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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: Telegraph (UK)
Almost alone among the ex-Communist titans who ran the east bloc, he remains a stalwart defender of the system he served as minister of defence in the Honecker politburo.
Now 89 and living in Lichtenberg, Berlin, he regards the united Germany as a "callous and unjust" government, and wishes that the wall and the wire was still standing.
For his beliefs, Herr Kessler has been barred from membership in the Party of Democratic Socialism, the successor to the East German Communist Party, which is trying to convey a moderate, democratic image.
He has also been convicted of manslaughter as a result of his role in ordering East German border guards to shoot at fleeing refugees. The case involved seven victims picked from among the more than 600 who died while trying to flee.
"On some matters I cannot change my position," he says. "I refuse to sacrifice my Communist beliefs to the fashion of the day. I am and remain a believer in democratic centralism and a revolutionary socialist party."
Bit by bit, De Paolis uncovered copies of the frescoes in Raphael's Room of Heliodorus at the Vatican museums, thought to have been painted by a contemporary student of the Renaissance master, Ugo da Scarpi, best known for his wood carvings.
The Room of Heliodorus is one of four frescoed chambers by Raphael and his disciples, commissioned for the private apartments of Pope Julius II in the Apostolic Palace, now part of the Vatican Museums, next to the Sistine Chapel.
About 50 square metres (500 square feet) survive of the copies, badly damaged but clearly distinguishable in places.
They are slightly smaller than the original frescoes painted in the early 16th century, depicting the heavenly protection believed to be accorded by Jesus Christ to the Roman Catholic Church.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-8-09)
The royal couple joined a congregation in Victoria, British Colombia, to mark the sombre occasion on the same day the Queen led the nation in honouring Britain's fallen servicemen and women.
Canadians who have died fighting in the First and Second World Wars and in the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan were remembered.
Ben Shephard said Motion's poem An Equal Voice had used 17 passages from his book A War of Nerves, which documented the effects of shell shock on soldiers.
Motion, who said his poem "stitched together" accounts from "a variety of sources", dismissed Shephard's claim of plagiarism by saying he was working in a long tradition of "found poetry" that dated back to Shakespeare.
Crowds thronged the areas where the 96-mile wall encircled West Berlin in the German Democratic Republic (GDR).
Chancellor Merkel, Mr Gorbachev and Mr Walesa walked across the site of the Bornholmer Strasse where the first crowds were filmed crossing freely from the Communist state and the democratic western enclave.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-8-09)
The conventional view of Indian colonial life as a quintessentially English experience - all G&Ts, tea and cricket - has long overlooked the fact that Scots were heavily represented in HMG's vast imperial civil service, and as businessmen and architects.
Now, keen to underline its independence from London in foreign affairs, Scotland's new nationalist government plans to reclaim that forgotten heritage in Calcutta, the capital of British India.
Its first target will be helping to restore the rubble-covered grand staircases and peeling walls of once-magnificent buildings like Duff College, named after Alexander Duff, a Scots missionary and pioneering educationalist who arrived in Calcutta in 1830 after being shipwrecked twice en route. But Holyrood also hopes to remind Indians of the role that Scots played in educating and inspiring some of the sub-continent's leading independence campaigners.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-7-09)
The move comes amid efforts by Raul Castro's government to scale back Cuba's subsidy-rich, cash-poor economy. Lunches which cost so little they were almost free lunches were eliminated from some state-cafeterias in September. In October, the Communist Party's Granma newspaper published a full-page editorial saying the time had come to do away with the ration books altogether.
Authorities say their goal is to encourage more productivity and free the state from a crushing economic burden. Critics – including some on the streets of Havana – argue that the moves break with what had been a sacred covenant of the revolution Fidel Castro led in 1959: that socialism would not make people rich, but would provide all Cubans with at least the basics.
Even with the changes, the state pays for or heavily subsidises nearly everything, from education to health care, housing to transportation. But many Cubans see the ration book – or "libreta" in Spanish– as a flawed but fundamental right, and shoppers on Friday bristled at the new changes
"This is crazy. They should be adding products to the ration book, not taking away from it," said Roberto Rodriguez, a 55-year-old delivery man buying rice, sugar and coffee at an official store in Havana's Vedado neighborhood. "If they don't produce enough, people will start to hoard products and things will get even worse."
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-6-09)
News of the sale was greeted with anger on the Chinese internet, where the country's growing nationalism frequently finds its voice.
"Bandits have seized our treasures and are now selling them off at auction for ridiculous profits. How can we tolerate such behaviour?" wrote one user of the Sohu Internet portal. "The Chinese government must get fully involved in this matter." The seal, lot 136, was the prize object in a 261-lot sale which raised a total of £8.3m...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-7-09)
Until recent weeks, Harald Jaeger, a Stasi officer at Bornholmer Strasse in north Berlin, held the undisputed mantle of the man who peacefully breached the Berlin Wall. But now Heinz Schafer, who was a colonel in the East German army in 1989, has declared that he was the first to open the barriers, at Waltersdorf in the far south of the city. Col Schafer, a 78 year-old who lives in a bleak suburb not far from the former crossing, only put forward his account in a talk to schoolgirls earlier this year.
"As soon as I saw the announcement on television [that travel restrictions for East Germans had been lifted], I put on my uniform and returned to the station," he said. "People had already gathered between the fence and the barrier and were demanding the right to cross. I had certain things to do – for example, we had to take the ammunition out of the self-shooting guns to make them safe...
Name of source: BBC
In a special video address, US President Barack Obama said Berliners had rebuked tyranny on 9 November 1989.
The event two decades ago led Germany to reunify, caused the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Cold War's end.
Communist East Germany erected the 155-km (96-mile) concrete barrier in 1961 to encircle West Berlin and prevent citizens from fleeing into the capitalist enclave...
... Mrs Clinton also spoke, before introducing a surprise video address from Washington by Mr Obama.
"There could be no clearer rebuke of tyranny. There could be no stronger affirmation of freedom," he said of the wall's tearing down.
Mr Medvedev said the wall's collapse had helped Russia and Germany end their World War II enmity.
He said he hoped everyone had rejected the dividing lines represented by the wall.
In his speech, Mr Brown told Berliners: "You dared to dream in the darkness. You knew that while force has the temporary power to dominate, it can never ultimately dictate."
After the leaders spoke, a chain of 1,000 giant foam dominoes - painted with messages of freedom by young people - was toppled along where the wall once stood...
Estate ledgers, royal edicts and personal correspondence are to stay at Bangor University after a deal with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
The deal agreed with executors of the Penrhyn Castle estate will see the archives accepted for the British people in lieu of inheritance tax.
They reveal the history and politics of the families of the castle in Gwynedd.
The documents, which range from 13th Century parchment to 20th century typed papers, chart hundreds of years of history.
The image shows Mr Sarkozy, then a 34-year-old French MP, standing before a graffiti-covered section of the wall.
His caption dates the image to 9 November 1989, but French observers say it was probably taken the next day.
In the caption, the French president says he arrived in West Berlin with a group of French politicians on the morning of 9 November, crossed Checkpoint Charlie to the East, and headed for the Brandenburg gates.
However, French commentators point to a possible mix-up of the dates.
They say news of the collapse did not come until late in the day on 9 November, and West Berliners did not begin attacking the Wall until the following day.
SOURCE: BBC (11-5-09)
Madeline Achterberg still harbours a fondness for many aspects of life in the old East Germany, especially the food, even though she wasn't even born in 1989.
"These things have a special spirit to them. They have a feeling of telling stories and Christmas," she says. "They have a story behind them."
Her family lives in Munich now, but when they go back, they return with bags bulging. ..
... Erika Mendel, a 70-year-old retired engineer from Berlin, says she tried some of the Western brands on offer and found the quality poor.
She buys the GDR washing powder she's always used, and cosmetics, liqueurs and many foodstuffs. Her husband drinks the East German brand of beer he has always drunk.
"I know it was always good and is still good now," she says...
Name of source: Inside Higher Ed
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (11-9-09)
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (11-6-09)
“Let’s face it: the library, as a place, is dead,” said Suzanne E. Thorin, dean of libraries at Syracuse University. “Kaput. Finito. And we need to move on to a new concept of what the academic library is.”...
... Despite the objections of “a minority of very loud faculty members,” Thorin said, the days of wandering through the stacks are over. “People,” she told the audience, of whom many were librarians, “the world has changed, and so have your students, and so have your faculty!”...
... The library still is, and will continue to be, the centerpiece of a campus, Luce said. The history of libraries, he said, has been marked by evolution: They were founded as places where materials were collected and stored. Then they shifted their focus toward connecting clients with resources. Then, with the addition of creature comforts such as coffee shops, they became "experience" centered, effectively rendering student unions obsolete.
“Now, in the fourth generation, we’re really seeing the library as a place to connect, collaborate, learn, and really synthesize all four of those roles together,” said Luce. “How do you do that without bricks and mortar?”...
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (11-8-09)
In general, said James M. Goldgeier of George Washington University, a historian of the period, “the big question out there for 20 years is who gets the credit.”
For many in the United States, he said, most of the credit now goes to President Ronald Reagan and his aggressive military spending and antagonism toward Communism. That view has largely eclipsed another American perspective, which was that globalization and democratization were so powerful that a Mikhail Gorbachev was inevitable, and that the cold war ended through “soft power” — propaganda, diplomacy and the Helsinki accords.
“As the partisan divide over Reagan has dissipated, I think over time most Americans, if they think back at all, say it was Reagan who said, ‘Tear down this wall,’ and down it came,” Professor Goldgeier said.
Robert Kagan, a historian with the Carnegie Endowment in Washington and an editor of The Weekly Standard, said conservatives won the debate. “The standard narrative is Reagan,” he said.
This is not the case in Europe, Mr. Kagan said. “If 90 percent of Americans say it was the U.S. being firm, 99 percent of Europeans think it was they being soft — that the wall fell through Ostpolitik and West German TV.”
SOURCE: NYT (11-6-09)
The wall snaked along, cutting through fields, yards and gardens. But Mr. Braun’s family did not talk about the wall. “As children, we did not see borders,” said Mr. Braun, 56. “They played no role.”
When Mr. Braun was conscripted into the East German People’s Army in the mid-1970s, he had no choice but to acknowledge the border that divided his country, and Europe. He was dispatched to a border guard unit that patrolled the area north of Berlin. The unit’s task was to prevent East Germans from scaling the wall and escaping to the Western part of the city...
... The fall of the Berlin Wall did destroy borders between countries, at least physically. Millions of people who had been raised in communist Eastern Europe had for the first time in their lives the possibility to see the West. But the idea of borders, mental or physical, across Europe, was not eradicated.
“The West had preoccupied our imagination for so long,” said Ivan Krastev, chairman of the Center for Liberal Strategies in Sofia. “We had talked about destroying the borders. It was about the physical act of crossing. No constraints.” ...
... Now that Mr. Krastev can travel and lecture anywhere he chooses, he can see what opportunities the end of the Cold War and globalization have created.
“Yet for many, globalization is seen as a threat because there is no protection,” he said. “Borders have become important again, but this time it is the West that wants to put them up, not the East.”
SOURCE: NYT (11-7-09)
President Obama signed a joint resolution of the House and the Senate on Friday that made Pulaski, a Polish nobleman, an honorary citizen.
Pulaski’s contribution to the American colonies’ effort to leave the British Empire began with a flourish. He wrote a letter to Gen. George Washington with the declaration: “I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it.”
Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, had been pushing for the honorary citizenship since 2005.
“Pulaski made the ultimate sacrifice for this country, and he deserves nothing but the highest honor and recognition for his service,” Mr. Kucinich said then.
SOURCE: NYT (11-7-09)
On a television stage emblazoned with an oversize map of unified Germany, the questions about the divided old days were as symmetrical as the antique cars. The topics — nude beachgoers in the East and sex education in the West, vacation destinations or the funny dialects on either side — struck a note of shared Germanness that endured even at the peak of the cold war.
The anniversary on Monday has prompted a powerful national conversation, not just about a moment two decades ago, but about Germany today. It is more united and less turbulent than many here or abroad expected and, given its 20th century history, than many thought it deserved to be. Especially among the young, there is the sense that the aspiration to transcend Germany’s dark history and simply become normal may finally be within reach.
The latest round of news media accounts on the tumultuous final hours of the wall have emphasized not some sense of historical inevitability driven by economics and geopolitics, but rather the capricious human side of the event. That is reflected in last week’s cover story in the magazine Der Spiegel, which meticulously reconstructed, hour by hour, the events of the day that built up to the wall’s unexpected opening, titled “The Error That Led to Unity.”
Bureaucratic confusion over new travel regulations led crowds of East Berliners to gather at border checkpoints on Nov. 9, 1989, prompting guards to open the gates, bringing a sudden end to the division of the city with a night of spontaneous celebration and reunion.
In recent weeks polls have been released on the differences, and as often as not the similarities, between the former East and the former West in matters of love and real estate, table manners and car ownership. In ways both typically serious and atypically jocular, Germans seem to be groping for an understanding of what happened and what, along the way, they have become.
Beneath the trivial differences lies a country more unified than anyone expected. That is not to say that there are not still some hard feelings, and particularly among those from the East, known officially as the German Democratic Republic. Despite great strides and an estimated $2 trillion in assistance since 1989, many there have not quite caught up to the West materially and saw their everyday way of life disappear along with the wall...
SOURCE: NYT (11-5-09)
Now, as chancellor of a reunited Germany, Mrs. Merkel is presiding over a series of events commemorating the 20th anniversary of that day. In a talk with reporters here on Thursday she shared her recollections about that historic day and the long path Germans have taken since then to bring the two sides closer.
The moment was ripe for looking back on the fall of the wall “after many years of just trying to deal with the daily problems,” Mrs. Merkel said. “Our heads are now above water, and we have accomplished the most important things.”
The timing appeared right for Mrs. Merkel as well. She is fresh off her victory in elections in September and is the first chancellor from the former East Germany, or German Democratic Republic, since reunification. Mrs. Merkel has seized the moment and seemed more animated and at ease than normal, given her often very serious public demeanor.
She balanced her comments about the events of that day with an appreciation of the struggles faced by her fellow East Germans in the period of dislocation that followed. The celebrations and the discussion itself are complicated by profound disappointment among those left behind in the painful restructuring economy of the former East, and what many there view as a discussion dominated, like so many facets of their lives, by those from the West...
SOURCE: NYT (11-5-09)
Their decision effectively gave Mr. Karadzic, who has insisted on representing himself, almost four additional months to prepare his defense, which is more than an appeals court gave him when it ordered the case to begin.
“We need time to digest this decision,” said Marco Sladojevic, one of the lawyers assisting Mr. Karadzic. “We will try to find a constructive answer when the team meets with him tomorrow.”
Since his trial before the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague opened Oct. 26, Mr. Karadzic has forced the court’s hand by staying in his cell.
He showed up briefly for a procedural hearing on Tuesday, only to argue again that he needed more time to deal with the great load of materials relating to the charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in the 1992-95 Bosnian war...
SOURCE: NYT (11-3-09)
Name of source: WSJ
SOURCE: WSJ (11-9-09)
Members of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's administration have sent mixed signals in recent weeks over the Japanese government's stance on a plan to realign U.S. forces on the remote southern island of Okinawa. Mr. Hatoyama campaigned in part on reviewing the plan, which is unpopular in Okinawa because many there want U.S. forces off the island entirely.
A crowd estimated at 21,000 people protested Sunday at Ginowan City in Okinawa and called for U.S. forces to leave, according to the rally's organizers. About 2,000 staged a protest at a U.S. air base in nearby Kadena on Saturday...
... The U.S. military's presence has become increasingly unpopular within Okinawa. The rape of a 12-year-old girl by U.S. servicemen in 1995 prompted talks to close the Futenma base. The crash of a military helicopter in a college campus near Futenma in 2004 led to the 2006 agreement.
More recently, Japan's weakened economy has added to the bitterness. As a price for hosting military bases, Tokyo traditionally dished out generous public works spending to prop up Okinawa. But as Japan's overall economy began to falter in the 1990s and the government's debts piled up, Tokyo began to cut such spending.
They were there to protect the so-called Fulda Gap -- a key weakness in the West's defense. It was the most difficult area for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to defend because of its accessible terrain and a geography that marked a deep protrusion of eastern territory into the West.
The Fulda area, about 100 miles from Frankfurt, was seen as an attractive avenue for a military push from the East into Western Europe.
Roger Cirillo, who served in the Fulda area as a captain during the 1970s, says he always trained his soldiers to expect a situation where the enemy would outnumber them. But he knew that in case of an attack, "there was no way that I could do my job without getting killed." He also left no doubt in his subordinates that they were likely to die if it came to defending their post.
Mr. Cirillo, now director of the Association of the U.S. Army's book progam, in Arlington, Va., remains fascinated by Cold War Germany. After retiring from the armed forces, he got his doctorate and researched defense plans of both sides...
SOURCE: WSJ (11-4-09)
Ahornia inhabits the thickly wooded mountains along what once was the fortified border between West Germany and Czechoslovakia. At the height of the Cold War, a high electric fence, barbed wire and machine-gun-carrying guards cut off Eastern Europe from the Western world. The barriers severed the herds of deer on the two sides as well.
The fence is long gone, and the no-man's land where it stood now is part of Europe's biggest nature preserve. The once-deadly border area is alive with songbirds nesting in crumbling watchtowers, foxes hiding in weedy fortifications and animals not seen here for years, such as elk and lynx.
But one species is boycotting the reunified animal kingdom: red deer. Herds of them roam both sides of the old NATO-Warsaw Pact border here but mysteriously turn around when they approach it. This although the deer alive today have no memory of the ominous fence.
"It's an all-in wager on the economic future of the United States," Mr. Buffett said of his purchase. "I love these bets." So did Vanderbilt. And Mr. Buffett's wager is on a Vanderbiltian scale. His company, Berkshire Hathaway, is paying $26.3 billion in cash and stock for 77.4% of the enormous railroad. (It already owned the rest.) In the Information Age, this is a startling endorsement of the oldest of the old economy.
Nineteenth century railroads largely created the modern corporate economy. Led by Vanderbilt, they landscaped the playing field that Mr. Buffett now strides across. The tale of the two titans, then, is a tangled story rather than a mere contrast of then and now.
On Nov. 8, 1833, the 39-year-old Vanderbilt boarded a train. Railroads were new enough that this was notable in itself. The locomotive resembled an oversize barrel thrown on its side, with wheels and a smokestack. The three cars that trailed behind were modeled on stagecoaches, and looked nothing like the rectangular boxes of decades to come. The train pulled out of South Amboy, N.J., and chugged down the Camden & Amboy Railroad. It soon reached the terrifying speed of 25 miles per hour...
He was 26 years old and managing a McDonald's in the sleepy West German town of Hof when the Berlin Wall was toppled 20 years ago on Monday. The next day, East Germans poured into the West. The first stop for many was Mr. Rader's Golden Arches, a siren of capitalism's long-forbidden fruits.
"We were overrun," Mr. Rader recalls. In just hours, all his hamburgers and fries were devoured. What piles of gold awaited the owner of the first McDonald's in eastern Germany, he wondered.
Now 46, Mr. Rader drives a Porsche and is a partner in an international chain of hip Italian eateries sprouting in Warsaw, London, Istanbul, Budapest, Washington and even in Berlin's Potsdamer Platz, near where the Wall once stood.
"It all started in that McDonald's" the night the border opened, Mr. Rader says...
Name of source: The National Security Archives
SOURCE: The National Security Archives (11-8-09)
Compiled and edited by Czech historian Vilem Precan and translated by Todd Hammond, the documents show that waves of East German refugees fleeing to the West through Czechoslovakia (more than 62,000 just in the period from November 4 to 10, 1989) so alarmed the Czechoslovak Communist authorities – who previously had resisted the reforms under way in Poland, Hungary and in Moscow – that they asked the East German leadership on November 8 to allow its citizens to go directly to West Germany, in effect to open the border.
The documents posted today include the secret diplomatic exchanges between the West German foreign ministry and its embassy in Prague where thousands of refugees took shelter, between East German diplomats in Prague and their bosses in East Berlin, between Czechoslovak diplomats and Party officials and their counterparts, and eyewitness accounts by dissident Charter 77 spokespeople about the refugee crisis.
The posting also includes contemporaneous photographs of the scene at the West German embassy in Prague, Czech police attempting to prevent refugees from scaling the embassy walls, the tent city that arose in its courtyard, and rows of abandoned Trabant cars in the streets of Prague...
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (11-8-09)
Whether the Fort Hood shooter associated with the hijackers is something the FBI will probably look into, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said Sunday it's important for the country not to get caught up in speculation about Hasan's Muslim faith, and he has instructed his commanders to be on the lookout for anti-Muslim reaction to the killings at the Texas post.
Name of source: CNSNews.com
SOURCE: CNSNews.com (11-5-09)
"You will not be forgotten as long as I'm in this White House," Obama said during opening remarks at the all-day conference of tribal leaders and government officials.
Obama said the meeting is the largest and most widely attended gathering of tribal leaders in U.S. history. Officials planned to discuss problems facing American Indians, including economic development, education, health care, public safety and housing.
Given the government's history of reneging on agreements with Native Americans, Obama said it took an "extraordinary leap of faith" for leaders to attend the meeting. Obama said he is determined to be a good partner with tribal nations.
SOURCE: CNSNews.com (11-6-09)
Planned events include a mass human rights and democracy demonstration led by North Korean refugee leaders in Seoul on Saturday; an all-day national day of prayer, fasting and repentance on Sunday; and another demonstration on Monday at the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas, calling for the North’s liberation.
A spokesman for the organizers said from Seoul on Friday that North Korean refugee organizations, groups focusing on North Korean human rights, and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were participating in the “UnifyKorea2009” events...
... Almost a year later, on Oct. 3, 1990, Germany was formally reunified.
The Korean peninsula has been divided since the end of World War II left the formerly Japanese-occupied country split at the 38th parallel between zones occupied by the Soviet Union and the United States...
Name of source: The National Security Archive
SOURCE: The National Security Archive (11-7-09)
Solidarity hero Lech Walesa told West German chancellor Helmut Kohl on the very day the Wall would fall that "events in the GDR [East Germany] are developing too quickly" and "at the wrong time," that the Wall could fall in a week or two (it would be a matter of hours) and then Kohl and the West would shift all their attention and aid to the GDR, leaving poor Poland "in the background." And indeed, Kohl cut short his visit to Warsaw and flew back to Germany as soon as the news arrived of the breach of the Wall.
British prime minister Margaret Thatcher earlier had told Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev that "Britain and Western Europe are not interested in the unification of Germany. The words written in the NATO communiqué may sound different, but disregard them." Top Gorbachev aide Anatoly Chernyaev concluded that Thatcher wanted to prevent unification "with our hands" and not her own.
Former U.S. national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski informed Soviet Politburo member Aleksandr Yakovlev, "I openly said that I am in favor of Poland and Hungary remaining in the Warsaw Treaty Organization. Both blocs should not be disbanded right now. I do not know what will happen if the GDR ceases to exist. There will be one Germany, united and strong. This does not correspond to either your or our interests."...
Name of source: New Jersey Real-Time News
SOURCE: New Jersey Real-Time News (11-6-09)
The seventh and eighth grade students are creating 10 holiday ornaments for the tree depicting various "noteworthy and inspirational buildings or sites with historical significance or cultural importance," according to the instructions they received from the White House.
Name of source: Time
SOURCE: Time (11-8-09)
Burke's broadside at O'Malley was inspired by the Cardinal's decision to permit and preside over a funeral Mass for the late Senator Ted Kennedy. And it has set the Catholic world abuzz. Even more than protests over the University of Notre Dame's decision to invite President Barack Obama to speak, disputes over the Kennedy funeral have brought into the open an argument that has been roiling within American Catholicism. The debate nominally centers on the question of how to deal with politicians who support abortion rights. Burke and others who believe a Catholic's position on abortion trumps all other teachings have faced off against those who take a more holistic view of the faith. But at the core, the divide is over who decides what it means to be Catholic...
... Burke's confrontational approach doesn't always mesh with the more discreet diplomacy favored by his Italian colleagues. "He's seen as a bull in a china shop," says an American priest and longtime Rome resident. "I've seen Italian bishops roll their eyes."
In retrospect, it should have been obvious that the funeral plans for Kennedy would reignite a lingering dispute within the church. The question of whether the Senator should even be described as a Catholic because of his support for abortion rights and his checkered life history was hotly debated on Catholic blogs and religion websites like Beliefnet.com. Right-wing Catholics lobbied the Boston archdiocese to refuse the Kennedy family a church funeral. Robert Royal of the Faith & Reason Institute called O'Malley's decision to go ahead with the Mass a "grave scandal" on a par with the sexual-abuse crisis...
Name of source: Salon
SOURCE: Salon (11-6-09)
That sort of thing has been happening all too frequently during protests against Democratic healthcare reform plans, and one of the more shocking examples was on display at the protest on Capitol Hill Thursday: A banner that featured a picture of naked, emaciated bodies stacked in a pile, with text reading, "National Socialist Health Care: Dachau, Germany -- 1945."
Now, someone with credibility on the issue that's all too real has spoken out against these comparisons. Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and author, put out a statement through his foundation's Twitter account. It reads simply, "Elie Wiesel on the GOP Tea Party's anti-Semitism and Holocaust comparisons: 'This kind of political hatred is indecent and disgusting.'"
Name of source: Yahoo News
SOURCE: Yahoo News (11-7-09)
Many of the upright 7.5-foot-high (2.3-meter-high) plastic foam dominoes carried messages, including "We are one people." The approximately 1,000 dominoes stretching for 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) will be toppled Monday as part of wider celebrations of the wall's fall.
One labeled "bleeding heart" showed a sword cutting through the city of Berlin, starting a crimson flow of blood speckled with crosses.
"Everyone has walls in their heads to a certain extent," said Berlin resident Stefan Schueler as he perused the domino display. "It's always a good thing if one can break them down, and I think this is a good symbol."
SOURCE: Yahoo News (11-5-09)
Oswald, who was shot to death days after being charged with the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, claimed the photo of him holding a rifle in one hand and Marxist newspapers in the other had been doctored. Over the years, many others have pointed out what appear to be inconsistent lighting and shadows.
But Hany Farid, director of the Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth, said the shadows are exactly where they should be.
Name of source: Saffron Walden Reporter
SOURCE: Saffron Walden Reporter (10-30-09)
They were found not guilty in a Crown Court test case prosecution which has been closely watched by treasure hunters throughout the country.
Today's verdict has implications for all who head out to the countryside with metal detectors in search of treasure.
Bronze Age axe heads, spearheads and a chisel were found when the two men caught while operating at about 5am in the "dark and rain," on land belonging to Lord Braybrooke without permission, Ipswich Crown Court was told.
Name of source: Dutch News
SOURCE: Dutch News (11-2-09)
The first mound was identified in 1933 and is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the country.
Name of source: Philly.com
SOURCE: Philly.com (11-6-09)
It could be worse.
During World War II, federal troops armed with bayonets and rifles gave striking Philadelphia transit employees an ultimatum: Get back to work or be drafted.
And there wasn't much brotherly love in the city in 1910, when a transportation strike led to riots, about two dozen deaths and the destruction of hundreds of trolleys.
The current walkout will surely cause economic and political damage, but Philadelphia is unlikely to see the strong-arm tactics and strike-related violence seen in decades past, historians and labor experts say.
Name of source: Truthout
SOURCE: Truthout (11-5-09)
The Senate's 54-45 vote to reject the measure by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., opens the door for President Barack Obama to bring Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-professed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, to trial in federal court, rather than the military commissions Graham helped create.
SOURCE: Truthout (11-3-09)
Three other defendants in the case, Teofilio Saa, Humberto Lobaiza and Felipe Alespeiti, who together were charged with 114 counts of kidnapping, were absolved.
Since 2003, when Argentina's Congress repealed several amnesty laws from the 1980s passed during democratic transition, which has protected officials from prosecution, more than 560 officials have been indicted. Before the verdict on October 23, just over 60 officials had been convicted, and three had been absolved. The case doubles the number of officials who have been found not guilty.
Name of source: wsoctv9 North Carolina
SOURCE: wsoctv9 North Carolina (11-5-09)
The teachers plan to write letters to leaders at the historic Latta Plantation about their disapproval of a hands-on history lesson during a Rea View Elementary class trip Wednesday.
During a lesson on the Civil War, tour guide Ian Campbell, who is himself black, made black students pretend to be slaves in front of their white classmates.
Campbell said he's been a historian for more than 15 years.
"I am very enthusiastic about getting kids to think about how people did things in 1860, 1861 -- even before that period," he said.
One parent said Campbell took his enthusiasm too far when he picked three black elementary school children out of a group of mostly white students to play the role of cotton picking slaves during a his hands-on history lesson. The parent said the students were also made to wear bags used to gather cotton around their necks.
Campbell said, "I was trying to be historically correct not politically correct."
Name of source: Boston.com
SOURCE: Boston.com (11-6-09)
In a letter released late in the afternoon, Brona Simon, state historic preservation officer, said she believes that Nantucket Sound is so culturally important to two Wampanoag tribes that it should be eligible to be listed on the National Register as a traditional cultural property. Her decision conflicts with an earlier conclusion by the Minerals Management Service, the federal agency that led the environmental review of the Cape Wind project.
Name of source: Rasmussen Reports
SOURCE: Rasmussen Reports (11-5-09)
Thirty-five percent (35%) feel the nation's best days are still to come, down 13 points since President Obama’s inauguration in January.
Name of source: International Business Times (UK)
SOURCE: International Business Times (UK) (11-5-09)
The survey, conducted by Erskine, which takes care of around 1,350 war veterans, asked 2,000 children aged nine to 15 a number of questions about the Second World War and got some astonishing results.
One in six of respondents said they thought that Auschwitz is a theme park based on the Second World War. One in 20 said that the Holocaust was the celebration of the end of the war, whilst one in ten said they believed that the SS were Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven...
Name of source: Nature News
SOURCE: Nature News (11-5-09)
The tool shows that people were living in North America well before the widespread Clovis culture of 12,900 to 12,400 years ago, says archaeologist Dennis Jenkins of the University of Oregon in Eugene.
Studies of sediment and radiocarbon dating showed the bone's age. Jenkins presented the finding late last month in a lecture at the University of Oregon.
His team found the tool in a rock shelter overlooking a lake in south-central Oregon, one of a series of caves near the town of Paisley.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (11-4-09)
The hostage crisis, coming in the aftermath of Iran's Islamic revolution, ended diplomatic relations between Washington and Tehran -- a rift that persists to this day.
Iran celebrates the embassy takeover as an official holiday, and tens of thousands showed up in Tehran on Wednesday to hear anti-American speeches.
The anniversary was also an opportunity to reignite the anti-government protests that were sparked in June, following a disputed presidential election, and thousands of anti-government protesters ignored warnings from Iranian authorities to stay home.
One of the leaders of the 1979 hostage-takers says the United States and Iran must not be hostages to history...
Name of source: Google News
SOURCE: Google News (11-4-09)
The bust of the Egyptian beauty is the centrepiece of Berlin's "Neues Museum", which reopened last month 70 years after it was closed following heavy bomb damage during World War II.
"The director of the Egyptian antiquities department at the Berlin museum will come (to Egypt) on December 8 to discuss the right of Egyptians to the return of the statue of Nefertiti," Zahi Hawass told journalists on a visit to Luxor.
Nefertiti's bust reached Germany in mysterious circumstances, with German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt bringing the figure to Berlin a year after it was unearthed on the banks of the Nile.
Name of source: Daily Mail
SOURCE: Daily Mail (11-5-09)
But the local authority in Braunau-am-Inn, Austria, has vowed to try to find a way of blocking any sale because it fears it could land up in the hands of extreme right-wingers who would turn it into a grotesque shrine to his memory.
The mayor of Braunau, Gerhard Skiba, said ideally the town council would like to purchase it and so control its future fate.
But there is not enough money in the town coffers to buy the property, Salzburger Vorstadt 15.