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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: Pan Armenian Net
SOURCE: Pan Armenian Net (6-12-08)
On June 11, a long debate took place in the Swedish Parliament in regard to the Foreign Committee report on Human Rights, including five motions calling upon the Swedish Government and Parliament to officially recognize the 1915 Armenian Genocide
The argumentation for why recognition should be rejected was based on four main assumptions: “no particular consideration regarding the Armenian situation has ever been in form of an UN Resolution, either in 1985 or any other occasion; the Committee understands that what engulfed the Armenians, Assyrian/Syrians and Chaldeans during the reign of the Ottoman Empire would, according to the 1948 Convention, probably be regarded as genocide, if it had been in power at the time.
Name of source: Ireland.com | The Irish Times
SOURCE: Ireland.com | The Irish Times (6-13-08)
Tallies from early on in the count this morning showed the No campaign appeared to be winning in most constituencies across the State, with significant majorities emerging from rural and urban working class areas in particular.
Luxembourg Premier and Finance Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said the defeat of the Lisbon Treaty represents a new "European crisis. ...Ireland said 'no' to the Lisbon Treaty,'' Juncker told reporters in Luxembourg today. "This is not good for Europe."
There is concern in other EU countries about the impact of the decision by Irish voters, and the French and German governments are expected to make a joint statement later today once the Irish result is known. Ireland was the only country to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
Name of source: BBC News | World | Europe
SOURCE: BBC News | World | Europe (6-13-08)
From January 2009, the European Union will have its own president to chair EU summits and unite the views of 27 member states. Former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing has described the top job as Europe's "own George Washington". The race for the presidency is likely to go down to the wire at the December 2008 summit of the European Council of leaders. Although a decision will be made by majority voting, the 27 member states will be hoping that a unity candidate comes forward.
This interactive webpage from BBC News offers profiles of the nine most discussed names:
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (6-10-08)
During a routine renovation project on a Colonial-era building, experts uncovered pieces of a wall as well as a basalt floor believed to have been part of a dark room where Montezuma meditated, archaeology team leader Elsa Hernandez said.
Montezuma's palace complex — known as the Casas Nuevas, or New Houses to distinguish them from his predecessors' palaces — is thought to have comprised five interconnected buildings containing the emperor's office, chambers for children and several wives and even a zoo, according to Hernandez.
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (6-10-08)
They were at the end of a journey that had, in its way, taken years. Unlike the thousands of schoolchildren that filled the museum's halls Monday, these 46 visitors were there for an altogether different purpose: to take their ancestors home.
"Our people are humans; we aren't tokens," said Chief Vern Jacks, who heads the Tseycum First Nation, a tiny native tribe from northern Vancouver Island, in British Columbia.
With the museum's full consent, the Tseycum tribe will be repatriating the remains of 55 of their ancestors to Canada this week.
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (6-9-08)
More than 50,000 American pilots, mechanics, nurses, doctors, cooks, truck drivers and others passed through Corsica after it was taken from its German occupiers in late 1943.
They are long gone, of course, and most of the airfields are, too, though a French Air Force base now sits on the site of one of them, outside this coastal town.
But six decades later, memories of them linger. Colonel Denis Charlot, who commands the 920 French Air Force personnel at Solenzara, shows a visitor a neatly folded American flag that the family of Edward Mogren, a Chicago native and B-25 pilot, presented to him during a visit last year. Mogren, who served with the 57th Bomb Wing on Corsica, died in 2003 at 82, and the flag was draped over his coffin.
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (6-13-08)
The beech trees of Saint Pierre de Varengeville-Duclair forest bore a poignant testimony to the D-Day landings for more than six decades. Thousands of American soldiers stationed there after the liberation of Normandy spent their spare hours with a knife or bayonet creating a lasting reminder of their presence.
Although the trees grew and the graffiti swelled and twisted, this most peculiar memory of one of the 20th century’s defining moments remained visible - until now. Amid bureaucratic indifference and a dispute between officials and the forest owner, most of the trees have been felled, chopped up and turned into paper.
SOURCE: Times (UK) (6-11-08)
In an exclusive interview, he expressed regret at the bitter divisions over the war and said that he was troubled about how his country had been misunderstood. “I think that in retrospect I could have used a different tone, a different rhetoric.”
Phrases such as “bring them on” or “dead or alive”, he said, “indicated to people that I was, you know, not a man of peace”. He said that he found it very painful “to put youngsters in harm’s way”. He added: “I try to meet with as many of the families as I can. And I have an obligation to comfort and console as best as I possibly can. I also have an obligation to make sure that those lives were not lost in vain.”
Name of source: Secrecy News, written by Steven Aftergood, is published by the Federation of American Scientists
click here and
A spokesman for the State Department Historian's Office confirmed that officials had ordered the removal of Secrecy News from the FRUS mailing list in response to our critical coverage.
In an email message to the series editor yesterday, I asked the Historian's Office (HO) to reconsider its action. To do so would serve the best interests of FRUS, I suggested.
"I know that a sizable fraction of my Secrecy News mailing list (which now exceeds 13,500 self-selected subscribers) has an interest in FRUS publications. Many of those subscribers are unlikely to be part of other existing networks of academics and historians through which news of FRUS is disseminated," I wrote.
"I would also willingly publish any criticism of my own writing that HO personnel or HAC [Historical Advisory Committee] members felt was warranted," I added.
The request to reinstate Secrecy News on the FRUS mailing list awaits a decision by the State Department Historian, Dr. Marc J. Susser.
Name of source: http://healthsciences.ku
SOURCE: http://healthsciences.ku (6-3-08)
Name of source: http://www.thenews.com
SOURCE: http://www.thenews.com (6-9-08)
At the distance of 15 kilometres from the main Golra intersection, the site needs immediate attention of the Department of Archaeology and Museums as it possesses not only the relics of Buddhist era but also 8th century AD Hindu period and the 300-year-old Aurangzeb period.
According to archaeologists, the cages belong to Buddhists where monks used to perform their religious rites in isolation and the emergence of murals on the wall support this view.
"The murals were not visible previously but with the passage of time the layers of smoke and dust over the walls washed out and the original came out," said Ansar Ahmed, an archaeologist.
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (6-8-08)
Back then, around the 1670s, it seems councilmen and judges spent a fair amount of their time swilling liquor, so remnants of their wine bottles and beer tankards are easy to find. In fact, it was pieces of those stone and glass vessels that led a team of archaeologists to discover the original Charles County courthouse, the oldest government building in Maryland whose remnants could never be located -- until now.
"Oh, they drank at night when they were sitting around talking about the day, they drank on breaks and they might even have been doing it when they were in court," said Julia King, an anthropology professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland who led a group of students in searching for the courthouse. "You can see pieces of their glasses everywhere you turn."
SOURCE: WaPo (6-11-08)
Some were forced to leave school so they could tend to family farms. Others were called to a faraway war.
The resilient corps of 44 students who stayed at Douglass through the spring of 1968 lived through a graduation season of tumultuous change. In addition to the events that helped define that year for all Americans -- the Tet Offensive in Vietnam and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy -- 1968 marked the end of Virginia's policy of school segregation and the end of Douglass High's role as an African American institution.
SOURCE: WaPo (6-11-08)
"The 'suit has, in course of time, become so complicated' that 'no two lawyers can talk about it for five minutes without coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises,' " U.S. District Judge James Robertson wrote in a long January opinion, using Dickens's words to describe the 12-year odyssey of Cobell v. Kempthorne.
On Monday, Robertson began overseeing what is expected to be a two-week-long bench trial in a contentious saga that has seen numerous legal twists and political turns worthy of Dickens.
Robertson is hoping to answer the last key question in the legal battle: How much money, if any, is owed to hundreds of thousands of Native Americans who sued over alleged improper management of the gas and oil royalties by the Interior Department over the last 121 years? The plaintiffs are seeking at least $58 billion, according to court records.
SOURCE: WaPo (6-9-08)
He's in Poland in 1939 as Nazi tanks advance on Warsaw, then flying with his Navy-pilot father to battle imperial Japan. He's alongside Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, William McKinley on his deathbed and Franklin D. Roosevelt on D-Day. He lingers with Harry S. Truman, another U.S. president deeply unpopular in his time.
President Bush leaps forward as well, envisioning a distant future in which Iraq is a tranquil democracy, Palestinians live peaceably alongside Israelis and terrorism is a tactic of the past.
"Imagine if a president had stood before the first graduating class of this academy five decades ago and told the Cadet Wing that by the end of the 20th century, the Soviet Union would be no more, communism would stand discredited and the vast majority of the world's nations would be democracies," Bush urged graduates at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs nearly two weeks ago.
As the door begins to close on his tenure, Bush is increasingly drawing on selected events of the past to argue that history will vindicate him on Iraq, terrorism, trade and other controversial issues.
SOURCE: WaPo (6-7-08)
History seems to whisper more often than it shouts. Langston was one of the most extraordinary men of the 19th century, and yet his achievements -- prominent abolitionist, first black congressman from Virginia, founder of what would become the Howard University law school -- have largely been forgotten. In the arc of American advancement toward black political empowerment, Langston represents the symbolic beginning. Elected township clerk of Brownhelm, Ohio, on April 2, 1855, he became, by many accounts, the first "Negro" elevated to public office by popular vote.
It took 153 years to get from John Mercer Langston to Barack Hussein Obama, a journey that endured the dashed hopes of Reconstruction and the oppression of Jim Crow to arrive at a moment that has stunned even those optimistic about America's racial progress. An underdog black politician has secured a major party's presidential nomination in a country where less than 4 percent of its elected officials are African Americans?
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (6-12-08)
Historians have long known that slaves attended Christ Church — and were baptized, married and buried there. But it has not been publicized much in Philadelphia, where all men were declared to be created equal."I think it's the right time in our city's history, it's the right time in our nation's history," said Neil Ronk, a church historian and senior guide."Maybe it can spark a discussion."
SOURCE: AP (6-11-08)
Archaeologist Abdel-Qader Hussein, head of the Rihab Center for Archaeological Studies, said this week that the cave was unearthed in the northern Jordanian city of Rihab after three months of excavation and shows evidence of early Christian rituals.
The cave is under St. Georgeous Church, built in A.D. 230.
If it predates the existing church, that would make it one of the oldest Christian shrines in the world, along with one unearthed in the Jordanian southern port of Aqaba in 1998 and another in Israel discovered in 2005.
SOURCE: AP (6-10-08)
Speaker Nancy Pelosi consistently has said impeachment was ''off the table.''
Kucinich, D-Ohio, read his proposed impeachment language in a floor speech. He contended Bush deceived the nation and violated his oath of office in leading the country into the Iraq war.
Kucinich introduced a resolution last year to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. That resolution was killed, but only after Republicans initially voted in favor of taking up the measure to force a debate.
Pemberton's Headquarters, also known as the Willis-Cowan House, remains a work in progress - but will be open on Mondays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. in June and July.
The home, where Confederate Gen. John C. Pemberton also made the decision to surrender Vicksburg to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in July 1863, was a private home before, during and for many years after the war. It was purchased for federal preservation in 2003 and will be operated by the Vicksburg National Military Park.
airport are yielding a rare look into how ancient
longshoremen and other manual workers did backbreaking
jobs, archaeologists said Monday.
The necropolis near the town of Ponte Galeria came to
light last year when customs police noticed a
clandestine dig by grave robbers seeking valuable
ancient artifacts, Rome's archaeology office said.
Most of the 300 skeletons unearthed were male, and
many of them showed signs of years of heavy work:
joint and tendon inflammation, compressed vertebrae,
hernias and spinal problems, archaeologists said.
Sandy sediment helped preserve the remains well.
Odyssey Marine Exploration of Tampa, Fla., is battling Spain in federal court over the ownership of an estimated $500 million of coins and other artifacts. The treasure was rescued last year from what is believed to be a 19th-century Spanish shipwreck.
Attorneys for both sides told a federal magistrate judge Monday that they are still exchanging information and may be doing that well into the fall or later.
That means it will be at least next year before the case makes it to trial.
Archaeologist Abdel-Qader Hussein, head of the Rihab Center for Archaeological Studies, says the catacombs were unearthed in the northern Jordanian city of Rihab after three months of excavation and show evidence of early Christian rituals.
Shortly after the death of Jesus Christ, disciples founded churches in the area, many of them underground to escape persecution.
Name of source: http://allafrica.com
SOURCE: http://allafrica.com (6-12-08)
Government plans to move the statue from its prominent position next to the Alte Feste museum to make way for a new museum. Katuutire Kaura said in the National Assembly yesterday that he wanted the House to debate the plan to move the monument, "with the view of leaving it in place and to find another suitable spot for the new museum".
"An example of a good place for that Independence Memorial Museum would be the spot where the Old Location hospital was once situated," Kaura proposed. His notice of a motion drew loud murmurs and several interjections from the Swapo benches. "This is not even debateable," said Deputy Justice Minister Utoni Nujoma, son of founding president Sam Nujoma. "That (monument) is for the Germans," Presidential Affairs Minister Albert Kawana interjected. "You want to obliterate history," DTA leader Kaura responded. He told The Namibian afterwards that there was no reason to move the statue, as it was part of Namibia's history and a landmark tourist attraction.
Name of source: LAT
SOURCE: LAT (6-12-08)
About 60 students rallied Wednesday at the Watts campus, while a colleague of the fired teacher said he and 15 other instructors planned to resign or transfer to other schools to protest the dismissal of Karen Salazar, a second-year English teacher.
The dust-up has gone digital as well. Salazar backers have posted videos on the website YouTube. The postings, which have attracted thousands of hits, intersperse music, outraged protesters and interviews, as well as statements from the outspoken educator.
"You embody what it means to be a warrior-scholar, a freedom-fighting intellectual," she told students through a bullhorn in one video. "You are part of the long legacy, the strong history, of fighting back."
In another instance, Salazar rips the Los Angeles Unified School District, saying, "This school system for too long has been not only denying them human rights, basic human rights, but doing it on purpose in order to keep them subservient, to subjugate them in society."
A union official said the critique against Salazar included a statement that her teaching was too "Afro-centric." An assistant principal, in his evaluation of a particular lesson, accused Salazar of brainwashing students, according to Salazar and others.
Her course materials include "The Autobiography of Malcolm X," which is approved for students. Salazar, 25, also sprinkles in lyrics of slain rapper Tupac Shakur and the poetry of Langston Hughes.
SOURCE: LAT (6-10-08)
But Philadelphia -- situated in a county once dubbed Bloody Neshoba -- can now add a remarkable footnote to its most nefarious chapter: The rural county where three men were killed for trying to help black people vote has cast the majority of its ballots to put a black man in the White House.
Much has changed here since African Americans like Sylvia Campbell, now 74, were told they couldn't vote unless they correctly answered how many bubbles were in a bar of soap.
But much is the same. For all the excitement about Barack Obama and his history-making run for president, there is anxiety, too, because the present is still a hostage to the past. Everything in this slow town of one-way streets and more than 80 churches is viewed through the lens of race. Obama's success makes some people as anxious as it makes others proud.
"It's just the impossibility of it," Campbell said again and again of the presumed Democratic nominee. She had just come from a weeknight Bible study at her church, Mt. Zion United Methodist, which the Ku Klux Klan once burned down. "I know Mississippians. Barack Obama will never change the uneducated whites from the South. I don't care what he does. If he made some of them millionaires, he'll never change them."
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (6-12-08)
But her name could now be cleared following a decision yesterday by local lawmakers to recommend a reversal of the conviction.
Campaigners claim she was the victim of a conspiracy between the eastern town's judical and Protestant church authorities.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (6-12-08)
They include a 12-inch wide Viennese dish described as "one of the most important examples of early Viennese porcelain in the British Museum collection".
The other is a "monteith", a bowl filled with water used to cool glasses, held at Cambridge University's Fitzwilliam Museum since 1960.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (6-8-08)
The wrangling has been prompted by a ruling last week in Italy's top civilian court that Germany must pay compensation to Italian soldiers it forced into working for Hitler's regime.
In 1943, Italy declared a truce with the Allies and the Nazis seized an estimated 600,000 Italian soldiers.
But yesterday, Manfred Gentz, from the Remembrance, Responsibility and Future Foundation, which was set up in 2000 with £4billion from the German state and business to compensate slave labourers, said there was no money for the Italian soldiers, whose claims could reach £48 million.
Name of source: http://www.eveningsun.com
SOURCE: http://www.eveningsun.com (6-10-08)
The sale is not yet final, but action taken by the Gettysburg Borough Council essentially excludes any other parties from negotiating a purchase of the property at 35 Carlisle St.
At Monday's council meeting, a 7-2 vote authorized President Dick Peterson to sign and deliver a letter of intent to the Park Service. The letter includes the minimum price, which borough finance director Mona Overton determined to be the borough's share of rehabilitating the deteriorating structure since it was given to the borough 10 years ago.
Name of source: Dallas Morning News
SOURCE: Dallas Morning News (6-12-08)
State Fire Marshal Paul Maldonado said state and federal investigators were working to enhancing the video footage and the image of the individual’s face. Officials said Thursday the video would not be made public at this time.
Mr. Maldonado said the black-and-white and color video surveillance collected from the scene shows one individual coming onto the mansion grounds, lighting an incendiary material and throwing it onto the front porch.
“The fire progressed rapidly,” he said.
[HNN: Gov. Perry vows to rebuild the mansion.]
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (6-12-08)
The system of schools, which began shutting down in the 1970s, after decades of operations, was dedicated to eradicating the languages, traditions and cultural practices of Native Canadians and has been linked to the widespread incidence of alcoholism, suicide and family violence in many native communities.
“The treatment of children in Indian residential schools is a sad chapter in our history,” Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada, said in a speech in the House of Commons, where a small group of former students and native leaders sat in front of him. “Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm and has no place in our country.”
Name of source: http://www.wenportal.org (date uncertain)
SOURCE: http://www.wenportal.org (date uncertain) (6-12-08)
Historical Fishwrap recently announced that its 16-page historical front-page reproduction newspapers will be carried in 40 Barnes & Noble megastores along with all Barnes & Noble stores in Wisconsin.
"And they took my suggestion to put these in the stores with high history book sales, which happens to be stores near military bases. So they are putting us in stores near Fort Hood, Fort Jackson, Camp Pendleton and others," said co-owner Kenny Molzahn.
Historical Fishwrap is also sold in 120 Hastings book stores from California to the Carolinas and over 100 independent book sellers supplied by Ingram Periodicals.
These newspapers are a history teacher's dream, a compilation of historically significant front-page accounts as they appeared on the day the news broke. Historical Fishwrap papers cover WWI, WWII and the Spanish-American War. The WWII papers include reproductions of original reports from a geographic variety of newspapers covering Hitler's Blitzkrieg of Poland, Pearl Harbor, Midway, D-Day and other momentous events. Another paper set is devoted to WWII Air Wars in the Pacific and European Theaters.
Name of source: The Oregonian
SOURCE: The Oregonian (6-12-08)
Like all law-abiding school boards, they kept notes, but nobody knew the 140-year-old records existed until a school custodian found them tucked deep inside the school district's underground vault. The faded, cursive script written with an ink-dipped pen and occasional misspelled words stick to the highlights, but they reveal the struggles of an infant school district, including a clerk caught fudging records to mask his taking $126.
Lake Oswego historians were amazed at the find, which provides a detailed account of life in the 1800s. The records, dated 1868-1885, are believed to be the oldest Lake Oswego historical documents, said Clair Kellogg, Lake Oswego librarian, who oversees the local historical collection.
"Oh, my gosh," Kellogg exclaimed as she leafed though the worn ledger Wednesday. Also in the forgotten box were school registers listing students, their grades, attendance and financial information from the 1890s and early 1900s.
Name of source: The Globe and Mail
SOURCE: The Globe and Mail (6-12-08)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper had yet to utter a single word of Canada's apology to former Indian residential schools students when the cheering began. Native drumming and shouts turned into loud, simultaneous clapping. Raw emotion bursting for an apology decades overdue. There were many smiles. For the sexual and physical abuse that occurred at the schools, Canada apologized. For the efforts to wipe out aboriginal languages and culture in the name of assimilation, Mr. Harper expressed remorse. But aboriginal eyes in the now quiet House of Commons room began to tear when the Prime Minister acknowledged the ongoing, generational impacts of residential schools.
"We now recognize that, in separating children from their families, we undermined the ability of many to adequately parent their own children and sowed the seeds for generations to follow," he said."Not only did you suffer these abuses as children, but as you became parents, you were powerless to protect your own children from suffering the same experience, and for this we are sorry."
Name of source: Telegraph
SOURCE: Telegraph (6-11-08)
Dr Farhan Nizami CBE, a key adviser on Islam to the Prince of Wales, accused British Muslims of failing to make sure their children learn to speak English or supporting them in their education.
He said this leaves them alienated from mainstream society and exposed to being groomed by radical Islamic groups.
It is the first time Dr Nizami, the director of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, which has links with Oxford University, has spoken out about the failure of Muslims to integrate with British society.
The academic institution, whose patron is the Prince of Wales, carries considerable influence and aims to build bridges between Islam and the West.
His comments come just weeks after the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, warned that radical Islam is filling the "moral vacuum" created by the decline of Christian values in Britain.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Dr Nizami said Muslims would never play a full role in British society until they improved their education, language and aspirations.
He warned that those who feel marginalised are most easily influenced by the rhetoric of extremism, and called on Muslim parents to do more to avert the danger of their children becoming fanatics.
"Muslim families have to realise the importance of education for their children and make an effort to push them into achieving more," Dr Nizami said.
"They need to make them aspire to things higher rather than just being self-employed and looking for small-jobs."
Despite the fears over the threat posed by foreign imams such as Abu Hamza and Omar Bakri, Dr Nizami claimed homegrown Muslims can be even more dangerous.
The four suicide bombers who murdered 52 people in London on July 7, 2005, were all born in Britain while the four Islamic terrorists jailed for plotting to blow up Bluewater and the Ministry of Sound with half a ton of fertiliser were all raised and schooled here.
Dr Nizami said: "The assumption that foreign imams equal something undesirable is not always true. In fact some of the more radical elements of British society are British-born. This is not an issue that needs to be seen in terms of religion, but in issues of alienation and deprivation."
He said education was key to preventing a new generation of Muslim extremists growing up in Britain.
"Immigrant communities have to do more to get integrated, particularly on issues of language and education," he said.
Dr Nizami, who is a British delegate at a conference on bridging the gap between Islam and the West, expressed concern at the poor academic achievements of Muslims in Britain, particularly those from Pakistan and Bangladesh.
"This is partly because of issues about their access to good state schools, but this is also because they receive poor family support," he said.
But on Tuesday some Muslim groups said it was unfair to point the finger of blame at parents, and that the Government should commit more funding to language lessons for immigrants while mosque leaders must ensure sermons are delivered in English.
Inayat Bunglawala, spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, said: "There is really no question regarding the central importance of parents taking an active interest in the better education of their children. But we need to be cautious of putting too much blame on parents for the actions of their children.
"As we have seen in the cases of the 7/7 bombers and terrorists who have been convicted since then, many of them were extremely adept at deceiving their closest family relatives about their intentions."
A spokesman for the Ramadhan Foundation, British's leading Muslim youth organisation, said: "There are systematic mistakes, with the Government cutting funding for people who want to learn English. The imams have also got to look at sermons being delivered in English."
The conference at which Dr Nizami spoke, held in Kuala Lumpur this week, heard that the divide between the Muslim world and the West continues to undermine constructive political, economic, social and religious engagement.
One of the world's leading Muslims told delegates that the former British prime minister, Tony Blair, is viewed with suspicion by the Arab world in his new role as a Middle East envoy.
Imam Feisal, leader of New York's Masjid al-Farah mosque said: "The perception exists that his being at the forefront of taking Britain into war has reduced his credibility in being able to be seen as an honest broker."
Meanwhile the Vatican warned on Tuesday that the West is in danger of becoming "obsessed" with Muslims.
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the Roman Catholic Church's leading expert on inter-faith dialogue, said discussions between different religious groups must not be "held hostage" by Islam.
His comments came just a day after a report commissioned by the Church of England found that the Government was "focusing intently" on Islam at the expense of Christianity, to which it only paid "lip service".
SOURCE: Telegraph (6-11-08)
Imperial College London has added a year to engineering degrees to teach the basic skills that students failed to learn at school and college.
Most of the first year is now spent going over remedial mathematics and science.
An admissions tutor at Imperial - ranked the world's fifth best university last year - said many "spoon-fed" students left sixth-form with a string of good A-levels, even though knowledge of core subjects was weak.
David Robb, senior lecturer in mechanical engineering, insisted A-levels were no longer rigorous enough to pick out the best students.
But in a blow to the Government, he also warned Imperial was not planning to offer places to teenagers who took new-style diploma qualifications, which will combine academic study with work-based training.
He said the university was "much more on the academic end and we would not consider that as a reasonable route into our courses".
The comments - in evidence to MPs on the Commons schools select committee - comes just days after Imperial confirmed it was introducing its own entrance test to identify the brightest applicants.
Mr Robb said four out of his top five students last year came from Singapore, where they were more likely to study further maths to a high standard.
He said: "We have actually had to extend most of our courses from three years to four years. Some of the first year is actually bringing them up to the level they should have been and hopefully also making them aware of their ability to survive outside of a school environment where they are spoon fed.
"Most science and engineering courses are going to four years if they haven't already done so."
Mr Robb was giving evidence to a select committee investigation on the state of the National Curriculum.
There are fears that the existing curriculum is no longer fit for purpose. Critics claim the pressure of targets and league tables prompts many schools to "teach to the test" - meaning pupils miss out on key subject knowledge.
Mr Robb said: "I have just spent two days marking examination papers and about 15 students had forgotten what the area of a circle was. We need students coming into our university who are really confident with their basic mathematical and physical principles."
He added: "Engineers have got to get things right. You can't say, 'this looks about right'. You have got to believe in those calculations. There are, bluntly, people's lives at stake. If you get the calculations wrong, engineers can kill."
He said the decline in standard of A-level standards had come despite a rise in the number of students gaining good grades.
In the mid-80s, B grades were considered a "standard entry requirement" to Imperial, he said.
But last year the university demanded straight As and was "totally oversubscribed".
"The A-level assessment at the moment is not providing the filter that we require," he said.
Ministers have already announced the introduction of an A* grade to pick out the brightest students. The best sixth-formers starting courses in September will be awarded the new elite grades.
But Mr Rob said: "When is the A** going to come in? If you look at the trend in A-grades it's going up every year. A-levels were originally designed as an entrance to university and it has now been distorted to a general education qualification.
"I'm not criticising but the knock-on effect is people have failed to realise we need it as a ranking mechanism and this last two years we have run into trouble on that."
Name of source: Yemen Observer
SOURCE: Yemen Observer (6-11-08)
Under the sponsorship of Yahya Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, Chairmen of the Forum, academics, intellectuals and media figures asked the establishment for a court specialized in archeology crimes, and called urged members of the antiquities’ protection bodies to impose disciplinary action against every official in the state, be they civilian or military, involved in any archeology-related crime.
The participants also recommended reviewing all pending issues related to archeology, which are still under judicial proceedings. “The government must give the issue of Yemen’s archeology protection a status of permanent priority. It is also urgent to restore all robbed antiquities that have been smuggled abroad, through internationally recognized means.
The Ministries of Culture, Tourism and Information, local administration, education and civil society organizations that participated in the forum, commissioned to prepare proposals for the draft amendments to some articles of the Protection Archeology Law. The protection law issued in 1994 and amended in 1997 as well as the new amendments, should submit to the government to complete the legal and constitutional procedures for approval.
The amendments must have stringent items criminalizing all who were found guilty of any crimes tampering archeology, distortion, smuggle, trade or concealment. “Such crimes classified as big crimes that require physical harsh and deterrent punishment,” confirmed the Forum’s participants.
The participants called for two new colleges, of Archeology and Tourism, to be set up in the provinces of Marib and Hadhramout to attract people from the two provinces and other provinces to study and train in archaeology and preservation. The establishment of the two colleges aims to raise younger generations’ awareness of historical monuments and cultural heritage of Yemen.
The Forum also requested the inclusion in the curricula of primary and secondary education subjects treating the importance of Yemeni archeology, taking into account the different age’s levels.
They also demanded primary education curricula on Yemeni archeology, inclusion of archaeology in the history curriculum at all Yemeni universities, and the establishment of archaeological trips for students from schools and universities.
Recommendations of the forum noted the need for media organizations, governmental press institutions and newspapers to make programs and activities aimed at sensitizing the community about the importance of archeology, cultural heritage and the history of Yemen. This is in order to promote and define them to the world, and expose all the damage of crimes against antiquities.
“This is priceless wealth, and we must work to identify, classify and index these artifacts in Yemen and account for them abroad, working to recover them according to international laws and norms,” Saleh said. “We also must provide appropriate material, scientific and human resources, possibilities to conduct exploration and research to discover as much as possible from Yemeni civilization and creativity,” he added.
The symposium was attended by Mohammed Abu Bakr al-Maflahi, Minister of Culture, Nabil al-Faqeeh, Minister of Tourism, Abdul-Aziz Bin Habtoor, Deputy of Education Minister, and Dr. Abdullah Bawazer, chairman of the General Authority of Antiquities and Museums.
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (6-11-08)
Gyanendra and his wife Komal Shah left in the back of a black Mercedes as hundreds of riot police surrounded the main gate of the sprawling Narayanhiti palace complex in the heart of the ancient temple-studded city.
Shouts of "long live the republic" rang out from a crowd of about 500 people who watched Gyanendra's departure while a few pro-royalists cried.
"Former king Gyanendra Shah and his wife Komal Shah have left the palace," police officer Bharat Lama told AFP.
SOURCE: AFP (6-10-08)
Charles handed over 453 pounds and 15 pence (572 euros and 20 euro cents, 885 dollars and four cents) which King Charles II failed to pay to the Clothiers Company in Worcester, central England, in 1651.
The king had commissioned uniforms for his troops to fight the republican forces of Oliver Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester the same year.
The modern-day Charles handed over the cash on a visit to the former headquarters of the royalist troops in the Faithful City, so-called because it remained loyal to his ancestor during the English Civil War.
SOURCE: AFP (6-10-08)
The 19-centimetre (eight-inch) bone was found in southeastern Australia but it comes from a very close cousin to Megaraptor, a flesh-ripping monster that lorded over swathes of South American some 90 million years ago.
The extraordinary similarity between the two giant theropods adds weight to a dissident view about the breakup of a super-continent, known as Gondwana, that formed the continents of the southern hemisphere, the authors say.
SOURCE: AFP (6-9-08)
Military spending grew six percent last year alone, according to SIPRI’s annual report.
In 2007, 1,339 billion dollars (851 billion euros) was spent on arms and other military expenditures, corresponding to 2.5 percent of global gross domestic product, or GDP, and 202 dollars for each of the world’s 6.6 billion people.
The United States spends by far the most towards military aims, dishing out 547 billion dollars last year, or 45 percent of global expenditure.
Britain, China, France and Japan — the next in line of big spenders — lag far behind, accounting for just four to five percent of world military costs each.
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (6-11-08)
Washington, DC, June 11, 2008 - An American spy plane went missing over the Soviet Union at the height of the Cuban missile crisis for one and a quarter hours without the Air Force informing either President Kennedy or Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, according to a new book by Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs (drawing on documents posted here today by the National Security Archive.)
The accidental intrusion into Soviet air space by a U-2 belonging to the Strategic Air Command on October 27, 1962, is still classified Top Secret by the Air Force and has received little attention from missile crisis historians. Dobbs discovered a map in the National Archives that reveals for the first time the precise route taken by Captain Charles Maultsby as he was chased by Soviet Mig Fighters over the Chukotka Peninsula.
This is the second of five postings looking at the new material in One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War, which draws on the National Security Archive's long-standing documentary work on the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Air Force was able to track Maultsby's flight route by intercepting Soviet Air Defense communications, but did not inform McNamara about the incident until Maultsby left Soviet air space, ran out of fuel, and glided home to Alaska. Khrushchev later expressed concern that the intruding U.S. plane could have been mistaken "for a nuclear bomber, which might push us to a fateful step."
In coming weeks, the National Security Archive will publish more of the key primary sources behind One Minute to Midnight. New postings will cover such episodes as the storage and handling of Soviet nuclear weapons on Cuba, and the "Eyeball to Eyeball" confrontation between U.S. and Soviet ships that never happened.
Name of source: Politico.com
SOURCE: Politico.com (6-10-08)
Webb is no mere student of the Civil War era. He’s an author, too, and he’s left a trail of writings and statements about one of the rawest and most sensitive topics in American history.
He has suggested many times that while the Confederacy is a symbol to many of the racist legacy of slavery and segregation, for others it simply reflects Southern pride. In a June 1990 speech in front of the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, posted on his personal website, he lauded the rebels’ “gallantry,” which he said “is still misunderstood by most Americans.”
Webb, a descendant of Confederate officers, also voiced sympathy for the notion of state sovereignty as it was understood in the early 1860s, and seemed to suggest that states were justified in trying to secede.
“Most Southern soldiers viewed the driving issue to be sovereignty rather than slavery,” he said. “Love of the Union was palpably stronger in the South than in the North before the war — just as overt patriotism is today — but it was tempered by a strong belief that state sovereignty existed prior to the Constitution and that it had never been surrendered.”
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (6-9-08)
The 52 hours of tapes began playing on Monday morning, and will continue in real time in a gallery in Budapest.
The 1956 revolution is seen by many Hungarians as one of the proudest moments in their history. Mr Nagy was prime minister during the Hungarian revolution, which was crushed by Soviet tanks after only 12 days.
SOURCE: BBC (6-10-08)
The Bonhomme Richard - captained by Scottish-born sailor John Paul Jones - went down off Flamborough Head.
Jones is widely regarded as the founder of the modern day US navy.
History experts now hope to use modern technology to find the wreck, which has been the subject of a number of discovery attempts in recent years.
The 150ft-long nuclear-powered NR 1 submarine was first used in 1969.
Name of source: http://english.hani.co.kr
SOURCE: http://english.hani.co.kr (6-10-08)
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is drawing criticism for allegedly trying to become involved in the process of revising history textbooks, after its plans to hold a rare meeting with the textbook editors. The ministry’s plan came about following a strong call from conservative historians and businesses for revisions to middle and high school history textbooks.
The ministry sent an official letter to the publishers of the textbook “A Modern and Contemporary History of Korea” on June 9. The letter said: “A meeting of editors to revise the book ‘A Modern and Contemporary History of Korea’ for the school year 2009 will be held on June 12 at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology,” according to the textbook’s editors. The letter was sent to the six publishing companies that were involved with the book’s publication, including Kumsung Publishing.
“In the area of social studies, there have been editorial meetings to revise terms used in the subjects of geography and world history. But this is the first time that the editors of ‘A Modern and Contemporary History of Korea’ will meet,” one of the publishing company officials said.
Another official from another of the textbook’s publishing companies said, “I haven’t been notified about the meeting agenda, but there is a lingering controversy over a demand made by the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry to revise it. I guess there may be discussions about that as well.”
In April, the KCCI requested that textbook revisions be made and submitted a proposal to the government that expressed the KCCI’s conservative bias. One of the statements contained within the proposal said, “It is doubtful that Korean people would have had the ability to establish their own country prior to the Japanese occupation.” The ministry then asked the publishing companies to consider to what extent they would accept the proposal.
In response, some of the publishing companies said they felt this was a rare request and was becoming a heavy burden to them.
A number of the textbook’s editors also said that the government had shown its willingness to reflect the KCCI’s arguments by acting as a broker (between the publishing companies).
One of the textbook’s editors said, “There is a lot of room for debate within the subject of history, depending on the viewpoint one takes. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology’s attitude could be considered censorship of a certain historical perspective.”
An official with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said, “The June 12 meeting is not related to the KCCI’s proposal for (textbook) revisions. If there is misunderstanding about it, the ministry will consider canceling the meeting.”
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said, however, “A textbook revision is unavoidable this year because there are many national and social demands to be met. Textbook editors are reviewing the KCCI’s proposal for revisions and will make a decision about which parts will undergo revision by the end of June.”
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (6-10-08)
Badlands National Park in South Dakota, which encompasses Wounded Knee, is one of the poorest parts of the US. It has few paved roads. Unemployment is shockingly high among the Sioux. Alcoholism is rampant and there are high rates of suicide and imprisonment of American Indians.
After decades of protests, the park service is now planning to return the southern part of the park to Indian control. It will take an act of Congress to approve, but is expected to occur next year. Though broadly welcomed by the Sioux residents, there are those who say the land should be returned to the original owners for private use rather than to the tribal council as a park.
Name of source: Time.com
SOURCE: Time.com (6-10-08)
"Clint Eastwood made two films about Iwo Jima that ran for more than four hours total, and there was not one Negro actor on the screen," Lee said at the Cannes Film Festival. "In his version of Iwo Jima, Negro soldiers did not exist." Eastwood's counter: "Has he ever studied history? [African-American soldiers] didn't raise the flag," he said. "If I go ahead and put an African-American actor in there, they'd say, "This guy's lost his mind.'" Eastwood also told Lee to "shut his face," prompting Lee to amplify the racism charge: "[Eastwood] is not my father and we're not on a plantation, either," he fumed. "I'm not making this up. I know history."
History, as it turns out, is on both their sides. Lee is correct that African-Americans played an instrumental role in World War II, in which more than 1 million black servicemen helped defeat the Axis Powers. Those efforts include significant contributions to the fight for Iwo Jima. An estimated 700 to 900 African-American soldiers participated in the epic island battle, many of whom were Marines trained in segregated boot camps at Montford Point, within Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Those soldiers were restricted from front-line combat duty, but they played integral noncombat roles. Under enemy fire, they piloted amphibious truck units during perilous shore landings, unloaded and shuttled ammunition to the front lines, helped bury the dead, and weathered Japanese onslaughts on their positions even after the island had been declared secure. According to Christopher Moore, the author of a book about African-Americans' myriad contributions during World War II, "thousands" more helped fashion the airstrips from which U.S. B-29 aircrafts could launch and return from air assaults on Tokyo, about 760 miles northwest. Hosting that air base, Moore says, was Iwo Jima's primary strategic importance.
Eastwood's portrayal of the specific battle is, if narrow, also essentially accurate. Flags Of Our Fathers zeroes in on the soldiers who hoisted the U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi, and this task, memorialized in a famous staged photograph, was accomplished by five white servicemen and a sixth, Ira Hayes, of Pima Indian descent. (His other entry in the Iwo Jima category, Letters from Iwo Jima, is told largely from the perspective of Japanese soldiers.)
Eastwood is also correct that black soldiers represented a small fraction of the total force deployed on the island. That argument doesn't placate Yvonne Latty, a New York University professor and author of a book about African-American veterans. Black soldiers "had the most dangerous job," she says. "If you were going to show the soldiers' landing, you'd need to show [African-Americans] on the beach." In Flags of Our Fathers, which shows the landing in significant detail, African-Americans appear only in fleeting cutaway shots and in a photograph during the film's closing credits.
Moore lauds Eastwood's rendering of the battle, but laments the limited role accorded to African-Americans. "Without black labor," he says, "we would've seen a much different ending to the war."
Name of source: The Vicksburg Post
SOURCE: The Vicksburg Post (6-8-08)
He was the last member of the Davis family to stand on that porch, the last of the descendants of President Jefferson Davis to leave the ancestral home on the Mississippi Coast before Hurricane Katrina hit on Aug. 29, 2005.
Last Tuesday, June 3, the 200th anniversary of the birth of Jefferson Davis, his great-great-grandson, Bert Hayes-Davis, stood on the rebuilt porch and told a crowd of thousands, "We saw the worst. We've gotten the best. What a birthday present."
Though much of the Coast was destroyed by Katrina, after the winds subsided and the waters receded, the house was still standing. The outbuildings were gone, the roof damaged, the porch blown away, many of the artifacts lost forever - but Beauvoir was still there.
More than $4.5 million dollars later, and with the help of untold volunteer man-hours from people from all over the United States, the house stands restored, looking as it did the day Jefferson Davis left it for the last time in 1889.
Beauvoir is again the jewel of the Coast.
Beauvoir belongs to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the successors of the United Confederate Veterans. Following Davis' death in 1889, Mrs. Davis sold it to the group for $10,000 after refusing 10 times that amount from an organization that wanted to turn it into commercial property. Mrs. Davis stipulated several things, mainly that the house and grounds be used as a retirement home for old soldiers and their widows, and once they were gone, that it be a shrine to her husband and the Confederate States.
It was on an impulse, a chance trip, that Davis first saw Beauvoir on Nov. 18, 1875.
Or was it destiny?
On a business trip to Mississippi City, he had taken time to call on an old friend, Mrs. Sarah Dorsey, who lived in a house named Beauvoir. Davis wrote to his wife, Varina, that it was "a fine place .... a large and beautiful house." He walked the grounds and fell in love with it. The pervading silence, the gentle heaving of the sea - what a blessed place, what a refuge it would be!
Within a year Mrs. Dorsey asked him to stay there, to write his tumultuous history of the Confederate States. In a small library on the grounds, he began the task.
Varina, however, did not come, making various excuses that were really based on unfounded jealousy. Realizing this, Mrs. Dorsey moved away and sold the place to Davis for $5,500 to be paid in three installments. He made one payment before she died of cancer, and in her will she left him the house and all her other property. She had been more than generous with her own ungrateful family, she said, and she greatly admired Jefferson Davis.
The peace at Beauvoir was often broken with those wanting to see the Southern statesman. Those who came were old veterans or their widows or their children; others had been leaders of the South. Some came alone, others in large delegations.
And the famous also came.
The man he most wanted to meet in America, Irish poet Oscar Wilde said, was Jefferson Davis, so in his usual, courteous manner, invited him to supper and to spend the night at Beauvoir. After the meal and a bit of conversation, Davis excused himself and went to bed, but Varina stayed up late into the night enjoying their guest. The next morning, after Wilde had gone, she expressed her displeasure at her husband's action, but he explained: he did not like Oscar Wilde.
A reporter from the Boston Globe who came to Beauvoir in 1885 wanted Davis to criticize Gen. U.S. Grant. Davis refused, telling the man that he knew Grant was dying, and that if it were in his power, "Instead of seeking to disturb his closing hours, I would contribute to the peace of his mind and the comfort of his body."
James Redpath, who had been an abolitionist before the war, was the most popular journalist in America in the late 1800s, and he asked for an audience with Davis where all his preconceived notions "utterly and forever disappeared."
What impressed him most about the elder statesman?
"It was his goodness, first of all, and then his intellectual integrity. I never saw an old man whose face bore more emphatic evidence of a gentle, refined and benignant character. He seemed to me the ideal embodiment of 'sweetness and light.'" He thought Davis "a statesman with clean hands and pure heart, who served his people faithfully from budding manhood to hoary age, without thought of self, with unbending integrity, and to the best of his great ability."
It was a common sight to see Jefferson Davis and his Russian bulldog, Traveller, walking along the beach in front of Beauvoir. The dog acted as a bodyguard, and when Davis would wander, perhaps deep in thought, too close to the waves, Traveller would tug at his trousers and lead him to safety.
One day the dog seemed almost listless and in pain. A physician friend came, but nothing could be done - the work of a poisoner had been carried out too well for remedy. At daylight he died, his head on Davis' knee, and the old man's tears fell like rain upon his faithful pet. "I have indeed lost a friend," he said as family and friends gathered for the burial of Traveller on the lawn.
On a March day in 1888 Jefferson Davis gave a brief address to a group of young men. It was his last speech, and he described himself as "a man without a country, for my ambitions lie buried in the grave of the Confederacy." He broke his silence only because of his love of the South, and he predicted a future for America that would leave all amazed. He asked for a reunited country.
Jefferson Davis died in December 1889 in New Orleans, where he was temporarily interred. His body was later moved to Richmond, Va., the funeral train winding its way across the South, people gathering at crossings and in large cities to pay tribute. The first stop was at Beauvoir where the tracks were covered for a half-mile in magnolia leaves and flowers.
There was a favorite spot, a place by a spring behind Beauvoir, where Jefferson Davis liked to sit and meditate, perhaps about what might have been, or maybe what was meant to be.