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: Lee White at the National Coalition for History
The NHPRC and UVA Press will create a new web site which provides access to the fully annotated published papers of key figures in the nation’s Founding era. The project is designed to include the papers of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin. The National Historical Publications and Records Commission will provide funding in the amount of up to $2 million for the UVA Press to undertake the work on the published papers.
Through this web resource, users will be able to read, browse, and search tens of thousands of documents from the Founding Era. A prototype web site including the contents of 154 volumes drawn from print editions of the papers of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison will be prepared by October 2011. The fully public version will be launched by June 2012 and will also include the 27 volumes of the Papers of Alexander Hamilton. By June 2013, the Founders Online expects to add the 39 published volumes of the Papers of Benjamin Franklin. The new resource will include the complete contents of 242 printed volumes, including all of the existing document transcriptions and the editors’ explanatory notes.
In conjunction with entering into the cooperative agreement, Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero also announced the appointment of three leading scholars to a special Founding Fathers Advisory Committee. The three members are Edward L. Ayers, President of University of Richmond, and leading scholar on the Civil War and American South; Mary Beth Norton, Professor of American History at Cornell University, and leading scholar on the social and political era of the 17th and 18th century America; and David Hackett Fisher, Professor of History at Brandeis, a leading scholar on the colonial era and Pulitzer Prize-winner author of Washington’s Crossing (2004). The Committee will advise the Archivist on the progress of the Founders’ editorial projects, and it is scheduled to meet at the National Archives on December 13, 2010.
The report identifies the public and private policy issues that strongly bear on whether the nation’s most culturally and historically important sound recordings will be preserved for future generations. The study found that digital technology alone will not ensure the preservation and survival of the nation’s sound history.
The study was mandated by the U.S. Congress under the “National Recording Preservation Act of 2000″ (P.L. 106-474) and is the first comprehensive study on a national level that examines the state of America’s sound-recording preservation ever conducted in the United States.
The report is available for purchase and as a free download by clicking here. For more findings from the report, review the appendix and the introduction/executive summary.
Information for this study was gathered through interviews, public hearings and written submissions. NRPB previously commissioned five ancillary studies in support of this final report, which will lay the groundwork for the National Recording Preservation Plan, to be developed and published later this year.
Although public institutions, libraries and archives hold an estimated 46 million recordings, the study finds that major areas of America’s recorded sound heritage have already deteriorated or remain inaccessible to the public. Only an estimated 14 percent of pre-1965 commercially released recordings are currently available from rights-holders. Of music released in the United States in the 1930s, only about 10 percent of it can now be readily accessed by the public.
Authored by Rob Bamberger and Sam Brylawski under the auspices of NRPB, the study points out the lack of conformity between federal and state laws, which has adversely affected the survival of pre-1972 sound recording. One of the major conclusions in the report is that the advent of digital technologies and distribution platforms has made inseparable the issues surrounding both the preservation of sound recordings and access to them.
The authors also conclude that analog recordings made more than 100 years ago are likelier to survive than digital recordings made today. In addition, the report warns that there must be a coordinated effort by the various stakeholders to address the scope of the problem, the complexity of the technical landscape, the need for preservation education and the copyright conundrum.
Finally, the report notes that newer materials such as born-digital audio are at greater risk of loss than older recordings, such as 78-rpm discs; that there is a lack of a comprehensive program to preserve born-digital audio; and that open-reel preservation tapes made in the 1970s and 1980s are deteriorating faster than older tape recordings.
The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation has already begun initiatives to solve some of the problems identified during preparation of the study. For example, the Recorded Sound Section of the Packard Campus has obtained a license to stream acoustical recordings controlled by the Sony Music Entertainment for the Library of Congress National Jukebox, which will debut later in 2010.
The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation is a state-of-the-art facility funded as a gift to the nation by the Packard Humanities Institute. The Packard Campus is the site where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of motion pictures, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings.
The Packard Campus is home to more than six million collection items, including nearly three million sound recordings. It provides staff support for the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board, the National Recording Preservation Board, and the National Registries for film and recorded sound.
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington recently launched a new campaign asking America to “collect and preserve the story of at least one veteran” and to “pledge to preserve this important part of American history.”
Congress created The Veterans History Project in 2000 as a national documentation program of the American Folklife Center to record, preserve and make accessible the firsthand remembrances of American wartime veterans from World War I through the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. More than 68,000 individual stories comprise the collection to date. The project relies on volunteers to record veterans’ remembrances using guidelines accessible at www.loc.gov/vets/. Volunteer interviewers may request information at email@example.com or the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848.
Take a Veteran to School Day is a national program developed by HISTORY to link veterans with students. Schools and communities invite veterans of all backgrounds to share their stories and receive thanks for their years of service.
Launched in 2007, thousands of schools nationwide have participated in Take a Veteran to School Day. From single class visits to all-school assemblies, these events provide a way for students to learn more about the history of Veterans Day and about the experiences of veterans from all backgrounds and walks of life.
Registration information, how-to-guides and curriculum and planning guides can be found at www.veterans.com.
OGIS is part of the National Archives and Records Administration.
OGIS is responsible for reviewing policies and procedures of administrative agencies under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); reviewing compliance with FOIA by administrative agencies; and recommending policy changes to Congress and the President to improve the administration of FOIA. OGIS also is responsible for offering mediation services to resolve disputes between persons making FOIA requests and administrative agencies, and may issue advisory opinions if mediation has not resolved the dispute.
In fiscal year 2010, the office handled nearly 400 cases from 40 states, the District of Columbia and seven countries. 83% of cases have been resolved with 17% still pending. The office reached its full staffing level of seven in May.
The caseload is expected to increase over the coming year as both requesters and federal agencies become more aware of OGIS. In addition, all federal agencies are now required to have chief FOIA officer which should also increase the number of cases referred to OGIS.
The categories of cases handled by OGIS were fairly diverse:
* Ombudsman Issues—19%
* Privacy Act—15%
* Misc. —1%
OGIS has also issued a “best practices” briefing paper to assist requesters in making a FOIA request. On the government side, OGIS has worked with federal agencies to institute training for their employees who handle FOIA requests to improve their responsiveness. OGIS is also assisting agencies applying in the use of Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR) to FOIA cases.
“DocsTeach.org is a significant and welcome addition to our popular education programs,” said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. “It will engage teachers and students in new ways and stir their interest in history through the use of original documents in the National Archives. It is also consistent with our goals to make as much of our holdings available to the public as easily as possible.”
The site allows educators to explore thousands of documents in a variety of media from the holdings of the National Archives and combine these materials using tools to create activities that students can access online.
The seven tools featured on the site are designed to teach specific historical thinking skills—weighing evidence, interpreting data, focusing on details, and more. Each employs interactive components including puzzles, scales, maps, flow charts, and others that both teachers and students can tailor to their needs.
On the site, teachers can 1) browse or search for documents and activities, 2) customize any activity to fit the needs of a unique classroom, 3) create a brand new activity with its own web address from scratch, using one of seven distinctive tools, and 4) save and organize activities in an account to share with students. After participating in an activity, the site even allows students to submit their work to their teacher via e-mail.
DocsTeach.org is sponsored by the Foundation for the National Archives, with the support of Texas Instruments.
OpenTheGovernment.org is a coalition of more than 70 groups advocating for open government, including the National Coalition for History.
The issues discussed in the Report Card include: classified Information and classified costs, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), signing statements, use of state secrets, and more.
According to Patrice McDermott, Director of OpenTheGovernment.org, “Encouraging trends are evident in these early months of the Obama Administration, in both FOIA and in general secrecy. In general, after hitting high water marks during the Bush Administration, statistics indicate the creation of new national security secrets is slowly ebbing.” In FY 2009, for example, the number of original classification decisions, the “sole sources of newly classified information,” decreased almost 10% to 183,224—down from 203,541 in 2008.
The statistics also indicate, however, that the declassification system continues to fall further behind. For example, in FY 2009, the government spent $196 maintaining the secrets already on the books for every one dollar spent declassifying documents. Only one-half cent of every dollar spent on security classifications costs overall was spent on declassification, and 8% fewer pages were declassified than in 2008. Overall, expenditures to maintain secrecy increased 2%.
The only indicators covered by the report that may reflect the Administration’s open government initiative concern the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In FY 2009, the federal government processed 55,000 more FOIA requests than it received in 2009 and reduced backlogged pending requests by almost 56,000.
Among the projects funded are: King County Heritage Barn Guide, Seattle, WA; a Heritage Design Plan for Baltimore’s Carroll Park, Baltimore, MD; Austin Historical Survey Web Tool, Austin, TX; Edmonds Downtown Cultural Heritage Tour, Edmonds, WA; Montana Community Revitalization Project: Heritage Planning for the New Decade, Helena, MT; Rural Heritage Survey Phase III, Development of Farmstead Heritage Websites, Frankfort, KY; and Preserve Little Italy, San Diego, CA.
More information on Preserve America, including the complete list of grant recipients, criteria, and application forms can be found at the program’s website.
The Preserve America grant program is administered by the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service in partnership with the ACHP. The competitive matching grants fund Preserve America communities, state historic preservation offices, and tribal historic preservation offices to support their preservation efforts through heritage tourism, education, and historic preservation planning.
This is the second round of Preserve America grants awarded in 2010; earlier this year the National Park Service awarded grants totaling $2.9 million to support 31 preservation projects in 17 states.
Since 2006, over $21 million in Preserve America Grants have been awarded to 280 projects in 49 states. In all, the National Park Service has received 721 applications requesting more than $56.5 million. Each project requires a 50/50 match leveraging over $44 million for heritage tourism and related work at the local level.
This pull service is only for records that have designated retrieval information, do not require screening for personal privacy and other sensitive information, and are housed in open, unclassified stack space. This pilot program is for the Textual Research Room at Archives II only.
Records will be retrieved for use in the Textual Research Room at the following “pull” times: 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.
Name of source: Japan Today
SOURCE: Japan Today (10-26-10)
The swords, decorated with gold, silver and lacquer, appear on the top of about 100 swords in the weapon list of the Kokka Chimpo Cho (the book of national treasures to Todaiji) kept at the Shosoin repository at the temple in the ancient capital of Nara, and can be considered important historical materials in the related research.
The swords were discovered at the end of the Meiji Period (1868-1912) along with other items such as a silver pot near the pedestal on which the Great Buddha sits when three holes were created nearby for research purposes, and were designated together as national treasures in 1930.
When maintenance workers recently took an X-ray photo of the swords, they found the inscriptions ‘‘Yoken’’ and ‘‘Inken’’ on the blades, which indicate the swords are highly likely those called ‘‘Yohoken’’ and ‘‘Inhoken’’ that the empress dedicated in 756 at a memorial service for the emperor who died earlier in the year.
The swords were likely removed from the Shosoin treasure list at the request of the empress and buried in the location where they were found....
Name of source: Yale Alumni Magazine
SOURCE: Yale Alumni Magazine (10-25-10)
Peru has sued Yale over the artifacts, which Yale archeologist Hiram Bingham ’98 took – with government permission — from the ancient Incan ruins in 1911. The South American country plans a centennial celebration of Machu Picchu’s rediscovery for next July, and has demanded the items’ return before then.
The university has not yet responded to a letter from 23 alumni living in Peru, urging Yale to resolve the dispute....
Name of source: AL
SOURCE: AL (10-25-10)
An archaeologist at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Preserve, Wilson was working a two-week stint at the BP Joint Command Center during the oil spill crisis helping protect historical sites in the Gulf of Mexico and on beaches. As an archaeologist with some expertise in Civil War relics, he wanted to see the anchor.
Maritime archaeologists, he said, determined it was a 19th century folding stock anchor that probably predated the Civil War.
Because of its size, Wilson said it was probably on a smaller ship, like a schooner....
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (10-26-10)
This was the vote which ended apartheid and brought Nelson Mandela to power.
The book by Peter Harris, who was the head of the official election monitoring division, says the hacker got into what was thought to be an impregnable system.
The manipulation was detected at the time, but the culprit was never discovered....
SOURCE: BBC (10-26-10)
The 24 reels were found at the back of the converted pigshed in Blean, Kent, where Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate created their much-loved films.
Postgate, who died in 2008, and Firmin were also behind other favourites including Bagpuss and The Clangers.
He said the black and white episodes were discovered by an agency that was digitising his father's old films....
SOURCE: BBC (10-25-10)
Dr Arthur Stamp, who died last year, spent his life collecting historical objects which fetched more than £20,000 when they were auctioned in Colwyn Bay, Conwy, last month.
Removal men then found a second haul of items when they opened Dr Stamp's oven.
They are expected to fetch more than £2,000 when auctioned on Tuesday.
Auctioneers were instructed to sell his house's contents, which included fossils, Neolithic and Bronze Age arrow heads and tools, arms and armour and medieval manuscripts....
SOURCE: BBC (10-24-10)
Cracks have appeared on the 325-year-old Charles II, thought to be the work of the Dutch sculptor Grinling Gibbons.
The monument, which is made of lead, depicts the King of England, Scotland and Ireland as a Roman general.
The lead will be cleaned and missing parts like the sword and scabbard will be replaced, modelled on a similar statue at Windsor Castle.
The work is needed because the statue's internal framework, which is made from oak and mild steel, has deteriorated over time, causing cracks....
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (10-24-10)
Work by Takashi Murakami, who blends Japanese classical art with manga-style modernity, is on show until December.
But Prince Sixte-Henri de Bourbon-Parme believes Murakami's brightly coloured work dishonours the memory of his ancestors.
The prince and fellow protesters say Murakami "denatures" French culture.
"By exhibiting at Versailles, artists benefit from an added value," he told the AFP news agency....
SOURCE: BBC News (10-22-10)
Professor Kathryn Sutherland of Oxford University reached her conclusion while studying 1,100 original handwritten pages of Austen's unpublished writings.
The manuscripts, she states, feature blots, crossing outs and "a powerful counter-grammatical way of writing".
She adds: "The polished punctuation and epigrammatic style we see in Emma and Persuasion is simply not there."...
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (10-26-10)
Iraqi High Tribunal spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Sahib did not say when Aziz, 74, would be put to death.
Aziz has 30 days to launch an appeal. If the Appeals' Court upholds the death sentence, the law says Aziz should be hung within 30 days of the final decision. The Iraqi president also needs to sign off on an execution order....
SOURCE: AP (10-26-10)
Officials from the Bosnian and Serbian Commissions for Missing Persons said 372 bone fragments were found on the Bosnian bank of Perucac lake and 79 on the Serbian side.
By counting the right femurs recovered, experts determined the bones belonged to at least 97 people -- victims primarily of the wars that accompanied the breakup of Yugoslavia. But authorities said only DNA analysis will reveal the total number and identities of the dead....
SOURCE: AP (10-24-10)
The list includes law, philosophy, management, psychology, political science and the two subjects that appear to cause the most concern among Iran's conservative leadership — women's studies and human rights.
"The content of the current courses in the 12 subjects is not in harmony with religious fundamentals and they are based on Western schools of thought," senior education official Abolfazl Hassani told state radio....
SOURCE: AP (10-25-10)
Ziad Bandak, an official working on the restoration, says renovation of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity is expected to take several years and cost millions of dollars.
Bandak said Monday this is the first comprehensive restoration project on the church since it was completed in the fourth century....
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (10-26-10)
Lillian McEwen, who dated Thomas for several years before he was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1991, provided CNN's "Larry King Live" program with a harsh depiction of Thomas. She said when they first met, he might have been a "raving alcoholic" who used pornography to help fulfill sexual fantasies, but then gave up drinking and transformed into an angry, obsessive man who bullied his son.
King said during the program that Thomas' office declined offers to comment on the topics of the interview.
Thomas almost had his Supreme Court nomination derailed when another woman, Anita Hill, accused him of sexual harassment when they worked together in the 1980s at the U.S. Department of Education and then the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.....
SOURCE: CNN (10-26-10)
That world may well have existed, but in the distant past, according to their survey of hundreds of mummies from Egypt and South America. The researchers found that only one mummy had clearly identifiable signs of cancer.
The study suggested that industrialization, pollution and the ills of modern life are to blame for the epidemic of cancer now seen sweeping around the globe.
Cancer or no cancer, the Grim Reaper came often and came early in Ancient Egypt. Although the pharaohs and others at the top of Egypt's social pyramid tended to live longer, the average life expectancy for men was less than 40, and women tended to die even younger because of childbirth....
SOURCE: CNN (10-25-10)
These are just a few of the bizarre and exotic episodes revealed by more than 1,000 British Royal Navy Medical Officer journals -- compiled between 1793 and 1880 -- that have been made accessible to the public following a two-year cataloguing project by Britain's National Archives.
They suggest a sailor's greatest fear was likely to be a blade-wielding surgeon.
They suggest a sailor's greatest fear was likely to be a blade-wielding surgeon....
Name of source: National Geographic
SOURCE: National Geographic (10-25-10)
The mandible, unearthed by paleontologists in China's Zhiren Cave in 2007, sports a distinctly modern feature: a prominent chin. But the bone is undeniably 60,000 years older than the next oldest Homo sapiens remains in China, scientists say.
In fact, at about a hundred thousand years old, the Chinese fossil is "the oldest modern human outside of Africa," said study co-author Erik Trinkaus, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis....
Name of source: Discovery News
The remains are the oldest modern human fossils in East Asia and predate, by over 60,000 years, the oldest previously known modern human remains in the region.
The fossils — a chin and related teeth — belonged to a modern human that also featured more robust Neanderthal-type characteristics, indicates the study, published in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences....
Early modern humans mated with Neanderthals and possibly other archaic hominid species from Asia at least 100,000 years ago, according to a new study that describes human remains from that period in South China.
The remains are the oldest modern human fossils in East Asia and predate, by over 60,000 years, the oldest previously known modern human remains in the region.
The fossils -- a chin and related teeth -- belonged to a modern human that also featured more robust Neanderthal-type characteristics, indicates the study, published in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences....
SOURCE: Discovery News (10-21-10)
Blaine's revelations, as well as those from JFK's secret service agents in a forthcoming book, "The Kennedy Detail" and in a series of interviews with the Discovery Channel, reveal how challenging this charismatic president could be to protect and how shaken his murder left those whose job it was to keep him safe.
They were well trained and extraordinarily professional. They were dedicated to the President and especially to the honor of the presidency. Most of all, the Secret Service agents assigned to protect John F. Kennedy were stoic and silent.
They did not talk about their feelings for JFK. And they did not discuss their emotions about his death -- not with each other and not to the world -- until now....
The research, accepted for publication in the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics, shows how genetic analysis can provide new historical evidence independent of other traditional sources of information.
The gourd, originally used to store gunpowder, was extensively decorated on the outside with a flame tool. Burned into its surface is the text: "Maximilien Bourdaloue on January 21st, dipped his handkerchief in the blood of Louis XVI after his beheading."
The handkerchief is now missing from the gourd, but Lalueza-Fox and his team identified a brownish substance on the interior of the dried squash. Biochemical tests determined that the substance was dried blood.
Lalueza-Fox recalled that the king was known for his blue eyes, featured prominently in paintings. He then got the idea of looking for the blue eyes mutation within the dried blood's DNA. The scientists found this mutation, at a gene called HERC2.....
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (10-26-10)
It’s slow, painstaking work in a converted cotton mill in the Berkshires, but the payoff could be immeasurable. By putting its film-restoration skills to new use, a photo laboratory here is in the vanguard of a promising Defense Department effort to identify the remains of Korean War veterans, six decades after the conflict began.
“It’s a huge breakthrough for us,’’ said John Byrd, lab director at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii, who estimated the improved photos might help identify as many as 200 remains that lie buried in the national military cemetery in Honolulu. “It’s fantastic is what it is.’’...
Name of source: Time.com
SOURCE: Time.com (10-21-10)
In an effort to preserve the riches — and beef up the number of tourists they attract — local authorities have been pressing an ambitious project to reinvent and revive Luxor; rehabilitating tombs, and expanding the city's tourist infrastructure at a dizzying pace to the tune of hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars. Egyptian authorities are in the process of excavating an ancient "Avenue of the Sphinxes," a 2.7 kilometer pathway once lined with the human-headed lion statues from the pharaonic past; after it has been resurrected, the avenue will link the Luxor Temple on one end to the colossal Karnak temple on the other. The plan is to turn the city into an open air museum by the year 2030. "Luxor needs a pioneer project like this to preserve it for the new generation," says Boraik of the ongoing work....
Name of source: People's Daily (CN)
SOURCE: People's Daily (CN) (10-22-10)
"This time, we will go into China's largest fresh-water lake to study its repository of underwater sites and artifacts," said Fan Changsheng, director of Jiangxi Provincial Institute of Archeology.
Archaeologists will start by identifying submerged indigenous sites, waterlogged ancient battlefields, and shipwrecks at "Laoyemiao" , a mysterious and dangerous area in Poyang Lake, according to Fan....
Name of source: Slate
SOURCE: Slate (10-22-10)
Name of source: Hokumburg Goombah (Blog)
SOURCE: Hokumburg Goombah (Blog) (10-8-10)
Other primitive forms of photography had preceded this picture by over a decade. But this anonymous shadowy man is the first human being to ever have his picture taken. There is also the very faint image of the bootblack bent over his work.
Odds are neither of them ever knew they were making history that day.
Name of source: Virginia Gazette
SOURCE: Virginia Gazette (10-24-10)
The book made national news this week after a history professor at the College of William & Mary read the passage in her 9-year-old daughter's fourth grade history book. Carol Sheriff, who was interviewed by the Washington Post and appeared on "Countdown" with Keith Olberman on Wednesday, said the Confederacy forbid blacks from fighting for the South until the final year of the war, and there is no record of black Confederate soldiers taking part in any battles....
SOURCE: Virginia Gazette (10-26-10)
Measuring 5 1/2 feet by 6 1/2 feet, the silk standard is constructed of 12 white, 8 blue and 3 red pieces, forming a Union flag of the type in use 1707-1800. The center of the flag is embroidered with a Union wreath of roses and thistles, signifying the union of England and Scotland, and enclosing the title REGT over the Roman numerals XCVI.
“Flags, or ‘colors’, are tangible, emotionally charged symbols of the nations or military units that fly them,” said Ronald Hurst, Colonial Williamsburg vice president of collections, conservation and museums. “We are delighted to acquire this powerful emblem of the British crown from the French and Indian War period.”...
Name of source: Haaretz
SOURCE: Haaretz (10-22-10)
The lawsuit accused the Hungarian government and rail companies of confiscating property of Jews and transporting them to ghettos and concentration camps where hundreds of thousands perished in Nazi-occupied Poland and Ukraine.
"The Jewish victims of the Hungarian Holocaust seek only what is due them -- compensation and restitution for the atrocities they suffered at the hands of the defendants," the lawsuit said....
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-24-10)
Sixty five years after the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany, the city in Brittany was closed as engineers worked to defuse a 550lb RAF device.
It was one of thousands dropped on northern France in 1944 as Allied troops prepared to invade.
All of the work was being coordinated by France's Département du Déminage (Department of Mine Clearance), which recovers around 1,000 tons of unexploded munitions every year.
Since 1945, around 650 of its staff have died handling unexploded munitions, two as recently as 1998 in the former First World War battlefield of Vimy Ridge.
Their work is concentrated on the so-called 'Iron Harvest' of unexploded ordnance which is littered around the battlefields and bombing targets of northern France....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-22-10)
Yet Jane Austen couldn't spell, had no grasp of punctuation and her writing betrayed an accent straight out of The Archers, according to an Oxford University academic.
Prof Kathryn Sutherland said analysis of Austen's handwritten letters and manuscripts reveal that her finished novels owed as much to the intervention of her editor as to the genius of the author....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-23-10)
The documents also suggested about 600 civilians were killed at US military checkpoints after the invasion in 2003, and raised questions about the death toll.
Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, criticised the leak, which was the largest ever of US documents, and followed the 90,000 files from Afghanistan released earlier this year....
They are among groups of law enforcement officials, also including New York police officers and members of the US Secret Service, who have attended classes at the city's Metropolitan Museum of Art....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-26-10)
The insects – bees, termites, spiders, and flies – had been entombed in the vast Cambay deposit in western India for some 50 million years.
Scientists had long assumed that India was for a time an isolated island-continent, and consequently expected that the insects found in the amber would differ significantly from those elsewhere in Asia.
But researchers wrote in their study appearing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the insects were not unique as would be expected....
The deaths of so many infants have never been adequately explained, with speculation that they may have been caused by poor hospital hygiene or an outbreak of typhoid, polo, cholera or meningitis.
Some former servicemen believe the blame lies with the cocktail of inoculations they were given prior to being stationed in Cyprus, or that the deaths were linked to exposure to radioactive military material.
The babies died in a military hospital in Dhekelia, one of the two sovereign bases, along with Akrotiri, which Britain retained after Cyprus was granted independence in 1960 after decades of colonial rule.
In 1964 alone, around 56 babies died, some of them just a day old. They are buried in a British military cemetery there.
After decades in which parents claimed the truth of the saga was hushed up by British military authorities, the Ministry of Defence has launched an investigation into the deaths....
The reason for Hitler's deputy making his solo flight to Scotland in May 1941 has kept conspiracy theorists busy for decades. He was arrested in Renfrewshire and spent the rest of his life in prison.
Nearly 70 years on, a fresh theory has emerged. Author John Harris claims that Hess was lured to Britain in an MI6 plot led by Tancred Borenius, a Finnish art historian who was working as an agent for the British secret service....
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (10-24-10)
Brooklyn commercial divers believe they've uncovered what the Navy missed more than 50 years ago during a frantic search that made national headlines: roughly 1,500 live shells that went overboard into the Narrows and Gravesend Bay.
The Post joined the four-person crew last week searching for artifacts in the murky waters off the former Fort Lafayette -- an island near Bay Ridge destroyed in 1960 to pave the way for the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge....
SOURCE: Fox News (10-25-10)
It's been popularly theorized among experts in tropical diseases that the explorer brought back one too many treasures from the New World, including the potentially fatal sexually transmitted infection. Soon after his return in the mid-1490s, a pandemic of the disease erupted in Europe.
However, the largest excavation of skeletons undertaken in Britain has unearthed seven that suggest the disease was known in England up to two centuries before that.
Archaeologists believe that rough patches on the skulls and limbs of skeletons found at St Mary Spital in East London exonerate Columbus’s crew.
Brian Connell, an osteologist for the Museum of London who studied the bones, said he had no doubt that the skeletons were buried before Columbus’ voyage. Radiocarbon dating of the samples is estimated to be 95 percent accurate.....
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (10-22-10)
But in a few days’ time, the final batch of Malvern Water will be bottled and its production plant in the town shut down.
Coca-Cola, the brand’s owner, said today that output was too low for it to keep the site open and it will be sold off for luxury housing. Seventeen workers face redundancy.
‘This is a great shock,’ said Paul Tuthill, chairman of the Worcestershire spa town’s council. ‘What is the Queen going to do about her water because she always drank Malvern Water?
Name of source: Southern Poverty Law Center
SOURCE: Southern Poverty Law Center (10-26-10)
The Founding Fathers as white racist poster boys?
Do a Facebook page search of the name Thomas Jefferson, and the very first listing that will appear is Thomas Jefferson – American. You can click to join 11,753 people who “like” the page.
Well, congratulations. You just signed onto fan pages sponsored by the racist National Policy Institute (NPI), a think tank dedicated to the preservation of America as a nation of, for and dominated by white people. NPI has been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group since publishing heir William H. Regnery founded it in 2005.
NPI has hijacked many of America’s Founding Fathers. 12,835 Facebook users “like” the group’s General George Washington page. Another 5,617 network users like the page for Benjamin Franklin – American, and 2,630 like James Monroe – American. While it is unclear how many of those who add their names to NPI’s Facebook pages are aware of NPI’s mission of preserving a culturally white America, without question, the Facebook fan pages are driving thousands of clicks worth of traffic to a racist hate group’s website.
Name of source: CS Monitor
SOURCE: CS Monitor (10-22-10)
Ward: Iraq is also a painful subject: 100,000 Iraqis dead, and 4,000 Americans. Do you have any regrets about the invasion?
Rice: I have absolutely no regret that we overthrew Saddam Hussein – although, of course, I wish things [afterwards] had gone better. There were many sacrifices made in that war, and those of us who were responsible for helping President [George W.] Bush make those decisions mourn those losses and will always be haunted by them. But I also recognize that the arc of history is a long, not a short one. We shouldn’t judge big historical changes as snapshots. The conversation we’re having now isn’t about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction or invasion of Kuwait, but can Sunni and Shia find a way to form a government [in Iraq]. Just think about what that means for the Middle East – a multi-confessional Arab state, the most important one strategically, and the discussion is about forming a government.
Name of source: The Wall Street Journal
SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal (10-25-10)
The church's exact location had bedeviled Jamestown scholars for years. Records say it was built roughly a year after Britain's King James sent a crew of around 100 men, including Captain John Smith, to establish an outpost 40 miles upriver from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.
The men were supposed to be primarily seeking a profit, not Christian converts. The only previous evidence of a church consisted of remnants of a later church, built in 1617 near the eastern wall of the fort. But this summer's find proves Capt. Smith's men planted their first church in the center of the compound, the first and largest structure anyone would notice after passing through the fort's entrance....