning Edition" program in light of recent events which have prompted Americans to focus on race.
Name of source: Jewish Telegraphic Agency
SOURCE: Jewish Telegraphic Agency (4-11-07)
"What's really important about this verdict is that historians and journalists can once again feel free to publish their findings," Goni said from his home in Buenos Aires...
Priebke was discovered in 1995 living in Bariloche, a city in Argentina's western Andes Mountains, by an ABC-TV team of reporter Sam Donaldson and producers Harry Phillips and Delilah Herbst.
He was deported to Italy, where he was found responsible for the deaths of 335 people in what has come to be known as the Ardeatine Caves Massacre. Priebke and a group of SS officers rounded up Jews and Italian partisans in Rome, led them to the caves outside the city, and shot and killed them with bullets to the back of the neck.
Priebke was given a life sentence, which he has been serving under house arrest in the home of his attorney, Borre. He has become an assiduous reader of articles about himself, and he and Borre have become infamous for their spate of lawsuits.
Name of source: ReligionAndSpirituality.com
SOURCE: ReligionAndSpirituality.com (4-12-07)
Cardinal Hamao...says he expects Pope Benedict XVI to soon approve beatification of the martyrs and that the ceremony will be held in Japan. Hamao, 77, played a central role at a meeting of 20 cardinals and archbishops at the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints to discuss the martyrs' cause, UCA News reported Wednesday.
The cardinal, the only Asian in the group, in appealing for beatification said "they were put to death not for political reasons, not because they were political opponents, but by reason of their Christian faith." He stressed that "though many were samurai and knew how to fight, they nevertheless chose the path of non-violent resistance, and that is also very significant for people today."
Name of source: San Francisco Chronicle
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (4-12-07)
The site in question, at 391 San Antonio Road in Mountain View, was once the home of Shockley Labs, Silicon Valley's first semiconductor company and arguably the site of the multibillion-dollar industry's birth.
The site is now the home of a boarded-up fruit stand awaiting renovation -- this time as a grocery store. Sitting forlornly out front is a street sign that identifies the "first silicon device and research manufacturing company in Silicon Valley."
"These kinds of (situations) are always heartbreaking," said Karen Tucker, vice president of the Computer History Museum, located a few miles away. "Of course we would love to see the place preserved, but it could be a really big job."
Name of source: UPI
SOURCE: UPI (4-12-07)
The district -- one-time home to the slaughter and meatpacking industries now dotted with some of the city's trendy and tony restaurants and night spots -- was added to New York state's list of historic places, the New York Post reported Thursday.
Name of source: NPR
SOURCE: NPR (4-11-07)
Ahmed was convicted [in absentia] of helping assassinate Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led Bangladesh to independence from Pakistan nearly 40 years ago. [He was sentenced to hang.]...
"I had nothing to do with killing of Sheikh," Ahmed said. "I was given the responsibility of creating a roadblock in one of main streets in Dhaka. I had no idea that he was shot."
An immigration judge denied Ahmed political asylum, citing a State Department report that he "received due process" in his trial.
The judge noted that the coup involved the "brutal killing" of the president's family, including his 10-year-old son, and the overthrow of a democratically elected government. He declared Ahmed a terrorist and a security threat to the United States.
Former Bangladesh PM, 45 followers, accused of murder
Name of source: New York Times
SOURCE: New York Times (4-12-07)
The canvas, the 1874 “Portrait of Professor Benjamin H. Rand,” is destined for the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, now under construction in Bentonville, Ark....
Last fall Crystal Bridges and the National Gallery of Art negotiated a deal jointly to buy "The Gross Clinic" from Thomas Jefferson [University] for a stunning $68 million. Mindful of Eakins’s resonance as a native son of Philadelphia, the university, announcing the sale, gave local institutions 45 days to match the offer. The prospect of the painting’s departure set off a passionate city-wide fund-raising campaign by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts to keep the painting in the city.
This time Thomas Jefferson alerted those institutions to the deal in advance.
Name of source: Washington Post
SOURCE: Washington Post (4-12-07)
Calling the Smithsonian "an endangered institution," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) questioned whether the Board of Regents, which includes Vice President Cheney and Chief Justice John Roberts, is able to oversee the management of the sprawling collection of 18 museums, the National Zoo and a $1.1 billion budget.
"The time has come to examine whether there is a structure that will better serve this institution," said Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, which summoned Smithsonian leaders to testify about what she called "serious issues" at the museum complex...
Testimony from the Government Accountability Office revealed that a backlog in maintenance had grown to $2.5 billion while the institution had ignored suggestions on how to fund repairs, and included criticism from the Smithsonian inspector general, who said the regents had been deliberately kept out of the loop about growing problems.
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (4-12-07)
But a potentially catastrophic collapse in the country's tourist trade is threatening to leave this dazzling array of attractions largely unseen by foreign eyes, as international tensions with the west deter a growing number of overseas visitors. The problem has been exacerbated by the recent detention of 15 British marines and sailors, which prompted mass cancellations of foreign tours to a land described this week by its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as a cradle of civilisation.
Fears of military conflict over Iran's nuclear programme and disquiet over Mr Ahmadinejad's infamous remarks on the Holocaust had already caused a sharp decline in the number of affluent western visitors, a vital source of foreign currency in a struggling economy.