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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: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (6-15-07)
"We are Germany's forgotten wartime prisoners," said Edith Protze, 79.
All of them had been seized at random by Red Army soldiers during the spring of 1945 and transported across Russia to Siberia, where they spent years in labor camps. As they met Wednesday, legislators in the German Parliament, or Bundestag, were putting the final touches to a law that will provide higher pensions for those who were imprisoned for political reasons by the Communist authorities.
Arnold Vaatz, a legislator in Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, has spent years campaigning for these 42,000 pensioners. "This was a long struggle," said Vaatz, who was part of the small dissident movement in the former East Germany. He explained that the former German government led by Gerhard Schröder's Social Democrats had taken the issue off the table. It was revived in 2005 when Merkel, who was also brought up in East Germany, became chancellor.
When implemented in the coming months, any German who was imprisoned by the Communists for political reasons for more than half a year will receive an extra monthly pension payment of €250, or $330. The total cost will be €100 million.
"It is the end of a chapter," Vaatz said.
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (6-14-07)
Paralleling concerns of many conservative groups, the Justice Department has argued successfully in a number of cases that government agencies, employers or private organizations have improperly suppressed religious expression in situations that the Constitution's drafters did not mean to restrict.
The shift at the Justice Department has significantly altered the government's civil rights mission, said Brian Landsberg, a law professor at the University of the Pacific and former Justice Department lawyer under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (6-14-07)
The unearthing of thousands of documents, fragments of the 161-year history of the news cooperative, led to the publication of a new history of the AP — the first since the outbreak of World War II.
"Breaking News: How The Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace and Everything Else" tells the stories behind AP's documentation of world events since 1846, from James K. Polk to George W. Bush, the Civil War to Iraq.
Name of source: BBC News
Like all the best fishing stories, mine began in a bar.
One evening in Havana I was introduced to a man called Stewart, an affable commercial manager in a London building firm.
It turned out he was part of the English team in this year's Hemingway fishing tournament. In fact he was the only Englishman on his boat and he was taking on recruits.
Two days later, we were a mile off the Havana coast, hoping to strike lucky in what I was told was the oldest big game fishing competition in the world.
The Torneo Hemingway is of those remnants of pre-revolution Cuba which just will not die. Maybe that is not entirely unconnected to the fact that Fidel Castro himself is a previous winner.
There is a photograph of Ernest Hemingway handing him the trophy in 1960. It was the only time the two men ever met...
The historic roadway was discovered in the Brecon Beacons, on the path of the 190-mile (320km) National Grid pipe from Milford Haven to Gloucestershire.
Neil Fairburn, archaeology project manager for National Grid, said the road was found as digging began, but the pipe would still have to cross it.
A local community councillor said he hoped the find would be looked after.
Mr Fairburn said the road, which he estimated as dating from the 1st Century AD, was in "a better condition than we would normally find a Roman road", but a 3m section of it would be lost.
"It was in an area where we thought there might be a Roman road, it's in close proximity to the Roman fort," he said.
"It is typical of Roman roads, it's one of those that link mid Wales, between the forts of Carmarthen and Llandeilo, through Brecon.
"It gives us the opportunity to look at the construction process in the Roman period...
"In places, you can see where the carts have pressed down on the stone."
But when the name Patrick Breslin appeared in a Moscow News newspaper article in 1989, it was to begin a journey of discovery which would tell the tragic stories of three of Stalin's victims.
Millions died in the purges, but few realised that among them were a number of Irish who had travelled to the Soviet Union as communist idealists in the early years of the Soviet Union.
Patrick Breslin was hand-picked in 1928 by Irish trade union leader Jim Larkin to study at the International Lenin School in Moscow, the training ground for a future cadre or elite of world communist leaders.
But Breslin's free-thinking landed him in trouble, his views on spirituality not in keeping with his hard-line communist teachers who expelled him for his views.
He began working as a journalist in Moscow, married a Russian woman and had two children before the marriage foundered.
But he found love again in Moscow, this time to an Irish woman from Belfast, Margaret "Daisy" McMackin.
Their marriage in 1936 was at the height of Stalin's purges. When Daisy became pregnant, she returned to Ireland to have her child, the couple planning to reunite shortly afterwards in their homeland...
SOURCE: BBC News (6-15-07)
The items, which are believed to be worth millions of dollars, had been stolen from several Andean nations.
They include a cape made from macaw and parrot feathers, gold and silver jewellery and a clay vessel believed to be more than 3,500 years old.
The artefacts had been stolen from South America by grave robbers and came into the US via the black market.
The team says its success shows that George Mallory and Andrew Irvine may have been the first to climb the peak.
They say that it adds weight to the theory that the pair may have made it to the top in 1924, 29 years before Hillary and Tenzing's historic feat. The climbers wore replica 1920s clothes for all but the last part of the climb.
Scholars say the images, which include Cupid riding a dolphin, probably lined a large nymphaeum (grotto).
The 1944 massacre was a reprisal ordered by Adolf Hitler after partisans killed a patrol of 33 German soldiers.
The judge's decision also outraged the capital's mayor who said the city would never forget the massacre.
"At this time the city of Rome's solidarity goes out to all the victims of the Nazi-Fascist barbarity," Walter Veltroni said.
Priebke was one of several officers present during the killing of over 300 men and boys, 75 of whom were Jewish, at the caves south of Rome.
He spent most of his life in Argentina before being extradited to Italy in 1994, where he was allowed to serve his life sentence under house arrest due to his age and health problems...
A service in Stanley, attended by 1982 minister Lord Parkinson and Prince Edward, was among the Falklands events. The war came to an end on 14 June 1982, two-and-half-months after the UK territory was invaded by Argentina.
Some 255 British servicemen, more than 650 Argentines and three islanders were killed in the 74-day conflict.
BBC correspondent Jack Izzard in Argentina said he expected a few veterans would lay wreaths but there would be no major commemorations.
People felt shame the war was lost but agreed with the policy of the current president the islands should be returned to Argentina, through diplomatic rather than aggressive means, he said.
Around half of the Falkland Islands' population of 3,000 attended a service, parade and wreath laying ceremony at Stanley's Liberation Monument
It said Icomos had failed to recognise the Bromley property's "significance as a site for the heritage of science". Down House at Downe was Darwin's home for 40 years and where he developed his revolutionary theory of evolution
SOURCE: BBC News (6-13-07)
It was drawn by Ralph Treswell, a renowned surveyor and cartographer, who was among the first in England to produce scaled plans of estates.
The document shows evidence of a 12th century church, a water mill and visitor or pilgrims' accommodation.
It also reveals the abbey drew water, not just from the nearby lake as previously thought, but from a spring in the lower Cotswold hill-slope which collected water and directed it to the abbey through a lead pipe.
Experts said the rare find revealed for the first time a clear picture of what the site looked like shortly after the dissolution of the monasteries.
Name of source: The Montreal Gazette
SOURCE: The Montreal Gazette (6-16-07)
This particular barrel was one of 29 aboard a ferry crossing Lake Tinnsjo in Norway on its way to Germany. The "Hydro" was sunk by Norwegian saboteurs in 1944 and the barrel languished at the bottom of the lake until archeologists brought it to the surface in 2004. What did the barrel contain to warrant such a major salvage operation? Water. But not ordinary water, it was "heavy water"
Our story begins in December 1938 at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin. Chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman were following up a piece of intriguing research carried out by Enrico Fermi in Italy. Fermi had bombarded some common elements with neutrons and discovered that they would sometimes be converted into other elements, although these were always close in mass to the originals. But when Hahn and Strassman subjected uranium to neutron bombardment, they found a result they could hardly believe. The reaction mixture contained barium, an element with about half the mass of uranium.
"Perhaps you can suggest some fantastic explanation," Hahn excitedly cabled Lise Meitner, the physicist he had worked with for many years before she was forced to flee Germany for Sweden because of her Jewish heritage. Meitner did not disappoint. Perhaps, she suggested, the uranium atom had been "split" apart. At that moment, the concept of nuclear fission was born. Further experiments by Hahn, Strassman and Meitner's nephew Otto Frisch not only confirmed the stunning results, but also revealed that such nuclear fission was capable of releasing tremendous amounts of energy. The military implication of the research became obvious on both sides of the Atlantic.
The German "uranium project" was led by theoretician Werner Heisenberg and army physicist Kurt Diebner. It was Heisenberg's calculation that slower moving neutrons would cause the uranium nucleus to split more readily that focused attention on "heavy water," a substance capable of slowing down neutrons. Furthermore, slow neutrons could also be captured by the uranium nucleus, which would then be converted into plutonium, another fissionable element.
As virtually every student knows, a molecule of water is made of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen. Good old H2O. But not every hydrogen atom in the universe is alike. Some hydrogen atoms are heavier because they have an extra neutron in their nucleus. We refer to these as an "isotope" of hydrogen, and use the specific term "deuterium (D)." When a water molecule has two deuterium atoms instead of two hydrogen atoms, we have "heavy water." Since the natural abundance of deuterium is low, only 1 in every 4,500 or so water molecules is "heavy."
By 1933, Gilbert Lewis at Berkley had a method of separating heavy water from ordinary water. His technique relied on the fact that under the influence of an electric current, a hydrogen-oxygen bond is broken more readily than a deuterium-oxygen bond. So when a current is passed through water, H2O is broken down more readily than D2O, leaving the sample enriched in D2O, or "heavy water."...
Name of source: Philadelphia Daily News
SOURCE: Philadelphia Daily News (6-16-07)
At a Friday ceremony complete with a couple of drum rolls, crews removed a multilayered protective wrapping caked with red mud, revealing a vintage vehicle that was covered in rust and wouldn't crank.
There were a few bright spots, literally: shiny chrome was still visible around the doors and front fender, and workers were able to put air in the tires.
But the unveiling in front of thousands of people at the Tulsa Convention Center confirmed fears that the past 50 years had not been the kindest to Miss Belvedere.
"I'll tell you what, she's a mess. Look at her," said legendary hot rod builder Boyd Coddington, who was unable to start the thing up as planned.
Event organizer Sharon King Davis, a fourth generation Tulsan whose grandfather helped bury the Plymouth, joked that the car needed a little Oil of Olay to help it out.
In the trunk, organizers meticulously pulled out some of the objects buried with the two-door hardtop to celebrate Oklahoma's 50 years of statehood , a 5-gallon can of leaded gasoline, which went for 24 cents a gallon in those days, and rusted cans of Schlitz beer.
Name of source: Charlotte Observer
SOURCE: Charlotte Observer (6-16-07)
Last year, members of Easley's press office heavily rewrote an entry on him in a book by state-employed historians on North Carolina's governors. Over several drafts, they deleted a reference to a failed U.S. Senate bid, speculation that he dislikes campaigning and a note that he had a boyhood reputation "for making mischief." They added a quote from Easley about patriotism, a line about how he successfully led the state to a "new global economy" and the fact that USA Today once named him one of the country's top drug busters. In the end, more than two-thirds of the final draft came from the governor's office.
Representatives of Easley and the state Department of Cultural Resources, which published the book, said the press office was asked to review and edit "The Governors of North Carolina" before publication.
"We did what we were asked to do and that was to review and edit the book," said Sherri Johnson, a spokeswoman for Easley.
She said Easley did not know about the book until after it was published, and said then that he should have been left out until he had finished his second term.
"He said if we had told him about the book, he would have asked to leave him out," she said.
Harry Watson, a history professor at UNC Chapel Hill and an Easley appointee on an advisory commission for the Cultural Resources department, said he was disappointed by the tone of the governor's entry.
"It sounds like a campaign press release," Watson said.
Michael Hill, the book's editor -- and author of the entry on Easley -- said in an interview that Easley's section was the only entry that was indirectly reviewed by its subject.
Still, he said, "everyone was happy" with the final version.
Hill emphasized that he had final say over the wording of the entry. And at Hill's request, the introduction to the book noted that the Easley sketch "was written after consultation with his Press Office."
"It all came to a good resolution," Hill said.
However, a review of e-mail correspondence between Hill, his bosses and the governor's office -- released under a public records request by The News & Observer -- indicates that the revisions were a contentious subject with the historians at Cultural Resources....
Name of source: NYT
Whatever the differences, they are not preventing the count and his family from playing host this summer to a Rochambeau festival to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Maréchal’s death in 1807 — marked by small French and American flags along roads leading to the chateau — with conferences, lectures and 18th-century cultural events, including a production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” in the chateau courtyard.
“The circumstances of the American Revolution merit being understood by the French,” said Darien Basset-Geraghty, an American neighbor of the Rochambeaus’ who is the director of the festival. “The formation of our country is complicated,” she said. “Rochambeau himself noted how the colonists, while casting off the English crown, kept their slaves.”
The count was born 90 years ago in Paris, where his father, an officer in the French Army, had gone for his career, leaving the chateau and its upkeep to a brother, who died in 1919, but whose widow stayed on until her death in 1949. The count’s aunt had little means to maintain the chateau, just outside the quaint village where Rochambeau is buried, especially during World War II, when German officers were for a time billeted in its rooms. (They left because it lacked central heating, the count said with a chuckle. He recalled once surprising a circle of Germans in an upper room, huddled around a ring of candles to keep warm.)
The original chateau was built in the 16th century. “It was a small Renaissance chateau,” the count said, seated in a former dining room, decorated with wall paintings representing the hunt, a family pastime. “The Maréchal enlarged it by the addition of two wings.” One now houses the count and his wife, the other a daughter and her family. (Central heat was added in the 1950s.)
The Maréchal typically kept a home in Paris to be nearer the royal court at Versailles. He was a settled veteran of 55 when in 1780 the king asked him to lead an expeditionary force of 5,500 men to North America to support the colonists in their uprising against the British king. The French, who had only a few years earlier lost most of their colonies in North America to the British, and a few years hence would lose their king to the guillotine, apparently reasoned that the enemy of their enemy should be their friend....
So when he was arrested on June 4, accused of conspiring to overthrow the government in Laos, many older Hmong-Americans said they were stunned — not so much at the accusations but at the American prosecutors for turning their backs on a war hero.
Vang Pao, a military general in Laos, was lauded for leading forces backed by the Central Intelligence Agency in the “secret war” against communists there during the Vietnam War and had, for 30 years since, made no secret of his hopes for a democratic Laos.
But the arrest of Gen. Vang Pao, 77, has also revealed a split in the Hmong population that has sprung up in this country: between old and young, between those who fled Laos and those who grew up here. A younger generation of Hmong- Americans, more skeptical of Gen. Vang Pao’s fund-raising tactics and controversial groups, said they respected the man but did not wish to return to a homeland they had never seen and worried that the charges might stain the Hmong people here.
Federal authorities said their six-month investigation revealed a plot to purchase AK-47 rifles, plastic explosives, anti-tank rockets and surface-to-air missiles in order to overthrow the government in a violation of the Neutrality Act, which bars Americans from taking military action against countries with which the nation is at peace.
From China, where astounding economic growth persists despite Communist Party rule, to Russia, where President Vladimir V. Putin has squelched opposition, to Venezuela, where dissent is silenced, developments around the world have been tearing jawbreaker-size holes in what has been a remarkably powerful idea, not only in academic circles but also in both Republican and Democratic administrations — that capitalism and democracy are two sides of a coin.
“People, including myself, still have reasons to think it will eventually happen,” Francis Fukuyama, a political economist at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, said of China’s evolution to democracy. “But the time frame has to be a lot longer.” At least in the next couple of decades, he said, it is likely that “the authoritarian system will keep going and get stronger.”
Mr. Fukuyama, perhaps more than anyone else, has been associated with the idea that capitalism and democracy are inextricably linked. In his famous essay, “The End of History,” written in 1989 as the Soviet Union was in decline, he declared that all nations would ultimately develop into Western-style liberal democracies.
“There was great hope in the early 1990s,” said Michael Mandelbaum, the author of the forthcoming book “Democracy’s Good Name: The Rise and Risks of the World’s Most Popular Form of Government.” The belief was that rising incomes would create a middle class that would agitate for personal liberty and political power. The tipping point seemed to occur when per capita income reached somewhere between $6,000 and $8,000. True, there were exceptions like tiny Singapore with its growing wealth and one-party state, but they were often dismissed as too small or transitional to really put a dent in the theory.
Yet, as the free market and autocrats gained power in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Latin America and Russia, the initial optimism about democracy’s sure-footed march faltered. Some scholars pointed out that the American experience, where democracy and capitalism arose at the same time, was not so much a model for the rest of the world as an anomaly. “Capitalism came before democracy essentially everywhere, except in this country, where they started at the same time,” said Bruce R. Scott, an economist at Harvard Business School who is finishing a book titled “Capitalism, Democracy and Development.”
“What we’re lacking is strong, aggressive, bold leadership like we had with Ronald Reagan,” Mr. Giuliani told supporters at a Flag Day rally in Wilmington, Del.
With Mr. Bush’s job-approval rating at a record low, Mr. Giuliani is wrestling with how to not seem disloyal to the president while making it clear that he would bring change to Washington.
Unlike Senator John McCain of Arizona, who has been a frequent and vocal critic of the administration as he campaigns for the 2008 Republican nomination, Mr. Giuliani has largely avoided directly challenging the actions of the White House.
After his address in Delaware, Mr. Giuliani was quick to try to explain his remarks and praise Mr. Bush.
“I have tremendous admiration for President Bush,” he said, according to a transcript provided by his campaign. “I guess in the first debate when some of my Republican colleagues were trying to distance themselves I went ahead and I said, you know, we Republicans should be talking about the things President Bush has done right.”
SOURCE: NYT (6-12-07)
That law prohibited the hiring of illegal immigrants, provided new resources for enforcement along the Mexican border and offered legal status, or amnesty, to several million illegal immigrants. In the current debate, which stalled last week when the latest legislative proposal failed to clear a procedural hurdle, senators of both parties cite the 1986 law as an example of what not to do.
Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, said he regretted voting for the 1986 measure.
“I thought then that taking care of three million people illegally in the country would solve the problem once and for all,” Mr. Grassley said. “I found out, however, if you reward illegality, you get more of it. Today, as everybody has generally agreed, we have 12 million people here illegally.”
The 1986 law was a product of more than five years’ work by Senator Alan K. Simpson, Republican of Wyoming, and Representative Romano L. Mazzoli, Democrat of Kentucky. Both left Congress more than a decade ago.
Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, said: “I was here in Congress in 1986. I heard all the promises of the Simpson-Mazzoli Act. None of them were true, and three million people got amnesty. There was no border security to speak of, no employer sanctions to speak of, and there was no enforcement.”
Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, said: “The American people were sold a bill of goods. It didn’t work. We got an amnesty, and we got no enforcement. That is why people are so distrustful now.”
Name of source: DefenseLink
SOURCE: DefenseLink (6-15-07)
This new listing will aid researchers and analysts in WWII remains recovery operations. Prior to this three-year effort, no comprehensive list of those missing from WWII has existed.
This database, listing nearly 78,000 names, was compiled by researchers from DPMO and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command. They used hard-copy sources including “The American Graves Registration Service Rosters of Military Personnel Whose Remains were not Recovered” from the National Archives II repository in College Park, Md., and “The World War II Rosters of the Dead.” Once transferred into electronic formats, they used computer programs to compare the two lists and determined possible discrepancies among the entries. These differences were then resolved using additional sources from the National Archives and thousands of personnel files from the Washington National Records Center.
SOURCE: DefenseLink (6-15-07)
On Dec. 14, 1966, Newell was flying an F-8E Crusader aircraft as wingman in a flight of two on a combat air patrol over North Vietnam. During the mission, the flight leader saw a surface-to-air missile explode between the two aircraft. Although Newell initially reported that he had survived the blast, his aircraft gradually lost power and crashed near the border between Nghe An and Thanh Hoa provinces in south central North Vietnam. The flight leader did not see a parachute nor did he hear an emergency beacon signal. He stayed in the area and determined that Newell did not escape from the aircraft prior to the crash.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (6-14-07)
Divers used satellite navigation equipment to find the vessel, dubbed South China Sea II, which is about 17 to 18 meters (yards) long and lying at a depth of 20 meters.
"A preliminary study of the sunken ship shows it may have sunk 400 years ago after striking a reef," archaeologist Dr Wei Jun was quoted as saying.
The ship came to light when local police got wind of illegal salvage operations going on off the coast of Guangdong province.
"On May 25, police learnt that some fishermen had been recovering ancient porcelain objects from the sea," Xinhua said.
Police confiscated 21 pieces of porcelain from a fishing boat whose owner claimed that divers he had hired for deep-sea fishing had recovered the porcelain by accident.
On May 26, another 117 pieces of porcelain were confiscated from two fishing boats carrying out illegal salvage work.
Name of source: Village Voice
SOURCE: Village Voice (6-14-07)
But first, there was the barbecue, which a Voice reporter was now traveling to after contacting local white supremacists through one of the most active neo-Nazi websites on the Internet, Stormfront.org, which has more than 110,000 members. (About 10,000 are in the Northeast.) The field trip to the Met was being organized by Jamie Kelso, a former Mensa member and New York City native. It was also being promoted by NewSaxon.com, a Friendster-like "online community by whites for whites" that appeals to young and tech-savvy racists. Before mysteriously shutting down recently, NewSaxon claimed more than 50 New York members, some of whom posted images of themselves wearing Nazi uniforms and skinhead regalia.
Name of source: Time
SOURCE: Time (6-14-07)
"Nanyadoyara! Nanyaonasareno! Nanyadoyara!"— there's no translation, because even in Japanese, the words are gibberish. But, if local legend is to be believed, they express a secret that would rock Christianity to its foundations. The locals believe that Jesus wasn't crucified on Golgotha, but instead came to live in Shingo, where his remains are buried. I visited his "tomb," marked by a road sign that says "Tomb of Christ: Next Left."
The legend has it that Jesus — or as they call him in Shingo, Daitenku Taro Jurai — came to Japan at the age of 21, during the lost years when he was supposedly carpentering in Nazareth. Like many an eager gaijin student, Jesus became entranced with his adopted land's noble culture, learning the Japanese language and Shinto religion at the feet of a sage. At age 33, he went back home, where he preached about his experiences in Japan, which so annoyed the local authorities that he was promptly sentenced to death. From there, the story gets really weird. Instead of Christ being crucified, somehow his younger brother Isukiri ends up dying on the cross, while Jesus fled to Japan via Vladivostok and Alaska. (Such details as how Jesus had a younger brother and how the Romans got the wrong guy are not addressed in the legend.) Eventually he came to this tiny village, where he took up rice farming, married a local girl named Miyuko and produced three daughters before dying peacefully at the age of 106. In Shingo, Jesus kept a low profile — he didn't multiply any loaves or fish, although when the villagers were dying of starvation he did travel far to find them food.
You can read the story yourself, in Christ's last will and testament — which was supposedly discovered in nearby Ibaraki Prefecture in 1935. A copy of the will is on display at the Village of Christ Legend Museum, just a few steps away from the tomb itself. The final resting place of the Son of God might strike many as a bit of a letdown, just a humble mound of earth topped by a large wooden cross of suspiciously recent vintage, facing Isukiri's identical grave. (In addition to a lock of Mary's hair, Jesus supposedly brought his brother's severed ear back to Japan.)
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (6-14-07)
Seale sat stone-faced as the verdict was read and showed no emotion as marshals led him out of the courtroom. Seale was taken back to a county jail north of Jackson, where he has been held since he was arrested. A half dozen of his relatives, including his wife, ran out of the courthouse to a waiting Lexus sport utility vehicle, bumping some reporters in the scramble.
SOURCE: CNN (6-14-07)
Waldheim, who served as U.N. chief from 1972-81, was first confronted with purported evidence of his personal implication in wartime atrocities when he ran for the Austrian presidency in 1986. He consistently denied wrongdoing, defending himself against disclosures made by his main accuser, the World Jewish Congress, and by foreign media.
But his initial denial of serving in the German army unit -- and then assertions that he and fellow Austrians were only doing their duty -- led to international censure and a decision by Washington to place him on a "watch list" of persons prohibited from visiting the United States. That ban was never lifted.
Waldheim's ascendancy to the presidency led to a bruising controversy at home, and it damaged Austria's reputation abroad. During Waldheim's tenure from 1986-92, Austria was largely shunned by foreign leaders, and he never honored his pledge to be a strong president.
Name of source: The Age (Australia)
SOURCE: The Age (Australia) (6-15-07)
"No historical document has ever been found by historians or research organisations that positively demonstrates that women were forced against their will into prostitution by the Japanese army," the ad said under the title, in bold letters, "THE FACTS".
The advertisement says: "The ianfu (comfort women) who were embedded with the Japanese army were not, as is commonly reported, 'sex slaves'. They were working under a system of licensed prostitution that was commonplace around the world at the time."
It adds that many of the women made more money than field officers "and even generals".
The ad acknowledges that there were "breakdowns in discipline". "Criticism for events that actually occurred must be humbly embraced," it says.
Name of source: Independent (South Africa)
SOURCE: Independent (South Africa) (6-14-07)
"Nothing against him has been found and I think for that reason it was a question of national respect to raise this here. Secretary Powell agreed to a review and that is what I could have expected," Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner said after meeting Secretary of State Colin Powell.
But a senior state department official made clear she should not hold her breath. "She talked to the secretary in private about Waldheim and the secretary made clear we were not in a position to change our determination," he said.
He added, however, that the United States would certainly look at the aide memoire that she brought on the issue.
Waldheim conceded in a 1996 autobiography that he had concealed his service in the Nazi army from 1942 to 1945 but insisted his behaviour was above reproach.
Name of source: The Telegraph
SOURCE: The Telegraph (6-14-07)
The Santa Scala, or Holy Stairs, were brought to Rome from Jerusalem in the fourth century AD and placed in the former papal palace opposite the basilica of St John Lateran.
However, restorers found that the sanctity of the staircase had not had an effect on the behaviour of some tourists. "We found chewing gum stuck to the wood of the stairs," said Alessandra Scerrato, the secretary of the Friends of the Holy Stairs association.
The 28 white marble steps, which are encased in wood for their protection, are so holy that pilgrims are only allowed to ascend on their knees.
The kneeling position also allows them to gaze through holes in the wood which allegedly reveal spots of Christ's blood on the marble beneath. Pilgrims who ascend the staircase are given a full indulgence of their sins.
SOURCE: The Telegraph (6-13-07)
In the radio message recorded for the British Forces Broadcasting Service, she said the battle to reclaim the Falkland Islands was a "just" cause.
She added that the struggle against "tyranny and violence" continued today, and that serving troops could draw "hope and strength" from previous victories.
Lady Thatcher's message has been beamed to the islanders and British troops around the world.
Speaking of the Falklands, Lady Thatcher said: "Aggression was defeated and reversed. The wishes of local people were upheld as paramount. Britain's honour and interests prevailed.
"The whole nation rejoiced at the success; and we should still rejoice."
The broadcast by the 81-year-old former prime minister, who ordered a British taskforce to the south Atlantic after the invasion by Argentina, follows her visit yesterday to an exhibition commemorating the Royal Navy's role in the conflict at the Royal Navy Museum in Portsmouth.
SOURCE: The Telegraph (6-13-07)
Addressing a House of Lords debate on anti-Semitism on university campuses, the crossbench peer said: "It is just over 70 years since I came to this country and I have to say that I've never been more concerned about the rising tide of anti-Semitism throughout Europe, including this country.
"This is evident in many ways and among my greatest worries is what is happening on university campuses where there have been many examples of anti-Semitic outbursts and discrimination.
"Leadership of the universities and the Government need to speak out in the strongest terms against such interference."
During the Lords debate there was cross-party condemnation of a proposal by the Universities and Colleges Union Congress to boycott Israeli universities.
Baroness Morris of Bolton, for the Conservatives, attacked "a handful of lecturers who seem to have hijacked their union".
Name of source: Thanhnien News
SOURCE: Thanhnien News (6-14-07)
Dr. Dinh Ba Hoa, Vice director of the Binh Dinh Museum, said that while collecting stones on Xuan My Mountain, residents of Phuoc Hiep Commune, Tuy Phuoc District, discovered the top of the tower. The top of the tower is 1.8m-high, made of stones, and decorated with lotus petal-shaped patterns. A document by the French published in the 1930s makes mention of a Cham tower called Xuan My at the site, Hoa said.
Name of source: Sawf News
SOURCE: Sawf News (6-14-07)
"It's a real treasure hunt, we are in the process of removing these marvellous items from boxes stacked in disorderly heaps," restoration supervisor Nikos Minos told AFP.
A team of 21 archaeologists and restorers started work at the crumbling, 19th-century estate three months ago as part of a bid to catalogue its contents before restoration work starts to find a new role for the site.
Name of source: MSNBC
SOURCE: MSNBC (6-14-07)
Now, those same families and their heirs are battling the U.S. government for what they say is their fair share of more than $30 million in profits. A judge's preliminary ruling in their favor raised the prospect of a settlement two years ago, but even a famed mediator — former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor — was unable to resolve the conflict.
"They don't get around to paying you quickly when they owe you money," said 83-year-old William Griggs, who had just graduated from high school in May 1942, when his grandfather and other small farmers were told to move off their land.
"Everybody was disappointed," he said. "But we were patriotic."
Interviews with residents, historical documents and court records tell the story behind what attorneys say may be the nation's last remaining land dispute from World War II, a huge expanse of farmland that became Camp Breckinridge.
The camp, spanning 36,000 acres across Union, Henderson and Webster counties, was one of a handful of inland camps built to train soldiers far from the threat of coastal attacks.
More than 1,000 people were forced off the land, either through negotiated sales or through condemnation proceedings. Their 522 properties ranged in size from 50 acres to 250 acres...
Name of source: Broadcast Newsroom
SOURCE: Broadcast Newsroom (6-14-07)
National History Day, Inc. is a nonprofit education program that presents an annual national history contest. Students present the findings of in-depth historical research in the form of documentaries, performances, exhibits, and papers and are judged by a panel of experts. More than half a million students nationwide participate in National History Day. The national finals are held at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Name of source: Truthdig
SOURCE: Truthdig (6-13-07)
The production, “Voices in Conflict,” moved the audience to tears, ending with a standing ovation for the teenage actors, still reeling from a controversy that had propelled them onto the New York stage. Their high school principal had banned the play.
Bonnie Dickinson has been teaching theater at Wilton High School in Connecticut for 13 years. She and her students developed the idea of a play about Iraq, initially inspired by the Sept. 3, 2006, death of Wilton High graduate Nicholas Madaras from an IED (improvised explosive device) blast in Baqubah, Iraq. The play uses real testimonials from soldiers, from their letters, blogs and taped interviews, and Yvonne Latty’s book “In Conflict,” with the students acting the roles. The voices of Iraqis are also included.
In mid-March, after students spent months preparing the play, the school administration canceled it. Superintendent Gary Richards wrote: “The student performers directly acting the part of the soldiers ... turns powerful material into a dramatic format that borders on being sensational and inappropriate. We would like to work with the students to complete a script that fully addresses our concerns.” (The students have modified the script; they perform Richards’ letter, its cold, condescending bureaucratese in stark relief with the play’s passionate eyewitness testimonials.)
The story struck a chord with Tucci. He was already producing a video piece about his high school alma mater, John Jay High School in Cross River, N.Y., where high school girls were suspended for performing an excerpt of Eve Ensler’s play “The Vagina Monologues.” Their crime: uttering the word “vagina” after being warned not to.
Following the performance of “Voices in Conflict,” Tucci participated in a public conversation with the student actors, noting that “Cross River and Wilton are only 15 miles apart. There’s obviously something in the water.”
After The New York Times published an article on the Wilton High censorship scandal, Ira Levin, the author of “The Stepford Wives,” wrote the paper a letter: “Wilton, Conn., where I lived in the 1960s, was the inspiration for Stepford, the fictional town I later wrote about in ‘The Stepford Wives.’ I’m not surprised ... that Wilton High School has a Stepford principal. Not all the Wilton High students have been Stepfordized. The ones who created and rehearsed the banished play ‘Voices in Conflict’ are obviously thoughtful young people with minds of their own.”
Name of source: Washington Post
SOURCE: Washington Post (6-13-07)
No one was injured in the 9 a.m. explosions at the revered Askariya shrine in Samarra, about 65 miles north of Baghdad. But officials said it was just the sort of event that could spark a spiral of retaliatory attacks and make it harder to reduce the violence that has brought the addition of thousands of extra U.S. troops stationed at high-profile posts on the streets of Baghdad and elsewhere.
The Feb. 22, 2006, attack on the shrine -- historically known as the Golden Mosque because of its brilliant dome -- was a seminal moment in the four-year Iraq war, sparking a vicious cycle of bloodshed that has never fully stopped. In the 16 months since, thousands of Iraqis -- and perhaps tens of thousands -- have been killed in Sunni-Shiite fighting.
Immediately after the 2006 attack, Shiite death squads accelerated their killings, dumping thousands of mutilated bodies -- most of them Sunni Arabs -- around the capital. More than 100 Sunni mosques were damaged in counter strikes. Tens of thousands of Sunnis and Shiites were driven from their homes in bouts of ethnic cleansing, including in Samarra, which was always predominantly Sunni, but now almost exclusively so.
Fearing a backlash from the latest attack, the Iraqi government imposed an indefinite curfew across Baghdad starting 3 p.m. Wednesday. U.S. military officials said Samarra remained quiet in the hours after the attack.
Name of source: Catholic World News
SOURCE: Catholic World News (6-13-07)
Speaking to about 30,000 people in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father said that Eusebius lived in an era of change; his life spanned the time from the last persecutions of Christians by the Roman empire through the Council of Nicea, in which he was an active participant.
Name of source: Inside Higher Ed
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (6-13-07)
But if the FBI and higher education still aren’t the best of friends, they appear to be interacting a lot more. Reports this week about a nationwide FBI outreach program in which agents set up meetings with college leaders to discuss strategies for safeguarding academic research from unfriendly foreign interests have fueled growing concerns that the two entities are cozying up in uncomfortable ways these days in the name of national security.
And yet the reports have also raised awareness of the agency’s potential value as a resource as colleges confront the vulnerability inherent in an open system producing reams of research on topics intimately tied to America’s economic and physical security.
And yet the reports have also raised awareness of the agency’s potential value as a resource as colleges confront the vulnerability inherent in an open system producing reams of research on topics intimately tied to America’s economic and physical security.
“Much of the nation’s intellectual property is produced in universities, in which they have a culture of sharing and openness. Yet, there are countries and there are intelligence services that would exploit these types of studies,” said Bill Carter, a spokesman at FBI headquarters in Washington. Academic freedom, Carter said, must “coexist with government concerns.”
“Now that the world has changed, it’s more open. We have business delegations coming into the country, we have thousands and thousands of foreign students that an intelligence service could penetrate or utilize … for intelligence-related purposes,” Carter said. “We have direct evidence that’s taking place.”
The FBI’s Counterintelligence Domain Program, which charges field offices across the nation with identifying vulnerable entities, including colleges and businesses, and with briefing their leaders about resources to strengthen security, is nothing new, Carter said...
Name of source: PR Newswire
SOURCE: PR Newswire (6-13-07)
Name of source: The Independent
SOURCE: The Independent (6-13-07)
"I got sick and tired of the constant accusations, doubts and insinuations being peddled by these people and decided to publish these materials for all to see," he said. It is the most dramatic move yet in an argument that has been raging in Poland for months, over whether all the old police files should be made public so that everyone who spied on colleagues or neighbours for the secret police can be identified.
Name of source: The Boston Globe
SOURCE: The Boston Globe (6-13-07)
No longer. The National Park Service, after rethinking the way it presents the history of one of America's the most pivotal battles, has culled artifacts from local archives and hired a local muralist. Tomorrow, the result, an airy new Bunker Hill Museum, will open to the public. Across the street from the monument and no longer confined to the stone Lodge, the exhibits sprawl across two floors of a building that until 1970 housed the Charlestown branch of the Boston Public Library.
Inside, big colorful panels describe the battle and the building of the monument, and display cases show weaponry wielded in the bloody fight. Upstairs, in a circular painting overhead, known as a cyclorama, Arlington muralist John Coles presents images of black and Native American soldiers largely excluded from previous histories.
"The facilities were inadequate to tell the stories both of the battle and of the history of the commemorative efforts," said Martin H. Blatt, the Park Service's chief of cultural resources in Boston. "Everything was cramped into a space that was supposed to be contemplative. Now, you can come here and have a full museum experience and hear about the Battle of Bunker Hill, which really is the launching battle of the American Revolution."
Name of source: 24 Hour Museum
SOURCE: 24 Hour Museum (6-13-07)
Staff were relaying a cobblestone path across Tower Green to conform with disability regulations when they found evidence of walls, which turned out to be the remains of a substantial building.
“The work we were doing was resurfacing for compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act,” explained Jane Spooner, Historic Buildings Curator at the Tower.
“There were some 19th century cobblestones put down in a crazy paving style so we were taking them out and relaying them in a more even way, so we were doing very shallow excavations.”
“On day two we found a wall at a very shallow level, about 20cm below the old surface. Whilst we knew about it from discoveries made in 1975 we hadn’t anticipated finding it so close to the surface.”
Historic views and plans of the Tower show a building in this location from at least 1570, variously known as the ‘Old Main Guard’, the ‘Warders’ Guardhouse’ or the ‘Warders’ Houses’, likely to have been used by soldiers and the predecessors of today’s Beefeaters.
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (6-13-07)
"Espionage was an important part of the Cold War and we need to understand foreign intelligence in order to understand this period in history," said Friis, an assistant professor at the Center for Cold War Studies at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense.
But the Stasi archives authority BStU in Berlin withdrew its participation in the conference at short notice, sparking its subsequent cancellation. BStU director Marianne Birthler said in a statement that no expert from her office would be allowed to take part.
According to Birthler, previous public remarks by former high-ranking Stasi officers about their tasks and activities disqualified them from being serious discussion partners or even contemporary witnesses.
The Max Planck Society, which was to host the conference, pulled out of the event as a result of Birthler's decision. According to Friis, without her participation, the conference could have no longer presented a balanced view of the issue.
Name of source: CBC
SOURCE: CBC (6-13-07)
The panel on the allied bombing raids in Germany during World War II titled Enduring Controversy questions the morality and value of the raids, which it says killed 600,000 Germans and left millions homeless while providing the allies with little strategic advantage.
The subcommittee headed by Senator Joseph Day consulted four historians, read letters from veterans and history buffs, and ruled that the panel had been misinterpreted and is the subject of "clear misunderstanding."
However, Day said, the museum has a public responsibility to change the display.
Name of source: American Heritage
SOURCE: American Heritage (6-12-07)
American Heritage, a bimonthly, was founded in 1954. It was bought by Forbes Inc. in 1986 and has suffered financially in recent years amid hard times for magazines in general. Forbes put it up for sale earlier this year and has not yet found a buyer.
Name of source: The Guardian
SOURCE: The Guardian (6-12-07)
Qiu Baoxing, the vice-minister of construction, said the damage to the country's heritage was similar to that wrought during the cultural revolution of 1966-76.
In the early stages of that period, Red Guards ransacked temples and burned ancient scripts in the name of revolutionary politics. Today, the damage is more likely to be done by urban developers in the name of economic progress.
Historical sites and cultural relics have been devastated by "renovation" projects, Mr Qiu was quoted as saying by the China Daily. In an unusually fierce criticism of the architectural landscape of modern China, the vice-minister said that too many local governments were guilty of a "blind pursuit of the large, the new and the exotic".
"This is leading to a poor sight," he said. "Many cities have a similar construction style. It is like a thousand cities having the same appearance." He said such "senseless actions" were the fault of local officials, who were "totally unaware of the value of cultural heritage".
His comments underscore concerns that China, one of the world's oldest civilisations, is paying too high a price for its economic expansion.
Name of source: VNUNet
SOURCE: VNUNet (6-12-07)
Edward Hammond, of Berkeley's Sunshine Project, used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of the proposal from the Air Force's Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio and passed it to CBS 5.
According to the document the Air Force requested $7.5m for the development of such a weapon, but the proposal was rejected.