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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: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (1-20-08)
Attorneys for activist groups fear a designated, government-approved "pit," limiting freedom of speech and movement in a hallowed place of protest.
The proposal to turn Union Square, the site of the Capitol reflecting pool and the Grant Memorial, into an "urban civic square" is one of many ideas the Park Service is mulling over as it plans the future of the Mall.
But that and other suggested changes have sparked harsh debate between government officials seeking to preserve one of the country's most heavily used national parks and activists concerned about limits on free speech and civil rights.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (1-25-08)
The differences can be summed up, in many ways, by two slogans.
“Our time has come” was Mr. Jackson’s rallying cry, a call to political empowerment for Southern blacks who still vividly remembered the struggle for the right to vote, capped by the bloody Selma marches and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Mr. Jackson cast his presidential campaign in 1983-84 as another great step in that movement, an effort to shake up the Democratic Party and ensure that, as he put it, “Hands that once picked cotton will now pick a president.”...
In contrast, one of Mr. Obama’s most memorable rallying cries, delivered in his victory speech after the Iowa caucuses, was, “We are one people, and our time for change has come.” It was the appeal of a mainstream politician, aimed at voters across the board, delivered to a largely white constituency he had just won.
[HNN Editor: The article notes that Jackson won 3/4ths of the black vote in the primaries in 1988.]
SOURCE: NYT (1-25-08)
“Traitor!” a newspaper headline shouted. His college dismissed him. State prosecutors in this western city, where he spoke, opened a criminal case against him. His crime? Violating an obscure law against insulting the legacy of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey’s founder.
“I need thoughts to counter my ideas,” Mr. Yayla said. “Instead they attacked me.”
Turkey’s government has taken on the issue of free speech and is expected as early as Friday to announce a weakening of a law against insulting Turkishness, an amendment that is considered a key measure of the democratic maturity of this Muslim country as it tries to gain acceptance to the European Union.
SOURCE: NYT (1-23-08)
When they speak of him, the old men are young again: transported to their days in his orphanage, a place they remember as a magical republic for children as the Nazi threat grew closer.
“It was a utopia,” said Shlomo Nadel, 85, one of the surviving orphans who managed to flee Poland before the Jewish orphanage was forced into the ghetto.
Mr. Nadel and the others were witness to life on 92 Krochmalna Street in Warsaw, the orphanage that became a laboratory for Korczak’s democratic educational theories, boasting a court and parliament run by the children.
In most cases, as with lung cancer or heart failure, names are not much more than thumbnail descriptions. But for a few common illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease and for hundreds of rarer ones, doctors and patients often use names honoring the first doctor to publicize the illness or its symptoms.
Some doctors have criticized that as a source of confusion. Different names are used in different countries in some cases.
And because some names became widely used before the disease was fully understood, the names may obscure ties to related problems.
Another shortcoming is drawing new attention. The controversy centers on Dr. Friedrich Wegener, a German pathologist who in 1936 identified a rare blood vessel inflammation that since the 1950s has been called Wegener’s granulomatosis. The American College of Chest Physicians awarded Wegener a “master clinician” prize in 1989, a year before he died.
In 2000, Dr. Eric Matteson, a rheumatologist at the Mayo Clinic, and Dr. Alexander Woywodt, a kidney specialist now living in England, set out to write a column celebrating Wegener for The Lancet, the British medical journal. They uncovered a Nazi past that Wegener had kept secret after World War II.
Mr. Giuliani was a pugilist in a city of political brawlers. But far more than his predecessors, historians and politicians say, his toughness edged toward ruthlessnessand became a defining aspect of his mayoralty. One result: New York City spent at least $7 million in settling civil rights lawsuits and paying retaliatory damages during the Giuliani years.
The quality of the concrete varied — solid at the foundation, crumbling near the top — and that finding could mean only one thing: There had been only so much building material, and construction crews, in finishing the dome in 1916, had added more and more water to stretch out what they had.
“It was frightening: we got up there and said, ‘There’s nothing here,’ ” recalled David H. Hart, an architect and the executive director of the Capitol Preservation Board, which led the $200 million project, completed just this month, to assess and retrofit the Capitol. “We did core samples and came up with rubble.”
Every grand old public building has its back story, and as often as not, it comes around to just such a mix as this one, where grandiose ambition and real-world execution meet, where a skyward reach toward some higher purpose or statement — the spirit of democracy, faith, you name it — is bound up with human imperfection, as well as a yearning for acceptance.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (1-25-08)
The bear - named Voytek - was adopted in the Middle East by Polish troops in 1943, becoming much more than a mascot.
The large animal even helped their armed forces to carry ammunition at the Battle of Monte Cassino.
SOURCE: BBC (1-22-08)
The hope is that ancient settlements and farms across the Wyre Forest will be detected by lasers fired from aircraft 3,300ft (1,000m) up.
The results are processed by computers and turned into images of the ground, currently hidden by trees.
SOURCE: BBC (1-14-08)
Jim MacLeod, of Bo'ness, and Martin Sinclair, from Falkirk, found the wreckage of the U12 about 25 miles from Eyemouth at the weekend.
They had been looking for the 60-metre U-boat for the past five years.
Name of source: Lawrence Repeta at the website of Japan Focus
SOURCE: Lawrence Repeta at the website of Japan Focus (1-21-08)
More than six decades after the end of World War II, responsibility for wartime suffering remains a highly sensitive political issue in Asia, nowhere more so than in the Japan-Korea relationship. When the two countries normalized relations in 1965, one treaty provision was intended to settle claims by the Korean government and its people for compensation for injuries suffered during the era of Japanese rule (1910-45). More than forty years later, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs still keeps documents created during treaty negotiations hidden from public view.
On December 26, Tokyo District Court ruled that the Ministry violated Japan’s information disclosure law by failing to respond in a timely manner to a request to release these documents. Although the court stopped short of ordering disclosure of the material, it established an important precedent by holding that excessive delay violates the law.
The Request for Treaty Records
The original information request was filed in April 2006 on behalf of more than three hundred individuals residing in Japan and the Republic of Korea. The requester group is led by scholars and prominent individuals from both countries and others who seek to establish a clear historical record. Most poignantly, the group includes individuals who claim to be victims of Japanese sexual slavery during the war years (labeled “comfort women” by wartime Japanese authorities) and others who assert they suffered inhumane treatment as labor conscripts at mines and other work sites. The group was formed in December 2005 with the declared purpose of compelling disclosure of documents related to the 1965 treaties in order to force the Japanese government “to recognize the facts and responsibility of Japan`s colonization of the Korean peninsula” and “to secure apologies and compensation for Korean victims of the Asia-Pacific War and their survivors.” (See this.)
Under terms of the 1965 treaties, the government of Japan agreed to provide the equivalent of 300 million US dollars in property and services and long-term low interest loans of 200 million dollars in exchange for agreement that claims “concerning property, rights and interests” of the Korean government and its people “have been settled completely and finally” (kanzen katsu saishutekini kaiketsu). The Japanese government invariably cites this language in response to suits filed in Japanese courts by Korean plaintiffs who claim they were victims of forced labor, sexual slavery or suffered other injuries during the colonial period.
This latest development in the struggle to clarify accountability for wartime acts was triggered by the release of 35,000 pages of documents related to the treaty negotiations by the South Korean government in 2005. These documents show that Korean representatives had pressed demands for victim compensation that were rejected by Japanese negotiators and that the great majority of funds received under the 1965 treaties were used for economic development. In Korea, these revelations led to public outrage and the November 2007 passage of legislation providing compensation for victims of wartime labor conscription. (See William Underwood, “Names, Bones and Unpaid Wages: Seeking Redress for Korean Forced Labor,” and part two.)
Special Treatment for Voluminous Requests
The suit identifies one of the most serious weaknesses in Japan’s information disclosure system. Although the law generally requires that government agencies make decisions on information requests within 30 days of receipt, it also provides escape clauses that enable officials to delay decisions indefinitely. In this case, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs invoked Article 11 of Japan’s disclosure law, which empowers government agencies to respond to requests for voluminous records in two steps. First, the agency must render decisions concerning a reasonable portion of the material no later than 60 days from receiving the request. Second, the agency can set a “reasonable period of time” to address the remaining documents. (An English translation of the law is available here.)
The “reasonable period” set by the Ministry for the great bulk of the treaty material was two years, with an end date of May 26, 2008. Faced with such a lengthy delay, plaintiffs filed suit on December 18, 2006. In its decision issued one year later, a Tokyo District Court panel led by Chief Judge Sugihara Norihiko agreed with plaintiffs that two years exceeded the “reasonable period” allowed by Article 11.
The Right to a Timely Response
The Court began its analysis by citing the purposes clause of Japan’s disclosure law, which declares that the law is grounded in popular sovereignty and the need for accountability in government. In its own words, the Court said the purpose of the law is to “make possible the people`s accurate understanding and evaluation” of government action, in order to promote “the responsible formation of public opinion.” To meet this objective, the Court said that disclosure must be prompt (sumiyaka) and that the term “reasonable period” in Article 11 must be interpreted in light of this requirement for prompt action.
The Court underscored the fundamental importance of information disclosure as a core element of democratic government. Requesters do not merely have a right of access to information; they also have a right to a timely response. Why? Because only with timely information can the people grasp the true circumstances and exercise their sovereign authority in a responsible manner. Although the Court refrained from specifying a precise term that would meet this requirement, it did say the reasonable period had surely expired prior to the final court argument held in November 2007, one year and seven months after the request was filed.
In response to arguments made by Ministry lawyers concerning administrative matters such as the labor required to copy a large volume of fragile old documents, the Court said that the Ministry has long been aware of the strong public interest in these documents, specifically noting that certain portions had been subject to as many as 12 separate requests. The Court said the Ministry should have taken measures to facilitate disclosure in an efficient manner by creating microfilm or digital copies.
Ministry of Delay
In the six-year period since Japan’s disclosure law came into effect, government agencies have mostly worked with diligence to meet statutory timelines. Among initial decisions on information requests by all government agencies in 2006, for example, 86.7% were rendered within the statutory norm of 30 days.
But there has been one outstanding exception to this overall picture of bureaucratic rectitude: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).　It appears that MoFA has adopted a standard policy of delaying responses to requests for as long as possible. One primary tool of delay is Article 11, which empowers agencies to extend ordinary response times. MoFA employs this provision far more often than other agencies; moreover, it frequently fails to fulfill its own self-imposed timelines. In fiscal 2006, for example, government agencies failed to meet targets specified in Article 11 notices in a total of 186 cases. Of this number, fully 182 concerned requests filed with the MoFA. Government data also show that at the end of fiscal 2006, the total number of undecided requests carried over by all government agencies to the new fiscal year was 2,971. Of these cases, responses to 219 had already been delayed beyond statutory limits. MoFA accounted for no fewer than 216 of these delayed responses.
Compared to other government agencies, MoFA does not receive an especially large number of requests. MoFA received 993 requests in fiscal 2006, ranking number eight among all government agencies. (The Justice Ministry was first with more than 16,000 requests.) In finding the MoFA delay unlawful, the Court took special note of the Ministry`s established pattern of delay, concluding that the Ministry`s efforts to comply with the law are inadequate (fujuubun na torikumi).
The Disclosure Process Begins
Although plaintiffs succeeded in obtaining a decision declaring MoFA’s failure to act unlawful, they were unable to gain a court order to the Ministry to actually release the requested information. Because Japan`s judges interpret their constitutional power in a manner that prohibits all closed proceedings, judges do not examine government files confidentially “in camera” as in the United States and other countries. Without examining the documents at issue, the Court was unable to decide whether a statutory exception to disclosure might apply.
However the matter is resolved, the complete process of review and disclosure is likely to continue for years. Material subject to the request has been estimated at between 30,000 and 70,000 pages. But the lawsuit may have already had a salutary effect. As court proceedings have moved forward, Ministry officials have made small partial releases of requested records. As expected, the Ministry has cited various exemptions provided in Japan’s disclosure law to withhold portions of disclosed records and, in some cases, to withhold entire documents. Of particular importance, Article 5 (3) of the law empowers officials to withhold information that, if disclosed, might cause “a risk of damage to trustful relations with another country or an international organization, or a risk of causing a disadvantage in negotiations with another country or organization.” Japan has not concluded a treaty with North Korea resolving wartime claims. Officials can easily cite this provision to withhold information that might undercut the Japanese position in potential negotiations with the North Koreans.
The Ministry filed an appeal of the decision on January 6, 2008.
Name of source: Secrecy News, written by Steven Aftergood, is published by the Federation of American Scientists
The state secrets privilege has been invoked with growing frequency to deflect claims of unlawful domestic surveillance, detention, and torture as well as other more mundane complaints, on grounds that adjudicating them would cause unacceptable damage to national security.
But a new bill sponsored by Senators Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) would provide a mechanism for protecting legitimate secrets while also permitting litigation to proceed."The [proposed] Act ensures that the litigation process will not reveal state secrets, using many of the same safeguards that have proven effective in criminal cases and in litigation under the Freedom of Information Act," according to a description issued by Senator Kennedy's office."For example, a court may limit a party's access to hearings, court filings, and affidavits, or require counsel to have appropriate security clearances."
And crucially,"The Act clarifies that the courts, not the executive branch, must review the evidence and determine whether information is covered by the state secrets privilege."
Senator Kennedy introduced the State Secrets Protection Act (S. 2533) on January 22.
The personal story behind the controversial 1953 Supreme Court ruling that established the state secrets privilege is featured, along with other aspects of government secrecy, in the new film"Secrecy" by Peter Galison and Robb Moss.
The film premiered this past week at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was reportedly well-received."The question of how much we should rely on methods inconsistent with our values is intelligently and elegantly handled," wrote Los Angeles Times film reviewer Kenneth Turan.
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (1-25-08)
Eyak is one of 20 languages spoken in Alaska, many of which are thought to be fading out of existence. Mrs Smith-Jones was determined that the Eyak language would not die with her, and devoted much of her later life to this cause.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (1-25-08)
Federal agents raided several Southern California museums on Thursday, mostly in search of artifacts allegedly taken from Thailand's Ban Chiang archeological site, one of the most important prehistoric settlements ever discovered in Southeast Asia. Authorities believe they were smuggled into the U.S. and donated at inflated prices so collectors could claim fraudulent tax deductions.
Court documents say a 79-year-old smuggler involved in the scheme boasted to an undercover agent that he had more items from Ban Chiang than Thailand itself did. He said he was being sent the items as they were being dug up, in violation of Thai and international law.
SOURCE: AP (1-24-08)
The ship, dating from the fourth century B.C., is one of only a few to have been found so well-preserved, and it may shed light on the nautical and economic history of the period in the east Mediterranean, said Stella Demesticha, a University of Cyprus visiting marine archaeologist.
SOURCE: AP (1-24-08)
Authorities were searching the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana and the Mingei International Museum in San Diego, said Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
A search warrant was also issued for the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena.
A law enforcement source who had been briefed on the matter but spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation said authorities are looking for looted artifacts from Southeast Asia and whether appraisals of the items were inflated for improper tax deductions.
The tree, which is afflicted with a lethal fungus, was to have been cut down last year, but a judge ordered a reprieve while supporters worked on a plan to preserve it.
Anne Frank House spokeswoman Maatje Mostart said the tree's crown would be trimmed and supported this spring, and a steel ring brace would be placed around its upper trunk. The tree is now expected to survive between five and 15 years, she said.
After Allegany County authorities were notified Wednesday that the Mark 1 rocket on display in Cumberland might be live, the state fire marshal's office and the FBI confirmed it was. Bomb experts removed the ordnance and rendered it safe.
The 48-inch-by-2.75-inch rocket was similar to those used on helicopter gun ships during the Vietnam War, said Deputy State Fire Marshal Joseph Zurolo Jr.
Ten skeletons, along with pottery and coins, were found at the site in Hassaka, 441 miles northeast of the capital Damascus, SANA reported.
Some of the artifacts contained inscriptions in the ancient Aramaic language, it said.
Wednesday's find came a day after SANA reported that archaeologists had found a Roman-era cemetery in Latakia, northwest of Damascus. That cemetery was believed to date back about 1,000 years, SANA said.
The first four skeletons were found last week at a construction site at the University of Kassel, said police spokeswoman Sabine Knoell. Twenty-six more were found on Monday and Tuesday, and about 10 more were unearthed Wednesday, she said.
"It could well be that more skeletons will be found," she said. "We are prepared for anything."
Some of the remains appeared to have been laid out in rows, although that was not always the case, she said.
SOURCE: AP (1-22-08)
Irbil's citadel, claimed to be one of the longest continuously inhabited urban areas on Earth with a history of more than 8,000 years, is in danger. Its slopes are eroding and its buildings are collapsing.
But authorities in northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region have a plan to rescue it. They hope to turn the citadel, and the vast archaeological wealth buried within the mound on which it stands, into a world-renowned tourist site complete with hotels, coffee houses, art galleries -- and a vibrant, permanent living community.
Whoever scooped up friar Mamerto Esquiu's heart on Tuesday left the urn it was stored in behind, said Jorge Martinez, head of the San Francisco monastery in the northwestern province of Catamarca.
"The theft was carried out because of the heart -- nothing else was stolen," he told local reporters. "It's very sad."
SOURCE: AP (1-22-08)
The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."
The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration's position that the world community viewed Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, as a threat.
"The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world," Stanzel said.
Center for Public Integrity Study
SOURCE: AP (1-21-08)
In Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi, the slain civil rights leader shares a state holiday with Robert E. Lee, commanding officer of the Confederate Army.
The two figures seem to coexist in the very fabric of the Arkansas' capital city, where streets bear each of their names.
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (1-25-08)
It is the last major heritage lottery grant before the fund is slashed to help pay for the 2012 Olympics - but the trustees also dug into reserves and found £10m for the Cutty Sark after the fire which gutted the 19th-century ship last year when restoration work had already started. The grant means work can start again soon.
SOURCE: Guardian (1-21-08)
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (1-24-08)
Coincidentally, Clinton's sharp-elbowed advocacy leading up to Saturday's South Carolina primary is prompting some pundits and fellow Democrats to ask a similar question: Should a former president be acting this way?...
Clinton fans who have come out to see him in South Carolina -- where he has emerged as primary spokesman for his wife's campaign -- say they believe he is acting the way any husband would if his wife's career was on the line. Hillary Clinton made much the same argument during Monday night's contentious debate with Obama, saying, "I think we both have very passionate and committed spouses who stand up for us."
But Bill Clinton is no ordinary spouse.
And several historians said he is redefining what it means to be a former president. They had to reach back generations to find a few lonely examples of ex-presidents waging political warfare, such as when Harry Truman opposed John F. Kennedy's nomination or when John Quincy Adams won election to Congress after losing the presidency to Andrew Jackson. While Jimmy Carter is vocal with his opinions, they say, he has steered clear of internal Democratic Party politics.
Dick Morris: There's a method to crafty Bill's madness
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-24-08)
Russian forensic experts have been examining the remains, discovered under a mound near Yekaterinburg by amateur archaeologists last August, and say that early findings gave credence to the royal claims.
On Vladimir Lenin's orders, a Bolshevik firing squad executed 11 members of the Royal family and their retinue in 1918.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-24-08)
The display follows a two-year campaign by Jewish groups, led by the Nazi-hunters Serge and Beate Klarsfeld, to force Deutsche Bahn to examine its key part in the Holocaust, as Germany continues to wrestle with its wartime record.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-22-08)
Tom Peirce started combing a field with his metal detector after dropping off a school coach party at a farm.
Within a few minutes it began beeping and he found the first axe head fragment 10in into the soil.
When he dug deeper, Mr Peirce found dozens more and, over the following two days, he and a colleague, Les Keith, uncovered nearly 500 bronze artefacts dating back 3,000 years.
Name of source: LiveScience
SOURCE: LiveScience (1-23-08)
The pottery shards were discovered during an excavation last summer near the top of Mt. Lykaion in southern Greece.
The finding, which dates back to 3000 B.C., indicates that the tradition of divinity worship on the site is very ancient and may even pre-date the introduction of Zeus into the Greek world, said David Gilman Romano, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and co-director of the excavation project.
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (1-24-08)
A bigger problem, though, is the looting of artifacts found in the South Dakota park's rich fossil beds by thieves who plan to sell them online or to galleries or collectors.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (1-23-08)
Last month's find in Xuchang, in the central province of Henan, was made after two years of excavation just as two archaeologists were leaving for the Lunar New Year break, the China Daily said.
"We expect more discoveries of importance," Li Zhanyang, archaeologist with the Henan Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute, was quoted as saying.
SOURCE: Reuters (1-22-08)
The Maya built soaring temples and elaborate palaces in the jungles of Central America and southern Mexico before the Spanish conquest in the early 1500s.
Maya priests in the city of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan peninsula sacrificed children to petition the gods for rain and fertile fields by throwing them into sacred sinkhole caves, known as "cenotes."
The caves served as a source of water for the Mayans and were also thought to be an entrance to the underworld.
Name of source: Outer Banks Sentinel
SOURCE: Outer Banks Sentinel (1-23-08)
When archaeologists want to see what's below the surface of the earth they are now beginning to use a similar technology called computer-assisted radar tomography (CART).
An archaeologist with the First Colony Foundation was on site at Fort Raleigh Saturday with CART engineers testing the advanced ground penetrating system. Their hope is that CART will prove to be a viable tool to help find artifacts from Sir Walter Raleigh's 16th Century colonies in the future.
Name of source: boingboing
SOURCE: boingboing (1-22-08)
The liberators of the Stasi's archive saved the hand-shredded material and now computer scientists are working to piece it all back together, using clever algorithms reminiscent of the systems described in Vernor Vinge's groundbreaking novel Rainbows End. The description of the files themselves are incredible -- one activist had sixty binders compiled on her, comprising every movement she took (she was followed constantly by crew-cut secret police in white vans who'd crawl the curb a few metres behind her as she walked down the street).
Name of source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
SOURCE: Globe and Mail (Canada) (1-23-08)
The RCMP have denied the claims. In 2006, they released a report that found that while Mounties sometimes shot dogs for public-health or safety reasons, there was no evidence to support stories that animals were systemically killed in an attempt to help officials control the Inuit and speed up the process of assimilation.
For centuries, sled dogs have been the Inuit's main source of transportation and direct link to the land and their food supply.
Name of source: SanDiego.com
SOURCE: SanDiego.com (1-23-08)
Through the broadcast buzz, Pat Kell thought she heard the name of her husband's ship: Pueblo.
That can't be right, she thought. None of the crew members' families had known where the ship was going. In fact, few in the Navy had heard of the operation.
Pat Kell and the other crewmen's spouses would learn the sketchy details first from the media, not the Navy: The Pueblo was a spy ship. North Korean navy boats seized it in international waters near that nation's coast. One sailor was killed during the incident and 82 shipmates were taken prisoner by the communist regime.
Name of source: Wired.com
SOURCE: Wired.com (1-18-08)
Poppe hung out with East German dissidents as a teenager, got blackballed out of college, and was busted in 1974 by the police on the thin pretext of "asocial behavior." On her way out of jail, Stasi agents asked her to be an informant, to spy on her fellow radicals, but she refused. ("I was just 21, but I knew I shouldn't trust the Stasi, let alone sign anything," she says.) She went on to become a founding member of a reform-minded group called Women for Peace, and was eventually arrested 13 more times — and imprisoned in 1983 for treason. Only an international outcry won her release.
Poppe learned to recognize many of the men assigned to tail her each day. They had crew cuts and never wore jeans or sneakers. Sometimes they took pictures of her on the sidewalk, or they piled into a white sedan and drove 6 feet behind her as she walked down the street. Officers waited around the clock in cars parked outside her top-floor apartment. After one of her neighbors tipped her off, she found a bug drilled from the attic of the building into the ceiling plaster of her living room.
When the wall fell, the Stasi fell with it. The new government, determined to bring to light the agency's totalitarian tactics, created a special commission to give victims access to their personal files. Poppe and her husband were among the first people in Germany allowed into the archives. On January 3, 1992, she sat in front of a cart loaded with 40 binders dedicated to "Circle 2" — her codename, it turned out. In the 16 years since, the commission has turned up 20 more Circle 2 binders on her.
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Ed
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Ed (1-23-08)
Clay Westfall Mering is Mr. Rollins’s great-great grandson. He has given a $25,000 donation to the university to endow a fund for black studies, officials announced today.
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Ed (1-23-08)
Hoover signed a deal on Monday with the Iraq Memory Foundation—a private, nonprofit group that has had custody of the documents since just after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003—for the transfer of about seven million pages of records and other artifacts from Saddam Hussein's tenure as Iraqi president. The deal came despite recent impassioned calls from Iraq's national archivist for the collections' immediate repatriation back to Baghdad.
Name of source: Bruce Bartlett, uthor of “Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy,” in the NYT
[HNN Editor: Click on SOURCE link to view chart.]
Name of source: Lee White at the website of the National Coalition for History (NCH)
SOURCE: Lee White at the website of the National Coalition for History (NCH) (1-22-08)
Last September, Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) blocked a vote in the Senate on the bill, preventing floor action throughout the fall. However, on December 18, 2007, without explanation, Senator Bunning suddenly lifted his hold. The next day, Senator Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT) requested that the bill be passed. However, an anonymous Senator placed a secret hold on the bill.
Since the White House has not rescinded its threat to veto the bill, it is reasonable to assume that Senator Sessions is holding up the bill at the behest of the Administration. Senator Sessions gave no explanation on the floor as to why he was blocking the consideration of the presidential records bill.
Passage of the bill is even more important given the on-going controversy over the extent of missing e-mails from White House servers from 2003-2005. In response to questions in a federal court case, the White House recently admitted it had recycled its e-mail back-up tapes before October 2003 and only began retaining the back-ups starting at that point. The White House also admitted that “at this stage, this office does not know if any emails were not properly preserved in the archiving process,” in the period 2003-2005.
In November 2001, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13233, which gave current and former presidents and vice presidents broad authority to withhold presidential records or delay their release indefinitely. The “Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2007″ would nullify the Bush executive order and re-establish procedures to ensure the timely release of presidential records. On March 14, 2007, by a vote of 333-93, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 1255.
Name of source: AHA Blog
SOURCE: AHA Blog (1-20-08)
The museum was started by Wall Street broker John Herzog after the 1987 market crash, and previously operated in a small space provided by the U.S. Customs House. The museum’s new location, at 48 Wall Street, is original Bank of New York headquarters building dating to 1797. The museum renovated and restored “the landmarked space, as well as creat[ed] engaging and interactive permanent exhibitions on the subjects of the financial markets, money, banking, entrepreneurship, and Alexander Hamilton. The museum’s new space also includes galleries for changing exhibits and a theater.” (From the museum’s home page.)
Richard Sylla and Robert Wright, financial historians at the New York University’s Stern School of Business, are the primary curators of the permanent exhibits. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am-4 pm. Admission is $8 for adults; $5 for students/seniors; and kids 6 and under get in for free.
Name of source: Press Release--Council on Contemporary Families Briefing Paper on Teen Pregnancy and Poverty
But a new longitudinal study by Frank Furstenberg (University of Pennsylvania) shows that fairy tales have no place in the realm of policy-making. His data reveal that teen childbearing is not the reason that many Americans have been trapped in poverty over the past three decades. In a discussion paper prepared for the 11th annual conference of the Council on Contemporary Families, Furstenberg reports that
*teen motherhood tends to occur among people ALREADY trapped in poverty
*postponing motherhood does not make much of a difference to people's chances of escaping poverty.
*Impoverished girls who bear children as teens do almost as well educationally and economically -- or as poorly -- as the girls who postpone childbearing.
Preventing and reducing teen pregnancy is a valuable social goal, says CCF Fellow Furstenberg. In fact the United States had a dramatic decline in teen pregnancies--and abortions--from 1991 to 2005. But, using observations from his Baltimore study, and supplementing it with current reports from demographers, economists, and demographers, sociologist Frank Furstenberg reminds us that the phrase, "it's the economy, stupid" is not yet out of date.
For details and policy recommendations, please read Furstenberg's full briefing report, below, or at www.contemporaryfamilies.org.
Name of source: The State
SOURCE: The State (1-17-08)
“I just don’t think his statue should be on State House grounds,” said Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Richland, noting Tillman for years made speeches about killing African-Americans who sought their rights.
Some lawmakers don’t expect the resolution to pass but prefer adding a plaque that would explain Tillman’s history accurately.
“A plaque would stand a better chance of passage because it simply tells the truth,” said Rep. Joe Neal, D-Richland. “History is what it is, and there’s an argument that you can’t change it (by removing a statue). But what you can do is tell the truth.”
Name of source: LAT
SOURCE: LAT (1-22-08)
His goal: to unearth ancient treasures from thousands of archaeological sites scattered across southern Iraq.
Images of Baghdad's ransacked National Museum, custodian of a collection dating back to the beginning of civilization, provoked an international outcry in the early days of the war in 2003.
The ancient statues, intricately carved stone panels, delicate earthenware and glittering gold are now protected by locked gates and heavily armed guards. But U.S. and Iraqi experts say a tragedy on an even greater scale continues to unfold at more than 12,000 largely unguarded sites where illegal diggers like Abu Saif are chipping away at Iraq's heritage.
"It may well be that more stuff has come out of the sites than was ever in the Iraqi museum," said Elizabeth Stone, an archaeology professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Name of source: Irish Sun
SOURCE: Irish Sun (1-22-08)
The evidence, in the form of Peruvian squash seeds, signifies that planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting in the New and Old Worlds was almost concurrent.
In a paper published in the journal Science last June, anthropological archaeologist Tom Dillehay from the Vanderbilt University revealed that the squash seeds he found in the remnants of what may have been ancient storage bins on the lower western slopes of the Andes in northern Peru are almost 10,000 years old.
"I don't want to play the early button game, but the temporal gap between the Old and New World, in terms of a first pulse toward civilization, is beginning to close," Discover magazine quoted him, as saying.
Name of source: http://www.eadt.co.uk
SOURCE: http://www.eadt.co.uk (1-17-08)
The remains were discovered during a dig at Fitzwilliam College, off Huntingdon Road, and probably belonged to a farmstead which thrived 3,500 years ago.
Plenty of Bronze Age remains have been found elsewhere in Cambridgeshire - notably in the Addenbrooke's and Peterborough areas, and the lower reaches of River Great Ouse - but this is the first time that anything from the period (3500 to 1100 BC) has been found in the city of Cambridge itself.
Name of source: Sydney Morning Herald
SOURCE: Sydney Morning Herald (1-20-08)
Thousands of barrels filled with chemical weapons, including mustard gas, were stored in the tunnel at Glenbrook and other sites around Australia during the Second World War.
The men were part of a secret unit formed to look after the deadly stockpile, kept for use against Japanese troops - a fact the Defence Department refused to admit until the late 1980s. And for decades successive governments refused to disclose that the Australian wartime command had conducted chemical warfare experiments on its own soldiers.
Army volunteers were sprayed with and exposed to the gases, suffering horrifying burns and boils as well as lifelong health problems.
Messrs Burn and Lewis, former RAAF armourers, refused to join Anzac Day marches and wouldn't talk about their time in the Glenbrook tunnel.
Now, after decades of denials, the military is about to recognise the unit's contribution to the war effort.