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: Unreported Heritage News
SOURCE: Unreported Heritage News (2-14-11)
About 4,200 years ago a series of disasters struck cities and civilizations throughout the Middle East.
In Egypt the central government collapsed. The same state that had built the great pyramids, and kept pharaoh as the supreme authority, could no longer keep the country united. This ushered in an era of powerful provincial leaders (known as nomarchs) and rival claimants to the Egyptian throne.
A similar scenario happened in Mesopotamia where the Akkadian Empire, an entity whose power stretched from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean, also went under. This led to local rulers stepping in and taking up power.
There is also evidence of social upheaval in the Levant. The city of Khirbet ez-Zeiraqoun in northern Jordan, whose inhabitants burrowed out hundreds of meters of water tunnels into the ground, was abandoned.
Climate change is believed to be a major reason for this upheaval. Research in the Middle East suggests that the environment became increasingly arid – making it difficult to support the intensive farming that is required to feed large cities....
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (2-25-11)
Morrison, 40 and a servant, was convicted of throwing acid in the face of her estranged husband after she had confronted him at his workplace in Ancoats in the city, demanding that he pay her her weekly allowance.
The tale is told in a single newspaper paragraph pasted next to her photograph: "He promised to give it to her in a day or two but she said that would not do for her and, taking from under her shawl a jug containing undiluted sulphuric acid, she threw [it] at her husband saying: 'Take that. I'll make you worse than you are'."
The Ancestry.co.uk website is publishing 4,400 parole records with 500 photographs of some of the prisoners sentenced in the mid-19th century. They sit demurely in their uniforms, with white pinafores, some wearing mob caps, hair parted in the middle, hands spread in front of their stomachs: murderers and thieves, some of the latter sentenced to savage prison terms for the most minor of crimes....
Name of source: Newsweek
SOURCE: Newsweek (2-27-11)
But these were no ordinary travelers with Zionist sympathies. Rather, on this trip to Israel were a Belgian politician known for his contacts with SS veterans, an Austrian with neo-Nazi ties, and a Swede whose political party has deep roots in Swedish fascism—unlikely visitors to pay their respects at Yad Vashem, perhaps, unless one considers the political currents in Israel and Europe, and the adage that one’s enemy’s enemy is one’s friend.
Only a few years ago, many of Europe’s far-right politicians were openly anti-Semitic. Now some of the same populist parties are embracing Israel to unite against what they perceive to be a common threat.
Over the past few years, Europe’s right-wing political leaders have tapped into rising worries over immigration from Islamic countries to predominantly secular and Christian Europe, where the number of Muslims has grown from 29.6 million in 1990 to 44.1 million in 2010, or up to 10 percent of the population in countries such as France. Geert Wilders, an anti-Islam firebrand whose Party for Freedom last July gained a record 24 seats in the Netherlands’ Parliament, likens the Quran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf and has called Muhammad a “devil” spreading a “fascist ideology,” and has vowed to stop Muslim immigration. In Switzerland, 57 percent of voters banned the construction of minarets in a popular referendum in late 2009. In poll after poll, large majorities of Europeans say they worry about the spread of Islam and that Muslims have not properly integrated....
Name of source: BBC
In 17 years of war after the 1989 Soviet withdrawal, and five years of Taliban rule, most of the Afghan national museum's riches were looted and some were deliberately destroyed.
But the most valuable items survived, in a vault deep beneath the presidential palace, thanks to five men - among them museum director Omar Khan Massoudi.
The Kabul national museum is located a few kilometres south of the capital, in an area that repeatedly changed hands as mujahideen militias vied for influence in the early 1990s.
Each time it was taken, the museum was looted again. Of the estimated 100,000 object on display in 1979, some 70% had gone by the mid-1990s.
A rocket destroyed a 4th Century wall painting in 1993. Priceless goods, some looted to order, changed hands on the international art market. Others were buried in rubble or burned as firewood....
Mr Logue treated the stammer of the Duke of York, who went on to become King George VI.
The story inspired the Oscar-winning film, The King's Speech.
The letter, dated 18 May 1925, is from Baron Stamfordham, King George VI's father's private secretary, to John Murray V, who recommended Mr Logue.
The letter thanks Mr Murray for passing on the speech therapist's details and states that he would send them on to the "Duke of York's people"....
The research uses computer modelling techniques devised at Leeds University and archaeology and anthropology expertise at Bristol University.
Spines from 40 skeletons in museums and anatomy collections are being analysed....
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (2-28-11)
But with no timetable for a trial for those charged with being behind the attacks, Hamilton Peterson, who lost his father and stepmother on 9/11, says the families feel betrayed.
A White House spokesman declined to comment on the complaints of the victim’s families. But outside groups say that part of the problem for the administration has been the ongoing legal and political fight over the military prison at Guantanamo Bay. The president wants to close it, but a bipartisan coalition in Congress has adamantly refused to allow him to bring the inmates to facilities inside the U.S....
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (2-28-11)
Maison Mantin was left to the town of Moulins in central France by Louis Mantin, in a will written months before his death in 1905. The landowner, who had inherited several properties, died unmarried and childless aged 54, only eight years after his house was completed.
Despite rumors that Mantin had demanded the house be closed for 100 years, there was only one condition for the gift: that was that it should be opened as a museum a century after his death. If it was closed any longer, ownership could revert to any surviving relatives.
The mansion was briefly a museum following Mantin's death, but there was little interest and it soon closed. For most of the rest of the century, even as two destructive wars raged nearby, it remained shuttered, an unchanging, mysterious presence in the shadow of Moulins' cathedral.
Rumors circulated that a collection of skeletons was stored inside, but most locals simply gave a Gallic shrug to the imposing property. Even the German occupiers of France during the 1940s left it unscathed.
As the deadline for the house to reopen approached -- and with Mantin's great-niece, who could theoretically reclaim it, alive -- attention turned to the restoration....
SOURCE: CNN (3-1-11)
The statement came hours after Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman condemned Galliano's praise of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.
The statement came hours after Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman condemned Galliano's praise of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler....
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (2-25-11)
The semicircle of gleaming green feathers held together by rows of golden beads was, it is said, the headdress of Mexico's last Aztec ruler, Moctezuma.
But the spectacular artefact is not real - it's a replica. The original lies thousands of kilometres away in a collection at Vienna's Ethnology Museum.
The exact origin of the headdress or "penacho" is disputed but one version says Moctezuma gave it to the Hernan Cortez, leader of the Spanish conquistadors, in the 16th Century. By the twists and turns of history, it ended up in Austria.
Nearly 500 years on, the original may be loaned temporarily to Mexico, a development that has created expectation there and highlighted the country's historic riches.
But the pre-Hispanic artefacts and sites not only attract tourists; looters and traffickers see a chance to profit from the wealth of the past....
SOURCE: BBC News (2-28-11)
A collection of her lingerie, handbags and luggage will be auctioned next week in central London.
A scarlet chiffon nightdress from the 1940s to early 1950s is expected to fetch up to £1,000.
Proceeds from the sale, at Kerry Taylor Auctions, will go to the Dodi International Charitable Foundation.
It helps children in need of medical care and their families in Egypt, UK, France and US.
Contents of the home occupied by the couple, who were later made the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, were bought by former Harrods owner Mohamed al-Fayed.
He bought the contents of their home on the Bois de Bologne, in Paris, when the duchess died in 1986. He later sold much of it in 1998....
SOURCE: BBC News (3-1-11)
Surrendering lands in France, forced into a humiliating climbdown with the nobility and ex-communicated by the Church. Not to mention being blamed for the murder of his nephew.
The medieval reign of King John has been characterised by disaster and his reputation languishes among the lowest for all the kings and queens of England.
This poor standing is illustrated by his persistently negative appearances in British cultural life 800 years on. Depictions on television, stage and big screen, particularly in Robin Hood films, usually present a man who is treacherous and weak....
SOURCE: BBC News (3-1-11)
The brunette was discovered by eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes, who cast her in his 1943 Western The Outlaw.
Some of her most memorable films include the The Paleface (1948) with Bob Hope, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) with Marilyn Monroe.
She died on Monday at her home in California of a respiratory-related illness, her daughter-in-law confirmed.
"She always said I'm going to die in the saddle, I'm not going to sit at home and become an old woman. And that's exactly what she did, she died in the saddle," Etta Waterfield said, recounting that Russell had remained active in her local community until illness intervened in recent weeks.
Russell was a pin-up girl in the 1940s and 1950s, but her film career had faded by the 1960s....
Name of source: Ahram Omline (Egypt)
SOURCE: Ahram Omline (Egypt) (2-24-11)
1 / 2
the statue of king Ramses II
the statue of king Ramses II
the statue of king Ramses II
Last night looters sneaked into the southern quarry of the upper Egyptian city of Aswan in an attempt to cut and remove the statue of King Ramses II. The statue is half buried in the sand as it was originally cut in red granite and left in situ. Following an immediate report from the quarry’s security guards, archaeologists along with security personal headed directly to the site where they caught the thieves red handed.
Zahi Hawass, minister of state for antiquities affairs, described the statue as beautifully carved although it does not bear any engravings. The statue is six meters high, 175 centimeters in width and eight centimeters thick. It depicts king Ramses II in the shape of the god Osiris.
Mohamed El-Beyali, director general of Aswan and Nubia antiquities, told Ahram Online that the statue is in a very well preserved condition and is one of the quarry’s landmarks. He added that it remains unknown why ancient Egyptians carved the statue and left it in the quarry. The site also includes several unfinished artefacts, which explains the quarrying and sculpting system used by ancient Egyptians at the time. Other unfinished statues and huge basins from the Graeco Roman era are also located there. The quarry was used by ancient Egyptian to cut granite blocks and for the constructions of temples and carving colossi....
Name of source: Japan Times
SOURCE: Japan Times (2-26-11)
The figurine, which is holding a shield and appears to be smiling, was apparently meant to guard the Chihara Ohaka tomb, the Sakurai board of education said Thursday.
The earliest haniwa in human form had until now been dated to the first half of the fifth century, but the Sakurai figurine beats the record by several decades, the board said....
Name of source: Science Now
SOURCE: Science Now (2-24-11)
Last year, archaeologists discovered the remains of the house and burial, providing a rare slice of life of the first Americans. Some aspects of the burial resemble those in both Siberia and North America, but in other respects the new find is completely unique. And it may ultimately reveal any genetic links between these early Alaskans and other so-called Paleoindians in North America.
At least 14,000 years ago, humans began moving from Siberia into Alaska, crossing a land bridge over what is now the Bering Sea and then colonizing both North and South America. But the bones and burials of these ancient Alaskans are vanishingly rare, as are the remains of their houses. While excavating at the site of Upward Sun River, near the Tanama River in central Alaska, archaeologist Ben Potter of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and his colleagues discovered the outlines of the foundation of a circular house, including a scattering of stone tools and animal bones on the floor and traces of posts that may have held up the walls and roof. As the team reports in this week's issue of Science, the center of the house was taken up with a large circular pit containing the fragmented, partially burnt bones of the child. ...
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (2-25-11)
The tombs belonging to the Wari culture were found on the jungle-covered eastern slope of the Andes in Cuzco department at a long-abandoned city thought to be the last redoubt of Inca resistance to Spanish colonial rule.
The Waris, a pre-Inca civilization, had an enormous cultural impact in the Andean region between 600 and 1200. The Inca empire (around 1400 to 1532) was the largest pre-Columbian empire in the Americas.
"It is an impressive Wari find in the Cuzco jungle that opens a new chapter on archaeological research and forces us to re-write history," said Juan Garcia, the cultural director for the Cuzco region, as he announced the discovery late Wednesday.
"The discovery is one of the most important ever, and is comparable to Machu Picchu... and the Lord of Sipan," said Garcia, referring to the 1987 discovery of the tomb of an ancient Moche lord....
Name of source: CHarlotte Observer
SOURCE: CHarlotte Observer (1-3-11)
Speaking no English, with little money and only the clothes on her back, she found bad news waiting in the U.S.: Her GI husband wanted her to go home and leave the infant behind.
Even though the soldier offered to pay for the trip, Josette Laney, then 23, knew there would be more opportunity in America.
In Gaston County, where her husband was from, she built a new life as a single parent. She worked in textiles and raised her son, Jim. They supported each other, and she helped put him through college.
At 88, Laney recently came under the care of Gaston Hospice, where staff heard about her experiences.
Officials with the nonprofit - celebrating its 30th anniversary this year - put Laney's story on the front of its winter newsletter. As the face of hospice, she helps call attention to the soon-expanding program....
Name of source: National Parks Traveler
SOURCE: National Parks Traveler (1-3-11)
The images, taken from the roll that had itself gotten overlooked for an unknown period of time -- in the park's archives, not within its lush tropical forests -- included some of the well-known Taino carvings in a rock above a pool of water along the Reef Bay Trail. But then there was the other curious image, one without any water in sight and with a different, vertical, orientation of rock palette.
Several times Mr. Wild, the park's archaeologist, had searched on his own for the missing petroglyph without success. Then in late January he recruited a group of volunteers from Friends of Virgin Islands National Park to help with the hunt and they all set off down the Reef Bay Trail for the Taino petroglyphs, which would serve as the starting point....
Name of source: Tourism Review.com
SOURCE: Tourism Review.com (2-28-11)
Trains were one of the favourite means of transport for the Nazi commanders because they were fast and mobile. Since they were vulnerable however and had to be protected against air raids the wehrmacht had to build several shelters all around Europe including Poland.
The concrete tunnel in Stepina near Frysztak is a popular attraction for tourists interested in the history of WWII, reported Novinky.cz. The complex consists of seven reinforced concrete structures which makes it the biggest railway shelter in Poland. There were dozens of buildings, guard towers, and bunkers. As such the complex was completely self-sufficient with regards to fuel, water supply, heating, electricity generation and air filtering.
The tunnel is 386 metres long, 14.5 metres wide at the base and over 7 metres high. Its walls are three to four metres thick. During the war the tunnel was always kept ready to shelter the Hitler’s train or other Nazi trains any time. In 1941 the complex served as a meeting place of the Führer and the Italian leader Benito Mussolini. Besides that the shelter saw several high-profile meetings of the Nazi top-rank commanders.
When in June 1944 the Soviet troops approached the Germans ordered evacuation. The constrution served as a Soviet field hospital, then an evacutation shelter, and even a mashroom production complex. Today the tunnel is in very good condition because it has been used and maintained since the end of the war....
Name of source: Telegraph
SOURCE: Telegraph (3-1-11)
All over the world, collectors support the association and decide what to buy. Their representatives make the purchase.
The representatives didn't have the first name of the man who brought in the dagger. However, they were able to explain how it came to be in his father's - and then his - possession.
During World War II, Robert Vieregge was a soldier for the U.S. Army. He helped to seize German supplies waiting to be distributed. Among these supplies were brand-new daggers.
Naturally, soldiers took souvenirs home with them after the war. Many of these daggers surface frequently in collectors' shows but usually in poor condition. However, rarely does a dagger show up in its original packaging.
Thrilled to have it in his possession is senior buyer George McCurley.
"It's a very special piece," he said, showing it off next to other items that made the trip with the dagger....
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (3-1-11)
Two items – a glass bottle containing rolled-up parchment and a metal cylinder – were found in the plinth of a statue felled in last Tuesday's 6.3-magnitude earthquake in New Zealand, which is believed to have killed up to 240 people.
Rescuers combing the site made the discovery Tuesday morning and immediately called in local museum staff to examine the artefacts.
"It's very poignant, very poignant indeed," said Anthony Wright, the director of the Canterbury cathedral.
The items were in the base of a statue of John Robert Godley, the Irish founder of Christchurch, which was erected in 1867.
Two words were visible on the parchment "by" and "erected" but it would not be properly unfurled until the capsule had been examined by experts and opened in a humidity-controlled museum environment to protect it from damage....
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (3-1-11)
Researchers have studied several hundred fragments of the sandstone statues that once towered up to 180 feet (55 meters) high in Bamiyan province, and found that they were once brightly colored in red, white and blue, said Erwin Emmerling of Munich's Technical University.
The professor of restoration and conservation science, who visited the UNESCO world heritage site about 15 times since 2007, says research has shown that the smaller one of the pair -- some 125 feet high (38 meters)-- could be reconstructed with the recovered parts even though there are "political and practical obstacles" to overcome.
"Conservation of the fragments would require the construction of a small factory in the Bamiyan Valley -- alternatively some 1,400 rocks weighing up to two tons each would have to be transported to Germany," the university said in a statement Friday.
Emmerling is to present the findings at a UNESCO conference on the Buddha statues' future starting Wednesday in Paris. The Afghan government, whose representatives are also attending the expert meeting, will ultimately decide on the statues' fate...
Name of source: The New Republic
SOURCE: The New Republic (3-1-11)
But Darwin dispelled that seeming absurdity by laying out a series of steps by which the evolution could take place. Making this sequence all the more plausible was the fact that some of the transitional forms Darwin described actually existed in living invertebrates.
Now, a team of American and European researchers report that they have discovered an eye that could represent the first step in this evolution. They have found, in effect, a swimming eyeball....
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (2-25-11)
The fragments were found in a fire pit in an ancient dwelling and provide new insight into the burial practices of ice age people. The findings appear in the current issue of the journal Science.
Although only about 20 percent of the child’s remains was recovered, leaving the sex unknown, the researchers discovered teeth that indicate the child was about 3 years old....
SOURCE: NYT (3-1-11)
for some lawmakers in the new Republican freshman class, the circumstances and stakes of a budget showdown are quite different today. They frame their mission less as a one-term spending fight than as a crusade to redefine the role of the federal government in American life.
Many freshmen believe a government shutdown should — and indeed will — be avoided. “I am committed to finding that point at which we can make reductions and get this fiscal ship turned around while finding a way to keep government from shutting down,” said Representative Kevin Yoder of Kansas.
But a far greater failure, many freshmen lawmakers say, would be to capitulate on the only issue many of them ran on. Arguing that the nation’s economic conditions and their mandate from voters demand bold solutions, the freshmen’s resolve may give the House speaker, John A. Boehner, less maneuvering room in the hopes of averting a shutdown.
“I don’t believe now and 1995 are similar times,” said Representative Lou Barletta, a freshman from Pennsylvania. “Back then it was more about how to balance the budget. Now it is about how to keep the country from going broke. Unemployment was much lower than now. The debt was 5 trillion. Now it is 14 trillion. In 1995 the Congress wanted to get its house in order. Now it’s the American people that want that, and that’s the only reason why we are here.”...