Breaking NewsFollow Breaking News updates on RSS and Twitter
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: Santa Barbara’s American Presidency Project
SOURCE: Santa Barbara’s American Presidency Project (3-20-09)
Name of source: Stone Pages Archaeo News
SOURCE: Stone Pages Archaeo News (3-30-09)
All these human remains were found at the stone-age site at Herxheim, near Speyer. About 7,000 years ago farmers, who grew wheat and barley, raised pigs, sheep and cattle, settled here, building a village of four to 12 houses, the post holes of which have survived. At the time the first farmer-stockherders were moving into Europe, supplanting their hunter-gatherer predecessors. The Herxheim settlers came from the north (between 5,400 and 4,950 BCE) and belonged to the Linear Pottery culture.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (4-2-09)
Then-Gov. Bill Owens was among the officials who had called on the university to fire Ward Churchill after his essay touched off a national firestorm, but the tenured professor of ethnic studies was ultimately terminated on charges of research misconduct.
Churchill said claims including plagiarism were just a cover and that he never would have been fired if it weren't for the essay in which he called World Trade Center victims "little Eichmanns," a reference to Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi leader who orchestrated the Holocaust. Jurors agreed.
When the verdict was read, Churchill hugged his attorney, David Lane, and his wife, Natsu Saito.
"I can't tell you how significant this is," Lane said. "There are few defining moments that give the First Amendment this kind of light."
SOURCE: AP (4-3-09)
The retired auto worker from suburban Cleveland says his deportation would amount to torture, given his frail health.
SOURCE: AP (4-3-09)
About a dozen black-and-white pictures that went online Thursday include scenes of King's associates meeting solemnly in the civil rights leader's motel room, standing on the balcony where he stood for the last time, and workers cleaning the last of the blood. Saturday marks the 41st anniversary of the assassination.
They were taken April 4, 1968, by Life magazine photographer Henry Groskinsky, who was on assignment in Alabama with writer Mike Silva when they learned that King had been shot in Memphis and rushed to the scene. Groskinsky, reached at his vacation home in Boca Raton, Fla., said Friday he learned about a week ago that the photographs, which he does not own, would be made public.
SOURCE: AP (4-2-09)
SOURCE: AP (3-31-09)
Six weeks later, the World Economic Conference gave up. Without any major agreements, it adjourned amid squabbling and finger-pointing between the world's democracies.
It's a sobering example ahead of the Group of 20 summit, which gathers Thursday at London's ExCel conference center a few miles (kilometers) from the Geological Museum, now part of the Natural History Museum.
To be sure, differences are many between then and now. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany will have no representatives at the ExCel center. Issues that had people at each others' throats then - such as debts from World War I - have been long consigned to history books.
Economists, after decades of studying the Great Depression, have a better understanding of why it happened and how the standard economic thinking of the 1930s - balance budgets and raise import tariffs - made things worse.
Despite the differences, the 1933 conference serves as an example of how badly things can go wrong when diplomacy takes place on a public stage, says historian Patricia Clavin of Jesus College at Oxford University.
As a result of its failure, the U.S., Britain and France went their separate ways on economic policy and traded public recriminations for years about who spoiled the conference and about its now-forgotten financial issues - as the economy kept on sinking and as aggressor nations such as Japan and Nazi Germany armed for war against them.
SOURCE: AP (4-1-09)
The MV City of Rayville, a freighter carrying a cargo of lead, wool and copper from Australia to New York, sank in the Bass Strait after striking a German mine on Nov. 8, 1940, a year before the United States entered the war.
One seaman drowned while trying to recover personal items from the sinking vessel but the 37 other crew survived.
The approximate location of the wreck — about 8.5 miles from Cape Otway in the strait that separates mainland Australia from the island state of Tasmania — had been known since 2002 but it was too deep to be precisely located.
Researchers at Deakin University found the vessel 230 feet underwater by using state-of-the-art sonar equipment during a research project to map the seabed off the state of Victoria.
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (4-2-09)
The farm is where colonists were storing the munitions that caused British troops to march from Boston through Lexington to Concord, a key milestone in the War of Independence.
SOURCE: Boston Globe (3-29-09)
It's a scene that plays out all too often in Boston's biggest neighborhood, according to preservationists who say a glut of older Dorchester homes have fallen victim to the recent boom of condo construction.
"These old buildings are very well-constructed . . . they've lasted for over 100 years," said Rosanne Foley, who chairs the Dorchester Historical Society's architectural preservation committee. "Why knock them down, when two streets over there's a vacant lot with ten TVs [dumped] on it?"
Every year, the historical society compiles a list of the Top 10 endangered properties in Dorchester, to help raise awareness of architectural assets at risk of being bulldozed. The list is updated and released in May, to coincide with National Preservation Month. The group has been making the list since 2004.
Several of those endangered properties have since met the wrecking ball. They include a 200-year-old home on Grant Place in Lower Mills (it was replaced by condos); the 1893 George Frost mansion at 223 Neponset Ave. (razed in May 2005 and replaced by six condo units); the Joseph Foster House at 1615 Dorchester Ave. (replaced by two contemporary three-deckers); a red Gothic gingerbread cottage built around 1850 on Pearl Street (replaced by two three-story buildings that are still under construction); and a house that was built around 1860 at 615 Adams St. (now a vacant lot, it's the future site of a 16-unit housing development called Blandino Farms).
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (4-3-09)
The agency quoted customs official Galal Abul Fatuh as saying it was the largest smuggling bust in a decade, adding the priceless relics had been hidden in furniture and wood products destined for Spain.
The smugglers were arrested and the relics were handed over to Egypt's antiquities council, he added.
SOURCE: AFP (4-1-09)
The ancient site, which lies next to the US air base of Talila outside the southern city of Nasiriyah, has been closed to the public since the US-led invasion of 2003.
The ancient city, which dates back to 6000 BC, lies on a former course of the Euphrates, one of the two great rivers of Iraq, and is one of the country's oldest sites.
It is renowned for its well preserved stepped platform or ziggurat, which dates back to the third millennium BC.
Name of source: Austrain Times
SOURCE: Austrain Times (4-2-09)
Workers found the remains of the village which is thought to date back to the 5th to 7th centuries at a 6,000-square-metre site for construction of a home for pensioners at Anif-Niederalm in the Flachgau region.
Archaeologists say that a layman probably wouldn’t recognise anything special at the site, but claim it may shed considerable light on a period of local history about which relatively little is known.
An archaeologist said it was the largest find from that period of history in Salzburg to date. He noted the settlement had consisted of wooden buildings and such items as jewellery, tools like hammers and anvils and vessels made of clay had already been found at the site.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-2-09)
White House officials travelled to France at the start of March to discuss a visit by Mr Obama to Omaha Beach, the site of the American Cemetery, established in 1944 just after D-Day and where 9,387 American personnel are buried. Among them is Theodore Roosevelt Jr the eldest son of the 26th US President.
"It wasn't going to happen," said an American official in Washington. "We went through the motions to placate President Sarkozy but giving special treatment to France was not on our agenda.
"During this trip, we wanted to maintain a balance between the British, German and France". A White House spokesman in London declined to comment. Last month, White House officials briefed that a Normandy visit had been considered but it had not been logistically possible.
French officials and senior American military officers walked with White House staff through the cemetery discussing how the two presidents might follow the same route. But even before their trip, the White House had decided that Mr Obama would not travel there this week.
According to French reports, Mr Obama was to visit the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville-sur-mer, just north of Omaha Beach. The pair were apparently to have dined at the nearby chateau de Bénouville in Caen.
The White House rejected the offer, but Mr Sarkozy's most senior aide said Mr Obama had agreed to come back in June for the 65th anniversary of the June 6th 1944, D-Day landings. A White House spokesman declined to comment on whether Mr Obama would travel to France in June.
Two clear links to England can be found, pointing to the possibility that direct ancestors of the 44th president may still be lying in the medieval churchyards of Stapleford, a village just outside Cambridge, or Sutton in Ashfield, Notts.
Researchers at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, which has traced the roots of several presidents including George W Bush, believe he is the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandson of Edward Fitzrandolph, a settler from Nottinghamshire.
Fitzrandolph's ancestors are said to include a knight involved in the murder of Thomas Becket.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-2-09)
Wafa Younis, head of the "Strings of Freedom" orchestra, said on Wednesday she was visiting the building where her group normally meets in Jenin refugee camp on Monday when armed men in plain clothes took her into custody.
Younis's orchestra performed last week in Israel before an audience that included about 10 women who survived the Holocaust. The performance sparked a backlash in the camp, which was the site of fierce fighting between Israeli troops and Palestinian militants in 2002.
Many Palestinians say that drawing attention to the murder of six million Jews in the Second World War helps Israel justify the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948, an act which displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.
Igor Panarin, the dean of the Russian foreign ministry's diplomatic academy, gave fellow patriots the opportunity to indulge their wildest imperial fantasies with a startling projection of how geopolitics will change over the next decade.
In an interview with the venerable Izvestia newspaper, famous for its turgid outpourings during the Cold War, he predicted the birth of a powerful "Eurasian Alliance", led by the Russian prime minister, with a single currency and parliament based in St Petersburg.
Asked if he saw the rebirth of the Soviet Union, Mr Panarin replied: "Not only the Soviet Union, but also the Russian empire."
While his views may be regarded as slightly eccentric in the West, the professor is treated with great respect within Russia.
The conflict will be so severe, he predicts, that the United States will disintegrate with Alaska returning to Russian control, California becoming a Chinese colony, Texas falling to Mexico and an east coast rump seeking the protection of the European Union.
In his latest projections, the professor provided fresh insight as to how Russia would take advantage of both the economic crisis and the collapse of the United States to emerge as a great empire under the benevolent guidance of Mr Putin.
Over the eight years that he was president, Mr Putin, who changed jobs last year, cannily paved the way for the establishment of the new empire by forging strategic alliances with ex-Soviet states and with China.
As a result the new Russian empire would be built on a reformed Soviet Union, minus the Baltic states, as well as Alaska. In addition, Mr Putin's new government in St Petersburg would play a dominating role in Iran and the subcontinent.
The news is better for Europeans than for the Americans, with the European Union joining China and Russia's "Eurasian Union" as part of a triumvirate of global domination. Eastern Europe, however, would fall under Russia's sphere of influence again, he told The Daily Telegraph.
Mr Panarin said that his prognosis was not intended as an April Fools' Day joke.
Dr Cristina Kirchner, the president of Argentina, is also expected to make yet another demand for Britain to give up the island, according to The Sun.
It is officially described as a ceremony "to honour the veterans and fallen of the South Atlantic conflict", the newspaper reported.
President Kirchner, 56, will also make a speech during the event at the official residence in Belgrave Square, London, that will be broadcast across Argentina.
The 74-day Falklands War began on April 2, 1982, after Argentina invaded. 700 Argentinian and 255 British soldiers died.
Name of source: BBC
The UN-backed tribunal also asked for a list of all suspects Lebanon is holding in connection with the 2005 killings.
The court has been set up to try those suspected of being behind the blast which killed Mr Hariri and 22 others.
The requests bring the tribunal closer to asking Lebanon to hand over four of the suspects within weeks.
Mr Hariri's allies have accused Syria of involvement in his death, a charge Damascus denies.
Under armed guard, a team of excavators opened up a disused well shaft behind an abandoned roadside restaurant in south-eastern Turkey.
They were searching for the remains of hundreds of civilians who disappeared at the height of the Kurdish separatist conflict in this region in the 1990s.
Many were last seen with members of Turkey's security forces.
For many Kurdish families, the dig marked the start of a long-stalled search for justice. More than 70 have now applied to local lawyers for help to find their relatives.
The dig at this site unearthed several bones and pieces of cloth. They have been sent for DNA testing while the search goes on.
Mr Meri, who suffered from ill-health, died on Friday at the age of 89 while judicial proceedings against him were still in progress.
He denied the charge of "genocide" but admitted playing a part in the deportation of 251 civilians in 1949.
Estonia's contention that genocide took place is not widely accepted.
He was the last surviving Estonian to have been awarded the USSR's top military decoration in World War II, the Gold Star, and a cousin of Estonia's first post-independence president, the late Lennart Meri.
Arnold Meri had argued that the charges brought against him in August 2007 were politically motivated because of his opposition to the government and his involvement in anti-fascist work.
Russia, long locked in a dispute with Estonia over the Soviet legacy, awarded him its Order of Honour posthumously within hours of his death.
He was laid to rest on Wednesday in a cemetery on the outskirts of the Estonian capital where members of his immediate family are also buried.
Several hundred people are said to have attended the funeral, which was conducted without military trappings.
The new web link comes ahead of the annual Qingming Festival when Chinese traditionally honour their ancestors.
Also known as Chingming, or tomb-sweeping Day, this falls on 4 April this year.
The online memorial was initiated by the Central Civilisation Office of the Communist Party of China on 26 March and will remain "live" until 14 April.
The bronze statue, in the city of St Petersburg, was badly damaged before dawn on Wednesday, when the blast blew a hole in Lenin's coat.
No-one was hurt in the attack, the motive for which was unknown.
The statue, outside the Finland Station, marks the Bolshevik leader's return from exile in April 1917.
Later that year he would lead the revolution that overthrew the government and would take the Communists to power for more than 70 years.
A medical team had been tending to him at his home in Buenos Aires.
Mr Alfonsin was elected president in 1983, after the fall of the military regime which had held power since 1976.
Critics point out that he failed to stave off a deep economic crisis but his political achievement was summed up by current President Cristina Fernandez, when she unveiled his bust last year.
"Whether you like it or not, you are a symbol of the return of democracy," she said.
Name of source: 4-3-09
SOURCE: 4-3-09 (12-31-69)
The university's W.E.B. Du Bois Library has an estimated 100,000 diaries, letters, photographs and other items related to Du Bois, who helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
UMass received a $200,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to put the collection online during the two-year project, which begins in July.
The collection includes correspondence with other influential African-Americans, such as Booker T. Washington and Langston Hughes, as well as important public figures of his day, such as Albert Einstein and Mohandas Gandhi.
One of Cox's favorite pieces is a menu signed by those who attended the first meeting of the Niagara Movement, a precursor to the NAACP. The group was forced to meet in Ontario, Canada, because no restaurant in Buffalo, N.Y., would serve them.
Shirley Graham Du Bois donated her husband's papers to the Amherst campus in 1973. W.E.B. Du Bois was born in nearby Great Barrington in 1868. He died in Ghana in 1963.
Du Bois wrote more than 4,000 articles, essays and books, many of which are now out of print or difficult to find, Cox said. While dozens of universities have microfilm copies of Du Bois work, the new online archive will allow anyone to search his words from anywhere.
Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., the director of Harvard Univesity's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research who edited a compilation of Du Bois' writings, said much of Du Bois' never published works and early drafts are hard to find.
Name of source: 4-1-09
SOURCE: 4-1-09 (12-31-69)
The US has already lost more than a third of the indigenous languages that existed before European colonisation, and the remaining 192 are classed by Unesco as ranging between "unsafe" and "extinct".
As recently as 2008, the Alaskan tongue Eyak became officially extinct with the death of Marie Smith Jones, the last native speaker.
"We need more funding and more effort to return these languages to everyday use," says Fred Nahwooksy, of the National Museum of the American Indian.
Some 40 languages, mainly in California and Oklahoma, where thousands of Indians were forced to relocate as part of the notorious 19th Century Trail of Tears, have fewer than 10 native speakers.
The decline in American Indian languages has historical roots: in the mid-19th Century, the US government adopted a policy of Americanising Indian children by removing them from their homes and culture.
Within a few generations most had forgotten their native tongues.
But even so-called "dead" languages can be brought back to life.
The Wampanoag Indians of Massachusetts were the first to greet the pilgrims of the Mayflower - but until recently their language had not been spoken for a century.
In 1993, tribeswoman Jessie Little Doe Baird began researching and collecting word stems.
Now her daughter is the first native speaker in six generations and other children are learning.
Modern challenges to language survival remain.
There is a growing movement in the US to try to revitalise indigenous languages, but regaining the trust of community elders who were often punished for speaking their own language can be a problem.
Many now have to be persuaded to pass it on to a younger generation.
While the American media is often blamed for undermining other languages and cultures, the same technology might become the native languages' best chance for survival.
Native American filmmaking is a growing industry, providing a unique voice for communities that are often wary of being photographed or recorded in any form.
Name of source: Foxnews
SOURCE: Foxnews (4-3-09)
The retired auto worker from suburban Cleveland says his deportation would amount to torture, given his frail health.
Demjanjuk kept out of sight Friday, as has been the case for years.
His son, John Demjanjuk Jr., says the family is awaiting word on the appeal. The immigration appeals court says nothing has been decided.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (3-31-09)
More than any other country, Germany — Nazi Germany — then set out on a serious stimulus program. The government built up the military, expanded the autobahn, put up stadiums for the 1936 Berlin Olympics and built monuments to the Nazi Party across Munich and Berlin.
The economic benefits of this vast works program never flowed to most workers, because fascism doesn’t look kindly on collective bargaining. But Germany did escape the Great Depression faster than other countries. Corporate profits boomed, and unemployment sank (and not because of slave labor, which didn’t become widespread until later). Harold James, an economic historian, says that the young liberal economists studying under John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s began to debate whether Hitler had solved unemployment.
SOURCE: NYT (4-1-09)
This was no small triumph for Paterson; for its congressman and former mayor, Bill Pascrell Jr.; and for one Leonard Zax, a Paterson native and lawyer who a few years back took on the role of designated pain in the butt to push this thing forward.
Reporters deal with people like him all the time, many of them invested in some cause that is unlikely to see the light of day. That definitely seemed the case with the proposed Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, billed as a way to preserve Alexander Hamilton’s vision of an industrial America at the Great Falls of the Passaic River, where every day two billion gallons of water cascade 77 feet to the gorge below. In a draft report, officials said existing parks covered the themes proposed for Paterson. The Bush administration, for economic reasons, opposed adding national parks, and the idea, to the uninitiated, seemed more than a stretch.
SOURCE: NYT (4-1-09)
Mr. Fujimori took the stand in his own defense at his trial in Lima, Peru, now in its 15th month. He was seeking to convince a three-judge panel that he should not be held responsible for a dirty war that prosecutors said led to the deaths of 25 people by two military death squads, as well as the kidnappings of a businessman and a journalist.
In nationally televised testimony, Mr. Fujimori read from a prepared statement, describing the campaign against guerrillas during his presidency from 1990 to 2000 as a “policy of pacification.”
Name of source: The Root (edited by Henry Louis Gates)
SOURCE: The Root (edited by Henry Louis Gates) (4-2-09)
April 4, 2008—The 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1968 slaying in Memphis—provoked endless conversations about the way forward for black politics and whether it was King who truly prepared the nation to elect Barack Obama as the first black president. This year, the topic has moved beyond musings about what is possible for African Americans in the American political system, to the more controversial question: Just who deserves the credit for Obama’s decisive, historic victory?
It was one of the most provocative topics at a conference presented this week by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. And though the event was convened in the days before the anniversary of the King assassination, the topic of discussion was not the civil rights movement which King so embodies, but rather the black power movement.
The symposium brought together 1968 veterans Amiri Baraka, Kathleen Cleaver, Charles Cobb Jr. and Sonia Sanchez to discuss the impact of the black power movement on America. In one of the more dynamic roundtable discussions on politics, King’s name scarcely came up. Rather, Ronald Walters, a professor at the University of Maryland and a veteran black political activist, reminded listeners that “there were two post civil rights movements.” The nonviolent, conciliatory approach that brought King martyrdom, he said, still overshadows the more confrontational forces that barricaded buildings, condemned government and radicalized thousands of blacks in the 1960s. And the more militant movement, Walters and other panelists argued convincingly, deserves as much credit for priming America for Barack Obama as the peaceful protest marches mainstream that Americans are much more comfortable embracing.
Name of source: Salon
SOURCE: Salon (4-2-09)
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Ed
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Ed (4-2-09)
“The United States of America wants to know what you are going to do with the freedom we have in this country,” the lawyer, David Lane, said in his closing argument in a packed Denver courtroom. Placing a pitcher on a stack of books written by Mr. Churchill, he said the university had punished the ethnic-studies professor for a controversial essay on the September 11, 2001, attacks by reducing his 30 years of scholarship to a "pitcher of warm spit."
But the university’s lawyer, Patrick O’Rourke, had a different view—that the university, its faculty members, and its students were under assault by the wanton recklessness of academic fraud perpetrated by Mr. Churchill.
Name of source: WSFA 12 (Montgomery)
SOURCE: WSFA 12 (Montgomery) (4-1-09)
Montgomery Police spokesman Major Huey Thornton said it's believed the bodies are from a mass grave of victims who died of a Yellow fever outbreak sometime in the early 1800's.
A structure built on the burial mound in the 1940's was recently torn down in order for the city to build a new complex, Thornton said. He added that officials don't believe there's any cause for concern. The lot where the remains were found butts up against the Oakwood Cemetery property.
Name of source: The Sydney Morning Herald
SOURCE: The Sydney Morning Herald (4-2-09)
The group area mong 400 Australian and British soldiers who are believed to still lie at Pheasant Wood in Fromelles, France, after fighting in the first battle fought by Australians at the western front in the First World War. An excavation last May confirmed the group burial.
Name of source: Philadelphia Inquirer
SOURCE: Philadelphia Inquirer (4-2-09)
In a letter Monday to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the chief of the corps' regulatory branch in Philadelphia, Frank Cianfrani, said the developer had made "a reasonable and good faith effort" to identify historic properties.
He did, however, advise the commission that two areas of the site, which straddles Northern Liberties and Fishtown, are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and require further excavation. The areas include brick-lined shafts from 18th-century privies and a 1,500-square-foot plot where archaeologists unearthed more than 200 American Indian artifacts.
Name of source: Chicoer (California)
SOURCE: Chicoer (California) (3-31-09)
Lt. Rich Warren of Glenn County Sheriff's Office said in a phone interview late Monday that the bones were discovered around 1:30 p.m. by an archaeologist from Far Western Anthropological Research Group, out of Davis.
The researchers were doing a test dig on the west bank of the river. Digging stopped immediately and the Sheriff's Office was notified.
Far Western archaeologist Bill Hildebrandt positively identified the remains as Native American. The bones are estimated to be about 4,000 years old, Warren said. The researchers were in the area on a project for the Corps of Engineers. Warren said it isn't certain whether the project is related to the future construction of a new levee or to identify the area as an archaeological site for the National Register.
Warren went to the site to make sure the bones were not left there recently and determined the cause of death wasn't in the sheriff-coroner's jurisdiction. The Sheriff's Office notified the Native American Heritage Commission.
The remains have been covered for protection and all work in the area has stopped. "We pretty much want to leave it alone," Warren said. "We don't want it to be disturbed."
He added there is no indication how the person died or what tribe the individual belonged to.
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (4-2-09)
The city medical examiner's office says 54-year-old Manuel Emilio Mejia has been identified from remains found at the World Trade Centre site in the months after the 2001 terrorist attack.
Mejia was a kitchen worker at Windows on the World, the restaurant on top of the trade centre's north tower.
Nearly 2,800 people are on the city's September 11 victims list, but more than 40% of them have never been identified from remains.
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (4-1-09)
A Smithsonian spokeswoman said that as soon as institution safety workers found the problems, they immediately corrected procedures and turned off fans. The museum was closed to the public at the time during a two-year renovation, but American History's full-time staff of curators and employees continued to work in the building.
William Durkin Jr., a representative of Steamfitters Local 602, said that on at least one occasion, it took days before the correct procedures were implemented by the general contractor, Philadelphia-based Turner Construction. Durkin said workers broke apart asbestos-insulated pipes without posting signs or wearing protective clothing. Asbestos is known to cause lung cancer.
SOURCE: WaPo (4-1-09)
A finding that the voting rights bill runs afoul of the Constitution could complicate an upcoming House vote and make the measure more vulnerable to a legal challenge that probably would reach the Supreme Court if it is enacted. The bill, which would give the District a vote in the House for the first time, appeared to be on the verge of passing last month before stalling when pro-gun legislators tried to attach an amendment weakening city gun laws. Supporters say it could reach the House floor in May.
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (3-31-09)
Some 200 police officers swooped on the headquarters of Cologne's local transport company, KVB, and on offices of building firms involved in the underground project.
Chief state prosecutor Guenther Feld said Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Essen, Duesseldorf, Karlsruhe and Wiesbaden were among the cities where Tuesday's raids had taken place.
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (4-1-09)
She was born after General Franco died in 1975, and to her the Spanish Civil War was just something she learnt about at school.
“We were taught Franco was a bad man and were only told the basics about what happened. It is interesting, but not something I talk about with friends,” she said.
But today, as Spain marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, even Ms Sánchez is haunted by its ghost. Like many Spaniards, the Civil War left an indelible mark on her family.
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (4-1-09)
Two millennia later, an 18th-century French surgeon writing under the pseudonym of Procope Couteau took up the idea and advised men wishing to have baby boys to cut off their left testicle – a procedure no more painful than extracting a tooth, he said.
In more recent times, prospective parents wishing for either a boy or a girl have been offered all manner of remedies and food supplements to affect the sex of a baby. But none of these folk recipes – even those involving crystals under the bed – has been able to alter the fundamental biology that determines the 50:50 sex ratio.
A study published yesterday, however, has revealed a new twist to an ancient story. Scientists have found that the probability of giving birth to a baby girl rather than a baby boy increases significantly the nearer the mother lives to the equator. Conversely, the higher the latitude – and the further away from the equator – the greater the chances of a woman having a baby boy.
Name of source: McClatchy
SOURCE: McClatchy (4-1-09)
McCain, R-Ariz., and King, R-N.Y., were to unveil a congressional resolution Wednesday afternoon calling on President Barack Obama to pardon Jack Johnson, who won the heavyweight title a century before Obama took the oath of office.
Johnson's 1908-1915 reign atop the boxing world was flamboyant and controversial. He was reviled by many whites at the time for his boxing prowess, his wealth, and for openly courting and marrying white women.
Displeasure with Johnson spawned a search for a "great white hope," a white challenger who could knock him to the canvass and take his title. But the law delivered the biggest blow to Johnson in 1913 when he was convicted under the Mann Act for having a consensual relationship with a white woman across state lines.
McCain, King, and historians believe that Johnson’s conviction was racially motivated. Johnson fled the United States to France before he was sentenced. He finally lost his heavyweight title to a white fighter — Jess Willard — in Havana in 1915.
Johnson died in a car crash in North Carolina in 1946. His story has been chronicled in stage and film productions of “The Great White Hope,” and in “Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson,” a PBS documentary by Ken Burns.
This is the latest attempt at a Johnson pardon for McCain and King. A similar resolution didn’t make it through both houses of Congress in 2004. The House of Representatives approved a resolution last year urging then-President George W. Bush to pardon Johnson, who like Bush, grew up in Texas. The Senate failed to approve a similar measure and Bush didn’t pardon Johnson.
Name of source: The Jakarta Post (Indonesia)
SOURCE: The Jakarta Post (Indonesia) (4-1-09)
"The mouse is apparently included as an animal used by Ganesha as a vehicle, but this type of statue has never been found in Indonesia before. Ganesha is usually seen riding the Lembu Nandhini cow, the Jatayu bird, or the Padmasana lotus," Malang archeologist Suwardono said Tuesday.
Other singularities of this statue, recently handed over by a private collector, include Ganesha's stiff facial expression and a badhong carving on the shoulders. The decorations worn by the god, also called samboghakaya, are also more lavish.
"The badhong strand is part of the special trait of statues inherited from the Kediri empire, from the Raja Baneswara to Kertajaya kingdoms. The most special trait is the mouse as a vehicle on the pedestal of the statue," Suwardono said.
Suwardono, a graduate of Malang State University, said he had cross-checked the statue with the National Archeology Research and Development Center in Jakarta, the Trowulan Center for Archeological Conservation and Heritage in Mojokerto, and the Archeological Center in Yogyakarta, the results of which confirmed the statue was a one-of-a-kind that had never been seen before.
Name of source: Time Magazine
SOURCE: Time Magazine (3-31-09)
Think back to when a President could dominate the news by simply leaving the country and posing for some photo ops. Maybe he'd even sneak in some history-making diplomatic feats. Exhibit A: Richard Nixon. He's remembered for his 1972 trip to China almost as much as he is for Watergate. And while it's conceivable that relations with the Communist country could have been normalized without a face-to-face meeting between Nixon and Chairman Mao Zedong, news photos of the two leaders shaking hands — not to mention images of Nixon walking the Great Wall and eating with chopsticks — helped convince Americans that Red China was not to be feared.
Nixon was the first U.S. president to visit the Asian nation and the jaunt, which came smack in the midst of the Cold War, was a huge boon for the President's public image. The trip ended with the Shanghai Communique, a joint statement from China and the U.S. that pledged to improve relations between the countries and maintained that Taiwan was part of China, a diplomatic sticking point. At the close of the journey, Nixon crowed, "This was the week that changed the world." (See TIME's 1972 Cover Story "Richard Nixon's Long March to Shanghai")
Name of source: Virginia Pilot
SOURCE: Virginia Pilot (3-30-09)
Capt. Emilio Marrero Jr., a Navy chaplain, watched from atop a fortress wall with a few Marines and two Iraqi guides.
An Iraqi host whispered, "Ali Baba." Thieves.
Armed with little more than indignation and the cross on his left collar, Marrero hollered down in his Bronx accent at the looters: "Ali Baba! Stop."
A pair of armed Marines climbed down from the wall and drove the looters from the ruins.
It was a small victory.
It also was a glimpse into the difficult job of winning the Iraqis' trust while occupying the cradle of civilization. "We're trying to preserve this place, we're not trying to loot it," said Marrero, now the chaplain for Navy Expeditionary Combat Command in Virginia Beach.